Freedom Memoirs – Day 197

This week marks fourth consecutive week of public holiday due to Covid surge. In Mandalay City, residents are not allowed to go out from 9am to 3pm, except for life or death matters, but it does not stop our protesters from striking the military regime. In fact, several different strikes: Mya Taung, Sein Pan, Mandalay Youths, and Sangha Union strikes came out today to show defiance against the regime. In other parts, protest rallies were observed in Launglon township in Taninthayi, Monywa, Taze and Kalay townships of Sagaing Region, Myaing township of Magway Region, Hpakant township of Kachin State to name a few. More than six months into the coup, non-violent protests continued despite the regime’s relentless violence. 

Speaking of violence, the regime is now targeting social welfare and charity groups that have provided food and medicine supplies for Covid patients and internally displaced people (IDP). Yesterday in North Okkalar township of Yangon, 16 volunteers from a social welfare group were abducted by the regime’s soldiers around 9pm, but they were released in the morning according to Mizzima News. In Kayah State, junta’s soldiers raided the house of a volunteer Ma Rosalind Ei Ei in Loikaw township on August 15. Since she was not at her house, the soldiers took her mother, brother and three fellow volunteers found at her home instead. The regime accused her of providing aid to People Defense Forces (PDF), but in an interview with DVB News, she denied that she was only providing aid to IDPs and Covid patients. 

In Sagaing Region, residents of Palal township found a decapitated body of a man on the highway between Palal and Gangaw yesterday morning. The body was found hours after a military convoy passed through the area following attacks against villages on previous days. According to Myanmar Now media, locals said that four military vehicles passed along the highway at around 6am on Sunday accompanied by men on about 10 motorbikes, who residents believed were members of Pyu Saw Htee. Prior to the weekend, the regime’s forces had raided and burned down houses in at least two villages in the township. Wherever the regime’s troops go, they kill people and destroy houses along the way. 

Attacks on the regime’s establishments were reported today. In Yangon, two consecutive explosions took place at Sanchaung township court around 4pm today. In Sagaing Region, Monywa city, a bomb exploded near the Customs Department around 3pm. And in Yesagyo township of Magway Region, a blast took place inside the compound of Township Police Station. Any injury or damage is yet to be confirmed in all three incidents but security was tightened and the regime’s soldiers were seen searching for responsible persons afterwards. 

In warfront, news came from Mindat, Chin State that the clash took place between junta’s forces in Chinland Defense Forces (CDF) yesterday killed about 20 soldiers and many injured from junta side, but no casualties reported on CDF side. In Shan State, Namhsan township, Southern Shan State Generation (SSS-G) ambushed while the regime’s forces were holding a meeting on August 15. According to Mizzima News, at least 10 soldiers, including a captain, died at the incident. In Karen State, Thandaungyi township, a clash broke out between junta’s forces and KNU’s Brigade 2 on Taungoo-Bawgali road this morning, resulting in the death of four soldiers including a Battalion Commander and injury of 11 others from the regime side. In Northen Shan State, Muse township, the regime’s troops which entered Mongko area via Thanlwin river were intercepted by Kokang’s MNDAA on August 13 according to MNDAA’s announcement. Multiple warfront is now opened, and the number of IDPs is expected increase. 

More and more NLD leaders/members in the regime’s detention are infected with Covid-19, and we start to wonder if the regime is deliberately letting them die. Today, Voice of Myanmar News reported that U Nyunt Shwe, an elected MP of Bago Region Hluttaw and an NLD member, passed away with Covid-19. He was arrested on February 9, and had been detained in Bago Kyaik Sagaw prison ever since. Three weeks ago, he was transferred to a hospital as he was infected with Covid-19, and the 75-year-old passed away this morning. Together with him, Bago Region’s Minister for Municipal Dr Saw Nyo Win was admitted to hospital as well. Similarly in Magway Region, the detained Chief Minister Dr Aung Moe Nyo, Hluttaw Speaker U Tar and other cabinet members are contracted Covid-19 according to Khit Thit media. Magway Prison, where they are detained, provids poor medical care. 

It was no denying that successive juntas in the past had systemically disrupted the country’s education system so that people wouldn’t resist or question their authority. Then military regimes deliberately moved universities to outskirt of big cities, imposed universal pass policy so that no student would fail exams and produced university graduates with limited skills and knowledge. After forcing students to return to classrooms despite the deadly pandemic in May, the regime is now imposing the universal pass policy again according to local media reports. Kyaukse University’s Students Union said that the University announced exam results of postgraduate, third year and fourth year final exams on August 13, and the names of students who did not take exams, were included in the passing list. The Students’ Union denounced the recently announced exam results, and continued to stand with students who boycott the junta education.

This morning, a secret directive from Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) leaked to our social media. The directive ordered private banks, mobile money services and financial institutions to take detailed records of every online transaction to track the National Unity Government’s Spring (Nwayoo) Lottery payments, and if found, the financial institutions should inform the CBM, the Anti-terrorism Central Committee, Anti-Money Laundering Central Board. Banks are likely to comply with the order but people are buying lottery tickets anyway. On the second opening day, the Spring Lottery team announced on its Facebook page that more than 72,000 ticket orders were placed, and due to the high demand, the service center requested to close the sales for the day. Compared to our CDM heroes in hiding and PDF fighters in battle fields, this is nothing but a small risk we are taking to win the revolution.

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