Freedom Memoirs – Day 200

Breaking news today reported that around 15 soldiers from Dawei-based infantry battalion-25 have defected with the weapons in the morning although their ranks are unknown. However, the junta denied this is true. Two days ago, in north of Mindat township, Chin State, one junta’s runaway soldier was arrested by Chinland Defense Force (CDF). A few days ago, defected Captain Lin Htet Aung told Myanmar Now media that about 1500 soldiers and officers have defected since February. This number is difficult to verify independently, but we could only hope more and more soldiers will defect and join the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM).

On the other hand, the junta’s soldiers and police continue to terrorize the whole country. In six months, more than 1,000 people have been killed according to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), and more than 5,000 people are still detained since February 1. Among those detained, 255 people have been charged, in which two among them are under 18. Around 1,984 people are under arrest warrant and have been in hiding. Among those charged, 65 of them have been charged with death penalties without trial. Today, people held a poster campaign that asks for the release of students including a student leader, Wai Yan Phyoe Moe, vice chair of All Burma Federation of Student Unions who was arrested in March. Last night around 11pm, more than 20 youths were beaten in a late night search in Sanchaung, Yankin and Kamayut townships. The youths were forced to lie down on their stomach on the streets and beaten and kicked by the soldiers. Around seven youths were arrested, and another one, unconscious from the beatings.

In Mandalay region, Myingyan township, a 30-year-old father of three with a pregnant wife was tortured to death by the junta’s soldiers last night. The reason for his torture and murder was unknown. Witnesses said that he was seen walking with a torch light near the school where the soldiers had stationed. The reason of death to the family members given by the soldiers was a severe cold. Again in Sagaing region, Gantgaw township, a 72-year-old grandfather was beaten by the junta’s soldiers and his valuable properties were looted last night. In the afternoon on the same day, military trucks on their way to Kalay township were dynamited, which resulted in the deaths of 30 soldiers. In retaliation, the regime’s forces not only responded with heavy artillery to the people forces but also terrorized nearby Nhankhar village on the road between Gantgaw-Kalay. It is reported around 20 houses were destroyed and properties were looted.

With people defense forces getting stronger in ethnic regions which have been supported by the existing ethnic armed groups, the ethnic areas are more targeted by the junta. In Karenni state, the regime’s forces arrested 29 civilians to use as human shields. They have been launching attacks on local people’s defense forces and using civilians as human shields along their battles against the PDF since August 14. This morning, 200 junta’s soldiers took 10 civilians from Nantphae village, with their hands tied at the back. This has been a common tactic of the soldiers for decades in ethnic areas they have been fighting. The regime’s forces have also been committing these atrocities in Shan-north and Kachin states. Recently in August, the junta’s soldiers have been randomly firing artillery shells in panic in Waingmaw and Myitkyina townships against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) before the KIA launched any attacks.

Urban and village guerilla forces and people defense forces have been carrying out assassinations and attacks on pro-military groups. In Kyauksit village of Saw Township, Magway region, two men and one woman who are allegedly members of “Pyu Saw Htee” group, pro-military thugs, were beheaded. No one dared to take their bodies away from the crime scene. In Dagon Seikkan township of Yangon, a couple who were known as military informants were shot this afternoon. In Kapaungkya village of Taze township, Sagaing, two men alleged to be military informants were killed. In Magway region, Yesagyo township, two bombs bursted near the compound of the ward administration and Myanmar Economic Bank offices. People Defense Force Yesagyo took responsibility for these bomb blasts. Also in the same township, two members of Pyu Saw Htee were shot to death yesterday evening. 

200 days under the coup, protests are still observed despite bad weather and Covid. Protesters from village coalition in Yinmarbin marched against the fascist regime. Today is noted as 162 consecutive days of protest of Yinmarbin and Sarlingyi village-tracts of Sagaing region. Again in Yinmarbin, farmers held a farming strike. In Mandalay, powerful strikes occurred despite the citywide lockdown. Two strikes marched through streets of Mandalay today, the main coalition strike and interfaith community strike including Mandalar University strike and monks strike. In Taze township, youths marched together with farmers to show defiance against the military. In Hpakant, Lonekhin township, people demonstrated by holding a banner saying they will never go silent. Protesters from Kalay township marched against the military amid the rain. Youth demonstrators marched on the streets of Hlaing in Yangon today.

On social media today, thousands if not millions of raffle tickets are sold today by different fundraisers across the globe. “Raffle Ticket” is a campaign launched by the National Government Unity to find funds to support the People Defense Forces (PDF).

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