Freedom Memoirs – Day 204

Today started with the news of the defection of five soldiers from Dawei infantry 401 and 405 last night. Around 7pm August 22, one was shot dead while three of them were arrested. Only one of them was able to escape from the deadly arrest. A villager who witnessed the arrest said they were plain-clothed without any weapons and they did not seem to know the place well to make a safe escape. Meanwhile, the National Unity Government (NUG) released a statement and announced today that NUG will take responsibility for soldiers’ service years, military ranks, and pension for the soldiers who will join the side of the people. Any soldier who turned against the junta will be recognized as “people’s soldiers”, and they and their families will be protected by the NUG and the people. NUG’s PDF won’t those military outposts and stations which will join the people’s side. We hope that this will encourage more soldiers to join the side of justice for the people.

Clashes between Ethnic Armed Organizations together with People Defense Forces (PDF) versus the junta’s forces have been on increase. In Southern Myanmar, in Karen State, the junta’s ally Border Guard Forces (BGF) has been launching offensive attacks and reinforcing the troops on the Karen National Liberation Army controlled area since August 21. Around 1pm this afternoon near Kaminekone village, Kawkareik township, the clashes between them lasted more than two hours and the regime’s forces fired heavy artillery on the civilians’ homes. During the two-day-clashes, 12 of BGF soldiers died with 19 injured. This morning another clash occurred in Shan-north. Three clashes took place on August 20 and 21 in the same area. In Pansai township near the China border, there were clashes between Kokang’s MNDAA and the junta’s soldiers. No casualties reported from the clash yet, however, the battles have exacerbated the Covid-challenges the civilians are facing according to The Kokang media.

People Defense Forces (PDF)’s attacks on the junta’s forces have been more strategic and tactical. Under the command of Karen National Union (KNU)s Brigade 1, PDF fired a rocket on the infantry-402 at 8am this morning which resulted in two deaths of the regime soldiers. In Tamu township, Sagaing, close to the India border, local PDF launched guerrilla warfare to the junta’s forces at 6am this morning. Yesterday, PDF also threw a bomb at the school where the junta’s forces had been stationed which resulted in two soldiers’ deaths. The battle this morning costed 20 soldiers’ lives although they had outnumbered the PDF. Tamu town has now been declared under martial law that prohibits anyone from going out after 10am. In Karenni State, Demoso township, the military-owned Mytel towers were destroyed by unknown groups.

In Depeyin town, many farmers and civilians have been fleeing into safe havens away from the raids of the junta’s forces. More reinforcements have been made to the town where local PDFs have been resilient in the fight against the soldiers. The most recent news was the case of rising defections which the junta believes to be hiding in the town. The junta’s forces have been raiding more than 10 villages for five days in Depayin township and many civilians have fled their homes despite the farming season. In Magway, Gant Gaw PDF attacked the Kin police station that led to the deaths of 10 members of the police force. Today at 3pm, the PDF dynamited three trucks of the soldiers that were on their way across Pale-Gant Gaw townships. No exact number of casualties of the soldiers are reported yet. 

Yesterday evening in Yesagyo township, Magway, junta arrested five youths and it was reported that one of them had been shot to death. The news reported they were innocent and did not belong to any group and wrongly been informed by the military informant. In Yangon, Thamine MyoThit area, there was a gunfire exchange between the PDF and the junta’s forces. Four PDF members were arrested, and the junta had blocked nearby roads for the search.

As usual, protests were still observed in Mandalay, Myaing, Yinmarbin, Sarlingyi, Monywa and Launglone townships.

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