Freedom Memoirs – Day 208

Residents of Mingalar Taung Nyunt township of Yangon saw a chaotic terror last night. Around 8pm, the combined forces of police and soldiers entered the 122nd street and carried out an indiscriminate shooting at innocent civilians. Since it was a crowded time with street vendors and passer-by, the shooting dispersed peaceful vendors and customers in the neighbourhood, and killed a man instantly. The man was later identified to be U Thein Min Tun who sold bread in the street, and his body was collected by the regime’s soldiers, but returned to the family this afternoon. According to Khit Thit media, regime’s forces shot at the people because a drunk person shouted curse words at them, but it was just a reason to justify their savagery. Irrawaddy News reported that another young man was also arrested at the incident.

Similar fate fell on the villagers of Kabaung Kya village, Taze Township in Sagaing Region last night. Junta’s forces entered the village, set fire to houses which caused villagers fleeing from their homes despite the heavy rain. According to Khit Thit media, a local villager said that regime’s soldiers occupied the village and launched artillery shelling into the woods where villagers fled. Whether it’s a big city or a small village, the regime’s soldiers terrorise regardless of the location. 

Past week, we reported frequent arrests of NLD members and parliamentarians. In today’s state-owned paper, the regime announced that three NLD members including MP Daw Khin Myat Thu, and two other were arrested for supporting PDFs and CDM. It said that they were arrested with explosives, protest banners and food ration for the PDFs and CDM. The regime also announced that it arrested three PDF supporters and 10 PDF members in Kayah (Karenni) State and confiscated explosives and weapons. It’s not uncommon news that the regime targeted NLD members, but what is news is that the regime arrested M Kawn La, the chairman of Kachin National Congress (KNC) in Naypyidaw on August 25. He is charged with Penal Code 505a for incitement, and is the first ethnic political party leader to be arrested since the coup.

The conflict situation in Karen State is not going to ease up anytime soon. On August 26, Karen National Union (KNU)’s KNLA Brigade 6 seized an outpost in Kyate village, Kyaikdon township. Today, Khit Thit media reported that the military council ordered local Border Guard Force (BGF) to retake the outpost and militarily prepare for more clashes. In another part of Karen State, Papun District, where KNLA Brigade 5 reside, saw 11 clashes in two days according to KNU’s announcement. Brigade 5 Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Saw Kleh Doh said that more fightings could break out since the regimes forces transported more reinforcements. More clashes would only mean more violence and displacement of innocent civilians. Knowing it wouldn’t do any good for civilians, KNU’s Dooplaya District Chair sent out an internal memo to avoid military means according to local media Salween Press. 

Here’s an example of civilians being targeted whenever clashes break out. This morning, a shootout took place near Kyopin village, between Pale and Yinmabin township of Sagaing Region. Local PDFs ambushed the regime’s soldiers while they were taking a rest. The shootout lasted about 15 minutes, scaring away farmers who were farming nearby. Afterwards, the regime’s forces burned and destroyed three huts near the shootout location. 

Civilians from Shan State are also no strangers to armed violence. We occasionally reported armed conflicts between different ethnic armed groups in the state. Yesterday, the combined forces of Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and State State Progress Party (SSPP/SSA) clashed with Restorative Council of Shan State (RCSS) near Loikon village, Kyaukme township. Today, DVB News reported that two villagers from Loikon village were injured with gunshot wounds, and about 600 villagers fled from their homes due to the clash. Since July, clashes occasionally broke out in Northern Shan State, causing displacement of more than 2000 villagers in Kyaukme and Hsipaw townships. 

As usual, protests were staged in Yangon, Mandalay, Monywa, Magway cities, Kalay, Yinmabin and Sarlingyi townships in Sagaing Region, Launglon township in Taninthayi Region. Today’s marching strike in Yangon’s Tarmwe township got cracked down, and a young man was arrested according to Khit Thit media. Despite the crackdowns and arrests, the people of Myanmar, from students and villagers to monks, continued to resist the military regime.

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