Freedom Memoirs – Day 221

Ko Kyaw Min Htut, a prominent forests and rights defender and a democracy advocate was abducted by junta’s forces in the town of Monywa on September 6. His brother, Ko Kyaw Min Aung and his uncle U Min Min were also taken along with him. The London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) released a statement yesterday, “EIA is deeply concerned for his wellbeing and that of his family at this time – and, ultimately, we fear for his life.” His wife Daw Khin Saw Hlaing and their two-year-old son Khant Lin were also arrested, detained and questioned by the military the day before. The same statement mentioned that Ko Kyaw Min Htut was arrested under the country’s Anti-Terrorist Act, Article 50, alleging he supported financial help to groups classified as terrorists by the junta.

About 100 civilians were arrested in Hlaing Township, Yangon last night. Initially, it was reported that junta’s forces were checking guest registrations in the area and arrested those who were not on the list. However, further news emerged people were asked to show their national registration cards (NRC) and some of them were taken without giving much attention to guest registrations. Voice of Myanmar (VOM) reported that 60 women were released around 1am but men are still detained. First, they arrest CDM staffers, then street protesters and people defense force members (PDF) and now it seems like they are arresting people who they think may join PDF at some point.

Inspection and random checks are more frequent since D-day announcement. And so have the attacks. This morning, a video circulated on social media that junta’s forces in Monywa town were targeted with a bomb and one of them was killed on the spot. The video which seemed to be taken by the responsible person from afar also recorded a satisfied remark at the time of the accident “Die, die” which may sound cold but much relatable among Myanmar public who have been treated by junta with similar level of danger on daily basis.

In Myaung Township of Sagaing Region, PDF have occupied a village level police station since last night according to Myanmar Now. It said that the battle between two sides resumed in the area on September 7 due to junta’s forces’ offensives. Four local PDFs joined together in seizing the police station in which three of regime’s soldiers surrendered and agreed to join Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), while three were killed and the rest ran away. A member from 27 Revolution Force, one of the joint forces from the people’s side, said that junta’s forces launched at least 40 artilleries into the battle-zone.

According to Khit Thit Media, a total of nine people from junta’s side were killed yesterday and today. A traffic policeman from Inndaw Township of Sagaing was shot and killed on his way back home. Two military informers from Kalay Township of the same region were also shot dead yesterday morning. Two more policemen were killed during PDF’s attack on a police station in Watlat Township of Sagaing this morning. A ward administrator from Twante Township of Yangon was shot and killed at a traffic junction this morning. A Pyu Saw Htee member was also killed in Swar Township of Bago this afternoon. A clerk from a ward administration office from Shwebo Township was shot and killed yesterday morning while a ward administrator from Tanintharyi Region was also murdered this morning.  

Attacks on telecom towers are more frequent as well. Voice of Myanmar (VOM) reported that about a dozen towers in Sagaing Region were destroyed and not yet been fixed. Coup leader Min Aung Hlaing said during a regular meeting this morning that PDF should face his military like real men instead of targeting his towers. It’s rich coming from a man who has innocent families arrested as hostages when his thugs cannot locate the people they want, and drops air bombs on civilians whenever his “real men” army is defeated in a level playing field. Speaking of level playing field, we came across a directive from junta this morning that whoever lease/let a place for CDM staffers or PDF members will be punished severely while their properties will also be seized.

Latest news of today came from Sanchaung Township of Yangon where a grenade was thrown into a military truck and killed at least two and injured many. Following the incident, the area was blocked and surrounded by excessive military forces that look set to conduct a thorough inspection overnight. We hope and pray that whoever behind the plot reach to the safety and those who happen to be in the neighborhood also escape from any unjust treatments.

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