Freedom Memoirs – Day 232

by mohingamatters

Not a single day passes without terror and trauma in Myanmar. Arrests and torture to death continues. A father, U Toe Gyi, who couldn’t bear the pain of having witnessed his son being tortured days and night, committed suicide in Paungde town, Pyay district of Bago Region. The duo were arrested on the night of September 13 being accused of dynamiting the military-owned MyTel mobile tower. They suffered inhumane tortures days and nights separated by the walls. The sounds of his son groaning in pain broke his heart which led him to commit suicide five days after his release after waiting for his son’s safe return. In Tanintharyi’s Palaw town, three civilians were arrested and accused of having contacts with the People Defense Force(PDF). The soldiers threatened they would burn their homes if they did not confess. One of them was a 19-year-old person with a disability.

In Bago region, two villagers from Sanonmyaung and Nyaung Kone villages were arrested, and military informants and village administrators together with soldiers threatened the whole village with guns and that they had a list of 52 villagers to arrest. Similarly, one villager from Kyokone, Bago Region was tortured to death as he was accused of having connections to a case where a pro-military administrator was shot. Meanwhile, pro-military administrators and informants are being targeted by different armed groups. A trishaw driver, who was suspected of being an informant, was shot to death in Thaketa township, Yangon. Again in Yangon, Insein township, hundred-household administrator was killed. In the Magway Region’s Yesagyo township, a member of the pro-military vigilante group, Pyu Saw Htee was killed. In Sagaing Region, Taze township, a military informant together with five family members were killed.

Minister of Defense, U Yee Mon, of the National Government Unity (NUG) announced on his social media page today that the people’s revolution, in particular, the armed wing, will step up the game. According to the poet-turned-minister, PDF has taken control of many villages and the junta has barely managed to put the cities and big roads under their control. Since the announcement of a defensive war against the junta (D-Day) on September 7, clashes between the regional PDFs and the junta forces have been more intensified and frequent. In the regions and states where clashes have been more frequent, namely Chin, Kayah, Magway, and Sagaing, the junta forces have been committing serious crimes against humanity from arson onto civilians’ properties to massacre. 

In Thantalang town of Chin State where the clashes have intensified with local Chinland Defense Force (CDF), most civilians have left to the India border to find a safe haven to escape from the junta’s shelling of heavy weapons to their homes and shooting anyone the soldiers see on the streets. People from remote rural areas are paying a heavier price in this revolution.

Pro-people ethnic armed organisation, the Karen National Defence Organization (KNDO) released a statement today that 35 junta soldiers were killed in 45 clashes between them over 20 days. Since seizing of the regime’s outposts by the coordinated attacks of KNDO and Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) on Thai-Burma border along the Salween river, the junta has been launching offensive attacks on the area in an attempt to regain control of their outposts. In KNLA Brigade 5, Hpapun District, a KNLA commander, Saw Kyaw Reh, was killed in a battle between KNLA and the regime forces. KNLA also issued a statement that 70 soldiers were killed from the junta and the Border Guard Force (BGF), in the battles in the Brigade 5 with 91 injured. With the junta’s reinforcements, there have been clashes almost everyday in the area.

In Sagaing Region, Monywa town and Mon State’s Ye town, bomb blasts and some exchange of firing were reported. However, the detonated bomb in Monywa missed the trucks of the junta which resulted in zero casualties. In Ye, a police officer and a soldier were injured in a bomb blast at the Ye river checkpoint. In the capital, Naypyidaw, PDF attacked Lewe town Inbu checkpoint which injured three soldiers. Meanwhile, two soldiers from Mon State’s Bilin town defected and joined KNU’s Brigade 1. There was also a clash near Konethar village of Demoso town between the Karenni People Defense Force (KPDF) and the regime soldiers. One member of KPDF was killed in the clash, and a villager from Konethar was killed by heavy artillery fired by the regime military.

Today’s protest theme was “Revolutionary women who will dismantle the evil system, the military institution”. Most of the protests were led by women in Yinmarbin, Sarlingyi, Kalay, Dawei, Monywa, and Mandalay. On one occasion from the south of Dawei, women were seen holding knives and bamboo baskets. Bamboo baskets are a cultural trademark of mountain regions where ethnic groups often use them for various purposes. The knives and bamboo baskets represent unity among the lowlands and highlands. In addition to women-led strikes, Sangha’s strike of Mandalay has lasted 224 consecutive days on the streets. Paung township’s strike of revolutionary students, Mandalay’s LGBTQ strike and all show enduring resilience and commitment of Myanmar people for freedom and justice.

On a little lighter news today, famous Myanmar actress, Eaindra KyawZin, who was arrested and detained, was given “Seymour Castel Award for Best Performance” for her performance in the film “What happened to the wolf”. In addition to the actress, the director, another main cast and make-up artist from the film were all under the wanted list. Make-up artist, May Oo, has now joined the armed struggle receiving the training in the jungle. 

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