Freedom Memoirs – Day 238

As many as 25 townships in Myanmar, where the military troops are clashing with the ethnic armed groups or the local resistance forces, have been experiencing internet outages in the past few weeks. Currently, the fighting has been intensifying in Chin State, Kachin State, Magway Region, Sagaing Region and Mandalay Region. Internet has been cut off in eight townships in Chin State, ten townships in Sagaing Region, four townships in Magway Region, two places in Mandalay Region and one in Kachin State according to VOA Burmese. The earliest internet outage was reported on August 20 in Hpakant Township; on September 15 and 23 in Chin State, Sagaing Region, Magway Region and Mandalay Region, with the latest outage reported today in Sagaing Region’s Kawlin, Wuntho and Pinlebu townships.

Military regime tried to cover up the news about the internet outage by stating that the internet blackouts in some of the townships are due to telecommunication towers being blown apart or destroyed. The military council released the statement on September 25, asking the foreign embassies not to be concerned about internet outages as they are quoting information reported by inaccurate news sources, and to only refer to “official” news sources from the military government to report on the situation in Myanmar.

It has been three days since local People’s Defence Force (PDF) and regime troops were fighting in Pinlebu Township in Sagaing Region. Yesterday, Min Aung Hlaing’s military lackeys had reportedly been dropping bombs near Wanbe Inn village and today, all forms of telecommunication were disconnected in Pinlebu Township, a resident told RFA Burmese. The source also said the connections were on and off in Kawlin Township as well and he heard many military jets flying over. According to an official from Khamti PDF, the group still had contact with the Kawlin group on Signal application last night, but the internet was cut off in the morning while regular calls worked till 6am in the morning then every call became ‘out of service’ area. Pinlebu PDF wrote a request on their social media, calling for PDFs to launch an attack in their own areas at the same time as the regime used massive attacks by both land and air forces to crash Pinlebu Township. Pinlebu-PDF warned that local residents could be seriously injured.

More clashes were reported in ethnic regions today as well. Since 6am this morning, the regime troops had been shelling with heavy artillery in Thel Suu Le, Kone Thar and nearby villages in Karenni State’s Demoso Township, and around 10am, the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) and regime troops clashed for about 15 minutes. The attack from the regime side went on till 2pm, a spokesperson from KNDF said. In northern Shan State, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and regime troops battled out around 9am this morning between Namhu and Mandaung villages in Lashio Township. Further north in Kachin State, Kachin Independence Army (KIA) clashed with the regime forces which were marching towards Tanai Township. The fighting broke out between the villages of Khum Sai Yang and Dum Bang around 8am this morning.

In the southeastern region of Myanmar, explosions were reported in two towns of Karen State’s Kawkareik Township—Kyarinn Seikgyi and Phayar Thone Su around 7pm on September 25. These are Karen National Union (KNU)’s Brigade 6 controlled areas, and KNU reported today that the military outpost in Kyarinn Seikgyi Township had been arbitrarily shooting and shelling since last night and continued to fire heavy artillery this morning as well. A resident said nobody was even attacking them and they just started shooting from their outpost in Taung Soon village. Probably another “revenge” retaliation from the military, but the sad thing is how their random shooting/attacks affected heavily only on the innocent civilians who needed to flee their comfort of their homes for unsafe forests amid heavy monsoon season. 

But in another incident, their arbitrary shooting was a godsend. Khit Thit Media reported today that during a clearance operation on September 23 in Mon State’s Thaton Township, the regime troops ended up killing at least 20 soldiers of their own when the soldiers mistook Border Guard Forces (BGF) as Karen National Liberation Army. KNU’s Brigade 1 reported that the military troops started shooting and a clash broke out with BGF near Htone Bo Lay-Htone Bo Gyi villages. 

Speaking of military soldiers dying, an attack on a military convoy in Sagaing Region’s Kalay Township on September 25 killed eight soldiers, Kalay-PDF told Mizzima News. Consisting of four container trucks and five motorbikes, the convoy that was carrying freshly graduated Pyu Saw Htee members was ambushed with a landmine as they headed towards Kalay town from Hanthawaddy village. There were only 10 people who were in soldier uniforms, and the attack killed three people on motorbike, five from the truck, and damaged at least three motorbikes and one truck. 

Even after 200 days, people across Myanmar still showed their rejection of the military coup and Min Aung Hlaing-led military council by organizing various forms of protests. In Sagaing Region’s Sarlingyi Township, one villager organized a protest tonight where the iconic defiance act of banging pots and pans was brought back. Other townships in Sagaing Region such as Yinmabin, Taze and Monywa townships also came out marching the street in support of the local PDFs who have been intensely clashing with the military troops. As we head towards eight months under the control of Min Aung Hlaing and his lackeys, just a reminder for everyone to try and still defy against the military in any ways possible even if it’s a small act, please don’t get comfortable under their control. We can’t let them win just like this. 

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