Freedom Memoirs – Day 239

Yesterday, social media users across Facebook wished happy 26th birthday for Ko Wai Moe Nain who is a prominent activist under arrest by the junta’s soldiers after they brutally rammed into his motorcycle during the protest with a car on April 15th. Alongside Ko Tay Zar San and Ma Ei Thinzar Maung, Wai Moe Naing is a Monywa-based opposition activist whose fame rises in Spring Revolution due to his encouraging speeches against the coup. Teasingly nicknamed as “panda” for his chubby appearance, the public wished him to get released from the jail soon and be healthy. DVB news also reported that a young artist also crafted the sculpture piece of Wai Moe Naing on his birthday as a remembrance by the public.

Since the coup began in February, the news of people getting detained by the soldiers and the family members collecting the dead body of victim is nothing new for Myanmar people. In the worst case, a family member could not even receive the death body of their family, and the junta’s forces will just cold-bloodedly forward the news to the disheartened family. This is what happened to the unfortunate victim Ko Min Ko Thein, also known as Ko Fatty in Mandalay. In the afternoon of 25th September, the junta’s soldiers violent beat and abducted him. During the arrest, they forced him to kneel, but as he was a rather large man, he could not bring himself to kneel. Angered by that, they shot and tortured him. “On 26th September, the soldiers informed the family that Ko Fatty was dead, and his body was already cremated,” a close acquaintance of Ko Fatty’s family member told DVB News.

On September 24th, the soldiers shot and killed a 30-year-old Ko Myint Than Oo in Yin Paung Tine Village, Yinmarbin Township, and tortured other people. During the raid, they also stole personal belongings of villagers, and destroyed the properties. The next day, a fight broke out between local defense force and the regime’s army, resulting in 15 casualties from local force and 5 from the regime’s soldiers. Two more civilians were killed, one injured, and two have gone missing in Khin Oo township on September 26th due to the reckless shooting by the soldiers. As of this morning, three more deaths have been reported. Among them, one of the victims was ruthlessly run over with a FAW military truck. The victim is identified as Ko Myint Kyaw Moe, a local PDF leader who paid the ultimate price for the revolution.

The atrocity of junta’s army does not end there. Junta’s forces threatened Thae Phyu villagers in Ayawaddy Region to give up people force defense members (PDF), or they will burn down the village and make it disappear on the map. According to Mizzima News, the soldiers have already arrested 23 villagers, and one of them is a pregnant woman. A photo of 70-year-old U Gyi Kyaw being shot to death by the soldiers spreads virally among the netizen users this afternoon. Karenni Defense Force Member confirmed to Myanamar Pressphoto Agency that the victim was shot in the chest yesterday, and killed by junta’s forces. U Gyi Kyaw was wearing UN-logo shirt while being shot, and internet users across Myanmar pointed out the irony of the international organization UN’s lack of capability to protect an innocent citizen.

Whereas the military soldiers have been mercilessly committing inhumane acts against the citizens, National Unity of Government (NUG) encouraged the local defense forces to respect the human rights and pay respect to the ethics of a soldier. Ministry of Human Rights of NUG emphasized to protect vulnerable populations, such as women, children, elderly, and disabled persons, and do no violence against them in the statement. NUG also requests PDF members to comply with international human rights guidelines.

Irrawaddy News reported that a bomb exploded in Road Transportation Administration Department (RTAD) in Mandalay this morning. A member of PDF group announced that they are responsible for the action, and during the incident, at least five have been injured. Most victims are civilians queueing up and injury was not very severe. This bombing at RTAD is the second time as there was also a bombing incident back in May 10 when four people were injured. The reason for bombing is to stop people from paying taxes for the renewal of car license to State Administration Council (SAC), aka, to respect civic disobedience movement (CDM).  

On the economy of Myanmar, Myanmar Kyat value continues to plummet miserably. As of this afternoon at 3pm, 1 USD is equivalent to 2300 MMK (compared to 1USD=1330 before the coup), and the gold price is over 2 million MMK per tical. The demand for buying dollars in the market is very high, and the supply is very low in the market. A local money exchange person forecasted that the dollar value can increase higher and, it is not very likely for dollar value to depreciate soon. Numerically speaking, the inflation rate of Myanmar is at 6.2% which is the highest among Southeast Asian countries. Asia Development Bank (ADB) also estimated that GDP growth rate of Myanmar could shrink to 18.4% after the military coup.

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