Freedom Memoirs – Day 264

Another day under the military regime means another massacre happening somewhere in the country. Today, news came from Ayardaw and Khin-U townships in Sagaing Region that regime forces carried out a shooting spree in four villages this morning. Khit Thit Media reported that five villagers from Khin-U township were accused of being People Defense Forces (PDFs) and killed on the spot. A local villager said that regime soldiers found homemade weapons but villagers could not confirm because they have been on the run as they feared for their lives. Ayardaw township saw raids and arrests by the regime soldiers. This morning, six villagers from Kan Yin villages were abducted, and valuables from the village were also ransacked. As a retaliation, Ayardaw Resistance Army (ARA) detonated landmines at two military trucks which returned from Kan Yin village. ARA estimated that at least 10 junta soldiers were injured. 

Regime forces cross the country are busy terrorising civilians. Last night in Demoso town of Kayah (Karenni) State, regime soldiers launched heavy artillery shells into residential areas around 8pm, damaging civilian homes in Zay Kone area. As a retaliation to the shelling, Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) Battalion 19 ambushed a police station and a monastery, where regime forces based, on the same night. This morning, unexploded shells were still found around civilian homes so KNDF warned the locals to be cautious when they went out.

It is not news that junta forces use locals as human shields to protect themselves from resistance forces, but we must keep reporting to document their atrocities. Yesterday in Hakha town of Chin State, about 50 regime troops abducted a total of 10 civilians and carpenters from a nearby car repair workshop, and made them lead their troops as they traveled to Thantlang town. On the way, detainees were forced to walk in the rain for three miles and beaten up by junta soldiers. After a few hours of walking, the detainees were released.

The regime soldiers may fight for Min Aung Hlaing but he nor other higher rank generals do not care for them. Khit Thit Media reported today that seven dead bodies of regime soldiers, including the body of Battalion Commander Major Than Win Tun, were left at a cemetery without proper cremation or burial in Than Pyu Zayat township, Mon State. These soldiers died during the clashes between Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and junta forces on October 20. This is not the first time that regime forces leaving dead bodies of its troops. We can only hope that more regime soldiers realise how little their precious lives mean for the junta and switch to the people’s side. 

In Taninthayi Region, NLD offices have been targeted by unknown attackers. On October 20, NLD party office in Myeik city saw an explosion, and on October 21, NLD district office in Dawei was attacked with bomb blast. Today, a decapitated head of a man was hung at the gate of NLD office in Yay Phyu township, with a note attached which read, “Resistance forces killed an informant. We dare to claim for our responsibility, unlike you cowards,” and signed by Dawei Guerrilla Revolutionary Force (DWRF). When locals found the head, they informed junta soldiers, but they only came to inspect and left it hanging. A local told Khit Thit Media that he thought this was a move by junta lackeys to create misunderstanding between resistance forces and the public. So far, DWRF which usually claims for its responsibility, has not released any statement on this incident yet.

It was quite eventful in the city of Yangon as well. We have previously reported that regime forces were forcibly collecting electricity bill and cut off electricity when house owners couldn’t pay. Today, five explosions near electricity supply offices were reported in Hlaing, Kyimyindaing, Thingangyun, Yankin and Dagon Myo Thit townships of Yangon according to DVB News. In Hlaing Tharyar township, four time bombs were blasted around 11am and CGF HTY claimed for responsibility. In Botahtaung township, a bank robbery took place at KBZ Bank around 1pm today. According to DVB News, six gunmen entered the bank and robbed MMK 300 million (approx: USD 160,000) from the bank. They also took mobile phones from six bank customers, and then ran away. Locals said that the robbery could be committed by the regime lackeys and Pyu Saw Htee members and made it look like PDF’s doing.

On the economic front, Myanmar Now media reported today that South Korean based POSCO International continued its Shwe Natural Gas project, and would likely to continue the next phase of the project as scheduled. Due to the International pressure, energy companies such as Total and Chevron, which had business deals with junta’s Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), suspended their profit-sharing to MOGE. Similarly, spokesperson of POSCO International told Reuters News that the company reconsidered profit-sharing with MOGE back in May 2021. However, this new finding by Myanmar Now showed that POSCO continued its business as usual and new employees from South Korea arrived in October. People of Myanmar called on oil companies to suspend their operations in order to cripple junta’s income but this new findings about POSCO proved that the company completely ignored the people’s will and only had the best interest for its business. 

The resilience of non-violent protesters is remarkable as they continue to march for democracy and freedom despite arrests and tortures. Today, youths in Yangon and Mandalay cities led guerrilla protests and marching strikes. Sangha Union from Mandalay continued to participate in anti-regime protests as well. As usual, villagers in several townships of Sagaing Region took to the streets and marched for democracy despite heavy military presence in the region. Regime soldiers have modern weaponry but they obviously do not have the united spirit that we share. With our shared vision for federal democracy, we will keep on marching against the military regime.

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