Freedom Memoirs – Day 269

News come from Yangon’s Dawbon township today that 44st UG group launched attacks using a heavy artillery at Dawbon police station. The UG group said that it launched shelling three times, and a video posted by Khit Thit Media showed that smokes came out of the police station. About the same time, an explosion took place at Dawbon township electricity supply office, which dispersed people who were queuing to pay electricity bill. These days, we saw on social media that a few townships in Yangon saw power cut-off for boycotting the bill. Hence, such queues were observed in front of township electricity supply offices. 

Attacks on regime soldiers continued all over the country. In Sagaing Region, coalition of seven local defense forces in Myin Mu township detonated landmines at military convoy which was travelling from Monywa to Sagaing around 6am this morning. The group dynamited for three times, and as a result, three military trucks were destroyed and 15 regime soldiers were killed according to Black Eagle Defense Force – MMU. In another part of Sagaing Region, a military convoy travelling from Kantbalu to Shwebo town was dynamited by local defense force Falcon group for two times, and in Sarlingyi township, four military trucks were detonated with landmines. Again in Kani township, a number of military watercraft which carried reinforcement along Chindwin river was attacked by local PDFs around 9am this morning. Details of these incidents are yet to be reported.

While the PDFs in Sagaing are on fire, a tragic incident about a local guerrilla group was reported by Mizzima News today. Around 3am on October 26, a group of guerrilla fighters was assembling a homemade grenade, but unfortunately, the grenade exploded and killed the group leader and injured another member. The name and location of the guerrilla group were not revealed for security reason, but the spokesperson of the group told Mizzima News that due to the insufficient funds, they had to create homemade weapons which led to the explosion. This incident proves all the more reason for the public to support the local PDFs. 

Although they have been ambushed frequently, regime soldiers do not slow down committing crimes against humanity. Leaving Hakha and travelling to Falam, military convoy destroyed civilians homes and churches along the way, raided and ransacked valuables, and killed livestock. Uncivilised, regime soldiers wrote profanities aiming at Chin defense forces and threats to burn down the villages on the walls of civilians homes. According to Khit Thit Media, ten houses in Tal village was burned down, and only two were extinguished by villagers. From October 13 to 25, a total of four villages in Falam townships were raided by regime soldiers, and 38 civilian homes including a church were set ablaze and destroyed, as reported by Khit Thit Media. 

In Hpa an town of Kayin State, State Administration Council (SAC)’s Battalion 22 ordered that its forces are allowed to kill if the persons, whom they approach to arrest, try to escape from them, DVB News reported today. The order was made since democratic forces who took refuge in liberated areas now returned to their homes after several months. This order highly contradicted SAC’s announcements in state-owned papers which called the striking civil servants, activists and anti-coup protesters to return to their homes without having to worry about arrests. A source close to the military told DVB News that the public should not trust any of SAC’s announcements since the regime soldiers were ordered to arrest whoever they think are related to PDFs. 

On political front, detained leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi took the stand at the court yesterday to deny a charge of incitement made by the junta. She was charged with Penal Code 505b, together with detained President U Win Myint and Naypyidaw Mayor Dr Myo Aung, in relation to two NLD statements which denounced the junta after the coup. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi refused to summon any witnesses and insisted on defending herself as she worried that anyone who testified for her would be targeted by the regime. After the court hearing, one of the lawyers from her defense team, who requested for anonymity due to gag orders by junta, told Myanmar Now media that the detained leader “was able to defend her innocence very well”. 

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed Ms Noeleen Heyzer of Singapore as his new Special Envoy on Myanmar. Ms Heyzer will succeed Ms Christine Schraner Burgener who took the position in 2018. Ms Burgener tried her best to facilitate an all-inclusive dialogue in the interest of the people, but it was repeatedly rejected by the junta. In her speech at the UNGA this year, she mentioned that due to the lack of will for peaceful solution by junta, the violent means became inevitable for the people. And we thank Ms Burgener for saying it out at the highest UN meeting. The newly appointed Ms Heyzer is not new to our country since she previously worked with ASEAN and then military government led by General Than Shwe for UN’s response to Nargis Cyclone in 2008. Right now, the ASEAN has only been ridiculed by the people, and the flame of war is ignited in many parts of the country. Will Ms Heyzer be able to fulfil the task (all inclusive dialogues with respective stakeholders) that her predecessor failed to do so? Only time will tell.

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