Freedom Memoirs – Day 272

The entire country showed concerns over junta’s arson attack on Thantlang Town yesterday. NUG’s Representative to UN Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun included the latest Thantlang incident in his speech to UN General Assembly on October 29, highlighting the regime’s continuous crimes against humanity, and pled for immediate international action. NUG’s Minister of Federal Affairs Dr. Lian Hmung Sakhong also said that Min Aung Hlaing and his army has been committing genocide against Chin people in his video message. Chinland Defense Force (CDF) – Thantlang collected data on ground and reported that a total of 163 houses and two churches were burned down yesterday. Thanks to the rain, the fire was put out this morning around 9.30am, but small fires were still burning in some areas according to Mizzima News. Netizens shared that Thantlang residents had fled from their homes due to the clashes; however, they no longer have homes to come back to. 

In Thayat Township, Magway Region, Thayat and Kanma People Defense Forces (PDFs) ambushed the State Administration Council (SAC) forces and killed three soldiers in early October. As a retaliation, regime forces carried out indiscriminate shooting and killed two civilians. About 20 former NLD members and pro-democracy protesters were also arrested and tortured. Thus, villagers from Ponna Village fled from their homes to safe places. Today, the SAC forces summoned fleeing villagers to return to their homes in two days or they would ransack the houses, Mizzima News reported. After seeing the arson attack in Thantlang Town, who would believe their words and make a return to the village?

Past nine months, we have witnessed how filthy and hostile regime soldiers are towards civilians. Apparently, these soldiers are reportedly lecturing nefarious activities to military supporters. Irrawaddy News reported yesterday that Light Infantry Battalion 77 have been recruiting civilians from Bago City to become pro-military Pyu Saw Htee thug group members and providing military training since October 24. Local sources said that about 70 men were provided trainings, and they speculated that these men could be former members of Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), military proxy political party, and veterans. Bago based guerrilla group also told Irrawaddy that this recruitment was to implement counter attacks at anti-regime forces, such as CDM staffs or NLD members. 

Deaths in interrogation centers continued. Khit Thit Media reported today that U San Lwin, Ko Kyaw Htay Aung and Ko Moe Gyi from Mahar Aungmyay Township, Mandalay City were detained by junta solders on the night of October 27, and on the morning of October 28, dead bodies of U San Lwin and Ko Kyaw Htay Aung were dumped near NLD party office in Chan Aye Tharzan Township. Police collected the bodies and later informed the respective families about the deaths. According to a Mandalay local, the third civilian Ko Moe Gyi was also fatally tortured but the news was yet to be verified. Similarly in Yangon’s Kyauktada Township, SAC soldiers entered the house of U Myo Lwin and Daw San San Lwin on October 28, and searched for their son. When the son was not found, the couple was accused of “supporting the PDF” and arrested. The next morning, U Myo Lwin’s family was informed to collect his dead body, and the wife is still in detention, suffering severe torture.

It’s no news that family members of political activists, CDM staffs or pro-democracy protesters are often taken as hostages by the regime. Today, Myanmar Now reported about a 2-year-old baby girl, the daughter of a CDM worker from Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) as well as the youngest hostage to date, is still in detention. Staying at a servant housing and unable to move to a safer place due to money trouble, the wife, the 2-year old daughter and mother-in-law of the CDM worker were abducted on March 30 when regime soldiers could not find the father. The family has five other children but they were not allowed to be taken with the mother, so whereabout of other children is unknown to this day. Growing up in the time of revolution, the baby girl occasionally recited protest chants but her mom had to stop her so that she would not piss off the prison warden. As sad as it sounds, this is just one of many families that are tragically separated because the regime. 

News come from Demoso Township, Kayah (Karenni) State today that about 30 displaced people died in four months due to sickness and shortage of food supplies according to a social welfare group member. He said that more donation money is needed to purchase food supplies, but they receive fewer donation since donors had to split their money to PDFs and IDPs. In addition to shortage of food supply, young children fall sick due to the weather but there was no medical worker to provide care for them. Now that winter is approaching, warm clothes, shelters and blankets are in high demand in IDP camps. Due to intense fighting, about 150,000 people are displaced in Karenni State, and about 70,000 are taking refuge in Demoso Township. 

A global “Blood Money” campaign has been organised this weekend. The campaign calls for oil and gas corporations to freeze all payments to the Myanmar military junta to cripple its incomes; namely, TotalEnergies from France, Chevron Corporation from the US to keep all payments in escrow accounts. The campaigners also demand the international governments to impose sanctions on Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise. Inside the country, protesters from Sagaing, Taninthayi, Mandalay and Yangon regions marched with Blood Money campaign banners, and Kayin State also saw a nighttime protest echoing the same demand. Free Workers’ Union (FAU) and Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) organised a protest in front of Chevron Europe office in Hamburg, and another protest was staged in front of TotalEnergies gas station in Dresden, Germany. Again in Dublin, Ireland, Blood Money campaigners gathered and staged Global Myanmar Spring Revolution protest.

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