Freedom Memoirs – Day 276

The sound of bombs and gunshots normalise our daily lives, and whenever regime soldiers are shot by resistant forces, we tend to cheer for our fighters. While the country undergoes large scale violence, the military regime takes advantage and attacks the NLD offices. Since February 1, a total of 51 NLD offices in Sagaing, Mandalay, Ayeyarwaddy, Yangon and Tanintharyi regions, Mon and Kayin states, suffered explosions, arson attacks, looting and raids as reported by Myanmar Now media. Most of the incidents took place during nighttime curfew hours, and in some cases, witnesses saw the regime soldiers carrying out the attacks, said the NLD spokesperson U Kyaw Htwe. These continued assaults on election winning political party show that Min Aung Hlaing is still feeling insecure despite staging a coup and keeping civilian leaders behind bars. 

Moreover, homes of National Unity Government (NUG) and Committee Representing Pyithu Hluttaw (CRPH) have been sealed and nationalised  these days. Namely, Minister for Federal Affairs, Dr Lian Hmung Sakhong’s home in Hakha Town of Chin State was sealed and nationalised for “sheltering a terrorist”, and families of other NUG/CRPH members also saw similar experience. CRPH member U Tun Myint told Myanmar Now that the State Administration Council (SAC) branded NUG and CRPH as terrorist organizations, and sealed homes of the members when in reality, the SAC itself was acting as a terrorist entity. In addition to NUG and CRPH members, NLD members’ homes also face similar fates. The house of Mahn Johnny, former chief minister of Ayeyarwaddy region who is now taking arms in a liberated area, in Kyon Pyaw Township of Ayeyarwaddy was sealed by SAC soldiers, hence, his family were forced to leave their home.

Losing terribly on every side, people are warned that Min Aung Hlaing’s regime would accelerate its assaults out of desperation. Last night in Monywa City, Sagaing Region, four men in a restaurant were arbitrarily arrested by plain-clothed SAC soldiers around 7pm. A Monywa local told DVB News that arbitrary arrests were carried out by regime soldiers, and families of detained persons had to pay money for release. When the families could not pay the money, junta soldiers charged them with random charges and put them in jail. Due to the unannounced raids into civilians’ homes and unauthorised arrests, Monywa residents feel unsafe according to the local. 

In addition to arbitrary arrests, innocent people are being killed by junta soldiers as if human lives do not matter. In Myaing Township, Sagaing Region, a group of regime soldiers entered Mae Ma Thaw village, and inquired about local People Defense Force (PDF) and when a villager did not answer their question, regime soldiers shot and killed him instantly. The MGN Tiger PDF group said that detail of the deceased villager was yet to be identified. While labelling legitimately elected bodies “terrorists”, Min Aung Hlaing’s soldiers are behaving like lawless thug groups in broad daylight. 

In warfront, a total of 50 SAC soldiers died in the battle between regime forces and Kalay PDF on November 2 and 3 in Sagaing Region. On November 2, Kalay PDF initially detonated landmines on military convoyed, and then ambushed the regime troops in southern part of Kalay Town. Again on November 3, Kalay PDF, Chinland National Defense Force (CNDF) and local resistance fighters clashed against regime’s troops with two separate fronts around 7am, and the intense fighting lasted until 11.30am. However, one fighter from the people’s side died during the battle. May he rest in power. 

It hasn’t been a week that regime soldiers torched Thantlang Town in Chin State, but they continued to use the same method in Lwe Hwe Village, in Phekon Town of Shan State. DVB News reported that regime soldiers set fire to Lwe Hwe Village around 11am. This came as a retaliation for the clash between regime forces and combined forces of Karenni Army (KnA), Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF), PDF Phekon and PDF Mobye on November 2. The clash killed five regime soldiers while injured four resistance fighters. Due to the active conflicts, about 1000 villagers from four villages including Lwe Hwe Village have fled from their homes according to Kayan Rescue Committee (KRC).

Yesterday, Kachin based 74 media reported that Eight Kachin religious leaders and two from Peace-talk Creation Group (PCG) met with SAC General Yar Pyae and discussed conflicts and peace on November 1. Today, spokesperson of Kachin Independence Army (KIA) Colonel Naw Bu said that KIA’s stance on fighting against the military regime remained the same, and reassured that Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), political wing of KIA which stands with the people, would inform the public if there was any changes in its policy. 

We previously reported that internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Kayah (Karenni) State faced inadequate healthcare. On November 2, Karenni State Consultative Council (KSCC) announced that it formed Heath Committee with seven members. The committee aims to provide medical needs for Karenni State from emergency situation to reconstruction, as well as, to take part in drafting of federal healthcare policy and Karenni National Healthcare policy. Aside from the larger objectives, the KSCC’s health committee will provide immediate relief efforts for 150,000 IDPs in the state. 

Entering the tenth month under the coup, the people of Myanmar continue to march on the streets to reject the military regime. From big cities like Yangon to small village in central Myanmar, protesters express their defiance against Min Aung Hlaing and its army despite ongoing arbitrary arrests and tortures. If this doesn’t convince the international community, especially oil and gas businesses, how desperately we want to remove the junta, we don’t know what will.

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