Freedom Memoirs – Day 278

We reported last Friday that 19 civilians from Pekhon Township, Shan State were abducted and taken as human shields by junta’s forces on October 27. No news so far has been released on those victims and no one seems to know their whereabouts. Family members told Myanmar Now they are worried sick for the worst since detainees are usually beaten and tortured to the extreme. A member of People Defense Force (PDF) said there is a rumor that regime’s soldiers have made an offer to exchange the detainees with five rifles that have been captured by Pekhon PDF on October 22. Pekhon Township, a strategic location between Shan State and Karenni State, lies four-hour drive from Naypyitaw and has witnessed intensified battles in November since junta has sent major reinforcement into the area.

More students have been targeted by regime this week. On November 2, Ko Htike Lin Oo, a 5th year student from Aerospace Engineering University, was held hostage because junta’s forces could not find his activist mother. The soldiers promised to release him as the exchange for the mother. However, when the lady turned in herself, they chose to keep both. Similarly, in Oakshitpin Township, Bago Region, Ko Htet Yazar, a final year student from Yangon University of Education was abducted along with his mother. Moreover, the former secretary of Dagon University’s Student’s Union, Ko Sithu Aung Tin who was abducted on September 14 along with fellow students and charged with the sedition act 505A have been sentenced to 10-year imprisonment.  

Nine civilians have been murdered by regime’s soldiers within three days, according to Khit Thit Media. Ma May Zin Kyaw, a mother of two-year-old child, was shot in the head and killed during blatant shootings carried out by junta’s forces following an explosion in Taze Town of Sagaing Reion this morning. Five civilians including a teacher were also killed in Kawlin, Sagaing on November 3. One of the 13 people abducted for keeping explosives on November 3, Ko Waunna Myint is rumored to be murdered during interrogation in Daik-U Township, Bago Region. Three youths in Monywa Township, Sagaing Region were also killed by a bomb set up by junta’s forces on November 3. Three more youths were severely harmed in Hlaingthaya Township, Yangon last night as regime’s soldiers shot them for denying inspection.

Whenever the unarmed civilians suffer at the hands of evil junta, the resistance fighters claim the price on battleground. Early this morning, five junta’s soldiers including a captain were killed as Kachin Independence Army (KIA) carried out an attack on an inspection gate in Shwegu Township, Kachin State. A similar bomb attack by local PDF in Mogok Town of Mandalay killed one soldier around 10.45am. Also, in Yesagyo Township, Magwe, two soldiers died last night as Yesagyo PDF detonated the junta’s military convoy around 9.30pm. Moreover, Karen National Union (KNU) released information today that a total of 275 battles between its forces and regime’s army broke out in Brigade 5’s territory in October alone, in which 271 of junta’s soldiers were killed and 266 were injured while KNU also suffered two deaths with 20 soldiers wounded.

Attacks on junta’s lackeys continue as well. A shootout took place inside a clinic in Hlaingtharya, Yangon this morning around 10.15am where a woman was severely injured and later passed away in a hospital. The woman was identified as Daw San Thidar, a nurse working in the clinic and known for her close ties with military personnel. A local told Mizzima that two protesters were abducted because of her and she openly supported the military by providing money and medicine to junta’s soldiers. A youth in the neighborhood was blindfolded and abducted for simply being out at the time of the crime. The local also said the whole street was ransacked by junta’s forces following the incident.

Not a major news, but a trending story of today took place in Bogale Town, Ayeyarwady Region. Three female teachers in plain clothes were stopped on their way to school and slapped by junta’s soldiers for not wearing uniforms. As most of the people in the country do not want to send their kids to school for various reasons including Covid concerns and explosions on the streets, still a few percent of junta’s lackeys including some teachers lobby the school opening to draw an impression that everything is well and under control. However, junta’s soldiers have no education and willingness to respect an elderly, or a woman or a teacher, hence they will stop at nothing to assert their power even towards those on their side. The above incident should be a lesson for all those in favor of school opening, and in favor of junta government in general. 

A different type of protest was witnessed this morning inside Gasan Apparael Textile Factory in Shwelinpan Industry Zone, Hlaingtharya Township of Yangon. The protest was staged by 338 factory workers against the management for cutting off overtime fees, meal costs, transportation costs and other add-ons. The management reportedly brought in junta’s forces who took pictures of the protesters, threatening to arrest the leaders, according to Myanmar Labour News. Lives are getting tougher in Myanmar since the coup, and it is sad to see some business owners try to take advantage of that by cutting off on its own staff under the shield of so-called caretaker government. DVB news also reported based on experts’ views that deterioration of Myanmar’s economy could be worse than back in 1988, could easily fall back to the bottom of the poorest countries in no time.

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