Freedom Memoirs – Day 282

As people reminisced their experience from last year’s election, more interesting personal anecdotes came from soldiers on Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM). A former captain shared on Facebook that on the election day, soldiers were deployed at voting stations as undercovers to report on “suspicious activity” and instructed to monitor the events until the results were released in the evening. The fact that Min Aung Hlaing was desperate to become the president was a worst-kept secret inside military barracks, he added. Soldiers were provided a criterion of the political party to vote for and which is, not surprisingly, the military’s ally the Union Solidary Development Party (USDP)– at least two times of rehearsals were held inside the military camps on how to vote for USDP. When Min Aung Hlaing realized he could not become the beloved president of the Myanmar even after subjecting his soldiers to voting fraud, he went ahead and committed the coup.

On a related note, the number of soldiers and policemen joining CDM has been growing, according to data from National Unity Government of Myanmar (NUG). The information shared on Facebook today mentioned that a total of 316 army civil servants; 155 military officers and 161 police officers, had contacted to collaborate with the people’s side within a month from October 8 to November 8. The number does not include those who have joined People Defense Forces (PDF) nor those who have sought refuge in the liberated areas (ethnic armed organizations’-controlled areas).

News came in from Kayin State today that two more prominent members of the NLD cabinet have been sentenced to lengthy imprisonment by junta’s court. The Kayin State Chief Minister, Daw Nang Khin Htwe Myint was given 65 years imprisonment and the Municipal Minister U Than Naing received 90-year sentence. Daw Nang Khin Htwe Myint was charged with five corruption cases; one was for spending the state’s fund in small medical fees during a trip on duty, with maximum sentence for 15 year each and similarly, six charges were put against U Than Naing. Both victims decided not to appeal for the verdict and showed calmness during the trial, according to their legal team. Daw Nang Khin Htwe Myint was arrested on the day of the coup and released the next day; however, she was rearrested on February 8 as a video of her addressing the soldiers to side with the people instead of the coup leaders surfaced on the internet.

As the leaders of the country have been charged and sentenced with ungrounded accusations, junta’s forces have not gone easy on the civilians either. Six civilians including a family of three brothers and their father from Pekhon Township, Shan State were abducted on November 8 for supposedly possessing hand-made weapons. Three youths namely Ko Moe Hein Kyaw, Ko Thurein Soe and Ko Nhine Sat Lwin were snatched in Myeik Town of Tanintharyi Region on November 5. The mother and the sister of Ma Thiri Moe, the vice chairman of Dawei University’s Students’ Union, were also detained on the evening of November 8 as junta’s forces could not locate Ma Thiri Moe in Dawei, Tanintharyi. In the same region, a first-year English specialized student from Dawei University called Ma Ei Chu Chu Mon was also arrested on November 8. In Dawei, release of the detainees cannot be expected until the family offer money to the junta’s soldiers, according to local sources.

Three civilians from Kawlin, Sagaing Region were brutally murdered by regime’s soldiers on November 7, according to Khit Thit Media. Two villagers from Kyay Inn Village were arrested during a raid on the day and one of them was found dead with two bullet wounds and many sword injuries. Two more people of Oakkan Village were also shot and killed on the same day, causing at least 10,000 residents to flee. Camps for Internally Displaced Camps (IDP) have also been targeted as soldiers launch heavy artilleries towards any lighting on sight. Moreover, Ko Min Zaw Oo from Kunyangon Township of Yangon, abducted on November 6 following an attack on junta’s convoy, passed away today with torture during interrogation, Khit Thit reported. Another resident called Mg Zin Wai Aung, just aged 19, was also brutally beaten and murdered by junta’s soldiers on the same evening. It means three civilians have been killed since the detonation incident that saw seven deaths from junta’s side on November 5.

The day is less depressing when it comes to battle news. An inspection gate on Yangon-Mandalay expressway was attacked early this morning around 3.30am and five policemen were found dead afterwards. Bago Region PDF claimed responsibility for the attack and said they had also seized weapons from the scene. An hour-long clash took place between regime soldiers and local PDF in Yinmarbin Township, Sagaing Region this morning and 30 from regime side were reportedly killed, according to DVB news. In the same region, 40 junta’s soldiers were reportedly killed during detonation attack in Kathar Township this afternoon. One interesting news came from Rakhine State that Arakan Army (AA) and junta’s forces encountered and exchanged some firings in Maungdaw Township for the first time since 2020. The clash happened around 11am and lasted about half an hour. A local told Khit Thit Media that the incident was ignited by junta’s soldiers who trespassed the AA’s controlled territory.

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