Freedom Memoirs – Day 296

According to DVB news, the State Administrations Council (SAC) soldiers arrested nine civilians, including a CDM teacher and a CDM health officer in Dawei, Tanintharyi Region on the night of November 21. Moreover, seven more innocent civilians are also arrested, and all of them are currently being detained and interrogated at Kaupauk Mawyawati Navy Station. Whereas in Loikaw, PKPF spoke to DVB that a 17-year-old youth named A Jolt has been shot at the Loikaw police station while being imprisoned. He was one of 74 youths that have been arrested on April 30 in Hpruso Township while coming back from Youth Empowerment Training. According to PKPF, he fell victim to an indiscriminate shooting during the argument between the police and the soldier. 

Last night, Mizzima News reported that a battle occurred between people’s defense forces and the junta’s soldiers in Naung-gyi-i Village in Ayardaw township, Sagaing on the morning of November 22. According to ARA PDF, the regime soldiers were aware of the movements of resistance forces to attack the military, and they marched to our location. The fight broke out for about 15 minutes between 30 PDF members and ten regime’s soldiers. Since the clash happened near the market, civilians had to hide near the fighting area, and regime soldiers used them as human shields, including a 5-year-old kid and his mother, to protect themselves. After the fight, the soldiers burned down two houses. Among 15 motorbikes left at the battleground after ARA PDFs retreated, the regime soldiers burned ten and took three motorbikes. There have been no casualties from both sides although a few of local PDFs are injured. 

On the international front, 259 civil society organizations (CSOs) have sent letters to Interpol representatives to bar Than Hlaing, Chief Police of SAC from attending Interpol General Assembly. News reported that Than Hlaing was invited to attend the meeting as a Myanmar representative. However, CSOs stressed that the international communities should not recognize SAC as the legitimate government of Myanmar, and the SAC has been banned from attending UN General Meeting, COP26 meeting, and ASEAN meetings. Than Hlaing was also directly responsible for breaking human rights laws and making decisions on violently attacking against the peaceful protesters, and has been sanctioned across US, UK, and Canada. CSOs also pointed out that he was assigned to lead clearance operation on Chin and Magway regions, and all his crimes against humanity are also recorded on International Criminal Court. Therefore, CSOs pleaded Interpol to reconsider their invitations for Than Hlaing, and ban him from attending the meeting. 

The military’s cruelty towards the civilians has become harsher as the day goes on. In Taung Thar township, Mandalay, the junta’s forces have arrested the protest leader Ko Kyaw Htet Wai, and they patrolled through the village while torturing him till the bloods shed to the ground. Along with 19-year-old Ko Phyo Wai Kyaw, they were arrested around 10am on November 21, and were brought back to the village on the early morning on November 22.  A local spoke to Mizzima News that both of them were beaten and brought to Taung Thar Interrogation Center after their arrest. Yesterday morning, regime soldiers brought Kyaw Htet Wai to the village, and punched him, hit his head with the gun, and kicked him deliberately. Showing his blood soaked body, the soldiers threatened villagers that they would also be punished similarly if they protest against the soldiers. After the torture, they brought him back to the interrogation center. In addition, junta soldiers also destroyed about ten houses when they raided into the village. 

On the positive note, PDF-Kalay launched a guerrilla attack against the regime’s soldiers near the southern part of Kalay Township, Sagaing Region, and five soldiers were killed. The battle lasted for about 20 minutes, and PDF-Kalay successfully retreated without any casualties. SAC’s soldiers’ misfortunes did not end there. Chinland Defense Force (CDF) Brigade 4 launched another attack; two more soldiers were killed, and many more injured. Of 25 soldiers that were ambushed, only 18 remained, and the military convoy had to pick them up from the village. Since junta soldiers knew that they were no match against PDFs with weapons, they shamelessly shot with heavy artilleries to the nearby areas before the retreat. On the other hand, PDF Kalay members were warmly welcomed by the locals on their way back from the battle. 

It is nothing new to us that the junta has a strong distaste for freedom of media, and has shut down local media companies that are reporting the truth and speaking against them. Yesterday, the SAC announced another amusing directive that warns hotels and guesthouses to stop broadcasting Mizzima, DVB, Khit Thit, and Myanmar Now. In the announcement, they stated that these five media companies have been suspended since March 8th, and some hotels and guesthouses have installed the satellites that broadcasted the above channels. SAC directed them to stop providing these broadcasting services. Though the junta has banned these media companies from their duties, most companies are still reporting and writing news.

On the first day of opening, the National Unity Government (NUG)’s treasury bond sales reached nearly 7 million dollars since both locals and Myanmar expatriates across the globe overwhelmingly purchased. In Singapore where many Myanmar expatriates reside, online banking services of Singapore-based POSB and DBS banks were unaccessible due to heavy traffic. Since NUG hasn’t got a hold of any territory, it is usually regarded as a de jure government, but nobody can discount the tremendous support it receives from the people. The support of the people alone legitimises the NUG. 

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