Freedom Memoir – Day 301

Right after we posted our entry last night, news came in from Chin State that Thantlang Town of Chin State had suffered the ninth time of fire breakout within three months. The fire started around 4:30pm and burned down Saint Nicholas Church, making it the fourth religious building turned into ashes under Min Aung Hlaing’s regime. Civilians’ housings were not spared as well, although the exact number cannot be verified yet. What sparked the fire remained unknown; however, Thantlang had always been a peaceful environment until junta’s forces stormed into it in September. For the crimes committed in Thantlang alone, Min Aung Hlaing and his lackeys should rot in hell ten times over.

Another terrible news came in from Depayin Township of Sagaing Region last night that five Mi 35 military choppers full of regime’s forces had terrorized Nyaung Hla Village, causing many casualties yesterday’s afternoon. Khit Thit Media reported that at least two civilians were killed and two more were severely injured during the raid which was deliberately targeted towards unarmed civilians. Moreover, the village is also surrounded by the forces on ground while the helicopters are still seen circling from the sky until today. Consequently, about 2,000 people are said to be fleeing and in need of food and shelter. The reason why the village was particularly attacked is unclear. And Depayin’s People Defense Forces (PDF) has requested the people to help each other and provide shelter for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

A PDF outpost in Monywa Township of Sagaing Region was raided and occupied by junta’s forces on November 26. However, PDF members had anticipated the move and set up landmines beforehand, which were detonated upon regime’s soldiers’ arrival, causing at least four deaths and another four were injured. Monywa Lightning, a local based PDF, claim responsibility and vow to continue fighting the regime despite the loss of ground. Also, in Sagaing Region, a military convoy consisted of nine vehicles was detonated with landmines by PDF in Wetlet Township, severely injuring at least 18 soldiers. The battalion 33 was heading towards Depayin Township for reinforcement and hopefully the attack allowed breathing time for civilians on the run, at least for a short period of time.

A clash broke out between Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and junta’s forces in Moemauk Township of Kachin State this afternoon. Heavy artilleries were used by both sides in the intense encounter, a local source told Khit Thit Media. A bullet fired by a regime solder reportedly injured a civilian. Right after the clash, about 100 junta’s forces stormed into Moemauk Town and abducted 30 people who have been taken as hostages for their journey ahead. Another fighting was reported in Kanpetlat Township of Chin State between Chin Defense Force (CDF-Kanpetlet) and regime soldiers this afternoon. An hour long battle saw at least three deaths from junta’s side whereas CDF suffered no casualties. 

Last night around 10pm, residents of Pazundaung Township, Yangon heard loud gun firings. Later it was reported that a husband and a wife in a Toyota van were shot by regime soldiers because they had failed to stop for inspection. The man was severely injured, and many residents claimed to have heard the wife’s outcry for help which was responded by no one. The victim reportedly passed away on the way to the hospital. In the neighborhood township of Thaketa, the electricity supply office was also shot at least four times by unknown party this afternoon, no causality is reported so far.

Another sad news of today was the passing news of Monywa Aung Shin, the officer in charge of the central information committee of National League for Democracy (NLD). U Aung Shin, aged 76, was arrested by Min Aung Hlaing’s forces on February 1 and only released on October 18. He passed away 41 days after his release with the recurring heart attack this morning around 6am, according to his wife. Monywa Aung Shin was a well-respected member of NLD and widely adored by many, especially in the news industry due to his friendly nature. Like many veterans of NLD, U Aung Shin spent many years behind the bars, defying the continuous military reigns. His life must be remembered and celebrated for the sacrifices he made.   

On international front, one interesting news circulated today that Argentina’s judiciary has agreed to open genocide case committed by Myanmar military towards Rohingya people back in 2017.  The case was brought in Buenos Aires by a UK-based Rohingya group. “We will be looking for concrete results in terms of accountability and punishment for those who participated directly and indirectly in the genocide,” Tomás Ojea Quintana, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, told the Financial Times.  He also added that the victims “really want physical testimony” from the military’s senior leadership, including Min Aung Hlaing, the military chief who ordered the 2017 crackdown. Obviously, the majority of the country is in support of the potential hearing and already planning to voluntarily send Min Aung Hlaing to Argentina as soon as possible.

To commemorate the 101st National day, thousands of people in Hpakant from Kachin State took the streets, showing their support towards KIA, PDF, NUG and NUCC. Internet is still banned in Hpakant area. More protests were observed throughout the country such as Yangon, Mandalay, Kalay, Bago, Naungcho, Launglon, Sarlingyi, Pakkoku, Magway, Budalin to name a few.

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