Freedom Memoirs – Day 304

If we recall in the early days of the coup, Dr Htar Htar Lin, the head of Covid vaccination department under the NLD’s Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS), sent out emails to her colleagues and respective stakeholders of vaccine purchase. In her email, she stated that, due to shortage of foreign currency, Min Aung Hlaing’s regime planned to ask a refund of USD 75 million from Serum Institute of India (SII) for the purchase of the Covid vaccines, and to politicise Covid vaccines to end the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM). Yesterday, junta media announced that a new charge was pressed against Dr Htar Htar Htar Lin, which is Section 56 of Anti-Corruption Law for returning MMK 168 million, the outstanding fund from WHO and UNICEF instead of submitting to junta. She was arrested in June together with her husband and seven-year-old son, and initially pressed with three serious charges including sedition act. 

In Myanmar Now’s report today, the location where Dr. Htar Htar Lin is currently detained, details of cases opened against her, or the court where her case will be heard is unknown. A source told the media that her son was placed in a distant area where she could see while being interrogated by junta forces. Six months since the arrest, it is still unclear whether the son and husband have been released or not. 

More on the indictment news, Irrawaddy News reported that U Nyi Pu, Chief Minister of Rakhine State and five other cabinet members were indicted with Anti-Corruption Law at a court inside Sittwe Prison. Other cabinet members are U Kyaw Aye Thein from Planning and Finance, U Aung Kyaw Zan from Electricity and Transport, U Kyaw Lwin for Agriculture, Livestock and Mining, and U Min Aung from Municipal of the Rakhine State cabinet. So far, over 50 elected leaders and appointed government officials under the NLD’s administration have faced potential lengthy imprisonment by the regime’s courts. NLD’s Central Committee released today that about 600 party members have been arrested since February 1, but only 128 have been released. A total of 13 NLD members, including prominent leaders U Nyan Win and Monywa Aung Shin, had passed away during detention or not long after the release.

Now to the news of armed conflicts. DVB News reported that locals found three dead bodies of civilians in Gantgaw Township of Magway Region yesterday. Two of the deceased were from Inn Kyun Village, and one was from Yay Shin Village, where the regime forces had launched arson attacks on November 27. Locals said that the deceased were simply fleeing from active conflicts. On the same day, six innocent villagers from Mauk Lin Village of the same township were killed by junta soldiers according to the locals. Regime forces have been roaming along Gantgaw-Kalay highway road, entering villages along the road, raiding and attacking civilians.

In Depayin Township, another part of Sagaing Region, Galon PDF detonated the regime troops with landmine near Myint Tan Village around 2pm on November 30. Galon PDF said that after the landmine attack, no active movement by regime forces were observed; hence, they estimated serious defeat on the regime side. Again this morning, a shootout took place near Myint Tan Village between Galon PDF and regime troops who came to inspect the yesterday’s landmine attack. The confrontation lasted about 30 minutes according to a fighter from Galon PDF.

Up north, Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and regime forces clashed today in Hpakant Township of Kachin State. Locals told DVB News that the active fighting was witnessed from the morning to sundown, and regime forces used heavy artillery around 3pm. Prior to the clash, a bomb blasted around 8pm last night in Hpakant as well. The politically active township which came out with marching strikes everyday have suffered Internet shutdown since August 20. Being far away from the cities with limited access to internet doesn’t stop the people of Hpakant from participating in this revolution.

In Karenni State, residents of Demoso Township, who have fled from their homes for about seven months, made a return to their homes in Demoso Town today, checking up on their homes or taking their belongings. Karenni based Kantarawaddy Times reported that locals were told to collect their belongings from their homes today, and resistance fighters were seen providing security for civilians on their way. Most of the houses in Demoso Town were broken in, raided and looted. Locals assumed it was carried out by the regime soldiers. A few other houses were destroyed by heavy artillery shelling. Today’s return to their home was just a one-day trip for Demoso locals since the clashes are still active and it is still unsafe to return home entirely. Among 130,000 displaced people in Karenni State, majority of IDPs are from Demoso Township, and they will remain in the camps for safety.

Today marks 10th month since Min Aung Hlaing stole our country. The anti-regime protests are still observed to this day. Striking civil servants remain stronger despite the arrests. Young fighters are taking up arms and fighting with the fascist regime. Anti-coup sentiment only grows stronger as Min Aung Hlaing and his soldiers continue to arrest and kill civilians. As the revolution drags, losses from both sides become prominent, but we must stay united, resilient and vigilant to win.

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