Freedom Memoirs – Day 306

A local source from Momauk Township of Kachin State reached out to Mohinga Matters and informed that junta’s forces had abducted civilians in the area and used them as human shields. The incident took place on 28 November when residents heard at least three explosions near Kyankin Village followed by artillery shelling, later they realized it was detonation of landmines on junta’s military convoy. Although the culprit is unknown, about 100 regime soldiers raided into the town afterwards and abducted approximately 70 civilians to use as human shields. At least three were shot and killed while another was injured. Some people were released in the evening, but youths were taken into the Momauk-based military compound. We also received a video footage in which the civilians were taken as hostages while the soldiers carried out shooting spree in the town.

We kept hearing the arrests of members of People Defense Force (PDF) in cities recently. Around 11pm on December 1, a PDF outpost in Theinni Township of Shan State was ambushed with excessive forces and two members were arrested before the hideout was set on fire. Later, Thinni PDF shared a heartbreaking news on social media that two detained members were found dead in a position which looked like they were kicked off of 1,300 ft cliff nearby. The victims were Ko Sai Shwe Aung and Mg Thura Soe. Another two young men were targeted in Monywa Township of Sagaing Region last night around 7.3pm. Two youths who were on motorbike to simply get some snacks were shot at least three times by regime soldiers and one of them was killed on the spot. The reason of the shooting remained unknown, and some argued the youths were shot because two males were riding on a motorbike, violating the ridiculous rule of junta.  

Less depressing news came in from Mon State that a detonation attack had taken place in downtown Thaton last night around 11.30pm, targeting junta’s military officials. MTHSF, a local based PDF, claimed responsibility of the attack and said two personnel on board were likely to have been killed. The news gets better and better because apparently those officials were on their way back from karaoke bar when the explosion took place. While majority of the country face daily horror caused by the military, it’s beyond outrage how some of them can enjoy such leisure. We don’t wish for the recovery of the injured men. Following the incident, junta’s forces raided the karaoke place, abducting staffs including girls, Mizzima reported. 

More positive news were reported by Khit Thit Media. The police sergeant Khin Maung Win from Padaukchaung Police Station, Yangon was shot and killed by three gunmen when he was out shopping this morning around 8am. Regime soldiers immediately arrived at the scene and arrested some of the onlookers for questioning. Bahin police station from Myaing Township was also attacked by PDF yesterday and six people including the police chief were said to be killed. Khit Thit, however, did not verify the exact number of casualties. Myanmar Now reported that a junta’s military convoy carrying 30 soldiers was detonated with mines on the Yangon-Mandalay Expressway near 343 miles. Casualties remain unknown. Kyaukse Districk Defense Force (K.D.D.F) claim responsibility and said they had planned to get close to the target and seize the weapons but given up on it due to the public bus nearby. 

Such attacks on junta’s forces don’t necessarily reduce the atrocities committed against the unarmed civilians. About 50 households and one rice mill in southern part of Kalay Township, Sagaing Region were set ablaze by regime soldiers recently. It has been six days since villagers have fled their homes to avoid being killed, a local told Myanmar Now. A brief justice was witnessed as those soldiers running wild in the area was attacked with landmines this morning by Ranger Kalay Defense Force and at least three were killed. The news of people getting dragged as porters have increased once again. Mizzima reported that villages in Kanma Township of Magway Region were pressured to send 5 to 20 men to transport supply for regime army’s frontline. Also, in Paletwa Township, Chin State, each village has been forced to provide 15 names to attend 14-day junta’s militia training. 

Yesterday, Ko Aung Myo Htet, a researcher of Institute for Strategy and Policy (ISP-Myanmar) charged with Sedition Act 505A, was sentenced to two years in prison by junta’s court in Shwebo Township, Sagaing. Ko Aung Myo Htet used to be a journalist of the Voice media but his current profession is in the research field. However, regime accused him of reporting news to DVB and Mizzima and put him behind the bars. Freedom of expression was never guaranteed in Myanmar and journalists in Myanmar have been targeted more than ever since the coup. Thirty-seven of them remain under custody to this day and Mr. Sasakawa is nowhere to be found to lobby for their release. 

The biggest news on social media today is the possible price changes of internet data provided by telecom operators such as MPT, Telenor and Ooredoo. A speculation circulated that the service providers have been instructed by junta’s ministry to increase the internet data fees so as to reduce the amount of funding contributed through innovative “click to donate” campaigns and to reduce the use of internet in general. The data price is rumoured to be three times higher than the current rate when the directive comes in full effect; for example, 1GB data that costs about 1,000 Kyats will soon be sold at 3,000 Kyats. This way, people will be supposedly reluctant to keep clicking on apps and donate for the resistance movement. Min Aung Hlaing’s idea of driving the country into a dystopian state has started getting real.

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