Freedom Memoirs – Day 308

It’s another day in Myanmar that people woke up to vivid reports of the atrocities that Min Aung Hlaing’s regime forces committed against innocent people. This morning, a youth’s protest march in Yangon’s Kyimyindaing Township was rammed by a military vehicle, killing at least five youths at the scene with over 15 youths arrested. It is not surprising that the military goons start their days with blood on their hands, but it is nonetheless heart-wrenching to witness innocent youths being mowed down by a military vehicle intentionally speeding into the crowds and with gunshots echoing in the background.

Around 8-9 this morning, a group of youths leading a peaceful guerilla protest was marching on Pann Pin Gyi Street in the heart of Yangon when they were chased down by a military vehicle. According to eyewitnesses, the car was speeding intentionally and around 4-5 people flew into the air with force, with some dragged under the car, and at least four were believed to have been killed on the spot. Dozens were injured and arrested by the junta forces, including two journalists, residents said. Sources also said that the arrested youths were taken straight into custody without getting proper medical treatments. Videos and images catching this extremely violent and unbearable incident went viral on social media afterwards, but there were a few weeds like Han Nyein Oo, a military informant, posting publicly on his social media informing the junta forces of the detailed address of the people who posted evidence of the incidents. In true Myanmar regime fashion, the junta forces were reported to be searching the nearby areas to arrest the witnesses as well. 

In the aftermath of the incident, the Yangon Region Military Command under the National Unity Government (NUG) responded that it will intensify the resistance efforts and will retaliate strongly against those who viciously killed peaceful protesters. Around 11:45 this morning, a bomb explosion was also reported on the same street that the protesters were rammed down. Two explosions were heard by the residents and three men reportedly got injured by the fragments from the explosion. One on-ground rescue team told RFA Burmese that they tended to the patients and sent them to the hospital. 

In more news on the vile acts by the junta forces, internally displaced persons camp in Sagaing Region’s Depayin Township were burned down by military goons on December 4, residents said. On the western part of Depayin Township, residents from over 20 villages, who fled their villages due to growing presence of soldiers in their area, were hiding out in their farming fields, when the regime soldiers raided the fields and set fire to over 20 temporary tents that displaced villagers were residing in Taung Yar Kone area. Before setting fire, they reportedly also seized four motorcycles, one bicycle and food substance according to a family who spoke to Myanmar Now. There seemed to be no limits on the atrocities unleashed by the regime soldiers. Villagers could not go home because their villages are either stationed or patrolled by the soldiers, and now they are terrified to go back to their IDP camps as well. 

In Chin State, the junta forces continued to terrorize the residents. Today, a bomb planted by junta soldiers in front of a family’s house in Mindat town exploded round 2pm, killing the mother and critically injuring a two-year-old girl, Chindwin News Agency reported. Daw Hung Awi was returning home from farming with her 2-year-old daughter Naing Leng when they stepped on the landmine planted by the junta soldiers in front of their house. The explosion killed the mother on the spot and badly injured the daughter in her head and her right leg. In another part of Chin State, Thantlang town was set on fire by the junta forces again for the 11th time around 5pm. The last reported arson attack happened just yesterday in which 16 homes, including a church, were burned down. In estimation, more than 400 out of the town’s 1500 homes have been burned down since the end of October. 

Arbitrary arrests and reports of people missing in Mandalay and Sagaing regions, and Kachin State were detailed by media outlets today. In Mandalay Region’s Amarapura Township, a 15-year-old Ma Nyein Ei San Thein was arrested by junta forces in Myitnge town after sharing an announcement post by the People’s Defence Force on her social media account. She was reportedly arrested just an hour after she “liked” and “shared” the post about the explosion at Myitnge’s Railway Factory Administration Office by the PDF. Sometimes, the military council probably doesn’t realize that their followers and soldiers’ ridiculous actions are making them look like a joke, or maybe they know and they just don’t care either. 

Untraceable missing people developments are reported in Kachin State’s Momauk Township and Sagaing Region’s Taze Township today as well. Around 10 people who went to work on the farming field at the base of Lunja hill on December 4 reportedly went missing and residents still could not find traces of them, DVB News reported today. Among the missing included a pregnant woman, an elderly woman and 16-year-old youth. Their phones were all reported to be switched off as well according to a resident. In Sagaing Region’s Taze Township, two young women around the age of 20 went missing around 11am on December 2 when they went out shopping, and three days later, the families still couldn’t find traces of them. Residents weren’t sure whether these missing people were abducted by junta forces but knowing how they operate; it cannot be ruled out it’s not them.

Today is a painful day for all of us, but this same pain seemed to revive the fire inside many residents of Yangon. Our Sunday started bloody because of the junta forces, but we, the people, ended the day by hitting pots and pans again in defiance against the military council in several townships across Yangon tonight to honor the youths whose lives were unjustly taken this early morning. This is also a reminder to each other that this is a war that needs the participation of everyone in whatever forms and means to win. Here’s to the fallen youths from Kyimyindaing this morning who deserved so much more from all of us.

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