Freedom Memoirs – Day 309

Breaking news today was the unfair yet not surprising court rule of the State Counsellor, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and the president U Win Myint. They were sentenced to prison terms of four years on charges of inciting dissent and breaking Covid rules under a natural disasters law (junta’s news at 8pm announced that they have been granted 2-year pardon). Ironically, the murderer-in-chief, Min Aung Hlaing, was reported to have met the 94-year-old patron of the National League for Democracy (NLD), U Tin Oo, at his home while unfairly detaining NLD party members. U Tin Oo was former military commander-in-chief from 1974-1977 and founded NLD together with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Many NLD members deplored the move as politically calculative. It was a show to the world that the murderer-in-chief had nothing against his opposition group. The 94-year-old patron was seen meeting him in a symbolic cotton-shirt called Pin-Ni, which is often worn to show defiance against authoritarian rule.
 
Yesterday’s brutal crackdown of the peaceful protesters shocked the whole country and made international news. Commander-in-chief of Arakan Army (AA), Major General Tway Mrat Naing, tweeted in response to the junta’s brutal crackdown of the peaceful protesters. He tweeted, “Deliberate perpetration of despicable barbarity with total disregard for human life. Utterly unjustifiable.” The spokesperson of AA, Khaing Thu Kha, told the Western News that “the junta’s forces intentionally killing the unarmed protesters peacefully marching on the streets is a crime. This is an unacceptable barbarian act in a human society”
 
Immediately after the crackdown, the Yangon Military Command issued a statement that a retaliation to be carried out to the police and soldiers. At around 8pm yesterday, three soldiers and seven policemen died in the attack by Khayan PDF of Yangon’s Khayan Township. The Yangon Military Command under the National Unity Government (NUG) announced that they launched attacks in three areas. Two other areas included Sanchaung’s police station and Hlaingtharyar’s administration office and the military’s garment factory. In Mandalay’s Myingyan district, junta’s forces who came to Nwar Htoo Gyee (aka Natogyi) Township for clearance operations, were attacked with detonated mines by the 27 Revolution Forces and Natogyi People Defence Force (PDF) this morning. Around 23 soldiers died and more than 17 were injured in the attack, a PDF member told Khit Thit media. 
 
Retaliation continues. In Kachin’s Myitkyina township, Kachin state court was bombed this morning around 6am already to show defiance against unjust law. USDP members, allies and SAC-appointed administrators who have been working for the military as informants have been assassinated across different townships and regions. Yangon, Ayeyarwaddy, Magway,Sagaing, Karen, Mandalay, and Bago witnessed 11 cases of assassinations. In Sagaing, many police had fled from the police station due to security concerns. In Tigyaing and Katha townships, there is no police left in the stations. According to the Karen National Union (KNU), more than 190 junta’s soldiers were killed in more than 200 clashes between the military and the Karen National Union (KNU) in November alone. On the other hand, seven casualties and 10 injured were reported from Karen National Liberation Army, and Karen National Defence Organization (KNDO).
 
Junta’s forces are apparently suffering from attacks, but they promise they will continue with their atrocities. In Sagaing’s Budalin Township, the junta’s forces have been distributing propaganda papers where they said they will eliminate all PDF “terrorist” forces; they will destroy and seize the houses where PDF are hiding by force if PDF members are following orders from “NLD terrorists”. The papers also say they will force locate the villages unless the villagers disclose information of the whereabouts of the PDF. They also urge PDF members to come to senses and return to the “legal force” (in literal translation, “to come and join the light”) leaving the “dark force” behind.
 
Protests, no matter the violence, continue. In Mandalay, papers calling for the public to join ‘Silent Strike’ were scattered on the road by youths from motorbikes. “Silent Strike” and “the black campaign” were supposed to be held on the International Day of Human Rights, on December 10. In Kachin, Hpakant, protesters marched to the streets. Hpakant’s protest has not stopped a day for nine months. In Kalay township, the protesters marched to the streets for 302nd day. Protesters from East-Yinmarbin and Sarlingyee-north have marched to the streets for 271st day. Sangha Strike from Mandalay and Monywa’s Latpandaung also joined the protest marches as usual. They all shared the same slogan, “we stand with Yangon”, “stay strong, Yangon” to honor the loss of young protesters’ lives lost in yesterday’s inhumane crackdown.
 
On the international front, things never change. After hearing the military’s court rule sentencing Myanmar’s State Counsellor and the president, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, condemns the court rule and deplores the situation of Myanmar where the military is using the court as a weapon against oppositions. The Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, told the media today he will come to Myanmar to meet with the murderer-in-chief, Min Aung Hlaing. His remark at the opening of the China-sponsored construction project on how the SAC representative should be invited to attend the ASEAN meetings since Myanmar is a member of the association angered Myanmar people today. Birds of a feather flock together, so do dictators.  

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