Freedom Memoirs – Day 319

Battles resumed between junta’s forces and Karen National Union (KNU) in Lay Kay Kaw Town of Karen State last night and again this morning around 10am, according to Karen Information Center-KIC. Regime’s soldiers reportedly fired heavy artilleries into the town continuously as they were trying to send more troops. KNU intervened a joint army of junta’s soldiers and border guard forces (BGF) on route to battle zone near Mal Htaw Ta Lay Village, Myawaddy Township. Battles yesterday and today have claimed at least 30 deaths from regime side with four KNU soldiers injured, The Irrawaddy reported. Even when they were heavily defeated on battlefield, Min Aung Hlaing’s soldiers had time to commit burglary as many residents’ properties under their control yesterday went missing and some homes were even destroyed. 

At least four of the regime’s heavy artilleries apparently flew past the border before landing and exploding in Thailand’s territory this afternoon, Khit Thit Media reported. Explosions caused mayhem on the roads and harmed a few internally displaced persons (IDPs) but there is no direct response from Thai authorities yet. As a result of the ongoing battle, up to 3,000 people have been displaced in Lay Kay Kaw Town, a third of which are currently seeking refuge in Thailand. Management from IDPs on the border have requested funds, food, and blankets to accommodate thousands of people.

More clashes continued throughout the country. A fighting broke out between State Administration Council (SAC)’s soldiers and the joint forces of Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) and Karenni Army (KA) in Demoso Township and Loikaw Township of Kayah (Karenni) State around 10am today. At least four junta’s soldiers were killed according to Khit Thit’s report quoting a KNDF member. Heavy artilleries were reportedly used by junta’s soldiers during the battle. Another clash also took place in Theinni Township of Shan State between Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and SAC’s forces yesterday. Fighting broke out when junta’s soldiers tried to ambush an outpost of MNDAA near Lashio-Muse Road. Over 850 shots were fired from junta’s side but MNDAA defended its ground, according to the press release.

Last night in Myaung Township of Sagaing Region, a junta’s truck was attacked with landmines by the local people defense forces (PDF) on Chaung U-Pakokku Road and seven soldiers were killed. Another detonation attack in Mingin Township today saw at least five deaths of junta’s soldiers today and Mingin PDF have claimed the responsibility, according to Khit Thit. Mizzima reported that another junta’s military convoy was detonated with landmines four times yesterday morning near Pale Township, and up to 25 soldiers could be killed. One military truck on Sagaing-Monywa Road was also attacked and destroyed this afternoon although the number of casualties has not been reported so far.

Regardless of the growing number of deaths recorded on the battleground, SAC always has the manpower to carry out atrocities towards civilians. A 17-year-old Ko Tun Lwin oo was shot and killed in Sagaing’s Shwebo Town on December 14 because he was carrying a passenger on his motorbike. He became the fifth victim murdered by Min Aung Hlaing’s soldiers for the same ridiculous rule banning two men on the motorcycle. Midnight abductions have also escalated in Yangon and Mandalay regions. Three youths in Mingalardon Township, Yangon were beaten and abducted early this morning around 3am. About the same time in Thaketa and South Dagon townships, two young men were arrested during midnight inspection. 

We reported in the previous days crimes against humanities were committed by Insein Prison’s authorities in dealing with detainees protesting inside the cells and called for international community’s help. Today, Mizzima reported that International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had been denied visits to the prisons multiple times by Min Aung Hlaing’s military. At least 89 people participated in the silent strike on December 10 inside Insein Prison and the protesters were beaten and tortured until they were conscious before being put inside solitary confinements. 

In November, Argentina’s judiciary agreed to open a genocide case brought by Rohingya victims of atrocities committed by Min Aung Hlaing’s military and the hearing will begin later today during which U Tun Khin, the chair of Burmese Rohingya Organisation (UK) will testify as a witness. U Tun Khin said that everybody involved in the genocide alongside Min Aung Hlaing will be hopefully brought before court and face their crimes. However, Min Aung Hlaing seems rather too busy committing more crimes inside the country and he may not be too worried about a trial thousands of miles away when his troops are confronted on various warfronts.

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