Freedom Memoirs – Day 325

Another day, another episode of Myanmar’s journey to freedom. A teacher on civil disobedience movement (CDM) from Lei Wai Township, Naypyitaw Region was killed by regime soldiers yesterday. The victim U Hla Min Maung was abducted in Madawpin Village on the evening of December 20 and reportedly taken into an interrogation center. Less than 24 hours later, he was pronounced dead on the early morning of December 21 and the body was cremated on the same day. The family was informed of the incident and allowed to watch cremation process but not permitted to look at the dead body, according to Khit Thit Media.

Nobody—regardless of race, gender, income, or geographic location— has been spared from the cruelty of Myanmar’s so called security forces since February. However, some people have been treated more terribly by Min Aung Hlaing’s lackeys for their religious beliefs and gender orientation. The late U Hla Min Maung practiced Islam and known as a well-respected figure in the community. So, it was possible that Min Aung Hlaing’s soldiers went extra violent on the man due to his religious belief considering the fact that they had historically discriminated that particular religion and even committed a genocide in 2017 towards Rohingya people in Rakhine State— another crime that has not been paid for.

Yesterday, we reported an explosion near Yangon Airport and junta’s abduction of a suspected culprit nearby. The detainee was today identified as Mg Aung Thu who was not a member of people defense forces (PDF), he just happened to be at the location where the incident took place. Regime soldiers shot him following the explosion and he was taken into interrogation where he died of torture and a bullet wound on one of his legs today. His mother’s place was also raided this morning and no evidence backing the relation of Mg Aung Thu and PDF was found. Again, the victim’s family was allowed to attend the cremation process but the dead body was not accessible.

This morning around 6am, gunshots were heard following an explosion in Dagon Seikkan Township of Yangon and ambulances were seen going into the local police station afterwards. It was later reported in the news that the police station was attacked with two bombs and those inside the station responded by opening fires randomly. Three policemen were said to be hurt during the incident. At least two people nearby were beaten and abducted following the scene. Also in Yangon, a series of bomb attacks took place in East Dagon Township near the hospital last night around 7pm. Dictator Revolt Front (DRF) claimed the responsibility of the attack in which no casualty has been reported so far.

Moving onto the battle news. Ko Sai, a leader of Yinmabin PDF from Sagaing Region told Mizzima that about 15 clashes had taken place between junta’s forces and resistance forces in Yinmabin Township in December and 60 junta’s soldiers had died. An hour-long battle also broke out this morning in Nhone Gyi Village, five miles from Yinmabin Township. Casualties from both sides of today’s battle have not been verified yet. In Mattaya Township of Mandalay Region, three regime soldiers were reportedly killed during a detonation attack of military convoy yesterday morning. At least 20 villagers were abducted after the event.

State Administration Council (SAC)’s soldiers were seen setting up a base in Sanmyo Village of Magway Region’s Gantgaw Township on December 20 and arson attacks were witnessed in the village. Eight houses were set ablaze yesterday afternoon and fire was still very much alive until midnight according to Myanmar Now. Sanmyo Village, with over 200 households whose residents are on the run now due to the presence of soldiers and Pyu Saw Htee members, is now feared to be completely burnt off of the map.

Also in Karen State, six clashes between regime soldiers and Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) were recorded on December 19 alone. At least 12 junta’s soldiers were killed and four were injured during the battles, all of which took place in Karen National Union (KNU)’s Brigade 5 territory in Papon District. On the related note, about 50 dead bodies of junta’s soldiers were not yet picked up by SAC and left to rot on the roads according to Khit Thit’s video footage. Those goners were resulted from Lay Kay Kaw battle that took place about a week ago. As the saying goes “The first casualty of war is truth”, it’s almost impossible to verify the number of casualties reported across the various areas of the country on daily basis, especially the number of deaths on junta’s side which always seem relatively high. However, it’s one of the few things that is keeping the majority of the population focused and engaged in the journey. It certainly motivates us to fight another day.

On diplomatic front, Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, India’s Foreign Secretary, has started two-day official outreach to Myanmar by visiting Naypyitaw today. Announcing the visit, the Ministry of External Affairs said, “During the visit, Foreign Secretary will hold discussions with the State Administration Council, political parties and members of civil society” and “issues relating to humanitarian support to Myanmar, security and India-Myanmar border concerns, and the political situation in Myanmar will be discussed”. The official visit baffles international media as well as Myanmar people since India said not too long ago that “Min Aung Hlaing will not be invited to Republic Day Ceremony on January 26.”

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