Freedom Memoirs – Day 327

Before we went to bed last night, news came from Karen State that Min Aung Hlaing’s forces had carried out aerial attacks at Lay Kay Kaw Town, causing villagers to cross the Moei River to Thailand border overnight. Mizzima News reported that the airstrike was carried out around 10:30pm for three times, followed by heavy artillery shelling. Thai authorities have allowed displaced people to cross their border, but Thailand side of the border also suffered at least seven artillery shellings from Myanmar military, Mizzima News reported. Again, around 4pm today, three more fighter jets from the regime forces dropped three bombs on Lay Kay Kaw, marking second airstrikes on less than 24 hours. 

Due to the attacks on unarmed civilians, Karen National Union (KNU) issued an urgent statement which iterated its appeal to the international community to impose Lay Kay Kaw area as “No Fly Zone”. In response to Myanmar military regime’s horrendous airstrikes, foreign embassies in Myanmar condemned the airstrike by calling it “serious human rights violations committed by the military regime”. The Western embassies called on the regime to immediate cease the attacks on civilians, but they have been calling since February, and the regime has not slowed down one bit. The second bomb attack on Lay Kay Kaw further proves that the regime is unbothered by the pressure from international community.

Min Aung Hlaing’s air forces are busy, killing innocent people all over the country. On December 20, regime forces carried out an airstrike at Yay Myat Village of Ye-U Township in Sagaing Region. Today, Khit Thit Media reported that local villagers discovered dead bodies of seven people. In addition, an elderly woman was also found, with her legs broken, unable to move and starved for three days. More aerial attacks were launched in several other townships in Sagaing Region as well; Leik Chan Village of Taze Township on December 21, Kanzun Inn Village of Kyun Hla Township on December 22, and Nwe Shauk Village of Pale Township and Nat Chaung Village in Kalay Township on December 23, Khit Thit Media and DVB News reported.

The raging war continues to spread to other regions as well. In Kachin State, Hpakant Township, regime forces clashed against Kachin Independence Army (KIA) yesterday around 2-3pm near Jan Gar village. The clash killed three and injured seven from the regime side, according to Khit Thit Media. As its tradition of retaliation for defeat, junta forces launched heavy artillery shelling at Hpakant around 8pm, killing one civilian and injuring two civilians from a jade mine. In Karenni (Kayah) State, the combined forces of Karenni Army (KA) and Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) clashed with regime forces near Moso Village in Hpruso Town around 11am today. After the fighting, regime forces torched Moso Village, destroyed and raided the houses, and arrested ten villagers, including one child. Four members of Border Guard Force (BGF), who went to negotiate for the release of civilians, were shot and killed in a close range according to a member of KA. 

Elsewhere, regime soldiers’ lawlessness is out of control. This morning in Thayet Chaung Township of Dawei in Tanintharyi Region, junta forces attacked coach buses travelling on Myeik-Dawei route around 4am. As the regime soldiers opened fire indiscriminately at the coach convoy, a truck driver was killed, another car driver and two passengers injured. According to the Tanintharyi Times news, the reason for such attack is unknown, and currently, regime forces have arrested four villagers from nearby Pi Tai Village, causing more civilians to flee from their homes.

In Kachin State, Monyin Township, a ninth grade student Nan Mon Yee was accused of being a PDF member and arrested by junta forces on October 2. More than two months since her arrest, her family has not been allowed to meet with her. Students’ Union from her high school told Khit Thit Media that Nan Mon Yee was beaten up and tortured during the interrogation, and her health condition is a concern. Unverified information spread that she is currently locked up at Monyin Police, and will be sent to juvenile center. 

In other news, Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla was denied to meet with the detained State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi during his two-day visit to Myanmar. The office of Ms Christine Schraner Burgener, former UN Special Envoy, in Naypyidaw was shut down by the regime, and it is still unclear whether her successor Ms Noeleen Heyzer is granted permission to enter the country. With no flexibility from Min Aung Hlaing’s side even to the UN or international diplomats, the highly endorsed “negotiation on the table” seems unrealistic.

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