Freedom Memoirs – Day 328

It has been a sad, sad Christmas Day in Myanmar. While most of the world take a break to celebrate the sacred holiday, people from various parts of Myanmar are suffering from terrorism of its own “security forces”. Violence and airstrikes have accelerated in Karen State’s Lay Kay Kaw Town, another massacre committed in Karenni State whereas youths in various areas of the country continue to be targeted. 

We reported yesterday that Moso Village of Hpruso Town was set on fire by regime forces and some villagers were also abducted in the process. Today, Karenni National Defense Forces (KNDF) confirmed that a total of 35 people were killed and some of them may have been burned to death by Min Aung Hlaing’s soldiers during their arson attack on the Christmas Eve in Karenni (Kayah) State. KNDF said that the victims that included women and children were simply trying to flee to safety when they ran into murderous forces instead and met with such horrendous fate. It has not been possible to identify each individual since the bodies were severely burned along with a few vehicles used as transportation, as attested by Khit Thit Media’s collection of disturbing pictures. Unverified sources on ground described that the staff of Save the Children humanitarian organisation was also among the victims. 

Meanwhile in Karen State, a third round of airstrikes in ten days was conducted by State Administration Council (SAC)’s forces near Lay Kay Kaw Town. Mizzima News reported that the joint forces of Karen Nationalities Liberation Army (KNLA) and people defense forces (PDFs) had to retreat from an outpost in Maewarkhee Village due to the constant heavy artilleries and air bombs dropped since 10am this morning. Junta’s airstrikes today reportedly resulted in the deaths of PDFs and civilians although the exact number of casualties has not been verified yet.

The intensified battle in Lay Kay Kaw means more people being displaced and forced to seek for refuge across the border in Thailand. Although Thailand has been very helpful towards displaced people from Myanmar during this episode, it can only accept 500 people per day. Hence, some of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) have no choice but to risk and camp out on the bank of Moei River of the Myanmar side until the next day they will be let in. Such heartbreaking nightmare could be intervened to an extent if the United Nations (UN) can impose “No fly zone” in some areas of the country as millions of people have been demanding it for months. We have no idea how the procedure works, but it must be done as soon as possible. Millions of lives are at stake.

Mae Sot Media reported that Thailand’s military has been patrolling in Mae Sot City this evening, the border of Myanmar and Thailand, since some of the heavy artilleries from junta’s forces fell on the wrong side of the river and destroyed a few houses. It’s understood that Thailand authorities are prepared to respond if more harm are caused towards their country, but we know only too well that Min Aung Hlaing has no gut to pick a fight with someone who is also armed, let alone the size of Thailand’s army.

It felt like a brief justice when news came from Chin State that Chin Defense Force (CDF) carried out a guerrilla attack on SAC’s forces, killing one soldier and one policeman while seizing two guns in the process in Mindat Town yesterday evening, according to Khit Thit Media. Also in Yangon, the gate of Hmawbi’s Infantry 91 was attacked with a grenade this morning around 8:45am in which two soldiers were killed. Yangon Liberation Force (YLF) claimed the responsibility of the attack. More bomb attacks took place in a court and a municipal office of Sanchaung Township earlier today thanks to the efforts of Burma UG and Sanchaung PDF. 

In the meantime, Min Aung Hlaing said during a meeting with professors and lectures of defense service academies in Mingalardon Township of Yangon on December 23 that the new election is to be held in August 2023 and he has no intention of having a dialogue with any (political) organisation that has been formed beyond 2020 election, meaning he has no plan to sit down and negotiate with National Unity Government (NUG) or PDF. This news has not received enough attention because the international community seem determined to end the tragedies of Myanmar by ways of peace-talking. Min Aung Hlaing could not have made his point more clearly. Maybe it’s time the international community consider acknowledging NUG more openly and supporting arms instead of lobbying for another discussion table.

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