Freedom Memoirs – Day 331


On December 27, President Biden signed the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022”, which includes amendments that could provide some support to Burma’s pro-democratic movements including support to recognize the National Unity Government (NUG). The purpose largely requires reports on actions and assistance taken by the US on supporting pro-democracy movements, and briefing these actions to the US Congress. Many argue that this act, although it is a positive move; it is not sufficient. 
 
The Prime Minister of the National Unity Government (NUG), Mahn Win Khaing Than, said in the NUG ministers’ meeting that the combat skills of the newly formed People Defense Forces’ have not been less impressive than those of the junta’s forces even though each PDF batch are only trained for seven months by the ethnic armed forces. This is evident in the number of the casualties experienced by the junta’s forces in the battles. The Prime Minister requests for continued alliance and cooperation among ethnic armed groups together with the Ministry of Defense of the NUG to support the PDF members fighting for freedom and justice. Today, more than 10 deaths of junta’s forces were reported when 30 military trucks were ambushed with detonated mines by the Htigyaing PDF, Sagaing.
 
Over the past few days, more than 14 casualties were reported after the junta’s forces were ambushed by guerrilla forces and PDF members in the country including Yangon and Mandalay. Early this morning in Yangon’s South-Dagon Township, three bombs were detonated but no soldier was harmed although three died in the Kwinchangone Township, south of Yangon, at the checkpoint on December 26. Similarly, immigration offices of Mandalay’s Amarapura and Pyigyidagun townships were detonated by handmade grenades this afternoon. No causality was reported so far.
 
In Magway’s Gangaw Township, the junta’s forces were ambushed by Yaw Defense Force (YDF) on December 27 leading to three deaths of the soldiers. During the clashes between Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and the SAC’s troops in Kawkareik and on Kawkareik-Myawaddy’s Asia highway on December 26, around 10 deaths of the junta’s forces were reported. Their dead bodies were scattered on the highway neglected by their own army.
 
On the other hand, civilians continue to suffer from the excessive use of violence. A small village, Natchaung, of Kalay Township, Sagaing, experienced the loss of more than 20 homes since the troops violently marched and stationed in the village four days ago. Today, they started setting the homes ablaze and started shooting everything that moves since 9am. More than 20 innocent civilians have been killed in this small village. Many young and ables have escaped and in hiding but many elderlies and persons of disabilities and the sick were left. In the north, Kachin’s Bhamo Township, the junta’s forces detonated mines three times on December 26 leaving the people anxious of their safety. 
 
It is also reported today that reinforcement troops with more than 480 junta’s soldiers have been seen together with army horses intruding into Karen National Union’s (KNU) Brigade-5,Hpapun district, from Brigade-3, Nyaung Lay Pin district. More than 500 civilians along the areas have been escaping to a safe area due to clashes. In the Deep South, Myeik, many villagers are on the run since last night as the junta raided and destroyed homes in Pawutkone Village, Pulaw Township.
 
KNU and KNLA welcomed close to 50 junta’s soldiers who had joined the side of the people since February. According to the KNU/KNLA’s brigade-5, almost 47 soldiers have joined the civil disobedience movement (CDM). It has been reported that the junta’s soldiers have been victims of disinformation and misinformation carried out by the junta of what is happening in the country since the February coup. In Sagaing, the junta’s aircraft scattered airborne leaflet propaganda accusing the PDF of committing terrorism and anti-coup movement as an act of sedition. This is the third time that the junta’s forces had attempted this psychological warfare. However, locals reported this effort was all in vain as nobody cared.
 
Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations, U Kyaw Moe Htun, sent an open letter to the United Nations to take actions against the military for the massacre that took place in Hpruso township, Karenni State, where 35 victims were burned alive to death by the junta’s forces on December 24. The NUG also urged the international community to take action against the military on the massacre of innocent civilians. Meanwhile, the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) promised they will fight till the end for justice to the victims including taking charge of education on the boycott on all military-owned business and products in Karenni State. KNDF claimed that if the education period passed, they would take actions against the shops that sell military-owned products. 

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