Freedom Memoirs – Day 335

Our people’s bravery and resilience always deserve praise and recognition. Despite heightened violence and patrolling by the military regime forces across the country, many rang in the new year by chanting wishes to bring down Min Aung Hlaing and associates, and for the revolution to prevail. Domestically, residents of Yangon, Mandalay and Sagaing regions entered 2022 with chants of ill-wishes to the regime leader and for the fall of his forced ruling. Internationally, Myanmar diaspora in Bangkok also walked around the city shouting profanity against Min Aung Hlaing. While many are celebrating the end of this awful year, some were caught in the crossfire between the regime forces and local resistance forces, some were getting arrested and some were fleeing for their lives.  
 
Around 6pm yesterday, a bomb attack against North Okkalapa police station in Yangon Region escalated into a shootout between both sides, resulting in civilian passerby causalities. The station was attacked with a total of three bombs and when the regime soldiers retaliated by shooting back, a few civilians on the road were reportedly injured or killed, according to a staff at North Okkapala hospital who spoke to Khit Thit Media. Four youths were also arrested and a car was found with bullet holes after the incident—one resident said these are just innocent people on the road. The incident reportedly killed one lieutenant colonel and injured one soldier. Bomb attacks were occuring left and right last night in several townships of Yangon. In Dagon Seikkan Township, the administration office of ward 94 in Yuzana Garden Housing was attacked with two bombs around 9:30pm, injuring soldiers who were manning the office. Afterwards, three civilians were also arrested.  
 
Yesterday, we reported that clashes were happening near Ngwe Taung Dam in Karenni (Kayah) State’s Demoso Township. Today, Khit Thit Media reported that there were 30 casualties on the regime side and one soldier from Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) was critically injured, according to an update from KNDF. In other clashes news, more fighting was reported this morning in Karen State’s Myawaddy Township. Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and regime troops faced each other between Pha Luu Gyi and Ye The cave villages about 9-mile away from Myawaddy town. Over 300 villagers had to hide out in the cave and some villagers from Pha Luu Gyi reportedly fled to the Thai-Myanmar border area. The belongings of the displaced residents from 9 villages in the surrounding area were reportedly stolen by regime soldiers. This is not the first report of soldiers stealing civilian belongings today.  
 
In Sagaing Region, the regime forces raided Lat Pu Kan Village in Pale Township on the night of December 31 and a total of 13 houses were looted by them. Residents of Lat Pu Kan told Khit Thit Media that about 2 million MMK were stolen from two houses, household items as well as food substances were also stolen by the soldiers. The soldiers viciously left their excrement inside the houses that they raided also. Their intentions to cause more stress and trauma for the residents on the night that many are celebrating is just vile. In another part of Sagaing Region in Kawlin town, a 16-year-old monk from Mingalar Zeya monastery was killed by an artillery shell fired by the regime forces on the morning of the first day of 2022. The tragic incident happened around 4am when a stray shell hit the sleeping monk’s head. Despite treating his wound, he passed away at 11am today.  
 
Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing also gave a new year speech today, saying that new steps will be taken for peace this year and all stakeholders will be invited to discuss peace. He mentioned that the National Day this year on February 12 will celebrate the 75th year anniversary of the country’s sovereignty, and it is important to strengthen this further into 2023 when Myanmar will celebrate 75-year of independence. The regime leader has the audacity to say that his military forces are serving the interests of the state and also working for the benefit of the ethnic people. It is truly baffling to hear him say this when there is a report of regime forces using a social welfare volunteer vehicle to attack the People’s Defense Force in Mon State’s Thaton Township yesterday. The fact that they would utilize social welfare vehicles for their benefits in an ethnic region just showed everything Min Aung Hlaing said is bogus.  
 
Normally, we would say “Happy New Year” to everyone, but as long as we’re all under the control of Min Aung Hlaing and associates, our livelihoods and futures are in a constant state of anxiety and insecurity, and in danger. From everyone at Mohinga Matters, we would like to wish all of our readers, our comrades and the people of Myanmar a safer and more secured new year. In 2021, we had only one month of freedom, and for 11 months, many people’s lives in Myanmar were turned upside down by the double header of coup and COVID. Many uncertainties are waiting for us in 2022 as well. Our only wish for 2022 is to bring peace and security for our people, and for the power of the people to prevail.

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