Freedom Memoirs – Day 336

New year, same old cruel antics from Min Aung Hlaing & co. A video shared by Khit Thit Media today showed an ugly scene in which a man was surrounded and beaten in turns by at least four soldiers when people stood helplessly nearby. The incident took place in downtown Yangon at the corner of Anawrahtar Road and 38th Street this morning. Khit Thit report said that the victim had initially got into an argument with a municipal staff who called in soldiers and requested force. We have seen worse coming from Min Aung Hlaing’s soldiers but a friend of military (municipal staff in this case) exploiting connection with his guns-holding friends to take advantage of civilians in broad daylight is something we will have to stomach everyday if we don’t win this fight.

Worse things are happening to people from rural areas. Two villagers from Depayin Township of Sagaing Region were found dead with their hands tied yesterday, according to Depayin People Defense Force (PDF). A spokesperson said to Mizzima that 35-year-old Ko Kyaw Thu and 50-year-old U Win Myint were abducted during the raid of their village on December 30 and killed on New Year’s Eve. In Yangon’s Thanlyin Township, Ko Tin Ko, an action movie actor was shot and abducted this morning around 6:30am. Ko Tin Ko lost his fingers and his legs were also severely injured due to the bullets. However, junta’s soldiers have kept him at a library beside the ward administration office and still conducting an interrogation without a medical treatment, according to Khit Thit Media.

Another sad news came in from Karenni (Kayah) State that a resistance solider, Henry, who was badly wounded during a battle on December 31 passed away this morning. Comrade Henry had severed in Kayah State Students’ Union (KSSU) during 2016 to 2018, consistently defying military power in the country and since the coup, he had been a teacher as well as a fighter for Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF). Another young man gone too soon, sacrificing his own life for the betterment of the country. May you rest in power, Comrade Henry.

Three civilians including a prominent doctor were killed during a bomb explosion on New Year’s Eve in Mandalay Region. It happened in Kyaukse Township when Dr. Hlaing Zaw Nyunt and two others went to inspect a bag on the street near their house, which turned out to be a bomb, killing all three of them. The incident has sparked a debate in the region because the doctor was well respected in the community and had no enemies. Many believe it was done by Pyu Saw Htee, the military-back armed thugs with the intention to cause a rift between the public and PDF. Kyaukse PDF released a statement denying its involvement and claimed it would never carry out an attack towards the people. 

Now onto the better news. A military convoy that consisted over 100 troops was detonated with landmines in Taze Township of Sagaing Region yesterday evening around 5pm. The attack was coordinated by three local resistance forces such as Taze PDF, K.P.K and T.S.R and it turned into a small battle afterwards. Back and forth shootings lasted 45 minutes which resulted in at least 10 deaths of junta’s soldiers. The people’s side also suffered a loss as Ko Myo Chit San, a soldier from K.P.K was killed during the battle. Seeking justice for Ko Myo Chit San, the same resistance forces carried out detonation attacks three times on junta’s soldiers who were setting a village on fire in Taze Township this afternoon. At least seven soldiers were killed.

In more battle news, a shootout took place Nyaung Pin Gyi Police Station in Sarlingyi Township of Sagaing Region early this morning around 4am. At least four policemen were killed during the clash against two local resistance forces. A civilian in neighborhood sadly passed away due to heart failure, according to The Irrawaddy. Also in Inndaw Township of Sagaing Region, unknown group of gunmen carried out an attack against Mezar Police Station last night around 11pm. Junta’s men retaliated by shooting heavy artilleries towards civilians’ residences as usual, forcing people to leave their homes and flee to safety. A video shared by Mizzima News today showed that PDF in Sagaing Region have been utilizing drones to drop bombs on junta’s police stations. It’s very encouraging to witness such technology used in the people’s side but there is always a concern for security when information gets shared too much too often in war.

Another ward administrator in Mandalay Region was found dead this morning. U Win Bo, the hundred households’ administrator took a bullet and passed away in his own teashop in Budar Village of Sint Kine Township. No group has claimed responsibility for attack. Sources told The Irrawaddy that U Win Bo was responsible for the arrests of women in his village for supporting PDF and he even acted as junta’s witness in court for their trials. Back to Yangon, an explosion took place in the electricity supply office of Thingangyun Township this morning around 7am, severely injuring one soldier manning the area. Myanmar Defense Force – Yangon claimed the responsibility and said that they had initially planted bombs in two places but one of which was picked up by a waste collector so they decided not to trigger that one to avoid harming innocent civilians. 

The Irrawaddy reported today that a cargo plane from Iran’s Qeshm Fars Air had landed in Naypyitaw on December 30 and dropped a few military equipment. The pickup was only done at night and the plane left on the same night back to Tehran Airport. We have no idea what’s cooking up between Naypyitaw and Tehran but hardly any good thing for Myanmar could come out of this story.

Today, Karen people celebrate the new year 2761 of Karen calendar. The past month had been rough for Karen people, Karen National Union (KNU) and Karen armed resistance forces due to the escalating conflict. Since the coup,  Karen people have opened their arms and provided shelters for democratic forces from all over the country, showing solidarity in our fight against the military regime. From this new year, we hope to create stronger bonds with our ethnic brothers and sisters, and work harder to achieve our goal of a federal democratic state.

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