Freedom Memoirs – Day 338

National Unity Government (NUG) has released a detailed report about the junta’s massacre that took place in Karenni (Kayah) Region on Christmas Eve during their press conference yesterday. It was known previously that a total of 35 people were either killed and burned or burned to death by regime’s soldiers in Moso Village of Hpruso Township. Myanmar Now’s report of NUG’s findings based on on-ground sources claimed that the number victims could be up to 49 according to U Bo Bo, deputy chief of Karenni Police Department that’s formed of former policemen on civil disobedience movement (CDM). He said that they had collected 31 dead bodies (26 males and 5 females) and three bags of several burned body parts of unidentified victims hence the casualties could be a lot more than the initially reported 35 people. 

The doctor who has conducted autopsy concurred with the above statement and added that there was one female victim who was not older than 15 and two male who were not older than 16. Some of the bodies were gagged and got their hands tied behind the back while some had stab wounds in their chests and lungs. The doctor called the day of post-mortem “the most horrendous massacre in a lifetime” as he claimed the dead bodies showed signs how much the victims suffered before their last breath. All the bodies were burned by regime’s soldiers to destroy evidence of their crime and more comprehensive investigation would be required to confirm if some of them were burned alive, the doctor added. NUG has vowed to take Min Aung Hlaing and his lackeys to International Crime Court (ICC) as well as to provide their findings to The Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM).

Last night around 7pm, junta’s forces opened fire and abducted the wife and the son of Dr Aye Zan, National League for Democracy (NLD)’s Mon Regional Minister at their house in Thongwa Village of Kyaikhto Township. Dr. Aye Zan has been sentenced to two years in prison by junta’s court and charged with 12 more cases by junta’s court and currently remain under custody when his family was attacked. Three people in total were forcefully taken while Daw Khin Aye Mu, the wife, was shot in the hand in the process according to Than Lwin Times. Gunshots were fired randomly into surrounding areas even afterwards, many thought there was a battle. It is expected of Min Aung Hlaing to take extra force towards NLD’s members but shooting a helpless elderly woman was so unnecessary and low even for his standard. The detainees’ current whereabouts remain unknown. 

A sweet justice was served afterwards as the same soldiers’ convoy who conducted the arrest was detonated with landmines by Karen Nationality Liberation Army (KNLA) around 8pm. KNLA confirmed the news to Than Lwin Times that they had ambushed the junta’s soldiers who were on their way back from celebrating the abduction near Zeepyaung Village, killing at least three. In more battle news, two clashes were reported between junta’s forces and Chin Defense Force (CDF) in a village on Matupi-Paletwa Road yesterday. CDF’s spokesperson told The Irrawaddy that they had operated a guerrilla attack on junta’s station, killing at least five and injuring 15. Another battle took place on Matupi-Hakha Road and two junta’s soldiers were kept as captives afterwards. 

Clashes take place everyday in Wetlet Township of Sagaing Region and airstrikes were used yesterday, a member of local PDF told Myanmar Now. Around 2pm yesterday, 50 soldiers arrived via military choppers in Yatkantaung Monastery’s compound near Nyaung Pin Gyi Village. As three helicopters were dropping off soldiers, one was reportedly opening fire towards surrounding areas from the sky, forcing people to flee their homes for no reason. Myanmar Now also reported that Pyu Saw Htee, military-sponsored thug group, are mainly the ones attacking people and PDF in Wetlet Township recently. MI 35 helicopters from junta provided help when Pyu Saw Htee were surrounded by PDF during a battle on January 1. It seems Pyu Saw Htee group have not only been armed but helicopters evidently are put at their disposal too.   

On January 1, 45-year-old U Hla Min Thein was abducted by regime soldiers during midnight inspection in Tamwe Township of Yangon and taken to an interrogation center. Two days later, his family was informed that he had committed suicide and passed away under custody. It was not allowed to look at his body and take pictures at the funeral that took place today in which only four family members were let in, according to Mizzima News. Another victim of the similar crime was Ko Thein Soe, 28-year-old NLD’s youth member from Mandalay Region. He was arrested in Taungtha Township on December 26 and reportedly stripped down and tortured on wet floors by soldiers for at least a week in the name of questioning until he passed away yesterday’s evening. The dead body was not returned to family. Three members of United Solidary Development Party (USDP) including Pyae Phyo Maung led the interrogation that was set up inside No.1 High School of Taung Tha, Mizzima reported. 

On diplomatic front, news came up today that Hun Sen, the notorious leader of Cambodia, is likely to meet up with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi during his official visit to Naypyitaw on January 7. Hun Sen and Min Aung Hlaing is scheduled to hold face to face meeting before ASEAN’s Digital Ministerial Meeting on January 19 and many speculate that Hun Sen seems determined to let junta achieve any kind of recognition during Cambodia’s ASEAN’s chairmanship spell. Meanwhile, NUG’s interim president Duwa Lashi La said during his speech for Independence Day today that they would not entertain a political dialogue with Min Aung Hlaing and fellow generals because such war criminals shall only be taken to trial in-country’s and international’s courts.

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