Freedom Memoirs – Day 339

Though the battle of Laykaykaw went quiet for a few days, a clash broke out again on the southern side of Myawaddy, about ten miles away from Laykaykaw yesterday. Early in the morning around 5am, gun fires were exchanged between Brigade 207 of regime’s force and Brigade 27 of Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) in which junta’s force reportedly used heavy artilleries for over 30 times and damaged households in the area. Afterwards, junta’s army evidently raided civilians’ wards in Laykaykaw and stole valuable items including ten motorbikes along with food. In the past few days, those soldiers have also stolen people’s belongings from Malhtawtalay Village. The battle between KNLA and the regime’s forces since December 15has displaced 160,000 innocent civilians.
 
Khit Thit Media reported that there have been disharmonies going on within Min Aung Hlaing’s army as Myanmar Economics Holding Limited (MEHL) failed to provide dividends to the soldiers. Normally, it is mandatory for every army unit, from private to senior general, to buy shares in MEHL company and dividend is shared annually. Military officers are allowed to buy shares for a minimum of 1.5 million to 5 million Myanmar Kyats (MMK), and receive an annual payout of 30,000 MMK for every 100,000 MMK at the end of financial year. However, the return on investment (ROI) for the quarter 2020 October- 2021 September has still not been paid out. Captain Nyi Thua, the first officer from the military to join Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) reflected on the situation that this is due to the success of boycott campaigns towards military-owned businesses and the failure to provide dividend to the low-rank soldiers may cause anger and could even lead to the ultimate downfall of the army.
 
In Nant Kham Town, the northern part of Shan State, a battle broke out between Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and junta’s forces this afternoon, reported by The Irrawaddy. TNLA marched into Naung San Kone near Nant Kham hospital this afternoon, and afterwards, a clash occurred between the two sides. A local resident said that heavy artilleries were also used during the conflict. According to Shwe Phee Myay News Agency, six innocent civilians, including a 2-year-old and two 5-year-olds, and two 60-year-olds were hurt due to the damage inflicted from the weapons. During the 3-hour battle outbreak, four soldiers died and six were injured on junta’s side while TNLA also managed to retrieve three guns.
 
As battles between people defense forces (PDFs) and junta’s army have increased, so has the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Khit Thit Media reported that about 4,000 people from Nyaungpingyi Village and Watlelywal Village of Sagaing Region have fled to safe places as the regime’s forces have set up an army camp inside the villages. A battle on January 1 in Phayalaykone Village in Watlat Township, resulted in 40 casualties from junta’s side. Afterwards, Mi-35 helicopter was used to bomb Nyaung pingyi Village, and 50 soldiers were also deployed inside the village on January 3.  After the army has marched into the village, and killed two innocent civilians, most villagers are currently fleeing from their hometown to escape similar fates. Currently, the IDPs are under the protection of Lieutenant Soon Yae from Watlat Township local PDF who were responsible for defeating junta’s forces on January 1.
 
Kachin State Prime Minister Dr. Khat Aung, along with other state ministers and Kachin State National League for Democracy (NLD) party chairman, have all been sentenced by junta’s prison court today. Kachin State’s NLD party chairman U Mya Thein was sentenced to one year in prison under the penal code 25. Likewise, Social Affairs Minister U Nay Win was also given a total of three years. Yet, he still has one more case under corruption charge by the State Administration Council (SAC). U Zaw Win, former regional minister of Immigration and Human Resources was given two years in jail under penal code 17/1 under the charge of communicating with illegal organization, and he is also charged with corruption. Moreover, former Minister of Planning, Finance and Investment U Wai Lin and former Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation U Da Lashi Sine have also been sentenced by SAC on December 10.
 
National Unity of Government (NUG) announced today that Min Aung Hlaing and the senior military leaders are responsible for the massacre in Moso Village in Hpruso Township, Karenni State, and they must pay back for their crimes. In the statement, NUG said that innocent civilians were burned alive around 10 am on December 24 near Moso village, and the number of victims is estimated to be around 42, of which two staff from Save the Children were included.  Local civil society organizations (CSOs) strongly affirmed that the battalion 108 under the Infantry Division 66 was the one carrying out the horrendous crime. In the announcement, NUG demanded UN security council to hold Min Aung Hlaing & co accountable for their crimes and charge them at International Criminal Court (ICC).

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