Freedom Memoirs – Day 345

News came from India-Myanmar border that a clash broke out at Oak Hpo Kan Baung police detention center in Tamu Township. Tamu People Defense Force raided the detention center in the morning of January 10. The PDF asked staff members and police to surrender, but the warden of the center ordered his forces to confront the PDF forces, hence, gunfires were exchanged. The clash resulted in four deaths from the regime side including the warden U Aung Kyaw San and his wife, and two deaths of PDF soldiers according to Mizzima News. Four PDF members were also injured according to the announcement from Tamu PDF Battalion 1. 

Central regions of Myanmar continue to witness active conflicts between local resistance forces and Min Aung Hlaing’s forces. In Mindon Township of Magway Region, Thayat-Kamma PDF joint forces detonated a military convoy with landmines, injuring about 11 regime soldiers. Khit Thit Media reported that regime forces travelled to Mindon Township to abduct active citizens, to arrest resistance fighters and to forcibly recruit villagers. In Madaya Township of Mandalay Region, junta troops travelled to raid the base of Defense Force MDY (DFM), but they were ambushed and detonated with landmines by DFM forces on January 8. Gunfires were exchanged, and regime forces used heavy weapons against the PDFs. The conflict resulted in nine deaths and 15 injured regime soldiers according to DFM. Unfortunately, regime forces managed to travel to DFM’s base, raided and destroyed the next day.

Due to the escalation of conflict in Kayah (Karenni) State, residents of Loikaw Town and nearby areas have been leaving their homes and finding safe havens since January 9. They take refuge in Taunggyi, Nyaungshwe, Pinlaung and Mobye townships in Shan State, and some stay with their relatives in the areas. Today, Myanmar Now media published a series of photos which captured movements of Loikaw residents this morning as they packed up their belongings and pets on trucks, en routing to Mobye Township to find shelters. Since people left their homes, regime soldiers have been raiding and ransacking civilians home in Loikaw Town according to Myanmar Now report. This evening, Karenni resistance forces told Khit Thit Media that two fighter jets of the regime have been flying around and dropping bombs around 5pm. The location and damage are yet to be confirmed, but fightings between regime soldiers and Karenni Forces also broke out on ground. 

When we say our country is turning into a dystopian state under Min Aung Hlaing’s reign, it’s not an exaggeration. Today, DVB News reported that 14 civilians have been arrested by the regime soldiers in Maubin Town of Ayeyarwaddy Region for having photos of the detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and three-finger salute in their phones. The detainees include a 14 year old girl, and their phones were inspected in crowded places of the town. The mobile phone inspections and arrests were initiated and led by Lt General Naing Lwin Oo from the military regime, and demanded money from the detainees. According to a local source, the detainees were asked to pay MMK 500,000 to 5,000,000 for release, and if they cannot pay, they are pressed charges with 505A, sedition law. 

Mizzima News reported today that Myanmar citizens who returned from Thailand via Myawaddy border town were placed in quarantine for Covid-19, and they were asked non-health related questions such as if they support NUG or they were NLD members. According to a representative from KTG Helping Hands General Services, which help Myanmar migrant workers, staff members from the State Administration Council (SAC) inspect mobile phones of the returnees, and checked if they had contact with National Unity Government (NUG), People’s Defense Force (PDF), and other political activists. If politics related contents are found in mobile phones, phone owners were immediately handcuffed and arrested according to KTG representative. 

On international front, Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen, who recently visited Myanmar, proposed the formation of Troika, a commission which aims to facilitate ceasefire and to bring peace to Myanmar. Hun Sen’s proposed commissions include representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia. Yet another attempt from ASEAN nations to facilitate Myanmar’s affair when the 10-member bloc could not even persuade Min Aung Hlaing to agree upon the five-point consensus which was introduced last April. Regional peace and stability is important surely, but who wants to negotiate with gun-waving thugs who commit multiple mass killings with their blood-soaked hands on the table? Definitely not us.

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