Myanmar Spring Chronicle – March 16 Scenes

MoeMaKa, March 17 2023

Defenseless people under the monstrous troops of Min Aung Hlaing

Since the beginning of March, Min Aung Hlaing’s junta troops have intensified their offensive in all the areas where the PDF and ERO are active. They are attacking with extremely heavy weapons, and are also brutally torturing and killing unarmed war victims throughout the area. Some eyewitnesses from the upland region commented that they called the junta army the monster army. The shooting and killing of at least 21 civilians, including 3 monks and a woman, at a monastery in Namneng Village in Pinlaung Township on March 11 shows their atrocity.

According to unconfirmed sources, the junta monsters were given orders to behead members of armed resistance forces such as the PDFs, the People’s Defense Forces under the NUG (PaKaHpa), the People’s Administrative Bodies (PaAHpa), and the People’s Security Forces (PaLaHpa), as well as to burn civilians to death. The junta columns usually consist of 100–150 soldiers, and they advanced with a mock army in front. When the local PDFs resisted, the junta troops surrounded them from behind and crushed them. A local PDF leader in the upland regions said that some local PDFs have given their lives protecting their villages, and if they withdraw due to a lack of weapons, the remaining villages will not be spared, so they feel great stress and responsibility for the villagers.

The KNDF and PDF, who are waging resistance war, shared their experiences through a press conference upon the incident of the killing of civilians in Namneng Village in Pinlaung Township by junta soldiers and members of the militia. According to it, they warned those who remained in the village without fleeing together with others to flee in time, but the villagers who were left behind were of the opinion that nothing would have happened because their local militia groups would accompany the junta troops along with them. However, Min Aung Hlaing’s army and their armed groups have brutally killed unarmed civilians, as well as spread lies and propaganda to create misunderstandings and hateful attacks among the local ethnic groups. The military council falsely published that the local Pa’O were killed by other ethnic groups for no reason.

According to a news article written by the Irrawaddy, the junta forces in ceasefire areas (especially some areas of Shan State) were deployed to the armed clashes of the Spring Revolution and increased offensives. During the wars in Chin State, Sagaing, Monywa, Shwebo, Kayah (Karenni), Karen, and Tanintharyi, the main concerns of the local PDFs in the upland region are that they are afraid of not being able to protect and care for the local people, that there aren’t enough weapons, and that it is difficult to defend the advance columns with only mines and drones.

Here, the People’s Defense Forces, which have different origins and natures, play an important role. There are PDF battalions commanded by allied ethnic armed forces known as EROs, and there are also PDF battalions registered in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Ministry of Defense (MOD) and recognized by it. There are also local defense forces and local PDFs that are not transforming to PaKaHpa, operating together with the People’s Defense Forces under the MOD and People Administrative Bodies. A local reporter also analyzed that there are also many individually formed armed resistance forces operating in isolation in upland regions.

As a result of the intensified offensives by the junta, he also commented that organizations without military support and training have suffered, and because the battalions affiliated with the NUG must wait for orders before moving, there has been more or less a lull in communication and cooperation with other organizations. As mentioned above, it has become difficult to protect the local villages so that they can escape safely under the brutality of the monstrous junta army.

Therefore, at the Interim Local Administration Central Committee (ILACC) Meeting No. (11/2023) held on March 16, Union Prime Minister Mahn Winn Khaing Thann urged the residents to prepare for proper evacuation when the terrorist army invaded. If procedures and instructions for effective evacuation during the junta column invasion and avoiding the use of human shields can be included in the activities of the Emergency Operation Center and prepared regionally or village-wise, needless tragedies can be prevented as much as possible,” he stated.

Since the NUG’s Union Prime Minister made this statement, I hope that the PDF battalions under the NUG and PaKaHpa will increase preparations and public information guidance. In addition, not just only them to act on their own, it is also necessary to have more cooperation with the local PDFs that have already existed in each of local areas.

That’s why I heard the Union Prime Minister mention this point again at the ILACC meeting on March 16.

“At present, the most important and priority task is the ability of the ground forces to cooperate. It is the most important thing to be able to cooperate the forces between PaAHpa, PaKaHpa, PaLaHpa, PDFs and LDFs. As mentioned in Principle (22) of the PaKaHpa structure and policy issued by the Ministry of Defense, only if we increase cooperation with LDFs, the territorial control we want to carry out be systematically strengthened, and it can replace the fascist army and serve as a military/defense apparatus that the people can rely on,” said the Union Prime Minister.

If it is to be implemented on the ground, there is an urgent need to build communication channels between each other and to constantly connect and share information. A week ago, the NUG’s Union Minister of Communications, Information and Technology, U Htin Lin Aung, said that in order to have and open communication lines, they are working to set a standard for communication devices and distribute encryption systems that cannot be eavesdropped on. Now, while the war is raging, I think that the Spring Revolutionary comrades will continue to implement the requirements and amendments to protect the unarmed people at a rapid pace.

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