“I had gone through a lot when I did my military training for three days in the rain. As I am suffering from chronic arthritis, the hardship was almost unendurable,” comrade Arr Shine started narrating his story when he received his first training.
Arr Shine is 23 years old, and even though he had a chronic disease, he could not care much as he was committed to fight the military regime. Regardless of the hardship, he participated in the military training.
Arr Shine is a Shan State native, and since the coup, he actively led the demonstrating activities in Shan State. Because of that, he had to flee to Karenni (Kayah State) where he could join the People Defense Force (PDF) to hold arms and join the revolution against the dictatorship.
“It is not effective just to protest and hold three fingers. The military junta started arresting people, and I knew I would have to take arms to fight back. That was the reason I joined KNDF,” Arr Shine explained his reason of becoming a member of a PDF force.
After the training, comrade Arr Shine has been fighting with Myanmar army in the frontline with the ally force KNDF brigade 7 battalion 4 in Karenni State.
He was facing all kind of hardship during his military training, and he was one of the survivors from the Shan – Karenni border Nam Mae Khone battle on 20 February 2022.
“Even though the military training was not easy for me, I never thought of giving up. The main reason was that this military regime was using arms and shooting at the unarmed civilians. We decided to take armed revolution knowing it would be difficult but we would never turn back,” comrade Arr Shine clearly told his commitment to SHAN.
Additionally, two days before he went to the frontline with his comrades, the news of his mother death was one of the saddest moments for an only child and single mother family.
As he was one of the wanted people by the military junta, he was unable to send his mother off. Even though he was in such situation, he tried to hold himself together and fought with the military junta in the frontline.
Myanmar junta army was offensively engaging with the civilian armed forces on the border of Southern Shan State and Karenni (Kayah State).
Due to the Myanmar army heavy offensive operations, comrade Arr Shine has seen himself from a regular university student to a soldier who no longer shocked at gun shots and bombings. During the gun fights, he could not shoot back at his enemy because of insufficient weaponry, and he could only rely on his fate for the survival.
“From the stage of fearing gun shots to artillery shelling, now I am only afraid of the air strikes. However, I will let my fate decide on whatever is happening to me. We do not have a weapon to shoot the fighter jets and helicopters,” comrade Arr Shine disappointedly told the situation to SHAN.
Those young people who revolted against the military junta by protesting and taking arms were not interested in politics and in the country affairs – they were only looking for ways to educate themselves to catch up with the information technology trends and other social activities.
Since after the coup in 2021, those young people were ending up in the frontline fighting with the Myanmar military junta. Instead of politics and talks, these young people believed that armed revolution is the only way that will bring their dreamt future democratic country in which they will be able to realize their future goals.
Their only belief and commitment was to topple the military government who destroyed their hopes and dreams.
As part of the resistance, women also took part not only in the demonstration on the street but also in the current armed revolution and other various activities.
“During our armed conflict with the Myanmar junta, we could not accomplish our mission as planned because we did not have enough weaponry. That was the reason I took part in the fund raising activities so that we could buy weapons,” Ma Thet Thet Aung bravely opened up her situation.
In the past, Ma Thet Thet Aung is helping her family busines while attending the university as a student. Even though her parents could not accept her decision to take arms, she left her parents and joined the revolution.
Before the military coup, Ma Thet Thet Aung did not dream of becoming a member of the armed revolution. However, after witnessing the brutality of Myanmar army killing the innocent civilians, she became an armed woman revolutionist.
“Before all these happened, I was a woman only interested in doing the house works and my school assignments. I had never dreamt of living in the jungle, sleeping on the ground, and the most difficult part was using the toilet in the jungle – it was not easy for me to cope with that. However, I got full support from all of my comrades and we support each other. Finally, I am now used to the jungle life,” Ma Thet Thet Aung continued telling her story.
Like Ma Thet Thet Aung, there are others who involved in the revolution and went through all kind of troubles – some of them were disinherited by their parents, some were on the run, some got their properties and businesses confiscated, and some had lost their family members.
“From a regular university student, I have now become an armed revolutionist – what a life I am in!,” Ma Thet Thet Aung told SHAN.
People Defense Force (PDF) has been fighting Myanmar junta with whatever they have. They attack Myanmar military patrolling or parade cars, and military supporters and its allies. They use homemade explosives, and other weapons seized during their operations to attack Myanmar junta.
“Please support and equip us with weaponries, and we will devote our lives. If we have enough fire arms, and if they are not such expensive, we would not have many fallen comrades. It costs about 10 million Myanmar Kyat to purchase a gun, we cannot afford it. Instead we fight with our lives because our lives is cheaper than a gun,” comrade Arr Shine told SHAN.
The illegal Myanmar military government face lots of casualties because of the skirmish attacks and city guerilla warfare operated by the PDF forces and its ally ethnic armed forces.
On the other hand, the Myanmar military junta has strategically organized special military operations in Karrenni (Kayah State) to defeat the PDF forces and its allies; meanwhile, many civilian properties were burned down during the operations.
Moreover, even though the Myanmar military is trying every means threatening the civilians not to be involved in the revolution, the momentum of the people’s revolution has not been diminished even after one year of the military coup.