Military arrests leader of Mandalay protest alliance

A youth leader from the Mandalay Protest Alliance Force, was arrested by the junta’s forces while driving near Mandalay University at around 5pm on Monday.

Plainclothes soldiers, arriving in domestic vehicles, stopped a motorbike driven by activist Kyaw Thiha—who is in his 20s—beat him, and took him with them at gunpoint, according to an eyewitness. 

Thura Aung, a friend who had been staying with him and another leader of the alliance, said that over 20 troops later inspected Kyaw Thiha’s former home in Patheingyi Township at 8pm that night.

“They also raided the place where we were staying. We’re all on the run now. I still don’t know about our other comrades, but I’m in a safe place now,” Thura Aung told Myanmar Now. 

The Mandalay Protest Alliance Force has been a frequent target of the brutal crackdowns by the military on anti-coup resistance. 

Junta vehicles drove into the protest column in both May and June, injuring demonstrators. Six protesters including a university lecturer were arrested near Mandalay University on the morning of June 14 after the column was hit by a car driven by military personnel. 

The Mandalay Protest Alliance Force formed when multiple Mandalay protest columns joined forces to revolt against the dictatorship. They include Daung Sit Thi (Peacock Warriors); All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU); Academics; Labourers; Farmers; Mandalay University Students; BEHS (7) Students; and Sein Pan. 

Thura Aung said that they would not be stopping their resistance to military rule. 

“They can arrest us all they want but they can’t break our revolutionary spirit. We’re not backing down, not by an inch. We will fight for the truth until the end,” he said.

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