The Myanmar military raided Ohn Nauk Village in Sagaing Region’s Pale Township from January 10-12, employing four helicopters in an attempt to capture Pale People’s Defense Force (PDF) leader Bo Nagar dead or alive. Pale PDF has inflicted heavy casualties on junta troops under the leadership of Bo Nagar.
The PDF leader was elsewhere during the raid. Bo Nagar spoke recently to The Irrawaddy about the fighting in his town.
When did clashes break out between junta troops and local resistance fighters in Pale?
We have been fighting them since around the end of April.
Are you worried that the regime is employing large numbers of troops to capture you dead or alive?
Yes, I have concerns. But I am also prepared for it. I have left behind those who I was attached to. Now, I have only the people to love and rely on. I have chosen to live for the people over my own life as the country is suffering. I know that there are risks. But even before I risked my neck, I had to sacrifice a lot. I know that there will be more dangers ahead.
But I keep pushing ahead. Meanwhile, I have taught and nurtured young people as much as I can so that they can replace me if I die. So there are many people like me now even if I die. They are not yet a significant presence just because I am still here. But I want to say that there are many people like me now. I have concerns [about my safety]. Other people might also have concerns. But I try not to worry too much and I would like to urge the people not to worry.
Junta forces recently raided Ohn Nauk Village on a tip that you were there. They even used four helicopters in the raid. What do you say about that?
The military regime, after they have fought with us, knows how dangerous I am to them. And they also know through their military informants how much moral support I give to local people.
So perhaps they [the junta] view me as their worst enemy. But even if they kill me, there are already many people like me. They [the regime] might not know that there are many people who can replace me now.
Do you feel like the regime is attacking you personally?
They seem to think that resistance will die away if I am killed. But I have inspired many young people, not only in my township but also in other parts of the country, to continue fighting injustice. The junta may be able to defeat me alone. But they cannot prevent the rise of a new generation of brave revolutionaries.
The regime should understand that people loathe them as they are forced to bow down before them. So I urge the regime leaders and followers to surrender and apologize to the people for their sins. Although they are the villains of the country, they can still win the respect of the people in the end if they do apologize.
What are your concerns for civilians in Pale?
I have a lot of concerns for the people here. As I have built an organization that is concerned with all of Myanmar, I have to make many trips. Things happened in Pale during my first trip and, even though I was away, I was concerned about my town.
I am concerned that civilians will be killed and tortured and that resistance fighters will be harmed. I have trained them mentally and physically as much as I can. Although I have left my township, I didn’t leave for my own safety. I went away to make preparations and to do what it takes to achieve liberty for our country.
What do you say to people who are concerned about your safety?
Don’t worry about me. Just worry that our country remains under the rule of the evil.
What do you want to say about the resistance movement?
This revolution was born out of our witnessing violence and brutality. There will inevitably be pain and difficulties, as the revolution was born out of the sufferings people have endured for too long. Please stay strong at this moment. There will be hardship in this revolution as we are facing the most unscrupulous people.
Think about the hell-like consequences that we might have to face if this revolution fails. So please continue to take part in this revolution with bravery and dignity as citizens who are dutiful to their country and as parents who are dutiful to the younger generations.
Once we are united, this revolution will reach its goal smoothly. The military regime is in chaos even though only a few people are fighting. Bearing that in mind, the whole country should rise and take an active part in this revolution.
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