Monday, September 25, 2023

The Unsecured Lives of the Myanmar Civilians

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Mg Mg (not official name) is 20 years old and a Taunggyi native. He has an elder sister who is running a Myanmar milk tea shop in the city of Taunggyi.

Police Car Taunggyi
Police Car Taunggyi

Mg Mg will drive his small light truck from his Phayar Phyu resident to his sister tea shop in the city daily. He would help his sister running the tea shop and return to his home in Phayar Phyu in the late evening.

One day, as usual on his way home, he was pointed by a torch light and stopped his car at the corner of No. 5, government high school in Taunggyi by a group of plain clothe security forces.

Mg Mg thought that it was usual security check and stopped his car beside the No. 5, government high school.

“Hey, you! Come out of your car. What is in your car? Hold your hand high where I can see. Don’t resist or else you will sleep in the detention center for tonight,” Mg Mg was screamed and shouted at by a group of plain clothe police or soldiers.

According to Mg Mg, his car was searched and he was also questioned by the members of the military junta that night.

“I told them that I came back from my sister tea shop in the city. However, they would not listen and threaten to detain me one night. At last, I gave them ten thousand Kyat and they let me go,” Mg Mg narrated the incident he experienced on that night.

Mg Mg added that it was only around 8 P.M when the incident took place which was not considered late at night.

The incidents like Mg Mg case are happening a lot in Taunggyi nowadays where the security personnel would stop anyone they like and question them according to some Taunggyi residents who anonymously told SHAN because of security concerns. 

The military security members with plain clothe would hide themselves in the dark and stop any vehicles or anyone they want and search the driver and the car during night time.

They use “security” as an excuse to get money from the civilians according to an anonymous resident who experienced the incident. 

“They rob civilian using “security” as an excuse,” the above resident told SHAN.

The military security forces are patrolling and checking various places in the city of Taunggyi at night time. Those places are the main intersections or the routes that connect different townships nearby or the entry points to the city of Taunggyi. They said they are doing this for “security” purpose, and would stop any one they want at night.

“In the past, no one want to do patrolling or checking for security purposes because it is usually done through the late night and tiring. But now, they are happily doing it,” one CMD police anonymously told SHAN due to his safety concerns.

The residents feel unsecured to be stopped and searched at night by the military security forces.

“If possible, it is the best not to go out at night; otherwise, there is a risk that you will be stopped and questioned or even arrested,” a 40-year old man who lives in Taunggyi expressed his opinion.

The main reason for the military security forces conducting the patrolling and checking at night is to target those who are resisting the military regime. However, the criminals are not targeted and crimes are increasing.

“Motorcycles are stolen every day, and it can only be reported on social media for help. I have never heard that criminals are caught,” a Taunggyi resident whose motorcycle got stolen told SHAN.

Civilians nationwide have gone through many troubles and concerns, and most often feel unsecured during the one year after the coup staged by the military junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing.

Both of those living in the city and rural areas have faced all kind of hardships such as Covid-19 pandemic, armed conflicts, coup d’etat, and economic crisis.

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