Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Immigration officers are collecting population lists in Lashio town

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Lashio residents are worried about their security after police and immigration officers started collecting population lists and house registration information in 12 wards of Lashio town in northern Shan State. The data collection has been happening since the second week of February.

“They have collected population lists in every ward in Lashio. They took photos of civilian houses at the same time. A group of around 10 police and immigration officers visited houses to collect population lists in the morning or mid-day. Then, at night they compare the list to the family registration list on file,” a local man, who lives in Lashio town and doesn’t want to mention his real name for security reasons, told SHAN.

Local people told SHAN that the immigration officers told them that the current collection of population lists is related to the SAC’s planned general election in 2025 as well as for issuing new digital identity cards.

“People are worried that this data collection is related to the national conscription law. The Immigration staff explained that it’s for the up-coming general election. They have collected population list before announcement of the national conscription law was announced, so that might be true. But now they are collecting population lists in our town so we are nervous,” the local man told SHAN.

In the last week of January, police and soldiers launched surprise family registration list inspections in some wards in Lashio town, and arrested three youths including two females.

The SAC military council activated the national conscription law on 10 February 2024, announcing that according to the 2019 census nearly 14 million youths are eligible for conscription into the military.

On 20 February, Maj-Gen Zaw Min Tun, who is spokesperson of military council, said that they would conscript 60,000 male youths for military training before April.

The Immigration and Population Ministry announced that they would accomplish collecting census across country in coming October 2024. Immigration and Population ministry already sent the population list, who are age of 18 and above, to Union Election Commission.

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