More Than 600 Police Join Myanmar’s Anti-Regime Protest Movement

By The Irrawaddy 5 March 2021

Yangon — More than 600 police officers have joined Myanmar’s civil disobedience movement (CDM) against the military regime with only Rakhine State reporting no protests by officers.

The numbers of police resignations have risen sharply since the violent crackdown in late February.

Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department, Special Branch, Tourist Security Police, Security Police and training depots have left their duties to resist the military regime, according to an officer in Naypyitaw.

There were over 500 police participating in the CDM by Thursday and 100 more joined the movement on Friday. The officer said no police protests have been reported in Rakhine State.

He said Special Branch Major Tin Min Tun’s participation in the CDM has had a great impact in police circles.

The major posted on Facebook this week: “I no longer want to serve under the military regime. I have joined the civil servants participating in the CDM.”

He expressed respect for younger protesters who are leading the movement against the regime.

A senior officer, who asked for anonymity, told The Irrawaddy: “There is still no order to take action against the police who have joined the CDM. The commanders only ask to bring them back, talk them into going back to their duties and solve their problems.”

None of the officers who joined the CDM have returned to work and none have been detained, according to police sources.

A policeman in Yangon, who joined the CDM, said: “I can’t stand seeing many people having trouble so a few individuals can be prosperous. I know a seed of sesame cannot make oil but I chose to leave, telling myself they will at least lose an officer to suppress protesters if I quit.”

Police participating in the CDM said they would only accept an elected government. Some said they would offer their service if the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, representing elected members of the Union Parliament from the National League for Democracy, forms an army to fight the military regime.

The majority of the officers who have joined the CDM submitted resignations while some just informed their superiors that they were joining the movement, said the officer in Naypyitaw.

Some resignation letters said they had no will to carry out the military council’s orders and were resigning to stand with the people.

Reuters reported on Thursday that at least 19 officers have fled to Mizoram in India through Chin State and requested political asylum.

Some of the striking officers have many years of experience and have won outstanding performance awards.

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