Myanmar Junta Census Collection Sparks Deadly Resistance Attacks

By The Irrawaddy 16 January 2023

Myanmar’s regime has been conducting a census to update voter lists this month as it prepares for an election, which might take place in August.

Five people, including two police officers, have been killed and an administration office and immigration offices attacked in the last week, according to resistance groups.

A ward administrator was gunned down outside his house in Maha Aung Myay Township, Mandalay, on Sunday.

On January 9, a police sublieutenant was gunned down while providing security for census takers in Launglon Township, Tanintharyi Region.

In Mandalay on January 12 junta troops providing security were attacked with a bomb and a ward administration office was hit by remote-controlled bombs.

Last Thursday Thaton People’s Defense Force in Mon State said an administrator, a clerk and police lance corporal providing security were shot dead by the resistance.

Yangon resistance groups have threatened to kill administrators involved in the census.

Junta newspapers reported on Saturday that “terrorist” groups attacked administrators seven times across the country.

Two policemen were killed and two immigration offices in Sagaing and Magwe were torched, destroying documents.

Resistance groups said they detained three women and a man collecting census data in Myaung Township, Sagaing Region.

The Immigration and Population Department of the civilian National Unity Government said on Sunday that the four would be prosecuted under the Counterterrorism Law. Last week the shadow government threatened harsh legal action against administrative and immigration officials working on the regime’s census.

Ethnic armed organizations, including the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, Karen National Union and Kachin Independence Army, rejected the junta election and warned administrators not to take part.