Myanmar Regime Arrests Striking Civil Servants in Chin State

By The Irrawaddy 27 January 2022

Myanmar’s military regime detained nine striking civil servants in Falam, Chin State, on Tuesday, according to the Chin National Organization (CNO).

“The regime has a list of civil servants who joined the civil disobedience movement [CDM]. Nine striking government employees have been arrested so far,” a CNO spokesman told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.

Among the detained striking civil servants are teachers, medics and staff from the immigration and communications departments.

The regime detained the mother of a striking teacher after the security forces did not find the teacher at her home, according to residents.

The head of No. 1 Basic Education High School in Falam was detained for interrogation although she has not joined the CDM. The CNO said non-striking staff revealed their former colleagues’ locations.

The arrests came after the CNO and Chin Nationalities Defense Force (CNDF) warned teachers not to work when basic education schools reopened in Falam, said residents.

“The regime previously did nothing to strikers. But when schools reopened, the CNDF issued its warning and staff have been scared to go to work,” said a striking medic in Falam.

“I am worried about being arrested. No one knows when they will be released if arrested and how long the revolution will take. Many strikers have fled their homes to avoid being arrested. Many refuse to work,” he added.

Since the February coup last year, government staff up to the rank of director and some staff from the home affairs and defense ministries, have refused to work for the regime, stifling the junta’s ability to administrate.

Many striking civil servants have been sacked, face arrest warrants and are in hiding.

Regime leader Min Aung Hlaing has repeatedly broadcast demands for striking civil servants to return to work.

The regime has promised to drop charges against returning staff but the strike remains strong after almost a year.

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