Thingyan Security Toughens Up in Rangoon

By Bone Myat 6 April 2015

RANGOON — Rangoon police are gearing up to curb crime during Burma’s wild Water Festival, local officials said, preparing four commanding offices to ensure public safety.

The Rangoon Division government said the central command as well as three other stations at the International Business Center on Pyay Road, Theinbyu Sportsgrounds on Kandawgyi Road and another near Mya Kyun Tha Park will be on call to handle any disputes.

Each office will be staffed with police, local administrators and relevant department personnel. Township courts will also be kept open to quickly adjudicate in the event of arrest or dispute during the New Year celebrations, which will be held from April 13 to 17.

“Because of the nature of security, I’m not allowed to disclose how many security personnel we will employ during Thingyan [the Burmese New Year festival], but we’ve put a special focus on security,” said Col. Tin Win, Rangoon’s divisional security minister.

Pandals, or stages set for dancing and water-throwing, will be screened for explosives twice daily, he said. A number of CCTV cameras will also be installed at each site, depending on their size.

Rescue teams equipped with speed boats will be on deployed on Inya and Kandawgyi lakes, he added.

Special security measures will be carried out at highway checkpoints and tollbooths, while within the city police will be especially targeting pick-pockets to avoid instances of theft.

“We’ll take a tough line on pick-pocketing during Thingyan,” Col. Tin Win said. “We will immediately detain those who fight, and we won’t release them until the end of Thingyan.”

Statistics from the Rangoon Division Police show that the past three years have averaged 150 reported crimes during the Water Festival each year.