Military and Police Arrest of Local Administrators Threat to Massive Resignations in Myanmar’s Rakhine State

Lawmaker U Phay Than from Maybon township and elected for two terms in national parliament. 
AN.Sittway. June 4, 2020
Local villages and wards official administrators are arrested and charged with terrorist laws in Maybon township, Myanmar’s Rakhine State, in this week. 

Narinjara news reported U Aung Than, administrator of west ward in Maybon town, was arrested by police and military yesterday morning at 9 AM. 

His son Aung Aung Naing told the media six police, military, and plaincloth intelligent men came to the resident and took his father to the military base for questions. But the administrator has not yet been released. Family members are worry he will be interrogated and tortured.

He said, “My father carries his official works. Other than that, he does not violate any law and wish he would be released soon.” 

Maybon township lawmaker U Phay Than confirmed the town’s west ward Chairman U Aung Than was arrested yesterday. 

This is the second arrest after two administrators in Myabon township were arrested and charged with the terrorist laws on May 31. 

Police and military arrested U Kyaw Myint, chairman of Ywar Thit Kay ward in Myabon, and U Maung Zaw, chairman of Angu village, on May 30. They were charged with terrorist laws on May 31. 

After these administrators were arrested and charged with the harshest laws, all administrators are in hiding. Some administrators are preparing to submit resignation letters. 

The administrators say they are not secure now. Their department head President U Win Myint cannot protect them. 

They say they perform their official works instructed by the president office but get arrested by the military. They say it is not fair, and president has sole responsibility to protect them.

They question why they should work and carry out the president instructions without getting any protection, or rather resign. 

Similar massive resignations happened in Mrauk U township last year after police and military arrested several administrators. 

In Myanmar, it is very flaw and dysfunctional administrative works instituted for decades in state, city, township, and village levels. 

Most township, distract, and state administrators were appointed by the home minister based on the military ranks when the village and ward administrators are elected by the local residents. 

In fact, the village administrators known as Chairman do not have any authority but execute the orders given by the township administrators. 

Most township administrators are usually transferred from the military rank of Captain. The district administrators are usually Major ranks when he/she was in the military. All state administrators are retired military Colonels.

In democracy system, the conflict of interest between military and civil administration is a huge problem.

All level of the rulers in village, town, city, district, and state should be served by the elected persons, and the national election law should be change for it. 

Otherwise, the appointed powerful administrators are seen as colonizing and militarizing over the local residents. Dysfunctional administrative works will be persistence with huge flaws without reform. and the local people will suffer the most. 

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