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Police

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Myanmar Police Force
Description/subject: "[The] Myanmar Police Force, formally known as The People's Police Force, was established in 1964 as independent department under Ministry of Home Affairs. It was reorganised on 1 October 1995 and informally become part of Tatmadaw. Current Director General of Myanmar Police Force is Brigadier General Khin Yi with its headquarters at Yangon. Its command structure is based on established civil jurisdictions. Each of Myanmar's seven states and seven divisions has their own Police Forces with headquarters in the respective capital cities..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Wikipedia
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 October 2007


Individual Documents

Title: Building a better police force
Date of publication: 13 June 2016
Description/subject: "The Myanmar Police Force is understaffed, under-resourced and unliked but there are plans to improve its image through better training in a joint project with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime...The image of the Myanmar Police Force has long been tarnished by a reputation for corruption and brutality. The world watched appalled as police bashed protesters at Letpadan just over a year ago. It is common knowledge that suspects are often assaulted after being arrested. Deaths in custody are not unknown. Sex workers, gay and transgender suspects have been sexually assaulted at police stations, and there have been incidents when the police were curiously reluctant to intervene in incidents, such as when communal violence raged at Meiktila in March 2013. “The calibre of Myanmar police is the lowest in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, let alone the international level,” said an MPF officer who participated in a US$10 million police reform program launched by the European Union in late 2013 that included training in crowd management and human rights. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity. After the National League for Democracy government took office it launched a reform initiative for its first 100 days that included an emphasis on the rule of law and raising the image of the MPF..."
Author/creator: Htun Khaing
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Frontier Myanmar"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 June 2016


Title: The mean streets of Hlaing Tharyar
Date of publication: 28 August 2015
Description/subject: "...While all-out street brawls might not be an everyday occurrence in Hlaing Tharyar, the township is awash with crime – everything from fistfights, robberies, rapes and extortion to assaults and home detentions by lenders against debtors. A senior police officer from the Hlaing Tharyar Myoma Police Station said some of these cases are brought to the attention of police, but many others are “solved” by calling in local toughs who rely on intimidation. Among the obstacles to maintaining rule of law in the township are the huge growth in population, and an insufficient police force. Last year’s census identified 684,700 residents, about half of whom are squatting illegally on land they do not own or rent. Many of these squatters are thought to have migrated to the area in the wake of Cyclone Nargis in May 2008..."
Author/creator: Khin Wine Phyu Phyu
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 30 August 2015


Title: Burma: Police reforms expand women's roles
Date of publication: 01 May 2015
Description/subject: "There was a time when there were very few women in Burma’s national police force, and they were practically invisible. Under an ambitious plan to enlarge, modernise and reform the Myanmar Police Force (MPF), however, that situation is rapidly changing. Not only are there now many more female police officers in Burma, but their roles are expanding, both locally and internationally..."
Author/creator: Andrew Selth
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Interpreter"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2015


Title: Second thoughts on the civil unrest in Burma
Date of publication: 14 April 2015
Description/subject: "Now that the dust has settled on last month's civil unrest in Burma, it is worth pausing to reflect on the protests and official responses to see if any important factors have escaped public attention. I am prompted to do so because the conventional narrative does not completely match what I heard in Rangoon at the time..."
Author/creator: Andrew Selth
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Interpreter"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 May 2015


Title: Myanmar police force needs more foreign help to reform
Date of publication: 03 December 2014
Description/subject: "Two years ago, I wrote that the Myanmar Police Force (MPF) was gradually being recognised as a large, increasingly powerful and influential organisation that, in a more civilianised form, was likely to become a key instrument of state control under the hybrid civilian-military Government inaugurated in Naypyidaw in 2011. Since then, there have been a growing number of reports in the news media suggesting that President Thein Sein's comprehensive reform program has slowed down, or even stalled. With that in mind, it is worth looking at the MPF again to see how the transition described in my 2012 post is going. There have been some positive developments. The MPF has been restructured and includes several new departments, such as the aviation, maritime, border and tourist police. Some modern equipment has been acquired. A major recruitment program is underway and training institutions now provide courses on modern policing and human rights. Greater emphasis is being given to tackle transnational crime. More importantly, perhaps, the MPF is emphasising a 'service-oriented approach' and giving a high priority to issues like accountability, transparency and respect for human rights. There is a new MPF code of conduct. Such rhetoric has been heard before, but recent statements by senior police officers seem to reflect a genuine wish to change the force's image, ethos and behaviour..."
Author/creator: Andrew Selth
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Interpreter"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 May 2015


Title: POLICE REFORM IN BURMA (MYANMAR): AIMS, OBSTACLES AND OUTCOMES
Date of publication: May 2013
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Despite all the publicity that Burma has received since the inauguration of a hybrid military - civilian parliament in 2011, and the launch o f an ambitious reform program by President Thein Sein, there are some important issues which seem to have escaped serious study. It has become clear, for example, that the new government wishes not only to reinvigorate plans to expand and remodel the Myanm ar Police Force (MPF), but also to give it a more distinctive civilian style and ethos, and see it take greater responsibility for some key aspects of the country ’ s internal security. Indeed, such steps will be essential if Burma is to strengthen the rule of law and make an orderly transition to a genuine and sustainable democracy . The armed forces ( Tatmadaw ) will remain responsible for external defence and for counter - insurgency campaigns against armed ethnic groups. However, it seems to be envisaged that , as part of the broad democratisation process, the MPF will assume a greater role in terms of law enforcement and the maintenance of internal order. Already, there are more blue uniforms than green uniforms on the streets protecting VIPs and standing stat ic guard outside diplomatic missions. The police can also be expected to play a larger part in quelling civil unrest, with the army only called upon to provide aid to the ‘ civil ’ power during emergencies, as occurred in Arakan (Rakhine) State in 2012 and M eiktila in 2013. To this end, the MPF is being expanded, restructured and modernised. It is already larger and more powerful than it has been since the colonial era, but the goal is a force of over 100,000 men and women, with 34 ‘ combat ’ battalions. Recru itment and officer corps entry standards have been raised. At the same time, the MPF ’ s doctrine and training programs are being changed to give greater emphasis to ‘ community - based policing ’ by unarmed officers working in close cooperation with the civil p opulation. This approach is not completely new to Burma but, if fully and successfully adopted, it will be in stark contrast to the tough paramilitary style of policing that has characterised the force since General Ne Win ’ s 1962 coup. As the Indonesian e xample has shown, however, such a transition will be neither quick nor easy. Burma ’ s armed forces remain very powerful. There will be some areas, such as intelligence collection and internal security operations, where the interests of the MPF and Tatmadaw will overlap. The respective roles, responsibilities and associated benefits of the two institutions may be sorted out – probably in the Tatmadaw ’ s favour – but there is likely to be friction. Also, there are cultural issues in the police force which will take a long time to resolve. Corruption and the abuse of power, for example, are deeply - rooted problems that will be difficult to eradicate. Until they are, the force ’ s relations with the general population will remain problematical. Should the MPF be abl e to reinvent itself, however, it has the potential to make a major contribution to Thein Sein ’ s reform program and the development of a more democratic, stable and humane society in Burma. Also, as an important civilian body answerable to the public throu gh an ‘ elec ted ’ government, its behaviour – and treatment by the g overnment – will be important indicators of progress in current attempts to implement the rule of law in Burma and make the security forces more accountable for their actions"
Author/creator: Andrew Selth
Language: English
Source/publisher: Griffith Asia Institute, Regional Outlook Paper
Format/size: pdf (338K-reduced version; 408K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.griffith.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/512379/Regional-Outlook-Paper-44-v.2-Selth.p...
Date of entry/update: 02 January 2015


Title: Burma's police: The long road to reform
Date of publication: 13 December 2012
Description/subject: "...The MPF is gradually being recognised as a large, increasingly powerful and influential organisation that, in a more modern and civilianised form, seems likely to become a key instrument of state control under the mixed civilian-military government inaugurated in Naypyidaw in March 2011. Even before President Thein Sein came to power, an effort was being made to expand the MPF's capabilities, improve its performance and reform its culture. The force is now about 80,000 strong, which gives an estimated ratio of one policeman for every 750 Burmese citizens. (Australia's national average is about 1:350). This includes 18 battalions of paramilitary police, specially equipped to respond to serious outbreaks of civil unrest such as that seen in Arakan (Rakhine) State earlier this year. The MPF is grappling with a wide range of problems, with the aim of creating a more professional force. Loyalty to government is still valued highly, but there is now a greater emphasis in training courses on personal discipline and an increased focus on community policing. Officer recruitment standards have been raised and specialised instruction at all levels has increased. Some steps have been taken to deal with corruption and further measures have been promised..."
Author/creator: Andrew Selth
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Interpreter"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 May 2015


Title: Burma's cheap muscle
Date of publication: 13 March 2009
Description/subject: "Police stations around Burma have a sign at their gates saying, “May I help you”, but for most citizens the hope is not so much for the police to help them as to do them no harm. That the police force in Burma today is both abusive and corrupt is unsurprising given its history and role as an auxiliary agency serving the interests of a parade of military leaders. Nor is it remarkable among countries in Asia, where police in many parts are both feared and despised, or among former British colonies in Africa, like Nigeria and Ghana. But what stands out is the extent to which abusive and corrupt policing has been openly and officially discussed for so long with so little discernible improvement..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 November 2010