No more law enforcement in urban areas and killings in the rural regions

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – October 13 Scenes
MoeMaKa, October 14 2022

No more law enforcement in urban areas and killings in the rural regions

When I read the news tonight, it was reported that a young man who was delivering goods on a bicycle in Hlaingtharyar Township, Yangon, was stabbed to death by 3 men and then, they took his phone and money. Another piece of news was that when a thief broke into a house early in the morning in Pyin Oo Lwin, the house owner’s family woke up. Then, the housewife was killed, and her son and daughter were also injured when they tried to resist and arrest the thief.


In some towns and villages, the conditions of security and law enforcement have gradually deteriorated. The armed military council troops are looting valuable things and destroying food while residents flee from their homes for fear of attacks, arson, shootings, arrests and danger to their lives. There are also many crimes committed due to the deterioration of law enforcement.


Although it is said that a human’s life is the most important thing, for those who remain without dying and have nothing left to eat, live, and wear, they could argued they are better to die than left for suffering alive. In Sagaing Division, Northern Magway Division, Kayah State and Karen State, people are losing their lives and properties due to wars, and also, in other cities, including Yangon, we are seeing the deterioration of law enforcement every day.


Recently, a PDF force arrested 2 people who were a yard guard and a driver for a criminal gang in Monywa city, and a video file interviewing them was spread on social media. In the video, they answered how the gang they participated in committed the phone shop robbery and game centre robberies that occurred in Monywa city.


They said that the gang lived in a neighborhood of Monywa city and had some connections with the regional police. By looking at this, it can be assumed that the police are no longer doing law enforcement, and most of the cases of illegal robbery are ignored and taken a share as bribery.


As the police are arresting, interrogating and torturing political opponents along with the military council, PDF forces are killing the police, bombing the police stations, and shooting at police outposts. Then, the police seem to allow and ignore robberies and thefts to happen and they are no longer enforcing the law.


As thefts and burglaries are happening everywhere at night, some townships and wards in Yangon have been calling for their neighbors with a person from each house to take their turns keeping watch. Stealing bicycles and water motors after breaking the locks of the stairs in the neighborhoods is becoming a common occurrence and, killing when the house owner finds out about the burglary, happens almost every day. So some neighborhoods have started to keep watch on their own.

When both sides were at war, when the administrative authorities retreated from the areas that were in intense fightings, there were incidents of criminals and bandits robbing people with weapons, killing and looting that were like those days in Myanmar during the outbreak of World War II. During this time, there was also an historic incident where the robbers killed the contemporary writer, Theikpan Maung Wa.

The current situation is that armed conflict, which can be called a civil war, is taking place in one form in the villages and another in the cities, and it is becoming a situation where law enforcement no longer exists.

An important question is how to maintain law and order in regions where the military council’s administration has retreated. Not only armed organizations are responsible, but political organizations will also need to take the lead in this matter of law enforcement. I think it will be necessary for organizations that can lead the public politically to establish methods and campaigns rather than letting the public trying to protect their homes individually and with their bare hands.

When this state of lawlessness lasts for months or even years, we should also imagine that some people may be disappointed in the revolution against the military dictatorship.

The meaning of leading politically is also the meaning of leading and giving guidance on how to collectively protect the public from the problem of bullying, killing, and looting that the public is facing.

There may be some kind of excuse that everything can be rebuilt after the war is over and victory is achieved, and that these lawless things do not matter at this moment. I would like to say that it is just mere excuse  without considering public lives and without taking responsibility.