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NEW POLICE REGIMENTS FORMED TO ASSI
Subject: NEW POLICE REGIMENTS FORMED TO ASSIST MI
Media Release - 10/99
February 1, 1999
NEW POLICE REGIMENTS FORMED TO ASSIST MILITARY INTELLIGENCE
The Burmese military junta expanded Burma's police force late
last year to increase its ability to control opposition members.
Five new police regiments were formed, two of which are elite
response units, while the others will maintain security in
designated areas, according to a former police officer.
It is believed that the new regiments have been formed to fill a
gap in the capacity of the army's 28 Military Intelligence units
to adequately monitor opposition activities throughout the
country. The formation of the new police regiments brings the
number of police regiments in Burma to 14.
Since the 1988 popular uprising, priority in policing has been
given to gathering information on the movements of opposition
members. In addition to ordinary police work, the police are
required to cooperate with military intelligence officers in
suppressing the political movement.
Several years ago the junta, in an attempt to present a more
acceptable front, renamed the feared Lon Htein, or "riot police"
forces, as "police regiments". These forces gained notoriety for
their role in suppressing unarmed pro-democracy demonstrators
during and after the 1988 uprising.
Since the renaming they have retained their focus on political
Within a few years of the 1988 uprising, many top police officers
had been replaced by colonels from the Burmese army in what was
considered to be an attempt to bring the police forces under
complete military control.
Under the latest police expansion plan, the police forces are now
considered reserve defense forces. The two elite regiments are
based in Mandalay and Meikhtila, while the three security
regiments are based in Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo), Myingyan, and
Meanwhile, the military regime has ordered Burma's police forces
to recruit up to 1,800 new police cadets from January to April
this year. Officers have been warned that promotions will not be
considered unless the required quotas are filled.
All Burma Students' Democratic Front
For more information please contact 01-654 4984, 01-253 9082