Riot control directive issued to local authorities

Sep 8, 2008 (DVB), Local authorities in Myin Chan township, Mandalay division, have been given training and directions for dealing with demonstrators, according to a source close to the township Peace and Development Council office.

The instructions were reportedly issued from Naypyidaw amid fears of renewed public demonstrations on the anniversary of last year’s Saffron Revolution.

The source, who did not wish to be identified, said the Myin Chan PDC office had received a letter from government leaders in Naypyidaw last Monday which instructed local authorities to use a three-stage method in dealing with protesters.

"For the first step, the local authorities should negotiate with the protesters to get them to stop their demonstration," said the source.

"If they refuse to stop, the second stage is to shoot them in the legs," he said.

"And if the protesters still don’t back off after the second stage response, they will be shot dead according to the third stage set out in the instruction letter."

He said the letter also directed authorities to transfer any protesters who they were able to detain to Mandalay’s Home Affairs department.

On Wednesday, two days after the township PDC office received the instructions, local police, USDA members and Swan Arr Shin members in Myin Chan were seen being given riot training at the township’s police academy.

Security is currently tight in Myin Chan, with uniformed and plain-clothes government officials at every intersection conducting random vehicle searches.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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