Public officials spearhead the civil disobedience movement in Burma



Myanmar's civil servants refuse to work for the military junta as a civil disobedience movement grows stronger


© YE AUNG THU
Myanmar’s civil servants refuse to work for the military junta as a civil disobedience movement grows stronger

In Burma, hospitals are deserted, administrations operate slowly and trains remain parked on the platforms.

Although they can put their lives or wages at risk, many public officials refuse to work for the junta and have joined the growing civil disobedience movement that aims to weaken the generals and paralyze the bureaucracy.

“The military need to show that they know how to govern a country. But if we officials do not work, their project to seize power will fail,” Thida, a university professor who prefers to remain anonymous and who refused to give, told AFP. his classes online, within three weeks of the coup.



Public officials, including railway staff, teachers, doctors and administrators from the Myanmar government are on strike to protest against the military government


© YE AUNG THU
Public officials, including railway staff, teachers, doctors and administrators from the Myanmar government are on strike to protest against the military government

In addition, he joined the national strike launched by health workers, many of whom must go into hiding to avoid arrest.

Offices and companies in the private sector have also been affected by work stoppages, while many bank branches have not been able to open.

The increase in the ranks of officials within the protest was what shook the board, since without them it cannot collect taxes, send electricity bills or organize covid tests; that is to say, everything that implies the operation of the country.



It is unclear how many of Myanmar's public sector workers are on strike, but their absence is beginning to affect the country.


© Sai Aung Main
It is unclear how many of Myanmar’s public sector workers are on strike, but their absence is beginning to affect the country.

The possibility of a financial crisis looms, due to the pandemic and the decline in foreign investment.

It is difficult to establish how many civil servants, out of the million that Burma has, are on strike.

– A third of hospitals do not work –

According to an investigation, 24 ministries are affected and the UN-appointed rapporteur for Burma estimates that three-quarters of civil servants have stopped working.



In Myanmar, workers participating in strikes have received threats if they refuse to return to their jobs.


© STR
In Myanmar, workers participating in strikes have received threats if they refuse to return to their jobs.

His absence begins to impact the regime.

About a third of the country’s hospitals are not working, Min Aung Hlaing, the author of the coup and head of the junta, said this week.

He also criticized the lack of professionalism of health workers and teachers and hinted that those who have not joined the strike will get a bonus, according to statements published Tuesday in state media.

According to a doctor consulted by AFP, the lack of personnel has forced his hospital to reject new patients.

And specialized medical teams have been trained to attend to protesters who have been hit by bullets, both rubber and real.

According to local media, across the country, office workers, executives and truck drivers have been fired for participating in the movement.

“The army did not foresee that a large part of the public function would withdraw and leave them without a state apparatus,” an analyst who asked to remain anonymous for fear of possible reprisals told AFP.

– Crucial moment for the meeting –

Friday will be a crucial moment for the council of the state administration (official name of the board) as it is payday, the first since the coup, for many Burmese, mainly for all civil servants.

The Economic Bank of Burma (MEB), which is responsible for paying civil service salaries and pensions, has been hampered by strikes, but state media confirmed that the salaries will be paid, contrary to “rumors without foundation “that have circulated.

An example of the tense atmosphere in Burma is reflected in the increase in threats of legal proceedings that the strikers have received, in the event that they refuse to return to work. Like the numerous nightly arrests among participants in the civil disobedience movement.

A telephone line allows you to report strikers.

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