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July 23, 2019

Ministry of Home Affairs: Ensuring national security, strengthening law enforcement, maintaining community peace and tranquillity and providing social services for the people

“The real-time command centres were established with hot lines, CCTVs and related accessories at Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon Region and Mandalay Region to prevent and respond quickly to crimes. Personnel were on duty round the clock to respond to information provided by the people.”

U Khaing Tun Oo, Acting Permanent Secretary

  • By Min Min Zaw (MNA)
    Photos : Maung Pho Zaw
Acting Permanent Secretary
U Khaing Tun Oo.

During the government’s three years of reform processes Ministry of Home Affairs was implementing the four aims of ensuring national security, strengthening law enforcement, maintaining community peace and tranquillity and carrying out social services for the public.
Acting Permanent Secretary U Khaing Tun Oo said General Administration Department of the ministry was transferred to Ministry of Office of the Union Government on 28 December 2018 and the ministry was now implementing its aims with Union Minister’s Office, Myanmar Police Force, Bureau of Special Investigation, Correctional Department and Fire Services Department.
In line with the changing times and conditions, Myanmar Police Force was amending the laws to protect the people. New police stations and posts were established while old ones were expanded and upgraded. Arrangements were made to prevent crimes and respond quickly if any occurs. It had also cooperated with International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and conducted works to eradicate drugs and prevent human trafficking.

File photo shows police members, firefighters and local residents rescued flood victims.

Of the 22 laws with which Myanmar Police Force was carrying out its functions 1 was amended, 2 was repealed and new laws enacted in its place, 8 were being readied to be repealed while new laws were drawn up, 1 was being amended, 1 was being readied to be amended and 2 new laws were drawn up, said U Khaing Tun Oo.
Two district police stations, 17 area police stations and six police posts were newly formed. Reforms were conducted in police stations so that all were in accord with human rights norms and instructions issued to interrogate suspects according to law without mistreatment or torture. Failure to follow these instructions would result in action taken according to police regulations.
For security along Myanmar-Bangladesh border, 26 flag meetings between the border forces were held. From 2016 to 2019 Border Guard Police (BGP) and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) conducted a total of 216 coordinated land patrols and 61 coordinated naval patrols.

Myanmar Police members donate blood at a hospital.

The real-time command centres were established with hot lines, CCTV and related accessories at Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon Region and Mandalay Region to prevent and respond quickly to crimes. Personnel were on duty round the clock to respond to information provided by the people. In order to conduct crime investigation scientifically a new DNA Department was formed on 30 January 2018. Crime prevention strategy was drawn up and implemented. A national strategy on combating money laundering and terrorism financing was also drafted.
INTERPOL, ASEANPOL, Europol and country wise police forces were contacted and cooperated on cross border crimes, environmental crimes, human trafficking and other crimes. Myanmar-Bangladesh border liaison office (BLO) and Myanmar-China border liaison office was opened and arrangements were underway to open a total of 11 BLOs.
The Law on 1993 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances was amended on 14 February 2018 to be in line with international norms. Drug eradication programs were drawn up and eradication works on opium and drug were conducted. Opium fields were destroyed. Due to planting of replacement crops for opium and conservation of forests, opium planting decline 9.1% in 2018.
During the three year period 11 programs were drawn up and implemented in states and regions resulting in opening of 2,383 cases and 3,339 arrests.
Effective actions were taken to prevent human trafficking. 510 cases were opened, 1,458 human traffickers arrested and 889 trafficked victims rescued.
The major tasks of Bureau of Special Investigation (BSI) are exposing economic crimes, corruption of government servants, collecting information on national security and conducting works beneficial to the people. These were implemented through assessments, investigations, providing legal advices, opening court cases, collecting news and information and cooperating in security works. Throughout the three year period BSI investigated a total of 528 cases related to economic crimes and corruption of government servants. The cases were assigned to BSI by Ministry of Home Affairs and Central Control Board on Money Laundering and BSI also participated as a member in investigation teams formed by State and Region governments. The cases investigated include 136 related to economic crimes and 159 cases related to public servants breaking laws, rules and procedures, said the acting Permanent Secretary.
Correctional Department legally and safely detain prisoners serving sentences for various reasons. It is department that changes and improves the morals and characters of the prisoners, providing them with vocational training and other arrangements to support their return back to the society after serving their sentences.
During the government’s three year reform period prisons and detentions centres were expanded, food allowance appropriate for the time were provided, health information and other information provided, support provided to continue their education while serving sentences and allowance provided to released prisoners to cover their return journey to their respective homes.
In addition to working toward changing and improving of the moral and characters of the prisoners and detainees, provide vocational training and support their return back to society, the department had conducted reforms that were in line with international human rights norms. To reduce space limitations for prisoners and detainees, 2 more prisons and 2 more detention centres were constructed during the three year period. 3 prisons and a detention centre were expanded.
Food allowances for prisoners and detainees were increased to K 975 and K 1,000 per day respectively. Travel allowance of K 35 per mile and a food allowance of K 1,000 per day were provided to those who had served their sentences and were released. 50-bed hospitals were constructed at central jails such as Insein, Mandalay and Tharawady while a TB ward was constructed in Insein. All were to treat the prisoners. Treatment in the prison hospitals and clinics were provided by department’s in-house physicians while specialists from People’s Hospitals were also occasionally invited to provide treatments. Health knowledge and information were also provided to the prisoners in cooperation with outside physicians, specialists and international organizations.

Inmates attend the short training course at the Pathein Correctional Center.

As for continuing the prisoner’s formal education, in education year 2015-2016, 19 prisoner candidates sits for matriculation examination out of which 11 passed. Among those were 2 that passed with one distinction each. In academic year 2016-2017, 16 out of 41 who sit passed out of which there were one who passed with three distinctions and 5 who passed with one distinction. In academic year 2017-2018, 46 out of 104 who sits passed out of which there were five who passed with three distinctions and 5 who passed with two distinctions and 18 who passed with one distinction. A total of 171 sit in this education year 2018-2019.
In pursuing distance university education, there was one attending first year course during academic year 2016-2017. There were 9 attending first year of the course, 3 attending second year of the course and one attending third year of the course during academic year 2017-2018. In academic year 2018-2019 there were 15 attending first year of the course, 8 attending second year of the course, 4 attending third year of the course and 1 attending fourth year of the course, said U Khaing Tun Oo.
Fire Services Department is taking measures to guard lives and properties against fire and natural disasters, participate in rescue work in time of emergency and conduct works that benefit the people.
Fire Services Department was upgraded to be in line with times and conditions so that search and rescue works can be conducted when natural and other disasters occur. The capacity of the Fire Services Department personnel and volunteers were upgraded by sending them to fire and natural disaster courses locally as well as internationally. They were also sent to management and management support courses, technical courses and ICT courses.
Fire Services Department was conducting fire safety and natural disaster mitigation works and during the three year period it had provided inspection and consultancy services on 6,831 high rise buildings. It was able to earn more than K 13 million inspection and consultancy fees.
Under the Official Development Assistance (ODA) program of European Union and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), modern fire fighting vehicles, search and rescue vehicles and support vehicles totalling 75 with accessories were bought to upgrade the department while department personnel were also sent to attend training courses at Poland fire fighting university.
During the three year period there were 4,985 search and rescue works in incidents of natural disasters that resulted in 1,765 deaths and 7,361 injured. A total of 121,329 houses were destroyed and assistances were provided to 303,763 persons, said U Khaing Tun Oo. With the aim to benefit the people Ministry of Home Affairs will be implementing its duties and responsibilities according to prevailing laws and rules.
(Translated by Handytips)

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