18th February 2021
Differences in reporting are evident. In New Zealand, the MSM is reporting the CDM (Civil Disobedience Movement) as being loosely organised. Well, that is true, but it gives the impression that it is uncoordinated and rudderless which isn’t the case. The CDM “leaders” and motivators have been in contact with the resistance movement in Hong Kong and taken advice on how to hide the leadership and how to organise and carry out protests without the military being able to trace them.
Looting is now occurring in Myanmar but the looting is not from whom you would expect!
It was a motorcycle repair shop in Nay Pyi Daw and the police cleaned it out.
There have been fewer reports of violence from the authorities, except in Myitkyina in the far north. The demonstrations have still been going on, but both sides seem to be having a breather. The military are concentrating on Myitkyina because it is harder to get communications from there to the outside world. They can also test new control techniques away from the glare of Yangon.
The CDM is beginning to have an impact on the economy and it is beginning to bite.
Operations at many government departments in Myanmar all but halted this week as staff refused to work for the military regime, which early this month seized power from Myanmar’s democratically elected government.
Many hospitals, banks, municipal departments and other government offices have been deserted as their employees have joined the growing Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), staying at home or urging other civil servants to join the movement by taking part in anti-coup protests.
In Yangon on Tuesday, township General Administration Department offices and a few government-run banks were found to be open. But the banks had to struggle with a very small number of staff.
A director of a township labor department told The Irrawaddy that some labor departments are closed because staff have been on strike against military rule.
Many protesters have opted to join the CDM since ousted leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi urged people to resist the coup.
It was initiated by medical staff at government hospitals, and others followed suit.
The impact of the medics’ CDM was so huge that coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing himself urged them to go back to work. Undermanned government hospitals have been turning away new admissions, and some have closed.
Nearly 500 staff including at the director level under the ministries of Commerce, Electricity and Energy, Transport and Communications, and Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, joined the CDM in Naypyitaw last week.
Since Monday, public support for the CDM has intensified. People have staged sit-ins in front of government offices, calling on their workers to join them.
An official from state-owned Myanmar Economic Bank in Yangon’s Insein Township told The Irrawaddy that his bank was struggling to maintain operations after 30 staff went on strike against military rule. Hundreds of demonstrators outside called on the staff inside to take part in the CDM.
The Government Office complex in Insein Township, which is normally crowded during office hours, was deserted when The Irrawaddy visited it.
Another government sector hard hit by the CDM is transportation. Staff from Myanmar Railways (MR) in Yangon and Mandalay have proven to be second only to the medics in their participation, with 99 percent of railway employees on strike, according to an official from MR.
U Myo Myint Saw, who is in charge of the mechanical department at the Insein Locomotive Shed, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that all 245 staff at the shed joined the CDM last week. As result, the circular rail service, one of the transportation lifelines for many Yangon residents, has been halted, he said.
“Nearly all MR staff are in the CDM,” he said.
He admitted that there had been some pressure from upstairs, including threats that workers would be “kicked out of their staff quarters” if they didn’t to go back to work.
U Myo Myint Saw said staff at the shed were still resistant because they simply didn’t want to work under the military regime.
“We will be paid the same as under the NLD government. But we don’t like the military dictatorship. That’s why we are all in the movement to bring back the good system [a democratically elected government],” he explained while calling on staff at other ministries to join the movement.
However, regime spokesperson Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun told the media at the regime’s first post-coup press conference on Tuesday that “the government mechanism is functioning well,” as there were some dutiful civil servants at work, while issuing warnings to those in the movement.
“We are giving them some time to go back to work. If they fail, there will be unavoidable legal action against them,” he said.
Contrary to the spokesperson’s claim, U Tun Htet Naing, a deputy staff officer at the Rural Development Department in Natogyi Township, Mandalay Region, said nearly 200 of the department’s more than 300 staff in Mandalay have joined the CDM.
He said his township office had not been operating since Feb. 8, as more than half of his 13-strong staff, including himself, had been on strike since then.
The official said he simply joined the CDM as he didn’t want a dictatorial government and he would stay in the movement till the elected government comes back.
Asked whether he feared retribution for his activism, he said:
“I joined because I am not afraid of being fired. I don’t mind if I’m sacked, but I can’t work for the dictator.”Source The Irrawaddy 16th February 2021
With the bank staff joining the CDM and the Central Bank joining the CDM the economy is going into rapid decline. The main bank owned by the military the Myawaddy Bank is enduring a run on its funds whilst the management are restricting withdrawals and the military are scrambling to refinance the bank to improve its liquidity and stop it failing.
I am going to have to be a little careful on future reports as two of my friends are missing, whether detained or hiding I’m not sure and Professor Sean Turnell is still in detention somewhere.
Tomorrow will be interesting as in a new direction, the protestors have hacked into government and military information websites and inserting the 3 fingered message and other comments. This has not gone down well with the military and we will see what their response is in the morning.
News Flash – there have been major quality issues with the shoelaces in Myanmar. Many people reported that laces have come undone, often in the middle of the road when crossing, and in the interest of health and safety have had to stop, bend down, and retie them. This is causing severe disruption to traffic flows.
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