Dozens of junta-appointed administrators resign after threats from resistance fighters 

Scores of local administrators across the country have left their posts in recent weeks after the underground National Unity Government (NUG) demanded they quit and resistance fighters threatened more assassinations of those who continue to serve the coup regime. 

At least 152 local administrators in Yangon, Sagaing, and Magway regions have stepped down since the NUG issued the demand as part of its September 7 declaration of war against the junta. Many who quit cited health, family and security concerns in their resignation letters.

Those who stepped down are based in Katha, Htigyaing and Chaung-U townships in Sagaing, Yesagyo in Magway, and Khayan and Mingaladon in Yangon.

In Yesagyo in particular, 44 administrators quit between mid-September and October 6. 

Locals have speculated that a statement issued by the anti-junta People’s Defence Force (PDF) in the township warning administrators to resign by September 30 likely prompted the mass walkout. 

The day after the PDF’s deadline, San Lin, the administrator for Thazi village, was shot dead. 

He had previously used a megaphone to announce to the village that he was “not afraid of anyone” and would continue to serve as the local administrator “no matter what.” 

The Yesagyo PDF claimed responsibility for his assassination later that day. 

An information officer for the anti-coup People’s Administrative Team in the township told Myanmar Now that the majority of the local junta-assigned administrators in his area were acting as military informants and lacked real authority. 

“Their only purpose was to inform the military about the civil servants participating in the CDM [Civil Disobedience Movement], and activists and strike leaders so that they could arrest them,” he said.  

Of the 44 administrators who resigned in Yesagyo, eight were from urban wards and 36 were from the township’s 81 villages. Some 20 more fled their posts earlier without officially resigning, and the remaining administrators had taken refuge in area military bases, the information officer said, rendering the junta’s governance mechanism in the township useless. 

Shortly after seizing power in Myanmar’s February 1 coup, the military council removed large numbers of local administrators elected under the ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) government and replaced them with figures sympathetic to the junta. 

Elected administrators protest in May against the military in Monywa, where the Sagaing Region administrative office is located (Htet Phyo)

In Htigyaing Township, around 30 local administrators resigned after their local PDF also warned them to do so by September 30 or risk being targeted in anti-junta attacks. 

“It is safe to assume that the junta’s government mechanism has come to a halt after the administrator of Ward No. 1 was assassinated and those from the urban wards 2, 3, 4 and 5 resigned, along with those in rural areas,” a Htigyaing source close to the local PDF chapter said. 

Two police outposts in Htigyaing were torched earlier this month, presumably by anti-junta armed resistance forces, and suspected military informants were assassinated in the township in late September. 

At least 23 have resigned in Chaung-U, according to media reports.

Meanwhile, 12 village administrators in Katha Township, bordering Kachin State, resigned simultaneously on October 4, ahead of an October 10 deadline issued by the local PDF. A joint letter signed by the administrators was shared widely online. 

“It has become hard for us to continue the management procedures since all the village representatives and 100-household administrators have quit, and there is no personal security,” the statement said.

Similarly, a source close to the local PDF in Yangon’s Khayan Township also said that a total of 20 administrators had submitted their resignation letters, citing the “security of their families” as their reason for leaving. 

“We have warned the administrators of the entire township that if they choose to be the public enemy, they will get what the people think they deserve,” a leader of the PDF-Khayan told Myanmar Now.

Of the 20 administrators who quit their posts in Khayan, 13 are from the township’s urban wards and seven are from the 56 rural positions. 

This is the first time there has been a mass resignation from the township’s administration. 

The PDF-Khayan leader said that his group would be watching the administrators to see if they had actually quit or if they were attempting to collaborate with the junta covertly. 

“We are now closely monitoring the administrators who resigned. They will need to be completely transparent to the people and quit for good. They still could be contacting the military council in secret,” the leader said. 

At least three administrators have resigned from their posts in Yangon’s Mingaladon.

Assassinations of administrators have been occurring almost daily, with 102 township, village or ward administrators killed since the coup, according to a military council figure shared during a meeting with international envoys on September 9. 

One of the military’s only other mentions of the assassinations was a statement in June where they gave cash handouts of 500,000 kyat (US$254) as compensation to some of the families of administrators who had been killed in Yangon Region. 

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