Military council tries to replace striking internal revenue staff with relatives of junta personnel

The military council is trying to fill 200 positions in the country’s internal revenue department by seeking out family members of police officers and military personnel. 

The vacancies are due to the general strike carried out by civil servants in accordance with the anti-coup Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), which aims to topple the coup regime. 

State-run newspapers announced on Tuesday that they were accepting open applications for the assistant supervisor positions within the department—which is under the Ministry of Planning and Finance—at the headquarters in Naypyitaw and in the tax offices in Yangon. 

However, an internal letter seen by Myanmar Now revealed that the department office sent orders to tax office staff to spread the word about the vacancies so that adult children of non-striking employees, police officers and military personnel could apply. 

The move indicates that the coup regime is finding it difficult to replace the positions left empty by the striking civil servants. 

“They’re replacing the staff members taking part in the CDM with the families of police and military personnel. They’re not going to let outsiders in,” said a staff member from the department who is on strike. 

An assistant supervisor participating in the CDM told Myanmar Now that many of the higher positions within the department had already been replaced by military officers transferred to desk duty, typically for health reasons. 

“There were also threats that they would be replacing us with military families if we took part in the CDM. They might also be using this as an incentive for military and police personnel,” the assistant supervisor said, adding, “They’re trying to create an entire social class made up of themselves.”

An estimated 1,000 members of the internal revenue department originally took part in the CDM following the February 1 coup. Many are assistant supervisors, both striking staff members told Myanmar Now. 

“These are positions only experts would be able to do. I suspect the families of the military and the police could not do it,” said the first CDM staff member. “I see this move as an attempt to get the support of military families. I’m worried about the country’s future if they’re going to replace the vacant positions with corrupt personnel.”

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