Two high-ranking police officers in Mandalay join CDM

Two senior police officers serving as station chiefs in Mandalay have resigned from their positions to become the latest to join the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) against military rule.

Lt-Maj Tun Tun Win, the chief of the No. 5 police station in Aungmyethazan township, quit on Sunday, while Capt Kyaw Kyaw Oo, the chief of the No. 3 police station in Chanayethazan township, joined the movement on Tuesday.

In letters to their supervising officers that they also shared on social media, both men declared that they had joined the CDM because of the unjust and unlawful actions of the new regime.

“I no longer want to serve the dictators who seized power unlawfully, and I have no strength to continue living under the shadow of an unjust regime,” Tun Tun Win wrote in his letter to his superior officer.

“I just want to be the people’s police, so I have joined the CDM to stand with the people to eradicate the dictatorship,” he said, urging his fellow officers to join the movement.

In his letter, Kyaw Kyaw Oo said he had served faithfully in the police force for more than 26 years, taking only five days leave during this entire time. He added, however, that he could no longer stand to serve under the current regime.

Myanmar Now attempted to contact the pair for comment, but has yet to receive a response.

However, Pol Lt-Maj Myo Min Latt, a police officer from Aungmyethazan township, confirmed that Tun Tun Win has not reported to work since Sunday.

“Since then, we have been unable to contact him,” he said.

Mandalay was the scene of a deadly crackdown by police and soldiers on February 20, when two people were killed by a combined force sent to break up protests at the Yadanarbon shipyard.

Police were also involved in a shooting incident at a residential compound for Myanmar Railways workers in Mandalay two days earlier and also injured at least three when they used force against protesters in downtown Mandalay on February 15.

All of this has made some wonder if the latest defections are genuine.

“They have already taken part in the brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters. For that reason, we have no special sympathy for them, even though they have joined the CDM,” said Pan Nu, a teacher from a private high school in Mandalay.

“I think it could even be a trick,” she added.

However, former MP Dr Khun Kyaw Oo said that it was never too late for government employees to do the right thing and side with the people against the junta.

“True or not, we should look at this optimistically,” he said.

“We know that other police have joined the CDM without coming out publicly, so this is something we should welcome,” he added.

A number of police officers have resigned since the military seized power on February 1, including a Special Branch major who joined the CDM on Sunday.

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