Government to step up security measures at border to avert terrorists

Vice President U Myint Swe addresses the meeting of the central committee for “Taking Care of Foreigner” in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: MNA
Vice President U Myint Swe addresses the meeting of the central committee for “Taking Care of Foreigner” in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: MNA

KAT0016 72Security will be tightened at border checkpoints and in airports to prevent terrorists from entering the country, said Vice President U Myint Swe yesterday.
“Security must be given special care, as terrorist attacks in northern Rakhine State can damage the tourism industry and terrorists can enter the country through border checkpoints,” said U Myint Swe in his opening remarks at the meeting of Foreigners Monitoring and Protection Central Committee.
The 2nd coordination meeting of the Foreigners Monitoring and Protection Central Committee was held to step up measures for security at border points as the situation demands following the terrorist attacks in Maungtaw and Buthidaung in northern Rakhine in August.
The meeting was attended by Union Ministers Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe and U Ohn Maung, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs U Kyaw Tin, Deputy Ministers Maj-Gen Aung Soe, Rear Admiral Myint Nwe, U Kyaw Myo, U Maung Maung Win, U Soe Aung, Deputy Attorney General U Win Myint, Myanmar Police Chief, Permanent Secretaries, heads of departments and officials.
At the meeting, central committee chairman Vice President U Myint Swe said the President’s Office has issued notification 40/2016 dated 26 June 2016 to form a nineteen-member Foreigners Monitoring and Protection Central Committee to prevent foreign visitors from entering Myanmar for various reasons from affecting the security of the nation and to scrutinize and protect them.
The scope of the work involves setting up a work policy of Foreigners Monitoring and Protection Central Committee, forming and assigning duties of work committees for scrutinizing and protecting foreigners, informing work policies to work committees, reporting to the Government the foreigner caring works conducted for protection of foreigners submit to the Government laws and directives drawn up related to foreigners that is appropriate for the time and drawing up appropriate laws and directives related to foreigners and submitting them to the Government, setting up a timetable for coordinating meeting of work committees and exchanging information with I 24-7 Channel in Myanmar Police Force for working and contacting internationally.
Six work committees under the Central Committee are namely the Work Committee to scrutinize and protect international tourists, the Work Committee to scrutinize and protect diplomats, the Work Committee to scrutinize and protect UN and NGOs, the Work Committee to scrutinize and protect foreigners entering with other visas, the Work Committee to approve and issue entry, re-entry and stay permits and the Information Work Committee on scrutinizing and protecting foreigners. In the first coordination meeting of the central committee, 36 decisions were made and work committees are to report the status of implementation.
Yangon International Airport, Mandalay International Airport, Nay Pyi Taw International Airport and Yangon International Port (Thilawa) are designated as four international exit and entry gates. There are 23 other gates that include border gates. In some of those exit and entry gates, entry and exit is permitted with a Border Pass. A Border Pass needs to have an area restriction. Check Gates need to be established and (visitors) must exit from the gate where the entry was made. As dangerous acts can be conducted by going anywhere without exiting from the entry gate, proper instruments need to be installed to prevent the entry of blacklisted persons and terrorists.
In Myanmar, there are re-entry, special and multiple-entry visas, in addition to 12 other types of visas planned to be issued. Visas were permitted according to procedure and the six work committees need to systematically scrutinize those entering with visas. Defence against blacklisted persons and terrorists can only be achieved through proper assessment and scrutiny, the vice president said. —Myanmar News Agency

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