Interviewer: Mone Muyar Moe
Here are the voices of civil servants and people from my interview, who are facing difficulties due to the Civil Service Movement (CDM).
Civil Servant Daw Win (not her real name)
I had never thought that I would have to go to the office with difficulties and work stealthily like this. I believed that being a public servant is doing a righteous job. We are not stealing from others or we are not doing the business in the wrong ways. I have been working as a civil servant for over 20 years with a small amount of salary but with dignity. The current situation is that I have to go to work stealthily and when I arrive there, I can’t get inside the office from the front door. It has been quite a while that I didn’t take the lunch box to work. When I go back home, I have to look out to get out of the office. Because I am scared I would be in danger. I used to stay late at work but I don’t dare to do so. I because there is various news outside saying to drag the staff who don’t join CDM or to protest in front of offices that don’t join CDM. The more I heard this news, the more scared I am. However, I do go to work.
Civil Servant Ma Eaint Nge (not her real name)
I am really disturbed by the threatening posts on social media to those who don’t join CDM. I am not interested in joining CDM. Sometimes I even want to quit my job because of stress. We have to rely on salary for living, therefore, I expect to get paid my salary. I neither want to involve in politics nor understand it.
The situation outside is that staff who don’t join CDM are being treated as an enemy. Besides, we are also scared of being in a riot on the way. We are indeed stressed. I have some friends who join CDM, and staying among them makes me uncomfortable. I don’t want to blame them. Truth to be told, I want only peace.
Ma Zin Mar Win from Sagaing Region (not her real name)
When I went to the bank to transfer the salary for staff, the bank manager said the staff of the bank were participating in the CDM movement and couldn’t reach them. He said the staff locked their computer with passwords, transferring or withdrawing money can’t be done.
The Yangon Head office transferred money on 24 February and the money couldn’t be withdrawn till 25 February. So, I went again on the 26, but couldn’t withdraw. Therefore, I notified the situation to head office and they were also worried as it is the salary for staff. We were in trouble as we couldn’t withdraw money from the bank. The next day, I went again but the person who was responsible for the money withdrawal had gone and I had to return home and finally on 3 March, I could withdraw the money.
The situation is that we are being treated as the enemy if we don’t join CDM. The worst thing is that some people are bullying staff who don’t join CDM on social media with their photos and we don’t feel safe day after day. I chose to be a civil servant although the salary is not attractive because I want to work peacefully and stably.
There were only 8 or 9 staff who were still left in the bank. I really thank them as they didn’t join CDM. If not, I don’t think I can pay for my staff. I appreciate them as they work thoroughly although they were tired.
Civil Servant senior clerk Daw Mary Cho (not her real name)
By the time we all were worried because an official from the department was COVID-19 positive, voices shouting to stop working was really annoying. They don’t think about what we are going through, they are just asking what they want and taking photos and it’s really irritating. We just heard rumours to close offices and markets from 8 March to 10 March. We have no idea what we will have to go through. We just want to work peacefully. We have never thought of what others are accusing. The situation is that we are being treated as the enemy if we don’t join CDM. The worst thing is that some people are bullying staff who don’t join CDM on social media with their photos and we don’t feel safe day after day. I chose to be a civil servant although the salary is not attractive because I want to work peacefully and stably.
U Win Zaw (not his real name)
I think public service departments shouldn’t be forced to join CDM. For example, the Municipal department is responsible to clean garbage every day; providing water and even cremation. There are of course many other departments including the Healthcare Department. If staff from those essential departments join CDM, it is very likely for the public to face difficulties. Actually, it is better if a civil servant chooses to join CDM with his own conscious decision rather than being forced to do so.