Security to be tightened in Thingyan

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Police officers dutifully stand watch as civilians celebrate Thingyan Festival. Photo: MNA

Yangon Region’s Minister for Security and Border Affairs Colonel Tin Aung Tun said about 8,000 personnel will be deployed during the Thingyan Festival so that citizens can safely enjoy the festivities.
“Security efforts doesn’t mean catching civilians and throwing them in jail. We’re trying to prevent occurrence of major problems. Like last year, we will continue to sober up heavily drunken people and send them back home. However if the situation were to escalate we will have to proceed according to the law”, Colonel Tin Aung Tun said.
On Wednesday, a meeting was held at Yangon Region’s Police Force Office to discuss plans and procedures for preventing crimes and security measures during the Thingyan Festival.
It is reported that 5,000 Yangon Region police officers, 1,000 traffic police, 1,000 firefighters, and other officers from various departments such as the Red Cross contribute to the total of 8,000 officers who will be on duty during this year’s Thingyan.
“No closed rooms or liquor bars will be allowed on the pandels. We will also raise enforcement on handheld weapons like knives and sticks,” said head of Yangon Region Police Brig-Gen Win Naing.
Yangon Region Police Force Command officers will be on standby in various areas as well as in patrol vehicles. Security cameras will be set up in crowded areas.
Yangon Region Police Force Head Office’s First Rank Police Lt-Col Myint Htwe says, “We will be deploying 60 per cent of our forces this year in Thingyan, but if the situation were to become dangerous we will collaborate with our reserve forces as well as with the Criminal Investigation Department and the Special Intelligence Department.”
There are reported to be 22 large pandels, 10 medium sized pandels, 27 small pandels, a total of 59 pandels will take part in this year’s Thingyan.
“The main priority is setting up security cameras for safety on the water stages.
We will have to make inspections on whether they were installed on time or not. We will learn from the shortcomings of the past and turn it into our strength,” said Police Lt-Col Myint Htwe.
There will also be security measures in place in popular resting places like Kandawgyi, Inya Lake, Thardu Lake, Hlawga Natural reserve, as well as famous pagodas.
Regional courts in Yangon will be opened daily during Thingyan too, enabling swift action of cases and complaints.
The Myanmar Police Force has also issued lists of rules and facts for drivers and civilians to adhere to for possible crime prevention.
Field inspections of more than 7,000 pharmacies for psychotropic substances and aphrodisiacs have been carried out with public lectures on drugs also delivered. The Yangon Region Police Force carried out operation “Soon Ye” starting from March 1 until April 30, covering the periods of entrance exams, by-elections, and Thingyan, by conducting vehicle inspections. This had yielded apprehension of 214 absconder and pre-emptive arrests of 4,952 cases.
During last year’s Thingyan Festival that was held from 12 April to 16 April, the Yangon Region there were 80 cases that included one death and 24 injuries. — Myanmar News Agency

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