New Delhi: The military junta is stepping on the gas in preparation for the ensuing referendum to have people approve the draft constitution. The authorities in Rangoon's suburbs has been recruiting more members into its puppet organization the Swan Arrshin and imparting anti anti-riot training to them.
The anti-riot training programme was organized by the authorities after the Chairmen of the Township Peace and Development Council in Dagon Myothit North and South of Rangoon suburbs instructed members of Swan Arrshin, Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) and reserve fire fighters to gear up and remain alert for the referendum on May 10.
"Baton charge and small arms training are being imparted to Swan Arrshin and fire brigade members at the Kyaikkasan ground over the last three days," an eyewitness said.
The authorities selected 15 people from each ward to be trained as Special Swan Arrshin. They have been given blue uniforms and will be made to go through a special course again, local residents said.
However, details of the trainings are still not known.
"We have heard that the training is all about how to tackle and beat up the crowds and how to apprehend them and put them onto trucks. The training was imparted at the North Dagon Myothit Town Hall and South Dagon Town Hall. Most of the trainees are local officials from each ward, Red Cross and Fire Brigade members," a local resident from South Dagon Myothit said.
The local authorities pick up these special trainees of each ward from their homes at about 6 in the morning in Toyota Dyna pick-up light trucks and deployed about 20 of them at each key and crowded places such as South Okkalapa Sanpya market, Yankin Centre and Yankin Teachers' Training School. They were picked up again at 6 in the evening.
The special Swan Arrshin groups are equipped with walkie-talkies and a policeman is attached to each group. The authorities mobilised them by promising to give them Kyat 25,000 each. These paid thugs were recruited by the junta and used in crushing the monk led August-September demonstrations in Burma last year.