Myanmar's Police Forces: Coercion, Continuity and Change
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Myanmar's police forces have received little attention over the years, but they have always played a critical role in the country's administration and national security. Since the 1962 military coup, the national police force has been overshadowed by the armed forces, but it has continued to evolve and grow. It is now larger and more powerful than at any time in the country's history, and is considered a key instrument of reform and control by the hybrid civilian-military government which was inaugurated in Naypyidaw in March 2011. This article aims to provide an introduction to this neglected subject. It sketches the historical development of the police as an institution from the beginning of the colonial period to the present day. It then outlines the current structure and organization of the Myanmar Police Force (MPF). This is followed by a discussion of eight broad themes that have characterized policing in Myanmar over the past 185 years. Finally, the article looks at some of the challenges facing the MPF and its likely future under the new government.
Contemporary Southeast Asia
© 2012 Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.