Local authorities get a facelift

Security committees will be created for urban areas in Burma as the new government sets about reorganising its local administrative powers.

The traditional Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC), a hallmark of the previous junta, has also been done away with and will be replaced by a new body consisting of one administrator and several staff.

A source close to authorities in Pegu division’s Tharrawaddy township said the TPDC chairman there was re-appointed as the township administrator, while the [former TPDC] secretary has been reassigned to his position in the National Planning Department.

A five-member security committee was also formed, with the township administrator as coordinator. He will oversee the township police commander, township head-judge, township communication director and township information director.

The information director’s job will be to spread government propaganda, the source said, but did not elaborate any further.

Burma’s new government was officially sworn in on 30 March and has quickly set about rebranding much of the administrative landscape. What used to be geographical divisions have been renamed as regions, with quasi-civilian governors assigned to manage governmental affairs.

But critics have consistently claimed that the “new” Burma is little different to the military-ruled pariah that was supposedly brought to an end by elections last November.

Many local authorities, from village to township-level, have merely been given seal and name changes, while key officials remain in charge.