Feb. 21 - A team of experienced European Union police officers assist police in Myanmar in crowd control management. Sarah Toms reports.
Police in Myanmar raise their riot shields to fend off a hail of plastic bottles from seemingly angry demonstrators. But these clashes are just an exercise in crowd control with the help of European trainers. The European Union hopes this training will help to modernise the Myanmar police force...and also shed its hardline image after decades of harsh military rule. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN UNION AMBASSADOR TO MYANMAR, ROLAND KOBIA, SAYING: "In doing so, we have tried to work in very good collaboration to give the over-all rationale of their work which should be the protection of Human Rights, the protection of fundamental freedoms of the citizens of this country." And it seems to be working. (SOUNDBITE) (Burmese) POLICE BRIG. GENERAL, THURA BO NI, SAYING: "Let me conclude by saying that if we continue this course, we could create a modern Myanmar Police Force which could be reliable in very near future." The programme aims to train a total of 4,000 police over the next year. It was introduced after a series of crackdowns and religious unrest drew criticism that local police had not reformed in line with the country's political changes.