Myanmar to introduce mandatory military service

Fri, 07 Jan 2011 19: 28:00 + 0900 (JST)

Myanmar's military government will introduce a draft for men and women aged 18 and older.

NHK has obtained official documents issued by Myanmar's military government. The documents show that legislation for mandatory military service was enacted on December 17th.

Men aged between 18 and 45, and women aged between 18 and 35 will be drafted into the army for two to three years.

The government requires all people of eligible age, except the physically challenged, to register with local authorities.

Those who fail to register or try to evade the draft face imprisonment of up to five years.

Following last November's general election, the country's first in 20 years, a new parliament is expected to convene as early as the end of January, and establish, in appearance, a civil government.

Analysts say the move indicates the military government's effort to maintain its influence by familiarizing people with the military.

The last-minute decision to introduce the draft system before the new government's inauguration is likely to stir protests from the public.

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