As we speak, Burma has more than 400,000 soldiers, one of the strongest armies in the world. Burma’s regime allocates 40-60% of its national budget towards the military, while spending 1% in total on both education and healthcare. Now, with the new military government in place under the guise of civilian rule, forced conscription for young men and women across the nation is about to begin.
According to this law, which has yet to be proclaimed and introduced by the new military government, men from the age of 18 to 45 and women from the age of 18 to 35 must enroll for the military service for two years. The service time can be extended to five years when the country’s security levels are elevated to state of emergencies.
This recent news of forced conscription in Burma has evidently raised alarms among the general public. In a recent interview conducted by The Irrawaddy news agency, around 90% were opposed to these new mandatory conditions. Many parents are palpably concerned about the future and welfare of their children as many of them are weary of the role and reputation of the military in the country.
The law also stipulates that those who evades conscription will face 3 years of imprisonment, a fine, or both. A person may face up to 5 years of prison term if found by the state of self-inflicted injuries in order to circumvent the military conscription.