An amateur video has emerged showing traffic police in Rangoon, flagging down buses on a busy street and pocketing bribe after bribe. While this is a common enough scene, what’s not common is to see it on video ! Many Burmese Facebook users congratulated whoever filmed this video, calling them quite brave to dare film the police.

Increasingly, though, people are finding the courage to point out cases of corruption. The new government has a lot to do with this. It has loosened restrictions on the media, so privately-owned newspapers are now starting to report on corruption much more aggressively. (Editor’s Note: The state-owned newspapers remain mouthpieces for the government.) Of course, they’re focusing more on large-scale corruption related to business deals – for example, hundreds of people protested against a copper mine project after local media reported that the deal was marred by corruption. (Editor's Note: The Mining Ministry is now suing the newspaper). However, this is encouraging citizens to report the corruption they see in their daily lives. Hopefully this video will keep spreading online and newspapers will start covering this problem as well – then we will see if the authorities pay attention to citizens’ complaints and do something about it.

2012.09.20 France24 video-showing-police-corruption-leaked-internet