Senior General Min Aung Hlaing meets officer trainees at the National Defence College
The Senior General and party view displays of objects at the Defence Services Museum
Nay Pyi Taw March 10
It is a valuable course giving a lot of knowledge through mutual discussions and talks, continuous studies, paper compilations for having have political, economic, administrative and defence outlooks in adopting future plans for the country and much support for the practical field, pointed out Commanderin- Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at his meeting with officer trainees of the National Defence College-NDC at the college yesterday morning.
In connection with the background of political history, the Senior General said Myanmar has been a country formed by the Union people in accord since yore. During the first Myanmar kingdom under King Anawratha, second Myanmar kingdom under King Bayintnaung, and third Myanmar kingdom under King Alaungphaya the country was a glorious empire in which territories up to Malay Peninsula, Cambodia, parts of Thailand, Manipur and Assam were even included. Unfortunately, Myanmar lost its independence in 1885 resulting from the British aggressive wars that started in 1824. Besides, Myanmar lost her sovereignty as colonialists could even march to Yandanabon palace easily because of the betrayals of internal traitors. The loss of independence led to the change of nation’s territories. Tatmadaw and people have been striving hand in hand for the present territory to remain intact since independence was regained.
As the consequence of the loss of independence, colonialists brought in people from Bengal as farm workers for Rakhine state in the west of Myanmar. The region is still facing racial and religious conflicts till now as the population of these people gradually increased, and they even used the guns given by the colonialists to fight back the fascists as weapons for attacking and murdering local Rakhines and driving these natives out of the territory. Foreigners and mixed race people were manipulating and controlling the State administration, political affairs and the economy taking advantage of Myanmar people’s lack of knowledge in these matters during the colonial era. So the country could not fully exercise its sovereign power till it regained independence. All must understand that the country based on its historical lessons took necessary measures to overcome these dangers.
Concerning the political system, in the ancient times the country used monarchy system. Under the colonial era, the country was ruled by a specific law. After the restoration of independence, it adopted parliamentary democracy. In the global political arena during the WWI and WWII there was a rival between the capitalism and the communism and socialism. The countries that lost the war or lost independence usually accepted communism. There were ideological differences among the politicians and even in the parts of Tatmadaw in the newly independent Myanmar. So, the parliamentary democracy had become mixed political system as factions appeared even within the capitalists and communists.
Because of the weakness of 1947 constitution that was based on Pinlon agreement, the Tatmadaw had to take over the state duties in 1962 to save the Union from breaking apart. The manipulation of foreigners and mixed blooded people in the nation’s political, administrative and economic affairs caused a political dilemma for the country. Although there were splits among capitalist group, communist group and socialist group, it adopted the socialism. Throughout the era of Myanmar Socialist Programme Party, socialism was practised along with planning economy, which focused on state responsibility. Consequently, the people became weak in improving their mindsets, and administrative and planning sectors saw little development. Due to those weaknesses, a public uprising broke out in 1988 calling for a multi-party democracy system. Inevitably, Tatmadaw had to control the situation. Since the rule of centralization system, however, the country could see new political settings that paved the way for multi-party democracy system, commented the Senior General.
Tatmadaw also participated in the effort to consolidate the first five-year term of multi-party democracy system. Certain progress was seen. In the second step, any deviation from ongoing situations is unacceptable. Efforts must be exerted for the country to be able to stand with dignity among the global countries. Trust and credibility from the neighbouring countries and the international community must be won. It is also necessary for the country to be on a right track. With these efforts, the Senior General said, he believed that Myanmar would see more progress than ever in coming 10 or 15 years. In the area of international relations, the country is practising an active and independent foreign policy and a policy on relations with all countries as stated in the State Constitution. Myanmar is not a follower of any country or any bloc of countries. It has only friendly nations, not enemies, said the Senior General.
In a comparative study of democracy, the neighbouring and global countries alike are found to be practising democracy that suit them best. Myanmar is also exercising multi-party democracy most suitable for her.
History has it that it is the Tatmadaw that has had to safeguard Myanmar from the monarchic rule till today in the post-independence period so that the country will not break up. Tatmadaw is getting involved in national politics for non-disintegration of the country. Peace and stability plays a key role in practising democracy suitable for the country. Without this, there would be a chaotic democracy. Moreover, respect for law is important for ensuring discipline-flourishing democracy. It is therefore required to respect law and discipline if one accepts, loves and wants to prolong democracy. The people shaping a democracy must respect law and discipline. Likewise, Tatmadawmen must try to become a role model of respecting law and discipline, said the Senior General.
Economy is a vehicle for national development. Sound economy will contribute to political stability as well as defence power. Again, political stability will facilitate economy. Thus, defence, economy and politics are related to each other. The ultimate goal of Myanmar is to march towards a peaceful, modern and developed discipline-fl ourishing democracy. Economy must be strong to develop the country. In the international community, there is neither eternal enemy nor eternal friend. But there is an everlasting economy and eternal interest. In an effort to build a strong economy, the prevailing conditions of a country cannot be ignored, the Senior General pointed out.
Without good foundations, any effort for building an industrial nation is impossible. So, sound foundations must be built and educated citizens must be turned out. According to annual figures, about half of students in Myanmar are left behind in primary level education. About 30 per cent finish middle school level education while about 20 per cent reach high school education. About 35 per cent out of those who reach high school education are able join university. Therefore, the country must promote its education standards. As about 70 per cent of the country’s population live in rural areas, it is necessary to improve their education and economy, said the Senior General.
Moreover, it is necessary to develop living standard of residents, raise number of educated persons and improve economy of the local people and their regions where you are assigned. Military units are urged to carry out cultivation and livestock breeding tasks on a manageable scale in order to shape the current economic system. They have to focus on welfare of families of servicemen, not benefits. Concerted efforts of military units in agriculture and livestock breeding tasks will reduce the hiking prices of goods in respective regions. Officials need to supervise the military units in order to do these tasks conscientiously as the Tatmadaw partially participates in booming the State economy.
With regard to the executive sector, disciplines and laws are of importance in democratization process. Discipline includes exhortation and prohibition issued by an organization, and law is a national concern. The law is powerful and has limitations, designations and provisions to take action. Tatmadawmen need to understand and to abide by the laws. They have to understand the disciplines, orders and directives of the Tatmadaw as well as abide by civil laws, rules, orders and directives in addition to laws, rules and regulations announced by the State. The Tatmadawmen assigned in the border regions must understand the policies on international relations and study border region management of respective countries.
Regarding the child soldier issue, the Senior General urged them to recruit new members for the Tatmadaw under the designated disciplines and carefully abide by the orders and directives. It is necessary to exactly follow the directives on forced labour. If the directive says don’t use the forced labour, anybody must not use it. With regard to the health sector, Tatmadawmen and family members must be healthy while the people are to be healthy. Only when they are in good condition of health, will they work and pursue education well. As such, the Tatma-daw recently has provided health care services to the local residents in Coco Island and Hainggyi Island Townships by the sea-going military hospital vessel (Thanlwin). A plan is underway to send the vessel to Rakhine State and Taninthayi Region. Under the arrangements of respective military command commanders, health care services are being given to local residents in order to uplift the health standard of residents. During his recent tour of Naga region, the Senior General assigned 44 Tatmadaw medical doctors attached to the respective health centres in Naga region and Chin State so as to improve health standard of ethnics. The Tatmadaw will call back those military medical officers from these regions which do not have medical requirements. In conclusion, the Senior General urged all Tatmadawmen to take care of individual health.
Also present at the meeting were Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commander-in- Chief (Army) Vice-Senior General Soe Win, senior military officers of the office of the Commander-in- Chief, the commander of Nay Pyi Taw Command, the commandant of the National Defence College, senior instructor officers and 79 senior trainee officers.
After the meeting, the Senior General and party visited the Defence Services Museum and visited the booths at the parlour. They also viewed displays of objects from the ancient Myanmar army to date including fossils, ancient army equipment and weapons, equipment and arms of national patriots in the colonial era, arms and equipment used by British troops, arms and equipment used by the Burma Independence Army and the Burma Defence Army, equipment used by General Aung San, historical documents and agreements signed by Myanmar and British in the independence struggle period, historic battles and military operations managed by the Myanmar Tatmadaw in the post-independence period, internal peace-making processes undertaken by successive governments, and gifts given by foreign countries and ethnic leaders at the booths of the Defence Services Museum and Historical Research Institute.
The curator and officials briefed the Senior General on display of objects related to the armed forces. The Senior General instructed officials to add more figures and reliefs as well as documentary photos to the booths and arrange the booths with better displays.
The Myawady Daily