Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Defence chief vows to protect ethnic people and citizens

The Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services on Monday said protecting the ethnic people and the citizens are top priority of the Tatmadaw.

 Cardinal Charles Bo (sixth from left) and Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. Photo - Senior General Min Aung Hlaing’s Facebook page Cardinal Charles Bo (sixth from left) and Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. Photo - Senior General Min Aung Hlaing’s Facebook page

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said the current armed conflicts were not the fight against the ethnic people but against those who destroy the livelihood of the people and interfere with the administrative functions of the government.

“We are fighting only those who encroach upon restricted territories during the time of peace negotiation, and those who are destroying the livelihood of the people, and those who interfere in the administrative machinery,” he said during a meeting with Myanmar Archbishop Cardinal Charles Bo in Nay Pyi Taw.

“There have been instances in our history when we fought against Ba Ka Pa (Burma Communist Party),” he added. “We will have to protect and fight against those who oppose the Union government, state and regional governments and self-administration areas.”

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said the development of the country could not be achieved without peace.

“We will need to put a lot of effort into the development of the nation. Tatmadaw is cooperating in the education and health sectors as these are the two basic requirements for development,” he said.

In 2011, three national causes and multi-party democracy system were prioritised and now Tatmadaw has set six points peace policy in negotiation with armed ethnic groups for Union peace, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said.

The Commander-in-Chief added that national races, as well as the citizens have to be prioritised to be protected.

He emphasised that Tatmadaw is not fighting the national races related to the current armed conflicts, but only a few groups who oppose the government.

He said Tatmadaw really wants to attain peace and also urged all people to cooperate and unite to move the country forward.

“If there is no peace, the national development goals couldn’t be efficiently carried out,” he said.

He said that peaceful methods must be used in a democratic system; various parties decided to adopt the democratic system since 1989, adding the government has been working to have a strong peace and democracy in the country.

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing emphasised that the rights of the national races should be in line with the current laws and should bear the spirit of the whole of Myanmar in mind.

It was the first meeting between Cardinal Charles Bo and Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

Cardinal Charles Bo thanked Senior General Min Aung Hlaing for smooth political power transfer after election.

He added that the Thatmadaw and the government have proven that there is a peaceful solution in the world, which is full of violence and wars.

Cardinal Bo said he recognises the important role of the Tatmadaw in protecting the rights of the people.

The Cardinal said he would like to do his share in solving the issues facing the country, especially in the peace process.

He said the attendance of the Commander-in-Chief at the 21st Century Panglong Conference was of much support in the pursuit of peace. He said he also recognised the efforts to coordinate and discuss with the conflicting groups.

The meeting was also attended by Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Services Vice Senior General Soe Win and General Mya Tun Oo.