November 21, 2017

Constitution pivotal for State and Tatmadaw: Commander-in-Chief

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and VOA’s Than Lwin Tun seen in  exclusive interview on 22 November.—Myawady
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and VOA’s Than Lwin Tun seen in exclusive interview on 22 November.—Myawady

Nay Pyi Taw, 22 Nov—Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said Saturday that the Constitution is the lifeblood of the State and the Tatmadaw.
In an interview with Voice of America at the Bayintnaung Yeiktha in the capital, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said that the Constitution needs to be upheld as it was approved with the support of 92.48 percent of eligible voters of the country.
He also said that the Tatmadaw is responsible for protecting the Constitution as he believes the Constitution was drawn up through far-sighted views of State leaders.
The Senior General said that even though the campaign by the National League for Democracy Party to amend Article 436 of the Constitution has won five million supporting votes, the will of the remaining 46 million people in the country must be considered.
He also confirmed that Article 59 (F) of the Constitution is not targeted at anyone, but just intended to safeguard the national affairs of the whole country.
Regarding the question of a ceasefire agreement, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said that the Tatmadaw absolutely supports a peace and ceasefire agreement, and that it is emphasizing positive approaches in this matter.
He also said the Tatmadaw has suspended offensive operations in accordance with the instruction of the president, adding that the 19 November attack in Kachin State was just a warning after the previous incidents.
He said the Tatmadaw is cooperating with the Myanmar Peace Centre in peace-making efforts and expecting the success of this mission.
The Commander-in-Chief also said that the Tatmadaw did not release news about every incident to prevent more conflicts as there is the possibility of unfair reporting from some media groups.
He also noted differing views on use of the term “federal army.” The United Nationalities Federal Council claimed “federal army” in a different way, said the senior general, adding that national leader General Aung San preferred the term Pyidaungsu to that of union or federal.
He also said military members have to observe both military principles and civil rules as the punishments for them fall under both military and civil laws.
The Senior General promised that an investigation will be carried out into the death of journalist Aung Naing, who was also known as Par Gyi.
He also said that land seizure cases are very complicated, and that the Tatmadaw has already released the lands of farmers.
On its external relations, the Tatmadaw is objectively promoting ties with foreign militaries such as the United States and neighbouring countries.—Myawady

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