C-in-C of Defence Services expresses his commitment to achieving peace within five years
COMMANDER-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing voiced his plan that the Tatmadaw and the government will make efforts to achieve peace in the five-year term.
“I want eternal peace. That’s what I said to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. We’ll make efforts to achieve peace in this five year term,” said the Senior General yesterday when meeting with media at Bayintnaung Yeiktha in Nay Pyi Taw.
“The door is open to those who wish to sign the peace agreement. I’ve been saying so from time to time. We’re treading on the democratic path,” said Senior General Min Aung Hlaing regarding the attitude of the Tatmadaw towards peace.
“If we don’t protect the administrative machinery, we will be, I’m sure, in great trouble. We protect Our Three Main National Causes. We protect the lives and property of the people. If an institution of the administration is attacked, we cannot stay aloof with our arms folded,” he added.
The Tatmadaw has to fight, regardless of whoever the attacker is because the very duty of the Tatmadaw is to defend against internal and external enemies, he said.
Regarding the fighting with the KIA, the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services said the Tatmdaw did not go there to attack their troops, but the Tatmadaw had to prevent KIA troops from committing aggressive acts as they entered the territory of the Tatmadaw.
“We really want peace. A democratic country is want the Tatmadaw wants most. Depending on the results of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, we have to continue to discuss peace. There are still some armed groups that haven’t signed the NCA yet. Only after signing can they can proceed to the next step of demanding political rights. Demanding rights without signing the NCA is impossible,” the senior general said.
He also offered the olive branche to the TNLA, AA and MNDA, saying that the armed groups are required to give up their weapons. They should guarantee that arms will be exchanged for peace. If they don’t abandon arms and come to the peace conference, what about those who’ve signed the NCA, he added.
“We should be fair to the signatories. We won’t use the term ‘surrender’ in order not to offend their dignity. But we just want them to abandon their arms,” said Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.
Regarding the term ‘Rohingya’, the Senior General said there is no such ethnic group recognised in the country. Former USDP party President U Thein Sein also, in his time as president, shared this sentiment.
“I’d unambiguously say our country has no such ethnic group as the Rohingya. We have only ‘Bengalis’. We call them so because they come from Bangladesh. The British brought these people into our country for difference reasons,” said the Senior General.
Asked if he has any plans to retire from the Tatmdaw this year, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing replied that he has no intention to retire and will continue to be in the Tatmadaw for as long as he is able.