Commander-in-Chief addresses 71st Armed Forces Day parade
A MILITARY parade was held in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday to commemorate the 71st Armed Forces Day.
Five military parade columns under the command of parade commander Brig-Gen Aung Kyaw Hoe marched from the assembly point to the parade ground. Along the way to the parade ground, families of military personnel and local residents gave an enthusiastic welcome to the parade columns with strings of flowers. Among them were wives of the commander-in-chief of defence services, the deputy commander-in-chief of defence services and commander-in-chief (army), as well as senior military officers.
Addressing the parade, Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said: “On this auspicious occasion of the Union and the Tatmadaw, I would like to emphasise that the historical coexistence of the Union and the Tatmadaw can be observed from the fact that our army was born along with the independence struggle. On account of disunity among our citizens and a lack of a capable, modern Tatmadaw, our country was gradually been colonised beginning in 1824. The colonisers easily intruded the palace, and the whole country was colonised on 1 January 1886, along with the loss of the royal throne.”
“Our indigenous citizens suffered immense pain under colonial rule. Although the people revolted against the colonists, they were defeated for lack of unified leadership and modern arms. Since the lost independence could not be regained solely with the patriotic spirit, a group of patriotic youth led by Thakhin Aung San underwent and endured military training in Hainan Island to expel the colonialist intruders,” the commander-in-chief continued.
“General Aung San and members of the Thirty Comrades made a blood-vow to sacrifice their lives for independence and formed the Burma Independence Army (BIA) on 27 December 1941. The colonialists were driven back with the active support and cooperation of people from all walks of life,” he said.
“On 27 July 1942, the [Japanese] fascists abolished the 50,000-strong Burma Independence Army and formed the Burma Defence Army (BDA) with 3,000 troops. On 15 September 1943, the Tatmadaw renamed itself the Burma Army since it was not formed merely to defend but had the intention to boldly conduct offensive action against the enemy.”
“The revolution was launched on 27 March 1945 through the collaborated efforts of the people and the Tatmadaw to deny the fascist intruders, who offered fake independence and had been suppressing the people. The day was named Revolution Day, but the name was later changed to Armed Forces Day on 27 March 1955. This renaming not only signalled perpetual collaboration between the Tatmadaw and the people but was also codified by the then-public trusted newspapers.”
“The two main hindrances in democratisation are the lack of abiding by the rule of law, regulations and the presence of armed insurgencies. These could lead to chaotic democracy.”
“Only when these two hindrances are properly tackled and overcome will there be advancement on the path to democracy. I would vow that the Tatmadaw will cooperate to bring about the prosperity of the Union and its citizens.”
“The Tatmadaw will continue to serve the public interests by adopting our Three Main National Causes in building a multiparty democratic nation by joining hands with the government in order to establish a flourishing democratic society through the political transition. We will have to work with our maximum capacity of intellect and physique accompanying the unity, disciplinary codes, and abiding the law if we love our motherland and have a will to implement firm multiparty democratic system and to develop the country. We must be loyal to the state.”
“The Tatmadaw must provide the full security of the state. It has to look after the people. It has to contribute to stability and development tasks of the government. The Tatmadaw, therefore, has been endeavouring for the adoption of peace, stability, unity and development policies.”
“We, the military personnel, are the volunteers who join the Tatmadaw in spiritual delight. We already presupposed that we would face hardships and have to sacrifice our lives and sweat. As we are also the ones who ensure the stability of the country at this democratic transition and bring the country to the present situation with firm conformation aspired by the people, the Tatmadaw will never allow any attempt to encroach on our territory and destabilise the harmonious coexistence in the Union. We have the responsibility to take the lead in the national politics in the same way that the Tatmadaw has stood ready in the face of critical situations throughout the history of the country,” the commander-in-chief said.
“When we observe the tasks assigned by the constitution to the Tatmadaw, it can be seen that it is to uphold and uplift the national interests.”
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing concluded his speech, urging military personnel at all levels to maintain the noble historic traditions of the Tatmadaw at the risk of their lives and to go on working for the country in accordance with the four objectives of the 71st anniversary of the Armed Forces Day.
The four objectives are: to safeguard the Three Main National Causes as national responsibilities according to the constitution; to cooperate hand-in-hand between the Tatmadaw and all nationalities to achieve real peace; to cooperate between the government, the parliament, the military and all nationalities in satisfying the country’s fundamental needs of stability, solidarity and development; and to build up the army to effectively protect the national sovereignty and the motherland.
After the speech, the commander-in-chief gave a salute as the military parade columns marched past, followed by a show of military skills performed by army, the navy and air force personnel.—Myanmar News Agency