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July 21, 2019

Speech Delivered by Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services, Senior General Thayaysithu Min Aung Hlaing at the Parade of the 70th Armed Forces Day Held on 27th March, 2015

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Comrades,

        Today is the 70th anniversary of the Armed Forces Day on which fascist invaders were expelled from Myanmar for her independence by the Myanmar Defence Services, Myanmar Tatmadaw, hand in hand with all ethnic people on 27th of March, 1945. After her independence, the 27th of March was initially celebrated by the use of the name, “the Resistance Day,” and then at the Resistance Day’s Parade held on the 27th of March, 1955, it was renamed “the Armed Forces Day” by General Ne Win, in honour of the most distinctive and noblest Resistance Day in our history of independence struggle, acknowledging the fact that it’s the Armed Forces Day for the combination of Army, Navy and Air Force like the armed forces of other countries. I’ll solemnly impart what you should know to you on this distinctive, profound Armed Forces Day that always reveals hereditary pride and courage as well as unity throughout the history of our Nation no matter whichever system we are bound to take through time.

Comrades,

        After the loss of our independence and sovereignty in 1886, efforts had been made for years in order to regain our independence, sacrificing many lives and much blood of our ethnic people. The causes of being a colony are weakness in unity among our ethnic groups and not having a capable Tatmadaw. As colonial invaders applied “Divide and Rule Policy” to the mountainous regions and the main land, it constituted certain impediments to independence struggles, causing unfamiliarity and disbelief among ethnic people, and even up till the present we are in the process of rebuilding trust.

In spite of oppression by colonial invaders, many national uprisings occurred, promoting patriotism of our ethnic people in love of the Nation. Based on patriotism, the thirty comrades led by General Aung San made up their mind to take arms against the colonialists by establishing Tatmadaw on 27th of December, 1941, and entered our country from Thailand in different columns. In doing so, respective military columns were joined by many Buddhist monks and ethnic people, and fought against colonial invaders taking responsibility for independence whatever sacrificial tasks assigned. After their liberation from the colonial rule, Tatmadaw fought against the fascist invaders in cooperation with various patriotic ethnic people, Buddhist monks and laymen all over the country in order to save all ethnic people who suffered from ill-treatment by Fascists and to make them really free from the colonial rule of these invaders as well. I’d like to say that our Tatmadaw is Peoples’ Tatmadaw, in other words, Union Tatmadaw that was born of people based on patriotism in history of independence struggles.

Comrades,

Our Tatmadaw had sacrificed many lives, much blood and sweat together with people and not only regained independence but also safeguards it to prevent its loss. Shortly after independence, being under the colonial rule mislead us to suffer from dissatisfaction and disbelief among ethnic groups, making their ideologies and concepts differ to some extent and as a result, armed conflicts broke out. So, sacrificing lives of military personnel, Tatmadaw safeguarded non-disintegration of the Union and perpetuation of sovereignty. Moreover, with massive military operations, Tatmadaw hand in hand with people also repelled an external Kuminton invasion. In order to cease such external invasions and internal insurgencies, the military operations launched in some areas by Tatmadaw significantly exist in our history. I want to say that in accordance with the formal practices of other international armed forces, Tatmadaw’ll go on protecting against external and internal dangers with the aims of securing the State territory, maintaining stability and peace of the State as well as safeguarding the interests of the entire people.    

Comrades,

Tatmadaw not only had to carry national responsibilities but also put an end to external invasions and internal armed conflicts. Tatmadaw had undertaken State power and restore various conditions for non-disintegration of the Union, non-disintegration of national solidarity and stability and peace of the State during the 1958 political crisis, 1962 disintegration of the union and the loss of sovereignty as well as during the 1988 anarchic political riots.

Tatmadaw systematically managed to make the stable and peaceful transition to a new disciplined democratic nation, laying down a foundation and abolishing the one-party administrative system which people don’t desire any more. In building a modern developed democratic nation that is stable and peaceful, Tatmadaw is safeguarding the national benefits of people, taking priority over our three main national causes.

 

Comrades,

        Tatmadaw undertake duties for the political, administrative and economic reforms of the State, laying down the three frameworks: stability and peace of the State, national solidarity and social development. Since the basic requirements of socio-economic development of people are stability, peace and dominance of law enactments, political parties and organizations including Tatmadaw need to cooperate and maintain them cautiously, giving priority to this fact. I’d like to impart to you that in shaping up the multi-party democracy system, our Tatmadaw, favouring the interests of people, desires democracy development and always maintains it. And we’ll build and make it firm in unity.

The market-oriented economic system is being practised for economic development with a multi-party democracy system by the government. In accordance with the market-oriented system, nationalization was reduced to develop more privatization and besides, efforts were made for lifting and lessening of economic sanction. I’d like to steadfastly say that Tatmadaw will protect strengthening of the market-oriented system in order to develop the economy of the Nation and socio-economic status of the people.

Comrades,

        The basic needs of people are to live peacefully and to develop their lives in health of body and peace of mind. In other words, stability and peace of the State and socio-economic developments are the basic needs and true desire of the people. In order to meet these basic needs and true desire of the people, we, Tatmadawmen, together with the government, the Hluttaw, political parties and people have to cooperate for successful implementation in accordance with enacted laws. Moreover, for sustainable development of the State, it needs to invest and develop human resources development as well as to be thrifty. Especially, making proper arrangements, natural resources such as water, forest, energy and electricity must be both preserved frugally for posterity and used beneficially, and it is also necessary not to waste money and physical property including food and shelter and be thrifty in building defence power. Being thrifty, you, Comrades, can avoid overindulging of pleasure and being an alcohol addict, which leads to ill health and work more for the benefits of the State and Tatmadaw.

Comrades,

        Our country is the Union in which all ethnic people unitedly reside and has specific definite territories with neighbouring countries. Equal rights have been given to all ethnic people. For having easy administration, wards, villages, townships, districts, regions and states are specified and self-administered zones and districts are also done so. According to the law, all States and Regions are also given the same status. Relating to the rights of ethnic people who reside in the State territory, they can enjoy equal rights as mentioned in Chapter 8 entitled “Citizen, Fundamental Rights and Duties of the Citizens.” No matter wherever one resides within the State territory, one has and enjoys the same administrative and legal rights. So, I’d like to say that laying emphasis on developments of the Union, it’s necessary to work in cooperation with each other in order to create a harmonized and interdependent human community by means of entering into negotiation on different views to find certain solutions.

 

 

Comrades,

        As for the successful implementation of democracy, stability and peace of the state play an important role. Aiming for cessation of armed conflicts, we can succeed in the same objective of peace process only by conducting legal coordinated negotiations in accord with the democracy system. There is no armed pressure in democracy, and a peaceful approach must be adopted in accordance with rules and regulations. Anarchic breaking of law deviates from the democracy route. It is necessary for armed ethnic people to trustingly negotiate both in family spirits and with patience. I’d like to say that Tatmadaw’ll not accept any armed pressure on people who have diverse views on political interpretation since efforts to put armed pressure and keep the upper hand on them trouble the people, harming stability and peace of the State, prevalence of law and order as well as developments of the State.

        The six peace principles have been laid down by Tatmadaw. I want to say that if they have a true desire for peace, they’ll have to solemnly keep promises in agreement and utilize only political means for the purpose of solving political issues. In implementation of ceasefire and peace processes, disarmament, demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) for security reconciliation are essential ones. As examples, paying no heed to security reconciliation processes, many countries gave priority to ceasefire, resulting in subsequent problems which are still left unresolved till now, and it is also found that the systematic implementation of security reconciliation processes brought peace to many countries. So, it is compulsory for the implementation of security reconciliation processes in the ceasefire and peace process. I’d like to say that integration of national solidarity, national reconciliation and making peace will be carried out without fail as Tatmadaw is the Union Defence Services formed by ethnic people of the Union.

Comrades,

        Examples of some countries have proved that putting too much emphasis on party politics doesn’t lead to any stability of the State but taking priority over national politics can only bring stability to the State. Utilization of extreme nationalism also makes bringing stability to the State difficult. Therefore, on the way to democratized implementation of stability and developments of the State, a democracy system will have to be practised based on national spirits. One can see that if reforms are too rapid, inconveniencies and instabilities will arise as a shock. Hence, reforms synchronically and in harmony at a comfortable pace will bring proper, effective developments to the State. Here, it is necessary not only to reform the hackneyed bureaucratic attitudes and convictions of civil servants but also to make them develop habits of transparency and justice.

Comrades,

        Immediately after her independence, the Constitution of the Union of Myanmar was drawn and prescribed in 1947 in order to practise a parliament democratic system. The Constitution of the Socialist Republic of the Union of Myanmar was prescribed and confirmed for the purpose of adopting one-party political system practised by the Burmese Socialist Programme Party. Due to some weaknesses of the Socialist System, political unrest broke out in 1988 and then Tatmadaw had to take State power. With the aim of practising the Multi-party Democracy System, the National Convention was held and the 104 basic principles were initially laid down. According to the basic principles coordinated, the 2008 Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar was drawn based on our geo-political location, population, ethnic groups, culture, traditions, religion and recorded history with the aim of successful implementation of a Multi-party Democracy System. In accord with the 2008 Constitution, our country is taking a path of multi-party democracy.

The Basic Principles of the Union in Chapter One and Citizen, Fundamental Rights and Duties of the Citizens in Chapter Eight of the 2008 Constitution are prescribed in harmony with the present democracy requirements, and in Paragraph 11-a of Chapter One in the Constitution, it’s stated that the three branches of sovereign power namely, legislative power, executive power and judicial power are separated, to the extent possible, and exert reciprocal control, check and balance among themselves. Here, we’ll have to lay emphasis on it in democracy. In accord with the paragraph 9-a of Chapter One, the Regions and States are of equal status, whereas the paragraph 6-a prescribes enabling the Defence Services Academy to be able participate in the National Political leadership role of the State according to our national history. As mentioned in Paragraph 20-f of Chapter One in which the Defence Services is mainly responsible for safeguarding the Constitution, Tatmadaw’ll continue putting emphasis on flourishing the Constitution principles, and also on exerting certain control, check and balance. One can see no perfection in the Constitutions of many countries, and if the Constitution is in need of certain amendments, the essence of democracy will have to be implemented in accord with the basic principles prescribed in Chapter 12 entitled “Amendment of the Constitution.”

Comrades,

        The General Election which is going to be held in the early days of November, 2015 represents an important landmark of democracy implementation for our country. Tatmadaw will work hand in hand with responsible organizations and people for the accomplishment of the General Election. Peace, stability, prevalence and enforcement of law play a vital role in systematic and peaceful accomplishment of the General Election. I want to say that any disturbances to stability of the State and prevalence of law, any armed pressure or any threats for voting won’t be allowed in the General Election. Nowadays, since most countries encounter inciting disturbances of all means to peace, stability and prevalence of law for various reasons, it’s needed to take great care with preventive measures. At the present time, Tatmadaw is doing its duties, risking lives and limbs of military officers and Tatmadawmen for stability in border areas and prevalence of law. I’d like to add the fact that wives of Tatmadawmen including military officers and other ranks as well as Tatmadaw families are fulfilling its needs to a certain extent and so we honour all who work for the country, having noble spirits and making their sacrifice. Moreover, all military personnel and family members would like to express my deep sense of gratitude to the entire people who support and acknowledge the sacrifices of Tatmadaw, and I solemnly promise that Tatmadaw’ll serve without fail for the accomplishment of stability of the State, prevalence of law and peace.

Comrades,

        Myanmar has a total population of over 51.4 million. As over 51 % of the whole population belongs to women, it’s necessary to effectively utilize their strength for national development and defence. After female military personnel have been given military training, they are being assigned duties in national defence and security fields. Likewise, the Myanmar Police Force trains and produces policewomen, and then various duties of national security and prevalence of law are done by them. In our military units, dependant wives, and their offspring live with our military personnel. In addition to those of military personnel, Tatmadaw’s promoting the welfare of dependants such as education, health, food and shelter. I’d like to say that after the proper measures of fulfillment, the strength of dependant wives and family members will be utilized effectively and beneficially as reserved defence forces in order to make various national powers strengthen more and more.

Comrades,

        For all-round defence and security of the State, we must utilize certain means to improve relations with the armed forces of other countries. Our Tatmadaw is establishing good relations with the armed forces of friendly nations in a spirit of goodwill and good-naturedness. Putting emphasis on international peace and goodwill relations with other countries, Tatmadaw is serving for the establishment of better relations with their military personnel, keeping peaceful coexistence principles in mind as well as in accordance with the non-aligned foreign policy. Our Tatmadaw promotes goodwill relations with the neighbouring armed forces and other ones, and also cooperates in military training.

Comrades,

        It is essential to form a capable Tatmadaw to be able to protect the Nation from the multidimensional viewpoints. Human resources, arms, technology and wealth are needed, and Tatmadawmen must also be disciplined with the aim of making Tatmadaw become a modern standard army which can keep abreast with the armed forces of other countries. Both being properly and proficiently trained and being militarily disciplined are the key requirements of becoming a good soldier. Military discipline is the lifeblood of Tatmadaw. It’s essential to create a discipline-based training environment in military training as well as to strictly abide by military principles and tactics in battle fields. Moreover, as it’s essential to develop human resources for the purpose of the skilful utilization of arms and military materials, not only military personnel are being trained, but also their dependants as well as family members are also encouraged and supported for further educational improvement as some aids for the country in another way on the side. Your learned knowledge and disciplines can be utilized in cooperation with each other wherever you are assigned for the benefits of you, your organization and regional development.

Comrades,

        In practising democracy, disciplined efforts in the self are needed for the improvements of a person, an organization or a region. In regard to being disciplined and making efforts, General Aung San said, “‘it’s essential for every country to be more disciplined.’ ‘Unity among ethnic people as well as among people is needed. It’s very important.’ ‘I’d like to say that you work and be disciplined, and you need to break bad and old habits from now onwards.’” at the meeting of the Supreme Legislative Body held on the 13th of July, 1947. At the Military Conference held in 1958, General Ne Win said, “‘it’s necessary for rules and regulations to be obeyed.’ ‘For the State, legislation must be enacted.’ ‘For organizations, rules and regulations are laid down.’ ‘In the prevalence of these rules and regulations, it’s a must to abide by them.’ ” At the Passing-out Parade of the 31st Defence Services Academy Intake, Senior General Than Shwe said, “‘Being militarily well-disciplined is essential to win a war.’ ‘Military discipline’s the backbone of Tatmadaw.’ ‘Leaders supervise their subordinates to be well-disciplined whereas these leaders always control themselves to obey military discipline as well as ethics of worldly affairs and obligations, behaving like good examples.’ ” Moreover, at the first quarterly coordination meeting of the State Law and Order Restoration Council held in 1993, Senior General Than Shwe also said, “On developmental implementation of the State’s economy, it’s a must for every citizen to work in cooperation with each other, keeping the fact in mind that everyone must work for the country and also presuming that it has nothing to do with him or her.” Hearing these instructions, it’s found that our military leaders put emphasis on working, being disciplined, for the development of the State. I want to say that instead of emulation and praising of the developments of other countries, it’s vital to adapt good habits, concepts and procedures of those countries to be in harmony with the proper use in our country.

Comrades,

        The national defence strategy of our country has been accepted as the militia strategy. According to the geopolitical conditions of our country, it’s recognized so, and it’s necessary for Tatmadaw and people to always be in unity for the benefits of the country in order to firmly stand united with dignity among the powerful neighbouring countries, making sure that unity is not promoted only at the time of urgency. Moreover, it’s vital for Tatmadaw to be united with the other reserved forces, and we regard ex-servicemen who are proficient in military science, wives and families of Tatmadawmen and other forces as its key forces for the implementation of militia strategy. I want to say that like the international armed forces, our Tatmadaw’s also necessary to always fulfil three tasks of firmness: always training, being always combat-ready and being always militarily conscious with the aim of being be able to response to and overcome a variety of dangers including natural disasters within a short period.

Comrades,

        In conclusion, I’d like to urge and impart to you to maintain the noble historic traditions of Tatmadaw at the risk of lives and to go on working for the country in accordance with the Objectives of the 70th Armed Forces Day:

(a) To build strong, fully efficient and modern Defence Services to protect land, water and air territories of the Nation,

(b) To cooperate hand in hand with people for peace and stability, national solidarity and developments of the Nation,

(c) To safeguard the Nation and people against internal and external dangers and natural disasters and

(d) To  safeguard  the three  main  national  causes: non-disintegration of the Union, non-disintegration of national solidarity and perpetuation of sovereignty, making the sacrifice of lives.

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