NAY PYI TAW March 5
National defence involves the task of protecting the country against multi-dimensional warfare which includes political, economic, diplomatic, social, cultural and religious fronts, in addition to military intervention. As the military or the Tatmadaw is the last line of national defence, defence sector should be handled with a broader view, said Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at the conclusion ceremony of course No 18 of the National Defence College (NDC) this morning at NDC in Nay Pyi Taw.
Also present at the ceremony together with the Senior General were Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commander-in- Chief (Army) Vice-Senior General Soe Win, Union Minister for Home Affairs Lt-Gen Soe Htut, Union Minister for Defence Lt-Gen Sein Win, Union Minister for Border Affairs Lt-Gen Ye Aung, Chief of the General Staff (Army, Navy and Air) General Mya Tun Oo, Commanderin- Chief (Navy) Admiral Tin Aung San, Commander-in-Chief (Air) General Maung Maung Kyaw, senior military officers, the commandant of NDC and senior officer trainees.
First, the Senior General presented course completion certificates to senior officer trainees individually. In his address, the Senior General said nations including Myanmar are making more contacts and establish closer relations with the world community including the global nations and organizations in serving their own interest. Hence, the scope of international relations has become wider together with the greater importance of the defence sector which involves security and military issues. According to today’s global events, the advancement of defence prowess has become more important. A study of current global affairs shows the occurrence of the rivalry between the powers, political, economic and military interventions against small countries, territorial disputes, terrorism, and internal instability in various parts of the world. In some places, internal conflicts turn into regional conflicts, while they are being solved. It can also be seen that the majority of global countries are forming regional groups, and cooperating in various fields including political, economic, cultural fields to gain individual strength. However, in today’s arena of international relations, the national interest is usually the sole priority that nations stand firmly on. All must aware of this trend.
In doing so, Indo-Pacific region has attracted more attention from the world and it has been focused and placed importance as a region with military superpowers, economic powers, democracies and most populous countries like China, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia.
By designating Asia-Pacific region as Indo-Pacific region, the region has become a place of geopolitical and military rivalry of the world. In Indo-Pacific region, ASEAN countries including Myanmar are geographically important. Our country is located at a place that can bridge ASEAN and South Asia and a geographically strategic country. The country has adopted a multi-party democracy system chosen by the people and the Tatmadaw has been playing a political leadership role since independence was regained.
When the Tatmadaw carried out all functions of the State in 1988, there were differences in terms of economy and ethnic and religious backgrounds. It faced many difficulties as other countries placed sanctions on the country. It was able to place the country on multiparty democracy system in accordance with the will of the people by drafting and enacting the 2008 constitution.
The constitution was drafted most appropriately with time and circumstances with an emphasis on the history and cultural traditions of Myanmar. However, the provisions that have become inappropriate for time and circumstances of nowadays must be amended. However, it is necessary for the Tatmadaw to think seriously so that it cannot be politically exploited with the excuses of democracy and human rights.
Power was systematically transferred to elected government in 2011 and the Tatmadaw cooperated with the government in issues of political stability and security. The Tatmadaw also helped the government that took office in 2016 so that the democracy path would not derail and was systematic. This is because the Tatmadaw is going into national politics in accordance with the demand of history. The Tatmadaw is discharging duties for regional development and stability.
There are three driving forces in a country including political driving force, economic driving force and defence driving force. Economic driving force is more important than political driving force. Only when economic driving force is strong, will the interests of the people and the country be served and the country will be prosperous, contributing to the stability of the country. It is necessary to bear in mind the Myanmar proverb that says “One can keep moral principles only when one’s stomach is full”. Myanmar is a country resided by appropriate population with favourable natural land and water resources. Seventy percent of the country’s population live in rural areas. Under current circumstances, able people from those rural areas have to go aboard to work to make better income, causing difficulties and workforce shortages in agricultural, livestock and manufacturing sectors inside the country. This is why emphasis should be placed on the development of micro, small, medium scale enterprises to generate more local job opportunities.
For the emergence of market economy and greater productivity that facilitate national economy, it is necessary to encourage manufacturing sector development, enable the products to compete both domestically and internationally and encourage the development of agriculture, livestock and SME with use of modern technologies.In practising market economy, sole reliance on a single country or a single market must be avoided. Likewise, it is necessary to consider situations such as product development, trade deficit, inflation, budget deficit, export-substitute goods, one village, one product, foreign exchange, gold prices and high commodity prices.
It is not natural to raise wage and salary in coping with high prices. National income can improve if full taxes go to the State. Rather than raising taxes that can burden the taxpayers, it is necessary to expose tax dodgers. Steps are required to ensure that people pay their taxes. Meanwhile, efforts must be exerted to reduce budget deficit and there must be balances between demand and supply plus encouragement to productive forces.
Electricity, transport and communication play a key role in national development and economic growth. Human resource development also plays a crucial role. A developed country cannot be built with skill or knowledge only. It requires turning out human resources equipped with both skill and knowledge. Therefore, electricity, transport, communication and human resources are important sectors to drive national economy so they need to be developed.
In today’s national defence, not only aggressive military tactics with strong firepower but also political, economic, diplomatic, social, cultural and religious means and attacks in the form of multidimensional warfare are being employed. That bears testimony to ongoing political pressure on the country. So, various perspectives must be considered to confront those situations. In national defence, defence sector must be dealt with visionary because the military or the role of the Tatmadaw is the final defence line.
The Tatmadaw must cooperate with the people in taking State defence measure. The Tatmadaw must help the Myanmar Police Force in necessary tasks in accordance with the law for ensuring security and rule of law. Emphasis must be placed on enhancement of the Myanmar Police Force and its capacity. As democracy can achieve success through the good governance, it is necessary to emphasize emergence of the good governance as part of administrative reform in democratization process of Myanmar.
Every good governance system has characteristics of the mutual trust and respect between the government and the people, strengthening of rule of law, transparency, freedom from corruption and bribery, strengthening of mutual supporting among three estates, and reducing bureaucracy procedures which can unnecessarily delay and complicate the processes in the government machinery. Management and leadership must be shown in accord with the rules and laws. If one does not abide by the prescribed rules and laws beyond authority, it means breaking the law and making fun of democracy. The Senior General urged them to separately understand the orders to fighting in the battle and abide by laws and rules for management. Leaders must control such activities and it is not necessary to do things above the law with a concept that I do all the best.
The Senior General noted that the year 2020 is time to hold the general elections which are of great importance for the State and to beef up the peace process and national reconciliation process to have achievements. Moreover, as international pressures may be put on the State for democracy and human rights issues in combating internal insurgency and dangers of external terrorism, the year 2020 would be a year for the Tatmadaw and the people to face challenges.
With regard to actual trend of the State, it is necessary to successfully hold the free and fair elections so as to strengthen the multi-party democracy route the people chose. If not so, difficulties would emerge on the path of democracy in the future.
As stability of the State and rule of law are essential to successfully hold the free and fair elections, the Tatmadaw must participate in the process. It is necessary for the State to have peace and stability not only in the political trend but also in the security trend to be able to stably walk along the multi-party democracy route of the State in the future.
The Senior General said the National Defence College conferred MA (Defence) degree on the trainees, they have not only to further study conception and perception combined with outlooks of politics, economy, defence, administration and international relations but also to apply them in the practical fields for the State.