Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing addresses SAC meeting 6/2023

Tatmadaw is indivisible with people who want multi-party democracy

Nay Pyi Taw November 29

State Administration Council held meeting 6/2023 at the meeting hall of SAC Chairman’s Office here this morning, addressed by Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

Also present were SAC Vice Chairman Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Senior General Soe Win, SAC Secretary Lt-Gen Aung Lin Dway, Joint SAC Secretary Lt-Gen Ye Win Oo, SAC members and officials.

Background of EAOs and their reinforcement of strength with ceasefire as opportunity In his address, the Senior General said as regards the EAOs, KIA signed the ceasefire agreement on 24 February 1994. The agreement stated four brigades and 94 base camps. However, taking peace as an opportunity, KIA later, reinforced its strength by taking part in illicit drug trafficking and illegal business of sending aboveground and underground resources to foreign countries. It also set up arms factories in Laiza and Laisin in increasing its manpower.

The newly established KIA brigade (8) played the main role in providing military training for extremist youths of Sagging and Magway regions appeared due to the political situation in 2021, and arms and ammunition to them and formed troop. KIA and PDF terrorists are jointly committing terrorism in Sagging and Magway regions till now.

Tatmadaw had to hit back as KIA attacked a small Tatmadaw outpost at the time when Tatmadaw was battling against MNDAA combined groups in northern Shan State.

AA attacked Htigyaint, Kanbalu, Kawlin, Tamu, Khanpat in Sagaing Region as well as and Haka, Lailinpi in Chin State in cooperating with KIA and PDF terrorists that were committing terrorist acts in Sagging and Magway regions. Local people’s militia joined hands with Tatmadaw and local people provided Tatmadaw with information about the terrorist groups. Hence effective response could be made.

UWSA returned to the legal fold in 1989 and the State designated Wa region as special region (2). It continuously provided rice to the region that was facing food shortage. UWSA restored peace over 30 years ago. The State carried out Wa region development undertakings as a special case. But since the last decade, Wa region has been gaining significant development and could set up urban areas. On the other hand, the region was manufacturing arms on large scale. There were no armed clashes between Wa troops and Tatmadaw.

During the 2009 Laukkai crisis, Pheung Kya-shin and his followers fled to Mongla, where his son-in-law lived. Some of them fled to the other country or other places. Currently, the group led by Peng Daxun son of Pheung Kya-shin was organizing Kokang people to restore the special region. In addition to TNLA, KIA and AA, Kokangs Tatmadaw is indivisible with people who want multi-party democracy Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing addresses SAC meeting 6/2023 from other regrouped bands and foreign drone experts took part in the attacks against Tatmadaw security outposts in northern Shan State during the previous month. Their total strength was about 6,500. The group led by Peng Daxun was attacking Tatmadaw security outposts since 2015. Likewise, it attacked Moneko, Phaungsai, Kyugok, 105 mile trade centre in 2016 and Yanlonkyaiung gate in 2017. The group was launching attacks just to grab power. TNLA that is joining hands with them attacked Naungcho and Theinni on Mandalay-Lashio-Theinni road, and fired shots at Lashio.

Drone bombs were the main weapons of the attacks. These groups were attacking Muse, the main gateway of border trade.

TNLA was launching attacks to cut off Mandalay-Lashio route and it is blocking and attacking Theinni the main town on Lashio – Muse- Chinshwehaw. TNLA was also supporting MNDAA.

TNLA was founded in Laiza with the support of KIA in 2009.

It entered Shan State (North) in 2011 with the goal of setting up Palaung region. Battles broke out between TNLA and Tatmadaw in 2016 as the former attacked a trade zone. Fierce fighting occurred as TNLA attacked people’s militia camps and security outposts in Muse in 2018. Acting on information about the provision of arms and ammunition to PDF terrorist in Sagaing Region in December 2022, Tatmadaw raided the place and seized a large amount of arms and ammunition and accessories.

In reviewing incidents which happened in northeast area of Shan State, the excessive strengths and technologies were deployed and drop bombs were used by military drones in attacks. They have so far used more than 25,000 drop bombs and committed attacks with the use of some 120 107mm rockets.

The government carries out security measures of the regions, peace and stability through collaborative efforts of the Tatmadaw and the police members due to unrests and terror acts which have been happening 2021. So, military operations were conducted under special restrictions. In some areas, security forces are deployed depending on the security measures. MNDAA and allies attack these areas with the use of drop bombs and excessive strengths. As such, some posts were left for danger of life of families. As these areas are located at the border area, all measures are controlled not to cause misunderstanding with other country, and these were conducted not to harm the innocent people.

The current complication in Laukkai region of Shan State (North) was triggered by online gambling. Drug trafficking and gambling have been there since many years. In the time when COVID-19 broke out, transport delayed, and so online gambling boomed. Skilled persons and supporting staff were recruited for their online gambling businesses.

So, illegal foreigners flowed into Laukkai region. Among illegal foreigners exposed, 2,035 persons were transferred to China up to 28 November. A total of 3,738 were arrested and handed over to China. A total of 37,936 persons left Myanmar under their arrangements.

So, those illegal foreigners totaled 43,709, and there remain some persons.

With regard to AA group, it was established in KIA area in 2009 and then it moved to Rakhine State in 2015. In December 2015, AA forcibly recruited new members from local people in Kyauktaw Township and built units. Hence, the Tatmadaw removed them from the areas.

In 2009, AA attacked the border outposts and abducted 118 students learning in Paletwa Township. Hence, the Tatmadaw responded to it. From then on, Tatmadaw and AA have been meeting in engagements. On 1 March 2021, both sides ceased fire under the negotiation of Nippon Foundation and the government lifted the declaration over AA group from the terrorist group. Then, AA group has been committing recruitment, kidnapping, interfering in administrative measures, and expanding their military buildings. So, the Tatmadaw severally warned AA group not to do so. In the time when Storm Mocha came in, Rakhine State faced a terrible loss and damage, with some casualties. The Senior General recounted that he himself went to the storm hit areas and emphasized rehabilitation measures with might and main. Senior military officers were assigned in relevant townships to take rehabilitation tasks with the aim of ensuring better development than the original conditions with the farsightedness.

The majority of the State budget was spent on rehabilitation. Upholding the goodwill, the work process has been done to complete the rehabilitation accounting for 99 percent in Rakhine State. But, AA group did not be loyal and violated the temporary ceasefire agreement. It participated in the events of MNDAA.

Recently, AA group attacked two security outposts in Paletwa region and Pauktaw. It also attacked some police stations with excessive strengths. At present, these areas are under control due to brave counterattacks of security forces. AA group faced many number of casualties as well as security forces encountered some casualties. AA group abducted administrative body members and service personnel in some regions and took some drivers. So, people from Rakhine State need to fully cooperate with the security forces for ensuring peace and stability of Rakhine State with patriotic spirit.

Starting from 11 November, KNPP/KNDF group attacked Loikaw of Kayah State with the excessive strengths. Due to information from the people who do not wish terror acts, some groups were annihilated.

It was seen that they made well preparations for attacks with strengths, arms and ammunition.

Before the clashes, they collected arms and ammunitions for Kayah State. An item of information was released that 500 arms and ammunition were seized in Hopong Township on 17 December 2022. Likewise, 130 assorted arms, more than 13,000 rounds of ammunition, more than 7,600 grenades, 500 barrels for small arms and other ammunition were seized on 16 November.

According to the confession of the arrestees in the incident, these arms and ammunition came via SSPP/SSA area which moves in Mongkai area. These arms and ammunition were trafficked by vehicle under the escort of those wearing PNO uniforms. Arms and ammunition were transported to Kayah State in various ways and means.

The cases were exposed and offenders arrested. So, these hindered terror acts of KNPP/ KNDF and PDF terrorists to some extent. At present, Loikaw region is under control.

Regarding KNU group, there is a long time for causing attacks of KNU for many years. In the time of President U Thein Sein, the government and KNU held peace talks. After KNU has signed Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement-NCA, the border area development teams cooperated with foreign organizations in development of their regions to some degree.

However, KNU upholds a sense on tension based on political changes in 2021. On 24 April, the 17th KNU Congress removed Chairman Saw Mutu Say Poe and elected Pado Kwe Htoo Win as Chairman. Then, KNLA Brigade 5 and Brigade 6 derailed from the NCA route and are attacking minor camps of the Tatmadaw and Myawady and Kawkareik till today. On 24 November, KNLA Brigade 5 attacked a military camp of the Tatmadaw with the excessive strengths whereas Brigade 6 blew up Chaungnhakhwa Bridge in Kyaikmaraw Township on 27 November.

The ethnic armed groups are gathering forces behind the scenes on the pretext of peace, producing weapons and ammunition, providing terrorist training courses to terrorist groups in the name of PDF and selling weapons and ammunition to take advantage of the peace issue. Since we are responsible for the national defense, we will focus on crushing down the insurgents.

For the territorial stability and national sovereignty, I would like to say that the members of the Tatmadaw are doing their best to cooperate with the Myanmar Police to ensure that the lives of the people are not affected.

Tatmadaw stays united with the people who desire multi-party democracy

     Talking about the Tatmadaw’s leadership in the effort to embark on and continue to promote multi-party democracy, the Senior General said: “We are a country that is moving towards a multi-party democratic system.

The multi-party democracy is being implemented by the Tatmadaw because the people demanded it. The Tatmadaw led the way and developed a multi-party democratic system.

It is not that the Tatmadaw supports a multi-party democratic system only now. If we look at the announcements made by the State Law and Order Restoration Council after the 1988 pro-democracy uprising, those announcements were truly representative of the Tatmadaw. We have said that we will march towards multi-party democracy. In the same way, after drafting a constitutional law that would firmly support this multi-party democratic system, we are going with this constitution.

When we go with the constitution, we also take the election path. There were three general elections in 2010, 2015, 2020. In the 2010 election and the 2015 election, nothing serious happened except for a few problems. In the 2020 election, severe vote rigging surfaced.

Then followed attempts to seize power through dishonest and rigged vote results.

All the members of the Council already know that after declaring a state of emergency in accordance with our 2008 Constitution, a five-point roadmap was established for its implementation by the Tatmadaw.

Therefore, we, as the Tatmadaw, have led and developed a multiparty democratic system, and we will continue to take the lead in making the multi-party democratic system strong. I want to say that the Tatmadaw stays united with the people who desire multi-party democracy.

I would also like to say that we will continue to work to strengthen the multi-party democratic system in the role of political construction. This is to inform council members about the security situation.”

Efforts will be made to reopen universities that are closed due to the situation                        

    Among the incidents that took place in Kayah State, there was an attack on Loikaw University, and faculty members, including the rector, students and their family members were forcibly abducted by terrorists. As there were intense clashes in various places, including the Prison Department in Loikaw, security forces had to take care to ensure that education staff and students were not harmed. During the fighting, the abduction of education staff and students who are not related to military affairs is in violation of the Geneva Convention and cannot be tolerated. A statement was issued to release the arrestees as soon as possible without any harm. At the request of local people and religious missions and as the education staff, students and family members could not be kept for a long time, KNPP and PDF terrorists sent back those who were arrested. Therefore, only 11 of the 204 people arrested have yet to be released.

Due to the actions of such KNPP and PDF groups, Distance Education University exams that were to be taken at Loikaw University were canceled, effecting the students and their parents as well as the socio-economic life of the locals. Similarly, the Institute of Technology, the University of Computer Studies and the Education Degree College in Loikaw were also closed. Like Loikaw, Hakha University could not open. Since November 23, all universities have been open as usual, but in some areas without peace and stability, there are few opportunities for students to go to, and there is low school attendance. There are schools that are closed due to difficulties.

If the situation improves, measures will be taken to reopen those schools. For the teachers who will serve depending on the regional situations, their safety must be considered.

There will be measures for basic education schools to remain open as usual.

Measures taken to regulate distribution of edible oil, fuel

     Another issue is concerned with edible oil and fuel oil and measures taken for the issue was reported in previous meetings.

Necessary action was taken in accordance with rules and laws against eight companies that sold fuel oil at excessive profits without regard for designated prices and companies that did so at higher prices than reasonable ones. As for edible oil, action was taken by forming relevant teams. Measures were also taken for companies to import edible oil in accordance with rules and regulations and action was taken in accordance with the law against those who breached rules and regulations. Action was taken against officials who were responsible for unlawful acts in connection with edible oil and fuel oil and severe action was taken against two SAC members as well as some government employees who were responsible for the issue.

Manufacturing businesses encouraged

    In connection with the economy, there are earnings from trading and non-trade businesses.

Non-trade earnings include financial assistance, loans, taxes, earnings from overseas workers and foreign investments. Reliable earnings are those that come from trade and much has been talked about trade. In the past, the country relied on foreign loans and financial assistance to meet the foreign exchange needs. In connection with earnings from trade, trade deficits were reported as imports exceeded exports. Exports were shrinking not because of the shortages of the country but because of the failure to work properly. Although the country boasts land and water resources and favorable climate to provide livelihoods, manufacturing was weak due to failure to work effectively. Failure to encourage state-owned enterprises run by previous governments and privatization and closure of them after a multiparty democratic government took office in 2011 weakened the manufacturing sector, the main pillar of the economy of the country. It can be seen that the GDP of the country is lower than other ASEAN and regional countries. Will the GDP increase only when work is done properly.

As I often said, there will be no goods to sell without manufacturing products. As incomes can be earned when there are products to sell, manufacturing must be encouraged. Members are required to encourage manufacturing when they visit regions where they are assigned.

Another factor is that fake news has been circulated. Although they are fake news that are impossible to be true, they are widely and intentionally circulated to create misunderstandings among the public.

Therefore, responsible officials and organizations are required to refute them and measures must be taken to enable the public to know true news.

Then, members of the SAC reported on illegal mining and exports of jade and metal resources by ethnic armed organizations, the needs to provide food, clothing and shelter and healthcare services to internally displaced persons in Kayah State, the needs to take measures to enable the public to know the real violent acts of some EAOs and so-called PDF terrorists, interference of some powerful western countries in the internal affairs of Myanmar and other issues.

Afterward, the joint secretary of the SAC reported on matters related to stability and the rule of law of the country in 2023.

Then, the Vice Senior General discussed matters related to concerted efforts to receive correct information to combat the ongoing armed violence.

In his concluding remarks, the Senior General talked about the economy and said there are many tax evaders in the country and it is important to levy taxes properly. There were bank runs due to rumor but the phenomenon has been over now. In connection with the security of banks, there are state-owned banks as well as private banks. Reviewing the security of banks in the past, it can be seen that banking staff were involved in sabotage. Acts of banking staff are very serious.

It is learned that PDF terrorists had mainly targeted to attack banks where money can be easily taken. Last week, the PDF terrorists robbed a private bank in Kawlin by threatening local bank staff, which caused a loss of more than Ks-40 billion. Therefore, security measures for private banks have been taken by Myanmar Police Force members, and Tatmadaw members are given security duty at the very important banks.

Regarding the commodity production, if people having capital in the country make investment with their money, there will be much benefit . It is seen that farmers are not able to do agriculture and livestock businesses as they have no capital. It will be much beneficial if the people having money lead in organizing availability of seeds, technology, animal feeds, fertilizer and water necessary for agriculture and livestock  businesses through spending their money. If there is a will to make investments in the manufacturing businesses based on Myanmar’s main economy of agriculture and livestock, the State is ready to give support and encouragement to such a will. Similarly, departments concerned will give full support and help to those who want to make investments in MSMEs.

Regarding agriculture, it is seen that there is a situation in favor of cultivating corn and sunflower. It is learned that last year, subsidiary crop cultivation was very weak after monsoon paddy. As there was no subsidiary crop cultivation after monsoon paddy, it had come to waste cultivated land without any benefit. Therefore, benefit will be gained if corn and sunflower are cultivated after monsoon paddy. It is also necessary to give support to planting coffee.

It is necessary to properly take measures if a project is implemented.

Officials need to urge agriculture and livestock businesses that will be beneficial to the State through giving advice. Doing so will be of much support to promoting the nation’s economy, and the government needs to create jobs in the main agriculture and livestock industries and give support to them.

There are three regions where education is weak. They are Shan State (East), Kayah State and Chin State. Due to the currently happening issues, universities in Kayah and Chin states had to be closed. Therefore, those states have lagged behind in education. Presently, people with arms have come out for power. It is necessary to correct such an attitude. Therefore, educated people are required to proceed with exercising the multi-party democracy system.

It is a must to implement the objectives: the Tatmadaw leads to developing the multi-party democracy system; the system must be indivisible with the wish of the people as the people want it; and a Union will be built based on democracy and federalism. The Tatmadaw will decisively lead in the role of implementing those objectives.

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