All people should bear in mind “Myanmar Spirit” without racial and religious discrimination, and to strive for the country’s development in cohesive union

Nay Pyi Taw March 27

As the armed conflicts broke out, bringing instability, the country lagged behind the ASEAN community without having development. Therefore, to catch up with the others, we need to quicken our pace. In this respect, all the people should bear in mind “Myanmar Spirit” without racial and religious discrimination, and to strive for the country’s development in cohesive union. Instead of pointing to the past and finding faults it is now high time to learn the lessons from the past and to conduct for the country’s development, said Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Maha Thray Sithu Min Aung Hlaing at the Parade of the 73rd Anniversary Armed Forces Day at Nay Pyi Taw military parade ground this morning.

Military personnel of the Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air), female parade company of the Tatmadaw (Army), members of the Navy SEALs, members of special female troops, members of Myanmar Police Force and female parade company of MPF in columns which will participate in the parade ceremony of the 73rd Anniversary of Armed Forces Day for 2018 took positions at Thithat parade ground at 5 am today and participated in it on the parade agenda.

First, the Bagpipe Band and the Central Military Band took the designated position in the parade ground. Then, the flag bearers led by Parade Commander Brig-Gen Aung Aung—followed by Anawrahta Column led by Column Commander Col Kyaw Kyaw Than comprising the parade companies representing the Directorate of Military Engineers, the Directorate of Supply and Transport, Office of the Chief of Defence Industries, the Coastal Region Command, and Directorate of Armoured Corps; Kyansittha Column led by Column Commander Col Myo Min comprising the parade companies representing Eastern Command, Directorate of Signals, Central Region Command, Yangon Command, and Military Operations Command Headquarters; Bayintnaung Command led by Column Commander Col Kyaw Kyaw Htoo comprising the parade companies representing the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Navy), Directorate of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Central Region Command, South-East Command, and No. 1 Company representing the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Navy); Aungzeya Column led by Column Commander Col Myo Zaw Win comprising the female parade company representing the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army), No. 1 Company of representing the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army), parade companies representing the North-West Command, South-West Command, and Military Operations Command Headquarters; Hsinbyushin Column led by Column Commander Col Soe Tin Lat comprising parade companies representing the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Air), Directorate of Medical Services, Triangle Region Command, Bureau of Air Defence, No.1 Company representing the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Air); Bandula Column led by Column Commander Col Myint Soe comprising parade companies representing the Airborne Corps, Directorate of Ordnance, Southern Command, Directorate of Artillery Corps, and Military Operations Command Headquarters; Myawady Column led by Column Commander Police Colonel Banyar Oo comprising parade companies representing female company and No. 1 female company of Myanmar Police Force, No. 1 male company, No. 2 male company and No. 3 male company of Myanmar Police Force; and female parade column representing Special Task Force, and Navy SEALs—marched to the parade ground.

On the route, Daw Kyu Kyu Hla, wife of the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services, Daw Than Than Nwe, wife of the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commander-in-Chief (Army), Daw Thet Thet Aung, wife of the Chief of the General Staff (Army, Navy and Air), Daw Than Than Aye, wife of the Commander-in-Chief (Navy), Daw Aung Mar Myint, wife of the Commander-in-Chief (Air), and wives of senior military officers of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief garlanded the participants of the military parade.


Likewise, officers, other ranks and families of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army), those from Nay Pyi Taw Command Headquarters and military stations and local people heartily welcomed and garlanded the military personnel along their route. A total of 12,434 Tatmadawmen and police members from the military columns sang the marching songs in chorus with patriotic and nationalistic spirit and then took positions at the Parade Ground.

The Parade of 73rd Anniversary of the Armed Forces Day for 2018 was also attended by Speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw U
T Khun Myat, Chairman of the Union Election Commission U Hla Thein, Deputy Speaker of Amyotha Hluttaw U Aye Tha Aung, union ministers, Chief of the General Staff (Army, Navy and Air) General Zeya Kyawhtin Mya Tun Oo, Commander-in-Chief (Navy) Admiral Zeya Kyawhtin Tin Aung San, Commander-in-Chief (Air) General Zeya Kyawhtin Maung Maung Kyaw, senior military officers, Independence Mawgun First, Second and Third Class Award winners, retired senior military officers, chairmen from the Hluttaw committees, Defence Services personnel representatives of Hluttaw, officers and other ranks who were awarded Thiha Thura and Thura titles and gallantry medals in 2017 and inheritors, representatives from the armed ethnic groups who have signed the NCA, members of the People’s Militia and Border Guard Central Advisory Group, military attachés and officials from foreign missions, officials from Myanmar Police Force, Myanmar Fire Brigade and Myanmar Red Cross Society, members of Myanmar War Veterans Organization, Myanmar Women’s Affairs Federation and Myanmar Maternal and Child Welfare Association, students from University for Development of National Races, members of Myanmar Press Council, artistes, winners in the marching and military songs, poem, short story and novel contests, managers, instructors and trainees from marine youth training course and aviation youth training course, and invited guests.

Next, the Senior General arrived at the parade ground in accompany with the cavalry and took his position at the review stand. The Tatmadawmen from the military columns and members of Myanmar Police Force saluted the Senior General. Then, the Senior General inspected the parade columns.

While those present taking the salute of the Flag of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the central military band played national anthem. Afterwards, they saluted the fallen Tatmadawmen and Tatmadawmen (Army, Navy and Air) from the parade columns and MPF members recited the Four Oaths in chorus.

Delivering a speech, the Senior General said to trace back Myanmar history, we, in juxtaposition, can see the good traditions of our Tatmadaw standing alive to date, along with her history. As for our Tatmadaw, the independence of our State was absolutely attained by fighting against the colonialist and the fascist, together with the people. After the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the State had been safeguarded in comparison with the national interest. Likewise, the Union was also preserved from the circumstances of her disintegration and efforts had been made for national reconciliation and domestic peace in an opportune moment.

Moreover, good foundations necessary for the exercise of democracy had been built up and undertakings were led for the smooth transition of politics and governance. Along the history of our Nation, the role of our Tatmadaw and her standpoint were greatly important and admirable. In 1886, we had to relinquish our independence and sovereignty and our nationals, taking the arms randomly, resisted the colonialists throughout the country to be free from their oppression. Although our ancestors repelled the colonialists based on patriotic spirit, it was unsuccessful due to lack of systematic and cohesive revolution, wide mobilization and the absence of a modernized Tatmadaw, resulted them to be under colonial suppression more than 100 years. In the early 20th century, however, armed revolution and political uprisings were unanimously conducted together with the national awareness. The aftermath of World War II caused havoc for the British Colonialists. Taking this opportunity, all anti-colonialist blocs decided to launch an armed revolution against the colonialists.

With the help of the Japanese, the Thirty Comrades led by Thakin Aung San underwent and endured military training in Hainan and Taiwan islands. Burma Independence Army (BIA) could be initially established with the lead of Bogyoke Aung San and the thirty comrades at Bangkok, Thailand on 27th December 1941. Henceforth, they entered Myanmar separately by organizing Dawei column, Mawlamyine column and sea lane troops. Amongst the columns, Dawei column was the core one and it was cordially welcomed by the local residents of all kind on its arrival to Dawei. Meanwhile, as the local people, due to their intense desire to get independence, had joined the BIA column, the strength became enormous in no time. It is typical that the word “Dawei is the origin of BIA strength” reflects the patriotism of Dawei local people. While the BIA troops set off to recapture the whole Myanmar, many of the people from towns and villages along the route joined them. Then, it became massive strength which could successfully overthrow the colonialists.

Soon after the 1948 independence, internal armed conflicts happened due to divided rules of the colonialists, different political background and ideology, inability to explain the narrow definition of ethnic affairs based on paranoia, through political means. Not to give up the newly fresh independence, sovereignty, and integration of the Union, the Army led by General Ne Win fought the multi-coloured insurgents with the strength present. At the same time, the invasion of the Kuomintang in the eastern Myanmar and the insurgency of the Mujahideenin the western Myanmar were defended with much sacrifices, perceiving them as the national duties related to sovereignty.

In our country, parliamentary democracy was exercised from 1948 independence to 1962. In such pursuance, political and administrative instabilities arose due to the weakness of parliamentary democracy, and inadequacy in democracy experience and practice. Thus, on 28th October 1958, the Tatmadaw took acting responsibility as caretaker government for rule of law and order restoration in the whole country round. Afterwards, free and fair elections were held and all kinds of State’s responsibilities were handed back to the winning Union Party Government on 4th April 1960. In 1962, due to the split of political factions, the administrative pillar became feeble and the insurgents grew up. Meanwhile, secessionist movements also emerged along with the federalism. As these came up to be the risks of Union disintegration, the revolutionary council was organized on 2nd March 1962 and managed to preserve all kinds of State’s responsibilities.

In 1988, the uprisings broke out due to overall pitfalls of the State. Since external disturbances came into existence and ruined administration and rule of law, leading to the situation of Union disintegration, the Tatmadaw had to take responsibilities the various situations again on 18th September 1988. As for the Tatmadaw, efforts had been made for State’s peace and prosperity, rule of law and domestic peace and basic foundations for the State Building had been laid down as well. Furthermore, it was carried out to form a Constitution prerequisite for the formulation of democracy and market economy. In November 2010, multi-party general election was held with the lead of Tatmadaw in line with the Constitution and the State’s responsibilities were handed over to the elected government smoothly on 31st March 2011. Right now, it has reached to the second term of multi-party democracy government. The Tatmadaw has been carrying out her duties; National Defence, Security and National Politics in accordance with the provisions of State Constitution. The political system and the political path have changed, instead, the Tatmadaw is observed to have conducted national defence and national politics in the said processes, involving none of the coercion.

It is necessary to be a strong, capable, modern and patriotic Tatmadaw to protect the country well, so as not our independence and sovereignty to be violated. As the saying goes, “Only when the Tatmadaw is strong, will the Nation be strong”, we must build our Tatmadaw to have combat power and combat prowess. In the establishment of Standard Army, units are to be gradually organized, in line with the present age. Typical establishment of the Unit has to be balanced. Through training, we have to build the Standard Army organized with the strong and capable military personnel. As it is the time of anticipating Tatmadaw to become the modern one, you comrades are to try hard, conformed to our Tatmadaw’s progressive deals.

In building up defence capability of the State, it will be necessary to effectively utilize technology and military professionalism helping serve to military affairs collectively. Looking at the modern wars of today, it ultimately aims to achieve Dominate Battle space Knowledge and Precision Strike. Therefore, aim must be placed on our Tatmadaw to come up with the Armies at international arena by utilizing current technological development.

As for our Tatmadaw, as ways of helping alternatively, subsistence farming and livestock and the unit-owned ones have to be done: to bring assistance to the betterment of State’s economy; to comfort people’s consumption, to stabilize the price to some extent. Dealing with business for the sake of providing welfare is the forefront of the deal. We do subsistence farming and livestock and we also need to be frugal. Only when we keep self-restraint on drinking and socializing, will there have balance in income and expense. I would like to urge that you all are to take care of yourselves, keeping constant aware of frugality and content. On the other side, we must attentively develop by ourselves, the capabilities of our units and our Tatmadaw as well.

Today, our country is marching as the modern and developed democracy one. Democracy is a negotiation of different views from multiple directions and it is the way to live cohesively with the same attitudes. Whichever policies have been pursued in the country, there shall be laws, rules and regulations promulgated. In democracy, there is freedom of speech in line with democracy norms but these must also be in accordance with the rules and regulations ratified and accountability as well. Discipline is the road map of development. Baseless speech leads to animosity and degrades the prestige of our country, hindering the nation building.

In the advanced communication networks of today, information seems to abundantly burst so our military personnel need to think analytically through perception. Soon after the independence, the stooges of political parties, to win elections, could be observed to have instigated the Tatmadaw through various ways, with the aim of exploiting the Tatmadaw in their power tug of war. Thus, baseless speech to disintegrate the Tatmadaw and to lower her prestige will have to be reacted with care and consciousness. As some of the opposition organizations come to strike Tatmadaw by all means than usual during the political transition, to bring the collapse of political image, the distrust of the people and the disintegration of military personnel, the said slams are to be contemplated and organization within unit must be built. In this backdrop, organization within unit should be steadfastly built through the equal and equitable allocations of assigned tasks, management, and organization as it says, “We shall unite together whoever tries to disintegrate”. In the implementation of organization at public, all kinds of tasks forwarding the people’s interest, comprising local development concerned, helping indiscriminate assistance in case of natural disaster on timely manner, caring education, health and social affairs, must be carried out in line with military code of conduct.

For many years, over 130 ethnic groups had coexisted peacefully in Myanmar. Among ethnic groups, some are up to hundred-thousands but some are just handful by population. However, population is not the main matter and rights are equitable for all kinds of ethnics as the Constitution states. Although the majority believes in Buddhism, there has also been freedom of worship for other religions. Thus, speech causing illusion must be restrained in relation to religion.

Our Tatmadaw is the institution which has been organized based on discipline as the motto goes, “Discipline is the backbone of the Tatmadaw”. The reason why our Tatmadaw stands firmly is on the grounds of good military discipline and obedience. Each and every serviceman must strictly follow rules and regulations, orders and instructions issued. As the sixty principles of military personnel are the provisions reflecting Code of Conduct for a good soldier, it is necessary to steadfastly adhere to military code of conduct. Moreover, apart from following civil laws, military laws and laws related to war, we must also abide by rules of engagement (ROE). ROE is the legal instruction as well as guidance for circumstances and restrictions to be followed by the units and corps in the accomplishment of military objective. I would like to say that actions are being taken up with the existing law accordingly if someone breaks code of conduct, rules and regulations.

Soon after the independence, disparity in ideology, ethnicity, and religion came up due to divided rules of the British imperialist during their terms and the armed conflicts have been still remaining to date. To get peace, successive governments convened peace talks. And now, in our country translating multiparty democracy into practice, we must find solutions through political means as claims with arms are not necessary. With this meet, it is obligatory to carry out based on the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) route that can practically meet the voices of the entire people. The Tatmadaw has signed in NCA and been cooperating to stabilize and firmly establish the current political process in accord with the provisions of NCA.

In the continuation of the mechanisms of perpetual peace via NCA for the entire people to enjoy the fruitfulness of stability, peace and development in the quickest time, the reunification processes for security affairs are to be developed. During the peace talks, it will be more practical to negotiate about probable things, in view of long-term benefit, instead of claiming the impossible ones and procrastinating time.

The development for the areas of the national races is of great importance to stability and peace of the border areas. During the Tatmadaw government, it had been allocated for 22 project areas for the development of border areas and national races and their education, health, socio-economic wellbeing were cared as well. Therefore, the areas of national races had come into much development. At present, too, it is being managed by establishing Ministry of Border Affairs and Ministry of Ethnic affairs. I would like to urge you that help should be greatly cared with steady momentum for the education, health, socio-economic well-being of national races residing in border areas.

The Tatmadaw tried to shape necessary foundations for the formation of multiparty democracy system and also for the smooth transition of democracy. To get perpetual peace and to strengthen present multiparty democracy system, the Tatmadaw is cooperating with hope and esteem based on her sincerity. While building the union peace is essential. So, the Tatmadaw has outlined the six peace principles based our three main national causes and firmly conduct them. The Tatmadaw’s six peace principles have been laid down, aiming at stability of the state, cohesive union and development, relied on previous experiences and current difficulties in peacemaking.

The main task of Tatmadaw is the National Defence which will be conducted by joining hands with the entire people. In defining the term ‘Defence’, it varies depending on historical background of the states. Whoever the government is, whatever the political system is, the main task of Tatmadaw is to serve for national defence and national politics. I would also like to stress that the main duties of the Tatmadaw are to safeguard Our Three Main National Causes, the State Constitution, the lives and property of the people with her adornment and the works contributing to State’s interest and Public interest together with national awareness.

Tatmadaw members and MPF members of the columns led by Parade Commander Brig-Gen Aung Aung marched past the Senior General in military procession and left the parade ground.

During the time, four transport helicopters of the Tatmadaw (Air) bearing the flag of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the flags of (Army, Navy, Air) flew in procession. Officers and other ranks of the parade company representing the Special Task Force (women) and officers and other ranks of Navy Seal of Tatmadaw (Navy) descended from the helicopters through fast-roping and joined the parade columns.

One combat helicopter and three light transport helicopters of the Tatmadaw (Air) flew in different-type chopper formation, three light transport planes in Vic formation, one medium transport plane and four training aircrafts in different-type squadron in arrowhead composite formation, one medium transport plane, and two combat jets in different-type squadron in composite formation, one light transport plane and four jet light trainers in smoke trails, four advanced jet trainers in flying position and five jet interceptors in arrowhead formation, and five multi-purpose jets in arrowhead formation before spreading into v-shaped formation while letting off fireworks, in saluting the Senior General.

Later, the Senior General left the parade ground after cordially greeting attendees and the ceremony concluded.

The honourable bronze statues of the founder kings of the First, Second and Third Myanmar Kingdoms, the Armed Forces Day Torch, and the plaque marking the 73rd Anniversary Armed Forces Day could be seen with admiration. Moreover, the Burma Independence Army Flag, the Burma Defence Forces Flag, the flags of Tatmadaw (Army, Navy, Air), the flags of the directorates of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army), and the colourful flags bearing the labels of military commands, light infantry divisions and battalions and units were also fluttering in the ground.

Giant posters portraying the activities of Tatmadaw members (Army, Navy, Air) that promote patriotism and nationalistic fervour were erected along Yangon-Mandalay highway near Thittat Parade Ground and Pinlaung junction, posters bearing the mottos of the Tatmadaw in Myanmar and English were erected or hanged along the parade route in honour of the 73rd Anniversary Armed Forces Day. Foreign and local media were also gathering news with keen interest.

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