Answer of Maj-Gen Zaw Min Tun, Leader of Information Team of the State Administration Council for the death of pastor from Christian Church in Thantlang

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Leader of the SAC Information Team Major-General Zaw Min Tun.

We see some destructive media broadcast fake news related to Myanmar. Such broadcasting was started by Khit Thit Media which aired fake news such as setting fires to Kinma Village in Pauk Township of Magway Region on 19 September.
In this regard, the broadcasting features a clash that happened in Thantlang on 18 September when pastor Cung Biak Hum of Christian Baptist Church was dead due to bullet-hit by the Tatmadaw. With regard to the reality, the security troops performed the patrol in Thantlang between 4 pm and 4:30 pm on 18 September. During the patrol, some 100 terrorists called PDF taking positions in urban areas and houses ambushed the security troops in Ward 1 of Thantlang. Both sides exchanged fires. After the clash, it was scrutinized that a fire broke out to destroy 20 houses and a three-storey building of the Department of Highways. Pastor Cung Biak Hum of Village Baptist Church of Thantlang left his house from Ward 2 of Thantlang by motorcycle to the scene of a fire outbreak. It was reported that he was dead due to a bullet hit on arrival at Htar Htar Pharmacy Shop on Bogyoke Street in Ward 2.
The clash started from 4 pm to 4:25 pm. The pastor was dead at 6 pm. So, it was learnt he was cremated at the tomb by Christian religious officials at Thantlang Cemetery of Ward 2 at noon on 19 September. After the event, fake news emerged. I explained the reality. In the incident of Thantlang on 18 September, terrorists called PDF taking cover of the resident housings in Thantlang opened fire at the security troops. Now, further investigation over the death is being conducted.
In this regard, fake news items are being broadcast on the one-sided accusation that the pastor was shot by the Tatmadaw, and his ring and watch were taken. In addition to the broadcasting, Chin Christian Church of Chin State released its attitude dated 19 September. The Kachin Theological College-KTC also issued its statement on stance. Such a statement comprised accusations of killing and destruction of the religious building. So, I have explained the death of the pastor.
I’d like to explain NUG and CRPH terrorist organizations are committing to undermine the peace and stability of the entire nation. On 7 September, it released an announcement sparking the conflicts. Then, some instability were found in some parts of Chin State. Some 400 terrorists attacked the Lonte camp of the Tatmadaw and the Myanmar Police Force in Thantlang in Chin State. We saw the statements of Chin Baptist Church (CBC) and Kachin Baptist Church (KBC).
These statements were designed to highlight the reality but derailed religious affairs. It is very dangerous. Such kind of process should not be done. According to the Constitution 2008, Section 34 gives equal rights of independent faiths to all. Moreover, the Constitution stipulates Sections 361, 362 and 363 for religious affairs. Section 362 mentions that the Union also recognizes Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Animism as the religions existing in the Union at the day of the coming into operation of this Constitution. Section 363 clearly states that the Union may assist and protect the religions it recognizes to its utmost. Our Myanmar is a Union formed by various ethnicities and various religions.
We analyze that based on the event it triggered the instigation to religions as a conflict. It should not be done. Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing on behalf of the State as well as the Tatmadaw has been giving encouragement and aid to all religions before forming the government. In this regard, the Tatmadaw has been assisting the religions and the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services has attended the religious ceremonies.
During his tours to various parts of the country, the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services from his assumption of military duty to date met with leaders of religious associations regardless of religion and social affairs, provided assistance and held talks many times. On every Christmas, the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services always arrives at Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Botahtaung of Yangon. He makes speeches at the Xmas festivities. I’d like to take an excerpt from the speeches of the Prime Minister as the original one. He said, “There are 3.2 million Christians in Myanmar, account for six per cent of the population. Christians, Muslims, Hindus and other religious members together with Buddhism which is a faith of the largest number of people have been serving the interests of the State in unison for many years. They all are living together with brotherly spirit under the noble orders of all religions. The Constitution 2008 of the country guarantees the freedom of religion in Sections 362 and 363. So, all citizens need to take care of breaking down the unity by utilizing the religion.”
Now, NUG and CRPH organizations and destructive media broadcast fake news. They commit to driving the instigation among the ethnic nationals and then religions. So, people need to take care of their acts. In the life of the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services, the Senior General has been amicable with KBC of Kachin State. Such an organization has provided aid and efforts for peace to the Tatmadaw. In this regard, such organization expressed their concerns. So, we don’t blame it. But we would like to explain it is not concerned for Christians.
KBC asked the Tatmadaw at the time of the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services of the Senior General for clearing mines in Kachin State. We also cleared landmines for enabling the displaced persons to return home. The process achieved success. Moreover, the engineering corps of the Tatmadaw repaired Christian Churches damaged in Kachin and Shan (North) states. Such moves were released on time. Concerning prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19, we are performing the vaccination to the people at IDP camps regardless of race and Bengalis in Rakhine State.
Moreover, we are arranging vaccination for those of EAOs. Myanmar is a country formed with various ethnic nationals and religions. Likewise, the Tatmadaw is formed with various ethnic people in religions. Our Tatmadaw has many ethnic people. The Myanmar Police Force is also formed with various ethnic nationals. They are allowed to believe in various religions. Military units provide assistance to the respective persons to hold their religious ceremonies. So, I’d like to say that NUG and CRPH and destructive media are always making attempts to instigate the ethnic nations and religions in the country.
Hence, I’d like to say that the people and ethnic nationals in various religious should analyze realities of the current events and build the Union in line with the motto: We’ll always unite whoever instigates”.—MNA

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