Excuse me! Maj-Gen Zaw Min Tun,
I am Sandicidu from Hong Kong-based CNN International.
I sent this letter as I’d like to ask for a statement or a reply from you related to statements which came out for attacks by the Myanmar Tatmadaw on the anniversary celebration held in Kachin State on 24 October.
These statements mentioned more than 100 civilians were wounded and many persons dead in the airstrike.
The United Nations also issued a press release that it was unacceptable for attacks of the security forces with larger strength on unarmed civilians and that it demanded the security forces take responsibility for the incident. Let me know how you would respond to the press release. Thank you.
Answers from Maj-Gen Zaw Min Tun
The information was released about the incident on 24 October through State-owned media. I think you might have read the press release issued by the State. If so, you would not ask this question. All the topics you would like to know have been mentioned in that news. It is one of the points I’d like to tell you.
For the second point, I’d like to ask you what facts you refer to for your question and how reliable it is.
For the third point, where is the location for the death of people and artistes mentioned in the rumour? How did those artistes arrive there? Some documentary photos portraying those artistes in KIA uniforms are spreading. So, who are they? How many artistes arriving there do you know? Some close societies said those artistes are alive. I think you ask me about the things that can’t be confirmed.
With regard to the fourth point, the spokesperson of KIA himself said it is the KIA-controlled area. If so, who will be there? There were only KIA troops, PDFs and their related persons. It is based on our evidence. As it is a controlled area or restricted area as mentioned by KIA, any civilians are not allowed to go there. It is not easy to go there. If the people go there via Kanse, they have to pass the ruined Buzadee Village and along the Uru River. It is locally called Urukha Creek. After passing there, they would arrive there. You may check the satellite maps. You may know. Check that building. It is a stall Guan Maw said. There is no stall. Local people buy goods in Kansee and Aungbalay (Tanguan). No stall is there. If so, what the spokeperson said needed to tally with what Guan Maw said in the first place. There was no traveller. Any local people do not go beyond Buzadee Village. You may think who goes there?
As the fifth point, I would say that according to the statements, only the PDF members and NLD members including persons with the level of KIA brigade were included. We have evidence in connection with the levels, names, and positions. There was not any list of civilian names. As names of some NLDs and PDFs were found they would be connected with groups declared as terrorist groups. So, it is obvious that they were jointly committing terrorist acts. Who were behind the incidents which occur in Sagaing Region? You can know if you check them. KIA is providing not only training to PDFs in Sagaing Region but also arms and ammunition as well as mines. Of the seized arms, the great majority were from KIA. All the arms seized in Mandalay Region were also of the KIA. We have records in connection with the involvement of the KIA officer from behind the scene. Hence, the Tatmadaw had to launch a necessary military operation. Last year, these groups attacked our area control camps near Aungbalay village. If you look at online photo evidence, you can see that all the dead or wounded wore uniforms. There were no civilians at all, as it is not a place where civilians live.
The last thing I would like to say is that Tatmadaw never attacks unarmed civilians. PDF took away 15 passengers near Kandaunk village on the Monywa-Kyaw road on 12 October. In response, commando troops launched search and rescue missions in the area around Yinbaungtai and Shwehlan villages in Yinmabin Township on 19 and 20 October. There were three engagements with KIA/PDF groups. At last, commandos could rescue 26 hostages including women, children, civil servants and villagers. Children from two to 12 years were included in the hostages. Some were under confinement from seven months to one year. This is the nearest answer. Tatmadaw never attacks civilians. It only rescues the people confined by terrorists.
Now, I have already given you a comprehensive answer to your question. Tatmadaw never attacks unarmed civilians. It only saves the people. The Yinmabin incident is proof. KIA announced that the area in Phakant where the incident took place was a KIA brigade 9-controlled area.
Evidence shows that only KIA members and PDF terrorists and their affiliates were there. Hence, Tatmadaw had to launch an operation. We have no idea about any annual celebration. We knew that it was a den where enemies and terrorists were hiding. So, we launched a necessary military operation. Throughout history and till now, Tatmadaw has never attacked civilians, and we don’t need to clarify the matter in connection with fake news.