Commander-In-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said he empathized with the stances of armed ethnic groups and national races are to regard themselves as Myanmars by nurturing the same Myanmar spirit, at the meeting with armed ethnic groups who attended the 68th Anniversary Union Day ceremony at Bayintnaung Yeiktha in Nay Pyi Taw on Friday.
He added that a country will exist only when there is unity, expressing his desire to leave good legacies.
The senior general cordially greeted the armed ethnic groups at the meeting.
Also present were Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services and Commander-in-Chief (Army) Vice-Senior General Soe Win, Chief of Staff (Army, Navy and Air) General Hla Htay Win and leaders of 13 armed ethnic groups.
The senior general said that senior military officers and leaders of armed ethnic groups facing one another at the meeting are national brethren from different parts of the country and all are moving forwards in unison along the path of multi-party democracy, the administrative system chosen by the people.
The senior general continued to say that stability is essential for moving forwards along the democratic path, adding the Tatmadaw has adopted the prerequisites for the country such as stability, solidarity and development of the country as its national policy.
Then, the senior general pointed out that it is heart-breaking to find innocent people without weapons as the victims of conflicts between armed organizations and expressed his thanks to armed ethnic groups that are determined to proceed with the peace process by signing the deed of commitment for peace and national reconciliation on Union Day, before urging the armed ethnic groups that have not yet signed the deed to sign it in the interests of the people and the nation.
The Tatmadaw will never break the commitments made to the people and the country, said the senior general, adding that clashes erupted between the Tatmadaw and renegade Kokang group in Laukkai
area recently and news was released as it happened by announcing that the renegade Kokang group led by Phone Kya Shin started provocation by attacking people’s militias, police forces in villages and bases of the Tatmadaw, leaving causalities among Tatmadaw personnel.
The Tatmadaw has never attacked the headquarters and camps of recognized armed ethnic groups, but some armed ethnic groups fought together with the renegade Kokang group, according to the senior general who later said that the stance of the groups that were involved will have to take responsibility for their involvement in the provocative attacks while ceasefire talks were being held must be taken seriously.
The senior general said that the Tatmadaw will hold a press conference soon as there are narcotic drugs in border areas of Myanmar territory and the Tatmadaw will have to combat and eliminate narcotic drugs that are threatening not only Myanmar but also the world.
The Tatmadaw will combat narcotic drugs effectively as a national cause since the problem damages the image of the country in the international community, the senior general said.
He added that it is necessary for national brethren who are residing in Myanmar, which has its own territory, to work for national solidarity with the Union Spirit, saying the outcome of unity is working towards the common goal that will generate common benefits.
The senior general explained that only when stability and unity are in place, efforts can be made for national development and he does not want youths to work in other countries in abject misery as they have the abilities and opportunities to work at home.
It is necessary to develop the abilities and create the opportunities for youth to work in the country and Myanmar national races who are abroad for various reasons have been allowed to come back home in accordance with the law, the senior general said.
The senior general continued to say that the strength of a country lays inside it and only when all the people residing in the country are united, the internal or national strength can be built.
In conclusion, the senior general urged all to work for internal strength with farsightedness, expressing his hope that all the leaders at the meeting who can guide their groups and possess sound experience make right decision for the country. After the speech of the senior general, leaders of armed ethnic groups extended greetings and posed for documentary photos with the senior general.