Senior General: National Defence and Security Council to facilitate transition to democratically elected government

The following is a full-text speech delivered by Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Thadoe Maha Thray Sithu Thadoe Thiri Thudhama Min Aung Hlaing at the 79th Armed Forces Day Parade yesterday.
Comrades,
Today commemorates the 79th Anniversary of the Armed Forces Day of our Tatmadaw, a symbol born out of Myanmar’s independence struggle, the nation-building needs and aspirations of its people. Moreover, this day holds immense historical significance, marking the successful initiation of the anti-fascist movement by our Tatmadaw in collaboration with indigenous people on 27 March 1945, demonstrating a profound sense of nationalism.
Comrades,
Believing that regaining lost Independence required armed revolution, General Aung San led the Thirty Comrades to Japan to learn modern military tactics. With Japan’s assistance, they repelled English imperialists. Subsequently, Tatmadaw, in unity with the people, defended against fascist Japan due to its oppressive governance and attitudes, beginning on 27 March 1945. It was Tatmadaw’s effort, hand in hand with the people, to gain Independence, and it also is Tatmadaw positioning itself ahead of the populace to prevent the loss of the nation’s sovereignty and Independence. Due to the legacy of the Divide and Rule policy imposed by British imperialists, the mass remnants of World War II weapons in a war-torn country, and diverse political ideologies, numerous armed insurgent groups, colloquially referred to as “Multicoloured Insurgents,” emerged across the nation following the underground retreat of the Burma Communist Party (BCP) in March 1948. Despite this, our Tatmadaw diligently safeguarded the integrity of the Union from disintegration through extensive nationwide operations.
Comrades,
Our Tatmadaw, with sacrificial commitment and regarding itself as bearing a national duty related to sovereignty, not only combated internal multicoloured insurgents but also deterred and suppressed foreign aggressions, such as the Kuomintang’s intrusions in Shan State and the Mujahidin insurrection in Rakhine State. Moreover, Tatmadaw steadfastly positioned itself at the forefront in safeguarding the nation during critical moments of threat, including the chaotic administrative upheaval during the 1988 uprising and the attempt to seize the State power through forcible means in 2020. Hence, I would like to earnestly emphasize that, always prioritizing the interests of the State and the people. Likewise those of our endeavours since Independence struggle to defend against any detrimental acts to Our Three Main National Causes, Tatmadaw shall continue to pursue the same stance in the future.
Comrades,
Although our country adopted a Parliamentary Democracy system upon Independence, the deterioration of national unity due to political issues, foreign incitements, constitutional deficiencies, armed conflicts, and dissents within political parties formed the Revolutionary Council and the Burma Socialist Programme Party to formulate state-building through a Socialist economic system from 1962 to 1988. Nevertheless, the country’s economy experienced a decline due to various impositions and sanctions from internal and external elements, natural disasters, management shortcomings, and armed conflicts, followed by the occurrence of uprisings in 1988. As the country teetered on the brink of weakened national solidarity and faced the imminent danger of losing sovereignty, our Tatmadaw assumed State responsibility in September 1988. Following the assumption of state responsibility, our Tatmadaw not only prioritized the establishment of a multiparty democracy system in accordance with the aspirations of the people but also drafted a constitution deemed indispensable for formulating a democratic system and the Constitution was ratified through a nationwide referendum in 2008. Afterwards, a free and fair multiparty democracy General Election was held in November 2010, facilitating a smooth and peaceful transition to democracy.
Comrades,
Despite variations in organizational structures, strengths, and objectives among international armies, the common goal is to safeguard the nation. Similarly, constitutions may differ among countries, but each Constitution is ratified based on long-term national interests and prevailing conditions. Constitutions, typically drafted based on the origins, historical backgrounds, ethnicity, religion, politics, economy, and other factors of each country, cannot be judged as to which country’s Constitution is as right or wrong, as the primary consideration is the national interests of the respective nation.
In the 2008 Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the inclusion of the clause outlining Tatmadaw’s role is aimed at correcting and preventing weaknesses experienced in the past in advance. I would like to emphasize that the ratified paragraphs outlining Tatmadaw’s role in the Constitution are not for the benefit of Tatmadaw but with anticipation for the good of the country.
Comrades,
While scrutinizing the voting list of the 2020 election, it is evident to all comrades that the multiparty democratic General Election was conducted disorderly and marred by excessive electoral fraud, and such actions have tarnished the reputation of our nation. While verifying the list of 38.27 million eligible voters issued by the Union Election Commission for the 2020 General Election, firm evidence was unveiled that 11.3 million ballots were found to be ineligible, amounting to 29.54 per cent of voting fraud. The General Election is not only a national duty directly tied to the reputation of the country but also a process of selecting leaders who will shape the future trajectory of the nation. It is crucial to earn the trust of the people through the implementation of a free and fair multiparty democracy system, thereby shaping a decent political history. Therefore, Tatmadaw temporarily assumed the State’s responsibility in line with the Constitution on 1 February 2021 to prevent the NLD government from usurping the State authority through illegitimate means.
Comrades,
Since the pre-Independence period, the history of our country’s political landscape has been characterized by unpredictability and complexity, echoing the sentiment of intransigent behaviours: “Intricate patterns of politics are similar to the nature’s outcome of an egg or a cloud”. Even after Independence, a stable political system has been elusive due to diverse ideologies and perspectives, resulting in the implementation of various political systems. It can be observed that along with the unstable political system and internal ethnic armed conflicts, the development of the country has lagged behind compared to other nations. Hence, to bolster the growth and resilience of the present democratic trajectory, the State Administration Council is currently pursuing two political visions: “To strengthen a disciplined and authentic multiparty democratic system; To foster a Union founded upon democratic and federal systems” and the two national visions of the State: “the prosperity of the nation and food security”. In other words, these visions represent the nation’s ambitions that must be relentlessly pursued. To achieve these ambitions, reflecting the absolute reality of the country, the Five-Point Roadmap and the Nine Objectives have been tailored and implemented. In doing so, I would like to urge Tatmadaw personnel to fulfil any assigned roles with a thorough understanding of these roadmaps and objectives.
Comrades,
Upon completion of the procedural measures of the state of emergency, the State Administration Council shall transfer the responsibilities of the State to the National Defence and Security Council. Consequently, in accordance with the Constitution, the National Defence and Security Council must convene a free and fair multiparty democracy General Election and continue to facilitate the procedure to delegate State power to a democratically elected government. To assist the implementation measures, the State Administration Council is overseeing the verification process of voter lists for the General Election, and plans are underway to introduce a Mixed-Member Proportional (MMP) electoral system, which combines the First Past the Post system (FPTP) and Proportional Representation (PR) allowing for increased representation for various ethnic groups, regions, and respective societal interests in the parliament. Additionally, security measures are being expedited to ensure that voters can cast their ballots freely, without any perception of injustice such as intimidation, coercion, undue influence and group-based bullying. While efforts are underway to conduct an election successfully, certain Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) and terrorist groups, so-called People’s Defence Forces (PDFs), are deliberately engaging in disruptive actions to sabotage and delay the election process. Thus, our Tatmadaw assumes a leading role in ensuring the establishment of a multiparty democracy system in line with the desires of the people, and it is imperative for our Tatmadaw to steadfastly position itself at the forefront, strengthening the foundations of the multiparty democracy system and ensuring the successful conduct of the General Election.
Comrades,
In accordance with the procedural measures outlined in the Constitution for a state of emergency, our Tatmadaw’s assumption of State responsibility on 1 February 2021 has faced numerous instances of political exploitation. During that period, elected representatives were dispatched to their respective places in order to address the prevailing political situation through legal channels. However, individuals who no longer had the legitimacy to stand as elected representatives formed an unlawful committee known as the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) on 5 February 2021. Subsequently, they established an illegitimate government under the name of the National Unity Government (NUG) on 16 April of the same year. Following that, the so-called People’s Defence Force (PDF) was formed while instigating their supporters to undertake armed violence. As the candidates from their respective parliaments are primarily tasked with legislation, they must possess a better understanding of and adherence to the law compared to the rest of the citizens. It is necessary to take into consideration their trustworthiness and commitment to democracy, especially as they resort to terrorism instead of utilizing legal avenues to address issues. Since then, there have been frequent occurrences of not only bombing attacks, arson attacks on villages, looting, extortion, and attacks on security posts across the country but also innocent civilians being murdered under false accusations of being informants or ‘tattletales’. The most egregious offences include coercion against government employees, predominantly male and female teachers and education service personnel, instances of random killings and the use of individuals as human shields during arrests. Their primary objective is to lower the education level of youths and indoctrinate them into terrorism, blurring their ability to distinguish between right and wrong. Hence, it is imperative to take timely preventive measures to thwart terrorist acts, which are universally condemned by societies and countries worldwide, including our own. In such doing, Tatmadaw must go hand in hand with the people. I would like to impart that the international community should not condone the terrorist activities of extremist groups such as CRPH, NUG, PDF, and NLD, and the condemnation of deliberate acts of violence targeting the educational sector is necessary.
Comrades,
It is evident that some ethnic armed organizations and terrorist groups are intensifying intimidation tactics and recruitment efforts, often at gunpoint, and they are actively fomenting societal hatred as a top priority on their agenda. With a heterogeneous society, the formation of armed groups based on ethnicity and engaging in armed activities could undermine peace, ultimately harming the unity of the country. Against this backdrop, it is disheartening to witness youths becoming scapegoats of insurgents, misled by false narratives propagated through media sabotage. The ethnic armed terrorists operate from remote and inaccessible areas, where they earn income from various activities such as poppy cultivation, opium and narcotic drug trafficking, smuggling of the State’s own natural resources, and involvement in gambling and casino enterprises, using these illicit gains to procure arms and ammunition, produce weapons, and expand their recruitment efforts. As the next phase, their behaviour in successive periods has shown that these armed groups are merely providing various reasons and excuses to showcase ethnic affairs as a means to undermine the State through armed insurgency. It can be said that they are hazardous organizations as they originated from illicit acts such as drug production and distribution, dealing and smuggling of natural resources. Hence, I would like to inform each of you not to make either direct or indirect contact with them. Incidents occurring in northern Shan State, Kachin State, Rakhine State, and other regions provide proof that the actions of certain ethnic armed groups and foreign-supported subversive organizations prioritize their own interests over those of Myanmar and its citizens, thus destroying the path towards forming a Union based on democratic values and federalism. Such actions could be labelled as foolish deeds since their use of force has resulted in the loss of interest among the local population and restricted students’ access to education despite the availability of democratic means. Hence, Tatmadaw, Myanmar Police Force, and members of the security forces, including the people’s militia, must effectively carry out their duties in accordance with the law and collaborate closely with the populace to restore peace and stability in areas experiencing unrest. Those who risk themselves for the sake of state peace and stability will also be duly honoured.
Comrades,
Ensuring the peace and stability of the State and the development of a People’s Militia Strategy necessitate the implementation of military conscription, which inherently aligns with the law and is more systematic compared to the formation of People’s Militia and local defence forces. In accord with our nation’s geopolitical significance and the global context, the adoption of a military conscription system has become a prerequisite; thus, a military conscription law was enacted on 10 February of this year. The core intent of the system is to safeguard Our Main National Causes as a national duty. Furthermore, with the increasing number of veterans who have dutifully completed their defence duties, along with their reports and requests expressing consent to re-enlist and serve the country in any sector with patriotic spirit, the spirit to protect race and religion, and the desire to safeguard Our Main National Causes, the Reserve Military Force Law was endorsed on 13 February. The implementation of the Reserve Military Force Law may not necessarily enlist all veterans, but instead, only those deemed eligible will be assigned. I would like to say the adoption and implementation of these two laws would increase the defence strength to a certain extent. Afterwards, necessary measures will be taken step by step to ensure state peace, stability, and the prevalence of law and order.
Comrades,
In regard to peace processes, our Tatmadaw will maintain a firm stance in alignment with the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA). The NCA is not an agreement reached hastily; it has undergone over 5,000 negotiations and meetings since its inception. Based on the agreed points, any stipulations requiring amendments will be democratically discussed following the constitutional amendment procedure. With the inception of the NCA, Tatmadaw has released and implemented Six Peace Principles. The Six Peace Principles not only align with the essence of the NCA but also stem from the “Knowledge” gained through continuous peace efforts over successive periods, and they represent the “reality” that must be pursued to strengthen ongoing peacebuilding efforts. I would like to emphasize that our country adheres to the principles of peaceful coexistence for global peace and maintains friendly relations with other nations while simultaneously prioritizing domestic peacebuilding efforts.
Comrades,
Some powerful nations are intervening in the internal affairs of smaller nations through various means, seeking to manipulate them according to their own interests. It is important to recognize that such actions resemble a form of neo-colonialism. Given our country’s geographical location, it is evident that neo-colonialists are providing aid and support, often disguised in various forms, to governments and organizations that align with their interests, and they attempt to weaken and disintegrate organizations that do not comply with their imperatives and prioritize national interests. Hence, as personnel serving in defence and security roles for the nation, it is essential for all of you to maintain cohesion within your unit, and unity among different units is also crucial. The leaders of respective units and corps are required to have the ability to consolidate internal solid cohesion. Only then can cohesion within the unit be cemented, enabling the dutiful execution of impending commands and duties. Comrades,
With the rapid developments in information technology and communication networks in the current age, there is an increasing misuse of social media. Opposing individuals and organizations are exploiting social media to target Tatmadaw, attempting to degrade its political reputation, falsify public opinion, and incite subversion. Hence, all citizens, including our Tatmadaw members, need to be critical and vigilant regarding unreliable media sources. National defence duties can be performed to the fullest extent only when unity between Tatmadaw and the people is solidified. Therefore, I urge you to prioritize fostering unity with the people. As Tatmadaw members, adhering to the military code of conduct, engaging in organizational activities in the public domain, and providing public welfare services in respective regions must be done with genuine intent and goodwill.
Comrades,
The current conflicts worldwide demonstrate that threats involving nuclear and conventional weapons in the past have now merged with information warfare, powerful nations are forming alliances to intimidate weaker ones, and small nations are being used as proxies in attempts to contain neighbouring states. Therefore, I encourage you to follow Tatmadaw’s work process of “Study, Practise, Comply” to transform into a technologically advanced modern armed force.
Comrades,
While eliminating internal destructive elements disguised as proponents of democracy and countering externally sponsored terrorist groups, I would like to conclude by urging you to comply with the objectives set forth for the 79th Armed Forces Day, which include:
To safeguard the State with the sacrifice of life by upholding Our Three Main National Causes: Non-disintegration of the Union, Non-disintegration of national solidarity and perpetuation of sovereignty as the national policy of Tatmadaw;
To actively participate in implementing the processes of two national visions of the State: the prosperity of the country and food security by Tatmadaw members together with the government and ethnic people in their respective sectors;
To steadfastly implement enhancement of three capabilities in accord with the work process of Tatmadaw, such as study, practise and comply in building a modern patriotic Tatmadaw with powerful strength and sharpening prowess;
To provide necessary assistance to hold a free and fair multiparty democratic general election by Tatmadaw to ensure peace and stability, solidarity and development, which are actual needs of the State and to emerge a Union based on democratic and federal systems.

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