Speech Delivered by Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Thadoe Maha Thray Sithu Thadoe Thiri Thudhamma Min Aung Hlaing at 78th Armed Forces Day Parade on 27 March 2023

Comrades,
Today is the 78th Anniversary of the Armed Forces Day of our Tatmadaw which has remained steadfast in its commitment to safeguarding the motherland, Myanmar, in successive terms and imbued with immense prestige. Since Tatmadaw in collaboration with the people made a tryst with destiny for Independence throughout 78 years and stood ahead of the country for letting her not relinquish Independence, the 75th Anniversary of Independence Day (Diamond Jubilee) marked the culmination of glorious victory in the present year and was etched in the annals of history for country and Tatmadaw.
Comrades,
Back in history, it is unquestionable that our country has a sole repository of sovereignty, territorial integrity and unique history. The Pyu city-states viz., Beikthano, Hanlin and Sri Kestra were founded before Bagan Dynasty. The historical context mentioned that the vast and first Myanmar Unified Empire was founded in the reign of King Anawrahta with a blaze of glory while the second Myanmar Empire in the reign of King Bayintnaung and the third Myanmar Empire in the reign of King Alaung Min Taya Gyi U Aung Zeya were also founded as a country of broadened territory and prosperous identity. Our country which embraced national solidarity came into disintegration at the instigation of western countries. The entire country and its people were annexed by British Imperialists with three incursions into our country in 1824, 1852 and 1885. Despite the effort of anti-colonial resistance across the country after relinquishing its Independence, the country was ultimately defeated by the Imperialists for the lack of a well-organized structure and the disproportion of weaponry power. Thirty Comrades led by Thakin Aung San tried to learn military tactics from the Japanese to establish a modern Tatmadaw for restoring the relinquished Independence. Burma Independence Army (BIA) with the lead of General Aung San, along with the Imperial Japanese Army, marched in columns into Myanmar and annihilated the British Imperialists in collaboration with the people. Although the British retreated, the Japanese failed to keep the promise of Independence and also brutally tortured the people. Likewise, our Tatmadaw in collaboration with the people launched the triumphal and historical anti-fascist movement on 27 March 1945. Afterwards, Armed Forces Day was denoted on this date and it has already been 78 years.
Comrades,
Burma Independence Army (BIA) which is the core of today Tatmadaw was constituted in sequence as Burma Defence Army (BDA) in 1942, Burma National Army (BNA) in 1943, Patriotic Burmese Force (PBF) in July and Burma Army in September 1945. The re-labelled Patriotic Burmese Force (PBF) successfully annihilated the Japanese Fascists in collaboration with the people as well. Despite the sequential transformation, it is also an institution hailed from the Independence movement because Tatmadaw together with the people had restored Independence from the regime of foreign countries.
Comrades,
Our country has been the sacrificial victim of British Imperialists and Japanese Fascists in World War II and has unexpectedly encountered internal insurgencies after post-Independence although the development process of the country was meant to be implemented with utmost effort. Those insurgencies brought the country into a shambolic situation around 1949 and let the government be ironically denoted as the “Yangon Government”.
Our Tatmadaw defeated the foreign aggressions such as Kuomintang and Mujahideen, meanwhile, was prevailing over the multicoloured insurgents. Moreover, Tatmadaw, with an upright stance and nationalistic fervour, safeguarded the country and its people in times of the State of Emergency that happened in 1958, 1962 and 1988. Besides, Tatmadaw successfully annihilated the insurgents trying to violate the sovereignty of the country in the post-1988. Hence, it is a great honour to say that our Tatmadaw firmly stood ahead to safeguard the country in times of danger to date.
Comrades,
Our Tatmadaw put the implementation of the absolute necessity of the country and people’s desire into a priority in the successive terms after the Independence. Tatmadaw took the responsibility of the Caretaker Government during the Political Crisis in 1958 and attempted to fulfil the absolute necessities of the country such as security, law enforcement, counter-insurgency and holding a free and fair election. At the time of taking the State’s responsibility as Revolution Council in 1962, Tatmadaw, in accordance with the necessity of the country at that time, laid down the Burma Socialist Programme and strove for nation-building with the installation of a Socialist Economic System. At the time of upholding the State’s responsibility after the collapse of government due to the 1988 Uprising with the inspiration of multiparty democracy, Tatmadaw, in pursuit of the people’s desire, laid the cornerstone required for fostering a Multiparty Democracy System. The 2008 Constitution which is absolutely necessary for fostering Democracy System could be enacted through the nationwide referendum and the smooth transition of the State’s responsibility to the winning party was also completed under the aegis of the Tatmadaw through the Multiparty Democracy Election in November 2010.
Comrades,
The 2008 Constitution of our country was not adopted in line with the consent of a person or an organization but was initiated with great consideration of the eight groups composed of more than 1,000 representatives through a National Convention. Not only the entire people but also our military personnel hailed from people have to abide by the 2008 Constitution since it came into existence through the wholehearted approval of the people. It can be seen that the existing 2008 Constitution claims “The Defence Services is mainly responsible for safeguarding the Constitution” in Section 20 (F). I would like to mention that Tatmadaw’s commitment to upholding the Constitution and its upright stance is meant to be said that Tatmadaw is safeguarding the Constitution originated from democratic principles, in other words, is safeguarding the democracy desired by the people.
Comrades,
So goes the saying ‘‘Not to be victimized as the grass beneath the landslide’’ in Myanmar “တောင်လဲရာ မြက်ပြတ်” since the potential conflict ignited from the confrontation between super-power countries can negatively impact small countries, it is needed to design the preemptive strategies for the survival of our country through the sustainable learning on international affairs. Our country has a common aim to build up a Standard Army which can deal with conventional warfare and is endowed with combat capability and combat power to heighten the national defence. While the future Tatmadaw is being leveraged towards Standard Army, the cohesive forces are being designed to keep abreast of the state-of-the-art. Each military personnel also needs to undergo sustainable training to have proper utilization of modern military ordnance and to be competent in the respective fields. In this regard, it needs to achieve lean practice for individual and collective training in line with the training policies. Fulfilling daily tasks and duties in a proper manner means undergoing training. I would like to urge you to ripen into the full-fledged capacity for individuals as military capability is grounded in individual competence and is also integrated with the capacity of military ordnance.
Comrades,
Solidarity begets strength. Therefore, comrades of ethnic people’s offspring have to put an emphasis on public organizational measures for achieving solidarity between Tatmadaw and people to strengthen the country’s power as if the intra-unit solidarity is needed to be promoted to build up a great strength of Tatmadaw.
Military personnel have to abide by the 10 Codes of Conduct to People and fulfil the necessity of the people. As the following motto portrays “The nation’s strength lies within”, the national defence from every single aspect could be strengthened only if the people are entwined to the fullest extent. The people will be able to put a concerted effort in the collaboration only when the socio-economic status is secure so that all kinds of danger which can be harmful to the people must be protected without hesitation. I would like to say that the respective regional authorities are to conduct timely matters whatsoever indeed through the observation of the actual situation occurring in those regions and the nation. And it is needed to safeguard the entire ethnic people as the statement goes “Life Matters Most”, “Health Comes First, Health Provides Education, Health Begets Occupation”. I, here, would like to impart that military personnel are to shoulder the array of responsibilities while the government is putting its utmost effort into the prosperous identity, food self-efficiency and socioeconomics of the country, and the people-centred development process.
Comrades,
Based on the facts namely geographical entity, culture, custom and tradition, different countries around the world are laying down the appropriate political system and moving forwards. Let the country be led by any political system, the country will be developed only when serenity and stability exist. As democracy is intended to be unveiled by the collaboration of entire people without any absence, serenity and stability are quintessential in the respective sectors including conflict resolution, and in this regard, it needs to be intertwined by all nationalities.
Comrades,
The military personnel shouldering the national defence duty with much sacrifice of life, blood and sweat are the ones who desperately desire to achieve peace. Since the year 2022 was deemed as the year of peace, the leaders of Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) are invited to be able to negotiate by themselves for the termination of internal armed conflicts and for achieving eternal peace. In this regard, the negotiation with the representatives of 10 EAOs including seven signatory EAOs and three non-signatory EAOs is in progress, and the results that are able to move on to serenity through politics are also attained. The agreements in NCA are intended for the tranquillity, and the development of the Union and ethnic people in the future. The aforesaid is the affirmation for the country and the nationalities. Hence, it has to bequeath the bitter colonial legacy of ethnic parochialism. It is required to accumulate ideological differences with common conceptual similarities based on the Union spirit.
As it is necessary to show great magnanimity towards each other in the peace dialogue, the substantial result must be taken into consideration viewing what it can be and what it should be. I would like to assert that the peace process forwarding nation-building and national interest will become a profound contribution to future nation-building because it is a part of politics but not meant to be a weapon itself. Tatmadaw always paves the way for the Ethnic Armed Organizations to be able to sit on the peace dialogue to date.
Comrades,
The State Administration Council is a government that emerged in accord with the Constitution after declaring the State of Emergency due to politics and has been formulated to prevent any forcible means of seizing the country’s power attempted by the previous NLD-led government through the instance of voting irregularities. It is witnessed that only peaceful protests occurred at the beginning of assuming responsibility for the country, but later, the terrorists intentionally launched violent attacks on innocent civilians and non-military targets. Here, I would like to address that no government would allow terrorism rooted in democratic diversity and no terror act could achieve Democracy as well. Those attacks are the act of conspiracy for the devastation of the country by terrorist organizations including PDF ignited from NUG formed with an intention for political concerns and some terrorist-supporting EAOs. Bear in mind that the damage caused by acts of sabotage by terrorists does not result in the collapse of the government, but rather, it undermines the future national interest of the country.
As per the Five-Point Road Map of the government, our Tatmadaw will put ‘‘an effort into achieving full law enforcement and tranquillity across the Union to ensure the socioeconomic security of all citizens’’. While pursuing these goals, I would like to leave a word that lawful actions will be decisively taken against NUG and the terrorist organizations, and some EAOs giving sponsors to terrorism.
Thus, martial law is increasingly being imposed in important townships that need to be controlled during the second phase of the State of Emergency. Here, I would like to mention that this imposition is not meant to restrict the people but to efficiently control the actions of terrorists who seek to ruin the interest of people.
Comrades,
The fact “upon accomplishing the provisions of the State of Emergency, free and fair multiparty democratic elections will be held in line with the 2008 Constitution, and further work will be undertaken to hand over State responsibilities to the winning party in accordance with democratic standards” is clearly stated as the last point of the Five-Point Road Map of the government. Serenity and stability are vital to grant timely the people acquire an absolute right to democracy and the right to vote equitably without any space left under the provisions in the election. People aim to vote for their expectations in the general election. Therefore, the election cannot be perfunctorily conducted. There were a large number of reports although people voted with much sanguine on the polling day of the 2020 election. It became hideously awful throughout the history of Myanmar’s Democracy because the instance of voting irregularities and voting with wrongful actions were found in the investigation. As the ensuing events became an extensive experience for the country, it has to act in a way not to occur similar event. As the general election is meant for the people of Myanmar and is going to shape the future of Myanmar, all of us need to act with cognitive reflection and great consideration. However, the criticism and condemnation towards the government made by some terrorist-supporting countries and some authorized persons of the International organizations, ignoring the terror acts being committed by CRPH, NUG, and its lackey groups so-called PDFs intended to pose instability of the country, are totally wrong. The terror acts of NUG and its lackey so-called PDFs are needed to be tackled for good and all. Tatmadaw and government also need to take an action against this terrorist group trying to devastate the country and kill the people. Here, I would like to urge the International community to collaborate with all the efforts of the current government in prudence to be on the right path to Democracy by paving equal rights to the sovereignty of member states as per the United Nations Charter. I would like to mention that our country as a member of ASEAN has to perform the ASEAN community affairs in line with the ASEAN Spirit, Outlook and Charter.
Comrades,
In the ongoing processes of achieving peace implementation, the sound fundamentals such as the 2008 Constitution and the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) will remain upright. Subsequently, the two political agendas such as to build a Union based on a democracy and federal system and to practise a genuine and disciplined multiparty democracy system are being currently pursued. In this pursuit, our Tatmadaw has to partake in assigned roles. Democracy is a system of government chosen by all the eligible members of the State, typically through elected representatives, and the federal system is a concept of dividing up the authoritative power on concerted efforts of the ethnic groups from regions and states. Therefore, not only First Past The Post (FPTP) already used in the election but also Proportional Representative (PR) have to be practised in harmony to represent the political parties and ethnic groups in a broader manner as a form of multi-dimensional representation. That is why, the Union Election Commission, as per the electoral process, has already enacted the Political Parties Registration Law.
Comrades,
Our Tatmadaw has already assured to build the Union based on a democracy and federal system along with the practice of a genuine and disciplined multiparty democracy system in justice and prudence. According to article 20 (F), it is stated that the Defence Services is mainly responsible for safeguarding the Basic Principles of the Constitution such as Our Three Main National Causes mentioned in section 6, section 7 and section 8, the multiparty democratic system, and the Union system. Therefore, I would like to highlight that Tatmadaw with the inculcation of the values of ‘’Mother Figure People, Father Figure People’’ regardless of any epoch and government, will continuously be the Guardian safeguarding the interest of people and preserving the country to rigidly stand on the multiparty system.
Comrades,
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate you to keep on achieving the objectives of the 78th Armed Forces Day as follows:
— To serve primary duties of Tatmadaw for successfully safeguarding Our Three Main National Causes, and protecting the State Constitution and shielding the genuine disciplined multiparty democratic system.
— To emphasize agreements in the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) as much as possible for the restoration of the durable and perpetual peace across the nation as ceasing of armed conflicts is an actual requirement for realizing the multiparty democratic system.
— To safeguard the national interest of the State, lives and property of people, and to put a strenuous effort on respective corners in times of natural disasters.
— To provide the necessary assistance by Tatmadaw for holding a free and fair multiparty democratic general election upon completion of undertakings in accord with the provisions of the state of emergency for the emergence of the Union based on democracy and federalism.

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