Union Minister U Maung Maung Ohn replies to queries raised by reporters from South China Morning Post from China, Nikkei Asian News, Kyodo News, TBS and Asahi Shimbun from Japan

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MoI Union Minister U Maung Maung Ohn.

The reporter of Nikkei Asian News asked about the date to convene the forthcoming election, and the Union minister replied that the State Administration Council temporarily assumed the State responsibilities by declaring the State of Emergency under Section 417 of the Constitution (2008) of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Depending on the peace and stability of the nation, the general elections will be held under Section 429 of the Constitution (2008). Current authorities discharging the State duties at different levels in accord with the section 428 shall discharge their duties until the legislative, executive and judicial bodies have been formed under Section 430 of the Constitution. Officials from relevant departments will systematically hand over their duties and functions in accord with the Constitution (2008).
Currently, the state of emergency will be politically extended for six more months under Section 425 of the Constitution. During the period, special emphasis will be placed on peace and stability of the State and the people. Only when the entire people participate in the peaceful and stable measures will the country reach the right track of genuine, disciplined multiparty democratic system the people aspire.
As regards a question on Tatmadaw’s capability of restoring the peace in Myanmar, the Union minister said that the successive governments strived for restoration of the peace process. The peace coordination committee of the Tatmadaw was extended to seven members, up from four on 1 February 2021. It showed the concept of the Tatmadaw on the important role of perpetual peace in building the Union based on democracy and federalism.
So, Announcement No 1/2022 was issued to extend an invitation on 6 February 2022 to perpetual peace. The invitation did not restrict the topics in the peace talks in advance to freely exchange their discussions.
In conjunction with the statement, ethnic armed organizations were invited to attend the Diamond Jubilee Union Day ceremony. The Tatmadaw issued some 20 statements from 2018 to February 2022 for ensuring the perpetual pace.
Priority is given to perform vaccination to EAOs. If so, it can be seen that the Tatmadaw is striving for ensuring perpetual peace across the nation in accord with the NCA agreements as much as possible. On the other hand, the restoration of perpetual peace for the whole nation is the keenest aspiration of the Tatmadaw. Hence, the Tatmadaw will make utmost for strengthening the peace and sovereignty in 2022.
In connection with the question about the statue of Myanmar at Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership-RCEP, the Union Minister said foreign companies returned home during the COVID-19 period. They re-entered Myanmar as of May 2021. So, the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations recommended more than 3,200 companies and 9,010 foreigners for business visas and arranged relief flights. Some companies left the country due to pressure from big countries and some new companies entered the country.
During the period from 1 February 2021 to 31 January 2022, 12 investment sectors covered 44 businesses with US$3,823.015 million including US$3,062.138 million in the electricity sector, US$237.564 million in other service sectors and US$199.894 million in the industrial sector. During the same period, 14 countries put US$3,823.015 million in Myanmar, comprising the United Kingdom US$2,504.435 million, Japan US$516.429 million and Singapore US$442.202 million.
Currently, the government addresses the problems of tax the investors face, help them take out money from the banks quickly, arrange endorsements for investors to take relief flights and implement the DICA online solution-DOSo system for solving the difficulties of investors. Moreover, the investment monitoring software phase-1 is being developed.
The investor targeting campaign is being arranged for arrivals of investors in Myanmar. According to the plan, appropriate friendly countries including China and Russia will be persuaded into the campaign.
Firm guarantees are given to investors and their benefits meeting the international standards. Myanmar Economic Recovery Plan (MERP) comprising 10 work programmes, 30 missions, 165 outcomes and 430 work processes is being implemented. The MERP will focus on the guarantee, economic standards of international, security and other relaxation for international investors. Hence, foreign investors are deeply invited to Myanmar without believing in the exaggerated information.
The reporter of Kyodo News of Japan raised the question of how to deal with the allegation from The Gambia for ICJ hearings. The Union Minister said Gambia accused Myanmar of violating the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crime of Genocide at the ICJ on 11 November 2019. Regarding the argument of Gambia, the Court lacks jurisdiction and Gambia does not have the right to launch the case at the Court. Myanmar submitted the first preliminary objection to the International Court of Justice on 20 January 2021. The hearings related to the objection of Myanmar are being held at the court from 21 to 28 February 2022 at the Peace Palace of The Hague, the Netherlands. The first round of oral argument was attended by Myanmar Agent Union Minister for International Cooperation U Ko Ko Hlaing and Alternate Agent Union Minister for Legal Affairs Attorney-General of the Union Dr Thida Oo. Union Minister U Ko Ko Hlaing delivered an opening speech. Then, international lawyers representing Myanmar presented Myanmar’s first preliminary objection at the court.
The second round of oral argument of Myanmar was held on 26 February, and the first round of oral argument of Gambia will be held on 28 February.
The reporter of Asahi Shimbun of Japan said she knew NUG would recognize Rohingyas as citizens. She asked about the attitude of the State Administration Council over the citizenship process of Rohingyas. The Union Minister responded that the name of Rohingya was never included in the records of the Ministry of Immigration and Population, on the list of ethnics and tribes collected by the British government in the pre-independence era, censuses enumerated in 1881, 1891, 1921 and 1931, population and household lists (first phase) collected in 1953-1954, the censuses collected in 1973, 1983 and 2014. Such a name was not expressed in the census in the British colonial era and Gazettes in the British era.
Those wishing to re-enter Myanmar from another country strictly demand recognition for them as Rohingyas but Bengalis. The Ministry of Immigration and Population identifies ethnics as naturalized citizens and non-ethnics as the legalized citizens under the 1982 Myanmar Citizenship Law. NV card is issued to those who applied for citizenship without holding any IDs. The NV cardholders have the right to apply for the decisions to legalized citizens, associate citizens and naturalized citizens. NV cards are issued to Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Bengali, Gurkha, Kokang, Kholon Leshaw and Monewun people legally residing in Myanmar without any IDs.
The reporter asked that NUG requested ICJ to have the rights to solve the issue, representing Myanmar. Now, the delegations representing the government of the State Administration Council are attending the hearings of ICJ. She asked, “Will their attendance at the ICJ be recognition of the international community over the SAC as the legal government of Myanmar?” The Union minister as the delegations of a country was invited to the hearings of ICJ due to the fact that the government of such country might be assumed as the capability for practically addressing the current issues, it is no (no) doubt at all that the State Administration Council is legal government of Myanmar. — MNA

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