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  • » 03/28/2013, 00.00


    Military still has "central role" in Myanmar

    Statement by General Min Aung Hlaing during a military parade in the capital yesterday. Army remains a "political force and force for peace " to guarantee "internal stability". Charges of genocide and war crimes rejected. The event was attended for the first time by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

    Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Burmese military continues to play a "central role" in the life of the country, as "political force and force for peace" to guarantee "internal stability" at a time of deep ethnic and sectarian tensions. This was claimed by General Min Aung Hlaing, commander in chief of the Tatmadaw, during a military parade that took place yesterday in the capital Naypyidaw. It was also attended - and for the first time - by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who spent 15 of the past 22 years under house arrest under the military junta that ruled Myanmar for almost 50 years.

    Speaking to over 6,300 soldiers on parade, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing stressed that the army should "strengthen its capacity" and operate "alliances at a regional level" to build a "democratic and well-disciplined nation." "While the country is moving towards modern democracy, our military plays a leading role in national politics...we will keep on marching to strengthen the democratic administrative path wished by the people. "

    The military celebrations commemorate the uprising against the Japanese occupiers in 1945 and have always been a show used by the leadership to flex its muscles in front of the nation and the international community. They have repeatedly rejected past accusations, made by international observers, of genocide and war crimes. For the first time yesterday's parade was attended by the opposition leader and Nobel Peace Laureate accompanied by party leaders close to ethnic minorities. Aung San Suu Kyi said she continues to nourish "trust" in the military, while hoping for a partnership (also) with the leadership of the army for a constitutional amendment that will allow full participation in the political life of the country.

    The Burmese military junta has held power for decades - using an iron fist - in Myanmar, bloodily suppressing any attempt at opposition, imprisoning activists, religious and democratic, including the daughter of the national independence hero, Aung San Suu Kyi. In 2011 the first elections in two decades were held, which led to the election of a Parliament and the appointment of the former military leader Thein Sein as President.  He is considered "reformist" and promoter of some laws aimed at increasing democratization of nation. However, critics claim these changes are just "window dressing", given that the balance of power has not changed because the senior army officers - present in the Assembly with 25% of the seats - still retain the destiny of the people of Myanmar and Burma in their hands. Even the sectarian and ethnic clashes in recent weeks, according to some, are only a pretext to legitimize military intervention and its presence.


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    See also

    01/07/2014 MYANMAR
    Three million sign petition for constitutional reforms in Myanmar
    Organizers seek amendments of Art. 436, which gives the military the power to veto reforms, and Art. 59 (F) that would prevent Aung San Suu Kyi from becoming president. The campaign began May 27 and ends on July 19. At least 600 thousand signatures in one area of Yangon.

    30/01/2012 MYANMAR
    Tens of thousands attend Aung San Suu Kyi’s first election rally outside Yangon
    The opposition leader on a visit to Tavoy, a town on the coast where she held a rally ahead of the vote on April 1. The Nobel Laureate calls for a "free and fair" vote and invites the population to ensure no undue pressure. Slogans and chants ring out for the "Lady".

    29/09/2010 MYANMAR - UN
    Ban Ki-moon says elections a sham without the release of Aung San Suu Kyi
    The UN secretary general says the vote “will not be credible” if the Nobel Peace laureate and other political prisoners are not freed. The appeal comes at the end of the "Group of Friends of Myanmar" meeting, whose members call for "greater participation, transparency and representation." Insubordination among soldiers who do not receive food or pay.

    15/04/2010 MYANMAR
    Yangon: three blasts mark Burmese New Year, kill more than 30, injure 75
    Bombs were placed near a pavilion set up to celebrate a water festival near Kandawgyi Lake. State TV reports eight dead. The authorities close emergency ward where injured were taken to stop news leaks. Sources tell AsiaNews the junta wants to fuel a “terror strategy” ahead of upcoming elections.

    19/06/2009 MYANMAR
    The world shows support for Aung San Suu Kyi on her birthday
    Demonstrations of support in at least 20 cities worldwide. In Myanmar a party will be held in the headquarters of her party and offerings will be made to Buddhist monks. Online messages from political figures, and from the world of entertainment.

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