Nay Pyi Taw March 27
In accord with the objectives of the 71st Anniversary Armed Forces Day – to safeguard “Our Three Main National Causes” which is the national duty, within the framework of the Constitution; for the Tatmadaw and the entire nationalities to join hands for achieving a nationwide ceasefire and a lasting genuine peace; for the government, the Hluttaw (the Parliament), the Tatmadaw and the entire national people to work in cooperation for bringing about peace, stability, unity and progress which are the nation’s actual needs; to build an efficient Tatmadaw capable of effectively protecting the territory and sovereignty of the country – the Armed Forces Day Parade was held at the Nay Pyi Taw Parade Ground this morning, with an address by Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Maha Thray Sithu Min Aung Hlaing.
At 5 am, the military columns comprising armoured troops, servicemen from Defence Services (Army, Navy and Air), female military parade company of the Defence Services (Army), members of Myanmar Police Force (MPF) and female military parade company of MPF took the positions at the Thittat Parade Ground and participated in the parade procedures.
Before arrival of the military columns, the central military band took the position at the Nay Pyi Taw Parade Ground.
Aung San Column led by Column Commander Col Myo Thant including the company representing the Directorate of Armoured Corps comprising medium-scale tanks, reconnaissance armoured vehicles and anti-tank vehicles, the company representing the Directorate of Artillery Corps comprising artillery mounted vehicles, missiles vehicles, meteorological radar vehicles and howitzer carriers, the company representing the Office of the Chief of Air Defence comprising medium-range anti-airstrike missile vehicles, radar vehicles and shortrange missile vehicles and the parade companies on the vehicles marched into the Nay Pyi Taw Parade Ground.
The flag bearers led by Parade Commander Brig-Gen Aung Kyaw Hoe, followed by Anawrahta Column led by Column Commander Col Kyaw Zeya comprising the company representing the Directorate of Military Engineers, the company representing the Directorate of Supply and Transport, the company representing the Office of the Chief of the Defence Industries, the company representing the Western Command, and the company representing the South-East Command; Kyansittha Column led by Column Commander Captain Aye Min Htwe comprising the company representing the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Navy), the company representing the Directorate of Signals, the company representing the Directorate of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, the company representing the Yangon Command and the company-1 representing the Office of the Commanderin- Chief (Navy); Bayintnaung Column led by Column Commander Col Aung Khaing Win comprising the female military company representing the Defence Services (Army), the female military company representing the Myanmar Police Force, the company representing the Directorate of Ordnance, the company representing the Coastal Region Command, and the company representing the North-West Command; Aungzeya Column led by Column Commander Col Myo Yan Paing comprising the company representing the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Air), the company representing the Directorate of Medical Services, the company representing the Eastern Command, the company representing the Southern Command, and the company-1 representing the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Air); and Hsinbyushin Column led by Column Commander Col Saw Kyi Naing comprising the company representing the Airborne Corps, the company representing the Myanmar Police Force, the company representing the Central Command, the company representing the South-West Command, and the company representing the Triangle Region Command together with military bands marched from the gathering point to the Parade Ground.
Along the route to the Parade Ground, Daw Kyu Kyu Hla, wife of the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services; Daw Than Than Nwe, wife of the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commanderin-Chief (Army); Daw Aye Aye Than, wife of the Joint Chief of the General Staff (Army, Navy and Air) Commander-in-Chief (Air); Daw Than Than Aye, wife of the Commander-in-Chief (Navy); wives of the senior military officers of the office of the Commander-in-Chief and the wife of the Commander of Nay Pyi Taw Command garlanded the Tatmadawmen of the parade columns.
Likewise, officers, other ranks and families of the office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army), those from the Nay Pyi Taw Command and military stations together with local people welcomed and garlanded the Tatmadawmen.
A total of 10,325 Tatmadawmen and MPF members from five military columns sang the military songs in chorus while marching from the Thittat Parade Ground to the Nay Pyi Taw Parade Ground.
The 71st Anniversary Armed Forces Day Parade was attended by Chairman of the Constitutional Tribunal of the Union U Mya Thein, Chairman of the Union Election Commission U Tin Aye, Deputy Speaker of the Pyithu Hluttaw U T Khun Myat, Deputy Speaker of the Amyotha Hluttaw U Aye Tha Aung, Union Ministers, Joint Chief of the General Staff (Army, Navy and Air) Commander-in-Chief (Air) General Zeya Kyawhtin Khin Aung Myint, Commander-in-Chief (Navy) Vice-Admiral Zeya Kyawhtin Tin Aung San, senior military officers, retired senior military officers, chairpersons of parliamentary committees, and military lawmakers, the officers and other ranks who won Thiha Thura titles, Thura titles and gallantry medals from 2011 to 2015 and their heirs, representatives from armed ethnic groups which have signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, members of the Central Advisory and Control Committee of the militia and frontiers forces, military attachés and officials of the foreign military attaché offices, officials of MPF, Myanmar Fire Brigade and Myanmar Red Cross Society, members of Myanmar War Veterans Organization, Myanmar Women’s Affairs Federation and Maternal and Child Welfare Association, students from University for Development of National Races, members of the University Training Corps, members of Myanmar Press Council, artists, winners in the military songs and marching songs, poems and short stories contest and the invited guests.
After Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Maha Thray Sithu Min Aung Hlaing took the position on the dais of the parade ground, the Tatmadawmen and MPF members of military columns saluted him.
After that, the Senior General inspected the parade columns by car.
When the parade columns saluted the State Flag of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Central Military Band played the National Anthem. After paying tributes to the fallen Tatmadawmen, members of parade columns took the fourpoint oaths.
Next, the Senior General deliveredan address. The full address is as follows:
The historical co-existence of the Union and the Tatmadaw can be observed. Since our armed forces was born with independent struggle, it is the one imbued with patriotic spirit and combat gallantry.
Due to slackening unity among out nationals and not having a capable modernized Tatmadaw which could keep abreast with those of the west, the colonizers could easily intrude the palace and the whole Union was colonized on st January, 1886 along with the loss of her royal throne. A group of patriotic youths led by Thakhin Aung San underwent and endured military training in Hainan Island to expel the colonialist intruders. Burma Independence Army (BIA) was formed on 27th December 1941 and, the colonialists were driven back with the hearty support, cooperation and enforcement of the people of all walks of life. Burma Independence Army (BIA) was disbanded and formed as Burma Independence Army (BIA) on 15th September 1943. On 15th September 1943, the Tatmadaw renamed itself as Burma Army since it was not formed merely to defend but had the intention to boldly conduct offensive action against the enemy. Through the collaborated efforts of the whole people and the Tatmadaw to deny the fascist intruders who gave fake independence and had been suppressing the people, the Revolution Day was commenced on 27th March 1945. With the intention to commemorate the characteristics of the most distinctive and benevolent day of independent struggle firstly named Revolution day was later renamed to be the Armed Forces Day ever since 27th of March 1955. Within three months after gaining the independence in 1948, the communist party went underground sparking domestic insurgencies. The national unity was hampered by politics, ideology and racism and, the civil war was at its climax.
Within 10 years after the independence there was the state of disorder the length and breadth of the Union and people had to live in terror. In that backdrop, the Tatmadaw took the stance on the side of the Union and the government. Then the Tatmadaw possessed only 19 infantry regiments and a harmful of corps and suppressed and annihilated the insurgents with this mere strength. Many lives, limbs and sweat were sacrifi ced for territorial integrity. It is a profound capability of our armed forces being able to expel external Kuomintang intrusion as well as internal insurgencies in spite of the Union’s desperate situation.
During the 1950s, the Union caught in political storm where the Tatmadaw was found to be the main pillar to safeguard the sovereignty and to defend external invasion. It is also found that the then political parties put aside the interest of nationals and instead they put forward egoism and looked only at the interest of one’s own desire, one’s own party and ego. Due to deteriorating situations such as the rise of racism and monarchical forces which led to the potential disintegration of the union, the revolutionary government took the state authority on 2nd March 1962 to safeguard the Union and practiced military administration and one-party system. During the 1980’s was the drawback of all round developments for void of unity among political parties, forming partisans, leading for armed revolutionism, disagreements within empowered party, growing administrative problems due to mismanagements, economic recession and being unable to fully settle ethnic armed confl icts. These situations led to the outbreak of general demonstration in 1988 where the people overwhelmingly called for transition from one-party to multi-party system. Nonetheless, internal and external instigations turned demonstration into uprising and the whole country fell into a state of anarchy. Since there was the imminent of the Union losing her sovereignty for lack of public security and malfunctioning of state administration, the Tatmadaw had to assume all the State’s responsibilities and undertake law and order restoration measures while taking fundamental initiatives for the path to multi-party democracy.
During 1988-1990, likewise our Union, there were incidents of attempts to change socialist/ communist system to democracy system in some European and African countries. In this regard, many of these countries suffered civil war, racial animosity, disintegration of a big country into smaller countries and economic recession. In our Union, 7-step road map was adopted to implement multi-party democracy system aspired by the people in which systematic and peaceful transition could be observed.
In accord with the 2008 Constitution, the fi rst general election was convened in 2010 and the state power was systematically transferred to newly-formed democratic government in 2011. Also in 2015, the Tatmadaw cooperated with the government and the people for the second term of multi-party democracy system. The two main hindrances in democratization are lack of abiding by the rule of law, regulations and the presence of armed insurgencies. These could lead to chaotic democracy. If we want multi-party democracy to take root in our country, there must be proper discipline and adherence to the law. We will have to work with our maximum capacity both physically and mentally with unity and loyalty to the country if we love our motherland and want to witness its development. The Tatmadaw will cooperate to serve the interests of the country and the people.
Shouldering the national political duty by the Tatmadaw is only to safeguard and act in the national interests. National politics pertains safeguarding national interest, the interest of the people and the State. Not of party politics. Majority of the people desire for physical and mental well-beings with peace and stability in the country and improvements of their socio-economic life through decent livelihoods. The Tatmadaw has to provide full security of the state. It has to look after the people and contribute stability and development tasks of the government. The Tatmadaw, therefore, has been endeavouring through the adoption of state peace, stability, unity and development policies.
The military personnel, who have joined the Tatmadaw of their own accord have made sure stable democratic transition and built sound foundations through various obstacles to fulfi ll the needs of the people. Accordingly, the Tatmadaw has to take the leading role in the national politics with regards to the ways we stand along the history and the critical situations of the country. When we observe the national political tasks assigned by the constitution to the Tatmadaw, it has to be vividly seen that it is to uphold and uplift the national interests.
The tranquility and stability of the country is very crucial for national development and socio-economic development of the people. Internal peace and national reconciliation must be built. To end armed conflicts with the ethnic groups, the government offered peace talks since 18th August, 2011. The Tatmadaw has also adopted the Six Peace Principles in order to firmly establish a real and everlasting peace. The Tatmadaw has acceded with special considerations to the various requests raised by the interlocutors in the peace processes to be able to march toward democracy stably. Moreover the processes relating to the rule of law have been implemented by showing remarkable endurance. As the foothold for democracy has been already secured in our country during the fi rst fi ve-year term, we will have to inevitably try to achieve the stability and the rule of law of the country in the upcoming term. Being able to sign for the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), the government led many negotiation tables for several times, and finally the eight ethnic armed groups entered into agreement on 15th October, 2015. Besides, the Tatmadaw is also delighted to offi cially welcome other ethnic armed groups who remained to preserve the peace as in signing for the NCA. As the sequel of the NCA, the Union Peace Conference was successfully held by fulfilling the pledge on it. The process will be continuing. The Tatmadaw will surely be collaborating in the peace processes in harmony with the international standards such as DDR, SSR processes. The eternal peace which the people of Myanmar have a longing for years will certainly be achieved in near future if all parties included in peace process have a genuine willingness to walk on peaceful political path for perpetual peace.
The neo-colonialism does not mean today as invading the land, sea and the sky of one’s own territories, but it is just an attack in terms of soft power using ever changing technologies. It is therefore to be aware of acts of some powerful nations engaging in multidimensional warfare in international relations in order to promote their national interests. Although the foreign policy and international relations which we bear are significantly instituting peace and tranquility, there will be many continuing challenges in respective fields at this modern age and to overcome these challenges, there must have a strong tie among the government, the people and the Tatmadaw.
The world is now suffering from the impact of the global warming and weather crisis. Alike in Myanmar, we also yearly suffer from heavy rains, storms, and earthquakes and fire hazards. When the natural disasters affect, there must come to Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR). The assistances and manpower provided by the Tatmadaw during flooding, fire and landslides in 2015 proved the responsibility, sacrifices, assistances, and benevolence of Tatmadawmen. In the constitution, it is clearly stated that “The Defence Services shall render assistance when calamities that affects the Union and its citizens occur in the Union.” Therefore cooperative trainings of the Tatmadaw and organizations concerned are needed to withstand natural disasters.
According to the geographical position, Myanmar, taking up the strategic position, is situated among the countries which are populous and economically developed. We have to exploit the opportunities coming from these political and economic reforms, at the same time, all Myanmar nationalities have to address the possible non-traditional threats mainly based on the Unionspirit, and patriotism. Similarly, we have to build the Tatmadaw to become a professional and strong one that keeps abreast with the regional armies. Building up the defence mechanism within a short period is impossible and it has to be developed by taking a certain time. To have high morale is important, but to achieve public support is more crucial for national defence. Likewise, modernization of the military weaponry and structures and continuous training are also fundamental to achieve strong military capability for national defence. Cooperation through national interest aspiration, political outlook and nationalistic consciousness is needed in modernizing the Tatmadaw which represents national security. In promoting national security, small countries while relying on their allies also try to strengthen internal might on their own. The strength of the country lies within. The Tatmadaw, being an armed organization, has to be more consolidated and needs more unity than any other organizations. The stronger the four major tasks for building up the unit; training, administration, welfare and bolstering morale, the better preserving the unity among us. When building up the unity among us, not only mutual respect and trust among superiors and subordinates are needed but also loyalty and obedience, the lifeblood of the Tatmadaw, are also crucial. Only when we can implement the unity within us, then we can further strengthen the unity outside the units, and can effectively carry out people’s war strategy.
Then ,Tatmadawmen and MPF members from the military columns led by Parade Commander Brig-Gen Aung Kyaw Hoe and the armoured troops led by Col Myo Thant marched past the Senior General and left the Parade Ground.
Meanwhile, four transport helicopters from the Defence Services (Air) hanging the State Flag of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and flags of Defence Services (Army, Navy and Air) fl ew over the parade ground. Officers and servicemen from the Navy SEALs of the Defence Services (Navy) climbed down from the helicopters on the ground and participated in the marching along with the parade columns.
One fighter helicopter and three light transport helicopters saluted the Senior General by performing the fl ying skill demonstrations in Vic shape, three transport aircrafts in Vic shape, five training aircrafts in Arrow Head shape which showed fl ying skills of acrobats, one transport aircraft and two medium transport aircrafts in Vic shape, one heavy transport aircraft and four jet fighters in Arrow Head shape tracing colourful smokes, five bomber jet aircrafts in Arrow Head shape, five interceptors in Arrow Head shape, three of which showed flying skillsof acrobats, and five jet fighters in Arrow Head and fan shapes firing fireworks.
After the Senior General has left the Parade Ground, the 71st Anniversary Armed Forces Day Parade came into an end at 8.15 am. People can view the bronze statues of three kings who established the first, second and third Myanmar empires, and the fl aming torch and emblem in commemoration of the 71st Anniversary Armed Forces Day in the Nay Pyi Taw Parade Ground in addition to the colourful fl ags of the Burma Independence Army, the Burma Defence Army, Defence Services (Army, Navy and Air), directorates of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army), military commands, military divisions, regiments and units.
In honour of the Armed Forces Day, the posters bearing images of military personnel from the Defence Services (Army, Navy and Air) which foster the nationalistic spirit were erected at the junction of Yangon-Mandalay Highway and Pinlaung Road near the Thittat Parade Ground. Moreover, signboards bearing mottos of the Tatmadaw in Myanmar and English languages were posted along the marching route of military columns.