Press statement on comment at peace performance event, music concert and friendly football match held to the Union Peace Conference-21st Century Panglong and peace performance

Nay Pyi Taw January 28 

1. As a gesture of welcoming the Union Peace Conference-21st Century Panglong, the peace performance event, music concert and friendly football match led by U Min Ko Naing, U Jimmy (aka) Kyaw Min Yu and Saw Phoe Khwar from the 88 Generation (Peace and Open Society) were held at Thuwunna Youth Training Centre in Thingangyun Township in Yangon Region on January 27, 2018.

2. The ceremony was held with ten agendas. The agenda-8 was the peace performance. According to the agenda, 15 people wearing olive green uniforms (without badge and insignia) acted as Tatmadawmen and 15 others wearing camouflage uniforms as ethnic armed force. Both sides held arms. No permission was received from Tatmadaw for the military uniform. The uniform does not meet the military equipment rule designated by the Tatmadaw. They wore uniforms which were not suitable for the performance and used small arms which are not used in the Tatmadaw. It may tarnish the image of the Tatmadaw in the international arena and in the eye of the public. 

3. According to the agenda-7, U Min Ko Naing, a member of the organizing committee talked about the use of child soldiers: “Child soldiers are found in respective armed groups. According to their ages, these child soldiers will meet in university.” The use of term “respective armed groups” amounts to the inclusion of Tatmadaw in the said groups. Since 2012, Myanmar Tatmadaw has been working to implement the tasks to end and prevent the recruitment and use of underage children, in cooperation with UN and international organizations. Along with the good results, the country sees the removal of Myanmar from the list of the countries with children rights violation, according to the US’s human trafficking report, Tier. It is evident that U Min Ko Naing does not keep pace with the efforts and progresses made by the government and Tatmadaw for ending and preventing the practice of underage recruitment and use at a time when the UN is going to completely remove Myanmar from the list of countries which use child soldiers. It would also amount to turning a blind eye to the efforts made by the government and Tatmadaw. 

4. In addition, the Tatmadaw shall take a leading role in safeguarding Our Three Main National Causes and the country from internal and external dangers, according to Section 20 (e) and Section 339 of the 2008 Constitution. It is found that those wearing the olive green uniforms in the peace performance took aim at children with the use of guns. The Tatmadaw never threat and bully the people with arms. Due to military activities in the confined areas, forced recruitments of soldiers and asking for extortion money as military columns carries out area clearing operations according to Section 339 of the 2008 Constitution. At that time, there will be clashes between armed groups and the Tatmadaw. Till today, the Tatmadaw is adhering to the fact that main camps and headquarters of armed organizations shall not be attacked even before the meeting of Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement-NCA. The Tatmadaw is a single Union Tatmadaw which is discharging defence duty for ensuring perpetuation of lives and property of the people and sovereignty of the State. Moreover, it was obvious that the Tatmadaw has been defending the various dangers of the State and citizens with sacrifice of their lives, blood and sweat in successive eras. At present, efforts are being made for ensuring eternal peace under the leadership of the government.

5. In making endeavours to restore peace, the political dialogue processes are being implemented as a new political culture to peacefully seek the solution at the political roundtable discussion with participation of ethnic armed organizations in line with the NCA without holding the armed struggle line. Now is time of building mutual trust between the Tatmadaw and the ethnic armed organizations. At a time when collaborative efforts are being made for ensuring the Union peace, such performance and entertainment would cause misunderstanding of international community and people over the Tatmadaw as well as tarnish the prestige of the Tatmadaw in its fine traditions and cause much loss to implementation of peace processes of the NCA and those who strived for peace process in successive eras.

6. Moreover, it was found that the plots of performance depicted the actors in characters of people running with panic. The Tatmadaw, on its part, has adopted six peace principles and signed the NCA, which started in 2011 under the leadership of the government, with eight ethnic armed organizations on 15 October 2015 and continues more meetings with remaining armed organizations to sign the NCA. The plot of performance caused misunderstanding between the Tatmadaw and the organizations which are in the process of signing the NCA, meant that the Tatmadaw and NCA signatory ethnic armed organizations break the points of protection of civilians included in the Paragraph (9) of the NCA and No 4 point of the six peace principles of the Tatmadaw—not to put burdens on local people— and much tarnished images of the Tatmadaw, the NCA and some ethnic armed organizations.

7. As such, although aim and other programmes of staging the peace performance presentation, music entertainment and peace football match to welcome and support the Union Peace Conference-21st Century Panglong were positive ones, the talks of U Min Ko Naing on using child soldiers, the plot of peace performance at the agenda-8 may harm and cause delay to endeavours of the Tatmadaw and ethnic armed organizations for restoring eternal peace under the leadership of the government and much tarnish prestige and images of the Tatmadaw in its fine traditions. So, the information was released that the Tatmadaw strongly objected and condemned all persons who were responsible for managing the programme of plot for peace performance and U Min Ko Naing who wrongly talked about use 
of child soldiers without knowledge.

Tatmadaw True News Information Committee

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