NAY PYI TAW February 9
Tatmadaw True News Information Team held a press conference on the incidents occurred at Kintaung and Theindan villages in Buthidaung Township at Defence Services Museum in Nay Pyi Taw on 3 February from 2 pm to 3.20 pm. Ten members of Tatmadaw True News Information Team and 48 reporters of local news agencies, dailies, journals, local TV stations totaling 24 news agencies were present. The questions raised by the reporters were answered by Secretary of Tatmadaw True News Information Team Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun.
At the press conference, Secretary of Tatmadaw True News Information Team Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun said the Team held the news conference as there are topics, which must be explained through a press meet in real time. Of the topics, first, I will explain the AA terrorists’ heavy weapon attack that killed two villa-gers and wounded seven at Kintaung Village in Buthidaung Township,Rakhine State together with adequate evidence. Secondly, I will explain the rape of village women by AA terrorists at Theindan (Muslim) Village, Phayapyin Theindan village tract, Buthidaung Township, Rakhine State on 31 January and the terrori-zation and blockade of the village together with ground situation and reality. The media can duplicate any of the photos, video clips or movie clips as evidence or supportive aids in writing news reports. But, all the images of civilians explaining the incidents in those documents have been blurred for their safety.As regard the first topic, Kintaung Village is located on the east bank of Buthidaung Township. It is in the west of a bridge locally called Phonnyoleik (Saitin creek) bridge, which is an important bridge as it is located on the road linking Buthidaung and Yathedaung. The Tatmadaw and border police forces are jointly discharging security there. AA terrorists fired at and attacked the bridge for five times during the period between December 2019 and January this year. Their intention is clear. The Saitin creek on which the bridge is built is the largest watercourse in Buthidaung area. Crossing the creek from other places is rather difficult. It can be only crossed at the upper reaches of Saitin Falls, but through a lot of difficulties. It is a checkpoint between Buthidaung and Yathedaung.Hence, it has been attacked time and again. On 25 January AA terrorists fired at the security post and the bridge from a place about 1,000 meters northeast of the bridge from 1 am to 1.30 am.The Tatmadaw fired back at their positions. AA terrorists while attacking the bridge fired weapon rounds at Kintaung (Muslim) Village on the opposite site. The heavy weapon rounds exploded in the village, and killed two Muslim women and wounded seven. One woman died at the village,and another died at Buthidaung Hospital. There is food for thought. AA terrorists frequently attack the bridge. AA terrorists fired at and attacked the bridge for five times in December and January. In the past attacks not a single village or a villager were hit. Only during the recent attack, did the terrorist specifically target the village, causing villager casualties. Why? Because the Provisional Measure of ICJ came out on 23 January. The incident occurred exactly two days after the measure was issued. I would say that the real intention behind the attack was to give the international community and ICJ the wrong impression about the government, the Tatmadaw and the security forces. So, I will explain the matter with the aid of map showing where the clashes took place, firm evidence and documentary photos shot at Buthidaung Hospital. All these documentaries show the Phonnyoleik (Saitin creek) bridge, the place where AA terrorists fired heavy weapon rounds at, the place from which they shot at the bridge, the direction and trajectory of rounds, the return fire of Tatmadaw at AA positions, the location of Kintaung Village, which is clearly outside the trajectory of Tatmadaw’s rounds against the terrorists. So, there is no reason that the shells fired by Tatmadaw landed in the village. Here are the propeller and the parts of the shell (60 mm) fired by AA terrorists into the village. We did not shoot the photos or the video clips. An hour or so after the incident, Bengalis posted the documentaries they had recorded on the internet. The language is in Bengali, which means “shell fell, villager died.” Later, AA terrorists and members of their hardcore posted misleading video files. In fact, the shells were intentionally fired by AA terrorists at Kintaung Village. Another factor is that Kintaung is close to a military head-quarters located on the opposite bank of Buthidaung. Military troops have been stationed there since 1988 or 1999. There has been no problem between the military troops and the village and the Muslim villagers for two decades till now. There has been a peaceful bilateral coexistence. So, there is food for thought. After the news of the AA heavy weapon attack on Kintaung village appeared, the terrorists issued a news release. Some Hluttaw representatives made confusing statements. Some media tried to distribute false news internationally. This picture is the screenshot officially released by the Tatmadaw ten hours after the incident occurred. Beforehand, I had answered all the media questions in detail. AA terrorists also coerced some villagers to made false statements. So, a comparison between instigation-free original words, photos and video clips and the false ones should be made. Media and individuals making false statements or writing false news will be dealt in accordance with the law. The main facts I would present here is (1) Kintaung villagers and Tatmadaw troops have been coexisted for nearly 20 years, and three has been not a single problem; (2) AA terrorists attacked the Phonnyoleik bridge (Saitin bridge) for many times. No village was hit then. But AA-fired shells directly hit the village, causing villager casualties two days after the ICJ issued its Provisional Measure. It is coercions. AA terrorists are trying to cover act this. A press release has been issued on 2 February about the details of the incident, and I have replied to the media agencies which asked me about it. Around 3 pm on 31 January, four armed terrorists of the AA came to Theindan (Muslim) Village in Phayapyin village-tract and attempted to rape Muslim women, leading to a brawl with villagers. Around 30 terrorists arrived later in the evening. They surrounded the village and made threats. The video clip about the sexual assault victims will be screened. It was the video clip that the villagers posted online immediately after the incident. It recorded the victims complaining about the attempted rape in tears. The video file posted by Theindan villagers about the brawl that followed the attempted rape will also be screened. The news report by a local Bengali news agency published on the morning of that day can also be seen in the power point slideshow you are seeing now. The letter sent by the community elders and villagers of Payapyin Theindan Village requesting the military troops for providing security will also be present. The letter states that four AA terrorists came to Payapyin Theindan Muslim Village in Buthidaung Township after 3 pm; and that they fought with each other while attempting to rape four Muslim women; and that around 30 AA terrorists came to the village in the evening, which was a cause for concern. According to further reports, more AA terrorists came to that village at 8 pm on 1 February and abducted the women they attempted to rape, female eye-witnesses, and four ten-household administrators of the village. They forced the abductees to say that the reports about the AA’s terrorist acts against them were not true, and that some villagers were forced to wrongly accuse the AA. The AA terrorists threatened to set fire to the village and slaughter all the villagers if the abductees did not do so. The abductees did as they were told while the AA took their photos and videotaped them. They were reportedly forced to sign that they said was true. Though reports said that the abductees were released on 2 February, they have not arrived back in the village [on 3 February] and are still missing. Photos of Tatmadaw and security forces providing healthcare services and security will also be presented. The video file about the accounts of community elders, villagers and the religious leader of the attempted rape, and the AA terrorists surrounding the village will also be screened. I would like to present the map about the location of Theindan Village which is situated in the eastern bank southeast of Buthidaung. The AA terrorists and their core supporters are covering this event up and are fabricating news. They always makeup fake news. For example, I would like to screen a video file about [former] abbot of Yay Soe Chaung Village U Nanda Marlar. After some media agencies have interviewed him, the AA terrorists made up a story about him, and forced him to leave the Buddhist Order, and marry with a woman. This is the clear example of the AA terrorists always trying to cover up things after each and every incident. His statement was followed by question and answer session.
Q: U Maung Maung Tun of News Watch Agency, quoting a media report, said Union Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture Thura U Aung Ko has said on around three occasions that “everyone knows the Home Affairs Ministry is under whose control” in response to the question about why the Home Affairs has not arrested such fugitives as Sayadaw U Wirathu and U Bullet Hla Swe during a Muslim conference. He asked the Tatmadaw to explain its stance.
A: Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun replied that questions were asked about the Home Affairs Ministry at the previous press conferences; and that vice chairman of Tatmadaw True News Information Team Maj-Gen Tun Tun Nyi has already explained in response. Talking of Tatmadaw’s stance on what the Union Minister said at the Myanmar Muslim Youth (Religious Affairs) Organization, excerpts of his remark will be presented along with some video clips. (The video file of the minister’s remarks was presented to the media). There are three parts in the video file. The first part was about objection and protest. The second and third parts were mainly concerned with the Tatmadaw. When he was asked if the protesters would be arrested, he said they would be, and police, which is particularly responsible for the rule of law, would be assigned to arrest them. “But it is not the government that governs the police force. Everyone knows which controls [the police force],” he said. U Wirathu and U Bullet Hla Swe are still in hiding. But the minister made a reckless remark without basing on evidence, in order to create misunderstanding. Again he said “If the law enforcement organization is assigned to arrest the so-called paid protesters, but that organization is not under the control of the government, and instead it is overseen by the other organization and has to give favor to that organization, and therefore does not arrest them.” It is clear what he meant and which organization he referred to. It is true according to Section 232 (b) (2) of 2008 Constitution. The Union Minister is nominated by the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services. But the government has full authority over the Myanmar Police Force. You can find it studying the constitutional provisions about the executive power of the Union government from Article 216 to Article 220, and about the responsibility and authority of the President from Article 201 to 215. The Union Minister also needs to study who oversees Myanmar Police Force on the ground. I would say it is not good to make such remarks with the intention of defaming an institution. The stance of Tatmadaw on his remarks is firstly, it is baseless and not in line with the law, and secondly Tatmadaw denies and raises objection to such baseless remarks, and thirdly, Tatmadaw would like to ask that action is taken against him for his remarks in his capacity as a cabinet minister.
Q: U Thiha Tun of the RFA News Agency asked, according to the photos posted by local residents, he has known that Tatmadaw uses landmines. And regarding the Muslim villagers who were killed by artillery shells, there were accusations that those artillery shells were fired by the Tatmadaw. He said if Tatmadaw has issued instructions as to how to avoid harming civilians in firing artillery shells, and if it takes actions against those responsible in case civilians are hit by artillery shells.
A:Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun said regarding the case in question, the AA came and recorded videos the following day, according to local villagers. The AA’s video about the accounts of villagers was a fake. It was fabricated by the AA. The Brig-Gen then presented the video files in which local villagers talked voluntarily.
No one’s motive was involved. What they said in Bangali is clear and we translated it. “We don’t know where the heavy weapon shell came from. The victim died.” The news was sent to RT news agency. Later fabrication became involved and Hluttaw representatives also talked about it. The administrator at the village was an ethnic. Although he was an administrator, he was likely to be a hardcore supporter of the terrorists.
Concerning the second question, there are rules and regulations relating to landmines in the Tatmadaw. The Tatmadaw uses landmines only for defence purposes. There has been no denial about the use of landmines. We use landmines. We use registered landmines only. We plant registered landmine to defend our camps and we have to remove landmines together with their registers when we withdraw from our camps. Photographs of landmines manufactured by the Defence Industry have spread and fabrication might have arisen based on these photographs. We do not plant landmines randomly at footpaths.
Q: U Thiha Tun of the RFA said that fighting dramatically calmed down during the visit of the Chinese president but later fighting resumed. He asked whether fighting in Rakhine State and political pressure of China were related.
A:In his response, Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun said that fighting broke out in Rakhine State during the visit of the Chinese president. Fighting broke out at Nonbu camp in Paletwa. AA terrorists attacked a Tatmadaw column about 3,000 metres away from the camp and fighting was raging when the Tatmadaw column launch a counterattack.
Q: U Thiha Tun of the RFA said a commandant of the Tatmadaw fell in the area controlled by Brigade (5) of the KNU, a signatory to the NCA. The KNU said that fighing broke out because the Tatmadaw was constructing a road and breached the NCA. He asked how would the Tatmadaw respond to the accusations.
A: In his response, Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun said there had been almost no fighting between the Tatmadaw and the KNU after signing the NCA. There were engagements with the KNU in late 2019. There were engagements with the KNU in two places. One engagement broke out in the south of Busarkhee between the north of Sawmupalaw and Lwemupalaw. Another engagement with the KNU broke out in the east of Palatkho between Yun Salin Chaung and Palatkho. The major engagement broke out in Khay Pu in the south of Busarkhee between the north of Sawmupalaw and Lwemupalaw. News about the engagements has been released.
Leaders of the Tatmadaw and the KNU held negotiations including the construction of the road. Negotiations at lower levels were also held and representatives from Brigade (2), (3) and (5) attended the negotiation meetings. Construction of the road halted after negotiations. During the negotiations, the Tatmadaw pointed out that it was necessary to carry out maintenance tasks like lighting and digging trenches along the road for its durability.
News about later incidents has also been released together with photographs. Lower levels at the KNU also said that the death of the commandant was not because of the landmine they planted but because he tried to clear the landmine. It can be seen from the photographs that the landmine was planted at the centre of the road. What I would like to say is that there is no engagement in places where major battles were fought like Hpapon and Mae Tha Waw. It is only in Kayin State that gunfire has died down and peace and development have been restored after signing the NCA.
The KNU chairman himself said about strengthening of peace. He said he went to war because he was brave and he restored peace because he was courageous. We hope that the problems will be resolved through negotiations in accordance with that belief. There is no problems that cannot be resolved between us.
Q: Htet Naing Zaw of the Irrawaddy said that a man was killed during the fighting in Kyauktaw this morning and one of their reporters asked the AA terrorists about the incident. The AA terrorists replied that they did not shoot at him and the Tatmadaw shot at the man. He said he would like to know the fighting in Pyaintaw in which three civilians were injured and some deaths were reported.
A:Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun said “I have not known the incident that took place this morning and I will give the news in the evening in time if I receive it in the evening. Fighting broke out in Pyaintaw in Yathedaung Township yesterday. During the fighting, a member of the Tatmadaw was injured after he had stepped on a landmine planted by AA terrorists about 1,000 metre in the south east of Pyaintaw Village. He was given first aid at the scene and the column was moving forward when it engaged in fighting with about 10 AA terrorists. Heavy weapon was fired from 1,000 metre in the northwest.
A woman and two children were injured in the explosion of heavy weapon rounds in Pyaintaw Village. It took place when a member of the Tatmadaw was injured by a landmine and the column was marching forward. If villagers step on landmines, AA terrorists accuse Tatmadaw of planting landmines. However, members of the Tatmadaw are sometime victims of landmines.
Problems arose when villagers at Phayapyin Theindan (muslim) Village moved four landmines and AA terrorists forced the villagers to pay Ks-1 million compensation from them. Therefore, it can clearly be seen who is planting landmines.
Q: Htet Naing Zaw of the Irrawaddy said that Myanmar has been urged to sign a treaty on banning landmines by international anti-landmine groups. He asked how did the Tatmadaw consider it.
A: In his response, Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun said, “ It is necessary for the Tatmadaw take defence needs into consideration. There are countries that signed the landmine treaty as well as ones that do not sign the treaty. Even some powerful countries do not sign the treaty. One can know which countries signed the treaty or nor if one look for facts about the treaty.
As far as I know, China does not sign the treaty and it is learnt that the US is considering to reuse landmines for defence purposes. The Tatmadaw uses landmine for defence or security of its camps after landmines are registered.
Registering means mapping exactly the place where landmines are planted together with their distances from trees, stumps and rocks if landmines are to be laid around camps and the map is transferred to units which move to the camp to take over security duty.
Landmines do not have parents. They will explode whoever steps on them. Landmines planted by our troops will explode when our troops step on them. Therefore, it is a doubleedged sword. We used registered landmines. There is no guarantee for landmines locally produced by insurgents.
The aim of the insurgents is to disturb the road used by Tatmadaw columns and they plant landmines in important transportation routes. Their aim and that of the Tatmadaw are completely different.
Q: Htet Naing Zaw asked whether the Tatmadaw inform local residents of planting mines.
A: Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun replied that in planting mines at main camps, the sites of mines have to be registered and no entry is allowed. It is no reason to accept entry. Mines had to be planted after fencing. No one is allowed to enter there, and even servicemen do not enter there.
Q: Reporter Htet Naing Zaw said: With regard to ICJ issue, I knew the Deputy Judge Advocate General said as a letter of information was sent to the Tatmadaw, the Tatmadaw is observing it. I asked how more tasks will be carried out for ICJ and ICOE issues. In that regard, some criticism came out if the cases are under the trials of the Court-Martial, these cases will not be transparent. He asked whether the cases will be placed under trials of the Court-Martial or of civilian courts.
A: Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun replied that the statement has been released. Before coming out the report of ICOE, the statement was released on 25 November. The statement mentioned that if the final report of ICOE comes out, courts of inquiry will be established to continue legal affairs in accordance with the procedures of the Defence Services Law, and if there are witnesses, the process will undergo in accor-dance with the law. Deputy Judge Advocate General Maj-Gen Thaung Naing has given answers related to the ICJ. So, it will be conducted in accordance with the law.
Q: Reporter Htet Naing Zaw asked he would like to know whether there were separate trials of the Court-Martial or ground inquiries after releasing the report.
A: Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun said the Tatmadaw is undertaking matters related to Gutapyin event. The Court of Inquiry led by Maj-Gen Myat Kyaw has been established. The Court of Inquiry led by Maj-Gen Myat Kyaw was formed with the aim of investigating further events in addition to Gutapyin event. The court is carrying out its tasks continuously. Depending on the needs, it will undertake further tasks.
Q: Reporter Htet Naing Zaw said: Can he get chance to hear the trials of Gutapyin event as part of transparent manner? Will media be allowed to cover the news? He would like to know whether the Tatmadaw agrees to the speech of U Zaw Htay, saying that if those from the case go outside in accord with the court procedure, media will be allowed to interview them.
A: Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun replied that with regard to the case, Muslim men and women listened to the trials of the Court-Martial. Currently, they also listened to the case. After the trials of the Court-Martial, the transparent statement about who was taken action, how he was taken action, and what laws were applied for taking action against them will be released.
Q:Reporter Htet Naing Zaw said most of the people fear Wuhan virus (Coronavirus). As there are four or five suspect patients in Myanmar, he asked how the Tatmadaw takes preventive measures against Wuhan virus and how to prevent such a virus at the ceremonies and festivals.
A:Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun said that the Tatmadaw releases information and raises awareness related to Wuhan virus on a wider scale. Health care services are being focused not only on servicemen, family members and war veterans but also on the people. Health care service sector has been speeded up for the people since 2011. For example, mobile medical treatments were performed for some 100,000 people in countryside 12 times under the arrangements of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army) in 2019. Respective military commands managed similar services more than 1,000 times under respective arrangements. These services covered about 500,000 people. Of them, more than 3,000 people who needed hospitalization were transferred to military hospitals. In order to beef up health care services, river going hospital vessel (Shwepazun) and sea going hospital vessel (Thanlwin) were built for operating their missions in 2018. These vessels were used in providing health care services to about 150,000 people in 2018-19 fiscal year. The Tatmadaw has capable human resources to cure infectious diseases. The Health and Disease Control Unit is under control of the Tatmadaw. Such a unit is taking preventive measures for diseases before outbreak of infectious diseases. The Defence Services Medical Research Unit is conducting the medical and disease control researches. For example, more than 30 children under 18 died in a couple of days in three villages of Nanyun Township and one village in Lahe Township in Naga Self-Administered Zone of Sagaing Region in July and August 2016. It was found that such cases were due to infectious diseases related to respiratory tract. With regard to the case, military medical specialists and those from the Ministry of Health and Sports made field trips to these regions and performed treatments in time so as to control the infection of disease. The Tatmadaw helicopters gave transport services for supplies and health facilities. The Tatmadaw is ready to give necessary health care services to the people.
Q: The reporter said he knew there are many cases in which the Tatmadaw filed charges against farmers in Kayah State. Civilian farmer organizations reported such a case to the State Counsellor on her trip. He asked although the Tatmadaw possesses many acres of land in Kayah State, why does the Tatmadaw filed charges against the farmers? And does the Tatmadaw need a large area of land?
A:Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun replied that with regard to the case which happened in Dimawhso of Kayah State, a land plot was confiscated by the artillery unit. When the land was confiscated, No one owned the land plot. It was an aban-doned land cancelled from the list of forest areas of the Forest Department. At a time when the artillery unit was established, those who claimed themselves as land owners emerged. As far as he knew, the Tatmadaw has released land areas in Kayah State about two times.
This land is for the military area. Over half of the officially seized land has been returned. This land area is essential. But ploughing tasks are frequently found in the land area. The regional military headquarters has explained this several times. However, there are those who cannot accept any solution and they continue poughing work. So we have no chance but to file a lawsuit.
Q: Reporter U Ye Naing from 7 Days said the Rakhine incidents explained now emerged only after the ICJ decision. He asked the Tatmadaw whether it has clarified the ICJ decision, genocide definition and what will happen if lower-level troops are accused of genocide.
A:Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun said the government already explained the term genocide. There is no such a term in Myanmar and there is no reason the country committed genocide. The Tatmadaw has also explained it. There is ROE (rule of engagement). Every Tatmadaw member has already known about ROE. The Tatmadaw’s attention to ROE can be proved now. All officers and other ranks in the Tatmadaw have ROE cards in their pockets. They have 60-ethic cards and ROE cards. A brief explanation will be made regarding those cards. ROE is drawn in accord with the international standards. It has been issued by the Office of the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services. Those rules are related to armed conflict and self-defence. Regarding use of force, for example, in times of essential firing, targets will be made and bullets will be fired one by one. For defence against any threat, force must not be used beyond reduction in enemy strength. What I have read now is just part of the rules. ROE cards have been issued to all Tatmadaw members including top levels. Until 1959 before the emergence of ROE cards, 60 ethics have been drawn and followed. Later, these ethics were amended for improvement. But the essence has not changed. This card can be regarded as an ancient ROE card. The ethics say how Tatmadaw members must behave towards enemy and how Tatmadaw members must behave towards each other. ROE card is drawn in line with both Myanmar and international standards. As regards ethics towards the public, it is drawn to make sure that Tatmadaw members are loyal to the people and that they avoid bullying the people with the use of weapons. There are five ethics towards enemy. These ethics are doing the same response as the enemy has done in battlefield; regard enemy as enemy; forgive enemy if he surrenders and inevitably fight enemy only for the sake of independence and sovereignty. The ethics have been issued since 1959. These are the facts Tatmadaw members must follow. Before 2010, there were few talks about human rights. But later on, officials from Myanmar Human Rights Commission give human rights lectures to the courses for platoon commanders, company commanders and commanding officers at National Defence College and National Defence College. Tatmadaw is always paying atten-tion to ROE and human rights.
Q: Reporter U Ye Naing said ICJ has adopted four points for Myan-mar. He said he wanted to know if these facts have been explained to Tatmadaw members or not. The government has said there is no genocide in Myanmar. However, the ICJ decision includes measures for not letting genocide happen. So he asked the Tatmadaw if it has explained to its members for their understanding.
A: Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun said Tatmadaw has released information about such matters so all Tatmadaw members will know.
Q: Reporter U Than Htike Aung said some critics are concerned that the ICJ decision could make it difficult for Tatmadaw to deal with Rakhine conflicts. He said he wanted to know what kind of difficulties the Tatmadaw is facing. He asked what situation Rakhine State is facing since the ICJ decision.
A: Frankly speaking, they are trying to frame us. There are those who want to frame security troops by taking advantage of the ICJ decision. In the previous clashes, there were few Muslim casualties. But now they are increasing. Security troops have to take greater care.
In his query, Reporter U Than Htike Aung said his question related to Rakhine issue was not based on his opinion but criticism among the people. He said the attack with heavy weapons on the Bengali villages occurred following the ICJ issue. The attack left several deaths within days, which resulted in a widespread criticism that the Tat-madaw disrupted the government’s ongoing tasks and put the country in a difficult position. May I know the Tatmadaw True News Information Team’s response to this issue. Regarding Rakhine issue, this is not my opinion.
A: Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun replied to his query that the answer to the question has already been given. Kintaung Village is located near our military commands. Those who have been to the areas can understand this situation. They have long been living over 20 years ago without any problem. There were no problems even when the ARSA’s attacks occurred. The ICJ issue is concerned with the State and comprehensive institutions are included in the term State. Tatmadaw is only a part of the State. The Tatmadaw “didn’t do itself get hurt”.
Q: U Than Htike Aung continued his question that I noticed MPs from Rakhine constituency firstly issued press release when issues occurred in Rakhine State. Does the Tatmadaw have a plan to clarify or discuss the issues with those MPs? Can the Tatmadaw do? If the Tatmadaw holds discussion or makes clarification on the issues with the MPs, what is the result? Earlier, there were examples of making discussions between MPs from Rakhine and the highest-ranking officials of the Tatmadaw. Does the Tatmadaw have any plan to hold such discussions over the issues?
A: In his reply to the query, Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun said that we gave explanation on the issues only to the media. The press meets are aimed at letting the public know information. We share information with the public as the media serve a medium. The public means all the people. We have no exclusive plan for it.
A: Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun continued that regarding the media, I replied the phone calls made by the media, which provided me their numbers. But, I didn’t reply the numbers that are not in my contact list. There is no discrimination against local and foreign media whatever they are big or small. However, there is different perception based on the attitudes of the media and how they cover us in their news. If I raised a question if there was any discrimination against your neighbours and people residing in the same ward, you will answer ‘there is no discrimination against them’. If I ask your attitude towards them, you will answer ‘there is different perception based on their attitudes and relations’. We make no discrimination against the media regarding answering their questions. Thank you all.