A press conference on movements of ethnic armed organizations in five military command areas during the ceasefire period, progress of internal peace process, and current events in northern Shan State took place at Defence Services Museum in Nay Pyi Taw from 3 pm to 5 pm on 23 August 2019. It was attended by 15 members of Tatmadaw True News Information Team and 49 reporters from 29 media.
NAY PYI TAW September 19
Regarding the posts on the social media about Tatmadaw’s participation in International Army Games, Maj-Gen Soe Naing Oo said Myanmar Tatmadaw armored tank troop participated in 2018, and Myanmar was ranked 16 out of the 22 countries. Twenty-three countries participated in this year’s game, and Myanmar was ranked fifth in group stage, and was 13th out of the 16 countries that reached semi-final. In individual race in group stage, Myanmar Tatmadaw contestant could hit 11 of 15 targets, and was the fastest tank driver with 72 kilometers per hour. In relay race in semi-final stage, Myanmar team finished first with 2 hours 21 minutes and 01 seconds, but as the tank from Uganda team crossed into Myanmar team’s lane, resulting in friction. Myanmar team was disqualified for the final due to competition rules. In semi-final, Myanmar team could hit 11 out of 24 targets. Myanmar tank team underwent training in India and Russia before participating in the competition. Myanmar tank team had to use Russia’s tanks in the competition. The aim of participation in the game is to engage in continuous training in order to boost defence capabilities, and foster friendly ties with international armies. Myanmar Tatmadaw has gained a lot of experiences from the game about international weapons. Myanmar Tatmadaw medical team also participated in International Army Games for the first time in 2018 in Russian Federation. Myanmar team finished eighth position in ten countries then. In this year’s competition, Myanmar finished fifth out of the 13 teams from 12 countries. The medical officers and staff of Myanmar team are on average 5 feet seven inches tall and weigh 150 pounds, but they had to carry foreigners who are around 6 feet tall and weigh 200 pounds in the competition. Myanmar team gritted their teeth and carried on with the inborn indomitable spirit of Myanmar people. Despite the differences in physiques, Myanmar team tried hard and finished in fifth place. And Myanmar Tatmadaw sniper team participated in the competition for the first time in 2018. It contested for the second time this year. In 2018, Myanmar team finished 11th place among 18 countries. This year, it finished 15th place among 21 countries. Myanmar Tatmadaw contestants only exposed to the climate and environment of Russia for the first time when they took part in the competition, and they are also not familiar with guns and ammunitions they had to use in the competition. Despite those constraints, Myanmar Tatmadaw contestants tried hard and secured 15th place. Relentless efforts ensu-red Myanmar Tatmadaw the 15th ranking in the Army Games. The details of the games were recounted clearly.
Maj-Gen Tun Tun Nyi replied that amazing posts were being witnessed on Social Networks with regard to the singing, dancing and music competition event. It isn’t amazing. I am serving the duties as the Director of Public Relations and Psychological Warfare. Tatmadaw formed the Mobile Pubic Relation Company. The MPRC is responsible for providing the entertainments for the front-line Tatmadawmen all the time. These units are also providing the enter-tainments for the ethnic population who are residing at the remote areas while preserving traditional cultural fine arts heritages. It is a conventionally constituted unit which includes female unit members. The groups of artistes are formed according to singing, dancing, composing and playing musical instruments. TV and broad-casting departments are running under the control of Tatmadaw and that they are officially formed. The Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services has to assign duties to cultural troupes to provide entertainments for state-level guests in other countries, the ceremonies of Armed Forces Day and honoring ceremonies. The cultural troupes have to go to neighboring and other countries as well as international armies to exchange cultures. Culture represents for the State. The Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services has to lay down a policy to be appropriate for Myanmar traditional cultures. Nationalistic characters must forever survive and cultural traditions must be preserved. It is necessary to preserve these traditions. The mobile public relations units have to go provide entertainments in a systematic manner and they are not allowed performing on the global stage erratically. Only the skilled artistes have been systematically chosen and appointed. In the past, the State-level traditional cultural performing arts competitions were held every year. We have many prize-winners. Although the State-level traditional cultural performing arts competitions can’t be held at present, we are organizing yearly contests. In the coming September, the Directorate of Public Relations and Psychological Warfare will organize to hold the traditional cultural performing arts competition within the field of military. The main aim of the competition is to preserve cultural traditions of the State. The veteran judges will be invited to the competition and it will be held in accord with the rules and regulations. In this state, I would like to tell that special attention should be paid to our efforts for this. For these reasons, I am explaining Tatmadaw’s efforts.
Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun added that state building and nation building are parts of state building. The state building alone is not enough and nation building is also the same matter. The meaning of these words in Myanmar are not complete. The meaning of nation building is not complete. The meaning of state building has been already known to all. The meaning of nation building is very wide and that includes nationalistic characters and traditional cultural heritages. The nation building is some kind of cultural idea traditionally. The nation building is to be constructed step by step. I also participated in international cultural exchange programs at the Office of the Directorate of Public Relations and Psychological Warfare and I gained experience in person. Thailand is in a good state of state building and it has developed a lot. Its national building has traditional cultural instruments and cultural music and that they are trying hard to reveal their traditional culture and music. For instance, Myanmar orchestra has graded drums and drum circle. In the past, there are 31 graded drums in Myanma orchestra. 31 graded drums mean 31 kinds of existence. Myanma orchestra has traditions of its own way and there are only 21 graded drums in Thai orchestra. Like Myanma orchestra, it cannot strummed melodiously. The 21 graded drums of Myanma orchestra can be played together with any song. Myanma orchestra is comprised of bronze, string, leather, wind and clapping hands. It is required to protect these features that should be preserved. All can do romantic dance by a male and a female dancer. I think only the Directorate of Public Relations and Psychological Warfare can do it. Non-dramatic performance is also known as Anyein. There are traditions in Anyein. At Anyein, when a comedian comes to a stage, he does not usually wear 'gaungbaung' Myanmar turban. The comedian has to show off Myanmar turban before the audiences and it is a tradition. Tatmadaw is preserving these traditions as to our fine arts. Some countries have an advantage in State Building and disadvantage in Nation Building. If State Building develops in a country, Nation Building will have to be rebuilt. These things are related to State Building and Nation Building whatever we say. Traditional cultural characters and traditional cultural heritage must be built with Nation Building. I would like to tell all to know all these things.
Reporter Htet Naing Zaw of Irrawaddy news agency said he had found that Phado Daw Tardo Hmu of the KNU replied to an interview regarding NCA situation that the government, the Tatmadaw and the parliament were all weak in responsibility and accountability. The next thing was that the commanders at the lower levels would have to meet within 14 days after signing the NCA. He would like to know that meeting would happen or not. The next thing was that the JMC was formed and it was to monitor the clashes. This committee could not deal with the problems if the clashes took place. Let he know the committee would do the next to be more effective.
Maj-Gen Soe Naing Oo replied that the question was something to do with the JMC. The JMC includes three steps— Local level, State level and Union level. Generally, the problems appear in the local level and they have not reached the Union level and it is very rare. The problems are not serious. He said he was the secretary of the UPDJC. The problems are being coped with in every level. The problems are being dealt with the JMC formed with the government, the Tatmadaw, the EAOs and groups of civilians.
Reporter Htet Naing Zaw of Irrawaddy news agency questioned that he knew that the clashes were breaking out in Kyauktaw, Yethedaung, MraukU, Minbya and Ponnakyun. Tatmadaw asked for authority to manage townships.
Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun replied to the question that he did not know about that.
Reporter Aung Pyae Sone of I See Media asked that the news of an attack on one of the universities run by Tatmadaw recently was spreading on social networks. Tatmadaw was having talks on peace at their press conferences. Would Tatmadaw like to make anything known to the public?
Maj-Gen Tun Tun Nyi replied that he earlier answered a lot. That was all that I would like to tell. Thanks.
Maj-Gen Soe Naing Oo replied that he would like to tell in brief. Tatmadaw would welcome these insurgent armed groups if they came to the peace circle. Tatmadaw would be ready to do if they were willing to go on launching clashes.