Nay Pyi Taw February 8
State Administration Council Chairman Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing met the Council Members this morning at the meeting hall of the Office of the State Administration Council Chairman and clarified the matters about political, economic, social, administration, peace and the rule of law.
Vice Chairman of the State Administration Council Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commander-in-Chief (Army) Vice-Senior General Soe Win, Council Secretary Lieutenant-General Aung Lin Dway and Council Joint Secretary Lieutenant-General Ye Win Oo, Council Members General Mya Tun Oo, Admiral Tin Aung San, General Maung Maung Kyaw, Lieutenant-General Moe Myint Tun, Mahn Nyein Maung, U Thein Nyunt, U Khin Maung Swe, Daw Aye Nu Sein, Jeng Phang Naw Taung, U Moung Har, U Sai Lone Seng and Saw Daniel were also present at the meeting.
In his opening remark, the Chairman of the State Administration Council said that the various matters arisen before, during and after the election could not have been settled in accordance with the rules; it resulted in the state of emergency; the Tatmadaw explicitly expressed to perform the duty according to the laws; a multi-party democratic system will be fully established in the country; political maturity is necessary for security and stability and thereby create peace; political culture should be built systematically; there would be no same views in politics, but political stability should be systematically developed on the basis of political culture; so all can move forward with a political culture in the wide world of politics.
He further said that democracy is based on the wishes of the majority and those wishes should be genuine; there has been a parliamentary democracy in the past; the Burmese-way-to-socialism system was then practised; after the Tatmadaw took over the power, a multi-party democratic system has been carried out; Tatmadaw handed over the State responsibility to the winning party in 2011 according to the 2008 Constitution; so lessons can be learned from these past experiences.
The State Administration Council has composed of the more senior and experienced persons; we considered much on such issue; it is necessary to have an honest and genuine political culture; it can be seen in parliamentary system or revolutionary council era or Lanzin Party government era; political stability can be obtained only when a multi-party democratic system can be built according to the real circumstances of the country; political stability entails security in the country; and on one hand, only when security and stability can be prevailed, will political and stability be harmonized each other.
The election is the lifeblood of a democratic system; people votes are essential and should be accurate; it is challenging to say the righteousness of the people wishes unless the polls are accurate; Myanmar started practising of multi-party democratic system in 2011; there have been 2010 and 2015 general elections and by-elections; a few complaints have arisen and people accepted as they were properly settled.
It is found that huge controversies were emerged before, during and after the recent third general election; Suspicious affairs on fairness were found for expression rights of political parties starting from canvassing period before the election; some political parties sent letters arguing about the election; the Senior General invited them to ask their wishes and situations; Big doubts were found for actions before the election when reading the letters of parties and people; The Senior General said he noted to hold a free and fair election in many places, focusing on holding the free and fair election; there were no such incidents in the 2010 and 2015 general elections; so, voters and parties actively cast votes in the 2015 election due to lack of doubts.
There were about 70 percent voters in 2015; people were becoming frustrated in the undertakings of the government in 2016; it resulted in ‘no vote’ movement staged by the people from various strata.
Only 14 percent voters turned out for the election of the Yangon City Development Committee; that is an example of the weak representative ratio—14 out of 100. It is difficult to fully accept those voters representing all voters. It was an experience in election of YCDC.
There were some problems in the advance voting of the 2020 election; it is found that advance voting-related orders and directives were issued on the reason for COVID-19, but they were not in conformity with the election laws; there were mistakes in the voters’ lists and advance voting; Tatmadaw has all the eligible voters’ list for every election booth in every township; it is found that there were no national scrutinization cards for some eligible voters in the list according to the candidates; then UEC was asked to explain the errors; instead UEC issued announcements; the Hluttaw was also notified with a letter. Section 40 (c) and Section 417 of the Constitution mentioned forcibly seizing the State power. Formation of the Hluttaw speakers and responsible organizations means forcibly seizing the power. Such issues happened before and after election and election periods.
Voter lists will be rechecked after the assumption of the State duties and will continue all the necessary procedures in accord with the law. The election commission plays an important role in rechecking the voter list. The Union Election Commission is legally dissolved since the declaration of the state of emergency. So, there will be the new one. The former UEC announce the issuance of the third voter list. During the initial check, it could not be found. There may be, but it would not be a comprehensive one. Most of the candidates complained about the absence of the third voter list. Till now the third list is not found although initial check has been started with the involvement of officials. If it is found, it will be rechecked. Tatmadaw checked the first voter list, and when it checked the second list, the two were not so different from one another. First, efforts must be made to approve the ballot results. Afterwards, they will be announced. It would not just be a rough figure; all the relevant committees will be informed about the signed list of results.
The second is that COVID-19 is so powerful. A meeting was held with the relevant ministers before the appointment of all the committee members. Strenuous efforts are needed as the COVID-19 is the most troublesome virus in the world. The world has over 100 positive cases and there are also deaths. But it is controllable. What we need is efforts and discipline. So, preventive measures will be carried with the participation of the people. There are local and foreign donations for COVID-19 prevention, and they are kept systematically. The way to spend the donations must be reviewed. In some cases,
funds were allotted for regions and states from the State budget, and the amounts are in a billion. People will be invited to partake in the fight against the virus. The virus prevention will be carried effectively and transparently. Prevention and treatment will be carried out with greater momentum. Not a single person of the country will be left behind by the vaccination program. Police members who are dealing with people of all walks of life will also be vaccinated. Vaccination program will reach the grassroots and rural people including farmers who represent 70 percent of the population soonest.
The third is the assistance to remedy the business that is hit by COVID-19. Means will be sought to provide financial assistance through loans. Experienced persons have been appointed and assigned at the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry and Central Bank of Myanmar. All should work for the resurgence of economy, and local and foreign investments are invited. We give green light to the ongoing and approved projects. Some projects are approved in principle, but not yet permitted. Permits will be issued soonest after holding group-wise meetings with the relevant ministries. Inclusive suggestions are invited. Measures will be taken to launch the formally approved projects of the waiting list. Especially, the momentum of agriculture and livestock undertakings will be maintained. Export promotion will be prioritized. There are restrictions from some quarters because of the doubts on the government.
Trade with neighbouring countries will be increased. Another important point is the eternal peace. A country needs political and security stability. The NCA has already been signed, and there will be no change. The NCA path will be followed as usual. The road will be towards the Union based on democracy and federal system. Negotiations will be made to realize the NCA. It will be reinforced to the most possible degree during the one-year period of the state of emergency. A committee has already been set up for the non-signatories to participate in the NCA as signatories. They will lead the discussions. I will also meet with them. Unity is required to reach the destination of democracy together. The council members are requested to render continued assistance.
When the voter lists were checked, a large number of under 18-age voters and people without NRC were found, and their numbers are in millions. When the immigration minister was summoned and asked, he said many of the people living in Yangon were migrants settling down in the city under various reasons after the Nagis disaster; they has no NRC. So efforts should be made to issue NRCs for the nationalities. A large number nationalities in states have no NRC. The ministry has been told to launch a special project for this matter. All citizens must have the NRC and household list. Another important issue is the displaced persons living in Bangladesh. Agreements will be realized through talks if there is not any harm to the national interest. Acceptable cases will be given green light in accordance with the 1982 citizenship law after the talks.
Swift action is required during the emergency period, as the general elections will be held after the accomplishment of the mission. The ongoing fight against COVID-19 will be continued. Transport and communication is a task that cannot be stopped, and the Tatmadaw will render assistance. Other departments are also formed with experts. They are serving all the key duties. This roughly shows the systematic lead towards democracy. As regards the international relations, there will be no policy change. The Constitution has already stated the policy which is based on the peaceful co-existence. As an ASEAN member, Myanmar will always observe the pledges. And as a UN member, the country will observe all the objective UN principles. All the council members are informed that the country will abide by all the principles including UN principles that are in accord with its situation. The main thing is to restore the normal path in a short period. All must go straight on the path. The members must provide cooperation, advice and leadership in the necessary areas.
Next, Council Members U Thein Nyunt, Jeng Phang Naw Taung, Mahn Nyein Maung, Daw Aye Nu Sein, U Moung Har and U Khin Maung Swe discussed the matters pertaining to the provisions stipulated in the Constitution for the political parties, immediate and systematic formations and duty assignments of the administration bodies at the townships, wards, village-tracts-level, promulgation of the State security-related laws, State pardon for the political prisoners, implemen-
tation of the peace processes, the extension of members for the states/regions administration councils, holding of election in some areas of Rakhine State, stability, tranquillity and the rule of law in Rakhine State, the establishment of the ministries for ethnic affairs at States/Regions-level, and Hluttaw, political parties and elections laws.
State Administration Council Chairman Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing added coordination and instruction for State pardon for the political prisoners and the rule of law. The Senior General pledged to do the best for the reports.