Army is trying its best to end internal conflicts, says military chief

Writer: 
Nay Myo Win
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing met with Catholic bishops of Kachin State and northern Shan State. (Photo: Office of the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services)
 
Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said on Tuesday, January 16, that the army is an organisation that wants eternal peace. Its duty is to protect the country and the army is trying its best to end internal conflicts, according to announcement from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services.
 
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing was speaking at the during his meeting with Catholic bishops of Kachin State and northern Shan State led by Archbishop of upper Myanmar Catholic Archdiocese Paul Grawng at Bayintnaung Parlour in Nay Pyi Taw.
 
He said unity of the ethnic peoples of the whole country is a must for national development. “The strength of the nation lies within, and as it is the strength of the ethnics of the Union, it must be built with trust, unity and harmony among them. 
“The army has been following the path to multi-party democracy chosen by the people since 2011. In so doing, internal peace is essential. Being born of the people and made up of various nationalities of the union, the army must protect the people.
 
“This is why the army decided to follow the democracy road as the people wish. Peace efforts are being exerted to resolve armed conflicts that emerged due to various reasons. The emergence of armed conflict is based on political discord, religious and ethnic affairs. When the country is on the track to democracy, only peaceful ways are necessary rather than armed conflicts,” he said.
 
He added Myanmar has a lot of political parties and democracy is being exercised. There should be only peaceful means although different parties may have different ideologies. As the Constitution allows religious freedom, religious discord cannot be found in the country. Myanmar has over 135 national races and all national races and genders are treated equally, he claimed.
 
“Once there are any ideological differences, they can be resolved through peaceful means,” he said
 
He continued that the army is striving for restoring eternal peace with a strong wish.
 
“The army does not have any problems with ethnics and holds peace talks with ethnic armed organisations. And, the army will accept to discuss the topics on differences with these organisations,” he said.
 
“They need to have keen wishes to actually restore peace and not to break peace agreements and pledges.”