The National Defence and Security Council of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar held the (1/2024) meeting at the meeting hall of the State Administration Council (SAC) Chairman’s Office in Nay Pyi Taw on 31 January in the evening.
It was attended by Pro Tem President U Myint Swe, Vice-President U Henry Van Thio, Speaker of the Pyithu Hluttaw U T Khun Myat, Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commander-in-Chief (Army) Vice-Senior General Soe Win, Union Minister for Defence Admiral Tin Aung San, Union Minister for Home Affairs Lt-Gen Yar Pyae, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs U Than Swe, Union Minister for Border Affairs Lt-Gen Tun Tun Naung and those who were invited on the special occasion including SAC Secretary Lt-Gen Aung Lin Dwe and Joint-Secretary Lt-Gen Ye Win Oo.
Speaking on the occasion, the Senior General explained the undertakings in the six-month period of the State’s responsibilities and future tasks. With regard to the State security measures, he said that some EAOs and PDF terrorists used various ways and means for the deterioration of the socioeconomic life of the people and peace and stability of the nation within six months. Regarding the incidents in Shan State (North), MNDAA insurgents launched attacks on Chinshwehaw with the use of drones starting 27 October after they crossed Namtit creek via Wa area. To do so, MNDAA had made preparations by holding several meetings with its alliances since 2022. Alliances provided arms and ammunition, electronic technologies and monetary assistance. It is witnessed that MNDAA insurgent group primarily aimed to rebuild its power in the Kokang region as Special Region-1 although it has given many reasons in its statements. At present, MNDAA robs the property of the people in the towns their occupied, destroys public property and recruits new members from families of local ethnicities.
MNDAA follows the armed struggle line to grasp power without abiding by the law of Myanmar, which exercises a democratic system. The 2008 Constitution guarantees equal rights to all ethnicities in all regions and states in addition to self-administered zones. The Constitution designated the Kokang region in the eastern part of Thanlwin River as the Kokang Self-Administered Zone. Before the Constitution (2008), it was a special region. Kokang armed groups led by U Pheung Kya-Shin, which split from the Burma Communist Party (BCP), joined hands with the Tatmadaw till 2009. Since then, the bases of Tatmadaw were stationed to administer the region together. Although they were warned several times not to produce narcotic drugs in 2009, the group did not heed the warning. So, military action was taken against them. Kokang Self-Administered Zone had been administered by elected persons since 2011. Then, Myanmar-China border trade was opened in Yanlonkeng of Laukkai, and Myanmar-China trade measures in Chinshwehaw were under both governments’ agreements until the period before the attacks. The Tatmadaw will allow the desires of ethnic armed organizations under the Constitution, and some matters will be decided under the voting in the Hluttaw. The Tatmadaw had disclosed that it agreed to amend some appropriate facts in the Constitution at the meetings with ethnic leaders and political leaders. According to country’s history and official relations process, all things will be done under the law in the Kokang Special Region. The Tatmadaw representatives are holding the meetings. If these facts are ignored, it might be the restoration of the warlord system for some background reasons.
MNDAA insurgents attacked Chinshwehaw and Kunlong, whereas its allied TNLA insurgents attacked Hsenwi (Theinni) on the Lashio-Muse route and disturbed Kutkai. TNLA insurgents attacked the Muse trade zone in 2016 and people’s militia camps and security outposts in Muse in 2018. So, clashes happened between the Tatmadaw and TNLA. TNLA continued attacks on Namhkam, Namhsam, Mantung, Namtu and Mongngaw regions. It aims to grasp the Palaung region. The Constitution sets the Palaung Self-Administered Zone for the Palaung region. TNLA launched attacks to seize the greater power. They extremely rob and destroy the property of residents and recruit new members, causing plight to residents. Again, tea production in the Palaung region has declined. All basic education schools have been closed. Up to now, more problems occur in the Palaung region which has been weak in economic and educational sectors since the past. If it accepts the multiparty democratic system, it has many opportunities to hold political dialogues. But TNLA turned a blind eye to such a point and used its arms to struggle. The insurgents bought drones from the neighboring country and launched drone attacks. Some drones can be prepared for military purpose and equipped with large bombs. It is witnessed that insurgents interrupted main union highways to hamper the development of the socioeconomic life of the ethnic people and blocked the border trade route. Border trade is initiated under agreements of relevant countries. So, Myanmar is holding talks with China to operate the regular process of border trade measures in the Muse region.
As the armed clashes broke out near the border areas with neighbouring country, the Tatmadaw took all measures under the Rules of Engagement for Self-Defence and the Rules of Engagement for Counter-Terrorism and Counter-Insurgency Operations to restore normality and not to cause misunderstandings with neighboring country. So, the Tatmadaw placed restrictions on the operations to prevent the fall of stray shells and cross-border assets beyond the border line, avoiding any harm to local people. However, insurgents intentionally launched heavy weapons into other countries to cause misunderstanding. So, officials of both sides held talks to solve it. As insurgents attacked the military with technology and excessive strength, the Tatmadaw retreated from some posts due to the possibility of harming the military families.
The complications in Shan State (North) were rooted in online scams called Kyar Phyant. Kokang region has been using drug trafficking and gambling measures for many years. During the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, supporting staff were brought there for online gambling. Then, foreigners illegally arrived in the Laukkai region. At present, most illegal businesses are based on border regions of Myanmar with China and Thailand to commit online scams and online gambling on a broader scale. So, Myanmar, China, and Thailand are effectively negotiating to combat such acts. Most of them are foreigners under the protection of ethnic armed organizations. As they can do illegal businesses relying on arms, it is necessary to cease the armed struggle. Severe action is being taken against those involved in the cases.
During the period from 5 October 2023 to 29 January 2024, a total of 48,210 Chinese and 1,810 other foreigners, totalling 50,020 who illegally reside in Myanmar, had been handed over to relevant countries. On 23 January 2024, 1,002 male and 36 female Chinese nationals, totalling 1,038 who fled from Pansang, Laukkai, Mongpauk and Mongla regions, were detained. So, measures are being taken to hand over them to the relevant country under the law.
With regard to AA insurgents, AA insurgents violated the temporary ceasefire agreed with Tatmadaw in 2020 and took part in armed clashes in Shan State (North) in October 2023. Mainly, it wishes to receive arms assistance from its alliances. From the tenure of the Tatmadaw government to date, development tasks have been undertaken in Rakhine State. So, Rakhine State can see unprecedented development at present. At a time when Rakhine State faced the impacts of storm Mocha, the Tatmadaw and the Government made utmost efforts for rehabilitation in Rakhine State. The Senior General himself arrived in Sittway and inspected the loss and damage in the natural disaster and made necessary arrangements. The SAC Vice-Chairman and senior military officers were sent to other townships to manage quick rehabilitation tasks. Such works aimed to accomplish acts of rehabilitation during six-month period after the storm Mocha for livelihood of locals. So, these regions regained improvements in the dry season. Now, all storm-hit areas have greater progress. All universities and basic education schools were opened in Rakhine State within 17 days after the storm, with the largest enrollment rate.
However, following seven months after the storm, AA insurgents launched their attacks on the Donpaik police outpost of the border guard police force in Rakhine State at 5 am on 13 November 2023. Then, it used drones to attack two security posts in the Paletwa region and Pauktaw. At present, AA is attacking some regions of northern Rakhine State. Majorities of local Rakhine ethnic people are suffering the impacts of the acts of AA insurgents, which make instability in the region. This time, basic education school and university students are learning education for the academic year of 2023-2024. At the start of academic year of 2023-24, 573,000 students attended the basic education school in Rakhine State. Due to threats of AA insurgents, only 279,392 students are attending the schools. Witnessing more than 48.76 per cent of absentees, it is found that local students are suffering loss of future life due to the violent acts of AA insurgents. AA insurgent group is now recruiting under-age students for new members and agitate hatred of other ethnicities. Only when Rakhine State restores durable peace can it hand over a good future life to new generations and the region will have greater progress. As the Tatmadaw strives to ensure peace and stability there, the people in Rakhine State are required to collaborate with the Tatmadaw.
CNF, one of the EAOs that has signed the NCA, has joined the CDF terrorists and committed acts of terrorism in Chin State. On 29 October 2023, the Tatmadaw retook Thantlang, where CNF/CDF terrorists took positions. These terrorists attacked Reedkhorda in Falam Township and Lailinpi and Rezwa of Matupi Township in Chin State in November 2023. At present, CNF insurgents are operating to make instability in Tiddim, Kanpetlet, Cindwe and other areas in Chin State.
KNPP/KNDF insurgents with excessive strength have launched attacks on Loikaw since 11 November 2023. Due to tip-off provided by local residents, the Tatmadaw crushed a large number of KNPP/KNDF insurgents. These insurgents tried to accumulate arms and ammunition for attacks. On 17 December 2022, their arms and ammunition were seized in Sawta Village of Hopong Township. A total of 1,133 small arms, 10 RPGs, more than 100,000 rounds of ammunition, more than 7,600 grenades, six 107-mm rockets and other related materials were seized in Sawta Village of Mongpyin village tract in Hopong Township on 17 December 2022; in Panmont Village of Panglong on 16 November 2023; and in Sanphu Village of Hopong Township on 20 January 2024. Those arms and ammunition were sent from their allied ethnic armed organizations.
Seizing trafficking arms and ammunition to Kayah State could hinder the terrorist acts of KNPP/KNDF insurgents in Kayah State to some extent. At a time when the country is being built based on democracy and federalism, unfaithful EAOs doing acts for more conflicts and deterioration to the State are very dangerous for the country.
KNU insurgents, under the political changes in 2021, trained and supported PDFs and disturbed small military posts in Myawady and Kawkareik. On 24 November 2023, KNU with excessive strength attacked a Tatmadaw outpost. On 27 November 2023, the Chaunghnakhwa bridge in Kyaikmaraw Township was blown up. Since KNU insurgents and PDF terrorists attacked eight places in Kawkareik at 3 am on 1st of December 2023, the Tatmadaw launched counterattacks on them. Under the reason of different political attitudes, firm evidences showed that KNU have committed acts of violence in the region by all means including human trafficking, online scams and gambling near Myawady of the Thai-Myanmar border. So, Myanmar will cooperate with neighbouring countries in combating those acts to forge the rule of law. KNU’s attacks harm the socioeconomic progress of local ethnic people in Kayin State, so Tatmadaw strives to ensure peace and stability in the region.
PDF terrorists committed various acts of terrorism across the nation within six months from 1 August 2023 to 29 January 2024, killing three members of the Sangha, 438 innocent civilians and 79 civil servants, totalling 520. They destroyed residential houses and other infrastructures including 11 electric/telecom towers, 97 bridges/roads/tollgate buildings, six healthcare centers, 13 schools/educational buildings. From 1 February 2021 to 29 January 2024, PDF terrorists had killed 77 members of the Sangha, two nuns, 5,677 innocent people and 1,124 civil servants, totalling 6,880. They destroyed residential houses and other infrastructures including 559 telecom/ electric towers, 53 healthcare buildings, 66 religious buildings, 1,487 bridges/roads/tollgate buildings and 670 schools/educational buildings. They rudely threatened education staff for 413 times. At 5.50 pm on 13 November 2023, KNPP insurgents and PDF terrorists intentionally attacked Loikaw University and abducted educational staff and students.
Taking advantage of instability in the country, insurgents and terrorists produce narcotic drugs and commit drug trafficking to generate income. Illegal drug production and drug trafficking contributes to money laundering, arms smuggling and terrorism, posing a challenge to the peace and stability of the State. As no chemicals and related accessories exist in the country, insurgent groups take these materials from other countries in various ways.
Concerning seizures of narcotic drugs, during the six months from 1 August 2023 to 29 January 2024, K781.02 billion worth of more than 1.1 tonnes of heroin, more than 117 million stimulant tablets, and more than 14.665 tonnes of ICE (crystal meth) were seized in 3,272 cases. In those cases, 4,373 drug-related offenders (males and females) were arrested. During the period from 1 February 2021 to 29 January 2024, authorities seized more than K3,354 billion worth of 6.05 tonnes of heroin, more than 629 million stimulant tablets, more than 53 tonnes of ICE (crystal meth), and drug-related accessories in 21,098 cases. A total of 29,486 drug-related offenders (males and females) were arrested in those cases. According to the information related to the trafficking of AA insurgents, from 3 to 9 December 2023, K51.87 billion worth of more than two tonnes of ICE (crystal meth) and 800 kilos of restricted chemical Caffeine were seized together with a drug gang of AA insurgents.
In successive eras, poppy cultivation and drug production have been made in the areas with poor transport facilities, remote areas from administrative mechanisms, the areas of poor development, the area of security instability, and remote jungle areas in Myanmar. Due to the Kuomintang invasion of Shan State and poppy cultivation and drug production had risen in Shan State. As BCP and other insurgent groups formed later extended poppy cultivation and drug production for their long survival, Shan State was notorious for being the largest opium producing area in the world.
UNODC mentioned in its annual report in 2023 that poppy is largely cultivated in Shan state and it is the core area for production of narcotic drugs in the region. Those drugs were smuggled to other countries via water courses as tight inspections are being made to check smuggling on land transportation. As UNODC and CCDCC of Myanmar cooperated in measuring poppy cultivation and production, production gradually has declined since 2012. The annual report of UNODC in 2023 mentioned that 40,100 hectares of poppy were cultivated in Myanmar in 2022, compared with 30,200 hectares in 2021, increasing 33 per cent of poppy cultivation in 2022. So, China, Myanmar, Thailand, and other international organizations will effectively cooperate in the investigation, measuring and destruction of poppy and narcotic drugs.
Myanmar is eradicating narcotic drugs as a national duty. It cooperates with the United Nations, neighbouring countries, ASEAN countries, Mekong region countries, BIMSTEC countries and international drug control organizations in eradicating narcotic drugs. Only when all countries strive for the eradication of narcotic drugs in all aspects as a national duty will such a mission be achieved.
As insurgents and terrorists attempt to deteriorate peace and stability in the nation, arrangements are being made to beef up the public defence and security system, including local people’s militia. Only when the country is peaceful and stable can it march towards the goal with a firm democratic system. So, the State Administration Council is implementing the adopted objectives and roadmap. So, not only security forces but all people have to prevent terrorist attacks for the peace and stability of the nation. With regard to the public security system, measures are being taken in relevant areas and efforts are being made to fully secure relevant regions, in cooperation with the people. And then, the public defence system will have to be implemented. Providing information about anti-government groups to the security troops is important. Those informants will have to be secretly kept. So, all ethnic people who are forging patriotic and national spirit must cooperate with the government in these measures. As these terrorists insult race, language and religion in addition to disturbance of the peace and stability of the State, the State Administration Council will apply all means to forge peace and stability in the State.
In the education sector, 8,108,227 students enrolled at basic education schools across the nation in the academic year of 2023-24. Now, 6,767,763 students are attending the schools, with 1,340,464 absentee students for various reasons, accounting for 16.53 per cent, mostly in some areas of Kayin, Chin, Kayah, Rakhine and Shan State (North). It shows the results of clashes with a lack of peace. A total of 112,968 students attended the universities in 2023-24 AY; now, 86,687 students are attending the universities, with 26,281 absentees, accounting for 23.3 per cent. Loikaw University sees no students at 100 per cent, whereas a large number of absentees can be seen at the universities in Chin State, Rakhine State and Shan State (North). Some students moved to and attend the universities in other regions and states. The acts of insurgents and terrorists directly harm learning of youths who are the future human resources of the country. Therefore, the entire population and international organizations need to oppose their acts as the terrorists’ acts endanger the future of the nation.
As Myanmar exercises a multiparty democratic system, all should not be different from political, racial, and religious attitudes, and they all have to strive to reach the democratic system and Hluttaw’s path peacefully. On 15 October 2015, the government, the Hluttaw, the Tatmadaw and ethnic armed organizations grandly signed the NCA in the presence of international and local witnesses, including those from the United Nations. Since Pyidaungsu Hluttaw approved the NCA as a Union Accord, such a historical pact never becomes null.
The 8th Anniversary of signing NCA was celebrated on 15 October 2023 with the attendance of stakeholders at home and abroad with essence.
The Senior General said he repeatedly urged NCA signatory EAOs and non-signatory EAOs to demand their aspirations at the Hluttaw via peace talks not to derail from the democratic system if they require their aspiration by holding arms. Some groups from NCA signatory KNU and KIA, SSPP/SSA and KNPP groups among other 11 non-signatory organizations, supported PDF terrorists to commit acts of terrorism across the nation.
Since its establishment, SAC has been implementing two political visions: strengthening a genuine, disciplined multiparty democratic system and building a union based on democracy and federalism. To do so, all citizens have to participate in the implementation of the process. All must avoid the acts of derailing from the democratic system and abide by existing laws under the Constitution. It is necessary to choose the appropriate system related to the democratic system and federalism in building the Union based on democracy and federalism the entire people aspire to. No region or state is resided by a single ethnic in Myanmar. All ethnics are scattered in all regions and states. So, the political system is being implemented as a multiparty democratic system, and the administrative system will be based on the Union system based on democracy and federalism. The 2008 constitution allows Union level, region/state, and self-administered division and zones for the federal authorities.
As the Constitution was published in 2008 after a referendum, the Tatmadaw repeatedly said that it agreed to amend necessary points in the Constitution (2008) in line with updated condition. Many provisions could be amended in previous terms of government, but some amended provisions have not been approved yet without referendums. Chapter XII of the Constitution mentions the provisions for amendment, so it is necessary to amend things under the Constitution through the Hluttaw process. So, the government needs to hold a multiparty democratic general election in line with the roadmap and amend some points inappropriate with the current eras through the Hluttaw. NCA signatory EAOs also have to contribute to the election to strengthen the nation’s democratic system.
The Myanmar Tatmadaw is an organization that has led the development of the multi-party democratic system aspired by the people, and it is also an organization that is working to strengthen the country’s democratic system. In practicing a multi-party democratic system, free and fair elections are the lifeblood of this system. So, only when an election is free and fair, will the true will of the people be reflected and the democratic system will be meaningful. In the multi-party democratic general election of 2020, the previous NLD party acted in a disorganized manner, causing a black spot for the country. So, it is necessary to learn from past events not to cause similar occurrences and to strengthen a genuine, disciplined multiparty democratic system.
The Union Election Commission held meetings with political parties four times, and they agreed to exercise the Closed List PR system instead of the First Past The Post-FPTP system in the elections, in order to prevent the lost votes that occurred in the previous elections. So, coordinations are being made to issue the election law and bylaws for relevant Hluttaws in conformity with the PR system. New political party registration law and bylaw were issued to ensure political parties were strong so as to take State responsibilities. So far, 50 parties have reapplied for registration as political parties under the law and bylaw, and 15 more parties have applied to establish new political parties, totalling 65. A total of 40 parties did not reapply for their registration under the law, and these have been automatically annulled under Section 25 of the Political Parties Registration Law. The UEC allowed registration for 47 of 65 political parties that submitted applications for re-registration and establishment of new ones. The registration of two political parties was cancelled. As such, a total of 45 parties are in operation.
On 6 January, 2024, the Senior General himself met with chairpersons, vice chairpersons and officials of the political parties that have already been allowed to be registered and openly discussed the current political situation in the State, widespread terrorist attacks launched by the PDF terrorists, conditions of terrorists’ acts carried out by PDF terrorists, efforts to promote the State economy and social sector, and plans to hold elections. They also reported their perspectives on the current political situation and difficulties. They all agreed to make an all-out effort to hold the election successfully. Moreover, the Law Amending the Political Parties Registration Law was issued. Section 429 of the Constitution (2008) states, “The National Defence and Security Council shall hold the general election in accord with the provisions of the Constitution within the duration of six months commencing from the day on which the ordinance is annulled under Section 426”. Therefore, the SAC will spare effort to hold the multiparty general election as per the No 5 of the Five-point Roadmap.
The ultimatum vision of the SAC is to hold a free and fair multiparty democratic general election. Although it will be difficult to successfully hold the election, the SAC will make concerted efforts to safeguard the rights of the public to cast votes and ensure a systematic general election despite the challenges.
The Hluttaw is the highest platform in political trends in democracy, and more ethnic representatives must join the political platform in the Hluttaw so as to demand the rights of their regions under the law. According to the Constitution, the President of the country is elected by the Union Hluttaw, and the Chief Ministers of the regions and states are elected by the respective Hluttaws of regions and states. Selecting the designated representatives to attend the meeting is mandatory to make it a dignified Hluttaw meeting. Participation of parties from different regions and states in Hluttaw can represent the large community and give them a chance to speak out on matters that the people aspire to. About 28 per cent of the country’s population resides in the city, and approximately 72 per cent live in rural areas. The gap between some states and regions is more significant than that digit. Therefore, it should consider the rights of rural people to cast votes, not only focus on the wishes of people living in cities. Therefore, preparations are being made for the election, emphasizing the regional tranquillity in Sagaing Region, Kayah, Chin, and Rakhine states, where there is a lack of peace and stability to a certain extent. Places with no peace cannot be left while elections are being held. An election must be held to have the Hluttaw sessions, and so if such places are gone, democracy will cease to exist in these regions, and there might be dictatorships and warlords that can affect the local ethnic people. Therefore, the political parties should participate in holding a free and fair election if they genuinely want a democratic system.
In order to have the right to vote across the country without a gap, the information on the basis of the ballot must be compiled correctly. Only if the basic information is correct will the ballots be correct. The voter lists should be carried out systematically in compiling them so as not to cause further stigma like the 2020 general election poll errors. Therefore, the enumeration of the 2024 census will be conducted. In order to be able to successfully collect and prepare for the difficulties that may be encountered in enumeration, the pilot census was collected in 20 townships in October 2023 as a trial. Myanmar’s population was estimated at 56.2 million on 1 October 2023, based on the 2014 Myanmar population and housing census. Only after the national census is conducted, the population list will be released and the voting lists will be compiled. Only if the census can be fully collected, the correct ballots will be obtained and the election can be held correctly.
Meanwhile, the UEC has made clarifications and practical demonstration test voting using Myanmar Electronic Voting Machine for voters to vote clearly and easily, to have the correct vote results, to have no rejected ballots, to have electoral fraud and ensure transparency. The practical demonstration test voting is being conducted in the central level organizations, ministries, Nay Pyi Taw Council, a total of 42 groups of Nay Pyi Taw City Development Committee and universities in Nay Pyi Taw. It has been implemented in eight townships in Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory and all the townships in Yangon Region, and continues to be implemented in the townships in Mandalay Region.
The SAC is serving the State’s duties to strengthen the democratic pathway of the country under the Constitution. Section 425 states the permit for two extensions of the prescribed duration for a term of six months for each extension typically. However, law enforcement has become weak, and the local ethnic people face losses in their socioeconomic sectors due to the armed conflicts in Shan State (North), some areas of Sagain Region, Chin and Kayah states. Moreover, the NUG and PDF terrorists launch attacks across the nation, taking advantage of such a situation, and so it needs to be carried out to attain peace through utmost efforts. That should be considered as an unusual or exceptional situation.
As some of the EAOs are breaking the rule of law in the border areas, it can be seen that they also cooperate with online scam groups and launch attacks there. Therefore, it also needs to ensure stability, security and the rule of law in border areas and combat online scams with the relevant countries. Therefore, the public security system will be upgraded to implement a public protection system with the public participation to carry out such operations effectively. The members who attended the meeting are urged to make utmost efforts to be a nation with peace and stability, and the rule of law. As we will be moving towards a multi-party democratic system, there is a need for the parties applying for registration to build strength and organize in order to provide party registration rights in accordance with the regulations set by the Union Election Commission to comply with the law. It is necessary to work together to successfully hold a multi-party democratic general election.
The government took over the State’s responsibilities due to the voting fraud in the 2020 general election. It protected the genuine and disciplined multiparty democratic system that the people desired. Since serving the State duties, the government has focused on holding free and fair multiparty democratic general elections as per the roadmap to date. It can also be seen that the opposition groups are accelerating destructive actions daily to make the country unpeaceful and destroy the socioeconomic status of the public, neglecting the multiparty democracy that the people aspire. They also worry that their destructive plans to grab the State’s power unlawfully will be destroyed when the country returns to a peaceful and normal situation. Therefore, the government is making efforts to hold multiparty elections across the nation, will overcome the challenges and difficulties, and pledges to provide the essence of democracy for every citizen in accordance with stability, rules, and regulations.
Tatmadaw, Police Force and militia in the frontline are bravely preventing the destructive activities that undermine the state stability and security, so their actions are historic. They should be provided more. Similarly, the public participation in security measures is appreciated, and it will manage to cooperate systematically under the law.
At present, there are many requirements to be a free and fair general election under the law as a foundation of democratic system and to enable the people to express their aspirations freely. The required actions should be taken to ensure the peaceful and stable situation as well as normal situation in the country. Therefore, an extension of six months is necessary to carry out the duties for the unusual or exceptional situation under Section 425 of the Constitution.
Following the discussions of the attendees of the NDSC meeting, Vice-President U Henry Van Thio agreed to the submission of the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services.
Then, speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw U T Khun Myat said that the explanation of the Senior General is in conformity with the reason and legal affairs. So, he agreed to extend six more months of the State of Emergency under the Section 425 of the Constitution.
After that, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commander-in-Chief (Army) Vice-Senior General Soe Win discussed two facts — security measures to promote the State stability and socioeconomic status of people, including nationwide peace and the rule of law; and compiling the census that is the primary requirement to receive correct voter lists to be able to hold a multiparty democratic general election, the ultimatum vision of SAC. So, it needs to enumerate the census for correctness of voter lists. The correct statistics can contribute to correct voter lists. As such, processes must be done step by step. Hence, as such two points must be implemented, he also agreed to the submission of the Senior General to extend the six more months of the State of Emergency under Section 425 of the Constitution.
Next, Union Minister for Defence Admiral Tin Aung San said that the SAC is accelerating the actions to strengthen the genuine and disciplined multiparty democratic system and building a Union based on democracy and federalism and a nationwide ceasefire. However, some EAOs committed destructive actions and attacks with the cover of NCA and insulted the perpetuation of the sovereignty of the country. Therefore, the six-month extension of the State of Emergency is agreed upon to implement the five-point roadmap of SAC and to hold free and fair multiparty democratic elections across the nation, upholding the Our Three Main National Causes.
After that, Union Minister for Home Affairs Lt-Gen Yar Pyae said that he agreed to extend six more months of the State of Emergency as the terrorism, unusual situation happened for peace, stability and rule of law starting from 1 February 2023 to the whole 2023.
Next, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs U Than Shwe also agreed to extend six more months of the State of Emergency due to the requirements of political, economic and social development undertakings of the SAC government to the international community.
Afterward, Union Minister for Border Affairs Lt-Gen Tun Tun Naung discussed that he agreed to extend six more months of the State of Emergency for soonest stability of the unusual situation of the State and successful implementation of the five-point roadmap of the SAC under the Section 425 of the Constitution.
Then, the Senior General said the cases that occurred within six months are discussed, and the government is leading to a multiparty democracy pathway under the Constitution. The Constitution (2008) was approved with the voting of the people. Tatmadaw also agreed to amend some stipulations of the Constitution that should be amended. In certain areas where EAOs are in the situation, there is a lack of peace and law enforcement, and there are drug smugglings. Tatmadaw emphasizes State stability, whereas the abilities of Tatmadaw and police members are also improved.
Some of the political parties and ethnic groups made talks regarding public security. There are still requirements to implement a national military service system to serve public protection services where EAOs are in situations and in places lacking stability. So, an emphasis is being implemented for public security system. Therefore, security information system is being implemented in wards and towns so as to implement the public defence system.
Regarding international relations, the government works closely with all the countries, including the neighbouring countries. Myanmar cooperates with all countries wishing to cooperate with Myanmar. It also follows the foreign policies laid by the Constitution.
He continued that efforts should be made to get a typical situation before 1 February 2021 because Myanmar is not in usual situation. The protests and those launched armed attacks destroyed the expected situation. A free and fair election is needed to attain the normal situation. It also arranges to hold dignified elections and Hlutaw sessions. The number of elected Hluttaw MPs should be more than Tatmadaw representatives. Only then will it be a dignified election. The check and balance is also needed in Hluttaw. The council members should know these facts.
After hearing the clarifications of the Senior General, the Pro Tem President said the six-month extension is needed under the Constitution based on the submissions of council members. He agreed to extend six months of the State of Emergency to carry out anti-terrorist activities and for unusual situations. As such submission of the Senior General, he seemed to successfully implement the process to shape the good future of the State. If necessary, more term should be extended depending on the results of efforts within six months period. According to the consensus and decisions of all members of the National Defence and Security Council, including himself, who attended today’s meeting, he then declared the extension of a further six-month State of Emergency in the entire nation, informed the National Defence and Security Council, and concluded the meeting 1/2024.
Source: Global New Light of Myanmar Newspaper (1-2-2024)
- Some EAOs and PDF terrorists used various ways and means for the deterioration of the socioeconomic life of the people and peace and stability of the nation within six months.
- MNDAA insurgent group primarily aimed to rebuild its power in the Kokang region as Special Region-1.
- MNDAA robs the property of the people in the towns their occupied, destroys public property and recruits new members from families of local ethnicities.
- TNLA insurgent group aims to grasp the Palaung region. Although the Constitution sets the Palaung Self-Administered Zone for the Palaung region, TNLA launched attacks to seize the greater power.
- Since insurgent groups interrupted main union highways in northern Shan State to block the border trade route, Myanmar is holding talks with China to operate the regular process of border trade measures in the Muse region.
- As the armed clashes broke out near the border areas with neighbouring country, the Tatmadaw took all measures under the Rules of Engagement for Self-Defence and the Rules of Engagement for Counter-Terrorism and Counter-Insurgency Operations to restore normality and not to cause misunderstandings with neighboring country. So, the Tatmadaw placed restrictions on the operations to prevent the fall of stray shells and cross-border assets beyond the border line, avoiding any harm to local people.
- AA insurgents violated the temporary ceasefire agreed with Tatmadaw in 2020 and took part in armed clashes in Shan State (North) in October 2023.
- At the start of academic year of 2023-24, 573,000 students attended the basic education school in Rakhine State. Due to threats of AA insurgents, only 279,392 students are attending the schools. Witnessing more than 48.76 per cent of absentees, it is found that local students are suffering loss of future life due to the violent acts of AA insurgents.
- CNF, one of the EAOs that has signed the NCA, has joined the CDF terrorists and committed acts of terrorism in Chin State.
- Although KNPP/KNDF insurgents with excessive strength have launched attacks on Loikaw since 11 November 2023, the Tatmadaw crushed a large number of KNPP/KNDF insurgents thanks to the tip-off provided by local residents.
- KNU insurgent group has created armed clashes to stop better potential of socio-economic status of local residents in Kayin State and committed acts of violence including human trafficking, online scams and gambling near Myawady of the Thai-Myanmar border.
- From 1 February 2021 to 29 January 2024, PDF terrorists had killed 77 members of the Sangha, two nuns, 5,677 innocent people and 1,124 civil servants, totalling 6,880. They destroyed residential houses and other infrastructures including 559 telecom/ electric towers, 119 healthcare buildings/religious buildings, 1,487 bridges/roads/tollgate buildings and 670 schools/educational buildings.
- At a time when the country is being built based on democracy and federalism, unfaithful EAOs doing acts for more conflicts and deterioration to the State are very dangerous for the country.
- Taking advantage of instability in the country, insurgents and terrorists produce narcotic drugs and commit drug trafficking to generate income.
- Illegal drug production and drug trafficking contributes to money laundering, arms smuggling and terrorism, posing a challenge to the peace and stability of the State.
- Since Shan State is the core area for production of narcotic drugs in the region, China, Myanmar, Thailand, and other international organizations will effectively cooperate in the investigation, measuring and destruction of poppy and narcotic drugs.
- With regard to the public security system, measures are being taken in relevant areas and efforts are being made to fully secure relevant regions, in cooperation with the people. And then, the public defence system will have to be implemented.
- As Myanmar exercises a multiparty democratic system, all should not be different from political, racial, and religious attitudes, and they all have to strive to reach the democratic system and Hluttaw’s path peacefully.
- All must avoid the acts of derailing from the democratic system and abide by existing laws under the Constitution.
- NCA signatory EAOs also have to contribute to the election to strengthen the nation’s democratic system.
- The UEC allowed 50 political parties that reapplied for registration as political parties, and 15 more parties that have applied to establish new political parties, totalling 65. The UEC allowed registration for 47 of 65 political parties that submitted applications for re-registration and establishment of new ones. The registration of two political parties was cancelled. As such, a total of 45 parties are in operation.
- The ultimatum vision of the SAC is to hold a free and fair multiparty democratic general election.
- Preparations are being made for the election, emphasizing the regional tranquillity in Sagaing Region, Kayah, Chin, and Rakhine states, where there is a lack of peace and stability to a certain extent.
- The opposition groups are accelerating destructive actions daily to make the country unpeaceful and destroy the socioeconomic status of the public, neglecting the multiparty democracy that the people aspire.
- At present, law enforcement has become weak, and the local ethnic people face losses in their socioeconomic sectors due to the armed conflicts in Shan State (North), some areas of Sagain Region, Chin and Kayah state. That should be considered as an unusual or exceptional situation.
- Efforts should be made to get a typical situation before 1 February 2021 because Myanmar is not in usual situation.