Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing Receives ITAR-TASS Media of the Russian Federation

The following is an interview about sectoral cooperation between Russia and Myanmar, which was given by Chairman of the State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing to ITAR-TASS Media of the Russian Federation, at credential Hall of Zeyarthiri Beikman, Yangon Region, on 18 March;

Q:     Your Excellency, Prime Minister. First and foremost, I would like to express my gratitude to the Prime Minister for giving an interview to our ITAR-TASS Media. Russia and Myanmar have been prolonging relations for many years in the history. In the previous year, Russia-Myanmar diplomatic relations turned 75 years. I want to recount my childhood related to this relations. In my childhood, I saw an event which Prime Minister U Nu from Myanmar paid a visit to the Soviet Union for the first time. From then on, I have been interesting in Myanmar. Now, I have a chance to interview the Prime Minister. What I want to ask a question today is: what is the most successful cooperation between Myanmar and Russia? And which sectors are to be continued for cooperation?

A:      Russia and Myanmar have been cementing relations for many years. I will show you a document later. We initiated the diplomatic relations on 18 February 1948. Now, it was more than 76 years. Bilateral relations are focused on many sectors. Since the post-independence era of Myanmar, both countries have been cooperating in all sectors. But, we can see much cooperation in defence sector. With regard to defence sector, one is concerned with armed forces and another one is in technology and techniques.

Russia provided assistance for modernizing the Myanmar armed forces while giving science, technology and military techniques to many officers from Myanmar armed forces. It is a great sector. Moreover, cooperation focuses on agriculture, medical, energy, metallurgical and other sectors. Now, we are implementing the small-scale atomic energy plant in cooperation with Atomic Energy Composer of Rosatom of Russia. In the agriculture sector, fertilizer is being produced in Russian technology by establishing a fertilizer plant. Such a fertilizer is properly useful in Myanmar. So, we have a plan to extend it. Moreover, we conduct mining, wind mill, generating electricity from solar energy, and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and so on. Therefore, we have plans to continue these sectors.

Q:     Your Excellency Prime Minister. May I know accomplished projects and future projects after you have taken the responsibilities of the Head of Government?

A:      We took the State’s responsibilities because of the situations in which voting frauds were not solved although those frauds were committed in the 2020 election. Instead, they attempted to illegally grasp the State power. Hence, we declared the State of Emergency to the nation and took the State responsibilities. So, we had to solve the voting fraud problem at first.

We reconstituted the Union Election Commission to verify the voting frauds. Then, we ordered UEC to scrutinize the past event. The previous UEC announced more than 38 million of voters in the 2020 election. In scrutiny, 11.3 million of voting frauds were found out. I mean some 30 per cent of voter numbers were involved in the voting frauds. That is such a huge electoral malpractice. Number of vote rigging numbers from the hundreds to the tens of thousands occurred in all 315 townships where the election was held.

I sincerely and politically tell it was voting fraud. It was an ugly event. When such event has been exposed, I took action against all responsible persons at first.

As far as you know, such a time was a critical point of Myanmar which faced the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic in the second wave. More than 600,000 people suffered from infection of the pandemic. Many civilians lost lives. I led all to prevent the pandemic, facing unprecedented difficulties. For the first one, we don’t have vaccine for Covid-19 pandemic as well as oxygen. So, neighbouring countries gave a helping hand to us. Friendly countries including your Russia provided vaccines to us. So, these vaccines saved a large number of lives of Myanmar ethnic nationals. Although the pandemic was occurred infection in the third wave in Myanmar, we quickly controlled it. So, I can say we could overcome it. It is the second point.

For the third point, at that time, Myanmar suffered economic crisis like the infection of Covid-19 pandemic. But, Myanmar has faced economic downward trend not because of Covid-19 pandemic alone but because of weak management since 2018. As we could strive for recovering our economy, we could do so. To do so, we had experienced struggling in economic sector. Then, our country is on the upward trend of economy from 2021 to 2023.

One more point is forging the internal peace and stability. With regard to peace and stability, it may have two parts. To start with, some persons in different attitudes staged protests and unrests after declaration of the state of emergency.

So, we strived to stabilize the nation. Another part means Myanmar has faced internal armed conflicts since she had regained her independence in 1948, and it happens till today. In this regard, we vitalized the peace process. In 2015, we had an agreement in the Union Peace Conference. It is the nationwide ceasefire agreement-NCA. It was signed there. We are striving for restoration of peace and stability based on NCA till today. Less development of Myanmar depends on lack of peace and stability. So, we are striving for ensuring stability of the nation.

As another point, the emergence of the State Administration Council was a consequence of the voting frauds. So, it was a consequence of the election rigging process. So, we have an ultimate aim to hold a free and fair election. Once the process of the State of Emergency period is accomplished, we will hold the election. At that time, we will hand over the State power to the National Defence and Security Council. Then, we will hold the election within six months under the leadership of the National Defence and Security Council. To do so, we have to primarily emphasize correctness of the voter list to prevent voting errors. So, we will manage correctness of the voter list this year as much as possible. If the State becomes peaceful and stable, we have a plan to hold the election phase by phase as much as we can even under the law if the election cannot be held nationwide.

Q:     I know the Prime Minister have visited Russian Federation many times. On your arrivals, I know you paid visits to the landmarks of Russia. So, I want to ask a question. May I know your opinion over Russia and tell me please some points about Russia.

A:      Despite far distance between the two countries, Russia and Myanmar are close to each other in morale due to similar past events. Russia was called Soviet in the past. In the Soviet era, Russia was a world’s leadership country to manage the balance of world power. After the Soviet Union had collapsed, Russia has struggled much. Due to the morale of Russian people, the leadership of the government and the cooperation of Russian Armed Forces, Russia becomes a world’s leader country till today. I believe Russia is controlling a balance situation of the world. In my view, Russia is developing. As a significant point, Russia is located in the northern part of the world with cold areas. Moreover, Russia is located in the western and the eastern part of the world. So, I view that Russia plays a crucial role worldwide due to geographical condition. Furthermore, I firmly believe Russia would continuously take a leading role in the important sectors of the world.

Q:     Thank you for your expressions about Russia. I on my part have experiences of visiting Myanmar many times. Myanmar is very beautiful and pleasant country. I know more than one million foreign travellers visited Myanmar last year. Tell me please your rough plan and what plans should be made to attract a large number of travellers from Russia to Myanmar and serve Russian tourists to enjoy scenic beauties of Myanmar.

A:      All countries are interested in tourism industry. It can earn incomes. Some amounts of international tourists pay visits to Myanmar. But, due to political situation, we saw number of visits of international tourists do not reach the deserved amount.

With regard to Russia, we have made lots of preparations for Russian travellers. For example, we have arranged visa exemption for them and direct flights to Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw. Moreover, we have repaired airports for landing of passenger flights from Russia and manage tourism sector. A large number of destinations can be seen in Myanmar from the south to the north of the country. So, we have so different characters, cultures and natural beauties. They can enjoy them. And, we have one more advantage. It is because there are many Myanmar officers who had studied in Russia. Knowledge, trust over Russia and attachment are spread from them. As there are many persons who are fluent in Russian language and culture, I believe it will contribute much to tourism promotion between Myanmar and Russia. On the other hand, we hold workshops on tourism promotion between Russian and Myanmar delegations. Currently, Myanmar Airways International (MAI) runs tourism flights between Myanmar and Russia twice a week. If tourism industry booms between them, flights will be extended, I think.

Q:     Thank you for your comprehensive clarification. I have experiences of visiting Yangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw and other cities. In this regard, please, give me advice on proper tourist destinations for Russian travellers in Myanmar.

A:      I have said so. There are many diverse features from the south to the north of Myanmar. Coastal areas can be seen in the south of Myanmar. Significantly, Myanmar possesses many beaches such as Ngapali and some others in Ayeyawady Region. Furthermore, travellers can visit a large number of ancient cities and religious edifices concerning the cultural heritages in the central part of Myanmar. In the northern part, they can enjoy the taste of high mountains and cold season depending on the geographical conditions.

We have many different cultural and climatic conditions. For example, southern part of Myanmar receives many rainfalls, the central Myanmar is seen with hotness and northern part of the country is cold. Moreover, we have cultural heritage at some areas like Inlay Lake. It is a rare scene of the world due to rowing the boat by leg. If travellers observe it, they can see it. In addition, landmarks such as prominent pagodas are located in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw. Last year, Maravijaya Buddha Image was built in Nay Pyi Taw. It is the world highest marble-carved Buddha image. Its weight was set a record worldwide. It is a good site for the visit of Russian travellers.

Q:     I listen to your clarification about the southern part of Myanmar. I know your native Dawei is located there. May I know significant points and beauties of Dawei?

A:      A large number of islands are located in the southern part of Myanmar. Myanmar is endowed with islands and underwater beauties. Maungmakan beach is famous in Dawei region. Moreover, we have future prospects to build a deep sea port. We are implementing such project to enable vessels of more than 200,000 tonnes of weight dock the port. We are holding discussions with Russia for the project.

There can be seen in southern part of the nation. For the first point, we have islands, beaches and pearl production. The world best pearl is produced there. Yearly, we hold the pearl sale. Myanmar’s pearl is the best across the world, comprising farming pearl and natural pearl. We have many items of underwater natural projects. So, I will give you a documentary for such processes.

Q:     In your tenure of the Head of State, Your Excellency Prime Minister is serving State responsibilities. But I believe everybody would have spare time. I have felt you shook my hands strongly when we greeted. I have seen your photos in sports uniform. So, I want to know how do you spend your spare time efficiently.

A:      As I am taking duties of the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services as well as the Chairman of the State Administration Council, I have less spare time. It is true. But, I take care of my health. I take walking exercise in the morning daily. If I have more spare time, I play golf sports on Saturday and Sunday. And, I read. I try to take spare time to read some topics. To do so, I take 10 or 15 minutes or half an hour. And then, I note down remarks after reviewing some items to accumulate my knowledge. I take walking and playing golf for relaxation. It may be daily. Moreover, I try to build a warm family life.

Q:     As I know your family life, I would like to raise one more question. I know you are a good husband and a good father as well. Please, briefly explain what lessons are important for life of your offspring and how to hand over heritage to them.

A:      Importantly, offspring must be capable of widening knowledge and techniques to stand on own. It is their individual character and attitude. Moreover, the Buddhism advices avoiding malpractices and keeping good practices while practising good mindedness. Let me clarify it. It means not to do wrong thing and do good thing. Mindset must be clean. So, I always advise my offspring. Really, I was serving military personnel in countryside. I have not much time to closely join my family. So, offspring tried hard on a self-reliant basis under the guidance of their mother. Furthermore, I uphold honesty in livelihood. My offspring accumulate knowledge based on their experiences. Such experiences may come from others in addition to their parents. They have experiences in associating others. So, I always tell them to apply experiences for development of their lives. I see they are accumulating experiences.

Q:     As you told me Buddhism, I would like to ask questions about Buddhism. As far as I know, the majority of Myanmar people believe Buddhism. Likewise, I see Buddhism is flourishing in Myanmar. Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is a great prominent of Buddhist people. I myself pay homage to Shwedagon Pagoda many times. I want to know your attitude and concept over the Buddhism.

A:      There are many religions across the world namely Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hindu and so on.

They are upholding a common concept on peace and stability. They lead to peace and stability. But, the Lord Buddha preached a significant point. It is Dhamma.

Dhamma means precept, concentration and wisdom. Such things cannot be found in other religions. But, the Lord Buddha preached one more thing of Dhamma. The Lord Buddha told us to uphold the precept not to commit rude talks and behaviors. Concentration is concerned with moral. It emphasizes culturing the good moral and not to commit wrong thoughts. So, moral must be clear. With regard wisdom, it needs to make efforts to know in-depth knowledge. Those who know many topics in in-depth knowledge will be professionals. Those who become experts depend on their learning knowledge. These three points are most significant in the preaching of the Lord Buddha. So, I think these advices should be followed by all regardless of nationalities. I value these significant points of Buddhism. I accept it is the highest in the preaching of the Lord Buddha.

Q:     Thank you so much for your clarification on the Buddhism. I thank you as I know new topics. Today’s our interview title is ‘Formula of Power’. I have made interviews with State leaders, prominent members of the Sangha in many countries during the 25-year period. Number of interviews may be more than 400. As a usual process, I would like to ask you how to define the wording ‘power’. I would like to know your attitude over the power.

A:      Power is building strength or force. Since time immemorial, those who were weak in strength have been trying to build their strength to dominate opponents. From then on, they become individuals, groups and regions and then countries. It is the portion of building the strength. I have a concept for the might. What is might? Political or economic might? If not, defence might? Power is equal to might. I mean strength of the nation lies within. If the country is powerful, it shows firm consolidation and strengthening. But, political power will not be same in countries. So, it cannot be fully defined. However, strength of the nation is same in the country. So, political power will be strong. Moreover, those who have economic power can be called wealthy person. If so, they can apply their power as well as their money in the country or in the region. If a country is wealthy, it can apply its power. So also, if the country is powerful in defence force, for example they have stockpiles of arms and ammunition, other groups do not dare to provoke it. It is nature. So, if a country is powerful in defence power and might, it is powerful in the region. You see the world. Globally, wealthy countries can influence the countries with lesser monetary power. Likewise, the countries with military might can impose pressure on other countries. So, I assume we have to consider these three powers. Hence, if a country wishes to be strong, it has to build might and power and consider how to build the strength and power.

ITAR-TASS Media of the Russian Federation: Thank you so much. I thank you so much for your discussions and clarifications.

SAC Chairman Prime Minister:     Well. It’s OK.

Source: GNLM (25-3-2024)

  • Russia provided assistance of science, technology and military techniques to many officers of Myanmar armed forces. It is a great sector. Moreover, cooperation focuses on mining, wind mill, generating electricity from solar energy, and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and so on. In the agriculture sector, fertilizer produced in Russian technology is properly useful in Myanmar.
  • There were electoral malpractices in the 2020 election. In scrutiny, 11.3 million of voting frauds were found out. I mean some 30 per cent of voter numbers were involved in the voting frauds. Number of vote rigging numbers from the hundreds to the tens of thousands occurred in all 315 townships where the election was held. When such event has been exposed, I took action against all responsible persons at first.
  • Myanmar has faced economic downward trend not because of Covid-19 pandemic alone but because of weak management since 2018. As we could strive for recovering our economy, our country is on the upward trend of economy from 2021 to 2023.
  • In 2015, we had an agreement in the Union Peace Conference. It is the nationwide ceasefire agreement-NCA. We are striving for restoration of peace and stability based on NCA till today.
  • We have an ultimate aim to hold a free and fair election. Once the process of the State of Emergency period is accomplished, we will hand over the State power to the National Defence and Security Council. Then, we will hold the election within six months.
  • All countries are interested in tourism industry. We have arranged visa exemption for them and direct flights to Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw. Moreover, we have repaired airports for landing of passenger flights from Russia and manage tourism sector.
  • Russian travellers should observe the tourist destinations in Myanmar such as coastal areas the southern part of the country, a large number of ancient cities and religious edifices in the central part, and high mountains in northern part. In addition, they should visit Inlay Lake, a rare scene of the world due to rowing the boat by leg, and the prominent pagodas in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw. Moreover, Maravijaya Buddha Image is located in Nay Pyi Taw which is the world’s highest marble-carved Buddha image and heaviest weight.
  • A large number of islands and underwater beauties are located in the southern part of Myanmar. Maungmakan beach is famous in Dawei region. Moreover, we have future prospects to build a deep sea port. We are holding discussions with Russia for the project. We have many items of world’s best pearl production sites and underwater natural projects.
  • Although I have less spare time, I take care of my health such as walking exercise, playing golf sports, reading the books, writing remarks after reviewing some items to accumulate my knowledge, and trying to build a warm family life.
  • Dhamma means precept, concentration and wisdom. The precept means not to commit rude talks and behaviors. Concentration emphasizes culturing the good moral. Wisdom means making efforts to know in-depth knowledge. I accept these three points are the highest in the preaching of the Lord Buddha.
  • Power is building strength or force. In building the strength, three potions of political, economic and defence might play key roles. If the country is powerful, it shows firm consolidation and strengthening. Those who have economic power can be called wealthy person. If so, they can apply their power. Moreover, if a country is powerful in defence power and might, it is powerful in the region. Likewise, the countries with military might are able to impose pressure on other countries. If a country wishes to be strong, it has to build might and power and consider how to build the strength and power.

 

engdate: 
Monday, March 25, 2024 - 20:00
month: 
March, 2024