Burma’s Commander-in-Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing has admonished anyone who tries to incite others to stand against the military.
Addressing a military gathering in Putao, Kachin State, on Monday, Min Aung Hlaing, widely considered to be the most powerful person in the country, said, “There have been incidents of persons inciting hatred against the Tatmadaw [Burmese military] while the latter is committed to putting an end to the armed conflicts in the country and bringing about national peace. The Tatmadaw is continuously taking steps to ensure this country enjoys an eternal peace.”
He added: “At a time when the country is moving forward to becoming a democratic state, problems cannot be resolved with arms.”
The Burmese army chief rounded off his speech with an attack on the ethnic Rohingya community, whom he called Bengalis. At least half of Burma’s 1.1 million Muslim Rohingyas have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh in recent months due to a brutal wave of army oppression.
He said, “The Bengalis do not have any characteristics or culture in common with the ethnicities of Myanmar. The tensions [in Rakhine State] were fuelled because the Bengalis demanded citizenship.”
He added that the Tatmadaw has been subject to accusations from the international community who “lack knowledge about the real situation in Rakhine”. He said the military is “implementing measures related to the Bengalis in line with the law.”