‘Don’t Believe Everything You Hear’

Lt-Gen Myint Soe, the commander who oversees the government army’s Kachin State operations, right, speaks with a KIO representative and peace negotiator last week in Myitkyina, Kachin State.

MYITKYINA, Kachin State—In Burma’s northernmost state, ethnic Kachin rebels and government officials agreed last week to a tentative peace pact to end a long-running war between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the government army. Following the negotiations, Lt-Gen Myint Soe, the commander who oversees the government army’s Kachin State operations, caught up with The Irrawaddy in an exclusive interview—his first in decades—to explain how the military has changed under the quasi civilian regime, why clashes continued in Kachin State earlier this year despite the president’s call for a unilateral ceasefire, and what he thinks of allegations of military rights abuses.

Question: What’s the military’s role in the peace process?

Answer: The peace process is done. What we need to do now is protect our country. We have a plan to give back farmland, with our soldiers assisting in the cultivation of crops if necessary. After the ceasefire agreement, we’re focusing on pragmatic plans to serve the people.

Q: When will the military return the land it confiscated?

A: I’m just responsible for military campaigns. This issue should be handled by the military’s division of transportation. I don’t know the details.

Q: The military has long inspired fear in the people. How will the military show that it is changing, and that it will serve the people?

A: Just look at the Meikhtila crisis, when the military restored peace and order. In the Kachin peace process, we’ve held discussions with the KIO [Kachin Independence Organization], and they believe what we’re doing. The KIO has accepted that the [government] army has changed its stance. In this way, I hope the public believes us.

Q: Was the military happy with its meeting with the KIO, or did the military give in?

A: Neither the KIO nor the military has given in.

Q: The KIA’s deputy chief, Maj-Gen Gwan Maw, said he wanted to integrate the KIA into the national military. Will the national military agree?

A: The Constitution says there should only be one military. If there’s more than one military group, they must all be under the command of the commander-in-chief.

Q: Although the president called for a unilateral ceasefire [in Kachin State], the military continued fighting. Does this imply the military is above the president?

A: The president issued an order on Dec. 10, 2012, calling for an end to military offensives, although we could still defend ourselves. But here, opinions differ. For example, if Maj-Gen Gwan Maw [from the KIA] is traveling back [to his base from government-controlled areas], I have to arrange for his security, so I will order my soldiers to shoot any suspect who threatens him. If they shoot, can you say a clash has erupted? Yes. But the soldier was shooting due to the situation. Many say the military is above the president because they don’t fully understand the nature of the military.

Q: What do you think about the use of child soldiers in the army?

A: We have been working on the issue with Unicef. We don’t have child soldiers. But some soldiers told us they were 18, when in fact they were younger. If we find a soldier is younger than 18 we let them go.

Q: Is there any plan for future elections for military representatives for Parliament?

A: No. Military representatives will only be chosen by the chief of staff. There is no voting in the military.

Q: There were reports of crimes committed by the military in Kachin State last year, yet no one has been punished. How does the military deal with criminals in its ranks?

A: In the military, every soldier has to obey two types of law: military law and civil law. As the military laws are stricter, there is a court of inquiry and, if found guilty, a soldier will be arrested and punished accordingly.

Q: There have been frequent reports of abuses by soldiers. Is it a systematic problem? Or are there just a few bad apples?

A: How many cases have you heard? Don’t believe everything you hear. There are many rumors, endless rumors. You should ask the military’s information department [for the facts].

Q: How are the military’s funds looking?

A: We don’t have any problems.

Q: Does the military have any enterprises it’s making money from?

A: I can’t answer that. But I can say the military will never burden the government. We can stand on our own, but we need a budget to grow.

Q: Are there any plans in the works to expand Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd, which has served as the economic backbone of the armed forces?

A: I can’t say, as I’m not the CEO. We are trying to be independent, that’s all I can say.

20 Responses to ‘Don’t Believe Everything You Hear’

  1. Whatever they say, I’m not interested, but am waiting to see the positive results sooner rather than later.

  2. Commander in chief must only the president. If the president is commander in chief, different ethnics can have their own armies.

  3. My opinion as a Foreigner and Myanmar sympathizer

    Basically that general is right. But the crux for the Burmese army: Beside excellent and gallant officers there are also primitive and uneducated crooks among them. They and their subordinates particularly committed atrocities in minority areas and brutalities against monks, ordinary Myanmar citizens, students etc.. The “military elite” was not able to guide and control those “military extremists” who have affected the name of TATMADAW severely. And that is the PROBLEM. What could the present supreme commander and his intimate colleagues do to improve the relations between THE ARMY and THE PEOPLE, particularly minorities ? Pleading guilty ? Trying to find solutions through intermediators (monks, oppositions groups, poltical victims etc.) ? The big challenges of the de facto ruling militaries:
    1. How to find ‘face saving solutions’ ? 2. How to handle (mainly) the problems of the minorities, inclusive those ones who live in Thai refugee camps or as exiles abroad? 3. How to deal with the socalled Rohingya and illegal Chinese ? 4. How to tame own “economic craving” ? Etc.
    The military leadership should start with a frank and free brainstorming among their decision makers, incl. supporting ranks, in order to find practical solutions. TIME IS RUNNING !

    • You are wrong. I don’t blame you for supporting military because they promise prosperity.

      “They and their subordinates particularly committed atrocities in minority areas and brutalities against monks, ordinary Myanmar citizens, students etc.. \me of TATMADAW severely. ”
      A: How can one rouge local commander able to open a new war with multiple divisions with full air supports?

      THE ARMY and THE PEOPLE, particularly minorities ? Pleading guilty ?
      A: Nope! Repent is the answer here.

      How to handle (mainly) the problems of the minorities, inclusive those ones who live in Thai refugee camps or as exiles abroad?
      Ans: reinstall federal system that was practiced untill 1962.

      Lastly, I would recommend you to study Burma history.

    • Hi
      German traveller said :”Basically that general is right”

      Irrawady forgets to ask one important question to idiot myint soe that why bama army invades Kachin land. There is no request from Kachin for bama army to come into their land. If it is due to the bama military thugs’ demand for Kachin army under the control of rubbish bama tatmadaw according to rubbish 2008 Nargic fox than shwe constitution, Kachin will fight to the end.
      It is kachin right to make against the bama than shwe private army who change the condition of cease-fire agreement from time to time with their rubbish reasons.
      Today , bama than shwe said kachin is his wife to get cease-fire agreement ( mutual respect in between husband and wife). The next day, than shwe said Kachine is my maid under my control.
      German Hitler ( rubbish nationalist ) said German race is the most superior in the world so he wanted to rule the world by invading other countries and killing innocent people, like than shwe’s private army. It means (Hitler alias than shwe) wants to control the world people as his maids. In fact, Hitler is arrogant and abnormal. In this regards, some German, like you are still arrogant and abnormal to introduce rubbish nationalist, like thans shwe’s bamanization. Than shwe, monk killer, wants to replace General Aung san with his name as a Bama nationalist hero. However, tennis king German Boris Becker chooses his female partner who has a beautiful color lady. Every time and every minutes , when most aged people in the world see German or Japan or Italy race, world war 2 is associated in their mind and all they feel nauseated and ogre. Because many Chinese and Korean were killed by Japan army and many EU people were killed by German or Italy during world war 2. In fact, Japan race is from Chinese ( see Japanese characters). English, French and German get married each others in the aspect of royal blood. However, idiot like you and than shwe are abnormal so claim that myint soe is basically right.
      The question is why the cease-fire agreement is changed from time to time from than shwe. It is basically wrong. Today , you are my wife. Yesterday, you are my maid. The rest of all of your opinion, plan , and high flow for advertising goodness of bama Tatmadaw are all rubbish.
      If you still bear your name as German for bama than shwe, all aged bama gets or feel ogre or nauseated. Please, do not use as a German in Burma in front of aged bama people. Because, Hitler, like you and bama than shwe have no basic education. We , Burmese except bama than shwe and some German are not war criminal. We take proud as we are Burmese.

  4. Dear Norman Hla,
    Your emotional outburst would be psychologically better to be interpreted after knowing your fate and personal CV (curriculum vitae). It is indeed difficult to keep a stiff upper lip for people when affected by certain negative experience. Don’t worry, I try to understand and forgive you. By the way, there is no German race. The Germans belong to the Germanic tribes, like the Danish, Swedish, Norwegians, Dutch, Icelanders and also the English. All together again they belong to the Indo-Germanic tribes (Aryans = linguist. related to IRAN) who once settled in an extended area north of the Caspean Sea. From there they migrated into two directions: One group westwards (Europe), the other southwards (Iran) and southeastwards (Northern India). Linguistically most Europeans, Iranians and North Indians (old Sanskrit, Sanskrit and Prakrit languages) are related to each other. Hitler believed that the ARYANS were of superior “race quality” and based his abstruse raciology on them. A symbol of the Aryans, the svastika = sun wheel (in German HAKENKREUZ), he used for his political Nazi (National Socialists)-movement.

    • Dear German traveller
      Your comment to me is inconsistent. Yes , aged people have a lot of bad , negative experience from world war 2 so those will see some arrogant German in that way-low class. But it is normal as well as normal psychological reaction. You accept that above explanation. However, you say it is emotional outburst from me. I have no experience in world war 2 but i hear and heard about the abnormal emotional out bust or low class philosophy of idiot , arrogant , killer Hitler and his German followers from aged people. How did Hitler give a speech in Germany with a strong emotional out burst in showing off his race is superior than all in documented films? Most of all German listeners clapped their both hands heavily and enthusiastically after his every speech. Why? you might have an answer why those German people are emotionally out burst easily.

      Now , you explain that there is no German race because German are mixtures of all Europe-Swedish, Norweigians as you are proud to claim yourself. Beautiful Swedish has famous Zurich bank , Rolex watch, best in Tennis, being not invade other country for free-lunch and no killing Muslim. Do you have Swedish blood or Swedish small genes at least ?. I am sure you have no Swedish blood from your low quality type of comment regarding to Burma.

      However, you might not accept that there is no Burmese race. So, you say those are Muslim Rohingya or Muslim Pakistan or Buddhist Arankanase or Buddhist bama to find the discriminated lines in your comment or opinion about all incidences regarding to Muslim-races. You says and said Muslim Rohingya or Pakistan are not good.

      Do you want to say there is Burmese race because Burmese are low class than German race who is the mixture of European blood?

      Do you want to say Burmese race is not mixture of others in Burma? According your no German race philosophy, Burmese race is also mixtures of Chinese, Muslim Rohingya , Muslim Pakistan, Bama , India and all other ethnics in Burma but fortunately no your proud Europe-particular Swedish blood. It is second inconsistent from you. You want to say there is no German race but there might be Burmese race. So, why? due to low education or low level of analytical skill?

      In addition, all of the sudden, German race and Swedish race are connectedness strangely without marriage or with marriage. If it is due to marriage, please , let Rohingya to be married to Bama or Arankanese to get peaceful symbiotic association. If you continue to tell the derogatory terms on Rohingya and local Muslim, your Buddhist Aranakese or bama will not find to have Rohingya or local Muslim as their wives or husbands. Burmese race will be forever existing. If you want to make Burmese being no Burmese race, do not write bad about Muslim Rohingya and local MUslim in Burma. The worst victims are Muslim ladies and they have not much choice to find other races in Burma because of your downgrading on them. The Muslim men will get more Muslim wives easily and readily because of you. Then, you will be jealous to Muslim men to have emotional out burst in yourself.

      The terrorist behavior of some Muslim to US / some EU-German is your own problem. We, Burmese never suck the Muslim resources and their lands for the purpose of having free lunch. Iraq-Hussein saddan, Iran, Libya-Gaddafi might think that US and EU suck their blood and help Israeli to occupy Palestine land. Muslim never think Burmese are not their enemies as well. So, it is not your business in Burma. So, don’t stir up or create the Muslim issue in Burma from the game of fox than shwe. Than shwe alias Hitler wants to cheat naive Burmese and monks to dream himself, nationalist hero by killing local Muslim. You, use German-Hitler to support than shwe’s killing local Muslim. Now, Malaysia will send 400,000 poor migrant Burmese workers to Burma. You, German are one of the responsible persons creating this difficulty of migrant Burmese life. From Buddhism view point (not my emotional outburst) , you will go to hell very soon and you will not gain Swedish blood you adore forever.
      How pity and poor you are as German traveller who also wants to tell us that there is no Germany in the world as well ( my sympathy and empathy on you ). If so, you name should be German-than shwe.

  5. Dear Norman Hla,

    The nonsense comment made by this German guy has been out of touch with the hard reality on the ground as he might have never ever been to ethnic states in Burma to understand the untold stories of atrocities and human rights violations perpetrated and perpetuated systematically and purposely by the heartless Burman army against ethnic groups with impunity for over half a century, and he, unlike my educated German friends, irrationally and irresponsibly endorsed such a half-truth statement made by this unpopular Burman general who has the blood of countless innocent men and women on his hands. I simply don’t think he is an educated German, or not a German at all, when I read his foolish comment.

  6. German Traveler is right to advise the army to find face saving solutions if the generals want themselves to be part of its own people of Myanmar. If the army finds a correct solution then the other points – problems related with the minorities, Bengalis and Chinese aliens, army’s economic desires – all will be resolved at the same time. In my opinion, they need to pursue the following steps:

    1. To detach themselves from previous regimes; Nay Win or Than Shwe’s.
    This would be extremely difficult for them as they consider and treat the dictators as their most valued predecessors. They extremely admire the tyrants and would never say both of them were wrong even a bit. Most laughingly Gen Min Aung Hlaing was saying it is the regime who planned and paved the road to democracy. In contrast the general public sees recent developments the result of their bloody efforts to change the army’s view to come to realize that they can’t afford to ignore the people’s desires.
    2. To amend the current fascist military philosophy which gives military men a right to arrest, torture, rape, kill, steal, raze and torch – all sorts of crimes in an area declared to be a land of insurgency under the title of winning the territory.
    3. To stop lying such as ‘we don’t have child soldiers’; ‘we could still defend ourselves (by attacking KIA posts with helicopter gunships and jet fighters) even president issued an order calling for an end to military offensives’, and behave honestly and face the truths sincerely.
    4. To demolish UMEH and MIC (army’s looted treasury) rather than making themselves rich on the money stolen from the people under the heading of standing on own feet. These business empires reveal that the army has no real trust toward its own people. If the army can stand on its own one day then they would not need to listen to or obey any of the civilian politicians they would expect to see in future.
    5. To show sympathy toward the sufferers during the military governments.
    6. To intermingle with the civilians in harmony like it did in 1940s and 50s.
    7. To call for implementation of compulsory military service for the citizens in order to show that army belongs to its own people; not it is owned by military extremists.

  7. @Norman Hla, your comment sounds a bit desperately and scurrilously. Sorry to you!
    How could we come to a clearer understanding under such an area-wide artillery fire ?
    @Salai Chin – Reloading shells in teamwork ?
    Now, through both of you I understand a lot of more about Burma and ITS PROBLEMS.
    Thank you.

    • German,

      Despite certain reforms for which I give credit to the present self-declared civilian administration, life for ethnic groups is not better, but worse in some places like Kachin State, primarily because the root cause of the political crisis in the country is neither the political confrontation between Suu Kyi and the military apparatus nor the political prisoners but a broken promise made between ethnic leaders and the Burman, who continue to dominate mainstream Burmese politics and economics. As we talk about the Kachin alone, let us confine our comment within issues pertaining to the Kachin in northern Burma.

      Why did the Kachin take arm against the Burman army? How have they been betrayed by the Burman? Or, what is at the heart of ethnic conflict between the Kachin and the Burman? Please see my old comment below.

      First, the Kachin were betrayed by the Burman when U Nu, a Burman nationalist, overturned the promise of the formation of genuine federal state, when he reversed the 1947 drafted constitution already approved by Aung San and Kachin leaders, and when he rewrote a unitary state constitution in betrayal of the basic principle of the historic Panglong agreement. Here the formation of federal democratic system is not merely the spirit of the Panglong agreement but also the most appropriate political choice for a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-lingual country, like Burma. U Nu, however, took a unitary system, which is politically unwise, and his imprudent moves deeply angered the Kachin and all other ethnic groups. Mr. Chan Htoon, who advised those who drafted the new constitution, observed and simply acknowledged that, “Our constitution, though in theory federal, is in practice unitary.”

      Second, the Kachin were betrayed when U Nu administration reversed the policy of pure secular state, which is one of the main reasons for the Kachin when they joined the union, and began rather the policy of religious favoritism toward Buddhism, a religion the majority Burman practiced. Unlike Aung San, U Nu is a Buddhist nationalist, and his administration unnecessarily established a Ministry of Religious Affairs in 1950 to strengthen the ties between the state and the religion, Buddhism.Under his leadership, the state treasury has been appropriated for the furtherance of Buddhism, and laws have been passed to clarify its position and direct its activities. Moreover, the Sixth Buddhist Council, held from 1954 to 1956, which drew Buddhists from all over the world to Burma, was proposed and in part promoted by his administration, and the impressive set of buildings erected for the meetings and the World Peace Pagoda which stands nearby were paid for in large part by government funds.

      Third, Kachin language and history were taught in the schools in Kachin state in order for the younger generations to keep their own ethnic identities, and the Kachin were, therefore, promised to preserve, protect, and promote their culture, language, and religion when they voluntarily joined the union of Burma. In sharp contrast, Burma regime, then, prohibited the Kachin from learning their own language and history in the schools in the homeland of their ancestors, and Kachin language and history were replaced with Burman language and Burman history.It has increasingly become clear that instead of preserving, protecting, and promoting Kachin language, culture, history, and religion, the Kachin shall be Burmanized and Buddhitized.

      Fourth, Burma regime handed over 3 small areas, which belonged to Kachin homeland, to the Chinese without the knowledge and consent of the Kachin. When the Kachin found themselves in their homeland that there was truly an existential threat to their ethnic existence, U Nu further made Buddhism the state religion, escalating and even aggravating their frustration, intolerance, and anger. Thus, they deeply felt that they were treated as alien in their original homeland and that they must do all things necessary to protect their ethnic homeland and identities. It was indeed a time when Kachin nationalism reached its zenith, and they inevitably tended to begin Kachin revolution (KIA).

      In all, the Burman leaders betrayed the Kachin, and as long as the Kachin and other ethnic groups are denied rights of equality, federal state, and self-determination (the principles of the historic Panglong Agreement), the civil war shall surely continue in Burma and there shall be neither permanent peace nor economic prosperity in the country. The KIA soldiers are freedom fighters. They do not forget the historical mandate for the Kachin that they shall not leave the fate of the Kachin in the hands of the Burman, and they shall fight until the end. KIA leaders held the principle that it is better to die with dignity than to live as aliens in the homeland of their ancestors.

      • China should give back Kachin lands ( over 3 small areas) which were robbed by Burman betrayed leaders. Rich and future giant China should show the ethical , moral principle as well as need to respect the Panglong agreement. Or China is also , like bama military thugs, faceless, fox than shwe , enjoying free-lunch in the world.

  8. Dear Salai Chin,
    Thank you very much for your valuable background information.
    They make much more understandable and clear how Kachin feel towards Burmese, particularly the military, and WHY. I will recommend your comment to some Tatmadaw
    officers I know, and to some Burmese friends of mine as well. Don’t worry !!!
    Thank you

  9. Salai Chin claims that over 3 small Kachin areas is occupied by China after bama military thugs handed over those areas to greedy China without Kachin agreement. China is now in islands dispute with Japan, Vietnam and Philippine from the aspects of sovereignty, energy production as well as military strategy. China regain Hong Kong from British occupation with the support of own Chinese people. China should sympathy and empathy on ill-Kachin people.

    Bama military thugs made a trip and trap to create a conflict between greedy China and Kachin by handing over those small areas to China. In this regards, Kachin will never agree China to do any projects or businesses in Kachin land anymore. The ha tress of Kachin to China created by fox bama military thugs will be deep-seeded forever.

    Big nation, China is easily and readily manipulated by small country , bama military thugs so it is the failure of Chinese outdated foreign policy internationally. The claim of CIP for any international business standard and practices are became rubbish and China’s reputation is tarnished by bama military thugs. China should review its own bad behavior on the ill-kachin people who are raped and killed by than shwe continuously. China should not suck the blood of ill-kachin people, arranged by bama military thugs. If China needs those small Kachin areas for military strategy , Kachin might consider to rent those areas in return to protect Kachin people from raping and killing by bama military thugs.

    Chinese side should clarify this claim from Kachin people as soon as possible before any discussion about all projects and businesses in Kachin land. Or people around the world will look down that rich and future giant China copycat fox than shwe private army’s enjoying free-lunch from minority.
    China will never win the heart internationally upon its unethical behavior on ill-Kachin people. Hong Kongnese and Taiwanese, Chinese will more look down on communist Chinese because of this bad reputation, particularly if corruption is involved in this matter.

    Dear Sali chin

    German-Hitler than shan changes the tone on you, Sali Chin because you are the first person to mention there is China occupation on Kachin land. China must clarify at once. Or than shwe-aung thang is preparing for another sino-Burmese clash in Burma after killing Muslim in order to gain favor or trust from US who is preparing to come in Burma for bushiness to balance the China influence.
    I welcome US business in Burma if US wants to take risk from than shwe’s rule of law ( see China lost wining lottery tickets in Burma.)

    In fact, the matter of occupying Kachin land by China is in between Kachin and China only now. Bama military thugs handed over those Kachin land from their selling shop to greedy China who is a buyer. Now, the selling shop is changed the name under thein sein but still controlled by fox than shwe private army.
    Kachin does not need to politicize this matter for having political gain in fox than shwe. Kachin should make announcement that it is the matter between China and Kachin itself now for peaceful solution. Both sides should be wise and do not let making use by fox than shwe.
    In history, US invaded Cuba for the sake of its security but US has now drone strike anywhere and anytime if there is a threat on US. Not very long , China might have drone strike technology as well and there is no more value to have occupying Tibet or Kachin land for whatever reasons such as greedy or business or corruption or security.
    If communist China does not or can not be updated their foreign policy to the international standard, the political parties from Hong Kongnese as well as Taiwanese will rule the China in future.
    The future president of Burma is Kachin according to Panglong agreement so Kachin should be wise and smart to prepare everything in all aspects to have educated, qualified Kachin quickly and promptly. Fight for Kachin right once for all now to get the international attention.

  10. Military officers are still unchanged of their styles. They do not want to listen and they want people listen to them. They still thinking they are the master of the game. There are no transparency on the Military budget and Military big shots involving the most expensive interest business where local need the authorization to operate where they are the only decision maker. They never ever changed until these green dressed guys ( whom do not elected by the people of Burma)get the favour to sit in the Parliament( Mandate seats from the commander in chief’s advice).

  11. Dear Frankie Dalston,
    In Indonesia for decades the military practised the same style like their uniformed colleagues have done in Burma. Almost none of the western governments at that time protested and objected seriously. All were crazy about Dictator Soeharto making big business with him and his generals. Human Rights were widely ignored, particularly referring to West Papua, Timor Leste, Moluccas etc. Not few western governments have always practised double standards, up to the present day.

  12. Dear Friends and fellow commentators. Following the conversations, seems that we , , including myself are not taking into consideration others point of views and political positioning . The counter arguments I consider , especially are relevant, if we really are trying to reach understanding so as to minimise the increasing and unstoppable antagonisms and achieve a dialogue, where we all can contribute to peace and reconciliation and contribute our level best Myanmar-Burma transition towards a stable society and polity..
    By the way, gentlemen, Daw Aung San Su Kyi is not Annie Oakley and U Thein Sein Wild Billl Hickok. My mind goes back to a movie, I watched at the Excelsior Cinema , Rangoon, Burma , in 1953, , Annie get your Gun. Lets all sing, — the refrain— Anything you can do, I can do , better than you, No you can, Yes I can, Yes I can. I can do better than you..

  13. Maung Lu Aye ( Law ) R.A.S.U 1976

    Lt. Gen.Myint Soe said ” Don’t believe everything you hear. They are Rumors, Endless Rumors”. When Gen.Ne Win took over the Power in 1962, The Late U Nu thought it was another group of Genenals that took over,not Ne Win. Even U Nu alarm Ne Win to be very Careful. Not long enough, U Nu was put into Jail by Ne Win. And U Nu was the benefactor who offered Ne Win as A Commander-in -Chief of the Armed Forces. How ungrateful Ne Win was. If someone wrote about The Biography of Gen. Ne Win, it would be One thousand and one Night (Persian Tales ).
    1970s in Karen State, One of the Remote Village, A young beautiful Village girl was Raped , & Killed by four to five Govt. Soldiers. When they were submitted to the Township Court ( It was Rape & Murder Case, The Civilian Court taken Care ) they Argued that the Girl had a Connection with the Rebel group and they arrested her. While in the Custody, the Girl tried to Escape and they Shot to Death. That’s was the Soldiers’ Version. The Investigation found out that the Soldiers liked her and wanted Relationship with her. But She refused and Ended her life tragically.
    Not only in Karen State, Other Ethnic Remote Villages had been burnt,Destroyed,Villagers being killed & being Raped. There are a lot of Evidences ( eg. Burma Issues Video/DVD )
    Bo Myint Soe, You might be Right that Not to Believe everything you hear, but uncountable Atrocities are happening Every Single Day. These are not Exaggeration,not overstatement. Anyhow, I have so much Sympathy upon you. You are only speaking on behalf of the Quasi Govt. for your Bread & Butter, Otherwise you would be Fire !!

  14. I had a good laugh at your discussions, respected fellow commentators! The computer counts my conrtibution as no. 20, but only nine people joined the discussion before me, most of them with just a single contribution. HoweverGerman traveller and Norman Hla entertained the audience with seeveral lengthy contributions, twice supported by Salai Chin.
    I learned a lot just from listening.

    What about these three pieces of Kachin land yielded to China? Were they given to China by the border demarcation operation in 1962 headed bu Brigadier U Anung Gyi?
    I do not think China ever returned any land, once given to it. Just see the internet on the boundary disputes with India in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. The piece in Ladakh was given to Tibet by the British long ago, because it was infertile, and had no water and no road. Now it is claimed by China, minerals might be found there.

    I agree with Maung Lu Aye that the Lt.-General has to say certain things (and keep quiet on others) as required by his superiors.

    Interesting is also the title of the article: “Do not believe everything you hear.”

    Why do the Burmese rely on rumours so much? Because the government clamped down on real news for 50 years. This was very effective, before the internet existed.
    In other countries without free speech this effect is also found. Distrust of the official news sits deep, but people do not know which other sources are reliable. So they believe everything, they hear from elsewhere, even if it is wrong.
    It is important to have the confidence of the people. But you have to behave in such a way that you deserve it. Then it may not be necessary to fight.
    Unfortunately the Tatmadaw has a long history of deceiving the people. So people want to see results before they believe them. (See our first commentator.)

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