Burma

Defectors Condemn Officer Who Returned to Myanmar Junta

By Hein Htoo Zan 7 October 2022

Five groups representing military defectors in Myanmar have denounced a military defector – who has returned to the junta – as a traitor to the people.

People’s Embrace, People’s Goal, Pyithu Thar Kaung, People’s Soldiers Defense Force and Break Brain Washing said in a joint statement that they will be more careful when accepting defectors to the civil disobedience movement (CDM)

Major Myo Min Tun from Light Infantry Battalion 351 defected in December 2021 and fled to the Thai border town of Mae Sot. In early October he returned to Myanmar and became the first military officer to return to the regime.

The regime has used his surrender as a propaganda victory against the CDM to warn military personnel against defection. On October 6, the junta media released an interview where he warned civil servants not to join the CDM.

He said he joined the CDM hoping for political asylum abroad but he was treated like a stateless person by anti-regime groups in Mae Sot.

The former major said he had come back to the “legal framework” of the State Administration Council, which is how the junta refers to itself.

But the groups of military defectors said no one asked him to join the movement and he had contacted CDM representatives.

The incident has raised questions about the possibility of junta loyalists within the CDM.

The groups said he is a traitor who will not affect the CDM.

“It won’t affect the CDM at all. He just goes back under military control because he had no revolutionary creed. Those who are committed will keep moving forward,” said Captain Aung Myo Htet, who left the military for the CDM.

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