NLD Warns Yangon Chief Minister for Controversial Remarks

By Tin Htet Paing 16 July 2017

YANGON — Myanmar’s ruling National League for Democracy party has warned the Yangon Chief Minister for his controversial remarks on the country’s military chief, according to one of the party’s secretariat members.

U Nyan Win told The Irrawaddy that the warning was made on Thursday.

“We can’t reveal the details of the warning. We have issued an internal memo on Friday regarding the issue,” he said.

The memo viewed by The Irrawaddy said: “The party’s CEC has warned U Phyo Min Thein for what he said at a workshop held in collaboration with USAID . . . CSOs and Media in Yangon on July 9.”

In his address at the event, the chief minister said: “There are no civil-military relations in the democratic era” and that “the military’s commander-in-chief position is the same as the level of director-general, according to the [state] protocol.”

The Myanmar military released a statement on Tuesday, urging the government to “take necessary actions” against Yangon Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein regarding the remarks concerning the head of the military.

In another announcement made the following day, the army said Yangon’s chief minister was not suitable for “constructive, long-term relations” with the army and called his comments about the military chief an “insult.”

The Myanmar government spokesperson told The Irrawaddy on Thursday that the Yangon Chief Minister’s remarks on the army chief’s position do not reflect the government’s stance and had “caused misunderstandings between the government and the military.”

“As the chief minister is responsible [for what he said], we have instructed him to do what he needs to do,” U Zaw Htay said.The NLD administration has attracted the military’s ire with their comments twice. In May, the party’s spokesperson U Win

Htein said he suspected that the military may have been involved in spreading rumors aimed at destabilizing the NLD government. When the military complained, he said he didn’t intend to make accusations against anyone, and that his comments were a “slip of the tongue.”