RANGOON — The Burma Army has promoted the ranks of thousands of serving officers, rewarding them for their long service to the country’s armed forces and their “hard work on the path to democracy for the country.”
The promotions took effect on Thursday, and nationwide saw a total of 7,788 officers and rank-and-file soldiers promoted, including captains, colonels, corporals and sergeants, according to a report from Myawaddy, a military mouthpiece.
“We honored those who have patriotism for the country, having served a long time for the country, in order to be able to work hard on the path to having democracy for the country,” said the report.
Burma began a transition from nearly 50 years of military rule to quasi-civilian government in 2011. The administration of President Thein Sein, himself a former general, has since enacted a series of economic and political reforms that have prompted Western nations to ease sanctions leveled against the once pariah state.
The military maintains a prominent political role, however, with generals reserved powerful cabinet positions and 25 percent of seats in Parliament. The commander-in-chief of the Burma Armed Forces, Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, has voiced support for the country’s democratic transition on multiple occasions, while also indicating that the military would maintain its political prerogatives for the foreseeable future.