Burma

Yangon Chief Minister Apologizes to Military Chief

By San Yamin Aung 17 July 2017

YANGON — Yangon Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein apologized to the Myanmar Army Commander-in-Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing for comments that the military called confrontational.

The chief minister said there were no civil-military relations in the democratic era and that the military’s commander-in-chief was the same as the level of director-general according to the [state] protocol, at a workshop held in collaboration with USAID, CSOs and the media in Yangon on July 9.

Responding to the comments, the military released two statements: the first on July 11, which called for the government to “take necessary actions” against the chief minister, and the second on July 13, which said the chief minister was not suitable for “constructive, long-term relations” with the army and his confrontational comments about the military chief were an “insult.”

The military reported on Sunday evening that the military chief received a letter of apology from the chief minister regarding his comments sent via express mail. The letter was postdated July 13, the same day the military released their second statement strongly condemning the chief minister.

Government spokesperson U Zaw Htay told The Irrawaddy on July 13 that the chief minister’s comments had caused a misunderstanding between the government and the military and the President’s Office had instructed the chief minister to do what he needed to do.

The ruling National League for Democracy party also warned the chief minister for his controversial remarks last week.

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