Yangon Chief Minister’s Comments ‘Cause Misunderstanding’

By Htet Naing Zaw 13 July 2017

NAYPYIDAW — The Myanmar government spokesperson has said 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.”

U Zaw Htay told The Irrawaddy on Thursday that the President’s Office had replied to the Office of the Commander-in-Chief regarding the army’s complaints concerning the chief minister U Phyo Min Thein that day.

“Those comments 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,” he said. When pressed for further detail, the spokesperson said: “We can only share that so far.”

The army released a statement on Tuesday explaining that they told the National League for Democracy (NLD) government to “take necessary actions” against U Phyo Min Thein on Tuesday for comments he made at a workshop in Yangon over the weekend. He had said that there were “no civil-military relations in the democratic era” and compared the military’s commander-in-chief as being in position the same as the level of director-general, “according to the [state] protocol.”

In a following statement made on Wednesday, the army described Yangon’s chief minister as unsuitable for “constructive, long-term relations” with the military and called his comments about the military chief an “insult.”