Reconciliation —'Don’t Let’s Lose Hope'
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Saturday, April 20, 2019

Reconciliation —'Don’t Let’s Lose Hope'

By Tin Maung Than Wednesday, December 15, 2004

(Page 4 of 5)

Most of these points are similar to my five concessions.


The extent of legitimacy depends upon how the military fulfils those conditions. But legitimacy alone won’t solve the problems of Burma.


Q: Do you see any future reshuffle or splits within the military? Do you think a split could lead to dramatic political reform?


A: As I already said, pragmatic forces are the necessary result of conflict and the answer is yes as long as conflict exists. If the military is wise enough to incorporate the points I suggested in the constitution, exit is possible for all. Dramatic reform in the current situation is only possible when a military leader with the stature of Tin Oo of the NLD or Kyaw Zaw of the CPB [Communist Party of Burma] emerges. In military history, only three leaders gained the stature of saya [teacher] in the soldiers’ hearts—Aung San, Kyaw Zaw and Tin Oo. Only saya stature leaders can mobilize a group of soldiers on its own initiative outside the command structure. There is a cultural basis. 


Q: Do you think there are reform-minded young military officers that can criticize the Tatmadaw [Armed Forces] and move toward democracy?


A: I think there are many reform-minded military officers. Even some top generals realize the reality. But challenging the status quo is another case. There is no space or mechanism in the military to express [individual] opinions on the country. Several members of SLORC [State Law and Order Restoration Council] and later the SPDC [State Peace and Development Council]—at least three I knew—confided to family members that the country is in worse shape and will go into turmoil unless reform is carried out. But speaking out in the military, even to their close colleagues is impossible. Trust among soldiers is psychologically and institutionally obstructed.


The opposition should think up a strategy to release these forces. That’s why I have urged the NLD on my radio program to speak about their transitional plan publicly rather than keeping it as a bargaining [chip] at the table.

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