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U.S Senate Armed Services Committee met Myo Yan Naung Thein, Director of BAYDA Institute
MYO YAN NAUNG THEIN’s perspective on US-Burma military relations
Myo Yan Naung Thein said that “Today, I met with U.S Senate Armed Services committee. Senate Armed Services Committee explained their plan to engage with Burmese Military; Professionalisation of Burmese Military, the Human Right Education, Legal Education, Disaster Relief Education. Professionalization of Burmese Military does not mean equipping Burmese Military or giving military training, it means the process of making civilian control over the military. They also mentioned that Human Rights Activists in the U.S criticized them on the basis of Human Right Violation by the Burmese Military.
I mentioned that I welcome U.S engagement with Burmese Military on the fact that by engaging with Burmese Military, they will learn how U.S military behave and their attitude change can happen. Moreover, we are now in the process of democratization so that taming the Military is important part of the process. But we must be aware of the superficial changes of the government. Now the President, Speakers of the houses and the commander in chief of the military all know that they are disgusted by the people; so that each one is trying their best to be popular and liked by the people. And yet they are reluctant to make real changes and they are trying just to put make-up to their appearances. Anyway, they are all aware that they must do real changes. So that, we support the idea of engaging with the Burmese Military especially on the basis of Human Right Education, Rule of Law Education and Disaster relief Education provided that U.S pressure the Burmese Military to solve Land Seizure by force from poor peasants and villagers, Rape cases, Child soldiers cases committed by the Military in the past and the present.
I also mention that we have seen no progress in democratization since 2012 by-election. But we are patient because we are for the national reconciliation process as well. I also support U.S Military engagement with Burmese Military in order to balance Chinese influence over Burma. Not engaging with Burmese Military can push the Military closer to Chinese Military and that is really dangerous. We also exchanged view on current Burmese political situation, Human right situation, Media Role, Burmese relation with China, U.S view on Chinese Military, etc.We had lunch together. The meeting began at 12.30 and finished at 3.30 pm.”
[Meeting between U.S Senate Armed Services Committee and Myo Yan Naung Thein, Director of BAYDA Institute, 26 Jan 2014]