Yangon Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein apologised to military commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing on July 13 for his remark about the military chief’s ranking, the Commander-in-Chief Office confirmed Sunday.
In a statement posted on the “Commander-in-Chief Office” Facebook page on Sunday, the Tatmadaw said it had received an apology letter from U Phyo Min Thein on July 13. The letter, which was addressed to the commander-in-chief, was sent by mail delivery service.
The Tatmadaw had asked the government in a statement on its official Facebook page on July 11 and 12 to take action against U Phyo Min Thein for his remarks.
In an address at event in Yangon on July 9, U Phyo Min Thein had said there are “no civil-military relations in the democratic era” and the “military commander-in-chief position is the same as a director general, in accordance with protocol.”
The Tatmadaw said in a statement that the comment had hurt relations between the government and defence services and that U Phyo Min Thien is not suitable for “constructive and long-term” relations. It explained civil-military relations in detail, saying they are important for a country like Myanmar that has armed conflicts and is still working to achieve peace.
The Tatmadaw said that in the current chain of command of the defence services, the commander-in-chief is head of all armed forces in the country, as stated in the 2008 constitution.
The statement cited an announcement by the government on June 3, 2016, which ranked the commander-in-chief eighth in order of precedence. There are 38 people on the list of state protocol, released in June 2016 by President U Htin Kyaw. The military commander-in-chief is eighth in the leadership after the Union Chief of Justice. State and regional ministers such as U Phyo Min Thein are ranked 36th.
After the Tatmadaw asked the government, led by the National League for Democracy, to take action against U Phyo Min Thein, the government responded by saying the chief minister’s remarks do not reflect the policy of the government.
State’s counselor office spokesperson U Zaw Htay told the Irrawaddy News that the government had told the chief minister to do what he needs to do because he is responsible what he said.
U Phyo Min Thein had also received a warning from the NLD about his remark, said U Nyan Win, a member of the NLD central executive committee. However, the letter issued on July 14 did not say what kind of action would be taken against him, only that it was a “warning”.
U Phyo Min Thein speculated that he would be made to resign from his post or the government would take action against him to satisfy the Tatmadaw. However, for now, he remains Yangon chief minister.
Courtesy of Myanmar Times