Former General Thura Tin Oo, previously the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces (known under its Burmese acronym of the Tat Ma Daw), made a  statement urging the Army to forego the use of antipersonnel mines.

His statement said, in part, “Mines must be banned according to both humanitarianism and religion in a civilized world.In a statement directed toward the Army, the former General said, “The Tat Ma Daw, with the responsibility of protecting the life and property of the people of the country should agree with this objective [banning mines]. During my assignment, the motto of the Tat Ma Daw was that ‘the citizens are the mother and father of the Tat Ma Daw’. Unfortunately nowadays the ‘Tat Ma Daw is the mother, as well as the father’ in slogan and trend. Concern for the populace is not felt nowadays, and practice is not in line with Tat Ma Daw policy. Porters are put in the forefront to detonate mine on purpose. Use of porters and forced labour is not in line with the policies of the Tat Ma Daw. This is the time these practices should be stopped. Modern technology has influenced the Tat Ma Daw and it is no longer safe guarding the populace, their homes or their properties, but is instead destroying the people’s productive means, including draft animals and the like in mined areas.

I strongly recommend that landmines must be banned by the Tat Ma Daw, as well as those fighting against them. The good example to be followed is that of our neighbouring countries, Thailand and Bangladesh..[who joined the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty]

His full video statement, in Burmese, in mp4 format (also suitable for mobile phones) is available [here]. [Audio file only [here]

An unofficial translation of the statement into English available [here].