Nothing wrong with 'counterinsurgency operation', says Tatmadaw chief

March 1, 2017


The Tatmadaw has defended its crackdown Rohingyas as a lawful counterinsurgency operation at a rare news conference on Tuesday, adding it was necessary to defend the country.

This was the first time the top generals directly addressed the mounting accusations of human rights abuses in what the international media is referring to as a rare news conference by the country’s most powerful institution, which effectively holds power over the civilian government.

"I want to say that I am very sad because of these kind of reckless accusations and neglect of the good things that the government and the military have done for them," said General Mya Tun Oo, Chief of the General Staff.

He presented a series of slides with media news reports saying that they had investigated these reports and interviewees from the Rohingya Muslim minority has told them these things did not happen.

"If we find that these cases are really happening as per the accusations in the media, we will take very serious action according to the military rules and current laws," he said.

However, our sources say the military investigation team have not really interviewed eye witnesses who are in any cases too afraid to face military officials, representatives of the very institution that led a bloody onslaught against them. Rather some who had come up to provide information to the media and international observers on atrocities have been threatened and in at least one case killed.

International commentators have also pointed out that the army is not serious about punishing those who perpetuated abuses against the Rohingya populace.

At least a thousand people including women and children were killed, with many thrown into the fire in front of their family members.