Millennium Post

Myanmar is reforming its military: Thein Sein

The military in Myanmar, which ruled the country with an iron hand for decades, is now being reformed for its role in the democratisation and peace building process, President Thein Sein has said as he pushed the US leadership to lift remaining sanctions on his country.
On the first bilateral visit to the US by a President of Myanmar in 50 years, Thein Shein called for support and patience from the US.

‘We are trying hard to end Myanmar’s isolation, see the removal of all sanctions, and make the contributions we can to both regional and global security and development,’ Thein Sein said in his address.

Noting the significance of current transformation, he said, ‘I believe what we are trying to achieve in Myanmar is quite unprecedented. We are transitioning from an authoritarian regime to a democratic one and from a centralised economy to one based on a free market,’ he said.

‘We are engaged in a political dialog process and national reconciliation. We are also reengaging with many governments and international institutions for the first time in decades, all under the burden of remaining economic sanctions,’ he said, in his address soon after his meeting with the US president Barack Obama.
‘We are a poor country. Many of our institutions must be adjusted, others entirely reformed. New ones must be created. Mentalities must change. We must move towards a state that sees itself first and foremost as the servant of the people. After decades of authoritarian rule this is no easy task,’ he noted. He hoped Myanmar towards an economy that is equitable, fair and based on a level playing field with support from the US and international community.
‘To achieve all this we need maximum international support, including from the United States, to train and educate, share knowledge, trade and invest, and encourage others to do the same,’ Thein Sein said.

 During this important phase of Myanmar, he said one must recognise the role of military. ‘We must recognise that now, we are in the process of reforming the Military for its role in the democratisation and peace building processes,’ he said.
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