When you have to tell people not to panic – well, that’s when you really have a problem.

Unfortunately for the Central Bank of Myanmar, that’s the position in which it finds itself. Its insistence in a September 2 statement “that there is no necessity for the public to be concerned about the banking sector” has only created further jitters, with anecdotal reports of long lines to withdraw money and gold prices spiking. If the Central Bank feels the need to reassure people, then the situation must really be bad – or so the thinking goes.

The problems in the banking and real estate sectors are not new. But the difficulties private banks are facing in order to comply with prudential regulations introduced in July 2017 have until now been largely kept under wraps. The key issue is the restructuring of overdrafts into term loans, and whether those loans are to be classified as non-performing.

Now some of the problems are being brought out into the open, as a result of recent comments by Zaykabar chairman U Khin Shwe and Central Bank deputy governor U Soe Thein.

Many in the construction industry are struggling to pay back overdrafts taken from private banks. Through the newly formed Myanmar Business Association, Khin Shwe and other property tycoons are lobbying hard for a relaxation of the timelines for implementing the 2017 prudential regulations, because they hope it will give them more time to pay back overdrafts.  Under the regulations, the banks are supposed to reduce overdrafts as a proportion of total loans to 20 percent by July next year.

Less discussed is that businesses are also pushing for a tax amnesty that they hope will encourage a flood of money back into the property market, which has been struggling since 2015. Despite refusing a similar proposal last year, the government is seemingly on board with the plan, having included the amnesty in its tax bill for 2019-20.

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The amnesty is actually a reduction in the penalty that is levied when the buyer of a major asset, such as a piece of land, cannot show the source of the funds.

At the moment, if you can’t show you’ve paid tax, you are penalised 10 percent for purchases under K30 million, 20pc for those between K30 million and K100 million, and 30pc for those above K100 million.

In its tax bill for 2019-20, the Ministry of Planning and Finance has proposed reducing the penalty to 3pc for purchases under K100 million, 5pc for K100 million to K300 million, 10pc for the K300 million to K3 billion band and 30pc for anything above K3 billion. At the time of writing the amnesty had not yet been debated by lawmakers,

A similar amnesty was put forward in March 2018 but scrapped at the last minute due to concerns over fairness and money laundering. This year’s proposal is less generous than the one put forward last year, but still does not address concerns around money laundering.

Let’s not forget that Myanmar is already at risk of being placed on the “grey list” of the Financial Action Task Force, a Paris-based intergovernment organisation that fights money laundering and terrorist financing.  

In October 2018, the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) – the FATF-style body for the Asia-Pacific – found that Myanmar needed to make “major improvements” in a range of areas to avoid being placed on the grey list.

Those improvements have so far failed to materialise. Last month, the APG released a follow-up report in which it reassessed progress against 10 of the 40 recommendations at Myanmar’s request. In only two areas did it find sufficient progress to justify changing its earlier rating.

Myanmar is undergoing an observation period and could be placed back onto the grey list next year.

Given the lack of a progress, a tax amnesty that encourages those with undeclared income to put it into the property sector is not going to be viewed favourably.

The risks of proceeds of crime finding their way into the property market are very real. When the Central Body on Anti-Money Laundering compiled a National Risk Assessment last year, it estimated proceeds of crime in Myanmar to be US$15 billion a year – equivalent to a quarter of the country’s GDP. Tax and excise evasion itself is big business, accounting for around $3 billion a year.

Going back onto the grey list will not just be bad for Myanmar’s image. It will have a material effect on the economy, making it harder for foreign financial institutions – and foreign companies in general – to do business here.

That doesn’t mean the banks and their debtors should be left to sort it out themselves; Myanmar needs a pathway to banking stability.

What it doesn’t need, though, is a cheap fix to bail out heavily indebted property tycoons.

This editorial first appeared in the September 12 edition of Frontier.

Far from the bright lights of Yangon and Mandalay, a Bagan local has managed to build up a business empire – with help from some friends in high places, according to residents.

By YE MON | FRONTIER

FOR MORE than 40 years, U Nyunt Lu has been a caretaker at Gubyaukgyi Pagoda, an Indian-influenced temple built in the 12th century, providing security and ensuring precious wall paintings are not damaged.

To carry out his duties, Nyunt Lu has lived in a small house beside the pagoda compound since 1988. But now he faces eviction at the end of October, because the house is on land that has been claimed by one of the area’s most prominent and influential businesspeople, U Myo Min Oo.

Nyunt Lu’s house is on a plot between the pagoda compound in Wetkyi-In village, northeast of Old Bagan, and the boundary of Royal House Hotel, one of four at Bagan owned by Myo Min Oo, who has extensive business interests in the area.

Nyunt Lu said he believes it was built on land donated to the pagoda by Daw Khin Mar Kyi, a resident of nearby Nyaung-U (Frontier was unable to contact Khin Mar Kyi).

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“I have lived here since 1988 when the land was owned by someone I did not know, but now the Settlement and Land Records Department says the land is owned by Myo Min Oo,” Nyunt Lu told Frontier at his house.

He said his eviction is being supported by the Archaeology Department, which wants him to relocate to another house about 600 metres from Gubyaukgyi Pagoda. The Archaeology Department and Myo Min Oo disapproved of him discussing his predicament with visitors, he added.

U Aung Aung Kyaw, director of the Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library in Bagan, told Frontier that there was no record of such a donation and the land is owned by Myo Min Oo. “That’s why the pagoda caretaker [Nyunt Lu] has to relocate,” he said.

Several sources said the pagoda compound contained two ancient stupas, but Myo Min Oo allowed no one to enter except guests at the hotel. According to Nyunt Lu, he has instructed his staff to initiate legal action for trespassing against anyone, including Archaeology Department officials, if they enter the hotel without permission.

Gubyaukgyi Pagoda is in the Ancient Monument Zone, where development is prohibited under a management plan prepared by Myanmar as part of its application for Bagan to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The adjoining hotel compound is in the Protected and Preservation Zone, also known as the buffer zone, in which development is allowed, subject to permission. Myanmar has undertaken, as part of its management plan, to remove hotels from the buffer zone by 2028.

But in this respect it has been alleged that Royal House Hotel received favourable treatment. U Thu Ya Aung, secretary of Myanmar Archaeology Association, said that the hotel compound would normally have been included in the prohibited zone around Gubyaukgyi. The hotel compound is the only piece of “buffer zone” near the pagoda, and is surrounded by the prohibited zone, he said.

He said there was speculation that corruption was involved. “But there is no evidence,” he told Frontier on August 19.

Mandalay Region Minister of Planning and Finance, U Myat Thu, who was involved in drafting the zoning plan for Bagan, could not be reached for comment.

Frontier also requested comment from Myo Min Oo and Shin Than Thu, a publicly company that operates some of his businesses.

The Royal Palace Hotel is one of four that U Myo Min Oo owns at Bagan. (Thuya Zaw | Frontier)

The Royal Palace Hotel is one of four that U Myo Min Oo owns at Bagan. (Thuya Zaw | Frontier)

Who is Myo Min Oo?

Myo Min Oo’s hometown is Nyaung-U, the gateway to Bagan, and residents said he was born to a family of modest means.

However, he is believed to have benefitted from a close relationship with U Tay Za, chairman of the Htoo Group of Companies, who under military rule was regarded as one of Myanmar’s most notorious crony businessmen.

Multiple sources told Frontier that after the United States government imposed sanctions that specifically targeted Tay Za and his companies in 2007, seriously disrupting their operations, the control of some of his assets at Bagan was transferred to Myo Min Oo and he prospered.

Today Myo Min Oo’s businesses at Bagan include four hotels, including the Royal House and the Royal Palace Hotel, one of the area’s biggest, three restaurants, the 1517 handicrafts shop, car rentals, a hot-air balloon company, the Nan Myint viewing tower, a clinic, motorbike showroom, and a vocational training school in Mandalay run in conjunction with Hong Kong-based iGroup, a multinational that focuses on information products and library technologies.

The hot-air balloons are operated by the Shin Than Thu, which in 2018 also won the tender to collect visitors’ fees for the Bagan Archaeological Zone with a bid of K7 million.

When Frontier visited Bagan in July, a close relative of Myo Min Oo, who asked not to be named, said the businessman had acquired considerable land holdings inside and outside the Ancient Monument Zone on which he was yet to launch any projects.

The relative also said Myo Min Oo has a good relationship with government officials at all levels, including those in the Archaeology Department, and that no one could say “no” to his projects.

Residents widely refer to Myo Min Oo as a “crony”, a term once reserved for those close to the military regime. He is said instead to enjoy a close relationship with Nyaung-U Township members of parliament and with Mandalay Region Chief Minister Dr Zaw Myint Maung, who is also the National League for Democracy representative for Amarapura-1.

Mandalay Region lawmaker U Myint Soe (NLD, Nyaung-U 2) bristled at suggestions that Myo Min Oo’s projects have received favourable treatment from lawmakers.

“You should not ask that kind of question; let’s leave it in the past,” he said. However, Myint Soe added that Myo Min Oo should take more care to respect the archaeological integrity of ancient sites at Bagan, which was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in July, nearly 25 years after Myanmar first nominated it to be listed.

U Myo Setsan, a leader of heritage conservation group Save Bagan, said many of the area’s residents were disappointed because they believed that as a Nyaung-U resident Myo Min Oo should be setting a better example than other businesspeople in ensuring that Bagan’s ancient sites were protected.

U Myo Min Oo acquired the Nan Myint viewing tower from U Tay Za some time after the businessman was sanctioned by the United States, according to sources in Bagan. (Thuya Zaw | Frontier)

U Myo Min Oo acquired the Nan Myint viewing tower from U Tay Za some time after the businessman was sanctioned by the United States, according to sources in Bagan. (Thuya Zaw | Frontier)

Friends in high places

In November 2018, a visit to Mount Popa by State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Mandalay chief minister Zaw Myint Maung generated chatter on social media when an image emerged of them travelling in a golf buggy driven by Myo Min Oo.

Social media posts compared the photo to one taken when the country was under military rule showing Tay Za driving a buggy carrying junta leader Senior General Than Shwe and his wife and other family members during a visit to Mandalay.

The Myanmar Archaeological Association’s Thu Ya Aung said the Mt Popa photo was evidence of the close ties between Myo Min Oo and the Mandalay chief minister and government officials, but said the relationship has not brought benefits for the Bagan region. “If he proposes a project to the regional government it will approve it immediately,” he told Frontier.

In January 2017, Aung San Suu Kyi made an unexpected change to her schedule during a visit to Bagan with a member of the Bhutanese royal family when she went to the 1517 handicrafts shop, where she met Myo Min Oo. The state counsellor had been due to visit the Bagan House lacquerware shop and no reason was given for the sudden change in the schedule, which some attributed to Myo Min Oo’s influential role in the area.

Ko Naing Tun, a member of the Bagan-Nyaung-U Committee for Cultural Site Implementation, a monitoring body formed by local MPs and residents, told Frontier on July 29 that the schedule was changed at the direction of the Mandalay regional government. “We were surprised,” said Naing Tun, who was among a group waiting at Bagan House to see Aung San Suu Kyi. “I don’t know if the state counsellor knew about it [the schedule change].”

Myo Setsan remains angry at an incident that occurred in March, when Zaw Myint Maung ordered him to leave a regular meeting in Mandalay of officials, hoteliers, MPs and community representatives to discuss projects at Bagan. Myo Setsan, who is a regular critic of the regional government and Myo Min Oo, was told it had happened because of the businessman’s influence. 

“I will never forget that day,” Myo Setsan said. “I had thought such behaviour only occurred when the country was under military rule.”

Preparing to face his eviction, Nyunt Lu said Bagan residents were “increasingly afraid” of Myo Min Oo’s influence. “Myo Min Oo’s power is getting bigger and the Bagan authorities pay so much respect to him – they treat him like a god. He can do whatever he wants.”

TOP PHOTO: U Myo Min Oo drives State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Mandalay Region Chief Minister Dr Zaw Myint Maung in a golf buggy at Mt Popa in November 2018. (Thar Byaw | Frontier)

By GEOFFREY GODDARD | FRONTIER

YANGON — Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business and three partners have launched a campaign to highlight the impact of an internet blackout on residents of four townships in Rakhine State.

The campaign will culminate on September 30 with “Myanmar Internet Blackout Day 101” to “show solidarity with over 600,000 people in Rakhine who will have had not access to the internet for 101 days,” MCRB said in a statement on its website.

“On that day, MCRB encourages anyone who cares about internet access, whether from business, government or non-government organisations and individuals to turn off their mobile data, turn off their wifi, put an out-of-office message on email, and close Facebook, and see what it feels like,” it said.

“Alternatively, tell us why you can’t survive one day without internet access, let alone 101.”

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The campaign to highlight the government’s “unprecedented order” on June 20 to shut down all mobile phone operators in eight Rakhine townships and Paletwa Township in neighbouring Chin State, which affected more than one million people, also involves civil society groups Free Expression Myanmar, Myan ICT for Development Organisation (MIDO) and community tech hub, Phandeeyar.

On the night of August 31, the government lifted the restriction in five townships – Rathedaung, Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Myebon, as well as Paletwa – but it remains in force in Ponnagyun, Mrauk-U, Kyauktaw and Minbya.

The shutdown was the first to be ordered under section 77 of the 2013 Telecommunications Law and came as fighting continued in Rakhine between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army, which says it is fighting for greater autonomy for the state’s Rakhine people.

MCRB said those affected in the original nine townships, including their elected representatives, have tried to draw the government’s attention to the impact of the “data darkness” network shutdown on their daily lives.

“For example, access to mobile money services for remittances from overseas family members is blocked, small businesses, such as traders, are unable to conduct business easily, and information has been cut off for those seeking work or education,” it said.

“As services – including e-government – go further on line, those who are denied access to the internet will be further discriminated against, increasing inequality.”

It said the internet shutdown in conflict areas of Rakhine was having serious consequences for the safety and welfare of residents. Local residents need access to the internet to obtain help, emergency services and humanitarian aid, to facilitate contact between displaced families, and to share information about the situation on the ground, it said.

The organisers offer a range of suggestions for those who wish to support the campaign, including discussing with workplace colleagues whether or not they or their organisation could exist without data for a day.

They also suggest supporters copy and paste the following response to appear in their email auto-response box between 00.00 and 23.59 on September 30: “On 30 September, I am participating in Myanmar Internet Blackout Day 101 to show solidarity with over 600,000 people in Rakhine State who have gone for 101 days without access to the internet, on the orders of the Myanmar government. As part of this campaign, I will turn off data on my mobile phone and internet for 24 hours. In case of urgency, please call my phone or send me an SMS.”

MCRB said that although section 77 refers to “temporary” suspension, the order on June 21 was open-ended, did not explain the public interest for the shutdown, and has been in place for more than two months in the four townships without any indication when it will be lifted.

MCRB, MIDO, FEM and Phandeeyar have worked together to organise Myanmar Digital Rights Forums in 2016, 2018, and 2019. The forums have brought together business, government, and civil society organisations to discuss how Myanmar’s transition to the Fourth Industrial Revolution can be achieved in ways that protect, respect and enhance the enjoyment of human rights.  

Participants at the Myanmar Digital Rights Forums – as well as the United Nations – have consistently stressed the importance of universal access to the internet as a fundamental enabler of a wide range of human rights, MCRB said. 

By EMILY FISHBEIN | FRONTIER

MYITKYINA — A court in the Kachin State capital, Myitkyina, has penalised the organisers of the first demonstrations in the city to be held by youth displaced by fighting since a ceasefire collapsed in 2011.

Nhkum La Nu, 20, and Malang Hka Mai, 50, were on September 10 each sentenced to seven days’ imprisonment or a fine of K20,000, and opted to pay the fine. The protests were held over three days, on September 5, 6 and 9.

La Nu and Hka Mai, who are both IDPs, were convicted under section 20 of the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law over the display of unauthorised placards at a demonstration in the state capital on September 5. Two of the offending placards read “War is not the answer” and “We hate war”.

They were also convicted under the same offence because of slogans on T-shirts that condemned attempts by the Tatmadaw to stifle freedom of expression.

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The T-shirts were worn by members of Yangon-based freedom of expression advocacy group Athan, who travelled to Myitkyina to protest at the township courthouse against the Tatmadaw’s complaint against Kachin Baptist Convention President Reverend Hkalam Samson. After the complaint was withdrawn on September 9, the Athan members joined the final day of the IDP demonstration instead.

La Nu said that within hours of the September 5 protest, he and Hka Mai were summoned to Myitkyina police station and told they would be charged under a complaint filed by a township police officer because prior approval had not been given to some of the placards displayed at the event, which was attended by about 250 people.

La Nu said the number of protesters had swelled to 400 on September 6, with many motivated to join after hearing about the charges brought the previous day. However, because organisers had informed police that only 200 people would participate, the police asked La Nu several times to tell the extra protesters to leave, he said. The police did not enforce the request, however.

As required under the law, the pair had informed the authorities 48 hours in advance of the plan to hold the demonstration. As well as the expected number of participants, they had also provided the names of speakers and topics to be discussed, and the wording on placards.

The two organisers were summoned to the police station a second time on September 9, after they were joined by Athan members from Yangon, who wore t-shirts as part of their ongoing “Blue Shirt” campaign. They were told they would be charged under a complaint lodged by the same township police office.

Athan founder and executive director Maung Saungkha, who was among the group’s members at the September 9 demonstration, told Frontier that no charges had arisen from the Blue Shirt campaign’s five events in Yangon.

“I would like to ask if the law is being practised differently in different states and regions in Myanmar,” he said.

blue_shirt_campaign_myitkyina_3_credit_athan.jpg

Athan members demonstrate in Myitkyina on September 9. (Supplied | Athan)

The protests were held to call for those displaced by conflict to be included in policy discussions affecting internally displaced persons, and to condemn legal action against Kachin activists for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

About 100,000 people have been forced to seek refuge in IDP camps in Kachin State since the Tatmadaw and the Kachin Independence Army resumed fighting in 2011 following the collapse of a bilateral ceasefire signed in 1994.

Among those who attended the protest on September 6 was Awng Ja, 19, of Jan Mai Kawng IDP camp in Myitkyina, who said he regarded the repeated sentencing of activists as a form of intimidation, which had motivated him to “hold on tightly and not let go” of his activist mentality.

La Nu, who is a member of the Kachin IDP Youth Committee that formed in Myitkyina in June to advocate for the rights and views of IDPs, said IDPs have not been included in high-level peace talks or in meetings to discuss policy matters affecting those displaced by conflict.

“We want to raise the genuine IDP voices, not influenced by the church, not influenced by politics, not influenced by [those] outside, but from the IDP people,” he told Frontier.

“We don’t want other people to speak for us – we can speak for ourselves,” he said.

Kachin activist Lum Zawng, who chairs the All Kachin Youth Union, said it was important for IDPs to have an opportunity to share their perspective. “Whatever they are feeling, they don’t have a platform to express it,” he said.

The government, Tatmadaw and Kachin Independence Organisation are negotiating towards a new bilateral ceasefire, and among the policy matters of concern to IDPs is that they could be returned to their villages before an agreement is reached.

The Kachin IDP Youth Committee wants any returns to be voluntary and with a commitment from both sides of the conflict to protect the safety and dignity of IDPs.

La Nu said the group plans to seek meetings with decision-making groups to discuss IDP returns and the peace process.

The three days of protests, announced by the Kachin Youth Movement – a group made up of Kachin youth activists and members of civil society – in a Facebook post on September 4, culminated near the Myitkyina courthouse on September 9 when a decision was expected on whether charges would be filed against Hkalam Samson.

He was the subject of a complaint filed on August 26 by the Tatmadaw Northern Command’s Lieutenant-Colonel Than Htike. The complaint followed comments critical of the Tatmadaw made by Hkalam Samson when he and other leaders of faith and survivors of religious persecution from around the world met President Donald Trump at the White House in July.

Tensions had risen ahead of the court decision but a court spokesperson said the Tatmadaw had withdrawn the charges, a decision that is yet to be confirmed in writing.

The three days of protests also followed the sentencing of activists Pau Lu and Seng Nu Pan to 15 days’ imprisonment by the Myitkyina Township Court on September 2 over their role in organising a street theatre performance in June to mark the eighth anniversary of the resumption of fighting in Kachin.

The jail term was imposed after the pair declined the option of paying a K30,000 fine.

Pau Lu, who symbolically presented the judge with a set of broken scales after the verdict was announced, was on September 6 sentenced to a further three months’ imprisonment for contempt of court and disturbing the duty of a civil servant.

နန္ဒ

တပ်မတော်ထိပ်ပိုင်းခေါင်းဆောင်များနှင့် အစ္စလာမ်ဘာသာရေးခေါင်းဆောင်များ ဗလီတစ်ခုအတွင်းစကားလက်ဆုံကျနေသောမြင်ကွင်းမှာရှားတောင့်ရှားခဲမြင်ကွင်းတစ်ခုဖြစ်သည်။ ဘာသာရေးနှင့်ပတ်သက်လျှင်ဗုဒ္ဓဘာသာကိုထိန်းသိမ်းစောင့်ရှောက်သောဆရာတော်ကြီးများနှင့်သာ မြင်ရလေ့ရှိသော တပ်မတော်ကာကွယ်ရေးဦးစီးချုပ်သည် ရက်ပေါင်းနှစ်ဆယ်အတွင်း ဗလီနှစ်ခုနှင့်ဘုရားကျောင်းနှစ်ခုသို့ အလှူသွားလုပ်ခဲ့သည်။

တပ်မတော်ကာကွယ်ရေးဦးစီးချုပ်သက်တမ်း ကိုးနှစ်အတွင်း ပထမဆုံးအကြိမ်အဖြစ် ဗိုလ်ချုပ်မှုးကြီးမင်းအောင်လှိုင်သည် သြဂုတ်၂၅ရက်က နေပြည်တော်၊ပျဉ်းမနားရှိ ဦးကျေးဂျာမေ့ဗလီနှင့် စိန့်မိုက်ကယ်ကက်သလစ်ဘုရားကျောင်းသို့သွားရောက်ပြီးအလှူအတန်းပြုလုပ်ခဲ့ခြင်းဖြစ်သည်။

နေပြည်တော်၊ပျဉ်းမနားရှိ ဦးကျေးဂျာမေ့ဗလီတွင် တပ်ချုပ်နှင့်တပ်မတော်ထိပ်ပိုင်းခေါင်းဆောင်များကိုတွေ့ရစဉ်။ဓာတ်ပုံ-cincds

နေပြည်တော်၊ပျဉ်းမနားရှိ ဦးကျေးဂျာမေ့ဗလီတွင် တပ်ချုပ်နှင့်တပ်မတော်ထိပ်ပိုင်းခေါင်းဆောင်များကိုတွေ့ရစဉ်။ဓာတ်ပုံ-cincds

စက်တင်ဘာ ၁၁ ရက်ကလည်း မန္တလေးမြို့ရှိ သမိုင်းဝင် ဂျွမ်းဗလီနှင့်ရွှေနှလုံးတော် ကက်သလစ်ဘုရားရှိခိုးကျောင်းသို့သွားရောက်ပြီး လှူဒါန်းမှုများပြုလုပ်ခဲ့သည်။တစ်ရက်ထဲမှာပင် နိုင်ငံတော်သံဃမဟာနာယကအဖွဲ့ဥက္ကဌ ဗန်းမော်ဆရာတော်ဘုရားကြီးထံသွားရောက်ဖူးမျှော်ခဲ့ပြီး လှူဖွယ်ပစ္စည်းများဆက်ကပ်ကာ မစိုးရိမ်ကျောင်းတိုက်သို့လည်း သွားရောက်အလှူအတန်းပြုလုပ်ခဲ့သည်။

“ဘယ်ဘာသာမှာမဆို အလှူနဲ့ပတ်သက်ရင် ကောင်းမွန်တဲ့အကျိုးရရှိမယ်လို့ဖော်ပြထားပါတယ်”ဟု ဗိုလ်ချုပ်မှုးကြီးမင်းအောင်လှိုင်ကပြောသည်။

ဂျွန်းဗလီမှ အထွက်တွင် “ဗိုလ်ချုပ်မှုးကြီးကျန်းမာပါစေ”ဟူသော ဆုတောင်းစကားသံများကို တပ်ချုပ်ရရှိခဲ့ပါသည်။

မြန်မာနိုင်ငံလူဦးရေ၏ ၆ ရာခိုင်နှုန်းခန့်သည် ခရစ်ယာန်ဘာသာ ကိုးကွယ်သူ များဖြစ်ပြီး ၄ ရာခိုင်နှုန်းကျော်သည် အစ္စလာမ်ဘာသာကိုးကွယ်ကြသူများဖြစ်ကြောင်း၊ မြန်မာနိုင်ငံ ဒေသအနှံ့အပြားတွင် ခရစ်ယာန်နှင့် အစ္စလာမ်ဘာသာ ကိုးကွယ်သူများစွာရှိကြောင်းတပ်ချုပ်ကပြောသည်။

“ဘာသာရေးကို အကြောင်းပြုပြီး နိုင်ငံရေးမတည်ငြိမ်မှုတွေ၊ ပဋိပက္ခတွေစတဲ့ မလိုလားအပ်တဲ့ အကြောင်းကိစ္စတွေ မဖြစ်စေလိုဘူး”ဟု ဗိုလ်ချုပ်မှုးကြီးကပြောသည်။

တစ်မြေတည်းနေ၊ တစ်ရေတည်းသောက်၍ တစ်မိုးအောက်တွင် နေထိုင်လျက်ရှိသည့် မြန်မာနိုင်ငံသားများဖြစ်သည့်အတွက် နိုင်ငံ၏ ကောင်းရာ ကောင်းကျိုးကို ဆောင်ရွက်ရန် တာဝန်ကိုယ်စီရှိကြောင်း ၎င်းကဆိုသည်။

ရာထူးမှအနားယူပါက နိုင်ငံရေးလောကသို့ဝင်မည်ဟု ထင်ကြေးပေးခံရလေ့ရှိသူ ဗိုလ်ချုပ်မှုးကြီးသည် ၂၀၂၀ရွေးကောက်ပွဲနီးကပ်လာချိန်တွင် မထင်မှတ်သည့်ကိစ္စများလုပ်ပြခြင်းမှာ ပြည်တွင်းနိုင်ငံရေးအတွက်မဖြစ်နိုင်ကြောင်း နိုင်ငံရေးအကဲခတ်များကသုံးသပ်သည်။

အပြည်ပြည်ဆိုင်ရာ ရာဇဝတ်ခုံရုံး(ICC)တင်ရန် ဖိအားပေးမှုနှင့် အမေရိကန်၏အရေးယူပိတ်ဆို့မှုများဖြစ်ပေါ်နေသည့်အခင်းအကျင်းတွင် နိုင်ငံတကာဖိအားနှင့်နိုင်ငံတကာဆက်ဆံရေးအတွက် ယခုကဲ့သို့ပြုလုပ်ခြင်းဖြစ်နိုင်ကြောင်း ရန်ကုန်နိုင်ငံရေးသိပ္ပံကျောင်းအုပ် ဦးမြတ်သူက ပြောသည်။

“ဒါက တစ်ချက်ခုတ်သုံးချက်ပြတ် သိပ်လှတဲ့အကွက်ပဲ”ဟု တပ်ချုပ်၏ ဘာသာရေးအဆောက်အအုံများသို့သွားရောက်လှူဒါန်းမှုအပေါ် ၎င်းကသုံးသပ်သည်။

ဖွဲ့စည်းပုံအခြေခံဥပဒေတွင် နိုင်ငံတော်သည် ဗုဒ္ဓဘာသာ သာသနာတော်ကို နိုင်ငံတော်၏ နိုင်ငံသားအများဆုံး ကိုးကွယ်ရာဖြစ်သော ဂုဏ်ထူးဝိသေသနှင့် ပြည့်စုံသည့် ဘာသာသာသနာအဖြစ် အသိအမှတ်ပြုသကဲ့သို့ခရစ်ယာန်ဘာသာ သာသနာ၊ အစ္စလာမ်ဘာသာ သာသနာ၊ ဟိန္ဒူဘာသာ သာသနာနှင့် နတ်ကိုးကွယ်သော ဘာသာတို့ကိုလည်း ကိုးကွယ်ရာ ဘာသာများဟူ၍ အသိအမှတ်ပြုထားသည်။

ထိုသို့အသိအမှတ်ပြုထားကြောင်းကိုလည်း တပ်ချုပ်က ဘာသာရေးခေါင်းဆောင်များနှင့်တွေ့ဆုံစဉ် ပြောကြားသည်။

ရွှေနှလုံးတော် ကက်သလစ်ဘုရားရှိခိုးကျောင်းသို့သွားရောက်ခဲ့သော တပ်ချုပ်။ဓာတ်ပုံ-cincds

ရွှေနှလုံးတော် ကက်သလစ်ဘုရားရှိခိုးကျောင်းသို့သွားရောက်ခဲ့သော တပ်ချုပ်။ဓာတ်ပုံ-cincds

တပ်ချုပ်၏ ဘာသာပေါင်းစုံ အလှူအတန်းပြုမှုအပေါ်“နိုင်ငံတကာက စွပ်စွဲမှုတွေရှိနေတဲ့အချိန်မှာ ပုံရိပ်ကောင်းအောင်လုပ်တာပေါ့”ဟု တပ်မတော်တွင်တာဝန်ထမ်းဆောင်ဖူးသည့်သတင်းစာဆရာ ဦးစည်သူအောင်မြင့်ကသုံးသပ်သည်။

တပ်ချုပ်၊ဒုတပ်ချုပ်နှင့်၎င်းတို့၏မိသားစုဝင်များကို အမေရိကန်သို့သွားလာခွင့်ပိတ်ပင်ကြောင်း ဇူလိုင်လက အမေရိကန်အစိုးရက ကြေညာထားသည်။

လွန်ခဲ့သည့်နှစ်နှစ်က ရခိုင်ပြည်နယ်မြောက်ပိုင်းတွင် တပ်မတော်၏ “နယ်မြေရှင်းလင်းမှုစစ်ဆင်ရေး”ဆောင်ရွက်စဉ်အတွင်း လူ့အခွင့်အရေးချိုးဖောက်ခဲ့သည်ဟူသော စွပ်စွဲချက်များအပေါ် အပြည့်အဝစုံစမ်းစစ်ဆေးရန် အပြည်ပြည်ဆိုင်ရာ ရာဇဝတ်ခုံရုံးက ကြိုးပမ်းနေသည်။

သို့သော် ကုလသမဂ္ဂလုံခြုံရေးကောင်စီ တွင်မြန်မာ၏မဟာမိတ် ရုရှားနှင့်တရုတ်တို့ရှိနေ၍ မြန်မာဗိုလ်ချုပ်ကြီးများ အိုင်စီစီတရားခွင်သို့ ရောက်လာနိုင်ဖွယ်မရှိကြောင်း ကုလအထူးကိုယ်စားလှယ် ယန်ဟီလီ က ယမန်နှစ်အတွင်းက ပြောကြားထားသည်။

“အိုင်စီစီဆိုတာက ဝင်ဖမ်းလို့မရပေမယ့် ဒါကြီးက သေတဲ့အထိ Pressureကြီးလေ”ဟု ရန်ကုန်နိုင်ငံရေးသိပ္ပံကျောင်းအုပ် ဦးမြတ်သူက ပြောသည်။

တပ်ချုပ်၏ လုပ်ဆောင်မှုမှာ ရခိုင်ပြည်နယ်(မြောက်ပိုင်း)က အာဆာအကြမ်းဖက်အဖွဲ့ကို နိုင်ငံလုံခြုံရေးအတွက်တိုက်ခြင်းဖြစ်ပြီး နိုင်ငံ၏အခြားနေရာများမှ အစ္စလမ်ဘာသာဝင်များ စိုးရိမ်စရာ မရှိကြောင်းသတင်းစကားပါးခြင်းဟု ဦးသိန်းစိန်အစိုးရလက်ထက် သမ္မတပြောရေးဆိုခွင့်ရှိသူ အဖြစ်တာဝန်ယူခဲ့သူ ဦးရဲထွဋ်ကသုံးသပ်သည်။

“အိုင်စီစီကြောင့်မဟုတ်ပါဘူး။ ဒီလို လှူပြလို့ အိုင်စီစီ သဘောထားပြောင်းမှာမဟုတ်ဘူးဆိုတာ လူတိုင်း သိနေတာပဲ”ဟု ၎င်းကပြောသည်။

မည်သည့်ရည်ရွယ်ချက်ကြောင့်ပင်ဖြစ်စေ တပ်မတော်ကာကွယ်ရေးဦးစီးချုပ်၏ အခြေခံဥပဒေအရအသိအမှတ်ပြုထားသည့်ဘာသာရေးအသိုက်အဝန်းများနှင့်တွေ့ဆုံမှုကိုကြိုဆို ကြောင်း ၈၈မျိုးဆက်ကျောင်းသားခေါင်းဆောင်တစ်ဦးဖြစ်သူ ဦးမြအေးကပြောသည်။

“နိုင်ငံတော်အဆင့်ပုဂ္ဂိုလ်တွေအနေနဲ့က ဒီလိုနွေးနွေးထွေးထွေးဆက်ဆံပေးခြင်းက ကောင်းမွန်တဲ့ ဓလေ့တစ်ခုပါ”ဟု ၎င်းကပြောသည်။