Armed forces becoming more corrupt and inefficient: Regional Commander

by Zarni
Thursday, 29 January 2009 22:52

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – In the minutes of a leaked secret meeting, a leading military commander admitted that the Burmese armed forces are becoming more indisciplined and corrupt besides being inefficient.

The officers are mishandling their subordinates, getting drunk, giving into hooliganism, issuing underrated rations to soldiers, becoming corrupt and giving work which is unbearably fatiguing to their subordinates, Commander of the Northern Military Command Maj. Gen. Soe Win said during a recent meeting attended by senior army officials.

In the document, a copy of which is in Mizzima’s possession, Soe Win said the number of deserters and casualties in action are increasing, which makes recruitment more difficult in the armed forces.

Soe Win also said that the recruitment of new soldiers to make up for the depleting numbers in the army is the responsibility of all commanders. They are to replenish the decreasing numbers in the forces.

Moreover, he revealed the aim of junta is to establish an army which can compete with and challenge foreign armed forces.

“The fine tradition of our armed forces is becoming degraded gradually and so is the quality. We need to build our army to an international standard as a modern army which can fight against international armed forces,” Soe Win said.

A Sino-Burma border based Burmese military analyst Aung Kyaw Zaw said that the junta in all likelihood wants to increase the strength of its army to 500,000 personnel from the current 400,000 so there is rampant recruitment of new soldiers.

Since 2006, the regime had planned to recruit a soldier from every village from over 60,000 villages in the country, he said.

“They thought they could recruit at least 60,000 soldiers a year if they could get one from each village. They are recruiting under this plan. Then there are many irregularities in recruiting soldiers by lower ranking officials without taking into consideration the quality of the newly recruited soldier,” the military analyst Aung Kyaw Zaw, who has watched the Burmese Army for many years said.

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