The former military intelligence led by former General Khin Nyunt had fallen down in 2004. During 16 years period from 1988 to 2004, every person was tremblingly afraid to the military intelligence. Those from various sectors including political, media, business, social organizations and artists were scared the intelligence and although they didn’t want to associate with [Military Intelligence] but they failed. The military intelligence had handled those persons.
Due to the interference of the military intelligence, they [politicians, journalists ….] had lived under the threatening and black shadows.
In 2004, at the time of the military intelligence fell down, member of State Peace and Development Council General Thura Shwe Mann currently who is also a parliament speaker, Prime Minister Lt-Gen Soe Win (passed away) and Secretary-1 Lt-Gen Thein Sein (incumbent president] clarified concerning the Mlitary Intelligence.
At that time, a word “There is no military intelligence above the law” said by Thura Shwe Mann.
At present, the dealings concerning the military intelligence are full of memorable things.
The news are now spreading as in the past the people were afraid of upsetting Military Intelligence so also there are many people now afraid the President’s Office and Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC).
It is learnt that the residents in some regions have to be scared a person saying that he or she came from the MPC or President’s Office like to be afraid of upsetting the Military Intelligence in the past.
The incidents already occurred in a last few days made the memorable for black shadow of the military intelligence.
The journalists were filed under Section 18 because they staged silent protest without chanting slogans and marching in front of MPC on July 12.
Actually, they [journalists] aimed not to occur to arrest and interrogate the reporters who were sentenced under unfair imprisonment and the arrest and interrogation are out of the law.
The journalists had to carry out the tasks according to a citizen’s rights that include in the 2008 constitution.
But, they have already been filed under Section 18. Behind the incident, the rumours spread out saying that some directors from MPC are now concerning the opening of the file.
A meeting between the President and artistes was held on July 12. Since July 11, the journalists already had an arrangement to express their wish for enabling the President to know while covering news at MPC.
However, there appeared a voice of threat that would send the journalists into the jail if they would stage a protest at the MPC. It was made by Min Zaw Oo, the director of the MPC. Chief reporter Aung Thura of 7Day newspaper retold about the words of Min Zaw Oo. Shwe Inn Tha Khin Maung Win posted the words of Min Zaw Oo on his Facebook through Aung Thura.
In the meantime, Min Zaw Oo posted a status of protecting his own news source on his Facebook. This point strengthened the suspicions whether Min Zaw Oo told the journalists would be sent to the prison. (Min Zaw Oo indirectly explained on his Facebook on July 13 that he did not mean to tell like so.)
The journalists expressed their wish at the MPC as planned on July 12 for enabling the President to know about the situation of the journalists. It was not meant for the protest. But the journalists scrambled due to intervention of the police.
The authorities have not had a plan to open a file to the journalists who expressed their wish until the afternoon. The news of opening the file to the journalists under the Section 18 came out in the evening and it ensured the certainty. Unsure situation turned to the sure state to open the file to the journalists. The reasons included “an upper instruction”. It was not known from where.
Due to unfair matters, the journalists expressed their wish. We don’t mean that the reporters of the Unity Journal are right. We mean that the case and the punishment were unfair. We don’t mean that the journalists of Bi Mon Te Nay Journal are right, but we mean that the journalists were unfairly and unlawfully arrested without informing Myanmar Press Council (Interim).
This is also the same matter. Reporter Ma Khine of the Eleven Media Group was jailed and DVB reporter Zaw Pe was also sentenced to prison term. These cases can be settled with fine punishment. The authorities preferred jail term to fine punishment.
When reviewing every action taken against the journalists, it can be seen that the case and the punishment were not fair and their acts were unlawful.
These actions of the authorities seemed threats that could pose to the press freedom. These manners are the same as those of the dictators.
Recently, Aung Naing Oo, a director from the MPC, had a word with a friend of his about the media. But it has yet to be confirmed because it was just hearsay. According to what he has said, there seem to be six enemies if ‘media’ is considered. Aung Naing Oo alone will know whether he really said about this.
If Zaw Min Oo and Aung Naing Oo really talked about imprisonment of reporters who staged a protest and the six enemies, we can assume that MPC has regarded the media as an enemy. A question has arisen as to whether the MPC stirred a problem between the president and the media.
MPC used to nurture some journalists to become their stooges. Their attempt was to give their news secretly. But every journalist did not nod to what they had wanted. When their weaknesses were pointed out frequently, they have come to regard the media as their enemy.
There was hearsay coming from MPC that if such revealing news continues, the media will become the enemy of the State.
Any attempt to oppress and threaten the media and regard them as an enemy is a stance of those who want dictatorship and stooges of authoritarians.
For this point, it is important what people desire is. According to information that I got when I talked to some former intelligent officers, they described MPC looks like former Military Intelligence. What they meant is MPC is using power more than it has.
They [former intelligent officers] explained that Military Intelligence focused three famous activities as priority. The first one is they tried to have their images among public view continuously. The second is they did propaganda using multiple techniques with swift and intelligence. The last is they investigated what people are in need of then they gave some of what the people need so they could shape more for what they wished.
MPC invited back politicians in exile. They used them as the way they needed. They meet up with both legal and illegal armed ethnic groups saying as “peace talks”. When they know the group doesn’t want to be on their side, they gave incentive for corruption. They acknowledged the ones who didn’t follow their lead as hardliner or self-opinionated. Due to MPC, peace permits for automobiles were issued which is a huge public loss. Armed ethnic groups that agreed with the MPC received those peace car permits plus other opportunities.
The MPC employed incentives and opportunities to welcome back anti-government politicians in exile. This fact is known to the exiled politicians who entered Myanmar under the programme of MPC.
What’s more, MPC got involved in some issues which are not related to it. MPC took a role in arranging a meeting between the president and those from social and economic fields on July 12.
Some members of MPC seat the top positions in the President Thein Sein’s advisory body. From deducing the President’s speeches, his advisors’ motives are quite anxious.
Moreover, people are concerned who have backed the MPC and the presidential advisors; are they pushing the country to the edge; should the advisors deceive the President.
Then, the President’s dialogue between the celebrities is shameful. As he said that if the government could not build the modernised theatres in Yangon and Mandalay to facilitate films, concerts and plays, the foreign assistance will be asked; as the Chinese are used to building infrastructures he said he would request the Chinese Premier for aid. He also insisted the movie stars to make a solemn wish for it.
He then said the parliament will not agree to implement this with the governmental budget.
I do not understand with what aspirations the President said these words. But his words did not match the qualities of the State leader and more like those of who lacks the political sense.
From the point of a citizen, his speeches are quite shameful. If the proposal is submitted to the parliament reasonably, it would be put into consideration. But the President himself set the parliament aside and pledged to ask for foreign help, I thought if Myanmar is in the hands of the imperialism.
Although the celebrities, who are with low political sense, hailed the President’s words, the citizens with the high political awareness will not accept them.
Likewise, it is questionable should the MPC dominating presidential advisory group is pushing the President and the country to the edge.
They do not have to ask Chinese to help in building theatres. The government should enjoy US$1 billion revenue if it taxed 30 per cent of the total value of the gems sold in the recent jewellery exhibition which is amounted to $3.4 billion.
In addition, there are revenues over selling oil and natural gases. During the President Thein Sein’s administration, the private crony tycoons have acquired the privileges to extract natural resources. If the government has enjoyed the revenues from them fully, it does not have to ask anyone’s help.
When it comes to logging, as the export of timbers has been banned, the proprietors have reaped the wood amount of three-year quota in a single year.
It is seen that people praising over the President’s words are those who were close to military intelligence.
[U] Zargana who had facilitated the July-12 gathering also had links with the military intelligence. Now they are connected with the MPC.
The same thing about MPC and Military Intelligence is that they befriended the ones who don’t see eye to eye with the government by giving incentives. Another thing is that they influenced upon everything using power even in the smallest things. The next item is financial thing. In the MI case, they had problems in income and expenditure.
The most important thing at present is the financial explanation of MPC. There is no official statement made or they still don’t submit the matter to the parliament. According to the unconfirmed reports, MPC got more than US $ 130 million. The Parliament doesn’t know how this money is profited or where this money is used. The men from local and abroad knew about their counterparts took place at the MPC for example, former ABSDF members, and former opposition political members. Their remarks are widely seen on the social media. It could be say that their bad reputation is more than their good reputation.
At the same time, MPC couldn’t got success in the peace process, which is the majority of their work. They are involving one after another in the things they are not concerned. The armed ethnic forces and nationals living in the country don’t believe MPC. Their distrust on MPC was directly or indirectly spoken. There are questions raised whether the MPC is instigating the media and the government or among the ethnic nationals and the government or political parties with government or the parliament with the government or the public and the government.
NLD and Aung Aung Suu Kyi, ethnic national races, political parties, the public and journalists who well passed the era of Military Intelligence knew why these kinds of questions were appeared. Current Speaker of Union Parliament Thura Shwe Mann and top military leaders also knew the reasons.
There have questions to answer by others and not by MPC.
People satisfied with the existence of MPC or the army or the parliament or the ethnic armed forces or the media pleased with the peace work done by MPC or who are benefiting. The answers to the questions will decide the existance of MPC.
No one is above the law. Journalists or the president or the parliament or the government are not above the law but is the MPC above the law or it is above the president. MPC has to answer those questions.
But MPC will fall down if it continues to commit acts of bribery, corruption and misue of power like the former Military Intelligence.
After the MI is removed, there are two people left who made it remove. They are President Thein Sein and Union Parliament speaker Thura Shwe Mann.
At present, how to prevent the MPC who are involved in politics, economic and social sectors like the Military Intelligence. How to solve the problems such as mistakes and bad attitude made by some MPC members? It is the right time to find a solution.