Article submitted by: Thunderbolts on 6-Sep-2012  
THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING THE “ TATMADAW”.
Dear Myanmar Patriots, Expatriates, Compatriots, and Friends,

Some people may not like to hear the name "Tatmadaw". Because they are afraid. They have " guilty conscience" . On the other hand , it is the human impulse they are afraid of anything what they don’t know, and what they don’t understand. They don’t even try to learn about it, they don’t find out more about it, to know what it is, let alone to understand about it.

Or this may be due to Myanmar’s nature. Myanmar may never have had Tatmadaw , but never had a ‘regular Tatmadaw’, in their history. More about it later. It is due time Myanmars to study, learn and understand about the Tatmadaw. The duty and responsibilities of any Tatmadaw.

Somebody made a good call, “ Tatmadaw still need to be strong and fully aware of the development in political arena”. What type and shape he wants Tatmadaw to be in the politic of Myanmar. He should elaborate more, with more advices, with more suggestions . The more people understand the Tatmadaw, the stronger the Tatmadaw will be.

A short and simple answer to his call is that,” Myanma Tatmadaw is aware of, careful of everything and anything. Thanks for the concern. If the civilian government cannot do the job properly, then Tatmadaw has to do it. If the civilian politicians try to meddle things up then Tatmadaw has to do it again, and again, and again.

All Tatmadaws in every nation should be strong to carry out their duties . According to one wise man. All Tatmadaws should know clearly who they are fighting, what they are fighting for. Tatmadaw men and women must be strong or Tatmadaw should be strong, not be manipulated or undermined by any civilian politicians. Tatmadaw cannot be the tools and equipment of the politicians to fight the war which the politicians created to suit themselves to sit on the chair with the expense of the people, the lives and blood of the Tatmadaw men and women. Politicians should not create any unjust war, to create their, ‘pocket Tatmadaw’.

It could be said that since 1948, some ‘evil politicians’ used Tatmadaw and other armed forces as their pocket Tatmadaw to fight the war they have created, or the war created by outside forces. Here civilian politicians means those so called leaders , warmongers from, all ethnic groups and nationalities as well.
A country like Myanmar Naing Gan Daw, a Tatmadaw like Myanma Tatmadaw, people like the people of Myanmars, have or had too many private Tatmadaws or still having all the bitter experiences, should never go off guard, should never have their defence shield up, their security slacken, as long as there is one single private Tatmadaw remains, armed Anti Government Force or anti Myanmar Naing Gan Daw , anti Myanma Tatmadaw force remains.

The sworn duty, and practice of every National Tatmadaw is to defend a Nation. It could only be done when politicians are under self-control, especially the “Evil Politicians”. Tatmadaw and the people must not allow, the “Evil politicians’ out of control, or to let them play political games with the expanse of the people and the nation. No matter how difficult it may be, we must take the root of ‘the evil’ out. There is nothing, ‘impossible’. If there is one evil still standing, the chance of the root will be there, and spreading. If we don’t do anything about it, it will become a bush, a plant, into a tree and become a ‘forest of evils’ , if not jungle.

These ‘evil politicians’ do not control themselves. We must put them be under our control, because they create evil things, for the people to suffer, to struggle. People and the Tatmadaw have to clean, these evils politicians. We cannot let the rubbishes the evil politicians left behind, pile up. We know what suffering is, we know what struggle is. If we want to get away from this circle, we have to do what we have to do, that is to get rid of the ‘ evil politicians’. If you know what suffering is, you know how to get rid of that suffering, because there is a way to get it rid of.

No politicians must be allowed to sell Myanmar Naing Gan Daw for 30 pieces of silver, not even for 300 pieces of gold. It will not get rid of the sufferings. It is not a “Noble thing” to sell the nation, and the people. People must also know that they are ‘ human beings’, not the human goods for the modern slave trade. Slave trade is long gone. But, it is still around with different names and usages, methods and technic. The Human being are no goods to buy and sell. Myanmars happened to be made slaves once, they should never forget that.

The politicians will hit and run, they don’t even say sorry. Even to say ‘ sorry ‘ is cheap . The people must not allow the politician to dirty the nation. Whether from the front, or behind the curtain, Tatmadaw will always be on the political stage of any nation. It is understood. Like it or lamp it not, Tatmadaw will always be there to do certain job, that is to protect the people and defend the Nation.

What is a Tatmadaw ? Everybody knows, what it is. But I will tell you what I see. In Myanmar language Tatmadaw is ‘Naing Gan Daw Lon Chon Yey, Ne, Kar Kwe Yey, Let Nhete Kaing Tatphwe. ”. Tatmadaw is the daily usage. It is already enshrined in the Constitution, what a Tatmadaw is. But for me Tatmadaw is an armed organisation allowed by the law, which consists of all nationalities, all religions, as Army, Navy, Air-force, Police, Customs and excise, forestry, border guards etc., and all their arms and limbs of the nation. That is what the Constitution says, ‘Defence Forces’. All in one, to protect the people , the religions, to defend the nation, and the Constitution, to defend our way of life.

Tatmadaw is the people. Servicemen and women are from the people. How strong is the Tatmadaw depends how strong are these people, how strong are these servicemen and women.All the people, must know and accept that Tatmadaw is their ‘defender’, the defender of the Nation in every nation. That is why Tatmadaw is another name called “ Defence Service” where many other individual services are involve.

It is true, and it is necessary to re organise, or to reform any Tatmadaw or its forces. Update it, modernise it. That’s what they do in every country big or small from time to time. The Tatmadaw must be ever new, and ever young for all the good reasons. The politicians must be ‘good politician’, as well, not ‘ evil politicians’.

Like it or not, the so called , “ anti-Government forces ”, will always be there, above ground, under the ground, in the air, in the water, armed or without arms. From time to time constructive, advices, and suggestions are needed from the public. If there is an opportunity , there are opportunists who would, and could take advantage while some people are busy at work.

Tatmadaw should NOT be just a ‘dump yard’. It should be a kind of education centre or at least a ‘Recycling Plant’, for the poorly educated, unemployed, a gathering place for brain damaged juvenile delinquents, and youngsters who have no future. If they happened to be in there Tatmadaw should be like a ‘specially training school’ where all 18 subjects are taught, to shape these youngsters into men. To be in the Tatmadaw is to serve the nation , to get or have farther education, and to become top men and women. To be in the Tatmadaw is not to have a Free ride, or Free loading’.

Tatmadaw is not, and should not be a ‘separate institution’ or a separate ‘organization’, as some people have thought. It is not out of reach of the people, away from the people. Tatmadaw must know, and Tatmadaw must show that “ Pyi Thu Ne Tatmadaw Ta-thway De, Ta-thar De”. One blood, one flesh, Tatmadaw is the People. and the People is the Tatmadaw. It must be practical. The people must believe they are parts of Tatmadaw, to serve the people and the nation.

That is where ‘Patriotism’ comes in. From the school days everybody must understand what a Patriot is, what Patriotism is. Let it be known, in all work places and training centres. Patriotism is nothing to do with party politics or being a partisan. Patriotism must take roots in everybody, in the nation of Myanmars. Tatmadaw’s loyalty is to the people, and to the nation only. At present to join defences services is on purely voluntary basis. There is no conscript, there never was any conscripts. Because there never was any regular army in Myanmar. This regular army was established or founded, to fight back the British. Before, we have had no regular Tatmadaw.

Whenever we tried to establish a regular Tatmadaw, we were called bandits, dacoits, rebels etc. We were told to demolish it, or at least reduced the strength and serve the British under British command. The First Myanma Tatmadaw was founded in Myanmar 1752 by Aloung Paya U Aung Zeya from Motsobo. The heads of 36 villages and their men became the very first Myanma Tatmadaw, leaders, they were voluntaries, ‘ NOT ’mercenaries’. Aloung Paya himself became the very first democratically elected Monarch. All men and women who can pick up a bamboo stck. Swords, lance and spear ( all the people) were ‘fighting force’, protecting and defending all other people and the nation. That was the Tatmadaw which created ‘Myanmar Naing Gan Daw’ under Kongbon Dynasty. It was a lose one, because we have ethnic groups, different nationals , we don’t want any misunderstanding among us.

Serving the people and the nation through Tatmadaw , through Defence Forces is a very Noble thing to do. There was a time we had Patriotism so strong, and patriotic spirit, so high, we never needed a regular Tatmadaw. Not having that regular Tatmadaw was a good thing in a sense, but when foreign mercenaries invaded us we couldn’t repel them instead we were beaten. Circumstances and situation demanded we need “a regular Tatmadaw ’.

There should be only one reason, and one reason only, that is to serve the People and to serve the Nation, to protect the people and to defend the nation on voluntary basis. OTHERWISE National Service should be made compulsory. Even tiny Singapore Island has compulsory National Service. This country belongs to everybody in the land. This is the land of Myanmars. All Myanmars must defend it protect it. Our Nation of Myanmars is a Free nation, because the people are Free people, enjoying Freedom. Most of them knows what real Freedom is, in ‘Lawki’ as well as in ‘Lawkottyar’.

If these genuine Freedom are threatened , intimidated, harassed, we have our right to defend ourselves. National Reconciliation or Peace, should not be excuses, they must be good reasons and will ‘good will.’ If there is something to forget, or forgive they should be done so, but they must never be repeated, never allow to come back to life. Then Forget and Forgive will have no meaning, it will never work. ‘Where there is a ‘will’, there is a ‘way’. If the ‘will’ is missing, if there is no ‘will’ nothing will work. The ‘will’ to be together, tigetherness.

Those who are forging for Peace, in the name of National Reconciliation must know nobody is a fool, nobody is stupid idiot, nobody can twist or turn, nobody can kid nobody. They can fool some body sometimes, they cannot fool all at all the times. Myanmars average age is 64 years, they are adults, grownups. They have sense, and common sense, we must make sure they use their senses, common sense. What to forget, and what not to forget. Forgiven is another matter. That won’t work neither.

If “Mistrust” is still, hanging on. This mistrust must go could go on forever if we don’t do anything about it.Nobody should be held as hostage, and ask for ransom, or black mail by anybody, internally or from outside. I had these funny, familiar forgotten feelings, after years of watching them. I can’t get rid of suspicions myself. The suspicions and the doubts will always be there. They will never go away, We all were brought up under all these circumstances. They will be the very reasons to make ourselves our determinations stronger, and stronger to get rid of these suspicions, it would take another century, that is if nothing is repeated.

Believe me, there is nothing to be forgotten, they may only be forgiven, by saying, “ go sin no more”. It has been said that “in real life, there are no “rehearsals”, there are no “retakes”. But our 64 years experiences show us, these years are filled with too many ‘rehearsals’ and too many “retakes”, auditions after auditions, without anything to show. Because they were not genuine, not real, not sincere, not honest, not to mentioned fakes, talks and negotiation without any meaning, without any essence . Demands after demands where there can be no room for compromise. They know that as well, they may be doing deliberately.

According to the principals of “Cause and effect”, this may be because we are too humane, too much respect for all human rights, too much Freedom. We may be showing too much ‘Human Rights’ even towards none human, and we have nothing in return. We have said countless numbers of times of this, “go, sin no more”. These became ‘ cheap words with no meaning. We put them in prisons, with Free lodging, Free food and Free services . It is not a surprise, to see them come back, again and again to enjoy these facilities. They have become ‘habitual offenders’ by their own Free will, with the encouragement of the Government which care for the people, any people. Taking care of them means, we cannot take care of those who really needs our care.

Prisons , are Prisons, they are to detain them. Prisons are not for punishment, but for correction. To give the prisoners education, training, to train them, equip them with trade and skill as necessary to become any assets to the people and the nation. The insurgents, the exiles are the same. They may have signed cease fire agreements, Peace agreement just to get a breathing space. They may have accepted the ‘amnesty’. If they don’t correct themselves we have to correct them. They may be just like some animals, who lives under water, come up to surface, from time to time to have fresh air to breath.

It is said that, “ in real life, there is no rehearsals, no retakes”. We should understand that, and act accordingly, for our own sake. The government, the politician, and the people should look into the matters , issues with great interest. Look, and look carefully, and see the truth. A thief is a thief, a murderer is a murderer, a traitor is a traitor. They should get what they deserve, rights or punishments, according to the laws.

Regards,

Thunderbolts.