- Web Master
- November 17, 2023
U Than Soe Naing (Political Analyst)
“They have declared martial law in 37 townships in Myanmar, as explained by General Min Aung Hlaing. There are 37 townships in the country that they(the military) cannot control. 190 townships only controlled by Junta authority. As far as I know some townships are being controlled by both sides, each other.”
The Ministry of Home Affairs of the Military Council announced on January 31, 2023 that the Military Council will allow the carrying of firearms for the security of departmental personnel, militia and local security groups. Analysts say this is a reissue of the Arms Act, enacted 46 years ago with minor modifications.
Major General Zaw Min Tun, a spokesman for the Military Council said, "The public is concerned about safety. We will provide guns to those who really need to defend themselves, those who are under threat, and those who can properly handle weapons." There are five types of firearms that will be authorized together with licenses and permits, including: 9 mm pistols, Point 22 rifles, submachine guns, hunting guns, and air rifles.
The Narinjara news agency contacted U Than Soe Naing, a political analyst, about these developments and the Arms Act.
Q - What do you think about the Military Council allowing civilians to own firearms?
A - It is surprising that after 75 years, a law was enacted to allow civilians to own firearms, which has never been done before. But if you look at the actual situation of the country, it is not very surprising.
Q - In the current situation of Myanmar, is it really necessary to be allowed to own firearms? Under what circumstances would the Military Council issue such a dangerous law?
A - They have declared martial law in 37 townships in Myanmar, as explained by General Min Aung Hlaing. There are 37 townships in the country that they(the military) cannot control. They admit there are only 190 townships are under military control. However many of the 190 are townships are known to being controlled in part by both sides..The reason for this is that the NUG-led PDF, which the Military Council accuses of being terrorists, has more than 500 battalions. There are also ethnic armies (EAOs).
Now the Military Council will hold elections. PDF and the NUG have declared that they will disrupt and destroy this election. The NUG is proclaiming 2023 as the year when the military situation in Myanmar will change, and the military regime will end. At the same time, the Military Council is also announcing that elections will be held. Under that situation, according to the statistics they are talking about ,over 1,500 ward
administrators of the Military Council and USDP personnel were killed. So they have to admit that the current situation is that the people are suffering, at the same time, that they are doing terrorist activities. In that case, the Military Council will provide arms to the militia. Some monks will be provided with weapons. They even
decided to provide arms to some Ma Ba Tha monks and his people. They say they are for the public, but their “ public” is not the general public. It means that they will issue weapons to those who are in charge of the USDP and the ward administrators to be able to defend themselves.
Q - Is this law just for Military Council followers? And if so Why?
A - They already have their criteria for who can be trusted by the regime and who they should issue weapons to.They will only give arms to those who will obey and implement the orders and instructions from the organizational levels of the Military Council. This means that these weapons will not be issued to the general public. They will give USDP members and ward administrators who will obey their orders to protect them. They must follow orders. I see that this is a plan that came about after they had to admit that there is a lack of security in the country.
Q - What are the negative consequences of this Arms Act for the people?
A – The people who will now get the right to carry arms had already been oppressing the public in various ways and collecting taxes. There is no general rule of law, the oppression of the people by the pro-Military Council forces will definitely increase. However, we are not particularly worried about those issues. The night cannot get darker after midnight. This means that the public cannot stand up to them, and I believe that if they get armed and use to abuse the people, the common people will respond even if they have no weapons.
Q - Finally, what do you want to urge the public to do about this Arms Act?
A - At a time when there is a lot of oppression, equipping them with weapons is like putting horns on a horse. The horse doesn’t just kick. It is certain that it will increase to the point where it will kill with horns. If the massacre of the people escalates I urge to prepare to respond and resist.(END)