A celebration of Armed Forces Day in Myanmar came with a grim warning from the leader of the country’s military, who said the ruling junta will “tackle” resistance groups and opponents. File Photo by Lynn Bo Bo/EPA-EFE
March 27 (UPI) -- A celebration of Armed Forces Day in Myanmar came with a grim warning from the country's military leader, who said the ruling junta will "tackle" resistance groups and opponents.
Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, in a speech, took aim at political opponents and countries that have been critical of his 2021 coup to overthrow the democratically elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi. DW News reports that the military government leader accused the National Unity Government of committing acts of terrorism with the assistance of the People's Defense Forces.
"The terror acts of the NUG and its lackey so-called PDFs are needed to be tackled for good and all," Gen. Min Aung Hlaing said. "The [military] and the government also need to take action against this terrorist group, trying to devastate the country and killing the people."
Myanmar has been embroiled in a civil war since the military sacked the government. Tens of thousands have reportedly died in the conflict, while millions have been forced from their homes.
The military-run government holds an extravagant parade to mark Armed Forces Day each year, displaying its armed forces in a show of power.
The military coup followed what Gen. Min Aung Hlaing claimed was a fraudulent election. He reportedly has pledged to hold "free and fair" elections when the country's state of emergency is lifted, though there is no indication as to when that will be. The regime installed after the sacking of Suu Kyi's government, State Administrative Council, has faced multiple sanctions from the international community, including from the United States.
Suu Kyi has been convicted on several charges from the junta, including corruption. She faces 33 years in prison. The United Nations condemned the conviction in 2021, saying that it came at the end of a "sham trial."
"The conviction of the State Counsellor following a sham trial in secretive proceedings before a military-controlled court is nothing but politically-motivated," U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in a statement. "It is not only about arbitrary denial of her freedom - it closes yet another door to political dialogue,"