The government may be serious about making peace with the non-Burman rebels, but the Army is negotiating with Russia for the purchase of unidentified missiles, according to a source close to the diplomatic circle.
Maj Gen Zarni Win, chief of the defense services armaments purchase, was assigned on 22 August by the War Office to arrange for the transaction, according to him. The source however apologized he was unable to give more specific details. “I’m not a military man,” he said. “But I can assure you that the missiles will be used against ethnic armies.”
Burma has not been fighting against foreign armies on its home made rebel movements supported by foreign powers since China terminated its moral and material aid to the Communist Party of Burma (CPB) following the passing away of Mao Zedong in 1976.
So far Russia has sold several military items to Burma, especially MiG 29s.
President Thein Sein, during his meeting with Karen National Union (KNU) delegation in April said, “Killing a Karen soldier is the loss of a countryman in our country. Death of a Burmese soldier in action means the loss of a citizen of our country. So do Kachin, Mon and Chin soldiers. So the losses of these people are the losses of the country. We should regret these losses.”
However, constitutionally the President does not have any jurisdiction over military matters. If he has any complaints, he can lodge them at the National Defense and Security Council, the country’s highest organ, made up of 6 military and 5 civilian members.