Yangon chief minister apologizes for offending military chief

Yangon Region Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein speaks at the Sedona Hotel on July 9. Photo: Facebook / Phyo Min Thein

Yangon Region Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein has sent a letter of apology to the head of the Myanmar military, the Office of the Commander-in-Chief announced on Facebook yesterday.

The announcement comes a week after the same office called on the Union government to take “necessary action” against Phyo Min Thein for his comments about the institution.

On July 9, Phyo Min Thein claimed that “there are no civil-military relations in the democratic era.” He also reportedly said that if Myanmar’s government protocol were truly democratic, “the position of the military’s commander-in-chief would be on the same level as that of a director-general.”

Myanmar’s government protocol lists the commander-in-chief position as eighth in the leadership hierarchy. Director-generals of ministries, aside from the Ministry of Defense, do not even appear on the 38-item list.

The Facebook post said the Office of the Commander-in-Chief has received the apology letter, which was dated July 13, 2017, and was sent “via express mail service.”

However, the post does not reveal the content of the letter.

Many commenters on the military’s Facebook post have spoken out in support of the Commander-in-Chief, demanding that the chief minister receive additional punishment.

One of the few commenters who took Phyo Min Thein’s side advised Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing to get thicker skin.

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