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Posted by bender 03/03/2009 @ 17:09

Tags : myanmar, asia, world

News headlines
Slowdown Strains Myanmar Economy - Wall Street Journal
YANGON, Myanmar -- Myanmar's financial system and economy are largely cut off from the outside world -- but not the global economic crisis. As the country's military junta wraps up its trial of dissident Aung San Suu Kyi, conditions in the capital and...
Myanmar must solve Rohingya problems - Bangladesh - Reuters
By Nizam Ahmed DHAKA, May 29 (Reuters) - Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said the flow of Rohingya Muslims into Myanmar's neighbours would not stop unless the former Burma removed problems that compelled them to leave their homeland....
Int'l organization helps cyclone-affected Myanmar in food security - Xinhua
YANGON, May 29 (Xinhua) -- Italy has provided 5.2 million US dollars to Myanmar to assist in food security for cyclone-affected people through the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the local weekly Myanmar Times reported Friday....
ASEAN, EU lock horns over Myanmar - Asia Times Online
By Stephen Kurczy PHNOM PENH - Minutes into the first session of the 17th ministerial meeting between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) this week in Phnom Penh, and Myanmar's deputy Foreign Minister Maung...
MYANMAR: Calls to extend aid liaison mechanism -
BANGKOK, 29 May 2009 (IRIN) - One year after the establishment of the Tripartite Core Group (TCG) to coordinate the international response to Cyclone Nargis, many aid officials favour its extension to help the Rohingya in Myanmar....
Myanmar keeps in touch with Christian radio - Spero News
But for the Kayin, or Karen, ethnic people in Myanmar, a cheap US$10 radio is their "hi-tech" link to communications and entertainment. Here you'll find many Kayin with "Made in China" radios tuned to Radio Veritas Asia's (RVA) Kayin service....
600000 Sign Petition For Release Of Myanmar's Political Prisoners - Bernama
By D. Arul Rajoo HANOI, May 26 (Bernama) -- A global campaign for the release of Myanmar's political prisoners has secured over 600000 signatures in just 10 weeks, campaign organisers said. Since the launch of the campaign on March 13, which coincides...
Call to suspend Myanmar - Straits Times
By Goh Chin Lian THE Myanmar government's continued disregard of Asean's concerns over its treatment of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has prompted two mps to call for its suspension from the regional grouping. Mr Charles Chong (Pasir Ris-Punggol...
Tests Point to Spread of Weapons Trade - Wall Street Journal
Officials say North Korean arms have also been sold to nations allied with the US, such as Egypt and Pakistan, and to the military regime in Myanmar. The concerns about North Korean weapons proliferation were heightened this week with Pyongyang's...
Myanmar goodwill delegation arrives back from Socialist Republic ... - ISRIA
The Myanmar Delegation led by Minister for Foreign Affairs U Nyan Win arrived back from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam via Bangkok by air yesterday afternoon after attending the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Foreign Ministers' Meeting held in Hanoi...

Myanmar Army

Myanmar Army flag

The Myanmar Army is the land component of the Military of Myanmar. The Myanmar Army is the largest branch of the Armed Forces of Myanmar and has the primary responsibility of conducting land-based military operations. The Myanmar Army maintains the second largest active force in Southeast Asia after Vietnam's Vietnam People's Army.

The Myanmar Army has a troop strength around 492,000. The army has rich combat experience in fighting insurgents in rough terrains, considering it has been conducting non-stop counter-insurgency operations against ethnic and political insurgents since its inception in 1948.

The force is headed by the Commander in Chief (Army), currently Vice Senior General Maung Aye. The highest rank in the Myanmar Army is Senior General, equivalent to Field Marshal position in Western Armies and is currently held by Senior General Than Shwe. The defence budget of the Myanmar Military is 7.07 billion US dollars.

The Army has always been by far the largest service in Myanmar and has always received the lion's share of the defence budget. It has played the most prominent part in Myanmar's struggle against the 40 or more insurgent groups since 1948 and acquired a reputation as a tough and resourceful military force. In 1981, it was described as 'probably the best in Southeast Asia, apart from Vietnam's'. The judgement was echoed in 1983, when another observer noted that "Myanmar's infantry is generally rated as one of the toughest, most combat seasoned in Southeast Asia". In 1985, a foreign journalist with the rare experience of seeing Burmese soldiers in action against ethnic insurgents and narco-armies was 'thoroughly impressed by their fighting skills, endurance and discipline'. Other commentators throughout that time characterised the Myanmar Army as 'the toughest, most effective light infantry jungle force now operating in Southeast Asia'. Even the Thais, not known to praise the Burmese lightly, have described the Myanmar Army as 'skilled in the art of jungle warfare'. However, due to dwindling recruitment, the military junta has been forcing enlistment of child soldiers into the army's ranks. According to human rights groups, the Myanmar Army has the world's largest number of child soldiers.

The first army division to be formed after the 1988 military coup was the 11th Light Infantry Division (LID) in December 1988 with Col. Win Myint as commander of the division. In March 1990, a new regional military command was opened in Monywa with Brigadier Kyaw Min as commander and named North-Western RMC. A year later 101st LID was formed in Pakokku with Col. Saw Tun as commander. Two Regional Operations Commands (ROC) were formed in Myeik and Loikaw to facilitate command and control. They were commanded respectively by Brigadier Soe Tint and Brigadier Maung Kyi. March 1995 saw a dramatic expansion of the Tatmadaw as it established 11 Military Operations Commands (MOC)s in that month. MOC are similar to Mechanized Infantry Divisions in western armies, each with 10 regular infantry battalions (Chay Hlyin Tatyin), a headquarters, and organic support units including field artillery batteries. Then in 1996, two new RMC were opened, Coastal Region RMC was opened in Myeik with Brigadier Sit Maung as commander and Triangle Region RMC in Kengtung with Brigadier Thein Sein as commander. Their new ROCs were opened in Kalay, Bhamo and Mongsat. In late 1998, two new MOCs were opened in Bokepyin and Mongsat.

The most significant expansion after the infantry in the army was in armour and artillery. Beginning in 1990, the Tatmadaw procured 18 T-69II tanks and 48 T-63 amphibious light tanks from China. Further procurements were made, including several hundred Type 85 and Type 92 armoured personnel carriers (APC). By the beginning of 1998, Tatmadaw had about 100+ T-68II main battle tanks, a similar number of T-63 amphibious light tanks and several T-59D tanks. These tanks and armoured personnel carriers were distributed into five armoured infantry battalions and five tank battalions and formed the first Armoured Division of the Tatmadaw under the name of 71st Armoured Operations Command with its headquarters in Pyawbwe.

By 2000, the Myanmar Army had reached some 370,000 all ranks. There were 337 infantry battalions, including 266 light infantry battalions. Although the Myanmar Army's organisational structure was based upon the regimental system, the basic manoeuvre and fighting unit is the battalion, known as Tat Yin in Burmese, which comprised a headquarters unit; four rifle companies (tat khwe) with three rifle platoons (Tat Su) each; an administration company with medical, transport, logistics and signals units; a heavy weapons company including mortar, machine gun and recoilless gun platoons. Each battalion is commanded a Lieutenant Colonel (du bo hmu gyi) with a Major (bo hmu) as 2IC (Second in Command), with a total establishment strength of 27 officers and 723 other ranks. Light infantry battalions in Myanmar Army have much lower establishment strength of around 500; as a result this often leads to these units being mistakenly identified by the observers and reporters as under strength infantry battalions.

With its significantly increased personnel numbers, weaponry and mobility, today's Tatmadaw Kyee is a formidable conventional defence force for the Union of Myanmar. Troops ready for combat duty have at least doubled since 1988. Logistics infrastructure and Artillery Fire Support has been greatly increased. Its newly acquired military might was apparent in the Tatmadaw's dry season operations against Karen National Union (KNU) strongholds in Manerplaw and Kawmura. Most of the casualties at these battles were the result of intense and heavy bombardment by the Tatmadaw Kyee. Not only that Tatmadaw Kyee is now much larger than it was in pre-1988, it is more mobile and has greatly improved armour, artillery and air defence inventories. Its C3I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence) systems have been expanded and refined. It is developing larger and more integrated, self-sustained formations which should lend themselves to better coordinated action by different combat arms. The army may still have relatively modest weaponry compared to its larger neighbours, but it is now in a much better position to deter external aggression and respond to such a threat should it ever arise.

Until 1990, Myanmar Armed Forces has Chief of Staff system and Myanmar Army was led by Vice Chief of Staff (Army). In 1990, Myanmar Armed Forces was reorganized and all three branches of Armed Forces are now led by Commander-in-Chief.

Bureau of Special Operations in Myanmar Army are high-level field units equivalent to Field Army Group in Western terms and consist of 2 or more Regional Military Commands (RMC) and commanded by a Lieutenant-General and 6 staff officers. Currently there are five Bureaus of Special Operations in Myanmar order of Battle.

For better command and communication, the Tatmadaw formed Regional Military Commands (Tine Sit Htar Na Choke) structure in 1958. Until 1961, there were only two regional commands, they were supported by 13 Infantry brigades and an infantry division. In October 1961, new regional military commands were opened and leaving only two brigades. In June 1963, the Naypyidaw Command was temporarily formed in Yangon with the deputy commander and some staff officers drawn from Central Command. It was reorganised and renamed as Yangon Command on 1 June 1965.

A total of 337 infantry and light infantry battalions organised in Tactical Operations Commands, 37 independent field artillery regiments supported by affiliated support units including armoured reconnaissance and tank battalions. RMCs are similar to corps formations in Western armies. The RMCs, commanded by Major-General rank officer, are managed through a framework of Bureau of Special Operations (BSOs), which are equivalent to Field Army Group in Western terms. Currently there are five Bureaus of Special Operations in the Tatmadaw's order of battle.

Military Operations Commands (MOC, or Sa Ka Kha), commanded by a Brigadier-General, are similar to infantry divisions in Western Armies. Each consists of 10 Infantry battalions (Chay Hlyin Tatyin), HQ and organic support units including field artillery batteries.

Light Infantry Division (Chay Myan Tat Ma), commanded by a Brigadier-General, each with 10 Light Infantry Battalions organised under 3 Tactical Operations Commands, commanded by a Colonel, (3 battalions each and 1 reserve), 1 Field Artillery Battalion, 1 Armour Squadron and other support units.

These divisions were first introduced to the Myanmar Army in 1966 as rapid reaction mobile forces for strike operations. 77th Light Infantry Division was formed on 6 June 1966, followed by 88th Light Infantry Division and 99th Light Infantry Division in the two following years. 77th LID was largely responsible for the defeat of the Communist forces of the CPB (Communist Party of Burma) based in the forested hills of the central Bago Yoma in the mid 1970s. Three more LIDs were raised in the latter half of 1970s (the 66th, 55th and 44th) with their headquarters at Pyay, Aungban and Thaton. They were followed by another two LIDs in the period prior to the 1988 military coup (the 33rd LID with headquarters at Sagaing and the 22nd LID with headquarters at Hpa-An). 11th LID was formed in December 1988 with headquarters at Inndine, Bago Division and 101st LID was formed in 1991 with its headquarters at Pakokku.

LIDs are considered to be a strategic asset of the Myanmar Army, and after the 1990 reorganisation and restructuring of the Tatmadaw command structure, they are now directly answerable to Chief of Staff (Army).

The Air Defence Command was formed during the late 1990s but was not fully operational until 1999. In early 2000, Tatmadaw established Myanmar Integrated Air Defence System (MIADS) with help from Russia, Ukraine and China. All AD assets except Anti-Aircraft Artillery within Tatmadaw arsenal are integrated into MIADS.

Under MIADS, the country was divided into six Air Defense sectors, each controlled by a Sector Operations Center (SOC) and reporting to the National Air Defense Operations Center (ADOC) in Yangon.Each SOC transmitted data back to Intercept Operations Centers (IOC), which in turn controlled SAM batteries and fighter/interceptor squadrons at Air Bases. Each IOC was optimized to direct either SAMs or fighter/interceptor aircraft against incoming enemy aircraft or missile. Each IOC was connected to observer and early warning area reporting posts (RP) via fibre optic cable network. There were about 100 radars located at approximately 40 sites throughout the country. New AD radars such as 1L117 radars, Galaxy Early Warning Radar and P series radars are installed in all radar stations.

Artillery and armoured units were not used in an independent role, but were deployed in support of the infantry by the Ministry of Defence as required. As of 2000, the Armour and Artillery wing of the Tatmadaw has about 60 battalions and 37 independent artillery companies/batteries attached to various regional commands, LIDs, MOCs and ROCs. For example, 314th Field Artillery Battery is under 44th LID, 326 Field Artillery Battery is attached to 5th MOC, 074 Field Artillery Battery is under ROC (Bhamo) and 076 Field Artillery Battery is under North-Eastern RMC. Twenty of these Artillery battalions are grouped under 707th Artillery Operation Command (AOC) headquarters in Kyaukpadaung and 808th Artillery Operation Command (AOC) headquarters in Oaktwin, near Taungoo. The remaining 30 battalions, including 7 Anti-Aircraft artillery battalions are under the Directorate of Armour and Artillery (DAA).

The Directorate of Artillery and Armour Corps was also divided into separate corps in 2001, and the Office of Chief of Air Defense was created. A dramatic expansion of forces under these directorates followed with the equipment procured from China, Russia, Ukraine and India.

Since 2000, the Directorate of Artillery Corps has overseen the expansion of Artillery Operational Commands(AOC) from two to 10 or more. Tatmadaw's stated intention is to establish an AOC in each of the 12 Regional Military Commands. Each AOC is composed of an HQ battllion and 13 Artillery batteries; 9 Field Artillery Batteries,1 Medium Artillery Battery, 1 Rocket Artillery Battery, 1 TAB and supporting units.

Armoured divisions were expanded in number from one to two, each with ten armoured battalions (five equipped with tanks and five with IFVs and APCs). In mid-2003, Tamadaw acquired 139+ T-72 Main Battle Tanks from Ukraine and signed a contract to build and equip a factory in Myanmar to produce and assemble 1,000 BTR armored personnel carriers (APCs) in 2004. In 2006, the Indian Government transferred an unspecified number of T-55 Main Battle Tanks that were being phased out from active service to Tatmadaw along with 105 mm Light Field Guns, armoured personnel carriers and indigenous HAL Light Attack Helicopters in return for Tatmadaw’s full cooperation in flushing out Indian insurgent groups operating from its soil.

Since 2000, the Directorate of Artillery Corps has overseen the massive expansion of Artillery Operational Commands(AOC). Artillery Operations Commands are equivalent to Artillery Divisions in western term. Currently there are 10 AOCs in Tatmadaw order of battle. Tatmadaw's stated intention is to establish an AOC in each of the 12 Regional Military Commands.

Light field artillery battalions consists of 3 field artillery batteries with 36 field guns or howitzers (12 guns per battery). Medium artillery battalions consists of 3 medium artillery batteries of 18 field guns or howitzers (6 guns per one battery).

Armour Operations Commands are equivalent to Independent Armour Divisions in western term. Currently there are 5 ArOCs in Tatmadaw order of battle. Tatmadaw is to establish an ArOC in 7 of the 12 Regional Military Commands.

Each ArOC is composed of ArOC HQs, three tank regiments, three AFV regiments, one artillery regiment and one support regiment. Support regiment also composed of an engineer squadron, two logistic squadrons and a signal company. However some ArOC have only two tank regiments.

Myanmar Army has taken delivery of 150 EE-9 Cascavels from Israeli army(?) surplus in 2005. Although EE 9 are armoured reconnaissance vehicle, Myanmar Army categorized them as light tank and deploys them in eastern Shan State and triangle regions near Thai-Myanmar border.

General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG) The typical section support weapon before 1988 Tatmadaw modernisation programme was the locally-manufactured 7.62 mm BA64 Light Machine Gun (LMG). This was essentially the G3 assault rifle fitted with heavy barrel and bipod. The G4 replaced the British 0.30in Bren LMG. Company fire support generally consisted of German-designed 7.62 mm MG3 general purpose machine guns (made in Myanmar's own Ka Pa Sa factories) and the Belgian 7.62 mm FN MAG GPMG.

Assault Rifles Before 1988, the standard Myanmar infantry weapon was the 7.62 mm BA-63 assault rifle, a locally-produced version of the Heckler & Koch G3. Myanmar also produced a shorter, lighter carbine version of the same rifle under the designation BA-72, simply known as the G2. A third version of the G3, known as the BA-100, was more accurate and reliable, but was primarily used as a sniper's weapon. Many soldiers, mainly officers and NCO, still carried 0.30 calibre M1 and M2 carbines provided by the US in the 1950s under the Military Assistance Programme (MAP). These world war two vintage carbines are ideal for jungle warfare.

From the beginning of 2002, 7.62 mm BA series rifles have been gradually replaced by 5.56 mm MA-series assault rifles in Myanmar Army's frontline units, tested earlier as the EMERK-3. MA-series assault rifles are similar to Israeli GALIL rifle and fire 5.56 mm NATO rounds. As side-arm, officers used 9 mm Browning High Power/FN-35 semi-automatic pistol locally manufactured under license by Ka Pa Sa.

Before 1988, Myanmar Army had less than 2000 military trucks in their inventory, bulk of them are locally assembled 6 ton 4x2 Hino TE 11/21 trucks, and they had to rely on civil transport systems. After the 1988 military coup, with the starting of the defence modernization programme, Myanmar started to acquire hundreds of logistic vehicle mainly from China. In 1992, Myanmar Army bought 4000 6 ton 4x2 FAW and Dongfeng EQ1093 trucks form China and delivery completed in 1995. However due to maintenance problems with the earlier TE 11 and 21, Myanmar Army again signed contract with China to buy 4000 Jiefang CA1091 4x2 5 ton trucks.

Again in 1997, Myanmar Army acquired 1000 Dongfeng EQ2102 3.5 tonne 6X6 military utility trucks and 200 Shaanqi SX 2190 6X6 military utility trucks for newly formed artillery units for towing guns. However during border clashes with neighbouring Thailand in 2002, Myanmar Army found difficulties with the existing 4x2 military trucks and then they acquired 3000 Dongfeng EQ2102 3.5 tonne 6X6 military utility trucks. These trucks were delivered at China-Myanmar border town of Shwe Li between 2003 and 2006. In 2007 November, China has agreed to supply another 1500 EQ2102 3.5 tonne 6x6 military utility trucks to Myanmar Military. As part of that agreement Myanmar has taken delivery of first batch of 350 EQ 2102 trucks in 2008 April and 650 trucks are to deliver in June.

Myanmar ordinance factories started assembling Chinese Aeolus 4x2 6 tonne light utility military trucks in 1997.

Command and control system of Myanmar Army has been substantially upgraded by setting up the military firbre optic communication network through out the country. Since 2002 all Myanmar Army regional and divisional command HQs used its own telecommunication system. Satellite communications is also provided to forward-deployed infantry battalions. However, battle field communication systems are still poor. Infantry units are still using TRA 906 and PRM 4051 which were acquired from UK in 1980s. Myanmar Army also uses Thura (locally built TRA 906) and XD-D6M (Chinese) radio sets. Frequency hopping handsets are fitted to all front line units.

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Myanmar Armed Forces

Tatmadaw Command Structure as of 2000

The military of Myanmar, officially known as Tatmadaw (Burmese: တပ္မေတာ္; MLCTS: tap ma. taw; IPA: ) is the military organization of Myanmar, also known as Burma. The armed forces are administered by the Ministry of Defence and are composed of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. Auxiliary services include Myanmar Police Force, People Militia Units and Frontier Forces, locally known as Na Sa Kha.

All service personnel are volunteers although the government is empowered to undertake conscription if considered necessary for Myanmar's defense. Tatmadaw has been engaged in a bitter battle with ethnic insurgents, political dissidents and narco-armies since the country gained its independence from Great Britain in 1948. Retaining much of the organizational structure established by the British, Myanmar Armed Forces continue to face challenges from aging weaponry and equipment and relying on foreign purchases of military equipment. However, the armed forces are an essential to Myanmar's strategic importance, power and capabilities in the region.

Defence Policy of Myanmar Tatmadaw was formally declared in February, 1999. The declared policy outlined the doctrine of "total people's defence" for the Union of Myanmar. Threats to the national unity, territorial integrity and sovereign independence of the Union of Myanmar are the most important security objectives and considered as threats to the security of state. In the process of formulating Defence Policy and Military Doctrine from a strategic perspective, Tatmadaw has undergone three phases.

The first phase of the doctrine was developed in early 1950s to cope with external threats from more powerful enemies with a strategy of Strategic Denial under conventional warfare. The perception of threats to state security was more external than internal threats. The internal threat to state security was managed through the use of a mixture of force and political persuasion. Lieutenant Colonel Maung Maung drew up defence doctrine based on conventional warfare concepts, with large infantry divisions, armoured brigades, tanks and motorised war with mass mobilisation for the war effort being the important element of the doctrine. The objective was to contain the offensive of the invading forces at the border for at least three months, while waiting for the arrival of international forces, similar to the police action by international intervention forces under the directive of United Nations during the war on Korean peninsula. However, the conventional strategy under the concept of total war was undermined by the lack of appropriate command and control system, proper logistical support structure, sound economic bases and efficient civil defence organisations.

At the beginning of 1950s, while Tatmadaw was able to reassert its control over most part of the country, Kuomintang (KMT) troops under General Li Mai, with support from United States, invaded Myanmar and used the country's frontier as a springboard for attack against People's Republic of China, which in turn became the external threat to state security and sovereignty of Myanmar. The first phase of the doctrine was tested for the first time in Operation "Naga Naing" in February 1953 against invading KMT forces. The doctrine did not take into account logistic and political support for KMT from United States and as a result it failed to deliver the objectives and ended in humiliating defeat for the Tatmadaw. The then Tatmadaw leadership argued that the excessive media coverage was partly to blame for the failure of Operation "Naga Naing". For example, Brigadier General Maung Maung pointed out that newspapers, such as the "Nation", carried reports detailing the training and troops positioning, even went as far to the name and social background of the commanders who are leading the operation thus losing the element of surprise. Colonel Saw Myint, who was second in command for the operation, also complained about the long lines of communications and the excessive pressure imposed upon the units for public relations activities in order to prove that the support of the people was behind the operation.

Despite failure, Tatmadaw continued to rely on this doctrine until the mid 1960s. The doctrine was under constant review and modifications throughout KMT invasion and gained success in anti-KMT operations in the mid and late 1950s. However, this strategy became increasingly irrelevant and unsuitable in the late 1950s as the insurgents and KMT changed their positional warfare strategy to hit-and-run guerrilla warfare. At the 1958 Tatmadaw's annual Commanding Officers (COs) conference, Colonel Kyi Win submitted a report outlining the requirement for new military doctrine and strategy. He stated that 'Tatmadaw did not have a clear strategy to cope with insurgents', even though most of Tatmadaw's commanders were guerrilla fighters during the anti-British and Japanese campaigns during the Second World War, they had very little knowledge of anti-guerrilla or counterinsurgency warfare. Based upon Colonel Kyi Win's report, Tatmadaw begin developing an appropriate military doctrine and strategy to meet the requirements of counterinsurgency warfare.

This second phase of the doctrine was to suppress insurgency with people's war and the perception of threats to state security was more of internal threats. During this phase, external linkage of internal problems and direct external threats were minimised by the foreign policy based on isolation. It was common view of the commanders that unless insurgency was suppressed, foreign interference would be highly probable, therefore counterinsurgency became the core of the new military doctrine and strategy. Beginning in 1961, the Directorate of Military Training took charge the research for national defence planning, military doctrine and strategy for both internal and external threats. This included reviews of international and domestic political situations, studies of the potential sources of conflicts, collection of information for strategic planning and defining the possible routes of foreign invasion.. In 1962, as part of new military doctrine planning, principles of anti-guerrilla warfare were outlined and counterinsurgency-training courses were delivered at the training schools. The new doctrine laid out three potential enemies and they are internal insurgents, historical enemies with roughly an equal strength (i.e. Thailand), and enemies with greater strength. It states that in suppressing insurgencies, Tatmadaw must be trained to conduct long-range penetration with a tactic of continuous search and destroy. Reconnaissance, Ambush and all weather day and night offensive and attack capabilities along with winning the hearts and minds of people are important parts of anti-guerrilla warfare. For countering an historical enemy with equal strength, Tatmadaw should fight a conventional warfare under total war strategy, without giving up an inch of its territory to the enemy. For powerful enemy and foreign invaders, Tatmadaw should engage in total people's war, with a special focus on guerrilla strategy.

To prepare for the transition to the new doctrine, Brigadier General San Yu, the then Vice Chief of Staff (Army), sent a delegation led by Lieutenant Colonel Thura Tun Tin was sent to Switzerland, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and East Germany in July 1964 to study organisation structure, armaments, training, territorial organisation and strategy of people's militias. A research team was also formed at General Staff Office within the War Office to study defence capabilities and militia formations of neighbouring countries.

The new doctrine of total people's war, and the strategy of anti-guerrilla warfare for counterinsurgency and guerrilla warfare for foreign invasion, were designed to be appropriate for Myanmar. The doctrine flowed from the country's independent and active foreign policy, total people's defence policy, the nature of perceived threats, its geography and the regional environment, the size of its population in comparison with those of its neighbours, the relatively underdeveloped nature of its economy and its historical and political experiences. The doctrine was based upon 'three totalities': population, time and space (du-thone-du) and 'four strengths': manpower, material, time and morale (Panama-lay-yat). The doctrine did not develop concepts of strategic denial or counter-offensive capabilities. It relied almost totally on irregular low-intensity warfare, such as its guerrilla strategy to counter any form of foreign invasion. The overall counterinsurgency strategy included not only elimination of insurgents and their support bases with the 'four cut' strategy, but also the building and designation of 'white area' and 'black area' as well.

In April 1968, Tatmadaw introduced special warfare training programmes at "Command Training Centres" at various regional commands. Anti-Guerrilla warfare tactics were taught at combat forces schools and other training establishments with special emphasis on ambush and counter-ambush, counterinsurgency weapons and tactics, individual battle initiative for tactical independence, commando tactics, and reconnaissance. Battalion size operations were also practised in the South West Regional Military Command area. The new military doctrine was formally endorsed and adopted at the first party congress of the BSPP in 1971. BSPP laid down directives for "complete annihilation of the insurgents as one of the tasks for national defence and state security" and called for "liquidation of insurgents through the strength of the working people as the immediate objective". This doctrine ensures the role of Tatmadaw at the heart of national policy making.

In Myanmar, out of nearly 35 million people, the combined armed forces (army, navy and air force) are about two hundred thousand. In terms of percentage, that is about 0.01 percent. It is simply impossible to defend a country the size of ours with only this handful of troops... therefore, what we have to do in the case of foreign invasion is to mobilise people in accordance with the "total people's war" doctrine. In order to defend our country from aggressors, the entire population must be involved in the war effort as the support of people dictate the outcome of the war.

The third phase of doctrinal development of Myanmar Armed Forces came after the military take over and formation of State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) in September, 1988 as part of armed forces modernisation programme. The development was the reflection of sensitivity towards direct foreign invasion or invasion by proxy state during the turbulent years of the late 80s and early 90s, for example: unauthorised presence of US Aircraft Carrier Group in Myanmar's territorial waters during 1988 political uprising as evidence of an infringement of Myanmar's sovereignty. Also, Tatmadaw leadership was concerned that foreign powers might arm the insurgents on the Myanmar border to exploit the political situation and tensions in the country. This new threat perception, previously insignificant under the nation's isolationist foreign policy, led Tatmadaw leaders to review the defence capability and doctrine of the Tatmadaw.

The third phase was to face the lower level external threats with a strategy of strategic denial under total people's defence concept. Current military leadership has successfully dealt with 17 major insurgent groups, whose 'return to legal fold' in the past decade has remarkably decreased the internal threats to state security, at least for the short and medium terms, even though threat perception of the possibility of external linkage to internal problems, perceived as being motivated by the continuing human rights violations, religious suppression and ethnic cleansing, remains high.

Within the policy, the role of the Tatmadaw was defined as a `modern, strong and highly capable fighting force'. Since the day of independence, the Tatmadaw has been involved in restoring and maintaining internal security and suppressing insurgency. It was with this background that Tatmadaw's "multifaceted" defence policy was formulated and its military doctrine and strategy could be interpreted as defence-in-depth. It was influenced by a number of factors such as history, geography, culture, economy and sense of threats. Tatmadaw has developed an 'active defence' strategy based on guerrilla warfare with limited conventional military capabilities, designed to cope with low intensity conflicts from external and internal foes, which threatens the security of the state. This strategy, revealed in joint services exercises, is built on a system of total people's defence, where the armed forces provide the first line of defence and the training and leadership of the nation in the matter of national defence. It is designed to deter potential aggressors by the knowledge that defeat of Tatmadaw's regular forces in conventional warfare would be followed by persistent guerrilla warfare in the occupied areas by people militias and dispersed regular troops which would eventually wear down the invading forces, both physically and psychologically, and leave it vulnerable to a counter-offensive. If the conventional strategy of strategic denial fails, then the Tatmadaw and its auxiliary forces will follow Mao's strategic concepts of 'strategic defensive', 'strategic stalemate' and 'strategic offensive'.

Over the past decade, through a series of modernisation programs, Tatmadaw has developed and invested in better Command, Control, Communication and Intelligence system; real-time intelligence; formidable air defence system; and early warning systems for its 'strategic denial' and 'total people's defence' doctrine.

Overall command of Tatmadaw (armed forces) rested with the country's highest ranking military officer, a General, who acted concurrently as Defence Minister and Chief of Staff of Defence Services. He thus exercised supreme operational control over all three services, under the direction of the President, State Council and Council of Ministers. There was also a National Security Council which acted in advisory capacity. The Defence Minister cum Chief-of-Staff of Defence Services exercised day-to-day control of the armed forces and assisted by three Vice-Chiefs of Staff, one each for the army, navy and air force. These officers also acted as Deputy Ministers of Defence and commanders of their respective Services. They were all based at Ministry of Defence (Kakweyay Wungyi Htana) in Rangoon/Yangon. It served as a government ministry as well as joint military operations headquarters.

The Joint Staff within the Ministry of Defence consisted of three major branches, one each for Army, Navy and Air Force, along with a number of independent departments. The Army Office had three major departments; the General (G) Staff to oversee operations, the Adjutant General's (A) Staff administration and the Quartermaster General's (Q) Staff to handle logistics. The General Staff consisted two Bureaus of Special Operations (BSO), which were created in April 1978 and June 1979 respectively. These BSO are similar to "Army Groups" in Western armies, high level staff units formed to manage different theatres of military operations. They were responsible for the overall direction and coordination of the Regional Military Commands (RMC) with BSO-1 covering Northern Command (NC), North Eastern Command (NEC), North Western Command (NWC), Western Command (WC) and Eastern Command (EC). BSO-2 responsible for South Eastern Command (SEC), South Western Command (SWC), Western Command (WC) and Central Command (CC). The Army's elite mobile Light Infantry Divisions (LID) were managed separately under a Staff Colonel. Under G Staff, there were also a number of directorates which corresponded to the Army's functional corps, such as Intelligence, Signals, Training, Armour and Artillery. The A Staff was responsible for the Adjutant General, Directorate of Medical Services and the Provost Marshal's Office. The Q Staff included the Directorates of Supply and Transport, Ordnance Services, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, and Military Engineers.

The Navy and Air Force Offices within the Ministry were headed by the Vice Chiefs of Staff for those Services. Each was supported by a staff officer at full Colonel level. All these officers were responsible for the overall management of the various naval and air bases around the country, and the broader administrative functions such as recruitment and training.

Operational Command in the field was exercised through a framework of Regional Military Commands (RMC), the boundaries of which corresponded with the country's Seven States and Seven Divisions. The Regional Military Commanders, all senior army officers, usually of Brigadier General rank, were responsible for the conduct of military operations in their respective RMC areas. Depending on the size of RMC and its operational requirements, Regional Military Commanders have at their disposal 10 or more infantry battalions (Kha La Ya).

The Tatmadaw's organisational and command structure changed dramatically changed after the military coup in 1988. In 1990, the country's most senior army officer become a Senior General (equivalent to Field Marshal rank in Western armies) and held the positions of Chairman of State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), Prime Minister and Defence Minister, as well as being appointed Commander in Chief of the Defence Services. He thus exercised both political and operational control over the entire country and armed forces. From 1989, each Service has had its own Commander in Chief and Chief of Staff. The Army C-in-C is now elevated to full General (Bo gyoke Kyii) rank and also acted as Deputy C-in-C of the Defence Services. The C-in-C of the Air Force and Navy hold the equivalent of Lieutenant General rank, while all three Service Chiefs of Staff were raised to Major General level. Chiefs of BSO, the heads of Q and A Staffs and the Director of Defence Services Intelligence (DDSI) were also elevated to Lieutenant General rank. The reorganisation of the armed forces after 1988 resulted in the upgrading by two ranks of most of the senior positions.

The Office of Strategic Studies (OSS, or Sit Mahar Byu Har Lae Lar Yae Hta-na) was formed around 1994 and charged with formulating defence policies, and planning and doctrine of the Tatmadaw. The OSS was commanded by Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt, who is also the Director Defence Service Intelligence (DDSI). Regional Military Commands and Light Infantry Divisions were also reorganised, and LIDs are now directly answerable to Commander in Chief of the Army.

A number of new subordinate command headquarters were formed in response to the growth and reorganisation of the Army. These include Regional Operation Commands (ROC, or Da Ka Sa), which are subordinate to RMCs, and Military Operations Commands (MOC, or Sa Ka Kha), which are equivalent to Western infantry divisions. The Chief of Staff (Army) retained control of the Directorates of Signals, Armour and Artillery, Defence Industries, Security Printing, People's Militias and Psychological Warfare, and Military Engineering. A Colonel General Staff position was also created in the G staff to manage a new Directorate of Public Relations and Border Troops, Directorate of Defence Services Computers (DDSC), the Defence Services Museum and Historical Research Institute.

All RMC Commander positions were raised to the level of Major General and also serve as appointed Chairmen of the State- and Division-level Law and Order Restoration Committees. They were formally responsible for both military and civil administrative functions for their command areas. Also, three additional regional military commands were created. In early 1990, a new RMC was formed in Myanmar's north west, facing India. In 1996, the Eastern Command in Shan State was split into two RMCs, and South Eastern Command was divided to create a new RMC in country's far south coastal regions.

In 1997, the SLORC was abolished and the military government created the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). The council includes all senior military officers and commanders of the RMCs. A new Ministry of Military Affairs was established and headed by a Lieutenant General.

In 18 October 2004, the OSS and DDSI were abolished during the purge of General Khin Nyint and military intelligence units. OSS ordered 4 regiment to raid in DDSI HeadQuarter in Yangon.At the same time, all of the MIU in the whole country were raided and arrested by OSS corps.Nearly two thirds of MIU officers were arrested for long years. A new military intelligence unit called Military Affairs Security (MAS) was formed to take over the functions of the DDSI, but MAS units were much fewer than DDSI's and MAS was under control by local Division commander.

In early 2006, a new RMC was created in the newly formed administrative capital, Naypyidaw.

The Myanmar Army has always been by far the largest Service and has always received the lion's share of Myanmar's defence budget. It has played the most prominent part in Myanmar's struggle against the 40 or more insurgent groups since 1948 and acquired a reputation as a tough and resourceful military force. In 1981, it was described as 'probably the best in Southeast Asia, apart from Vietnam's'. The judgment was echoed in 1983, when another observer noted that "Myanmar's infantry is generally rated as one of the toughest, most combat seasoned in Southeast Asia".

The Myanmar Air Force (Tatmdaw Lei) was formed on 24 December 1947. In 1948, the order of battle for Tatmadaw Lei included 40 Oxfords, 16 Tiger Moths, 4 Austers and 3 Spitfires with a few hundred personnel.

The Frontier Forces (Na Sa Kha) are now found on all five of Myanmar's international borders. They consist primarily of Tatmadaw personnel (including intelligence officers) assisted by members of Myanmar Police Force, Immigration and Custom officials. Its total strength is unknown.

The Myanmar Defence Industries (DI) is the lifeline of Myanmar armed forces. Mainly the DI consists of 13 major factories throughout the country that produce approximately 70 major products for Army, Navy and Air Force. The main products include automatic rifles, machine guns, sub-machine guns, anti-aircraft guns, complete range of mortar and artillery ammunitions, aircraft and anti aircraft ammunitions, tank and anti-tank ammunitions, bombs, grenades, anti-tank mines, pyrotechnics, commercial explosives and commercial products, and rockets and so forth.DI have produced new assault rifles and light machine-guns for the infantry. The MA series of weapons were designed to replace the old German-designed but locally manufactured Heckler & Koch G3s and G4s that equipped Myanmar's army since the 1960s. DI said to be the most modern defence industries in the South East Asia region. They employ some of the latest state of the art technologies, including computerised numerical-controlled (CNC) machines and flexible manufacturing systems for production of precision components.

Heavy Industries were established with Ukrainian assistance mainly to assemble the BTR 3U fleet of the Myanmar Army. Total of 1,000 BTR-3U wheeled APCs are to be assembled in Myanmar over the next 10 years from parts sent by Ukraine. The BTR-3U is fitted with a number of modern weapon systems including 30 mm gun, 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, 30 mm automatic grenade launcher and anti-tank guided weapons. HI has also built APC/IFV such as MAV 1, MAV 2 and BAAC APCs. Little is known about MAV infantry fighting vehicles but it appeared that only 60% of the components are produced locally and some vital components such as fire control systems, turrets, engines and transmissions are imported from China NORINCO industries. Apart from BTR 3Us, MAVs and BAACs, HI is also producing a number of military trucks and jeeps for the Army, Navy and Air Force.

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Church of the Province of Myanmar

St. John's College, Yangon

The Church of the Province of Myanmar in Asia is a member church of the Anglican Communion. The province is bordered by China on the north, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west and India on the northwest, with the Andaman Sea to the south and the Bay of Bengal to the southwest. The current Archbishop of Myanmar and Bishop of Yangon is the Most Reverend Stephen Than Myint Oo.

The Church of the Province of Burma was created as an independent church of Burmese Anglicans in 1970 and changed its name to the Church of the Province of Myanmar when the country's name was changed in 1988.

Throughout the colonial period the Church of England had a strong presence in the country due to the fact that the majority of the British belonged to that church. The great majority of the Anglo-Burmese and Anglo-Indian communities in the country were also Anglicans and the number of schools run by the Church of England to educate British and Eurasian children increased. Notable schools include St Mary's and St Michael's in Maymyo and Mandalay. With independence the number of Anglicans in the country decreased with the departure of the British and the subsequent exodus of the Anglo-Burmese and Anglo-Indians. Today notable Anglican churches still exist throughout the country, particularly in Maymyo where All Saints' Church still has a thriving congregation.

In 1966 all foreign missionaries were forced to leave the country. Today there are at least 42,000 Anglicans in an estimated population of 48.3 million in Myanmar.

The Church of the Province of Myanmar embraces three orders of ordained ministry: deacon, priest and bishop. A local version of the Book of Common Prayer is used.

The threefold sources of authority in Anglicanism are scripture, tradition and reason. These three sources uphold and critique each other in a dynamic way. This balance of scripture, tradition and reason is traced to the work of Richard Hooker, a sixteenth century apologist. In Hooker's model scripture is the primary means of arriving at doctrine and things stated plainly in scripture are accepted as true. Issues that are ambiguous are determined by tradition, which is checked by reason.

Like many other Anglican churches, the Church of the Province of Myanmar is a member of many ecumenical bodies, including the World Council of Churches.

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Source : Wikipedia