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Myanmar army role to be 'gradually' decreased: president

Published on Mar 26, 2014 6:53 PM
 
Myanmar President Thein Sein speaks during the last day of the ninth regular session of the Myanmar parliament in Naypyidaw on March 26, 2014. Myanmar's leader on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, said the role of the powerful military should be reduced slowly in the transition to democracy amid opposition campaigns to ease the army's grip on political power. -- PHOTO: AFP

NAYPYIDAW (AFP) - Myanmar's leader on Wednesday said the role of the powerful military should be reduced slowly in the transition to democracy amid opposition campaigns to ease the army's grip on political power.

President Thein Sein, a general-turned-reformer, reaffirmed his support for a "strong" military in the former junta-run country, as authorities are yet to strike a national ceasefire with several ethnic armed groups.

"We have to balance democratic maturity with the development of local peace to decrease the role of tatmadaw gradually," he told lawmakers in a speech to parliament in the capital Naypyidaw, marking three years of quasi-civilian rule.

Tatmadaw is the local name for Myanmar's army.

 
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