Com­man­der-in-chief re­tire­ment age set at 65

The Myanmar Times - - News - EI EI TOE LWIN eieitoel­win@mm­

AS the cur­rent com­man­der-in-chief con­tin­ues to serve a term beyond the typ­i­cal civil ser­vant re­tire­ment age, the Tat­madaw an­nounced yes­ter­day that it has of­fi­cially de­fined the goal­post. The head of the de­fence ser­vices must re­tire at age 65.

The 1959 De­fence Ser­vices Act has been amended to re­flect the new re­quired re­tire­ment age, a lieu­tenant gen­eral from the of­fice of the Tat­madaw com­man­der-in-chief told re­porters at a press brief­ing yes­ter­day.

Ac­cord­ing to a mil­i­tary di­rec­tive re­leased by the of­fice of the De­fence Ser­vices Coun­cil in 1973, mil­i­tary of­fi­cials can re­main in ac­tive ser­vice as long as they are needed by the mil­i­tary.

“The phras­ing ‘they can serve in the Tat­madaw as long as they are wanted’ is no longer in line with the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal sys­tem adopted by our na­tion,” said Lt Gen Mya Tun Oo. “There was a need to de­fine the term lim­its and that’s why the De­fence Ser­vices Coun­cil has amended its or­der and en­acted it.”

When Se­nior Gen­eral Min Aung Hlaing an­nounced in May that he had no in­ten­tion of leav­ing his post, but would in­stead serve at least another four years to see out the peace process with eth­nic armed groups, the de­ci­sion was met with pub­lic con­fu­sion over the of­fi­cial re­tire­ment pol­icy.

Some ar­gued that the mil­i­tary should be treated the same as civil ser­vants, and so should fol­low the Civil Ser­vice Law with stints ter­mi­nated at the age of 60.

How­ever, Lt Gen Mya Tun Oo said yes­ter­day that the 2008 con­sti­tu­tion’s ar­ti­cles 291 and 292 stip­u­late that the mil­i­tary must en­act its own reg­u­la­tions due to the unique na­ture of the work.

Ac­cord­ing to Lt Gen Mya Tun Oo, the re­tire­ment age stip­u­la­tion was in fact changed as of a Jan­uary 2014 amend­ment, which spec­i­fied that the com­man­der-in-chief of the Tat­madaw and the deputy can serve un­til they are 65 years old.

By con­trast, in Thai­land, mil­i­tary chiefs face manda­tory re­tire­ment at age 60, while in In­dia the army chief must re­tire at 62. In the Philip­pines mil­i­tary re­tire­ment is manda­tory at whichever comes later, age 56 or 30 years of ac­tive ser­vice.

Snr Gen Min Aung Hlaing was born in Yangon in 1956 and was part of the De­fence Ser­vice Academy’s 19th in­take. He was ap­pointed com­man­derin-chief when pres­i­dent U Thein Sein’s gov­ern­ment was sworn into of­fice in 2011 and was pro­moted to se­nior gen­eral in March 2013.

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