By Zaw Gyi
The 71st Anniversary Union Day ceremony was held at the National League for Democracy (NLD) headquarters yesterday morning.
At the ceremony, Republic of Union of Myanmar independence architect Bogyoke Aung San and the martyrs were saluted, followed by 8 seconds of silence, which was observed for those who had lost their lives during the movements to create democracy.
Also, chairperson of the ceremony NLD central executive committee secretariat member U Nyan Win delivered an opening speech, noting that it is the 71st anniversary of the Union Day on which the father of independence, Bogyoke Aung San, and 23 ethnic national leaders signed the historic Panglong Agreement, the foundation of national unity, after discussing their wide vision, family spirit, mutual understanding and respect for the nation.
The Panglong Agreement is the symbol of unity and trust in the history of the independence movement. Without national unity there would not be a Panglong Agreement, and independence would not have been achieved without the Panglong Agreement.
He continued, saying that freedom and equality were the basis of the 20th Century Panglong Conference, led by Bogyoke Aung San, creating a path toward national independence. In the same way, national reconciliation is the basis of the 21st Century Panglong Conference led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, seeking unity among ethnic nationals, peace and onward to a democratic federal union. Just as Bogyoke Aung San and ethnic national leaders ensure that nationalism and the union spirit come together to become the Panglong spirit, historical facts about ethnic nationals are to be viewed and established impartially, without bias and predispositions. Narrow mindedness and ultra-nationalism should be opposed.
That is why we all should strive toward assuring the success of the Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong. Let us work together in unity toward a democratic federal union, said U Nyan Win.
Afterwards, a four-point 71st Anniversary Union Day NLD declaration was read by central committee member, central information committee secretary Monywa Aung Shin, after which messages sent by veteran politician colleagues were placed into the record.
Commenting on the day’s ceremony, Monywa Aung Shin said the ceremony is different from past ceremonies because tomorrow there will be new signatories to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, which is welcoming Union Day. That is why it is different. Many youths were seen to have attended the day’s ceremony. This shows that youths are being encouraged by Union Day and the Panglong spirit. They are displaying their increasing understanding about the idea of the union.
The ceremony held by NLD was attended by NLD Patron U Tin Oo, central executive committee secretariat members, Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein, Yangon Region Hluttaw Speaker U Tin Maung Tun and Deputy Speaker U Lin Naing Myint, Yangon Region Minister for Social Affairs U Naing Ngan Lin, Hluttaw representatives, diplomats from embassies in Yangon, NLD members and invited guests.