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May 15, 2018

Arms do not resolve issues nor bring about peace desired by the people

A federal system that is acceptable to all is our resolution to end our country’s long-running armed conflicts. Our goal is therefore the “emergence of a democratic federal union based on democracy and federalism”.
Since the time we gained independence, our country has succumbed to the fires of internal armed conflicts. There was no peace, no stability, and we lagged behind in many areas of development.
Our people over successive generations have seen their socio-economic situation and morale undermined, while our country’s future has been gradually corroded. Even today, Myanmar has not yet been able to escape the trap of poverty and conflict, and great efforts will be needed if we are to catch up with the rest of the world.
Our people have been waiting for almost 70 years to witness a ray of hope for a better future and for peace. Our people have witnessed that taking up arms to solve political issues causes protracted armed conflicts.
People in the region suffered and lagged behind in economic development that is being enjoyed by neighbouring countries.
The only way to achieve peace is to end conflicts.
The Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) opened the door to the holding of the Union peace conference: 21st Century Panglong.
The 21st Century Panglong Conference is the only way to end all armed conflicts and to establish perpetual peace.
To this end, the NCA needs to be signed by all ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) to end all conflicts.
So far, 10 ethnic armed organizations have signed the NCA.
In order to immediately end the armed conflicts in northern Myanmar, the remaining ethnic armed groups are urged to join the Government’s peace process, by signing the NCA.
At a time when the people of Myanmar are in the process of striving for national reconciliation and peace that had remained elusive to them in the past, it is extremely saddening that 19 civilians were killed and some 30 wounded in the 12th May attack in Muse. Our sympathies and condolences go to the victims who lost their lives and those who were wounded. Meanwhile, villagers in conflict areas fled their homes and are awaiting the day they can return home, sheltering at camps for displaced people.
Are we going to leave behind our country with armed conflicts for the new generation, or are we going to leave behind a unified and strong country worthy of respect by others?
Nothing is better than peace. We need peace for development to happen. There is no other way.

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