August 19, 2016

Civil Service Academy

(A retired diplomat)


I was thrilled by a news item that a two-day seminar was held at the Union Civil Service Board office at Naypyidaw about the setting up of a civil service academy. At the seminar, Chairman of the Union Civil Service Board, H.E Dr. Win Thein and the resident representative of Hanna Seidal Foundation, MR. Archin Munz delivered the opening speeches. The seminar was attended by the members of the Union Civil Service Board and the officials concerned of Hanna Seidal Foundation, U.N.D.P, Z.0 (GOPA), high ranking Myanmar officials and foreign scholars among others.
This news item really made me happy and hopeful and also gave me great expectations that we would come to have good public servants, well-trained, clean, competent and uncorrupted. We have had a motto for quite a time. That motto, if translated in English, I think, will read as follows:
“Only when good public servants are there, will there be good government and good nation too. And only then, I think, our nation will get to a position, standing tall and standing shoulder to shoulder with all others, as a member of the family of nations.
I am also quite happy reminiscing about the past of our own mother land, Union of (Burma)- Myanmar and our national heroes, our leaders, and brilliant academics and some outstanding civil servants. With prejudice and bias towards none, but with due respect and honour to all those, who respect, and honour are due, may I mention only a few of those personalities. On top of the list; General Aung San, a national hero and a martyr. Dr. Htin Aung, P.hd, D.Litt, and LL:D- three doctorate-degree holder, and rector of Rangoon University — an internationally renown academic and scholar who was greatly admired and respected by John Hopkins University of America.
We have also many other brilliant academics, internationally respected and honoured. To mention only a few, Dr. Khin Maung Nyunt (Maha Sadhamma Jotika—dhaja Sithu), Dr. Ohn Khaing, Dr. Maung Maung, J.S.D (Yale) LL.D (Utrecht) of Lincoln’s Inn, Barrister at law, Professor U Ba Nyunt, Senior Lecturer Daw Khin Su, M.A (U.S.A) etc. They are all my honourable teachers, to whom I owe immeasurable debt of gratitude, for what I am today, a nonentity, but with a love of learning. To mention some other dignitaries; the very first prime minister of our Union-U Nu, who together with his counterparts MR. Chou-EN-Lai-(N), The Premier of China and Mr. Nehru, the Prime
Minister of India, expounded and propagated the well-known-five principles of peaceful co-existence.
Some other Myanmar civil servants, U Thant, United Nations Secretary-General, U Shwe Mra ICS, Chief secretary, and chairman of Civil Service Enquiry Commission and so on. Those personalities are in the general sense of the term, public service personnel, civil service personnel.
I also remember quite well that in those days, (Rangoon) Yangon University, my Alma Mater, was one of the prestigious universities in Asia. And with purely keen academic interest and deep admiration, may I present to you, the five principles of peaceful coexistence, which our Ministry of Foreign Affairs strictly adheres to in its international relations. They are mentioned below:
–     Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
–     Non-aggression.
–     Non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
–     Equality and mutual benefit, and
–     Peaceful co-existence and peaceful settlement of disputes.
“These five principles of peaceful co-existence form one of the main pillars of Myanmar Foreign policy. Moreover, these principles have also become universally accepted and that they were incorporated into the Ten Principles, laid down at the 1955 Bandaung Conference of Afro-Asian States, which in turn led to the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Civil Service Academy
It was also learnt from the afore-mentioned news item that the Union Civil Service Board and the Civil Service Training Institute (Phaunggyi), which is under the Union Civil Service Board’s supervision, consulted about the vision, mission, duties and responsibilities of the civil servants. And the new
civil service courses were planned to be opened in the Civil Service Training Institute (Phaunggyi in January 2017. Furthermore, the curricula, syllabi and technologies for the post-graduate courses, diploma courses, master degree courses were also discussed, it was learnt.
In the Civil Service Academy’s curricula, and syllabi, it was learnt that , those subjects such as “management, political science, economic theories, sociology, law, English language proficiency, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) inter alia, would be included.
To be able to serve the people to the best of their abilities, the civil servants must have a love of learning, and make learning a habit, as a proverb says “old habits die hard”. And through constant learning, the civil servants must upgrade and update themselves so as to keep themselves abreast of the rapidly changing world. And in this “knowledge age”, a day without learning is, in every sense of the phrase, a day lost. From another sense, civil servants must appreciate and must put it into practice the timeless truth of the following words of wisdom concerning habit and custom “Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a desting.”
All in all, I would like to quote, the vital points of a speech, made by the State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, as follows:
“Civil servants must strive to win the trust of the public, by being reliant and carrying out their jobs in the interest of the people”
To sum up, “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest”. So, a hearty welcome to the civil service academy.” The sooner, the better, to be opened, sir. My best wishes to the academy.

(1) 0efxrf;aumif;rS EkdifiHaumif;rnf/
(2) A book of essential quotations.
(3) The Global New Light of Myanmar-Dated 28th June, 2016.
(4    The Mirror Daily, (aMu;rkH) dated 24th June 2016
(5) Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.
(6)    Diplomatic Handbook, Second Edition, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Yangon, Myanmar.


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