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May 20, 2019

Democracy needs proactive, responsible citizens

A democratic government is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Such a government is made up of the people, is elected by the people, and works in the interests of the people of a nation.
In a democracy, the people have the right to express their opinions and their preferences, and ensure the government takes those opinions into account, and in this way, they can make sure the government is acting responsibly and is accountable for its actions.
There must be a connection between the people and the machinery responsible for governing them. The people and the officials must listen to each other and give the opportunity to explain. Sometimes, those who govern may be autocratic and pay no heed to the voices of the people.
Sometimes, the people themselves may refuse to listen to the government. They may question the government and not wait for an answer. For a democracy to work, both the government and the governed must not only listen, but have the will to listen to each other.
In the end, it comes down to collective will. If there is a will, any problem can be overcome.
The citizens and politicians must be free to express their opinion and inform about governmental processes and public affairs. If this is not done, citizens will not have sufficient information and they will not be able to make free and informed choices.
The citizens, on their part, must adopt a responsible approach towards issues that affect their quality of life.
Before exercising their democratic rights, the citizens have a responsibility to critically analyze themselves first, before criticizing the administration.
We must not forget that the members of the executive are also citizens, and they are being assigned duties because they have been elected by the people to the government.
“People need to assume responsibility. Only then will the government elected by the people reach a situation where it can take full responsibility. Don’t forget the fact that all high-ranking officials in the government have been elected by the people,” said State CounsellorDawAung San SuuKyi while meeting people in Pyay on 14 March.
All citizens have the freedom and the right to speak up and raise questions. But they must not misuse these rights, and instead, use them for the benefit of the people and the country. More importantly, they must exercise their rights for the development of the Union spirit.
Our country is facing numerous challenges. The most important factor that will help us face challenges is unity. Our country’s progress depends on how much we can give and what we can do for it.


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