September 02, 2016

Greetings extended by Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at the Union Peace Conference—21st Century Panglong

DSC_0649 72Firstly, I would like to express that it is my great honour and privilege to have this opportunity to address a few remarks at today Union Peace Conference so called the 21st Century Panglong at which we will be discussing the facts towards the perpetuation of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the realization of a healthier and ideal future for all the people of the country. I wish all the participants here and all the national brethren for their well-being, peace, happiness and auspiciousness.
Our country has regained her independence over 68 years ago a duration that is nearly the life-span of a human being. Unfortunately, we haven’t achieved peace, stability and progress that we could have actually realized during this length of time. The main reason behind this regrettable misfortune is the lack of “Internal Peace” or in other words the absence of nationwide peace and stability and it is an undeniable fact. Leaders of the past successive periods had tried their best to restore internal peace. Although their adopted strategies and tactics may differ from one another, they all were striving towards the single end and that is “to bind the entire nation with strong bonds of unity”. Even though they could not achieve complete unity and peace and stability for various reasons, however there were era-wise milestones erected by those leaders in order. The signing of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement-NCA and the holding of today’s Union Peace Conference are the positive results of the multiparty-democracy-era endeavours to restore eternal peace.
The Tatmadaw (the Armed Forces) is an ardent participant and supporter in establishing State peace and unity all along the successive periods. Although there are different in convictions, visions and views, may be our actions are firm and unwavering and based entirely on the strong will “to restore peace at all cost”. Those who are really suffering from the disadvantages of war and the awful consequences of the lack of peace are no other persons than the Tatmadaw personnel as well as the armed ethnic brethren who faced hardships and made sacrifices in terms of blood, sweat and life. We need to end this tragic drift at the present in our tenure. In all seriousness, I believe we all can successfully implement our peace process with the strength of unity. In this regard, I would say once more that the Tatmadaw’s stand is firm and is based on “the spirit of restoring peace without fail”.
The Tatmadaw is cooperating with all groups in the current national reconciliation and peace-making processes, based on our three main causes and three essential policies to include peace and stability, national unity and the development of the people, which are essential for the country. Our Tutmadaw will contribute the utmost efforts in implementation of such process. We will negotiate in every possibilities. Both sides should follow the six-point peace policy adopted by the Tatmadaw as its drafting is based on our experiences throughout the history. Mutual cooperation and following these basic points would help us in bringing a genuine and lasting peace to the country, thereby further cementing the national reconciliation and peace processes.
For the success of this conference, many people and organizations held a series of discussions and negotiations at home and abroad by spending time, workforce and money. We reached this situation after individuals and organizations held a number of discussions on different stances, views and desires. All organizations will have their own objectives and policies.
In translating objectives and policies into practice, there may be instances in which wishes cannot be totally fulfilled. I would like to urge all groups to review these matters correctly, based on history, experience, national characteristics, changing geo-political conditions and changing regional and international affairs.
Since the 2010 General Elections, our country has been exercising democratic culture and practices in order to firmly stand as a multi-party democracy country. To be able to march forward the Democratic track, the state power has been transferred to the new elected government since 2011. As of now it is in five years second term after the successful previous five years term. In this connection, the requirements need to claim politically through government and parliaments. Regards to it, our citizens can enjoy freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of expression and the rights to form organizations, which are the fundamental principles of democracy on an extensive scale.
In an environment where everything goes according to democracy, all groups need to earnestly notice the fact that putting personal desires at the first place by holding arms to struggles, racism and localism go against the democracy. At present, we are marching on the track of Multiparty Democracy system. Since, this path had been selected in accordance with the desire of the people, we need to maintain the stability and make it more stronger. We have to enhance the further progress of our country through peace and tranquility by learning the lessons from experiences of some democratic countries.
We understand the anxieties of all National races and Ethnic Armed Groups. Our common desire is to ensure in achieving equal social live of our nationalities. To progress the living standards of our society harmoniously, we have to live in peace by doing good things. We will not differentiate and take accounts on the sizes of the States, Regions and rates of populations and natural resources values and diverse of people’s socio-economic but we will make every efforts to share the delights from the benefits of equalities among all the national races. However, it will take certain amount of time for harmonious development. We have to hold open and frank discussions to find out solutions.
Today’s conference is the outcome of frequent discussions held many months ago as well as various meetings and mutual-trust-building activities. The advantage we have today is the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement-NCA unanimously approved by the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (the Union Parliament) in December 2015. Most of the contents in the agreement were mainly based on demands of ethnic organizations who participated all along the way in drafting the agreement. So, my advice is to firmly keep the NCA as the baseline principle of the Union Peace Conference, the 21st Century Panglong Conference and further meetings. Moreover, I would like to urge all to implement the peace process in a short time by constantly serving the interest of the State and ethnic people with genuine goodwill. It is because if the peace process takes longer than the appropriate time, there may be more outside instigations, interferences and manipulations disturbing the process. In consequence, the already agreed mutual trust may lose and some frictions may occur.
All of us in this conference room are bearing a heavy burden and the entire nation’s expectation on us is high. The people have also recognized us as the persons who will accomplish the mission of national reconciliation and peace processes without any racism, localism and dogmatism. To be able to fulfil the aspiration of the people, I firmly believed that we will able to hold discussions and meetings to reach agreements on eternal peace. The strength of Union lies only within. As far as all our ethnic races are brethren, we have to hold discussions regarding with our diversities by taking base on union spirit to sort out the solutions. I firmly believe that we will overcome the concerns and suspects through building the trust and understandings. To conclude my remarks here, I would like to highlight the two points to be kept in our hearts for the success of the national reconciliation and peace process are firstly “Practicing the National Reconciliation Strategy in continuously” and second one is “Genuine desire to achieve everlasting peace”.


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