The following is the unofficial translation of the message sent by Agga Maha Thare Sithu Agga Maha Thiri Thudhamma U Thein Sein, President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, to the occasion of the 69th Anniversary Shan State Day which falls on 7th February.
To all esteemed Shan nationals and brethren residing in Shan State,
It is my honour to send you this message on the occasion of the 69th anniversary Shan State Day which falls on 7th February today.
The history of Myanmar’s independence struggle tells us that while national leader General Aung San was discussing the independence for Myanmar with the British colonial government, Shan leaders led their people in a referendum and voiced that the plains and the hilly regions were to gain the independence under one flag. In order to gain the independence with seamless boundary among the plains and the hilly regions, General Aung San met ethnic leaders of the hilly regions in Panglong in Shan State and exerted effort to reach an agreement. The decision to gain independence unitedly from the colonial government was made on 7th February 1947. The day on which the decision was made was marked as “Shan State Day” and this year marks the 69th anniversary.
Now is the time when Myanmar puts all her energy into ensuring the internal peace aspired by the entire indigenous people as she is in the process of transition to democracy. The Union Government managed negotiations to end the armed conflicts which have been breaking out for over 60 years, and as a result, the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement was signed by eight ethnic armed groups on 15 October 2015.
Based on the agreement, the political dialogue could have taken shape with the holding of the Union Peace Conference from 12 to 16 January 2016 at the Myanmar International Convention Centre II in Nay Pyi Taw. The conference is an important milestone for peace in Myanmar history. As stability and the rule of law play a pivotal role in national development of a country, all indigenous races need to maintain the stability already achieved and they are to strive for national development in unity with the government.
I send this message to the brethren living in Shan State to urge all of you to take part based on the stability and development already achieved in the Shan State in marching towards the goal of effectuating a developed country where there flourishes the Union Spirit which is the genuine patriotic spirit.