Message of Greetings from President U Htin Kyaw on the occasion of the 71st Anniversary of Shan State Day celebrations
7 February 2018
Dear esteemed brother and sisters of Shan State,
On this auspicious occasion of the 71st Anniversary of Shan State Day, I send greetings to our brothers and sisters living in the Shan State for their health and happiness. I am happy and deem it a great honor to be able to send this Message of Greetings to this event. Our country has stood tall amidst the countries of the world as a country which has firm historical roots since time immemorial with its own culture and literature where ethnic nationals have settled down and lived together through weal or woe. We have existed since ancient times, well-known among other countries of the world rich in natural resources both above ground as well as underground. In 1885 we lost our independence and sovereignty and came under British colonial rule. After that all our ethnic races revolted against the British with a deep desire to shake off the British yoke all across the country giving new birth to our nationalistic spirit which spread all over the country. As our national leader General Aung San wanted independence for the whole country at the same time without differentiating between the central plains and the mountainous regions, he met the Shan leaders and other leaders from the mountainous regions at Panglong in the Shan states and negotiated with them and tried to reach an agreement. On 7th February 1947 Shan nationals together with the Chin and Kachin nationals were able to reach a decision to get independence for the states as well as the central plains. Furthermore, representatives of the mountainous regions were able to establish an Association for the Unity of Peoples from the Mountainous Regions and to underscore the fact that unity of the national ethnic races was the main pillar they signed the Panglong Agreement.
To honor the 7th February the day on which the central plains and the mountainous regions decided to ask for independence together, this day was designated as Shan State Day and we have been celebrating this day ever since annually. Now we have reached the 71st Anniversary. Although we are calling it the Shan State Day, according to history, Shan State Day is an auspicious and significant day which also belongs to all national ethnic races, in fact all Myanmar nationals.
Although we achieved independence 70 years ago, because of the flames of civil wars which emerged at the same time, the Myanmar people have never been able to enjoy the fruits of independence. They are still suffering from the horrible effects of civil war which have not fully ended.
At this time the Union Government has been exerting concerted efforts hand in hand with the national ethnic races and Union citizens for the total cessation of internal armed conflicts and for lasting peace, using the path of achieving cease fire and then for political dialogues. We have been able to convene the Second Session of the Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong and as the initial result we were able to obtain agreement on 37 Federal Principles as Part 1 of the Union Accord.
By having discussions and seeking solutions together, we will get results from the political dialogues. As we build the Democratic Federal Republic, we need to work together for the emergence of a Constitution which will be in accord with the future Myanmar.
As we work for the establishment of firm basic foundations for democracy, even as we work for the development and improvement of basic infrastructure such as transport networks, production and distribution of electricity, etc., we are also working to improve economic sector investments such as education and health.
I therefore send this Message of Greetings as I remind and urge all ethnic national brothers and sisters residing in this Union to live together in unity and harmony forever, work for the total cessation of all armed conflicts and achievement of lasting peace, respect human rights and need for equality; transform and draw strength from the diversity prevailing in the country, and work together in unity.
Sd/ Htin Kyaw
Republic of the Union of Myanmar