The following is the translation of the message sent by President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Agga Maha Tharé Sithu, Agga Maha Thiri Thudhamma U Thein Sein on the occasion of the 68th Anniversary Independence Day.—Ed
Esteemed national brethren of the Union,
On the auspicious occasion of the 68th Anniversary the Independence Day of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, I would like to extend affectionate and respectful greetings to all the national brethren and wish them fulfillment and contentment.
The people of Myanmar lived in successive kingdoms of magnificence and grandeur for millenia, occupying a proud position in the world on the strength of the nation’s rich natural resources and unique culture, but in 1885 lost its sovereignty and independence to British colonialism.
Under colonial rule, the nation’s culture and religion together with national unity came under the oppressive administrative apparatus.
Consequently, the national people took to arms, giving rise to nationwide anti-colonialist and anti-fascist movements motivated by genuine patriotism and true Union Spirit, which eventually led to the nation’s independence on 4 January 1948 when national sovereignty was regained.
Today is the 68th anniversary of the regaining of independence for the Republic of the Union of Myanmar through the relentless struggle of the national brethren motivated by a strong genuine Union Spirit and an intrepid national spirit.
In order to claim a proud position in the world as a Federal State, all the national brethren need to work hand in hand for the non-disintegration of the Union, non-disintegration of national unity, perpetuation of sovereignty, achievement of lasting peace, and achievement and perpetuation of a peaceful modern developed nation.
At present, the country is transitioning to a democratic State in a three-tier approach. The first tier consists of drafting and adopting the Constitution as preparatory groundwork for democracy, conducting the 2010 general elections and making preparations for the formation of the first Hluttaw (Parliament) and the Government and conducting the second general elections in 2015 putting the country on the path to democracy. The second tier consists of a gentle transition to democracy that has won international recognition and led to a significant improvement in the international relations of Myanmar. The third tier involves political dialogue to resolve issues such as internal and external conflicts and problems of national groups to achieve a more mature and established democracy. As a benefit of the new political culture of dialogue, a ceasefire agreement has successfully been signed with the participation of eight armed national groups, with dialogue continuing to enable the remaining groups to sign up. This is an accomplishment that has enhanced the nation’s credibility in the international community.
The concerted efforts of the national groups, the people and the armed forces will be necessary to continue on the correct path to democratization. The nation’s independence, security and development can only be ensured through the combined efforts of the Government, all the political forces such as the Hluttaw (Parliament) and the political parties, the Armed Forces and the entire people. I would like to urge everyone across the political spectrum to work together in unity to overcome the challenges facing the country.
In order to build a genuine Federal State, diversity among the national people needs to become the nation’s strength and a source of unity. Favourable conditions have been achieved for enduring peace and development and with unity among the national brethren, they will be realized.
In order to realize the two aspirations shared by the people of Myanmar, peace and tranquillity on the one hand and socio-economic development on the other, everyone need to contribute their efforts toward rural areas development and poverty reduction, and the all-round development of education, health, culture, women’s affairs and various other sectors.
Thus, I would like to urge all the national people to work in unity for the realization of the following four goals of the 68th anniversary celebrations of the Independence Day with commitment, a sense of responsibility and allegiance to the nation:
– To have all the nationals living in the Union together in ever-lasting harmony;
– To safeguard the non-disintegration of the Union, non-disintegration of national unity and perpetuation of sovereignty through the efforts of all the national people;
– To make an endeavour to achieve a nation-wide ceasefire agreement and enduring peace;
– To realize a discipline-flourishing new modern developed democratic nation through the people’s strength.