August 18, 2016

Public participation is essential

THE new government that has come to power in Myanmar with the people’s mandate has been exerting its utmost effort since its assumption of duties to fulfil people’s aspirations within the first 100 days of its term. People have placed high hopes upon the democratic government to help them to be free from the woes they have suffered for over five decades.
The new administration has initiated the process of national reconciliation along with the peace process. Moreover, all 21 ministries are implementing reform measures and have formulated 100-day plans.
It is worth remembering that poverty is an issue that cannot be addressed in 100 days.
This being so, people cannot expect the government to alleviate poverty in such a very short period. What they ought to expect of the new government is progress in fulfilling three basic needs: food, clothing and shelter.
As long as tangible results from the new government’s reform measures are achieved, people should be satisfied with government’s effort.
Nevertheless, people should not forget the fact that a government can achieve success in its nation-building activities only with the active participation of the people.
In fact, the failures in the past can be attributed in part to people’s lack of participation, which is something unachievable without popular support.
There is no denying that the incumbent government has won overwhelming popular support, judging by the landslide victory in 2015 election.
People’s profound love and admiration for the ruling party’s charismatic leader have made the democratisation a great success. Nevertheless, their duties do not end with voting for the NLD.
The public must not stand aside, only showing its love for the State Counsellor, doing nothing but giving applause and appreciation.
As public participation is a big part of good governance, people are required to change their mindsets, which now keep them aloof from public affairs but being actively involved in community affairs, local affairs, regional affairs and national affairs.
In this function, public awareness campaigns should be launched by the government with the active cooperation and participation by NGOs and CSOs to highlight the importance of public participation in nation-building.


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