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December 14, 2018

Republic of the Union of Myanmar Message of Greetings from President U Htin Kyaw to the 71st Anniversary Celebrations of Union Day

Dear esteemed ethnic national brothers and sisters,
Today is a truly auspicious occasion of the 71st Anniversary of Union Day.
On this truly auspicious day, I send my Message of Greetings and good wishes for the auspiciousness of all ethnic national brothers and sisters who have lived together in friendship in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar since time immemorial.
Throughout the history of Myanmar, the long line of kings who ruled the country strived to build a strong union based on national unity. However, at the end of the Konbaung period, our country fell under British colonial rule and due to their divide and rule tactics our ethnic national brothers and sisters lost their unity based on suspicions among themselves.
The Myanmar Tatmadaw led by General Aung San drove out the British colonialists with the help of the Japanese. Soon after we realized the true nature of Japanese fascism and fake independence we had to drive out the Japanese hand in hand with the Allies with the aim of regaining our independence and sovereignty.
Due to the efforts of Myanmar national leaders and the Myanmar people, we were able to sign the Aung San-Atlee Agreement which promised to give independence to Burma within one year, among other things on the 27th January 1947. According to this agreement, although the British imperialists had to give independence to the whole of Burma, they wanted to leave behind the mountainous regions.
Ethic national leaders including General Aung San convened the Panglong conference to make a united demand that independence be given to the central plains as well as the mountainous regions at the same time. Thus on 12 February 1947, they were able to sign the agreement. This is the reason why we have designated this day as the Union Day, the day the Panglong Agreement was signed, the day on which we demanded in unity and in one voice independence for the whole country, as a historic milestone.
All Myanmar ethnic national brothers and sisters should value and hold in high regard this Union spirit through which all ethnic nationals were able to achieve independence together in unity. It is also very important to keep this Union spirit alive and strong and to nurture and value this spirit as our own lives.
Although it is true that beginning from the time we gained independence, internal armed conflicts have lingered on up till now, we have shown our ability to exist as an independent and sovereign nation with union spirit and the unity of our ethnic nationals; it is now 71 years.
Furthermore, we are now striving, having discussions and seeking solutions for the cessation of all internal armed conflicts and to establish firmly a Democratic Federal Republic in accordance with the aspirations and desires of ethnic national brothers and sisters. We have chosen the path of seeking solutions through negotiations and political dialogues; the various steps of the peace process and the Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong are being conducted, as of now we have agreement on 37 Federal principles which have been signed as Part 1 of the Union Accord.
I believe that by negotiating and seeking solutions based on Union spirit, we would be able to achieve not only a more durable internal unity but also establish the Democratic Federal Republic successfully from the platform of the 21st Century Panglong.
If our Union spirit is weak, we would be far away from the establishment of a Democratic Federal Republic. The main ingredient needed for internal peace is mutual trust among the ethnic national brothers and sisters. That is why ethnic national brothers and sisters need to strive based on union spirit with unqualified trust, unity which is firm and determination which is resolute and continue the process of negotiations and seeking solutions.
At the same time, we need to have firm economic foundations so that there will be continuous development of the motherland in all sectors such as political, economic and social sectors. That is why the Union government has been striving continuously for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises ( SME’s) which constitute a large percentage of the country’s economy.
As we work for the achievement of national unity, national reconciliation and the peace process which all Union citizens and ethnic national brothers and sisters, deeply desire and yearn for, we need the Union Government, the Hluttaw, the Tatmadaw, the Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAO’s), the Political parties, the CBO’s – Community Based Organizations and the entire People to cooperate, participate and work together hand-in-hand.
Therefore, on this auspiciousness day, the 71st Anniversary of Union Day, I remind and urge all Union citizens and ethnic nationals to solemnly adopt with resolute determination and participate and cooperate in the implementation of the following four Union Day Objectives: –
– Perpetuation and awareness of Union spirit.
– To build internal peace successfully with the unity of ethnic nationals.
– To build a Democratic Federal Republic through the Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong.
– To ensure the economic development of the entire Union by encouraging Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME’s)
(Unofficial Translation)

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