The following is an official translation of the message delivered by President U Thein Sein in honour of the 69th Union Day:
THE 69th Anniversary Union Day of today is an auspicious occasion for all national brethren residing in the country.
On this significant day, I extend my warmest greetings to all the nationalities living in harmony across the country.
Throughout the history of the country, the Union Spirit and anti-colonialism bound to national solidarity have provided a solid foundation for keeping the country in perpetuity. Thus, the spirit of oneness and togetherness has enabled the country to proclaim its full sovereignty.
Myanmar is home to a diversity of ethnic communities. Friendship and understanding will undoubtedly flourish when they respect and recognise one another’s cultures, traditions, customs, languages and literature.
This solemn undertaking should reflect ‘non-disintegration of the Union’ and the ‘perpetuation of sovereignty’ embodied in ‘Our Three Main National Causes’.
It is absolutely necessary to create a society with the human resources to enable ethnic communities to enrich and cherish one another’s languages, literatures, cultures, arts, traditions and historical heritages. In addition, all nationalities are now engaged in the development of the country as a national concern.
At this juncture, the issue of cementing national unity is of utmost importance. Greater emphasis has been placed on gradual relaxations of restrictions to push for pragmatic transition processes and to create a society where democracy can thrive through political changes.
As a result, leaders of the government, Parliament, Tatmadaw and eight ethnic armed organisations signed the nationwide ceasefire agreement, which made history in the country’s move toward peace on 15 October 2015.
Under the terms of the agreement, a political dialogue framework was drawn up on 15 December 2015, followed by the Union Peace Conference on 12 January 2016.
Efforts are being made to bring the remaining groups that did not ink the ceasefire deal yet into the peace process; the door is open to them.
It can be seen that all national races were able to express their desires for the country in the elections held recently. It was the fruit of implementing step-by-step democratisation process in accordance with the political situation.
As we all know, people’s participation is imperative for the future of Myanmar while we build a disciplined, flourishing, modern, developed and democratic nation. The government is working on the implementation of regional development undertakings in the areas where ethnic minorities live, thereby contributing toward the establishment of sound foundations in the political, economic and social sectors.
Moreover, the government has carried out reforms in the processes of ensuring national reconciliation based on the peace process and promoting national healthcare and education systems for the development of Myanmar society.
Free, fair and credible elections held successfully on 8 November 2015 proved the equality of ethnic minorities in the Union. Work is underway to hand over administrative duties to the next government to shape the country’s future following the election results.
On the auspicious occasion of the 69th Anniversary Union Day, I would like to stress the need for cooperation and co-ordination among all stakeholders, including the government, Parliament, ethnic organisations, political parties and political forces to transform the nation into a modern, developed and democratic one, with everyone doing their part.