State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi attended a ceremony to welcome the 70th Pa-O National Day in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday evening.
Also present at the ceremony at the Myanmar International Convention Centre-II were Speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw U T Khun Myat, Speaker of Amyotha Hluttaw Mahn Win Khaing Than and wife Daw Nant Kyin Kyi, Deputy Speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw U Tun Tun Hein, Union ministers, the Chairman of Nay Pyi Taw Council and their wives, deputy ministers, ministers for ethnic affairs, chairman of the regional leading committees, chairmen of Hluttaw affairs committees, permanent secretaries, departmental officials, the Patron of Pa-O National Liberation Organization, the chairman of the committee for holding the Pa-O National Day in Nay Pyi Taw, the chairman of the Pa-O Literature and Culture Committee and representatives Pa-O communities from different parts of the country.
Speaking at the event, the State Counsellor elaborated the day designated as the National Day for Pa-O ethnic people, saying that is a good tradition for the Union as Pa-O ethnic people considered the birthday of their king Thuriya Sandar as their national day because the meaning of his name has shown the ways for leaders.
“Thuriya Sandar means the Sun and the Moon. A king who follows their example rules with high moral value and vision. The Sun and the Moon show the importance of working at the right time and in the right way. It is not appropriate for the Sun to come out at night. If the Moon does rise in the daytime, it will not shine as much as it does at night,” she said.
“Leaders should be brave and courageous when the situation demands, and they should be benevolent and compassionate when the time demands,” she said.
Referring to the line ‘unity is strength’ in the song performed at the event, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi stressed the importance of loving kindness and truth in building unity among all ethnic people of Myanmar.
“The term ‘Union’ is a very beautiful word. It means a country which is built collectively. Such a county is based on unity. Loving kindness and truth are based on unity. Only when we love and are loyal to each other can we build unity,” said the State Counsellor.
The State Counsellor said our country is facing a lot of challenges but treading forward tirelessly to establish a Union that ensures peace of mind and physical security to all its citizens. I believe all our ethnic brothers and sisters will come together in this effort, said the State Counsellor, adding that the Pa-O have always stood by the Union during times of difficulties. She said we will always remember this custom of the Pa-O. Friends and family who stand by our side during difficult times are true kin, she said.
The State Counsellor said kin are not always necessarily related by blood. She said people with strong bonds and shared beliefs are kin as well. When the nation was in its fledgling independence state, the Pa-O joined hands with us to protect the nation, she said. She added that while we may have separated paths in the past the Pa-O are now walking together with us on the peace process. She said this is a genuine reason for happiness and a good omen for the nation.
The State Counsellor said it builds on the integrity of the nation and strengthens development when all the citizens of the country stand together in unity and harmony. She said as we are able to gather on auspicious occasions and monumental days for commemorations, we will be able to band together in times of need. She said what is important for one must be important for all. She said we must cast away indifference and collaborate with each other to bring about uniform development for the entire country.
The State Counsellor said we are currently attempting to establish our country as a democratic federal Union. This type of union is centred on the people and as such, greatly depends on the skills and mindsets of the people. While governments are central in countries without democracy, the people are central in a democratic nation where the government is elected by the citizens.
The State Counsellor said equal rights and opportunities will be incorporated in establishing a democratic federal Union. However, we must remember that with opportunities come responsibility, reminded the State Counsellor, adding that she believes the Pa-O will contribute in strengthening the nation.
She said our country is on the path to peace but it is not always a straight or easy path. Our peace was diminished due to various reasons but if we all pour in our hard work, mental fortitude and perseverance, we will succeed in restoring our Union peace, said the State Counsellor. She urged everyone to work hard for national stability, peace and to make successive generations proud of being children of our nation.
The State Counsellor wished for the Pa-O to be an aspirational role model for all ethnic people and to be in the lead for instilling stability, development and peace in the Union. She expressed her hope for the Pa-O to be able to celebrate their National Day with continued pride and compassion in the years to come.
Afterwards, the State Counsellor, Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker, Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker, Pyithu Hluttaw Deputy Speaker, Union Ministers, Nay Pyi Taw Council Chairman, Deputy Ministers, ministers for ethnic affairs, Chairpersons of Hluttaw Affairs committees, the Pa-O Self -Administered Zone leading body and Pa-O leaders all took a documentary photo together.
The Pa-O National Day was celebrated this year to bring all the Pa-O ethnic people across the country in one place, to promote ethnic literature and traditions and share it with other ethnic people to increase kinship, and to join hands between the Pa-O and other ethnic people in establishing a democratic federal Union.
(Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)