State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi met with a group of about 50 physically challenged people yesterday at the National Reconciliation and Peace Center in Nay Pyi Taw and welcomed their collective desire for peace in Myanmar.
In a speech to Wheel Chair Train for Peace, the group that travelled for 12 days from Myitkyina township in Kachin State to Nay Pyi Taw in order to highlight the need for peace, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said that all Myanmar citizens need to come together to strive for peace. She said the group representing Wheel Chair Train for Peace showed that physical limitations have no bearing on a person’s participation to achieve peace in their homeland.
“Failure to gain peace is attributed to the disability of spirit, absolutely not to physical and intellectual disability. We need to collectively help the spiritually disabled. Though this group faces suffering and physical disabilities, it is heartening to see the strength of their spirits, making a good example for the whole nation. The ability to overcome all difficulties encountered is true strength.
There will be no progress unless there is courage to overcome these difficulties. Peace must be achieved for the eternal development of the country. Therefore, weak spirit that can harm the peace must be cured, practically, not in words only. It must be proved by working. Hence, they must be encouraged that they can overcome all the difficulties and weakness that they have. Only with concerted efforts of all in unison can peace can be achieved. The destiny of a country must be created by all those living in the country. It cannot be achieved with the effort of an individual or a group. The government alone cannot bring about it.”
A campaign by Wheel Chair Train for Peace to bring awareness about the civil war, peace dialogues, and assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) began in Myitkyina township in Kachin State on 15 February. From there, the convoy stopped in Mogaung, Mohnyin, Katha, Tagaung, Thabeikkyin, Letpanhla, Mandalay, Meikhtila, Tatkon and Pyinmana and four other towns. They arrived in Nay Pyi Taw on 27 February. Pupils from Khawechan School for the Blind made up most of the group.
The State Counsellor said the path to peace, much like the decision of the Wheel Chair Train for Peace to undertake a nationwide campaign, takes motivation and desire.
“According to the Reverend Sayadaw, Viriya has four stages. The decision to work is the first stage. Implementation as per decision is second stage. Continual implementation even when faced with difficulty is third stage. Diligence (Viriya) is the last and highest stage at which one can work to achieve success without being depressed, though with faced failure. We all need to bear this kind of Viriya. All citizens must work hard to widen the road with the spirit of getting to the destination. We must widen the street so that all who are worth participating can join. Yet, how much the road is wide or smooth, we will get on the road only if we all have the desires to walk on this road. The most important thing is desire. Therefore, I urge you to try hard to have desire for walking, and help us with your capabilities, as for the group that arrived here. We will accept your help further.”
U Thein Lwin, leader of Wheel Chair Train for Peace, explained the origin of the group and experiences of peace process with Daw Mya Thida Lwin, Vice-Principal of Yangon Khawechan School for the Blind, clarifying the activities of the group with a slide presentation.
The State Counsellor said the group had improved the country’s vision for peace.
“Participants in the peace process need to have the courage to disclose justice and injustice, so that they can build trust. We will carry out to publish periodicals recording news and activities for the peace in consultation with authorities concerned, to make people know transparently. People in peaceful lands as well need to participate in the peace process, assuming that peace is concerned with all the people. We thank Wheel Chair Train for Peace, who comes here to help us to improve our vision of peace and to widen our vision of peace. I wish you to help us further.”
The Chairman of the Board for the Yangon Khawechan School for the Blind agreed it would take all the citizens of Myanmar to achieve peace.
“The entire public is now showing its sincere good will for peace. I’d like to request all the armed forces to negotiate or to give a little soft heart of what we can give for the country. In the 68-year duration of the civil war, all I can say is that either we are all right or we all are wrong. If there is true desire for peace, nothing is impossible,” said Rev.Thein Lwin, Chairman of Board of Yangon Khawechan School for the Blind.
The campaign includes a selection of disabled athletes who have helped collect more than 40,000 signatures calling for peace.
Following this, the State Counsellor and responsible officials of Wheel Chair Train for Peace exchanged gifts. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi individually greeted all those present at the meeting, posing for many photos.
Present at today’s ceremony were Dr Myint Htwe, Union Minister for Health and Sports, Dr Win Myat Aye, Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, U Khin Maung Tin, Deputy Minister for Ministry of State Counsellor’s Office and responsible officials.—Myanmar News Agency