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April 19, 2019

Tackling negative emotions leads us away from injustice

The Myanmar traditional New Year day falls in mid-April. Thingyan means transitioning from the old to the New Year, and this is the time we say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new.
Since the days of yore, Myanmar people have celebrated the annual festival by pouring water on each other, which signifies the washing away of past impurities and beginning the New Year free from stains.
This is also the time when members of communities, individually and collectively, reflect and communicate for the sake of harmony and peaceful coexistence.
The splashing of water traditionally symbolizes purifying not only impurities, but also the shortcomings of the past year, and moving forward with a clean mind in the New Year.
During the four-day Thingyan festival period, some people spend their holidays at meditation centres to purify their minds, some worship at pagodas and spend time in monasteries observing the Eight Precepts, some release caged birds and fishes, and some perform other meritorious deeds.
According to a legend for children, Sakya, the king of gods, descends from his heavenly abode during the festival to wander in the human world. He records the names of those who perform meritorious deeds and do not curse or harm others in a book bound in gold. The names of those who do not behave properly are noted in a dog leather book.
The message from the legend is important not only for children, but also for people from all communities. This message is important for us as individuals and as a community, and encourages us not to get angry or make others angry during the Thingyan festival. It is especially important for us to avoid certain things during the Thingyan period, and we must refrain from negative emotions such as anxiety and anger.
At present, we are on the path towards establishing a Democratic Federal Republic.
This is a rare opportunity for us and we have reached this stage with great difficulty through years of struggle and toil.
We need to prevent any deed which can harm the rule of law and communal peace in any region of our country. This is because it can result in our deviating from the road to democratic transition.
At this time of the year, we all must take care of our negative emotions before they lead to perceptions of injustice, grievance, bitterness, hatred, or even, violence.
May the people have peace and be free from danger.

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