By Min Thein (Nay Pyi Taw)
The mild winter that comes together with a polite greeting also carries the unforgettable memories of the past. It was the time the entire people were awakened with national spirit and the students leaving their classrooms for the national movement, the ethnic peoples of Myanmar signed the Panglong Agreement with full Union spirit, the Union Jack was lowered and the State Flag of Myanmar was raised. Those memories never wane or vanish. They always come back together with the arrival of the cold season.
Cold season flowers
Most of the cold season flowers are beautiful but lack aroma. Unlike them, Thazin flower has both beauty and aroma. Under the mist of the cold season, I came to remember the words of my late parents, who were Independence mawgun award winners, which said, “Growing on the tall trees above the ground, Thazin flower with sweat smell represents tranquility and warmness.”
“Independence” it is a word easy to write and spell. The restoration of independence is a hard job, and it’s a common knowledge. We became an independent state after a long struggle during which the leaders and the ethnic races made lots of sacrifices in terms of life, blood and sweat, my father told me 35 years ago.
Father also said, “You will not notice the value of health as long as you are healthy. Likewise, you will not know the value of air and water as long as they are available. But when you become unhealthy or water and air become insufficient you will understand their values.
The price of freedom
“Similarly, you cannot evaluate the price of independence, at the time when there is liberty. You will understand its value only when you lose it. So, everyone who knows this situation don’t want to fall into slavery again. We like people who know well the worthiness of independence, as we had faced the hardships of living under suppression with much bitterness. If we do not want to lose it we must safeguard it.
“An independent country will be prosperous only if it can develop and strengthen its economy. You must always cherish and remember the martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the interest of the people and the country with full trust in the national cause. We must always remember the gratitude they owed to us. And we must safeguard the independence at the risk of our lives as they had restored it by sacrificing their lives, blood and sweat.
“Myanmar is a sovereign state and union with a long and significant history. The progress and deterioration of the country depends on the people, and they are the persons who choose the party and the leaders and who entrust them with the power. If the persons who lead the country are corrupt, the country is likely to face deterioration. So, good leaders are of vital importance for the people .People can be organized through the media, gatherings and talks. As I am a journalist, I know well about the media’s influence over the people. During the time, talks and assemblies could always raise the sacrificing spirit. We must aware of irresponsible acts against the people. If all know their duties and rights, every New Year will be auspicious.”
Tradition actually is the work of human beings. People will be more valuable if they have fine traditions. We must take pride of living under the shadows of our ancestors with fine traditions and it encourages our spirit to work harder. So we annually hold our Independence Day with much enthusiasm patriotism and pride. The holding of the Independence Day is our eternal duty.
Myanmar has changed from planned economic system to market-oriented economy. When compared with the neighbouring countries and East European countries that walked on the same path. Myanmar has sufficient legal infrastructures. It has laws that are supportive to the market economy even before 1998, and after the year, it adopted more. The appreciation of multiple ideologies, the respect for everyone’s religious freedom, and the co-existence is a culture as well as the essence of democracy.
What should be aware of is that the central government and the region/state governments should make decisions through the Constitution. The distribution of task must also be within the constitutional framework. The force that is ensuring the check and balance system of the democratically elected government is the people. The aspiration and attitude of the people have indirect influence over the party leaders. If the public aspiration is too strong, there are instances in which the government after making some adaptations has to follow it. The most important thing is the harmony between the government and the people.
Unity as the foundation
It is a common knowledge that the upward trend or the downward trend or the fine qualifications or the poor condition of a country depends of the unity of its people. If the people are giving priority to the narrow minded racial view, localism, party and ideology the country will be in a downward trend facing weakness in every sector. Non-disintegration of national solidarity is the main element of the national politics. The government is taking all necessary measures in making way for the involvement of national politics. The government has adopted the essence of democracy — justice, liberty, unity, transparency and accountability — as the norms of its practice and its goal.
In establishing new countries and reforming the existing ones the sharing of power is in its specific way. The system of the sharing of power varies depending on the history, adopted political system, and the efforts and the goal of the leaders of a specific country. Even between the democracies the system is different. The countries are developing themselves under the concept that fair and majority acceptable ideologies flourish only when there is a robust political dialogue. So, all the national races must maintain the unprecedented national solidarity with Union spirit so that the country can stand tall in the international community.
There must be coordination and integration for unity in diversity that may ensure harmonious steps, and through the harmonious steps we all should strive to reach the goal of eternal peace as stated in the 70th Anniversary Independence Day objectives.
Translation by Tin Maung Than