President U Win Myint, patron of the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) addressed the MRCS 13th Conference and 80th anniversary event of MRCS held at the Myanmar International Convention Centre-2 (MICC-2) in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday morning.
The MRCS 13th Conference and 80th anniversary event began with musical performances by youths of the Myanmar Red Cross Society.
In his address, President U Win Myint first conveyed his greetings and well wishes to the attendees and said the day’s event was to hold elections for the next three year term as the first three year term according to 2015 Myanmar Red Cross Society Law has been completed as well as to commemorate the 80th anniversary of MRCS. MRCS was established as a national society like in all other countries since 1939 and had reached its 80th anniversary this year.
Looking back at the history of MRCS, it can be seen that it was the country’s oldest and longest serving compassionate humanitarian group that strives and cares for development of vulnerable persons who face dangers. Red Cross works were conducted in Myanmar since 1920 as a branch of Indian Red Cross Society and became an independent society in 1937. ICRC recognition was obtained in 1939 and in 1946 it also became a member of IFRC.
In 1952, Maha Thiri Thudhamma Daw Khin Kyi, wife of independence architect Bogyoke Aung San and mother of the State Counsellor took up the responsibility of Chief Nurse with much compassion and sympathy. During that year in order to rapidly implement the works of the Society and to be in accord with basic principle of democracy, members were elected to administer the Society.
The Burma Red Cross Act enacted in 1959 established the Society as a permanent humanitarian entity. The Act was amended in 1964, 1971 and 1988. As per the act, St. John Ambulance Association was also incorporated as part of the Burma Red Cross Society. In 1989, Burma Red Cross Society was renamed Myanmar Red Cross Society and MRCS Law was amended in August 2015 to be in accord with the times.
2020 aim of MRCS is to become a fully capable national Red Cross society that provides social compassionate assistance to local and international vulnerable persons.
The State has given due recognition and support to MRCS’s social compassionate assistance works while feeling encouraged to find MRCS conducting its work under the seven fundamental principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, universality and unity.
It was recognized with pleasure that the election for the next three year term was held in a transparent manner showing that it was heading towards a democratic path.
There were no organizations or entities that were fully and completely developed. Changes and reforms need to be made accordingly while courage to change was also required. There must be the capability to make changes and also the ability to withstand and overcome difficulties. Knowledge and foresight are required to differentiate between what to change and what not to change. Changes were to be made where changes are due and all are urged to strive more toward leaving a good record in the history of Red Cross, to be on par internationally and to conduct more social compassionate assistance works.
By conducting its works, MRCS is a reserve force for the State in the humanitarian field. It will also support by cooperating in implementing national projects and policies established by the State for its development. As the State had also assigned MRCS by law to provide assistance without discrimination this also needed to be done accordingly.
Help and assistance provided by Red Cross volunteers and Red Cross personnel for 80 years will be remembered forever by all. The State recognizes and honor the Society’s outstanding works during these 80 years.
It is believed that good leaders will emerge at all levels of the Society to conduct social compassionate assistance works for the next term. May the Society conduct all its work in unity under the leadership of those leaders. May they work toward brightening the image and honor of the Society. May cooperation with international partner national Red Cross Societies become stronger.
May the 2020 MRCS Strategic aims be achieved and establish a peaceful and cultured society, said the President.
Next, the President presented certificates of appreciation to three MRCS members who donated blood for 120 times and more.
Afterwards the President, Union Ministers, Union Attorney-General, Union Auditor-General, Nay Pyi Taw Council Chairman, Deputy Minister and MRCS President took a commemorative group photo with attendees.
After the event the President cordially greeted the attendees and observed the MRCS exhibition, displaying the works of MRCS.
The second part of the event was then held where Union Minister for Health and Sports Dr Myint Htwe presented certificates of appreciation to six MRCS members who donated blood for 100 times and more. Deputy Minister for Health and Sports Dr Mya Lay Sein and MRCS President Prof. Dr Daw Mya Thu also presented awards to State/Region Red Cross Management Committees, Township Red Cross branches that conducted outstanding social works providing compassionate assistance.
Also present at the event were Union Ministers Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe, Lt-Gen Ye Aung, Dr Myint Htwe and Dr Win Myat Aye, Union Attorney-General U Tun Tun Oo, Union Auditor-General U Maw Than, Nay Pyi Taw Council Chairman Dr Myo Aung, Deputy Minster Dr Mya Lay Sein, MRCS President Prof. Dr Daw Mya Thu, central committee, committee and executive committee members, personnel from civil society organizations, diplomats, representatives from International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), National Red Cross and Red Crescent, departmental officials, local business persons and Red Cross volunteers.— MNA