International Democracy Day 2019 was held at the Thabin Hall of Hluttaw Building in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday afternoon, and it was opened with speeches by President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
First, President U Win Myint, State Counsellor, Vice President U Henry Van Thio and the invited guests looked around the displays to mark the event, and the presentations of previous celebrations of Hluttaw anniversaries, oath-taking ceremonies, the meetings between Hluttaw speakers and delegations, meetings of Hluttaw joint committees, ATPA meetings, IPU meetings, Myanmar Hluttaw buildings, documentary photos of Myanmar Hluttaw patron, chairmen and vice chairmen, foreign visits of Hluttaw speakers and deputy speakers, visitors’ signing, award-winning poems, essays and paintings to mark International Democracy Day 2019, field trips of Hluttaw affairs committees, capacity building programmes for Hluttaw representatives and staff members, delegation visits to Hluttaws, supporting talks for Hluttaw held in 2017 and 2018, high level delegation trips arranged by federal countries, forums of federal countries, federal system workshops jointly organized by Regions/States Hluttaws, and the forum of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.
President U Win Myint, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker U T Khun Myat delivered speeches at the ceremony.
Ms June Kunugi, the UNICEF representative for Myanmar, read out the message sent by the UN Secretary General, followed by the screenings of documentary videos to mark 130th anniversary of International Day of Parliamentarism and the relations between Myanmar Hluttaw and the IPU.
The paper reading session continued with the presentations by students, social communities, Wa Democratic Party, National Unity Party, Kokang Democracy and Unity Party, Kachin State People’s Party, Tatmadaw’s Hluttaw representatives, Lisu National Development Party, Pa-O National Organisation, Zomi Congress for Democracy, Ta’ang (Palaung) National Party, Shan Nationalities Democratic Party, Arakan National Party, Union Solidarity and Development Party and National League for Democracy.
Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker U T Khun Myat, Amoytha Hluttaw Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than, Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Deputy Speaker and Pyithu Hluttaw Deputy Speaker U Tun Tun Hein, Amyotha Hluttaw Deputy Speaker U Aye Thar Aung and members of parliament presented awards to the winners in the competitions of essays, poems and paintings to mark the International Democracy Day at university and basic education levels. The Pyithu Hluttaw Deputy Speaker presented certificates of honour to Shwe Than Lwin Co., Ltd. and Three Swallows Construction Co., Ltd.
In his concluding remarks, Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than said in a democracy, the minority follows the decision of the majority, and the majority respects the will of the minority. A democracy prefers welfares of others to own interest, and it also protects human rights. Good characteristics of democracy value human rights in practicing righteousness, freedom and fairness.
Moreover, democracy is people-centered, and it defines that sovereignty of the state is collectively owned by people; the administration is based on the decision of people who elected the government; the strength of legislative bodies could strengthen democracy.
He also remarked that efficiency of the Hluttaw could lead to democracy, and the country is required to march towards the democratic goal through united strength and common desire.
The Speaker also said Myanmar started to organize the International Democracy Day since 2011, and this was a significant year as it has coincided with the 13th anniversary of Inter-Parliamentary Union. This year’s theme was ‘Participation’ that calls on all-inclusiveness of public by establishing democratic institutions.
In accordance with the slogan of the Hluttaw ‘People’s Voice, Hluttaw Voice; People’s Will, Hluttaw’s Will; People’s Expectation, Hluttaw Implementation’, Hluttaw representatives were advised to fulfill the needs of the people. The State Counsellor was quoted in his speech as sayings to focus what one can give, rather than what one can receive..
Then, the attendees were entertained with performances of artists from Myoma Music Band and Myoma Anyeint Troupe.
The Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker, the Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker, the Pyithu Hluttaw Deputy Speaker and the Pyithu Hluttaw Deputy Speaker presented floral baskets and cash.
The ceremony was attended by President U Win Myint, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Vice President U Henry Van Thio, Pyidaung Hluttaw and Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker U T Khun Myat, Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than, Union Chief of Justice U Htun Htun Oo, Constitutional Tribunal of the Union Chairman U Myo Nyunt, Pyidaungsu Hluttaw and Pyithu Hluttaw Deputy Speaker U Tun Tun Hein, Amyotha Hluttaw Deputy Speaker U Aye Thar Aung, Union Ministers, Union Attorney General, Chairman of Union Civil Service Board, Chairman of Nay Pyi Taw Council, Chairman of Myanmar Human Rights Commission, Speakers of States/Regions Hluttaw, Deputy Ministers, Chairmen of Hluttaw Affairs Committee, departmental heads, representatives of political parties, diplomats, representatives of world parliaments and IPU, UN organizations, Hluttaw partner organizations, teachers, students and the invited guests.—MNA (Translated by Aung Khin)