The speech addressed by Chairman of the State Administration Council Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Chairman of the National Solidarity and Peacemaking Central Committee Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at the 7th Anniversary of Signing the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA)

NAY PYI TAW October 15

Esteemed national brethren of the Union, Today is the 7th Anniversary of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement-NCA signed by the government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and ethnic armed organizations.

On this 7th Anniversary Day, I extend greetings to all with the wish that may all national brethren be physical and mental well-being with focusing on the restoration of peace to which they all aspire.

Today’s most basic and primary need of our country is to ensure peace and stability of the State.

Our Union was established by our ethnic nationals according to the history passed its lifespan under the rule of another country for more than 100 years. Colonialist British systematically laid down the plans to instigate solidarity and united strength of our ethnic nationals. They manipulated our ethnics to see each other to be enemies. The colonialists had been committing instigation and divide-andrule policy to cause disunity among the ethnic nationals until they unavoidably allowed independence for our country.

Whatever they committed instigation, we all regained independence based on patriotic spirit, Union spirit and Panglong spirit. However, subsequences of instigation committed by the colonialists have been till today affecting the country. They attempted to influence Myanmar in various ways and means in the post-independence era. The situations of unstable areas of the country were triggered by consequences of instigations and further continuous attempts of the colonialists. We, our national brethren have been solving these evil legacies for more than 70 years.

Esteemed national brethren, I, on my part, talked about the NCA issue whenever I held meetings on peace issues. It is because NCA is the most basic factor to operate the peace process which is important for our country. NCA was not drawn by a single person or an organization but by the government, the Tatmadaw and all ethnic armed organizations based on initial proposals of EAOs through negotiations.

Moreover, it is an agreement signed by some international countries and organizations.

Only when we all walk on the approved tract will a peaceful and prosperous State, we all aspire to be firmly built. Only when all ethnic national brethren hold a face-to-face meeting to solve the peace issues of our country without any interference from the external will it achieve success. Whenever those at home and abroad do not wish to benefit from Myanmar’s peace process, our peace talks will not reach the goal we aspire to.

Hence, all ethnic national brethren need to notice that they should never follow criticisms leading to destruction for peace.

Esteemed ethnic national brethren, Today’s government of the State Administration Council prioritizes practical and possible measures in implementing the peace process. The Tatmadaw released 21 statements for ensuring ceasefire and perpetual peace from 21 December 2018 to date for suspending the military operations. Currently, the Tatmadaw is assuming the State’s responsibility. This being so, I myself, as the capacity of Head of the State and the Tatmadaw, am holding the meetings with ethnic armed organizations.

So far, I have met with 10 ethnic armed organizations two times. At the meetings, all accepted and agreed on two policies of our government to strengthen the multiparty democratic system and build the Union based on democracy and federalism. All ethnic armed organizations openly discussed their wishes, anticipations and aspirations. We also discussed appropriate and possible future plans for restoring sustainable strengthening and firm peace. I’d like to inform you all about bringing good results from all meetings to the people and the State.

Esteemed ethnic national brethren,

We would have two basic factors for the continuation of implementing the peace process.

These are: to firmly stand for the nationwide ceasefire agreement-NCA and firmly stand for the Constitution (2008).

I have explained why we should stand for the NCA. Likewise, the Constitution (2008) was not drawn by the wish of a single person or an organization. It was drawn on a wider scale by eight delegates of political parties’ group, representativeselect group, ethnic nationality group, farmers group, workers group, intellectuals/intelligentsia group, government service personnel group and other invited persons group. In drafting the constitution, a total of 702 representatives from eight groups held discussions to draw it at the National Convention which had been convened for more than two years from September 1993 to 1996. The number of delegates was extended to 1,086 at the second National Convention held from May 2004 to April 2007. In selecting the delegates to the National Convention, the formation of delegation selection committees, voting of these committees, and designation of criteria for delegates were undertaken under democratic practices, except for delegates from the political parties’ group and the representative-elect group. It was seen that in adopting 104 basic principles which are the primary essence and life of the Constitution, the National Convention widely discussed more than 900 pages of 22 papers submitted by all groups and sought approvals. The historical records were made that these approvals were sought by leaders from some ethnic armed organizations, leaders of political parties and ethnic parties including NLD and delegates who were involved in the other invited person group.

In approving the Constitution,the referendums were held in May 2008 when 98.12 percent of the people across the nation cast votes, 92.48 percent of those who cast votes as part of approving it under the democratic practices. Those who attended the National Convention and who cast vote for the Constitution (2008) are still alive today. So, our government is discharging State duties in line with the Constitution. I’d like to firmly say that our efforts following the Constitution and our standing for it are to safeguard the Constitution which emerged under the democracy and safeguard the democratic system the people aspire to as well. Hence, I’d like to urge all ethnic national brethren to safeguard the democratic system in cooperation with the government and walk on the tract of peace.

Esteemed ethnic national brethren,

I am implementing two national work processes, two political work processes, a five-point roadmap and nine objectives which are actual needs of the State.

In this regard, there are many points to be emphasized for ethnic national brethren. The fourth

point of the five-point roadmap was inserted that “Emphasis will be placed on achieving enduring peace for the entire nation with the agreements set out in the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement.” These will shape national causes and political causes. To do so, the peace process must be adopted.

With regard to peace, the government formed the National Solidarity and Peacemaking Central Committee, the Work Committee and the Negotiation Committee to implement the peace process. The Negotiation Committee has held meetings with ethnic armed organizations, political parties and peace negotiator groups 88 times. At the meetings, political anticipations of relevant organizations, attitudes and wishes were openly discussed.

Esteemed ethnic national brethren,

In building the Union based on democracy and federalism involved in the two political work processes, it is necessary to remember the saying of the national leader of the State General Aung San. At a time when the new Bamar State related to the Union system, General Aung San asked for establishing the Union or Unitary State. At that juncture, it must be Union. If so, efforts will be made for the development of all ethnic nationals. Hence, it is necessary to notice the speech of General Aung San on the topic of the Union.

Our country is formed with eight major national races and more than 130 ethnic nationals.

All ethnic nationals have an equal term of rights. The existing Constitution mentions the rights of ethnic affairs. Our government will continue efforts for enabling ethnic people to have deserved rights and entitlements.

Esteemed ethnic national brethren,

The word federalism is a concept of sharing power and authority with different regions, states, ethnicities and national races. It means integration and sharing. Political parties including ethnic parties represent the people who support them. So, there are different representations and efforts are being made to practice the proportional representation (PR) system to widely represent the parties and ethnic nationals.

At the peace talks, I explained it to leaders of ethnic armed organizations. The full number of ethnic representatives has to arrive at the Hluttaw which is a political platform for fulfilling the needs of ethnic nationals in democratic waysIf so, anticipations and aims of relevant ethnic nationals will be openly and transparently discussed, decided and implemented through concerted efforts. If necessary, we have to amend some provisions of the Constitutions to implement the possible demands ad wishes of ethnics. For example,Myanmar has formed the Pyithu Hluttaw and the Amyotha Hluttaw. The proposals and bills sent by Amyotha Hluttaw representing ethnics may be different from that of Pyithu Hluttaw. If different opinions are decided by voting at the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, the Pyithu Hluttaw formed with the majority of representatives mostly winning it. If we build the Union based on democracy and federalism, we need to consider the ethnic affairs for these cases.

Hence, assuming that a separate legislative power is entrusted to relevant Hluttaw as part of emphasizing the rights of ethnics to ensure the check and balance in the legislative estate, it will be the best.

It must adopt to mandate the Pyithu Hluttaw and Pyidaungsu Hluttaw for the enactment of the laws. We must amend the existing Constitution to do so. If so, all ethnic nationals will have to enjoy the essence of democracy and the Union system.

Esteemed ethnic national brethren,

On the occasion of the  7Th Anniversary of signing the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), I myself would like to urge all-

– to make concerted efforts for analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of peace and stability based on experiences along our route for ensuring better essence of NCA,

– to regard the Our Three Main National Causes and deeply follow the commitments of NCA to ensure the success of building the Union based on democracy and federalism,

– to nurture ourselves and our environment to become the persons with mindsets of

good citizens endowed with knowledge of national politics and loyalty of citizens, – to organize and lure remnant organizations to sign the NCA as much as possible so as to post a historical milestone.

Thank you all.

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