Message sent by Chairman of the State Administration Council Prime Minister of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Senior General Thadoe Maha Thray Sithu Thadoe Thiri Thudhamma Min Aung Hlaing to the ceremony to mark the 76th Anniversary of Union Day 2023

12 February 2023

Esteemed ethnic national brethren of the Union,

On the auspicious occasion of the 76th Anniversary of Union Day which falls on 12 February 2023 today, I wish all ethnic national brethren of the Union who have been living in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar together physical and mental happiness and prosperity.

As all ethnic national brethren have been residing in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar in unison, the Union has been firmly standing tall in the world with prestige for thousands of years. Nonetheless, as capitalist invaders severally wadged aggressive wars over Myanmar, the whole country of Myanmar fellunder colonialist British as from 1886. The colonialists raised the administrative power to the main land under the Government of Burma Act in 1935, it left the hilly regions in order to separately govern the hilly regions and the main land.

Restrictions were imposed on the people from the main land not to visit the Shan State as the border act was enacted. That is why the people from both hilly regions and the main land missed the chance to contact each other, and they were too far but areas were close to each other. In passing the long time, the instigation of imperialists wadged suspicions and disbelief among the ethnic people. Up to now, everybody knows that all our ethnic people are suffereing with bad impacts of such consequences.

British Governor Sir Dorman-Smith released the White Paper on 17 May 1945, mentioning that the independence shall be granted for the main land but the hilly region shall be placed under the British rule. General Aung San held meetings with national leaders in Panglong in 1946 and unanimously demanded to grant the independence for both hilly regions and main land together without absolutely accepting the White Paper.

On 12 February 1947, a total of 23 ethnic leaders including General Aung San signed the Panglong Agreement comprising nine unification points for hilly regions and the main land as part of laying the cornerstones to forge the national unity between the hilly regions and the main land. Hence, the government recognized and designated 12 February as the Union Day when the Panglong Agreement in which the unity of ethnic nationals conceived was signed.

In fact, the Union Day shows the unity of Union ethnic people residing in Myanmar to the world. In accord with the motto “Unity is Victory”, entire ethnic people escaped from the colonial rule on 4 January 1948, and the country regained independence as a sovereign country. Celebrating the victorious ceremonies for independence as a heritage of the Union has been held on a grand scale as the Diamond Jubilee Independence Day on 4 January 2023. Currently, the Union heritage based on solidarity of the ethnic people turned 76 years. Only when all ethnic people of the Union are to safeguard the independence with the Union spirit in successive eras with the Union spirit will it be perpetual. Hence, I would like to urge all to strive for perpetual existence of the national unity and the Union through the internal strength.

Esteemed ethnic national brethren of the Union,

As a consequence of the instigation of the colonialists, all ethnic national brethren did not fully enjoy the essence of independence, and controversies in attitudes and armed conflicts are happening till today. All ethnic people join hands and honestly and transparently hold negotiations among them to restore perpetual peace, to cease armed conflicts across the nation and to fully enjoy essence of peace.

It is necessary to take lessons from the disunity and conflicts among the ethnics and the people due to racism, personal cult and dogmatism in the history of the country in building the Union based on democracy and federalism. Discriminating, setting aside and attacking the persons as enemies for different attitudes and concepts are not in conformity with the democratic system. Likewise, localism and personal cut may cause disunity and harm the country to disintegrate, so I would like to urge all to deeply consider integration for harmonizing the diversity.

The State Administration Council since its assumption of the State responsibilities in accord with the State Constitution (2008) has been emphasizing the ending of local armed conflicts for ensuring national unity and peace which are actual needs for the State. It will strive for securing success in a point of fivepoint roadmap “Priority will be accorded to work aligned with the agreements set out in the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, in order to achieve enduring peace for the entire nation”. The Tatmadaw one-sidedly suspended the ceasefire from 21 December 2018 to the end of 2022 for implementing the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) through the talks with ethnic armed organizations. Moreover, as the ceasefire was suspended for the whole 2023, it is necessary to make efforts for ceasing the internal armed conflicts through the talks for the sake of the nation and the people.

All citizens are to participate in initiating two political objectives such as exercising the genuine, disciplined multi-party democratic system and restoring peace which plays a crucial role in building the Union based on democracy and federalism.

As per the last point of the Roadmap, which says, “Upon accomplishing the provisions of the state of emergency, free and fair multi-party democratic general elections will be held in line with the Constitution (2008), and further work will be undertaken to hand over State duties to the winning party in accordance with democratic standards” the SAC has been striving to lay the foundation and create a favourable situation to hold a free and fair election at all levels. In so doing, SAC declared 2022 “the year of peace” and is exerting efforts to end internal armed conflicts and achieve perpetual peace through the ongoing peace talks it is holding with EAOs. However, various internal/external interferences and the relevant persons’ failure to take into account the interest of the nation and people, the country is still far from achieving peace and stability and is in a painful and worrisome situation. I would urge the entire nation to play their role in helping enable the relevant organizations and persons and all the national people to realize their goal in accord with the motto, “Keep Moving Forward to Achieve Our Goal.”

Esteemed ethnic national brethren of the Union,

Wisdom and sincerity of the entire people plays the pivotal role in building a new democratic nation that is enjoying tranquility, modernity and progress. All must pay attention more to the interest of the entire Union than their own. Only with the objective vision to weigh whether his deeds and stand are right or wrong and good or bad, can a person truly benefit the nation and people. We need to instill correct thoughts, knowledge, patriotism and Union spirit into the youths who will assume the relayed future responsibility of the entire nation and people. In this regard, children of the people and youths should be nurtured to become jewels of the future, imbued with the five noble strengths. The national prosperity and food sufficiency are the two adopted national tasks the government in office is implementing at present. Socio-economic development and a healthy economy are the basic factors for peace, stability and progress of a country. Our country where rural people are the majority must prioritize a farming-based economy, while trying to develop other businesses. The State is placing emphasis on the success of farming and micro, small and medium enterprises, creation of job opportunities and income generation. Human resources development is the key to economic development of our country which is rich in natural resources and has favourable economic foundations. The State has added farming and industrial subjects in the curriculum of one school each in the high schools of 50 districts as a support for rural economy and MSME. It is also making arrangements for outstanding students to pursue higher studies. Relevant persons and officials of both the private and government sectors should make collective efforts for socio-economic development of the national people and economic progress of the State. The program will be further extended in the remaining districts. The State is addressing sector-wise requirements in fully developing every corner including ethnic areas of the entire country. National brethren should fully grab this opportunity and should fully apply it in their collective endeavours.

Esteemed ethnic national brethren of the Union,

The Republic of Myanmar is a Union where all its children, the national people, are living in weal and woe and in unity. The main goal is the building of a Union based on democracy and federalism through love and unity and united efforts of national brethren under the genuine, disciplined multi-party democracy system. SAC has been successfully implementing the adopted five-point Roadmap and 12 Objectives. Sadly, internal/external destructionist and terrorist groups are generating instigations with the intention of spoiling the interest of the country and people. At the same time, they are enticing the people to embrace wrong ideas and views and commit wrongdoings. With their reasoning power, all must be aware of the dangers that may befall the nation and the people because of the multiple means of alien neocolonialist interference committed with the intention of breaking up national unity, and self-seekers. The current period calls for energetic and cooperative efforts for non-disintegration of the Union, non-disintegration of national solidarity and perpetuation of sovereignty.

Through this message, I urge all to share the fruits of the Union in harmony, and with the Union spirit and unity, all should successfully implement the National Objectives for 76th Anniversary of Union Day 2023:

1. To strive for the perpetual existence of national solidarity and perpetuity of the Union through the internal strength

2. To make collaborative efforts of all ethnic nationals to restore perpetual and durable peace

3. To join hands in harmony for ensuring the prosperity and food sufficiency of the nation as two national plans through the Union spirit

4. To help develop all regions and states on equal terms and increase employment opportunities with ensuring the health and fitness of the entire National people

5. To practise the genuine, discipline-flourishing multi-party democratic system through fraternity, solidarity and united endeavours of all ethnic national brethren for building the Union based on democratic and federal systems.

Senior General Thadoe Maha Thray Sithu

Thadoe Thiri Thudhamma Min Aung Hlaing

Prime Minister

Chairman of State Administration Council

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