President U Htin Kyaw and First Lady Daw Su Su Lwin hosted a dinner in commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of Independence Day in the front lawn of the Presidential Palace in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday evening. [4 January 2018]. The President and First Lady arrived at the dinner at 6:30 pm and cordially greeted the guests individually.
Full text of the speech below:
Dear esteemed citizens,
On this auspicious occasion of the 70th anniversary of Independence Day, I send these good wishes to all ethnic nationals and citizens born and living in this Union to be blessed with auspiciousness, good health and happiness. Since olden times, our country has existed as an independent and sovereign country under our own King. Our people who were born and brought up in this Union, have never committed aggression against others and have also never let others commit aggression against us. We have this basic innate correct stance. The colonial imperialist waged three wars against our country which was a sovereign nation. We lost our sovereign kingdom in 1885 and became slaves of a conquered nation. To liberate ourselves from this life of slavery, all the ethnic national races, from the mountains to the plains, sacrificed their lives, blood and sweat to escape from slavery. As a result of these efforts, we were able to achieve our Independence, a symbol of our success on 4th January 1948. Although Myanmar gained independence, due to the evil system of divide and rule practiced by the colonial imperialists, mistrust and discord emerged among our ethnic national brothers and sisters and we have been beset with internal armed conflicts for many years which have adversely affected our national development and progress.
At the moment, all national ethnic races are striving to achieve eternal peace using all available means. We have been able to successfully convene the Second Session of the Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong and agreement has been reached regarding some basic principles of the federal structure. As we work on national reconciliation and the peace process, we are working for the emergence of a democratic state based on the principles of freedom for all ethnic national races, justice, equality, and right of self-determination. As we build the Democratic Federal Republic in accordance with the results of the political dialogues, we all need to work collectively for creating a suitable constitution for the country. In tandem with our efforts to strengthen the fundamental building blocks of democracy, we are continuously working on areas such as education, health and reforms in the economic and foreign investment sectors. We are also focusing our efforts towards improving the socio-economic situation of our citizens.
As we work for national development, at the same time, we are working for political stability, prosperity, unity among all the ethnic national races, economic development, comfortable socio-economic life of the people, and preservation of our good cultural heritages and traditions. By encouraging and supporting the private sector which is very important and the main engine of growth of the economy, the socio-economic life of the people will be improved. The most critical element in the history of the struggle for independence is the united power of all our ethnic national brothers and sisters. The long-term perpetuation of the Independence once achieved can only be accomplished by the unity of all our ethnic brothers and sisters.
Therefore, in order for all of us to live in this Union without disintegration, for the cessation of all armed conflicts and to gain eternal peace, with respect for human rights and for all ethnic nationals to enjoy equal rights, all ethnic national Union citizens should solemnly accept the following Independence Day national objectives:
- 1. All nationalities to collectively preserve and protect non-disintegration of the Union; non-disintegration of national unity; and perpetuation of national sovereignty.
- 2. To strive hard to draw up a constitution suitable for the Union in accordance with democratic principles and norms for the emergence of a Democratic Federal Union.
- 3. To strive hard and exert our utmost efforts to implement the peace process as quickly as possible.
- 4. For all nationalities to work together with the State to achieve the goal of “lasting peace” through political dialogues.
- 5. By encouraging the private sector which is the main engine of growth for the economy, to collectively exert our efforts for improving and advancing the socio-economic life of the people. I therefore urge all ethnic national Union citizens to participate collectively with firm resolve to implement the above objectives on this auspicious day, the 70th Anniversary of Independence Day.