The following is the full text of the monthly radio address delivered by President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar U Thein Sein.
My Fellow Citizens
As I have done previously, I would like to give you the monthly update on the work of my government, and the developments that have taken place in our country.
Looking back on the last four years of my government’s administration, one of the most important developments has been the increased public participation in politics. It is undeniable that this positive outcome is a result of our joint efforts. We must build on this to move closer to a vibrant democratic society that is desired by the people. In so doing, we must accept and trust that the only correct way ahead is through building a firm foundation of democratic elections and institutions. Holding elections is just the start in the process of building democratic institutions. Since the election period is near, we must strive to ensure that during this periodpolitical participation is not harmed, and not to lose sight of our aim to build a healthy democratic society.Every country undergoing democratic transition must overcome challenges, so let us find practical solutions to our challenges and ensure a smooth transition.
Since independence in 1948, our nation has faced the world’s longest and most complex internal armed conflicts. The road to finding sustainable peace has been long and difficult.
However, the Union Peace Working Committee and Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team have now agreed on the draft text of nationwide ceasefire agreement – an important milestone for ending armed conflict and initiating political dialogue. I personally attended the signing ceremony. I congratulate and praise the delegates from the government, Tatmadaw, and ethnic armed groups for resolving issues during the peace talks with patience, mutual understanding and respect. My message to the public that so desires peace is that the nationwide ceasefire agreement is expected to be formally signed soon, paving the way for solving issues through political dialogue.
On a related note, my government is working to restore peace and stability in Kokang Self-Administration Region. Since we are striving to build a nation that respects and protects ethnic and minority rights, our efforts must be to bring political, economic, and social stability and development to the Kokang Region.
The stability of our border is of utmost importance and we will not allow this conflict in one part of country effect our broader strategic interest – which is to have the best possible relations with all our neighbors and all the great powers of the world.”
I was saddened by the events surrounding theprotests to change the education law. The one lesson we should take away from these events is the consequence of straying away from the democratic practice of tolerance.All the parties involved must in the future act consistently with democratic norms, balancing the right of freedom of expression with respect for prevailing laws and rules.
I offer my condolences to the families that lost their loved ones in the sinking of the Aung Takon 3 ferry. The accident is being investigated to ensure that in the future, precious lives will not be lost to accidents due to negligence, administrative oversight or lack of equipment maintenance. Public travel and transport should be safe and secure, and any failures must be corrected.
In March, events marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Tatmadawwere held in Naypyidaw. As world events prove, it is important for a nation like ours, small but strategically situated, to have a strong and professional armed forces. I urge the public to welcome and support efforts by the Tatmadaw to modernize, and carry out its duties of safeguarding national unity, protecting sovereignty, and providing humanitarian relief work.
Our aim isto builda modern nation with a vibrant democracy. I urge everyone not to lose sight of this goal.
Solar energy is now widely held as a practical and sustainable solution to solve mankind’s energy needs. In March, the Solar Impulse 2, a plane solely powered by solar energy, made its South-East Asian stop in Mandalay. I am honored that Myanmar was able to help promote this leading-edge technology to citizens of the world. I traveled to Mandalay to offer my support, and was especially delighted to see youths from Mandalay Region and beyond given the opportunity to study this world-class technology.
Soon, the people of the nation will be celebrating the Myanmar New Year Thingyan festival. I wish everyone fulfillment and contentment in the New Year. I urge everyone to celebrate responsibly so as to promote friendship and the nation’s image.
I would like to conclude by reaffirming my commitment to achieving peace, promoting economic development and building a better future for future generations.