Nay Pyi Taw, 5 Nov— The following is the full text of the monthly radio message delivered by President U Thein Sein.
My fellow citizens:
I would like to inform all of you about the recent changes and developments that have taken place in our country during the month of October just as I have done previously on this radio program.
The first thing I would like to talk about this month is regarding the high-level political meeting that was held just a few days ago. There may be differences in opinions and reactions with regards to the meeting. As I stated in my opening remarks, my main intention for inviting these leaders was for us to come up with solutions together that will overcome the challenges facing all political forces. As I have stated frequently, I hope that this meeting is the start of a new political culture where we talk to each other and embrace dialogue instead of resorting confrontational approaches when trying to find solutions to overcome our common challenges.
I also attended the tenth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) held in Milan, Italy. The reason why I attended the summit was to generate further international trust for our reform process as we reintegrate back into the global community which in turn will allow us to garner greater investment and technical assistance needed for our development.
The current peace process is an essential component of the democratic reforms. Currently, we are trying to complete and sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) that includes all the ethnic armed groups. If we are able to achieve the NCA, we will be able to establish a code of conduct that will have to be followed by both sides which in turn will help lower the number of clashes and reduce hostilities. The main benefit arising from this is the reduction of problems that have negatively impacted the lives and livelihoods of the people living in conflict affected areas. Moreover, NCA presents an unyielding foundation to begin the political dialogue process which will allow us to find broad political solutions to our political disagreements.
Continuing on from the peace process, I would like to talk about the current situation in Rakhine state. Not only in Rakhine state but throughout the country, it is important that each individual enjoys basic human rights and is treated with dignity regardless of ethnicity, religion or even citizenship status. My government is also laying down the plans to prevent future conflict. We have to handle it very delicately, owing especially to the heightened tensions and emotions between the two communities. That said, we will take full action allowed under the law against those who instigate conflict or commit crimes. I would also like to add that we are also implementing precautionary measures to prevent future conflict from occurring.
We are also carrying out the citizenship verification process—an important component in solving the current problem—with the help of local civil society groups.
The role of the media is critical for a transitioning democracy like Myanmar. Likewise, it is especially important for the media to adhere to media ethics by taking responsibility for and being responsible in presenting the news, and maintaining objectivity when presenting these viewpoints. It will then be able to effectively aid in the overall democratic development. We are also working with the temporary Myanmar Press Council to raise the quality and standard of media on the one hand and protect media rights in accordance with the law on the other hand.
There were also joyous moments that lift our hearts and make us proud amidst these trying times to overcome the difficulties and challenges associated with building a democratic country. Our youth football team qualified for the Under-20 World Cup and their success brought us joy and exuberance. I would like to add also that all Myanmar citizens take pride in and honor their historic achievement.
I would like to reiterate again the challenges we face today which include: the continuation of the democratic transition and the political process; how we can make sure that these reforms lead to democracy taking root and the overall development of a free society; the development of the political dialogue process so that successes achieved in the peace process can continue to form the basis for the national reconciliation needed for our country; and successfully carrying out the 2015 elections which is critical for our democratic transition. It is very important that we talk to each other and find common solutions together to overcome these challenges. And we must all strive towards this goal of creating a culture of dialogue.
I would like to conclude by reaffirming my commitment to achieve peace, promote economic development and build a better future for the next generations.
May you all have peace of mind and good health.