Editorial from Myanma Alinn Newspaper of 6 January 2017
Translated by: Kyaw Myaing
Myanmar is a country where the right of its citizens to profess their faiths and worship freely have been respected and recognized. Just as the 135 ethnic national groups have the right to profess their religions freely, the descendants of Indians and Chinese who are now citizens also have the right to profess their religions freely. This good tradition may be seen clearly in Myanmar’s long history. Only in certain times, during the period when our country had its twists and turns in history, we encountered instability due to the instigations of destructive elements. At such times we encountered racial and religious riots. However, those riots did not have any harmful effects on citizens who had different religious beliefs and racial origins. They also did not have any effect on the friendly relations that has existed among the Myanmar citizens throughout history.
During recent years, we have witnessed clearly and noticeably attempts to damage Myanmar’s historic good image in the world arena. Because of these attempts to cause damage and harm, Myanmar’s historic good image has been tarnished and hurt to a certain degree. We believe strongly that it is important not to take such kind of damage and its consequences lightly. As a result of the problems in Rakhine State, because of the evil and destructive elements who wish to tarnish the good image of Myanmar in the international arena, our country has become one of the items on the hit list of terrorists unwittingly and without any reasonable cause.
However, because of the initiative made by the State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to meet and have discussions with Asean Foreign Ministers, it has given us the opportunity to present very clearly Myanmar’s just and correct position. The kind of approach needed in the international arena and also with regard to the Rakhine State problem is to have friendly and warm discussions, consultations and mutual cooperation. We wish to solemnly welcome and applaud the news that Indonesia is making arrangements to send 10 containers worth of longyis (sarongs), clothes, instant noodle packets and food for children for both communities in Rakhine State. This act is a concrete example to implement the aforesaid approach.
Indonesia’s act which is in full accord with the Asean spirit has further strengthened the existing friendly relations between the two countries. In addition by this act Indonesia has showcased very effectively Asean’s historic good traditions. Thus this should be recorded in our history books.