ANP Vice Chair delivers address at 21st Century Panglong 3rd Session

The opening address made by Daw Aye Nu Sein – Vice Chairperson of Arakan National Party (ANP) at the 3rd Session of Union Peace Conference-21st Century Panglong is as follows:

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Vice Chairperson of Arakan National Party (ANP) Daw Aye Nu Sein. Photo: MNA

Mr. President,
State Counsellor,
Chairpersons, Representatives, Distinguished Guests,
I would first like to wish you all with gratitude here at the Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong – Third Session held today on 11 July 2018.
I am Daw Aye Nu Sein-Vice Chairperson of the Arakan National Party (ANP).
The Arakan National Party has submitted its proposals during the first session of the Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong. I am here today on behalf of the Rakhine people because our party believes that the Union Peace Conference is an inevitable path we must all take to establish a new nation with equality, unity, peace and development.
The Rakhine joined the Bamar and other ethnic nationals in the fight for independence against the British colonialists and Japanese fascism.
We achieved independence but Rakhine did not even acquire state level recognition under the 1947 constitution and one federal system.
Rakhine became a State under the 1974 constitution but the culture and socio-economy of its citizens saw no difference in development.
Rakhine has abundant natural resources because of its proximity to the ocean, the Rakhine mountain range, and a long-established cultural heritage but was pushed to the brink of poverty and its agricultural economy diminished.
The 2008 constitution has its loopholes and weaknesses but we have legally formed a political party and participated in the 2010 and 2015 general elections to end the military authoritarian rule and make transition to democracy. We have also been involved in all levels of the Hluttaw.
No one can deny that the government, the Hluttaws, the Tatmadaw, ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) and every political party are working towards the formation of a federal democratic union. The peace conference we are all attending right now will lay the foundations for establishing this federal democratic union and to end all armed conflicts within the nation. I believe that only then will a peaceful and united nation be established.
Our Arakan National Party has three objectives:
(1) The emergence of a genuine federal union one that recognizes and protects the rights and freedom of Rakhine nationalities and the equality of all nationalities including Bamar)
(2) Promoting the interests of Rakhine nationalities and other nationalities living in Rakhine State and to safeguard these interests.
(3) Striving for the flourishing of democracy.
In my opinion, trust between the Bamar and other ethnic nationalities was weakened because of the disproportionate levels of development between the central state and other states and regions, heavy-handed control and poor administration from relevant authorities.
While we should be taking pride in what can be described as Myanmar’s springtime, various states and regions throughout the country are facing extreme poverty and heavy armed conflicts.
It is quite sad that while other countries in Asia are making advancements in technology, philosophy and economy, we are still locked in age-old armed conflicts with our brethren.
The ethnic forces should not be viewed as being narrow-minded or as extremists. We want to put our hopes in the strong and powerful forces such as the major Bamar parties and the well-established Tatmadaw.
Only under compassion will narrow-mindedness be abolished. It is imperative that we accomplish what needs to be done for union peace as soon as possible.

One of the threats to our newly formed democracy is the oft-mentioned Rakhine situation with Bengali Muslims. Their intentions first started with forming a new ethnic race under the guise of human rights and have since escalated to territorial fighting and acts of terrorism, stretching a national issue into an international concern. Western powers, UN agencies and the OIC have repeatedly applied pressure that threatens our nation’s sovereignty while accusations of genocide are gearing towards an international crisis.
The origin of the Bengali Muslim issue can be traced back to illegal immigration and unsystematic national verification during the time of the British colonials. Non-resident ethnic populations were given citizenship after the conducting verifications in accord with the 1982 Myanmar Citizenship Law and were allowed to travel without restriction throughout the country. Non-citizens should be handled with existing laws.
We need to ensure that every person residing in the country is guaranteed their legal rights while refusing to cave in to pressure from the international community. It’s important that the rights of Rakhine nationalities are not lost in the Bengali issue. The Bengali issue has grown more complicated and so it is important for the government, Hluttaws and Tatmadaw to be of one mind. Please listen to the voice of the Rakhine people concerning the so-called Rakhine situation and don’t ignore Rakhine’s political perspective.
Mr. Chairman, we are here to create a new chapter in history. I am delighted to see my ethnic brethren from their homelands loud with the sounds of gunshots and explosions and the air filled with the smell of gunpowder.
Peace is something that concerns all ethnic nationalities so it is important for everyone concerned to be involved for an open and transparent peace conference.
We all have the responsibility to learn from our past and establish a peaceful federal democratic union. We need to view our country’s issues from the perspective of all the nationalities with their differing histories so that that we can set basic principles for our nation that everyone agrees upon.
Thank you.

One of the threats to our newly formed democracy is the oft-mentioned Rakhine situation with Bengali Muslims. Their intentions first started with forming a new ethnic race under the guise of human rights and have since escalated to territorial fighting and acts of terrorism, stretching a national issue into an international concern. Western powers, UN agencies and the OIC have repeatedly applied pressure that threatens our nation’s sovereignty while accusations of genocide are gearing towards an international crisis.
The origin of the Bengali Muslim issue can be traced back to illegal immigration and unsystematic national verification during the time of the British colonials. Non-resident ethnic populations were given citizenship after the conducting verifications in accord with the 1982 Myanmar Citizenship Law and were allowed to travel without restriction throughout the country. Non-citizens should be handled with existing laws.
We need to ensure that every person residing in the country is guaranteed their legal rights while refusing to cave in to pressure from the international community. It’s important that the rights of Rakhine nationalities are not lost in the Bengali issue. The Bengali issue has grown more complicated and so it is important for the government, Hluttaws and Tatmadaw to be of one mind. Please listen to the voice of the Rakhine people concerning the so-called Rakhine situation and don’t ignore Rakhine’s political perspective.
Mr. Chairman, we are here to create a new chapter in history. I am delighted to see my ethnic brethren from their homelands loud with the sounds of gunshots and explosions and the air filled with the smell of gunpowder.
Peace is something that concerns all ethnic nationalities so it is important for everyone concerned to be involved for an open and transparent peace conference.
We all have the responsibility to learn from our past and establish a peaceful federal democratic union. We need to view our country’s issues from the perspective of all the nationalities with their differing histories so that that we can set basic principles for our nation that everyone agrees upon.
Thank you.

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