First, may I say ‘Tharliswa’ to Pyidaungsu Htuttaw Speaker, Amyotha Htuttaw Speaker, Union-level members, Hluttaw speakers from states and regions, Htuttaw representatives and special guests. I am Amyotha Htuttaw representative U Myint Naing from the Arakan National Party, Rakhine State constituency 5.
Believing in democracy, I would like to say, as a member of Arakan National Party, that we are collaborating with all other ethnics on the road to democracy, during a rough period for our nation’s democratic system.
Myanmar was far away from democracy for several years. Although we can work on the path of 2008 Constitution with the collaboration of students, people and monks, the 2008 Constitution still has many weaknesses. Regarding democracy standards, our Arakan National Party is serving the interests of people by activities inside and outside of Hluttaw to make democracy thrive with support from the Rakhine people. We entered elections from 2010 to 2015. We raised questions for public affairs in the Htuttaw for the benefits of Rakhine State and Rakhine people. Being able to fulfill the requirements of the people is one of the democracy essence and standards as well.
It is a responsibility of all citizens to get equal opportunities for the survival of democracy. Cooperation is also needed for multi-ethnics living in our country. Myanmar being a multi-ethnic country, to get equal rights and to thrive in democracy is a duty for everyone. We are in need of setting up foundation for emergence of a federal Union through holding the 21st Century Panglong conference. Some of the salient things include establishing a peaceful, united federal Union, to get equal opportunities among the ethnic races, and to reduce the development gap among the states and regions.
While we are striving for the emergence of a democratic system, the Bengali issue has become one of the challenges that can hamper the sovereignty of the State. We view that the attempts of OIC and other countries trying to give pressure intentionally to our country is a hindrance to the democratization process of Myanmar. In solving this issue, it is important not to neglect voices, feelings and opportunities of Rakhine nationals. Moreover, it is crucial not to give in to international pressures.
Cooperation among the State government, Tatmadaw, political parties, CSOs and media are needed to make the seed of democracy thrive, to strengthen democracy foundation and to enlarge the community of democracy. It is true that Myanmar has to face many weaknesses in the tender stage of democracy and transition period. It is needed to develop democratic culture and to pass the legacy in the Union. Other striking points are to hold free and fair elections, to strengthen Hluttaws and to work for emergence of an opposition force in the Hluttaw. In a democratic country, we fear becoming a democratic dictatorship if we do not have opposition force. While the democratic system is thriving, it is important for the parties to avoid discouraging people regarding democracy system.
In conclusion, cooperation among the whole populace is of great importance to develop the democratic system. I would like to conclude my paper by urging all of you to participate in marching together towards the goals of Democratic Federal Union.