By Maung Khaing Mar [Upper Minhla]
Our Mother Land, Myanmar, became a sovereign independent nation on 4th January 1948, reaching 70th anniversary of Myanmar Independence on 4th January 2018 to come. Being a geographically important country, it has various kinds of national ethnics. Throughout the history the people lived in the atmosphere of peace and tranquility under the reign of their kings on the thrones. Yet, the British Imperialists with modern weaponry, well-trained troops and better military strategy waged the First Anglo-Myanmar War of Aggression on 5th March 1824 in the era of Third Myanmar Kingdom, occupying Rakhine and Taninthayi Region in 1826. On 5th April 1852 they waged the second Anglo-Myanmar War, ending in 1854.
After the Second Anglo-Myanmar War, the British occupied from Rakhine, Myayhte up to Sittaung and Kayinni border. During the Third Anglo-Myanmar War of Aggression in 1885, Yadanarbon Kingdom fell under the defeat of the British Forces, with King Thibaw taken out of the country together with his royal family. From that time on, Myanmar Kingdom entered the British Kingdom in the Occident.
From the stage of plunging under the control of the British Empire with our own kingdom destroyed, our national leader Bogyoke Aung San managed to regain the Independence we lost, with the collective efforts of all the national populace under his leadership. Our Bogyoke also addressed, “Independence is the victory-like flower for us, not the gift of a coin thrown into the beggar’s bowl out of pity.” As said by Bogyoke Aung San, the Independence was actually achieved by sacrificing lots of lives of our ancestors, absolutely not easily. Accordingly, it is the national obligation for us to safeguard the Independence.
Sovereignty in perpetuity
The learned defines, “A State/Nation is comprised of Population, Territory, Government and Sovereignty.” Of them, sovereignty is of the greatest vitality for a nation because a country without independence can never be a sovereign nation or vice versa. Sovereignty is derived from the ancient Latin word Superanus. V.V. Yevgenyer, the Russian legislator define sovereignty as “a right to decide of its own accord, as for a country, in its internal or external affairs, without violating principles and restrictions of the international law.”
In the Article 2, sub-article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations it is described, “The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.” Our national leader, Bogyoke Aung San as well addressed in putting forward the motion for the Absolute Independence to the parliament held on 18th June 1947, “Just at the time of saying the sovereign republic, it does not need to explain its meaning any longer. It is very clear to understand. Sovereignty has many characteristics. In fact, a country itself already has the sovereignty. People are not satisfied with the word, “country.” They regard that only the word a sovereign nation is perfectly meaningful.”
So, though a country is independent in outward appearance it cannot be designated as the actually independent sovereign nation if another country or organization intervenes in a nation’s sovereignty—legislative, judicial and executive powers. Void of the sovereignty, the country loses its independence. Taking the fact into consideration, we, the entire national populace collectively should safeguard for not disintegration of the mother land, the Union of Myanmar and national consolidation as well as for the eternal survival of the national sovereignty.
Emergence of the new Constitution in accord with democracy standards
Every individual sovereign nation is required to promulgate its own constitution. A Constitution is usually born out of the democratic movement, so the democracy standard of a nation can be known by studying its Constitution. After gaining Myanmar’s Independence three Constitutions emerged in the country. The first-ever constitution was drawn up based upon the agreements of 1947 Panglong Conference, which ceased to exist on 2nd March 1962 when the Tatmadaw took the power.
Afterward, the 2nd 1974 Constitution drawn up by the Revolutionary Council and Burma Socialist Programme Party [BSPP] came to the invalidation when Tatmadaw took the State Power after 1988 uprising. As for the country which is noticeably following the process of the global democratic movement, Myanmar has laid down 7 roadmaps for the national reconciliation and principles for the Union Peace, in which renewal and approval of the Constitution with the agreement of the Union had been included. Also, the 2nd session of the 21st Century Panglong Conference held during 24-28 May 2017 had already laid down 37 points of the principle as the first phase of the Union. In the 3rd session of the 21st Century Panglong Conference as well some agreements sure will successfully be laid down. For shaping the State which is lagging behind in democratic movement into the Federal Democratic Union, the whole national populace collectively must make concerted efforts in the respective sectors assigned to us for the emergence of the Constitution in accord with the democracy standards.
On 13 June 2017 the State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi addressed to the parliamentarians in the Sweden Parliament, “Peace process under way in Myanmar which is not yet familiar with democracy and made up of various kinds of the national ethnic races is very complicated, thus the country is facing with myriads of challenges. Though successive governments in Myanmar made efforts for the national peace they did not gain success on various reasons. Peace is the major necessity for the development of a nation, simultaneously influencing over all the national sectors. As of 2011-2012 the State Government has been implementing the peace process as a priority.
But, due to depth and sobriety of the peace process it needs to march toward the peace goal, without losing sight of the major objective with great tolerance. For this, at the closing ceremony of 2nd session of 21st Century Panglong, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the State Counsellor and Chairperson of Conference Convening Commission said, “Let us move to the goal in marching toward the peace by looking forward with the brighter future in our minds with quick steps.”
Toward eternal peace goal through political dialogues
At the 2nd anniversary of signing Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, the State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Chair of the National Reconciliation and Peace Center addressed, “Let us solve all the political issues in means of negotiation with the cooperation of all the organizations desirous of peace for building up the eternal peace.”
Looking back into peace talks in the past, from the peace talk held on 11th June 1963 to the talks with KIA in 1980 with the Burma Communist Party in 1981, all were unsuccessful on various reasons. In later periods peace talks were held in a different form. In the reign of U Thein Sein administration NCA was successfully signed with 8 armed ethnic groups. At the present time when the incumbent NLD-led goovernment is taking office 2 session of 21st Century Panglong Conference had been successfully held, with the 3rd session to be held soon.
Between the past two conferences, national-level political negotiations were held in convenient regions, though not being all the places. Based upon the points acquired through those talks, UPDJC discussed 45 points at the 2nd session of 21st Century Panglong Conference, 37 out of which were laid down as the common agreement, being a considerable success. The incumbent government is implementing for the achievement of the eternal peace through the political negotiations, by taking lessons from advantages and disadvantages experienced in the past. Thus, all the national populace desirous of peace should take part hand in hand with the government.
Socio-economic development of the people
While implementing national reconciliation and peace process, socio-economic development is underway. Though not achieving remarkable economic development in the first year, economic reforms are being found to have been made presently, for example as regards the investment, there is no longer classification between foreigners and local nationals, and new acts for companies has been promulgated by abolishing the former one. State Counsellor added, “It is impossible to look at the goal alone. It needs to choose the right path to the goal.” Here natural environment and sustainable development need to be taken into consideration.
Private sector is the very fundamental for people’s socio-economic development. Programmes for lending loans of 2-month period from MEB to agriculture, livestock breeding and SMEs are being announced.
Need to successfully
To sum it up, as the eternal peace cannot be achieved in the land the national development lagged behind others, though being an independent sovereign nation, failing to savor the taste of the dependence to the full. Accordingly, we hereby urge our brethren to successfully implement the national objectives of 70th anniversary of the Independence Day 2018 laid down by the State for shaping the country into the federal democratic union, while establishing the eternal peace. (Translated by Khin Maung Oo)