- By Shwetiang Lwin
In the pages of our chronicle, we have patriots and heroes since the ancient times in the Union of Myanmar. We must always keep in mind that discords among the nationalities wreak havoc to the Union with disunity, while unity and harmony in family spirit brings the country with greater good that tantamount to love and cherish the national heritage.
Never to forget
We have lived our lives in such a way with our own Monarch, Kings, Queens and Palaces and in attractive landscape, until we were subjugated in 1885 after the Anglo-Burmese Wars, (1824–26, 1852, 1885), three conflicts that collectively forced Burma (now Myanmar) into a vulnerable position from which it had to concede British hegemony in the region of the Bay of Bengal.
Loss of Myanma Independence was due to all-round weaknesses, Bogyoke Aung San and a host of patriotic Thakins comes together with the political strategy, and fought for the liberty.
While the Myanmar delegation led by Bogyoke Aung San was in London negotiating for Independence, some Shan chieftains with pessimistic views sent a telegram to London antagonizing the freedom endeavors.
When Bogyoke Aung San and his team came to know about the matter of sabotage, they immediately realized that the main necessity was in regaining independence of the nation and to be free from servitude of the whole population, and therefore, firm and solid determination was being laid down just to regain the Independence.
In response to the negative telegram being sent from two Shan chieftains, Bogyoke Aung San immediately informed the matter to AFPFL Headquarters in Yangon, for which the head office made a counter activity. Thus, an advanced Panglong gathering was held immediately in Taunggyi in the Union spirit.
An agreement was reached with U Tin Aye of the Shan State Youth League (SSYL) (later become the Member of State Council) and U Tun Myint (Taunggyi), and organized and conducted a mass meeting in strong support of the endeavors of Bogyoke Aung San and Myanmar delegation in London.
Bo Hmu Aung (Thirty Comrades), Bo Htun Lin (the Pyithu Yebaw Tat, or People’s Volunteer Organization (PVO), and U Pe Khin (Retired Ambassador) travelled to Taunggyi and collaborated with Shan State Youth League, and pledged and endorsed the activities of Bogyoke Aung San.
Moreover, the mass condemnation and protest was approved over the telegram being sent by the two Shan Chieftains. U Tin Aye and U Pe Khin sent a telegram from Yangon AFPFL Headquarters to London and informed Bogyoke Aung San on the decision of the mass meeting.
Clement Richard Attlee, British statesman from England insisted the Frontier Areas were inhabited by ethnic minorities such as the Chin, the Shan, etc and that the ethnic nationalities must signed themselves on the consents regarding the demands.
In other words, it meant that that they have agreed along with the flatlands in acquiring the Independence in the blueprint and pattern of a Union in a rock-hard and solid document.
Although the telegram sent by the two Shan chieftains have never ever taken up seriously, the hindrance and impediment in between the hill track regions and the flatlands popped up on the surface and ignited and spark in conceiving the Panglong Spirit in the hearts of the leaders.
Remembering the past
While remembering the past scenario over the date of 12 February 1947, the sweet spring of the season enveloped in the vast Shan State especially Laikha Township centering Panglong legendary town in the foggy morning with the flagrance of cherry flowers and Rhododendron petals permeated in the hearts of the entire nationalities could be depicted from the memorable writings of Sayar Thetkato Nay Win.
The writings also highlighted that the February 13 was the date on which Bogyoke Aung San fully attained the age of (32) and that the date of February 12 of 1947 was an important day for all of us.
Obviously, the word “Union” was born with the vision of Independence of Myanmar by signing the celebrated and well-known Panglong Agreement.
Start of a road to success
While on a heated debate of negotiation between Bogyoke Aung San and Mr. Attlee in London, the latter had created a predicament and dilemma in breaking away the flatlands and the hilly frontier regions of the country.
However, Bogyoke Aung San acquired the unity and harmony between the Myanmar proper and the hill tracts showcasing the Panglong Conference.
On 6 February 1947, the Kachin Representatives and the Shan Representatives come together and arranged a public meeting in Panglong Town with the attendance of (2000) people. The Panglong mass meeting continued into the night and at 9:30 pm on 7 February 1947, where the Hill Track Ethnic Nationalities Unity Association (18) members Team headed by Nyaung Shwe Saw Bwa Gyee Sao Shwe Thaik was formed, which stands out as the start of the road to success.
On 8 February 1947, Bogyoke Aung San and Arthur Bottomley, Clement Attlee’s Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, and some leaders arrived at Panglong Town.
At 11:30 am in the morning was a decisive moment for the entire people and nationalities in the country as the Kachin, Chin, Bamar and Shan leaders along with British officers and Shan population rallied around showing the strength and unity of the people.
The public meeting was chaired by Southern Shan Chieftain Sao Khun Pan Sein and Bogyoke Aung San delivered a speech to the affect that the Bamar nationals were not desirous to rule and influence others.
The day on 12 February 1947 was a day to remember for the whole country as the cool morning had witnessed the unanimous signing of Panglong Agreement at 10:00 am by Bogyoke Aung San and (23) Representatives of various nationalities.
Seeding for the road map
The seed planted at the Panglong put the spotlight on the unity demonstrated by leaders across nationalities, and that has remained in the chronicles of Myanmar as a decisive day for our Union, which sets our hearts beating even today.
The heritage handed down by the patriotic leaders must be maintained with the nationalistic fervor embedded with national spirit along the vision to stay on in weal and woe in unity and harmony.
The writer of this article would like to conclude that it is our inborn duty to love, honor and cherish the sweetest heritage of the Union.
Translated by UMT (Ahlon)