By Khin Maung Myint
Early last night, after listening to a short, but very emotional and passionate address to the nation by the State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, I was greatly moved. Her speech was noticeably packed with sincerity, thoughtfulness and compassion, which she has on all the people of Myanmar, irrespective of race and religion. Above all there was no sign of anger, hatred or animosity towards any individual or country, which has been creating all the turmoil in the Northern Rakhine that are posing great difficulties and extreme challenges for the government recently.
She expressed her appreciation for the people of Myanmar for their understanding and unity and the show of support by standing with the government in such times of difficulties and extreme challenges. She also expressed that there was no power which can compare with the support of the people, trust of the people and the unity of the people and called for the people to be united to overcome all the difficulties the country was facing. I agree with her unreservedly. United we will overcome all difficulties and challenges, however extreme and serious they may be.
She clearly outlined the steps the government has planned to undertake in repatriation of those who had crossed over to Bangladesh and effective provision of humanitarian assistance, the resettlements and rehabilitation for those people, and the development programmes and establishing of durable peace in that region. Those are the most important and urgently needed remedies to bring absolute normalcy to that region. In my view, there was nothing that needs addressing left out in her report.
While making arrangements to help those returning from Bangladesh, she also had in mind, the welfare of the minority ethnic races of Rakhine, such as the Daing-nets, Mros, and also the Rakhine nationals and Hindus of those areas who suffered during the terrorist attacks.
She had also requested the Myanmar people who are famous as being the most generous people in the world, who are fond of meritorious donations to help the needy, and to come to the aid of the government in the rehabilitation process. All the Myanmar nationals at home and abroad, who can afford should help the government as the State Counsellor had requested, in such a time of need, by donating in cash or kind. Your donations will mean a lot to those destitute people and also greatly relieve the burdens on the Government too.
She expressed her appreciation for the local entrepreneurs, the CSOs, the NGOs, and the international community who had expressed their desires to give assistance in the various tasks in the resettlements, rehabilitations, developments, and the enhancements of the living conditions of the people of the Rakhine State. She also mentioned that, as it was a matter of national importance, the Union Government and the State/ Region Governments would take the leading roles in implementing the resettlement, the rehabilitation and the development programmes. Thus the Union Government would give due regard and serious consideration to the sincere offers made at home and abroad. She also invited the people, the private sector, local NGOs, CSOs, friendly countries, the various UN agencies and INGOs to work together with the Union Government.
Also the fact that she herself would chair the Union Enterprise for Humanitarian Assistance, Resettlements and Developments in Rakhine was a clear indication of the importance and the priority she placed on the tasks at hand. All in all, her report to the people or the address to the nation, concerning the plans that the Union Government had formulated, reflects the sincere intentions and priorities it had placed on the welfare of the people.
Here I would like to mention my experience from yesterday morning. After my regular morning walk to the Kandawgyi, I went to a roadside eatery where I frequented, to have breakfast. It is situated in a Muslim residential quarter. I usually went there, not just to have breakfast, but to have discussion with those who care to listen to my explanations about the non-existent race who claimed, at first to be recognized as an ethnic race and when that failed, they claimed to have the right for citizenship. I managed to convince some who were liberal minded to accept my explanations.
While I was having breakfast yesterday morning, a Myanmar Muslim, an acquaintance of mine, who usually discussed with me about the developments in the Northern Rakhine, entered the shop on seeing me. As soon as he was within arm’s reach of me, he shook my hand heartily, a gesture he had never done before. At first I was dumbfounded by his actions, but I was greatly moved by his remarks. He was full of praise for the State Counsellor. He told me that he was very pleased with her report to the people and that he believed every word she said and that she was very sincere.
I would like to conclude that the report to the people was very clear, precise, sincere and honest, and free of anger or animosity against anyone. There was no blaming or condemning any individual or organization or country. It was filled with empathy, compassion, love, and consideration towards the people without any discrimination whatsoever. Thus I would like to earnestly request all the people of Myanmar, irrespective of race or religion to be united and rally behind our leader and work hand in and with the government to bring about peace and harmony in Rakhine and elsewhere in the country.