Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Office of Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services
Message from Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General
Min Aung Hlaing for 5th anniversary of Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement
14th Waning of Tawthalin, 1382 ME
15th October 2020
Esteemed citizens of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and Union-born national brethren,
The 15 October 2020 is the 5th anniversary of signing the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement– NCA, which is a significant milestone for Myanmar’s peace. I would like to extend greetings that may all the stakeholders of the NCA, those who help us achieve the NCA, leaders of ethnic groups, all witnesses from Myanmar and foreign countries and all the people living in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar be healthy and happy and have greater strength in serving the interest of the country and in realizing peace.
National ethnic people live together in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, and it lost its Independence in 1885 when it was annexed by colonialists. The invaders tried to divide the national ethnic people of Myanmar so that they cannot grant Independence for Myanmar. When the time had come near for Myanmar to gain Independence, the colonialists helped create separatist movements and armed insurgencies. For more than 70 years, Myanmar experienced multi-coloured insurgencies. The successive governments worked hard to stop insurgencies and to achieve nationwide peace, but in vain because of various situations.
Based on the “Our Three Main National Causes”, the Tatmadaw government invited ethnic armed organizations to discuss peace, starting from 18 September 1988. As a result, by going through the peace process, the country could agree on a ceasefire with ethnic armed organizations, and achieve nationwide peace. Under the Tatmadaw government, it achieved only “gentleman agreements” such as agreements on temporary accommodation for ethnic people, the designation of areas and regional development.
In switching into democracy, lasting peace is essential. In the multi-party democratic era, peace process and agreements need to match with the democratic system. So, we take efforts to draft the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), which is the beginning of peace.
Drafting NCA was discussed after the Laiza Conference on 2 November 2013. The draft verision of NCA was developed on 31 March 2015. From the draft version to its final edition of NCA, the detailed discussions were made for six times before reaching agreements. Almost all the provisions in NCA were based on the suggestions of EAOs, while the government and the Tatmadaw made coordination.
With the participation of 8 ethnic armed organizations, the NCA was signed on 15 October 2015 due to coordination, patience, high-mindedness and selfless efforts of the members from the government, the Hluttaw, the Tatmadaw and the EAOs. Another two EAOs joined the agreement in 2018. The Tatmadaw recognizes the role of participants for their strenuous efforts in the emergence of NCA.
The provisions in NCA have wider meaning although the document is titled as the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement.
The fundamental principles of NCA include ceasefire talks, the establishment of political culture to avoid military option to solve political problems for ensuring lasting peace, and that the processes will be implemented in line with the results from political dialogues of the roadmap.
In addition to many national races, Myanmar also has many political parties based on various political views, localities and national groups. Therefore, wider representation of the political parties which are striving for the affairs of ethnic people and the State is required in state-building tasks. These parties could have opportunities to work for the benefits of their regions and their people more effectively only when this system could be practised. Then, a Union system with lasting peace, democracy and federal system could be established as quickly as possible, and this way should be considered. The Panglong Agreement is a symbol that recognizes stronger unity of national people, as well as a symbol of historic value for removing long-term conflicts and mistrusts among each other. Therefore, the provisions of NCA need to be implemented. The three parts of Union Accord must be tabled to the Hluttaw for discussions in a democratic way.
COVID-19 pandemic has occurred as the second wave since early September in this country. The number of confirmed cases has reached over ten thousand and over a hundred of death toll until now. The Tatmadaw has put strenuous efforts in the control measures against the disease, and donations have been made at the self-administered zones and regions and the control areas of ethnic armed organizations. During the outbreak of disease, the Tatmadaw is working together with the public for socio-economic development of people.
By strict adherence to the rules for COVID-19 prevention, people could overcome the pandemic as decent citizens. The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic is occurring across the country. Although about 7,000 million people are suffering from a decline in socio-economic sectors, the trade of commodity has not declined yet. As the food is a fundamental need for every body, it is advised to increase foodstuffs production in respective regions to promote individual incomes and state revenues. The Tatmadaw will join hands with the public with the best efforts in socio-economic development of the country. The 2020 General Election will be held in November. The election plays a vital role in multiparty democracy system, and that it needs to be free and fair. It is also advised to elect the ‘capable candidates who can work for the country in genuine desire with Union spirit’. A right choice could help to be fully able to enjoy democracy, peace and development expected by the ethnic people.
The Tatmadaw will work together with national people in establishing a united and strong Union based on democracy and federal system in line with the desire of ethnic people. All the respective organizations and national people are urged to participate in the works for the lasting peace and sustainable development of the country.
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing
Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services