Message of Greetings from State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to the Ethnic Sustainable Development Forum

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State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi responds to discussions of local youths from Kayah State at the Peace Talk in Loikaw. Photo: MNA

Esteemed guests,
I would like to extend my greetings to you all including governmental officials, Ministers from regions and states, region and state Ministers for ethnic affairs, chairmen and members of the leading committees of self-administered region and members of the committees for Hluttaw affairs, representatives and experts of the literature and culture organizations, entrepreneurs, representatives from international partners, businesspersons and guests. I send greetings and good wishes for your auspiciousness and well-being.
Our brothers and sisters from ethnic national races including Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Bamar, Mon, Rakhine and Shan have been living in this Union since time immemorial.
The cooperation of ethnic people played an important role in our struggle for independence after the country fell under colonial rule.
After gaining independence, lack of trust and armed conflicts occurred among the ethnic races for decades and our country lagged behind in development in the political sector, economic sector, and the social sector compared with neighbouring countries.
Therefore, the Government is striving hand in hand with the ethnic brethren for bringing national reconciliation and eternal peace back to the Union.
Today, negotiations are being conducted at meetings of the Union Peace Conference-21st Century Panglong with ethnic people for power-sharing, land and natural resources management, taxation and regional development as part of efforts for emergence of basic principles for a future federal republic.
Some agreements were reached and they were signed as parts of the Union Agreement, and further negotiations will be conducted.
These efforts have shown our commitment to cessation of armed conflicts which have lasted for more than 70 years and to laying down foundation for building a democracy federal union aspired by the people.
Meanwhile, Ministry for Ethnic Affairs was established and Ministers for ethnic affairs were appointed. Only when we give priority to development of ethnic people and ethnic areas, can national reconciliation and unity of the Union be achieved with pragmatic fruits of development.
Hence, I would like to urge all of you to cooperate for emergence of new thoughts, and new opinions and join hands to build a Democratic Federal Republic in unity through this forum.
(Unofficial Translation)

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