Message of Greetings sent by President U Htin Kyaw on the 65th Kayah State Day celebration ceremony ( 15th January 2017 )

Dear esteemed ethnic national brothers and sisters residing in the Kayah State, greetings,
I feel very honoured and happy to have this opportunity to send this message of greetings to the 65th Anniversary celebration ceremony of the Kayah State Day which falls on 15th January 2017.
Today marks the Kayah State Day, a truly significant and auspicious day for all ethnic national brothers and sisters residing in the Kayah State,
I send my felicitations and good wishes for the well-being and auspiciousness of all Kayah nationals residing in the Kayah State, all Kayah nationals living all over the country and all Union ethnic nationals on this truly significant and auspicious Kayah State Day.
During the time when we established the States and Divisions after gaining our Independence, according to sub-section (1) of Section 180 of the 1947 Constitution, the Karenni State was amalgamated into the Karen State and according to the Amendment Act, Section 8 of the 1951 Constitution ( 1951 Act Number 62), it was enacted that the word “Karenni State” should be substituted with “Kayah State” in all places where it occurs in the Union Constitution. This day when the name of Karenni State was changed to Kayah State, the 15th of January 1952 was first year that the Kayah State Day was celebrated and this year we are already in the 65th year.
My dear esteemed ethnic national brothers and sisters residing in the Kayah State,
If we look back into history, we may see that Kayah ethnic nationals comprise (9) groups while other ethnic nationals also reside in the Kayah State from time immemorial in friendship and cordiality. After gaining Independence, because of mistrust and conflicts which lasted for many decades among the different ethnic brothers and sisters, Myanmar lagged behind in politics, economic affairs and social affairs compared to other neighbouring countries.
It is for this reason that our new government is working hard to achieve national reconciliation and peace in the whole Union by convening the Union Peace Conference — 21st Century Panglong.
The Lawpita Hydroelectric Power stations in Kayah State have existed for many years as very important electric power stations for the distribution of electricity for Myanmar. Also because Kayah State is a state which has many natural sceneries such as deep ravines, mountains and waterfalls, it has the potential to be developed for eco-tourism.
Dear esteemed ethnic national brothers and sisters residing in Kayah State,
The ethnic national brothers and sisters residing in Kayah State have traveled together on a long, difficult and arduous journey. Due to the fact that there was very little trust among the ethnic national brothers and sisters, the areas which had experienced the most armed conflicts had suffered the most. Many generations of youths lost their futures. However, today at this time the sound of guns and bombs are almost gone.
Because the ethnic armed groups in Kayah State have cooperated and joined the peace process, the ethnic nationals of Kayah State have begun to enjoy the fruits of peace and also new opportunities for development. It is therefore very important for ethnic national brothers and sisters to join hands and participate for achieving durable peace taking advantage of the ceasefire.
In order to build a peaceful and prosperous modern democratic federal Union, it is very important for ethnic nationals to participate in the process on a basis of equality.
We firmly believe that we should seek for answers to the political problems of the Union through peaceful negotiations, and that the basic principles for building a democratic federal union will emerge from these negotiations.
I wish to urge our ethnic national brothers and sisters who have participated wholeheartedly in the struggle for Independence and also walked on the path to peace with bravery and foresight to join in with unity and strength for national reconciliation, internal peace and development and modernization.
I send this message of greetings as I urge you to work for the modernization, peace and beauty of the state, not only for the present generation but also for the future.

Htin Kyaw

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