Path to democracy often rocky

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  • Myanmar’s road to democracy is not a bed of roses. Our country faces many challenges and obstacles in our quest for freedom of expression and representative government. We will not be able to solve every issue we face along the way. But we need to carry on our struggle in all sectors that are necessary.
    In his inaugural speech yesterday, President U Win Myint pledged to implement policies which include the rule of law and improvement of the socio-economic life of the people, national reconciliation and internal peace.
    He also pledged to amend the constitution so that it can guarantee a Democratic, Federal Union.
    “Our journey is just beginning the democratic transition. To make this transition process smooth and a success, our people and civil servants on their part should change their mindset and dogmatic habits”, he said.
    President U Win Myint also vowed to impose enforcement on the governmental institutions which delay accomplishment of reforms, to improve the country’s weak judiciary system, to fight corruption, to prevent human rights violations, and to crack down on the illegal drug trade in accordance with the law.
    At the same time, improvement of the socio-economic lives of farmers and labourers and bringing opportunities to students so that they can study specialised professions will not be neglected, he said.
    As part of the effort to restore dignity to our farmers, he promised to take measures to return confiscated farmland to farmers and to give compensation for grievances to farmers in accordance with the law.
    We support our newly elected President, and trust that he will fulfill his promises to eradicate corruption, strengthen the judiciary, crack down on illegal drugs and improve the lives and opportunities for workers and students.
    The three branches of the government — legislative, executive and judicial — have been entrusted with power according to the constitution, and they must exercise this power with mutual respect, understanding, and trust as they collaborate for the good of the people. As we continue to travel down the road to democracy, let us all remain honourable and not forget that all this work is ultimately for the people. Not just the wealthy, the influential or the powerful, but all the people of Myanmar.
    We believe this is what President U Win Myint meant when he said:
    “We have much to carry on fulfilling the hopes and needs of the people of the country. We must press on until our citizens have their dignity raised and our country can retain its former glory on the global stage.
    “We will abolish the red tape that burdens the people and eradicate corruption and bribery that plagues all levels of society as we work to strengthen the moral fiber of the people. We will draw out from our past experiences as a civilian government overcoming various obstacles and hardships, as we work for the immediate present and head towards the approaching future of a democratic nation that respects human rights and is free from all stains of corruption.
    In my closing remarks I would like to state that I promise that you will see with your own eyes the changes that you have yearned for as I walk along this path together with you.”
    We will not just wait and observe if the President’s promises are fulfilled, we will also actively support and promote our roles in this hopeful democracy.
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