Following is the translation of the message sent by the President to the 70th Anniversary Shan State Day.
I send greetings of auspiciousness to dear respected citizens, brothers and sisters, ethnic nationals living in the Shan State,
I am very happy and honored to have this opportunity to send this message of greetings to the 70th Anniversary celebrations of Shan State Day which falls on 7th February.
The fact that Myanmar has existed for years with her own culture and language is firmly established in historical records. It is a country where many ethnic national races have settled and lived together in weal and in woe. We have lived among the countries of the world well known and well recognized. A country so rich in natural resources, both underground and above ground, lost her sovereignty and independence in 1885.
In the history of our fight for independence, our national leader General Aung San conducted negotiations with the British colonialists and to express the desire of the people that they wish to gain independence for the central regions as well as the mountain regions, mobilized the people of the Shan State and well as the people of the mountain regions and held a conference at Panglong town of the Shan State and tried to get their agreement. The Shan nationals were able to make a decision to gain independence together with the Chin and Kachin nationals, who live in the mountain regions. This decision was made on 7th February 1947. This decision to work for Independence after achieving national unity was thus made and the Panglong Agreement underscored the importance of national unity as the main pillar .To honor this day, it was designated as Shan State Day and we have been having celebrations to mark this day and now we are in the 70th year. I wish to emphasize here that the Shan State Day which is very important for Union Independence, is a day which is connected with all ethnic nationals born in this Union and all Myanmar nationals.
After gaining Independence, in our past history, because mistrusts and misunderstandings emerged for many reasons, among our ethnic national brothers and sisters, development and peace of the Union was affected. Even though we became free, because of armed conflicts, in some parts of our country, the fruits of Independence could not be enjoyed fully and they lost sight of their future. There was no peace and this is a cause for regret and disappointment.
At this time, all our ethnic national brothers are working hard for the cessation of all kinds of mistrusts and misunderstandings, using all kinds of methods for the emergence of a genuine democratic federal republic and to get genuine and durable peace. The Union government has started working for national reconciliation and peace in the Union by convening the Union Peace Conference — 21st Century Panglong. Our Union’s development has lagged behind by several decades because of armed conflicts. We have seen this clearly. That is why it is very important for our ethnic nationals to look to the Union Peace Conference —21st Century Panglong to collectively meet, discuss and seek solutions.
For the equitable development of all areas in our country and the food, clothing and shelter needs, security needs and socio-economic development, all ethnic nationals should join hands with the Union government and work together without discriminating between mountains and plains and central and regions. As we march towards a modern democratic federal republic, I urge all ethnic nationals to join hands and work together with full “Panglong Spirit”. On this auspicious Shan State Day, I send this Message of Greetings and good wishes for peace and happiness of all Shan nationals and all ethnic nationals in the whole of the country.
Sd/ Htin Kyaw