The Ayeyawady River — the lifeblood of Myanmar —originates in Kachin State, which is endowed with valuable natural resources, snow-capped mountains, and beautiful landscapes. But the region’s people are not free to utilize its natural landscapes and resources yet. In some areas, one can still hear the sound of gunshots and see ethnic people fleeing from armed conflicts.
Once peace is ensured in the entire region, development will surely follow. Our neighboring countries can be seen enjoying the benefits of peace and stability. They have managed to conserve their natural environment and transform themselves into thriving tourist destinations. Their people enjoy good employment opportunities and are content and happy.
In his message of greetings on the 71st Kachin State Day, President U Win Myint said:“I want all of you to visualize how significantly Kachin State will develop, with good momentum, within a period of ten years, if armed conflicts cease in the state. Ethnic nationals within Kachin State have been hoping for many years to realize their dream of a peaceful, happy, and developed state. Everyone is waiting to see representatives of Kachin State participate in the Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong meetings.”
Long-drawn armed conflicts have caused much difficulties and hardships for ethnic nationals, in addition to impeding regional development. Myanmar’s image in the eyes of the world and the ASEAN region has suffered on account of the conflicts. Our country is diverse, and the only way armed conflicts will end and our Union will endure is when all national races co-exist in harmony and equality.
That is why the Union government has been striving for the establishment of a Union based on democracy and a federal system to bring about national reconciliation and internal peace. Doing so will lead to the realization of not just the dreams of the Kachin people, but also the hopes and aspirations of the entire nation.
We must take lessons from our experiences in the past and the present and accept the need for establishing equality and trust. We need to reassess whether we are truly turning our aspirations into reality. At present, the Union government is striving for the economic development and advancement of ethnic nationals. Ethnic nationals, in turn, must foster loving kinship and work to dispel animosity. We must preserve the Union spirit we have inherited from our forefathers. Establishing a democratic federal union is the hope and dream of all ethnic nationals in the country.
Now is the time for all ethnic nationals of Kachin State and the entire country to work for unity to achieve lasting peace, so that all of our hopes and dreams can become a reality.