Vice President U Myint Swe, in his role as Chairman of the Central Committee for Convening the 72nd Union Day Ceremony, delivered the opening speech at the central committee’s second coordination meeting in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
In his speech, the Vice President said that the present meeting was the second coordination meeting held for the successful organizing and holding of the 2019 72nd Anniversary Union Day. The 2019 72nd Anniversary Union Day Convening Central Committee have been formed with 14 members by the Office of the President on 23 November 2018 to successfully observe the day in accordance with the five national objectives and full political essence. An 18-member management committee and 14 sub-committees have been also formed.
The Vice President said the first coordination meeting held on 14 January reached 13 decisions and the committee and sub-committees were evidently implementing them. He said it was necessary to look at the 11 strengths and weaknesses scrutinized on 7 May 2018 relating to the 71st Union Day ceremony. He said it was necessary to correct the weaknesses and develop the strengths by basing them on experiences gained. He said Union Day celebrations were held for upholding ethnic solidarity, national reconciliation, and achieving lasting peace speedily.
Defining Union spirit
He said the main component for ethnic solidarity was the ‘Union spirit’, which has been defined by successive generations. He said Union spirit used to be defined as ‘an important aspect to cultivate no matter where a person was residing within the Union, as only the Union spirit was the one true nationalistic spirit every ethnic national must uphold’.
With the changing times, the Ministry of Information has defined the Union spirit as ‘the mentality that keeps all ethnic nationals united through the most difficulty times.’ In addition, it also meant ‘the resolution that no matter where you live in the Union, we are all one family that lives on the same land and drink the same water of the country,’ said the Vice President.
Significance of Union Day
He said independence was achieved after Bogyoke Aung San and ethnic national leaders held the Panglong conference of 12 February 1947 and signed the Panglong Agreement in unity. He said the Union Day that depicts the unity of ethnic national brothers and sisters has been held every year and this was the 72nd year. He said the results of the Panglong conference united all ethnic races and led to our gaining independence. He said all stakeholders were working for national reconciliation and lasting peace in Myanmar. He said taking lessons from the original Panglong conference, the Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong was being conducted with the belief and zeal to achieve lasting peace and it was everyone’s knowledge that only peace would bring about development to the country.
Importance of maintaining Union Day celebrations
The Vice President said Myanmar was a Union that had many ethnic nationals, languages, culture, traditions and beliefs. Ethnic nationals living in different geographical locations were to maintain their cultural heritages and traditions so that they were not lost. That was why the cultures and traditions of ethnic nationals were protected, maintained and shown on Union Day for future generations to always remember. He said as Union Day was an annual ceremony, all the committees and sub-committees related to it must be diligent in performing their duties. He said it was important to educate the public on the essence of the five national objectives. In that regard, the television, radio and published materials were the medium through which to disseminate this knowledge. He said it was important to portray the Union Government’s efforts for ethnic solidarity, union peace, and national reconciliation.
We must be well planned
The Vice President highlighted that it was important to complete all necessary preparations concerning accommodation, food, and logistics for the ethnic cultural troupes, ethnic affairs ministers, chairpersons and leaders of political parties, and leaders of ethnic armed organizations who have signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) attending the Union Day ceremony.
Sub-committees need to have Plan A as well as Plan B for all matters related to holding of the 72nd Anniversary Union Day. In order to successfully hold the Union Day ceremony with full political essence all were urged to work together to make this year the best based on past years experiences, said the Vice President. He asked the attendees to discuss the implementation progress of the first coordination meeting’s decisions.
Attendees begin discussions
Next, the Chairman of the Committee for Managing the 72nd Union Day Ceremony, Dr. Myo Aung, who is also the Nay Pyi Taw Council Chairman, explained the progress of implementing the decisions from the first coordination meeting and preparations made for the upcoming ceremony.
This was followed by representatives from the committee and sub-committees explaining the progress of their respective assigned tasks. The Vice President gave his suggestions and comments to ensure proper coordination after which he gave his closing remarks.
The meeting was attended by Union Ministers Dr. Pe Myint, Thura U Aung Ko, U Thant Sin Maung, U Win Khaing, Dr. Myo Thein Gyi, U Soe Win, and Nai Thet Lwin, Nay Pyi Taw Council Chairman Dr. Myo Aung, deputy ministers U Kyaw Myo, U Win Maw Tun, U Maung Maung Win, and U Hla Maw Oo, Nay Pyi Taw Council members Col. Min Naung and U Aung Myin Tun, Nay Pyi Taw Command deputy commander Brig-Gen Maung Maung, Permanent Secretaries, Directors-General, senior Tatmadaw officers, the Deputy Chief of Myanmar Police Force, and departmental officials.
—MNA (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)