Shan Nationalities League for Democracy presents its policy, stance and work program

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Central Executive Committee Member Nann Htwe Hmon.

Central Executive Committee Member Nann Htwe Hmon of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) presented the party’s policy, stance and work program on radio and television on 12 September.
Following is a translation of the presentation:

May sung khaa.
First of all, allow me to extend our heartiest greetings for the health and happiness to all residing in the Union of Myanmar.
I am Central Executive Committee Member Nann Htwe Hmon of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy.
Respected voters and esteemed people,
Due to the past mismanagement under the one- party system and authoritarian rule, our nation is lagged behind as a least developing country until now. Today, our nation practices multi-party democracy system and moving in at a steady pace for democratic transition. Ppoliticians of a party should have the following basic state of mind:

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(1) One must give priority to party’s interest when it comes to self interest and party’s interest.
(2) One must give priority to people’s interest when it comes to party’s interest and people’s interest.
If persons, who are meant to lead the Union, could not set aside and trim down their personal ego and self interest, they will not be able to lead for the development of the country. Actions and tasks of oneself and the party must aim at the interest of the people, and must uphold the people as parents.
At this juncture, I would like to say that leaders and members of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy always uphold first and foremost the interest of the people rather than oneself and the party.
The aim and purpose of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy is as follows.
While working and creating for strengthening the mutual respect trust among national brethren residing in the Union of Myanmar, the SNLD party also peacefully endeavors to the best of its ability for internal peace and national reconciliation. With a view to implementing internal peace process and national equality task in the lead role, basic policies are being laid out for cooperation. The sustainable peace construction policy of the party is as follows:
(1) In building an independent federal union, it will be based on commitments and Panglong principle, as mentioned in the historic Panglong Agreement being exchanged and signed on 12 February 1947.
(2) It will be based on the genuine Union principle, agreed and adopted at the all-state seminar held in Taunggyi in 1961.
(3) It will be based on equality, self-administration rights and democratic system.
(4) It will be based on the principle of mutual acknowledgement of nationalities residing in the Union, including mutual respect, assisting one another, unity and peaceful coexistence.
(5) It will be based on the acceptance of diverse historical backgrounds, traditional culture, literature, language and national characteristics in conjunction with the creation of Union characteristic by all citizens.
Respected voters and esteemed people,
While implementing the tasks for a federal union and internal peace, we must not forget the historical facts from which the Union emerged and has existed.
The Union of Myanmar was first created on the 1947 Panglong Agreement. The Panglong Agreement was signed to acquire the independence of the nation, together in cooperation on the basis of equality between the different frontier (hilly) areas and the plains.
It could be found that the historic Panglong Agreement was signed on the understanding that the new Myanmar nation would be built on union system, that the union will have political equality, and that full rights will be exercised for self-administration.
Owing to the Panglong Agreement, Myanmar was able to declare her independence on 4 January 1948. The commitments of Panglong have brought in a genuine national unity among national brethrens. If one looks into that reality, it shows that national brethrens have not created separate independent states, but instead pooled their rights together and created a Union.
It could be clearly seen that the whole of the frontier areas had not been integrated into the Union by force with the threat of arms, but joined the Union on their own on the basis of equality, the Panglong spirit, and the Panglong commitment.
Our party, the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, would carry on the historical duty for the implementation of the essence mentioned in the Panglong commitments, which is the basic foundation of the Union.
Respected voters and esteemed people,
In building a federal democratic union, national equality and self-administration rights play a vital role. Assessing the challenges actually encountered in the implementation of national equality and a federal union, the following are being found:
(1) The process of peace building;
(2) The process of democratic transition;
(3) The process of building a federal union;
(4) The historical legal rights of nationalities;
(5) The development of states of the national races;
(6) Finding solutions to armed conflicts;
(7) Regarding the rights of the ethnic minorities.
The country spent over half a century under authoritarian rule, resulting in the absence of democracy for a long period. Thus, we are encountering in this period rivalry between the revolutionary spirit and the reform spirit, and head on collision on ideology of the security and defence oriented group and the civilian democratic government. At the same time, we are also facing a constitutional crisis that has ignored the desire and aspiration of the entire national races and people.
Moreover, we are also experiencing an initial stage of democratic transition. A lengthy period of systematic destruction has resulted in the inability of performance by government organizations, democracy practice that is still not firm and solid, weakness in the rule of law, deep-rooted habits of bribery and corruption, lack of media freedom, and incapable civil societies.
Weakness is also seen in major extraction of natural resources, citing development of the country; environmental degradation problem; controversial large projects; monopoly by business cronies over business projects; and lack of transparency.
Challenges are also seen, such as that of international pressure emerging from the Rakhine State issue, Myanmar being pushed into the global front due to geopolitical competition between China and Western countries, and rise in religious fanaticism and nationalists extremism.
Respected voters and esteemed people,
For all national races to be prosperous and peacefully coexist in the Union is based on the application of certain political system. The most vital factor in building a federal union is to design Union characteristics, accepted by all concerned. In this connection, there are two kinds, the structural characteristics and the essence characteristics.
Structural characteristics are as follows:
(1) All characteristics and symbols, signs and special emblems, figures and images owned and accepted by the people of the nation are to be utilized in all relevant places of the country.
(2) Relevant personal emblems, figures and images of certain states are to be recognized and utilized in the relevant states.
(3) With regards to places in the Union, all emblems, figures and images of the states are to be kept and displayed.
(4) Historical legacies, special days of commemoration, cultural events of diverse national races are to be mutually exchanged and accepted as valuable and worthy.
Essence characteristics are as follows:
(1) The building of democracy, equality, self-determination with full rights to create a Union and integrate as states in the Union.
(2) The building of a strong system that checks and balances the legislative, administrative and judicial sectors, standing out separately and functioning independently.
(3) The building of a strong and sound interactive relations system between the Union and the states governments, and among the states governments.
(4) Sharing the budget, resource management and utilization, for standard and equal development of all states.
(5) The implementation of a clear and transparent federal administration system.

Respected voters and esteemed people,
The building of a federal union by an individual’s endeavor and efforts would be very difficult. The Shan Nationalities League for Democracy believes that all national races that had built the Union must come together with collective leadership and responsibility in building a prosperous and peaceful Union.
Our SNLD party stands out as an honest and matured party until today and always upholding the aim for internal peace, harmony among national races, the peoples’ needs, and the construction of a federal Union. We will go ahead with courageous steps for justice, liberty, equality and peace to take root and develop in this country. Our party will strongly step ahead to the future holding the historical task, and will try to leave a legacy with a firm foundation that guarantees in full national equality in a genuine federal union.
I would like to offer my firm promises here that if the respected people vote for our representatives of SNLD party as lawmakers, they are sure to serve the interests of the people.
Therefore, I take this opportunity in urging the respected people to proceed to the polling booth on the upcoming voting day and vote with a courageous manner for the development of the social life of the people and for the peace of the nation. Please vote with a decisive spirit.
In conclusion, I would like to call upon all to create a federal union enveloped with full happiness.
I wish all to come together in building the nation.
May sung khaa.

Translated by UMT (HK)


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