Speech delivered by State Counsellor at 72nd anniversary of Kachin State Day in Myitkyina

10th January, 2020

I am delighted to be present at the celebrations of the 72nd anniversary of Kachin State Day. Being here with the union brethren here today shows how much we respect our nation, how much we wish for it to develop and become stable, we are able to show that and for that I am very grateful. As it is also in the beginning of the New Year I wish to extend New Year wishes to the Kachin brethren. May everyone possess good health and peace of mind.
The reason I want to attend Kachin State Day is because a lot different ethnic races live in Kachin State. This state encompasses different ethnic races, faiths and languages so it is a perfect model of what our Union should be.

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi delivers the opening address at the 72nd Kachin State Day celebrations in Myitkyina, Kachin State yesterday. Photo: MNA
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi delivers the opening address at the 72nd Kachin State Day celebrations in Myitkyina, Kachin State yesterday. Photo: MNA

Just as it was outlined in the President’s message earlier, our Kachin State Day was the first when we weren’t very far from independence. You can even say it was born at the same time as our independence. That is why this Kachin State Day that was designated a week after attaining independence, we need to reevaluate the meaning of independence.
When our fathers of indepenece worked hard for freedom there was something they said over and over again. A nation that wanted to create its own destiny must have the opportunity to create its own destiny. We need to have the courage and duty to create our destiny and the skills to do so.
When we think about why we want to create our destinies it’s because we want emotional security. We cannot have emotional security if our lives are like water in someone else’s hands. That is why our independence fathers wanted to create their destinies, their nation’s security and emotional security of the citizens and they wanted to take responsibility for that as well.
We need physical security to achieve emotional security too. That is why internal peace is important to finalize our independence. The aim of our independence is to write our own destinies and have emotional security for all citizens. Peace is an indispensable part of it all.
That is why the responsibility to achieve peace is on us after we have achieved independence.
Our forefathers fulfilled their duties during their generation and we need to evaluate if we have done the same in our generation. To be accountable for this we need to achieve peace.
Kachin State is interlinked with Panglong based on Panglong Union. Some people even say Panglong starts from Kachin. We achieved agreements on this land and signed the Panglong Treaty later.
Before he went to Panglong, I think we can say my father had the happiest photos in Kachin State. You cannot find him smiling this happily in any other photos. It is because he was thinking that we would be able to establish our republic, a free republic or union and that hope was sparkling in him.
So, our hopes for a brighter future started from here. It is important that we implement that in our own generation. Now we are implementing the freedom that our forefathers achieved in the 20th Century and we need to end it in the 21st century. It means implementing genuine long lasting peace.
For our objectives to be realized we need to build understanding among ourselves. So is building trust. We must also believe we need peace and that it can be achieved. We must accept it is our responsibility to do so.
We must finish what our ancestors began in our generation and not continue it into the next generation. There are different types of duties. We need to maintain the good inheritance left by our ancestors. We are also responsible to the next generation. We must leave behind valuable inheritances to the next generation.
Therefore, it is crucial that we implement the duties of the past and future in the present. We need to be involved in the peace process so that we can leave behind valuable legacies for our next generation.
For any nation to succeed we need the participation of all citizens. For a republic like ours we need the participation of all ethnic races. We need to be united with union spirit. We are first and foremost citizens of this republic and after that we can think about our own ethnic race.
With our left and right hands which are diverse, we can hold things firmly. If both hands are on the same side, we cannot hold things firmly. So, we need to use the diversity in the right way. Diversity is not a problem. Using the diversity not in the right way is the problem. Therefore, we don’t need to be afraid of diversity. There are no reasons which can make our problems bigger with the use of diversity. I would like to urge all the people to turn diversity into the strength of the country.
What I understand is that there are five major Manaw festivals. Please forgive me if I pronounce them wrongly. PadanManaw, SutManaw, JuManaw, KwanyanManaw and ShaditphawManaw. I understand that the first PadanManaw represents the victory in the war. So, I want you to view these traditional five Manaw festivals in accordance with the needs of the current era. How great is a kind of festival today to celebrate over ending the internal conflicts rather than victory in the war. I want all of the people to make efforts for holding that kind of festival to celebrate ceasing internal conflicts in our country. Only when we cease the internal armed conflicts, can our country achieve progress and can our people enjoy development.
I understand that SutManaw is related with making friendships. How about celebrating the SutManaw for making friends and welcoming our ethnic brethren on which we viewed as enemies in the past? This attitude is more important than just making friendships. Not as new friends. It is important for us to make efforts for reaching a situation of reunification with our brethren as friends though we considered each other as enemies in the past.
I understand that JuManaw is celebrated when elders are suffering illness or passes away. What I understand is that this Manaw is aimed at relieving the elders mentally when they suffer ill health or entering a heaven after they pass away. How about relieving our leaders by bringing peace to our country, helping them to enter to a next life after they pass away, after they have witnessed our Union with development. This is the best gift we can give to them. This is my view. Therefore, I want to see a kind of Manaw informing the elders that we can guarantee security and safety to our next generations.
Next one is KunyanManaw. I understand that this Manaw celebrates establishing a new territory. So, let’s build a new Union. How about building a peaceful and developed Union? If we all work hard together, we can build it. By doing so, we can celebrate our victory.
I understand that the last one ShaditphawManaw is celebrated to drive the dangers out of the new territory. This is very easy. If we start our work as from now, we can achieve it and I am confident that we can celebrate these traditional Manaw festivals in accordance with the needs of the current era and of the next generations.
In the history of our country, human beings, the past, the present and the future are related. We should not be trapped within ourselves in the past. We should preserve good deeds we did in the past and should break away from the bad deeds. The present is in our hands.
The past is not in our hands and so is the future. I would like urge all of you to work and make efforts together for building a good future by using the opportunities in our hands in the present.
On this auspicious day Kachin State, I think about the past events. I want all of you to think about some things such as : how did the Kachin State emerge? How does today’s Kachin State reflect? How can we make efforts based on the Kachin State Day for establishing a Union which can bring rays of hopes for our future. I would like to request all of you to do your best right now.
If we can do it, not just Kachin State Day, every day would be our victory day. Victory does not mean a celebration. We can enjoy our victory day every day when we do what we should every day in the right way. A day with our every step for doing good deeds is our victory day. Valuing our country starts with each and every citizen of our country and all are requested to work hard for celebrating the victory of our union.
Our government is working hard to carry out our responsibilities dutifully at most. Still, we are not satisfied with our efforts. We will never be satisfied with our efforts. Much remains to be done for our country. Even if we are satisfied with our contribution for today, we need to work hard again for the next day.
In fact, our peace process should be inclusiveness. To build our peace, it is very important for all stakeholders to move forward while joining our hands.
Joining hands with each other means making promise with each other. Once we join hands, we promise ourselves that we go forward, face challengers together and share good results and bad results. It is very easy to say “joining hands”. But, we need to make efforts with commitment to keep our promise given to each other.
Over 72 years ago, our ethnic brethren made a promise with each other to go forward while joing our hands. That is our independence. We gained our independence based on that promise. And we built a sovereign state of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Today, we all need to think about that the Union we built is an authentic Union. So, on this Kachin State Day, I would like to request all of you to think about our own expectations, hopes and deeds with the spirit of “Panglong starts from Kachin” and Kachin State which was born together with our Independence,
I would like to request each of you to make a commitment to do what you can after reviewing your deeds. Please remember what we promise each other in gestures and manners that we will move forward through thick and thin and please go ahead while keeping our promise.
In conclusion, I wish all our ethnic brethren here and in the world peace of mind and happiness not only for 2020 but also in the coming years. Thank you.
(Unofficial Translation)

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