Speech delivered by U Win Myint, President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar at the ceremony to present honours and awards

(4 January 2021)

Let me first of all, extend my best wishes to all the distinguished persons and invited guests who have come to attend this ceremony to be blessed with auspiciousness.
Our country, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar has existed since time immemorial as a sovereign state, standing tall among other countries of the world and we have a good historical record as a country where all our ethnic national brothers and sisters lived in close friendship and unity.
However, in the 19th century the British colonial imperialists waged three unjust wars against us, and we finally came under the British yoke as a colony; thus, we lost our independence.
The political thinking of the patriotic youths became more mature and developed during the colonial era under the colonial system. One of the patriotic youths by the name of General Aung San, became a national leader. He worked with indomitable spirit together with other patriots, comrades and ethnic nationals, sacrificing lives, blood and sweat as a result of which we became an independent sovereign state beginning from 4 January 1948.
We were able to achieve our independence because all ethnic nationals worked in unity with unflagging zeal, determination and exemplary courage under the leadership of our national hero, the architect of independence and father of the Tatmadaw, General Aung San.
All ethnic nationals must implement our Independence Day national objectives in unity without any divisions among ourselves so that our independence and our national sovereignty which have been given to us through great sacrifice and effort by our patriotic leaders and ancestors will endure for a long time. Furthermore, all of us as citizens, as well as our future generations, will have to shoulder our responsibilities with steadfastness for our motherland to become peaceful, modern and developed.
At a time when the Union Government has been exerting strenuous efforts with the aim of establishing a peaceful, modern and developed Democratic Federal Union on all fronts and sectors, honorary awards will be presented on the auspicious occasion of the 73rd Independence Day to those who have worked for national security, peace and prosperity at the village/ward level, the rule of law, socio-economic development of the people, and other nation-building tasks; those who have worked with patriotism for the interest of others, with an indomitable spirit, unflagging zeal and determination; those who have worked for the State in an exemplary manner, those who have excelled in the performing arts, those who have excelled in the field of arts, science and other subjects, and those who have served the State with bravery and courage without having any regard for their own lives. Honouring those who have excelled in courage and sacrifice in the performance of their duties for the interest of others is a good tradition.
This year, honorary titles will be proudly conferred on one Theikpa Kyawswa title winner of 2019, together with one for Thayay Sithu title, one for Thiha Thura title, three for Thura title, 11 for Zeya Kyaw Htin title, 1 for Alinkar Kyawswa and 3 Theikpa Kyawswa in 2020.
Those who have won these honorary titles are worthy of honouring as they have shown bravery and selfless devotion to the national interest, rather than personal interest, during the course of their lives fraught with difficulties and hardships; they are worthy of being honoured as they have exhibited strong determination, exemplary qualifications, and sacrifices which we should be proud of.
I wish to express in great seriousness on behalf of the State and the people that for those who could not be personally present on this occasion, as their achievements and qualifications are worthy of being recorded and recognized by the State, this is something that descendants could be proud of.
In conclusion, honouring those who are worthy of honour is in accordance with the Mingala Sutta. I conclude my speech with advice to the title winners to guide their posterity to participate in establishing a Democratic Federal Union, the perpetuation of national sovereignty, non-disintegration of the Union, and peace, modernization and development of the country. (Translated by Kyaw Myaing, Aung Khin)

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