The welfare association of theThirty Comrades families held their 32nd dinner at the Grand Mercure Yangon Golden Empire hotel in South Okkalapa Township, Yangon, yesterday evening.
Dr Khin Letya, the daughter of Bo Let Ya who was a member of colonial-era thirty comrades, made an opening remark at the dinner.
On behalf of the offspring of Thirty Comrades, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter of Bo Teza, made a speech.
She said, “I want to say something about the comrade spirit between our fathers. I have frequently said there is no relationship more important than camaraderie as they were even closer than blood relations. This is because it is built on trust and a common belief while facing danger together.”
“They have gone through thick and thin together and people who have experienced what can be called true comrades. Even now, our fathers are still called the ‘Thirty Comrades’ and the people only know them as such no matter how high a rank they attained.”
“Members of the Thirty Comrades still refer to each other as ‘Bo’. Some people may think they are disregarding the higher ranks attained later or are deliberately trying to erase or forget them but that is not the case. Calling each other ‘Bo’ is a sign of familiarity. This shows the complete sense of camaraderie they have.”
“Bo Letya is no longer a lieutenant and has risen among the ranks but he is still called Bo Letya by his contemporaries. This shows closeness and genuine value. The real value is gaining familiarity through friendship. This is why when we remember our fathers, it is absolutely necessary that we also remember comradeship.”
“The Thirty Comrades are the predecessor of Myanmar’s modern Tatmadaw whose numbers are now in the hundred thousands. The real source of strength for any organization is mental spirit. It can’t be compared to anything else. No matter how strong other physical strengths are, an organization will falter if it doesn’t have mental unity. Comradeship is especially crucial in the success of national duties.”
“This camaraderie must start from your own organization and spread throughout the nation. You must have that mentally on the entire country. You must consider your fellow citizens as genuine comrades and value them even more than your own blood relations. I believe that just as the Thirty Comrades were born for carrying the duties for the people, our families will continue to be united with that thought.”
“Come to think of it, do you wonder how many people would have believed in the Thirty Comrades when they were first formed? Relatively few people would have had faith on the significance of thirty young men hoping to make an impact on a nation. There might even have been those who viewed them as hot-blooded youths. Some people might also have thought the situation was unfavorable regardless of the enthusiasm and lived as though the arrows had run out before the war began. But we all have to start somewhere. We need to take the first step to eventually reach our goals.”
“There is still a lot left to do in our country. We cannot call it a developing country yet and I believe the responsibility of that lies on everyone. If we want to receive our parents’ inheritance then we must also inherit their responsibilities.”
“What was the main concept pursued by the Thirty Comrades? It was independence. But why? They believed that real development only takes place when a country is independent and only then can it promise full inherent rights of all citizens.”
“Everyone needs to ponder on the meaning of independence together to see why the Thirty Comrades were born and why they were successful. It was because the people wanted independence as well. We only achieved independence because the people gave their full support to the comrades who entered battle for it. Nothing would have been accomplished without the support of all the citizens.”
“That is why if we speak of it fondly and come together then this country that our fathers believed in will be able to stand at the same level with other nations on the global stage. We must become a nation that creates its own future but it is not enough just to achieve independence because in the modern world a person’s nation must first be strong for them to fully grasp their future for themselves.”
“Here, I am not referring to our outward physical strength but to our mental fortitude and spirit. We can achieve physical strength anytime as long as we have the spirit to do so. But without spirit not only would our physical strength falter, we may also become prone to endanger ourselves. That is why it is important to remember how successful the objectives of our fathers long ago were when we remember them.”
“What was the motive for the formation of the Thirty Comrades and how did they begin the trek towards independence? To what extent have those objectives been fulfilled and if they aren’t, then what must we do to supplement them? We must think of how each of us can contribute to what capacity to fulfill all of them.”
“I have been in the political world for so long it wouldn’t be wrong to assume I see everything through a political lens. However, politics concerns everyone and that includes all the people living in this country.”
“So, if we think politics is only the concern of politicians then each and every citizen is a politician as well. You are all concerned with the welfare of the nation and that is why you are politicians.”
“Whether from a political perspective or civilian or social perspective or even through a perspective based on past closeness, I wish for everyone to be successful in working together to fulfill the objectives and aspirations of our fathers if we are to fondly remember them.”
Then, Daw Ye Mar Maw Naing (daughter of Bo Yan Naing), DawKhinSandar Win ( daughter of Bo Ne Win), U Kyaw Kyaw (son of Bo Ye Htut) and U Maung Maung Gyi (son of Bo Yan Aung) expressed thanks to the gathering.
The State Counsellor and the offspring of the Thirty Comrades presented education outstanding awards of the welfare association to the grandchildren of late comrades.
Nine family members of the Thirty Comrades formed the welfare association on 26 December 1983, and Daw Kyi Kyi Win who is the spouse of Bo Myint Swe is still alive having reached the age of 94.—MNA (Translated by Aung Khin/ Zaw Htet Oo)