Message of Greetings from the State Counsellor to 72nd Anniversary celebrations of Mon National Day
Today, 20 February, 2019, the 1st of Waning of Tabodwe, 1380 ME, is the Mon National Day, an auspicious day for all Mon ethnic people. On this auspicious day, I am sending my message of greetings to all Mon ethnic people who are living in parts of Myanmar and abroad. May they be blessed with fortune and auspiciousness.
The day – the 1st Waning of Tabodwe, 1116 Sasana Era – when two brothers, Thamala and Wimala, founded Hanthawady Bago was designated the National Day of the Mon by the Mon National Conference, held at Panga Village in Thanbyuzayat Township in late 1946. Since then, the Mon National Day has been celebrated yearly, and today marks its 72nd anniversary.
The Mon are considered the first ethnic people who entered Myanmar. In the history of Myanmar, Queen Shin Sawbu, the only queen of Myanmar, King Dhammazedi, who encouraged and promote Buddhism, U Chit Hlaing, one of the leaders of the G-C-B-A and who encouraged the spirit of patriotism during the colonial period, are significant leaders of the Mon ethnic people. When the independence army of Myanmar was founded, the Mon ethnic people of Thailand joined its ranks. When we fought against fascism and struggled for independence, the Mon joined hands with other ethnic people.
In attempts to end the over 70 years long armed conflicts, the Union Government has been making concerted efforts for national reconciliation and internal peace so that political problems, which are the root cause for the armed conflicts, can be solved through political dialogue. We strongly believe that only democracy, equality, and self-determination can bring about a genuine federal democratic Union. This is the dream the ethnic people of the Union have had for over 70 years. To make the dream of the Union come true, the important political dialogue of the Union Peace Conference-21st Century Panglong has emerged in the tenure of the incumbent government.
To participate in the first ever political dialogue in the history of our country, the New Mon State Party signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) on 13 February, 2018. Today, it is important for us, the sons and daughters of the Union, to turn our diversity into collective strength to realize the dream of the Union cherished by our ancestors.
During the over 70-year period after our country gained independence, the situation in the world as well as the region has changed. However, it is regrettable to see that our country is far from peace and lags in development as a consequence of armed conflicts. At such a time, the whole country is delighted and encouraged to see the Mon ethnic people, including the New Mon State party, participate in the national reconciliation and peace processes.
As all Mon ethnic people know, the rays of peace are shinning in Mon State, giving warmth to the people in the state. Despite challenges on our path to national reconciliation, we are confident that we can overcome them, with the unity of the sons and daughters of the Union.
Hence, it is with delight and pride that I send this message to the Mon ethnic people, wishing they continue to participate, joining hands with other ethnic brethren in marching towards the goal of a future democratic federal Union.
Aung San Suu Kyi