Union Minister U Kyaw Tint Swe from the Office of the the State Counsellor attended the 2019 Naga traditional New Year ceremony held at the Naga traditional culture ground, Leshi town, Ahmuhtan Ward, Naga Self-Administered Zone, in Sagaing Region, yesterday morning.
The ceremony started off with saluting the flag and ceremony chairman Naga ethnic national U Aung Win delivered the opening speech.
Next, U Kyaw Tint Swe delivered a message of greetings. He said today was the 2019 New Year ceremony of Naga ethnic nationals. On this auspicious day he said he wanted to say Mingalabar to Naga ethnic nationals and union born ethnic nationals living in Myanmar and wished that all of them were blessed with auspiciousness, happiness and peace in mind and body.
He said he was very happy for being able to attend the Naga traditional New Year ceremony held for this year. It is learnt that Naga traditional New Year ceremony is held after traditional farm work for the year ends with the harvesting of the crop and before starting of the next farming season.
Naga traditional New Year ceremonies were held annually village-wise and starting from 1956-1957 under the leadership of Naga ethnic national leaders, township level New Year festivals were held. After discussing and consulting with Naga tribal leaders in 1990, January 15 was designated as the Naga traditional New Year Day.
Starting from 1993, the Naga traditional New Year ceremony was conducted with the support of the Union. Starting from 2001, the Naga traditional New Year ceremony was celebrated at the Union level in Naga regions of Leshi, Lahe and Nanyun towns and this was the 19th anniversary of the Union level Naga traditional New Year ceremony.
May the Naga ethnic national brothers and sisters share the experience of the year that had went by. May they be able to setup arrangements to overcome possible problems they might encounter in the coming year.
According to the 2018 Constitution there are six self-administered zones and regions. The Naga self-administered zone is in Sagaing Region while Shan State has five zones and regions. According to the history of Naga nationals there were 4 major tribes with more than a hundred small tribes. Naga traditional culture and literature groups were also found to be formed to protect and maintain the culture and literature. These developments in the Naga region show the peace and stability of the Naga region. The Union Government was also placing much emphasis on reducing differences in development between states and regions.
Ever since the incumbent government took over the responsibility of the Union, it had set and implemented three aims which are as follows:
(1) Rule of law and socio-economic development of the people
(2) National reconciliation and internal peace
(3) Amending the Constitution as a basic foundation for the establishment of a Democratic Federal Union
According to the aim of socio-economic development of the people, programs were setup and implemented to raise the living standard of the people in remote and far-off places like the Naga self-administered zone.
As for the expectation of the people to establish a Democratic Federal Union, the major requirement at the moment is to have complete and total internal peace. A true and genuine peace will be achieved only when there were no armed conflicts in the entire country. Rule of law could be fully established only when peace was obtained. Arrangements and works could be conducted for development of economy, health, education and road transport sectors only when there was rule of law.
Due to these facts to cease the 70 years long internal armed conflicts Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong meetings were being held to resolve political problems through political means by taking the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) path. At the moment, good results were being achieved by signing 51 basic principles in two parts of the Union Accord.
In continuing to work towards inclusiveness for all, not only ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) that had signed the NCA but EAOs that had not signed NCA were being met in informal talks to maintain the momentum of the meetings and discussions.
In fact it is only through the collective strengths of our ethnic nationals born of the union can our union exist and develop as a Democratic Federal Union that was on par with other countries in the region. Only then would the image of the country improve and the status of the country in the international arena be raised.
The Naga self-administered zone where the Naga ethnic nationals live was a region that had a good natural environment with mountain, hills, lush green forests, and mountain streams; it was a region that was extremely beautiful. These natural beauties and the traditions and cultures of Naga ethnic nationals are a huge opportunity for the development of local and foreign travel business. Everyone should join in and work to raise the socio-economic life of the ethnic nationals in the region based on tourism.
As such the Union government would continue in its efforts towards making the Naga self-administered zone to become modern and developed and Naga ethnic nationals and public servants who were serving in this region were urged to continue to cooperate and participate in these efforts.
In conclusion, he said he prayed that may Naga ethnic nationals would come together on the path of the peace process, a path that the Union Government was walking on. Share the experiences of past years and make better arrangements for the next year. He prayed that the weather would be fine in the New Year and that there would be bounteous crops. May harms and dangers stay away and may all be healthy and well, said the Union Minister. Next, Sagaing Region Chief Minister Dr. Myint Naing delivered a message of greetings and Naga traditional literature and culture (center) committee chairman U Aung Htut delivered a New Year greeting and U Tun Naing Thu explained about the history of Naga traditional New Year festival.
Afterwards, Union Minister U Kyaw Tint Swe was presented with a New Year gift by the Naga-Self Administered Zone Leading Body Chairman U Kay Sai.
Following this, Union Minister U Kyaw Tint Swe, Region Chief Minister Dr. Myint Naing, Deputy Minister Maj-Gen Than Htut and officials presented region development support materials to Naga-Self Administered Zone Leading Body Chairman U Kay Sai and officials.
Union Minister U Kyaw Tint Swe, Region Chief Minister Dr. Myint Naing, Region Hluttaw Speaker and officials were then presented with commemorative gifts by Chairman U Kay Sai and Naga traditional literature and culture (center) committee officials.
After that chairman of the ceremony Naga ethnic national U Aung Win delivered a concluding speech. Next, Naga tribes performed traditional dances.
U Kyaw Tint Swe then visited the hand looms, ethnic medicine, and other traditional exhibits and presented gifts to the Naga traditional dance troupes.
Later in the evening U Kyaw Tint Swe attended the Naga traditional New Year bonfire event.
The event was started by Region Chief Minister Dr. Myint Naing and Naga traditional literature and culture (center) committee chairman U Aung Htut lighting the bonfire and Naga tribes dance troupes performed traditional dances.
(Translated by Zaw Min)