Now is the time when our country is struggling with concerted efforts to recover from the stage of abject poverty. Looking back into Myanmar history not very far from now, it can be seen that most of the Myanmar people experienced many years of poverty and hardships more than peaceful and pleasant periods. This year marks the 70th Anniversary of our nation’s Independence. If we begin counting starting from the advent of British colonial rule, it has lasted for more than 130 years. To put it simply Myanmar patriots and national leaders together with the people have struggled for national liberation since then. Many Myanmar patriots together with leaders from the ethnic national races fought valiantly for our Independence risking both life and limb. Accordingly, it must be said that Myanmar people have been struggling all the time to liberate themselves from colonial rule and colonial exploitation. Why? Though it has been 70 years since Myanmar gained her Independence from the British Imperialists, most of our people have not yet gotten the chance to savor the taste of Independence to the full. That is because they are suffering from various kinds of unfairness, injustice and suppression in political, economic and social affairs in later years even after gaining Independence. The civil war which accompanied our Independence have not yet ceased to this date. Though Myanmar achieved a modest rate of growth during the short period of parliament democracy from 1948 to 1962, the nascent progress the country achieved came to a halt with the military coup of General Ne Win on 2nd March 1962. Starting from the time when the revolutionary regime took power, the country did not progress much under military rule. Instead, authorities in power exploited benefits for their own sake only, and dictators and followers became extremely rich, with most of the people plunging into abject poverty. Due to misuse of power and oppression of the ruling BSPP – Burma Socialist Programme Party, demonstrations broke out in Yangon which quickly spread to other parts of the country. Soon there was a general strike which paralyzed the government’s ability to rule. The nation-wide people’s demonstrations brought down the socialist government. These demonstrations later came to be known as the 8888 revolution. The people were happy to be rid of the tyranny of the BSPP government but their joy was short lived. After 26 years of rule by the socialist regime, the country fell into the grip of successive military dictatorships – first the SLORC and then the SPDC. This was followed in 2010 by a quasi-civilian government headed by U Thein Sein. President U Thein Sein introduced wide-ranging economic reforms but it was not easy to make progress under sanctions imposed by the West, notably by the US and EU. In 2015 under the leadership of the NLD government, the country is moving towards the goal of building a Democratic Federal Republic. In this period of democratic transition or the era of people’s government, people’s representatives and those representing the Tatmadaw are working together hand in hand in both the Pyithu Hluttaw and the Amyotha Hluttaw, the Union Government and in the state and regional governments. People’s lives in the border areas are severe and full of hardships. People in the urban areas feel the pinch of rising commodity prices. The current Union Government is bravely cleaning up the mess of many years of military rule characterized by corruption, cronyism, and a high-handed management style. People are longing for new policies and principles. Now, a year has passed. On this auspicious occasion the 70th Anniversary of Independence day, we pray for cooperation between the people and the Union Government for prosperity, peace and stability and development of the country from the New Year 2018 on.