- By Maung Thaung Win [Ex-Diplomat]
Fossils discovered in Myanmar could prove that the common ancestors of human, monkeys and apes evolved from primates in Asia. It shows that Myanmar existed with a long strengthened history background. According to the historical evidences recorded in the eras of Bayintnaung, Anawrahta and Alaungphaya, we can see that Myanmar did stand tall in the midst of the neighboring countries, with its own kings on the thrones. Once in the past Myanmar was greatly valued and paid respect not only by the regional countries but also by other nations.
Plunging under the colonial rule
Due to the wars of aggression for three times by the British Imperialists in later Konebaung Era, Myanmar fell down under the attacks of the British forces on 1st January 1886, experiencing bitter days while living under the colonial rule for over 120 years until 4th January 1948 when our country regained its Independence. While fighting for the Independence lots of lives were sacrificed.
People waged in armed revolt
Whatever it is, people who are not desirous of living under the British rule began to attack the British forces with the arms they had, such as it was. But, Myanmar people faced only with failures due to lack of systematically organized military operations and a large difference in military strength. However, Myanmar people never abandoned the spirits of achieving for Independence, waging sporadically armed attacks whenever they had an opportunity to fight.
Starting from 1920s, there increased patriotism among youths. They launched social activities by forming YMBA, GCBA and Doe Bamar Asiayone, thence nationalist movements such as Peasants’ Strike, Workers’ Strike and 1300 Workers’ Strikes. Among the Yangon university students, there emerged a very strong-minded patriotic youth, who determined to achieve the Independence. He is none other than Bogyoke Aung San, the architect of Myanmar Independence.
Thirty comrades led by Bogyoke Aung San got militarly training in Hainan Island with great difficulties. On December 26 1941 they made a solemn vow to fight for the Independence at the risks of their lives at the house of U Lun Pe in Bangkok, Thailand, forming the Burma Independence Army—BIA. After that, they entered Myanmar in separate columns. At that time, youths desirous of fighting for Independence of the country at the risks of their lives joined BIA. The strong Tamadaw was formed step by step, achieving Myanmar Independence on 4th January, 1948.
Political negotiations Held
With the gaining of Myanmar Independence, civil armed conflicts emerged, evil heritage left by the British Imperialists. Yet, the successive governments made peace negotiations with armed national ethnic groups, assuming that peace is of vitality for the national development. So, the State Government, Tatmadaw and armed national ethnic groups signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement—NCA. Moreover, Union Peace Conference, 21st Century Panglong’s 2nd Session was successfully held. At the meetings of the conference good results were achieved through positive negotiations.
National Unity for all
At the mass meeting held at the Yangon City Hall on 13th July 1947 Bogyoke Aung San addressed, “As long as the country is void of unity between the nationals or the people that country will never develop under any kinds of governments or parties, remaining in a state of the lowest country on the totem pole.”
Bogyoke’s speeches may not be sweet to the ears of listeners. But they were meaningful and short to the point. His statements are still right until now. The essence of the speech will be right eternally so long as the planet exists. He gave us a warning that national unity played an important role in building up a nation, by predicting the future of the nation, in advance.
Lessons from global interventions
As usual, foreign countries easily intervene into the internal affairs of other countries, in which unity is ruined between the national brethren, for example the Middle East. Though they do not yet lose their Independence, the people are greatly suffering from a whole slew of difficulties because they have a strong government. People were displaced to safer places as migrants, for their survival, always living in fear and anxiety.
Savour the taste of Independence?
At the mass meeting held at the Yangon City Hall on 13th July 1947, our national leader-cum-architect of Myanmar Independence, Bogyoke Aung San addressed, “You need to be disciplined, to be united and to try to set up a developed nation so that you can deserve the Independence, if you want Independence. I hereby want to say that you are required to get rid of your evil habits, to be united and work hard since now, if you want to savour the taste of the Independence.”
Independence Day in our minds forever
On coming 4th January 2018, it will reach for exactly 70 years that Myanmar gained its Independence. Only when we are not free we are well convinced of the value of the Independence. To our great sorrow, some youths of younger generation came to forget the essence of the Independence which is of vitality for the entire national populace.
Though the age of Myanmar Independence will enter 70 years, we cannot build up the eternal peace in the country. Solutions should be sought transparently among the national brethren. Presently, there are opportunists waiting for chances of exploiting out of the Rakhine State Affair, in our surrounding. Only if we, especially new generations have been endowed with spirits of nationalism and nationalist awareness can those harming the national sovereignty be driven out. May our youths of younger generations safeguard the Independence which our forefathers achieved at the risks of many lives!
Khin Maung Oo