Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister of Government of Republic of Union of Myanmar Senior General Thadoe Maha Thray Sithu Thadoe Thiri Thudhamma Min Aung Hlaing sends Shan State Day message (7 February, 2023)
Mingalabar, all the esteemed national brethren It is indeed a great pleasure for me to have the opportunity to send this message of honour to the 76th Anniversary Shan State Day which falls on 7 February. Shan national races living in Shan State and the rest of the country, I wish you all health and happiness.
With a surface area of over 60,000 square miles, Shan State is a mountainous region lying in the east of the country and is contiguous with neighbouring countries. Hence, it is one of the important states of the country. Decorated with natural beauties, Shan State is a home to local ethnic races including Shan, Palaung, PaO, Danu, Kokang, Lahu, Akha, Intha who are living side by side with a number of other ethnic races such as Kachin, Kayah and Lisu in accord with their culture and customs. Moreover, the land is rich in aboveground and underground resources such as minerals, gems and teak and other forest products. As Shan State is also sharing a common border with neighbours in the east of the country, it is an important place that is developing with its border trade.
Historical records serve as proof that throughout the past successive periods, the Republic of Union of Myanmar was ruled by its own monarchs. It was a sovereign state standing tall among the world's countries. It was also a country where the entire national races lived in weal and woe and where culture and literature flourished. But the entire Myanmar fell under enslavement in 1885 as colonialists annexed the country after waging three aggressive wars against it.
National races of the Union resisted colonial rule with their utmost efforts. They remained united in launching the independence struggle with all available weapons. Local chieftains, patriots, people’s leaders and all nationalities of Shan State joined hands with national leaders, activists of the national movement in partaking in the anticolonialist struggle, independence struggle and anti-Fascist struggle, which went down in the annals of history.
With their strongest determination to fight on all fronts till independence was truly restored, ethnic leaders energetically and harmoniously took part in the independence struggle.
At the height of the independence struggle led by AFPFL, patriots of all ages joined forces in the struggle out of their love for the country.
During the independence struggle, national leader General Aung San was going round the country meeting with ethnic leaders for national independence. When in Taungyi, he held separate meetings with Shan chieftains and representatives. He went to London in January 1947 and demanded the British government to grant independence for the entire Myanmar including hill regions at the same time.
The initial meeting attended by executive committee member chieftains of Shan State Sao Council and Shan people’s representatives was held on 3 February 1947. On 6 February Shan and Kachin representatives held a collective meeting, and the next day, Shan, Kachin and Chin representatives met, formed the subcommittee and reached agreements on meeting resolutions.
It has now reached the 76th anniversary of Shan State Day held in commemoration of 7 February 1947 on which a resolution to restore independence in the entire country without any geographical discrimination was passed. Hence, Shan State Day is a special moment for all the ethnic nationals of Myanmar as principles of Panglong Agreement, the foundation of historic Union Day, were adopted on the day.
Colonialists exercised the divide and rule policy in ruling the main land and hilly areas of Myanmar under their laws for their long term interests. Hence, racism, dogmatism, sectarianism and personal cult among the national ethnics based on the aforesaid divide and rule policy triggered the armed insurgency within some months and caused fighting. Everybody knows that the country cannot enjoy taste of peace and stability till today. Despite regaining the independence, it is known to all that all ethnic people cannot fully enjoy the essence of the independence as the country is still far from peace and stability as well as development.
The national solidarity is lifeblood for ensuring peace and stability of a country and perpetuation of sovereignty as well as a great driving force for development of a country. Hence, ethnic national brethren are to remove suspicion among them so as to restore the perpetual peace. Currently, the local people from the areas where cannot restore peace yet run out of patience over unrests and violent attacks harming the interests of the State and the people. Having improvement of socioeconomic life and safety and peaceful living is the same and keen desire of all ethnic national people.
Hence, it is necessary to build the solidarity based on mutual understanding and trust among the ethnic national brethren. If the country restores peace one day earlier, it will benefit the people one day earlier.
Nowadays, as peace talks can be held thanks to relentless efforts for restoration of the Union, the whole nation will enjoy the fruits of peace process. The government has adopted fivepoint roadmap and twelve political, economic and social objectives while making preparations to hold the free and fare multiparty democratic general elections in order to ensure peace and stability and realize the democratization. As such, I would like to urge all the entire national people to participate in the process for emergence of freedom, safety, peace and tranquility and development undertakings in Myanmar.
At present, it is delighted that the majority of Shan State are peaceful and prosperous with free from unrests and violence as well as fighting. If the remaining parts of northeast region of Shan State which still need peace and stability, the whole Shan State will enjoy the fruits of peace and tranquility and socioeconomic life of the ethnic national people will improve.
The government and the Tatmadaw are striving for ceasing the armed conflicts with utmost efforts as nationwide ceasefire, perpetual peace and national reconciliation are actual requirements. In accord with the point which included in the fivepoint roadmap of the State, “An emphasis will be placed on achieving enduring peace for the entire nation in line with the agreement set out in the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA)”, the government is continuously striving for implementation of the peace process. The military operations have been suspended for five years till the end of this year with the anticipation of restoring the perpetual peace, and fighting and battles which are not answer for peace are avoided. The peace door is open for seeking the answer on the peace table. So, I would like to urge all to take the opportune time to restore peace with showing the goodwill and open-minded manners while standing for the interests of the Union and all ethnic national people, rather than interests of themselves, their regions and their organizations.
All need to rebuild the solidarity and understanding among the ethnic national brethren similar to that built in Panglong in 1947. They all have to strive for showing the national unity at present similar to that of Panglong in last 76 years.
I send a message urging all ethnic national people to join hands with the government in unison based on the Panglong Spirit in order to successfully implement the goal of building the democratic federal Union based on federalism with full essence of justice, liberty and equality.
Senior General Thadoe Maha Thray Sithu
Thadoe Thiri Thudhamma Min Aung Hlaing
Chairman, State Administration Council