Myanmar must take every step cautiously with democracy in infancy
President U Thein Sein meets party officials
President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar U Thein Sein meets party chairmen, general secretaries and CEC members of political parties at meeting hall of 500-acre mechanized farmers educative farm in Pobbathiri Township.
4 Aug 2012President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar U Thein Sein met party chairmen, general secretaries and CEC members of political parties at meeting hall of 500-acre mechanized farmers educative farm in Pobbathiri Township here this morning.
Also present at the meeting were Union Election Commission Chairman U Tin Aye, Union Minister for Industry U Soe Thein, Union Minister for Rail Transportation U Aung Min, Members of National Socio-Economic Advisory Council to the President U Hla Maung Shwe, U Tin Maung Than and Dr Kyaw Yin Hlaing, and chairmen, general secretaries and CEC members of political parties.
The President then cordially greeted each of those present.
Chairman U Khun Tun Oo and General Secretary U Sai Nyunt Lwin of Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, Chairman U Aye Tha Aung of Rakhine League for Democracy, CEC Members U Han Shwe and U Thein Tun of National Unity Party, Chairman U Saw Tun Aung Myint of Kayin Peoples Party, Chairman U Zin Aung of Myanma New Society Democratic Party, Chairman U Thein Nyunt of New National Democracy Party, General Secretary U Tin Win of National Political Alliances League, U No Htan Khat of Chin Progressive Party, Secretary U Gyin Kam Hlyan of Zomi League for Democracy, Joint Secretary U Nay Win Tun of The Pa-O National League, Joint General Secretary U Aung Myo Oo of Diversity and Peace Party, CEC member U Nai Kyaw Win of Mon Democratic Party, Chairman U Tun Aung Kyaw of Modern People’s Party, and Chairman U Kaung Myint Htut of Myanmar National Congress discussed matters related to politics, economics, education, internal peace, national races affairs and regional development.
Union Ministers U Aung Min and U Soe Thein, and UEC Chairman U Tin Aye made clarifications on measures being and to be taken by the government in response to the discussions. The President also participated in discussions.
In his discussion, the President expressed his pleasure to meet leaders of 14 parties. Despite different parties, every one is realizing a common goal which is a prosperous democratic nation where peace and stability prevail. With democracy in its infancy, the country must take every step cautiously. Some says it is slow and some the other way. Democracy is not a system that could be moulded. Historical background and customs of its nationals will shape Myanmar’s democracy model.
Perhaps, Myanmar may not be suited with model of western democracy. Every way that could profit the nation and the people will be followed. Stability is a sine qua none for flourishing democracy. The democracy will not survive without stability. And in turn, the stability will not be maintained with the weak democracy.
The government gives the stability the top priority. It is important to maintain stability as well as to make peace with national armed groups. The government is focusing on these two things.
The cooperation of each and every political party plays a vital role in stabilizing the political condition of the country. Despite different political views, all parties are invited to cooperate in implementing tasks on the common ground in the interests of the country.
The second point is about making peace with national races armed groups, which has long been an unsolved problem. Mutual understanding, sympathy, patience and trust are being built between the among all stakeholders first.
It is an extremely sensitives issue. However hard the higher level has tried, the efforts have often come to nothing once there emerges malfunctioning at the lower level, resulting in vain and decrease in trust. Contacts have been made with 10 out of 11 national races armed groups, achieving certain progress as some agreements have been reached. But agreement has not been yet reached with KIO/KIA in Kachin State (North). The magnitude of losses has been massive over a year period. The worst is that some of the national races in the region were forced to take refuge in safe hands of their friends or relatives, abandoning houses and property due to the fights. It was disheartening that they were facing such terrible time, leading a hard life.
The government has contact with KIO/KIA leaders and building mutual trust. He said his view is that whichever side suffers the losses, it means the losses of the nation for all the national people who are residing in the same territory known as Myanmar.
Aspiration for stability of the State is the same wish of all the citizens and thus all are obliged to realize this wish. So, all the parties are urged to join hands in making peace with national race armed groups as it is the national duty.
One another important point is the socio-economic development of the people. The government is exerting strenuous efforts for food security. Agricultural reforms are being carried out to guarantee food sufficiency for the growing population of future generation and achieve surplus through the current production is adequate for consumption of 60 million people. Efforts are being made for ensuring better living standards for farmers.
As to economic sector, what is needed today for economic prosperity of the nation is creation of jobs as much as possible. The poverty rate of the country stands at 26 per cent, affected by low employment rate, forcing about three million of citizens to work overseas for survival.
Foreign investments are required for creation of a large number of job vacancies. The country lacks capital and technology. Only with the foreign investment, can job opportunities be created. Only there is occupation, there will be income. Only there is income, can one make his living, afford schooling of children, and medical treatment, promoting the standards of education and health. Thus, it is crucial to have investors invest in the country.
Myanmar Investment Commission was constituted with seven ministers to avert losses to the country when FDI flows into country, adopting four policies. Foreign Investment Bill has been written to be commensurate with that of foreign countries and submitted to Hluttaw.
Arrangements have been made to systematically use the grants and loans from foreign countries in projects which would benefit the people and would take shape speedily. Plans have been laid down and efforts are being made to build small- and medium-scale industries, heavy industries and hi-tech industries such as IT and telecommunication with the aim of adding the value to the products of the country.
The government has turned just over a year and it is not easy for the new government to fulfill the needs of the country at once. It needs to give advices to the government on ways for sufficient power supply instead of launching protests.
The country is in need of not only sufficient power supply but also basic infrastructures such as roads, bridges, school buildings, hospitals, clinics, housings and hotels, clean drinking water, daily easy transportation and earning high income. The government, spending its budget, is working to satisfy the needs to the best of its ability.
The current per capital income is around USD 800 and the country which is rich in natural resources and possesses sound foundations is ranked at the bottom of the list of per capital income in the ASEAN nations, even lower than neigbouring country Bangladesh. If possible, the government wants the per capita income reaches about USD 3000. The five-year plan is aimed at increasing 7.7 % GDP within five years. To reach this goal, we should step up the efforts 1.3 times of present efforts. If we want to reach the GDP up to USD 3000, the country must boost efforts three times higher than the present efforts.
It is not easy and impossible for the country to do it at present. But, it is the desire of the government and of the people. However, the dream would do come true if grants and low-interest loans and investments from foreign countries flow into the country and western countries remove sanctions and the EU accepts imports from Myanmar and allows Myanmar to re-apply the tax exemption system which would benefit the country and the country produces more gas and oil.
The government believes that there is no impossible thing to satisfy the needs of the country if the stability and peace prevail in the country and its people work harder.
The people has a common desire comprising three points. They are political stability, eternal peace with armed ethnic groups and socio-economic development in the country. The desire of the people is the desire of the government and parties. The government is working to fulfill the desire of the people.
The government and the parties are working together to translate our common desire to success and all are to work in unison until all reach the common goal, the President said. If there are those who row back while paddling towards the goal, the travel to the goal would be delayed and it would be difficult to reach the goal. The President also urged all participants to work in unison and in cooperation each other until the country reaches it goal.
The President thanked the participants and the meeting ended at 1.30 pm. After the meeting, the President and the participants had documentary photos taken.