NAY PYI TAW, 28 May— President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar U Thein Sein held talks with visiting Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh of the Republic of India at the Credentials Hall of the Presidential Palace here this morning. Union Minister for Home Affairs Lt-Gen Ko Ko, Union Minister for Border Affairs Lt-Gen Thein Htay, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs U Wunna Maung Lwin, Union Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation U Myint Hlaing, Union Minister for Industry U Soe Thein, Union Minister for Construction U Khin Maung Myint, Union Minister for Finance and Revenue U Hla Tun, Union ...
NAY PYI TAW, 28 May — President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar U Thein Sein received the visiting delegation led by Prime Minister of the Republic of India Dr Manmohan Singh at the Credentials Hall of the Presidential Palace here at 9.20 am today. Present at the call together with President U Thein Sein were Union Minister for Home Affairs Lt-Gen Ko Ko, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs U Wunna Maung Lwin, Union Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation U Myint Hlaing, Union Minister for Industry U Soe Thein, Union Minister at the President Office U Thein Nyunt, Union ...
NAY PYI TAW, 27 May—At the invitation of President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar U Thein Sein and wife Daw Khin Khin Win, a goodwill delegation led by Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and wife Shrimati Gursharan Kaur arrived here at 6.45 pm today. The delegation was welcomed by Union Minister for Foreign Affairs U Wunna Maung Lwin and wife, Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Brig Gen Kyaw Zan Myint, Deputy Minister for Sports U Aye Myint Kyu and wife, Deputy Chief of Myanmar Police Force Police Brig-Gen Zaw Win, Myanmar Ambassador to India U Zin ...
NAY PYI TAW, 27 Jan—A Myanmar delegation led by Union Minister for Foreign Affairs U Wunna Maung Lwin arrived back in Myanmar by air after paying a goodwill visit to India from 22 to 26 January. Accompanied by Myanmar Ambassador to India U Zin Yaw and Myanmar delegation, the Union Minister called on Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh at the Prime Minister Office on 24 January. They discussed promotion of bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional and international issues. The Union Minister also met Minister for External Affairs of India Mr SM Krishna at Hyderabad House in New Delhi in the afternoon and attended the Myanmar-India bilateral talks. They exchanged views on further strengthening the existing good neighbourly relations and promotion of the multifaceted cooperation between the two countries. They touched ...
NAY PYI TAW, 18 Dec—A 14-member Pyithu Hluttaw Goodwill Delegation led by Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann visited Republic of India. The delegation on 11 December morning left Yangon for India via Thailand and arrived in New Delhi. The delegation paid tribute at Mahatma Gandhi Mausoleum in New Delhi on 12 December morning. The Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker and his entourage paid floral tribute. The Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker then signed visitors’ book of the mausoleum. The secretary of Mahatma Gandhi Mausoleum Preservation Committee explained preservation of the mausoleum and presented a Mahatma Gandhi biography book to the Speaker. The Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker ...
Nay Pyi Taw, 1 March—The following is the full text of the speech delivered by President U Thein Sein through radio grammes to the entire people on 1 March.
My fellow citizens:
I would like to inform all of you about the recent changes and developments that have taken place in our country during the month of February just as I have done previously on this radio program.
All of you will notice that February is filled with historic moments born out of the Myanmar independence struggle.
Not only is February significant for building national unity and ethnic affairs, it gave birth to the Union day which commemorates an important step in the independence struggle—the Panglong con- ference and the signing of the Panglong agreement. It is also a month when General Aung San was able to establish a union system based on the Panglong spirit where all ethnic nationalities can live together in peace, unity and equality.
Since independence, Myanmar has also experienced bitterness stemming from conflicts grounded in political disagreements and divisions within the society. This is the time to learn lessons from our past experiences and strive together to resolve all the conflicts so that all ethnic nationalities can live together in peace and harmony.
We can also see that the progress achieved in the national reconciliation process based on peace building is because we are trying to align Panglong promises with the current situations by seeking political solutions through dialogue.
In order to achieve a nationwide ceasefire agreement which is part and parcel to the peace process, all the relevant authorities and groups are currently negotiating to hold a conference in Hpa-an. Like all of you, I am optimistically expecting that one of the results of the Hpa-an conference is the determination of the date to sign a nationwide ceasefire agreement. Step by step, we will undertake the signing of the nationwide ceasefire agreement, agreement on the political dialogue framework and the inauguration of the political dialogue process.
Again, I would like to encourage the government, the legislature, the political parties and forces, the Tatmadaw, ethnic armed groups, civil society organizations and all the people to be magnanimous, worldly, patient and try to understand each other’s needs so that we can work together to achieve peace in Myanmar.
I also met with members of the business community and representatives from business associations on February 22, 2014. The main message I communicated during the meeting was that the government is under-taking economic reforms to establish a well functioning national economic system. I also encouraged the private sector to view these economic reforms as opportunities within a new framework and participate in these reforms as well as make necessary adjustments themselves with a view of building a competitive business environment that serves as the basis for market economy.
I also reiterated that the private sector should shift their focus to finding solutions and building institutions in their specific areas of business expertise and activity instead of criticizing and viewing the economic reform process in a negative light.
During the past month, I also visited and inspected the ongoing building and renovation projects such as Bago-Sittaung dike, Htihlaing lake located in Meiktila district of Mandalay region, Zagyan-Kanmyae and Kanar lakes in Myinchan district that are necessary not only for agricultural production but also for flood protection. Not only do the building and renovation of rivers, creeks, ponds and lakes aid in water delivery for agricultural and human use, we are prioritizing such projects because they also improve the socio-economic conditions of the people living in the rural areas.
On the other hand, we are taking the lessons learned from the Cyclone Nargis disaster to undertake preventative measures to protect from natural disasters. More specifically, we are utilizing special funds allocated by the legislature for disaster preparedness to protect from natural disaster homes, agricultural lands, and water resources that people living in the rural areas depend on.
During this month, the President of the Federal Republic of Germany paid a goodwill visit to Myanmar commemorating 60 years of diplomatic relations between Myanmar and Germany. After discussions, we were able to reach agreements that forgive 50% of Myanmar’s total debt of 1,048 million euros and restructure the remaining 50% of the debt into a low-interest, longerterm schedule. We were also able reach agreement to cooperate on the development of small and medium enterprises to aid in the overall reform process. In his speech delivered at the Convocation Hall at the University of Yangon, the President of Germany spoke about the experiences of East and West Germany and the role of the people in the democratic transition.
I have already articulated my position on Constitutional amendments in my previous speeches. I would again like to reiterate my view that necessary Constitutional amendments ought to be made to reflect the political, economic and social needs of the society. I would also like to stress that the political and media freedoms resulting from current political reforms have allowed the people and various political forces to freely discuss and debate issues touching on the amendment of the Constitution as well as other existing laws.
Even though we can choose to adopt different viewpoints with regards to the Constitution and existing laws, we must act within the existing legal frameworks and we need to respect the systems that are in place when we try to amend them. In other words, we need to instill a practice of acting within the legal fabric even if we don’t like the fact that the laws we are trying to change still remain in place.
This cultivation of the culture of rule of law is extremely important for the future democratic growth of Myanmar.
Here, I would like to stress that my reason for speaking to the people of Myanmar through these radio addresses is to inform all you about the government’s plans, highlight practical implementation of these plans and inform the public of my views on certain political, economic and social issues.
In other words, I am doing this as way to restart the direct communication between the government and the people that has been lost for quite some time. Likewise, I am putting my energy in this because I believe that setting up a regular practice of communicating with the people will compel the future leaders of this country to treat its citizens with respect.
I would like to conclude here by pledging that will work tirelessly to achieve peace in the country, promote economic development, and build a better future for the younger generations.
May you all have peace of mind and good health.
1. Mr. Tomas Ojea Quintana, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar visited Myanmar from 13th to 19th February 2014. The Government of Myanmar has facilitated all places he would like to visit including Yangon, Sittwe, Myitkyina, Sagaing and Nay Pyi Taw and meetings with respective officials he asked for.
2. Before his departure from Myanmar, Mr. Quintana made a press statement at Yangon International Airport on 19th February 2014 at 18:15 hrs. Since most of the elements in his press statement did not reflect the true situation of Myanmar, the Government of Myanmar categorically rejects his statement and allegations contained therein.
3. The responses of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to these allegations are as follows:
(a) His allegation:
“If the recently established Investigation Commission formed by the President regarding Ducheeratan incident fails to carry out an investigation that meets international standards, he will urge the UN Human Rights Council to establish a credible investigation to uncover the truth of what happen ed there and to hold anyone responsible for human rights violations to account”.
It is a pessimistic prejudgment to ask the UN Human Rights Council to get involved in the investigation if the recently-established Investigation Commission formed by the President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar concerning Ducheeratan incident fails to carry out an investigation that meets international standards even before the Commission has reported its finding on the incident;
- It is not necessary to involve international organizations in the investigation process since the investigation commission formed by the President is independent, and it comprises of 10 members who are from well-respected personnel in the community and religious elders among others. The Commission will present its report directly to the President on 28th February 2014.
- It is obvious that Mr. Quintana has blatantly interfered in the internal affairs of a country by issuing a prejudiced statement, amounting to meddling with the decision-making process of a sovereign State with his call for the involvement of UN Human Rights Council in the international affairs of the country.
- The Special Rapporteur should provide detailed facts to the Government of Myanmar if he may have any. It is counter-productive and may have negative impact on the harmony and solidarity already achieved among the communities by his pessimistic statement based on any unverified information.
(b) His allegation:
“Muslim communities remain segregated from Buddhist communities and their freedom of movement restricted.”
- It is known that sufficient amount of time is required to build trust and confidence between the two communities and they should not be compelled to live side-by-side immediately.
- The Government, together with religious and community leaders, has encouraged and facilitated interfaith dialogues and community dialogues in Rakhine State since June 2012.
- It is crucial for non-Rakhine community to accept the population verification process—an initial step for resettlement and access to livelihoods, freedom of movement and citizenship among others.
- It will help the international community to better understand the situation there if the Special Rapporteur may wish to highlight these underlying difficulties.
(c) His allegation:
“Humanitarian organizations providing life- saving assistance were being increasingly threatened.”
- The Government and local authorities in Rakhine State are trying their utmost to facilitate the humanitarian agencies working there to provide necessary assistance to the needed ones.
- On the other hand, it is imperative for the humanitarian agencies to conduct their aid activities in a transparent and fair manner. In recent months, several protests were staged against certain humanitarian agencies in Sittway, Mrauk-U, Pauk Taw, Maung Taw and Bu Thee Taung. The local populace who has staged protests against humanitarian agencies are questioning their impartiality and calling upon their activities to be transparent. It is perceived by the local community that certain agencies working in Rakhine State have been stirring up disruption of the stability there.
(d) Mr. Quintana demands for release of so-called prisoners of conscience, Dr. Tun Aung, Kyaw Hla Aung and 3 INGO workers.
- It is, in fact, the three locally-recruited INGO workers, who are not expatriate staff, were arrested and detained under Section 436 of the Penal Code for their involvement in arson attacks on Bo Hmuu Village and Waitharli Village in connection with the communal violence that occurred in Rakhine State in June 2012. They had been employed as driver, security staff and food distributor.
- Tun Aung was charged under Sections 153 (a)/505(c) of the Penal Code and under several charges including Section 6 (1), the falsification of national registration certificate and was sentenced accordingly in 2012.
- Kyaw Hla Aung was charged under Section 148/333/150 of the Penal Code for his involvement in inciting a violent attack on the civil service personnel who were conducting the population verification work in Thetkaipyin village in Sittway in April 2013.
(e) His allegation:
“The offence of the Tatmadaw and human rights violations in Kachin State”
- It is simply unfitting that the UN Special Rapporteur makes allegations based on unverified information against the military operation and human rights violations of the Tatmataw in Kachin State.
- The Government has been exerting utmost efforts to promote the situation of human rights all over Myanmar since its assumption of the responsibility of the State. The Government is also working for the signing of international treaties on human rights.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Nay Pyi Taw
Dated, 27th February 2014
(a) the news of the killing of 8 Bengalis,
(b) the news of 40 Bengalis killed in the police shooting in connection with the attack on the police patrol team by a group of Bengalis from Ducheeratan middle village on the night 13 January, and
(c) the Internet news that Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) treated 22 patients wounded in the abovementioned shooting:
– met and had discussions with some Ministers of the Rakhine State on 30 January and 3 February 2014 and took statements from the relevant responsible officials
– took statements from officials concerned, including three high-ranking police officials, District Administrator and also from the Administrator of Kinchaung village, some villagers, and four detainees being remanded and under investigation at the Maungtaw Police Station
– interrogated both male and female villagers from Ducheeratan middle village and surrounding Bengali villages and took statements from them
– met with about 20 village elders and Islamic religious leaders from the Ducheeratan village-tract at the primary school of Ducheeratan middle village and verified with them the news of the killing of 8 and 40 Bengalis
– met with over 200 women from Ducheeratan middle village and heard and noted their complaints on the Ducheeratan incident and took statements from some of them
– had discussions with the representatives of UNHCR, UNOCHA and Medicine Sans Frontiers (MSF)
– had discussions with Rakhine townelders of Maungtaw Township
– had discussions with Islamic religious leaders and elders of Maungtaw Township
– conducted an inspection tour of Ducheeratan villages, including Ducheeratan west village where a fire broke out on 28 January 2014
– inspected the former cemetery of Khayay Myaing village
3. The following are the facts found out by the Commission Team from the above-mentioned activities.
(a) The news report that 8 Bengalis were killed on 9 January 2014 was not known in Khayay Myaing and Kinchaung villages where Rakhine nationals live. However, this news was rumored in Ducheeratan middle village and other villages where Bengalis reside.
(b) Although the information that a woodcutter discovered 8 Bengalis buried at the Khayay Myaing cemetery emerged in Ducheeratan Bengali villages, no evidence was detected to confirm this information.
(c) On interrogation, it was found that Rakhine nationals obtained this information as Internet news.
(d) Neither in meeting with the elders and religious leaders of the Ducheeratan village tract nor in meeting with over 200 women of Ducheeratan middle village, mention was made by any of them of this information.
(e) Different news versions of the killing of 8 Bengalis could not be confirmed.
(f) It was known that some army and police forces entered Ducheeratan villages to search for police sergeant Aung Kyaw Thein after the incident at Ducheeratan middle village on the night of 13 January 2014.
(g) Regarding the killing of 40 Bengalis from Ducheeratan village, the Commission Team took statements from the departmental officials concerned, high ranking police officials and policemen, responsible persons from the villages concerned, Bengali elders and women from Ducheeratan villages. These statements, however, contained no information that substantiate the alleged news of killings.
(h) Although the Commission Team urged Bengali religious leaders and women to frankly come forth with their views, no proof was discovered to confirm the alleged news.
(i) The Commission Team observed that the statement made by Bengali villagers did not contain any information on the attack by villagers on the police patrol commanded by police sergeant Aung Kyaw Thein.
(j) Discrepancies were noted in the news on the alleged killings of Bengalis. For example, it was reported that over 100 people were killed during the police shooting on 13 January 2014 while the news that a list of 52 people killed given to the Human Rights Commission was found to be incorrect. In fact, such a list was not given to the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission.
4. In the discussion with MSF, it was stated by MSF that 22 people which included 1 person with gunshot wound, 4 people with swellings, 10 people with cuts and bruises and 7 emotionally upset people, were treated by them. However, MSF did not provide the patients’ names and identities to the Commission Team as it keeps the patients list as confidential due to the humanitarian nature of its work. MSF also stated that they did not report the case of gunshot wound either to the police to the government health department and that it merely urged the patient to continue his treatment at a government clinic. According to the township medical officer, no government clinic in Maungtaw received any patient with gunshot wound. However, as a result of the investigations by District Administrator and Township Medical Officer, it was also learnt from two doctors of the MSF that their clinics did not treat any such patients.
5. The Commission Team discussed its findings with other members of the Commission on 5 February 2014 and reaches the following conclusions and recommendations:
- The news of the killing of 8 Bengalis and 40 Bengalis did not emerge in the Ducheeratan village-tract and it is therefore concluded that the said news is unverifiable and unconfirmed
- The government departments and organizations concerned delayed in issuing the news on the true situation regarding the incident at Ducheeratan middle village and this delay gave rise to the spread of rumors and unsubstantiated news
- The Commission concludes that the attempt of the 3 policemen to stop the attack of a group of Bengali villagers failed due to defective ammunition and led to a confused situation that finally resulted in the disappearance of the police sergeant Aung Kyaw Thein. It is recommended that necessary steps should be taken to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
- The villagers from Ducheeratan east and middle villages fled on 13 January 2014 and as a result, the looting of their possessions, rice stocks and cattle must have occurred during the ensuing commotion. It is therefore recommended that steps should be taken urgently to provide food and other basic needs to the two villages in question.
- In view of the continued tensions and concerns among the villages involved in the Ducheeratan incident, special security arrangements should be initiated as a matter of priority to prevent further issues from emerging again in those areas.
Myanmar National Human Rights Commission
Date: 14 February 2014
Nay Pyi Taw, 12 Feb— The following is the unofficial translation of the message sent by President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Agga Maha Thayay Sithu, Agga Maha Thiri Thudhamma U Thein Sein on the occasion of the 67th Anniversary Union Day 2014.
Esteemed national brethren,
Today is the 67th Anniversary Union Day, the auspicious significant day engraved in the hearts of national brethren born in the Union. On this significant occasion, I wish all national brethren great health, happiness and prosperity.
Esteemed national brethren,
All national brethren have been living together with unity in the country, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, with the continuous history from time immemorial. As the divide-and-rule policy of the colonialists caused misunderstanding among the national races, shattering the national unity, Myanmar had lost its independence. Thanks to united efforts of General Aung San and leaders of national races who acted in unison, the country regained national unity after signing Panglong Agreement on 12 February, 1947 and claimed independence.
After regaining independence, evil legacies of colonialism did not disappear and doubts and conflicts still remained in the country for many years. The country got left behind the neighbouring countries in political, economic and social development. Taking lessons of bitter experiences national brethren faced throughout the course of history while fighting back the imperialists and fascists, risking their lives for independence and sovereignty, all national brethren are to make their collaborative efforts for ensuring eternal peace and development.
Esteemed national brethren,
The government is striving for strengthening national reconsolidation in cooperation with the entire national people. Peace process is happening with good results after holding a series of successful negotiations aiming at bringing an end to the more than 60-year-old armed conflicts. A peace dialogue held in Laiza area with the participation of different national races is a significant milestone on a path to a lasting peace. The government, in its part, will strongly support all efforts in promoting peace and national reconciliation.
Esteemed national brethren,
I firmly believe challenges, we can overcome threats and disturbances at home and abroad we have to encounter while building the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to become a modern, developed and democratic country through a strong sense of cohesiveness of all national brethren. Especially, a collaborative effort of all national brethren is needed to overcome the risks while enjoying the benefits of rapidly developing technology at present.
Now is the time when the country is witnessing peace and stability and all-round development thanks to cooperation between the government and the entire national people and the international image of Myanmar is shining brightly. Preparations are underway to host this year’s ASEAN Summit and related meetings in Myanmar after taking ASEAN’s Chair for the first time after 17 years of its membership in ASEAN.
Myanmar hosted the 27th SEA Games successfully in last December and showed kindness, hospitality and high morality of Myanmar people, promoting the image of the nation. It is due to the Union spirit of all national brethren and their true patriotism.
Esteemed national brethren,
It is vital to put equal efforts of all national brethren in the process of democratization. As a result, the country is enjoying fruitful results of participatory democracy. It is sure an era of peace and prosperity will be established as far as the country reaches national unity and reconciliation. On this auspicious day, all national brethren equipped with Union spirit and true patriotic spirit are urged to have a hand in translating the nation into a discipline-flourishing democracy with the use of already-achieved sound foundations.