I extend my best wishes for peace of mind and wellbeing to the Vice Presidents, Hluttaw Speakers, Union level officials, Commander of Nay Pyi Taw Command, Hluttaw representatives, civil service personnel, ethnic nationals, civil society organizations, students, invited guests and citizens all across the country.
First of all I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the various committees which worked on and gave support to successfully create the Bogyoke Aung San statue, donors and all the supporters. I am delighted and deem it an honour to have this opportunity to deliver a speech at this unveiling ceremony.
This day is indeed an auspicious day. Why? It is because today is the birthday of our national leader and hero Bogyoke Aung San; furthermore we have been able to erect the statue of our Union benefactor with pomp and ceremony with great numbers in attendance in Nay Pyi Taw, the capital city of Myanmar as well as in the Union territory. This statue brings to completion the noble qualities of a capital city; it also brings forth the prestige of a Union territory. I understand that all ethnic nationals and citizens would be filled with joy and happiness.
I believe that the reason for erecting the Bogyoke Aung San statue has bona fide reasons. It is not for mere formality; it is being done with deep meaning in relation to the affairs of the nation. I believe there are many good aims and objectives: to impress upon the younger generation to emulate the honesty and integrity of Bogyoke Aung San; his pure cetana and metta for the nation; to be inspired by his noble programme and work for the betterment of the country; his physical qualities and strength of character; to instill nationalistic spirit by being inspired by his good conduct, clarity of mind and integrity and also his knowledge, ideas and ideologies; his willingness to strive without any self-interest and lack of interest for any position in the interest of the country and the people for independence by sacrificing his life; to kindle patriotic spirit; to look upon the deeds of Bogyoke Aung San which may be regarded as great and grand historic milestones.
Moreover, it is hoped that this statue would remind us to undertake the remaining tasks contained in the policy and programme formulated by Bogyoke Aung San.
Whenever we think of Bogyoke Aung San, it is to remind us that many of the tasks mentioned by him in his speeches, instructions and words of advice and guidance still remain to be implemented, lest we make errors of omission.
There is much to learn and take to heart from the speeches of Bogyoke Aung San throughout his lifetime: as a student, as a member of the Dohbhama Asiayone, as a Thakin, as a soldier, and as a national leader. If we study his speeches thoroughly, we may be able to know by examining his speeches to the finest detail, what kind of person he is, his political view, his qualities and what kind of leader he is. Furthermore, in as much as we can read his speeches and follow his advice, it is certain that we can gain much benefit for ourselves as well as for the country and the people.
We may glean vividly and in clarity the avant garde thinking and intellectual brilliance of the young Bogyoke by examining some excerpts from his model speeches. As a mark of respect to the gratitude I owe to Bogyoke, I wish to take this opportunity to share with my fellow citizens, as an aid to memory, some of the guiding principles and programme laid down by him.
Bogyoke, the architect of independence, he who did not give a moment of thought, not even a speck of dust nor a grain of sand for his life, family or wealth, worked continuously and gave his life for the country to gain total independence and national sovereignty. He laid down in advance the following policy: when the Union of Burma gained independence, it should be a democracy; only then will the citizens enjoy democracy and human rights; only then will the country develop and prosper; only them will they enjoy Peace.
Bogyoke Aung San said clearly and boldly, “We have to promote democracy and make it popular. Only democracy is suitable for an independent country. Only this ideology encourages peace. That is why we should aim for democracy,” during the fourth meeting of national leaders in August 1945.
Bogyoke Aung San also reminded all the citizens to be vigilant about democracy so that they would not be caught unawares and in order to make sure that they do not fail to see the important aspects. At the preliminary conference for preparing the Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League on 19 May 1947, he said, “Some countries which call themselves democratic have not yet enjoyed complete and genuine democracy. They enjoy only a small percentage of democracy.”
He said: “Just because it is called a democracy does not mean it is a democracy. There are so many people who are using this word, just by hearing about it, without understanding its meaning.” – to make sure that citizens do not lose their democratic rights.
In relation to the administrative sector, in the prelude of the 1947 State Constitution in which he took the leading role in the drafting process, Bogyoke Aung San instructed that the following principles should be firmly enshrined: justice in social relations, justice in economic relations, justice in politics, equality, equal opportunities and justice in legal affairs.
For establishing an administrative mechanism that can protect freedom and security of the people and support rule of law, Bogyoke Aung San said “The rule of autocrats who are opposed to the wishes of the public will lead to a system that is similar to fascism, instead of a people-centered democratic system.”
Bogyoke Aung San, who is also the founder of Tatmadaw, also said, “The Burma independence army will not involve itself either in administrative or political affairs. Our soldiers must not be involved with nor interfere with party politics and administrative sectors.” It was mentioned in his book titled ‘Political Classic Book’.
With intention to national unity, he also said “The Tatmadaw was founded not for an individual, but for the whole nation. Not for a political party or group, but for the entire national people.” This remark reflected his intention as to the nature of the Tatmadaw.
Regarding ethnic affairs, Bogyoke Aung San supported the paragraph 5 of Panglong Agreement, which includes ‘Full autonomy in internal administration for the Frontier Areas is accepted in principle.”
In also paragraph 7, the Agreement said “Citizens of the Frontier Areas shall enjoy rights and privileges which are regarded as fundamental in democratic countries.”
At the preliminary conference of the Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League (AFPFL) held on 19 May 1947, Bogyoke Aung San said, “In my opinion, it is not appropriate to establish a unitary state in which most or all of the governing power resides in a centralized government. It is better to form a Union government.”
Bogyoke Aung San had a wide range of capacity in politics, organizing power, founding the Tatmadaw and respect by the ethnic people. He is a unique leader of the country. He is also a leader of public, politics and military. Although he has drawn up guidelines as a leader of vision on politics, economics, social affairs and unity, the successive governments could not implement the plans.
Therefore, our government is implementing the expectations of our national leaders as much as we can. We have determined to establish a Democratic Federal Union that can guarantee fundamental rights for citizens, and to prevent a political system that oppresses people through dictatorship.
The coordination of public, including ethnic people, is also required to implement these tasks with the feeling of very deep gratitude towards Bogyoke Aung San.
We could not forget our great benefactor Bogyoke Aung San. It is also believed that his philosophies and sacrifices will last eternally. Let’s show our tribute to him by implementing his policies and expectations Let’s protect national unity and union spirit with the collaborative efforts of national people, and let’s march to the destination of a Democratic Federal Union expected by Bogyoke Aung San.
Thank you all.
(Translated by Aung Khin)
Ref; The Global New Light of Myanmar