President U Thein Sein received responsible persons of peace groups who attended the 66th Anniversary Union Day celebration on Wednesday at the meeting hall of 500-acre farmer educative mechanized farming model plantation in Naypyitaw, The New Lightof Myanmar said Thursday.

Apart from Union ministers, and deputy ministers, several unusual guests were also presented at the ceremony. Those unexpected participants from ethnic ceasefire groups were Pado Mahn Nyein Maung and Pado Thamein Tun of Karen National Union (KNU), Col Sai Hla and Col Sai Ngae of the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), U Sai Khun Sai and U Sai Naw Leik of Shan State Progress Party/ Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA), Maj-Gen Saw Yin Nu and Captain Saw Lah Do of Karen National Libration Army, Peace Council (KNU/ KNLA), U Khun Ti Hsaung and U Khun Zwe Hto of PaO National Liberation Organization (PNLO), U Naing Ta La Nyi and U Naing Kyi Hsan of New Mon State Party (NMSP), Dr Shwe Khar and U Pu Htan Zun of Chin National Front (CNF), Brig-Gen Saw Kyaw Thet and Col Saw Maung Lay of Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), and U An Kann and Captain Aung Sai of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K), according to the state-media.

President Thein Sein delivered an address at the meeting with community-based social organizations at the hall of Yangon Region Government in Yangon on 20 January 2013, Sunday. (Photo: http://www.president-office.gov.mm/en)

During the meeting, President U Thein Sein made an address saying thanks to the audience representing Peace Groups at the Union Day party. President said he was very happy to be with blood-brothers who have not got together since scores of years ago.

He said that only roundtable reunion was the best way calling for ensuring forgiveness of conflicts, tolerance, sympathy and mutual respects since the entire national races have been living under the same roof. At this time, citizens started to have the benefit of the better outcomes of reconciliation, he added.

After all stakeholders think obligation of transforming the interim peace into a permanent peace, entire people would realize the value of peace. It was impractical to end regionalism and tribalism. But main concern should be placed on Union spirit to safeguard the country up to the future generations. National unity represents the national power, President said.

It was compulsory to end armed conflict at present and pass better heritage to next generation, he added.

To guarantee domestic peace, remarkable steps were being made to acquire common perceptive. Armistice accords had reached at the dialogue table for termination of over 60-year-old armed conflicts. Both sides saw fruitless results, suffering casualties and causing public worries. Those fatalities and victims were losses to the nation, he said. Thanks to roundtable negotiations, the nation had seen the light of peace.

President also hailed the meeting with KIA peacemaking team in Ruili on 4 February. The obligation was on every citizen to form the prospect of the homeland. All of us need cooperation to guarantee a lasting peace all the way through, he said.

He also called for reconstruction of damaged infrastructures while discussions on everlasting peace are being continued. President said that it was necessary to dig up land mines for public security. Rehabilitation tasks are to be put into practice with the assistances from home and abroad, he expressed.

According to some vigilant citizens, the President’s speech looks rhetoric since the citizens have been disappointed with his government’s over-spending defense budget during recent military offensive in Kachin State. While there were no medicine in public hospitals and no enough subsidies in favor of the paddy farmers during their farming time, government armed forces, as many as 100 battalions backing by airlifts and strikes,  were launching greatest warfare upon blood-brothers Kachin resistance warriors for more than 17 months.   It was appalling since the government had used not only heavy artillery but also enforced gunship-helicopters and jet-fighters in recent military operation against the ethnic Kachin rebels.

Many ethnic leaders have declared repeatedly that they don’t have faith in the military-drawn 2008 constitution. They believe it is a lopsided and oppressive constitution since the military takes 25 percent of all seats in the existing parliament. So, many analysts criticize the current charter will not grant the democratic freedom and the fundamental rights for the ethnic groups of the nation.

Even though the President mentioned national unity as national strength in his Wednesday speech, he did not bring to light the equal rights and self-determination of the ethnic people. In a few words, to launch a true political reform, President Thein Sein government ought to activate the 1947 Panglong Agreement which is maintained by the mainstream ethnic people.