THE Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council, Senior
General Than Shwe, warned of threats from colonialists in a message
to the nation to mark Union Day, on February 12.
Senior General Than Shwe said the nation needed to remain vigilant
as “old and new colonialists alike bent on occupying or
holding sway over our Union have hatched wicked schemes to weaken
our national solidarity, which is the foundation of the Union”.
“The onus is therefore on the national people to ensure
the perpetual existence of the country [and] to enable the motherland
to stand tall in the global society...,” Senior General
Than Shwe, said in the message, delivered on his behalf by the
Chairman of the Yangon Division Peace and Development Council,
Major-General Myint Swe, at a Union Day ceremony in Yangon.
The early morning ceremony, at People’s Square on Pyay
Road, was attended by more than 10,000 people, including government
ministers, senior military officers, members of national races
and Yangon residents.
In the message, which recalled the negative consequences of
a lack of national unity in the past, Senior General Than Shwe
highlighted the SPDC’s efforts to achieve national unity
and economic prosperity.
“It is crystal clear that the stability and prosperity
reigning across the country including border areas have marked
a quantum leap in the development of political, economic and social
infrastructures,” Senior General Than Shwe said.
He said the seven-stage road map for a transition to democracy
unveiled by the government in August 2003 would pave the way for
the establishment of “a peaceful, modern, developed, discipline-flourishing
democratic nation as desired by the entire people”.
The National Convention to draft a new constitution was the
most vital element of the road map, Senior General Than Shwe said.
The National Convention, which resumed on February 17 after
meeting between May and July last year, is the first step in the
road map, which also provides for holding a referendum to approve
the draft constitution.
The approved constitution will be the basis for parliamentary
On economic issues, Senior General Than Shwe said that “the
government and people in tandem have committed themselves unswervingly
to the successful implementation of the State’s economic
objectives aimed at enabling the Union of Myanmar to keep pace
with the world nations in terms of modernisation”.
Union Day marks the signing of a treaty by the national races
at Pinlong in southern Shan State 58 years ago.
The treaty was signed 11 months before Myanmar regained its