The Kachin Research Group
The Society for Promotion of Kingdom Value Burma
In 1947, the politicians representing all nationalities of Burma laboriously and patiently forged unity among the people of this country for the first time in our history. Altogether 23 of the trusted leaders, including Bogyoke Aung San, who represented the Burmans, attested their signatures to affirm the common aspiration to regain independence from Britain and to express their innermost desire to lay down a firm foundation for a Federal Union in which all the ethnic minorities and the Burman majority shall enjoy the democratic rights of equality, freedom and self-determination.
However, today, exactly 64 years after the Panglong Conference, the country has gone in a different direction. Violation of human rights, atrocities and signs of disunity can be seen everywhere. Earning even a simple livelihood is becoming difficult or impossible. It can be said these intolerable conditions started with the centralization policies pursued by the Central Government since 1962, when the military took the reins of power. The ethnic people’s fervent hope and trust embodied in the Panglong Agreement is gone with the wind nowadays.
However, all the peoples of this country, including both the majority Burmans and the ethnic minorities are bound to live in peaceful co-existence within the framework of the Republic of the Union of Burma (Myanmar).
The spirit of racial harmony and sense of national reconciliation among all the nationalities should be or must be realized and maintained at all cost. Nothing must be done to undermine the sense of fraternity and the national unity once achieved at Panglong.
As a token of honour to the Founding Fathers of the Union and for the prosperity of our future generations, the following measures for appropriate action will have to be taken, or at least must be identified and given serious consideration.
The minorities’ earnest longing and call for restoring national reconciliation is expressed in the following principles:
- All forms of discrimination should be eliminated once and for all.
- Mutual respect and trust among all the nationalities must be observed and cultivated for the benefit of all. Any infringement of this spirit should be avoided.
- The Union Constitution needs to be recognized as the principle of genuine Federal Union under which the central authority and the federating states and regions equally or sufficiently share the political sovereignty of the Union. The rights of equality and self-determination for the Hill Peoples must be guaranteed.
- For the perpetuation of national solidarity and independence, the Minority Peoples of the Federating States must renounce secession, provided that a genuine Federal United States of Burma is in place.