Hardliners Will Be Left Behind: Thein Sein

Burmese President Thein Sein says that conservatives who oppose reform will be left behind. (Photo: President’s Office)

Burmese President Thein Sein told a coordinating meeting in the capital Naypyidaw on Friday that “conservatives who do not have a reformist mindset will be left behind” while the country is on its path to change.

Thein Sein admitted that certain lessons must be adopted from the by-elections which showed a real public desire for national development. “According to the experience of the by-elections, the public clearly showed that they want change and they no longer like the performance of the governing bodies in each administrative level,” he said.

During the April 1 by-elections, Burma’s main opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party, led by Nobel Laureate Aung Sann Suu Kyi, won 43 out of the 44 constituencies it contested.

Naypyidaw’s strategy of reform was widely discussed during the two-day meeting, with Vice-President Sai Mauk Kham also telling participants that “not only political, economic, administrative and social reforms are needed but there also needs to be a change to our mindset.”

Both politicians highlighted altering the attitude of administrative officials so that the country can move forward towards socio-economic development. Thein Sein again raised the significance of respect for the rule of law and provided the example of land disputes relating to investment for regional development.

“One crucial way to move our nation on from being the region’s least developed country is to work on the rule of law. Now we have good policies for change, but these policies will not succeed if those involved are not honest,” the president concluded in his address.

As Burma is now moving on the path of economic development and foreign firms are interesting in investing in the country, Thein Sein also brought up the issues of corruption, land usage policies, regional development and creating employment opportunities.

He added that the decentralization of administration management is crucial to reform so that the implementation of good and clean governance will be successful.

Moreover, the state must allow for “bottom-up initiatives” to strengthen civil society instead of just “top-down orders” for change. “Administrative officials are incapable of managing practically because society and the authorities just follow orders and decisions are made detached from the needs of the public,” he added.

Thein Sein also touched on empowering human resources and managing these assets effectively within social and economic sectors.

He also invited all kinds of Burmese citizens living abroad—including professionals, businessmen and manual labors in exile—“to come back to take part in the change process as we promise to support any difficulties they encounter.” However, he did not provide any transparent procedures for those who want to return home.

In terms of the humanitarian sector, Thein Sein said his administration will collaborate with aid groups in order to effectively respond to the needs of public.

He admitted that “international aid has not been going through government agencies because of corruption in the former administration,” and that only individuals or certain groups have benefited in the past instead of the real people in need.

The president’s action plans for reform have been posted in full on his office’s website for the first time since he assumed power last March.  However, in contrast with this effort to reach the people, state-run newspaper The New Light of Myanmar, led by Information Minister Kyaw Hsan, censored some important aspects of his speeches.

The first photo published on the Burmese language version of the President’s Office website caught the public’s attention as the seat of Vice-President Tin Aung Myint Oo was seen empty—adding weight to rumors that he had resigned for health reasons.


16 Responses to Hardliners Will Be Left Behind: Thein Sein

  1. Wow!! That’s a lot of new words learned in a short time even for a professional like Ko Ko Hlaing!

    It certainly would look good in the prospectus for the prospective investors.

    The election says people drowning would grasp any blade of grass.

    Once the USPD/ NLD approved businesses continue the land robbing/ dam-ming, road-ing, minimg businesses in earnest with this high commodity prices, then true colour will come out with or without the mojo- Aung San Suu Kyi.

  2. Mr president
    Do you want noble price? If you will, favour all the people who made our country to slave-country.

  3. Wah,

    Simply Says,He is good.Firstly, I do not believe him but he show ability all critical situation.He have good Problems Solve skills and making right decisions.Sure ,He can lead the country.General Than Shew choose Right Man.United States know who is he and his Background.That Why,States Department ask NLD to work with him.
    Thein Sein,Shwe Man,Min Aung Hlaing.These people are work.Good for Nation.Right Men at Right Place.

  4. Kyaw Hsan censoring the President’s speech to stop it from reaching the people? He should be sacked.

  5. Now I believe President U Thein Sein is sincerely want to change the country future. I hope he will win over hardliners in his Government.
    The question is how long and how far Than Shwe allows President U Thein Sein to go. I’m strogly believe National Defense and Security Council (NDSC)is under Than Shwe control.

  6. Bo Ne Win and Ma Hsa La govt destroyed the fuctioning civil administration by putting army people in. They even put trishaw men as judges.

  7. As one who has been following the events from outside for over 40 years, it is imperative that President Thein Sein set up An Office in the Presidency to spearhead and coordinate, promote and provide all necessary assistance and guidance to all the Burmese communities overseas to ensure that those wishing to return will have access to the resources that his government will make available as needed on individual or community / group basis.

    This direct initiative on the part of the President will demonstrate his sincere intent and seriousness in asking the Burmese of all backgrounds wishing to return to motherland and participate in the reforms that his government is undertaking. This will be a step that will enable all Burmese abroad to have the confidence and trust in his ledership and the sincere intent. All the very best.

  8. Is this really President Thein Sein talking? It’s so refreshing to hear him admit that Burma is “the region’s least developed country” and the reason for this pathetic situation is because of the “corruption in the former administration”. However, we all know that the general himself was part of that ‘gang’. And he is still ‘a buddy’ with these cronies who were instrumental in corrupting the members of the previous junta. So, we’ll just have to wait and see if he really has the courage to leave these hardliners behind, and be “the Man” to transform our majestic homeland.

  9. Do they just wake up? They should know and understand since long long time ago.

  10. Kayah Peh (Australia)

    Thein Sein’s words for Burma’s future development and democracy sound convincing… but if he could continue to lead his arm forces to stop their cruelty attacks on the KIA remain to be seen. Otherwise…all his words…no matter what he says… are useless. I hope he is not going to overlook that crucial, but also fundamental issue.Then, he’ll need to match his actions with words. Finger cross!

  11. Dear Mr President,
    You are doing the good job and dare to make a change for the better.Please get the professional advices from the professional people.It is not the easy task to make a change.Thank you for making the effort.

  12. It is quite possible that the emperor is now a completely changed man because he allowed President Thein Sein to get rid of one hard liner already,that is good news.

  13. Looks like there are TWO Governments in Myanmar. One wants CHANGE towards the “Society flourished with LAW & ORDER . The other wants to keep their “Corrupt life-style Protected”.

    Time for Myanmar Ethnic Nationals to play their parts DISTINCTIVELY and DECISIVELY by stepping up their demands with President alone.

  14. Dear Mr President,
    You are really patriotic son of the “Golden Land” with correct INSIGHT. You are humble but with full of commitment as shown in about a year.
    The country should be free from Corruption, Nepotism, Cronyism, Conflict of Interest, Chauvinism … all those are bitter lessons from the past. Those are still rampant as you have mentioned.
    UNITY, in relation to ethnic and religious minority, must also come from the HEART.. Not from the power or mouth or barrel of the gun. It is “bottom up” rather than “top down” process as mentioned in your speech.
    I feel “Chit Za Go She-ze, Mone Za Go To-ze” (Extend the Love String and Shorten the Hate String), should be the current slogan in huge billboards of Yangon , Mandalay & Naypyidaw etc..

  15. Thein Sein,

    You surely are the best magician ever lived and therefore ever to go to Awizi.

  16. Kinney’s story The culprit appears to have been
    in, but angler number bc the experience will stand you in good stead for next time around.

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