Suu Kyi Urges Self-Reliance as Burma Marks Independence Day

Burma’s government holds a ceremony to honor the 65th anniversary of independence from British rule in Naypyidaw on Jan. 4, 2013. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday urged the people of Burma to demonstrate their independence by practicing self-reliance and discipline, as the country marked the end of colonial rule 65 years ago.

At an annual ceremony to commemorate Burma’s Independence Day at the headquarters of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) in Rangoon, the Burmese democracy icon said the government cannot form a fully fledged democratic nation on its own without the efforts of the people.

“You have to make your hope come true by work. Don’t expect anyone to be your savior. Even if you rely on the government, you are still dependent,” warned the 67-year-old Nobel Peace laureate.

Suu Kyi stressed that in the longer term the international community will decide how it will assist the country, based on how much her countrymen can perform. So “it’s very important for us to be self-reliant,” she added.

“But make no mistake—I don’t mean that we shouldn’t cooperate. Only by working together hand in hand can we realize our dreams and those of our national leaders who tried hard for our country’s independence.”

In her speech, which lasted just a few minutes, the Burmese opposition leader said that “mutual respect” was the key to resolving the ongoing conflicts in the country and establishing a democratically united country.

“As long as we don’t respect and understand ideas that differ from our own, we will not be able to achieve the democratic Union we want,” she said.

Despite her reference to conflict in the country, Suu Kyi made no mention of the Burmese military’s recent escalation of its offensive against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), including its airstrikes on targets near the group’s headquarters at Laiza, on the Sino-Burmese border.

Meanwhile, in his Independence Day message to the country, Burmese President Thein Sein said, “Only when the country sees peace and stability, can a modern, developed country be built. In that regard, each and every citizen needs to have their hands in nation-building endeavors for ensuring peace and stability with a sense of duty.”

In a statement to mark Burma’s Independence Day, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted that bilateral relations between Burma and the US took a number of historic steps forward in 2012, including the reestablishment of normal diplomatic ties and US President Barack Obama’s visit to the country in November.

She added that she looked forward to continuing to deepen the partnership and cooperation between the two countries in the years to come.

32 Responses to Suu Kyi Urges Self-Reliance as Burma Marks Independence Day

  1. Independence from England means slavery to the Myanmars for we the ethnics. Whenever we talk about freedom, we are sent to jail. Whenever we talk about self-determination, we are assaulted with fighter jets and helicopter gunships. Daw Suu is finally free for herself.

    • Some people in Myanmar are still longing to be the slave of their former colonialist master and never appreciate the value of been united with the rest of the country. They are the one who ruined the country’s economy since the beginning of the independence day by rebelling against the government. Ask your forefathers for what damages they had done by the assistance of external influences.

      • For real. British colonial government did not force our forefathers without pay. British soldiers did not rape. British rule was even many times better than this cruel and corrupt Myanmarese rule. If I were to choose between these two masters, I would prefer British rule over untrustworthy Myanmarese rule. We do not want British nor Myanmarese to be our masters. We want freedom from Britain and from Myanmarese.

      • KIA doesn’t have the capacity to lead but KIA doesn’t want to follow the proper way either. Their solution is simple, just keep disturbing the peace process and get attention from outsiders. Because everybody in the country is talking about peace and only KIA is left behind.What kind of attitude is that? You want to get more attention or you want to get prize award for that? Yeah people of the Kachin state will give you all the prize you want but stop acting like a spoiled child and come to peace table first. Really pity to the people of Kachin state. People of Kachin state deserve peace and prosperity just like the rest of the country. Please give peace a chance in Kachin state. Stop fighting and come to negotiation table otherwise KIA is doomed to disappear in the near future.

        • So-called Shan Lay or Shan Lee,

          Show me the table where I can sit with Thein Sein to have political dialogue, not peace-talk which bears no fruit. If you are related with Khun Sa, stay away from us.

          • Mr. Mong Tai!
            Good day!
            Before I show you where is the peace negotiation table, prepare yourself to be polite, diplomatic and civilized. Or if you still need education how to behave or talk like a gentleman, try to get one first. Remember, diplomatic solution and negotiation is for the gentleman who has respect of himself and respect to others. Have a nice day and may god bless you.

        • Shan Lay
          Your previous sold products are G Aung San signed-Panglong agreement and bama military Khin Nyunt designed ceasefire agreement to all ethnics. Ethnics are sincere, generous , religious, intellegent and civilized so they will not create make-up story. However, all ethnics felt those all of your previous bama products are poisonous. All are and were unilaterally broken by all bama governemnts (U nu and bama military thugs Ne win and than sein) with their whatever reason ( ie 2008-Nargic constitution and border guard force , controlled by bama rapist soldiers).
          British colony’s product to Burma were Rangoon university, British common Law and Rangoon international airport. Old bama said British colony period was the best century ( Khit-Kong in Burmese), compared to all Bama Government’s rules.
          DASSK knows how to read and write English to be able to study in Oxford, becomes winner of noble price and next president of Burma without military power. You can read and write English so you can sell your another products to ethnics again now. You can read the India’s rape victim news as well as Indian culture how India hate rapist, compared to bama than shwe’s military culture. Then, you can suddenly being able to make a story that how Kachin rape Shan in other responded column of Irrawaddy. Please, compare the 2 products ( bama government product and British colony product ) based on above history or ethnic suffering experiences before you sell the present one to us. If you eat the Shan noodle with poisonous one, do you want to eat the second one?. If so, tell me about your social ( civilize), educational and occupational status. If you can not answer the above very simple documented questions, you should be disappeared in all responded columns or you being delusion should consult bama psychiatrist , than shwe who is self-claimed specialized in outdated psychology in notorious bama army strategy ( rape is a reward for poor bama soldier in wining civil war). Please, try Kachin’s noodle for psychiatric treatment you definitely needed. You can get free treatment from Kachin once because you are classified as low IQ or disable group. As such, Actor Aung Thu will not be busy for serving you without pride and prejudice. Be calm to have common sense.

          • Alas! At last I found who is really Norman Hla. But I wonder If British were so good why they left from all the colonial lands. Did they leave these country voluntarily? Actually they got their ass kicked by those country and so they left. But somebody is still clinging to the past and longing for his old master. Keep clinging in the past and wait for other people to decide your destiny, you will be left alone in the past. In the meantime your old master is not interested in you because there is no business and no interest for him. But you still have to deal with the people who live you with side by side for generations whether you like it or not. So there are two options to choose. The peaceful negotiations or fighting. If I am the one to choose I would choose the former one. Because all other groups are agreeing for peace talk except KIA, KIA will have to bear all the pressure from burmese army. Think smart KIA and don’t listen to those murderous ABSDF. Those ABSDF are good for nothing and misusing the innocent student title. May peace be upon Kachin state as soon as possible. God bless you.

      • The blame for Burma’s road to ruin should be directed towards the Tatmadaw, the true culprits. For the last 50 years Burma has been ruled by a highly repressive military dictatorship which has ruined the economy and imprisoned its own people in a living hell.

  2. You don’t have to worry about burning bridges, if you’re building your own.

  3. If Aung San got murdered before Pang Long Conference, we the ethnics would not be successfully cheated by the Burmans. The timing was a bit too fast.

    • What are you talking about the ethnics? This is all rubbish and brainwashed by the colonial masters who always wanted to break the country in pieces. We all should be united and work together to develop this country instead of fighting against each other and made ourselves laughing stocks in the eyes of of international media.

    • I agree with you. We would not be part of the Union of cheaters. Winston Churchill was right when he predicted that the Shans, the Chins, the Kachins and the Karenni would be forever under the cruel boots of Myanmarese if he let us go with the Myanmarese independence. He predicted it rightly. Aung San persuaded us to spend our time in earthly hell for too long, maybe it will never end.

      • Mr William.
        I think you are still expecting and longing your old masters. In fact your old colonial master left our country after they messed up everything . In the end they go back to their home land and watch our land burn. If you still want your destiny to be decided by others, you will never fit in with other ethnic in our country. At the end of the day we have to live side by side whether one like it or not. So to live peacefully we have to negotiate each other no matter what happened in the past. We have to put aside our differences so that we can move forward and live in peace and prosperity. But if we can’t forget our past and can’t forgive each other, I am sure this odyssey of political drama will never end. God bless you and god bless our country.

  4. If she mention or condemn the Kachin war, she worry that it will make Thein Sein and the army commander angry. This will push away the opportunity to become president.

    • There are more important agenda to consider in order to progress the country moving forward. Some so called minor ethnic groups are creating conflicts for the sake of pleasing their old masters.Everyone knows it but you may not.

  5. I have taken out the texts from the speech and wondered to ask some questions:

    “The people of Burma to demonstrate their independence by practicing self-reliance and discipline”,

    Let us ask ourselves how well we practiced without the influence of other in order to achieve our goals and how many of us have been in self disciplined when opportunities arose.

    “You have to make your hope come true by work. Don’t expect anyone to be your savior. Even if you rely on the government, you are still dependent”.

    Ask yourself whether you work hard enough to reach your success or just letting yourself been up by the sacrifices of others and support of someone who are influential.

    “In the longer term the international community will decide how it will assist the country, based on how much her countrymen can perform. So “it’s very important for us to be self-reliant”,

    Ask your countrymen that how many years they have been withstanding on their own feet while everyone including those so called heroes were not there.

    “But make no mistake—I don’t mean that we shouldn’t cooperate. Only by working together hand in hand can we realize our dreams and those of our national leaders who tried hard for our country’s independence.”

    There are three negative terms have been used. No mistake, don’t mean and shouldn’t cooperate. Should there be one positive term suitable for it? It is only by working together hand in hand and try hard to maintain and existence of our country’s independence and looking forward to the unity and peace in this country..

    • The practice of quoting out of context, sometimes referred to as “contextomy” or “quote mining”, is a logical fallacy and a type of false attribution in which a passage is removed from its surrounding matter in such a way as to distort its intended meaning.

  6. Actually, all individual of Myanmar citizens must do and try to get good things which they wants by practicing self-reliance and discipline for all sectors from base line to the top.

    independence is not lawlessness ways
    independence is way of life in freedom
    Freedom is not limited but within the social & morality laws of people.
    Everything is with the check & balance of discipline

    Lost for independence & freedom is rely on individual’s mind & doing in every things in every sectors of day life.

    So, We (all people ) need to check & balance with God’s Words (Dhamma- principle for life-being to apply in right way) for all our acting & attitudes for all things we face in every moment of our life.

    Because, Dhamma is actual application for Democracy & Freedom& independence of all things & all living hings.

    God blessed Daw Aung San Su Kyi & all people…

  7. Aung San Su Kyi don’t want to comment on Kachin issue because she’s afraid to losses her presidenency status in the coming general election. She don’t want to be mention by her own people but only western people. She’s useless lady.

    • To be fair, those talks about her being deaf and dumb for the sake of that President thingy ( which as all see now is patently useless any way) was at least initially put forth by those wise commentators. It seems now to have caught on.

      regardless, what was written is right. Useless.

  8. Aung San Suu Kyi, for all her wonderful qualities, is not a strategist, she is a moral leader.

  9. Aung San Suu Kyi- usual high school essay- ineffectual and inconsequential.

    Thein Sein- just read the scrip. Peace is never going to be as Than shwe ahs pre-sold BEFORE he killed off the kachin in the lands he sold off to Papa Chinese, same with Tin Aye’s plan of taking over Ivanhoe for evicting 27 villages of course to poison and destroy the fertile, food producing land by river for -who else Papa Chinese.

    Clinton’s (The Aung San Suu Kyi buddy) unusual message reminds one of Maung Aye’s unusual message of felicitation to Cheney’ second election as P2 to P2 then were. The head of Halliburton who arranged those piling bodies of inconsequential villagers- human, are they? one can’t be sure- for Yardanar Gas Pipe (ironic name, isn’t it?). Now much, much bigger one in Tavoy with help and cooperation of the share holders- KNU. Oh! Is that “deeper cooperation” means those tall, storng black Americans with great sunglasses and leather jackets and silently killing drones are going to stay with us? Hurray!!!

    With her emptiness coming forth, that vacuous Aung San Suu Kyi, whose silences the rabid believers/ worshippers are always forced to interpret as having higher, therefore enigmatic, thoughts and planning, is rapidly getting less and less relevant as she detaches herself from the real world. In spite of the American led “western” grooming and incessant promotions (Japan, Korea andTaiwan still have to confer those highest honours and degrees, that sort of things yet) , those investments in her might not pay off like those in Havel or Mandela, as the latter effectively got the “Black dominated” South Africa with miraculously the Blacks exactly in the same place ( the bottom, if one must know) as ever after 19 years of “freedom”, with more violence and less professionals serving the country as they all left to UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Damage to Rothschild/ Oppenheimer by the ending of apartheid has been zero. The effect on the plight of the average blacks has been – nothing. (Yes, yes Ramaphosa got rich, yes.) So while Mandela was a good catch, this one might not turn out to be that useful as Hilary Clinton thinks as people see through the machinations.

  10. ASSK is not only National Hero Aung San’s Daughter. She herself is a very devoted,sacrificed and Charismatic Leader . Being House Arrested for long years ( Even almost killed at some Events ). Since Ne Win’s took over the Power, Aung San’s Family was Kick-Off from their own Country. And ASSK had married Dr Michael Aris. Is that a great fault ? Those who were saying and blaming ASSK are indeed Hypocrites or BrainWashed by the BSPP or SPDC or Current Govt’s Sympathisers. Her true qualities are already recognized by Burmese People and Global Communities.

  11. Dear Daw Su, You are the one who is totally depend on and relied on the western power. I can still hear your voice asking for help, any idea and any suggestions to the world community at the World Economic Forum on East Asia held at Bangkok in May June 2012. It was shown on Aljazeera TV News. I was so disappointed in you after seeing and hearing you asking for absolute help. Please acknowledge the existence of educated and experience Myanmar/people.

  12. U Thein Sein is a front man for a bunch gangsters disguised as military officers.

  13. Are you a Bengali???

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