Myanmar resumes grand military parade after over 50 years

Myanmar held a grand military parade in Nay Pyi Taw to celebrate its 67th Independence Day anniversary on January 4 for the first time since 1962.

The event was attended by President Thein Sein, senior government officials and invited guests. During the parade, Thein Sein took the salute from representatives of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air), government ministries, Myanmar Police Force and members of the Scouts.
As the country is in the third wave of reform process, the people are already enjoying the fruits of those reforms, the President said during a speech on the occasion.

“For democracy to succeed, we have been taking all necessary steps towards reforming political, social and economic sectors. In this context, we have set the first, second and third waves to conduct reform based on the prevailing conditions. As we are now in the third wave, the people are already enjoying the fruits of those reforms. So, we will continue our relentless efforts so that the people can enjoy more fruits,” said Thein Sein.

 “We have learned lessons that Myanmar lagged behind others in development due to prolonged internal conflicts throughout the history.”

He said the grand military review parade had taken place again in this parliamentary democracy era since it was last held in 1962. Since changing from an old system to a new parliamentary democracy on April 1, 2011, the government has been committed to fulfilling the people’s desires, the president added. 

 “Today, our more than 50 million people have two common desires — peace and socio-economic progress. This is why the main objective of our reforms is to make sure that our people enjoy peace and development in a democratic way,” Thein Sein said.

Over the year into the reform initiatives, Myanmar had been able to engage smoothly in the democratic transition under the cooperation of the government, parliament, the military and the people. And the international community has praised the country for its progress, he commented.

He also outlined the efforts to establish legislative, executive and judicial pillars under the constitution and engage in legislation such as passing new laws and by-laws and amending and annulling some relevant laws.

The grand military review parade on January 4 was the first of its type since 1962. Such parades were held from 1949 to 1962, after Myanmar gained independence in 1948.

The parades from 1949 to 1953 were held in front of Yangon City Hall and attended by presidents Sao Shwe Thaik and Dr Ba U. Presidents Ba U and Mahn Win Maung attended the parades from 1954 to 1962 on Pyay Road.

No parades have been held since the military coup in 1962.