Some are trying to disappoint the people by threatening that like in the 1990 election, power would not be transferred, that the upcoming election would be fraudulent and that they would only win the election. Don’t believe it. That’s not possible at all.

Some are trying to disappoint the people by threatening that like in the 1990 election, power would not be transferred, that the upcoming election would be fraudulent and that they would only win the election. Don’t believe it. That’s not possible at all. Now we have the conditions different from those in 1990.

 

The speech of EMG’s CEO Dr. Than Htut Aung at the briefing over the issue of a lawsuit filed by Ministry of Information against 17 editors from the Daily Eleven.

Good afternoon, honourable guests…

The reason I organise this event is that the Eleven Media Group has been sued. The main purpose of the event is to explain how we should endure the current circumstances and how we should go forward rather than explaining what facts and data we have over the lawsuit against us.

The year 2015 is a critical moment for our country.

The 2015 general election is very important for our country. We must believe that there would be hardships because of this election and this reform. But our victory is within the arm's reach if we could overcome those hardships.

By comparison, the 1946 parliamentary election is as significant as the upcoming 2015 general election. Our country regained independence after General Aung San's government came to power after election. Similarly, our country is likely to experience a great change if the 2015 election can produce a government that reflects the people's will.

In order to see such changes, the 2015 election must be free and fair. If the people can elect the government by using their right to vote through the free and fair election, there will be indeed a great change in our country.

No reform can easily be achieved. Any reform accompanies adversities, pressures, and sufferings.

The lawsuit filed against our 17 editors is just a meagre example of the hardships we could face in this reform period, which can take six to eight months to the maximum.

After the 1960 election, the 2015 election is the first one that gives a chance to elect a civilian government.

After the coup mounted in 1962, the military ruled the country for 12 years. A single-party dictatorship had run the country for 14 years. After the pro-democracy uprising in 1988, an election was held in 1990. But the election results were discarded on the pretext of lacking a constitution, and the dictatorship continued to reign for next 20-25 years.

After that, the country is as you can observe: The poorest in the Southeast Asia and the deprived by the world level. Seven million to eight million people are living abroad in the conditions worse than those of a slave. Everyone knows these facts.

Our country's situation is deteriorating. Young people have no future. Such losses are relentless. The natural resources have been spoiled. Yet, we are not falling. What remains standing is our will, our commitments.

With these commitments, we will have the chance to conduct a change in a gradual and peaceful manner in 2015.

In reality, the 2015 election would not create a government elected by 100 percent of the people. We could have only 75 percent. But with this 75 percent, we can bring about changes. In this context, not only our media but also all the people including civic organisations, activists, political parties and organisations and farmers will face various hardships. 

The hardship our media are facing is not that serious. The lawsuits and imprisonments we face are nothing compared with those of other people who engaged in political activities. This is why it does not matter to us. We will continue to resist. 

What kind of resistance shall we put up to live? What ways and strategies shall we seek on a peaceful basis to protect our people? How shall we protect human rights with our mighty pen? All our media people attending this briefing must do our best by seeking useful means in order to defend the right to vote for our people.

I don’t see the difficulties we are facing as the ones we are facing individually.   

Some are trying to disappoint the people by threatening that like in the 1990 election, power would not be transferred, that the upcoming election would be fraudulent and that they would only win the election. Don’t believe it. That’s not possible at all. Now we have the conditions different from those in 1990. The military or the Tatmadaw that held on to state power for 50 years is not in a position to stage a coup at the moment. Military leaders have little or no interest in such a coup. The abovementioned attempts are at the instigation of some opportunists.       

Another point is that under the current constitution, power handover is a must and it is likely. Parliament must be called within 90 days after election. After parliament comes, we can form a government. It will be very difficult to act beyond the constitutional provisions.

Therefore, our main goal is to work together to ensure a free and fair election this year.      

So we must be brave enough to face and overcome those difficulties, oppressions and threats.

One thing we should understand is that we are not walking alone. We have supporters from across the world. I would like to conclude by saying that the people with their strong will in any situation and we all at this briefing should know that we are not walking alone and that we must cultivate the spirit of self-reliance.