Announcement From Union of Myanmar

From: Col. Hla Min (Government Spokesman-State Peace and Development Council-Union of Myanmar)

May 6, 2002

Today marks a new page for the people of Myanmar and the international community. As we look forward to a better future, we will work toward greater international stability and improving the social welfare of our diverse people.

We celebrate today the security and unity of Myammar. Since World War II and under the adversity of the legacy of colonalism, the people of Myanmar have relentlessly struggled to achieve national unity and cohesion. Today, with more than 50 million people and 135 ethnic groups, we stand humbly before the international community with a sense of accomplishment in maintaining our national identity and security for all the people of Myanmar.

To mark this day of national unity, we have taken - and are taking - a series of steps.

First, we have released nearly 600 detainees in recent months and shall continue to release those who will cause no harm to the community nor threaten the existing peace, stability and unity of the nation.

Second, we shall continue to work together with countries near and far in the fight against terrorism, the total eradication of narcotic drugs, and also in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS, which threatens all mankind.

Third, we shall recommit ourselves to allowing all of our citizens to participate freely in the life of our political process, while giving priority to national unity, peace and stability of the country as well as the region.