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Section VII, D. 555 ADDRESS TO THE EXTRAORDINARY CONGRESS OF THE BSPP, 10 SEPTEMBER 1988 Reproduced from Dr Maung Maung presidential speech, “Address to the Extraordinary Congress of the BSPP, 10 September 1988”, published in The Working People’s Daily (11 September 1988), by permission of Daw Khin Myint, wife of the late Dr Maung Maung. Respected Chairman and delegates to the Party Congress, I would like to commend and confer honour upon the Party Congress delegates from all over the country who have assembled today after passing various obstacles and dangers. As invitation could be made only on 24 August evening for convening the Extraordinary Party Congress we had a total of only about 16 or 17 days. Even if means of transport had been smooth, it would not have been easy for 968 delegates out of more than 1,000 Congress delegates to come and gather at the Congress. The conditions no longer permit for the people to reconsider and hold national referendum under the provision of the Constitution and whether the Party delegates choose one party or multi-party system. Beset with this problem, the people are faced with difficulties in meeting food and shelter needs. This is why the decision to hold, as speedy as 07D DrMaung.indd 555 1/25/08 10:36:19 AM Reproduced from Dr Maung Maung: Gentleman, Scholar, Patriot by Robert H. Taylor (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2008). This version was obtained electronically direct from the publisher on condition that copyright is not infringed. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior permission of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Individual articles are available at 556 DR MAUNG MAUNG: Gentleman, Scholar, Patriot possible, general elections under the multi-party system has been made and it therefore evident that the interest of the people is placed before the interest of the Party. In fact, the Lanzin Party was initiated with various parties with objectives of serving the national interest in the Burmese way. When efforts were being made to build the Party, leaders from various parties were invited to participate in the endeavour. Though all the leaders did not participate, quite a number of leaders and young men had joined it. Party rules were collectively drawn up; the drafts were explained to the people; suggestions were solicited and party rules were approved and the Party was constituted as cadre Party and then as a People’s Party. When the People’s Party was built, those from various parties, farmers, workers, public service personnel, intelligentsia, adults and youths and those who are now strongly criticising the one-party system had earnestly joined the Party. In building the Party, the executive committee, inspection committee, and discipline committee have been appropriately formed after the Party policy and principles had been mentioned definitively. As the Party has been formed with persons from various parties and those from various classes, there were splits, big and small, in the Party and changes in many aspects very often. Action had to be taken as there were breaches of discipline and abuse of office. There are many persons who, after being accused falsely, relieved of duty. The parties throughout Burmese history have had similar experiences. Previously, the Party organisation was quite good and the party had been truly the People’s Party. The Party members must constantly be with the people. They must humbly serve the interest of the people. They must not deal with the people arrogantly by means of power or by giving orders. As these have been repeatedly told and they were trained to follow these guidance, they had carried out the assigned tasks in accordance with instructions. The people, too, reciprocate the metta and they are grateful to and appreciated the goodwill of those who have come to their areas to serve the interest of local residents. But the weakness of the Party is it emerged as the ruling party and grew as the ruling party. There have been practically very few sacrifices, risks and strenuous efforts. The powers can absolutely destroy the man. When without power, it is natural that there will be craving for power. There will be a few who do not crave for power except for the Arahats. 07D DrMaung.indd 556 1/25/08 10:36:20 AM Address to the Extraordinary Congress of the BSPP, 10 September 1988 557 Only if the ruling party practises self-criticism would it be free...


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