The president’s radio broadcast was aired on November 5, rather than the regular first day of the month. No official explanation was given for the change to the broadcast schedule.
In his radio address, President U Thein Sein mentioned Myanmar’s first high-level roundtable meeting of key political players, ahead of the 25th ASEAN Summit meeting this month, which generated both positive and negative media coverage.
“There may be differences in opinions and reactions with regards to the meeting. As I stated in my opening remarks, my main intention for inviting these leaders was for us to come up with solutions together that will overcome the challenges facing all political forces. As I have stated frequently, I hope that this meeting is the start of a new political culture where we talk to each other and embrace dialogue instead of resorting to confrontational approaches when trying to find solutions to overcome our common challenges,” he said.
The 14 participants at the round-table talk included President U Thein Sein, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Deputy Commander-in-Chief Soe Win, Union Parliament Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann, Nationalities Brotherhood Federation leader U Sai Aik Pao, Federal Democratic Alliance leader U Khin Maung Swe, United Nationalities Alliance leader U Khun Htun Oo and opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi who met at the Presidential Palace in Nay Pyi Taw on the morning of October 31.
“It is very important that we talk to each other and find common solutions together to overcome these challenges. And we must all strive towards this goal of creating a culture of dialogue,” the President said.
He mentioned the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting that he recently attended, noting that it had helped to generate further international trust in his government’s reform process.
Addressing the ongoing negotiations to bring peace to the ethnic states, he said, “If we are able to achieve the a nationwide ceasefire agreement, we will be able to establish a code of conduct that will have to be followed by both sides, which in turn will help lower the number of clashes and reduce hostilities.”
Referring to the troubles in Rakhine State, he said, “We have to handle it very delicately, owing to the heightened tensions and emotions between the two communities.” He added that his government making plans that will help prevent future conflict.
He noted that the role of the media is critical for a transitioning democracy like Myanmar.
“Likewise, it is especially important for the media to adhere to media ethics by taking responsibility for and being responsible in presenting the news, and maintaining objectivity when presenting these viewpoints,” he said.