Sept 27, 2011

“Democracy is something to which we have been looking forward for decades, since 1988 when we founded the National League for Democracy. We have been dreaming of annual party conferences. We have not yet achieved our dream because we have not yet achieved democracy. Peoples in countries where democracy is practiced take such conferences for granted. For them, for a party to hold an annual conference is a very simple thing. To us it is a goal, a goal to which we have been working for many, many long years.

“It gives me great pleasure to be able to address you because by addressing you I feel that our people here who are working for democracy are connected with those who have already achieved democracy. This helps us because it encourages us. It reminds us that democracy is achievable. It also reminds us that democracy is not without problems. We are aware of the problems faced by democratic nations, by parties practicing democracy. Democracy is not an easy option. We chose to struggle for democracy simply because we believe it is the best system that has yet been thought up by Man. It is a system that values the individual. It is a system that will help our people to live with self-respect, with prosperity, with freedom. This is why it always gives us the greatest pleasure to feel that we are in contact with democratic forces all over the world. It makes us feel one with others who believe in the same values in which we believe.

“The labor party has a proud history of working for the common man, and we here in Burma are trying to work for the common man. We are trying to use our democratic aspirations in the interests of our peoples to help them achieve the kind of national unity, peace, prosperity, and freedom that they all want. We are not yet there. We are still some way off from reaching that goal, but with help of people like you, who understand what it is to struggle for what seem now very ordinary rights, we expect to achieve our wishes, to achieve our goal of a genuine democratic society where the individual will be able to exercise his political and human rights as an everyday matter. When we get to that goal, we will certainly remember that we have been helped along the way by friends and supporters who share with us a belief in the democratic process. We hope to learn from you and from other political parties all over the world how to best preserve our democratic rights, how to make sure that these rights are not only preserved, but are in keeping with the developments of this global age. I look forward to the day when we can all work together to make this world a happier, better, more democratic society. Thank you.”