Untitled Document
Untitled Document
Myanmar Catholic Church
Untitled Document

4th Session of the Union Peace Conference

21st Century Panglong

 Statement of Encouragement from

H. E. Cardinal Charles  Bo

15 – August 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Warm greetings of peace. Please know of my earnest prayers, together with my fellow religious leaders of Myanmar, for successful, tangible outcomes from this 21st Century Panglong. We join you in longing for peace. Peace is our destiny. With you we commit to achieve it.


We are gathered to honour the memory of General Aung San and the martyrs who dreamed of a new, united nation after the wreckage of invasion and colonialism. Their vision was to build on the fertile, life giving differences among us, and so shape a proud, united people. We honour their sacrifice by humbly committing to union as a nation.


Their cruel assassination seventy three years ago marked the beginnings of decades of divisions, conflict and darkness for our people – the very opposite of their lofty vision.  That act of treachery began a merciless epoch with brothers and sisters pitted against one another needlessly. We weep for our loss as a nation.


We can reverse this history of betrayal. The current Covid-19 pandemic exposes the folly of continued conflict anywhere. The virus will only be overcome through unity. The United Nations Secretary General and Pope Francis passionately plead that all conflicts be suspended so that a greater, common enemy is defeated. Through unity we will rebuild our nation after the socio-economic, environmental and medical wreckage of the global pandemic.


In the aftermath of this Covid-19 crisis, and following our unhelpful history of conflict, what do we need to do that can truly transform our relationships, among people, with nature, and with the source of all being?  There is no other path than dialogue.  Dialogue flows from open hearts and minds, from that passion for truth without which society disintegrates. Vitality comes from the embrace of difference.  We’re all damaged by war. No one wins. The only way is peace.  With peace, humanity wins.


Faithful to the vision of our founders, a path to democracy is chosen for Myanmar. In the Union of Myanmar, economic and political federalism is now possible. We salute and thank all who lead us on this path through respectful dialogue and the persuasive power of negotiation.


Counterproductive military solutions are abandoned in favour of cooperation, civility and sagacity. One military, one army, is sufficient for any nation; a military that works for justice and peace; a military which is inclusive of all ethnic groups, without any discrimination. Gradually, the military must come under the authority of a democratically accountable elected President.  A State is entitled to arm itself, and to use its armed forces for its defence, but democracy’s greatest weapons are the influential tools of reconciliation and justice.


Myanmar is gifted in our peoples and in natural resources. A representative government cares for all her citizens. Myanmar will claim her place in Asia and the world by demonstrating how she respects her people, providing safety nets even for the poorest. Peace is possible. Peace means development.  Peace is our destiny.  May this Conference, we pray, find the vision, courage and heart to take the path to peace.


Cardinal Charles  Bo

Patron: Religions for Peace – Myanmar

Co-President: RfP International

President: Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences

Cardinal Archbishop of Yangon

2020-08-11 09:22:34