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April 20, 2019

Information and Public Relations Department: Marching forward hand in hand with the people

Former President U Htin Kyaw, Union Minister for Information Dr. Pe Myint and dignitaries formally open the  Children’s Literary Festival in Bago on 28 March, 2019. PHOTO: MNA
Former President U Htin Kyaw, Union Minister for Information Dr. Pe Myint and dignitaries formally open the Children’s Literary Festival in Bago on 28 March, 2019. PHOTO: MNA

People’s education and knowledge level are the most important indicator showing development of a country. In other word, it is creating highly knowledgeable people and new educated generation.
The government has been striving toward making well-educated and knowledgeable people throughout the years and had produced outstanding experts and technicians as well as skilled workers. Nowadays when the country was marching toward establishing a democratic federal union the most important matter for the people is to have an ability to accurately think in the real world and to determine a situation well.
Ministry of Information, Information and Public Relations Department was providing news, information and entertainment with an aim of letting the government know of the people’s wishes and desires and the people to know the work of the government through various public relations methods.
With the aims of providing news, information and entertainment, Ministry of Information, Information and Public Relations Department (IPRD) uses various public relations means to let the government know of the people’s wishes and desires and for the people to know the work of the government. In the past, public relation works were conducted through libraries in township offices, television and radio shows, mobile library, notice board, photo show and talks. Nowadays it was conducted through modern public relation means.
The incumbent government that has been striving together with the people under the motto of establishing a democratic federal union, establishing peace and stability in the country, socio economic development of the people, happiness and progress of the people have reached during three years.
During these three years the good results achieved by IPRD were visible within the voices of the people and in the media. Smooth sailing as well as difficulties and challenges were encountered while conducting its works.
As success and challenges comes together, the spirit of “IPRD for the people” together with relentless efforts, mindset and goodwill overcome the challenges and achieved good results. The people can see the efforts of IPRD in the three year period of the second five year term of a democratic government and its works and progress will be shown.
The department was conducting its works through six sections of Administrative Division, Information and Public Relations Division, Production Division, Research and Information Technology Division, Copyright and Registration Division and Motion Picture Promotion Division.
Through the cohesive interconnection among the six Divisions, the mechanism of the department was running smoothly and the unity and goodwill of the staff plays a very important role. The most obvious results of the unity and goodwill of the department’s staff during three years were the community centres, mini museums, literature talks, public talks, children’s literature festivals, all round development of youth festivals and ethnic nationals literature and cultural developments festivals.

Opening people based community centres
With the help of the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, the IPRD was transforming libraries at the IPRD township offices into community centres that served as public places, which people could utilize and were well acquainted with.
13 district and township offices were now upgraded to Community Centres. At the same time mobile library works were being implemented with mobile libraries.

Union Minister for Information Dr. Pe Myint formally opens the Community Centre in Thandwe in September, 29, 2018. PHOTO: MNA
Union Minister for Information Dr. Pe Myint formally opens the Community Centre in Thandwe in September, 29, 2018. PHOTO: MNA

Establishment of Book Clubs and literary talks
Book Clubs were formed in 127 IPRD district and township offices with books and literary enthusiasts and were conducting reading circles, literary discussions and book reviews all over the country. 323 such events were held up to 2018.
Holding of Children’s Literary Festivals
With the support and participation of well-wishers and donors, Ministry of Information, Ministry of Education and relevant state/region governments had held state level Children’s Literary Festivals nine times in states and regions from 2016 to 2019. IPRD also conducted district level children’s literary festivals in 11 locations in fiscal year 2016-2017, 15 locations in fiscal year 2017-2018 and 11 locations in fiscal year 2018-2019. Similarly children’s literary festivals were held at 9 districts/townships in states and regions together with relevant departments, civil society organisations, library network, well-wishers and donors.
The scenes of children participating happily and enthusiastically in children’s literary festivals were spread all over the country through the media.
When we were young we’ve never seen such scenes as children’s literary festival. Such scenes and the theme song of Children’s Literary Festival will remain forever in the mind of all the parents and children together with fond memories.

All Round Development of Youth Festival
All Round Development of Youth Festivals were held in a grand way in Yangon University and Mandalay University with the aims to raise the skill, knowledge, ethic and value and to develop physical, mental, character, ethnic and moral of youth.

Display of bulletins and photos on notice boards
Selection of photographic records in IPRD headquarters of works conducted by the country’s leaders and bulletin of their works were displayed on notice boards in townships offices and were updated twice a month. In addition to this, news and information, photographs of commemorative days and employment opportunities were also put on display regularly on these notice boards.

Public talks and rural development talk circles
In accordance to democratic norms IPRD create opportunities for the government and people to discuss by conducting public talks and rural development talk circles. The aims for doing these were to raise the thinking and deducing process of the people and to gain the habit of participating in discussion. Public talks on subjects appropriate for the region such as drug problem menacing the youth, youth and work opportunities, youth and library etc. were conducted with government members, Hluttaw representatives and experts in the subjects raising the knowledge of the people as well as getting to know the difficulties, wishes and desires of the people. During the three year period of the incumbent government 653 Public Talks and 527 rural development talk circles were conducted.

Distribution of pamphlets
Every year, on anniversary and commemorative days, pamphlets providing information about the days were published and distributed to increase the public’s awareness of the days. 200,000 pamphlets each were distributed to the public on anniversary and commemorative days such as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, National Day, Independence Day, Tatmadaw Day and Martyrs’ Day.

Publishing of Doe Kyay Ywa (Our Village) journal
To increase the agriculture, livestock breeding, health and public knowledge of people in rural areas IPRD was publishing bi-monthly about 35,000 copies of Doe Kyay Ywa journal. The journal was popular among rural population and was beneficial for people conducting rural development works, agriculture and livestock breeding works.

Production and screening and educative motion pictures
For public and youth information and education, movies on drug eradication like “There were three friends,” on ethic and morality like “starts from a rubbish,” on respecting and valuing natural environment like “Even Superman can’t help,” on democratic norms like “Brightly lit house next door,” on increasing the reading habit and practice like “Change” were produced and broadcasted on state-own media.

Development of print media
Printing and Publishing Rules were amended with Ministry of Information notification 80/2016 on 30 November 2016. Since 10 October 2014 printing, publishing and news agencies were permitted. There were an increase of 1,563 printing works, 46 newspapers, 559 journals, 468 magazines and 1,518 general publications during the incumbent government’s term from 31 March 2016 to 31 March 2019.
According to the Printing and Publishing Law a list of annual publications was available and announced. A developing and thriving print media can be seen with a yearly publication of 4,749 in 2016; 4,515 in 2017 and 4,629 in 2018.

Reviews and permissions granted for cinemas, movies, videos and enacting motion picture law
Motion picture development section of IPRD was reviewed and permitted screening of 98 movies and 936 videos in 2016, 159 movies and 997 videos in 2017 and 133 movies and 636 videos in 2018. Cinemas were upgraded to digital system and there were 62 digital and 74 screen cinemas in 2016, 95 digital and 109 screen cinemas in 2017 and 127 digital and 146 screen cinemas to provide entertainment services to the people.
For motion picture development No. 50 Golden Valley, Bahan Township, Yangon was designated as Motion Pictures Community on 27 January 2018 where information exchange and talk circles between veteran and new blood were held and courses conducted. From then to date film development works such as workshops and discussions were held ten times. Five discussions on script writing sector development and 3 training courses were held. Film Analysis on movies was conducted ten times. A reference section was also opened with books and journals written by international experts on motion pictures. Three film studios were renovated and opened on 9 March 2019.

School children choose books at the the All Round Development of Youth Festival in Mandalay on 14 August, 2018. PHOTO: MNA
School children choose books at the the All Round Development of Youth Festival in Mandalay on 14 August, 2018. PHOTO: MNA

Research and publication of information
To fulfil the rights of the people to information, IPRD Research and Information Technology Division has been providing timely information on works conducted by relevant government organisations, regional news, special occurrences, natural disaster notifications through IPRD offices and ministry’s web portal. At the same time, state-own media like MRTV and state-own newspapers were also announcing and publishing the information.
MOI Web portal Myanmar Facebook Page was established on 31 March 2013. There were more than 1.3 million Likes (1,392,697) and Followers (1,398,413) to the Page. The Facebook Page also publishes news and information about State leaders, special occurrences, regional news, and natural disaster notification and a total of about 100 news and articles were published daily.
Myanmar Information Twitter was established on 12 October 2016 and had 20.6 k follower. Tweets on news and information about State leaders, special occurrences, regional news, and natural disaster notifications were made in English.
MOI Myanmar Viber Public Chat was established on 15 February 2018. There were 1.4 k Followers to the Viber Public Chat and news and information about State leaders, special occurrences, regional news, and natural disaster notification were made via Viber Public Chat.
Furthermore, in cooperation with Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement sector wise papers, Myanmar affairs journals, ethnic affairs journals and world affair journals were written and published.

Marching forward hand in hand
In short IPRD personnel were performing their assigned duties according to the motto “IPRD marching forward hand in hand for the people.” They’ll overcome the challenges and obstacles in the future too to provide news and information in an increasing way with new ideas, new thoughts and new creations.  Translated by Handytips

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