The Chairperson of the Central Committee for Development of Border Areas and National Races, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi left for Myeik in Taninthayi Region from Nay Pyi Taw by special flight yesterday.
She was accompanied by Union ministers Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe, Lt-Gen Ye Aung, U Min Thu, and U Ohn Win, Deputy Minister U Hla Maw Oo, and other officials.
The State Counsellor and her entourage were welcomed at the Myeik Airport by Peace Commission Chair Dr. Tin Myo Win, Taninthayi Region Chief Minister Dr. Lei Lei Maw, regional Hluttaw Speaker U Khin Maung Aye, regional ministers and Hluttaw MPs, departmental officials, and ethnic cultural troupes.
The State Counsellor was also warmly welcomed by local residents holding up posters of her images along the roads of Myeik.
The State Counsellor arrived at B.E.H.S. 7 Myeik and delivered a speech at the ceremony to award winners of the district-level competitions commemorating the 104th birth anniversary of Bogyoke Aung San, the architect of Myanmar’s independence.
Importance of right conduct
The State Counsellor first thanked the local residents of Taninthayi Region for issuing her a warm welcome. She acknowledged the Children’s Day competitions held regularly on her father, Bogyoke Aung San’s birth date, and highlighted the fact that awards are only gained through one’s own hard work, and only awards worth gaining are worth taking pride in. She said the reward of helping other people is the next best thing, and said her father was a victor who didn’t need a reward, as he had received loving-kindness from the entire country.
One of the awards at the ceremony was for the best impersonation of Bogyoke Aung San, and the child who received that award has artistic talents, said the State Counsellor. She added it was more important to replicate her father’s goodwill for the country, than his physical characteristics.
The State Counsellor said the modern age has seen fewer acts of selflessness as a growing number of people teach the young that working for self-interest is the only logical path. She said it is important for adults to have the right mindset so children can be steered on the right path to education and good values.
The State Counsellor said if the majority of students do not wish to attend a school, then that school can be said to be not doing so well. Conversely, if a child is happy to attend a school, even if it is lacking in proper facilities, then that school can be termed as successful, she said. Children learn things taught to them by heart when they enjoy learning, she added.
The State Counsellor said the government will help with whatever budget it can afford for schools, but it is equally important for teachers to ensure students have an enjoyable and engaging learning environment.
“The main resource of a country is its people. Our children are like our bank savings, when it comes to our future. They will become the strength we can call upon when needed. That’s why I would like to implore teachers and parents to strive so children become an endless treasure that will benefit the entire nation,” said the State Counsellor.
She pointed out that Taninthayi Region is not one of the wealthiest regions in Myanmar and, thus, requires everyone’s cooperation to achieve regional development and prosperity, with the central government assisting in every capacity it can manage. However, as Myanmar is not a prosperous country, we cannot provide as much aid as we want to one area alone, while there are six other regions and seven states that require attention as well, said the State Counsellor.
She said the state or regional government is mainly responsible for using the support provided to undertake effective implementation. Those who shirk their duty cannot take responsibility for others, so it is important for everyone to carry out their respective responsibilities to the fullest for the benefit of the entire country, said the State Counsellor.
She said her ruling party has never broken a promise made to the people, and never will. She said they will take effective action, within the legal framework, on any incident that might harm the people. All who have assumed the responsibility of working for the benefit of the entire country and its people need to be straightforward in their duties and perform them with dignity, said the State Counsellor. She concluded her speech by requesting parents and teachers to guide children to become honest and accountable adults in the future.
State Counsellor, officials confer awards
The State Counsellor then watched primary school and high school students, who won first prizes at district-level competitions, perform an impression of Bogyoke Aung San delivering a speech.
Next, the State Counsellor conferred awards to the primary school students who stood first, second, and third place at the competitions.
Following this, Union Ministers Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe, Lt-Gen Ye Aung, U Min Thu, and U Ohn Win, PC Chairman Dr. Tin Myo Win, the regional chief minister, and Deputy Minister U Hla Maw Oo conferred awards to primary school and high school students who won first, second and third places at the district-level competitions for performing Bogyoke Aung San’s speeches, ad-lib competitions, painting and composition.
The State Counsellor then took a documentary photo with the award-winning students and toured their art exhibition hall.
Meeting with Myeik residents
Afterwards, the State Counsellor met residents of townships in Myeik District at Pale Yadanar Hall in Myeik.
In her address to the assembled residents, the State Counsellor explained that the government’s visits to the states and regions are for getting an on-the-ground perspective of the people’s actual situation, the extent of their development, and how best to address their challenges. She added that they also inspect whether the state or regional government is fulfilling their assumed duties.
The State Counsellor said she last visited Taninthayi Region before the 2015 general elections and she intends to see how much the region has developed in the three years since. She said some areas in Myanmar have developed quickly while other are still lagging behind and said there must be an explanation to this difference in the rate of development. She said whatever disadvantage might be delaying development, it is the duty of the government to identify it and provide a remedy as best as it can.
The State Counsellor shared her experience of watching the students of B.E.H.S. 7, earlier in the day, perform impressions of her father’s speeches in commemoration of his 104th birth anniversary. She said the children were so talented that had she known beforehand, she would not have prepared to give a speech as her father’s words, portrayed by the students, remain true even now. She highlighted the need for critical reflection as the words her father spoke are still relevant over 70 years after gaining independence as it could mean the country has not progressed much since that time.
The State Counsellor said she is delighted at seeing the changes in the mentality of the children of country within two to three years. She said this could be contributed to the improving education system or the genuine shift in mentality of the people. She said everyone must continue to maintain the mindset that have taken the right path.
The State Counsellor said the main prerequisites for success are discipline and diligence. She said it is important to have the right intention as the performance of your actions decide the outcome you will receive.
In accordance with the democratic rights, the people would vote for a party which can serve in their interests, she said, adding that health and education the basic needs of the people.
The State Counsellor continued to say that wherever she met with the people, they voiced their needs mainly water supply, drinking water, transportation, electrification, education and health, and returning confiscated land.
Efforts to overcome challenges to resolving land grabbing issues
The Union Government is making efforts for resolving the nationwide land confiscation issues that happened after 1988.
The efforts have been fruitful, with land returned to the rightful owners.
“During the last nearly three-year period of our term, we’ve felt that we’ve had to pay off decades-old debts,” said the State Counsellor.
“We cannot complete this job overnight. But, we are trying hard to complete the task as soon as possible. We will never forget the promises that we made to the people. The first promise is national reconciliation and peace. After that, rule of law and internal peace.”
She continued to say that peace and stability in the country, socio economy development can not come without the rule of law.
“We promised the people that we will amend the constitution as part of efforts for building a genuine democratic federal Union. As all of you know, today the steps are being taken at the Hluttaw. We do not easily make promises that we cannot keep. We decisively make promises that we can keep.”
“Giving promises to the people easily shows disrespect to the people. We never make a promise that we can not keep. Based on this policy, we work with the people. We never ever trick the people. We never do activities that can cause grievances to the people. We can take responsibility for our work. But, people must do their duty.”
“It is important for the people to be dutiful citizens to retain the rights given by the democratic system. Therefore, I remind the people frequently that if you want rights, you must be dutiful. If you don’t know even your duty, demanding rights is not appropriate. If you are not dutiful, you cannot enjoy your rights,”
She also urged the regional and state governments to work closely with the people, pointing out that questions raised by the people during her recent trips to regions and states can be solved by the governments concerned.
“There needs to be close relations between the local governments and the local people,” said Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Afterwards, the State Counsellor listened the voices of the local people and explained the tasks be carried out by the government and the situation to be cooperated by the people.
At the meeting, the local people voiced to prevent floods, to enact the Universal Healthcare Law, to enforce land lease tax, to build rest rooms for local and foreign travellers on the islands in the region, to reopen fish auction market, to open Mawtaung border gate, to implement the hydropower plant in the Taninthayi Region, to conduct vocational trainings, to conduct ethnic language teaching programs, to coordinate for formation of a township-level cooperation committee between Myanmar and Thailand, to conserve the mangrove forests, to solve land issue of Myeik Technological University, to relax some restrictions on sea cruising, to appoint more teachers in the region and to solve some issues in which people are facing charges.
Union ministers and Taninthayi Region Chief Minister explained about the measures to be taken by the ministries concerned and the regional government to solve the issues presented by the people.
The State Counsellor also promised to solve the issues that can be solved as soon as possible and urged the authorities to put the some issues that can not be solved yet on the record.
(Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)