State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Chairperson of the Central Committee for Development of Border Areas and National Races, who was in Kayin State, Hpa-an town left by helicopter and arrived in Myawady Town yesterday morning and attended the opening ceremony of Myanmar-Thai Friendship Bridge 2.
Before the opening ceremony started, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha met in the briefing hall of the Myanmar-Thai Friendship Bridge Project and cordially discussed bilateral friendship and cooperation matters.
The opening ceremony started off with a traditional cultural dance performance by ethnic people from Myanmar and Thailand and a video presentation of the implementation of the bridge project followed with an explanation by Thai Minister for Transport Mr. Arkhom Termpittayapaisith on how the project came about.
Next, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi spoke briefly expressing her appreciation for being able to attend the ceremony with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. The presence of high ranking officials from both countries at the completion ceremony of the bridge was an indication of the great emphasis placed by both sides on bilateral relations and cooperation.
The Friendship Bridge was successfully constructed due to the close cooperation and efforts of officials and peoples of the two countries. The successful outcome indicated the unity and singleness the peoples of the two countries as well as cooperation for mutual benefit.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Myanmar and Thailand on 24 August 1948, the two countries had maintained and valued friendship, good neighborliness and mutual understanding. Last year the 70th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations was held and had upgraded the bilateral relations to Natural Strategic Partnership level. Great emphasis had been placed on bilateral relations and Myanmar has always been ready to work together with Thailand to increase the benefits to the peoples of the two countries, said the State Counsellor.
The State Counsellor then took the opportunity to share on how Myanmar-Thai Friendship Bridge 2 came into existence. The bridge spans the Moei/Thaungyin River and connects Myawady Township on the Myanmar side with Mae Sot District, Tak Province on the Thai side.
A joint inspection was conducted in May 2012, stake driving ceremony was held in August 2015 and the bridge came into existence after four years of joint efforts and the people of the two countries would greatly benefit from the bridge.
The friendship bridge not only connected the two countries physically but also increased the connection and relations between the peoples of the two countries.
The bridge was believed to become a major link that connects Southeast Asian countries over the Greater Mekong Sub-Region economic corridor. The bridge would also ease traffic congestion on the Myanmar-Thai Friendship Bridge 1 and allow free movement of goods and people between the two countries.
Due to the construction of the bridge, bilateral trade, investment, travel, cultural exchange, transport, relations between people and regional trade would increase and expand cooperation. It would be a friendship bridge that created wellbeing and development of countries in the region.
It was heartening to see bilateral relations and cooperation develop in an increasing momentum in the past few years. It was also a joy to note that mutual cooperation was not only among governmental organizations but also among the private sector and peoples of the two countries.
The State Counsellor reiterated that Myanmar would cooperate with Thailand not only for peace, stability and development in the region but also in the world too.
Thailand’s efforts and sincerity to deepen and bring closer the bilateral friendship and cooperation that had existed for long was appreciated and recognized and prayed that this might increase many folds, said the State Counsellor.
Afterwards the Thai Prime Minister spoke of his happiness on the completion of the bridge and hoped that the bridge would bring many benefits to the peoples of the two countries.
After delivering the speeches, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha unveiled a plaque commemorating the successful completion of the Myanmar-Thai Friendship Bridge 2 by pressing a button.
After the ceremony, the State Counsellor, Thai Prime Minister, Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than and ministers from the two countries posed for a commemorative group photo.
State Counsellor, Kayin State Govt hold meeting
Following the bridge opening ceremony, the State Counsellor met with Kayin State government members at the Myanmar Border Gate Control Station (Myawady).
At the meeting, the State Counsellor spoke of agriculture sector development, resolving land issue cases quickly, drug prevention and eradication, State government conducting visits down to villages, the need to meet with people and resolving matters raised by the people in a practical manner.
Later in the afternoon, she attended the opening ceremonies of the 55.34 miles long 230 KV Mawlamyine-Myawady transmission line and the 230/66/11 KV 11 MVA Myawady primary sub-station.
At these ceremonies, she said that ever since the beginning of this government’s term road communication and electricity were designated as priority matters. Having electricity did not mean having some light once the sun sets. The aim was to develop the livelihood of the people with the use of electricity.
Earlier this morning in Myawady, the Myanmar-Thai Friendship Bridge was opened and was aimed at friendship between the two countries. It was to raise the development of our people’s livelihood through increasing friendship and cooperation between the two countries. Whatever we did, the main aims were for the development of the livelihood of our people. Progress and development meant changing things according to the time and era.
Having a power line laid as had now been done was progress. Progress does not mean our people getting electricity and light but to catch up technically to be in accord with the time and era.
Before independence, our leaders fought for independence to determine our own destiny. At the moment, people need to review how capable they were for self-determination. Self-determination required capabilities in many matters as well as support.
Our priority was to provide road communications and electricity that the people needed.
The Union Government, Hluttaw and State government participated in the day’s ceremonies. This was an indication of our country’s federalism and democracy. As per democratic principles we have administrative, legislative and judicial sectors. The aim was to establish a democratic country with these three pillars. A true union was being established through strengthening states and regions and fulfilling the requirements of the people.
Thus, our aim was for the development of the people’s lives and for the people to stand tall with dignity as cultured and civilized people in the world. Having road communication and electricity alone would not let our people stand in a dignified way in the world. The main requirements were the quality of the people. Quality includes not only physical attributes but moral attributes too and all must strive towards developing both.
Two countries cooperated toward constructing the bridge. Related organizations in the countries need to cooperate. The people also must have the will and desire for it. Once everyone played their respective parts, the entire project was successfully implemented. The same goes with opening of a power line and sub-station. Those came about due to our cooperation.
Requirement for electricity was high in Myanmar. The expectation was for Ministry of Electricity and Energy to fulfill 50 per cent of the country’s electricity requirement before the end of this year. It was our strong belief that this would be done. Through this power line and power station more than 90,000 households would have electricity in Kayin State. This showed progress. Progress must be everywhere and efforts were being made towards improving road communication and electricity in the entire country, the 7 states and 7 regions.
As she came here, she noticed that road communication had improved very much. The roads were straight and were very convenient to travel. The roads could be deemed to have reached the required standard. Whatever we did much achieved such standard. We could not go for cheap stuff to get things done quickly or do things for the sake of completing it quickly. It would be very important to remove those thoughts and way of doing things.
In the short run, there may be some benefit for having something quickly but in the long run the cons outweigh the pros in doing things in such a way. All must strive toward doing things for the progress of the country.
Everyone needs to strive for self and family. Whatever amount you may put in for self and family, a portion needs to be set aside for the country. Do not forget the important requirements of the country. Set aside a portion for the country, the land and the people you were living with. Make sure this spirits lives forever in you.
It would be akin to lighting a candle in a dark room if you were doing something for your country. However, it would be akin to switching on a light in a dark room if you were doing something for your country together with others. This would be the spirit that all must have. If you think at least once a day on what you could do for the country, it would greatly benefit the country.
The spirit of doing for the country in whatever you do would be an important point to highlight. If each of us did our duty, it would be like flipping on a light switch in a room. Collective efforts could bring light to the entire country. People need to bear this in mind.
It would be unnecessary to say peace would be important for Kayin State. People had suffered for decades the effect of conflict in Kayin State. Due to this, they truly understood the benefit of peace. Only when you were through it would you understand. All were urged to strive together towards allowing the lights of peace enter into the country.
Just as people in Kayin State Myawady get electricity and light starting from today, may the people get light of life that brought forth peace and development, said the State Counsellor.
Union Minister for Electricity and Energy U Win Khaing then explained about the laying and construction of power line and sub-station and benefit that would be obtained.
On behalf of the people of Myawady Town and the region Hluttaw representative U Thant Zin Aung spoke words of thank.
Later, Kayin State Chief Minister Daw Nann Khin Htway Myint, State Hluttaw Speaker U Saw Chit Khin, Deputy Minister for Electricity and Energy Dr. Tun Naing, Kayin State minister for electricity and industry U Soe Hlaing, State Hluttaw representative U Aik Kyan Khan and U Thant Zin Aung cut the ceremonial ribbon to open the power line and sub-station.
The State Counsellor, Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker, Union Ministers, State Chief Minister, Deputy Minsters, state ministers, Hluttaw representatives and local the people then posed for a commemorative photo.
After the commemorative group photo session, the State Counsellor, Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than, Union Minister for Electricity and Energy U Win Khaing unveiled the commemorative pillar of the sub-station and sprinkled scented water onto it.
The State Counsellor then observed the sub-station from the project view point, left Myawady by helicopter and arrived back in Nay Pyi Taw in the late afternoon.
The meeting was attended by Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than, Union Minister Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe, Lt-Gen Ye Aung, U Min Thu, U Win Khaing and U Han Zaw, State Chief Minister Daw Nann Khin Htway Myint, Deputy Ministers, state ministers, state advocate general and departmental officials.— MNA (Translated by Zaw Min)