State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Chairperson of the Central Committee for Development of Border Areas and National Races, inaugurated the 40.48 miles long 66-KV Mawlamyine-Thanbyuzayat power line, the 66/33 KV, 20 MVA Thanbyuzayat sub-station, and the 118.9 MW natural gas-fired power plant in Thaton yesterday.
Present at the ceremony were Union Ministers Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe, Lt-Gen Ye Aung, U Min Thu, Dr. Aung Thu, U Ohn Win and U Win Khaing, Mon State Chief Minister Dr. Aye Zan, State Hluttaw Speaker Daw Tin Ei, state ministers, Hluttaw representatives, departmental heads and local people.
At the ceremony the State Counsellor said electricity was the whole country’s requirement. As of now, we have not fulfilled 50 percent of the requirement yet. However, the neighboring countries were fulfilling more than 80, 90 or even 100 percent. So, more efforts needed to be put in, as electricity was a very important matter for all the people.
Nowadays to open a new power line or sub-station was considered as progress in the livelihood of the people. Progress in livelihood means not only economic progress but also included road transportation and electricity. Electricity supports health and education. This shows that the country was moving forward one step at a time. Electricity connection had not reached 50 percent of the country yet but it was expected to reach 50 percent before the end of this year.
After opening this sub-station and power line a total of 220,000 households in Mon State would have electricity. It was hoped the people would be happy to know that efforts were continuing with the 230 KV Mawlamyine-Khayugu power line and a sub-station expansion work, the 230 KV Mawlamyine-Ye-Dawei power line and sub-station project work, the 230 KV Dawei-Myeik power line and sub-station project work, the 66 KV Myeik-Taninthayi power line and sub-station project works to provide electricity sufficiently to Mon State.
Electricity supply projects were spreading out in the entire country rather than concentrating in one place. Therefore even though the current success was in one place, it could be taken as a success for the whole country. Various ethnic nationals live in Mawlamyine, Thaton and Thanbyuzayat. Not only Mon but Kayin, Pa-O and Bama ethnic nationals live there. Opening a power line and a sub-station in an area could be taken as progress for all the people in the Union. Physical progress was there, and spiritual progress could also be expected. Spiritual meant the union spirit. Secondly, it meant the spirit to have metta (unconditional love) and cetana (volition, intention).
The current power line was the Mawlamyine-Thanbyuzayat line. Thanbyuzayat was an infamous area during Second World War. The place was a symbol Second World War’s horror. There is a war cemetery here for the allied soldiers who fell during Second World War. In some of the final resting place of these soldiers, who were sons, husbands and brothers of the people they left behind, memorial flowers were found to be placed. This showed the metta and cetana of the people. Due to the greed, anger and ignorance of people, wars broke out and due to the metta and cetana of the people, the fires of war were extinguished.
Myanmar had not completely extinguished the fires of war ever since gaining independence. Internal war had been born together with independence. However, nowadays, where ever the people might be, they were striving for peace with full conviction. This must be done both physically and spiritually. A peace process could not head only towards peace. It must also head towards development. Only with development would peace be firm.
The Union government was happy that last year New Mon State Party signed the NCA. An increase of one group was an indication of an increase in possibility of achieving peace. Therefore, when working towards physical and spiritual development, obtaining electricity played an important role in its own way. In the physical sense it meant coming out of darkness and into the light. It was hoped that it would be the same spiritually. It was the duty and responsibility of every son and daughter of the union to be able to come out of the dark and step into the light. Only when the spirit was properly placed can we come out of the dark and step into the light. Each one of us should have the will and the spirit to leave the darkness and stay in the light. It was important to be determined and work together hand in hand in order to walk down the path of development. If there were no discrimination, competition, anger, hatred and animosity towards one another but metta and cetana; if efforts were made to strengthen the spirit to develop and establish a union; and if the march was continued, an enormous light wave would have been created connected by minds.
It could be considered a happy occasion as the mindset of opening a sub-station in Mon State was not for a single ethnic national race but for all ethnic nationals. If the present generation fulfilled its tasks now, the situation of the next generation would be much better. In order to work for such the future, all needed to cooperate and work together. Myanmar would progress and develop quickly if the three pillars namely the executive, legislative and judicial consisting of the government, Hluttaw and the justice system worked hand in hand with the people.
The country’s physical development was very important for our spiritual development. These two must not be looked at separately. As greetings were being exchanged on the occasion of a physical development event, all must have cetana towards the other in order to achieve spiritual development. Everyone was urged to cooperate and work toward this, said the State Counsellor.
Next Union Minister for Electricity and Energy U Win Khaing explained about transmission line and sub-station project works followed by Thanbyuzayat Township Pyithu Hluttaw representative U Nyan Hein speaking words of thanks on behalf of the local people.
After that, Mon State Chief Minister Dr. Aye Zan, Mon State Hluttaw Speaker Daw Tin Ei, state minister U Wunna Kyaw, Pyithu Hluttaw representatives U Nai Thaung Nyunt and U Nyan Hein, Amyotha Hluttaw representatives Daw Nwe Nwe Aung and Daw Myat Thida Tun cut the ceremonial ribbon to open the 66 KV Mawlamyine-Thanbyuzayat power line and 66/33 KV, 20 MVA Thanbyuzayat sub-station. Later, the State Counsellor, Union Ministers, State Chief Minister, State Hluttaw Speaker, Hluttaw representatives and local ethnic nationals took a commemorative group photo.
The State Counsellor and Union Minister U Win Khaing then pressed a switch to send electricity to the Thanbyuzayat sub-station.
After the ceremony the State Counsellor met cordially with the sub-station personnel and inspected the sub-station.
From there the State Counsellor and party went to Thaton by helicopters and attended the opening ceremony of the 118.9 MW natural gas-fired power plant.
Meeting with local people in Thaton
In her opening address the State Counsellor said if people had electricity, a simple flick of a switch would transform darkness into light. All need to work together towards getting light by simply flicking a switch. Expertise, money and cooperation were required. Cooperation could be considered the most important. Ever since Myanmar gained independence, a foreign policy was carefully formulated to encourage living cordially and peacefully with all countries. The aim was to continue this. It was the desire Myanmar to play its part towards world peace, stability and development. It was hoped the people would do likewise. Stability, peace and development were very important for a country. The support provided by organizations and friendly countries for Myanmar’s development was greatly appreciated. The feeling of thankfulness or appreciation was something everyone should have. Only through thankfulness and appreciation would we know the value of ourselves and the world. Only by understanding the value of others, could our own value be elevated.
Having successfully implemented a project reinforces another successful implementation of another project. Steps taken towards setting up power stations and providing electricity were aimed to raise the capacity and ability of the people. In doing this the Union government needed to participate. Not only the three pillars of government namely the executive, the judiciary and the legislative but also the people’s cooperation and participation were required for a quicker and more effective development process.
It was a happy occasion for the entire country when electricity became available to Thaton in Mon State. For areas where electricity was yet to be available, this would raise the expectation and spirit toward achieving it soon. A progress in one place meant a progress for the entire country. Every place would develop only when the entire country achieved progress. People should take note of the fact that the main thing was for they themselves to strive towards their development. It was best to depend on self rather than others. It was believed that if one’s own capability were used effectively, other capabilities could be achieved as well, said the State Counsellor.
Following the State Counsellor’s opening address, Union Minister for Electricity and Energy U Win Khaing explained about how the 118.9 MW natural gas-fired power plant project came into being, construction works and status of test running the power station.
After that, the Thaton Township Pyithu Hluttaw representative Daw Mar Mar Khaing spoke words of thanks on behalf of the local people. Then, Mon State Chief Minister Dr. Aye Zan, Deputy Minister Dr. Tun Naing, state minister U Wunna Kyaw, Thaton Township Pyithu Hluttaw representative Daw Mar Mar Khaing and Amyotha Hluttaw representative Dr. Zaw Lin Htut opened the 118.9 MW natural gas-fired power plant by cutting the ceremonial ribbon.
Afterwards the State Counsellor, Union Ministers, State Chief Minister, state ministers, Hluttaw representatives, local ethnic nationals and children took a commemorative group photo.
Later State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Union Minister U Win Khaing and State Chief Minister Dr. Aye Zan unveiled a stone pillar commemorating the opening of the power station and sprinkled scented water onto the pillar.
After the ceremony, the State Counsellor and party inspected the power station on a motorcade.
Following the opening ceremony of the power station the State Counsellor went to meet with the local people in the Thuwunna Hall in Thaton.
In addressing the meeting the State Counsellor said there were two reasons for coming to Mon State. The first was to attend the day’s opening ceremonies on electricity projects and the second was to meet with the people. Emphasizing on obtaining electricity was a matter of emphasizing on the people. Whenever in a trip, we strive toward doing things together. Emphasizing on such matters meant emphasizing toward taking a forward step for the country’s development.
The country’s development was good. Trade deficit was falling. Previously imports were high and exports were low. Now export value was seen to be approaching the value of import showing the progress the country was making. Even though these progresses were occurring daily, the effect would not be immediately felt by the people. They would gradually feel this.
Getting electricity was something that ordinary people could feel at the same time. Everyone could see the lights coming on when they flick a switch in any house. That was why projects related to the majority were being implemented with great emphasis. Road transport was also the same. Roads and bridges were not for a single group but for all the people. Good roads and bridges go a long way for the people in the region. Priority must be given towards the benefit of the majority. It does not mean minority matters were not considered. However, priority must be for the majority so that if the majority progressed or developed, they would take along the progress and development of the minority too.
If we can feel mudita (sympathetic joy) in other people’s well-being, towards all, we would not need to worry or there would not be difficulties towards establishing unity in the country or in establishing a union. The spirit of benefit for self being the benefit for all would be strengthened. In a union formed with many ethnic nationals, if all felt good about any other ethnic national’s progress and development, the union spirit will have strengthened. If all felt mudita towards electricity being supplied to Mon State as well as nearby Kayin State and Taninthayi Region, our country’s development would speed up in leaps and bounds.
The honor and pride of a country depends on the fair and just treatment within the country’s people as well as fair and just treatment with others outside the country in the world. Some thought the honor and pride of the country depended on its wealth. It must be accepted practically that influence, not honor depended upon wealth. No one could deny the power of physical force. For our honor, it was important for us to feel mudita while we must strive towards having influence by making our country develop. Only with development can we maintain the country’s stability and peace.
It would be very difficult to maintain stability in undeveloped countries and societies. The government had accepted the fact that development, peace and stability must be achieved together. People, personnel and entities who assisted and supported in development were valued. Our resources, our gems were our people. People were urged to raise their values and be honorable.
All must be self-reliant. Development must be achieved through relying on self. We want to rely on our people and our citizens. We also value and welcome the help and support from friends abroad. However, in the end we have to rely on ourselves. Therefore, parents and teachers must encourage youngsters to progress, seek out knowledge and have the will to seek out knowledge. Parents themselves were urged to exhibit and instill the habits of life-long learning. Learning does not mean education in school. It meant the knowledge and ability to overcome problems and challenges faced in life with dignity and honor. It meant having the ability to find a way. When meeting with people, a lot were being learnt from the way the people act and talk, said the State Counsellor.
After the speech by the State Counsellor, matters raised in advance in letters by locals covering Kyaikhto town by-pass road; arrangement for increasing summary paddy cultivation in Bilin Township; expanding the opening of Telemedicine and Teleradiology departments in other townships after successful openings in Kyaikmaraw, Chaungzon and Bilin townships; upgrading of Thaton District hospital, upgrading of Pane Ne Taw rural health clinic, electricity supply to villages in the eastern part of Thaton Township, continuing asphalt surfacing of roads and upgrading of a road; matters raised by 3 locals outside the meeting hall covering permission to officially reside in a place where temporary residence was permitted; implementation of a project without the local’s consent and obtaining electricity; matters raised by 5 locals in the hall covering water supply; lighting committee; repair and maintaining of ancient pagodas; illegal construction of shops and buildings in Theinzayat Town; and compensation on land confiscation were answered by Mon State Chief Minister, state ministers and departmental officials after which the State Counsellor provided additional explanations.
In her concluding speech, the State Counsellor said problems were to be solved through discussion. A way out must be sought by both sides. It would not work if the matter was to be resolved only through the way one side wanted. The people were thanked for attending the meeting, told that problems faced by people in Mon State were being understood to a certain extent and trusted that the matters would be quickly and transparently resolved.
After the meeting the State Counsellor took a commemorative group photo with local ethnic nationals and youths and cordially greeted the meeting attendees.
Later in the afternoon, the State Counsellor and party left Thaton by helicopters and reached Mawlamyine where the State Counsellor met with Mon state government members and provided guidelines and instructions. After the meeting with Mon state government members, the State Counsellor and party left Mawlamyine by a special plane and arrived back in Nay Pyi Taw in the evening. The State Counsellor and party were welcomed upon arrival at the Nay Pyi Taw International Airport by Union Minister U Kyaw Tint Swe, Nay Pyi Taw Council Chairman U Myo Aung and wife and departmental officials. — MNA (Translated by Zaw Min)