Chairperson of the Central Committee for Development of Border Areas and National Races, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, delivered a keynote address at the celebrations of 72nd Kachin State Day at the Manaw Ground of Myitkyina, Kachin State, yesterday.
She was accompanied by Union Ministers Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe, Lt-Gen Ye Aung, U Min Thu, Dr Aung Thu, U Ohn Win, U Thein Swe and Dr Myint Htwe, Kachin State Chief Minister Dr Khet Aung, the State Hluttaw Speaker, Chief Justice, Advocate-General and Auditor-General of the State, Deputy Ministers, state cabinet members, Chief of Myanmar Police Force Police Lt-Gen Aung Win Oo and other officials.
Firstly, Dr Khet Aung read the President’s Message of Greetings on the occasion of the 72nd Anniversary celebrations of Kachin State Day. This was followed by the keynote address of the State Counsellor. (The State Counsellor’s address is presented on Page 4 and 5).
Next, Rev U Jone Khaung of Sitapu Baptist Church offered prayers for the nation, the citizens, the State Counsellor and officials, the 72nd Kachin State Day celebrations and Manaw Festival.
Next, the State Counsellor, Union Minister Lt-Gen Ye Aung, Chief Minister Dr Khet Aung, State Hluttaw Speaker U Tun Tin and Kachin Baptist Convention General-Secretary Rev Hpauyawng Tu Mai cut ceremonial ribbons to inaugurate the Manaw Festival and 72nd Kachin State Day. The State Counsellor then participated in the Manaw dance with the Union Ministers, Chief Minister, officials, ethnic cultural troupes and local residents. She then met cordially with Manaw Traditional Group leaders, The Kachin National Association of Tradition and Culture (Myanmar) Chairman U Htone Phoo Dagon and members at the Manaw House.
The State Counsellor received a Kachin traditional gift and painting from the traditional culture association and its Chairman delivered an address.
The State Counsellor then said she was honoured to be able to participate in the Kachin Manaw festival and hopes to join in on future events as well. She then wished the ethnic brothers and sisters living in Kachin State peace, prosperity and the opportunity to organize joyous celebrations every year.
Afterwards, the State Counsellor took a documentary photo with Union Ministers, Chief Minister, officials, the Chairman and members of The Kachin National Association of Tradition and Culture (Myanmar), cultural troupes, Hluttaw representatives, Manaw festival organizers and other officials.
The Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Peace Creation Group and Kachin Ethnic Entrepreneurs Association also sent messages of greetings for the occasion.
Visiting children in Shwe Sett Ward
From there, the State Counsellor visited the Highland Students Cultivation Home in Shwe Sett Ward, Myitkyina, and met with the students there. The home is accredited by the Department of Social Welfare.
The students first performed the songs ‘Do Taing Pyi Atwet Thu Ye Kaung’ and ‘Nyein Chan Yay Ko Ti Saut So’ and the deputy supervisor of the home, State Hluttaw representative Daw Khaw Mar Wu, gave a briefing about the home to the State Counsellor.
The State Counsellor then gave a short speech to the students. She said it was wonderful to be greeted with songs by children when she came last time and every song has something to be valued. Every lyric has constructive meaning for the nation and believes that songs are not just for singing but also for elevating the spirit as well, she said.
She said she has been in contact with this home for some time since the initial contact through Daw Khin Kyi Foundation and it is important to continue cultivating the excellent physical and mental attributes of children.
She hoped for children to use their time wisely and called for systematic nurturing, adding that Daw Khin Kyi Foundation always supports full nutrition for the children. She said sufficient nutrition is essential for building resilience and it and mental and physical capabilities need to be fulfilled at an early age.
The State Counsellor said while the children here arrived due to flood-related disasters they are now free from it but the home is still operational as it offers educational and social support to them, and she is happy it does.
She told the children she wants them to become good friends with each other as the friends you make today will become valuable and reliable comrades later in life. She thanked everyone currently helping, especially for kids to be able to participate in building their own future.
She told the children to remember their nation is a republic made up of different ethnic groups and called for teachers to properly explain the meaning of a ‘Union’ to the children. She said kids need to be taught honesty and teachers need to be clear and honest on what they can or cannot answer when children raise questions.
She said she wanted children to read more and cultivate that habit from an early age as it allows them to understand the union spirit and see the individual value of each ethnic race. She said they will continue supporting the home and urged the children to try their best in their studies.
The State Counsellor then handed over new banknotes with images of Bogyoke Aung San, hats and toys for the home and Union Minister U Thein Swe and Deputy Minister U Soe Aung handed over donation money for purchasing computers and financial assistance and food respectively.
The State Counsellor, Union Ministers, Chief Minister and officials then took a documentary photo with the executive committee and students of the home and the State Counsellor took an individual photo with the students as well.
Meeting with State cabinet
Next, the State Counsellor held a meeting with the Kachin State government at Myitkyina Palm Spring Resort. She spoke of the local government’s responsibility to prevent hindrances to peace in Kachin State, the importance of peace during normal development processes, giving careful consideration to the public requests from the other day, attending the public meetings with hope and valuing the people’s voice while implementing them with deep regard, swiftly finishing those that can be done immediately, finding a solution to terminological disputes concerning Kachin State Day with the local cabinet assuming full responsibility including promoting unity among the different ethnic groups residing together, and their duty to support coexistence among the ethnic races while the Union government is conducting meetings. Next, the Chief Minister and state ministers explained the Kachin State Day ceremony matters, closing IDP camps and people returning home of their own volition, and matters requiring coordination from the Union government. The State Counsellor gave comments and advice to ensure coordination based on discussions by the Union Ministers, gave policy guidance and pointed out matters to be handled with utmost care and attention by the state cabinet. Afterwards, the State Counsellor and entourage departed by special flight from Myitkyina and landed in Nay Pyi Taw in the evening. — MNA (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)