State Counsellor DawAung San Suu Kyi left Nay Pyi Taw by a special flight for Shan State yesterday at noon.
Her entourage included Union Ministers Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe, Lt-Gen Ye Aung, U Min Thu, Dr Myint Htwe, U Ohn Maung, Dr Aung Thu, U Ohn Win and officials.
They were welcomed at the Heho Airport by Shan State Chief Minister Dr Lin Htut, State Hluttaw Speaker U Sai Lone Seng, the State Chief of Justice, the State Advocate General, cabinet members, the chairmen of autonomous regional bodies, parliamentarians, officials and local ethnic people.
The State Counsellor first visited the four-storey building for women and children hospital in Taunggyi.
Union Minister Dr Myint Htwe, Shan State Chief Minister Dr Lin Htut and Hluttaw Speaker U Sai Lone Seng cut the ceremonial ribbon to inaugurate the new building, and the State Counsellor pressed a button to unveil the name plaque of the hospital, and sprayed scented water onto it.
They then posed for documentary photos with the attendees at the inauguration ceremony.
After this, the State Counsellor comforted the patients at the hospital and presented food items to them.
The new hospital facility is a reinforced concrete building 200 ft in length and 75 ft in width.
Then, the State Counsellor met with town elders and local people in Shan State.
During the meeting, the State Counsellor said, “Greetings to all who have come to this event, When I came to a place, I’d like to meet with the local people. That is why we have organized such an event with the people. People have the right to come to these meetings with their wishes and desires. We do not want people who have been selected in advance to be here. That is not our aim.
When meetings with people are held, ensure that the people come freely. And do ensure that locals in attendance are more than the number of Union Ministers in attendance. At a recent meeting with town elders, I defined town elders as parent like figures for locals. They do not reach such stature easily.
It was not a government appointed post. Town elders are people accepted by locals as respectable and reliable persons like their parents. In this meeting there are only three town elders and this is not good because it looks as though there were very few people respected by the people in Taunggyi.
At these meetings, we need to become close to one another. It is for this reason that question and answer session were included in our meeting with the people. To ensure that many questions were raised and answered, the questions should be short to the point.
Sometimes, questions were long like an essay and answers were like a complete book. This is not the way. Questions should be short on matters that most people want to know and these sessions are arranged with these aims.
Every time I’m in Taunggyi, I’m glad and proud because Taunggyi is a success story for our union. In Taunggyi many ethnic nationals with different religious beliefs stay together in peace and harmony. This is a matter of pride and honor for our union and it is a source of strength for us to visit such a region. It was known to all that we’ve been trying to achieve internal peace for decades. Ever since independence, the flames of war weren’t extinguished yet. We want to do this for our future generation. We don’t want to leave this burden to our future generation.
With regards to the peace process, some questioned whether it could be successful. Success was never achieved and with stumbling blocks and difficulties that exist, some questioned the likelihood of a success. To this, the answer was look at Taunggyi. If we can live peacefully in unity with full union spirit in Taunggyi, we can do the same in the whole country. But we’ll need to put in efforts. Success couldn’t be achieved by praying. We must put in our efforts. We must be persistent and persevere to strive on until we reach our aim and destination.
I want to say the same thing I’ve said before. We have readied our efforts. But these efforts must be carried on from the start; we must not waver when faced with obstacles or even defeats and to push on resolutely. We also must have the courage to restart our efforts from the beginning again and again. Only with such efforts by all can we achieve the union that we so desire. If asked whether success can be achieved from the effort of a few, the answer will be yes. Look at world history. Effective and important movements were led by the few with a few activists. Success was achieved due to the enthusiasm of the few. However, they need support. For example, in the fight for independence, only a handful of leaders came out and led from the front.
But for this handful or few to succeed, the support of the people was required. This was said repeatedly. Without the support of the people, there’ll be no sustainable success. Success may be achieved in the short term without the support of the people. But it wouldn’t be sustainable. The support also needs to be provided with full understanding of the reason. If support was provided without full understanding, this support wouldn’t be good. It would be a meaningful support after the matter to be supported was considered from all angles and was supported because it was a worthwhile matter. The government needs to organize the people. This is the duty of any government. Organization must be through both heart and mind. The mind calculates the benefit for self, others and the country and decides. The heart decides on value and trust. We need to organize both heart and mind to have a long term sustainable organization. Only then can our country go down the path we ought to in unity. Some asked whether we should start with the heart or mind. Both need to be started simultaneously. Just like riding a bicycle. Both wheels must turn to reach our destination smoothly. It is important to organize both. The reason we discuss, meet and talk with the people is for both wheels to turn smoothly.
Questions should be more on the mind. Why a matter was delayed? When will it be done? How will it be done? These are related to development. Development is desired in every country and society. It is not wrong to have this desire. This desire is required for development. I don’t think there are many people in this hall have experienced the Second World War first hand. I was born when it ended. But we were so used to hearing about it because as we grew up, we heard a lot about it from our elders who were still talking about it. There were differences in the way countries badly affected by the war develop. The rate of development was dependent on the mind and spirit of the people. Some develop quickly and effectively due to their people.
For our country to develop, the mindset of each citizen needs to be correct. Not only mindset, but effective support by work is also required. Hope or expectation not supported by work will become a dream that disappears. If hope or expectation is to be achieved, work must be done.
Don’t wait or depend on others. Our country is a country that is starting to develop or a developing country. It was facing many difficulties. Despite this, there has beena lot of progress this year. The reason for this was the will to develop that our citizens, public servants, government members, business persons, youths and all had. But all didn’t put in equal amount of work to the will that they had. Much need to be done here. Some do more. Some do less. Some just watch and don’t do anything. Some don’t consider it as their job and consider it as other’s job. All must have a sense of duty to do the work.
For example, who was responsible to achieve peace? All must have the mindset of being responsible for it. The country will develop only through peace. Only when the country develops can each and every one have sustainable development. We should not be proud of being rich alone when the country is poor. In fact, it is something to be ashamed of. All need to share the fruits as well as the burdens. Challenges must be faced and overcome together. Only with this spirit can our country become a true Federal Democratic Union. The belief that this was possible was due to a region like Taunggyi. We have places like Taunggyi in our country where different ethnic nationals with different languages and different religious belief lived together peacefully. If such places expand into the whole country, there are good prospects to establish a democratic federal union in our country. But success can be achieved only through putting in efforts. Only then can success be achieved quickly. Before we pass away, we want to see the roots of peace firmly entrenched. All the people also need to have this thought. Our country must achieve peace during our life time. Through our life time effort, our country must develop. It must be stable and united. All need to have such mindset.:”
After the speech, the locals raised queries on electrification programme in the village tracts of northern part in Hopong Township, the appointment of one position for Taung Yoe ethnic affairs minister in accordance with the State Constitution, the return of confiscated lands in Kantawmin ward of YaksawkTowship, construction of high bus terminal in Yaksawk and expansion of town’s area, order for official bringing of cattle, conservation of Inle Lake, state-level master plan for smooth drainage of water in Taunggyi, construction of highway outside the city, upgrading the road section of Ton Hone-Loikaw on Nyaungshwe-Loikaw highway, upgrading earth road to rock road in the villages of Mal Neal Taung areas in Honpong Towonship.
The questions were answered by Union Ministers U Min Thu, Dr Aung Thu, U Ohn Win, Shan State Chief Minister and cabinet members, in which they explained about the implementation of electrification in the northern parts of Hopong with the State budgets, appointment of Taung Yoe ethnic affairs minister would only be possible if it met the provisions of State Constitution, the works of Taunggyi municipal for smooth drainage of water and to expand the works would depend on the budget available, issuing land use permits for the released lands in line with the Land Law, formation of committee for expanding Yaksawk, formation of law enforcement bodies to prevent illegal trade of cattle and animal products, construction of highway outside Taunggyi city, construction of tarred road for Ton Hone-Sa Kar-Loikaw road section on Nyaungshwe-Loikaw highway, upgrading of earth road to the rock road on budget availability and conservation plan for Inle Lake.
Then, the five locals in the hall discussed smooth drainage of water in Nyaungshwe township, electrification in three villages of Yaksawk township, the release of confiscated lands, construction permits for schools and playgrounds in the villages of Shan State and finding markets for the corns produced in Yaksawk.
Another five locals outside the hall asked for construction of factories and workshops and creation of employment opportunities in Ayetharyar Township, formation of a separate investigation body to release the confiscated lands for the locals in Namhsan, settlement of disputes in election ward administrators in Ayetharya Township, good arrangements for blood donation at the women and children hospital and allocation of education budget as education is important to end internal armed conflicts.
These issues were replied by the State Counsellor, Union Minister Dr Myint Htwe, Dr Aung Thu, U Ohn Win, the State Chief Minister and officials.
After the meeting, the State Counsellor made some concluding remarks and posed fordocumentary photos with the local ethnic people.
Then, the State Counsellor visited Sulamuni Pagoda in Taunggyi to offer flowers, water and oil lamps, and donated cash funds for the pagoda. — MNA (Translated by Aung Khin)