Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing gives guidance on SAC’s Roadmap
NAY PYI TAW February 9
Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing gave guidance on SAC’s Roadmap at a meeting held at SAC Chairman’s Office here this morning.
Present at the meeting were SAC Vice Chairman Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Senior General Soe Win, the SAC Secretary, the SAC Joint Secretary, SAC members and Union ministers.
The Nay Pyi Taw Council chairman, chief ministers of regions and states and chairmen of selfadministered division/zones took part in the meeting through video conferencing.
Adoption of fivepoint Roadmap In his guidance, the Senior General said it was the first meeting held for the officials to review the national development undertakings and to strive for their success during the extended period.
As regards the first point “An emphasis will be placed on peace and stability and the full prevalence of law and order throughout the Union to ensure the safety of the socioeconomic life of the people”of the five points of the Roadmap, the government in office started to assume State duties in February after declaring the State of emergence in accord with the 2008 Constitution. There were disturbances in the initial period, and later, disturbances turned into violence and armed terrorism because of political disagreements and instigation.
Democracies allowed lawful demonstrations. But when the demonstrations turn violent the government has to control the situation in accord with the law. Terrorists intentionally launched attacks on innocent people, administrative buildings, private businesses, civil servants and people of religious order. At that time hardline rioters were picked, the PDF terrorist group was formed, and acts to launch armed attacks against the State appeared.
The involvement of some EAOs in this incident was found. Seized arms and ammunition included the ones used by EAOs as well as the weapons of foreign countries that entered the country illegally through the border. The goal of PDF is to destroy peace and stability of the State.Tatmadaw is launching military operations in areas declared war zones and phase by phase antiterrorism operations in accord with the law in nonwar zones. Martial Law was declared only in the areas that are difficult to control.
Thanks to those undertakings, terrorist attacks began to drop significantly in April 2022. Security forces are trying to end terrorism.
A small degree of terrorism reappeared in the early 2023.
Terrorists were destroying or torching relevant organizations, departmental buildings and papers, blowing up bombs and threatening and killing civil servants and volunteers with the intention of ruining the preparations for holding the election in accord with the Roadmap.
The government held the National Defence and Security Council meeting 1/2023, reported to the Pro Tem President on its undertakings during the emergency period and the remaining requirements for national peace and stability.
Hence, the emergency period is extended for another six months. The emergency period is extended as the country needs peace and stability.
A large extent of Stateowned and private property was destroyed due to terrorism. The number of major damages alone exceeded 4,900. The number of grenade, mine and homemade bombs exceeded 8,500, that of attacks exceeded 9,700, and that of arson attacks exceeded 1,230.
During the incidents, a large hoard of arms and ammunition including over 17,690 guns, over 27,200 mines and bombs were seized from terrorists. The seized arms and ammunition included the ones from EAOs and foreign countries. PDF terrorist attacks killed or wounded monks and innocent people.
They blew up railroads, bridges and communication towers which were used by the public.
The expenditure of the State to rebuild terroristdestroyed public facilities is a loss for the State. All must understand that it is not only the loss of government.
It is the loss of the national economy. In fact, terrorists are trying to install democracy through violent means. The concept of EAOs and the belief and concept of terrorist groups are different. Majority of EAOS are signatories to NCA. The groups that appeared after 2021 were based on the disagreements on democracy. No democratic government tolerates armed terrorism. Those who are committing terrorist acts should understand democracy.
As effective action against terrorism during the second State of emergence period, martial law was imposed on crucial townships to alleviate terrorism.
Martial law is only for those who commit crimes, and is unrelated to people. People can enjoy freedom of movement in accord with the rules. It is assumed that peace and stability in those areas will improve to a certain degree during the coming six months.
The second-term government manipulated the law, and it was rather dangerous for the State.
In this regard, the Tatmadaw had to act as a mediator to restore the situation. To ensure fairness and rightness it has struck a balance between the military and civilians in assigning duties and acted according to the law.It is implementing the tasks with civilian bodies in accord with democracy. According to the 2008 Constitution, 75 percent of Hluttaw seats are for civilians and only 25 for the military. Presentations of Tatmadaw member MPs in the previous hluttaws, and the guidance for Tatmadaw members and families and speeches given by the Senior General and high level military officers clearly illustrate the Tatmadaw’s stand in connection with the nation
and democracy. Tatmadaw’s conviction is to act as a Guardian to protect the country in enabling it to stand firmly on the path to multiparty democracy.
Its continuous mission is to ensure peace, stability and security. It also takes into account the Roadmap in carrying out the mission. In accord with the previous Roadmap, UEC was reconstituted, election results were scrutinized and action taken against wrong doers. During the process action was also taken against corruption cases.
The government’s undertakings in connection with COVID-19 were presented at the NDSC meeting. Infection rate has drastically fallen, and the disease can be controlled to a certain degree. But all must always be aware of the disease. Thanks to the efforts exerted amidst the many difficulties during the two-year period, the economy has developed to a certain degree.
There were conspiracies to break down the banking system with the intention of drawing the country into an economic downturn while the government was discharging State duties.
Hence, it took measures to protect the banking system from collapsing.With regard to trade, outbreak of COVID-19 caused decline of trade in 2021 and harmed domestic manufacturing.
As the government enhanced the domestic economy, the country did not face food deficiency but high prices of goods similar to other countries. In 2021, the country did not get loans borrowed by previous government and new projects later. Although the country faced economic crisis in 2021, border trade was resumed in 2022 to some extent due to high production. So, manufacturing resumed and State economy increased to some +3 percent from the minute status. As the country is blessed with natural resources, it operates manufacturing.
Due to controlling infection of COVID-19 and operating manufacturing, the country enjoys resurgence of State economy. In coming year, it is believable that the State economy will gain greater progress.
In meeting with manufacturers from regions and states, I heard reports on progress of their businesses. So also, it is firmly believed that agricultural tasks through the State economic promotion fund will have achievement.
While striving for ensuring peace and stability of the nation, it is necessary to strive for development of the country. To stand a country, it requires internal and international strengths.
All countries across the world are always trying hard to develop themselves. So, Myanmar has to make efforts for marching forward. In accord with the motto “Keep Moving Forward to Achieve Our Goal,”
efforts must be made for marching to the goals. If so, the country will reach the goals as aspires to. In so doing, enhancement of the State economy is the best. The country is blessed with natural resources for successfully operating the agriculture and livestock farms. If the peracre yield of paddy improves,
the country will have local food sufficiency and sell surplus to foreign countries, benefiting the State as well as increase income of the farmers for improving their socioeconomic life. Improvement of socioeconomic life will contribute to better money circulation in the region and regional development and then improvement of State economy. Hence, an emphasis must be placed on peracre yield of crops. Such high yield of crops in agriculture sector can be dubbed as great success. In the world, all face requirements in consumption.
Agricultural produce of the nation must be exported to foreign market. Achieving success in agricultural tasks will support the development of State economy, so the government needs to strive for securing the success.
Concerning the prosperity and food sufficiency of the nation, the Prime Minister said:
“As for the second point “Peoplecentred development work that enhances socioeconocmi wellbeing will be undertaken to ensure the country’s prosperity and food sufficiency”, all need to boom the economy. All regions and states manufacture agricultural produce and livestock products. All districts in Ayeyawady Region can produce these products. I would like to give guidance that if we slightly push it, it will change the situation of our country. If so, the country will have prosperity. It is because as the people have income, their socioeconomic life will improve.
It is dead sure. Anyone cannot accept harming their socioeconomic life. They will go to the good approach but bad one. The best safeguarding the nation is to improve the economy. We have to do so. So, I insert such things into the second point. The 2022-2023 financial year will end in coming March. Our efforts areincluded in the financial year.
So, we have to accelerate enhancement of the businesses. In so doing, we have to possess transport system contributing to the businesses. We have to improve the roads without fail.
So, I set plans to upgrade roads in coming financial year.”
The Prime Minister continued to say that the country still requires needs for school learning.
More than a half of the total population of the nation is under the basic education middle level. As people are weak in education, they have lesser job opportunities, facing lower socio-economic life. Moreover, they may be weak in critical thinking and rationality. In the political changes which happened in 2021-22, their weak points were applied and many persons led to the wrong way due to instigations of internal and international organizations and EAOs. So, it is necessary to uplift education standard without fail. Examinations will start soon, and matriculation examination will complete in coming March. Although it can be said that this academic year’s learning process smoothly completed, it can be seen that school attending rate could not met the target. Students in the some areas missed learning opportunities due to threats of terrorists and other reasons. In coming academic year, the government will strive for opening all schools across the nation. To do so, martial law orders were declared in some areas. Only when the government strictly tackles disciplines, will school age children not miss learning opportunities. The government is solving the difficulties of education staff as much as possible.
As student numbers will increase in coming academic year, the government will take peaceful learning for all.
In the health sector, although infection rate of COVID-19 declines, all should not take careless for living and they all need to follow the restrictions of the pandemic. Although neighbouring countries face decline of infection rate of the disease, Myanmar people need to take care for living. Moreover, everybody needs to take healthy activities for their health and fitness with consumption for sufficient nutrition. Lifestyle of lack of healthy activities can harm their health conditions and face loss in learning and loss of labour. So, it is necessary to raise healthcare services for all.
If so, the people will have right man and right place, and human resources can be effectively applied. So, the government will strive for betterment of economy, transport, education and health conditions. Primarily, it is necessary to remarkably improve agriculture and livestock farms. In doing agricultural tasks, it is necessary to focus on quality strains of crops, fertile soil, sufficient supply of water, and systematic agricultural techniques. On the trip to Ayeyawady Region, the Prime Minister instructed officials to increase per-acre yield of crops, seek market share and improve quality. Cooking oil was imported by spending some US$-700 million per year. If import of cooking oil can be reduced, local oil mills will operate more. During the trips to regions and states, businesspersons reported on extended operation of oil mills in modern techniques. The State economic promotion fund allotted capitals to the oil mills. If businesspersons strive for production to meet the target, their efforts will help ensure local oil sufficiency and have surplus volume. The government targets to ensure oil sufficiency in 2024.If cultivation of oil crops can be expanded and crop yields can be boosted, sufficiency of edible oil can be achieved in the domestic market and edible oil imports can be reduced. Although oil cannot be produced from a seed of sesame, success can be achieved by concerted efforts of all. Efforts must be made to turn the country from an importer into exporter of edible oil after producing sufficient cooking oil for domestic consumption.
Moreover, it can be seen that pulses and beans production in the country is still low. Myanmar is the second largest pulses and bean exporter and the demand for pulses and beans in the world is very high. As the market has been secured, efforts must be made to boost yields of pulses and beans. Revenues for the country will increase by successfully boosting yields of pulses and beans. It was found that modern fish breeding is being carried out scientifically and it is a livestock breeding task that brings about a lot of benefits for the country. As technologies have been acquired, if fish breeding can be expanded in other states and regions based on the market, a lot of revenues can be generated by fish breeding in the meat and fish sector. As excessive fishing can deplete natural fishery resources, the government does not support excessive fishing and has encouraged modern and systematic fish breeding.
In breeding cattle, beef cattle breeding and dairy cattle breeding are being carried out. The country has to import milk and dairy products worth almost US$-100 million annually. If milk and dairy products can be produced sufficiently at home, foreign exchange spending can be reduced. It is necessary to encourage systematic livestock breeding instead of traditional livestock breeding.
The third task of the five future tasks is, “The process of strengthening the genuine and disciplined multiparty democracy system and building a union based on democracy and federal system will be implemented.”
The government is implementing the multiparty democracy system in accordance with the constitution and the Tatmadaw is responsible for safeguarding the constitution.
When the constitution was approved, 92.48 percent of eligible voters supported and approved the constitution. The Tatmadaw has already accepted that necessary amendments must be made to the constitution to be compatible with the current situation. As it is necessary to move forward to the union based on democracy and a federal system which is compatible with the country by amending what should be amended in the constitution, the parliamentary system must be implemented without fail. As political parties are required to be reformed, the political parties registration law was enacted last month. Those who really want to engage in politics will be able to take part in political activities. In the 1990 election, political parties were allowed to be formed loosely in order to create chances for them. During the period after 1962, one party system was adopted and there were differences between communist groups and democracy groups. The party adopted the Burmese way of socialism.
Those who could not accept the system did not have a political outlet because of the law protecting the one party system. As one party system was adopted in the 1974 constitution. During the 1988 prodemocracy movement, there were calls for democratic rights and the constitution became null and void. As the Tatmadaw was paving the way for the multiparty democracy system, political parties were allowed to be formed as many as possible and mandates were given in the 1990 election.
The SAC discussed the issue at its meetings. As there were too many political parties, those with a few number of party members had to operate in narrow spaces and could receive fewer chances.
Therefore, there were discussions that mass participation is essential for political parties and the law amending the political parties registration law was enacted. In politics, there must be many political enthusiasts and political objectives must be actually implemented.
Political objectives of political parties are ideologies and concepts to shape the country. It is necessary to participate in the parliamentary system to implement the objectives. As it is impossible to do so if there are too many small political parties, it can be assumed that it is better for the country if there are political parties with strong leadership. Therefore, the situation had to be handled by enacting the political parties registration law. Existing political parties are required to reregister within 60 day and they will cease to exist spontaneously if they fail to do so. New political parties are also required to register and it was found that political parties are being registered. Political parties will be allowed to carry out their activities in accordance with the law. After forming political parties, they are required to make preparations for elections.
All these measures must be taken without fail.
The fourth task of the future tasks stipulates that “Efforts will be made to achieve eternal peace in the entire country in accordance with the provisions of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement as much as possible.” In implementing democracy, peace is indispensable. It can be seen that progress has been hindered in countries where democracy is terrorized. Moreover, countries where political power is cemented in the guise of democracy are encountering difficulties. Efforts are being exerted to overcome such difficulties and maintain stability.
Only when the country is stable, measures for development of education, health and economy can be implemented. Therefore, offers for peace talks have been made. The Tatmadaw has never launched attacks on outposts of EAOs that have been officially recognized. Honesty is essential for peace. As the consequences of divideandrule policy under colonialists, the country has been suffering from a lack of peace until now and faced difficulties in implementing national development.
It is necessary to take part in negotiations magnanimously and to seek solutions for what is possible and what should be for the country through thorough negotiations. All national races are entitled to equal rights and it is necessary to carry out tasks in the interests of the country and the union without making impossible demands. Therefore, the government will exert efforts for peace at its best. In accordance with the fourth task of the future tasks, the government will exert efforts for peace at its best. It is necessary for EAOs and political organizations to take part in negotiations objectively in the interests of the union.
The last task of the future tasks stipulates that “Measures will be taken to hold a free and fair multiparty democracy general election and transfer state power to the winning party in accordance with the 2008 constitution after provisions of the state of emergency have been implemented.” The Tatmadaw had to declare a state of emergency due to irregularities in the elections. As the elections held under the previous government are notorious elections, it is necessary for us to take allround measures to hold prestigious elections. As leaders of the country are elected through elections, it is important to take systematic and correct measures.
It can be seen that there were many discrepancies in the voters’ lists in the previous elections. It is necessary to compile correct voters’ lists and to hold a free and fair election.
Efforts must be made to maintain stability, to compile correct voters’ lists and to make corrections to household registration forms. Voters’ list must be compiled to enable all eligible voters to cast their votes Only then, will the voters’ list be correct. There are no such things as elections that are 100-percent correct in the world and there may be slight discrepancies. No country will accept elections in which voters’ lists are hugely incorrect.
So, efforts must be made to compile correct voters’ lists and to enable all eligible voters to cast their votes. Whether voters cast their votes or not is the right of voters and it is the responsibility of the government to guarantee their suffrage.
Since exercising multiparty democracy, our country has held three general elections.
The country has 330 townships.
Elections were held in 325 townships in 2010, 323 in 2015 and 315 in 2020. The number of the townships that could hold elections has decreased. We should be aware that the effort to seek public desire became weak under the governments supposed to be promoting democracy.
In holding elections also, there must not be any threat, cohesion, unfair persuasion or gang bullying over the desire of individual citizens. Our government is trying to hold elections in all parts of the country and make sure all the citizens are free from injustice. It is not the duty of the commission alone but all have to work hard and cooperate. I want to stress the importance of ensuring a free and fair election.
I have said so as to the continuation of the sevenpoint roadmap. When it comes to international relations, our country is a member of the United Nations, of ASEAN and of BIMSTEC. Our country exercises an independent, active and nonallied foreign policy.
We deal with foreign countries based on the five principles of peaceful coexistence. Myanmar became a further member of ASEAN in 1997.
Regarding our country’s issue, there are mistakes in what the international community is saying.
Guests arriving occasionally, and officials from international organizations, diplomats and business organizations usually said they were surprised by the fact that the internationally known facts outside Myanmar are different from the prevailing conditions inside. These are based on biased media and diplomats. They need to know the real situation. Our standing is that we will be acting within the ASEAN framework.
As regards the IDP issue in Rakhine State, it has been dealt with throughout successive eras. We have protect our national races as well as our citizens.
In our country there are also citizens who are Bengali. And they have given their rights in accord with the law. Moreover, Bengali are living not only in Rakhine State but in other regions of the country. The problem with their reacceptance is due to illegal immigration.
We have said the reacceptance programme will go in line with the agreements made by both countries. Officials concerned went to Rakhine State recently.
We will not refuse over the actions done in accord with the official agreement. If they reenter our country based on the bilateral agreement, they have access to the rights in accordance with the 1982 citizenship law. This law is not for the IDPs in Rakhine State alone. This applies to all those who are in Myanmar for various reasons.
The issue needs to be handled by our government as well as other successive governments to come. We have to act correctly in the interests of our State.
As for electricity supply, Myanmar will still face difficulties.
The reason is partly due to the halt to hydropower projects for various reasons. We are now granting permission for hydropower projects. Plans are under way to meet higher power demand by 2025 even if we cannot afford for full supply. The regions and states also need to try to generate electricity under their own plans. As they can produce paddy, they can try to implement solar and wind power energy projects by firing husk. Moreover, electricity consumption should be saved.
Public transport system will focus on electricity without fail.
Efforts will be made until we can use electric cars successfully.
We have seen interest and offers in electric car imports.
Global oil price has increased year by year. So it is necessary to increase electricity generation to reduce fuel oil usage.
Supervisory teams need to emphasize extensive use of electric vehicles. Currently, charging stations are being built on Yangon - Nay Pyi Taw Expressway and old Highway. Plans are being made to build more on Nay Pyi Taw-Mandalay Expressway,Lashio Road, Mawlamyine Road and in Kayin State.
Relevant ministries need to cooperate each other in ensuring that EVs are extensively used. If our government work hard in all aspects, that will benefit our country very much in coming six months.