Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing addresses SAC meeting 2/2023
NAY PYI TAW February 23
State Administration Council held the meeting 2/2023 at the meeting hall of SAC Chairman’s Office in Nay Pyi Taw this afternoon, addressed by Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.
Also present were SAC Vice Chairman Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Senior General Soe Win, SAC Secretary Lt-Gen Aung Lin Dway, Joint Secretary Lt-Gen Ye Win Oo, SAC members and officials.
Efforts for success of adopted Roadmap and Objectives In his address, the Senior General said it is the first meeting of SAC reformed after the state of emergency period was extended another six months.
The meeting will discuss the political, economic and social progress during the coming six months. SAC adopts national level policies. It will strive for the success of the newly adopted Roadmap and Objectives. The state of emergency period was extended another six months as the country has not achieved cent percent peace yet, and there are tasks to look into the requirements of the election from the basic level. The assurance of freeness and fairness in the coming election and the voting rights for every eligible person, and the holding of the election in the entire country are also tasks to be done. No country in the world can conduct a cent per cent perfect election.
Voting is an individual right of a citizen, while the onus is on the government to guarantee freedom in casting votes. The election must be free from threats, compulsions and pressures.
There must be national peace and stability to ensure freedom of voting. Efforts must be made to ensure peace and stability as it has not been fully restored in every part of the country due to the terrorist attacks of EAOs and PDF terrorists.
Preparations for success of coming election The number of elected representatives was small despite a large number of parties taking part in the previous election.
This indicates the weakness of parties in realizing the local needs and the low public credibility in them. So, the parties must be the ones that can realize the aspirations of the region and people and that truly represent the people. Parties that took part in the election will be able to answer the voice of the people and realize the national aspirations only if their candidates win the parliamentary seats. In this regard, the Political Parties Registration Law was amended. Party leaders must be provided with the opportunities to understand the public aspirations and needs.
The PR system will be more appropriate to increase the number of ethnic MPs. Political parties and EAOs accepted the PR system at the meetings with them. A certain extent of time is required for the people to study the political parties and their leaders.
Voter list is based on population and census. Voter lists are prepared by the Ministry of Immigration and Population, Union Election Commission and General Administration Department.
As the census conducted by MoIP is the base, its voter list will have greater degree of accuracy and correctness. It’s an international practice and a must to conduct a census every ten years. The last census of the country was in 2014.
A report on estimated population was released in 2019.
As the population count was conducted in 2014, there is almost a ten year gap. So, the work of reconfirming some of the data must be taken into account. There can be weakness in the accuracy of figures because of transport difficulty and loss of lives caused by COVID-19 infection in 2020, 2021 and 2022, terrorism triggered by political instability, and political conflicts. Hence a national census is required for the correctness of statistics and data and voter list. At the National Defence and Security Council meeting, the government presented the need to extend the state of emergency period for another six months to the Pro Tem President as more time is needed for cent percent readiness. At the meeting, the Pro Tem President requested to prioritize national peace and stability. Hence, martial law was issued on certain towns to restore peace and stability.
Measures being taken for stability and the rule of law From the time of the formation of the SAC, future tasks and objectives were adopted for economic development of the country and socioeconomic development of the people and measures are being taken systematically to achieve them.
At present, new future tasks and objectives have been adopted and first of all, martial law has been declared in some townships for stability and priority has been given to stability.
Imposing martial law is not to restrict the people but to effectively control the activities of terrorists who are trying to undermine the interests of the people. Emphasis must be placed on stability in areas where priority should be given to security, stability and the rule of law.
Measures being taken for socioeconomic develop of the majority of the people As the second future task, peoplecentered development tasks will be carried out for prosperity of the country and sufficiency of food, water and basic needs with the aim of achieving socioeconomic development.
It should be aware that the future task for prosperity is directly linked to the first future task for stability. For sufficiency of food, water and basic needs, manufacturing based on agriculture and livestock breeding, which are main sectors of the country, is being encouraged and implemented. Almost all people in rural areas carry out agriculture and livestock breeding as a livelihood. When manufacturing based on agriculture and livestock breeding can be implemented, socioeconomic development of people in rural areas can be achieved. The country faced economic crises in 2021 and 2022. Despite rising commodity prices, there have been no shortages of foodstuffs.
Promoting the socioeconomic lives of the grassroots will contribute to the prosperity of the country. As the SAC is promoting not only the interests of a small group of people but the interests of the majority of people, members of the SAC are required to place emphasis on the tasks. Promoting agriculture and livestock breeding can contribute a lot to development of remote areas in states.
Although some regions and states can harvest more paddy than their consumption, other states and regions cannot enjoy selfsufficiency of rice.
The rate of selfsufficiency of rice for the entire country hits 142 percent. Boosting peracre yields in areas, which cannot enjoy selfsufficiency of rice, will contribute to local selfsufficiency of rice. In the same way, boosting peracre yields in areas, which have already been enjoying selfsufficiency of rice, can increase the exports of rice products and foreign exchange earnings, contributing to the development of the socioeconomic lives of farmers.
In carrying out agriculture tasks. It is important to meet the targeted yields. Agricultural land must be expanded in some areas if necessary.
Boosting peracre yields by five baskets will be of great benefit for the entire country.
For instance, there are 15 million acres of monsoon paddy in the country. Although the targeted yield is set at 100 baskets per acre, the average yield for the entire country stands at 75 baskets per acre. So, boosting peracre yields by 5 baskets will increase the total paddy output of the country by 75 million baskets, resulting in the growing demand of farmers and revenues of the country.
The rise of incomes of individual farmers through development of agriculture will help increase the incomes of residents and money circulation of respective areas, contributing to socioeconomic lives. Therefore, I have been promoting the agriculture sector.
Measures being taken for enhancement of human resources and education quality Carrying out agriculture and livestock breeding tasks requires a high quality of human resources.
To make human resources necessary for agriculture and livestock breeding tasks available, a high quality of education for students has been encouraged. In connection with the education for students, schools have been reopened but some students have not been able to return to schools due to security and economic reasons. Responsible officials are required to take necessary measures to urge all students to return to school in the upcoming academic year. As the government has reopened schools despite COVID-19 and political issues, it is necessary to encourage all schoolaged children to go to school. As Myanmar is an agriculture and livestock breeding country, it needs skilled workers in the sectors.
During the term of the SAC, new agriculture and livestock breeding institutes have been opened and agriculture, livestock breeding and engineering technologies will be taught at schools in 50 districts. Efforts are being made to enable all citizens to study up to the KG+9 level. On completion of basic education, outstanding students can continue to study respective academic disciplines at colleges and universities.
High quality human resource development of the country can contribute a lot to national development.
A Union being built based on democracy and federalism Thirdly, measures will continue to promote a genuine, disciplined multiparty democratic system and build a Union based on democracy and federalism.
In the political sector, multiparty democracy will be exercised and in the executive sector, a Union system will be adopted based on democracy and federalism. Suitable executive power must be shared without fail in all the regions and states. Federal rule means power sharing. As such, requirements must be reviewed and discussed while measures to be taken by the Union, regions and states need to be discussed for resolutions. When it comes to federal rights, it can be found that the laws, rules and procedures to be adopted by the Union level, region and state levels and selfadministered zone level stated in the tables (1, 2, 3 and 5) of the constitution have not been complete yet.
During our tenure, we will do our best for democracy and federal power sharing. As for the exercise of multiparty democracy, we must be able to take the road to a fair and effective system. Tatmadaw is trying to promote multiparty democracy as aspired by the people. So, strong parties must be formed.
Measures being taken to ensure nationwide peace In the fourth point, emphasis will be placed on the NCA to achieve nationwide peace. The constitution (2008) was enacted through national referendum and it is a pledge for the people.
The NCA is also a pledge between the government and EAOs and international organizations.
This is why peacekeeping efforts are being made based on the constitution and NCA. In holding peace talks with the ethnic armed organizations, there have been positive results.
Efforts will continue to achieve peace nationwide.
Votes must be free from threat or force It is important to ensure peace and stability to implement the last point of the roadmap: upon accomplishing the provisions of the state of emergency, free and fair multiparty democratic elections will be held in line with the 2008 Constitution, and further work will be undertaken to hand over State duties to the winning party in accordance with democratic standards.
Only when peace and stability prevail and votes are cast without force, will a free and fair election emerge. Vote results changed in the 2015 general election as there were threats in some regions. Without such threats and force, we will see correct voting results.
Therefore, we are holding peace talks based on the NCA. In discussing with the EAOs, the Tatmadaw is doing its best to have a balance between their needs and desires and what the State should deserve. In democracy, Hluttaw is the highest political stage. Ethnic groups for their part must represent the Hluttaw on a larger scale in the political stage. Therefore, a certain enough time is needed for political parties.
Measures being taken public response and desire regarding the extension of emergency period There were some criticisms, responses and desires when the state of emergency period was extended for next six months after the SAC’s two year duty report had been presented to the acting President. According to the findings, there are three major points: to hold elections again, to ensure peace and stability and to stabilize commodity prices. For peace and stability, martial law was imposed in some townships. According to the past experiences, the Tatmadaw is acting in accord with the law. Currently, Tatmadaw is taking measures to ensure genuine democracy and promote democracy. However, those on the pretext of democracy and human rights chose violence without taking legal action to solve the problem of incorrect voter lists. It was an incorrect way. It is necessary to prevent it from happening again. Election is the dignity of a country. So, efforts must be made to ensure an honorable election. It is still necessary to take time to make correct voter lists.
Regarding the commodities prices, the rise in the prices is because of the trade deficit in the past due to the imbalance in import and export and global shortage of commodities and services in supply chain in the pandemic period. Product prices are rising because of the rise in price of inputs such as fertilizer and fuel oil as well as lack of labor. As our country is a nation having no adequate electricity, the electricity rates went up when the fuel prices rose. Despite the rise in commodities prices in our country, there has been no lack of basic commodities. Encouragement is being given to domestic commodity production to ensure increase in the nation’s earnings.
Doing so will help commodity prices down. We are striving to ensure a decrease in the prices.
Working on having good international relations With regard to international relations, we are member of ASEAN, BIMSTEC and UN and must have a good relationship with the neighbouring countries and friendly ones. In the area of international relations, we are giving special consideration to friendship relations with other nations and international organizations by upholding our nation’s sovereignty and national interest. The current situation in the country is only our internal affairs. The forthcoming election is just our nation’s election, not a world election. It is just necessary to ensure that the election will be free and fair for our citizens.
Every country in the world is constantly making efforts for its own development and our nation will be making efforts to move on going forward. As the saying “Keep Moving Forward to Achieve Our Goal” says, we will move on ensuring development of the nation. I have presented the five point roadmapand my vision on development of the nation and urge members of the Council to submit your suggestions on development of the nation.
Then, members of the Council presented their suggestions on ensuring stability and peace in some regions as much as possible, matters on teachers appointed in regions of ethnic peoples to teach languages of ethnic peoples, scrutinizing people who run online loan services through using applications, and matters on education, health and human resources.
Regarding the discussion and suggestions, the Senior General gave necessary instructions on peace and stability of the nation, the teachers appointed in regions of ethnic peoples, education , and online loan services.
Afterwards, the Vice-Senior General welcomed the new members of the Council saying that members of the Council need to extensively make efforts for the interests of the nation as well as their regions as they are the members of the organization representing the State. In doing so, based on the five point roadmap, the 12 objectives, national and political objectives, priority are to be given to the State’s interests in submitting their suggestions and reports, and some are needed to be submitted from time to time to ensure that ways could be found in solving them without any delay.
Then, the Senior General gave concluding remarks saying appointing members of the Council is based on experience of politics and administration and duties to be discharged. Members of the Council have been appointed to represent all the ethnic peoples as much as possible.
The Council members are to make efforts looking forward to the interests of the State. As the Council is the highest level organization of the State, each Council member is to act in accordance with the status of the Council. Each member is to represent the Council. As a priority, they are to focus on ensuring that peace and stability of the nation will be preserved and that the people could live safely and happily. Besides, they are to make efforts to achieve improvement of the socioeconomic life of the people.
In doing so, job opportunities must be created for the people to promote the economy. Doing so will help improve the nation’s economy and its GDP. As what we are doing is taking the responsibilities as a milestone, our endeavours could be tested.
Therefore, all members of the Council need to work being far sighted for everything.