Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing delivers speech to Rakhine State Government, state-level departmental officials

NAY PYI TAW March 31

Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing delivers speech to Rakhine State Government, state-level departmental officials

Chairman of the State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing delivered a speech to the Rakhine State Government and state-level departmental officials at the meeting hall of the state government this afternoon.

Also present at the meeting together with the Senior General were Joint Secretary Lt-Gen Ye Win Oo and members of the SAC, union ministers, Chief Minister of Rakhine State U Htein Lin, the Chief of the General Staff (Army, Navy and Air), senior military officers from the Office of the Commander- in-Chief Commander of Western Command Maj-Gen Htin Latt Oo, members of the Rakhine State Government and state-level departmental officials.

Regional information and development reported

First, the chief minister reported to the Senior General on regional information, stability and development, opening universities, colleges and basic education schools and tasks being carried out for educational development, opening industrial, agricultural and livestock breeding training schools, provision of healthcare services, opening sports courses in the summer, measures taken for development of the electricity sector, operations of airlines and the need to extend more flights, border trade, efforts exerted for development agriculture and livestock breeding, construction of reservoirs and dam, electric river water pumping projects, agriculture and livestock breeding development tasks to be carried out with the use of the state economic promotion fund, measures taken for local cattle and pig breeding under the cooperative system and offering investment loans from the state economic promotion fund.

Then, state level departmental officials reported to the Senior General on combat against illicit trade, suppression of narcotic drug, the needs to construct student hostels in Sittwe Computer University and Sittwe Technological University, the needs to upgrade some hospitals to enable them to provide more healthcare services, development of the agriculture sector, boosting peracre yields, measures taken for sufficient supply of inputs, upgrading tasks of roads for improvement of the transportation sector in Rakhine State and extension of power lines and power stations.

Officials respond to reports on respective sector

Union ministers and deputy ministers responded to reports on respective sectors including dredging and preventing of bank erosion of for conservation of water resources in Rakhine State, operations of five airlinesin Rakhine State and plans to operate more flights after studying the actual needs, measures taken to resume voyages of vessels, efforts being made to add train carriages due to the increasing number of train passengers, tasks to be carried out by state-level officials for agricultural development, creations of opportunities for farmers, offering technologies and machinery and the needs to transform the farming system into the mechanized farming system, the needs for state-level officials to scrutinize and facilitate land use and permission for the development of livestock breeding, prevention of illegal exploitation of forest resources and conservation of trees and forests, conducting field trips to take population census in Rakhine State, the needs for state and regional level departments to cooperate in tasks like Pankhin project, measures taken to provide infrastructures and equipment necessary to upgrade education and health in Rakhine State and the needs for departments to cooperate in regional security and stability affairs in Rakhine State.

Government employee required to serve interests of citizens

Then, the Senior General delivered a speech, saying departmental officials are performing duties on behalf of the government. Government employees and departments are individuals and agencies that bridge the gap between the government and the people. Government employees are required to serve the interests of citizens. Having experience and skills about related tasks, government employees are urged to make concerted efforts for regional development tasks of the state in which they are assigned duties. Government employees are required to perform duties in accordance with provisions for government employees in the constitution and to be loyal to oneself, one's department and one' colleagues and the State. The government is not a political entity but a government which is serving the interests of the country. Being government employees, it is necessary for all to serve the interests of the country rather than involvement in politics. Duties must be performed in accordance with rules and regulations. The constitution stipulates that government employees are prohibited from involvement in party politics.

The SAC has adopted and is implementing future tasks and objectives for the all-round development of the country. Government employees are responsible for implementation of the future tasks and objectives. If duties are performed to serve the interests of the people and the country, tasks will be successfully carried out. Therefore, duties must be performed with the aim of successfully carrying out the tasks.

Political objective

Our political objective is to build a Union based on democracy and federalism with a view to ensure genuine, disciplined multi-party democracy. The previous Tatmadaw government took measures to adopt multi-party democracy as people aspired. Democracy means governing a country in accord with law, discipline and the will of a majority of people. Despite the will of a majority of people, everything must be done in accord with law. We cannot go by taking the wrong concept that “We in favour of the majority read (Kywe) in place of (Ei)”. Federalism means power sharing. In all the regions and states, an appropriate share of power must be exercised. As such, what the Union and other regions and states need to do must be discussed and decided after reviewing requirements. When it comes to the right to federalism, it is found that the laws, rules and procedures the Union, regions/states and selfadministrative zones need to adopt and enact have not come. During our term, we will try as much as possible for democracy and sharing of federal powers.

As for peace, we are making peace efforts based on the constitution (2008) and the NCA. Peace talks with the ethnic armed organizations are picking up speed. And there have been positive results from discussions. The constitution has already been approved through a national referendum and it is a pledge made for the people. The NCA is a pledge among the government, EAOs and international organizations. We are continuing our peace efforts based on the constitution and NCA.

National objective

Our national objective is to ensure national prosperity and food security. Prosperity comes from peace and stability and national economic development. Food security is important and people’s living conditions must be good. We are arranging for enough water supply in Sittwe. The State is working to provide enough drinking water for the whole country. Rakhine State has enough rainfall. Provision of enough food in a country will lead to national progress. This is why, any acts harming State peace and stability must be thwarted.

In this context, a conflict might have resulted from different political ideologies or different ideologies in terms of ethnicity or race. Different political ideologies were born together with the independence. Different ideologies over ethnic affairs have stemmed from inequality in the ethnic areas.

The constitution (2008) gives equal rights to the ethnic groups. The regions and states have same levels. So, it is necessary to promptly solve the problem of different ideologies over ethnic affairs.

Build lasting peace

We are trying to address the internal armed conflict in accord with the law. Our country belongs to ASEAN, BIMSTEC and the United Nations. We must have good relations with our neighbouring and friendly countries. We areacting with restraint so that the international community cannot misunderstand our country. The door is always open to peace if they honestly come to discuss for State peace and stability and in the national and public interests. With the prevalence of peace and stability in the whole country, we can make a greater effort for national development. Building peace for the good of the entire people requires two basic factors: the constitution (2008) and the NCA. The constitution prescribes rights for the ethnic minorities. The constitution had started drafting at the national convention since 1993. It is now three decades old. To go with times, we need to make amendments as necessary in accord with the constitution without harming Our Three Main National Causes. The NCA also carries good points of political, social and peace affairs.

The participation of the entire people is required in seeking lasting peace. Any ethnic armed organizations craving for peace have been invited to peace talks. We ourselves are meeting and discussing with the ethnic armed organizations. They need to participate in the country’s peace efforts in the interests of their own country, region and people.

Rule of Law

Everybody likes to have the rule of law. We are just taking the responsibilities in accordance with the law. It is necessary to be in accordance with the law when moving forwards to democracy. It is learnt that according to the statistics, Rakhine State has a big number of crimes. Law enforcement measures are to be systematically taken in accordance with the rule of law.

 Education promoted for development of human resources

It is learnt that Rakhine State has a low rate in completion of basic education with a big gap of education. Being weak in education causes lack of knowledge to people as well as less development of the region. 60 percent of the population is under the fifth grade in education, which means it is a state of risk for the country. Therefore, to uplift the education of the entire nation, measures are being taken to ensure that every student will pass KG+9 Grade at school. There will be weaknesses in taking measures due to lack of knowledge and skill. Rakhine State has good natural resources. If agriculture and livestock farming businesses are operated based on those resources, there will be development of commodity production helpful to the regional development. To do so, good human resources are needed. Therefore, agriculture and livestock courses are being conducted at high schools in 50 districts for development of human resources. Those who have completed such courses could join institutes of agriculture, livestock and mechanical and then could have further studies at relevant universities and colleges. It is necessary for the students to apply what they learnt at school in the practical field.

Businesses based on agriculture and livestock given encouragement

Rakhine State has already had opportunities to be grasped for success in the regional economy. It is necessary to find ways to ensure successful agriculture businesses. For water necessary for agricultural business, there are sources of pumping water from rivers and underground water. It is necessary to ensure success in the agricultural industry in Rakhine State with an increase in the per-acre yield. Expansion of Mung bean and black gram cultivation in intercropped crops will be helpful to export items as well as the regional interests.

Regarding the livestock sector, there is no appropriate growth in the sector due to lack of systematic farming. If livestock farming is systematically operated, there will be an increase in livestock products. In Rakhine State, there are chances to successfully operate fish and prawn farming businesses not only for domestic consumption but for exports. The State will give a hand to the livestock farming industry. I would like local people to work together with the departmental officials in fish and prawn farming businesses.

Enforcing rules and system

In terms of border trade, it is necessary to be systematic in import of goods. As there might be illegal trade, supervisory and scrutiny measures are to be taken to ensure no illegal trade routes. Regarding traffic rules enforcement, it is learnt that those who commit crimes are using unlicensed cars and bikes. Therefore, special attention is to be given to take measures not to have use of unlicensed cars and bikes as well as trade of them. Use and trade of unlicensed vehicles causes loss of tax to the State. It is necessary to properly take measures in registering vehicles. Directives have been given to take measures to change the license plate in April instead of the end of March. In traffic rules, it is learnt that traffic rules are not followed. Streets are seen not being in accordance with the characteristics of a street. It is also learnt that vendors are selling their goods without rules. Because of such acts, car accidents could occur. Therefore, officials concerned are to take measures to ensure that roads and streets will be in accordance with their characteristics.

In expanding urban areas, it is necessary to have systematic calculation to ensure characteristics of a city. As Rakhine is a region having hot weather, it is necessary to plant shade trees as a national responsibility to make the environment green.

Development of tourism industry

Rakhine is a region having much potential for tourism. It has a world famous beach such as Ngapili and MarukU Heritage Region as well. If measures to keep the beauty of the region, peace and stability and transport and communications are taken, tourism industry can be maintained and there might be income for the region. Plans are being made and implemented to expand airports in Rakhine State. During the period we are taking the responsibilities, we will do it as much as we can. If locals participate in sector-wise projects and work together, Rakhine State will enjoy much development.

Afterwards, the Senior General presented foodstuffs for the Rakhine State Government and departmental personnel through Dr. Zaw Tun, Vice-Rector of Sittwe and U Kyaw Win Oo, head of Rakhine State General Administration Department.

Later, the Senior General inspected construction measures being taken for the people to relax along the seaside road in Sittwe and gave necessary instructions.