Chairman of State Administration Council Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing delivers address at ceremony to unveil the signboard of Thanlwin River Bridge (Chaungzon)

Nay Pyi Taw June 1

The ceremony to unveil the signboard of Thanlwin River Bridge (Chaungzon) was held this morning, with an address delivered by Chairman of the State Administration Council Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

Present at the meeting together with the Senior General were Daw Kyu Kyu Hla, wife of the Senior General, SAC members Admiral Tin Aung San, General Maung Maung Kyaw and wife, Lt-Gen Moe Myint Tun, Mahn Nyein Maung, Dr Banya Aung Moe, Joint Secretary Lt-Gen Ye Win Oo, Union ministers Dr Nyunt Pe, Dr Thet Khaing Win, U Shwe Lay, Commander-in-Chief (Navy) Admiral Moe Aung and wife, senior military officers of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief, Chairman of  Mon State Admi-nistration Council (MSAC) U Zaw Lin Tun, Commander of  South East Command Maj-Gen Ko Ko Maung, members of MSAC, departmental officials and local national peoples.

The Senior General and party were warmly welcomed by locals with traditional dances.

Speaking on the occasion, the Senior General said the ceremony to rename the bridge clearly reflects the unity that is the foundation of  peace the nation needs and the wish of local people which is the foundation of democracy. The bridge is renamed Thanlwin River Bridge (Chaungzon), its original, in view of the desire and unity of local people.

The bridge was named Than lwin River Bridge (Chaungzon)since its construction began. The name met the wish of the local national races and was suitable for the region.

Adequate electricity supply, good transport and communication system, and human resources generation play the pivotal role in developing economy of a region. Chaungzon has certain degree of features for progress. Because of its reliance on water transport alone, it never got the progress it deserved. Moreover the current of Thanlwin, its main waterway, is strong. There is tide as the area is not far from the sea.  So, river transport was risky. The first administration (2010-2015) elected under democratic system initiated the bridge project to overcome those difficulties and fulfill the requirement for regional and township development. The then government spent Ks-3,700 million in fiscal year 2014-2015 for building the approach structures and ground works. In fiscal year 2015-2016, Ks-20,000 million was allotted for the bridge and in fiscal year 2016-2017, Ks-31,360 million was allotted for the bridge till it could be inaugurated.

From 8 February 2015, on which the project was started, to 9 May 2017, on which the bridge was put in service, it took over two years and  three  months  to  complete the facility. The bridge located on Mawlamyine-Chaungzon road is 1,586 metres long. The total length of approach structures is 1,050 metres and that of the main structure, 536 metres.

The first democratically elected administration (2010-2015) of the country prioritized the development of Chaungzon Township and its surrounding areas.  It ensures harmonious progress for supplying power to the township, apart from the project to build the renamed bridge. It also pent Ks-3,400 million  for  66 KVA  national  grid project.

The previous government made efforts to christen the facility as Bogyoke Aung San Bridge, instead of its original name, to boast its party’s image. When there appeared opposition against its efforts, the previous government approved the matter through voting in the parliament, that has never seen in  the political history of Myanmar.

During the parliamentary debate, parties representing the local national races, some other parties and Tatmadaw member hluttaw representatives stressed the need to approve the original name that reflected the local voice through  discussions. But, the ruling party went ahead on through the superior strength of its parliamentary representatives and a trickery method.

It is learnt that the people’s protest and movement against the name given to the bridge had appeared and that about 150,000 signatures opposing it had been collected. It is noted that 14 political parties issued a statement to reconsider what the bridge is given such name saying it was not helpful to national reconciliation and was harmful  to  national  solidarity  as well.

Bogyoke Aung San is a father of our nation’s independence, a national leader and the father of Tatmadaw. Following the words by the people, who we respect and admire, rather than their images is a way to raise their dignity. As the name of Bogyoke Aung San is a name that will prominently exist in the history of Myanmar, such restoration of the bridge’s name will make friendship between national races that Bogyoke Aung San wanted and wished firm and strong. Today, the bridge’s name has been changed to its original name of Thanlwin Bridge (Chaungzon) in accordance with the people’s wish as the former government gave the name of Bogyoke Aung San to the bridge for their party’s image though the locals did not want to have that name for the bridge.

Mon State comprises two districts and 10 townships. This township of Chaungzon is a township having no continuous, contigious mortor road and mainly relying on only water transportation. Despite an island town having 72 villages, it is formed and established with well-known villages in the world. The town is a world famous place for its smoking pipe production. Besides, its slate and handicraft are well-known as well. It is honoured to say that the township is one of the places where the best quality rice is produced in the country as it has good fertility and richness of soil. Due to its good geography position, transportation and communication, electricity availability, and human resources, it will be helpful to creating job opportunities and enhancing regional development if industrial businesses are established in the township.

The State Administration Council, under the duty assigned by the Acting President, announced a state of emergency in accordance with the 2008 Constitution and has taken responsibilities of the State temporarily starting from February 1. During the period of taking responsibilities of the State, the State Administration Council has been making efforts for enhancing peace and stability, mordernization and development of the country laying out the five future programmes and nine objectives. While implementing and carrying out tasks to successfully achieve the road map and objectives, priorities are being given to fulfil the needs of the citizens as much possible as it can.

The Senior General said that the SAC or the Tatmadaw has firmly guaranteed a union based on democracy and federal system and urged local people to use Thanlwin Bridge (Chaungzon), which has been renamed in accordance with the desire of the people, beneficially for all round development of the region including economic, social and health sectors. In conclusion, the Senior General urged local residents to serve the interest of the country as much as one can by bearing in mind “we are Myanmar” for maintaining stability and achieving development of the region with momentum.

Then, Chairman U Zaw Lin Tun of Mon State Administration Council spoke words of thanks, saying Chaungzon had to rely only on waterway previously and transportation was difficult. On his trip to the region, President U Thein Sein of the first democratic government planned to implement the bridge project for the easy access to transportation under the name of Thanlwin Bridge (Chaungzon) in accordance with the wishes of the people.  Moreover, local national races are able to run industries at manageable levels as the former president took measures to supply electricity in the region. On completion of the bridge, the previous government changed the name of the bridge at will without respecting the objection of local national races. He expressed his thanks on behalf of local national races for restoring the original name of the bridge in accordance with wishes of local national races by the SAC.

The Senior General unveiled the signboard by pushing the button, and sprinkled scented water on the plaque, followed by the photo session.

Afterwards, the Senior General and party inspected the bridge and urged local residents to do maintenance tasks for the durability of the bridge before greeting local national races warmly. Then, the Senior General and party left the ceremony  amid  the  traditional dances of local national races and waving friendly hands.