State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi who was in Pathein, Ayeyawady Region, accompanied by Union Ministers Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe, U Min Thu, Dr. Aung Thu and U Ohn Win, met with Ayeyawady Region Chief Minister U Hla Moe Aung and region government members at Ayeyawady Region guest house yesterday morning.
At the meeting, the State Counsellor said submissions received at meetings with the people should be resolved immediately. Instructions have been given especially for tendering matters to be transparent, feasibility study, design and BQ to be provided fairly to the tenderers. All need to be aware of rules, regulations and procedures to follow in signing MOU.
The worse cases faced were land matters. It needs to be resolved correctly and quickly. Procedures need to be changed to do this. Policies were also setup for schools, hospitals and clinics. Submission must be made if some relaxations were required due to on-ground situation.
Emphasis must be placed toward increasing yield and raising quality in Ayeyawady Region where agriculture was the mainstay.
Coordination was required with the Hluttaw to enact required laws prior to collection of land census. Delays in maintaining and reconstruction of Yangon-Pathein Road and construction of Rakhine-Ayeyawady costal road were to be coordinated between the Region and Union. Municipal or development works were closely linked to the people and it was important to place much emphasis toward it. The Region Chief Minister must take the responsibility to strengthen the cooperation between region government members and departments.
As contact between the people and government was weak, government officials should conduct more outreach activities to provide necessary explanations to the people, said the State Counsellor.
From there the State Counsellor and party accompanied by Region Chief Minister left Pathein by Tatmadaw helicopters and reacthed Einme town where they met with the local people in Einme Basic Education High School 1 Shwenyilar hall.
At the meeting the State Counsellor said Ayeyawaddy Region was wide and populous. It was a Region very important for the country. Discussion was held with the Region Government for employment of locals and creating job opportunities. The dignity of every person depends on their ability to work. Only when they can stand on their own foot will they be dignified. One of the responsibilities of a government was to provide job opportunities for all.
Ever since our government took over responsibility, we put creating job opportunity at the forefront. A good road transport network and availability of electricity were important for creating job opportunities. It was noted that providing these two allow better possibility of creating jobs. That was why efforts were being made towards improving road transport and to provide electricity. Road transport was a very important matter for our health, education, economy and union spirit. In the same way electricity, education, health and businesses were also important.
Our students were found to be fearless. This was an admirable trait. Children need to be fearless in learning. If they fear to learn the unknown, education would be very difficult for them. It was encouraging to see that youngsters were learning fearlessly. This could be taken as progress.
All need to be responsible toward self. Everyone had rights and responsibilities. Everyone had a choice. Even if there were no choices, at least there was a choice to choose how each of us can set our mind. For our country to progress, each of our people must be the master of their mind. After mastering our mind each of us can think of how to set our mind.
Children must be taught since young to make friends and to be friendly with them. Parents and teachers can teach a lot but a person must have the will to learn in order to learn. Parents and teachers had the responsibility to teach the best they can. Whether they do or not was to be determined by themselves. Continuously study the relationship between teachers, parents and students. It was observed that the mindset of the entire school will become better only when the mindset of teachers, school head and senior officials above them had a good mindset. This was a fact that determines the capability of the people in the leadership role. In the same way, it was not wrong to say that a government was responsible for everything.
A government elected by the people must be responsible towards the people and the country. That was the main job of a government. The most important would be trust between the government and the people. That was why we were always cautioning. We repeatedly told not to give promises that could not be kept. Giving promises that could not be kept may let you go on for the short run but in the long run trust will be lost. Once the trust of the people was lost, it would be very difficult for a government to work. Having the courage to say the right thing was the only way to build trust between the people and the government. During the meetings with the people various subjects were submitted. We will try to fulfill in the best possible way all the honest submissions made. However, we would not be able to fulfill everything all over the country. This would depend very much on the status of our economic development. We were striving toward economic development and we can say there has been some progress. For example the plan was for 50 percent of our population to have electricity before the end of this year and this was believed to be achievable.
It would not be good for the country if the government did whatever it wanted to do. A country was not made up of a single region or township. It was required to develop the entire country. Bear in mind that there may be some places that had more requirement than your place. As our country was a union, it must look like a union from the political aspect also. It could not be looked at from only from the economic viewpoint. Providing road transportation and electricity could not be an economic calculation alone. Benefits cannot be calculated as physical, financial, economics.
Requirement of the union needs to be considered politically. Requirements of other states and regions need to be resolved too. We will try to fulfill the best we can on the matters raised by the people. We will answer the questions openly, transparently and in a straightforward way.
The Region government has already been instructed to be close with the people. They should be close to the people and cooperate with them. Only then would they have the answers to the questions raised by the people.
People should also submit matters truthfully and with goodwill, said the State Counsellor.
Nine matters were raised at the meeting by the people. They covered the following subjects: expansion of Einme township, permission to resettle along Strand Road in Einme Town, expanding residential areas onto village pasture lands and to designate them as residential lands, upgrading Einme-Pantanaw road to an all-weather road, transfer of education personnel to be conducted only after the end of the school year, upgrading Einme Hospital and Ywathit Village hospital and construction of Lugaungkyun station hospital. From outside the meeting five locals raised matters covering farmlands confiscated by the Tatmadaw and Aya Shwe War company, Kangyidaunt Village primary school, agriculture loan, agriculture product prices, improving Yangon-Pathein road, education, confiscation of residential lands in Einme town, storage of liquor and fuel in Einme town, management of municipal personnel, road accident reduction and electricity production.
The matters raised were answered and explained by Union Minister Dr. Aung Thu, Region Chief Minister, region ministers and officials while the State Counsellor also provided additional explanation.
In her concluding speech to the meeting the State Counsellor said the most important point everywhere was to have good communication between state and region governments and the people. Contacts were required to be continuous. The region government was told to go out and meet with the people. Listen to the questions and submissions made. The region government needs to explain to the people the Union Government’s policy and how it was conducting its work.
When question and answer sessions were held with the people, the people will get to know not only their side but the other sides as well. We came to the understanding that in some matters we thought the people would know but found out that they still did not know yet. We accept the fact that it was our responsibility to make everything known and to distribute the information in a much wider way. We would set up arrangements so that everyone would know what was happening and what the government was doing.
Thanks for participating in the meeting. May the people in Einme Township be healthy and well and serve hand in hand for the benefit of the country and your township, said the State Counsellor.
The State Counsellor went to Pantanaw Town by Tatmadaw helicopters. In Pantanaw she met with town elders at the Pantanaw guest house and said the meeting was with the town elders rather than the people due to space limitation. Arrangements were made for people outside to raise questions. Questions raised in writing by the people were read. Those questions can be answered by Ayeyawady Region government. It was a joy to see the participation of representatives from the four main religions at the meeting.
Our country has many races, religions and languages. It was a union made of such diversities and differences and it was very important to have understanding, mutual respect and value others. It was repeatedly said that this was the dignity and honor of the country. The country’s honor and dignity was the physical and mental security of all who lived in the country.
If we have true physical and mental security, our country had become a country that had attained the required level of development. It was of the utmost importance for the people to understand and respect one another in the same way as the people and the government to have understanding, respect and trust towards one another.
If there was no trust and understanding between a government and the people, the government will face difficulties in successfully implementing projects. A country’s requirements did not differ from one place to another. The aims and requirements were the same.
I want to talk about a unique town that I happened to be in unexpectedly and without a plan. Due to weather conditions, the helicopter I was on was unable to fly on and landed in Htamanthi town. We held a meeting there. At that meeting a youth asked what the role of the people was in amending the Constitution. I was much impressed by that question. A youth from such a small town was having much interest in a matter of great importance for the country. That was very encouraging for our country. Mostly our peoples’ requirements were basic requirements. This shows that our country still has much to go for development. We were still at a stage where we were unable to fulfill the basic requirement of the people.
The basic requirements were road transport, electricity, health and education. Another important matter that was not found in any other countries was the matter of land. Our country has a variety of strange land problems like land ownership, returning to original owners, using farm lands for other matters. The central government had setup ways to resolve these matters quickly and if the matter drags on, it would not be good for the government and would harm the people as well. Therefore, we were striving towards resolving these matters quickly.
You may submit or ask whatever you want to. Region government, union minister and I will try to answer as much as possible. Whenever I’m out on a trip, a complaint department was opened. There were many complaints and reply will be made if the name and address of the complainants were included in the complaint letter, said the State Counsellor.
Five matters were pre-submitted by the local people at the meeting. They comprised designating an office place for township election commission office, construction of a new Pan Aya Hall, upgrading the entry and exit roads of Shwe Myin Tin Pagoda into all-weather roads, status of U Thant library, upgrading of Pantanaw Town Hospital. From outside the meeting 10 locals raised matters involving expansion of U Aung Zeya Road in Pantanaw, confiscated lands, farmlands confiscated when Yangon-Pathein road was constructed, fresh water fish breeding pond permits to be granted to the people, education status in Pantanaw and selection of Daw Waw village administrator were raised. Inside the meeting town elders and representatives of the four major religions raised matters covering renovation and reconstruction of Pan Aya hall and restoring religious buildings.
Matters raised were responded by Union Minister Dr. Aung Thu, Region ministers and officials. The State Counsellor also provided additional explanations.
In her closing speech the State Counsellor said arrangements have been made to go to all the places we want to go before the rain comes. Today we will go from Pathein to Einme, Einme to Pantanaw and Pantanaw to Maubin. When we go to many places like this, we don’t have time at any place. Due to the short time given, we’ll try to come again. We’ll give more time when we come next time. She then thanked the town elders who came to meet her.
After the meeting the State Counsellor met with Pantanaw local people in front of Pantanaw Town Bogyoke Statue.
At this meeting the State Counsellor said submission and queries made will be responded quickly and correctly. She spoke of the requirement of every citizen’s participation in the development of townships all over the country and the need for the people to be confident. She added further to use these correctly toward the development of the country.
The State Counsellor and party then continued on to Maubin Town by helicopters and met with town elders and local people in the Maubin Township General Administration Department meeting hall.
There the State Counsellor said there were no differences in the problems our people were facing. This highlights the fact that we were the same. Being the same, it was important to help one another so that all can come along. If we only look at what we want, progress will be slow. So wherever we go, we must coordinate and find a solution together.
As human beings we have the opportunity to talk to each other and communicate. We have the opportunity to settle differences verbally rather than physically. This was our advantage. If we do things with sympathy, compassion and understanding there’s no way we couldn’t reach a solution or an answer. Much still need to be done for our country to develop. Our country was weak in development not only in the world but also in the region too. We shouldn’t despair because we were a weak country. With collective strength, we can overcome problems and become a stronger and faster developing country.
Now our country has developed to a certain level. We were able to fulfill to a certain level the people’s basic requirement for road transport and electricity. As we attain success, we’ll reach a stage to achieve more success. We were targeting education and health sector with an aim for the future. We greatly support vocational education system. Vocational education system produces qualified youths required for economic and political development.
The era of university education being the education is over. Parents need not think that their offspring were educated only if they were university graduates. Youth themselves must not think that they are educated only if they were university graduates. The most progressive and developed countries consider university education and vocational education to be on the same level. Equal opportunities were provided to earn a living. In health, priority was given to basic public health because if the people were in good health, requirements for higher health care and medical treatments would be reduced. Then, quality health care can be provided.
We must not be short sighted in every sector and must look at the present as well as to the future. Lessons from the past were to be reviewed and learnt. Ayeyawady Region was once called the rice bowl of not only Myanmar but also the world. Today it was no longer at that level of development and responsibility lies with the Union government, region government and the people for Ayeyawady Region to develop again. All need to have this spirit of responsibility and work together hand in hand. Creating situations for people to make submissions and listen to their voices was to bring the people and government closer. Only with this closeness can our country be successful. This could not be done by the government alone or the people alone. Thus both need to do it together hand in hand. And we need to come together in a correct way too. We want to do things correctly and truthfully in a straight forward and stable manner. If we take short cuts and do things wrong way, we may be ok in the short term but we’ll have more problems in the long run.
I want to hear the voices of the students and the farmers. Young or old, all were the citizens and people of our country. All need to bear this in mind. Students, elders, farmers, workers, public servants were the people. With a spirit of all being the offspring of the union we should all walk toward our goal hand in hand; in this way we will reach it quickly. Even if the road was rough, we’ll overcome it with our collective unified strength. If we were united, even if our road to democracy was long, we’ll feel it to be not too long and reach the destination easily, said the State Counsellor.
Seven matters submitted in advanced were raised at the meeting. Those were removing buildings around Independence Monument in the middle of Maubin Town, to use public movement in designating township area, government action toward declining rice and paddy prices, resolving difficulties faced by farmer when China and India stopped purchasing of pulses and beans, bank loan, fish breeding pond permits, road blockage during the raining season and the inability to collect garbage. Locals in the meeting also raised matters covering opening of a Futsal football ground in Kywedon Village Kanthaya beach, education, objection of Pyidaungsu Hluttaw toward the usage of the word “Student Hluttaw,” land confiscation in Palaung Village, Khanaung Village and Mya Koe Su village.
Union Minister Dr. Aung Thu, Region Chief Minister U Hla Moe Aung, region ministers and officials responded to the matters raised and the State Counsellor provided additional explanations.
Delivering her concluding speech the State Counsellor said the law mentioned that if works were not conducted by a certain time, the farmlands were to be released. Thus the people also need to respect and abide by the law. If the law was not fair or just, all must strive toward amending it. All have the duty and responsibility to strive toward amending it and we have the duty and responsibility to accomplish it.
We must exist and stand according to enacted laws. If not our country wouldn’t be stable. Maubin also have a lot of land ownership problems like other townships. People need to think about it from all sides. Self-interest and public interest should be in equilibrium. Personal ownership must be respected but people also need to consider the country’s development.
If everyone put self-interest and the country’s interest at the same level, our country will develop quickly. The government will handle matters for the good of all within the limits of rule of law. People are also requested to strive toward this together with us, said the State Counsellor.
Following the meeting the State Counsellor and party left by Tatmadaw helicopters and reached Nyaungdon Town where she met with town elders and local people in Nyaungdon Township hall.
At the meeting she spoke of telling repeatedly on establishing trust between the people and the government for our country to develop. To do so would require the government to keep their words and deal openly and straightforwardly with the people. The people also need to deal with the government openly, straightforwardly and solemnly. We accept the fact that the people’s sufferings were more than that of the government members. We understand that people living in meager villages especially had many requirements and shortcomings. Regardless of the level of requirements and shortcomings, please submit matters truthfully.
We’ll be fair toward the people. We’ll give whatever was rightfully yours.
We’ll do the utmost toward the development of the people. In doing so, rule of law was the main thing. The majority of the matters raised by the people were related to farmland ownership. Weaknesses from the administration side were found sometimes. Those were the responsibilities of the government and it’ll strive toward removing those weaknesses.
Cooperation was very important as development was much required in our country. Cooperation meant within the government, between central and state and region, within state and region, within the people, within organizations, within sector wise levels and as cooperation increases the development rate would also increase.
Myanmar was noted to be very rich in natural resources. The most important and valuable resources were our people. The strength of a country does not depend on the area, size, resources and population. It depends only on the capacity of the people. Our people need to understand and have it in mind. People must bear in mind to use the individual capacity and strength for the benefit of the country. People have rights granted by the law and these rights were to be used properly for development and progress.
All were urged to emphasize on education as the country needs a lot of educated people. Educated didn’t mean to be educated in the university. It meant to be educated in required expertise. Farmers who were experts in agricultures can also be regarded as educated. In the same way a worker with expertise in work who uses that expertise correctly was also an educated person. All must be proud of their profession and they must also be able to overcome their weaknesses.
Our people should take care of the cleanliness of your own neighborhoods. Youth and children also need to be encouraged towards keeping their own neighborhoods clean. Teachers and parents were requested to teach all to be responsible toward the country individually.
She spoke of personally valuing every citizen regardless of their ages. All were recognized for having their own abilities. Elders and youths need to create a society that mutually values one another. The country was a union made up of many ethnic nationals believing in many religions and speaking many languages. It was established based on mutual understanding. Prior to gaining independence, the founding fathers decided to work together toward independence. This decision was the basic idea of the union. The basic idea of the union didn’t mean Panglong Agreement. It meant the Panglong Spirit. Panglong Spirit was the spirit that made the Panglong Agreement. This spirit that will bring us to the goal we aimed for quickly and effectively was the Union Spirit.
We understand the fact that there were weaknesses in the administration and efforts were made toward correcting it. People need to encourage and support us in our efforts and participate with us. The word personnel (wun dan) in Myanmar mean carrying (dan) the load (wun). Becoming a public servant or personnel means carrying the load of the country and they must have the ability, courage and strength to bear the load. We were striving toward living up to the dignity and name of a public servant.
We were striving toward everyone having equal rights. Every citizen must be educated and healthy. Our people were expected to do things for self as well as for all. We will strive toward this. People are also requested to work together with us said the State Counsellor.
In the meeting matters relating to theft of motorcycles in Nyaungdon Township, increasing the number of police personnel, making the former port of Nyaungdon into an inland port with the help of Netherlands, building a bridge for Sankin Island road transport, improving a playground beside the Martyrs Park, constructing an appropriate vocational school, continuing the construction of people’s hospital, raising the allowance of teachers teaching ethnic languages, teaching of ethnic languages during normal school time, confiscated land in Pauktaw Village, Yadana Su Company not turning in a percentage of profit for village development and restarting No. 3 gas station were raised. Raised matters were responded to by Region Chief Minister and officials while the State Counsellor also provided additional explanations.
In her concluding speech the State Counsellor apologized for not giving the people enough time to raise matters to their satisfaction. However people can raise matter in writing to the government and if the people didn’t know the relevant ministry, they can write to the Office of the President. Each matter will be addressed, decided and a reply will be made to the people. To do all of this would need time to a certain level and the people are trusted to understand this, said the State Counsellor. She then thanked the audience.
The State Counsellor and party then left Nyaungdon by Tatmadaw helicopters and reaches Yangon International Airport where she was welcomed by Yangon Region Chief Minister and officials. From there State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and party left for Nay Pyi Taw on a special flight. The State Counsellor and party were welcomed on arrival at the Nay Pyi Taw International Airport by Nay Pyi Taw Council Chairman Dr. Myo Aung and wife and officials.