Senior General Min Aung Hlaing visits ancient historic Mwaydawkatku Pagoda, Inlay Phaungdaw-U Pagoda,cordially meets ethnic locals

Nay Pyi Taw December 8

Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, accompanied by his wife Daw Kyu Kyu Hla, Commander-in-Chief (Navy) Admiral Tin Aung San,Commander-in-Chief (Air) General Maung Maung Kyaw, senior military officers from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army),Commander of Eastern Command Maj-Gen Lin Aung and officials, visited and paid homage to the ancient historic Mwaydawkatku Pagoda in Taunggyi Township, southern Shan State, this morning.

On arrival at the pagoda, the Senior General and party were welcomed by Pa-O Self-Administered Zone Leading Body Chair U Khun San Lwin, officials and local people.The Senior General and party paid homage to the pagoda and an official from the pagoda board of trustees reported on the damage to the stupas caused by an earthquake and repair work. The Senior General stressed the need for renovation and repair work for the damaged stupas without harming their original style and making the pagoda environs neat and clean.

The Senior General and wife paid homage and offered meals in an emerald alms-bowl, flowers, water, oil lights and fruits to the ancient Buddha image kept in the northern prayer hall of Mwaydawkatku Pagoda. Next,the Senior General paid homage to sacred relics of the Buddha and tooth relic donated by Sri Lanka and signed the visitors’ book.

Mwaydawkatku Pagoda is located near Mwaydaw Village in Katku Village-tract,Taunggyi Township, southern Shan State.According to the stone inscriptions, the pagoda has 2,487 stupas which are among 84,000 stupas built by King Thiri Dhamma Thawka.

Then, the Senior General met with local people at Aunghsuhawbon Dhammayon.Talking about regional development tasks, the Senior General said the ancient Mwaydawkatku Pagoda is an ancient cultural heritage well known in both Myanmar and the international community. After drawing a major project in coordination with experts, necessary renovation and repair works must be carried out with the use of modern technology and by maintaining the ancient cultural heritage while it is also necessary to make the environs neat and clean in order to attract more local and foreign visitors.Tatmadaw families (Army, Navy and Air) will extend a helping hand to it as much as they can. The arrivals of more pilgrims to the pagoda will partly help develop the region. Pa-O region should be an example for peace, stability and development. Efforts should be made for the increased production of agricultural, livestock and other businesses that will help support the regional development by using modern technologies. For doing so, the region needs the full supply of electricity and water resources. Breadwinners have to try to ensure the progress of their family life while officials are to lead the regional development tasks.

Afterwards, U Khun San Lwin, Chair of the Leading Body of Pa-O Self-Administered Zone explained the facts about the regional development tasks and spoke words of thanks.Then, the Senior General presented Shwe Phi Oo instant tea mix sachets via a townselder.

In the afternoon, the Senior General and wife and party arrived at Inlay Phaungdaw-U Pagoda. They were welcomed by Inn Ethnic Affairs Minister Dr. Tun Hlaing, officials and locals there. The Senior General and wife paid homage and offered flowers, water and light to the Buddha images at Inlay Phaungdaw-U Pagoda. After that, the Senior General and senior military officers offered gold foils to Buddha images.The Senior General signed the visitors’ book.

Afterwards, the Senior General donated money to the pagoda board of trustee for the all-round renovation of Phaungdaw-U Pagoda. The pagoda board of trustee presented the photos of Inlay Phaungdaw-U Pagoda and the procession of Phaungdaw-U Pagoda to the Senior General as gifts.Afterwards, the Senior General and party paid homage to the monks led by State Ovadaçariya Inlay Inchan monastery Sayadaw Bhaddanta Nandtobhasa at Namhu monastery and donated offertories and cash to the Sayadaws. The Senior General and party took the Five Precepts and shared the merits gained.

The Senior General met with departmental officials, townselders and local people in Inlay region and gave a speech. A townselder and the chairman of Phaungdaw-U Pagoda Boat Race Organizing Committee reported on regional affairs and construction of boats donated by families of Tatmadaw(Army, Navy and Air) for holding the Inntha Traditional Boat Race.

Speaking on the occasion, the Senior General said Inntha Traditional Boat Race is held in Inlay region only of Myanmar. So, it needs to organize the traditional boat race on a grand scale in line with traditional culture. Significant matters of Inlay region are known not only to Myanmar but also to the international community.The Senior General urged those present to carry out environmental conservation for sustainable existence of Inlay Lake region and avoid use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in agricultural tasks as much as they can because these items can harm water resources while implementing the lifestyle with garbage free. To do so, relevant leading bodies are to join hands with local people.He stressed the need to preserve traditions, culture and customs of Inlay region and safeguard lineage and religions. Only when they carry out development of Inlay region,will local and foreign tourists pay visits to Inlay region. As such, the State will earn income, benefiting the State and local people. As various items of traditional handicraft are being produced in Inlay region,it is necessary to catch interest of travellers with their products in proper packaging system for getting better prices. The Senior General pointed out that they need to encourage their offspring to learn school education.As such, those offspring will have critical thinking and farsightedness for achieving success in their lives,then making their region develop.The Senior General urged them to read fiction and non-fiction books and publications to improve their knowledge. And, those present were urged to guide youths not to use liquor, cigarette and drugs which can eliminate their lives.

Afterwards, the Inn Ethnic Affairs Minister, the chairman of Inntha literary culture and regional development association and townselders spoke words of thanks and reported on regional development. The Senior General presented Shwe Phi Oo instant tea mix packets and townselders returned commemorative gifts. Later, the Senior General cordially greeted townselders and local people.

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