Nay Pyi Taw, July 13
Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing this afternoon met with ethnic representatives from Pa-O and Danu Self-Administered Zones and Inlay Region, and members of Shan literature and culture troupes at the hall of Pinlon Yeiktha of Eastern Command Headquarters and presented medical supplies for prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19, hospital equipment and foodstuffs.
Also present at the meeting were Union Minister for Border Affairs Lt-Gen Ye Aung, senior military officers from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief, the commander of Eastern Command, the commander of Eastern Central Command, Chairman of the Leading Body of Pa-O Self-Administered Zone U Khun San Lwin, Chairman of the Leading Body of Danu Self-Administered Zone U Arkar Lin, Chairman of Inntha Literature and Culture and Regional Development Association U Tet Tun, Patron of Shan Literature and Culture Troupe U Sai Nwam Aung and members.
First, the Senior General discussed difficulties in the period of COVID-19 and regional develop-ment tasks. He said the meeting focused on outbreak of COVID-19. As Taunggyi, the capital of Shan State, is a common area of ethnics, all needs to make concerted efforts for shaping it as a model city. Outbreak of COVID-19 much harmed political, economic, social and administrative machinery. The country has been walking along the path of multi-party democracy for a decade starting from 2011. Although the country could take reforms to some degree, its progress had been slow. He urged all to make collaborative efforts for undertaking many things for the State. Ethnics, people and the Tatmadaw born of the people should join hands in carrying out proper reforms for the State. The Tatmadaw performs its tasks in all part of the nation without setting any ethnics aside.
Outbreak of COVID-19 caused more than 12.8 million persons infected, over 500,000 persons dead and more than 7 million recovered across the world till 7 am today. Among them, 331 people of Myanmar were infected. Although the whole world is suffering from terrible outbreak of the disease, it can be said that Myanmar has the good fortune. Myanmar knew information in January when the disease broke out in China. According to the press release, the infection rate became higher. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the disease as a pandemic for global infection and the state of emergency for the public health. As such, the arrangements for observing the 75th Diamond Jubilee Anniversary Armed Forces Day parade which falls on 27 March this year was postponed although the parade, the noblest celebration of the Tatmadaw, would be experiences for servicemen in their service terms once.
Currently, the disease breaks out worse across the world. Despite weak impacts, the disease causes interruption of commodity flow, lesser job opportunities and other impacts in Myanmar. Lesser income based on rare job opportunities causes difficulties for food. Although seasonal crops such as cucumber and cabbage could be picked out in Shwenyaung, Inlay and areas of Pa-O Self-Administered Zone in Shan State (South) starting from the end of March, outbreak of COVID-19 stopped commodity flow. Consequently, the local farmers missed chance of selling their crops with difficulties. So, the Tatmadaw focusing on interest of the local farmers not to suffer losses bought the seasonal crops at their farms at fair prices and distributed and sold these crops to regiments and units and people from Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw where seasonal crops were rare at that time. He expressed his thoughts that local farmers might save their costs of cultivation for seasonal crops even without bagging proper amount of profit. Taking lessons from such events, it is necessary to take ways and means for future events into consideration.
As all the global people are eating, using and drinking things, these are essentials. As such, it is necessary to produce these things. If they cannot sell crops, it is necessary to produce dried crops. Efforts should be made for supply of raw materials all the year round. All regions and states have many requirements. Although the government leads all the tasks, their efforts play of great importance in these tasks. As all citizens have been given equal term of rights. All the ethnics are citizens but all the citizens are not identified as ethnics. The Tatmadaw never sets the ethnics aside. The Tatmadaw donated medicines, medical equipment and supplement nutritious foods to 1,059 hospitals including specialist hospitals, general hospitals, district hospitals, township hospitals and station hospitals throughout the nation, accounting for 99 percent of all hospitals in addition to more than 50 percent of rural health centres. Moreover, members of Defence Services Medical Crops were assigned to give a helping hand to Tachilek, Chin State and Naga region and Central Institute of Civil Service (Lower Myanmar) where health personnel are required.
Seventy percent of the population lives in rural areas making their living from agriculture and livestock. Therefore, the emergence of modern farming is necessary. Everyone wants to be successful in life and as improved life requires money, efforts must be made to improve the economy. Education must be pursued to develop themselves and their own region. Progress must be achieved in accord with the law and discipline. Efforts must be exerted to acquire skills and knowledge and capital. It is necessary to defend against any alien danger instead of wasting time on the complexity of internal conflicts. This discussion was made with the intention of seeing the State and their own region develop. While in Taunggyi, he visited the Shwephonepwint Pagoda. The road to the pagoda has been upgraded by Tatmadaw. He was glad to see local people walk and do sports along the route. Kilometer posts will be erected to know walking distance. Tatmadaw will render assistance in anything that serves the regional interest.
It is not an easy task to return to the status quo of Inlay Lake. The lake area of the past is different from that of the present. For the long existence of the lake, local residents, visitors and workers here need to avoid any act detrimental to the lake. Cultural heritages that are very rare in the world must be preserved.
As independence leader General Aung San said, for the unity of Myanmar, he wished all to live in strength and unity by forging Myanmar’s spirit regardless of different colours, cultures and ideologies. May all overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and may all local people be healthy and happy!
Then, the Senior General presented 20,000 surgical masks, 500 N95 masks, 250 face shields, 5 containers of sodium hypochloride (20L), 1,000 pairs of examination gloves, 250 bottles of hand gel, 250 bottles of hand sanitizers and foodstuff to each group of ethnic representatives. The donations were accepted by the ethnic representative leaders.
On behalf of the ethnic representatives, U Khun San Lwin, chairman of Pa-O Self-Administered Zone Leading Body, expressed his thanks to the families of the Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) for their donation of food and medical and hospital equipment to control the COVID-19 disease. He said the Tatmadaw postponed a parade and raised public awareness by wearing face masks during the parliamentary meeting. This is the second time the Tatmadaw made such donation. There were no demands for cabbages produced in the region this year due to COVID-19 pandemic. A cabbage was fetched at Ks-1,500 last year. There was an increase in transportation charges for sending cabbages to wholesale centers in the time of COVID-19 when the Tatmadaw bought the vegetable and this helped the region sold the vegetable to other businesspersons and organizations. This action develops democracy and unity of ethnic people. He really appreciated the Tatmadaw again.
Afterwards, the Senior General heard the report of the ethnic re-presentatives about the difficulties they are facing since the onset of COVID-19 disease, ongoing tasks and development affairs, and gave necessary instructions.
After conclusion of the ceremony, the Senior General cordially greeted the ethnic representatives.