Nay Pyi Taw July 20
Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, accompanied by Commander-in-Chief (Navy) Admiral Tin Aung San, Commander-in-Chief (Air) General Maung Maung Kyaw, senior military officers of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief, Commander of Yangon Command Brig-Gen Nyunt Win Swe and officials, inspected the local naval base in Coco Island Township, Yangon Region, and met with local elders and people at the town hall this morning.
The Senior General and party were welcomed by senior military officers of the naval base. At the meeting room of the base, the commander of the base and officials reported on salient points of the area, area security measures, conservation of natural resources, the weekly/monthly free air and sea transport provided by the Tatmadaw for the local people of Coco Island, farming activities of the Tatmadaw and distribution of products including meat, fish and vegetables to the Tatmadaw families, local people and departmental personnel at reasonable prices, coconut and related goods industry, and Coco Island area development undertakings.
In response, the Senior General said as Coco Island is a faraway place, its residents may have food and other basic requirements. So the farms run by the Tatmadaw are selling meat, fish, eggs and vegetables to the locals at low prices. Moreover, job opportunities for the locals will also be generated. Farm produce must be turned into dried or preserved food. Coconut and related goods should be turned into the main products of the region. As the naval base is in the front line of defence, it must be prepared for serving the duties well in a perfect way. All the Tatmadaw members, departmental personnel and local people should strive in harmony for the regional development, and utmost efforts should be made for ensuring better transport.
The Senior General and party went around the base in a motorcade, and inspected the extension of the runway of Coco Island Airport, agriculture undertakings and the progress in developing the military units. The Senior General looked into the requirements presented by officials.
In the afternoon, the Senior General met with departmental personnel, town elders and local people of the town hall of Coco Island Township and provided food and supplies. They were welcomed by Township Administrator Daw Moe Moe Aye and members.
Talking about regional development, the Senior General said he was glad to meet them again and this was the 16th time he had arrived there. In his first visit, he said Tatmadaw would help with regional development and reforms. It also actively participated in town building. When he arrived there for the first time, it was rather difficult for the plane to land. With the upgrade of the airport, even jets could land.
As there were a lot of coconut trees at that time, coconuts and coconut products must be manufactured. Coconut products must be the major production item of Coco Island. In addition to the existing products such as coconut oil, coconut strings and coconut ornaments and house utensils, coconut charcoal and fertilizer need to be manufactured. The coconut factory must also create job opportunities for local people.
Everyone wants to be successful in life and to do so, there must be job opportunities. As ability to work and human resources are also necessary, education as well as vocational skills must be learned. With rich land resources on the island, skills must be learned to tap such resources and quality products need to be manufactured. Only quality products will see demand. With high demand, income will increase thereby contributing to regional development. Education must be prioritized to be able to manufacture quality products. As young people have to lead the country in the future, it is the duty of today’s people to hand down good legacy to them. As Coco Island is a part of the country, Tatmadaw, government departments and local people must work together for regional development.
In so doing, being healthy is crucial. Good health is a blessing and without good health, those who take care of the ill and related organizations will see their ability to work decline. COVID-19 prevention measures must be taken with great care and prevention is the best.
As the Tatmadaw is contributing towards the improvement of local residents’ living conditions and food security, local residents are required to familiarize themselves with agriculture and livestock breeding which are fundamental for the development of the country. Moreover, as Coco Island is remote and difficult to access, Tatmadaw naval ships and aircraft transport people and goods to the island free of charge. From 2018 to 2020, the Tatmadaw operated 176 flights to transport more than 2,400 local residents. It is an arrangement to prevent local residents from feeling the sense of inferiority related to travel. As he has learned that there are needs for the region, a land plot of over six acres will be allocated to build houses so that those who need them to live in. Relevant local authorities are required to identify those who really need houses and to properly implement the project. The houses will be built so that the surroundings look like an urban area and occupants of the houses are required to keep houses, compounds, and fences clean and pleasant. Although the township development committee is responsible for cleanliness, it will not be able to fulfill the needs to the full extent. The Tatmadaw is exerting efforts for the development of infrastructure on Coco Island and will continue to do so in the future. Based on such efforts, it is necessary to take measures for the development of local and international tourism on the island. It is also necessary for government staff, the Tatmadaw and government departments, and local residents to cooperate for regional development.
Then, the township administrator and officials received the foodstuffs, seeds and vegetables presented by the Senior General, foodstuffs presented by the Commander-in-Chief (Navy), Mectel SIM cards and top-up cards presented by Chairman of Myanmar Economic Corporation Lt-Gen Nyo Saw, Ks-100 million donated by Jasmine Palace Construction Co., Ltd presented by the commander of Yangon Command.
Afterward, the township administrator explained the salient points of the region and requirements of local residents, saying they thank the Tatmadaw for contribution to the regional development and thank again for allocating the land plots owned by the Tatmadaw for housing for the residents who have faced housing problems. After hearing reports of relevant officials and local residents, the Senior General attended to the needs and cordially greeted the attendees.
Then, the Senior General and party inspected the land plot allocated for the housing of the local residents, regional development, defence affairs, and future tasks along the ring road of the island by car and fulfilled the requirements.
Afterward, the Senior General and party inspected the production of coconut oil, ropes made of the outer cover of coconuts, accessories and household product made of coconuts of the Coconut and Coconut Product Manufacturing Industry of local naval base. Responsible officers explained the process to the Senior General and party. After hearing reports, the Senior General attended to the needs by discussing the production of coconut oil, coconut charcoal, and coconut shell fertilizer and high quality coconut products.