Senior General Min Aung Hlaing cordially meets town elders, ethnics, departmental officials, local people’s militia in Khaunglanphu, inspects Putao-Magweza-Khaunglanphu road construction

Nay Pyi Taw  December  2

Khaunglanphu Town and its surrounding areas in Putao District, Kachin State, far north of  Myanmar, have very poor transport and bad climate facing food and rice shortages every year. The State and the Tatmadaw always have to provide them with rations and consumer goods. Transport plays a key role in the development of education, health and socioeconomy of the indigenous people. Now, service personnel from the Ministry of Border Affairs and Tatmadaw engineers are working together in building a 65/4 miles long Putao-Magweza-Khaunglanphu road bracing extreme weather conditions and steep rock mountains and crossing creeks and rivers. So far, 51/0 miles of the road have been built, paving the way for resolving the transport difficulties.

Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and party inspected the road construction progress and development situation of the town today.

Accompanied by Union Minister for Border Affairs Lt-Gen Ye Aung, 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), Northern Command Commander Maj-Gen Teza Kyaw and officials, the Senior General arrived at the town of Khaunglanphu in Putao District. They were welcomed there by departmental officials, town elders, local people and members of the local people’s militia.

The Senior General cordially met them and discussed regional development tasks. In his speech, the Senior General said it was the third time he had visited the town of Khaunglanphu. It is the town located far north of the country bordering China. With poor accessibility, the town sees high commodity prices due to high transport charges. Bad climate and transport cut-offs about four or five years ago led to price hikes with about Ks-100,000 per bag of rice. Due to severe rice shortages, the Tatmadaw had to provide rice. With the aim of solving the problem of high commodity prices caused by poor transport and contributing to regional development and social economic life of the local people, staff from the Ministry of Border Affairs and Tatmadaw engineers started the construction of Magweza-Khaunglanphu road in 2017-2018 fiscal year. Now, the road has reached past the Ridam suspension bridge which also needs upgrading. The development of a region relies on united cooperation of local people, the government and the Tatmadaw, the Senior General said.

Khaunglanphu is a faraway as well as important region for the State. Due to travel limit, it will be difficult to reach the town if something happens. For smooth communications, the Tatmadaw has installed MEC Tel CDMA telephone lines. The Senior General said he was glad to hear that the phone line is widely used in the region. Being able to use the internet, the local people will be able to widen their knowledge. If there are any health problems, local people can now communicate easily.

To avoid import and ensure local food sufficiency, local people need to engage in highland farming and cultivation of crops suitable to the local soil. Ways and means must be sought without complaints over bad climate and thick forests. Some places in India, Nepal and China are found to be successful in their agriculture and livestock breeding suitable to their regions although they have thicker forests than the town of Khaunglanphu. Local people themselves must work hard for the development of their own region and the Tatmadaw will help as much as it can, the Senior General said.

COVID-19 cases are rising day by day in the country. But the Senior General said he was glad that no cases were reported in the town of Khaunglanphu. Trade is stagnant not only in Myanmar but also in the whole world due to outbreak of the disease. However, foodstuffs are still being traded. Everybody, every region or ever country must pay attention to food, so efforts must be made to ensure local food sufficiency. Education must be encouraged as educated people need to be turned  out to be able to tap territorial land resources. Though schools remain closed due to the pandemic, children should be encouraged to study the lessons they were taught in the previous year and learn other knowledgeable publications. People need to take care of their health because they will be able to focus on  their life development and education only when they are healthy.

Departmental personnel assigned in the region also need to work happily. By sharing their urban experiences and knowledge, they must be working there for regional development. The region desperately needs health and education staff. They  must  be  able  to  solve  the difficulties facing the region in a correct manner under the leader-ship of the general administration department. As they work in far flung areas, departmental staff and local people need to cooperate in regional development efforts in unison, the Senior General added.         

Township Administrator U Aung Ko Win reported on facts about Khaunglanphu area, transport condition and requirements of the area and town elder U Peter expressed his thanks to the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services in providing aid for development of Khaunglanphu area and cooperation between the government and the Tatmadaw in improvement of transport and reported on regional requirements.

In his response to the reports, the Senior General said depending on the discussions, he saw worse transport situations of nine of 32 village-tracts in the township located between Khaunglanphu and Chinese border than Khaunglanphu, and their reliance on other country. Upon completion of building the road to Khaunglanphu, it is necessary to provide transport facilities to these villages. As all are Myanmar citizens, the Senior General stressed the need to forge the spirit of loving Myanmar, of relying on Myanmar country and of adoring the region.

The Senior General presented food supplies and personal goods produced by Tatmadaw factories for local ethnic people to the township administrator and Chairman of Rawam Literature and Culture Committee U Dakhuam Peram and leading chairmen of Myanmar Eco-nomic Corporation and Myanmar Economic Holdings Public Company Limited, 1,000 bags of rice for Khaunglanphu area to town elders.

Accompanied by the township administrator and town elders, the Senior General and party inspected two M-38 military jeeps sent from the Tatmadaw by helicopter for readily using them upon completion of the motor road and development tasks of Khaunglanphu Township. After viewing round Khaunglanphu, the Senior General discussed situation for development of the town as urban project, implementation of highland farmland system and situation to expand wards using the town plan map. The Senior General pledged to give assistance of vehicles and heavy machinery from the Tatmadaw. Then, the Senior General inspected the welfare shop opened by Northern Command for welfare of local people. The Senior General and party posed for documentary photos together with local people after cordially greeting them. The Senior General took some local people from Khaunglanphu and some service personnel by helicopter to view Khaunglanphu and environs for having new experiences of bird’s-eye view of their area from helicopter. So, local people happily recounted their experiences.

The Senior General and party inspected construction of Magweza-Khaunglanphu road and Ridam suspension bridge across Maykha River and instructed officials to systematically place gravels on the road for long term existence, systematically dredge drains for strengthening of the road due to high rainfalls, temporarily upgrade Ridam suspension bridge across Maykha River and others. The Senior General presented cash awards for staff from the Ministry of Border Affairs and officers and other ranks from the Directorate of Military Engineers from the road construction site. Then, the Senior General cordially greeted local people from Ridam Village near the road construction site and presented foodstuffs.

Khaunglanphu Township is located in the northernmost of Myanmar, included in Putao District, close to the People’s Republic of China in the east and the north. After passing Putao plain with 15 miles in width from the east to the west and 25 miles in length from the south to the north, one can arrive in Machanbaw (locally called Makyanbaw) where Makyan Creek meets with Malikha River. And, one can reach Magweza and then can proceed to Khaunglanphu. Khaunglanphu Township rounded with ice-capped mountains and natural scenes is formed with four wards and 144 villages in 23 village-tracts that are home to more than 14,000 population of Rawam and Lisu ethnic people.

For development of Khaunglanphu area, the Ministry of Border  Affairs  and  the  Directorate  of Military  Engineers  jointly  build Magweza-Khaunglanphu  road  starting from 2017-2018 fiscal year with the aim of ensuring use of the road all the year round and contributing to regional development and social economic improvement with better transport of domestic products. 65/4 miles long Magweza-Khaunglanphu was built with phase I from Magweza to Ngalondam, phase II to Lonton rest house, phase III to Hsihson and phase IV to Khaunglanphu. So far, 51 miles long section of 65/4 miles long Magweza-Khaunglanphu road has been built. As such, there remains construction of 14/4 miles long section to reach Khaunglanphu. In the past, the area had on lane each for human and donkey. It was necessary to take about one week to travel from Magweza to Khaunglanphu. Now, local people can make a trip to Putao within a day. A multipurpose use backhoe sent from the Tatmadaw by helicopter is being used in expanding the route for donkey and that for human starting from Khaunglanphu. To ensure improvement of social economic life and smooth and swift transport of local people from Khaunglanphu and surrounding areas, the Ministry of Border Affairs and the Directorate of Military Engineers are jointly building Magweza-Khaunglanphu road, and the Tatmadaw will continuously undertake development of Khaunglanphu area.       

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