Nay Pyi Taw June 19
As the Kyaikthalan Pagoda is a historic pagoda, it must be checked by the experts for systematic renovation and maintenance of the religious edifice. Efforts must be made to ensure the sustainability of the ancient heritage and provide special care to prevent electrical hazards. The Tatmadaw will provide manpower, technology and materials for renovating the pagoda, said Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing in his response to reports presented by the officials during the inspection of Kyaikthalan Pagoda damaged by downpours this morning.
The Senior General 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 of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army) and the commander of South-East Command arrived in Mawlamyine this morning and was welcomed by Chief Minister for Mon State Dr Aye Zan, Mon State cabinet members, departmental personnel and senior military officers at the airport.
The Senior General and entourage, together with officials, surveyed the landslide occurred at the western archway of the pagoda due to continuous downpours that began at 9 am on 16 June and Tatmadaw members, fire brigade members, Red Cross members and members of social organizations clearing the debris. The Senior General and party were conducted round the site by officials.
Afterwards, the Senior General paid homage to the Buddha Image of the pagoda and offered flowers, water and lights. He next inspected the collapsed eastern stairway and building of guardian spirit statues, heard reports and gave necessary instructions.
Then, the Senior General paid homage to State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee member Zawtikayon Monastery Sayadaw Agga Maha Ganthavacaka Agga Maha Saddhama Jotikadhaja Bhaddanta Sandawbasa. He supplicated on urgent maintenance of the ancient and historic Kyaikthalan Pagoda without harming the ancient cultural heritage, systematic long-term maintenance and Tatmadaw’s assistance in manpower, technology and other necessary materials. The Senior General and party offered alms to the Sayadaw. The Senior General presented cash donations for the repair of the pagoda and 1,000 bags of cement to a member of the pagoda board of trustees. He also accepted Ks-8 million donated by public well-wishers for the pagoda. The Senior General then signed the visitors’ book.
The Senior General and party went to Chanaye Yeiktha Monastery in Thirimyaing Ward, Mawlamyine, where flood victims stay. In giving words of encouragement, the Senior General said his visit aimed to render necessary assistance as much as possible. As it was the natural disaster, cooperation of all is necessary to address the issue. Cooperation of relevant organizations is necessary. Authorities need to cooperate with the people in ensuring proper drainage. In doing so, the Tatmadaw will actively participate. It is required to take care of health and cooperation of relevant health bodies is needed to prevent diarrhea.
The Senior General then presented foodstuffs and cordially greeted the flood victims. The Senior-General and party, accompanied by the Mon State chief minister, went to the camp for flood victims opened at the public stadium in Ye Township. As he comforted the flood victims, the Senior-General said that he was glad to see that concerned departments and civil society organizations are actively working together to help flood victims after heavy rains have flooded many parts of Mon State which usually receives high rainfall in monsoon. He called on the flood victims to remove debris from drainage ditches and clean up the town when the flood subsides.
Not only the concerned government but also the people are obliged to work together with discipline for making the town pleasant, he said. Mon State has seen certain level of development thanks to the efforts of local residents, he added. Mon State has good foundations presented by the nature, and its stands out among other regions and states in terms of educational performance, he said, urging the authorities to further improve the education level of the state. He called the achievements fruits of peace resulted from New Mon State Party’s signing of Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement. He called for maintaining the momentum of development endeavors.
While the Mon State Health Department and Tatmadaw medics are providing health care services, individual flood victims should also take care of themselves, and should live a healthy lifestyle, restraining themselves from liquor, tobacco and betel quid, he said. It is also important to make sure students go back to schooling once the flood subsides. The Tatmadaw will provide necessary assistance for this, he said. Mon State Chief Minister Dr Aye Zan then comforted flood victims.
The Senior General then provided foodstuffs and Ks-10,000 each for 400 students, totaling Ks-4 million. The Mon State Chief Minister also provided foodstuffs. The Senior-General and party then cordially greeted flood victims.
The Senior-General and party then visited Tatmadaw Hospital in Mawlamyine, and inspected flooded places. He instructed the hospital officials to fix drainage ditches for proper flow of water, and fulfilled requirements.