State Counsellor visits boarding school, drug rehab center, IDP camps in Kachin State

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi travelled to Myitkyina in Kachin State yesterday and visited a boarding school for students from the hilly regions, a drug rehabilitation center donated by the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, and IDP camps in the area, where she provided them with necessities.

The State Counsellor landed in Myitkyina, Kachin State yesterday morning, accompanied by Union Minister for Border Affairs Lt-Gen Ye Aung, Union Minister for Labor, Immigration and Population U Thein Swe, Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Dr. Win Myat Aye, and Deputy Minister for the Office of the President U Min Thu.

The State Counsellor and her delegation were welcomed at the Myitkyina Airport by Kachin State Chief Minister Dr. Khet Aung, State Hluttaw Speaker U Tun Tin, Chief Justice of High Court of Kachin State U Tu Jar, state ministers, ethinc literature and culture organizations, and officials.

The State Counsellor and her entourage first traveled to Shwe Moe Taung Pagoda in Myitkyina and offered flower, water and oil lamps and signed the pagoda’s guestbook.

The State Counsellor then paid obeisance to Member of Kachin State Sangha Maha Nayaka Sayadaw Baddhanta Kemeinda and State Sangha Secretary Agga Maha Panti Kaytumalar and gave offertories to them in the religious building of the pagoda. Next, the State Counsellor and her entourage visited the Lansel Boarding School in Shwe Set Ward, to attend a donation ceremony being held there. the students performed to the songs “Hero” and “Let’s build peace”.

In her speech, the State Counsellor said, “I first want to thank all the children who sang the songs. I noticed heroes for the country in their singing. Everyone can become a hero for their country. Each and every one of the children sitting can become a hero for your country.

Becoming a country’s hero means you contribute your life in a positive way for the country. That’s why I hope the children here are taught how to live their lives in a beneficial way for their country, for other citizens, and for the world. Every person has their self-value. You need to understand that value. And know it. Respect it, No one has a reason to think they are not worth anything. Being a human makes you valuable already. It’s important to know whether that value is used in a good and correct method or not.”

“We were entertained with songs but the songs were not just for entertainment. They have meaning. The songs are unveiling the important values for the country. It’s very encouraging. That’s why I hope the children will have a deep appreciation for the songs in their heart when they sing them. They need to know what meaning the songs they are singing carry. It’s not enough to just focus on the tune and not on the meaning.”

“I don’t want special considerations for the meanings to be forgotten. I assume the teachers fully explain the meaning of the songs when teaching them. I want you to ask the children how they understood the meanings as well.”

“I hear that the children here are always improving. This can be contributed to the achievements and endeavors of the teachers and that of the children as well. I implore all the children in this room to always strive to become a person who is valuable to their community and their world. You need to be trying continuously. There is no end to striving. But don’t think this means it will always be tiring. There is no meaning in living an unchanging life.”

“Please try to truly understand the meaning of the two songs sung here today and if you live your life as the songs suggest then all the children in this room will have nothing but improvements in their lives. But this is not just for yourselves. It is for your community, your country, your world, and a new peaceful world. A new world cannot come into being with only your country in peace. The entire world must be at peace for everyone to have peace. There has never been world peace in the entire history of the globe. That’s because people don’t go towards the path of peace so often.”

“Whether peace will be attained in the time of the children here depends on each child. It’s okay to wonder what you could possibly do by yourself. While accomplishing things alone can be difficult, if you can find friends and partners to walk by your side then you will succeed in whatever you set out to do. That’s why I want children to consider finding great friends at this age as a duty. If you can’t find good friends then you have to ask yourself if you are one too.”

“Try to acquire good friends from a young age. If you have friends who will stay by your side when you’re facing challenges then there’s no need to fear any challenges. This is most important.

When the friends by your side have the same mindset as you, you automatically gain strength. Your worries and fears will decrease. You are not facing anything alone; if there’s even just one other person with you it’s all the more empowering. Try to be a good friend and make lots of good friends too.”

“My final wish is for the children here to contribute to your home place as much as you can when you can one day.”

“That’s why you children should always keep in your heart how you may help back to your home place, your parents and relatives. Giving help like this is the same as helping the world. Helping peace flourish in one part of the world contributes to the overall peace building of the world. I wish for the children to continue their studies here and adopt good characteristics as well,” said the State Counsellor.

This was followed by the State Counsellor handing over 106 blankets, 106 towels and 106 dozens of books worth Ks 866,000 to an official for the boarding school.

Similarly, Union Minister Dr. Win Myat Aye handed over the letter of recognition of the boarding school as a first step and Ks 4,860,000; Union Minister U Thein Swe handed over a computer set worth Ks 700,000 and various books and documents, Kachin State Chief Minister Dr. Khet Aung handed over the state government’s donation of Ks 2 million; State Minister for Social Welfare Dr. Thin Lwin handed of Ks 1,432,000 of educational funds donated by the Department of Disaster Management; and the State Education Office handed over stationery and backpacks worth Ks 300,000, which were accepted by the responsible officials.

Afterwards, Hsawlaw Tsp State Hluttaw MP Daw Kaw Mar Gu gifted a traditional garment to the State Counsellor and thanked her, whereby the ceremony was concluded.

After the ceremony, the State Counsellor looked around the student hostels and gave instructions as necessary.

St.Joseph IDP Camp
The State Counsellor and her entourage then attended the donation ceremony held at the St. Joseph IDP camp where she delivered a speech.
The State Counsellor handed over rice, cooking oil, salt and lentils worth Ks 11,952,000 to a camp official.

Similarly, Union Minister Dr. Win Myat Aye handed over Ks 7,350,000 for matriarch families, pregnant mothers, children under five-years old, people living with disabilities, and elderly people over 85 years of age. State Chief Minister Dr. Khet Aung also handed over stationery and 300 backpacks all worth Ks 400,000.

After the ceremony, the State Counsellor inspected residents of the camp weaving traditional garments and talked warmly with them.

In the afternoon, the State Counsellor and her entourage had lunch at the Lone Ga Pa Restaurant together with the students from the boarding school for children from hilly regions. They then took a documentary photo together in front of the Manaw pillars in Myitkyina’s Manaw ground.

Drug Rehabilitation Center
Afterwards, the State Counsellor and her entourage went to the handover ceremony of the drug rehabilitation center donated by the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation and opened in Leagone Ward.

The State Counsellor delivered the opening speech at the ceremony, saying, “Thank you to all the people attending the opening ceremony. The reason we are giving priority to this ceremony is because the rehabilitation of drug users, be they youths or middle-aged, concerns everyone. This concern is indifferent to race, religion and political opinions.”

“It is something we all have to chip in. When our fellow citizens are lured by the temptations of drugs and have their capacities diminished and lives destroyed, it is our duty to help them get back on their feet and provide support. It is something everyone can collaborate in. Like I’ve said earlier, it doesn’t matter what race you are, what religion you follow or what political stance you’ve taken; it concerns humanity and compassion and the stabilization of our community and environment.”
“Sometime, people who had their lives destroyed by drug create problem for their society. So once a person is addicted to drug, it is not only him and his family but his society is also affected. That is why we all need to help. We need to be sympathetic. This is what we had decided.”

“This problem is not our country’s problem only. It is a problem for the whole world. Even the richest countries in the world are unable to eradicate this problem. For a developing country like us, it may seem that the problem is much more intense and difficult but due to our people’s enthusiastic spirit of sharing, we have some advantages. The advantages are our spirit and habit of donating and doing merit. Beyond the physical donation of money and material is the huge force of providing their labour, time, good wills and efforts. This is much more important.”

“After stopping the drug usage it is important to retain the situation. This is where the difficulty is. How do we overcome this? People normally rely on something or someone else and drug user’s reliance on drug had to be substituted by his/her reliance on his/her family and friend. We have to make them rely, trust and depend on their family and friends instead. That is why we are opening up a drug rehabilitation centre based on the people and community.”

“This is a rehabilitation centre that everyone can participate in. Their participation is also important. We will have to use every way to make this centre a success. For this centre to be successful, drug addicts must be freed from their addictions, return to their own communities and become people that not only benefit themselves or the community but also the country.”

“According to studies, teenagers get hooked to the drug after testing it out. As far as I know, they use it to make themselves alert for the examination. After trying out one pill, they keep on increasing the dosage and finally end up getting addicted to it.”

“Responsible persons at the centre also need to educate the parents and inform them of drug addiction symptoms. They are to continuously monitor their offspring. The reason this centre was opened was because of the donation by Daw Khin Kyi Foundation. But the support provided by Czech Republic to Daw Khin Kyi Foundation was what made the donation possible. Czech Republic has long history of friendly relation with Myanmar. Czech Republic is one of the countries that has understood and assisted our country. Czech Republic has plans to assist Daw Khin Kyi Foundation in making donations to other drug rehabilitation centres. Here I would like to thank the Ambassador of the country that has been friendly to us and has enthusiastically supported the rehabilitation of our youth and people. Nothing would be successful without the enthusiastic participation of the people. Regardless of a government being formed with the best people, without the support and participation of the people, it would not be successful. That is why only through the support of the people of Myitkyina can those trying to get rid of drug addiction in the centre overcome their drug addiction,” said the State Counsellor.

Next Daw Khin Kyi Foundation Executive Committee member U Moe Zaw Oo explained about the reason for donating the building and transferred documents relating to the building to Department of Rehabilitation Director General U Win Naing Tun.

Afterwards State Counsellor presented a document of appreciation to Czech Ambassador to Myanmar H.E. Mr. Jaroslav.

Ingyandone Baptist IDP camp
Following this, the State Counsellor and party attended the donation ceremony held at Ingyandon Baptist relief camp in Tatkon ward.

First, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi delivered a greeting message and handed over Ks 3,877,750 worth of rice, cooking oil, salt and peas to representatives of the relief camp.

This was followed by Union Minister Lt-Gen Ye Aung donating Ks 1,50,000, Union Minister Dr. Win Myat Aye donating Ks 1,850,000 for women led households, expecting mothers, children under five-years of age, people living with disabilities, elderly above 85 years of age, and State Chief Minister Dr. Khet Aung donated stationeries and backpacks.

While at the camp, the State Counsellor delivered words of encouragement and said, “The main aim is to enable all to return to their own places and live peacefully. The main responsibility of those who had established the camp, organisations and entities that supported the camp including the government is to enable the people to return to their place of origin and live peacefully and progress ahead. It is important for all to have in mind that ultimately, they will return to their places of origin and create a stable and developing situation.”

“Emphasis is placed toward education and health care in camps like this. Once a person comes into existence, it is important for them to be full of both physical and mental strength. Education is for mental strength and health is for physical strength.”

All need to emphasize towards supporting people in the camp both physically and mentally, especially the youngsters. Sports activities are also related to both physical and education. Youngsters need to be encouraged toward sports activities.

Not only in sports but arts also need to be encouraged too. Physical health is required. But opportunities must be given toward developing the artistic abilities. Playing music together, singing songs together, working together on art matters also create unity. It also provides satisfaction. Here too all need to do what it can.

I feel that by talking here, I’m sharing what I have in mind. By visiting camps like this, we can understand the feeling of the people who were moved from their places of origin. We are heading toward providing for the majority and creating a safe community for the majority.

We don’t want to see our people in camps like these. We want to see them return to their places and live peacefully. We will do our best. In doing our best, the people who are most affected are urged to help and participate in it.

State government plays the main role. If there are problems in the camp, open discussions must be held with the State Government. The problem will not go away by hiding it. Unsatisfactory or unwanted situation will not go away or disappear. If there are requirements, discuss with the state government. Matters can be resolved through discussion.

While here, rebuild your strength so that it can be used to develop your own places when you return there. Rebuild your strength and obtain the ability to do it. Encourage this to the children. Our futures are these children. They need to have correct norms. They must have the will to help their own places. Only then can there be sustained stability and sustained development. Our country is hungry for peace. Our country needs peace very much. The nutrient for the development of a country is the will for peace. These wills are expected to be taught in these camps.
Based on these camps we want to encourage and establish union spirit and brotherly spirit among the ethnic national.

A government could not treat the people differently. The rule of law that I’m saying repeatedly mean that people are not to be treated differently according to the law and according the government’s policy. All are equal. Everyone individually has values. The value of our country is the combination of these individual values.

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and party then left Myitkyina by special flight and reached Nay Pyi Taw in the evening.