The Chairperson of the Central Committee for Development of Border Areas and National Races, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi who was in Kawthoung Town, Taninthayi Region visited Cape Bayint Naung in Kawthoung Town yesterday morning accompanied by Union Ministers Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe, Lt-Gen Ye Aung, U Min Thu and U Ohn Win, Peace Commission Chairman Dr. Tin Myo Win, Taninthayi Region Chief Minister Dr. Lei Lei Maw, Deputy Minister U Hla Maw Oo and officials.

While there, an official from township development committee explained about maintenance of Cape Bayint Naung conducted throughout the years and the renovation and construction of the stairway to the Bayint Naung statue. Next the State Counsellor went up the cape and inspected the Bayint Naung statue and greenery works conducted around the area.

From there, the State Counsellor went to Pyidaw Aye Pagoda to pay homage to the Buddha image with flower, water and oil lamp.

Afterwards, the State Counsellor attended a meeting with residents of townships in Kawthoung District at Kawthoung Town hall.

At the meeting the State Counsellor spoke of her happiness whenever she visited Taninthayi Region mainly because of the warmth of the local people. However she also spoke of noticing many things that need to be reformed too. The main point was the social-economic development of the people and this was being designated as an aim ever since the government took over responsibility in 2016. Development doesn’t mean just having a good economy but also developing in education and health too. If the people were educated and healthy, it’ll be a force for development, said the State Counsellor.

She said there were questions and matters that were raised to the meeting with local people but to reply in short, all should have been answered and resolved by the Region government. Now that she had been to many states and regions, she noticed the lack of closeness between the state/region governments and the people. If there were closeness, the questions and matters raised wouldn’t have been raised and the people should have already been informed and knew about the answers. As an example there were repeated requests for upgrading of schools and hospitals, said the State Counsellor. State/Region Governments should know and answer what the basis for upgrades were. As this was not done, it shows the requirement of the government. The state/region government should find out the answers and let the people know about, it said the State Counsellor.

She spoke of her wish to hear the voices of the people why she was there because a government must not be out of touch with the people. A democracy form of government is a government elected by the people and this was not to be forgotten. The people elected a government with a belief that the government will work for the interests of the people. The government was elected not because they are very good. Therefore, the State Counsellor said the Taninthayi Region government will be instructed to keep in close contact with the people.

She also spoke of instructing the government to answer the questions and matters raised to the meeting. She then told of her ever existing wish to develop the people. First was mental development. This was to strengthen the sense of duty and self-reliance. Only when people know their duties and responsibilities they can make their works be true and correct. Only when they are self-reliant can they put in full effort. Only when we were duty conscious and put full effort we can have the strength to reach our destination, said the State Counsellor.

Success starts with will. Were there a real will for change? This will was important. The 2015 General Election was competed with the slogan of time for a change. It was indeed well past the time for change but there still remains much to be changed. People supported our slogan but it was not enough to support the slogan only as the people also need to have the will to change, said the State Counsellor.

If things were done with will, perseverance, morality and knowledge, there was nothing that can’t be achieved. This was true not only for individually but for the country as well. Unity is required for this to happen. If we have unity and with the collective strength of the country using will, perseverance, morality and knowledge, success will be achieved for the country, said the State Counsellor.

This country was by nature very wealthy. However, our people were not as wealthy as they should be. Especially while travelling by helicopter, the country’s geographical and natural situations were clearly observed. The beauty and natural wealth of the nation was very obvious. However, to maintain and nurture these beauties and wealth are the duty and responsibilities of all, said the State Counsellor.

Although everyone is responsible, the most responsible would be the government elected under a democracy system because it was formed by obtaining the support of the people. The government was thus responsible to the people. This was unavoidable. Thus, the central government was responsible and so were the states/regions governments. In contacting with the people, the central government could not compete with states/regions governments. Central government was in Nay Pyi Taw and think about the entire country.

The state/region government was based in their own region. They were to resolve the requirement of the people in the region daily.

People should view the Region Government as a government elected by them. The government they elected is responsible and so were they. Both need to control and manage things and change where necessary. People have a right to demand. But it must not be one sided way. It is important for all to have a wide view. Only when our people have wide views can our country become a truly developed nation said the State Counsellor.

The State Counsellor said that even though the country was facing many challenges she was never satisfied with the progress. She spoke of her many desires and wishes and considered that in fact the progress wasn’t that bad. Progress within this three year could be said to be not bad she said. However it is not enough to say it was not bad. It should be better. To overcome the external challenges, unity must be established. States/Regions governments need to do more to overcome the internal challenges. More efforts must be put in. There should be more contact with the people and she said this to the whole country from Kawthoung.

She said she could state strongly that the country will develop in a short time if states/regions governments perform their jobs. The people also need to control their government. Control mean not by violence or being rude but through peaceful and amicable way. Being rude and violent will be a disgrace for the country. In a way, it’ll be leaving bad legacies for our next generations. It’ll be a great legacy if we reach our desired destiny in an honorable way. This will be the most valuable inheritance for our future generation.

 There were some very rich business persons in Taninthayi Region. At the same time, there were many poor people in Taininthayi Region. She urged the rich and successful persons to value and care for the people in the region. Only when everyone develops can the country develop. An honor of a country was not how rich the richest person was but in how rich the poorest of the country were. As such strive for the benefit of your immediate neighbor. Do what you can for your region. Doing things for the benefit of all surely will benefit an individual who does that. As your neighbor and region develop, you and your work will develop, said the State Counsellor.

She then said the people were the most valuable resources. Successful business persons do not waste their most valuable resources. They became rich through investing those resources. Of all the physical resources, our human resources were the most valuable. She urges all to balance self and others and work toward enriching your neighbor and surrounding while enriching yourself.

She spoke of requesting the people to raise questions and of appreciating openness. Openness between the government and people is required and openness shows the trust that exists. Only with trust can questions raised without fear. However, raise questions politely. It is important to retain this good tradition. We were polite by culture and treat one another politely and respectfully. These are the immeasurable richness. So, say and ask what ought to be said and asked but do so politely. There is big difference in effectiveness too. Do not encourage rude and impolite behaviors said the State Counsellor.

Local people attending the meeting then raised matters regarding explanation on how tender was granted for electrification of Kawthoung, fulfilling requirement of eye specialist, subsidizing fuel price to generate electricity for Kawthoung, licensing of nearshore fishing vessels, reducing tax on fish export, permitting bird nest farming in buildings in Bokpyin Township, disciplining illegal palm oil plantations and reassign those lands to landless people, opening a university in Kawthoung, conducting an enquiry on whether Region government is corrupt or abuses power, permitting foreign visitors to stay overnight at rest/guest houses in Bokpyin Town, taking action against those who overcharges in issuing identity cards to sit in matriculation examination, to assign proper person to proper positions in the Region Government, to permit free trade without tax in Kawthoung, look into loss of village land, review effectiveness of palm oil plantations, eradicate drug usage, remove barriers erected by palm oil companies at the entrance of villages, compensation for crops on lands confiscated when roads were widened, conserving mangrove forests, expanding Khamaukgyi Town, widening road to allow entry/exit of cars and motorcycles into some houses in Shwepyitan Ward and for Independence Mawgunwin Title (Second Class) recipient U Ohn Kyaing to take photo together with the State Counsellor.

State Counsellor responded to the raised matter and said that as electrification was conducted nationwide, subsidizing fuel for Kawthoung would need to be reviewed again. Once the main power grid reaches Kawthoung, there wouldn’t be this issue anymore. The matter of fish export will also be looked into while the Region Government will be instructed report back after conducting a site visit on landless people. The matter of whether the Region Government abuses power or was corrupt will be looked into by Anti-Corruption Commission and truth will prevail, said the State Counsellor.

The matter of foreign visitors staying overnight in Bokpyin Town will also be looked into while effective action will be taken against overcharging in issuing identity cards to sit in matriculation examination. She explained that tax collected was for road, hospital and other projects in Kawthoung and while the matter of lost village lands will be reviewed. Drug eradication is being conducted country wide while both the quantity and quality of anti-drug forces were being expanded. Compensation for crops lost for expanding road will be given and the Region Government will be instructed to put emphasis toward fulfilling school and hospital requirement explained the State Counsellor.

The State Counsellor then took commemorative group photo with Independence Mawgun Second Class U Ohn Kyaing as well as meeting attendees.

After this, the State Counsellor and party left Kawthoung by special plane and reaches Dawei town where local populace put up an enthusiastic welcome at Dawei Airport as well as along the road from the airport.

From there, the State Counsellor went to Dawei Hospital and cordially greeted people taking treatments. While doing this, hospital officials were questioned about prevailing illnesses and disease, prevention and education works conducted and provided necessary instructions and guidance.

Following this, the State Counsellor met with residents and local populace of townships in Dawei District at Dawei Town Hall.

At the meeting the State Counsellor said everyone has a right to choose and as per that right had responsibilities. She spoke of hearing the expectations, concerns and requirements of the people where ever she went and said some matters were to be resolved by the government.

In some matters, people need to participate as it is necessary to get rid of the mindset that everything will have to be conducted by the government. This is not a democracy mindset. Democracy mindset had the courage to take responsibility. People as well as the government they elected must have this courage. People should do what they ought to do and point out the weaknesses of the government.

Assist in making the government do its works more effectively. If we review ourselves, we’ll know whether we do things in a positive constructive manner said the State Counsellor.

People in attendance then raised matters of constructing more buildings in Dawei University, arranging meeting with officials to discuss teachers and students rights, recognizing Dawei University Student Union, conduct site visit to study feasibility of producing hydro-electric power on Taninthayi River and if feasible to implement it, creating cooperation between states/regions governments and youth affairs committees, details about a tender agreement with an electric company, provide assistance to those undergoing trial in Launglon court, holding an enquiry with a relevant organisation on the conduct of Region Chief Minister and Region minister for planning and finance, permitting on-job-training in the region for graduates of Dawei University, permission to be identified as Dawei people in national registration identity cards, quick implementation of Dawei Special Economic Zone and assisting the socio-economic situation of the locals.

The State Counsellor replied that on the matter of the university, Union Minister for Education will come to Dawei and works had been conducted to enable the universities to stand free and independently. This was being done country wide and on the matter of youth affairs, the Region Government will be instructed to work closely not only with the youth but also with the people.

Relevant entity was conducting enquiry on electrical company tender matter and as for the Launglon Court case, action will be taken according to the law whether the accused knew or do not knew the law. Laws were enacted for people to live in peace but instruction will be given to provide social assistances said the State Counsellor.

The State Counsellor then told the public servants to be polite in dealing with the people. Public servants are to ease the difficulties of the people.

Graduates from Dawei University should work in other places of the Union as only then can they knew the progresses of the entire country. Identifying as Dawei people is a matter related to the entire country and thus relevant ministry will conduct discussion said the State Counsellor.

After providing detailed explanation to matters raised the State Counsellor delivered a concluding speech and took commemorative photo with ethnic nationals who had attended the meeting.

After the meeting with the local residents, the State Counsellor met with Region Chief Minister and region government members in Dawei Airport hall and noted the region government’s lack of contact with local people. Region governments are close to the region and thus Region Government members are to understand the requirements of the local people and fulfill it. The State Counsellor added that throughout her visits to the states and regions of the country, there were visible developments during the past three years. However people in Taninthayi were seen to be dissatisfied with the Region Government. Please be warned that if there were serious evidence of works being not done, strong and effective action will be taken as Taninthayi Government shouldn’t be slow in development as the region had geographical and weather advantages that provide good economic opportunities. The State Counsellor then coordinated on explanation and discussion made by the Region Chief Minister and region government members.

After the meeting with the Region Chief Minister and region government members, the State Counsellor and party left Dawei by special flight and reaches Nay Pyi Taw in the evening where they were welcomed by Union Minister for Ministry of State Counsellor ‘s Office U Kyaw Tint Swe, Nay Pyi Taw Council Chairman Dr. Myo Aung and officials at Nay Pyi Taw International Airport. — MNA (Translated by Zaw Min)