The month of November saw continued progress in the fight against COVID-19, although the country still needs to remain vigilant against the disease, given the emergence of the new variant Omicron in other countries.
The government security forces, with their tireless efforts and willingly helped by members of the public across the nation, continued to score decisive victories in the fight against terrorism, but it cannot be said that the dangers have passed.
Diary of the State Leadership
On 1 November, State Administration Council Chairman Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing addressed the nation on the work and achievements of SAC during the past nine months. The State of the Nation Address covered COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment, anti-COVID-19 vaccination programmes, pardons, the reopening of schools, the consumption of fuel and edible oil, healthy lifestyles, the economy, agriculture and livestock, productivity in the industrial and trade sectors.
On 2 November, Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing paid homage to State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee Chairman Bhamo Sayadaw and State Ovadacariya Presiding Sayadaw of Maha Wizitayon Monastery, made donations, and reported on religious affairs.
On 3 November, the Prime Minister inspected the Practising Middle School, stadiums and Mandalay University in Chanayethazan Township of Mandalay Region. He then met with Mandalay Region government officials and discussed development tasks for the city, growth in the productive sectors, the need for discipline, and the agriculture and livestock sectors.
The Prime Minister sent a message on the occasion of Kayin State Day on 7 November. The message emphasized the government’s efforts in the national reconciliation and the Union peace process. The goal is sustainable and equitable development that all the ethnic national races can enjoy, and to leave a legacy of a peaceful and tranquil society for future generations.
On 10 and 11 November, the Prime Minister Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing inspected Indagaw Industrial Zone, Tatmadaw Textile Factory (Thamaing) and Myanmar Pharmaceuticals Factory (Insein). During the inspections, the Prime Minister highlighted the need for local factories to be competitive with imported products in quantity and quality and to sell quality products at fair prices.
On 12 November, Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing led an event to explain to concerned national-level officials the carving and establishment of the marble image of the Mara Vijaya Buddha, scheduled to be placed at the Buddha Park in Dekkhina Township, Nay Pyi Taw. He touched on the excavation of the marble rock and conveying processes, the construction of refectories, religious halls, archives, rest houses and Mingala bridge, all of which would be constructed in the Yadanabon period styles.
On the same day, the SAC Chairman Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing received a delegation led by the Chairman of the Russian-Myanmar Military Technological Cooperation Joint Commission Deputy Director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Mr Vladimir Drozhzhov and Deputy Director-General of JSC “Rosoboronexport” Company Mr A.L. Chekmarev. They exchanged views on the enhancement of military cooperation between the defence sectors and armed forces, the assistance from the Russian Federation to strengthen human resources and technology in order to upgrade the Myanmar Tatmadaw into a modern armed force, and cooperation in all sectors, including the economy, between the two countries.
On 13 November, the Prime Minister received Mr Yohei Sasakawa, Special Envoy of the Government of Japan for National Reconciliation in Myanmar and Chairman of the Nippon Foundation at the Tatmadaw Guesthouse in Nay Pyi Taw. They exchanged views on the current changes in the political sector, the implementation of peace processes, Japan’s assistance to Myanmar and the promotion of relations between the two countries.
Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing met Special Envoy of Asian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China Mr Sun Guoxiang and Former Governor of New Mexico of the United States of America Mr Bill Richardson and discussed better international communication and assistance with regard to COVID-19 vaccines.
On 19 November, the Prime Minister met 72 students who had completed the five-year Bachelor of Education degree course, the fourth batch in the University for Development of National Races, Sagaing, under the Ministry of Border Affairs at the event, held in the convocation hall and Panglong hall of the University. A broader audience of about 200 students from the University participated through videoconferencing.
On 23 November, SAC Chairman Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, in his capacity as Chairman of Security, Peace and Stability and Rule of Law Committee of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, addressed the 6/2021 meeting of the committee. During the meeting, he emphasized the need for the public to fully understand the enactment and amendment of national laws. The SAC members, Union Ministers, Chairman of Anti-Corruption Commission, Region/State Chief Ministers and Deputy Ministers reported on matters in their respective sectors related to the security, peace and rule of law.
On 24 November, an affirmation ceremony was organized with the members of the Myanmar Press Council. The members took affirmation in the presence of the Prime Minister. During the event, the Prime Minister said the council would make provision for the journalists to cover the news freely as well as to enable them to disseminate correct and accurate information to the people. He also expressed his belief that since the Council comprised experienced media personnel and media experts, the Council’s work would benefit the country, the people and the media sector.
On 26 November, in his capacity as the Patron of the Myanmar War Veterans Organization (MWVO), Senior General Min Aung Hlaing attended the second-day session of MWVO Conference 2021. He recalled the noble service of the war veterans, who had served, with some sacrificing life and limb for the country and people. He mentioned the present role of the MWVO, which make up the reserve forces of the Tatmadaw and participate in defence and security duties accordingly for the country.
The Prime Minister sent a message to mark the 101st Anniversary of the National Victory Day, which fell on 28 November 2021. The original date of National Victory Day, the tenth day of the waning moon of Tazaungmon 1282 Myanmar Era, corresponded to December 1920. The message recalled that National Victory Day was to mark the beginning of the student-led protests against the British colonial government, who had forcibly enacted the Yangon University Act in December 1920, thereby restricting access to higher education for the Myanmar population. Education reforms play a key role in political, economic and governance reform processes. The message called on all ethnic nationals to engage in building mutual trust and striving for the development of their communities across the Union.
On 5 November, Chairman of the Central Committee Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Senior General Soe Win attended the second coordination meeting of the Central Committee for the organization of the 74th Anniversary of Independence Day 2022. The Deputy Prime Minister participated in discussions with the officials of respective sub-committees.
On 2 November, Myanmar hosted the 6th Summit of ASEAN Supreme Audit Institutions (ASEANSAI) via videoconferencing. The State Administration Council Vice-Chairman Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Senior General Soe Win delivered the address by video message as a special guest. He mentioned political changes, future work plans and cooperation with ASEAN and other partner organizations. The highlight of the event was the handover of the ASEANSAI Chairmanship from Datuk Nik Azman bin Nik Abdul Majid, Auditor-General of SAI Malaysia to Professor Dr Kan Zaw, Auditor-General of SAI Myanmar as the new Chairman.
On 12 November, Vice-Senior General Soe Win attended the 22nd ASEAN Chiefs of Army Multilateral Meeting (ASEAN-CAMM), hosted by Myanmar as the Chairman of ASEAN-CAMM. He led the discussion under the topic of the Role of ASEAN Armies In the Process of Rehabilitation After the COVID-19 Pandemic and highlighted the importance and urgency of post-COVID-19 rehabilitation tasks, especially in the socio-economic sector. He emphasized the need for cooperation on post-COVID-19 rehabilitation as a common interest to all ASEAN countries. The Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services also discussed the enhancement of civil-military cooperation in disaster response and planning, the rule of law, food security and trade flow. He emphasized the principles inherent in ASEAN Centrality, ASEAN Unity and ASEAN Way. Although Myanmar had made special efforts for the visit of the ASEAN Special Envoy, no sovereign country could accept requests from other governments for intervening in a legal prosecution and trial process, which would be outside the existing law of the country. Upon the completion of presentations by all participating ASEAN countries, SAC Advisor Dr Yin Yin Nwe on behalf of the Myanmar Tatmadaw provided a concise review of post-COVID-19 rehabilitation efforts in ASEAN countries and the roles and comparative advantages of the military in disaster management.
The Vaccination Management Information System (VMIS), developed by the Information and Technology Department of the Tatmadaw, and used by the Ministry of Health to support the systematic management of vaccination against COVID-19 in Myanmar was recognized with a Digital Government Award in the 2021 Awards presented by the Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organization (ASOCIO) to the Ministry of Health. ASOCIO is an ICT federation organized by ICT associations from 24 economies throughout the Asia Pacific. Four other Myanmar entities, from the private sector, were also awarded by ASOCIO. Altogether ASOCIO awarded 35 organizations and companies.
The third edition of Goa Maritime Conclave (GMC) 2021 was organised by the Indian Navy from 7 to 9 November, 2021 at Naval War College, Goa. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh chaired the conclave, the theme of which was “Maritime Security and Emerging Non-Traditional Threats: A Case for Proactive Role for Indian Ocean Region Navies.” The Commander-in-Chief (Navy) Admiral Moe Aung led the Myanmar delegation. Admiral Moe Aung discussed the strategic location of the Indian Ocean, opportunities and challenges, the active cooperation of the Tatmadaw Navy in maritime security, the non-traditional security threats in the Indian Ocean being solved through navy-to-navy staff talks, and coordinated bilateral and multilateral patrolling. The Myanmar delegation also participated in setting the Common Maritime Priorities in the Indian Ocean Region declared at the GMC.
On 17 November, at the invitation of Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs U Wunna Maung Lwin joined through videoconferencing the 13th High-Level Roundtable Meeting, co-organized by the Government of Lao People’s Democratic Republic and UNDP.
At the invitation of INTERPOL, Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Chief of the Myanmar Police Force Lieutenant General Than Hlaing attended the 89th Session of INTERPOL General Assembly in Istanbul, Turkey, from 23 to 25 November. At the event, Myanmar participated in secret voting for a new President and the 12 regional committee representatives of Myanmar also discussed the capacity building of the police force and training for INTERPOL and other cooperation among police forces.
A delegation led by the Chairperson of ASEAN Law Association (Myanmar), Union Minister for Legal Affairs and Attorney-General of the Union Dr Thida Oo attended the 42nd ASEAN Law Association Governing Council meeting, held through videoconferencing on 11 November. At the meeting, Union Minister and Attorney-General of the Union Dr Thida Oo said Myanmar, as a member of ASEAN, adheres to the ASEAN Charter and respects its responsibilities in the Charter.
Union Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations U Aung Naing Oo joined the 10th AEM-Canada Consultations which were held via videoconference on 17 November 2021. Members of the Constitutional Tribunal of the Union attended the Third International Symposium of the AACC via videoconferencing on 10 and 11 November. Union Supreme Court Judge U Myo Tint joined the Webinar of the 22nd International Conference of Chief Justices of the World, which was held from 19 to 22 November via videoconferencing. Starting on 29 November, the Government of the People’s Republic of China hosted the 59th Annual Session of Asian–African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO) via videoconferencing. The Myanmar delegation led by Union Minister for Legal Affairs and Union Attorney-General Dr Thida Oo joined the meeting together with other delegates of member countries.
The 5th Joint Working Group Meeting on Poverty Reduction for Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) and Forums on Pandemic Response Experience Sharing and Regional Rural Development were held on 10 November via video link. The events were hosted by the Myanmar Ministry of Cooperatives and Rural Development in Nay Pyi Taw. Over 30 representatives of the working group members from the poverty alleviation departments of Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, the representatives of the China Secretariat and Myanmar Secretariat of the Lancang -Mekong Cooperation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the implementation units of the East Asia Poverty Reduction Pilot Project attended the meeting via video link.
TO BE CONTINUED