With a view to achieving enduring peace, an invitation to peace talks was extended in April and there are still some signatory EAOs and non-signatory EAOs that have announced that they cannot attend the peace talks for various reasons, said State Administration Council Chairman Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at the State Administration Council meeting (5/2022) held in the meeting hall of the Office of the State Administration Council Chairman in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday afternoon.
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said that invitation to peace talks was extended with an eye to two political targets we are leading to the sustainable practice of multiparty democracy and the establishment of the Union based on democracy and federalism.
Then, the Senior General went on to say that there are different types of federal unions in the world and we should take the best way to the democratic federal union in conformity with our country.
Regarding the terrorist attacks, the Senior General said that, since 3 March 2021, there have been more than 1,100 terrorist assaults by PDFs, that action has been taken against over 700 cases and a total of 4,203 weapons of various sorts have been confiscated and that it has been found that most of these weapons were provided by some EAOs and some imported from abroad. He also said that, in fighting against the terrorists, some members of the security forces and some staff of administrative organizations sustained injuries and were killed and measures are being taken to compensate the victims.
As regards the economy of the nation, the Senior General said that there were trade deficits during the two terms of democratic governments. Therefore, he continued, he has seen to it that goods that are not necessary are not imported and only necessary products are imported. There is still a trade deficit of US$1,140 million during the period between February 2021 and May 2022, he pointed out. In the current financial year, there are loans that are to be paid back to foreign countries. It is found that there is much to do to generate earnings for the country and efforts are being made for private companies to be able to enhance the export of their goods and products. For the economic development of the country, he emphasized that finished products, rather than raw materials, should be exported.
In his address, the Senior General also touched on the banking industry and said that there were political riots after the Tatmadaw had taken the responsibility for the country and, as a result, the work of banks slowed down, that there were withdrawals of deposits due to worry and panic, that steps had to be taken to prevent the collapse of banks as withdrawals were not made in accordance with stipulated rules and regulations, and that the banking system has almost returned to normality since January.
As to teaching students at basic education schools, the Senior General explained that what has to be done with failure is that all school-age children go to school, that school enrolment has increased this year and 6.3 million basic education students (94.1 per cent of the total enrolment) are now at schools. The number of students has increased more in the current academic year than the previous year and it is a plus, he added.
The Senior General proceeded to say that there has been only 0.14 per cent of confirmed cases of Covid and there have been no deaths during this month, that it was due to cooperation and concerted efforts of the public and civil servants, that 64 million people have been vaccinated against the disease and that measures are being taken to continue with vaccination in the rest of regions and states.
The Senior General also elaborated on the development of agriculture and livestock breeding. He said that production based on agriculture and livestock breeding plays a pivotal role in the nation’s economy, that the country has a total of over 33 million acres of farmland, that, out of them, 11.7 million acres are cultivated twice a year and 34 million acres are mix-cropped, that trying to boost crop yield pays much better for the country than expanding sown acreage, that research on developing quality strains is being encouraged and that modern techniques should be employed so that agriculture and livestock breeding can flourish.
In connexion with the presentations by the SAC members, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing responded that there would be maximum sentences for the terrorists who perpetrated even the killings of Buddhist monks. There would be further amendments to the Election Law and the Parties Registration Law, he added.
The Senior General concluded that coordination meetings are being conducted to open agricultural and technical high schools in district-level towns for human resource development and that outstanding students from those schools will be able to continue their studies at respective institutes and universities. – MNA