(Continued From Yesterday)
In the progress of vaccination, 60,596,400 doses of vaccine have been distributed to the Ministry of Health, the Tatmadaw and private organizations and 40,856,000 doses of vaccine have been given to the people till 29 January. A total of 18,792,099 persons have received vaccines twice, 3,271,802 persons once and 21,668 persons booster doses. So, more than 53 per cent of the people have received vaccines at least once. Myanmar plans to produce the Sinopharm vaccine through the Ready to Fill Bulk system. In February 2022, the production process will start. A plan is underway to manufacture 10 million doses of vaccine in 2022.
Omicron variant was found at foreign returnees on 28 December 2021. Till 28 January, a total of 283 patients with Omicron virus were found.
Efforts are being made to soonest remedy the businesses which faced loss in the COVID-19 through various ways and means. K166.6463 billion was disbursed to businesses for the resurgence of businesses to 6,334 companies and enterprises. The recovery committee allowed loans for 116 companies and enterprises on 28 January 2022 to provide financial assistance to artistes and media persons. Arrangements are being made to upgrade schools of agriculture in regions and states to colleges and institutes.
The State Administration Council on 17 February 2021 formed three committees related to peace. These were the National Unity and Peace Restoration Coordination Committee led by himself, the Work Committee led by the Vice-Senior General and the coordination committee led by Lt-Gen Yar Pyae. The Senior General recounted that he said his 2022 New Year message of greetings, saying that “We will start new steps for peace this year. As it has been expressed in the fourth point of the five-point road map, we invite all relevant organizations for peace talks.”
Political parties and interested persons held four meetings with the UEC for implementing the Proportional Representation-PR for the creation of equal terms of rights to regions and states in building the Union based on democracy and federalism.
In implementing the nine objectives, political parties represent their supporter people. There are some ethnic parties and region-wise parties. The PR system will be implemented for enabling the political parties to represent ethnic nationals. Three powers of sovereignty will be shared with regions and states to have the right of self-administration under the constitution.
The first trip of the State Administration Council Chairman was to attend the ASEAN Leader Meeting held in Jakarta of Indonesia on 24 April 2021. The second trip was bound to Russia to attend the 9th International Security Conference from 20 to 27 June 2021. The government decided to further cement the friendly relations with neighbouring countries which has been existing for successive eras.
In holding talks with the ASEAN alternate chair, both sides discussed the suspension of terrorism for holding talks, the difference between ethnic armed organizations and terrorists, the invitation to them to participate in the peace process in Myanmar. Moreover, both sides plan to cooperate in the provision of the humanitarian aid of ASEAN.
The working visit of the Cambodian Prime Minister on 7 and 8 January 2022 brought good results to Myanmar.
The joint declaration was released for the visit. Both sides discussed the participation of Myanmar in ASEAN, constructive attitude of ASEAN countries, efforts of Myanmar for the best cooperation, sending of ASEAN special envoy to Myanmar and the plan of UNSG’s special envoy to Myanmar. The government decided to cooperate with the international community without harming the sovereignty of the State and future tasks. The Senior General also highlighted the implementation of the economic objectives in operating livestock and agriculture tasks.
Concerning rural development, the Senior General said: “More than 70 per cent of some 55 million population of the nation are rural people, and 30.2 per cent of whom are at the lower level of the poverty rate. The rural areas are suffering from the impacts of poverty. Hence, the government steadfastly strives for using effective ways to alleviate the poverty rate of rural people and narrow the development gap between urban and rural areas so as to improve the socio-economic status of the people. The government is undertaking the implementation of emerald green village project in regions and states for the development of rural areas, digging of lakes and sinking underground water in rural areas, upgrade of 80 per cent of rural roads to be all-season use ones in 2030 under the rural road development strategy, community-based rural vocational development projects, rural manufacturing roads, bridges and rural housings.”
The Ministry of Cooperatives and Rural Development was formed on 17 June 2021 for improving the socio-economic life of rural people and enabling them to socio-economic infrastructures and services. Moreover, districts will be extended in appropriate areas of regions and states in addition to the existing 75 districts for giving effective services to the people in the administrative mechanism.
In connection with the international cooperation, 17 economic issues were proposed to be prioritized when Cambodia takes the ASEAN alternate chair in 2022. These will be set as a living document. Cambodia is planning to submit a proposal on the financial sector. Moreover, 138 tasks under the prioritized programmes will be implemented in 2022 in shaping the ASEAN Economic Community 2025. A total of 33 agreements, MoUs and others were signed to enhance the cooperation with China and Myanmar during the visits of the Chinese President in 2020. Although Myanmar-Japan cooperation projects were suspended due to the outbreak of COVId-19, emphasis is being placed on the return of Japanese to Myanmar for resuming the projects, smooth process of arrivals, and loans for agriculture, livestock, education, health and human resources. Preparations are being made to hold the Myanmar-Russian business matching.
During the period from 1 February to November 2021, a foreign investment worth US$3.55 billion was approved for 27 businesses from 12 sectors and K332.96 billion of citizen’s investments for 37 businesses of 12 sectors.
Concerning the strong and dynamic Union spirit for implementation of the social objective, the Senior General pledged to organize the Diamond Jubilee Union Day on a grand scale
In realizing the preservation of national cultural characters and following the customs of all ethnic nationals, a plan is underway to resume the 23rd Myanmar Traditional Performing Arts Competitions in October 2022 to preserve the traditional culture.
Regarding health and fitness of the entire nationals and uplift of education qualification, emphasis is being placed on educational investment. It was found that about 18.2 million of the population could learn middle education and lower level according to the interim census in 2019. There are 6.178 basic education high schools, 15,877 middle schools and 25,705 primary schools, totalling 47,760 in the entire nation. Among them, 39,242 schools have been reopened from the closure of them in the outbreak of COVID-19. Some schools could not be reopened due to CDM activities of some education staff and terror attacks. Now, 4,225,887 students at different levels are attending the schools. A total of 297,904 basic education teachers are serving their duties, and the government will honour them as much as possible. The government is striving for school-age children to complete learning of KG+9 level. Only when the students complete the KG+9 education, can they change learning of vocational training and then to high school education and higher education.
In eradicating the narcotic drugs, drug traffickers target the schools. The authorities seized narcotic drugs and related materials worth more than K9.727 billion in 6,444 cases and arrested 9,249 female and male suspects from 1 February 2021 to 21 January 2022.
In respect of continuous discharging the State duty according to the current situation of the nation, the Senior General said he has briefly submitted the presentation on current political, security, economic and social affairs of the State and future plans. The government faced internal and external disturbances despite serving the duties of the State under Section 417 of the Constitution as much as possible after politically declaring the State of Emergency. In reviewing the current situations, the wish of internal/external saboteurs and their supporter persons and organizations leads to the utter devastation of Myanmar rather than democracy. Currently, terror attacks and destruction happen in some parts of Chin State and the Sagaing Region. And, it is necessary to appoint ward and village administrators in some townships of the nation. So, there remain many tasks in future to convene the free and fair multiparty democracy general election under Section 429 of the Constitution. So, the Senior General said that he would like to submit the report to extend six more months to extend the State of Emergency under the political trend in accord with Section 425 of the Constitution. During the period, emphasis will especially be placed on peace and stability of the State, security of public life, and peace issue. Only when the entire people cooperate in the tasks, will the people’s desire “genuine, disciplined multiparty democracy” reach the right track.
The government full of responsibility and accountability pledged to make utmost efforts for serving the interests of the State and the people. The Senior General granted all for implementation of the “genuine, disciplined multiparty democracy” and “building the Union based on democracy and federalism”. All the people were urged to participate in shaping a good future for the State and the people.
Then, Pro Tem President U Myint Swe started discussions on a six-month extension of the State of Emergency in accord with Section 425 of the Constitution and the members of the Council participated in the discussions and agreed on it.
In his supplementary discussions, the Senior General said, “In the past period, we controlled the conflicts with least bleeding and the least grudge. Especially, I honestly admit that we could not totally protect most of the people. It is because members of the Myanmar Police Force and Tatmadaw members were deployed in necessary sites across the nation. Terror acts are happening in some townships of Kayah and Chin states and Sagaing region. We are controlling these events as much as possible. Officials from the administrative bodies were assassinated. These events happened in 109 townships of regions and states 272 times and 282 persons were assassinated. Moreover, educational staff and health staff were killed. In this regard, they killed 30 teachers and set fire to schools 504 times. They committed killing health staff and attacked them. It is necessary to take an adequate for effective managing education and health care services for socio-economic development of the people. So, Council members need to consider them. I thanked them for their support. But, the workload will be rather heavier. Now, we could control the COVID-19 but we found the Omicron variant. So, we have to take special care of the disease. Hence, it is necessary to control living disciplines and manage the prevention and treatment measures and fulfilling of necessary equipment, medicines and materials for controlling the disease. So, we have to strive for ongoing tasks with utmost effort. It will cost a large sum of money for the projects. So, we have to uplift the State economy. We have to produce sufficient agriculture and livestock products, foodstuff and personal goods at home. So, the policy was not totally imported these products abroad. The period after February was concerned with the government of the State Administration Council. As we strictly managed all export and import measures, we could show some US$640 million of trade surplus. Currently, we have US$99 million of trade surplus till January. It is sure to have the trade surplus in February. Primarily, if farmers and rural people increase the production of goods, we are ready to export them to neighbouring countries’ markets. China, Bangladesh and India are our markets for agriculture and livestock products. They are our large market. By fulfilling the needs of farmers, if they have good income and good businesses, their socio-economic life will improve. So, they can learn. They have just the least reasons for missing the chance of learning due to lack of money. On the other hand, the country will have income and tax. So, I emphasize the internal economy. In this regard, foreign countries criticized me. We extremely encourage internal businesses. I think it may be destructive acts. But, our National Defence and Security Council needs to know that we are building internal strength. The strength of the nation lies within. It cannot be found anywhere. We have to seek internal strength. I’d like to report that I will try to build the internal economic strength, internal political strength and internal defence strength in the limited time.”
Afterwards, Pro Tem President U Myint Swe said everybody knows that the country improves to some extent due to systematic management and all-round endeavours in the time of the State Administration Council amid various difficulties. Success has been achieved in exporting domestic products. According to the reports of the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services, the country gained development amid difficulties thanks to the efforts of all council members. If the country does not have internal and external destructive elements, the country will have more success. Hence, according to the discussions of all attendees to the meeting, it was informed to the National Defence and Security Council for extending six more months of the declared State of Emergency, and the meeting 1/2022 came to a close. — MNA