“Paving roads such as this one is mainly for our regional development. But more importantly, it also brings all ethnic nationals closer to each other. It’s not easy to meet one another without any roads connecting us. Development is important for a country but even more important is the strength gained from unity,” said State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in her speech at the opening of the Maggwayza-Mt. Sanlutchet road section in Nagmon Township, Kachin State, two days ago.
Northern Myanmar is not just far, it also has dense forests and poor roads that hamper travel to and from the region. Because travel is inconvenient, it is not easy for people living in Northern Myanmar to keep in touch with people from other areas, or to form and maintain close bonds. The region lags in development and efforts to build unity entail much difficulty. But now, the State has opened a new road to connect the region with the rest of the country. We believe this will bring about more development and unity.
The State Counsellor summarized the motive for opening the road section and said: “We want everyone to enjoy the same living standards. It is a matter of national pride to see every citizen living life at the same standard.”
Challenges and shortcomings in the basic infrastructure of a region can bring about an imbalance in the distribution of wealth in a country. They can restrict its relations with the rest of the country and put development opportunities out of reach, and result in disparities between urban and rural areas, and urban areas and highlands.
Equality and equal opportunity are necessary for building trust and unity, especially in the highlands and border areas. We decided to ensure justice and equality in the nation during our struggle for independence. But due to lack of transportation and infrastructure, and unrest, we have not been able to implement development goals in the highlands and border areas.
This is why successive administrations have always prioritized developing border areas and the lives of ethnic nationals. The new administration is paving new roads in the highlands so that they do not fall behind in the trek to development. It has been building roads and bridges, and even in the most remote regions, paths have been laid for motorcycles. It has gotten much easier to travel around Myanmar than in the past.
We need to make use of the opportunities that will be coming our way with the new roads connecting us to the rest of the country. The Maggwayza-Mt. Sanlutchet road marks the beginning of better and smoother transportation to the beautiful and bountiful northern reaches of Myanmar, where we will work hand-in-hand to bring about unity and peace.