Ministry of Information and Yangon Region Government jointly opened a community centre in Bahan Township, Yangon yesterday morning.
In his address at the opening ceremony, Union Minister for Information Dr Pe Myint said the ministry has four institutions. It is a common knowledge that Myanmar Radio and TV is informing, educating and entertaining the public; the Printing and Publishing Department is publishing exercise books and ballots and the Sarpay Beikman under it is conducting literature-related and knowledge sharing activities and participating in selecting National Literature and Sarpay Beikman manuscript awards; the News and Periodicals Enterprise is publishing three dailies – The Myanma Alinn, The Mirror and The Global New Light of Myanmar.
He said the fourth one is the Information and Public Relations Department (IPRD). It is running community centres. IPRD has township, district and state/region branches which are attached to libraries. As IPRD is directly dealing with the people, it has substituted its unilateral approach with reciprocal approach in accordance with the changing trends amidst the democratic transition. IPRD offices have transformed into community centres since the previous year.
The community centre in Bahan is built with State funds. The Information Ministry is informing the public about the endeavours of the State, and that is its responsibility. MPs have access to public opinions and suggestions at the community centres as they are the places where the public express their desires and concerns. MPs then present and discuss these public messages at the parliament where policies are adopted.
The Union Minister said so, community centres serve as the important pillars of democracy as the power of democracy depends on the degree of public involvement. Comprehensive use of community centres is required as the public can exchange ideas there. The community centre in Bahan has all the required characteristics, but its success depends on the interest of the public of all ages and both genders.
Chief Minister of Yangon Region U Phyo Min Thein said it has been nearly four years since Yangon Region Government has been running community centres in cooperation with Ministry of Information, expanding the areas of its involvement with the public during the years. Community centres play an essential role in strengthening democracy.
Deputy Minister for Information U Aung Hla Tun then presented certificates of honour to the Association of Myanmar Architects through its chairman U Maw Lin, and to Daw Kaythi Nyunt Manager of Yangon Petrol Company, for donating computers and accessories and furniture to the community centre.
Union Minister Dr Pe Myint, Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein, Deputy Minister U Aung Hla Tun, Speaker of Yangon Region Hluttaw U Tin Maung Tun and Minister of Rakhine Ethnic Affairs of the regional government U Zaw Aye Maung formally opened the centre.
Led by Kayin Ethnic Affairs Minister of Yangon Region Naw Pan Thinza Myo, talks were held under the theme – how to effectively run a community centre. IPRD built 16 community centres at the capitals of states and regions and other towns.
The Bahan community centre is the first to be built by the State which spent Ks 484.1 million for the centre, equipped with modern facilities. The second centre to be built with State funds is in Thandwe in Rakhine State. Although all the 417 district and township IPRD offices are not upgraded into modern facilities, they are serving as community centres as possible as they can. —MNA (Translated by TMT)