President U Win Myint and First Lady Daw Cho Cho attended the commemoration of 73rd Shan State Day at Awaiyar fire balloon grounds, Taunggyi, yesterday morning.
Present at the event were Union Ministers Lt-Gen Ye Aung, Dr Aung Thu, U Ohn Win, U Win Khaing, U Ohn Maung, Shan State Chief Minister Dr Lin Htut, State Hluttaw Speaker U Sai Long Hseng, State Chief Justice U Kywe Kywe, Commander of Eastern Command Maj-Gen Lin Aung, State Advocate-General, State Auditor-General, Hluttaw representatives, chairpersons of leading bodies of self-administered division/zones, ethnic leaders, department officials, representatives of political parties, ethnic races, ethnic literature and culture groups, local residents, students and invited guests.
During the ceremony, Chief Minister Dr Lin Htut read the Message of Greetings from President U Win Myint regarding 73rd Shan State Day. The President then delivered his keynote speech. (Keynote speech displayed in full in separate article)
Next, the President greeted local residents attending the event. He then cut the ceremonial ribbons to formally open the ethnic tradition and culture and departmental exhibitions for 73rd Shan State Day with Chief Minister Dr Lin Htut, State Hluttaw Speaker U Sai Long Hseng, Kachin Ethnic Affairs Minister U Zod Daung, Lisu Ethnic Affairs Minister U Gu Sar, Inn Ethnic Affairs Minister Dr Tun Hlaing and Ahkar Ethnic Affairs Minister U Arr Bay La.
The President and First Lady then took a group documentary photo with invited guests, observed the performances of ethnic literature and culture groups, and viewed the exhibitions on display.
Following this, the President, First Lady and entourage arrived at Shan State Buddhist University in Taunggyi and paid respects to Aggha Maha Pandita Dr Bhaddanta Pyinnyar Nanda of Loilem monastery and Oxford Sayadaw Rector Dr Bhaddanta Dhammasami, and other monks, offered them donations and donated K 1 million to the university.
The President and First Lady then participated in the gangaw tree planting ceremony to commemorate the 4th anniversary of the university and offered meals to the monks.
Later in the afternoon, the President and First Lady traveled from Taunggyi to Nyaungshwe by motorcade.
The President met with Inn Ethnic Affairs Minister Dr Tun Hlaing, Forest Department Deputy Director-General U Kyaw Kyaw Lwin, and State Irrigation and Water Utilization Management Department Director U Tun Tun Oo at Inle Princess Resort. They explained to him the status of Inle Lake catchment area preservation, extracting sediments and processes to prevent their buildup.
The President said Inle Lake is an important image of Shan State and the nation and its basin area and water retention has been going down. He said the State government, departments and local residents must all work together to resolve this issue. He said Inle Lake is connected to the Moebye reservoir and Lawpita hydropower station and can potentially have negative effects on them if the issues were not addressed.
He said the use of fertilizers and pesticides in the nearby environment is contaminating Inle Lake. He said the State government and departments must work together to manage in accordance with the law and ensure local residents were made aware of this fact.
Next, the President observed the processes across the drainage basin in a motorboat. The President and First Lady then arrived at Hpaung Daw U Pagoda and paid homages to the 5 images of the Buddha housed inside. They offered a golden robe and donated K.500,000 to the board of trustees.
From there, the President and entourage visited the Haw Nan cultural museum in Nyaungshwe and toured inside.
Later in the evening, the President, First Lady and entourage attended a dinner banquet hosted by Shan State Government for the 73rd Shan State Day. They viewed musical performances and awarded cash prizes to the artistes. —MNA (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)