Dear esteemed ethnic brothers and sisters living in Rakhine State,
On the occasion of the 43rd Anniversary celebrations of Rakhine State Day, I send my greetings and good wishes for good fortune and auspiciousness of all union citizens living in Rakhine State.
After Rakhine State has been designated in the 1974 Constitution, the 15th of December which was the day on which a referendum was process was begun for the purpose of approving the Constitution. This day was designated as Rakhine State Day and beginning from 1975 we have been celebrating Rakhine State Day every year and today we celebrate the 43rd anniversary.
In Rakhine State all, along the west lies the long and beautiful coastal region; in the east lies the Rakhine Yoma mountain range; and in the north lie the wide expanse of fertile agricultural land. Because of this due to being blessed with good geographic location and rich soil, it has a bounteous supply of rice, water, meat, fish and natural minerals. Not only this, Rakhine State has many priceless ancient cultural sites.
After the Union Government took over the responsibilities of government, with view to promoting peace and development in Rakhine State, the Union Government has been striving hard by establishing the Rakhine State Peace and Development Council and forming four working committees. In the same way we have been working on the Kyauk Phyu Special Economic Zone, which is very important for Rakhine State development, by taking due note of the wishes of the local people, and making careful assessments regarding environmental concerns and socio-economic needs by establishing a Management Committee.
We are also implementing the Kanyin Kyaung Economic Zone in Maungtaw, which is very important not only for the economic development of Rakhine State but which can also help towards peace in the region and is also very important of internal and external trade of Maungtaw region.
In addition, for improving transportation in the Rakhine State, we are also working with special emphasis on the Kaladan River Basin Project, as this State is blessed with many rivers.
We had to face and suffer the terrorist attacks beginning from 9 October 2016 and also the ARSA terrorist attacks on 25 August 2017 in Maungtaw region of Rakhine State. Due to these events, a great deal of people living in villages in those areas had to leave their villages and people of Islamic faith went over to Bangladesh. Because of these people who had to leave their homes we established the Rakhine State Advisory Commission and the Maungtaw Region Investigation Commission. Also, to implement the recommendations of these two bodies relating to Rakhine State, a Committee had been formed and this committee is now carrying out its duties by making projects.
Also, the UEHRD – Union Enterprise for Humanitarian Assistance, Relief and Resettlement in Rakhine Committee of four members was established with State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as Chairperson. This committee has begun operations. This UEHRD committee has been doing its work by tapping on the strength of Union citizens, their help and their trust. It is working to provide effective humanitarian assistance, to cooperate in the relief and rehabilitation efforts, to promote regional development and with a view to eradicating conflicts in the long term. Governments from other States/Regions have also joined in to provide as much assistance as they could by bearing in mind that this effort is not only for the Rakhine State but for the whole Union. In addition, youths from all parts of the Union have gone to provide assistance to the best of their ability at the grass-roots level.
Furthermore, due to the Mora Cyclone which hit Rakhine State on 29 May 2017, the region suffered great losses. In this instance the Union Government and the Rakhine State Government joined hands to conduct emergency relief operations, erect emergency shelters, provide relief and rehabilitation, and build capacity and capabilities to face natural disasters, to the best of their abilities. I wish to place on record my special admiration and pride for the indomitable spirit, strong and resolute determination and courage of the Rakhine people who have to suffer many natural disasters due to their geographic location. In spite of all this they have always overcome these challenges with resolute spirit and determination.
We are also cooperating with UNESCO to register MraukU township in Rakhine State as a World Cultural Heritage site. This town is the place where the Buddha’s relics have been enshrined and where Buddhism once flourished in all its glory.
In conclusion, just as it is important to work diligently for peace, rule of law and communities to live in harmony, it is also important to have security, peace, modernization, progress and prosperity in the future. I send this Message of Greetings in a spirit of friendship on this auspicious Rakhine State Day and urge all citizens of Rakhine State to work in unity and make concerted efforts.
Sd/- Htin Kyaw