The smooth transition to democracy is the government’s first priority among its reforms, President U Thein Sein said Saturday, in an address to a workshop to establish a framework for administrative reform.
“We were able to ensure a smooth transition between the old system and the new one in building a new, modern and developed democracy,” the president said. The second priority is far-reaching reforms in politics, administration, economy and further encouragement to the private sector, the president said, adding the government has put more effort into the emergence of a good administrative system, with which democracy goes hand in hand.
As in other countries, Myanmar is likely to face challenges in its transition to a good administrative system, a process the president described as broad and delicate, but he pledged to overcome all obstacles and reaffirmed there would be no regression.
A good administrative system entails transparency and accountability, the president noted, pointing out the need to build capacity for civil servants through a meritocratic system.
Efforts are under way to enhance the calibre of local governments as part of the decentralization of power.
As for transparency in extractive industries, Myanmar is working to become a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative(EITI), with its ministries taking steps to release information.
The president called for collective efforts to undertake the process of administrative reforms, noting that it is impossible for a government to fulfil all public desires in a single tenure.
Topics discussed at the meeting were capacity building for public service, decentralization, transparency and accountability.
Dr ZawOo, adviser to the president, said the discussions were designed to sharpen the potential of government staff, while Prof Dr Aung Tun Thet stressed government employees should get themselves ready to serve the people.
The workshop will continue on 24 May.
In the afternoon, the president, accompanied by union ministers and deputy ministers, inspected the reclamation of Meiktila (North) Lake in Meiktila, Mandalay Region. The president and his entourage listened to the religious protection verses recited by members of the Sangha to ensure a safe reclamation of the lake. The president also presented offertories to the monks.
At a temporary briefing hall, Union Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation U Myint Hlaing gave a progress report to the president, including the history of the lake.
The reclamation of the lake is expected to finish in two months with the use of heavy machinery. On completion, the lake will be able to irrigate 7,350 acres of paddy plantations.