(Continued from 13-2-2018)
25. After the incident in October, 2016, eight media tours were arranged for domestic and international media to visit Maungdaw area and IDP camps in Rakhine State to date. The domestic and international media were also sponsored to accompany on two of the field visits of diplomatic heads from the foreign missions in Myanmar and the military personnel. Currently media access is being provided to domestic and international media twice a month.
26. In order to improve information sharing related to Rakhine State, not only the state-owned media but also the social media such as Facebook and Twitter are used. May Yu FM, with the broadcast range covering the Maungdaw District, has been broadcasting educational and awareness programs in Myanmar, Rakhine and Bengali languages six times a day. Radios are also provided free to the local communities.
27. The projects and activities implemented in the education sector in Rakhine State from April to December, 2017 are listed below:
(a) Out of 424 schools that were closed after the violent incident, 290 schools have been reopened.
(b) Stipend of MMK 28.53 million and 4,000 school uniforms in a total value of MMK 8.00 million were supported to 2,189 basic education students in Rakhine State.
(c) MMK 22.5 million has been supported to 450 teachers assigned in Maungdaw and Buthidaung Township in Rakhine State. Security is being provided by the Government for its staff.
(d) In order to assist 61 local Muslim students to be able sit in the examinations of the University of Distance Education, intensive courses were offered at the Government Technical Institute (GTI) in Thandwe from 27-10-2017 to 29-11-2017.
(e) 9 Muslim students were admitted at the University of Distance Education (Sittwe) and 39 Muslim students at the University of Distance Education (Toungup).
(f) Pilot projects for literacy campaign are planned in Shwe Zaa, Maung Ni, Pan Taw Pyin, Shwe Zaa Sayti Pyin and Thayet Oat villages for the children from local Muslim communities to gain basic Myanmar language skills.
(g)Education is being provided to the students from IDP camps at Thetkaepyin Ywama post-primary school, Thinganet post-primary school and Tharyargone post-primary school. The students who completed their studies at those schools can continue their education at Thetkaepyingone high school. Teacher trainings will be provided to those who have not completed the trainings.
28. Awareness has been raised among all the communities in Rakhine State to get the message across that anyone can access healthcare services. As a result, healthcare services were provided as shown in the following table.
29. At every hospital and healthcare center, the signboards, giving information in Rakhine, Bengali and English languages, are posted to inform that everyone is welcome to seek healthcare services and also that hospitals and healthcare centers are “protected zones” where the people coming to receive care are granted with a safe environment.
30. Health education and health news reports are regularly broadcast in Bengali language on May Yu FM radio as parts of its program. Five topics on health education programmes were broadcast in October, five in November, and increased to seven in December.
31. The Community Health Care Training was conducted for two times and joined by a total of 72 community health workers, including Muslim health workers.
32. 197 items of medicines and hospital equipment were provided to 24 public hospitals within Rakine State. Likewise, medicines and medical equipment, X-ray machine and laboratory equipment were also provided to Tanung Pyo Letwe Hospital in Maungdaw Township.
33. At Buthidaung Township Hospital, it has been planned to set up a small blood bank with the support of JICA. Arrangements have been made to procure necessary machines and equipment including cold chain cabinet powered with solar system to store blood and to transport them to the Hospital.
34. So as to have a proportionate ratio between the population and health personnel in Rakhine State, 34 new doctors, one new dentist and 64 new nurses have already been recruited and appointed. As part of the government program to increase healthcare capacity, a total number of 430 nurses and midwives were trained at the Nurses and Midwives Training Institute (Sittwe) as well as a total number of 101 trainees were trained in a six-month training course on Public Health Supervisor (Grade 2) in Sittwe.
35. As one of the efforts to upgrade health infrastructure in Rakhine State, a master plan on upgrading of Sittwe General Hospital is being drafted and survey activities for measuring hospital buildings both inside and outside as well as topographic survey have been conducted. The activities to be implemented phase by phase have been prioritized.
36. To contribute to combatting malnutrition across the state, a survey is being conducted to assess the nutritional status and physical growth of the children in Rakhine State. A total of 30 enumeration areas (EAs) are selected and the survey has been completed in 4 EAs and is still ongoing in 2 EAs. In the routine nutrition program, the nutritional status of the children is regularly checked and 37 kinds of nutrition supplements and other medicines including vitamin tablets and micronutrient tablets have been provided to date.
37. During the reporting period, healthcare personnel, including Muslim healthcare workers, were trained on immunization. Supplementary oral polio immunization campaigns were conducted in Rakhine State and those campaigns also covered Maungdaw Township and Buthidaung Township. The campaigns benefitted 79,196 children as the first batch and 71,330 children as the second batch in Maungdaw Township as well as the first batch of 57,587 and the second batch of 57,587 children in Buthidaung Township. Similarly, the Japanese Encephalitis mass immunization campaigns reached 28,265 children in Maungdaw and 34,507 children in Buthidaung.
38. As part of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), 614 children under one and 137 pregnant women were provided required vaccines in Muslim villages within Pauktaw Township.
39. To reduce the threats of drug abuse, the following measures were carried out:
(a) Two trainings for Volunteer Narcotic Drug Supervisors were conducted, with a focus on reducing drug abuse and the rehabilitation of those who had stopped using narcotic drugs.
(b) Legal actions were taken against a total of 18 personnel, two police officers and 16 police of other ranks who were found guilty in narcotics related corruption cases.
(c) To raise awareness about narcotics among the public, 441 educational talks were conducted, gathering 21,697 people including students.
(d) From 1 January 2017 to 22 November 2017, there were a total number of 138 drug-related crimes investigated in Rakhine State and 191 people were brought to court. Different kinds of narcotic drugs which were worth about MMK 65 million were seized.
Communal Participation and Representation
40. Restrictions on registration of civil society organizations have been relaxed and a total of 88 organizations have been registered during the reporting period.
41. In accordance with the Ward/Village Tract Administration Law and Rules, the new elections for ten- and hundred- household heads were held and a total number of 1,063 heads were elected in 151 wards and 912 village tracts.
42. Terms of reference and code of ethics for the Camp Management Committee in IDP camps are under review for amendments.
43. The activities undertaken for inter-communal cohesion are summarized below.
(a) The Committee for Implementation of the Recommendations on Rakhine State met and discussed with members of 15 CSOs and youth representatives in Rakhine State on 28 October 2017.
(b) The Diversity Management in the Age of Globalization Forum was held in Nay Pyi Taw on 21 and 22 November, which gathered national and international experts, people from all walks of life and people from different communities of Rakhine State. After the Forum, a meeting on local development and inter-communal cohesion was convened with the participation of the representatives from religious organizations in Rakhine State, various ethnic groups, and minority groups at the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement.
(c) As a cultural communication and mass participatory movement, an audition was conducted on 25 September, 2017 for Peace Music Festival in Sittwe, Rakhine State.
44. To strengthen the security in Rakhine State, the following measures were taken.
(a) A total number of 30 police officers and police of other ranks from Myanmar Police Force attended Community Policing (Multiplier) Training Course No. (1/2017). 10 police officers from Myanmar Police Force also joined the Community Policing Training conducted in Japan.
(b) Systematic Crowd Management (Multiplier) Training Course No. (1/2017) was provided to 130 police officers and police of other ranks.
(c)(Multiplier) Training on Gender-Based Violence was conducted for 30 police officers and police of other ranks from Myanmar Police Force.
(d) All the police personnel on duty are required to wear visible name badges.
(e) 14 CCTV cameras were installed at the checkpoints of No. (1) Border Guard Police Headquarters, the police squad stations and Chaung Pauk Wa police outpost.
(f) Local Dialect Training Course No. (1/2017) was delivered to 30 police officers and police of other ranks from Rakhine State.
(g) 13 police officers and 14 police of other ranks, totaling 27 policemen were found guilty of violating police code of conducts and the actions were taken against them in accordance with Myanmar Police Force Discipline Maintenance Law.
Access to Justice
45. The civil servants of the judicial sector of Rakhine State were sent to the following trainings and workshops related to the principles and procedures of rule of law:
(a) Fair Trial Standards, and Human Rights Additional Refresher Training delivered at Rakhine State High Court, jointly organized by Union Supreme Court and UNDP;
(b) Multiplier training on the principles of rule of law, access to justice, accountability and transparency, gender equality and international standards for justice conducted at Thandwe District Court, joined by 10 trainees from 21 to 25 October, 2017, at Kyaukphyu District Court, joined by 9 trainees from 11 to 16 December, 2017.
46. The following activities have been carried out, among others, to promote cultural development in Rakhine State:
(a) As part of the efforts made for the inclusion of Mrauk U on the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites, GIS Team is making field visits to the villages in Mrauk U area; the hill where the Mrauk U Palace is situated and its surrounding areas are cleaned up; awareness is raised among the communities in the urban wards for proper disposal of waste; and stone posts are set up for use as signs of demarcation of zones.
(b) Manuscript copies of stone inscriptions in the Mruak U Museum have been underway, namely Pyaingcha, O Htain, Wunti Nat Taung, Zonedat Letyarpyanchi, Htayin Nawin, Pangonethein Pagoda, U Mya Wah, Shitthaung Pagoda, Bawdi Shwegu, Lesekan Wall stone, and Vesali Period inscriptions.
(c) Manuscript copies of stone inscriptions in the Sittwe Cultural Museum have also been in progress, namely a part of throne with inscription and stone inscriptions in Sanskrit language, Bukwe stone inscriptions from Pyinlegaung Temple and an anonymous stone inscription.
(d) The applications for Sri Moha Dev Bari Hindu Temple and U Ye Kyaw Thu Monastery to be conserved and protected as historic buildings were submitted.
(e) In addition, the historical data of the following historic, cultural and religious sites and monuments in Sittwe have been collected and documented: Sadhamma Jotikayone Temple which was built in 1885; U Sandima Temple two lion statues built in 1879; Theintawgyi in Amyotha Temple built in 1254 ME; Shwepya Temple built in 1901 and Theintawgyi built in 1916 within the compound of Shwepya Temple.
Border Issues and the Bilateral Relationship with Bangladesh
47. The improvements achieved in dealing with border issues, bilateral relationship with Bangladesh, and border trade and investments are briefly described below.
(a) During the visit of Minister for Home Affairs of Bangladesh in October, 2017, the “MoU on Establishment of Border Liaison Office – BLOs” and “MoU on Security Dialogue and Cooperation” were signed between the two countries on 24 October, 2017.
(b) For the purpose of enhancing bilateral trade and investments, the two countries are taking turns hosting Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meetings once a year. As a result, the total export, import and trade achieved were USD 0.222 million, USD 0.002 million, and USD 0.224 million respectively.
(c) Maungdaw Trade Center could resume its trade activities starting from 14 October, 2017 and it has achieved USD 0.397 million worth of the total export to date.
48. The Government is briefing and updating neighbouring countries in the ASEAN Region, on a regular basis, on the situations in Rakhine State and its policies and plans on Rakhine State via the following various ways – communications with ASEAN embassies in Myanmar; communications, through Myanmar embassies, with the governments of the neighbouring countries and the ambassadors of other foreign embassies based in those respective countries; at the ASEAN summits, ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meetings and ASEAN Senior Officials’ meetings; at 13th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting; at 31st ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management and related meetings; and also during receptions of responsible persons from international organizations.
Implementation of the Commission’s Recommendations
49. The Government is making every effort for effective implementation of the recommendations of the Commission and some of these efforts are outlined below.
(a) “The Committee for Implementation of the Recommendations on Rakhine State” chaired by the Union Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement was established with 19 members, through the Order No. 83/2017 dated 9 October, 2017.
(b) During the year 2017, 10 coordination meetings of the Committee were held with a focus on supporting and coordinating immediate, short-term and long-term plans and priorities to be carried out by respective ministries for successful implementation of the recommendations on Rakhine State.
(c) The Secretariat of the Committee for Implementation of the Recommendations on Rakhine State is operated by a multi-disciplinary team formed with a range of government officers and staff from different related ministries, external IT technicians and experts on related subject matters.
(d) The operational expenses for the Secretariat Office of the Committee for Implementation of the Recommendations on Rakhine State are borne by the President Office.
(e) The financial and technical support and contributions needed for different sectors of the development of Rakhine State have been systematically mobilized under the leadership of Union Enterprise for Humanitarian Assistance, Resettlement and Development in Rakhine -UEHRD.
50. In sum, it is reported to the people that the Government is making continuous and unremitting efforts to provide sufficient electrical power supply and to improve transportation and communications, which are fundamental to the socioeconomic development and creation of employment opportunities in Rakhine State, and also is stepping up the work for freedom of movement, closure of IDP camps and national verification process, through special projects, which are critical elements to end conflict in the long run as well as for strengthened security arrangements.