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Second-month performance of the State Administration Council

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By Kanaung

Continued from
yesterday
The Directorate of Road Transport Administration resumed operations after six months of shutdown for the second time due to COVID-19. The Directorate (Ka Nya Na) reopened its mid-year renewal vehicle registration services at a total of 52 region/state and district offices nationwide beginning from 22 March 2021.
Electricity subsidies for the public are an effective remedy for alleviating the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the poor. Accordingly, the government has extended the exemption from payment of the first 150 units of electricity from 1 March to 31 March 2021.

Reviving the travel and tourism sector
The travel sector is being expanded to help revive tourism and contribute to Myanmar’s economic development. The government has been able to ease travel restrictions related to the pandemic by reopening the travel sector in accordance with COVID-19 rules and regulations. This is expected to alleviate the economic hardship due to the pandemic.
The Sitway-Yathedaung- Buthidaung ferry service, which had been suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic, has resumed regular operations since early March to facilitate public transportation in Rakhine State. The Mandalay-Bhamo ferry service was reopened on 13 March 2021 and resumed normal operations on 24 March 2021. The MV Pyadar Pyan, carrying passengers and cargo, departed from Gaw-wain Port in Mandalay and stopped at Kyaukmyaung, Tagaung, Htigyaing, Katha and Shwegu.

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Myanma Railways also commenced its Mandalay-Nay Pyi Taw-Ywarthagyi No 924 down container train on 17 March 2021. However, unscrupulous terrorists sabotaged the lines at one place, removing the rails and connecting clips. Military personnel and members of the Myanmar Police Force repaired the damages, and the train successfully reached Ywarthagyi Inland Port. The Nay Pyi Taw-Thazi-Mandalay railway recommenced on 23 March 2021 with two rail-bus engine (RBE) trains to facilitate travel between Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay.
Sea transport re-commenced for the Yangon-Cocogyun route on 28 March 2021 with the MV Charities, managed by the Yangon Region Administration Council and supervised by the Yangon Region Transport Authority.
Hotels have commenced re-opening, while new tour itineraries are being developed to attract more tourists during tour season to famous tourist destinations such as Bagan, NyaungU, Ngapali Beach, and Chaungtha Beach.
Union Minister for Hotels and Tourism U Maung Maung Ohn met with hoteliers on 4 March 2021 to promote the revitalization of tourism in the national heritage sites of Bagan and NyaungU. New itineraries and travel arrangements are being planned. On 6 March 2021, the Union Minister guided the development of measures to promote hotels and tourism in PyinOoLwin. In mid-March, the Union Minister met with hotel and tourism business owners with a view to developing recreational areas around Yangon. Zoological gardens in Nay Pyi Taw, Mandalay and Yangon, the Safari park and planetarium in Nay Pyi Taw have been reopened since 24 February. The National Kandawgyi Gardens, National Landmark Park and Hlawga Park were reopened on 2 March 2021. All these parks were reopened in accordance with health regulations related to COVID-19 control.

The travel sector is being expanded to help revive tourism and contribute to Myanmar’s economic development. The government has been able to ease travel restrictions related to the pandemic by reopening the travel sector in accordance with COVID-19 rules and regulations. This is expected to alleviate the economic hardship due to the pandemic.

Plans are underway to further develop tourism in Chin State, including the acceleration of plans to designate Kyiyeeyan Mountain, Thantlang Township as a national park. Domestic tourism is being promoted with new tour itineraries in Tiddim, Falam, Haka and Thantlang townships. Protected forests and nature conservation programmes are also being promoted.

COVID-19 vaccination programmes
The second dose of COVID-19 vaccination was administered to the Sayadaws of the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee since 19 March 2021. The Tatmadaw has been providing COVID-19 vaccines to people over 65 years of age, civil service personnel, and the venerable monks in the respective military command regions.

Healthcare services
The Tatmadaw has been constantly providing comprehensive healthcare services at military hospitals and temporary hospitals to civilians who have difficulties in obtaining the necessary medical treatment due to the participation of public sector doctors in the civil disobedience movement.

Religious Affairs
Parts 2 and 1/2 of the throne of the Bhumi Phassa Mudra sitting marble Buddha Image were ceremonially transported on 14 March 2021, while the fifth ceremony of welcome for the Buddha Image was successfully held on 26 March 2021.
On 15 March 2021, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture held the 60th Graduation Ceremony to confer certificates and degrees to venerable monks and nuns, who had passed the exams with honours. The event was held in the Maha Pasana Great Cave at the Thirimingala-Kaba Aye Pagoda grounds in Yangon.
On 27 March 2021, the ceremony for conferring religious titles for 2021 was held at the Sasana Maha Beikmandaw Building on the Upatasanti Pagoda grounds, Nay Pyi Taw. The Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services and his wife attended the ceremony. Religious titles were conferred on 20 Venerable Sayadaws, among whom seven were unable to attend the ceremony due to age or ill health. State officials travelled to the respective regions to confer the titles to the seven Sayadaws who could not travel. The State Administration Council Chairman Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services himself travelled to eastern Shan State to confer the title of Abhidhaja Maha Rattha Guru on the Chief Sayadaw Venerable Dr Bhaddanta Dhammasari of Naga Hnakaung Monastery in Tachilek Township.
From 18 to 27 March 2021, the 2609th Buddha Pujaniya Festival Maha Pathana Sermon Recitation was successfully held at the Shwedagon Pagoda. The 128th Pathana sermon recitation ceremony of the Uppatasanti Pagoda was held from 21 to 25 March 2021. Religious schools, buildings and pagodas all over the country, including Shwedagon Pagoda, were reopened fully in March.

On 25 March 2021, a ceremony to hear the sermons of the State Sangha Maha Committee Nayaka Sayadaws regarding the construction work for the Bhumi Phassa Mudra Buddha Image was held in the Buddha Gardens at Dekkhinathiri Township in Nay Pyi Taw. At the ceremony, the State Administration Council Chairman presented the aim of constructing the 81-foot Buddha Image. The Buddha Image will demonstrate to the world that Theravada Buddhism is brightly shining in Myanmar. It also aims to bring peace to the country, make the region prosperous by attracting local and foreign pilgrims, and support the country’s development. The marble blocks for the Buddha Image were transported all the way from Sagyin Hill in Madaya Township near Mandalay.

Bringing home Myanmar citizens
On 6 March 2021, following instructions from the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services, the Tatmadaw navy vessel MV Tabinshwehti under the command of Navy Captain Kyaw Lin Zaw collected 70 Myanmar fishermen who had been stranded in the Andaman Islands, India. The Indian officials handed over the fishermen and the navy vessel departed from Port Blair, India, arriving at the number 3 Navy Port on 10 March 2021 in Yangon.

 

Working in the interests of the State and citizens, and after only two full months in office, the State Administration Council has accomplished a great deal. The State Administration Council Members have a wealth of experience and are highly seasoned individuals representing a broad range of ethnicities, sectors and skills.

Ensuring correct information for the public
On 26 March 2021, the State Administration Council Chairman received Pavel Gusev, Chairman of the Presidential Council for Civil Society of the Russian Federation and Information Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation, and news agencies from Russia separately in Nay Pyi Taw. At the meetings, the State Administration Council Chairman explained the current situation in Myanmar and the country’s future plans.
On 10 March 2021, the Myanmar delegation led by Director-General U Ye Naing of the Myanma Radio and Television attended the online 18th Meeting of ASEAN Senior Officials Responsible for Information, chaired by Thailand. Discussions focused on digital awareness among ASEAN peoples and cooperation work with dialogue partners, including cooperation in the film sector between ASEAN and the Republic of Korea.

On 11 March 2021, the Information Team of the State Administration Council led by Team Leader Major-General Zaw Min Tun held a press conference. The Information Team met with local and foreign news agencies and answered their questions. At the conference, the team leader explained in detail the state of the investigation of former government officials for corruption, the discrepancies between the announced election results and findings of the new Union Election Commission with documentary proof on these findings. On 23 March 2021, the Information Team of the State Administration Council held another press conference at the Ministry of Information.
On 27 March 2021, at the Grand Amara Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar officials presented the current situation of Myanmar to the Military Attachés from foreign countries that were attending the Armed Forces Day events. At this press conference, the Information Team explained the situation in which the military had to take the responsibility of the State due to massive electoral fraud throughout the country in the 2020 General Election. Although the Tatmadaw had requested the NLD-led government several times to resolve the voting frauds in accordance with the law and to find negotiated solutions in line with democratic practice, the NLD-led government had consistently ignored these repeated requests by the Tatmadaw. Yet, only now, various interest groups were issuing calls for negotiation. Certain instigators and groups had changed the situation from peaceful protests to anarchic mobs, which had then escalated to armed insurrection and terrorism, involving the blowing up of roads and bridges, and the destruction of public offices, police stations, schools and industrial workplaces through arson, bombing, assaults.
Since 8 March 2021, the Ministry of Information has revoked the broadcasting and publishing rights of such media agencies as Mizzima, DVB, Khit Thit Media, Myanmar Now, and 7 Day News. These media agencies were broadcasting and publishing content detrimental to State security, the rule of law and community peace and tranquillity, and the content abetted those committing crimes.

From March 2021 towards national goals
Working in the interests of the State and citizens, and after only two full months in office, the State Administration Council has accomplished a great deal. The State Administration Council Members have a wealth of experience and are highly seasoned individuals representing a broad range of ethnicities, sectors and skills. Under the guidance set by the Chairman, the State Administration Council expects to fully achieve its Five-Point Road Map and accelerate Myanmar’s progress towards the Nine Objectives on political, economic and social affairs.

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