Esteemed ethnic parents and the people,
We will all be here soon on the occasion of Thadingyut and I wish you all peace of mind and good health. In our Myanmar culture, the Thingyan New Year festival and Thadingyut festival are sacred festivals. Although these ceremonies cannot be held due to the presence of the COVID-19 crisis, I would like to say that we take these ceremonies seriously. As you all know, there were a lot of electoral frauds in the multiparty general election held on 8 November 2020. This shameful dishonesty of the election is a disgrace to the country. Let us learn from this so that this will not happen again and we will continue to work not to let this happen again in the future. The examination of the fraudulent incidents revealed that both the State and the people were affected. Therefore, I would like to say that action is being taken against those responsible under the law.
We understand that there are disagreements in a democratic country. We have seen that there have been disagreements over the political declaration of a state of emergency following the last election and that there have been protests based on this. In addition to the riots caused by the incitement of others, there were also acts of terrorism. Some people are physically involved in the incidents and incitements. Beyond that, there have been violent robberies and killings. We have identified and taken action against them.
As the country is in the current situation for various reasons based on political differences, we have set out Five-Point Road Map, for the prosperity of the country and a true union based on democracy and federalism. Therefore, we want to change a country peacefully. To bring peace, stability, and true democracy, I would like to say that amnesty will be granted to those who have been convicted and those who have been prosecuted for their involvement in the riots due to the incitements of terrorist groups, CRPH and NUG so that they can do good deeds peacefully in the coming Thadingyut period. This order will be issued later. We have also released those who deserved to be released on Union Day on 12 February, Myanmar New Year and during the Peace Anniversary celebrations on 15 October.
Now, I would like to inform you about the current state of relations between Myanmar and ASEAN. Five consensus agreements were reached at the ASEAN Summit held in Jakarta, Indonesia on 24 April. We reached an agreement with Brunei Second Minister of Foreign Affairs Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof after discussing difficulties in appointing a special envoy of the rotating ASEAN Chairman. We stated that the agreement would be implemented as per Myanmar’s political culture and ASEAN charters, the first of these five points which is the most important. Although the aim is to end the violence as soon as possible and to do everything we can with restraint, the violence has worsened with the incitement of CRPH and NUG, which have been declared terrorists since the April announcement, and with the involvement of some EAOs. We still have to clear it today. No one has taken their terrorist attacks and killings seriously. Only we have to handle this problem. I would like to express that ASEAN needs to do that. At the same time, negotiations are still underway due to various proposals regarding the visit of the Special Representative of the ASEAN Chair to Myanmar. A country is governed by the legislature and the judiciary, and except for separate orders and laws as required. Our country has already declared that it is acting under the 2008 Constitution. There are demands of the ASEAN envoy that are non-negotiable, in any case, we, as a member of ASEAN, will do our best.
I consider that the ASEAN Summit and ASEAN Plus meetings will be conducted in line with the principles of ASEAN.
Then, I would like to brief you regarding the COVID-19 control activities. According to the record, Myanmar reported the first case on 23 March 2020 and the first wave occurred from 23 March to 15 August 2020. The second wave occurred from 16 August to 26 May. These cases occurred during the pre-election period, post-election period and in political crisis. We overcame the huge challenges that occurred due to the shortages of medicines, medical supplies and health workers. For the treatment sector, although 30 million vaccines were purchased from India, we got only 2 million vaccines due to the disease infection of India. We did not receive any more. Therefore, we made efforts to buy the vaccines from other countries and we bought from China. Now, we receive 20 million doses and will get further vaccines this month. We also receive 2.5 million vaccines donated by India, while 4,620,800 by China. Arrangements are underway to get 8 million doses from China and Russia. Till yesterday, a total of 4,699,038 people were fully vaccinated and 6,847,242 people received the first jabs. Therefore, the total dose delivered is 16,245,318 in the country. Then, we are working hard to reopen the schools soon and the vaccination programmes for the students were started on 12 October.
I also want to say that we make efforts to purchase the vaccines and produce them locally. I also want to add that we will use the donated and purchased vaccines effectively. The country faces the third wave starting 27 May. After the outbreak of the third wave, the country had the most positive cases with 7,083 on 14 July, and it was 33.17 per cent. On 23 July, 5,506 positive cases showed 40.82 per cent and it was the highest percentage. However, due to the systematic supervision of government officials and public participation, the infection rate dropped to around 2,200 and seven per cent. I also thank you for such cooperation. We try hard to reduce it to three per cent by the end of this month. Because we have a plan to open the schools soon. If we can control the infection, we can reopen the schools. Moreover, there would be job opportunities in full. Therefore, I want to urge people to deeply follow the COVID-19 health rules. The infection rate is still high in some regions of Shan State and the Magway Region now. I make the request to monitor this case.
Then, I would like to add a health-related matter. It is oil consumption. In the 2020-2021FY, the country imported more than 800,000 tonnes of palm oil, and it was more than US$ 830 million. Even if a person consumes 6 visses, the demand would be only 500,000 tonnes. If a person uses 7 visses, the demand would be 580,000 tonnes. If he uses 8 visses, it would be 660,000 tonnes. Now, it imports more than 800,000 tonnes and so we can say that the oil consumption rate is so high. Myanmar can produce edible oil crops such as peanuts, sesame, canola, fermented soya-bean, sunflower and oil-palm. If we add these products, the oil consumption rate is very high. Therefore, if the consumption rate drops, it can support health and reduce the use of foreign currency, on the other hand. So, I want to request the people to strictly control the oil consumption rate for the health and the needs of the country.
May all of you be healthy and happy during the Thadingyut festival. Thank you.
Speech delivered by Chairman of the State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing
- October 19, 2021
Esteemed ethnic parents and the people,