State Counsellor delivers speech at the opening of Manaung Solar Plant

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.  Photo: MNA
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.  Photo: MNA

“I would like to extend warm wishes to the Union Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Rakhine State Chief Minister and cabinet members, Rakhine State Hluttaw Speaker and Hluttaw representatives, department heads, officials of POSCO Daewoo Corporation, invited guests, local residents and everyone in attendance at this opening ceremony of the solar power plant.”
“The opening of the Manaung solar power plant today is a truly auspicious and important day for Rakhine State. Infrastructure and electrification are two of the most important requirements for our country and our government administration has been working hard to develop both sectors from the moment we took office.”
“Lighting up a bulb is not just for getting light after the sun has set. It is also for further developing the socioeconomic livelihood of the people through the utilization of electricity.”
“Being able to fully use electricity 24 hours a day raises the standards of living and allows the operation of industries that consume electricity, which increases job opportunities and income. This is why the Union government prioritizes the construction of infrastructure and electrification, the fundamental pieces of equal national development.”
“While our neighboring countries have achieved 80 per cent, 90 per cent, and even a hundred per cent nationwide electrification, Myanmar has only fulfilled 50 per cent of the electricity demand in 2019. This is why we have more to do ahead of us to increase electric generation.”
“We pledged for national reconciliation, internal stability, emergence of a Constitution that paves the way for the establishment of a Democratic Federal Union, and elevating the living standards of all citizens ever since we formed the new government administration.”
“We began implementing the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (MSDP) in 2018, designed to be coherent with the globally binding Sustainable Development Goals, in order to raise the living standards of our people. It contains three pillars and five goals whose success relies greatly on sufficient electrification.”
“Myanmar’s efforts to increase electricity generation involved upgrading 3 hydropower stations, 6 thermal power stations and one solar power station (altogether 10 power stations generating 904MW0, 19,611 miles of transmission lines, and sub-power stations generating a combined 12,635amp over the course of three and a half years from April 2016 to September 2019.”
“Furthermore, in our quest to bring electricity to places that never received them, Myawady of Kayin State and Maungtaw of Rakhine State are two places that did not have electricity but are now linked to a power grid.”
“In 2016, electric generation was only sufficient to supply 34 per cent of the nation but since our government administration took office, we have managed to increase electric generation over the course of three and a half years and this December we have achieved 50 per cent nationwide electrification.”
“We are currently working towards our aim of achieving 75 per cent nationwide electrification by 2025-2026 and a hundred per cent by 2030. In doing so, we try to link areas close to the national power grid to it while planning for areas far from the power grid to receive electricity from mini hydropower stations, wind turbines, solar power stations and diesel powered power stations. This Manaung solar power plant is one of them.”
“Solar power plants require a large area of land to construct and rely greater on the weather. They also cost more to generate electricity and for battery storage. These are their disadvantages. However, the solar power needed to produce electricity is a renewable energy source and carries with it such advantages as low maintenance costs, reduced carbon emissions, technological development, and extremely low generation of environmental pollutants. A solar power plant was also opened in Minbu, Magway Region, in June this year.”
“Different methods are being employed to generate sufficient electricity for Rakhine State. We have plans to construct a 135MW power plant fueled by natural gases and recycling discarded heat in Kyaukpyu by using natural resources in Rakhine State. We will also implement the 150MW LNG-fueled power plant project near the 230KV Kyaukpyu sub-power station.”
“Electricity consumption increases by 15 to 19 per cent every year in Myanmar and we are working to meet those increasing demands through a strategic action plan. This plan includes future energy needs, mixed-electricity generation methods, creating a strong power grid to distribute all that generated electricity across the nation by constructing 230KV national power grids and 500KV union power grids. We are also upgrading distribution lines to prevent frequent power outages and provide stable electric supply to people already receiving electricity.”
“While there has been development in infrastructure such as roads and electricity, peace is essential to properly use these developments effectively. Regional stability is needed for the success of infrastructure development projects. Otherwise, not only would it be hard to implement these projects but investments would not be substantial as well.”
“Investing companies will only come if there are benefits for them. They won’t come if there isn’t stability in the region. This is why we must all realize just how important regional stability is for investment.”
“Faulty policies and weak management across successive generations have delayed development, and as if this wasn’t enough, if armed conflicts continue and regional stability does not exist then never mind development, local residents will be too busy struggling to survive.”
“That is why I always tell to think of the local residents first in everything you do. You can easily see whether your actions better the lives of local residents or worsen them. Have places that were once tranquil and good for working become filled with fear and have your actions stirred trouble for your parents, relatives or kin? We need to carefully reconsider these matters.”
“Especially since now we have Hluttaws that represent the people, a civilian government that respects the people, and political dialogue that aim to establish a democratic federal union that links with the wishes of all ethnic nationals. Given these situations, consider if you still need to wage armed conflicts to get what you want or whether your kin need to suffer losses. I want everyone to consider would political methods and dialogues not reduce loss for everyone.”
“Using force and weapons is not brave. Real bravery is the zeal and perseverance employed to reach your objectives without resorting to violence. If you need weapons to be brave then remember that means you are nothing when you lose that weapon.”
“Since gaining independence, our country is not 100 per cent peaceful yet. There are always fires of conflicts raging in one place or another. We need to realize that quelling the internal flames of the nation is far more important than electricity. Electricity is just electricity, yet nothing can compare with the strength of peace. It is important that we all carefully consider this.”
“However, we cannot just aim for peace in the peace process. We need to aim for development as well. Development is needed to strengthen peace. As it is displayed in the MSDP, inclusive peace and equitable development need to be linked to achieve lasting peace and sustainable development and we acknowledge this.”
“We need to achieve both peace and development together. They cannot be implemented one after the other. They need to succeed at the same time. This is why our government is working towards the peace process in hand with development. There is no satisfaction without development, and this leads to anger which pushes to armed conflicts. Lacking peace, there can be no development and we have to work hard to free ourselves of this repetitive cycle.”
“National development and promoting the standard of living of all citizens is directly connected to increasing electricity generation. This is why we will continue towards our aim of 100 per cent nationwide electrification and we urge the people to collaborate with us in the peace process and development process.”
“In conclusion, our country is a republic. I repeat this frequently. A republic consists of different ethnic nationalities. This republic with different ethnicities, cultures, religions, and languages, if we were to be truly united, would be an immensely powerful republic. This is because there will be different skills, different perspectives and different ways of seeing things. It is the same as 3 or 4 people resolving an issue more effectively than a single person could. Our differences are our strength. But we need to know how to use it well for it to benefit us. If we give in to our pride, anger and greed then we would squander this strength then it would only serve to weaken our republic. I want you to realize that damage to our republic will affect all of us individually.”
“Some people think politics doesn’t concern them and is the job of the government. Thinking that politics only concerns the government is not the democratic spirit and makes wanting democracy pointless. We’d have to put everything into the hands of the government. We marched on to the democratic path because we didn’t want that. Walking on that path requires fulfilling the democratic duties. At the top of those duties is finding a political solution through peaceful means. It is the most important.”
“If you fail to acquire the answer that you want through peace and electoral methods then it means your skills are inadequate. That is why you need to raise your capabilities. I would like to conclude by imploring everyone to participate in strengthening development and peace so that our nation may prosper. Thank you.”

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