State Counsellor meets with local people in Haka, Falam, Tiddim
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi continued her tour of Chin State yesterday, attending a ceremony to inaugurate the Chin traditional archway in Haka and meeting with people in Falam.
First, the State Counsellor unveiled Haka City View Point Tower offering scenic views of Haka and the Chin traditional archway with Union Ministers Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe, Lt-Gen Ye Aung, U Min Thu, Dr. Aung Thu, and U Htalar Ha Ye, a representative of local people. Afterwards, she visited the No. 2 Basic Education High School in Haka and met with school children.
She also visited the Haka College and observed teaching and learning methods at the campus before proceeding to Falam.
Democracy needs close relations between government and people
The State Counsellor met with local people at the town hall and expressed her eagerness to meet with locals whenever she travels in the country, saying that a democratic system requires close relations between the government and the people.
“I attach a high value to such close meetings with the people,” said the State Counsellor, recounting her experience of meeting with villagers when she toured Chin State by car in 2014.
She said she appreciated the 2014 visit as she gained several opportunities to meet with local people, and recounted how furniture was provided to two schools near Falam and a generator was given to another school by the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation during that trip. She said she arranged to meet people as she did not get much occasions for such meetings since the ruling party took office because as a leader of the government, she has to give time to other duties.
Warning on forest depletion
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said when she flew to Chin State by helicopter she was delighted by its beauty.
“I also noticed Chin State needs to conserve the environment in the long run. What I mean is forest depletion,” said the State Counsellor. “We live in the world for a while. During the time we are alive, we, human beings, have to take responsibility to conserve the environment, including land and water resources.”
“We are not owners of land and water resources. We are caretakers. So, we have to understand that we have to conserve them and pass them to the next generation in good condition,” said the State Counsellor.
“Even more important is the socio environment, and all the national brethren of Myanmar have to take responsibility for their attitude, because the current generation has an opportunity, to a certain extent, to influence the attitude the next generation adopts,” she said.
“I would like to urge the current generation to make the best of use of opportunities to cultivate the next generation,” said the State Counsellor.
We must support the eager Chin youth
“We arrived at a basic education high school in the morning, and also Haka College. I saw that the youth of Chin State have a strong desire for education. Something rather unique was that they also show interest in working in the education, agriculture and administration sectors. This factor puts it a little ahead of the other states and regions I have been to. It is also a positive sign for the youth to want to work in those areas because we need to nurture our younger generation in those sectors.”
“I urge the elders to instill a sense of nationalism for the benefit of the State and ethnic races in the minds of your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Teach them to consider not just themselves and their families, but also the entire Union. It is more important to instill a sense of altruism in the children who wish to become teachers, because each one of them will be responsible for thousands of students.”
Chin blankets, traditional outfits should be encouraged
“If you have anything you would like to tell me, feel free to do so. I would also like to share with you some thoughts I had while on my way here. When I was younger, blankets from Chin State were the most valued, and they were really of good quality too. I remember each of us were given a Chin blanket each and no matter how old and worn out it got we didn’t want to throw it away. Growing up, I only used two blankets and I still have the Chin blanket my father received as a present. That’s how much we value them.”
“I want to revitalize the market for Chin blankets. In our modern age we don’t need to make the entire blanket out of wool but I want to bring back the Chin blankets woven with organic materials. The Union and state governments should help in on this too. Private businesses should consider investing in this too.”
“The traditional outfits of Chin people are also attractive. I want the traditional weavers to be protected from fading away. The southern Chin use natural thread for their fabric and they enjoy moderate success in turning it into a business. The end product is expensive but the quality is well worth it.”
“I also see that the outfit for Chin women are a bit heavier. I consider this means the Chin women are naturally strong to be able to wear their traditional outfits for years. I think the children here need to grow a bit more. It’s important for them to have sufficient nutrition. That’s why I want the State government to educate the people on nutrition. Please be mindful of your children’s health. I am overjoyed that the parents here greatly encourage their children’s education. Please continue to do so. The government will continue to support you in education and healthcare.”
The local people then submitted the requirements for their regional development, and officials replied to them. The State Counsellor then handed over 100 sacks of rice and 100 viss of edible oil to the local people and cordially greeted them.
To Tiddim Township
In the evening, the State Counsellor and entourage travelled by military helicopter to Tiddim Township and met with local people at the town hall.
The State Counsellor said she saw numerous signboards with the words ‘The brave are successful’ and considers this a representation of the Chin people because it takes considerable bravery to live up in the mountain range. She acknowledged the fact that the weather can be harsh and the geography of the area makes travel more precarious than other states, implying that the Chin people are capable of living in these conditions.
The State Counsellor said the Union government always has plans to prioritize development in Chin State. She said one of the two requests she has received is to assimilate Tiddim and Tonzang townships and expand it into Tiddim District. She said this will take time and must be done step by step.
The State Counsellor said the other request is to install a major power grid in Tiddim Township in the 2019-2020 fiscal year. She said the relevant ministry has proposed to complete this request in the same fiscal year, and she hopes this answer is satisfactory.
Opening new educational institutes
Regarding education, the State Counsellor said there are also requests to open a government technical high school and a government technical institute (GTI) in Tiddim. She said there is already a technical high school in the area and another one is slated to be opened in Paletwa Tsp. She said it will take some time to open a GTI in Tiddim.
The State Counsellor said there were children sitting in the front row listening to her speeches during her campaigns in Chin State. Children should be involved in community discussions as it concerns their future as well, said the State Counsellor. She said the children may not fully understand everything but the discussions are a matter pertaining to everyone. She said we must instill the idea that democracy concerns everyone from a young age, no matter if they are young or old, healthy or disabled. She said this also encourages discipline as it teaches children to be respect the rules and be civilized during discussions.
The State Counsellor told the local people they can talk about their aspirations and inquire about the government during her brief meeting with them. She said she will try her best to answer all their questions.
The local people then submitted the requirements of the region and officials replied in accordance with their respective sector. The State Counsellor provided suggestions where necessary and greeted the local people with warmth and affection. —MNA (Translated by AMS and Zaw Htet Oo)