State Counsellor delivers speech
“I would like to first wish everyone attending the stake-driving ceremony good health and prosperity. Our country has good natural environments and it is important to value them. If we do then the forests will be lush and thriving on one side and the people will be living with respect to nature on the other side. The Thanlwin River is one of Myanmar’s important rivers and has 9 bridges built over it, with 5 of them in Shan State.”
“It is not enough to just build the bridges, we must maintain them as well. We are going to renovate the Kunlong Bridge and Takaw Bridge too. We must renovate and fix the bridges after a certain period as they are subject to deterioration too. The Kunlong Bridge is 54 years old and the Takaw Bridge is 45. They are in need of renovations. We must also maintain the Tarsan Bridge after it is opened. Maintaining the bridges is a national duty as well.”
“We must regularly maintain peace and stability to ensure national sustainability. I encourage you to foster the Union spirit wherever you go. It is up to everyone to maintain the Union, strengthen it daily and make repairs where necessary. We can take pride in our Union for housing a large number of diverse ethnic races who all live together in peace and harmony. This shows that our country has considerable inner strength. We may not be as string as we need to be physically and externally, but our internal mental strength is to be nurtured.”
“We can cross a river without a bridge on boats and rafts but it will take a longer time, more energy and carries greater risk from the weather. Building a bridge means we can cross over the dangers of the river anytime we please. The Union is also a bridge, one that will carry us over the challenges and dangers of our nation.”
“Constructing a bridge requires the will to carry it out first. Then we must make plans and acquire the necessary finance and technology to implement them into reality. This method allows many projects to succeed. We must be mindful of all sides in whatever we undertake and have the perseverance to succeed. We cannot strengthen the Union with just our wills. We must find ways and methods to achieve it, unite and endure hardships, and cooperate with each other.”
“Here we have many people from the local area and faraway regions coming to work on this project. We must unite in important affairs to succeed in projects such as building this bridge.”
“If we carefully ponder on how much unity and energy we need to put in to establish a nation we will be able to see it clearly. Building a bridge is the same as overcoming a challenge. We must compensate each other’s weaknesses in this regard while supporting their strengths.”
“Our entire Union needs to place goodwill on each other in both small and large-scale projects. We are partners who need to hold on firmly to each other so that we can lift those who have fallen. Otherwise we may eventually fall down as
“I believe that the people will build confidence over their small accomplishments to achieve even greater ones. The Union Government is prioritizing socioeconomic development and lasting peace. We continually point out that the two are intrinsic and need each other to be both sustainable and lasting.”
“There is still a lot of work to be done on both the peace and development fronts. But you don’t need to be discouraged. This calls for us to be stronger. The bigger the challenge, the more energy you need to exert. We must also know how to correctly exert our energy lest they become wasted or even dangerous. For example, if we build a bridge without considering the important points then this bridge will later become a danger to the people. That’s why we need to assess the situation and use our energy in the correct location. It will be difficult to construct this bridge if there is no trust between the key performers.”
“Shan State has the most diverse ethnic nationals among the other regions of Myanmar and as such, is a good model of our country’s demographic structure. It needs to be a role model for the Union. I want our entire country to develop uniformly. If one area lags behind the other then it will affect the peace and stability of the whole nation. It is human nature to want to be treated equally so we are working hard for uniform development across the country.”
“But this is easier said than done. Sometimes, due to the geography or surrounding natural environment, some areas will be faster in developing than others. For example, Chin State has the most difficult transportation infrastructure in the country. Shan State is neither too difficult or too easy.
“I believe that Shan State has the skills to overcome the challenges daunting our nation and will be able to display the integrity of our Union. I kindly request the people of Shan State to support unity among our entire country.”
“Everyone wants peace but not everyone places the same value on it. Some place more value on peace while others have things they value more. But I believe that we do not have anything more valuable to us than peace because we will only acquire national development based on this. This responsibility rests on everyone’s shoulder as much as it does on the government.”
“When we took on the duties of government, we promised to implement national reconciliation and internal peace. We must fulfill the promise given to the people as it is something more valuable than our own lives. I believe we will truly achieve peace, which is why I am able to firmly give my promise to the citizens of this country.”
“This is the reason for convening the 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference. This is also why I believe it is an honor for everyone here in attendance to be able to participate in the stake-driving ceremony together. I extend my gratitude to you all from here.”
“I thank the various supporters and contributors who helped to bring about this event. Expressing gratitude is the same as knowing value. This is an important skill in life and will assist all of us in establishing a federal democratic Union.”
Afterwards, the State Counsellor handed over food and aid for the residents of Mongton and Mongpan townships. The local residents gave the State Counsellor a traditional costume and bouquet in return.
The State Counsellor was then accompanied by Union Ministers Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe, Lt-Gen Ye Aung, U Min Thu, and U Han Zaw, Shan State Chief Minister Dr. Lin Htut, and Shan State Minister for Roads and Transport U Khun Ye Htwe in driving the ceremonial stakes into the ground at the appointed hour.
The State Counsellor unveiled a depiction of a completed Thanlwin Bridge (Tarsan) and took a documentary photo with all in attendance. She then surveyed the construction site from an observation stand.
The Thanlwin Bridge (Tarsan) will provide an important link between the southern and eastern parts of Shan State. The bridge is located on the Namhsan-Mongnai-Mongton-Monghsat road and will easily connect with the border township of Tachilek. The bridge will be an important instrument for border trade and will bring in healthcare, education, and socioeconomic development once completed.
(Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)