Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Office of the President
President U Win Myint sends Message of Greetings on occasion of 46th anniversary Rakhine State Day celebrations
(15 December 2020)
Dear esteemed Rakhine ethnic national brothers and sisters,
On the auspicious occasion of the 46th anniversary of Rakhine State Day, I wish to send good wishes for all ethnic nationals residing in Rakhine State and all ethnic national brothers and sisters born within the Union and residing in the country to be blessed with auspiciousness.
Rakhine State was established as a separate state when states and regions were formed under the 1974 Constitution.
Therefore 15 December 1974, the date on which a public referendum was initiated for the adoption of the 1974 Constitution was designated as Rakhine State Day and Rakhine State Day celebrations have been held annually starting from that day. This year marks the 46th anniversary.
From the time our Union Government took office, we formed the Central Committee for the implementation of Peace and Development in Rakhine State together with the Working Committees to implement the short-term and long-term aspects of development with special attention and focus. We have also been exerting consistent efforts for creating job opportunities, and development of trade and investment by establishing the UEHRD – Union Enterprise for Humanitarian Assistance, Resettlement and Development in Rakhine.
We have been working for the development of sectors such as – transport, supply of electricity, agriculture, education, health, and socio-economic development for the progress and development of Rakhine State. Apart from that, we have been working for tourism development and promoted investment opportunities for economic development. We also worked on linking local entrepreneurs within Rakhine State with investors within Myanmar and in foreign countries towards this end.
In order to promote the transport sector to promote the socio-economic life of people living in urban and rural areas of Rakhine State, we are building the 1,320 feet Gwa Chaung reinforced concrete bridge connecting Rakhine State with Ayeyawady Region.
In Rakhine State, more than 55 per cent of wards and villages now enjoy electricity from the National Grid. For smooth transportation and for promotion of rural development, we have been able to construct 1.8 kilometres nylon-tar roads, 5.4 kilometres concrete-tar roads, 158.35 kilometres concrete roads, 235.07 kilometres tar roads, 166.62 kilometres gravel roads, and 177.109 kilometres of earth and dirt roads.
To supply drinking water to the local people, 15 small dams were constructed at a cost of K5671 million, and this will benefit 28 villages comprising 18,457 households with a population of 84,279 persons. Furthermore for protection against floods and intrusion tidal waves into agriculture lands, 97 embankments were constructed at the cost of K12425.047 million which will benefit 58090 acres of land.
We supplied more than K3.739 billion worth of relief supplies such as rice, cooking oil, beans and salt during 1-10-2019 and 30-9-2020 to IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) in Sittway district, Maungtaw district, MraukU district, and KyaukPyu district. Apart from that, we constructed eight temporary shelters for IDPs in seven townships namely Ponnagyun, Kyauktaw, MraukU, Minbya, Yathedaung, Buthidaung and Myepon at the cost of K2.037 billion. We are also in the process of constructing a temporary shelter at the cost of K233.450 million in An township.
At present, while global countries are facing the spread of COVID-19, Myanmar is also waging the great struggle against this pandemic. I am really grateful to all the volunteers in various sectors, all the people in Rakhine State, and all the Union citizens in the country, who are strictly following the healthcare guidelines.
The Union Government allocated over K33 billion— including cash and five basic essential household supplies— to the grassroots families with no regular income during the outbreak of COVID-19, while the Rakhine State government has spent over K2.29 billion for this programme.
The Union Government is putting emphasis on internal peace and national reconciliation. The four sessions of Union Peace Conference—21st Century Panglong have been held for lasting peace and the establishment of a Democratic Federal Union in the post-2020 period through phase by phase and step by step implementation; we have reached agreements on these matters. Furthermore, with mutual trust and cooperation, we believe that we will be able to build a peaceful and prosperous Democratic Federal Union with the collective strength of the people by consolidating national unity without fail.
At a time when good conditions exist for the cessation of an internal conflicts and durable and lasting peace, the fact that armed conflicts are occurring in Rakhine State, which has enjoyed stability and peace for the past decades is really regrettable. Although Rakhine State has abundant rice, water resources, paddy, meats, fishes and natural resources, it still lacks multi-sectoral developments like in other regions and states. At a time when development works are still needed, development efforts are being hampered by armed conflicts, and some of the local people find it difficult to live in their own areas and has become IDPs. This is cause for much regret.
In our country which is on the path of democratic transition, all ethnic nationals have the right to present their wishes through their elected representatives at the respective Hluttaws; political avenues have already been opened for negotiations and consultations at the Union Peace Conference - 21st-century Panglong meetings. All those who are concerned need to understand choosing armed struggle for ethnic rights would cause the greatest loss to the local people. It is very regrettable for local people in the areas where the elections were postponed due to lack of stable security conditions for holding free and fair elections in Rakhine State. I wish to make a special request to concerned individuals and relevant organizations to participate and cooperate to create favourable conditions for the holding of free and fair elections.
On the auspicious and great occasion of Rakhine State Day, I send this message of greetings and pray that all the people of Rakhine will be blessed with good health and well-being, free from COVID-19; I also pray for stability and the rule of law, communal harmony, and for the emergence of a developed peaceful prosperous and beautiful Rakhine State. I also urge you to continue participating and cooperating in the building of the future Democratic Federal Union in unity and vision.
(Translated by Kyaw Myaing, Aung Khin)