Esteemed National Peoples, It has been six months full today since the State Administration Council has performed the responsibilities of the State. First and foremost, I’d like to kindly wish all national peoples good health and be free soonest from the Covid-19 pandemic. The government, entire ethnic brethren and the people, in unison, must collaboratively confront the Covid-19 pandemic hands and hands. Nothing other than individual life is of crucial significance: That’s my policy. Only when we are healthy can we be able to work and get an education. None is more important than the health of all national peoples. Therefore, we don’t impose any constraint on the processes of preventing, controlling and providing treatment to the Coronavirus disease. We shall build up manpower, material power and intellectual power as much as possible to safeguard against Covid-19. We must conquer it. Collective solidarity amongst all national peoples can overcome the Covid-19 pandemic. And, building a genuine discipline-flourishing multiparty democratic system will be successful. If this spirit of victory is uplifted with unity, trust, endeavours, diligence and perseverance, there will be nothing we cannot do for our country and the people. That is a prelude to my Speech.
I’m reporting on political, social and socio-economic development performances undertaken by the State and Government to the public today.
The State Administration Council started to carry out all responsibilities of the State handed over by the then Acting President on 1 February 2021 by adhering to provisions of the Constitution (2008). All national peoples are well aware that our country’s political system is based on a genuine discipline-flourishing multiparty democratic system. The Tatmadaw government has primarily established a multiparty democracy people have aspired since 1988. The people have chosen the multiparty democratic system. A free and fair election is practically the “life-blood” of the multiparty democracy. It is of much more vital importance for our country where a nascent democracy is being restored. Furthermore, the aspiration of the people will be fulfilled successfully only through a free and fair election in accord with the Constitution and electoral system of our country. A nation-building task is based on three pillars: Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary. Only when these three estates are emphatically aligned with one another through the check and balance process would it be a democracy of the people, for the people and by the people.
The electoral process of establishing the election commissions at different levels, collecting the lists of voters, campaigning for the election candidates, forming the electoral coordination committees, advance voting and casting votes on the Election Day has been interfered with by the then NLD government and NLD party inappropriately misusing their executive power in the previous election held in November 2020. Other parties, rather not the NLD party, and their candidates for Hluttaw representatives were subjected to the NLD party’s misappropriate abuses of the executive power and the Covid-19 preventive restrictions as a pretext for winning the election and thereby seizing the State power forcefully. After holding the responsibilities of the State, the State Administration Council has prioritized the very first point of the Five-Point Road Map: The Union Election Commission will be reconstituted and its mandated tasks, including the scrutiny of voter lists, shall be implemented under the law.
The Union Election Commission conducted a detailed township-wise inspection on the casting of votes and voter lists for 315 townships where the Multiparty General Election was held on 8 November 2020. The on-theground inspection on the casting of votes and ballot papers at particular polling stations in each township was made in the presence of the members of the Union Election Commission, relevant township ex-election sub-commissions, heads of the township police force, township officials of the Department of Immigration and Population, township administrators and representatives of the parties. An interviewing inspection was also conducted with respective election sub-commissions, polling station heads and voting booth staff.
The ballot-rigging was inspected at the number of 11,305,390 votes in these undertakings. Tatmadaw officially expressed concern about vote-rigging and evidence of an unfair and unfree election even before the election and after the election as well. Findings were firmly presented with documents and tables. In order to seek the solution through negotiation based on the principle of political culture in a democracy, Tatmadaw put forward its opinions and viewpoints and released official statements and announcements to the then government, Hluttaws and relevant officials. However, it did not succeed. Simple errors can be officially resolved. They can prove it according to the law – without terrorist acts. We are paving the way to democracy in accord with the law. At last, they called for the convening of the Hluttaw and attempted to seize the State power forcefully, without resolving the electoral frauds. Consequently, Tatmadaw declared the State of Emergency and took the responsibilities of the State under the Constitution.
Keeping in line with the Constitution and electoral system of our country, people are required to directly vote for the Hluttaw representatives. That’s a Legislative pillar. Then, Hluttaw representatives have to choose the President, the Head of State. The President shall appoint and assign the duties of the Cabinet. It’s an Executive pillar. The President shall also appoint a Union Chief Justice and Judges. It’s a Judicial pillar. That is why the multiparty democratic general election is held to elect representatives for all three pillars of our nation. It can be obviously doubted how can the Hluttaw representatives elected out of vote-rigging, their Executive pillar and the Judiciary represent the people and how can they practise “check and balance”, a fundamental principle of democracy. Titled with democracy, they are going to revitalize the one-party autocracy. Thus, we are bringing about the restoration of a genuine discipline-flourishing democratic system.
We have released our findings, on-the-ground inspections and evidence of voter lists of each township, region and state in detail. It was finalized in July and we announced that the election results were annulled on 26 July as they found that the Multiparty General Election held on 8 November 2020 was not in conformity with the Constitution, Union Election Commission Law, respective Hluttaw Laws and Rules and it also was not a free and fair election. We carried out such measures under the existing laws. We just follow the democratic norm like “No Man above the Law”.
After we annulled the 2020 election results, we have to continue to work for a new free and fair election in line with the provisions of the state of emergency. In this regard, we will undertake the tasks according to Chapter 11 – provisions on the State of Emergency of the 2008 Constitution. In the 2020 election, more than 4,869,427 people cast votes without any Citizenship Scrutiny Card. We give priority to those who must have the right to cast votes as they wish in the election and we also prioritize the CSCs for everyone who must have ID cards. According to the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, it can take up to 18 months if we carry out for 300 people per day. We are working as quickly as possible. The Constitution states the limitation for the duration of the state of emergency. According to Subsection (b) of Section 421, if one cannot accomplish the duties within one year of the emergency period, it permits only two extensions of the prescribed duration for a term of six months for each extension. In the meantime, we have to do the things that should be done. Then, we will take six months to prepare for the election according to the law. We will accomplish the provisions of the state of emergency by August 2023. The final point out of the Five-Point Road Map of the State Administration Council is “to hold the free and fair multiparty democratic elections in line with the 2008 Constitution and hand over State duties to the winning party as per democratic standards”.
We must create conditions to hold a free and fair multiparty general election. We have to make preparations. I pledge to hold the multiparty general election without fail. We must strengthen the genuine and discipline-flourishing multiparty democratic system people aspire. The basic requirements for a free and fair election are stability and the rule of law. Stability means political stability, security stability and economic stability. We have to continue to adhere to the existing laws and develop good disciplinary practices.
There are still political divergences and different opinions that have arisen in our country along with internal armed conflicts since our independence in 1948. We negotiated to seek solutions and so we were able to hold the 2010 and 2015 elections successfully and our country has been on the pathway to democracy. The way to negotiate and find a solution was lost due to the voting frauds of the 2020 election.
We have worked for establishing a genuine and discipline-flourishing multiparty democratic system. I guarantee the establishment of a union based on democracy and federalism. The main thing is to complete all the electoral preparations within a fixed timeframe. We have performed our tasks under the law. The NLD extremists and their supporters chose the act of terrorism instead of doing or solving it in line with the law. They incited to become anarchic and committed armed insurrection. They think of making enemies with the ones who do not support or have the same opinions. We have to try to bring them back to a stable condition. We must apply our collective strengths to prevent destructive elements, social bullying and rebellious CDM movement that would lead to total annihilation from the State administrative mechanism to the daily life of the people and their socio-economic status.
They want instability and destroy the political, social and economic arenas. They are attempting for the disintegration of the Tatmadaw and intentionally destroying the culture, traditions and history from the very beginning of all Myanmar national peoples. We need to pay special attention in order to know their violent acts very consciously. Most of us are primarily Buddhists in our country. The Buddha devotees were disheartened in their faith in Buddhism during the previous five years. Since the time we took responsibilities, we have emphasized religious affairs under the provisions of the Constitution. For this purpose, the strengths of the patriotic people who love our nation and the people are of crucial significance. We will build a nation that practises a genuine and discipline-flourishing democracy, a modern developed country and a nation that will conform with the aspirations of the Myanmar national peoples. I deeply urge entire ethnic nationals to work together. As a result of our talks, we have signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) to resolve the ethnic armed conflicts. The agreement was signed based on the demands of the ethnic armed organizations. Tatmadaw stands firm as per the Agreement. I’d like to say to build a union based on democracy and federalism peacefully. I invite all ethnic armed organizations to meet and discuss among others, except for the declared unlawful associations and groups. Here, I want to talk about the relation with ASEAN. I joined the ASEAN Summit on 24 April, and the summit adopted five agreements. We implemented the things that we should do. Of the three original nominees for the ASEAN special envoy, we agreed to select the former Deputy Foreign Minister of Thailand, Mr Virasakdi Futrakul. But for various reasons, the new proposals were released and we could not keep moving onwards. I would like to say that Myanmar is ready to work on ASEAN cooperation within the ASEAN framework, including the dialogue with the ASEAN Special Envoy in Myanmar. Preparations are underway to present a briefing on the findings of the election to the international delegations within the next few days.
Esteemed National Peoples,
Our country is facing the third wave of COVID-19 currently like other world nations. We are making our utmost efforts in carrying out the prevention, control and treatment activities in collaboration with the people. The currently occurring COVID-19 pandemic is different from the first and second waves. The number of infected people is increasing daily, and the percentage of confirmed cases and deaths is also higher than before.
These facts are being misrepresented in the news media and on social media, comparing the situation with today’s third wave and the previous second wave. It needs to consider the actual condition of infection as closely as possible from the point of view of epidemiology.
The virus was not initially reported seriously in Southeast Asia and Asian countries but in European countries such as France, Spain and Italy, in the see southern part and northern part of the Americas such as the US and Brazil. However, due to the geographical distance, it can be supposed that Myanmar was not hit by the first wave of COVID-19.
In the second wave, as a developing country, it has to struggle to tackle the pandemic to some extent. We can see that the variant of the second wave is not much faster in the infection rate than the current COVID-19 strain.
In the third wave, the infection rate is dramatically high in our neighbouring countries and the regional countries are still facing the third wave of COVID-19 seriously. The main point is the emergence of more infectious mutants. The most common Delta Variant is now known to be 60 per cent faster in transmission than the previous strains. The R0 (Reproduction number) of the original COVID-19 virus is between 2.4 and 2.6. But the R0 of Alpha and Delta is between 4 and 5 and between 5 and 8, respectively. (It means, if the R0 is 2, the transmission rate is from 1 person to 2, 2 to 4, 4 to 8, 8 to 16, twice in every step). During the third wave, the Alpha, Beta and Delta recognized as variants of concern by WHO are found in Myanmar. We can estimate how much faster the infection rate will be than the variants of the second wave by looking at the R0 of new variants of this third wave.
When the R0 is 4, the transmission rate will be from 1 person to 4, 4 to 16, 16 to 64 and so on. If the R0 is 8, its rate will be from 1 person to 8, 8 to 64, 64 to 512. The widespread outbreak and rapid spread of the disease in the neighbouring countries and regional countries are unlike the first and second waves, and it is a big challenge for our country.
When the infection rate is so high, the public hospitals that can provide proper medical treatment to the people are facing the human resources problem. The NLD extremists, who were involved in electoral frauds, and their supporters incited the health workers to do so. Due to a considerable imbalance between the number of patients and the number of health workers for the diagnosis and treatment process, while the infection rate is on the rise, it becomes a major challenge for the country amidst the third wave of COVID-19. Despite these challenges, I’d like to recognize and express thanks to dutiful health staff, volunteers and well-wishers or donors for their fore-front performances in response to the Covid pandemic. As I said earlier, Section 505 will be eased unless CDMers are the leaders or instigators of the violent acts. Covid-19 does not concern with politics. It matters most for the lives of the people and their social affairs.
No matter how there are many challenges, I’ll strive for the people to overcome the third wave of COVID-19 amidst various difficulties and hindrances.
In the third wave, it can be said that the experiences in the previous waves may be advantages. We have known at least the infection way of the disease. We have experienced prevention, control and treatment of the disease. Moreover, as vaccination has been conducted at some percentage, the infection of the disease can be hindered to some degree. With regard to the natural disaster, the government machinery does not control the processes without centralization and allow the government departments at different levels in respective areas to freely do their work process. Hence, it can be seen that response to the infection of disease gains momentum. For example, it needed to take a long time for the distribution of 5 million masks to respective regions and states in the past. Now, Tatmadaw aircraft are used in the transport of 12 million masks immediately. The amount of 12 million masks will be distributed per month. The Ministry of Commerce eases restrictions for the import of oxygen concentrators, liquid oxygen, medicines and medical equipment as well as tax, and such importation does not need FDA recommendations and import licences. For cutting off the infection chains, the community restrictions are adopted, and consideration is conducted to resurge the long term loss of the economic recovery of the State and the people triggered by COVID-19.
Faster testing, faster finding and faster isolation are important for cutting off the infection chains as well as for the patients. Preparations are being made to admit the confirmed patients in time at suitable COVID-19 treatment centres depending on their symptoms. People should not receive medical treatment of traditional therapies at home if they face the suspicion of infection, and they need to receive a medical examination at nearby local health units. Such units, if necessary, will transfer them to suitable COVID-19 treatment centres. As such, the people need to correctly inform the authorities about their health situation. The Tatmadaw has prepared to admit 39,000 patients at 1,278 patient treatment centres while civilian units have made preparations to admit 71,500 patients at 1,453 centres. Arrangements will be made to extend community COVID positive centres where necessary.
Oxygen is essential for the treatment of patients in COVID-19. It is also important to use oxygen only in the consultation of doctors. So, the government is striving for fulfilling the needs in time. Oxygen production of oxygen plants across the nation, the oxygen plants from military and civilian hospitals and private oxygen plants are continuously monitored, and emphasis is being placed to fulfil the actual needs of oxygen to hospitals/treatment centres. Effective management will be made for generating the limited volume of oxygen and efficient use. Efforts are being made to produce large quantities and quality liquid oxygen in a short time. Preparations are being made to soonest fulfil the liquid oxygen in Yangon and Mandalay where a high infection rate of the disease happens. Expansion work for the installation of oxygen plants at public hospitals, health departments, Tatmadaw hospitals, State-owned factories and workplaces are now underway. That is why the requirements of public hospitals and health departments will be fulfilled in September, without purchasing oxygen supplies from private factories.
People need to systematically receive the COVID-19 vaccination for the set times to reduce the infection rate and spreading rate. Vaccination was given in all regions and states from 27-1-2021 to 21-7-2021, a total of 1,825,642 people (6.08% of the target population) were vaccinated two times. Arrangements are being made to faster give many COVID-19 vaccines to the people. The government is negotiating to purchase the vaccines. Three million doses out of four million units of vaccines purchased from the People’s Republic of China arrived in the fourth week of July, and the vaccination process is being conducted rapidly. Three more million vaccines will arrive in August. Hence, the plan is underway to systematically vaccinate the target groups on priority. Moreover, two million doses purchased from Russia will arrive in Myanmar in batches. Efforts are being made to take the remaining vaccines from India. In this regard, I thank all countries and organizations that cooperate with us in the prevention, control and treatment of the pandemic. I’d like to request the friendly countries and organizations to continue cooperation with us. We arrange the production of the vaccine at home. I expect 50 per cent coverage of vaccines across the nation at the end of this year. As COVD-19 infects various parts of the world, every country tries hard to take preventive measures and receive vaccines. So, I’d like to urge the people to receive vaccines in respective townships with health awareness.
Esteemed national peoples,
The weakness in emphasis and cooperation of the people in control, prevention and treatment of the COVID-19 depends on the spreading of fake news and misinformation via social networks. Aimed at raising the prices of health-protective equipment in the market and raising the worries among the people, fake office letters are posted on the social networks, and misinformation that hospitals did not admit patients; the government banned further import of oxygen; the global authorities did not recognize the newly-arrived vaccines, and such vaccination might cause danger is spread on the social network pages. Mobilization of the people not to abide by the prevention and control guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Sports and restrictions for COVID-19, not to receive vaccines and to cause various crowds among the people are being utterly despicable committed instead of receiving vaccines, avoiding the crowds and public places as much as possible, abiding by the social distancing, wearing masks and face shields and often washing hands while the infection rate is high again. Such moves directly impose threats on the life and property of the people, and it means using COVID-19 as a tool of bioterrorism. Applying such ways for their political gain might be very guilty on the religious ground. As the instability of the State based on health problems is being agitated, control of destructionist acts on the social network is a great challenge.
Protests staged across the nation after 1 February were transformed into anarchic protests and then armed attacks.
Innocent people were killed by surprise. Why did they kill the people? Why did they attack the people living in peace? We cannot accept it. Violent protests were responded under the law in accord with the international community. Action must be taken against those who used attacks of fetal weapons and mines. At present, the whole country is stable except for some terrorist attacks. Further tasks will be undertaken for ensuring total peace and stability in the areas, except for that of EAOs.
Various gatherings and crowds across the nation after 1 February were designed to spark the infection of variant COVID-19 species. To do so, various ways of agitations were committed via social networks. The globe has overcome various pandemics in the past. Although various pandemics such as plague and smallpox diseases can be controlled in the advancement of medical technologies at present, respiratory disease COVID-19 may cause infections whenever breathing. If public cooperation lacks, it is sure to difficultly control the disease. It can be seen that even developed and developing countries are yet to perform control, prevention and treatment of the disease on the upper hand. Even in the United States, hospitals cannot give adequate accommodation to patients, facing shortages of ventilators and air fresheners. So, the patients are receiving treatments at home. The problem of oxygen is a difficulty for the countries facing the outbreak of disease. Myanmar’s neighbouring countries India and Indonesia are facing severe problems.
Today’s the State Administration Council government has inserted the prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19 into the Five-Point Road Map as much as possible. Work procedures related to pandemic management and restrictions have been eased and necessary amendments are being undertaken. To cut off the infection chains among the people, long office holidays were set from 17 July to 1 August. In so doing, cooperation of the entire people except some extremist destructionists was the honourable strength of the people. The infection rate declined to 34.75 per cent on 29 July, up from 40.82 per cent on 23 July. It is necessary to further decline the infection rate. An announcement will be declared for one more week of official holidays for effective cutting off the infection chains. We will stand with the people. We will protect the people at full capacity. I’d deeply say that Myanmar is sure to conquer the pandemic through harmonious cooperation. In order to curb the chains of infectious disease, one more week of office holiday will be extended. In this regard, necessary measures will be carried out to avoid impacting the manufacturing sector and economic businesses. We will stand together with the people. We will safeguard the people efficiently. I’d like to stress that we Myanmar national peoples must overcome the pandemic, with our concerted and collaborative efforts.
Esteemed national peoples,
The State Administration Council is implementing the Five-Point Road Map and Nine Objectives in serving the State duties.The globe has some 7,000 million of population, facing the high requirements of basic needs. During the pandemic period, food supplies still need for all despite reducing the other services. We must apply it. Our country engaging in agriculture and livestock breeding tasks is home to more than 70 rural people.
So, efforts are being made to ensure the availability of basic agricultural prerequisites such as quality seeds, soil, water and techniques, reclaim the fertile cultivable lands, supply agricultural water and provide proper cultivation methods to the local farmers. With regard to the livestock, encouragement will be given to poultry, pig, goat, cow and fish farming tasks. Systematic breeding tasks are of importance. We have to undertake the establishment of the emerald livestock villages, production of pedigree animals and sufficient manufacturing of feedstuffs using the raw materials. It is necessary to extend agriculture and livestock tasks. For example, we import some US$1,000 million worth of textile per year. Our country has the season to grow cotton. Clothing is of importance for all people. Hence, it is necessary to encourage the cultivation of cotton and the production of textile. We must extend river water pumping stations, irrigated areas and cotton cultivation. Likewise, efforts must be made for sufficient production of palm oil and dairy products at home. It is necessary to fully extend oil palm plantations, sesame, groundnut, mustard, sunflower and nigre plantations in lower Taninthayi Region Myeik, Bokpyin and Kawthoung. Dairy cow breeding must be undertaken in the areas with good climatic conditions to have the surplus volume of dairy products at home. In accord with the using domestic products, it is necessary to encourage domestic products and locally made products like a quote “Use and rely on local makes”. Employment opportunities should be created within the country so as to lessen the number of migrant workers seeking jobs outside the country. In addition, efforts will be made for reducing fuel consumption and the use of other energy sources. Although the country is engaged in agriculture and livestock breeding, there are the only one University of Agriculture and the only one University of Veterinary Science. The country needs intellectuals and intelligentsia for modernizing the agriculture and livestock breeding tasks. So, agriculture and livestock breeding schools in regions and states are upgraded to institutes and colleges so as to turn out skilled persons. The Ministry of Science and Technology is reconstituted for modernizing the agricultural tasks, transforming the manual into mechanized farming and improving other sectors without losing sight over science and technology.
As the country is based on agriculture, agricultural products must have a certain market. Loss and damage of products yearly happened in the border and regular trade routes due to various reasons. So, efforts must be made for modern storage systems and the production of value-added products. For example, onion powder, fried onion and squash onion must be made in addition to the export of ordinary onion. Farmers must make efforts not to face loss in agricultural and livestock products. We must march into the agro-based industry.
According to the census in 2014 and 2019 interim census, 8.1 per cent of the children above five years old have never attended the school. Moreover, 18.2 million people above 25 years old had learned middle education only, accounting for a one-third population of the country. Such an amount showed we have to strive for uplifting the education qualification of the people. So, we are carrying out the tasks as a national duty. It is necessary to turn out educated persons for ensuring firm democracy and development of the State. We have to turn out scientists, technologists, law experts, economists and medical professionals. So, I’d like to urge all to encourage higher education practically. We have to encourage education. Amid difficulties, we reopened the schools not to cut the educational chain. Now, these schools are temporarily closed due to the outbreak of COVID-19. I thank all teachers, education staff, parents and students who emphasized education in the schooling days. All the youths should emphasize learning only.
We set up the new Ministry of Cooperatives and Rural Development to contribute to agriculture and livestock breeding tasks the people work. The ministry will not only operate the old cooperative system but will create a public-based system for enabling the people to participate in the same businesses with the same interests, as well. The developed and developing countries are practising a good cooperative system. Now, we have set up the agricultural cooperative societies for the effective operation of the agricultural tasks.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the global countries are facing difficulties in the production and service sectors. Our country also faces such difficulties. Hence, we have to strive for the sufficiency of basic foodstuffs, healthcare services, transport services and social security services. The health sector is related to sports and fitness. Uplifting the sports brings honour to the State. It uplifts not only the physical strength but the mental one, as well. Despite facing restrictions for COVID-19, uplift of sports is being emphasized. Efforts are being made to modernizing the stadiums and gymnasiums in regions and states. As the strength of the youth plays a key role in uplifting the sports, encouragement will be given to the youth and sports sectors.
The State Administration Council has taken the State responsibilities for six months. After necessary inspections were accomplished in line with the first point of the SAC Five-Point Road Map, actions are taken against those who are responsible under the law. That is why I’d like to inform you that Union-level and Regions/States-level administration structure will be reformed to effectively implement the remaining objectives and roadmap activities.
Esteemed national peoples,
I’d like to give the concluding remarks.
(1) The State Administration Council has guaranteed a genuine, discipline-flourishing multiparty democracy. At a time when the duties in the state of emergency have been accomplished, the multiparty democracy general election will be held. So, it is necessary to make many preparations. So, all the esteemed national peoples aspiring for democracy and peace and tranquillity of the State are urged to cooperate in the peace, stability and rule of law tasks.
(2) We will confront the COVID-19 pandemic through the united strength of the people, the government and all organizations. We overcome challenges altogether. We must conquer all the difficulties. Let’s overcome the challenges with the spirit of victory.
(3) We are raising the basic businesses such as the agriculture and livestock breeding tasks. At least, we decided to ensure the sufficiency of basic needs during the pandemic period. “Let’s unite as the present moment is important.” “We must secure the victory through unity.”
May all the esteemed national peoples be physical and mental well-being! Thank you.