Published on Friday, 01 February 2013 12:59
In his second radio speech to the State, President Thein Sein made clarion call on February 1 to all the citizens to participate wholeheartedly in nation building with strong union spirit.
He spelt out it was undeniable that the present positive political development is the cohesive result of cooperation among the government, parliament, armed forces and civil society.
Holding general elections is not complete in establishing a democracy, but the whole population must have the opportunity to choose and to decide without hindrance and suppression to lead their lives as aspired and hoped for, he added. The emergence of compact and disciplined civil society is utmost requirement, President stressed.
The radio address was part of a promise he made on the New Year Day about the need to inform the citizenry about the government policy and performances as and when necessary.
He highlighted the political reforms carried out by the government during two years and explained the current implementation through the public centered economic reform to have positive impact to the grass root level and the people as a whole.
Aung San-Attlee agreement was signed on January 27 in 1947 and it was a historic day. January 27, 2013 had also been a historic day because it was timed to coincide with international debt reduction, the President said.
He continued that the nation can start a new step to enter the international finance market and economic community. The current developed and developing countries such as China, India, South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia, etc, have to rely on the financial assistance from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. An isolated country is too difficult to further make progress. The country has been prevented from having access to international loans owing to the economic sanction for decades, the President added.
Together with the people can have changed the old road, stepping up the reform process. Having successfully negotiated with the important countries for the international loans from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Asian Development Bank, country could move ahead. International debts of over US$6 billion have been written off. The country has access to receiving assistance again from Norway, Japan and Paris Club members, the President continued.
Massive funds are intended to be spent on construction of schools, hospitals, roads, bridges and generation of power as well as seeking safe drinking water.
As mentioned at the previous session of the Union Assembly (Union Parliament), such moves were the first step towards removing the country from the list of Least Developed Countries (LCD), the president said.
The government would use all the international financial aid with greater transparency for the interest of the people while trying to open up a new economy in the country.
The government is also endeavouring for the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by forming a central committee and work committees for the improvement of small- and medium-scale industry sector. It is seeking all necessary assistance in terms of technology, finance and consultancy. Meanwhile, the Myanmar Industrial Development Bank is giving out loans for the development of SMEs. Moreover, plans will be carried out in rendering assistance for the development of the livestock breeding sector, Thein Sein said.
The 1st Myanmar Development Cooperation Forum was held on January 19 with the participation of representatives from international organizations and foreign investors. As a result, Myanmar acquired experience and knowledge about economic and social development tasks. Furthermore, Nay Pyi Taw Agreement was signed to facilitate development cooperation.
The government is also taking measures for poverty alleviation. The majority of the people have to struggle for a livelihood. Living in sheer poverty, they find it very difficult to own a house, Thein Sein said.
The president said that the low cost apartment buildings projects are implementing to own an apartment for homeless people. The projects will also put into action in other states and townships. Moreover the agriculture loan for the main force of the country, the farmers has been increased to 80,000 kyats per acre to 100,000 kyats per acre for the cost of cultivation. He noticed that the increase amount still does not meet the required amount. As the farmland ownership have been made legal under existing laws, the government are undertaking farmland ownership registration process in order that farmers can obtain capitals by putting up their farmland as insurance if necessary.
He also urged the peasantry to grasp new financial methods and opportunities to compatible with the open market. The president also advised the farmers to reclaim the farmland to increase its value and the capital. Meanwhile he urged the farmers to shift towards modernized farming which can facilitate agricultural development in line with the prevailing market condition.
The president also said it is undeniable that the present political achievements are attributable to collaboration of the government, the parliament, the Armed Forces, civil society organizations and the entire people. He also stated that democracy could not be practiced just by holding elections. It means the knowledgeable entire people can make their own choices without suppression and restrictions. He said it is important to establish the well organized and disciplined civil society organizations.
The president acknowledged that the government intends to strengthen civic society organizations that took an important part in successive eras. He met community-centered civil society organizations at Yangon Region Parliament on January 20, 2013 to help develop participatory State building process.
Highlighting the ongoing round-table discussions between the ministers and respective civil organizations which started on January 27, President is confident that the discussions will result in the administration process which integrates civil organizations and the people in every layer of administrative machinery.
Meanwhile, all the people should strive for internal peace, stability and national unity in order to achieve the desired reforms. The pain suffered by people in conflict areas in the country is felt as the agony of the whole society. The government is also working to provide humanitarian aids for the ethnic people, and to engage with appropriate international organizations to obtain their contributions. On the other hand, it is high time everyone finds solution through peace talks so as to end the plight and gain the desired peace, Thein Sein said.
Then, President solemnly urged the leaders of respective organizations to participate in the peace talks. “We are reaching a fragile stage in the peace process. And I want to stress that everyone involved in the situation and the whole people to be broad-minded and unanimously struggle to overcome the obstacle,” President said.
President said in conclusion that the country is facing several challenges while it is seeing unprecedented opportunities which have never arisen during the past 60 years. “I urge the whole people to work with us to overcome the barriers. On the upcoming 66th anniversary of Union Day, let’s boost the ‘union spirit’ of our whole national peoples and, as a citizen, participate in construction of the nation,” President concluded wishing health and happiness in the end of his speech.
The first radio speech of President Thein Sein took place in January 1, lasting five minutes.
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