State Counsellor Daw Aung Sun Suu Kyi’s trip to the poorest rural area of the country started on January 20 after Kachin,northern of the country.She attended a ceremony to inaugurate the Chin traditional archway in Haka and met with people in Falam. She visited the No. 2 Basic Education High School in Haka and met with school children and she also visited the Haka College and observed teaching and learning methods at the campus before proceeding to Falam.
The State Counsellor then attended the inauguration ceremony for Tikir Dam, which was built by the Department of Irrigation and Water Management near Tikir Village in Thantlang Township.And the State Counsellor and entourage travelled by military helicopter to Tiddim Township and met with local people at the town hall. She was welcomed enthusiastically by the crowd.
On her trip,she highlighted to protect nature,traditional textiles of Chin and the value of government relations with the people in democracy. She also urged and pointed out the role of the current generation to cultivate the next generation,and to support eager Chin youth.
This is the second domestic trip for The State Counsellor in 2019.The first trip was northern Kachin state such as Nagmom, Machanbaw,Putao,and Myitkyina,the city of Kachin, from 8th to 11th January. Because of the trip to Kachin State, some people criticised that The State Consellor is reviewing to resume Myitsone Dam hydropower project,ceased by former President U Thein Sein.
As a response to the trip,three Kachin political parties Kachin State Democracy Party, Kachin Democratic Party, and Unity and Development Party of Kachin State—released a statement regarding the China-backed Myitsone dam on January 14, 3 days after the trip.
‘This is the people’s desire. We won’t change our policy on the Myitsone hydropower dam,’ Gumgrawng Awng Hkam,the Kachin Democratic Party chairperson said.
San Awng, a member of the Kachin State-based Peace Creation Group said that he also “stands with the people” on the issue of the dam, and said that he believes China is “looking for opportunities” to invest and is “putting pressure” on the Myanmar government to resume the project.
Since the NLD government came to power, China has been pushing for State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to restart the project. On January 13, the Chinese embassy released a statement that Gumgrawng Awng Hkam said strayed from the discussions that they had previously held.
“We discussed three points. First, they said if the Myitsone hydropower dam is not built, there will be no new investment. Second, the investors are so angry. Thirdly, they talked about the brotherly relationship between China and Burma,” he explained. “That’s why they said they have waited for seven years with patience [for the Myitsone project].”
Now Myanmar government has some complicated issues to be clear such as Myitsone, Kyaukphyu SEZ which are concerning with China. In addition,it has some conflicts to resolve between the Myanmar Tatmadaw and the ethnic armed groups, and northern Rakhine crisis amid the government is trying to grow economic development and nation-wide peace process.Moreover,business development is also an urgent chanllenge of the government.
Inspite of getting over the age of 70, The State Counsellor is always active and smile during her trips,and she is very enthusiastic about to get equal development between the states and the regions of the country.So,she will have to tour other states especially Rakhine and Shan because most of the people of the two states did not support her and her party NLD in 2015 election.And she will have to attempt hardly there to get their support.
In conclusion,the business development of the country before 2020 election will be one of the decision factors for NLD to get more seats in the parliament in 2020.And northern Rakhine crisis will have being a challenge.So, the next domestic trips of The State Counsellor should be to Rakhine and Shan state before 2020 election.Where will be the next domestic trip,to Rakhine or to Shan?