Burma

Myanmar State Counselor to Meet Local People and Politicians in Rakhine State

By Min Aung Khine 18 December 2019

SITTWE, Rakhine State—Myanmar State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is set to visit Manaung Township in Rakhine State on Thursday.

Manaung Township is spread across three islands: Manaung Island, Ye Kyun Island and Taik Kyun Island.

The State Counselor will attend the opening ceremony of a solar power plant on Manaung Island and meet local people, according to Manaung Township lawmaker U Boe Nwe, who represents the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) in the Rakhine State parliament.

“The State Counselor will meet local people, listen to their voices and answer their questions,” U Boe Nwe told The Irrawaddy.

Rakhine State Chief Minister U Nyi Pu traveled to Thandwe Township on Wednesday to welcome Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Rakhine State ministers had already arrived on Manaung Island for the event.

Local residents and NLD members said they do not know how long she will stay on Manaung or if she will visit other parts of Rakhine.

“We don’t know details about her trip. Because of security conditions, her public meeting will not last as long as those in other regions and states. We plan to ask questions about the unfinished Manaung airport projects and local residents’ concerns about the overall situation,” said U Boe Nwe.

According to the Manaung lawmaker, the solar power plant will be able to supply power to five urban wards and two village-tracts.

The Manaung Township NLD recently held a rally in support of party chair Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as she contested the genocide charge against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has visited Rakhine State only once before as State Counselor, when she visited Maungdaw in northern Rakhine in November 2017. She did not meet local political parties or Rakhine civil society organizations on her single-day trip, but she did meet Rakhine State ministers at the lounge in the Sittwe Airport following her visit to Maungdaw, drawing criticism from people in Rakhine.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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