State Counselor’s Charity Receives Donation from China-Owned Company

By Nan Lwin 11 June 2019

YANGON—A Chinese state-owned company that carried out a feasibility study on part of a Belt and Road railway project in Myanmar, along with a local privately owned company, has made a joint donation of US$100,000 to a charity founded by State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi which works on raising public awareness of environmental conservation.

On Tuesday, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was present to witness the donation made by the two companies to the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation—a charity named after her late mother—to be used on a horticulture training academy in Naypyitaw, the capital of Myanmar.

According to the foundation’s Yangon office, the China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group (CREEG), formerly called China Railway Group Ltd., and the privately-owned Shwe Yadanar Aung Co. Ltd. together transferred the donated money to Daw Ohn Mar, an executive member of the foundation.

“The donation is for the construction of a training academy and its related buildings,” said an officer of the foundation who spoke on the condition of anonymity as they are not authorized to talk to the media.

CREEG, owned by the Chinese government, conducted a feasibility study for the Muse-Mandalay railway project which is set to become part of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), which is itself part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). In October 2018, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between CREEG and the Myanmar government’s Myanmar Railways.

During the second Belt and Road Forum held in Beijing in late April, China handed over the completed feasibility report on the Muse-Mandalay Railway project to Myanmar’s Minister for Transport and Communications U Thant Sin Maung.

The ambitious China-backed railway project is to become the lifeline of China-Myanmar trade, connecting two economic centers; Muse and Mandalay in Myanmar with Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province in southwestern China. It’s set to cost almost $9 billion according to the managing director of Myanmar Railways, U Ba Myint.

Meanwhile, Myanmar Railways experts are currently scrutinizing the Muse-Mandalay feasibility report and making important decisions regarding routes, bridges, tunnels and the exact locations of stations.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi bought more than 90 acres of land last year in the capital’s Ottarathiri Township for 700 million kyats ($444,000) for the La Yaung Taw project which aims to establish a vocational training school and a forest. In May, the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation held a ground breaking ceremony for the project.

According to a statement released by the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, the school will teach landscaping to youth who have not completed formal education. In response to widespread flooding across Myanmar over the past few years, it also aims to raise public awareness of, and disseminate knowledge about, environmental conservation through landscaping.

The Daw Khin Kyi Foundation was established in 2012 by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in memory of her mother, Daw Khin Kyi, to improve the health, education and living standards of the people of the country, focusing its attention especially on the needs of the country’s least developed areas.

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