President Travels To Kachin State

President Win Myint

President Win Myint warned about maintaining essential health services for internally displaced camps to prevent the spread of sickness.

In a landmark trip, U Win Myint, the president of Myanmar, arrived in Myitkyina, capital of Kachin State, to meet with Kachin for the first time since he entered office.

During his visit to Myanmar's most northeastern state, Win Myint stressed the importance for the Kachin government to maintain a strong administration.

"Administration (in the government) must be practiced in accordance with law and rule in the country. It also needs to be effective and supportive for the people," Win Myint said during his public speech.

The president also spoke about the many internally displaced persons (IDPs) forced to leave their homes because of fighting between the Myanmar Army and Kachin Independence Army. Since the war started in June of 2011, just after the reformist Thein Sein government entered office, there are over 100,000 IDPs in Kachin State. Many displaced camps are located in Myitkyina or outside the capital.

Win Myint warned about the importance of maintaining health services to prevent the spread of sickness. "If there is outbreak of disease in a IDP camp it will spread quickly to other camps and then to Myitkyina. That's why healthcare is so essential," the president said.

Currently, a repatriation program is underway allowing some IDPs to return home.  Win Myint instructed the State government to cooperate with security forces in returning IDPs to their homes.

The president refused to discuss the suspended Myitsone hydropower project or illegal Chinese banana tissue culture plantations on land formally occupied by IDPs.