The people of Irrawaddy Division should put their support behind President Thein Sein and his Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), said the region’s Chief Minister Thein Aung, himself a member of Burma’s ruling party.
Speaking to local residents at a ceremony in the town of Myaungmya, which is situated only 20km from Ngapudaw, birthplace of the president, Thein Aung said that the public should not forget that Thein Sein is limited by the responsibility he carries as the country’s president and is therefore unable to take part in party activities, but people should nevertheless support and admire him as the party chairman.
“The president came to attend this event in Irrawaddy Division despite the pouring rain and wind,” he said, “and as he is an Irrawaddy native, we should all respect him and appreciate him.”
The event, the fourth of its kind in Irrawaddy Division, was also attended by cabinet members and some 700 members of the Irrawaddy Division Cooperatives Association.
A micro-loan package of 11.2 billion kyat (over US$11.2 million) was pledged by the Cooperatives Ministry to the more than 100,000 members of the 252 Cooperative Associations in 26 townships of Irrawaddy Division.
Remarking on the assistance plan, Thein Sein said it may provide some comfort to those left impoverished by the devastating Cyclone Nargis in 2008, though it “won’t completely cure their woes”.