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Information Sheet No.A. 0717(I)

Information Sheet

                                No.A. 0717(I)                        4 Dec

(1)		The Disabled being Accorded Special Care, Sympathy, Kindness, Attention
and Assistance in Myanmar

		The International Day of the Disabled was observed at the International
Business Centre on Pyay Road on 3 December. In his address the Secretary-1 of
the State Peace and Development Council Lt-Gen. Khin Nyunt stated that the
government's organizing the ceremony to observe the International Day of the
Disabled, designated by the United Nations to observe the Day for promoting
the morale of the disabled and uplift of their standard means maintaining of
the tradition to actively participate in the UN's activities. Though the
disabled are regarded as those having ill-luck owing to their past deeds in
accord with Myanmar traditional concept, they are not regarded as those whose
lives have ended up, for they believe in the concept that one can enjoy the
fruits of good deeds not only in the present existence but also in the future
and that the disabled can regain able life in the future existence by
performing good deeds in the present existence. Myanmar's efforts to enable
the disabled to participate in the nation-building tasks as a member of the
community reflect the UN's major  objectives for designating the International
Day of the Disabled. The Secretary-1 spoke of the UN's unprecedented efforts
for the disabled-- designation of 1981 as the Year of the Disabled, the Decade
of the Disabled from 1982 to 1993, formulation of global action plans for the
disabled in 1982, laying down of ' Standard Rules" for the disabled in 1993,
and formulation of long-term global strategies for the handicapped for 2000s.

		In accord with the decision passed at the UN General Assembly in 1993 to
observe the Day world-wide on 3 December every year, Myanmar organizes the
ceremonies starting from 1994. UN's activities and objectives to enable the
disabled not to be discarded by the community and to be able to participate in
the social activities of respective communities are found to be compatible
with Myanmar culture and way of life, for it is the inborn nature of Myanmars
that they possess sympathy and humanity concepts. Myanmars help others and
therefore, the disabled will never be discarded in Myanmar  community. The
disabled are usually taken good care of by their parents and relatives and if
they have no relatives, the places such as monasteries provide refuge to them.
Myanmar's activities to give systematic care to the disabled started as early
as 1914 when the School for the Blind was founded in Kyimyindine, which was
followed by founding of Yangon School for the Deaf and Dumb in 1923, the
School for the Blind in Pakokku in 1939, Mandalay  School for the Deaf and
Dumb in 1962 and so on.

		Today, the Social Welfare Department, a governmental organization, is taking
charge of rehabilitation projects for the disabled, providing them with
medical care and treatment, learning, vocational training, arts and other
livelihood training programmes, with the contribution of the governmental as
well as the non-governmental organizations. Ministry of Education and Myanmar
Christian Fellowship of the Blind co-initiated the integrated education system
in Yangon School for the Blind (Khaweigyan). Computer science can be taught
there at international level. Competitions for the disabled were held from 11
to 24 November 1998 for this year's International Day of the Disabled persons,
which included rattan spinning, sewing, painting, dancing and singing. The
disabled, the blind, the deaf and persons who have intellectual defect from
schools and centres under the Social Welfare Department, Health Department and
welfare organizations took part in the contests.

		The rehabilitation programmes for the disabled are gaining success due to
the encouragement of the government and the participation of welfare
organizations and the public. The progress in morale of the disabled can be
seen distinctively due to application of international-level advanced
techniques and their active participation in the social activities. It is a
pride for Myanmar as it has always actively taken part in the forefront in the
international arena as a human society effectively rendering assistance for
the progress of the disabled and enabling them to enjoy an equal life which is
the result of the fine traditions of Myanmar community. Resident
Representative of UNICEF Dr. Juan Aguilar Leon also spoke on the occasion.
Secretary-1 Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, Ministers and Dr. Juan Aguilar Leon presented
gifts to the disabled who won prizes in the competitions. 

(2)		Thailand Exhibition '98 Opens

		Thailand Exhibition '98, held under the Myanmar-Thai economic cooperation
promotion programme and with the permission of the Ministry of Commerce,
opened at Tatmadaw Convention Centre on U Wisara Road on 3 December.
Organized by Department of Export Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce of
Royal Thai Government and with the support of TTF (Yangon) Co Ltd, the
inauguration ceremony was addressed by Minister for Commerce. The exhibition
is organised by the Department of Export Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce
of Thailand in collaboration with the Board of Trade, Thai Chamber of Commerce
and the Royal Thai Embassy in Yangon. This is also the first Thai products
exhibition in Myanmar. Myanmar has hosted in the past few years quite a number
of trade fairs, single country trade exhibitions and specialised exhibitions
on construction materials, packaging and small scale machinery from India,
Bangladesh, Malaysia, People's Republic of China and  Singapore. Myanmar has
also participated in the international trade fairs occasionally and organized
Myanmar's Trade Fairs in Yangon inviting exhibitors from abroad. More than 80
percent of Myanmar's external trade remained in Asia. Myanmar therefore
attaches great importance to further develop and strengthen the trade
relations  with Asian countries in general, and with its five neighbouring
countries China, Lao, Thailand, India and Bangladesh in particular. Myanmar
has opened border trade check-points with the neighbouring countries taking
into consideration communication and transportation. On the long border
between Myanmar and Thailand Myanmar already opened three border trade
checkpoints  at Tachileik-MaeSai, Myawaddy-Mae-Sod and Kawthoung & Ranong.
Three-pagoda route may be the additional checkpoint together with others.
Knowing that Myanmar is the country with large stores of natural resources and
16.5 million active labour force, the total volume of foreign direct
investment up to now has exceeded 7.8 billion US dollars. Thailand is the
third largest investor in Myanmar next to Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Deputy Minister for Commerce of Thailand Dr. Pravich Ratanapian also gave a
speech. Minister for Commerce and Dr. Pravich formally opened the exhibition.
Ninety-three companies of Thailand are presenting auto parts manufactured in
Thailand, social goods, costumes, medicines, foodstuff, construction
equipment, paints, stationery, oil drilling equipment, fishing nets, farm
machinery, rubber goods, chemicals, cosmetics, electronic apparatus,
furniture, water purificators, other goods and trade services. The exhibition
opens daily from 10 am to 5 pm till 6 December.

(3)		Milk Powder Donated to Children's Hospital

		Well-wisher  Mr. Kenji Tsutsumi of Snow Brand Milk Product Co Ltd of Japan
donated Snow PL milk powder to the Children's Hospital on 2 December. 

(4)		Secretary-1 Receives Adviser to People's Government of Yunnan Province of

		Secretary-1 of the State Peace and Development Council Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt
received Adviser to the People's Government of Yunnan Province Mr. Linghu An
and party who called at Dagon Yeiktha of the Ministry of Defence on 3

(5)		MIC Secretary Receives Thai Deputy Minister

		Secretary of Myanmar Investment Commission  receives Deputy Minister for
Commerce of Thailand Dr. Pravich Ratanapian and party who called at the MIC
Office on 3 December.