State Counsellor, business leaders offer donations for Rakhine development

By NYAN HLAING LYNN | FRONTIER

NAY PYI TAW — The State Counsellor has donated US$4,000 for development efforts as the humanitarian crisis and refugee exodus continues in Rakhine State, in an initiative also joined by more than two dozen of the country’s tycoons and business leaders.

At a Friday ceremony in Nay Pyi Taw for her government’s Union Enterprise for Humanitarian Assistance, Resettlement and Development in Rakhine, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi again implored the public to support efforts to bring peace and development to the state’s violence-wracked north.

“The main strength is cooperation,” she told an audience at the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre. “When we plan, we would like the businessmen to give us frank advice.”

A total of 25 business leaders offered donations to the UEHRD of nearly K18 billion (US$13.2 million) for an assortment of development projects earmarked for northern Rakhine. U Aung Ko Win, chairman of the Kanbawza Group of Companies, was the largest single donor at K3 billion.

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Friday’s ceremony is the latest effort by the State Counsellor to promote her efforts to to resolve the Rakhine crisis, following a nationally televised address on October 15.

Members of the public have been asked to donate to the government’s development fund through the UEHRD website, while thousands flocked on Sunday to a rally in the capital organised to support the government’s Rakhine policies.

A smaller rally was held in Sittwe on the same day, where hundreds of hardline protesters demanded that the government refuse to repatriate the 600,000 Rohingya refugees to cross into Bangladesh since militant attacks on August 25.

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