The Burma government’s peace-talk delegation led by Railway Minister U Aung Min, today made an early morning visit to Dr Cynthia Maung’s Mae Tao Clinic in the border town of Mae Sot, Thailand.
U Aung Min’s 6am visit followed-up on his yesterday meet with the Karen National Union and Dr. Cynthia Maung, the Minister said today’s visit was to get a first hand look at the work the Mae Tao Clinic does – treating as many as 145,000 people from Burma each year.
Dr. Cynthia told Karen News that the Clinic sees many international organizations and government representatives, including members of the Thai government. who visited the clinic but for Burma government it is their first time. Dr Cynthia said this was the first visit by the Burma government and she hoped that the Minister’s visit would improve the much needed health services on the border.
“There are many issues that we need to work on together for the long term benefit of the people. Health, education, children right issues and they are all very broad issues that need to be urgently addressed. But first, we need to see how the ceasefire and peace building process works. We cannot just look at the health care factor in isolation.”
Minister U Aung Min told Karen News that he had brought with him a message from President Thein Sein encouraging people based on the border to return to their country.
“I came here and talked to individual academics, political organizations and other people about the President’s instruction. I will meet [a total] of fourteen groups. I encourage all those who live along the border to go back to the country to work in the country, as the [political] system is changing in our country.”
U Aung Min said that this was his fifth trip to the Thai-Burma border and it is in accordance with President Thein Sein’s plan to explain about the country situation to individual and groups on the border. He also pointed out that it was up to each individual or group to accept or reject his offer.
Naw Sophia, the program manager at the In-patient reproductive health department said.
“It is good they [U Aung Min and his group] came and see with their eyes the real situation that we are facing each day. We welcome them to come back and see the situation if they want to learn more.”
During the visit, Aung Min and his delegation were given a tour of the Clinic’s reproductive health In-patient department, general In-patient ward and the eye department. Dr. Cynthia later briefed the Minister and his group about general situation at the clinic and health and education for migrant workers and refugees on the borderline.
Minister U Aung Min donated 150,000 Baht to the Clinic and U Khin Ye, the Immigration Minister gave children in the In-patient department an envelope of money. Dr. Cynthia presented the government delegation a book documenting the Clinics work along the border.
Burma Minister U Aung Min and his nine-member group met with Dr. Cynthia Maung, The Karen National Union and the All Burma Student Democratic Front during their Mae Sot trip.