After assuming the responsibilities of the State in September 1988, the State Law and Order Restoration Council endeavoured to uphold the Three Main National Causes of preventing the disintegration of the Union, and of national solidarity, and to perpetuate sovereignty of the State. In pursuing these causes, a four-point programme was established with an aim to re-establish the prevalence of law and order, peace and tranquillity; to facilitate communications; to bring about the economic development of the people; and to hold free and fair multi-party elections. In the process of implementing this programme, the State Law and Order Restoration Council has also tried to bring about the development of our brethren living in the remote border regions, who, as a result of difficulty of access and the domination of armed BCP insurgents, were lagging behind in education, health, communication and economic development. To achieve this, the Central Committee for the Development of the Border Areas and National Races, as well as Work Committee, were established in May 1989, with the objective of implementing special projects to develop these regions. The Central Committee is headed by the Chairman of the State Law and Order Restoration Council Senior General Than Shwe and the Work Committee by Secretary (1) Lt-Gen. Khin Nyunt.
The work and activities carried out by the Central Committee, Work Committee and the Sub-Committee and regional work committees have the following objectives on the agenda for development of the border areas:
In accordance with the nature of the border regions, the development works are to be carried in the effect under long term, and short term plans. Together with systematic implementation of this programme, the Work Committee was reconstituted in May 1992, and a separate Ministry created in September 1992, for a more dynamic and successful approach, and the commander of the North-Eastern Command was appointed Minister of this Ministry. The Ministry for the Development of Border Areas and National Races has now been reorganized in January 1994 as the Ministry for the Progress of the Border Areas and National Races Development Affairs to lend more momentum in development works.
The comprehensive programme for the all-round development of border areas include projects in sectors like agriculture and forest; livestock breeding; roads and transport; trade and cooperatives; communication; housing; energy; health; education; mineral exploration and mining; administration; and auditing.
The first phase of border area development was carried out in the eastern regions of the country with emphasis on the Kachin State, the Kokang region, Wa region, Mawpha area and East Kengtung area of the Shan State, where development works have met with fulfilling success. As a result of these positive developments, up to sixteen armed insurgent groups have returned to the legal fold to participate in the development works that are being carried out in their respective regions and to contribute their experiences as delegates in the National Convention. The second phase of the border area development programme is now meeting with equal success in its implementation carried out in the western regions of Myanmar, in Rakhine State and Chin States and in the Naga Hills.