Naypyitaw


The Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) in Myanmar will be reformed with State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi heading a 18-member body, according to official sources on Friday.

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A bill to amend and repeal sections of Burma’s colonial-era law requiring citizens to report overnight guests continues to face hurdles in Parliament.

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A Ta’ang National Party lawmaker sought to submit a proposal to the Union Parliament to stop fighting in Shan State so that children in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps could attend school this year, but her efforts were denied.

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Burma’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it will relax visa rules for former citizens who left the country for political reasons, in a move that could affect thousands of exiles who settled in foreign countries during the decades of military rule.

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Student Unions and the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU) have formed the Nationwide Federation of Student Unions which will meet Education Minister Dr Myo Thein Gyi at the Higher Education Department on May 29.

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Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in her role as state counsellor, is taking concrete steps to kick-start the country’s beleaguered peace process and will address a newly appointed peace committee later today. Everything has been in abeyance, since eight ethnic groups signed a national ceasefire agreement (NCA) with the Thein Sein government last October, but some eight others refused to participate.

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Chairman of Burma’s previous ruling party, Thein Sein, urged the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) to reform in order to win the election in 2020—a clear statement that the USDP is trying to make a comeback after a humiliating election defeat at the hands of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) last year.

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Burma’s government intends to form a donor coordination body to scrutinize the country’s foreign aid so that it flows to where it is needed most.

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As a discussion in parliament continued yesterday over proposed amendments to the law requiring citizens to report overnight guests, military and elected MPs found themselves on opposite sides.

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Loans made available to farmers are not high enough to sustain the industry, parliamentarians said during a hluttaw session on May 23.

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Without transparency, a government cannot earn a good public reputation, and ministerial and departmental spokespersons must be answerable to the media, Minister for Information U Pe Myint told senior government officials yesterday.

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Both houses of Myanmar’s parliament have approved without objection a bill revoking the Law to Safeguard the State against the Dangers of Those Desiring to Cause Subversive Acts which was enacted over four decades ago.

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The Union parliament approved a proposal yesterday to take Ks 500 billion in agricultural loans from the Central Bank of Myanmar for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

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The Burma Army supports the government’s proposed “Panglong-style” peace summit, but continued political participation rests on the country’s stability, said Commander-in-Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, during his meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Naypyidaw on Sunday.

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As Myanmar’s fledgling democratic government starts tackling the sticky issue of privatization, Aung San Suu Kyi will have to deal skillfully with expected resistance from the military and other vested interests to achieve this crucial step in revitalizing the country.

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Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s foreign minister and de facto leader, met with US Secretary of State John Kerry in the country’s new capital on Sunday, cementing ties with the promise of completing what has been a trying transition from dictatorship to democracy.

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A Law to protect religious harmony is being considered by the new government following failed attempts to pass such a bill in the previous parliament, which instead enacted controversial legislation seen as undermining religious freedoms.

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At least 20 lawmakers from the National League for Democracy in regional legislatures and the Union Parliament have been singled out by constituents for being rude, said Myo Nyunt, an inspector at the ruling NLD’s complaint center, on Tuesday.

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Information Minister Pe Myint at a media seminar in Rangoon presented a plan to transform the state media as a communication platform between the government and the people, and urged private agencies to contribute in an effort for media development in Burma.

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It was not a fight, per se, but at the same time, it was not a peaceful week in Parliament. It’s not what was said, but rather what wasn’t.
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