Parliament


Myanmar’s speaker of parliament said on Wednesday that a nationwide referendum would be held during the general elections later this year on a constitutional amendment that lawmakers passed last week regarding the wording of the requirements for top political office holders.
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As opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi makes her way across Myanmar, campaigning for her party ahead of this fall’s national election, she is noticeably skipping at least one state: Rakhine, home to the Rohingya Muslims at the center of Southeast Asia’s refugee crisis.
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As Myanmar heads toward national elections scheduled for November, the government of President Thein Sein is intensifying attempts to thwart the democratic aspirations of Myanmar’s people.
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Aung San Suu Kyi’s path to the presidency of Myanmar remains blocked, after parliament nixed crucial constitutional amendments. Inside the country and abroad, many are wondering what is next for the Nobel peace laureate and her opposition party, the National League for Democracy.
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Burma’s President Thein Sein is scheduled to make an official state visit to Mongolia later this month, at the invitation of Mongolian President Taskhiagiin Elbegdorj.
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A military representative on Wednesday attempted to pour cold water on the aspirations of those who want to see Burma’s pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi one day become president, as lawmakers convened for a second day of deliberations on proposed constitutional amendments.
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It is not uncommon for religious authority to make a moral intervention in secular affairs. This month’s encyclical on climate change by Pope Francis and the mobilization of Buddhist monks during Burma’s 2007 Saffron Revolution are two recent examples where spiritual leaders considered it necessary to participate in addressing universal problems for the sake of the common good.
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Lawmakers took up a proposed constitutional amendment bill at the Union Parliament on Tuesday, with deliberations scheduled to continue through Thursday, when a vote on changes to the contentious charter is expected.
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The government of Myanmar says it is determined to stop the departures of migrants fleeing religious persecution in places like this bitterly divided port city, but it will not budge in its refusal to address the conditions driving the exodus across the sea.
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U Khin Aung Myint, Speaker of the upper house, yesterday told parliamentarians how he had rejected suggestions from an Australian politician that Myanmar should take in more than 20,000 boat migrants, saying the people of Myanmar would not accept them.
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Chinese leaders will woo Myanmar’s opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on her first visit to the country, a snub for the quasi-military government whose fighting with rebels along China’s border has angered Beijing.
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About 150 Bangladeshi migrants found adrift on a boat off Myanmar’s west coast have been sent home on Monday (Jun 8).
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New political parties are emerging in Myanmar ahead of the general election this year, determined to participate in developing a country which has been isolated for decades.
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A group of former political prisoners in Burma has demanded the release of all prisoners of conscience and detainees facing trial for similar charges, urging President Thein Sein to free them before a general election due late this year.
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President Barack Obama said on Monday that Myanmar needs to take seriously the issue of how it treats the Rohingya people if it wants to be successful in its transition to a democracy.
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A new documentary meant to educate the Burmese public about the ongoing conflict in Kokang Special Region premiered Wednesday night on a military-owned television station, offering a thorough, albeit lopsided, introduction to the war that has claimed hundreds of lives and displaced tens of thousands of civilians since early February.
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The International Crisis Group recently released a report on the 2015 Myanmar election landscape, listing its concerns with the process and assessing crucial issues such as constitutional reforms and the turbulent peace talks.
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Nearly five years after their forced relocation from the site of the suspended Myitsone dam project in northern Burma, residents of more than four villages are still legally prohibited from returning to their former homes.
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Burma’s military commander-in-chief said some “boat people” landing in Malaysia and Indonesia this month are likely pretending to be Rohingya Muslims to receive UN aid and that many had fled neighboring Bangladesh, state media reported on Friday. (more…)

Opposition party National League for Democracy (NLD) denied that their party didn’t ask the government to give citizenship rights to Bengalis refugees adrift on the sea as reported in UK-based The Independent, said NLD’s spokesperson Nyan Win to the Daily Eleven on May 21.
The Independent newspaper featured a story on May 19 titled “Burma’s opposition demands government gives citizenship to Rohingya refugees adrift on the Andaman Sea”.
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