Parliament


The Union Election Commission will see a difficult situation if a referendum is asked to be held in an attempt to amend the 2008 constitution in the year of the election, said Tin Aye, the chairman of the UEC.
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Myanmar may snub a regional meeting hosted by Thailand later this month aimed at easing the current Bay of Bengal migrant crisis, the president’s office said Friday.
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Thein Sein aide says country not likely to attend meeting on boat people; Prayu says this is neighbours’ right

THAILAND could not force countries to attend a regional meeting in Bangkok this month to discuss how to manage the crisis over Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants as every country has its own dignity, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday. (more…)

Myanmar and its neighbors see the Rohingya group and the seaborne trafficking of migrants in the region very differently, complicating the refugees’ plight. Here is a rundown of their policy stances so far.
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The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) has warned foreign currency exchange operators to sell foreign bank notes only within the rate set by the government, as the value of the Burmese kyat has fallen over the past week.
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Myanmar’s parliament has approved borrowing a loan of 400 million U.S. dollars from the World Bank for implementing some people-centered projects for rural people, official media reported Wednesday.
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Myanmar is targeting economic growth of 9.3 percent in the fiscal year that started this month, driven by an unprecedented amount of foreign investment and rapid expansion in its nascent telecoms sector.
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Aung San Suu Kyi has joined a chorus of local critics to pan the government’s decision to retain Podesta Group in an effort to overhaul its image, as a senior member of President Thein Sein’s retinue admitted that the lobbying firm has been charged with ending United States sanctions against Burma.
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The formation of the newly established Women’s Party has still not been approved by the Union Election Commission (UEC), its leaders say, adding that they have been harassed and interrogated by security forces since they made their initial application last year.
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The Ministry of Cooperatives will begin distributing microloans using US$300 million borrowed from China ahead of the monsoon cultivation season, a senior official says.
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This week, several media outlets reported that Myanmar had hired the Podesta Group, a powerful US lobbying firm, to represent its interests in Washington. (more…)

The bloodless shift to democratization has been the greatest accomplishment of Myanmar’s 4-year transition from military to civilian rule, Myanmar President Thein Sein told the Mainichi Shimbun in an exclusive April 9 interview.
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Burma’s Lower House of Parliament on Tuesday approved amendments to the National Education Law, which will be resubmitted to the Upper House with changes that activists view as regressive.
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Education reform advocates on Wednesday denounced the current draft of an amended education law, passed by Burma’s Upper House of Parliament last week, claiming that it deviated from a version agreed upon by stakeholders.
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A draft law banning violence against women is nearing completion – and could be a rival to four bills promoted by hard-line Buddhist nationalists that international human rights groups have deemed discriminatory and politically motivated. (more…)

Myanmar’s upper house of parliament began discussions on March 24 on amendments to the controversial education law, according to Radio Free Asia on March 24.
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Parliamentarians have ordered the government to submit a more detailed proposal for civil servant salary increases by today if it wants them to be included in this year’s budget bill.
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On March 20, the deputy minister for finance discussed the government’s proposal to increase salaries in parliament. He revealed that the government’s annual expense on the salaries of 1.4 million civilian and defense service personnel was almost K2.4 trillion (US$2.3 billion) in 2014-15. The deputy minister released this information in response to proposals for a salary increase for all government employees in the new fiscal year, which begins on April 1.
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Ethnic lawmakers have drawn up a report containing suggestions for constitutional amendment as sexpartite talks are slated to recommence. Articles 59(f) and 436 are amongst those that the MPs proposed amending.
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Derek Mitchell, US ambassador to Myanmar, told the Myanmar Eleven at a press conference at the US Embassy in Yangon that America was keeping a close watch on efforts to change the 2008 Constitution. (more…)

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