Former ABSFU chairman arrested in Myingyan

Thant Zin, a patron of Myingyan District All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABSFU) and former chairman of ABSFU, Upper Myanmar, was arrested on March 30 for taking part in a protest held in Myingyan, Mandalay Region, on March 27 calling for the release of detained students and supporters.

Currently, five activists who participated in the protest are being investigated and the authorities are planning to arrest them soon.

President attends signing of final draft of ceasefire agreement

President Thein Sein attended the signing of the final draft of the nationwide ceasefire agreement between the government’s Union Peacemaking Working Committee (UPWC) and the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) at the Myanmar Peace Centre in Yangon on Tuesday.

The agreement was signed by five representatives each from the UPWC and NCCT, which is a coalition of representatives of ethnic armed groups.

Election will not be fair if constitution is biased, says Suu Kyi

Myanmar has no genuine democracy yet, and the election will not be fair if the constitution is biased, said National League for Democracy (NLD) chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday in parliament.

“Direct democracy does not at present. The democracy that exists today can be called diplomatic democracy. There must be three pillars in a standard democracy: legislative, administrative and juridical. Legislative power should be the most influential in a democracy because MPs are elected as representatives of the people,” said Suu Kyi.

UPWC, NCCT finalise draft of nationwide ceasefire deal

The Union Peacemaking Working Committee (UPWC) and the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) reached an agreement yesterday on a draft of the nationwide ceasefire deal after a series of meetings.

The agreement came shortly after the seventh round of ceasefire talks between the UPWC and NCCT. The parties discussed all points included in chapters 1 to 7 from March 17-22 in Yangon. They resumed talks on March 30 to discuss the remaining points after a seven-day break.

Ten townships in Yangon announce voter list

Ward administration offices in ten townships in Yangon Region announced the eligible voter list for the upcoming election on March 30.

Ten townships are Seikkan Township, Dagon Township, Latha Township, Seikkyikhanaungto Township, Kyautada Township, Lanmadaw Township, Botahtaung Township, Pasauntaung Township, Dawpon Township and Kamayut Township. People can check the list at the ward administration offices from March 30 to April 12.

Parliament cuts Ks 19 bn from government budget

Taking heed of Speaker Thura Shwe Mann’s criticism over government spending, the Union Parliament on Monday cut Ks 19 billion (US$ 19 million) from the funding allocations government ministries and organisations had demanded.

During a parliamentary session held in Nay Pyi Taw, Upper House MP Zaw Myint Pe tabled a proposal urging Parliament to cut about two per cent of all normal government spending in the budget bill for fiscal year 2015-16, which begins April 1. That would amount to Ks 19 billion, he said.

Suu Kyi, KNU leaders discuss peace, amending charter

Chairperson of the National League for Democracy (NLD) Aung San Suu Kyi and KNU leaders held a discussion on March 29 at her house in Nay Pyi Taw on peace, amending the constitution and upcoming general election.

“We discussed three main issues with Aung San Suu Kyi. They are our country’s present situation, peace processes, and amending the constitution. Besides, we also discussed about upcoming general election. We exchanged our views at this meeting,” said Phado Saw Kwe Htoo Win, general-secretary of KNU.

Election website to be set up

The Serenity Initiatives will set up an information centre and a website for the 2015 general election in April this year, according to Than Htay, director from the TSI.

The TSI sought advices from the social organisations and news media on website’s name, logo and different categories, at Teedam Baptist Convention in Sanchaung Township in Yangon on March 28.

UNGA adopts draft resolution on human rights in Myanmar

A draft resolution on human rights situation in Myanmar, which has been approved by the United Nations General Assembly, was released on Friday, urging the government to ensure free and fair elections, protect the right to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, to allow for free and independent movement of journalists and activists, strengthen rule of law, and carry out ceasefire.

Army chief rules out election threats

The commander-in-chief of the defence services Min Aung Hlaing in his speech on the 70th Armed Forces Day said there would be no pressure exerted on voters in this year’s election.