Inter-ethnic cooperation needed to build democracy, says president

Cooperation between all ethnic groups is crucial to building a democratic country and overcoming other obstacles, urged President Thein Sein in a formal letter presented at yesterday's Union Day ceremony.

The formal letter was read by Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Khan in a ceremony to mark the 68th Union Day yesterday morning at Nay Pyi Taw City Hall.

In the letter, the president said the nation's sovereignty rests on the unity between all ethnic groups.

Government, ethnic armed groups sign agreement to build federal state

The Myanmar government and four ethnic armed groups signed an agreement to build a state based on democracy and a federal system yesterday in Nay Pyi Taw.

The four groups are the Karen National Union (KNU), Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), Karen National Liberation Army and Shan State Restoration Council/Shan State Army.

NLD leader meets protesting students in Nay Pyi Taw

Aung San Suu Kyi, the chairperson of the National League for Democracy, met with students protesting against the proposed national education reform bill in Nay Pyi Taw on February 12, according to the NLD social media.

The protesting students confirmed their meeting with Suu Kyi which was also attended by MPs Su Su Lwin , Phyo Zeya Thaw and  Thein Swe.

At the meeting, the students discussed the reasons for staging the protest against the proposed education law.

Six-party talks may materialize before elections, says Speaker Thura Shwe Mann

Six-party talks may materialize before the 2015 general elections, Union Parliament Speaker Thura Shwe Mann told the media at today’s press meet in Nay Pyi Taw. 

NLD forms central committee for winning elections

The opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) formed a central committee for winning elections in 2015 on February 9.

NLD patron Tin Oo will chair the committee. Maung Maung Oo, a central executive committee member, will serve as secretary.

CSOs demand pledges from UPWC and NCCT to continue peace process

Several civil society organisations (CSOs) gathered at the ninth CSO peace forum at the Myanmar Peace Centre in Yangon on February 7 and demanded pledges from the Union Peacemaking Working Committee and the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) to continue peace talks beyond the 2015 general election.

CSOs to report to UN on human rights

Civic society organisations (CSOs) are going to compile a report on Myanmar’s human rights situation and send it to the United Nations for the first time.

The report will emphasise freedom of expression, the role of groups protecting human rights, farmland and development, the role of the human rights commission, legal reforms, the rule of law, freedom of religious rights and armed conflicts.

NLD disowns article on ‘foreign’ vote

An article on white-card holders’ voting rights written by advocate Ko Ni, a member of the central legal support committee for the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) and the central committee for constitutional amendments, did not represent the party, said Nyan Win, an NLD spokesman.

The article on temporary identity certificate holders, arguing that they should have a legal right to vote if their papers had been issued correctly, appeared in the Voice Weekly on February 7. 

Govt to seek backing for power plants

The coal-fired power projects will only continue if the public accepts them, the deputy minister for electrical power Aung Than Oo told Parliament.

MP Myint Soe from Pyawbwe constituency submitted a proposal urging the government to invite foreign investors into the electricity sector to obtain modern technology in coal-fired power projects to prevent pollution and to generate electricity from nuclear technology.

MPs demand probe into immigrant vote

Twenty-seven Upper House MPs have called for the Constitutional Tribunal to rule whether giving the right to vote to temporary citizens or white-card holders is in line with the 2008 Constitution. 

Dr Aye Maung of the Rakhine National Party said: “All existing laws are legal as long as they are not annulled or amended by the Union Parliament and are in line with the 2008 Constitution.”