Joint bill committee awaits charter change bill

The Union Parliament Joint Bill Committee has yet to receive the constitutional amendments bill to be discussed during the parliamentary session that will resume on Monday, committee secretary Saw Hla Tun said Wednesday.

The Lower House Parliament's Legal Affairs and the Special Issues Assessment Commission and the Union Parliament's Constitutional Amendment Implementation Committee as well as other organisations involved in drafting the bill continue to discuss possible charter amendments, the secretary said.

Thein Sein calls for election unity

President Thein Sein is urging citizens to work together for a successful general election this year through a radio speech delivered on May 4, adding that the election is a turning point for Myanmar's democratic transition.  

"The 2015 general election is very important for democratic reform. Political groups and people should all join forces for the successful completion of the election. I am determined to work for successful democratic reform. And I promise to put every effort into achieving it," the president said.

Govt awaits outcome of ethnic conference to sign nationwide ceasefire: Thein Sein

The government is ready to sign a nationwide ceasefire agreement pending the outcome of the ongoing ethnic conference in Panghsan in Shan State, President Thein Sein said in his monthly radio address on Monday.

Ethnic armed groups call for constitutional change

Ethnic armed groups attending a three-day conference in Panghsan in Shan State over the weekend were unified in their demand that the 2008 constitution be amended, those in attendance report.

The ethnic armed group revealed their political positions and reached a consensus that constitutional change is vital to Myanmar's future, said Colonel Khun Oakka, patron of the Pao National Liberation Organisation.

Press being gagged: Suu Kyi

Myanmar has a lot of work to do achieve press freedom, according to Aung San Suu Kyi, the chairperson of Parliament’s Rule of Law, Peace and Stability Committee.

She was speaking to mark World Press Freedom Day at the Novotel Hotel in Yangon on May 3. Minister for the President’s Office Ye Htut and Lower House MP Khine Maung Yi, from Parliament’s information committee attended the event.

Military bans media outlets from publishing Kokang group’s statements

The Military Authoritative Information Team today sent a letter to Myanmar Press Council (Interim) informing that the local news media outlets are not to cover any statements released by Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA).

Speaker ready for Suu Kyi coalition

Union Parliament Speaker Thura Shwe Mann has said he is ready to cooperate with the National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi, according to Reuters.

He was visiting the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington DC when he was asked about the possibility of a coalition government between his ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) and Suu Kyi’s NLD.

Panghsan summit looks to change ceasefire deal

The amendments to nationwide ceasefire agreement made at the summit for armed ethnic groups organised by the United Wa State Army (UWSA) will be discussed with the government, said Naing Han Tha, the leader of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT).

Armed ethnic organisations made amendments to the peace deal, which has been already approved by the government’s Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC) and the NCCT, which was formed from 16 armed ethnic organisations.

Party registration for election ends

The Union Election Commission (UEC) has announced that the registration period for setting up a new political party ended on April 30.

A total of 73 parties, including two new ones, applied for registration to run in the 2015 general election. Checks are still being conducted on 14 parties, said Hla Maung Cho, deputy director from the UEC.

The UEC told parties to register before the end of April ahead of the election that is expected in November.

Peace deal worthless: UWSA head

PANGHSAN – A ceasefire deal without peace was just a worthless piece of paper, chairman Bao Youxiang of the United Wa State Army (UWSA) said in his inaugural speech to the armed ethnic groups meeting in Panghsan Township, Wa self-administered zone, in northern Shan State. 

He said that successive governments had failed to respect the prestige and honour of minority ethnic groups who had been left behind by Myanmar’s rulers.