All should be represented at meeting on charter change, says Thein Sein

President Thein Sein has sent a message to parliament responding to the proposal to hold six-party talks, saying such a meeting would be good as long as it represented all the people, including civic organisations and political forces.  
The president’s reply comes nearly two months after Union parliament approved the urgent proposal to hold six-party talks on constitutional amendment submitted by MP Myint Tun.

NLD discusses elections, political dialogue and constitutional amendment with UNA

Nay Pyi Taw – Aung San Suu Kyi, the chairperson of the oppositional National League for Democracy (NLD), received members of the United Nationalities Alliance (UNA) at her residence in Nay Pyi Taw on January 18 to hold discussions on matters relating to free and fair elections, holding political dialogue and constitutional amendment.

Bill on constitution change ready for submission

A bill amending the 2008 Constitution will be submitted to Parliament as the Constitutional Amendment Implementation Committee has already received 20 percent approval from MPs, said Aye Mauk, the committee secretary.

The Constitution says: “If 20 percent of [MPs] submit the bill to amend the Constitution, it shall be considered by the Union Parliament.”

Youth delegates demand seat at peace talks

Aung Min, the vice-chairman of the Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC), said that he would hold discussions with the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) on whether to allow two youth representatives to observe the peace talks.

Union ministers Aung Min and Soe Thein, officials of the Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC) and more than 90 representatives from 25 youth organisations met at the MPC in Yangon to discuss the role of young people in the peace process. The youth organisations demanded participation at the next peace talks.

Myanmar's first challenge is unity, Suu Kyi says

Myanmar is on a rough path and unity is the first requirement it needs in order to overcome its challenges, National League for Democracy's chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi told an event to mark her father’s birthday.

She made the remarks during the centennial celebration of Bogyoke (General) Aung San held inside the Shwezigon Pagoda grounds in Yamethin, Mandalay Region.

"All of us need to be united. This country is a union, formed from various ethnic groups. We will only become developed when we have unity," said Aung San Suu Kyi.

USDP chairman prepared for coalition

The ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) would join hands with any political party in the interests of the people, said its chairman Thura Shwe Mann.The party held its third central committee meeting at its headquarters on January 16.“For the time being, different opinions and attitudes reflect symbols of democracy in the current democratic reforms,” Thura Shwe Mann said.“We can join hands with any party in the interests of the country and people and we can regard any party as a potential partner. The party’s basic principle is cooperation.

Ceasefire unlikely on Union Day without further talks, say both sides

A nationwide ceasefire deal between government and ethnic armed groups could not be signed on Union Day (February 12) if the Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC) and Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) fail to hold the seventh round of ceasefire talks this month. 

CSO submits amendments to election draft to UEC

Several civil society organisations (CSOs) compiled amendments to the draft of the election rules distributed by the Union Election Commission (UEC) and submitted them to the UEC on January 15.

The UEC distributed drafts of a code of conducts and election rules to be followed by election observers on December 16. Election observers pointed out that the election watch period allotted by these drafts was too short for them to complete their registration. This and other rules are the target of the amendments proposed by the CSOs.

Ye Htut highlights a Facebook page which criticized the president

Presidential spokesperson and information minister Ye Htut took to Facebook to denounce a photo that he alleges was originally posted by Myo Yan Naung Thein, a senior member of the National League for Democracy (NLD). 

Myo Yan Naung Thein, who is the director of the NLD’s Bayda Institute, denied the accusation.

The photo shows President Thein Sein carrying a child in his arms during a recent trip with the caption “By the way, there have been many cases of underage rape committed by old bats recently.”

UNA plans to hold political dialogue again

The United Nationalities Alliance (UNA) plans to hold its next political dialogue next month, which will include representatives of ethnic armed groups and political groups.

The UNA held its last political dialogue, which also included civic organizations, in Yangon on December 23-24, 2014.

The discussants adopted an agreement to participate in future activities to promote democracy, peace and creating a federal union.