Govt peace negotiators open to meeting all NCA non-signatories

The government-appointed preparation committee for holding the Union Peace Conference (the 21st Century Panglong Conference) said it will be able to meet any ethnic armed groups that have not signed the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) without any preconditions.

The preparation committee is trying to begin negotiations with NCA signatories and non-signatories after forming two sub-committees.

The committee has devised a plan to meet with NCA non-signatories in the first week of June, said Hla Maung Shwe, the secretary of the preparation committee.

Government updates peace committee

The government is reorganising the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee chaired by Aung San Suu Kyi, sources say.

Hla Maung Shwe, committee member, said: “The government proposed a list of 16 members, representing the government, army and Parliament. Ethnic armed groups confirmed their updated list of representatives. They will be organised with MPs from the Upper and Lower houses and regional parliaments and the government will reorganise the committee.”

2,000 tonnes of explosives arrive in Hpakant: MP

An MP for Hpakant in Kachin State has expressed surprise at the arrival of about 110 vehicles carrying nearly 2,000 tonnes of explosives. 

Although the government officially allowed the arrival of the vehicles, the amount of explosives was excessive, especially as mining would have to stop soon with the rainy season, MP Darshi La Hsain said. 

Yarza Htarni Company owned the vehicles, the MP said. 

Home ministry vows to free activists

The military-controlled Ministry of Home Affairs says it will work to drop charges against political activists within 100 days.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said there were 64 political prisoners behind bars and 174 activists facing charges at the end of April.

The ministry announced that it would free 440 prisoners, including two children, after cancelling 256 cases within 100 days.

Foreign ministry to scrap expat blacklist

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its 100-day plan will prioritise removing citizens living abroad from the blacklist and clear their criminal records. 

The ministry said that in order to benefit from the experience and expertise of the diaspora in nation-building efforts, they should be encouraged to return. 

Previously, only 28-day visas were allowed for former Myanmar citizens but now three- to six-month visits will be allowed. 

President revokes state protection law

President Htin Kyaw yesterday signed legislation revoking the Law to Safeguard the State against the Dangers of Those Desiring to Cause Subversive Acts, also known as the State Protection Law, according to Myanmar Radio and Television.

A parliamentary report said that the 1975 law was designed to limit the fundamental rights of citizens living under emergency rules, which contradicted the 2008 Constitution's protection of fundamental rights.

MPs vote to change Anti-Corruption Law

The Lower House approved an amendment bill to the Anti-Corruption Law without raising any objections on May 26.

The amendment bill will reform the Anti-Corruption Commission.

The secretary of Lower House Public Affairs Committee, Hpakant MP Tin Soe on May 19 tabled a bill to amend the law and form a new graft-busting commission.

Tin Soe said the commission would reduce government waste.

The president and the Speakers of both houses will each appoint up to five members.

Military chief meets Thai PM

Thailand is ready to work with the new government of Myanmar and expand cooperation in all aspects, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

The senior general is in Bangkok for a three-day official visit at the invitation of Thailand's armed forces.