Parliament to help plan 21st Century Panglong Conference

Myanmar's parliament plans to play a role in convening the 21st century Panglong Conference, said Khun Maung Thaung, chairman of the Lower House Ethnic Affairs and Internal Peace Implementation Committee.  

"Our committee is taking all necessary measures for holding the conference. Regarding ethnic affairs, for example, this parliament has various ethnic groups. So we arranging communications between the various ethnic parties and between the various ethnic people," said MP Khun Maung Thaung.  

Ethnic minority groups propose meeting with Suu Kyi

Leaders of several ethnic armed groups said they proposed a meeting with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who will lead the national peace process conducted by the new government.

The representatives of the eight ethnic groups that signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) met the preparation committee for the 21st Century Panglong Conference on May 19 in Yangon.   

TNLA, MNDAA and AA urge govt to solve conflict politically

The Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and the Arakan Army (AA) issued a joint statement on May 21 urging the NLD government to end the conflicts between the Myanmar Defence Services and ethnic armed groups through political channels.

The statement appeared after the government held a press conference in Nay Pyi Taw on May 14.

Myanmar is not afraid of US sanctions: Suu Kyi

Although the United States still imposes some sanctions against Myanmar, we are not afraid of those sanctions, said Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s State Counsellor and Minister for Foreign Affairs in a press conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Suu Kyi met the US Secretary of State in Nay Pyi Taw on May 22. Kerry said during the press conference that the US has lifted some sanctions to show support for Myanmar’s democratic transition.

Army reports fresh Kachin clashes

The Northern Command is reporting fighting in Mansi and Hpakant, Kachin State. It is blaming illegal logging, the abduction of villagers for military service and extortion by the Kachin Independence Army. The KIA blamed the fighting on the military entering its territory. 

Clashes reportedly started on May 17 in Mansi and May 5 in Hpakant. 

MPs demand protest law relaxations

Four Upper House MPs on May 20 called for the removal of provisions in the Peaceful Assembly and Procession Bill that limit a protest period, the number of protesters and require the submission of an exact topic of the demonstrators.

"The new version requires no permission to stage a protest and only information is necessary. That is democratic. But it is impossible to state the number of people who will participate. If the number of protesters exceeds that given, they are likely to face action," said Upper House MP Ye Htut.

Htin Kyaw calls on Putin to invest

President Htin Kyaw has arrived in Sochi to attend the summit to mark the 20th anniversary of the Russia-Asean Dialogue Partnership and held discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Htin Kyaw reportedly told Putin that Myanmar would keep boosting diplomatic relations that were established in 1948. He added that friendship and goodwill associations should be formed to enhance cultural and economic cooperation. He said Russia should encourage its businesses to invest, the President's Office announced.