By Zin Linn
The 14th day regular session of the Burma’s Lower House continued at People’s Parliament Hall of Parliament Complex in Nay-Pyi-Taw at 10 am Wednesday, attended by Speaker of Lower House Parliament Thura Shwe Mann and 406 Lower House representatives, The New Light of Myanmar newspaper said today.
Addressing Burma’s parliament for the first time on Wednesday, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi of Kawhmu Constituency talked about the rights of ethnic minorities that the current charter does not particularly define the word ‘national races’. The deliberations concentrated on rights of national races categorized by the geographical locations. In Burma, ethnic states are suffering from much poverty.
Granting her support for a proposition made by Ti Khun Myat, a lawmaker of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), to take care of ethnic minority rights, Aung San Suu Kyi said broader guarantees for ethnic equality were vital to the country’s changeover to democratic system.
“I would like to recommend our members of parliament to thrash out the protection of ethnic minorities’ rights by presenting and amending laws as necessary. Additionally, I hereby support U Ti Khun Myat’s proposal,” she said during the 14th day regular session of the Lower House.
According the state-paper, Suu Kyi said that “it is obvious that development of states is not satisfactory and also total ceasefire cannot be seen in the internal strife till today.” Consequently, she said that safeguard of the rights of national races is wider and deeper than preservation of languages and culture.
Accordingly, Suu Kyi urged all the Lower House representatives to take part in discussions for materialization of a indisputable democratic state based on equality and mutual respects and trusts indivisible from Pang-long Spirit and to make improvements and endorse the laws for protection of the rights of ethnic nationalities.
Ohn Kyaing, an MP of Maha-aung-mye Constituency and an executive member of Suu Kyi’s party, played a part in discussions. He said that the people of Burma stick to heroism and it is original characteristic of the national races. General Aung San had emerged as the national leader during the anti-colonial era for more than 100 years. Aung San had the potential to bring together the entire nation, and people of the whole nation firmly believe that he was a great leader.
After many years, a leader who can be reinstated in the place of General Aung San appeared. The person is Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The nation should make use of her in peace process and development of the country. At this favorable time, the President and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi are to join hands in harmoniously establishing the new era for emergence of a genuine democratic nation, he suggested.
It was remarkable that in response to the discussions, Lower House Speaker Thura Shwe Mann said that all the MPs are bear subsection (f) of Section 130 of People’s Parliament Rules in mind before discussing a specific proposal.
Parliament representatives must abide by Section 130 (c) of the rule that states discussion should not include characteristics and behaviors of a person in general and the sub section (e) states that discussions about a proposal must be related with proposals under debate at the parliament. The behaviors mentioned sub-section (e) of Section 130 of Pyithu Hluttaw indicate either good or bad ones. The Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker then urged the Representatives to strictly abide by parliamentary laws and rules in discussing matters in the future, according to the state-run newspaper.
The Speaker said he had presented a proposal for enforcement People’s Parliament Law and Rules and reiterated it to makes sure there was no ambiguity. The Speaker said he had to listen carefully to discussion of Ohn Kyaing and scrutinize whether it is in line with law or rules before putting forward to Parliament.
President Thein Sein’s military-backed government has achieved cease-fires with a number of ethnic rebel groups. However, warfare has continued with Kachin Independence Army that menaces the current change and peace process.
To address the interconnected ethnic problems, the current government must review the mistakes of past rulings and the political aspirations of the ethnic communities. The root cause of the nation’s ethnic political mayhem is the consecutive governments’ antagonism to a democratic federal union.
Without addressing and honoring the ethnic people’s demand for self-determination, the latest parliament-based government seems unable to stop political and civil strife throughout ethnic areas. In reality, ethnic people’s demand of equal rights is not a new one but already mentioned in the 1947-Panglong agreement. The Panglong Agreement was signed on Feb. 12, 1947, between General Aung San and leaders of the Chin, Kachin and Shan ethnic groups guaranteeing to establish a genuine federal union of Burma