Upper House speaker gives address at Australian National University

Speaker of Amyotha Hluttaw U Khin Aung Myint addresses 2015 Myanmar Update Conference held at the Australian National University.—MNA
Speaker of Amyotha Hluttaw U Khin Aung Myint addresses 2015 Myanmar Update Conference held at the Australian National University.—MNA

Nay Pyi Taw, 8 June— Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker U Khin Aung Myint gave a speech Sunday at the opening ceremony of the 2015 Myanmar Update Conference at the Australian National University, saying the focus of the present government is on laying a democratic foundation for the next generation.
The Upper House Speaker said he is satisfied with international interest in the country’s democratic transformation, which some western media have called the “Myanmar Spring.”
In his briefing on political developments in the country, U Khin Aung Myint said Myanmar is still facing two unsolved problem—the first being civil war between the government and ethnic armed groups, and the second being public mistrust of the government as a legacy of long-term military rule.
He also said the political culture of Myanmar has been complicated by obsession with norms, radicalism and worship of personality, which are obstacles to the institutionalization of democracy in Myanmar.
U Khin Aung Myint said the first attempt at creating a democratic transformation in Myanmar was the 1988 democracy uprising, and the second was the general election in 2010.
Quoting the oath of President U Thein Sein when taking office in 2011, the speaker said the Myanmar government had compromised with opposing political forces for the good of the country.
He also said the Myanmar government has opened up a top-down transformation, saying that the government has had to struggle with reform on not one but three fronts — politics, the economy and peace. The speaker said the government’s economic reform involved transitioning from a closed, command-style economy toward an open-door, free-market economy, which he admitted had not been as successfully achieved as political reform.  He also said the government’s peace committee is negotiating with the National Ceasefire Coordinating Team, which includes 16 ethnic armed groups, to realize a National Ceasefire Accord, with only one main ethnic group, the Kachin Independence Army, yet to agree in principle.
The conference was also attended by the Myanmar Ambassador to Australia and diplomats. The Myanmar delegation arrived back home at the evening on 7 June.—MNA

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