Sunday, 17 November 2019

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Fourteen Burmese MPs to attend Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly

New Delhi (Mizzima) – MPs from the Upper House and Lower House of the Burmese Parliament will attend the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) to be held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It will be the first time Burmese MPs have attended the assembly.

Seven MPs of the Union Solidarity and Development Party including Union Assembly Speaker Khin Aung Myint will attend, along with one MP from each of six political parties: National Unity Party, Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP), Chin Progressive Party, Pa-O National Organization, Phalon-Sawaw Democratic Party and New National Democracy Party; and one independent MP.

This is the first opportunity for Burmese to attend an AIPA meeting. The MPs will submit papers on politics, economics, social affairs, forming institutions and women’s affairs during the seven-day conference, scheduled to begin September 18.

“The representatives were chosen on a party basis. They are chosen  on a racial basis. MPs who are Chin, Rakhine, Shan and other ethnic groups who represent their regions,” Lower House MP Dr. Aye Maung of the RNDP told Mizzima.  

Chin Progressive Party (CPP) chairman Noe Thang Kup said, “I think that the Union Assembly reviewed the educational backgrounds [of the MPs].” Lower House MP Khun Lane of the CPP will attend.

Three women MPs from the USDP representing Karenni and Mon states and Magway Region will speak on women’s affairs.

Fourteen businessmen from the tourism and fishery sectors will accompany the MPs to promote tourism and trade with Asean-member countries.

The AIPA conference is expected to grant a permanent membership to Burma, currently a special observer in AIPA. Among 10 Asean countries, Burma is the only one that is not a permanent member of AIPA.  Since Burma became a member of Asean in 1997, it has been a special observer in AIPA. Other special observers are Russia, China, India, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Canada, European Parliament and Papua New Guinea.

Asean countries formed AIPA in 1977 to promote solidarity and cooperation among parliaments of member countries. The venue is rotated among the member parliaments in alphabetical order unless otherwise decided by the general assembly and the host country chairs the assembly, according to the AIPA website.

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