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NGOs will have greater access to ethnic areas: Thein Sein

(Mizzima) – Burmese President Thein Sein said the government would increase cooperation with international nongovernmental organizations, including the United Nations, to offer humanitarian aid and resettlement programs to ethnic areas.

President Thein Sein and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during his recent visit to Burma. Photo: MizzimaThein Sein told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Monday that the government is successfully working with 10 ethnic armed groups in the peace process, the New Light of Myanmar, a state-run newspaper, said.

The most important holdout is the Kachin Independence Organization, which has broken off talks with the government.

Fighting has increased in Kachin State in recent weeks, in spite of three rounds of talks in China's border town of Ruili, and up to 60,000 refugees may be in the area, since fighting resumed in June 2011.

In other areas, Thein Sein said on Tuesday that efforts to eliminate forced labor in the country have been accelerated.

“Our elected government has been in the office for over a year and it is high time we should eliminate all forms of forced labor once and for all for enhancing the eternal principles of justice, liberty, equity in the union,” Thein Sein said in a message on Labor Day.

He said the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Burmese government have launched a joint strategy for the elimination of forced labor in Burma by 2015.

He said that Burma is implementing eight rural development and poverty alleviation  programs and called for increased efforts to realize the objective by ensuring a rapid flow of domestic and foreign investment into the country.

As the number of factories, industrial estates, special economic zones, small and medium enterprises and regional businesses are increased, he said the labor market could create more job opportunities.

He emphasized that the government currently is focusing on ensuring human rights based on social justice for all workers, including the formation of independent labor organizations to protect workers’ rights.

He also said a new social security law covering a wide range of social benefits has been drafted.

He urged all workers and workers' organizations, employers and employers' organizations to work together with the government to build a modern, developed democratic nation.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 03 May 2012 14:38 )  

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