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Date set for return of sexpartite talks

Burma’s faltering sexpartite dialogue on constitutional reform between political leaders is set to resume on 10 April, lawmakers have been told.

Parliamentary Speaker Thura Shwe Mann made the announcement on Monday in a meeting with political party representatives at Zambuthiri Hall in Naypyidaw. President Thein Sein, the two parliamentary speakers, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the commander-in-chief, and Aye Maung, the appointed representative of the ethnic bloc, will meet on Friday in the capital.

Aye Maung told DVB: “In a meeting with representatives of 18 political parties, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, U Shwe Mann announced that the meeting will take place on Friday. He also told me to make preparations for the meeting as I am to represent ethnic lawmakers there.”

An emergency proposal to speedily facilitate the six-way talks was unanimously passed by the parliament in November, after being submitted by the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party. The proposal urged that the talks “bring about a Constitution with contemporary relevance, and create good opportunities to nation-building in the future.”


However, Thein Sein in January rejected the proposed dialogue on the grounds that it would be unconstitutional and a breach of the rule of law. He was previously heavily criticised for hosting a 14-way talks and 48-way talks, which the opposition dismissed as beating around the bush.

Parliamentary house speaker Shwe Mann weighed in on the issue earlier this year, urging the president to reconsider his position.

Shwe Mann, who is frequently at odds with military hardliners but widely seen as a frontrunner in the race for the presidency, said that initiating such dialogue will “bring about positive outcomes for the country’s tranquillity, development, ethnic unity, national reconciliation, peace, and democratic transition.”


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