US Delegation Meets Ethnic MPs in Naypyidaw


US Delegation Meets Ethnic MPs in Naypyidaw

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Burma should decentralized its federalist system, thereby granting more authority to state governments to work for their own local development, spoke an ethnic Mon MP today to the US delegation in Naypyidaw.

Myanmar President Thein Sein, left, and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, William Burns, right, pose for a photo call before their meeting at the Presidential House in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. (Photo: AP)

The US delegation met seven ethnic MPs in Naypyidaw this morning, including Min Myo Tint Lwin, an ethnic Mon MP from MP from Burma’s Upper House of Parliament.

“I told them that we wanted the US to pressure the Burmese government to allow the state governments to practice their own rights and reduce the overreaching power of the federal government.”

We want more job opportunities, the right to teach our own ethnic language and the ability to work for our own local development,” he said.

US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, recently arrived in Naypyitaw, and Derek Mitchell, the U.S. Ambassador to Burma, met seven ethnic MPs from Mon, Chin, Karen, Arakan, Shan and Kachin States for fact finding about the current condition of Burma’s ethnic states.

Myanmar opposition leaderAung San Suu Kyi, right, chats with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, William Burns, left, in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. (Photo:AP)

After the political changes to Burma this decade, the country now has both a state and central federal government However, ethnic MPs have continually reiterated that the state governments hold very limited rights to work for themselves towards their own development, unlike the rich democracy of neighboring India, which was a colony of Britain alongside Burma.

“We learned a great deal about governmental institutions there when we went for a study trip. We found that state governments in India have a lot of opportunity to work for their local development,” said Banyar Oung Moe, who is another ethnic Mon MP from Burma’s Upper of House of Parliament.

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