Thursday, June 30, 2011

Members of six Burmese political parties to visit Japan

Thursday, 30 June 2011 14:11 Mizzima News

Rangoon (Mizzima) – Members of six political parties including the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) will leave for a week-long study tour of Japan on July 13, USDP General-Secretary Htay Oo said in a press conference in Rangoon on Wednesday.

Ten members of the USDP; two from the National Democratic Force (NDF) ; two from the Shan Nationalities and Development Party (SNDP) aka White Tiger Party; two from the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP); two from the National Unity Party (NUP) and two from the All Mon Region Democracy Party (AMDP) will make the tour.

Lower House MP Aung Thein Lin (USDP), Soe Win (NDF), Htay Oo (USDP), Tun Yi (NUP) at a press conference at USDP headquarters in Rangoon on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Photo: Mizzima

Htay Oo said, “The Japanese government told us it wanted to invite party members who were under 35 to visit Japan. Then they asked us if we would accept the invitation if they also invited members from other political parties. As for me, we all have the same objectives, so despite the different party names I don’t see them as members of other parties. I willingly accepted the invitation.”

He advised the members not to divide themselves into separate political groups during the tour and to remember they were first Burmese citizens.

RNDP General-Secretary Hla Saw said the tour should benefit the political process in Burma.

On Tuesday, Htay Oo met with Japan’s Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Makiko Kikuta. “I told her that we would hold a meeting with the other five political parties,” Htay Oo said in the press conference.

The secretary-general of the Union Solidarty and Development Party (USDP), Htay Oo, and senior leader Htun Yee of the National Unity Party at a press conference at USDP headquarters in Rangoon on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Photo: Mizzima

Makiko Kikuta is the first senior Japanese envoy to Burma since Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest in November 2010. On Wednesday, she met with Suu Kyi and NLD leaders and said that Japan would continue to support the establishment of democracy in Burma.

She also met with government officials including Lower House Vice Speaker Nanda Kyaw Swar in Naypyitaw and officials from political parties at the Japanese Embassy in Rangoon.

Japan has donated US$ 5.87 million worth of food supplies (1,700 tons) and edible cooking oil (1,625 ton) to Burma thorough the UN World Food Programme.

Because of human rights violations and the violent suppression of the pro-democracy movement in Burma since 2003, Japan withdrew its economic support to Burma except for humanitarian and emergency aid.

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