Wednesday, August 17, 2011

President invites Burmese abroad to return home; urges armed groups to surrender

Wednesday, 17 August 2011 20:19 Mizzima News

Rangoon (Mizzima) – President Thein Sein reportedly invited Burmese citizens who live in foreign countries to come back home to Burma, and he urged armed groups to surrender to the government, during a meeting in Naypyitaw on Wednesday.

Burmese President Thein Sein was the country's former
prime minister. Photo: Mizzima
Thein Sein, who met with representatives from social and business organizations at the Myanmar Convention Centre in Naypyitaw, said that Burmese citizens who had gone abroad for different reasons would be allowed to return to Burma. More than 40 organizations were invited to attend the 20-minute meeting with the president.

But, the invitation is not a general amnesty, but rather an invitation for them to work for the development of the nation. He said that armed groups should surrender to state officials or regional governments as soon as possible.

Thein Sein said that if people who have committed crimes came back to Burma, their sentences would be commuted but those who committed serious crimes would be held accountable.

Many exiled political organizations said that the government’s invitation was “meaningless” because it was not a general amnesty.

“They should release all political prisoners, establish genuine peace everywhere and hold all-inclusive political dialogues. They did not do those things, and they invited back Burmese citizens in foreign countries just to show off. Such an empty invitation, saying it just to show off, is meaningless and unnatural,” said Ngwe Lin, the general-secretary of the Democratic Party for a New Society.

Meanwhile, on the political front, the Ministry of Home Affairs has said that it will allow the Free Funeral Service Society (Rangoon) to officially register as a civic charity organization.

“It is a blessing for people who are doing charity work. It will bring benefits to the people, and it encourages me,” said Kyaw Thu, the chairman of Free Funeral Service Society (Rangoon).

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