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Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi receives a new "PM-like" roll
Myanmar's recently appointed legislature has suggested giving Aung San Suu Kyi a new part similar to that of premier Kyi. Suu Kyi, who already has several other positions in power, has said she will govern on a substitute basis. Htin Kyaw, her closest colleague, was oath as chairman on Wednesday.
It will give Suu Kyi the authority to work on all core questions of the administration and to see whoever she wants. In fact, it is the establishment of a similar post to that of the Taoiseach elsewhere. Following the oath of the new administration on Wednesday, the former incarcerated former politician is already directly responsible for three core departments and will give orders to the new President Htin Kyaw.
He is Myanmar's first elective civil commander in more than 50 years. The 69-year-old, who took the sworn inauguration on Wednesday, said he would be "faithful" to the Burmese population. In other words, if endorsed by the House, Ms Suu Kyi will have official responsibility for external policy, the President's Bureau, the educational system and electricity and utilities in the new state.
She will retain a fourth of the parliamentary seat and will lead three major departments - Defense, Interior and Borders.
Obama, who met Suu Kyi, says the US is prepared to lifted Myanmar's sanction.
"It is the right thing to make sure that the Burmese are rewarded for a new way of doing things and a new government," Obama said with Suu Kyi next to him in the Oval Office. Since Suu Kyi is no longer an opponent, Washington has considered further relaxing penalties against Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, as Obama wants to normalise ties with a nation governed by a country governed by a military junta. However, Suu Kyi is no longer an opponent.
"We think now is the right moment to lift all economic harms," Suu Kyi said, stating that the US Congress had in the past backed her nation by supporting harassment to put downward pressures on democracy. When Suu Kyi came to the summit, the White House made a declaration that it would reintroduce Myanmar into the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), which provides for duty-free access to goods from rich and low-income nations.
Burma was excluded from the GSP in 1989 after pro-democracy insurgencies that had been violently repressed by the reigning army junta a year before. Burma will be back on the programme on 13 November, US authorities said. The reintroduction of these advantages, coupled with the removal of penalties, "will give the United States, our companies and our non-profit organizations a greater stimulus to investment and to share in what we are hoping to become an ever more democratic and wealthy regional ally.
Suu Kyi visited the White House and held a meeting with several members of the House of Representatives in the US capitol. It was to return there on Thursday for sittings with House and Senate leaders from both sides, although not Paul Ryan, the House Spokesman of the Republic. A number of Congress members have voiced their concern about the changes in Myanmar and its HR records.
There are at least two legal provisions that they have put in place to give legislators some input into the sanction relaxation mechanism. US Representative Ed Royce, chair of the House's Foreign Affairs Committee, said after a briefing with Suu Kyi that while the new government gave Myanmar hopes, he continued to work to defend the repressed Rohingya Moslem population.
In order for Obama to be able to lifted the penalties, he would have to enact a decree ending the 1997 Myanmar Memorandum of Underpinning the penalties and repealing earlier country-specific one. One high administrative officer said that the lifting of penalties would not cover the provision of defence support. On Myanmar, the Foreign Ministry said several limitations would continue to exist, in particular the suspension of visa for warlords.
This year the United States has relaxed some penalties against Myanmar to promote policy reforms, but retained most of the limitations to punish those it believes are obstructing the democratic electioneers. Notification of the penalties led to rapid conviction by right-wing groups declaring that they had lost influence over Myanmar's army. "Removing the limitations on doing dealings with the Burmese army and its corporations and those of our decade-long acquaintances and pals who have been fortunate enough to reign is not the right thing to do," said John Sifton, assistant manager of Human Right Watch in Washington.
The Rohingya is not recognized as one of the 135 formal indigenous groups in Myanmar, which makes them stateless. Many in Myanmar reject them as illegals from neighbouring Bangladesh. US Senator Bob Corker, chair of the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, criticised what he described as Suu Kyi's "hostile" response to concern he had expressed about her country's track-record in the fight against drug-smuggling.
"I intend to monitor very closely the actions of her administration to stop the trafficking and sale of virgin people in hard labour and sexual slavery," the Republican said in a declaration after a morning get-together with Suu Kyi and Vice President Joe Biden.