. Space Travel News .

ASEAN election observers set for Myanmar
by Staff Writers
Yangon, Myanmar (UPI) Mar 21, 2012

The Association of South East Asian Nations will send 23 election observers to Myanmar this month at the government's request, ASEAN said.

Forty-eight Parliamentary seats have been left vacant because the elected members were appointed to fill Cabinet posts and other executive positions in the central government.

"Myanmar has urged relevant countries to lift their sanctions and allow the country to pursue its development and to improve the living standards of its people," ASEAN said.

The agreement was first discussed during a meeting in February between ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan and Myanmar President Thein Sein during Surin's visit to Myanmar.

The ASEAN statement says the two leaders agreed that such a move "would boost transparency, which will add to the international goodwill that Myanmar has attracted so far."

The polls promise to be a test for how far Myanmar's nominally civilian government of former junta leaders are willing to go to hold an election recognized internationally as free and fair.

ASEAN's statement acknowledged that "the April by-election has attracted a lot of attention."

During his visit to Myanmar, Surin met the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi who, as leader of opposition party National League for Democracy, is contesting a seat in the election April 1.

Suu Kyi and her NLD party won a national election in 1990 but were refused power by the ruling military government.

She wasn't allowed to run in the November 2010 national election because she was under house arrest. But the government since has allowed her greater freedom than before to comment on the political situation.

Although many Western countries called the November 2010 national election process and result fraudulent, the government has been making efforts to show it is moving toward a more open society and political structure.

Suu Kyi, 66, has welcomed the move by Sein toward more open democracy but cautioned a lot more must be done. In particular, she wants an end to the 25 percent of parliamentary seats reserved for military members appointed by the government, itself made up former junta leaders who resigned their commissions to run as civilians.

Tomas Ojea Quintana, the U.N. special envoy on human rights in Myanmar, recently told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva that the elections would be a "key test" for the government which took office in January 2011.

"It is essential that they are truly free, fair, inclusive and transparent," he said.

"It is clear that there are ongoing and serious human rights concerns that remain to be addressed," said Quintana. "These cannot be ignored in the rush to reform and to move forward."

Press freedom remains a concern with the government planning to sue The Voice magazine over allegations of corruption in the Ministry of Mines, a report by the Irrawaddy news Web site, published from Thailand, said.

The state-run The New Light of Myanmar newspaper said the Ministry of Mining denied corruption allegations.

"Amid the country moving forward to full peace and development with discipline of democracy, it tarnishes the dignity of the ministry and is not ethical for the media to write like this," a statement from the Ministry of Mines said.

Related Links
Democracy in the 21st century at TerraDaily.com

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

And it's 3... 2... 1... blastoff! Discover the thrill of a real-life rocket launch.


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Hong Kong election hinges on Chinese whispers
Hong Kong (AFP) March 21, 2012
Embattled Hong Kong leadership candidate Henry Tang said Wednesday he believed he could still win this weekend's election despite reports that Beijing has switched its support to his rival. Tang, a wealthy businessman and the city's former chief secretary, was believed to have Beijing's backing until a series of personal scandals and gaffes destroyed his standing with the general public. ... read more

Arianespace's third ATV launch for ISS servicing is given a "go" for liftoff

Astrium and Air Liquide create EuroCryospace

SpaceX, NASA readies for April 30 launch to ISS

North Korea to invite observers to satellite launch

India's Mars mission gets Rs.125 crore

Europe hopes to save Mars mission

Rep. Schiff Applauds Decision to Reject NASA Request to Divert Mars Funds

Winter Studies of 'Amboy' Rock Continue

Two New NASA LRO Videos: See Moon's Evolution, Take a Tour

China to get lunar soil

China's second moon orbiter outperforms design

Why do We See the Man in the Moon?

New Horizons on Approach: 22 AU Down, Just 10 to Go

Herschel's new view on giant planet formation

Kepler Statistical Analysis Suggests Earthlike Planets Extremely Rare

Stars with Dusty Disks Should Harbor Earth-like Worlds

Star Comb joins quest for Earth-like planets

NASA Sub-Scale Solid-Rocket Motor Tests Material for Space Launch System

Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne Hot-Fires Launch Abort

NASA Sub-Scale Solid-Rocket Motor Tests Material for Space Launch System

Maglev-launched spacecraft proposed

China's Lunar Docking

Shenzhou-9 may take female astronaut to space

China to launch 100 satellites during 2011-15

Three for Tiangong

Dear Ups and Dawns

Asteroid 2011 AG5 - A Reality Check

Scientists say big asteroid bears watching

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement