Martial law extended in Kokang


Soldiers patrol in Chin Shwe Haw town of Kokang self-administered area, northern Shan State, Myanmar, 16 February 2015. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

Myanmar’s parliament has approved a third 90-day extension of martial law in the country’s Kokang special region near the border with China, in what officials said would likely prevent the war-torn area from taking part in general elections scheduled for 8 November RFA reported on 18 August.

The President’s Office minister Hla Tun submitted the proposal to parliament on Tuesday, following a written request from President Thein Sein a day earlier, according to state media.

“The President Office released two ordinances Tuesday to extend a state of emergency and a Military Administrative Order in Shan State’s Kokang self-administered zone until 17 November,” the official Global New Light of Myanmar said.

“The region remains unable to return to normalcy in terms of administration, peace and tranquillity and rule of law,” the report said, citing the request for extension to parliament.

Martial law gives the military sweeping judicial and administrative powers in the region.

Ethnic Kokang lawmaker Kyaw Ni Naing told RFA’s Myanmar Service that he supported the proposal because “work must be done on the economic, political and judicial systems in the region.”

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