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Panel discusses Myanmar’s transition to democracy


Panelists discuss Myanmar's democratic transition. Photo: Min Min for Mizzima

"We don't want to be trapped in the past," says MP Phyo Zeyar Thaw.

The MP was speaking during a panel discussion session of the “Forum on Myanmar’s Democratic Transition” in Nay Pyi Taw focused on the subject ‘Stock- taking: where is Myanmar in its Transition?’ moderated by Daw Thin Thin Aung, Director, Mizzima Media Group.

On the panel were U Phyo Zeyar Thaw, Member of Parliament, Pyithu Hluttaw, U AungKyi Nyut, Member of Parliament, Amyotha Hluttaw, and U Tin Maung Than, Myanmar Development Resource Institute (MDRI).

There discussion followed a speech by Dr. Soeren Keil, Canterbury Christ Church University, United Kingdom who opened the day’s session of the three-day forum.

As Dr.Keil noted in his address: "It is not yet clear what a fully democratic Myanmar will look like.Challenges remain to build an inclusive political system which combines diverse identities, religions and language groups."

During the panel discussion in response, Dr Toe Myint stated: "One thousand people own 75 percent of Myanmar's wealth, the gulf between rich and poor getting wider."

This was in response to Dr Keil’s point about that the Tatmadaw started liberalization, and it is the democratic elites who have to take it forward. This is a test.  Dr Keil had said the NLD deserves support as the first properly elected government in Myanmar, but they can’t do what they want.

U Phyo Zeyar Thaw said: "We don't want to eliminate the Tatmadaw from the political process, though the military had eliminated the opposition . . . We don't want to be trapped in the past.”

He also said that “the Police are trying to reform themselves, but we have to scrap some of the laws that fuel oppression."

In relation to current progress MP Aung Kyi Nyut, said: “I'm very happy, but I'm not satisfied with our achievements, we sacrificed a lot, so people still expect much from us.People will judge us from what we have achieved, and media will be involved in that process"

The forum which has been running for three days concludes today.

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