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Press Release:Visit of Smt. Meira Kumar, Speaker of Lok Sabha to Myanmar(13 February, 2013)

Press Release:Visit of Smt. Meira Kumar, Speaker of Lok Sabha to Myanmar

At the invitation of the Speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House of Parliament of Myanmar) Thura U Shwe Mann, the Speaker of Lok Sabha, Smt. Meira Kumar is currently leading an Indian Parliamentary Delegation to Myanmar from 12 to 15 February 2013. Other members of the delegation include Smt. Maneka Gandhi, MP (Lok Sabha), Shri Bhakta Charan Das, MP (Lok Sabha), Shri Joseph Toppo, MP (Lok Sabha), Shri S. Semmalai, MP (Lok Sabha) and Shri T.K. Viswanathan, Secretary General, Lok Sabha.


2. The Lok Sabha Speaker and other members of the Indian delegation were very warmly received by the Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker at the country’s new Parliament Complex in Nay Pyi Taw on 13 February 2013. The Indian delegation initially met with a representative group of MPs drawn from different regions and states of the country during the initial discussion with Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann. Subsequently, delegation level discussions were also held between the two sides when the Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker was joined by Chairmen of various Parliamentary Committees.

3. The Lok Sabha Speaker Smt. Meira Kumar thanked the Myanmar Speaker and Parliament for the warm and gracious hospitality extended to her delegation. She referred to the special relationship developing between the two countries and pointed to the exchanges of frequent high level visits including by the President of Myanmar to India in October 2011 and in December 2012 and by the Prime Minister of India in May 2012 as also by the Speakers of the two countries. She also dwelt at length on the various development cooperation projects underway in Myanmar with Indian assistance covering agriculture research, education, IT, infrastructure development, road connectivity, restoration of Ananda Temple and training and capacity building. In the area of Parliamentary affairs, she referred to the onerous tasks that the Speaker and the Parliament had in setting out for the first time, practices, conventions and procedures. In this regard, she offered to provide support for enabling sharing of experience based on six decades of practice of Indian Parliamentary democracy. She also alluded to the training already availed of by 30 Myanmar MPs and 30 Myanmar Parliamentary staff in India.

4. The Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker warmly recalled his visit to India in December 2011 which he termed as a valuable experience. He elaborated on the various initiatives taken by the Myanmar Parliament including the setting up of their National Racist Affairs and Internal Peace Committee. He noted that while democratic reform was underway, what was also needed was development which required economic and investment cooperation. He appreciated the assistance given by India and requested its continuation.

5. Earlier in the day, the delegation called on the President of Myanmar U Thein Sein who felt that the visit of the Parliamentary delegation will not only contribute towards strengthening relations between the two Parliaments but also towards strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries. The Lok Sabha Speaker recalled that the two countries enjoyed special relations sharing civilisational ties in the cultural, religious, spiritual and other areas. She said that these ties were further strengthened in the present times by a convergence of common values and aspirations. She recalled the President’s landmark State visit to India in October 2011 and his visit later in 2012 for the India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit as also the visit by the Prime Minister of India in May 2012, all of which significantly contributed towards strengthening of relations. She welcomed the progress Myanmar was making towards transitioning to a democracy.

6. The President conveyed his thanks to the support extended to Myanmar by India in regional and international fora. He also explained in some detail the steps being taken by Myanmar towards economic and political reform as also towards building peace and stability including through the national reconciliation process. The President also assured the delegation that Myanmar will never allow its territory to be used by any group that is acting against India.

7. The Indian delegation also met H.E. U Khin Aung Myint, Speaker of the Upper House and discussed matters of bilateral and mutual interest including cooperation at Parliament level.

8. The delegation also witnessed the proceedings of the combined House of Parliament that was in session at that time. The Indian delegation was warmly welcomed in the House.

9. Smt. Meira Kumar, Hon’ble Speaker, Lok Sabha and her delegation also   met Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Chairperson of the National League for Democracy. Among issues discussed included possible sharing of experiences in aspects of Parliamentary Procedures and Practices.

10. The visiting Indian delegation was hosted by the Speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw a grand dinner and delightful cultural evening with traditional music and dance performance.

11.The delegation arrived in Yangon on 12 February 2013. During their stay, the delegation visited the Mazar of Bahadur Shah Zafar and Shwe Dagon pagoda in Yangon. The Chief Minister of Yangon Region hosted a dinner in honour of the Speaker, Lok Sabha and her delegation.

12. The delegation will visit Mandalay on 14th February 2013.

Nay Pyi Taw

13 February, 2013