Daw Aung San Suu Kyi: ‘Lawmakers Can’t be Lawbreakers’

By Tin Htet Paing 30 September 2016

RANGOON — Burma’s State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi urged members of the region’s legislatures to abide by laws during her opening address to the 37th Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) held in Naypyidaw on Friday.

“Lawmakers can’t be lawbreakers,” she said.

“They must know the rules and procedures of the parliaments that they serve and also the laws of the land that they may truly be the representatives of the legislative branch of democratic government.”

She also said cooperation in the Asean region must be across all the pillars of government: executive, judicial and legislative.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said Friday marked exactly six months since the new government was formed and that it is determined to persevere and bring about positive change in Arakan State, standing firm against prejudice, intolerance and extremism to bring an end to decades-long conflict and secure “lasting peace.”

She asked for “constructive support” from regional neighbors in bringing harmony and understanding between the different communities in Arakan State. She described the situation in the state as “complex” and “the subject of close attention and concern” outside the country’s borders in the Asean region and beyond.

In a message to the assembly, Burma’s President U Htin Kyaw highlighted the importance of strong cooperation between Asean countries and AIPA as “instrumental” in facilitating cooperation in the region. “Our region is faced with many challenges including non-traditional security issues and bridging development gaps among some Asean member states,” he said.

Burma is hosting the 37th General Assembly of AIPA from Sept 30 to Oct 3 in the capital Naypyidaw, succeeding Malaysia as a host.

Burma joined AIPA in 2011 after establishing a Parliament. The Speaker of Burma’s Union Parliament, U Mahn Win Khaing Than, is chairing the assembly. He said Burma is facing many “urgent” and “pressing” challenges and that it seeks collaboration from Asean nations.