TODAY -

Yangon set to open doors to international team, tryst with destiny scheduled on April 1
State CEO in team to monitor Myanmar polls
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 26 2012: Ahead of the proposed Parliamentary by-elections in Myanmar, the election Commission of India has included Manipur's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) PC Lawmkunga in the two-member Indian observers for the said democratic exercise.

Lawmkunga and Assam CEO Maninder Singh have been recommended by the ECI as the indian representatives of an international team of observers that will monitor the historic Myanmar elections scheduled on april 1, 2012 .

It is said that after decades of isolation and criticism by the international fraternity, the military-backed Myanmar Government recently announced that the forthcoming Parliamentary by-elections would be held in the presence of international observers.

Apart from India, the United States, European Nations and member States of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) would be delegating their respective observers to track the said elections for which Opposition leader and Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has also been reportedly invited to contest.

According to an informed source, the Ministry of External Affairs has been intimated to depute two Indian observers and three journalists for the Myanmar polls which the Ministry consequently conveyed to the ECI for relevant official procedures.



A graphic map showing the Indo-Myanmar border along the territory of Manipur
A graphic map showing the Indo-Myanmar border along the territory of Manipur


The Indian representatives are supposed to leave for Myanmar within March 28, said the source adding that expenditure on the visit, including international air fare, accommodation, DA, internal travel, etc will be borne by the MEA under 'Aid to Myanmar' budget head.

The Myanmar Government reportedly proposed that the Indian delegates reach Yangon three-days before the actual day of polling for briefing with the Myanmar Foreign Minister slated on March 29 .

The said delegates will remain in Myanmar till April 3, the source confided.

The forthcoming parliamentary by-elections for 48 parliamentary seats will be significant as well as a historic event in the sense that the opposition National league for Democracy led by Suu Kyi will be participating in the hustings.

When contacted State CEO Lawmkunga opined that his inclusion in the Indian delegation might be in recognition by the ECI for the successful conduct of the recent Assembly elections in this trouble-prone State.

Expressing that his nomination is a joyous occasion for the State election machinery and the people of Manipur, he also maintained that it is also a personal opportunity to envision for more successful ventures.

Meanwhile, an international news agency quoting official source said that the United States is planning to send two of its election observers to monitor the Myanmar elections.

US State Department spokesperson Victoria nuland reportedly said that the 'limited number of invitations (to observers) fell short of international standards for election monitoring' .

"The move by Myanmar is thought to be an attempt at improving transparency after a 2010 general elections that was marred by allegations of fraud and widely dismissed as a sham to favour a party created by the then military junta," the news agency observed.


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