Municipal authorities in Mandalay have reversed restrictions on water use for this year’s Thingyan festival. Mandalay City Development Committee will now allow water to be taken from the city’s palace moat, deeming that it would have no effect on supply to homes in the city.
President U Htin Kyaw signed into law yesterday the hotly contested “state counsellor” bill – legislation that creates a new advisory position for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and even explicitly names her in the text.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi yesterday pledged Beijing’s support for Myanmar’s new government after holding talks with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi that touched on China’s sometimes controversial investment projects, including the suspended Myitsone dam.
Former Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann has issued a set of wide-ranging recommendations to the new National League for Democracy-backed government, including a review of the budget and closer scrutiny over tenders.
The inclusion of National League for Democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in the list of ministers published on March 22 by incoming President U Htin Kyaw has myriad implications for the governance of the country and the management of the party and of parliament, many of which are yet to emerge. But one result, observers say, is to strengthen still further the influence of former Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann.
Military MPs rose to their feet in protest and boycotted voting yesterday but it was all in vain as the NLD-dominated lower house today overwhelmingly approved the State Counsellor bill, creating a key new post for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Former president U Thein Sein has swapped the paso and ditepone (longyi and jacket) of civilian life for the robes of a monk. State media yesterday confirmed that he had joined the Sangha and will reside in a monastery in Pyin Oo Lwin for five days, to April 8.