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Myanmar starts new parliamentary term

Jan. 9, 2013 at 12:40 PM

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A lawmaker in Myanmar kicked off the parliamentary season Wednesday with a plea for the implementation of the rule of law.

Myanmar's legislative assembly started a new session Wednesday. China's official Xinhua news agency reports that Speaker of the House of Representatives U Shwe Mann called on national leaders to usher in an era of peace by implementing the rule of law.

Myanmar has earned international accolades for a series of political reforms that began with general elections in 2010. Those elections marked the end of military leadership, though concerns have emerged about the human rights and national security situations in the country.

Beijing this week expressed concern over fighting between Kachin rebels and Myanmar forces. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said three bombs landed on the Chinese side of the border during December clashes.

Fighting in Kachin erupted in 2011, ending a 17-year truce. Last year, fighting between Buddhist and Muslim communities in the coastal state of Rakhine left at least 78 people dead. A report for the official New Light of Myanmar states that progress has been made, however, in the coastal state.

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