Burma’s second parliament began on Monday with a session of the lower house in Naypyidaw, where the orange tunics of the National League for Democracy (NLD) provided bright reflection of the party’s thundering 2015 election win.
Burma’s democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi has held talks on the transfer of power with army chief Min Aung Hlaing, before a parliament dominated by lawmakers from her National League for Democracy (NLD) convenes for the first time next week.
The release, which included several high-profile prisoners of conscience, comes after recent pressure on the Burmese government from the United States, as well as rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
Internet hackers have attacked around 300 Thai court and government websites bringing them offline in retaliation for the sentencing of two Burmese migrant workers to death by a Koh Samui court in December.
As the second stage in Burma’s lurching peace process began with the Union Peace Conference in Naypyidaw on Tuesday, the absent Ta’ang National Liberation Army marked its 53rd Revolutionary Day with skirmishes against Burmese troops.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s last-minute decision to join Burma peace talks she had previously criticised took some attendees by surprise, and could boost the chances of progress with rebel groups who have so far resisted joining the process.