Speaker told to go on Myanmar trip | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Speaker told to go on Myanmar trip

delhi Updated: Jan 31, 2013 00:30 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji

After she cancelled her last foreign tour reportedly in the wake of BJP’s reluctance to join the junket, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has been advised again to go on a foreign trip.

This time, the external affairs ministry is pushing for her visit to Myanmar to strengthen the parliamentary engagements between the two countries.

With Aung San Suu Kyi and democracy being the flavour of the season in Myanmar, New Delhi has been making calibrated moves to ensure its democratic traditions and institutions play a key role in its engagements with the neighbour. Officials told HT that the plan is to send a parliamentary delegation before the Budget session begins on February 21. Kumar, however, is yet to give the green signal.

After Suu Kyi’s recent visit to India last November and New Delhi quickly followed it up with visits of defence minister AK Antony and external affairs minister Salman Khurshid to Naypyidaw.

An invitation is pending for Kumar from the Speaker of Myanmar parliament, who led a delegation here last year, the government wants Kumar to expedite her visit.

Kumar had reportedly cut down on her bilateral foreign tours after an RTI document revealed that she had gone abroad every 37 days.

As Myanmar takes baby steps in political transition, India wants to play its democracy card to the hilt.

Indian parliament has also undertaken many training programmes for the neighbouring country.

While India is the largest democracy, Myanmar—tightly controlled by the military

Junta for many decades—is slowing opening up to democratic ideas.