Mawlamyine (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishops of Myanmar expressed satisfaction and hope for "the new step ahead" taken today by the country: with the oath of office today, the historic pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is now an official part of the Burmese Parliament with other members of her party, the National League for Democracy. After the appeal to unity, launched by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, Aung San Suu Kyi has decided not to boycott the event, as announced in previous days.
His Exc. Mgr. Raymond Saw Po Ray, President of the Commission "Justice and Peace" of the Catholic Episcopal Conference, questioned by Fides, said: "We are delighted with this step: we believe it is an improvement, a change and renewal for the country ". "It is a further good sign for the future" after many others which have already been carried out, notes the Bishop. But "before talking about a new era", he remarked, one must still be cautious and say that "we are at the beginning of a new phase, since there are still many challenges ahead". One of these, he insists, is the peace with ethnic minorities: "Currently, we have reached a cease-fire in several outbreaks of conflict with ethnic minorities, but in the north, in the Kachin area, the situation is still very difficult and problematic, for several factors related to the presence of the army and also the influence of foreign powers."
The Catholic Church, a small minority, the Bishop concludes, "is working in society, with the population, alongside civil servants and other religious communities, to contribute to the renewal of the country." (PA) (Agenzia Fides 02/05/2012)