Read about the new Myanmar president , the latest development in the Irom Sharmila 2006 suicide attempt case, the fresh demands by Italy and more …..
1) Htin Kyaw sworn in as Myanmar’s President:
- Htin Kyaw, a confidante of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, was sworn in Wednesday as Myanmar’s president, ushering in the first democratically elected government into office after decades of military rule.
- The 70-year-old Htin Kyaw took the oath of office in a joint session of Myanmar’s newly elected parliament with his two vice presidents at his side, as Suu Kyi sat watching in the front row.
- Htin Kyaw belongs to the National League for Democracy (NLD) takes over from Thein Sein, who introduced wide-ranging reforms during his five years in power.
- Although NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi is barred from the presidency, she has said she will rule by proxy.
- Htin Kyaw, 69, said he would be “faithful to the people” of Myanmar, as he took the oath of office in a joint session of parliament in the capital Nay Pyi Taw, according to AFP news agency.
- Vice-presidents Henry Van Thio and Myint Swe, who lost to Htin Kyaw in the presidential vote earlier this month, were also sworn in, as were new cabinet ministers.
- Most of the ministers belong to the NLD. The list includes Ms Suu Kyi who will be in charge of foreign affairs, the president’s office, education, energy and electric power.
2) HC orders floor test in Uttarakhand Assembly on March 31:
- In a jolt to the Centre, the Uttarkhand High Court today ordered a floor test in the Assembly on March 31, giving a new turn to the political developments two days after President’s Rule was imposed in the state.
- Justice U C Dhyani also allowed nine disqualified rebel MLAs of Congress to participate in the voting but their votes will be kept separate and will be subject to final outcome of the petition challenging their disqualification.
- There was no clarity on whether by ordering the floor test, the President’s Rule imposed on Sunday is stayed and whether the dismissed Harish Rawat government has been restored.
- The Centre may challenge the verdict before the Division Bench of the High Court tomorrow. Congress also plans to approach the Division Bench relating to the part of the judgement that deals with the disqualified MLAs.
- The votes of the disqualified MLAs will be taken into account subject to final outcome of the case, senior Supreme Court lawyer and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters after the second day of the hearing here.
- Singhvi appeared for the sacked Chief Minister Harish Rawat who had challenged the imposition of President’s Rule and demanded its immediate quashing.
- Rawat welcomed the order, saying it was a “tremendous setback” for the Centre which was trying to bring “authoritarianism”. But this order would deter them from trying to destablise non-BJP governments in states, he said.
3) Modi arrives in Brussels for India-EU summit:
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Brussels on Wednesday for a hectic day-long visit during which he will attend the India-EU Summit and hold bilateral talks with his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel.
- Though terror is expected to figure prominently both at the Summit and also in the bilateral talks in the wake of the Brussels suicide attacks last week, Mr. Modi will strive to advance India’s partnership with EU in priority areas such as ’Make in India’ and ‘Smart Cities’
- Modi’s visit comes days after the March 22 terror attack here in which at least 32 people were killed, including an Indian, Raghavendran Ganeshan, who was an Infosys employee from Bengaluru.
- The 13th India-EU Summit is being held after a gap of four years. The last Summit was held in New Delhi in 2012 and negotiations remained deadlocked over several key issues.
- EU is India’s biggest trading partner as a bloc with trade amounting to $126 billion and it is also India’s largest export destination with exports worth $65 billion.
- Soon after his arrival, Mr. Modi has a series of meetings lined up including one with indologists along with a meeting with members of the European Parliament and the Belgian Parliament.
- On the eve of the Prime Minister’s visit, the EU said in a statement that “the Summit in Brussels will be an opportunity to re-launch relations and make concrete progress on areas of mutual interest, including trade and investment, energy, climate, water and migration.”
4) Irom Sharmila acquitted in 2006 suicide attempt case:
- Manipuri rights activist Irom Sharmila was on Wednesday acquitted by a Delhi court in a 2006 case of attempt to suicide when she was undertaking a fast until death at Jantar Mantar here.
- Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh let off 42-year- old Sharmila, who is on a fast for the last 16 years in Manipur demanding repeal of AFSPA. She was put on trial on March 4, 2013, for allegedly trying to commit suicide while undertaking fast-unto-death at Jantar Mantar on October 4, 2006.
- She had on Tuesday told the court that she was ready to end her fast if the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) was repealed and expressed her desire to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the issue.
- Sharmila, who is fed through a nasal tube, was put on trial after she refused to plead guilty to the charge of attempting to commit suicide (section 309 of IPC).
- During final arguments on Tuesday, the prosecutor had contended that Ms. Sharmila had the intention to kill herself and the offence of trying to commit suicide was clearly made out against her.
- Widespread discrimination was being done with the people from Northeast, she had alleged, adding she never intended to commit suicide and it was just a protest against AFSPA.
- Known as the ‘Iron Lady’, Ms. Sharmila had earlier told the court that her protest was non-violent.
5) Italy demands release of marine on day India seeks better ties at summit:
- Italy on Wednesday asked judges in The Hague to order India to release a detained Italian marine, hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi was due at an EU-India summit in Brussels at which he aims to defuse the long-running row with Rome.
- Addressing the United Nations tribunal, Francesco Azzarello, Italy’s lead lawyer in the case, pledged that Girone would be returned to India to face charges should it bring them once the Hague arbitration is finished.
- Waiting until the end of the case in The Hague, where proceedings are often lengthy, could leave Girone detained without charge for up to eight years, thousands of kilometres from his wife and young children, he said.
- In 2012, India arrested two Italian marines who were escorting an oil tanker on suspicion of killing two fishermen they mistook for pirates. Though they were not charged, the pair were barred from leaving the country.
- Massimiliano Latorre was allowed to return home last year for medical treatment, but Salvatore Girone has for four years been confined to Delhi, where he lives at the Italian embassy and reports weekly to Indian police.
- India hopes the Brussels summit will bring a thaw in ties with the EU and persuade Italy to refrain from blocking India’s membership of a key global group on missile technology. Rome single-handedly scuppered India’s bid to join last year.