National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi was approved by Burma’s Parliament on Tuesday to chair the newly formed Committee for Rule of Law and Stability, according to sources in her party.
It is the first committee that Suu Kyi has been appointed to since she and other elected members of her party entered Parliament last month.
Commenting on her new position, Suu Kyi told reporters in Naypyidaw on Tuesday that “Rule of law is not about control, but about protecting society.”
Lower House Speaker Shwe Mann announced the formation of the new committee during Tuesday’s parliamentary session.
Win Myint, the NLD MP for Pathein constituency and the secretary of the committee, said that the vice-speaker of the Lower House, Nanda Kyaw Swar, informed the committee of its responsibilities.
“It is to supervise whether the four important pillars—the legislature, the judiciary, the civil service and the media—are following the rule of law,” Nanda Kyaw Swar told the committee members.
Win Tin, a leading member of the NLD, said Suu Kyi’s appointment to the chairmanship of the committee was appropriate because she has often stressed the need for rule of law as part of her party’s platform, along with establishing peace and amending the Constitution.
“It is a chance for her, as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has repeatedly raised the issue of rule of law in her addresses to the public, in Parliament and to the international community,” said Win Tin.
Three NLD parliamentarians are listed in the committee, which is comprised of 15 members, including MPs representing the Chin, Kachin, Karenni, Arakanese, Mon and Shan ethnic minorities.
Some politicians said they could not predict how effective the committee will be, given the fact that its members come from many different parties.
Win Myint said that no exact schedule has been established yet for committee meetings.
Some of the committee’s members remarked that they had not not been informed in advance of their new appointments.
“I only learned that I was on the committee when the house speaker read out the names of the committee members,” said Thein Nyunt, the New Democracy Party MP for Rangoon’s Thingangyun Township.
Dr Zaw Myint Maung, an NLD MP from Kyaukpadaung constituency, said he also had no idea that he would be on the committee.