Bill Rescinding Law ‘Incompatible’ With Democracy Goes to Parliament

By The Irrawaddy 2 May 2016

RANGOON — The push to rescind a law that was used to oppress Aung San Suu Kyi and other pro-democracy advocates gained momentum on Monday, as a new bill overturning the 1975 legislation was formally submitted to Burma’s Parliament.

The Bill Committee in the Lower House took the stage Monday to denounce the law, which was enacted during Burma’s socialist era.

“The law violates Article 8 of the 2008 Constitution, which protects the fundamental rights of citizens,” said Kyaw Soe Lin, a member of the committee. “It [the law] is not compatible with democracy.”

Lawmakers of the legislative body, which is dominated by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), have pledged to revoke laws that oppress Burma’s citizens and amend those that have flaws.

Legal experts have welcomed the new bill and have said the existing law is “absolutely unnecessary.”

The law, which is also known as “Lower House Parliament Law No. 3, 1975” or the “Law to Safeguard the State Against the Dangers of Those Desiring to Cause Subversive Acts,” was used by previous governments to circumscribe the rights of opponents of successive military regimes.

The law was enacted “to prevent the infringement of the sovereignty and security of the Union of Burma against any threat to the peace of the people, and against the threat of those desiring to commit subversive acts causing the destruction of the country, without impeding citizens’ fundamental rights,” according to its preamble.

Lower House Speaker Win Myint said at the legislative session that comments from lawmakers on the bill are scheduled to be heard on Thursday.