Judiciary Grievances Top Public’s Complaints

By Tin Htet Paing 3 January 2017

RANGOON — The parliamentary Public Complaints Committee received some 4,000 complaints from the public last year with more than half relating to dissatisfaction with the judiciary, according to the committee chair.

The Upper House’s Public Complaints Committee received a total of 4,071 letters of complaint with more than 2,000 letters expressing discontent with court decisions, alleged corruption of judicial servants, and the slow judicial process, the committee chair U Sann Myint told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday.

“Our committee cannot interfere with the judiciary,” he said. “We forwarded the complaint letters to the Union Supreme Court with relevant suggestions and recommendations.”

Other complaints highlighted incidents related to government ministries and departments—of which the military-controlled Ministry of Home Affairs received the most complaints, U Sann Myint added.

Among the 4,000 complaints received during 2016, the committee assessed about 3,000 cases and cooperated with relevant authorities and ministries for further action, he said.

“In the first six months of 2016, government ministries were not able to reply to complaints efficiently due to the government transition [in April],” he said. “We have received feedback from about 1,500 cases so far.”

According to the committee, complaint letters came from across the country either via the postal service or respective lawmakers of the constituencies. Among 14 states and divisions, Rangoon Division ranked top in the origins of the complaints followed by Mandalay and Irrawaddy divisions.

“The Public Complaint Committee is a smaller version of Parliament which reflects the needs of the public,” he said. “We have to handle even the complaints addressed to the Speaker of the Upper House.”

In November, Burma’s de facto leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi also called for the public to submit complaints against corrupt government officials, addressed to the State Counselor’s Office. She ensured that all content in the submissions would be kept confidential and would not be disclosed.