This Week in Parliament (May 16-20)

By The Irrawaddy 21 May 2016

May 16 (Monday)

Khin San Hlaing, a National League for Democracy (NLD) lawmaker from Pale Township constituency, submitted a proposal to the Lower House that called for repairs to dams in Magwe and Sagaing divisions. The Lower House put the proposal on record, and will wait for further site visits to assess damages.

In a question and answer session, lawmakers asked about coal production in Shan State’s Mongyal Township and Sagaing Division’s Pinlebu Township, as well as land confiscation disputes in Sagaing Division’s Khin-U Township.

Meanwhile, the Upper House turned heads when its members engaged in debate over a penis-shaped soap controversy. Earlier this year, the Happy Zone amusement park in Rangoon gave out phallic bars of soap as prizes. After photos of the scandalous soap spread on social media, the issue drew the attention of the deputy minister of home affairs, Maj-Gen Aung Soe. The deputy minister said the owner and manager were made to sign letters stating they would no longer distribute the genitalia-shaped prizes.

May 17 (Tuesday)

The Union Parliament approved the appointment of Kyaw Tint Swe as the minister of the State Counselor’s Office. It also approved the appointment of Kyaw Myo as deputy minister of transportation and communications, and Win Myint as the deputy attorney general.

Parliament also ratified the Protocol of 1992 to amend the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1969, which ensures adequate compensation for people who suffer damages caused by oil-carrying ships and places liability on the ship owners.

 May 18 (Wednesday)

The Union Parliament approved seeking US$200 million in loans from the World Bank for the ministries of Construction; Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation; and Planning and Finance. If the loans are acquired, $115 million would go to Construction; $70 million to Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation; and $15 million to Planning and Finance.

The Lower House approved the replacement of lawmakers Khin Maung Win from Lanmadaw constituency and Nay Myo Htun of Htantabin constituency, both with the NLD, on the Lower House Bill Committee.

May 19 (Thursday)

The Lower House approved the formation of the Judicial and Legal Affairs Committee, which will consist of 15 members.

May 20 (Friday)

In the Lower House, lawmakers discussed a proposal from Khin Saw Wai, a lawmaker with the Arakan National Party (ANP) who represents Arakan State’s Rathedaung Township, that urges the government to address citizenship problems across the country in line with the 1982 Citizenship Law. The minister for labor, immigration and population responded by saying that it would be a priority in his ministry’s 100-day plan. Lawmakers ultimately voted to keep Khin Saw Wai’s proposal on the record.

The Upper House approved a draft law to revoke a law that protected the state against the dangers of subversive acts. The Lower House had approved the draft law earlier.

Parliament also approved a draft law to revoke Burma’s Fresh Water Fishery Business Law.