This Week in Parliament (September 12-16)

By The Irrawaddy 17 September 2016

Monday, September 12

In the Lower House, Nang Kham Aye of Shan State’s Namtu Township asked what measures authorities were taking to address the safety concerns of innocent civilians regarding the widespread use of powerful munitions. Deputy Minister for Defense Maj-Gen Myint Naing said that Chapter 3, Article 5(e) of the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) states that joint mine clearing will be carried out by the military and ethnic armed groups according to peace process developments, and that the military was working to ensure the safety of people in places where clashes have ceased but mines may still be located.

The Upper House voted down a proposal by lawmaker U Khin Aung Myint to expand ethnic minority language education on Monday, citing a need to first “prioritize nationwide peace.”

It also debated and passed the Science, Technology and Innovation draft law.

Tuesday, September 13

No parliamentary session was held, due to the observance of Eid.

Wednesday, September 14

In the Lower House, U Aung Kyaw Kyaw Oo of Hlaing Township asked if the Union government planned to ban private logging companies and take a tough stance on illegal logging. Minister for Resources and Environmental Conservation U Ohn Win replied that exporting raw logs has been banned since April 1, 2014, and that his ministry—in cooperation with concerned departments, administrative and security authorities and the military—would take action against and prevent illegal logging and the smuggling of logs.

In the Upper House, lawmakers debated the draft law that annuls the 1950 Emergency Provisions Act and Parliament decided that the Bill Committee should review the draft law.

Thursday, September 15

In the Lower House, lawmakers debated a proposal by U Nay Pu Ba Swe calling for more effective implementation of an e-government system that would allow for easier accessibility to information about government services.

The Upper House debated the draft law to amend the Peaceful Assembly and Procession Law. Due to differing views between the two houses, the draft law will be put to a vote in the Union Parliament.

Friday, September 16

The Lower House recorded U Nay Pu Ba Swe’s proposal, after 24 lawmakers debated it.

In the Upper House, U Htay Oo of Rangoon Constituency 2 asked about the fundamental rights of disabled people and Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Dr. Win Myat Aye replied that a national level committee to help disabled people cannot be formed for the time being because the process calls for greater cooperation between disabled persons’ associations. The ministry plans to adopt bylaws regarding the rights of people with disabilities before next March.