This Week in Parliament (July 24 – July 28)

By The Irrawaddy 29 July 2017

Monday (July 24)

In the Lower House, Dr. U Tin Aung of Kyaukse Township asked if the Ministry of Education would enable students enrolled in distance programs at universities to submit their assignments online. Deputy Minister for Education U Win Maw Tun replied that a pilot survey would be implemented in 2018, but that for the time being, the ministry would be unable to establish a website through which assignments could be accepted and assessed.

In the Upper House, Daw Ei Ei Pyone of Irrawaddy Division Consituency (8) asked if the government had plans to prevent citizens from seeking employment illegally in foreign countries as domestic workers. Union minister for labor, immigration and population U Thein Swe said the government would take measures to legally send migrant workers to “appropriate foreign countries at an appropriate time,” and ensure that they received the protection and entitlements afforded by the laws of the countries in question.

Tuesday (July 25)

Daw Khin Saw Wai of Rathedaung Township asked in the Lower House if the government would translate laws which were written in English language and enacted in the colonial period, and are still enforced, into Burmese. Deputy Attorney-General of the Union Attorney-General’s Office U Win Myint said that according to the law, his office is only responsible for translating laws written in Burmese into English.

Thirteen Lower House lawmakers discussed—and the legislature approved—an urgent motion put forward by Daw Thandar of Einme Township objecting to the end-of-mission statement issued by UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee on July 21.

Upper House lawmakers debated draft amendments to the controversial Telecommunications Law, and the military resisted the proposed reforms. Speaker of the Upper House Mahn Win Khaing Than assigned the bill committee to review the draft changes.

Wednesday (July 26)

The Union Parliament approved the list of nominees they had presented on Friday for three vice-governor positions and five director positions within the Central Bank of Myanmar, which will soon be vacant when existing terms expire.
The Union legislature also approved the draft law amending the Special Commodities Law.

Twenty lawmakers discussed the annual report from the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission for 2016, and Daw Zin Mar Aung of Yankin Township pointed out that the government’s responses continue to be weak in addressing domestic violence, child rape, and the abuse of housemaids.

Thursday (July 27)

U Aung Sein of Dawei Township asked in the Lower House if the Parliament planned to enact a mediation law to help reduce possible lawsuits over civil cases both between people and between people and government departments. Judge U Mya Thein of the Union’s Supreme Court said they were still conducting a feasibility study of court-led mediation for civil cases, and currently had no plan to enact a mediation law.

The Upper House approved the new Myanmar Companies Law. The draft law combines elements of the Myanmar Companies Act of 1914 and the Special Companies Act of 1950, reworked in hopes of attracting foreign investment, according to the Ministry of Planning and Finance.

Friday (July 28)

U Thein Htun of the Union Solidarity and Development Party submitted an urgent proposal urging the Union government to conduct a widespread awareness campaign about the H1N1 virus. The Lower House approved the proposal.

In the Upper House, lawmakers discussed the Myanmar Gems Bill 2017.