This Week In Parliament

By The Irrawaddy 16 June 2018

Monday (June 11)

Over objections from the Union Solidarity and Development Party and the Arakan National Party, the Lower House voted in favor of including an international member on the government-appointed independent commission to investigate allegations of human rights abuses in Rakhine State.

Who is ruling the country?” military representative Colonel Myint Cho asked, voicing disapproval of the government’s decision to include a foreign expert.

Tuesday (June 12)

Lawmakers discussed the National Education Policy Commission’s report on its work from October 2017 to April 2018. They acknowledged the importance of vocational education in Myanmar and the need for cooperation with local and international private schools.

Wednesday (June 13)

In the Lower House, lawmaker Daw Khin Saw Wai of Rathedaung Township asked when the Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population would be able to release population data on the Kaman people, as the 2014 national census failed to provide an estimate for the group, who live primarily in Rakhine State.

Union Minister for Labor, Immigration and Population U Thein Swe replied that his ministry is still trying to count the Kaman population in cooperation with concerned departments. He blamed the delay on the Rohingya community, which he said had disrupted the administrative mechanism in Rakhine State so that the government was not able to conduct a census there.

Thursday (June 14)

The Lower House voted to put on record the report of the Joint Coordination Committee of the Union Parliament for the year 2016-17.

Military representatives have criticized the committee, saying its creation and operations have lacked transparency. Committee vice chairman U Aung Kyi Nyunt said the panel was formed in response to administrative requirements of the Parliament, and not for legislative purposes.

Military representative Major Zin Lin remarked that if the committee was formed solely to perform administrative functions, there should be no need for a vote to approve its work.

Friday (June 15)

The Lower House approved a proposal by Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) lawmaker U Thaung Aye urging the Union government to take action in cooperation with international agencies under the Counter-Terrorism Law against the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), which launched attacks in 2016 and 2017 in northern Rakhine State.