This Week in Parliament (June 5 – 9)

By The Irrawaddy 10 June 2017

Monday (June 5)

The Lower House approved discussion of a proposal from lawmaker Dr. San Shwe Win urging the government to establish a national health insurance system to ensure universal health coverage for every citizen.

In the Upper House, U Tet Tun Aung of Arakan State Constituency (2) asked if the Union government had a plan to relocate, both in the short and long term, Buddhist Arakanese people from across the state to Arakanese-only villages in Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships, which have a Muslim majority. Deputy Minister for Border Affairs Maj-Gen Than Htut replied that the government had been building “ethnic model villages” since 1990, and had relocated Arakanese people from Rangoon to such locations 19 times, and supported the relocation of more than 740 households of ethnic Buddhist Arakanese from neighboring Bangladesh to Burma.

Tuesday (June 6)

The Union Parliament approved President U Htin Kyaw’s proposal to sign the agreement for the establishment of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization.

It also approved the President’s proposal to sign the Agreement on Cooperation in Natural Disaster Early Warning and Mitigation between Asean and the Russian Federation.

Wednesday (June 7)

The Lower House agreed on Wednesday to discuss a proposal urging the Union government to reform policies affecting nurses and midwives serving in public hospitals, submitted by lawmaker Daw Yin Min Hlaing of Magwe Division’s Gangaw Township.

In the Upper House, lawmakers asked questions about educational facilities in their respective constituencies.

Thursday (June 8)

The Lower House recorded a proposal by Minbu Township lawmaker U Win Win which urged the Union government to distribute domestically produced urea fertilizer to farmers at reasonable prices, after Deputy Minister for Electricity and Energy Dr. Tun Naing said that the government could only meet seven percent of domestic demand, and that the private sector had to import the remaining 93 percent. He promised to improve the packaging of fertilizer.

In the Upper House, lawmakers discussed a proposal from Dr. Tin Tin Win of Pegu Constituency (5) that urged the Union government to incorporate the subjects of reproductive health, civic education and democracy into the curriculum of high schools and colleges in Burma.

Friday (June 10)

The Union Parliament expressed condolences to bereaved families of victims in a military plane crash tragedy, with lawmakers observing two minutes’ silence.

According to figures issued by the military, 14 crew members and 108 military staff members and their families, including 15 children, were on board when the welfare plane crashed into the Andaman Sea on Wednesday, and 32 bodies—three males, 21 females and eight children—have been recovered on Friday.

The aircraft was purchased from China and put into service in March of last year. It was also used to transport 6.5 tons of food supplies to victims of Cyclone Mora in Arakan State.