Amyotha Hluttaw helps consolidate democracy foundation

AmyothaHluttaw sessions commenced with greetings extended by Speaker of Amyotha Hluttaw Manh Win Khaing Than wishing all the representatives health and happiness and all their dreams and wishes come true.
First regular session of the Second Amyotha Hluttaw commenced on 3 February 2016. In the first day session, speaker and deputy speaker of the Hluttaw were elected among the representatives.
The Second Amyotha Hluttaw formed by representatives elected by the people turned one year now.
The election of U Henry Van Thio of Chin State Constituency 3 as vice-president at the meeting of elected representatives was one of the performances taken by the Amyotha Hluttaw.
He is a member of Public Accounts Committee and was elected as candidate for the vice-president on 11 March and took oath before the Speaker of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw as vice-president on 30 March and assumed the job of the vice-president.
People’s desire
As the representatives of the people Amyotha Hluttaw representatives raised questions, submitted proposals and made laws during the one-year period turning people’s desire into reality.
The Speaker of the Amyotha Hluttaw said that Hluttaw representatives made field trips in their respective constituencies, met people and sought what are the people’s needs and then came back to Hluttaw to raise questions and make proposals.
284 Questions
In the interest of the people 284 questions marked with asterisk and 160 without asterisk were raised and four proposals were submitted. These questions and proposals were aimed at fulfilling the needs of people which are to be carried out by the Union government.
Four Standing Committees and 12 Hluttaw Affairs Committees were also formed to serve the interests of the people.
Speaker of the Hluttaw explained that Bill Committee, Public Accounts Committee, Hluttaw Rights Committee and Government’s Guarantees, Pledges and Undertaking Vetting Committee were formed.
Capacity building
As the committees are mini-parliaments they practice check and balances system scrutinizing the works done by the government. In that regard, they are carrying out the tasks for fulfilling the needs of people, amending or repealing the laws which are not designed to serve the interest of the people and propose laws that will serve the people.
Moreover, to promote the skills of the representatives, scholars and organizations were invited to the meetings held in Hluttaw.
Bill Committee
In accord with the Amyotha Hluttaw Law, Section 24, Paragraph (a), and Bye law Section (44), Paragraph (a), the Bill Committee was formed on 5 February 2016 with 15 members including U Zaw Win of Sagaing Region Constituency No. 6 as chairman.
The Bill Committee, during the one-year period, completed 15 laws out of 22 which were discussed in Amyotha Hluttaw. Of the remaining seven, five laws are under discussion and the rest two have been sent to Pyithu Hluttaw. Pyithu Hluttaw sent 11 laws to Amyotha Hluttaw and of them nine has been completed and two are under discussion.  During the one-year period the new government assumed duties, five new laws were approved, eight were amended and six were repealed. All the laws were signed by the presidents.
62 times of committees’ meeting
The Bill Committee met UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar Ms Yanghee Lee and discussed matters on law amendments in the interests of the people. Moreover, 62 committees’ meetings participated by the respective ministries, organizations and scholars were also held.
Besides discharging its main tasks of practicing legislative power, Hluttaw representatives are engaged in peace process which is an utmost importance for the nation, said the speaker.
Public Accounts Committee
Public Accounts Committee was formed on 5 February 2016 with Chairman U Saw Than Htut and 14 members. During the one-year period, it held meetings 15 times and met invited guests, attended meetings and ceremonies on 43 occasions.
Under the duty assigned by the speaker of the Amyotha Hluttaw, the Public Accounts Committee invited officials from government and private financial institutions including Myanmar Insurance under the Ministry of Planning and Finance to discuss Myanma Insurance Law (1993) and Foreign Exchange Management Law (2012). Concerning the laws, debates were made and proposals submitted to the Hluttaw.
In harmony
The activities carried out by the Public Accounts Committee were presented to the Hluttaw and harmonious actions have been taken between the legislative body and the government.
Hluttaw Rights Committee was formed on 8 February with 15 Hluttaw representatives including its chairman U Aye Thar Aung of Rakhine State Constituency No.6 and a secretary.
During the 103 days on which Hluttaw sessions were held, the committee scrutinized and approved the representatives who would attend the sessions. It also supervises the ethics and discipline of the representatives steering them to follow the disciplines.
Myanmar Examination Board Law
During the 11 meetings on legislative affairs held with its members, the committee heard, discussed and made suggestions on the laws especially it discussed Myanmar Examination Board Law with scholars and experts from the Ministry of Education several times and submitted it to the Amyotha Hluttaw.
Moreover, it discussed law enforcement, matters on people to enjoy the protection of law fully, disseminating knowledge of laws among people and amending and repealing laws including making new laws with 61 members including lawyers of Yangon Justice Center.
In depth
In September last year, members headed by the chairman of the Hluttaw Right Committee met Advisor of European Union on Myanmar Mr Andreas Magnusson and discussed matters on measures taken on gaining peace, objectives of the establishment of a federal union and cooperation between Myanmar and EU. It actively takes part in Hluttaw affairs as a part of the Hluttaw.
Government’s Guarantees, Pledges and Undertaking Vetting Committee
Government’s Guarantees, Pledges and Undertaking Vetting Committee was formed with 15 members on 8 February 2016. The committee led by Chairman U Thein Swe of Ayeyawady Region Constituency No.10 is to watch whether the pledges made at the Hluttaw sessions were accomplished or not.
During the one-year period, there were 246 pledges to be carried out and the committee invited the respective ministries to approve that the pledges are fulfilled and to request them to make reports on work progress. Moreover, they made field trips regularly to check the progress of work practicing check and balance system between the government and the Hluttaw.
Public Complaints Committee
The 15-member Public Complaints Committee formed on 23 February 2016 was led by Chairman U Hsan Myint of Ayeyawady Region Constituency No.3. Since its assumption of duties to January it received 4367 complaints. The authentic complaints were handled together with respective departments and organizations.
As regard land cases, 358 were transferred to Central Committee of Scrutinizing Confiscated Land and 141 complaints were replied.  Prompt actions have been taken by the committee to settle people’s grievances and
to fulfill their desires in accord with the law.
12 Committees
The 12 Committees formed in Amyotha Hluttaw made discussions with organizations from abroad and at home, held meetings to consolidate the laws, fulfilled people’s needs by making field trips and scrutinized and settled the complaints made by the public not to cause harm to them.
Citizens Fundamental Rights, Democracy and Human Rights Committee visited prisons in Yamethin and Loikaw and coordinated with officials on human rights affairs.
Similarly Agriculture, Livestock Breeding and Fishery Committee made field trip five times in Taninthayi Region and Rakhine State to improve agro-business and fishery sector.
National Races Affairs Committee visited National Races Development University in Ywathigyi to promote the language, literature, culture and traditions of the national races.
Due to the efforts made by the Local and Overseas Labour Affairs committee, the dispute broke out at Panda Garment Factory in Paleik for 8 months ended and both sides agreed to signed agreements.
These are the tangible proofs of fulfilling the needs of the people by Hluttaw.
The Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker said that the Amyotha Hluttaw is actively and sincerely participating in efforts for ensuring peace and prosperity in the country and emergence of a genuine federal union desired by the people and he invited all the people to participate in these endeavours.
Foundation for democracy
By making, approving and discussing laws, practicing check and balance system for the performances of the Union
Government and the ministries and giving ears to people’s voices, the Amyotha Hluttaw is laying a firm foundations for democracy.

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