Amyotha Hluttaw yesterday held its 7th-day meeting of 17th regular session, with questions of MPs to the Ministry of International Cooperation, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, and the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, and the Nay Pyi Taw Council. The 7th-day meeting also approved the bill amending the 1959 Defence Services Act. MP Daw Htu May from Rakhine State constituency 11 said that Myanmar has faced international pressure regarding the Rakhine issue. She raised a question about how the government is making efforts by diplomatic means to make the international community understand the situations that Myanmar has encountered, to reduce international pressure on the country, and to promote the images of the citizens and the country.
Union Minister for International Cooperation U Kyaw Tin replied that the international pressure is mainly related to conflicts in the Rakhine State. In trying to improve the situations in the Rakhine State, to safeguard the human rights, and to promote the image of the country, the effort by diplomats alone is not enough; so, MPs, security personnel and all citizens need to exert united efforts.
He warned that international organizations which are putting pressures on Myanmar actually know the real situation of Myanmar, but they targeted Myanmar for their political agenda. Regarding protection of human rights, trying to improve the situations in Myanmar will make the country to overcome the challenges. The majority of human right violations and the cases that led to allegations occurred at the conflict-torn areas. If the armed conflicts come to an end, the external allegations will be reduced and stopped.
Union Minister U Kyaw Tin also urged all stakeholders to cooperatively work in unison to stop armed conflicts and to make the peace process successful. He continued that the government is facing the challenges practically and fairly in order to safeguard the benefits and stability of the country. He also urged MPs and the citizens to properly control their speech and behaviour not to fall into the traps of sabotage acts. He added that all citizens need to say and have proper manner that can support the relevant efforts of the diplomats at the forefront of the process.
MP U Ye Myint Soe from Yangon Region constituency 7 raised a question whether the government has a plan to help farmers in growing Kenaf, which is marketable in the international markets. The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation U Hla Kyaw replied that the Department of Agriculture has provided good seeds and technical assistants to Kenaf growers.
In collaboration with relevant departments, the Ministry of Commerce is working to identify new marketable items for international markets, and the commercial attachés are trying to hunt overseas markets for crops. As an encouragement for growing Kenaf, it has been removed from the list of items that need export licence, said the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation. The government has cooperated with private business persons for overseas market penetration, said the Deputy Minister U Hla Kyaw. MP U Ko Ko Naing from Sagaing Region constituency 8 raised a question regarding installation of electricity meter boxes in villages. The Deputy Minister for Electricity and Energy U Khin Maung Win replied that the electricity meter boxes purchased by the Ministry has been delivered, and after inspections, the meter boxes will be handed over to regions and states in August and September 2020. The Ministry will also purchase more meter boxes, said the Deputy Minister.
In response to a question raised by MP U Tun Tun Oo from Mandalay Region constituency 2, the Deputy Minister U Khin Maung Win replied that smart electricity meters will be used and the AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) system will be implemented step-by-step after making discussions with international consultants. MP U Bwe Khane from Chin State constituency 3 raised a question whether there is a plan to build a two-storey (108 x 72 square feet) RC building to replace the old damaged Township Hall building owned by the Htantlang Township Municipal in Chin State. Nay Pyi Taw Council member U Nyi Tun replied that it was not included in the budget allocation for the 2020-2021 financial year (FY). He added that if the relevant MP, relevant committees and the residents submit a proposal for the construction, a budget will be allocated in an appropriate budget year.
MP U Hla Myint (a) U Hla Myint Than from Mon State constituency 11 raised a question regarding vacant, fallow and virgin lands in Mon State, and MP U Thet Naing Soe from Taninthayi Region constituency 2 asked a question regarding harmful bad smell from a fishmeal plant in Kyauk Ni Maw Village in Launglon Township in Taninthayi Region. The questions were replied by the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation U Hla Kyaw.
MP U Kyaw Than from Rakhine State constituency 10 made a question regarding a land dispute in Manaung Township in the Rakhine State. The question was replied by Nay Pyi Taw Council member U Nyi Tun. Afterwards, Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than sought the assembly’s opinion on each paragraph of the bill amending the 1959 Defence Services Act, and then Amyotha Hluttaw unanimously approved it. The 8th-day meeting of 17th regular session of the Second Amyotha Hluttaw will be convened on 4 August.—Aung Ye Thwin (Translated by Maung Maung Swe)