The second Pyithu Hluttaw’s ninth regular session held its fourth-day meeting at the Pyithu Hluttaw meeting hall yesterday, where asterisk-marked questions were answered, a motion tabled and a bill decided.
Opening of ethnic national media school (college)
In the asterisk-marked question and answer session, U Oo Hla Saw of Mrauk U constituency first raised a question on plans to open ethnic national media school (college). Deputy Minister for Information U Aung Hla Tun replied on behalf of the Ministry of Information and together with Ministry of Ethnic Affairs and Rakhine State government.
The Deputy Minister said there are more than 100 ethnic nationals living in Myanmar and ethnic national media plays an important role in socio-economic development of ethnic nationals in the regions. With the abolishing of pre-publication censorship in August 2012, private media rapidly developed and together with it, ethnic media and media formerly based abroad or in border regions moved into the country.
Some ethnic media combined to become the Burma News International (BNI) with 11 members in 2013 and had now grown to include 13 members. There are many more ethnic national media that have not become BNI members yet. BNI organized six ethnic national media conferences from 2013 to 2018 and the participation and cooperation of the Ministry of Information and related state/region governments was seen to have assisted and supported ethnic national media development.
At the moment, 11 ethnic national television programs are broadcasted by state-owned media — Myanma Radio and Television (MRTV) of the Ministry of Information, starting from 15 October 2013. Myanma Radio is also broadcasting 17 ethnic national radio programs.
Starting from 1 August 2014, sub-printing house (Mawlamyine) is printing and distributing 4 pages (color) of Sunday supplements in Mon, S’gaw Kayin, Pwo Kayin and Pa O languages in Myanma Alinn and Kyemon newspapers. An ethnic national section (Kachin language) supplement was printed by sub-printing house (Mandalay) and distributed in Kachin State every Saturday starting from 9 September 2017. An ethnic national section (in Myanmar language) was also included as supplement in Kyemon newspaper every Saturday starting from 30 September 2017.
A supplement (in Rakhine language) was also printed in sub-printing house (Sittway) every Wednesday starting from 20 September 2017 and distributed in Rakhine State. A special section on Rakhine State (in Myanmar language) was also printed in sub-printing house (Sittway) starting from 5 October 2017 and distributed in Rakhine State, said the Deputy Minister.
The Deputy Minister then explained briefly about the work of the Ministry of Ethnic Affairs, formed by the previous government. This ministry organized a forum on sustainable development of ethnic nationals from 18 to 19 January 2018 and in the peace and ethnic national media sector. Nine points on media development was obtained, out of which one is to open an ethnic national media training school. Ministry of Ethnic Affairs had informed of the appropriateness of opening an ethnic national media school (college) said the Deputy Minister.
The Ministry of Information acknowledged the importance of ethnic national media development, but it has no plans at the moment to open an ethnic national media school (college), said the Deputy Minister. Instead of the Ministry of Information, this is better coordinated and conducted with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Ethnic Affairs that are at the moment providing courses on journalism, he added.
In conclusion, it is better to implement the opening of ethnic national media school (college) by coordinating among the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Ethnic Affairs and state/region governments. The Ministry of Information will coordinate and assist in this, said the Deputy Minister in his answer to the question posed.
Plans to open a passport issuing office in Muse
Next, U Sai Pho Myat of Muse constituency posed a question on a plan to open a passport issuing office in Muse. Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Maj-Gen Aung Thu explained that BP (Border Pass) book (red color) and TBP (Temporary Border Pass) ticket (green color) were being issued to Myanmar nationals for travel into China up to 60 km from the border. In the past, applications can be made to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism and with the permission of the Office of the President, Myanmar nationals with ordinary Myanmar passports and Chinese nationals with Chinese passports can cross the border and visit the other country. But starting from 21 November 2016, ordinary Myanmar passport holders were no longer permitted to cross the border into China because of security situation.
Myanmar citizens living in Muse can leave for foreign countries through Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and Mandalay, and passports can be made in Lashio, which is only 110 miles from Muse. Passport office (Lashio) is also making timely assessment and issuing of passport to applicants, depending on local situation. Passport office (Lashio) occasionally conducts home service to Muse. As such, there is no plan to open a passport issuing office in Muse, said the Deputy Minister.
Similarly, questions raised by U Oo Hla Saw of MraukU constituency, U Sai Ngaung Hsai Hein of Maukmai constituency, Daw Ni Ni May Myint of Taungup constituency, U Naing Naing Win of Tamu constituency and U Aung Kyaw Kyaw Oo of Hline constituency were answered by Deputy Minister Maj-Gen Aung Thu.
Motion to upgrade One Stop Shops to One Stop Service
After the question and answer session, U Tin Ko Ko Oo @ U A Tut of Bilin constituency tabled a motion urging the government to upgrade and implement One Stop Shops to One Stop Service.
Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker U T Khun Myat announced Hluttaw’s agreement to discuss the motion after obtaining the consensus of the Hluttaw. Following this Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker U T Khun Myat announced that Hluttaw representatives who want to discuss the motion to enroll their names.
Decision on Myanmar Tourism Bill
Afterwards, a bill committee member explained about amendment motions tabled by Hluttaw representatives on Myanmar Tourism Bill, approved and sent with amendments by Amyotha Hluttaw and obtained the approval of the Hluttaw.
Following this, Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker U T Khun Myat announced the entire bill being approved by clauses and sub-clauses as amended and to proceed further on it.
The fifth-day meeting of the second Pyithu Hluttaw’s ninth regular session will be held on 3 August, it is learnt.
Aye Aye Thant (MNA)