MPs suggest additional amendments to 2017 land confiscation law

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Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than. Photo: MNA

The second Amyotha Hluttaw’s ninth regular session held its seventh-day meeting at the Amyotha Hluttaw meeting hall yesterday morning. At the meeting, asterisk-marked questions were answered by Deputy Minister for Construction U Kyaw Lin, a bill sent back with amendments from the Pyithu Hluttaw was submitted and two other bills were discussed.

Q&A session
U Sai San Aung of Shan State constituency 12 raised a question as to whether a bridge over the Thanlyin River will be constructed to directly connect Hopong Township in the Wa Self-Administered Division and Lashio in Shan State. Deputy Minister U Kyaw Lin replied there are no plans for constructing a new bridge in the area as there are already two existing bridges over the Thanlwin River and a new one is being built with the People Republic of China’s facilitation. Similarly, U Kyaw Kyaw of Rakhine State constituency 4 raised a question as to whether the Konthedan-Bandula wooden bridge in MraukU Township, Rakhine State will be upgraded to a concrete bridge with steel beams. The Deputy Minister replied the costs for the upgrade has been included in the Rakhine State government’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2019-2020, and further action will be considered depending on whether the funds for the upgrade are allotted or not.
The Deputy Minister also replied to a question raised by Daw Ma Ma Lay of Shan State constituency 8.

Speaker notifies bill for discussion
Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than notified the assembly that the Pyithu Hluttaw has sent back Myanmar Tourism Bill, with amendments, and called for MPs interested in discussing the bill to enroll their names.

MPs discuss second bill amending Myanmar Pearl Law
U Han Win Thein of Taninthayi Region constituency 4 suggested amendments for the Second Bill Amending the Myanmar Pearl Law. His suggestions included (1) adding the line ‘providing support to regional development operations in the respective state and region’, (2) amending a line to read ‘specifying oyster diving areas with official announcements after attaining confirmations and remarks form the regional and state governments and the Union Government’, (3) adding the line ‘forming a committee with respective regional representatives, led by a Managing Director, for reviewing and specifying the size of the area for oyster diving spots’, (4) and amending a line to read ‘the ministry, after obtaining the remarks from the respective regional or state government and the confirmation from the Union Government, can alter or invalidate the entire area or a section of an oyster diving spot.’ U Soe Thein (a) U Maung Soe of Taninthayi Region constituency 10 also discussed the bill.

MPs discuss 2017 Land Confiscation Bill
Hluttaw representatives then discussed a motion tabled by U Ba Myo Thein of Yangon Region constituency 5, who is also Chairperson of the Committee for Farmers’ Affairs, concerning the 2017 Land Confiscation Bill.
U Kyi Win of Ayeyawady Region constituency 12 said Chapter 13, Section 63 of the bill states that entities that obstruct or impede any official work of organizations or individuals will be sentenced to a maximum of 3 years in prison and a fine of Ks500,000 maximum. He suggested adding that physical assault and criminal acts be included in the definition. He suggested adhering to Penal Law 353, which sets the maximum prison sentence to 2 years, and thus amending the prison sentence in the bill from 3 years to 2 years.
U Aung Myo of Sagaing Region constituency 2 said the bill includes forming a field inspection group with appropriate members from the respective state and regional government but does not specify that the group write or submit reports of their operations to any superior authority. He suggested adding that the field inspection group shall submit their reports to their respective state and regional government or the Nay Pyi Taw Council.

He also suggested amending a description in the bill to read ‘forming a State/Regional Land Confiscation Case Implementation Group and Resettling and Rehabilitating Implementation Group with respective department officials, landowners, representatives of local residents, ethnic representatives and experts.’
He also suggested adding what processes to follow, what information to report after gaining approval for the Land Confiscation Implementation Group to continue the take over the duties of the entity that submitted for the confiscation of land when the aforementioned entity and the landowners cannot reach an agreement. He also suggested adding that should the landowners and the entities confiscating the land have reached an agreement, then the agreement contract should be included in their submission to the implementation group, and the group shall review whether the contract was signed with the consent and agreement of the landowner. U Aung Myo also suggested that the contract signed between the landowner and the entities confiscating the land should be sent to the respective state and regional government or to the Nay Pyi Taw Council, who will in turn appeal to the central committee so that the concerned department confiscating the land acquire the proper grants to the land. U Sai Wam Hlaing Kham of Shan State constituency 3 and U Htay Oo of Yangon Region constituency 2 also discussed the bill. The eighth-day meeting of the 9th regular session of the second Amyotha Hluttaw will be held on 10 August.


Aung Ye Thwin

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