The 13th-day meeting of the ninth regular session of the Second Amyotha Hluttaw was held in the Amyotha Hluttaw meeting hall in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday morning. Asterisk marked questions were asked and answered, two reports were read and the Hluttaw’s decision was requested for one motion discussed.
All loose ends tied with confiscated land in Rakhine State
U Myint Naing of Rakhine State constituency 5 raised a question on whether farmland in area 784-A and 787 of Lanmadaw Village-tract, Kyauktaw Township, Rakhine State confiscated by No 9 Operations Control Command and land confiscated by the military in area 786-A and B of Peinechaung Village, Nyaungpinhla, Lanmadaw, area 787 of Kyauktawtaung and No 375 Light Infantry Regiment area will have excess land returned, whether land not affiliated with the military will be returned, or compensations be provided in case of nonreturnable land.
Deputy Minister for Defence Rear-Admiral Myint Nwe replied that No 9 Operations Control Command has received the proper documents to the farmlands from the Ministry of Home Affairs and compensation has been provided to all concerned. He said that the lands cannot be relinquished at they will be used for future expansion projects and are also strategically important strategy-wise. He added there are no remaining compensations to be provided.
Drinking water for Chin village requires feasibility
U Bwe Khein of Chin State constituency 3 raised a question on whether funds for acquiring drinking water in Loneleh Village, Thantland Township, Chin State, will be allotted in either fiscal year 2018-2019 or 2019-2020.
Deputy Minister for Border Affairs Maj.Gen Than Htut replied that Loneleh Village will need to link to springs 4/4 miles away to get a supply of drinking water. A feasibility survey needs to be conducted to gauge the success of the project and the best time to do that is in the months of March, April and May of 2019. If the study shows favorable results then the Chin State government will include the project as high-priority event in their FY 2019-2020 border development fund, as permitted.
Juvenile protection programs fully implemented
Naw Hla Hla Soe of Yangon Region constituency 10 raised a question on whether the protection programs for juvenile offenders and juvenile witnesses stated in the Myanmar Child Law will be reviewed and practically implemented.
Justice U Tha Htay of the Supreme Court of the Union replied that procedures for juvenile cases are handled in accordance with existing child laws in separate courts and locations specifically for juvenile cases. Juvenile offenders, child victims and witnesses are in contact with their parents or guardian, concerned staff, police officers and other concerned individuals only, with emphasis on individual security. He said the protection programs do not require revision as they are being fully implemented by the juvenile courts in the respective townships and the Supreme Court is supervising the cases as well.
Bill Committee reads two reports
Next, Amyotha Hluttaw Bill Committee member Daw Nan Ni Ni Aye read a report by the committee on the Myanmar Maternal and Child Welfare Association Bill, sent back from the Pyithu Hluttaw with amendments. The Speaker called for the Hluttaw’s resolution on the report and approved it.
Additionally, Amyotha Hluttaw Bill Committee member Daw Nwe Nwe Aung read a report on the Bill amending the Penal Code a second time. The Speaker called for MPs interested in discussing the bill to enlist their names.
MPs discuss motion to clear corruption, manage land loss
MPs then discussed a motion by U Myo Win of Mon State constituency 8 urging the Union Government to quickly address the issue of unlawful forming and selling of gardens which contribute to the rapid decrease in agricultural lands and the potential loss of useable land left behind in urban and rural areas as a result of corrupted practices in the relevant administration committee, municipal committee and farmland management committee.
U Zaw Min Latt (a) U Ko Latt of Shan State constituency 1 said he agrees with the motion in amending laws relating to land, as well as uncovering the corruption of the three aforementioned types of committees. He said there are 135 ethnicities in Myanmar who have different uses of lands, and this is something that should be considered when reviewing and amending land laws so that the focus is not just on rice production but rather on regional crops as well.
Tatmadaw representative Lt-Col Aung Kyaw Zaw said there needs to be improved and effective methods to scrutinize the conversion of farmland into other land in a systematic and transparent way; otherwise it will result in the reduction of farmland and hinder urban and rural development that will likely contribute to the emergence of houses alongside roads. He said proper taxes should be levied from farmland converted into land for other uses or if these lands are sold by the original recipient to another entity, and that he supported U Myo Win’s motion.
The motion was further discussed by Dr. U Kwyal Kwyal of Mandalay Region constituency 6, U Hla San of Magway Region constituency 1, and Dr. Kun Win Thaung of Kachin State constituency 11.
Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation U Hla Kyaw replied to the motion saying that there are departments and agencies that do not follow the enacted laws, have organizational weaknesses and look out for their personal benefits, thus contributing to the corruption. He said there needs to be increased cooperation between his ministry, the Ministry of Home Affairs, relevant municipal committees and other organizations.
The deputy minister said there will be submissions at the meeting of the Central Farmland Management Committee to successfully implement strategies to ensure effective administration in all relevant organizations. He said he approved of the MP’s motion, as it encourages the emergence of standards and procedures to combat corruption and ensure farmland and other lands are not exploited.
The Speaker the called for a ballot via electronic voting from the Hluttaw, resulting in a majority 177 aye votes, no nay votes, and two abstentions. The Speaker announced the motion has been approved.
The 14th-day meeting of the ninth regular session of the Second Amyotha Hluttaw will be held on 31 August.
Aung Ye Thwin