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The Second Pyithu Hluttaw convened the 24th meeting of its 11th Regular Session yesterday. MPs raised questions on whether Myanmar’s maritime security will receive the needed support, IDPs fleeing from conflict zones will get proper citizenship verification, discussed the Rural Development Bill, and a motion tabled by U Tin Htwe of Waw constituency urging the Union Government to take decisive action in improving security and the rule of law in civil society.

Increasing maritime security

Daw Aye Mya Mya Myo of Kyauktan constituency raised a question on whether additional security will be increased for Myanmar’s maritime security and whether they will be provided with the needed technological and basic requirements.

Deputy Minister for Defence Rear-Admiral Myint Nwe replied that the navy is currently assuming the duties pertaining to coast guards as Myanmar does not have one yet. He said when the coast guard has been formed, the navy will take the lead in forming an Integrated Command Centre (ICC) consisting of experts from the Maritime Police Force, Customs Department, Immigration Department, Department of Marine Administration, Myanma Port Authority, Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River Systems, Inland Water Transport, and the Department of Fisheries.

The Deputy Minister said the navy will coordinate exchange of information between these different marine organizations and execute prompt decisions to safeguard Myanmar’s waters. He said the navy will coordinate with relevant organizations at the moment for maritime security while awaiting the formation of the coast guard.

Proper NRC verification for IDPs

U Lamar Naw Aung of Ingyanyan constituency raised a question concerning the verification of national registration cards (NRC) and household registrations of Myanmar citizens living in IDP camps. He asked whether segregating and  oppressing genuine ethnic people of the Union was in line with the Constitution and what authorities have planned to verify NRCs and household registrations for ethnic people in other IDP camps.

U Thein Swe, Union Minister for Labour, Immigration and Population, first replied that his ministry has not segregated or oppressed any citizen of the nation. He said the inspections at checkpoints in Ingyanyan are conducted legally to preserve the security and rule of law of the country. He said his ministry places no restrictions on any citizen and every process they do follows the Constitution.

The Union Minister said they have provided temporary household registrations to IDPs from Ingyanyan Township temporarily seeking shelter in Myitkyina and Waingmaw townships. He said they can issue official household registration documents and NRCs to the people when the relevant ward or village-tract administrator validates them.

The Union Minister explained that the 54 villages under 15 village-tracts of Ingyanyan Tsp are located in areas undergoing peace negotiations and are outside the administrative reach of the Kachin State Government. He said these villages were also unable to participate in the 2014 Population and Housing Census.He said his ministry is following rules and regulations to assist the IDPs of Ingyanyan Tsp with no hint of discrimination.

The Union Minister U Thein Swe and Nay Pyi Taw Council members U Nyi Tun both then answered to questions raised by U Moe Shwe of Putao constituency, U Kyaw Soe Lin of Pyigyidagun constituency, U Shwe Hla (a) U Shwe Hla Win of Thingangyun constituency, Dr. Sai Mauk Kham of Lashio constituency, and U Myint Oo of Magway constituency.

Rural Development Bill

Next, Bill Committee member U Wai Hlaing Tun submitted the Pyithu Hluttaw Bill Committee’s proposal to make 59 amendments to the Rural Development Bill submitted by the Agriculture, Livestock Breeding and Rural Development Committee. The Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker called for the deliberation of the Hluttaw. With no objections raised from the assembly, the Speaker announced the proposal has been approved and passed on to further procedures.

Increasing security in civil society

The Hluttaw then debated a motion tabled by U Tin Htwe of Waw constituency urging the Union Government to take decisive steps to reduce the number of crimes and firmly establish the rule of law and public security in society.

Daw Khin Sandi of Launglon constituency seconded the motion. She said rule of law and public safety is important for citizens to live in peace and for national development. She said these prerequisites are also important to attract domestic and foreign investors so that more businesses open up in the country and bring job opportunities with them.

Daw Khin Sandi said now is the time to systematically reduce crime throughout the entire country. She suggested reinforcing the Myanmar Police Force with modern trainings and weaponry to better protect the public, in addition to providing them with sufficient salaries. She also suggested increasing cooperation with ASEAN and international police forces and spending more on the police force budget.

Tatmadaw Hluttaw representative Major Htin Zaw Lwin said there needs be greater public adherence to existing laws. He said the root causes of criminal activities need to be resolved first to pave way for the rule of law and public security. The motion was further discussed by 19 MPs.

Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Maj-Gen Aung Thu then responded to the motion. He said preventing crime in an emerging democracy is the responsibility of every sector in the nation and hence, there needs to be a national level crime prevention strategy. He said the committee for drafting and implementing said strategy was formed on 7 December 2016 with the Union Minister for Home Affairs as Chairperson and including representatives of relevant ministries and NGOs.

The Union Minister said they collaborated with UNODC and finalized the national level strategy on 4 December 2018 and was verified by the Union Government in January this year. Thus, the strategy has been sent to all relevant ministries and sub-national governments for implementation. He asked the motion to be put on record.

U Tin Htwe, the MP tabling the motion, asked for the motion to be put on record in observation. The Speaker called for the deliberation of the Hluttaw and having received no objections announced for the motion to be put on record in observation.

The 25th -day meeting of the 11th Regular Session of the Second Pyithu Hluttaw will be held today.

Reference: GNLM

March 14, 2019