Amend­ments to ward or vil­lage tract law to be dis­cussed

The Myanmar Times - - News -

THE de­bate over the “mid­night in­spec­tions” law goes on. Though last month parliament fi­nally agreed to re­move from the law the re­quire­ment for house­hold­ers to no­tify the au­thor­i­ties of any non-fam­ily mem­ber stay­ing in their home overnight, the bill had yet to be fi­nalised.

The in­nocu­ously named Ward or Vil­lage Tract Ad­min­is­tra­tion Law was long no­to­ri­ous for its mis­use by the for­mer mil­i­tary regime to con­trol the move­ments of dis­si­dents and their sup­port­ers, and to main­tain a gen­er­alised at­mos­phere of fear.

Though elected mem­bers out­voted mil­i­tary MPs in strik­ing down that pro­vi­sion, agree­ment had still to be reached over less in­tru­sive pro­vi­sions.

Now the bill will be fi­nalised in the Pyi­daungsu Hlut­taw after the Amyotha Hlut­taw failed to re­solve amend­ments pro­posed by the Pyithu Hlut­taw, said Amyotha Hlut­taw Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than on Oc­to­ber 6.

“The Amyotha Hlut­taw sent the bill to the Pyithu Hlut­taw after ap­prov­ing it. Then the Pyithu Hlut­taw sent it back with amend­ments. The Amyotha Hlut­taw Bill Com­mit­tee re­viewed it and found 10 points of dif­fer­ence,” said bill com­mit­tee mem­ber U Aung Kyi Nyunt.

One of those con­cerns the can­di­dacy for lo­cal posts of re­tired civil ser­vants. But the other re­lates to the need to re­port to the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties the pres­ence of overnight guests.

The Pyithu Hlut­taw ap­proved sec­tion 17, which says that the pres­ence of a guest for more than a month must be re­ported so that the guest can re­ceive “so­cial aid”. The Amyotha Hlut­taw Bill Com­mit­tee pro­posed chang­ing the word­ing to re­quire the re­port so that “the au­thor­i­ties con­cerned … [should] have a record of them.”

Two mil­i­tary mem­bers of the bill com­mit­tee, Lieu­tenant Colonel Aung Kyaw Zaw and Ma­jor Tin Aung Moe, even­tu­ally agreed to ac­cept the word­ing. – Swan Ye Htut, trans­la­tion by Thiri Min Htun and Khine Thazin Han

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