Amendments to ward or village tract law to be discussed
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