Friday, August 18, 2017

Parliament approves amended ward, village tract law

The third iteration of an amendment bill to the controversial Ward and Village Tract Administration Law cleared the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw yesterday, after protracted discussions – and some disagreement – between the two houses of parliament.

Lawmakers resolved in September to remove a provision that required householders to notify authorities of any non-family guests, but the bill had yet to be finalised.

Yesterday’s session saw 13 subsections of the proposed amendment bill agreed to by MPs.

The sections and subsections that were the subject of clashing opinions between the upper and lower houses have been worked out, said Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than.

“This law will bring distinctive benefits because it was aimed to provide rights that the people deserve,” said Amyotha Hluttaw MP U Aung Kyi Nyunt (NLD; Magwe 4), a member of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Joint Bill Committee.

The bill, in its third incarnation, no longer requires reporting of overnight guests. However, the bill states that house guests staying more than one month must report to the relevant ward or village administrator.

“No more reporting of overnight guests can relieve stress for migrant workers and construction workers. If those who would stay for more than one month report to relevant ward or village administrator, they can avoid unnecessary problems,” said U Aung Kyi Nyunt.

The Ward and Village Tract Administration Law was notorious for its misuse by the former military regime, which used it as a way of keeping tabs on dissidents.

Translation by Emoon and Zar Zar Soe