Parliament


A Law to protect religious harmony is being considered by the new government following failed attempts to pass such a bill in the previous parliament, which instead enacted controversial legislation seen as undermining religious freedoms.

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Representatives from the two largest ethnic political parties in the Union Parliament—the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) and the Arakan National Party (ANP)—held an impromptu meeting during lunch in Naypyidaw on Wednesday, agreeing to form a united front when submitting proposals on ethnic affairs or amending important laws.

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It was not a fight, per se, but at the same time, it was not a peaceful week in Parliament. It’s not what was said, but rather what wasn’t.
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A proposal submitted to the Lower House of Burma’s Parliament late last week by a lawmaker of the Arakan National Party (ANP) urged the government to “resolve citizenship issues” in Burma in accordance with the 1982 Citizenship Law. The proposal suggested that a nationwide citizenship verification drive be undertaken—although it remained vague on the focus and scope of the proposed exercise.
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Burma’s Parliament on Tuesday approved President Htin Kyaw’s proposal to deepen and formalize the country’s longtime military cooperation with Russia.
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Burma’s Lower House Speaker Win Myint warned parliamentarians on Wednesday not to post comments on social media that “would undermine the dignity and integrity of Parliament,” after a lawmaker took to Facebook to express disappointment that a proposal she had put forward was rejected.
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President U Htin Kyaw’s request for a new ministry to allow the state counsellor to perform her duties “more effectively” came as quite a surprise. It raises some alarming questions.
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Even though Myanmar’s de facto leader is now a woman, gender equality in its government remains dire, a new report finds.
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The National League for Democracy has put forward changes to the peaceful protest law that are likely to result in fewer activists going to prison.
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Budget decisions made by the previous parliament, which was dominated by the now-opposition Union Solidarity and Development Party, could still hamper the new government’s efforts to conduct its policies.
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Parliament today is to hear a presidential proposal to establish a new ministry reported to be tailored for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as she takes a further step to consolidate her powers in government.
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Fighting in Arakan State was the focus of heated discussions in Parliament on Wednesday, but a legislative path to resolution of the conflict appears unlikely.
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Arakan National Party lower house MP Pe Than sat down to talk to DVB about what we can expect to be discussed in the next sitting of parliament. Pe Than has been in parliament for two consecutive terms.

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Burma’s Union Parliament is looking to modify election laws to reduce the frequency with which by-elections are held by blocking off the first and fifth year of parliamentary terms as periods in which polls to fill empty seats cannot be called, according to a statement issued on Friday.
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The push to rescind a law that was used to oppress Aung San Suu Kyi and other pro-democracy advocates gained momentum on Monday, as a new bill overturning the 1975 legislation was formally submitted to Burma’s Parliament.
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More than half the members of the Union Solidarity and Development Party’s (USDP) central committee have signed a petition calling on the party’s leadership to hold an emergency meeting.
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A new bill that would rescind Burma’s 1975 State Protection Law is likely to be submitted to Parliament after it reconvenes next week, the Lower House’s Bill Committee chairman said on Thursday.
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Wedged between a military unwilling to relinquish power and high expectations from its supporters, it has not been an easy first month for the NLD-led government as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi slowly embarks on her promised path to change.
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Some 6,000 outstanding complaints of farmland seizure from the previous parliamentary body are slated to be investigated by the current legislative body, the Upper House’s farmer affairs committee said on Wednesday.

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In one of the many rooms of Myanmar’s massive parliament building in Naypyitaw, the country’s sprawling military-designed capital, Bo Bo Oo is busy reviewing a stack of letters on his desk.
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