Military MP opposes remark over "war veterans grabbing land"

Soe Min Hitke and Sithu

Union Parliament has removed a part of the discussion of the bill amending the Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Lands Management Law  from the parliament record as a member of parliament representing the military opposed it.

In the discussion, MP Dr Khun Win Thaung said the war veteran organisation forcibly seized sugarcane plantations owned by local people in Lweje  Township, Kachin State, for many years in the name of vacant land during a session of Union Parliament held in Nay Pyi Taw on August 15. Military MP Lieutenant Colonel Myo Htet protested against the remark.

"Kachin State Parliament MP Dr Khun Win Thaung said the war veteran organisation was grabbing land. And I oppose it. I am a parliamentarian. There must be strong and exact evidence whenever a parliamentarian says a word. Groundless accusations could harm the image of the parliament. So I stand opposed to the remark and call for the removal of it from the parliamentary records. Under the rules and laws of the Union Parliament, I have the right to oppose it”, the military MP told the reporters.

MP Dr Khun Win Thaung told the reporters: "I even thanked him for his opposition to my discussion. That is his opinion. This is because the matter has attracted people's attention. I mean that what they had done in that region is unlawful. I thank that military MP for doing it. Now the people have known more about the matter. I am an ethnic national. As I have been elected by civilians, what I say is not like an essay. That may be my weakness. I speak frankly. But they also have the right to oppose. We are now in the age of democracy. So I didn't respond to him."

One MP commented that parliamentary representatives themselves should consider the country as a whole, not a single organisation.

Union Parliament enacted the Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Lands Management Law on March 30, 2012.