Military MP opposes the term "dictatorship" in parliament

Soe Min Htike

A member of parliament representing the military has asked the parliament to remove the term "dictatorship" used by a civilian MP during his discussion of a proposal on farmland problems.

At a session of Upper House of Parliament held in Nay Pyi Taw on August 23, MP Khin Maung Latt from Rakhine State Constituency No (3) discussed over the proposal submitted by MP Myo Win from Mon State Constituency No (8). The proposal was about severe shortages of cultivable land resulting from reckless sales of farmlands and garden lands, loss of land plots earmarked for emergency use and implementation of an urgent plan to effectively control alleged ineffective and corrupt management committees, development committees and land management committees.

"Our country is just in a transition period from dictatorship to democracy. Government departments still have people with authoritarian power. As our democracy has not been full-fledged, immorality and bad procedures in the past are still overwhelming those departments. In consequence, people have to suffer. We face difficulties in conducting reforms due to irresponsibility of those responsible," said MP Khin Maung Latt.

In response to the discussion, military MP Colonel Aung Tun Lin requested the Upper House speaker to remove the term "dictatorship" from the record.

"Dictatorship means sticking to power for a long time. This is a personal feeling. So I oppose this because the term is not related to the proposal. I would ask the parliament to cancel this term," said the military MP.

The speaker assured that the term would be removed if it was not related to the proposal.

MP Khin Maung Latt told the reporters: "In the proposal, even ancient kings could be included. Dictatorship cannot disappear just because of election. Forty years has passed. But dictatorship still exists. Our democratic government is new while the administrative system is old. This is a conflict. This is why land problems have worsened."

In the previous sessions of Upper House, Lower House and Union Parliament also, some military MPs as well as elected MPs coming from the army after their retirements have shown their opposition to the controversial terms used in parliament such as dictatorship.