Chindwin gold rush destroying villages, warns MP

Illegal gold exploration is destroying forests and villages along the Chindwin River, NLD MP Sandar Min told Parliament on May 28.

Parliament approves Korean-funded bridge

The Union Parliament has unanimously approved the proposal to build a Korean-funded bridge linking Dala Township and Yangon.

MP Thein Swe said the time frame for the five-year project should be reduced. Moreover, care should be taken not to disturb the shipping lanes while construction was taking place. There should also be a plan to make water available in Dala.

Activists work on 'political prisoner' definition

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), Former Political Prisoners Society (FPPS) and MPs are seeking ways of defining the term ‘political prisoner’, Bo Kyi of the AAPP said on May 28.

Tax plan on top-up cards suspended

A roadside shop selling top-up cards. (Photo-EMG)

Parliament decided on May 27 to suspend the plan to levy a 5 per cent commercial tax on prepaid phone cards for the 2015-16 fiscal year. 

Thein Htun Oo, a lower house MP from the Amarapura constituency and member of the Union Solidarity and Development Party, proposed a motion to suspend the 5 per cent tax on prepaid cards for the fiscal year. Six MPs discussed the motion, and it was adopted by a unanimous vote.

Charter change by any means: NLD

Every possible approach, including standing for election, would be used to amend the 2008 Constitution, according to a joint statement issued by the National League Democracy and the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society on the 25th anniversary of the 1990 elections.

Parliament puts Yangon project on hold

The Union Parliament has decided to put the controversial, 90-acre Yayku project on hold.

The site, which housed an old government broadcasting station, was due to be sold to the private sector.

MP Aung Thein Lin from the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) urgently requested that Parliament put a temporary stoppage on the project to gain time to consider whether it should be continued.

NLD still undecided on election

The National League for Democracy will only announce if it will fight in the general election after the Union Election Commission announces the election date, Win Htein, a Lower House NLD MP, told a Yangon press conference. 

UEC, Carter Centre signs MoU to observe electoral process

The Union Election Commission (UEC) and Carter Centre which is headed by former US president Jimmy Carter has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on May 26 to observe the 2015 general election.

There will be two parts in the observation process: short and long term periods.

MPs slam tightened rules over coverage of parliamentary session

Some parliamentarians have criticised the stricter measures imposed on the media covering the parliamentary meetings.

Before, journalists had an easy access to the Interpreter Booth and were able to witness the parliamentary session and take footages and photos of it. But starting from May 26, reporters have been banned from covering the parliamentary sessions inside the booth.

Instead, a television set has been provided outside the booth to view the meeting.

No USDP landslide possible, says MP

Upper House MP Hla Swe told the media that the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party’s (USDP) central committee was likely to choose its presidential candidate on May 29 or May 30, adding that the party would not win a landslide victory like in the 2010 election.  

“Unlike in the 2010 election, I don’t think our party will win a landslide victory. But fierce rivalry is exciting. It is not good that one single party always wins,” said Hla Swe, a member of the central committee.