CSOs to report to UN on human rights

Civic society organisations (CSOs) are going to compile a report on Myanmar’s human rights situation and send it to the United Nations for the first time.

The report will emphasise freedom of expression, the role of groups protecting human rights, farmland and development, the role of the human rights commission, legal reforms, the rule of law, freedom of religious rights and armed conflicts.

NLD disowns article on ‘foreign’ vote

An article on white-card holders’ voting rights written by advocate Ko Ni, a member of the central legal support committee for the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) and the central committee for constitutional amendments, did not represent the party, said Nyan Win, an NLD spokesman.

The article on temporary identity certificate holders, arguing that they should have a legal right to vote if their papers had been issued correctly, appeared in the Voice Weekly on February 7. 

Govt to seek backing for power plants

The coal-fired power projects will only continue if the public accepts them, the deputy minister for electrical power Aung Than Oo told Parliament.

MP Myint Soe from Pyawbwe constituency submitted a proposal urging the government to invite foreign investors into the electricity sector to obtain modern technology in coal-fired power projects to prevent pollution and to generate electricity from nuclear technology.

MPs demand probe into immigrant vote

Twenty-seven Upper House MPs have called for the Constitutional Tribunal to rule whether giving the right to vote to temporary citizens or white-card holders is in line with the 2008 Constitution. 

Dr Aye Maung of the Rakhine National Party said: “All existing laws are legal as long as they are not annulled or amended by the Union Parliament and are in line with the 2008 Constitution.”

It’s not wrong to say enfranchising foreign residents is public desire- Chief Minister

The Rakhine State chief minister said it was not wrong to say that granting voting rights to foreigners holding white cards, who are applying for citizenship, is public desire, according to Mizzima Daily.

Maung Maung Ohn told the newspaper that enfranchising temporary citizens or white-card holders in the forthcoming referendum for charter change was public desire. 

Media freedom motion crushed

An opposition MP tabled a motion to Parliament on Friday, calling on the government to make sure through legal procedures that media outlets can operate freely as press freedom is systematically being infringed, but the proposal was voted down heavily by MPs. 

Phyo Min Thein, MP from the National League for Democracy (NLD) for Hlegu Township in Yangon, said the government should make legal moves to enable the media to operate freely and take responsibility and accountability for its own actions. 

Charter tribunal urged to decide on voting rights of white card holders

A proposal will be submitted to Khin Aung Myint, the speaker of the Upper House parliament, to decide whether granting voting rights to white card holders go against the constitutional law or not with 26 petitions of members of parliament including those from the opposition National League for Democracy, MP Dr Aye Maung of Rakhine National Development Party (RNDP) said. 

Htay Oo takes heat for DVB interview

The Union parliament’s decision to allow white card holders to vote in the referendum on constitutional amendment is the right decision, said Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) vice chairperson Htay Oo in an exclusive interview with Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) on Tuesday.

Kyaunggon residents welcome Ayeyawady student protest

AYEYAWADY – The Ayeyawady Boycott Students’ Column, a group of students from Ayeyawady Region protesting the National Education Law, began their march on February 3. On February 4, the column arrived in Kyaunggon Township, where residents, including farmers, warmly welcomed them by chanting supportive slogans.

Residents also donated cash and gifts to the students.

Evil legacy of white cards should be solved, says USDP official

People have had to suffer the evil legacy of white cards as successive governments have failed to deal with it, said MP Zaw Myint Pe, a central executive committee (CEC) member of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) on February 4.

“There should not be white card holders any longer. White card holders can be found in Kokant region, but the majority of white card holders are in Rakhine State. The government should make a decision about [their citizenship] as quickly as possible,” the MP said.