MPs discuss religious conversion bill in Upper House

The religious conversion bill came before the Upper House with two MPs backing the motion while another opposed it, saying it was too early to enact it.

The bill is aimed at preventing forced conversions to another religion. Anyone wishing to convert to another religion would need to apply for permission to a committee under the proposed law.

Only right leader will choose a right path for the country, Suu Kyi says

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said the people of Myanmar will only support a leader who is righteous, and a leader cannot guide the country along the right path if he or she is righteous. She spoke at a concert in honour of General Aung San’s 100th birthday, which falls on February 13.

"I think the people are right to adore a righteous leader. A non-righteous leader will never speak the truth. I believe our people will only follow a righteous leader," she said.

She urged her audience to work together for the sake of the country if they love it.

Union speaker vows to amend education law

Union parliament speaker Thura Shwe Mann sent a letter to the president on January 22 saying if the education ministry proposes a bill about the National Education Law, the parliament will amend it as soon as possible. 

The current National Education Law has been in effect since September 30, 2014.

The president recently requested that the parliament reconsider the education law. 

Parliament approves MPs’ salary increase

The parliament has approved to increase the salaries of its members to Ks 1,000,000 (US$1,000) per month on January 22, although military representatives denounced the decision. 

The president commented that the parliament should only increase its salaries to a reasonable amount and only after careful consideration. Some see the new figure to be unreasonable.

Suu Kyi calls for ethnic unity

All must work together in an effort to overcome poor situations of the country with full of problems, Aung San Suu Kyi, the chairperson of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), said.Aung San Suu Kyi met with the NLD members from Kachin State and Sagaing, Magway and Ayeyawady Regions who were on a study tour to the parliament after the Lower House parliamentary session in Nay Pyi Taw on January 22.“Bitter suffering remained among our ethnics and it is undeniable. We must accept problems. If we turn a blind eye on them, it is not easy to address them.

Parliament speaker urges president to hold six-party talk

Union Parliament Speaker Thura Shwe Mann urged President Thein Sein on January 22 to comply with parliament's demand to hold a six-party talk as soon as possible.

Six-party talk on the horizon

Upper House speaker Khin Aung Myint urged MPs to submit their suggestions about six-party talks to the parliament by January 23. He spoke at an Upper House of Parliament session on 21 January.

“The president sent a message to the Union parliament speaker about the proposal to hold a six-party talk. The Union parliament speaker then sent a message to the Upper House speaker asking for a response to the president as quickly as possible,” said speaker Khin Aung Myint.

19 jailed for protest against land seizures

A Pobbathiri Township court issued sentences against 19 Nay Pyi Taw residents yesterday for holding a ploughing competition in protest of the government’s seizure of their land to use it for state-run newspapers.

Judge Khin Win sentenced Zaw Lat, the protest leader, to seven years in prison with hard labour, while 18 others will serve prison sentences ranging from four to six years plus hard labour.

Military chief: No coup but it can happen

Commander-in-Chief Gen Min Aung Hlaing  said that the Tamadaw will not stage a military coup but if needed, it will act according to rule of law.

He said this during an interview with Channel News Asia on the questions of why he has supported the Thailand’s military coup and will the Myanmar military stage a coup in the future.

‘I do not oppose constitutional amendment,’ says Commander-in-Chief

Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces Min Aung Hlaing said he does not oppose constitutional amendment as long as it is done in accordance with Section 12 of the constitution. He spoke during an interview with Channel News Asia, whose reporter asked the general’s opinion on Section 436 and the guarantee of 25 per cent of parliament to military representatives.

“I do not disagree with constitutional amendment. We have to follow the amendment process in accordance with Section 12 of the constitution,” Min Aung Hlaing said.