Parliament did not allow all proposed press bill amendments


A Myanmar MP who had called the cancellation of a controversial media legislation said that the Parliament’s Joint-Bill Committee did not include all the proposed amendments into the Printing and Publishing Enterprise Bill, which the Lower House of Parliament approved on July 4.


Lower House MP Khaing Maung Yi, also a member of Lower House’s Sport, Culture and Public Relations Development Committee, disclosed the information on Tuesday.

“There was some work (regarding the press bill) done by the committee in sync with the Information Ministry. They said they had already adjusted offenses and punishments included in the bill. We don’t know when they adjusted. But they refused what we wanted to amend,” said Khaing Maung Yi.
He first planned to table a motion to cancel the bill but it was withdrawn by Parliament. He could only try for canceling the provisions on offenses and punishments, he added.

According to Khaing Maung Yi, the Joint-Bill Committee invited only two members of his committee to discuss the press bill before its approval. On the first-day session of the meeting, nothing about the media was discussed and even his proposal to amend a point was rejected by one member of the Joint-Bill Committee.

He also said he would listen to opinions of the interim Press Council during its Wednesday (July 24) meeting with officials from the Information Ministry, inviting details about the amendments.

“Some issues need to be dealt with in the presence of ministry officials. We cannot hear what is all said outside. We cannot read all contents of the local newspapers and journals. We don’t know details about the amendments the Press Council wanted to make,” said Khaing Maung Yi.

Since its disclosure by the Information Ministry, the press bill had attracted criticism from journalists and media organisations for still containing provisions that control or oppress the journalists and provisions that are not related to printing and publishing processes.

The interim Press Council demanded some points to be filled in and some amendments to be made in the press council but it said the demands were not met when the bill was approved by the Lower House


Lower House of Parliament has approved a Printing and Publishing Enterprise Bill

credit emg 5 july 2013

The Lower House of Parliament has approved a Printing and Publishing Enterprise Bill in Nay Pyi Taw on Thursday after amending, subtracting and supplementing 24 points, despite criticism from media organisations.

Two clauses have been totally removed. They are ‘Publications that are contrary to the constitution and other existing laws’ stated under Article 7 of Chapter (3); and ‘No one is allowed to bring overseas publications or issue publications locally that violate any condition of Article 7 although they are not declared illegal beforehand.


Prison sentences set under Articles 20, 21 and 22 of Chapter (7) have also been discarded. And instead, those who break the rules and regulations are to pay fines as prescribed in the bill.

One of the supplemented points states that any condition in this law shall not bar a citizen from expressing, speaking and writing freely as enshrined in the constitution and that any action taken in line with this law shall not harm the right of the citizens to express, speak and write freely in accord with the law.

Another supplemented provision says that if no separate law is enacted, anyone shall not be allowed to engage in broadcasting, apart from printing and publishing. According to another new provision, the right of the fourth estate to assume and express freely in accord with the law shall not be infringed. Continue reading “Lower House of Parliament has approved a Printing and Publishing Enterprise Bill”