I have never envisaged that one day I would see a more progressive Myanmar than my own country.
While we are debating the new
Restriction Peaceful Assembly Bill (which are full of restrictions of freedom), Myanmar has passed a law which is more progressive than us. That is from a regime which is touted as one of the most repressive states in the world.
If they are now still repressive, what makes us?
To hold a protest, the
Malaysia Myanmar authority needs to be informed ONLY 5 days in advance (Malaysia new bill: 30days). While in Malaysia, protests are not allowed in so many places that I just cannot recall the whole list, in Myanmar only 4 locations are not allowed for protests: government buildings, scholls, hospitals and embassies. Notice that they did not ban street protests, as that is perhaps one place where you do not need to spend a hefty sum to stage your protest. Just compare yourself and make your own inference.
This is from Yahoo news: (click here for the original version)
Myanmar parliament passes protest bill
Myanmar’s military-dominated parliament has passed a bill allowing citizens to protest peacefully, a lawmaker said Thursday — the latest in a rapid series of reformist moves in the isolated country.
The bill, which needs to be signed off by President Thein Sein to become law, requires that demonstrators “inform the authorities five days in advance,” said upper house member Aye Maung, of the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party.
Protesters would be allowed to hold flags and party symbols but must avoid government buildings, schools, hospitals and embassies, he told AFP.
The bill came before parliament this week, four years after a mass monk-led protest known as the “Saffron Revolution” was brutally quashed, with the deaths of at least 31 people and the arrest of hundreds of monks, many still locked up.
Myanmar’s new parliament, dominated by army proxies, opened in January after nearly five decades of outright military rule following an election in November — the first in 20 years — that was dismissed by many observers as a sham.
The new leaders of the country, which is subject to Western sanctions, have surprised observers with a number of reformist steps in an apparent move to end international isolation.
They have freed and held direct talks with long-detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, halted work on an unpopular dam project that was backed by key ally China, eased media censorship and passed a law giving workers the right to strike.
The government also held peace talks at the weekend with ethnic minority rebel groups who have been waging a violent insurgency for greater rights and autonomy for decades.
By way of diplomatic recognition for the promising gestures, Myanmar last week won approval to chair Southeast Asia’s regional bloc in 2014.
It also received a nod from US President Barack Obama, who said he would send Hillary Clinton to Myanmar next month to encourage reform — the first US secretary of state to visit in 50 years.
A senior White House official said on Tuesday that Clinton would look for progress on human rights but it was “premature” to discuss lifting sanctions.
In a further overture, Japan said on Thursday it would send officials to Myanmar to discuss resuming development aid, suspended in 2003 over Suu Kyi’s detention, following recent political developments.
The Japanese delegation will discuss the possibility of resuming construction work on a hydropower plant, an official in Tokyo told AFP.
Suu Kyi’s opposition party announced its return to the official political arena last week after it boycotted last year’s polls.
The freeing of all of the country’s political prisoners, whose exact numbers remain unclear, remains one of the major demands of Western nations.
A small group of monks risked a rare two-day protest in Myanmar earlier this month, calling for the prisoners’ release as well as freedom of speech for monks and an end to conflicts between the army and ethnic minority groups.