How many Ministry in MyanmarLike many ministries in Myanmar
The NLD opposes the extension of army departments
President U Thein Sein's last-minute suggestion to put the Immigration Department under the wings of the militarily supervised Interior Ministry came up against the National League for Democracy opponents today that the party's fusion would take away a top position in the next state.
On 22 January, the US Chairman sent a note to Thura U Shwe Mann asking him to obtain the consent of the European Union House to the fusion of the two departments. There was no idea why such an important move was put forward only five working days before the last sitting of the present House.
Thein Sein, a former general, explained that a department for migration and population under the Ministry of the Interior would result in more streamlined migration and nationality procedures and surveys for a nationwide body of people, which would cut costs and take more efficient action on domestic safety and frontier safety.
He said that the fusion would improve the Rule of Justice and promote peacemaking and instability and would allow the authorities to monitor irregular immigrants who enter the state and to offer more service to the people. A spokesman, who was defeated last August in an interparty battle for authority against the current presidency, handed the matter over to the Union Parliament's Joint Draft Bill Committee, which is made up of parliamentarians from all political groups.
At one of the committee's meetings last night, most MEPs - but not those of the NLD - reached an agreement to merge the two departments. Today's House will finish its work on 29 January, before the new House, ruled by NLD deputies voted in last November's land slide win, meets on 1 February.
At present, the Ministry of Migration and Population is under the presidency, while the Ministry of Interior is one of three departments directly under the control of the army, which under the former regime has made sure that it has important positions of governance firmly under control in forthcoming power-sharing agreements. Migration has been a burning topic during U Thein Sein's five-year tenure, which will expire on 30 March when the new NLD-led administration takes over.
Over 100,000 Stateless Rohingya Muslims are housed in Rakhine state refugee camp waiting for the Bengalese authorities to verify their nationality, which consider many of them irregular migrants from neighboring Bangladesh and call them Bengalese. "`We were voting against when there was a vote[in the Union Parliamentary Joint Bill Committee],' said U Zaw Myint Maung of the NLD.
A Aung Maung, a member of the Arakan Nacional Party, supported the merger of the two departments and proposed that they be adopted before the end of the present government's time. "The reason I agree to do both is that the duties of the Ministry of Immigration and Population are very important for the country's sovereignty and are related to the duties of the Interior and Defence Doctors.
The NLD would not be able to solve the migration problem in Rakhine State, he also said, because it is a very delicate and complex area. cWe have suggested that the matter be resolved in the Union's House by tabling a motion, but we think that it should not be adopted by this House because we only have three extra days,³d said U Phone Myint Aung.
It is hoped that the Parliamentary debate will be continued today.