Myanmar has scrapped the Emergency Provisions Act, a law that was often used to quell dissent.
The government enacted the Law Revoking the Emergency Provisions Act, effectively abolishing the 66-year-old law. The law was signed yesterday by President U Htin Kyaw after it was approved by the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, the joint-session of the two parliaments.
The Emergency Provisions Act was enacted in 1950 after Myanmar gained independence from Britain.
Under the act, anyone committing treason – which ranged from sabotage of railways to damaging telegraph poles – could face life behind bars or even death. Hefty jail terms were also meted out for other crimes, such as spreading false news or disrupting public morality.
Also during yesterday’s session, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs U Kyaw Tin sought approval of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw to ratify Protocol to the ASEAN Charter on Dispute Settlement Mechanisms.
Six ASEAN countries including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Viet Nam and Laos have confirmed their entrance to the protocol, but Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore have yet to do so because they have to undergo a process of approval at home.
U Kyaw Tin said that Myanmar needed to ratify the protocol because it is a useful mechanism for peaceful resolution of disputes among member countries.
The Hluttaw is scheduled to discuss the protocol on 7 October.— GNLM with the Myanmar News Agency