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February 29, 2020

Amyotha Hluttaw Public Complaints Committee illustrates duties to the people

By Shin Min
Photo: Kay Kay

“We cannot provide a hundred percent assistance yet though. I believe it’s because we are still in a transition period, and making reforms, and thus the ministries and states/regions are overwhelmed with multiple duties that prevent them from swiftly responding to the complaint letters.”

U Win Kyaing, Secretary of the Amyotha Hluttaw Public Complaints Committee

(Continued from
yesterday’s article)

U Win Kyaing, Secretary, Amyotha Hluttaw representative for Bago Region constituency 10
“The topic people send complaints to us the most is about confiscation of farmlands and other lands. There are reports of losses incurred due to mismanagement of farmlands. Reports and complaints concerning farmland are sent the most.”
“Other complaint letters include individuals reporting on other individuals due to private losses or damages, and those concerning judicial matters. There are also complaints against ministries.”
“But there are complaint letters that the committee can’t follow up on. If it doesn’t have sufficient details or evidence, or if it the sender’s signature isn’t included then there’s nothing we can do.”

Sending complaints directly
“For the letters that are comprehensive, we carefully review them and send them directly to the concerned Union-level organizations and state/regional governments so that the matter can be addressed.”
“However, there is a low rate of response and participation from the concerned entities of the states and regions regarding the complaint letters we forwarded to them. There is a measure participation but response and action are slow and not at the rate we would like it to be yet.”

The Amyotha Hluttaw Public Complaints Committee meets with UNSC's Special Envoy Mrs Christine Schraner Burgener.
The Amyotha Hluttaw Public Complaints Committee meets with UNSC’s Special Envoy Mrs Christine Schraner Burgener.

Letter
“There are 11 rules to follow when sending complaint letters. There are 11 types of letters the committee doesn’t take action against. The first kind are letters addressed to the President and the copy sent to us. We can’t take action on that. And secondly, letters addressed to both the President and a ministry simultaneously are invalid.”
“Thirdly, we can’t take on matters that are facing ongoing trial in a court of law. Fourthly, if the matter requires the complainant to file a case themselves then we advise them to do so. Fifth, if the letter doesn’t explain what the issue is, or if it’s too general, or neither clearly states what are the causes for losses incurred, then we can’t take them on. Letters also stating assumptions or just with the intent to notify us are invalid as well.”
“We cannot take action if the letter doesn’t have the complainant’s signature, name or NRC number or for suggestion letters. In addition, our committee can’t directly handle cases of confiscated farmlands. That is handled by the Central Committee for Reviewing Confiscated Farmlands and Other Lands, chaired by Vice President U Henry Van Thio, as well as the state/regional-level committees chaired by its respective chief minister.”
“For this reason, our committee can’t directly address complaint letters concerning confiscated farmlands and other lands. The final type of invalid letters are those other people write on behalf of someone else, akin to a broker, or if it doesn’t have valid documents showing transfer of power.”
“The committee carefully scrutinizes complaint letters that contain all the necessary details and ensure they are handled without incurring losses. We carefully file the letters we receive each day into our inbox and catalog them appropriately as well. Each of our members are assigned different duties. They scrutinize the letters and write down their findings. Then we send the letters to the concerned organization with our suggestions attached.”

Amyotha Hluttaw Public Complaints Committee members making a field trip to Inndaung Forest Reserve in Htigyaing Township.
Amyotha Hluttaw Public Complaints Committee members making a field trip to Inndaung Forest Reserve in Htigyaing Township.

Conducting analyses on the ground
“We remind the concerned ministries and state/regional government on the complaint letters we forward them according to their importance. We may also raise these questions at Hluttaw sessions. We also conduct field trips to analyze the situation.”
“We also conduct hearings on the complaint letters and we have held five hearing since the formation of our committee. If the citizens are evidently incurring losses then we coordinate and assist them while adhering to the law.”
“We cannot guarantee hundred-per-cent assistance yet though. I believe it’s because we are still in a transition period and implementing reforms, and so, the ministries and states and regions are overwhelmed with multiple duties that prevent them from swiftly responding to complaint letters.”
“I think when the time comes where they can respond to the letters quickly and effectively, then our committee can address those matters more accurately and quickly as well.” (Translated by Pen Dali)

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