Friday, September 22, 2017

Magwe Hluttaw enforces cellphone ban

Tired of ringing cellphones disrupting hluttaw sessions, Magwe’s deputy speaker is enforcing a ban. So much as bringing a mobile device into the Hluttaw Hall will now see offenders reprimanded or ejected from the session.

Magwe Region lawmakers were informed of the intention to enforce the restriction on December 27 through a directive announcing no “journals, magazines or cell phones” will be permitted in the hall while parliament is in session. Only “relevant documents” are allowed, according to the announcement.  

But local journalists fear the move will cause problems for the parliamentary press pool.

“Regional journalists often don’t have access to cameras and recorders. Therefore we use what we have, our phones, to record speeches and take photographs,” said Ma Zar Zar, from Democracy Today. “The restriction will create a lot of trouble for us.”

Magwe’s deputy speaker U Zaw Myo Win said the ban isn’t meant to cause trouble, but to prevent frequent disturbances to parliamentary proceedings.

MP U Aye Hlaing Oo (NLD; Mindon 2) added that the restriction is already enshrined in hluttaw regulations, so he has no problem with it being enforced.

Translation by Emoon