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Heartbeat of the nation

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DAILY EDITION

ISSUE 23 | Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Charges for
director, CEO
of Russian
fishing firm
Wa Lone
Laignee Barron
newsroom@mmtimes.com

PAGE

Photo: SUPPLIED

A truck used for sand mining is beached in the water, just metres from a hotel, at
Ngapalis Zeephyukone beach on April 6. The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has called
on the Rakhine State government to rein in rampant sand mining at the beach, as Max
Myanmar joined a growing campaign to put an end to the practice.

Hluttaw cuts the right


to form student unions
Parliaments lower house yesterday scrapped planned changes to the National Education Law
that would have granted students and teachers the right to freely form unions. news 4

THE number of Myanmar fishermen


confirmed dead in a Russian trawler
disaster climbed to 16 yesterday, as
rescue ships carrying survivors and
the bodies of victims recovered from
the wreckage arrived at port.
At least 16 of the 42 Myanmar
fishermen who are suspected to have
been illegally employed on the Dalniy
Vostok freezer trawler were identified
among the 56 deceased yesterday, according to Myanmar embassy officials
who visited the survivors.
Another four Myanmar seamen are
still among the 13 missing crew members who rescuers fear were trapped
aboard the vessel when it sank into
the freezing Okhotsk Sea on April 2.
The 22 Myanmar survivors who
did not need immediate medical attention along with others from Latvia, Russia, Ukraine and Vanuatu are
being housed at hotels in the far eastern Russian coastal city of YuzhnoSakhalinsk.
The survivors will be repatriated
by the arrangement of the [trawlers
parent] company. And the 16 dead
bodies will also be sent back to Myanmar by the arrangement of the company, the Myanmar embassy in Moscow
said by email yesterday.
Continued on news 3
BUSINESS 9

Complaints as govt to
re-enter fuel market
The Ministry of Energy has announced
plans to form a joint venture to retail
fuel prompting concern from private
businesses, who say it should stay away.
Business 9

Online futures trading


takes off in legal void
Experts have called for regulations on a
growing trade in online futures, which
they warn could possibly lead to large
financial losses for traders.

2 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 8, 2015

Ministry orders ban on sand mining


Rakhine State government and Thandwe township administration office point the finger at each other for sand mining at Ngapali beach
Ei Ei Thu
91.eieithu@gmail.com
Thomas Kean
tdkean@gmail.com
THE Ministry of Hotels and Tourism
has told the Rakhine State government to order a halt on sand mining
on a series of popular beaches in the
Ngapali area, as a public campaign
against the practice continued to gain
momentum over the past week.
The announcement came as a
truck, apparently owned by a company
named Bravo World, beached itself
in the surf at Zeephyukone on April
6 just metres from guests at Amazing Ngapali Resort, one of the destinations premier hotels and a favourite
with senior government officials.
Zeephyukone is one of three
beaches where sand mining has been
permitted for regional development
purposes, despite beach sand being
unsuitable for construction and the
excavation of sand from beaches being
explicitly forbidden by the Ministry of
Hotels and Tourism.
Director U Myo Win Nyunt told
The Myanmar Times yesterday that
the ministry had already instructed
the Rakhine State government to ensure directives banning the mining of
beach sand are enforced.
It will impact on Ngapali beach if
the people dig sand from beach areas
near the guests. We dont think the respective authorities should allow this
to happen on beach areas, he said.
They must take action in line with
government directives and also residents need to follow their orders.
We will report again and again to
state government if they wont follow
our directives for beach areas. The
beach must be protected for the long
term.
The comments were the strongest
yet from the government on the mining, which has been condemned by a
number of hoteliers in the area as environmentally damaging and bad for
the tourism industrys image. Many,
however, appear afraid to speak out,
with critics of the mining alleging it
is being allowed because of collusion
between local companies and government officials.
A spokesperson for the Rakhine
State government, U Win Myaing, said
he was unaware that sand was being
taken from the beach in violation of
government rules.
We dont know about the report
from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism to control the digging of sand
at the beach. You should ask the
Thandwe [township] administrator,

Top: A truck arrives to collect sand at Zeephyukone beach on April 4. Above left: A poster on display in a Ngapali village
campaigns against sand mining. Above right: A Myint Mo Oo-branded truck arrives at the beach on April 4. Photos: Supplied

he said, before hanging up.


His comments contradict those of
the administrator, U Than Zaw Han,
who told The Myanmar Times in early
March that it was the regional government that had given permission for
mining at the three sites Zeephyukone, Lintha and Gaw with approval
from the Department of Water Resources and the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry.
Documents provided to The Myanmar Times show that the Ministry
of Hotels and Tourism reaffirmed a
2004 ban on sand mining on January 1, in Order No 2/2015. Meanwhile,
the Township General Administration
Department, which U Than Zaw Han
heads, also issued a local order No

1/2015 on January 27 that forbids the


digging of sand at the beach, adding that anyone found breaking the
above-mentioned rules will face serious action according to the law.
Despite the order, one of the groups
mining the sand said the township administration had issued a tender and
granted it a licence to mine sand in
mid-March.
U Nyunt Khaing, head of the Funeral and Blood Donation Association,
said his group was using money raised
from the sand mining to fund its activities. He said it was selling the sand to
private and government construction
sites, including hotels, for K15,000 a
truckload.
The Thandwe administrator called

a tender for mining licences and our


civil society organisation received a
licence for one year, U Nyunt Khaing
said.
U Than Zaw Han could not be
reached for comment yesterday.
A campaign launched late last
month against the sand mining has
gathered further momentum, with
Max Myanmar, which has previously
been investigated for taking beach
sand for its hotel project at Ngapali,
joining the Alliance against Sand Mining at Ngapali and Myanmar Beaches.
A spokesperson said the company now supports efforts to protect
the natural environment in the area.
It strongly condemns the sand digging in the beach front areas and the

surroundings of Ngapali beach which


will have deep impact on the environment, he said.
Members of the alliance yesterday
began putting up posters in villages
around the Ngapali area with the message that sand mining will damage the
tourism industry, which is the major
employer in the area.
Meanwhile, companies whose
names and phone numbers are painted
on the side of the trucks taking sand
from Zeephyukone insisted they were
not involved in the mining.
We just sold the car with our company brand name and phone numbers
as an advertisement. Thats why people think we are taking the sand from
the beach. But we are not a construction company, said a spokesperson
from Shwe Htun.
A spokesperson for Myint Mo Oo
said the company sold agricultural inputs and was not involved in the sand
mining.
However, some taking the sand
have defended their actions and called
hotels hypocritical for opposing the
mining. The hoteliers also take the
sand from the beach, said U Nyunt
Khaing. Now they will buy it to show
how responsible they are but at the
times when people cant see, they will
still be there, digging away.
U Nyunt Khaing said his group
just took three or four loads each day
from the beach, alternating between
the three sites. He was unaware of the
Ministry of Hotels and Tourism order
banning the mining.
Should I have asked them? Is it
our sin for using our regions natural resources? We are just generating
money for our regional development,
because we dont get any government
support.
But critics of the mining say it is
endangering the natural and cultural
heritage as well as future income opportunities of the Rakhine people.
They have called for stronger regulations and transparency over current
practices, as well as education campaigns to explain the environmental
effects.
What is needed is laws, perhaps at
the regional parliament level, to regulate sand mining in all locations, said
Vicky Bowman from the Myanmar
Centre for Responsible Business.
Beaches protect the people who
live on the coast against dangerous
storm surges, which we will see more
of in future with climate change. I
think Rakhine State parliamentarians
need to mobilise to address this, at local and national level, as do the hoteliers of Ngapali.

www.mmtimes.com

News editor: Thomas Kean | tdkean@gmail.com

President
calls 48
parties to
meeting
today

continued from news 1


As the embassy helped connect
families with the survivors, as
well as procure passports for the
workers eventual repatriation,
the Russian Investigative Committee arrested a director of the
trawlers parent company, Magellan LLC, on charges of criminal negligence, according to the
government agencys website.
An arrest warrant was also issued for the companys chief executive officer, who is reportedly in
South Korea, where many of the
Myanmar workers were initially
sent by recruitment agencies to
join the Russian vessels crew.
No criminal charges or police
reports have been filed against
the five Myanmar recruitment
agencies responsible for sending
the seamen to the trawler in
violation of numerous guidelines
and domestic laws the Department of Marine Administration
said yesterday.
However, DMA director U
Toe Myint did not rule out charges being laid.

Ei Ei Toe Lwin
eieitoelwin@gmail.com
WITH political leaders still on tenterhooks following the April 6 invitation to be prepared for the
long-awaited six-way talks on the
constitution, President U Thein Sein
has invited representatives of no
fewer than 48 parties to meet on vital issues today.
The president yesterday summoned to his home in Nay Pyi Taw
Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker Thura
U Shwe Mann, Commander-in-Chief
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and
Union Election Commission Chair U
Tin Aye to lead the discussion on
three items: securing an agreement
on the peace-making process and the
nationwide ceasefire draft; holding
the elections successfully and facilitating the transition; and ensuring
political stability.
U Sai Aik Paung, chair of the Shan
Nationalities Democratic Party, said
before the meeting that he would
use the opportunity to urge the
government and the ethnic armed
groups to sign the nationwide ceasefire agreement as soon as possible.
A provisional agreement has been
signed, but awaits ratification by ethnic group leaders.
Whatever the outcome of the
meeting, it leaves observers and potential participants guessing as to
whether or not, and when, the sixparty talks will be held. Those talks,
which would bring together the
president, the two hluttaw speakers,
the commander-in-chief, opposition
leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U
Aye Maung of the Rakhine National
Party, representing ethnic groups,
could hold the key to the holding of
free and fair elections in November.
Apparently nettled at the reluctance of the president to meet in
such a forum so far, Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi upped the stakes last week
when she hinted to Reuters that she
might boycott the November election
unless the constitution is amended
to her linking. At this point, with
parliamentary discussion on the
constitutional amendment process
stalled, an agreement between the
so-called Big Six seems the most
likely way of reaching agreement.
Despite an apparent invitation to
those concerned to prepare themselves for six-party talks on April 10,
nothing has yet been confirmed.
We can say the 48-party talks
will be held, because weve been officially invited. But we cant confirm
the six-party talks, said an official
from the Presidents Office.
Pyithu Hluttaw representative
U Htay Oo of the Union Solidarity
and Development Party said that the
convening of the 48-party talks did
not mean that the six-party talks
had been cancelled. The six could
discuss the results of the 48-party
talks, he said.
As far as we know, the six-party
talks will be held on April 10, said U
Aye Maung, who would be a participant if those talks go ahead.
Analyst U Yan Myo Thein said
six-party talks should discuss not
only amendments to the constitution but also a presidential amnesty
for students arrested at Letpadan
on March 10 after a bloody police
crackdown, as well as longer-term
actions for political stability and
reconciliation.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

News 3

Detained activists gesture from a departing police truck following a court hearing in Letpadan yesterday. Photo: AFP

Letpadan detainees
hit with fresh charges

If we arrested
the company
responsible and
took action first,
who will take care
of the victims?
U Toe Myint
Department of Marine
Administration director

Activists hit with 50 charges each as a result of march from Mandalay to Yangon

Ye Mon
yeemontun2013@gmail.com

MORE than 80 student protesters


and activists arrived back in court
yesterday where they were slapped
with fresh charges that could lead to
dozens of years in prison.
A total of 81 people, including 11
released on bail, now face 50 charges
five for each of the 10 townships
the protesters marched through between Mandalay and Letpadan in
Bago Region according to lawyer U
Robert San Aung who will represent
some of the detainees.
The cumulative charges which
include incitement to riot, defamation and obstructing a police officer carry a minimum penalty of
20 years imprisonment, the lawyer
said. One protester also faces an additional charge of evading arrest.
Three student activists remain in
hiding.
In addition to piling on the

charges, the government yesterday


applied to shift the trial to nearby
Tharyarwady Township Court due
to security concerns.
Large crowds of relatives and
supporters have gathered outside
the Letapadan township court for
each of the three hearings to date.
The government used more
police officers than in the previous
hearing. Some relatives of the students were barred from court by
police, but they managed to finally
enter the court, U Robert San Aung
said.
Student leaders said they were
undeterred by the governments attempts to dampen support and attention for their cause.
We will continue fighting the
government until we get a National Education Law in line with the
standards of democracy, said Ma
Phyoe Phyoe Aung, secretary of the
All Burma Federation of Student
Unions.
Relatives of the detained have accused police of taking excessive and
unnecessary security measures.
U Tun Tun Oo, father of detained
Ko Myat Min Maw, said the police

Supreme Court agrees to


hear U San Sint appeal
FORMER Minister for Religious Affairs U San Sint, now serving 13 years
for misuse of public funds and for sedition, has had his request for an appeal accepted by the Union Supreme
Court, his lawyer said on April 6. U
Tin Tun said the case would be heard
after the Thingyan festival.
U San Sint was arrested in June
last year and convicted at Dekkhinathiri District Court, Nay Pyi
Taw, in October. He was jailed for
13 years and fined K100,000. Fifty
members of parliament petitioned
President U Thein Sein for his release, and other public figures have
expressed their support for him,
claiming his downfall was politically motivated.
An earlier appeal to the Mandalay regional court was rejected.

The appeal was then submitted


to the Supreme Court, which has
agreed to hear it, said U Tin Tun,
who said of his client, His mind is
very strong. He says he knows he is
not like other ministers and former
army officers.
The case bore upon the expenditure by U San Sint of K10 million
for a ceremony to consecrate a pagoda near Nay Pyi Taw in December
2013. He later paid back K2.8 million, according to the government.
Presidential spokesperson U Ye
Htut has publicly stated, however,
that the ministers downfall was related to his defiance of President U
Thein Sein and alleged mishandling
of the raid on the Mahasantisukha
Monastery in Yangon in June 2014.
Aung Kyaw Min

blocked his family from coming to


the court by saying that the road
they were travelling on was under
repair.
Parliamentarians yesterday said
they were working to free some of
the detainees through the governments promise to release those who
can prove they are real students.
I have seen some students who
are under 18 and some who are distance students. There are 13 distance
students in prison and I am trying
to get recommendations from their
universities to prove to the government that they are really students,
said independent MP Daw Nyo
Nyo Thin, who is also a member of
National Network for Education
Reform.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Aye
Thein from Tharyarwady district
said there are no plans to release the
students at the moment. Police are
focused only on arresting those student leaders still in hiding, he said.
Presidential spokesperson U Ye
Htut said the student demonstrations were not a priority for the government, which is instead focused
on peace talks.

The director general and


higher-ranking officials of the
state will decide how to take action on the company in this case,
said U Toe Myint, who heads the
administrations seamen department, adding that the first step
will be ensuring the workers get
compensation promised by the
Russian government.
If we arrested the company
responsible and took action first,
who will take care of the victims? he said.
The companies recruitment
licences were indefinitely suspended after it was revealed that
the agencies deliberately falsified
the labourers registration cards
and flouted laws prohibiting
overseas employment on fishing
vessels.
This is the first suspension
for recruitment agencies, though
the administrations guidelines
provide for three-year prison
terms and lifetime bans for such
violations.

TRADE MARK CAUTION


GOLDWIN INC., a corporation organized under the laws of
Japan, of 210 Kiyosawa, Oyabe-shi, Toyama-ken, Japan, is the
Owner of the following Trade Mark:-

Reg. No. 5324/1996


in respect of Bags, pouches, clothing, footwear, headgear, golfclubs, golf-putters, golf-balls and gymnastic and sporting articles.
Fraudulent imitation or unauthorised use of the said Trade Mark
will be dealt with according to law.
Win Mu Tin, M.A., H.G.P., D.B.L
for GOLDWIN INC.
P. O. Box 60, Yangon
E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm
Dated: 8 April 2015

4 News
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THE MYANMAR TIMES April 8, 2015

Lower house rejects students


demand to form unions freely
Htoo Thant

Mratt Kyaw Thu

THE lower house of parliament yesterday rejected a key student demand


for the right to form unions freely in
approving a draft bill that amends the
controversial National Education Law
passed last year.
Two opposition members of parliament, U Thein Nyunt from Thingangyun and U Sein Win from Maubin,
proposed adding a provision allowing
free organsation of student unions, but
other MPs backed the recommendations of the Pyithu Hluttaw Bill Committee and the proposal was rejected.
Lower house speaker Thura U
Shwe Mann said after the debate that
he could not fulfil the demands of a
person or a group if it was contrary to
the interests of the state and people.
Our decision must be for people.
We dont need to fulfil the demand of

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a person or a group, Thura U Shwe


Mann said.
The right to form independent
student and teacher unions was one
of 11 key demands set out by students
in their campaign for a democratic
system of education that would remove central government control and
increase funding for schools.
Representatives of the government
and parliament agreed to the student
requests in February during negotiations that took place while protest rallies were heading towards Yangon. A
police crackdown and the arrest of 127
activists in Letpadan on March 10 ended student attempts to reach Yangon
and drove their leaders into hiding.
The amendment bill approved yesterday differs on a number of points
from that approved by the upper house
last month. The bill will return to the
upper house for approval. If the two
houses cannot reach agreement on a
single version, the differences will be
settled at a joint session of parliament,
the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, after which it
will be sent to President U Thein Sein
for approval. MPs say they hope to

finalise the bill by the end of this week,


when parliament breaks for the water
festival holiday.
Reaction among education experts
and students to yesterdays passage
in the lower house reflected confusion over the various amendments
shuttling between the two houses
and committees, as well as divisions
among student groups.
Ko Myat Thu, a leader of the more
militant All Burma Federation of Students Unions also known as Ba Ka
Tha condemned parliaments decision and said more protests would
be organised. The government did
with the education law whatever they
want, he said.
Ko Zayyar Lwin, a leader of the
University Students Union (Ta Ka Tha)
that negotiated with the government
in February and discussed amendments with parliament last month,
said the group was not sure how to
proceed at this point. I think that it
will be better we comment about the
whole process when the bill is approved by the president rather than at
each step of the way. Were waiting for

the right time, he said.


Daw Nyo Nyo Thin, a member of
the National Network for Education
Reform, which also negotiated with
the government and parliament, said
a statement would be made when
parliaments decision became official.
She said the NNER and students were
supposed to be involved in the parliamentary process according to the February agreement but the government
and parliament have been breaking
the rules.
U Saw Hla Tun, secretary of the
lower house bill committee, quoted
opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu
Kyi and the Ministry of Education as
expressing satisfaction with the decisions made in parliament.
The lower house approved the bill
with a total of 36 amendments, which
included a provision that committed
the government to aim to reach an
allocation of 20 percent of the state
budget for education in line with
student demands. Officials have said
privately that such a level of spending
was unrealistic.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

IN DEPTH

Student unions: A damaging rift?


Mratt Kyaw Thu
mrattkthu@gmail.com
THE student movement that had united in January around its demands for
a democratic system of education has
since splintered, its divisions fuelled by
the governments twin tactics of negotiation and incarceration.
Student leaders gathered in Mandalay on January 20 to launch their
campaign to amend the controversial
National Education Law passed by
parliament last September. A decision
was taken to march on Yangon from
three different cities, in the first coordinated student action against President U Thein Seins policies since his
pro-reform administration took office
in 2011.
Mindful of Myanmars history of
landmark student actions dating back
to the anti-colonial protests of the
1930s, the government quickly chose
to negotiate as the four columns proceeded slowly toward Yangon. The students main demands which focused
on autonomy for universities, schools
and unions as well as more education
spending were soon accepted.
Meanwhile the opposition National
League for Democracy (NLD) expelled
U Thein Lwin, a prominent education
reformer, from its leadership committee for his role in the National Network
for Education Reform (NNER), which
also took part in the negotiations with
the government and parliament. This
led to confusion among the various unions over the extent of the NLDs support for their cause.
Then, following a request by Sitagu
Sayadaw, a well-known monk, three of
the student columns halted their protests while those who had started in
Mandalay continued.
While negotiations were continuing in Nay Pyi Taw over amendments
to the law, NLD leader Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi met students from the University Students Union (known by its
Myanmar acronym of Ta Ka Tha), but
not representatives of the All Burma
Federation of Student Unions (known
as Ba Ka Tha). The latter is made up
of veteran activists and is regarded as
more militant.
We dont want to comment about
the meeting of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

Members of the University Students Union leave a consultation meeting in the


Amyotha Hluttaw, or upper house, on March 16. Photo: Pyae Thet Phyo

and Ta Ka Tha. We think that the NLD


didnt cause dissension among students, commented Ko Myat Thu, a Ba
Ka Tha leader who led the Mandalay
march and has been ordered to appear
in court.
The government did invite Ba Ka
Tha activists to join consultations in
parliament last month, but refused to
allow them to complete their march
to Yangon from Letpadan, some 140
kilometres (90 miles) northwest of
Yangon, before attending the hluttaw
meetings.
On the same day, March 5, Ta Ka
Tha students and NNER members
boycotted the consultations because of
the refusal by police to lift their blockade of the marchers in Letpadan. On
March 10 police violently broke up the
rally and arrested 127 people. Despite
the crackdown, the Ta Ka Tha students
and NNER joined the parliamentary
hearings on March 16-17, using the occasion to press for the release of their

arrested colleagues.
We are doing the things that we
should, through cooperation with government. This is not about trusting
the government. Were doing what we
want to do and we understand the way
of negotiating, said Ko Zayyar Lwin,
a Ta Ka Tha student leader, defending
his organisation from accusations by
more militant activists that they lacked
experience in negotiating.
After the public hearings of the bill
committee, the upper house debated
the amended draft for two days and
approved it on March 26. The bill committee said its work had mainly taken
into consideration a set of 11 demands
set out by student representatives of
the Action Committee for Democratic
Education.
Others disagreed, including NNER
members and Ba Ka Tha activists.
The bill approved by Amyotha
Hluttaw [upper house] was another
version of the governments former

law, not reflecting the four parties


agreement. They put the education
commission section back in, showing
that education will still be under central control, said Ko Myat Thu of Ba
Ka Tha.
Nearly 70 Ba Ka Tha students are
still in Tharyarwady Prison while police are searching for Ba Ka Tha members who fled the Letpadan crackdown
and other student leaders across Myanmar. The government has released
from prison those who are currently
studying at universities and schools,
rather than the veteran militants.
Meanwhile Ta Ka Tha students have
remained involved in discussions with
parliament and international organisations, the latter through contacts arranged by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Whether they are Ba Ka Tha or Ta
Ka Tha or students acting independently, they must collaborate in the
same things. They need to link hands
with each other, to unite. In the current situation, I found that student
leaders are different in experience and
opinion, said U Yan Myo Thein, a political observer.
The inciting of authorities is one
of the causes of disagreement among
students. And the way the authorities and some political organisations
approached them led to dissension
among the students, he added.
Against this background of internal
differences and an absence of expressions of support for the students from
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, many residents
of Yangon feel confused over the issue
and show little intention of getting involved in the occasional and sparsely
attended street demonstrations organised by hardline student leaders on behalf of those under arrest. Infiltration
of rallies by state-backed provocateurs
and the willingness of police to use violence are also harsh reminders of past
crackdowns that have claimed many
lives over the decades.
Contacts between student groups
continue, and both sides seek to play
down talk of definitive splits between
two organisations that both trace their
roots to the anti-British protests of the
1930s.
Ba Ka Tha stands forever for student unity, said Ko Myat Thu. We
dont think about rifts.

News 5

www.mmtimes.com

Maritime worker group urges


govt to sign 2006 convention
Maritime Labour Convention would protect seafarers while giving greater certainty to companies in the sector

ShweGu
ThitSar
khaingsabainyein@gmail.com

AS investigators launch an inquiry


into the employment status of the
42 Myanmar fishermen on board the
Russian trawler Dalniy Vostok, which
went down in the northern Pacific on
April 2, the seamens union has again
urged the government to sign up to an
international convention that would
strengthen their rights.
Myanmar Maritime Workers
Federation (MMWF) has urged the
government to sign the 2006 Maritime Labour Convention as soon as
possible.
It says the agreement would help
resolve disputes between workers,
shipping companies, brokers and the
government.
Weve been waiting for this since
our last meeting with the Department
of Marine Administration in September 2013. They still havent signed,
said U Ye Win Tun, the federations

Some city
bus lines to
run during
Thingyan
Aye Nyein Win
ayenyeinwin.mcm@gmail.com
THIS year, for the first time, 12 city
bus lines will run during the Thingyan water festival holiday, transportation authorities announced
yesterday.
A total of 1694 buses will ply the
streets, according to the Yangon
Region Supervisory Committee for
Motor Vehicles, better known by its
Myanmar-language acronym Ma Hta
Tha.
We will put on 154 buses in Yangon East, 412 in West District, 43
in South and 234 in North District,
and 354 buses from Than Myan
Thau group, 12 from Kandaryawati,
and seven from Shwemyin Pyan will
run, said Ma Hta Tha secretary U Ba
Myint.
The Parami and Adipati bus lines
of Bandoola Transportation, Shwe
Yangon and Shwe Aethal, and five
other lines will be off the road between April 13 and April 16.
Buses will run from 6am to 6pm
during the festival. Beforehand, we
are distributing leaflets to keep passengers informed, said Ma Hta Tha
chair U Hla Aung.
Normally during the water festival, the only public transport available is provided by BM, Dyna and
Hilux-type vehicles.
Six Yangon-based highway express bus lines will run.
On April 11, 98 lines will run,
then 82 lines on April 12, 43 on April
13 and eight lines on April 14 from
Aung Mingalar Highway Bus Station, said U Hla Aung.
As reported in The Myanmar
Times, Ma Hta Tha is taking strict
action to suppress price-gouging on
inter-city lines, fining offending companies K50,000 for any overcharged
ticket and refunding passengers
accordingly.

deputy general secretary.


Only if the government signs the
convention can we solve problems
with dignity. Weve been given no reason for the delay. By signing, the government can show the international
community that it guarantees its maritime business, and agencies would
find it much easier to work, he said.
MMWF general secretary U Tin
Ko Ko Thet said the Department of
Maritime Administration (DMA)
had selectively adopted some provisions from the convention but not the
whole document.
He said that when there is a dispute, it fails to take action against

The [government]
applies the
provisions it wants,
when it wants.
U Tin Ko Ko Thet
Myanmar Maritime
Workers Federation

agencies that have exploited workers.


When it revokes licences, it allows
friendly agencies to register under a
different name, he said.
However, businesses are also unhappy because the administration
favours some companies over others,
particularly for getting approvals for
posting a sailor on a ship.
The [DMA] applies the provisions
it wants, when it wants. Maritime
companies also face difficulties doing
business and want the government to
sign it, he said.
Signing would be the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
in collaboration with the ministries
of labour and transport, which are
responsible for some aspects of maritime affairs.
DMA director U Toe Myint said
the delay was due to the Ministry
of Labour. The DMA has asked the
Ministry of Labour for its opinion [on
the convention]. Thats why it hasnt
been signed yet, he said.
Neighbouring countries have already signed the convention, U Ye
Win Tun said. Signatory countries
must undergo a series of steps to demonstrate that they are applying the

convention before it is ratified. But


first, Myanmar must sign, he said.
Until then, there is no clear mechanism for resolving disputes between
employers, employees and the government. The representatives of each side
collaborate to settle disputes. DMAs
Seafarer Division said last year that
they would form such an organisation,
but weve seen nothing so far. We need
a mechanism to resolve disputes, and
we urge the government to sign.
The federation says the convention, an instrument of the International Labour Organisation, would benefit
not only seafarers but also the government and employers by promoting international standards through a ship
inspection and certification system,
and improved port control.
The convention guarantees minimum requirements for seafarers, including employment conditions, accommodation, recreational facilities,
food and catering, and healthcare,
welfare and social security protection.
Though members of ILO are expected to comply with the convention,
seamen in non-signatory countries do
not enjoy the full benefits. Translation by Thiri Min Htun and Emoon

MANDALAY

Mayor spends
K400 million
on pandal
MANDALAY City Development Committee will fork out more than K400
million (US$389,000) on its water
festival stage this Thingyan, a member has revealed to The Myanmar
Times.
The Mandalay Mayors Pandal has
hired 14 singers to perform, including
Zay Paing, Phyo Gyi and Sone Thin Par.
The pandal was almost complete
yesterday. The four-day festival will
begin on April 13.
One MCDC member said the K400
million went toward the performance
fees, accommodation and catering for
singers and musicians, as well as construction of the pandal.
The mayors pandal is built every
year and the cost is normally like this,
said the member, who asked not to be
named.
Some think the amount spent is
excessive, particularly given growing
government debt.
At a time when each citizen owes
nearly K500,000, they are very bold if
they use such amount of money without hesitation, said advocate U Thein
Than Oo from the Myanmar Lawyers
Network. It would be better if the
money was used to construct hospitals
and schools.
Maung Zaw, translation by Emoon

6 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 8, 2015

Participation, mo
A bilateral ceasefire has enabled the Karen National Union to
Ashley South
lerdoh3@googlemail.com

A thangyat troupe led by late comedian Par Par Lay performs in Mandalay during Thingyan last year. Photo: Si Thu Lwin

Four groups to take part in


Mandalay Thangyat contest
FOUR Thingyan entertainment
troupes are set to take part in Mandalays thangyat competition this
year, according to organisers.
Traditionally, troupes of thangyat
players celebrate the water festival
with songs, chants, dances and plays.
The performances were banned for
decades because they often have an
anti-authoritarian slant but have
been allowed since 2013.
Four groups had registered to
take part in this years festival as of
yesterday, according to the Mahar
Thingyan Thangyat Committee. The
deadline for applications closes today.

Two groups are from the National


League for Democracy one representing the Mandalay district office,
the other the Pyigyitagun township
office - while two others, Aung San
Maung and Pauk Kyine, will also
take part.
The thangyat groups were required to send their chants to the
regional governments Information
and Public Relation Department for
approval by April 4.
The authorities have relaxed the
rules slightly this year, allowing
groups to perform even if they dont
want to take part in the competition. They will still have to get their

chants pre-approved, department


head U Kyaw Than Tun said.
According to government rules,
chants cannot feature one-sided
accusations and criticisms that
could affect the dignity of the
Union of Republic of Myanmar
and the government and must
not lead to the disintegration of
national solidarity.
Chants must also conform to Myanmar traditions and cannot feature
accusations or criticisms of a person
or group.
The winners of the competition
will take home K1.7 million. Si Thu
Lwin, translation by Kyawt Darly Lin

UEC boss under fire


for military uniform
Lun Min
Mang
lunmin.lm@gmail.com

UNION Election Commission chair


U Tin Aye is facing criticism after
he was captured on camera attending last months annual Armed Forces Day parade wearing a military
uniform.
Some opposition politicians said
the head of the nominally independent commission preparing for
parliamentary elections in November should not wear military dress,
although they conceded it was not
against the law.
The weekly Myanmar Herald
published a picture of the retired
and decorated lieutenant general
wearing a military uniform at the
March 27 parade in Nay Pyi Taw.
Now he is not military personnel anymore. His dress makes us
think as if he is seeking the interest of the Tatmadaw instead of carrying out his duties as UEC chair,

commented U Khin Maung Swe,


leader of the National Democratic
Force. He should not have done
this.
However, National League for
Democracy spokesperson U Nyan
Win did not react negatively to the
UEC chairs choice of dress. There
is no limitation on former military
officials, he said, while calling for
amendments to the constitution to
ensure the elections would be fair.
U Thant Sin of New Myanmar
Foundation, an electoral civil society group, was blunt in his criticism.
As he is regarded as the referee for

As he is regarded as
the referee for the
upcoming election,
such conduct is very
unsuitable.
U Thant Sin
New Myanmar Foundation

the coming election, such conduct is


very unsuitable. He should not have
dressed in military uniform, he said.
U Tin Aye won a seat in the 2010
election representing the Union Solidarity and Development Party but
was required to resign from parliament and the party when he was
appointed head of the UEC in early
2011.
U Tin Aye stirred controversy
last year in a meeting with actors in
Yangon when he suggested the possibility of another military coup. We
need to make sure that there is not
an outbreak of rioting. If unrest begins then the Tamadaw will have to
take back power, he said.
Meanwhile, the Mass Movement
Acceleration Network is collecting
signatures to call for the reform of
the UEC. On April 5 it hosted a public talk in Yangons Tarmwe township to drum up support for the
campaign.
We collected more than 200 signatures. The current election commission was not formed according
to the law. Thats why we are calling for reform of the commission,
MMAN member U Kyi Lin said.

RECENT negotiations between the


government and ethnic armed groups
have made significant progress toward a nationwide ceasefire agreement to resolve more than half a century of armed conflict.
The two sides have agreed a draft
common text, which now must be
endorsed by senior leaders. However, differences remain on key issues,
which will require further negotiations even if the ceasefire is signed.
In the meantime, the clock is ticking toward elections scheduled for
November, which will likely displace
peacebuilding efforts from a central
position on the national political
agenda.
Beyond peace talks between the
leadership on both sides, the situation on the ground is both complex
and contested. In areas where ceasefires are holding, conflict-affected
communities have experienced some
of the benefits of peace. At the same
time, however, ethnic nationality
communities have been exposed to
an increase in land grabbing and
other threats. Nevertheless, ceasefires
in southeast Myanmar have created
the space within which the Karen
National Union (KNU) and other
stakeholders are mobilising a vibrant
Karen officially known as the Kayin
political community.
Leadership-level negotiations
When nationwide ceasefire negotiations resumed on March 30, both
the governments Union Peacemaking Work Committee and the armed
groups Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team were keen to move forward quickly and neither wanted to
be seen as delaying progress toward
an agreement.
Therefore, some important but
still contested elements were removed
from the draft text, for discussion at a
later stage. These included arrangements which are necessary to consolidate existing ceasefires. Since February, trust between the Tatmadaw and
ethnic armed groups has been further
eroded by the outbreak of fighting in
the Kokang region of northern Shan
State. This development has played
into the hands of the Myanmar army,
or Tatmadaw, providing a rare boost
to the popularity of military leaders
in the run-up to elections. Thankfully,
in the immediate aftermath of the
agreement on the nationwide ceasefire, fighting in northern Myanmar
has reduced significantly.
One important breakthrough that
allowed the draft ceasefire to go ahead
was the government sides acceptance
of interim arrangements regarding
the authority of ethnic armed groups
in areas substantially under their
control, and the status of their governance and service delivery systems,
which remain the most effective ways
of providing health and education in
many conflict-affected areas.
These non-state service delivery
systems need to be supported during the probably lengthy period
between the agreement of preliminary ceasefires and achievement of a
comprehensive political settlement.
Unfortunately, however, there is a
danger of the opposite happening. In
some areas, the peace process is serving as a vehicle for the militarised
state to push into previously inaccessible, conflict-affected areas sometimes with the collaboration of international aid agencies.
Finalisation of the nationwide
ceasefire may unblock progress toward political dialogue around issues
which have structured half a century
of armed conflict in Myanmar. Key
stakeholders have started to talk

Soldiers from the Karen National Liberation

about restructuring state-society relations, exploring options and positions. Some progress has been made
in agreeing a framework for political
dialogue.
While exploratory trust-building
talks are welcome and necessary, it
seems unlikely that a concrete mechanism for political dialogue can be
agreed during the run-up to elections,
when the government will be increasingly regarded as a lame duck administration. Key actors are unlikely
to hand such a political prize to the
president at this stage in the game
and will not want to commit to a
binding framework for dialogue this
side of the polls.
As a result, substantial and sustainable political dialogue is unlikely
to begin before early-to-mid-2016.
Further, future political negotiations should involve a wide range of
stakeholders, including not only the
government, the Tatmadaw and ethnic armed groups, but also political
parties (or their representatives in
parliament) and civil society actors.
These talks are likely to be highly
protracted.
The window of opportunity for
ethnic armed groups to leverage their
positions to maximum advantage
is therefore closing. If the elections
are seen as free and fair, the next
government will enjoy high levels
of domestic and international legitimacy. There is no guarantee that the
next government will accord armed
groups the same privileged negotiating status they have enjoyed since
2011. Indeed, some key actors regard

News 7

www.mmtimes.com
IN DEPTH

mobilisation: The Karen peace dividend


emerge from its battle for survival with the Tatmadaw and re-engage with ethnic Karen across the country, from southern Tanintharyi to the delta

Army, the armed wing of the Karen National Union, ride in the back of a pickup as they patrol KNLA territory near the Thai border last month. Photo: Si Thu Lwin

the groups as little more than warlord


organisations, with suspect economic
motives. While there may be some
truth to such perceptions, it would
be unfair to ignore the significant political legitimacy that several ethnic
armed groups enjoy among the ethnic
communities they seek to represent.
The situation on the ground
Since 2012, most but not all of
the countrys ethnic armed groups
have negotiated bilateral ceasefires
with the government. These individual agreements contain a number
of broad but often vaguely defined
commitments, action on which has
largely been sidetracked during the
past two years by negotiations toward
a nationwide ceasefire. Hopefully,
progress in multilateral negotiations
will encourage the government and
particularly the Tatmadaw to move
forward in implementing bilateral
ceasefire agreements with key armed
groups, such as the KNU.
In areas where ceasefires are holding, conflict-affected communities
have experienced significant peace
dividends but have also been exposed to new threats. Villagers report
reduced fear and human rights violations, improved freedom of movement and access to their fields and
to markets, and greater freedom of
association and expression. Nevertheless, many problems remain, including widespread land grabbing in
conflict-affected areas, in the context
of increasing natural resource extraction and large-scale agriculture
plantations.

If negotiations can begin to address some of these concerns and


also other issues, such as language
rights and usage in schools and government administration this could
deliver benefits to conflict-affected
communities and demonstrate the
potential of the peace process. It
could also help to restore the KNU as
a potent political force in Myanmar.
The KNU was a political party in
the mid-1940s, before going underground as an armed movement in
1949. The story of the next 60 years
was one of gradual retreat to the Thai
borderlands. It is a tribute to Karen
insurgents and communities tenacity
that the KNU and allied groups were
able to hold on for so long. Nevertheless, for at least two decades it has
been obvious that the movement was
in serious trouble, pegged back to a
few areas of control and the refugee
camps in Thailand.
The real political challenge facing the organisation has been how to
get back into Myanmar and connect
with the great majority of Karen people living in government-controlled
areas including non-Christians and
non-Sgaw-dialect-speaking groups.
The KNU leadership sees the peace
process as an opportunity to reform
the organisation, re-connect to the
Karen community inside Myanmar
and rediscover its original identity as
a pan-Karen political movement.
In this context, it is as important
for the KNU (and by extension other
ethnic armed groups) to demonstrate
a commitment to issues of concern to
ethnic communities such as natural

resource management and development projects in ethnic areas as it


is to maintain their governance and
service delivery regimes. The importance of recognising and supporting
ethnic armed group administrations
and health and education systems

The real political


challenge facing
the KNU has been
how to get back
into Myanmar and
connect with the
great majority of
Karen people living
in governmentcontrolled areas.
during the interim between ceasefires
and a political settlement in Myanmar cannot be neglected but potentially more important is the KNU
strategy of political mobilisation.
Karen unity and diversity
In the Karen context, discussions of
political mobilisation often focus on
calls for unity. In the past, this has
generally been equivalent to demands
for different members of the diverse
Karen community - Christian, Bud-

dhist, animist and even a few Muslims; speakers of a dozen different


dialects; those living in towns, the
countryside and the jungle to submit to the leadership authority of a
single organisation.
As history has demonstrated, this
has never been a realistic project. It
is noteworthy that the current KNU
leadership puts less emphasis on
demands for unity under the KNU.
Instead, the KNU seeks to cooperate
with other stakeholders including
the six other Karen ethnic armed
groups, and Karen political parties
and civil society actors and collaborate on a range of issues of concern
to Karen communities. This approach
may be termed consociational, inasmuch as political coherence derives
from an alliance of leaders from different segments of the community,
rather than a single unified command
structure.
The approach is exemplified in
the work of the Karen Unity and
Peace Committee (KUPC). Established by Karen civil society and
political leaders in the context of
the peace process, over the past two
years the KUPC has undertaken
more than 40 consultations in Karen-populated parts of the country,
ranging from southern Tanintharyi
Region to western Ayeyarwady Region. The KUPC has also convened
meetings where community members can engage with, and express
their concerns and aspirations to,
both KNU and state officials.
These meetings would have been
unimaginable before the peace

process, and constitute a real peace


dividend for the Karen community.
They demonstrate the potential of the
KNU policy to use the peace process
to open up space for political participation and mobilisation. For the first
time since independence, Karen leaders and ordinary citizens can come
together to discuss key issues and begin to define their identities, interests
and positions in relation to the political, social and economic questions of
the day.
What is also noteworthy is that
the KNU has participated fully in the
KUPC consultations, while not demanding the leadership role. While
the KNU is and will likely long remain a key political organisation
for the Karen, with a unique history
and special legitimacy derived from
decades of armed struggle, it does not
now claim to be the only political actor representing this community. By
adopting this more mature and realistic position, the KNU is reinventing
itself, and using the peace process as
an opportunity to reinvigorate the
Karen political community.
Over the past two decades, since
the fall of its old headquarters at
Manerplaw, the KNU has been in
survival mode. While the peace process remains problematic, it is providing opportunities for the KNU and
other ethnic political leaders to adopt
new strategies in the long struggle for
self-determination in Myanmar.
Ashley South is an independent analyst
and consultant, and research fellow at
Chiang Mai University.

8 THE MYANMAR TIMES April 8, 2015

Business
Korean
handsets
differ in
pricing
Catherine Trautwein
newsroom@mmtimes.com
Aung Kyaw Nyunt
aungkyawnyunt28@gmail.com
TWO South Korean handset makers
will be debuting models in the next few
days aimed at different pricing points.
Samsung will bring in its Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge on
April 10, while LG will begin distributing its LG Aka phone on April 9.
Huawei is the handset maker with
the largest local presence, but a number of companies are attempting to
increase their presence. Apple has begun legal sales of iPhones through select distributors at the top end of the
market, while for the mass consumer,
Chinese brands like Oppo and Vivo are
entering.
An official from Mr Fone Telecom
Centre said the store is seeing particularly strong sales from Samsung.
The companys Samsung Galaxy S6
will sell for about K750,000 and the
Galaxy S6 Edge for about K870,000
from official Samsung shops inside
the country.

Samsung is striving
to harness the
vast potential of
e-commerce in
Myanmar.
Richard See
Samsung head of marketing

U Tun Tun, owner of A Mobile Shop,


said the brand has proven popular
particularly among urban consumers.
Samsung held an event in Yangons
Junction Square shopping mall on
March 29 to introduce the Galaxy S6
and S6 Edge.
It has also begun a partnership with
shop.com.mm, a Myanmar-based Rocket Internet startup.
Samsung is striving to harness the
vast potential of e-commerce in Myanmar, which is growing at a steady pace
with increasing number of internet users in the country, said Samsung head
of marketing Richard See in a statement on the partnership.
On Shop.com.mm, Samsung will
sell Galaxy smartphones tablets, TVs
and other digital appliances, and users
can pre-book S6 and S6 Edge phones,
according to a press release.
Meanwhile, LG will sell its LG Aka
smart phone at K359,000 in the local
market. The Aka phone is adorned with
two cartoon eyes that make it stand out.
Ko Kyaw Kyaw, an employee of Technoland shop, said customers are keen
on buying phones at around K300,000.
However, at his store, Samsung current
outsells LG significant, he said.
With the sales launch and a recent
partnership with Myanmar-based
Rocket Internet e-commerce startup
Shop.com.mm, Samsung has begun
pushing its Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge
handsets in the developing market, one
it sees as a fresh frontier.

Workers hoist bags of onions at Bayintnaung market in Yangon. Photo: Boothee

Onion farmers look to fill Bangladesh gap


Khin Su Wai
jasminekhin@gmail.com
MYANMAR farmers could help fill
Bangladeshs onion gap, a leading
trade official said this week.
U Tin Soe, deputy director general of Mandalays trade promotion department, said the neighbouring countrys shortfall was
about 300,000 tonnes.
Onion exports have suffered
an eye-watering collapse in the
past two years, with further losses
expected this year. In 2013-2014,
farmers exported 56,515 tonnes,

down to 35,350 tonnes in 20142015, with the coming years export total estimated at only 21,162
tonnes.
This could mean three years
without profits for onion farmers,
said Myanmar Onion, Garlic and
Culinary Crops Production and Exporting Association chair U Khin
Han.
The very future of onion farming is at risk, warned farmer U
Kyaw Moe Linn of Natogyi township, Mandalay Region, citing the
disappearance of palm farming
from Upper Myanmar.

U Tin Soe said that onion exports have been allowed since
2009, though the levels of excess
production suggest that producers
should consider value-added products as well as straight exports.
In Myingyan township, merchants set aside 10 percent of the
crop for value-added products. He
proposed the collection of data to
support a move toward value-added production.
In 2013-2014 fiscal year, Myanmar onion production reached
1,091,965 tonnes, of which 696,832
tonnes were consumed.

Overland exports to China via


Muse fell from nearly 4000 tonnes
in the first quarter of last year to
less than 1000 tonnes this year,
with no exports at all until March.
Myanmar onions fall in the
mid-price range of US$135-$170,
compared to Indian onions at
$220 and Pakistani onions at $120
a tonne. But in Indonesia, onions
could fetch $1200 to $1500, making it a fair prospect for an export
drive, said U Khin Han said.
Total exports to China, Malaysia, Thailand and India last year
brought in only $27.179 million.

Vehicle importers call for end


of taxes on consignment
aye
nyein
win
ayenyeinwin.mcm@gmail.com

CAR importers are calling on the


Internal Revenue Department to
reduce the 3.5 percent tax levied on
the payments for vehicles imported
under a consignment system.
While cars imported using individual permits do not have to pay
the tax, those using consignment do
have to pay the tax.
The tax has been in place since
September 2012, and initially led to
questions about which body would
be responsible for collecting it. Initially it was collected automatically
by the government bodies responsible for foreign currencies, though
this was later switched to payments
based on self-assessment.
Members of the Myanmar Auto-

mobile Manufacturers and Distributors Association have pushed for


removal of the tax on consignment
imports, as it unfairly benefits importers who do not use a consignment system.
U Htay Aung, from Ran Speed
Auto, said most car importing businesses now use the consignment
system as it does not require upfront capital to purchase vehicles.
Under a consignment system, cars
are still owned by the foreign-based
exporter, but sold by a local broker
who then earns a commission on
the sale.
During the 2013-14 fiscal year,
the revenue department did not
remove the 3.5pc tax, though other
policies have been changing day-byday, and taxpayers suffer as a result,
said U Htay Aung. He added importers are asking the department
to change its policies, as now many
importers are being hit by the tax.
Daw Yamon Khin Aung, department head from the Company Circle

Tax Office, said the 3.5pc tax is mandated by law.


Foreign companies choose a
company in Myanmar, and assign
it as the official dealer and then use
it to sell their cars or commodities,
she said. They are getting money
from our country, so we collect a
3.5pc tax on their income.
Daw Yamon Khin Aung added
that it is up to taxpayers to correctly
declare how much money they are
generating from the sales.
Individual importers of vehicles
are not required to pay the tax. Only
companies using the consignment
system must pay.
U Htay Aung said that 300,000
cars have been imported in recent
years since importing has been
generally allowed, with about
60,000 coming from the consignment system.
There is no need for this tax,
he said. Importers have lost their
chance and sales centres are facing
tribulations from the system.

While removing the tax may not


be feasible, the rate of 3.5pc could
be lowered.
The current system is a burden
on us, he said.
U Moe Kyaw Swa, vice chair of
Myanmar Automobile Manufacturers and Distributors Association,
said those importing based on consignment are losing out from competitors who import through their
own purchases.
We cant compete with them. If
they dont pay the tax, we cant continue to import the cars, he said.
U Moe Kyaw Swa said that rather than change the law, he requests
that the policy for imports be made
fairer.
The car import industry is already declining. Even I will close my
car sales centre at the end of 2015,
he said.
We do not want other imports
thinking they can obtain an advantage by importing without paying
the 3.5pc tax.

Business editor: Jeremy Mullins | jeremymullins7@gmail.com

Entrepreneur shows what


young people with a keen eye
are capable of

South Korean investors head


to the North to sort out worker
compensation issues

Business 10

Business 13

Exchange Rates (April 7 close)


Currency

Buying

Euro
Malaysia Ringitt
Singapore Dollar
Thai Baht
US Dollar

K1150
K290
K780
K32.4
K1070

Selling
K1175
K297
K790
K33
K1078

Ministry to compete with fuel stations


Htoo
Thant
thanhtoo.npt@gmail.com

THE Ministry of Energy will re-enter


the fuel retail market by conducting
joint venture with an experienced foreign company, Minister of Energy director general U Pe Zin Tun said.
Its state-owned enterprise Myanma Petroleum Products Enterprise
(MPPE) will seek to offer fuel at a
lower price by competing directly with
existing petrol stations, he told reporters during a press conference held in
front of the Ministry of Energy in Nay
Pyi Taw on April 3.
After a joint venture is completed
with a foreign oil company, it will sell
quality fuel at a cheap price, he said.
The Ministry of Energy was formerly the main owner of petrol stations in
the country, though had divested from
the business in 2011. Currently the
ministry only sells fuel at a retail level
to government departments and for
state projects, but it will now re-orient
to competing with private companies.
U Pe Zin Tun said the ministrys
move will add more competition to
the marketplace.
The move has not been welcomed
by industry groups. Private sector
representatives said the government
should not compete direct with private firms in a business they are getting better at doing.
Myanmar Petroleum Traders Association secretary U Win Myint said
in an exclusive interview that the government should be supporting national entrepreneurs rather than competing with them.
According to our laws, foreigners
are not allowed into this business. Its
only for national entrepreneurs, he
said. It is policy to only support national entrepreneurs.
U Win Myint said it is not only
Myanmar which closes certain areas
of its economy to international companies. As an example, he said Thailand restricts foreign investment in
rice milling.
If the government moves forward
thinking that it needs to do business
only by inviting in foreign investment

when the performance of locally owned


business is not good, all business in
Myanmar would gradually become influenced by foreigners, he said.
All local business has an inability to
compete on the international market.
Local fuel retailers have been criticised for their low quality, for prices
remaining high even as oil declined,
and for some stations shorting buyers.
U Win Myint said he acknowledged
there were incidents like this when
the market first opened, but claimed
the Myanmar Petroleum Traders Association has been actively working to
prevent these problems.
In the beginning, the Myanmar
Petroleum Traders Association kept
from interfering in business to avoid
the perception that the association
flexes its power unnecessarily, because
we were beginning to adopt a marketoriented economic system. But subsequently we have done checks as people criticised such cases, he said.
While there are still some of these
problems, U Win Myint said the number has decreased.
U Pe Zin Tun said private sector

1400

Number of petrol stations operating in


the country, from about 200 only four
years ago

filling stations sell expensive fuel at a


low quality, though private sector officials say the government filling stations were even worse.
Ko Nay Myo, a senior employee at
a Nay Pyi Taw-area fuel retailer, said
that state-owned shops are more expensive than private stations, and also
frequently contend with shrinkage.
Government personnel who resell their fuel at my shop are always
complaining they dont make enough
profit, he said.
Government officials who drive
government-owned vehicles must buy
their fuel from petrol stations owned
by the Ministry of Energy.

Cars wait in a queue to fill up. Soon they could have a government-owned option as well. Photo: Yu Yu

We have to buy from the government stations, then we are compensated by showing receipts to the government department, said a deputy
director who declined to be named.
A previous practice before the Ministry of Energy largely got out of the
petrol retail business was for government officials to buy fuel at what was
then a lower price from government
shops before re-selling it to private
shops.
Success is also not assured for the
ministrys venture.
Amyotha Hluttaw representative U
Phone Myin Aung said it may be more
difficult than the ministry thinks to
compete with the private market.
We now have lots of options to
buy fuel. We can buy from any petrol
station for any type of fuel if we have
the money, he said.
Will the Ministry of Energy be
able to provide a similar service? How
much control of management will it
give to the foreign company when doing a joint venture? I dont think it can
provide a similar level of service if the
ministry heads the management.
Private firms have been allowed to

open and run petrol stations for local


consumption since 2011. The number
of private petrol stations has increased
significantly, by as much as a factor of
seven over the last four years.
U Win Myint said some vehicles
had to wait in long queues that could
stretch for long periods of time during
shortages prior to 2011.
When private companies were first
allowed into the business, there were
only 200 local stations but the number has now reached 1400 stations
across the country.
U Win Myint added that while the
current situation is not perfect, it is
better than when the government ran
the petrol stations.
Did people receive full measure
in the past, before private companies
entered petroleum trading? I think
the current situation is better than before, he said.
Some of the criticisms will be addressed over time, he said. U Win
Myint added that often machines
malfunction, leading to less fuel being
pumped than is sold, rather than deliberate attempts to defraud customers.
Prices at the pumps also tend to be

sticky because importers buy in large


lots that last for months, meaning
an international price decline in the
meantime is not reflected until the
next lot is ordered.
The Myanmar Petroleum Traders
Association is also working at announcing a daily market price based
on calculations composed of international prices and currency exchange
rates.
U Win Myint said he acknowledged there are still faults with the
private industry.
We are working to correct the
situation by letting these cases be lessons, he said.
However, inviting foreign companies into the business based on local
weakness is not a good idea, he added.
The state needs to take national
entrepreneurs into consideration.It
needs to support them with technology and to offer aid, he said. Moreover, it needs to take legal action
against bad companies. But the state
has a responsibility to help national
entrepreneurs to be able to do business and develop their business.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

Online futures trading growss along with industry fears


Kyaw Phone Kyaw
k.phonekyaw@gmail.com
ONLINE futures trading is taking
hold, though the potential for losses is large and trading should be
properly regulated, experts warn.
Myanmar people with internet
access are able to sign up with a
number of local companies that
provide online trading platforms.
Users can then make trades on futures markets in foreign countries,
such as Thailand, Singapore and
New Zealand.
At their most basic, futures contracts are agreements to buy an item,
such as a commodity, at an up-front
price, with delivery at a later, specified date. The contracts are then often
heavily traded on international markets, as the underlying item changes
in value before the delivery date.
U Zaw Min Tun, managing director

of Myanmar Golden Link Trade Company, said there are now five or six local companies that are allowing trading on international futures markets.
When signing up, clients must
deposit a start-up amount, usually
between US$3000 to $10,000, with
the broker companies.
The firms then allow electronic
trading on international commodities markets including Indonesia,
New Zealand, Thailand, Taiwan
and Singapore via mobile apps and
computer software.
Sometimes they [the brokers]
say they are authorised by foreign
countries, but the question is how
they are authorised and whether
their mother company from overseas is really operating legally ornot, said U Zaw Min Tun.
Some companies are indeed legal subsidiaries from foreign companies, though clients must be care-

ful to make sure they are covered


and that they have legal recourse,
he said.
If the clients invest in them before they ask these questions, problems come when they lose all their
money, he said.
U Zaw Min Tun said he would
like to establish a futures market
broker named Victory International Future Company, but added he
wants legal certainty for the futures
market sector and a regulatory
body to be formed.
He also highlighted problems,
such as a company in Mandalay
claiming that for every K150,000
invested by its clients, it would repay K10.8 million, which collapsed
shortly afterward.
The growth in these companies
allowing clients to trade futures
comes as some say the business is
largely unregulated.

U Ngwe Thein, a business consultant, said the futures market


can be very complicated to understand, with many people not having
enough knowledge of how it operates to take part.

If the clients invest


in them before they
ask these questions,
problems come
when they lose all
their money.
U Zaw Min Tun
Industry insider

People might be cheated, he


said. The government has to regulate the rules and laws, and also increase awareness and conduct a lot
of training and workshops.
Now there is no transparency
at broker companies. If the government doesnt make specific
and concrete laws and raise public awareness, they [brokers] may
cheat the law.
Myanmar is still at the early
stages of setting up modern markets. It has created some of the legal
background necessary to launch the
Yangon Stock Exchange later this
year, though the YSX is intended
for selling company shares rather
than buying and selling commodity
futures.
Private companies have also
announced plans to start modern
continued on Business 10

10 Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 8, 2015

Online futures trading


grow along with fears
continued from business 9
commodities markets in the country, though they will be some time
coming.
The local establishment of brokers allowing online commodities
trading in foreign markets is a new
phenomenon.
The Myanmar Times spoke with
representatives from two private
companies, Inter Pan Myanmar and
Asian E-Trade Consultant Company,
which offer these services.
Inter Pan Myanmar financial
adviser Ko Mynn Nyi Nyi said they
have been providing services to
Myanmar clients to invest in Myanmars futures market since receiving a company licence from Myanmars Directorate of Investment
and Company Administration in
August 2014.
Ma Myat Myat, an employee of
Asian E-Trade Consultant, said it
provides access to New Zealands
futures market for its local clients.
Clients who have jointed Asian
E-Trade Consultant say it has been
a difficult business.
Two clients, requesting anonymity, told The Myanmar Times they
made $10,000 deposits to set up
their accounts, and had generated
$2000 in profit within two or three
months however, sometimes they
see sharp losses. One client said he
also pays steep service charges for
having the account.
Inter Pans Ko Mynn Nyi Nyi
said there is a distinction between

investing in securities and investing in commodities, arguing that


futures trading is more secure.
If the client invests in a security
exchange, after that they can only
pray to their God, he said. Investments in futures are not like that.
The decision is up to them and it is
just like playing a game.
Ko Mynn Nyi Nyi said he was
looking for clients looking to make
money, rather than buying a car or
opening a restaurant.
Others urged more caution,
however.
U Zaw Min Tun said it is even
unclear if their deposits are actually being invested into futures markets or if results are merely replicated and paid out locally.
He also said there should be
more oversight and knowledge regarding futures trading.
There is no approval, he said.
But in Myanmar there arent always lots of opportunities for investments thats why we throng to
every investment opportunity.
While many people are joining
these companies, others say they
are more cautious.
Daw Mya Kyin is interested in
investment opportunities, such as
the futures market, but has decided
to watch the situation and has not
made a final investment decision
just yet.
Several government officials
declined to comment on official
oversight of these online brokerage
companies when contacted.

Profile

Fashion entrepreneur
spots the trend
Tin
yadanar
Htun
yadanar.mcm@gmail.com

BRINGING glamorous clothes to


contemporary women at a fair
price is the goal of Ma Su Wai
Yee, 22, founder and CEO of Cici
fashion.
An economics graduate from
Swarthmore College in the United
States, she launched Cici in late
2014 while attending a six-month
course by Project W, part of Project Hub Yangon.
Project W was very important for starting my own business. It was there I learned how to
set and implement goals step by
step. While she was at it, she was
awarded the projects Most Promising Young Woman Entrepreneur
Prize, worth US$2000.
My parents own Bang Bang
fashion shops and a garment factory, so Im familiar with the apparel business. I used to sell Cici
clothes before introducing them
officially through the Bang Bang
chain.
For Ma Su Wai Yee, inspiration
for her own business came when

shopping for herself.


Last January she came back
from the United States, but could
not find a good shop selling nice
clothes for women that were not
too expensive.
I founded Cici to fill that gap
by offering good quality at fair
prices for the downtown lifestyle,
she said.
Sales of Cici-branded fashion
started in November, targeting
women between 20 and 30 years
old who want fashion, but within
Myanmar traditional culture.
Starting up wasnt easy, with
access to finance a particular
concern. Investors are needed,
and interest is high. SME owners
would welcome a bank that offered
low interest rates. We have to find
other ways of attracting investment, or rely on friends, she said.
Some of her friends in the US
are interested in Cicis fashion,
and Ma Su Wai Yee has plans to
export her brands to the United
States. She is already looking into
exporting to Singapore, and is
attempting to create fashion
that would combine Myanmar
traditional style with an international look.
At first, I sewed only 30 or 40
dresses in any one style, but now
the number is growing, she said.

Ma Su Wai Yee. Photo: Supplied

Ma Su Wai Yee added she is also


learning more about local market
preferences.
I can read the market better
now. I know the market will be
good, if I can only get my brands
into the market. Brands like Spike
and Vivala target the whole country, both downtown and uptown.
But Im selling to young women
who like nice fashion. I dont have
many examples to emulate.

12 International Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 8, 2015

IN PICTUREs
Photo: AFP

An employee works
at an Iran Alloy Steel
Company (IASCO)
plant in the central
Iranian city of Yazd
on April 6.

Havana

UlaanBaatar

Cuba underwhelmed by US moves


CUBAS trade minister said on April
6 that US President Barack Obamas
moves to ease the five-decade embargo on the communist island are
incomplete and insufficient.
With Mr Obama heading toward
a potentially historic meeting with
Cuban President Raul Castro this
week, trade and foreign investment
minister Rodrigo Malmierca criticised the US leaders limited steps
to ease the crippling trade and financial embargo the United States
has maintained on Cuba since 1962.
After the old Cold War foes announced a historic rapprochement
on December 17, Mr Obama loosened several components of the embargo, allowing more travel from
the United States to Cuba, raising
the limit on cash remittances to the
island and easing restrictions on
certain kinds of trade, among other
measures.
The measures Obama ordered
are incomplete and insufficient,
and do not change the essence of
this unilateral measure taken by
the US government against Cuba,
Mr Malmierca told state newspaper
Granma.
He said the measures were a
step in the right direction but did
not go far enough toward ending
the embargo.
Mr Obama has vast prerogatives

far beyond the measures approved


last January that he could use to
make substantive steps toward normalising bilateral relations, he said.
He called on Washington to allow Havana to use dollars for international transactions and clear the
way for Cuban exports to the United States beyond the small quantities of rum and cigars that Mr
Obama allowed travelers to bring
back from the island.

April 11, which could yield the first


substantive meeting between US
and Cuban leaders in half a century.
The two men shook hands
briefly at the memorial service for
Nelson Mandela in South Africa in
December 2013.
To lift the full embargo, which
Havana says has cost it $100 billion,
Mr Obama would need the blessing of the Republican-controlled
Congress.
Mr Malmierca also downplayed
expectations of a large increase in
foreign investment in the short
term under the economic reforms
undertaken by Mr Castro.
Since 2006, when Mr Castro took
over from his older brother Fidel,
the 88-year-old father of the Cuban
Revolution, he has taken tentative
steps to open up the economy, seekRodrigo Malmierca ing to end its long stagnation and
Cuban trade minister reach annual economic growth of 5
percent.
In March 2014, Cuba adopted a
series of tax breaks for foreign investors in a bid to attract $2.5 bilBeyond traditional goods like lion a year in new investment.
rum and tobacco, there are others of
But that and other reforms have
excellent quality that can be includ- so far failed to deliver the desired
ed in this possible exchange, such as results.
biotechnology products, he said.
The real impact of foreign inMr Obama and Mr Castro will vestment will be felt in the medium
cross paths at the Summit of the and long term, said Mr Malmierca.
Americas in Panama on April 10 and
AFP

The measures
Obama ordered
are incomplete and
insufficient.

Paris

PCCW gives up Dailymotion bid


HONG Kongs PCCW Group said
it is ending its bid to take a 49
percent stake in Oranges Dailymotion, citing the French governments preference for a European
partner for the French video-sharing platform.
The desire of the French government to encourage the search
for a European solution discourages
participation of international companies, PCCW said in a statement
explaining its decision.
Orange has owned Dailymotion a rival of YouTube since
2012 and has been looking for a
partner who would be able to fund
its growth and ensure its development outside Europe.
France owns a 24.9pc stake in
Orange and Economy Minister

Emmanuel Macron asked the company not to enter into exclusive


talks with Hong Kong-based IT
company PCCW before talking to
all interested parties, with the idea
of finding a European solution.
Orange said it was not in exclusive talks with anyone, but added
that it was not opposed to having
a strategic partner to support and
accelerate the development of Dailymotion.
PCCW is owned by Hong Kong
tycoon Li Ka-shings son Richard Li.
Li Ka-shings Hutchison Whampoa bought British telecom giant O2
last month for US$15.2 billion (13.8
billion euros), a move that expanded
the tycoons holdings in the international telecoms industry.
A source with knowledge of the

Dailymotion talks said that it was


now left to the French holding company Fimalac to make an offer for
Dailymotion.
French newspaper Le Monde reported on April 6 that the French
media group Vivendi has made an
offer of 250 million euros ($275
million) to buy out almost all of
Dailymotion.
This offer negotiated by Oranges
executive board was presented and
debated yesterday at a special board
meeting, added Le Monde.
The German groups Axel Springer and Bertelsmann have also been
mentioned.
This is not the first time the
French government has been involved in talks over Dailymotion.
AFP

Mongolias
premier takes to
TV and texts to
win investment
PRIME Minister Saikhanbileg Chimediin stands out from predecessors in
his use of national television and texting to get his message across to the
public: Without foreign investment,
the economy is going nowhere.
The 46-year-old, who won office in
November after the previous premier
was ousted in a no-confidence vote,
was back on TV on April 5 to report
progress in the protracted dispute with
Rio Tinto Group over the Oyu Tolgoi
copper and gold mine.
The two sides have reached agreement, in principle, on the main points
of dispute, said Mr Saikhanbileg,
speaking in his office surrounded by
family photos and a portrait of 13th
century warlord Genghis Khan. Soon
we will officially announce these results to the international community,
after bureaucratic levels finalise relevant steps.
In addition to signalling an end to
two years of talks between the government and Rio, which controls Oyu Tolgoi, Mr Saikhanbileg said that negotiations with a foreign consortium to
develop the US$4 billion Tavan Tolgoi
coal deposit will also be finalised soon,
and that talks to build a $1.2 billion
power station in Ulaanbaatar will be
completed this month.
Earlier this year, the prime minister went on TV to ask the countrys 3
million citizens to text a response to
a question: Do they want austerity or
prosperity? The majority of respondents went for the latter and Mr Saikhanbileg has taken that as a mandate
to revive overseas investment, which
fell to $508 million last year from
$4.45 billion in 2012.
Through his television appearances, Mr Saikhanbileg is taking the
nations most critical discussions to
the people of Mongolia, Chris MacDougall, managing director at Mongolian Investment Banking Group, said
by email. He is instigating a national
dialogue.

In addition to a status update on


big projects, the 27-minute address
laid out government decrees and objectives ahead of parliaments spring
session. They include a plan to issue
Tavan Tolgoi shares to the public free
of charge, tax reforms and a liberalisation of energy prices.
Mr Saikhanbileg also had words for
his nationalist opponents, whom he
believes have helped stymie Mongolias
growth.
We have abused politics beyond
comprehension in the last three years,
he said. We thought the mining commodities price would always be high,
we became too arrogant with the little
success we had, we believed that the
rest of the world wouldnt affect us, as
if we were aliens.
Mongolias current economic funk
is a very different picture from 2011,
when the economy expanded at a
world-beating 17.3 percent as billions
of dollars flowed in from some of the
worlds biggest mining companies.
The Asian Development Banks growth
forecast for this year is 3pc.
So, what went wrong? Mostly the
Rio Tinto deal. The company had
spent $6.6 billion developing one of
the worlds biggest copper and gold deposits at the Oyu Tolgoi mine.
That was until about two years ago
when disputes over cost overruns, profit sharing, management control and a
$30 million tax bill halted deployment
of funds to get at the mines deeper,
richer deposits. Similar conflicts have
held up development of the Tavan Tolgoi coal mine in the Gobi Desert.
Commitments for $4.2 billion in
project financing to dig out more of
Oyu Tolgoi, backed by more than a
dozen global banks, expired in September and havent been extended.
Solving Oyu Tolgoi is the bigger
mountain to climb, so the expectation
is that Mr Saikhanbileg will focus on
sorting out Tavan Tolgoi first.
Bloomberg

International Business 13

www.mmtimes.com
Phnom Penh

Cambodia asks to double China quota


Officials push for 200,000 tonne annual quote in China as the bilateral rice trade agreement is set to expire later this month
THE Ministry of Commerce is working with its Chinese counterparts to
renew a rice trade agreement which
will likely expire this month, and
has requested to double the existing
100,000-tonne quota of rice Cambodia is currently able to export to
China, a ministry spokesperson said.
Minister Sun Chanthol, in a letter to the vice minister at the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, has
asked for the rise in rice export
quota for the period of May 2015
to April 2016. The letter comes off
the back of the successful implementation of the current 12-month
quota ahead of time. Cambodia had
signed a one-year agreement last
August to export 100,000 tonnes of
rice to China.
The letter seeks support to increase the quota to 200,000 tonnes
between China National Cereals,
Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation
(COFCO) and [Cambodia] stateowned Green Trade Company, said
Ken Ratha, spokesperson for the
Ministry of Commerce.
Mr Ratha said the two governments have a close relationship
and that the ministry will leverage
the successful implementation of
the current quota to have it raised.
He added that extending the agreement is key to increasing and diversifying the Kingdoms rice export
destinations.
I think it is important to open

up the market and we will try to


increase the volume of exports, Mr
Ratha said. We will keep going with
the relationship and another MoU
with the Chinese.
China, in the past, had expressed
concerns over the quality and hygiene standards of Cambodian agricultural products, but Mr Ratha
said the ministry had received no
complaints from the Chinese government and that the agreement has
been a good achievement.

Cambodia needs to
find the good-quality
rice and supply
China what China
needs.
Song Saran
AMRU Rice Company

Song Saran, CEO of AMRU Rice


Co, said it was important to extend
the agreement as China, along with
Malaysia, are now Cambodias biggest rice export destinations in Asia.
But, he said Cambodia would
need to up its procurement to meet
the added demand, as well as main-

Seoul

South Korean trip to


the North to address
wage dispute
A GROUP of South Korean businesspeople travelled to the Kaesong joint
industrial zone in North Korea yesterday to address a damaging wage
dispute hanging over their companies there.
The North announced last month
that it would unilaterally raise the
wages of the roughly 54,000 North
Korean workers employed at the
125 South Korean firms operating in
Kaesong.
South Korea demurred, insisting
that employment conditions in the
zone could only be adjusted with the
agreement of both sides.
With the Norths unilateral proposal supposed to take effect on
April 10, the South Korean owners
are concerned their company managers might come under intense
pressure to comply.
The 17-member delegation undertaking the one-day trip yesterday
was led by Chung Ki-Sup, who heads
the council of South Korean companies operating in Kaesong.
We are going to Kaesong with
hopes to settle the wage issue
through dialogue, Mr Chung told
journalists before crossing the border.
Were in a dilemma. As we operate plants in North Korea, we cannot
simply reject the Norths demand.
But we also have to follow the South
Korean government guidelines, he
said.
Seouls Unification Ministry has
sent an official letter to the South
Korean companies in Kaesong, urging them not to yield to pressure
from the North on the wage issue.
Mr Chungs delegation has also

asked for a meeting with North Korean government authorities.


Until now, Pyongyang has rejected Seouls requests for official talks
on the dispute, arguing it has no
need to consult over its legitimate
right to amend working conditions
in Kaesong.
The Norths proposal would increase the average monthly sum the
South pays for each worker including allowances, welfare and overtime from US$155 to $164.
The South has cited an existing
agreement that any wage rise has
to be agreed by a joint committee
overseeing the management of the
park, which lies some 10 kilometres
(6 miles) on the North side of the
border.
In 2013, the North effectively
closed down the industrial park
for five months by withdrawing its
workers following a surge in military
tensions.
Many of the South Korean firms
operating there, mostly manufacturers of low-priced household goods,
are still reeling from financial losses
from the shutdown.
Born out of the sunshine recon-

US$

164

The new wage under the Norths


proposal, from $155 at present

tain quality standards. Cambodia


needs to find the good-quality rice
and supply China what China needs,
Mr Saran said.
He added that diversifying export
destinations are critical to transforming Cambodias rice industry.
It is very, very important to renew the MoU with China, otherwise we will not reach the 1 million
tonnes target, he said.
David Van, adviser to the Cambodia Rice Federation, said that
the CRF has appealed to the minister of commerce to let them act as
signatory during the next round of
quota negotiations, instead of Green
Trade, citing other food organisations that are in charge of similar
arrangements.
TREA in Thailand and Vinafood
have both managed directly any quota
with China and CRF is advocating for
the same approach so that we could
fairly and transparently reallocate any
quota obtained among all CRF members accordingly, said Mr Van.
Export figures released by the
CRF last week showed that China
was the biggest importer of Cambodian rice, importing 36,081 tonnes
of rice, followed by Malaysia and
France. Thanks largely to the boost
in shipments to China, the Kingdom
increased its exports in March to
75,867 tonnes, doubling the 37,676
tonnes produced in February.
Phnom Penh Post

Workers load paddy onto a boat for a customer at Co Do Agriculture Company in


Vietnam. Photo: AFP

Sydney

Korea joint industrial estate

No Oz cut
by central
bank

The South Korean-funded complex is a crucial source of hard


currency revenue for North Korea
Panmunjom

Pyong

yang

Bongdong

Entrance to
Demilitarized
zone

Panmun

Established in 2004

NORTH
KOREA

Military
demarcation
line
Approx. extent
of the
Demilitarised
Zone
SOUTH
KOREA

Kaesong
border
checkpoint

Dorasan
Station

More than $800 million


invested by South Korean
companies

Seoul
1 km

CHINA
Kaesong

NORTH
KOREA

YELLOW
SEA

SOUTH
KOREA
Incheon
International
Airport

Seoul
10 km

ciliation policy initiated in the late


1990s by then-South Korean president Kim Dae-Jung, Kaesong opened
in 2004 and proved remarkably resilient, riding out repeated inter-Korean crises that closed down every
other facet of cooperation.
The Norths decision to pull out
its workforce in 2013 took most by
surprise, especially as it was the
North that reaped the greatest finan-

cial benefit from its operations.


The hard currency wages paid by
the South Korean firms in Kaesong
are kept by the state, which passes
on a fraction in local currency to
the actual workers.
The South Korean businesses get
cheap, Korean-language labour, as
well as preferential loans and tax
breaks from the South Korean government. AFP

AUSTRALIAS central bank yesterday left interest rates on hold at


2.25 percent for the second month
straight, but kept the door open for
cuts amid ongoing weakness in the
economy.
The Reserve Bank of Australia
said after its monthly board meeting that it was appropriate to hold
interest rates steady for the time
being.
In February the RBA slashed its
official cash rate by 25 basis points
to a record-low of 2.25 percent its
first easing in 18 months.
Further easing of policy may
be appropriate over the period
ahead, in order to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation
consistent with the target, the RBA
said in a statement.
The Australian dollar strengthened slightly to trade just below
US$0.77, following financial market
expectations of a rate cut. The currency has weakened over the past
few months as commodity prices
plunged and the US dollar strengthened.
The Australian economy has
struggled as it exits an unprecedented mining investment boom
that helped it avoid recession for
more than two decades.
With inflation low, the economy
expanding at a below-trend pace
and the unemployment rate at multi-year highs, the Reserve Bank cut
the cash rate in February to spur
growth.
Analysts said while another rate
cut was possible in the next one or
two months, the central bank was
still waiting to see whether the last
easing was a sufficient boost to the
economy. AFP

14 THE MYANMAR TIMES April 8, 2015

World

World editor: Kayleigh Long

PHNOM PENH

Hun Sen says NGO law to be passed


A CONTENTIOUS draft law aimed at
regulating Cambodias NGOs could be
passed by the National Assembly as
early as next month, Prime Minister
Hun Sen said yesterday.
[The draft law] is a matter of disagreement, but the government has had
it drafted since 2012, Hun Sen said
during a speech at the Centre for Deaf
and Mute Children in Phnom Penh. It
will pass through the Council of Ministers no later than May before it is
sent to the National Assembly, and the
draft law will be passed without any
obstacles.
The Law on Associations and NonGovernmental Organisations, which
has been in the works since at least
2006, has been a cause of concern for
many activists who say the complex
registration process and stringent annual reporting demands on finances
and other activities are a thinly veiled
attempt to curtail their freedom of
movement.
Without naming names, Hun Sen
asserted that the same NGOs calling
for transparency in government must
be candid about their operations and
funding sources, saying they could otherwise hide that they are supporting
or being bankrolled by international

terrorist groups or organised crime


syndicates.
Previously, we dissolved one NGO
suspected of financing terrorists, and
another suspected of money laundering, he said. We are going to die if
[they] are financed by al-Qaeda [or]
ISIS, and we cannot control it.
Hun Sen also lashed out at NGOs he
said have attacked Cambodias human
rights record and sent reports to the
UN with the goal of obtaining funding
from international donors.
In 2005, during the ASEAN-UN
Summit in New York, I informed [thenUN secretary-general] Kofi Annan that
I didnt expect a good human rights report on Cambodia, since a good report
would mean no jobs for human rights
activists in Cambodia. This is the reality, he said.
Still, Hun Sen assured that the law
was not meant to put NGOs out of business just those that are not registered.
If you are not registered, you will
be handcuffed, he said, adding later,
The aim of the law is not to bar the
activities of NGOs; the aim of the law is
to ensure transparency.
While some activists agree that disclosing financials is necessary, others
see the law as a bid to control a sector

that has routinely picked up the slack


in a country where many services normally performed by the government
remain the domain of NGOs.
It is legitimate and appropriate to
require NGOs to disclose their sources of funding and how the funds are
spent, said Kol Preap, executive director of Transparency International Cambodia. [But] there is concern that the
purpose of this NGO law is to further
restrict freedom and to control the activities of NGOs.
In the view of Cambodian Human
Rights Action Committee (CHRAC)
adviser Billy Tai, Hun Sen has a vested interest in trying to legitimise the
law, especially after the recent chatter
around it as well as the [UN] human
rights committees concluding observations.
Ny Chakrya, head of local human
rights NGO Adhoc, voiced concern that
the law would simply limit the work of
NGOs in the Kingdom.
The government has always considered NGOs the enemy, he said. The
criticism [of the government] by NGOs
shows that the government has much
work to do [in terms of ] respecting
human rights in Cambodia.
Phnom Penh Post

HYDERABAD

Timber smugglers dead in police shootout


AT least 20 people died when police
opened fire on alleged sandalwood
smugglers in the southern Indian
state of Andhra Pradesh yesterday, a
local police chief said.
Deputy Inspector General M Kantha Rao said his officers had opened
fire in self-defence after challenging a
group of over 100 suspected smugglers
in a remote forest.
Our police party warned them to
hand over the logs. They were accompanied by forest officials as well. But
the smugglers refused to hand over the
logs, he told AFP.

IN PICTUREs
Photo: AFP

A local forestry department official


said the loggers had attacked police
with axes, sticks and stones in two
separate areas of the forest.
Ultimately in self-defence the
police opened fire on the smugglers
and found nine bodies in one position,
and 11 bodies in another,Mr Rao said.
Mr Rao, who heads a state task
force set up to combat the smuggling
of sandalwood, said six or seven police
officers had been wounded during the
clash in Chittoor district, 480 kilometres (300 miles) north of the state capital Hyderabad.

Rights activists in Andhra Pradesh


said there had been frequent clashes
between police and loggers in Chittoor
over the smuggling of sandalwood,
which is highly sought-after in neighbouring China.
VS Krishna, general secretary of the
Andhra Pradesh Human Rights Forum, said an earlier attack described by
police as a gunbattle had turned out to
be one-sided firing by police.
Many of the victims of such
incidents were poor migrant workers
from the neighbouring state of Tamil
Nadu, he said. AFP

Firefighters battle a blaze after an explosion at a plant


producing paraxylene a chemical commonly known as
PX in Zhangzhou, east Chinas Fujian province, yesterday.
Fourteen people were injured in the explosion, the second
accident at the site in two years.

IN PICTUREs

Photo: AFP

Relatives of Tamil activists hold plac


detention without trial for long peri
Sri Lankas government is yet to del
by the previous administration usin

Kuala lumpur

Malaysia under
new anti-terror
MALAYSIAS parliament yesterday
passed a tough anti-terrorism law
meant to nip emerging signs of
Islamic militancy in the bud, but
which opponents denounced as a
harsh blow for civil rights.
The Prevention of Terrorism Act
allows authorities to detain terrorism suspects without charge, and
the political opposition as well as
legal and rights groups had urged
its withdrawal.
It introduces long-term detention without trial, is open to abuse
and is a grievous blow to democracy, opposition lawmaker N Surendran said.
Authorities have expressed increasing alarm in the wake of the
Islamic State (IS) groups bloody
jihad in Syria, which police say
has drawn dozens of recruits from
traditionally moderate, Muslimmajority Malaysia.
On April 6, police said 17 people, including two who recently
returned from Syria, had been arrested on suspicion of plotting
terror attacks in the capital Kuala
Lumpur. No further details were
given.

The legislation was passed after


midnight, following 15 hours of debate, according to media reports.

[This] raises
serious concerns
that Malaysia will
return to practices
of the past when
government agents
frequently used
fear of indefinite
detention to
intimidate and
silence outspoken
critics.
Phil Robertson
Human Rights Watch

15

Born of rape in
Bosnia, one mans
search for answers

UN demands access
to ISIS-captured
refugee camp

World 16

World 16

bangkok

Small fish overcrowding Thai prisons


THE government needs to amend laws
and review conditions of imprisonment to reduce the number of women
in jail, in keeping with the UNs Bangkok Rules, said Vitaya Suriyawong,
director-general of the Corrections Department.
The Bangkok Rules, formerly
known as the United Nations Rules
for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for
Women Offenders, were adopted by
the UN General Assembly in December 2010.
The rules were created because
prisons are designed with the majority male prison population in mind.
They are intended to guide parties,
from policy-makers to prison authorities, on ways to reduce the number
of women in prison and to meet the

specific needs of women in cases of


imprisonment.
They take their name from HRH
Princess Bajrakitiyabhas role in drafting and presenting the rules to the the
UN.
Mr Vitaya said it is not an option to
build new prisons to house the growing number of female inmates the
majority of whom are incarcerated on
drug-related offences.
The high number of women prisoners is related to drug suppression
policy, he said.
The jailing of many small fish has
contributed to overcrowding, he added.
Mr Vitaya said the 1979 Narcotics
Act should be amended to allow for
swifter action to be taken against key
perpetrators of drug networks, instead
of just the small-time sellers.

We also need to review the terms


and conditions of imprisonment to address female overcrowding in prisons,
the department chief said.
Assoc Prof Kritaya Archavanitkul,
senior researcher at Mahidol Universitys Institute for Population and Social
Research (IPSR), said anti-drug laws
must be reinterpreted so female drug
suspects are not always assumed to be
the ringleaders of networks.
She agreed that Thailand needs to
implement the Bangkok Rules to offer basic rights to women prisoners.
Assoc Prof Napaphorn Havanond,
a senior IPSR researcher, said prisons
should become caring communities
that offer adequate basic facilities.
Thailand has a particularly high
number of female inmates, she said.
Bangkok Post

tokyo

Rewriting the history books in Japan

cards demanding the release of their loved ones held in


iods during a demonstration in Colombo on April 6.
liver on promises to free hundreds of Tamils incarcerated
ng tough anti-terror laws.

er fire for tough


r legislation
Its passage was not in doubt
due to the ruling regimes majority
in parliament.
The terrorism act has heightened
worries in Malaysia over a deepening crackdown on civil liberties
launched by the government in the
wake of a 2013 election setback.
The ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) has
been in charge since 1957, but faces
possible defeat at the hands of an
opposition that has campaigned
against government corruption
and alleged abuse of power.
Dozens of government critics,
including opposition politicians,
academics, activists and journalists, have been hit with sedition or
other charges after criticising the
regime.
In particular, the terrorism legislation has revived concerns of
a return to a previous draconian
Internal Security Act (ISA) that
allowed detention without trial
and was repeatedly used against
opposition politicians.
The ISA was scrapped in 2012
amid public pressure for political
reform.

The passage of this law is a giant


step backwards for human rights in
Malaysia that fundamentally calls
into question the governments
commitment to basic rights that are
critical to the rule of law in a functioning democracy, Human Rights
Watchs deputy Asia director Phil
Robertson said in a statement.
Passage of this legislation raises
serious concerns that Malaysia will
return to practices of the past when
government agents frequently used
fear of indefinite detention to intimidate and silence outspoken critics.
The government did not immediately respond to a request for
comment, but has said previously
the law would not be used against
anyone over their political views.
Police said in January they had
arrested a total of 120 people with
suspected Islamic State links or
sympathies, or who had sought to
travel to Syria or Iraq.
They also said 67 Malaysians
were known at the time to have
gone abroad to join IS jihadists,
and that five had died fighting for
the movement.
AFP

JAPAN yesterday rebuffed neighbouring countries protests over newlyapproved textbooks after complaints
about references to disputed territory
and their bitter shared history.
The education ministry announced
on April 6 that all 18 new social studies
textbooks for use in junior high schools
assert Japanese ownership of two separate island groups at the centre of disputes with China and South Korea.
New school books also swap the
word massacre when referring to the
mass-slaughter of Chinese civilians in
Nanjing in 1937, preferring the term
incident.
The textbook row surfaces regularly
in the three-way row over events in the
first half of the 20th century.
But it has come at a particularly
sensitive time, as the region readies to
mark the 70th anniversary of the end
of World War II and with a rising tide
of nationalism in all three countries.
Immediately after the April 6 announcement, the South Korean foreign
ministry summoned Japanese Ambassador Koro Bessho to protest over the
textbooks.

The Japanese government carried


out another provocation by approving
school textbooks that strengthen unfair
claims over our territory, Seouls foreign ministry said in a statement.
Tokyo and Seoul are at odds over
the sovereignty of a pair of sparsely-inhabited rocks in waters between them,
administered by Seoul as Dokdo but
claimed as Takeshima in Japan.
This clearly shows that the Japanese government seeks to inculcate the
distorted views on history and territory
into the minds of the young generation
and tries to repeat the wrongs it committed in the past, it said.
In Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary
Yoshihide Suga flatly rejected those
claims.
Our countrys textbook screening
is carried out impartially and neutrally,
based on professional and academic
deliberations, Mr Suga said.
Chinas official Xinhua News agency said historical revisionism was laid
bare in the textbooks, revised in line
with the countrys increasingly rightleaning politics under the premiership
of Shinzo Abe.

Xinhua noted that some textbooks


stated that captives and civilians were
involved in the Nanjing Massacre. It
said this contrasted with earlier textbooks that said the Japanese Army
killed many captives and civilians.
A Japanese education ministry official confirmed that one of the new history textbooks did not refer to the mass
killing in Nanjing, while many others
have described it as an incident, not a
massacre.
China says 300,000 civilians and
soldiers died in a spree of killing, rape
and destruction in the six weeks after
the Japanese military entered the thencapital on December 13, 1937.
While some foreign academics put
the number of deaths lower, no mainstream respected historians dispute
there was a massacre.
Separately, on Tuesday, Japan issued its annual blue book on foreign
policies, saying: The starting point
of Japans coherent path as a peaceful nation is our pledge not to fight a
war again and keep peace based on our
deep remorse over the past war.
AFP

CHIANG MAI

Leech-like parasites found in moat


ahead of Songkran festivities
LAB tests have detected a large number of parasites in the mud sediment
of Chiang Mais famous moat, where
many Songkran festival revellers will
be drawing their water supply.
No official warning against parasitic
infections has been issued by health
experts, and Chiang Mai officials said
they are working to clean the moats
water so it can be safely used in Songkran celebrations from April 10 to 15.
The moat, which is located in the
old precinct of Muang district, hosts
parasite samples that look like leeches,
according to the initial lab results of
Maejo Agricultural Universitys Faculty
of Fisheries Technology and Aquatic
Resources.
The universitys experts detected
the parasites while they were testing
the water for heavy metal pollution. It
has not been determined exactly what
type of parasites they are.

The discovery prompted the Chiang


Mai municipality to investigate the hygiene of the water in the moat.
Meanwhile, other government departments are working to boost water
supplies for Songkran festival revellers.
The Chiang Mai Provincial Irrigation Office released water from Mae
Chok Luang reservoir to increase water
volume in the moat.
The Provincial Waterworks Authority installed 12 tap water vending machines near the Nawarat Bridge and
along Tha Phae Road in the downtown
area.
Governor Suriya Prasatbandit yesterday brought almost 1,000 volunteers
to clean the areas around the moat and
nearby Tha Phae Gate.
The roads adjacent to the moat are
expected to be crowded with people
turning up for the Songkran celebration over the long weekend.

Another pollution problem, haze, is


sitting slightly above safety standards
at one microgram above the 120ucg per
cubic metre limit, according to measurements by the Yupparaj Wittayalai
School in Muang district.
The pollution problem persists despite efforts to curb it, such as water
spraying to dispel dust, because farmers persist in farm burning and lighting
forest fires, said Mr Suriya.
Officials have installed water sprinklers on the Nawarat Bridge to curb
the dust levels and provide relief to
revellers.
Similarly, in Prachuap Khiri Khans
Hua Hin municipality, officials are
preparing for the Songkran festival by
building a water tunnel where visitors will be sprinkled with blessed water from Wat Huai Mongkhon for 200
metres along Damnoen Kasem Road.
Bangkok Post

16 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 8, 2015

new york

UN demands access to Yarmuk camp


THE UN Security Council yesterday demanded access for life-saving
humanitarian aid to reach refugees
trapped in Syrias Yarmuk camp after it was partly seized by the Islamic
State group.
Islamic State fighters have captured large swaths of the Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus
in an offensive launched on April 1
and hundreds of families have been
evacuated.

IN PICTUREs
Photo: AFP

The 15-member council called for


the protection of civilians in the camp
for ensuring a humanitarian access to
the area including by providing lifesaving assistance, said Jordans Ambassador Dina Kawar, who chairs the
council this month.
Ms Kawar told reporters after a
closed-door council meeting that there
was deep concern over the grave situation for the 18,000 refugees in the
camp and demanded safe passage for

the evacuation of civilians.


The council is ready to consider
further measures to provide necessary assistance, said Ms Kawar, but
she did not provide details.
The council received a report from
Pierre Krahenbuhl, of the Palestinian
UNRWA relief agency, who described
the situation in the camp as more
desperate than ever.
Mr Krahenbuhl told reporters
that he appealed to countries with

influence in Syria to act for civilian


lives to be spared and for humanitarian access to be given.
The UNRWA chief said he was unable to verify that IS had carried out
beheadings in the camp.
Jihadists from IS first attacked the
camp, just 7 kilometres (four miles)
from central Damascus.
The camp is encircled by government forces and was under a tight
siege for more than a year.

The UNRWA chief said refugees were living on rations of some


400 calories per day, well below the
minimum average of 2000 set by the
World Health Organization.
What civilians in Yarmuk are
most concerned about right now is
bare survival, he said.
Palestinian refugees who leave Yarmouk will face relocation to some other area of Syria, Mr Krahenbuhl said.
AFP

Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp lies in rubble in the Syrian capital of Damascus on April 6. Around 2000 people have
been evacuated from the camp after the Islamic State group seized large parts of it.

washington

US says recognition of Israel is not part of Iran nuclear deal


US President Barack Obama has
rejected calls from Israel for any
nuclear agreement with Iran to be conditional on Tehrans recognition of the
Jewish states right to exist, branding
it a fundamental misjudgement.
Speaking after Israel proposed its
own terms for the accord, Mr Obama
told US radio network NPR on April
6 that demands for Iran to recognise
the country go beyond the scope of the
agreement.
The notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons
in a verifiable deal on Iran recognising
Israel is really akin to saying that we
wont sign a deal unless the nature of
the Iranian regime completely transforms, he said in a drive to sell the
deal to a hostile Congress.
And that is, I think, a fundamental
misjudgement.
Israels government reacted angrily
to the historic framework agreement
on Irans nuclear program announced
last week, with a final accord due by
June 30.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded on April 5 that Iranian

recognition of the Jewish states right


to exist be written into the agreement.
Intelligence minister Yuval Steinitz
told journalists on April 6 that while
an earlier pledge by Mr Obama to back
Israels security was appreciated, it did
not outweigh the potential threat of a
nuclear-armed Iran.
If Iran will produce nuclear weapons, this is an existential threat to Israel, Mr Steinitz said.
Nobody can tell us that backing
and assistance are enough to completely resist or to neutralise such a
threat.
Mr Steinitz proposed that the
emerging deal between Iran and
world powers should incorporate a total halt to research and development
on a new generation of centrifuges, a
cut in the number of existing centrifuges and closure of the Fordo facility
for enrichment of uranium.
He also proposed that Tehran detail its past nuclear arms research and
allow international inspectors to make
spot checks anywhere, anytime.
If such terms were accepted, Mr
Steinitz said, It will not be a good

agreement but it will be a more reasonable agreement.


Under the outline deal, the United
States and the European Union are
to lift all nuclear-related sanctions
on Iran in exchange for a 98-percent
cut in Irans stocks of highly enriched
uranium for 15 years, while its unfinished Arak reactor will not produce
weapons-grade plutonium.

Nobody can tell


us that backing
and assistance
are enough to
completely resist
or to neutralise
such a threat.
Yuval Steinitz
Israel intelligence minister

The deal will also see Iran reduce


by roughly two-thirds to 6,104 from
around 19,000 the number of uranium centrifuges which can make fuel
for nuclear power but also the core of
a nuclear bomb.
Mr Steinitz said that since last
weeks April 2 announcement officials
have studied the proposals carefully.
A comprehensive analysis of the
Lausanne framework reveals the extent of the irresponsible concessions
given to Iran and makes clear how
dangerous the framework is for Israel,
the region and the entire world, he
said.
We are going to do an additional
effort to convince the US administration, to convince Congress, to convince Britain and France and Russia
not to sign this bad deal, or at least to
dramatically change it and fix it.
Mr Steinitz said Israel preferred a
diplomatic solution to the issue but it
reserved the right to take military action against Iran if necessary.
Its still on the table, its going to
remain on the table, he said.
Its our right and duty to decide

how to defend ourselves, especially if


our national security and even very
existence are under threat.
Meanwhile Saudi Arabia, which
has long vied with Shiite Iran for influence in the Gulf and the greater
Middle East, said on April 6 it hoped
any future deal could bolster peace
in the region and end interference in
Arab affairs.
A statement after a weekly cabinet
meeting chaired by King Salman said
Saudi Arabia hopes the agreement
will reinforce security and stability in
the region and the world.
But it insisted security hinged on
the respect of the principle of good
neighbourly relations and non-interference in Arab affairs, said the Saudi
Press Agency.
Arab states accuse Iran of fuelling
a series of proxy battles in the Middle
East that have destabilised Syria, Iraq,
Yemen, Lebanon and other states.
Mr Obama has invited leaders of
the several Gulf states to Camp David
in the near future in a bid to assuage
their concerns.
AFP

World 17

www.mmtimes.com
WASHINGTON

Kenyans unite in protest after slaughter


KENYANS marched demanding
greater national security yesterday
following last weeks massacre by
Somalias Shebab Islamists, ahead of
a candlelit vigil on the final day of
mourning for the 148 people killed by
the militants.
The demonstration, with some 200
students marching through central
Nairobi waving placards, comes as security forces continue their hunt for
those behind the university killings.
Students slapped vehicles with
their hands as they marched through
the streets, chanting, You are not
safe, you are not safe!
Maureen Mucheri, 21, an engineering student at Nairobi University,
said she feared another attack, refusing to go into shopping malls and
churches, because the government is
doing nothing.
Some students carried flowers,
others stopped to light candles.
We are mourning the loss of our
fellow comrades. We have lost the vibrant blood that would have built tomorrows Kenya, Mr Mucheri added.
A larger vigil is planned for early
evening on the third and final day of
national mourning.
Kenyan fighter jets pounded
camps belonging to the al-Qaedalinked insurgents in southern Somalia on April 6, but anger has been
growing over allegations that critical
intelligence warnings were missed.
Special forces units took seven
hours to reach the university in
Garissa April 2, some 365 kilometres (225 miles) from the capital, as
Shebab gunmen stormed dormitory
buildings.
The extremists lined up non-Muslim students for execution in what
President Uhuru Kenyatta described
as a barbaric medieval slaughter.
Students in the demonstration

carried placards with the slogan 147


is not just a number, referring to the
death toll in the massacre although
that has since risen to 148.
The massacre, Kenyas deadliest
attack since the 1998 bombing of the
US embassy in Nairobi, claimed the
lives of 142 students, three police officers and three soldiers.
We shall not forget, the Standard newspapers front page read, as
news media printed the faces of those
killed in the attack, even as scores of
relatives continue an agonising wait
for the remains of their loved ones at
the main mortuary in Nairobi.
Vigil organiser Boniface Mwangi,
who has urged Kenyans to come
with flowers and to dress in black
for the vigil in Nairobis Uhuru Park
or Freedom in Swahili has been
deeply critical of the countrys security failings.
Entrenched corruption in the
security system allows Al-Shebab to
move freely in and out of Kenya and
carry out such attacks with ease, said
Mwangi, a civil society activist.
The army said the April 6 airstrikes
destroyed two Islamist bases, and followed a promise by Mr Kenyatta that
he would retaliate in the severest way
possible against the Shebab militants
for their attack last week.
Kenyan airplanes have made repeated strikes in southern Somalia since sending troops into their
war-torn neighbour in 2011 to attack
Shebab bases, with Nairobi later joining the African Union force fighting the
Islamists.
The Shebab group has carried out
a string of revenge attacks in neighbouring countries, notably Kenya and
Uganda, in response to their participation in the AU force.
On April 4, Shebab warned of a
long, gruesome war unless Kenya

Cynthia Cheroitich, 19-year-old survivor of the killings at the Garissa University College attack, speaks on April 4 at the
Garissa referral hospital. Ms Cheroitich was found two days after the attack, hiding in a large cupboard and covered with
clothes. She had refused to emerge, even when some of her classmates came out of hiding at the demands of the gunmen
from the al-Shabab group. Photo: AFP

withdraws its troops from Somalia.


Shebab fighters also carried out
the Westgate shopping mall attack in
Nairobi in September 2013, a four-day
siege which left at least 67 people dead.
Five men have been arrested in
connection with the university attack, including three alleged coordinators captured as they fled towards
Somalia, and two others seized in the
university compound.
A US$215,000 (200,000 euro)

DHAKA

bounty has also been offered for alleged Shebab commander Mohamed
Mohamud, a former Kenyan teacher
said to be the mastermind behind the
attack and believed to now be in Somalia.
Authorities have named one of the
four gunmen killed as a fellow Kenyan a once promising university law
graduate called Abdirahim Abdullahi, an ethnic Somali highlighting
the Shebabs ability to recruit within

the country.
Although Kenyatta has vowed to
retaliate for the massacre, there have
also been calls for national unity.
In an address to the nation on
April 4, Kenyatta said peoples justified anger should not lead to the
victimisation of anyone a clear
reference to Kenyas large Muslim
and Somali minorities in a country
where 80 percent of the population is
Christian. AFP

SYDNEY

Islamist party leader set to hang for Asylum-seeker ends


1971 Village of Widows massacre
40-day hunger strike
A BANGLADESHI Islamist leader lost
his final appeal on April 6 against a
death sentence for overseeing a massacre during the 1971 independence war.
Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, the
third-most senior figure in the Jamaate-Islami party, could now be hanged
within days or even hours for the
slaughter at the so-called Village of
Widows.
His lawyer Shishir Manir said authorities asked Mr Kamaruzzamans
family to meet him at Dhakas main jail
on March 6 on an emergency basis.
It seems the authorities are making preparations to execute him, Mr
Manir told AFP.
In the southern coastal town of
Noakhali, police opened fire on around
a dozen Jamaat supporters after they
took to the streets to protest at the
courts decision.
We fired in self-defence after they
hurled rocks at us, local police chief
Anwar Hossain told AFP, saying the
protester was killed during the live firing and another was injured.
Supreme Court Chief Justice
SK.Sinha ruled that a review petition
filed by Mr Kamaruzzamans lawyers
had been dismissed and a death sentence passed in 2013 should stand.
The 62-year-olds only chance of
avoiding the gallows will be if he is
granted presidential clemency.
But analysts say the prospect of
clemency is remote because the ruling
effectively confirms allegations that
he was one of the chief organisers of a
pro-Pakistan militia which killed thousands of people.

Law Minister Anisul Huq told reporters that Mr Kamaruzzaman will


be executed as soon as possible if he
refuses to seek presidential clemency.
Mr Kamaruzzaman would be only
the second Islamist so far to be hanged
for war crimes, even though several are
under sentence of death.
Another Jamaat leader, Abdul
Quader Molla, was executed in late
2013, just hours after his review was
rejected by the Supreme Court.
A controversial domestic war
crimes tribunal convicted Mr Kamaruzzaman in May 2013 on charges of torture, abduction and mass killings in his
role as a leader of the al-Badr militia
during the war.
The conflict led to the creation of
an independent Bangladesh from what
was then East Pakistan.
Prosecutors said Mr Kamaruzzaman presided over the massacre of at
least 120 unarmed farmers who were
lined up and gunned down in the remote northern village of Sohagpur.
Three women who lost their husbands testified against him.
Mr Kamaruzzamans lawyers had
tried to convince the Supreme Court
there were serious discrepancies in
the witness testimonies.
Jamaat, the countrys largest Islamist party, is an ally of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party
(BNP), whose leader Khaleda Zia is
trying to topple Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasinas secular government.
Jamaats members have been accused of being behind a number of
deadly firebomb attacks since the start

of the year, including on buses.


The party branded Mondays ruling a government conspiracy to murder its leader and called a nationwide
strike yesterday and today in protest.
Jamaat and the BNP have previously charged that the war crimes trials are mainly aimed at silencing Mr
Hasinas opponents rather than delivering justice.
Mr Hasinas government says the
trials are needed to heal the wounds
of the conflict.
Widows and relatives of the Sohagpur victims welcomed the verdict,
along with secular activists.
Our only demand is that he is executed in the quickest possible time.
There should be no mercy for him,
said Mohammad Jalal Uddin, a Sohagpur farmer who lost seven members of his extended family in the
killing.
Ive spoken to the widows. Thirtytwo of them are still alive. They are
very happy hearing the news of the
verdict, said Mr Uddin, who leads a
charity supporting the widows.
Bangladesh suffered its deadliest
chapter of political violence in 2013
after the war crimes court handed
down a series of death sentences on
Jamaat leaders for their role in the
conflict.
Mr Hasina, whose late father was
regarded as the leader of the independence movement, says three million
people were killed in the war, although
independent experts put the death toll
much lower. AFP

AN Iranian asylum-seeker is recovering after a 40-day hunger strike,


Australian Immigration Minister
Peter Dutton said yesterday, but insisted the near-fatal protest would
not influence the governments immigration policy.
Saeed Hassanloo, 25, is the second Iranian asylum-seeker to take on
an extended hunger strike in recent
months after a 33-year-old ended
a similar protest in January both
over Canberras treatment of their
claims for resettlement in Australia.
Im advised overnight that Saeed
has accepted medical assistance and
is on some path to recovery, Mr Dutton told the Australian Broadcasting
Corporation.
Obviously hes got a long way to
go but the advice that I have is that
he has decided to take fluids or food
and hes speaking to his (immigration department) case manager and
his medical team.
Mr Dutton said he was pleased
that Mr Hassanloo, who was admitted to Royal Perth Hospital in
March, was improving, but the protest would not change the outcome
of the case.
He added, The determination
has been made that he is not owed
refugee status and he is not going to
stay in Australia.
Mr Dutton said people in their
millions wanted to come to Australia for a better life but he could
not allow those who self-harmed or
refused food and fluids to twist my
arm.

If I was to succumb to that pressure, the strong advice from my department ... is that I would have hundreds if not thousands of people on
hunger strikes tomorrow, he said.
Refugee advocates say there are
about 45 Iranian asylum-seekers in
indefinite detention in Australia because they are refusing to return to
their homeland after having their
claims for refugee status denied.
Iran refuses to accept people who
are returned against their will.
Mr Hassanloo, who arrived in
2010, reportedly embarked on the
hunger strike after being told his bid
for refugee status had been refused.
He fears persecution if he returned
to Iran after converting to Christianity.
But Ian Rintoul from the Refugee
Action Coalition said the Iranians
case had not been finally determined
and the hunger strike was borne out
of frustration at the length of his detention.
The motivation really was the
fact that he was in detention and he
said, I just cant stand another day
in detention, Mr Rintoul told AFP.
He was just being held indefinitely.
Asylum-seekers arriving by boat
in Australia have long been subject
to mandatory detention while their
claims are processed.
Since 2013, Canberra has refused
to take asylum-seekers arriving by
boat for resettlement at all, sending
them instead to the Pacific islands of
Papua New Guinea and Nauru.
AFP

18 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 8, 2015

matagalpa

Sex workers
take on the
justice system
CONYS usual work clothes are tightfitting outfits that show off her curves
as she waits for clients at the bar.
But today she has put on a modest flower-print dress to attend her
first law class, one of 60 sex workers
who are training to become volunteer
facilitators in the Nicaraguan justice
system.
Cony short for Concepcion Jarquin learned early on to survive in
a hostile world, and now hopes to use
her street sense to help others defend
themselves.
Raped by a neighbor at age six, she
dropped out of school in shame and
left home to escape the rebukes of
her mother, who blamed her for what
happened.
Forty years and countless humiliations later, this lively, smiling woman
is studying part-time in a conference
room at the Supreme Court to learn
the basics of the Nicaraguan civil and
criminal codes.
She will then be sworn in to act
as a liaison between residents of her
impoverished neighborhood and an
often inaccessible justice system.
The free, year-long course, which
meets once every two months, was
organised by the Sunflowers Sex

Workers Association, a group set up


three years ago to help prostitutes get
medical care and professional training.
It is part of a broader initiative that
has trained 4300 facilitators across
Nicaragua in the past 17 years to
mediate in neighborhood conflicts
arguments between neighbours,
disputes over money, and so on or
get help from support groups or the
police in more serious cases.
The program has been so successful at reducing the caseload of the
overburdened court system that eight
other Latin American countries have
adopted it.
But this is the first time sex workers are taking part.
Maria Davila, head of the Sunflowers association, said prostitutes are
ideal for the job.
We are fighters who know how to
overcome and find bread to feed our
families, she said at the inauguration
of the program.
We women with rights and abilities ... Capable of helping our sisters
and their families.
For Cony, it is a chance to serve her
community and regain some of the
dignity lost doing her other job.

Sex worker Concepcion de Maria Jarquin, 46, gets ready to work at Bar Flor in Matagalpa downtown, 125 kilometres from
Managua, on March 27. Photo: AFP

Seeing a stranger on top of you is


horrible. Its not a dignified job. Its disgusting. But thats how we feed our children, she told AFP at the small shack
made of scrap wood and plastic where
she lives in the city of Matagalpa.
Cony turned to prostitution to raise
her two children, and continues working to support her three grandchildren.
She has slept with men of nearly
every kind imaginable, she said:
farmers, office workers, college graduates, pastors, priests, politicians...
Nicaragua, a country of 6 million
people, has some 14,000 prostitutes.
Often they are abused by clients,
targeted for rapes and muggings, have
no healthcare and face discrimination

by the police.
Another woman taking part in the
course, Alondra her name has been
changed at her request described the
horrors sex workers can face.
I was raped twice. Once by a gang
of 10 people in Managua. I nearly lost
my mind, she said.
The 36-year-old, who does not earn
enough to make ends meet in her day
job as a housekeeper, said she hopes to
help others escape the abuse she has
faced.
Im going to enrich myself more,
empower myself more and use what I
learn to help people, she said.
There is no shortage of conflicts to
resolve in these womens neighbourhoods.

In Conys, for example a slum


called Sor Maria neighbors live practically on top of each other in tiny
shacks made of plastic and scrap metal. The only source of water is a truck
that passes every two days selling it in
jugs.
Disputes, fights and domestic violence are a daily reality.
Yesenia Alston, a 35-year-old participant in the program, said she is
proud to be a sex worker but also
looking forward to doing more in her
community.
The course is an opportunity to
help our families and our fellow sex
workers, to use the knowledge were
acquiring to defend our rights, she
said. AFP

World 19

www.mmtimes.com
Goradze, bosnia-hercegovina

Born of rape, one mans quest for truth


ALEN Muhic, abandoned at birth by
his Muslim mother who was raped by a
Serb soldier during the Bosnian war of
the 1990s, went on a quest two decades
later to find his biological parents.
His painful and dramatic search
was captured in a powerful documentary that has made him the first invisible child, as those born of rape in
wartime Bosnia are called, to publicly
reveal his story.
I simply needed to learn the truth,
discover who they are, why she abandoned me and why he did what he did.
He committed a war crime, Mr Muhic
told AFP after the recent premiere of
the film An Invisible Childs Trap.
Mr Muhics biological mother fled
to the United States after his birth,
while his father was first tried and convicted of the rape, but a year later was
acquitted of the crime.
These days Mr Muhic, 22, works in
the eastern Bosnian town of Gorazde
as a nurse in the same hospital where
he was born and adopted in 1993.
The documentary, which also includes dramatised sequences, deals
with Mr Muhics double identity
genetic and adoptive, its Bosnian
director Semsudin Gegic told AFP.
International
human
rights
organisations label children born of
wartime rapes invisible, he said. I decided to make a movie in which Alen
becomes visible.
Mr Gegic stressed that Mr Muhic
was only one of thousands of children
conceived by sexual violence in conflicts throughout the world.
Mr Muhics mother was living in

Bosnian Alen Muhic, 22, poses during an interview in Gorazde on March 27, after the
premiere of the documentary film An Invisible Childs Trap. Photo: AFP

the village of Miljevina in east Bosnia


when she was assaulted by a member
of Bosnian Serb forces who had seized
the area.
She gave birth in February 1993 and
refused to even look at the baby boy. By
then she and other Muslims had been
forced out of their village as part of the
Serbs ethnic cleansing operation.
The woman, in her 30s at the time,
later fled to the United States, where
she got married and is now the mother
of two boys, Mr Gegic said.
Her name is not revealed in the film
because she was a protected witness in

the war crimes trial against the soldier,


whose identity is unveiled in the movie.
The 1992-1995 war in multi-ethnic
Bosnia between Muslims, Croats and
Serbs claimed around 100,000 lives,
the bloodiest conflict in the break-up of
the former Yugoslavia.
The mass rape in Bosnia of mostly
Muslim women, estimated at over
20,000, further heightened global
concerns of rape as a weapon of war
or genocide, following the devastating
violence against women in Rwandas
1994 massacre.
Only 61 children have been

documented as being born of wartime


rape in Bosnia and abandoned, according to research conducted by a local
non-governmental organisation, Women Victims of War. The true number is
believed to be much higher.
When Mr Muhic was seven months
old he was adopted by a janitor who
worked at the hospital where he was
born. Muharem Muhic and his wife
Advija, now in their 60s, also have two
daughters.
Im a happy man because I was
adopted by a great family. They raised
me as if I was their own child and gave
me all their love, Mr Muhic said.
He first learned of his painful past
during a fight at school when a child
taunted him, saying Muharem and Advija were not his real parents.
My parents then told me the truth.
I was angry, but now I know that they
wanted to protect me, he said.
In a society still torn apart by hatred
among its three main ethnic groups
Croats, Muslim and Serbs many did
not approve of adopting such a child.
They told my parents that Serb
blood was flowing in my veins, and
that when I grew up I would slaughter
them. I made this movie also to prove
them wrong, said Mr Muhic.
During the making of the film a
meeting between Mr Muhic and his
biological parents would prove elusive.
The father avoided the meeting,
but the mother came forward after the
movie was shown and told me that she
wanted to meet Alen, said Mr Gegic.
The mother and son have yet to
sit down together, but when they

do it will be filmed and added to the


documentary.
Initially furious at his mother for
abandoning him, Mr Muhics feelings
have changed with age.
Its not her fault that she was
raped, that she abandoned me. Maybe
she could not bear the pain. It was a
major trauma for her, a shock, he said.
I forgave her, said Mr Muhic, but
not the father.
His father was sentenced in 2007 by

THOUSAND

20

The estimated number of women,


mostly Muslim, raped between 1992
and 1995 in Bosnia.

a Sarajevo war crimes court to five-and


-a-half-years in prison for rape. But the
next year he was acquitted on appeal
due to witnesses contradictory statements.
DNA tests carried out during the
trial proved that he was Mr Muhics
biological father.
I blame him because no one
pushed him to do that and he cannot
be forgiven, Mr Muhic said.
AFP

ge
t

yo

gers o
n
i
f
n

the pulse editor: CHARLOTTE ROSE charlottelola.rose@gmail.com

it

THE MYANMAR TIMES april 8, 2015

the pulse 21

www.mmtimes.com

Yangon zoo plays matchmaker for

lonesome animals
ZON PANN PWINT
zonpann08@gmail.com

OMETIMES that perfect date needs an extra little touch


of romance like a crane.
Arranging the love lives of the inhabitants of Yangon
Zoo is no easy task.
Take the job of finding company for 13-year-old
widow Pont Pont, who has spent the past three years mourning her
late partner. Being an African white rhino, and behind bars to boot,
she was unlikely to meet a new mate via the customary means of
social interaction. New male white rhinoceros Aung Toe, a spritely
seven years of age, had to be introduced to her.
Enter the staff of Yangon Zoo who, on March 4, brought in a pair
of zebras, a pair of camels and a pair of ostriches, along with the
male rhino and a lioness from Nay Pyi Taw Zoological Garden.
All of them, except the camels who were bred here, arrived in
Yangon in 2011 and 2012 from their African home.
When the Nay Pyi Taw Zoological Garden was founded in 2008,
it was stocked from Yangon Zoo. Now the animals are back.
Children love the zebras. They would visit the zoo on Saturday
mornings and make the zebras very happy, said Ko Ye Lin Soe,
senior manager of the Yangon Zoological Garden.
Last year, Shakira the lioness died at the age of five, leaving
her partner bereft. Though there is another lioness resident at
Yangon zoo, she is shy, so a new female was transported from Nay
Pyi Taw.
Were not sure how well they will get along, said Ko Ye Lin
Soe. So far, weve kept the lioness and the male white rhinoceros
separate from their partners, apart from a chaperoned first date.
If they receive good nutrition and care they can breed in
captivity, added Dr Tun Myint, veterinarian at Yangon Zoo.

Yangon Zoo houses 47 species of mammals, 68 species of birds


and 18 species of reptiles. Though wild animals do not always breed
well in captivity, by the effort and kindness of zookeepers, many
with decades of experience, hippopotamuses, otters, hornbills and
sun bears have been bred in captivity. A few months ago, hornbills
successfully laid eggs and the zoo houses the chicks now.
Transporting animals can be risky for them. I felt wary with
anxiety as the crane lifted the rhino. But he behaved very well. We
didnt have any problem, and they all arrived safely, said Ko Ye Lin
Soe.
Perhaps they knew how easy they would have it. When the
animals dont have to hunt for food, they laze around and put on
weight, he said. We put fish in the ponds but they dont hunt. They
are lazier and getting fat.
Children want to see tigers, elephants and zebras. Now we
can house a variety of animals that are favourites with them, said
U Aye Hlaing, head keeper, who has worked at Yangon zoo for 33
years.
Weve also got a jaguar. Its not easy to find a
partner for him, said Ko Ye Lin Soe.
The zoo will mark its 110th anniversary
next year.

New arrivals at the Yangon Zoo. Photos: Aung Htay Hlaing

22 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 8, 2015

NEW YORK

A new day
dawns on
lady of jazz
Shaun Tandon

illie Holiday died with


just $50 to her name taped
to her thigh, but on the
100th anniversary of her
birth the jazz legend is
enjoying a renaissance as a trailblazer
for generations of singers.
Holiday was broken down by
heroin use, police harassment and
a husband who would beat her so
severely she would tape her ribs
before concerts.
When her body gave way at age
44 in 1959, she was under arrest in
her hospital bed for narcotics and her
savings consisted of the $50 slipped
by a reporter who wanted a deathbed
interview.
But ahead of the centennial of
her birth on April 7, a more complete
picture of Holiday is emerging as artists
acknowledge her foibles yet hail her not
only for her ineffable voice but for her
dignified stance against racism.
Author Lanie Robertson has seen
the changes in perceptions first-hand.
His play Lady Day at Emersons Bar
and Grill, which depicts Holiday
looking back at her life before a
meager crowd at one of her final
shows, premiered in 1986 but
enjoyed a popular revival last year on
Broadway starring Audra McDonald
that was later turned into an HBO
television production.

In 1986 when the play was


produced, Billie Holiday was
disparaged by a very large segment
of the African American population
she was a terrible role model, she was
a drug addict, she was an alcoholic,
she slept around, she was not a good
woman, Robertson said.
Last year there was a total
turnaround in societys view of Billie
Holiday. She was a fighter for civil
rights. She was someone who put
up with the staunchest, meanest
kinds of prejudice and racial bigotry,
which probably cut her life short by
decades, he said.
I think she is now a symbol of
the African American who fights and
stands up for her rights, and is seen
as a forerunner of that.
Holiday nicknamed Lady Day
endured racial slights even at home in
New York, where a singer with a global
reputation would be asked to take
service elevators at expensive hotels.
In 1939, Holiday debuted one
of musical historys great protest
songs, Strange Fruit, a searing
denunciation of the lynchings of
African Americans in the South
land of the scent of magnolia sweet
and fresh / and the sudden smell of
burning flesh.
Holidays label, Columbia, initially
refused to release the song out of fear
of upsetting the Southern market and
the singer quickly came under greater

Jazz singer and songwriter Billie Holiday is buried at Saint Raymonds Cemetery in New York. Photo: AFP

scrutiny from federal narcotics


investigators.
When she sang it, you could
pretty much hear a pin drop. The
audience was in dead silence, said
Mikki Shepard, executive producer
of the Apollo Theater where Holiday
performed the song.
The Apollo, the celebrated and
racially integrated jazz venue in
Harlem, was one of the few places
where Holiday could perform late in
her career along with Carnegie Hall,
as a new cabaret licensing system
shut her out of most clubs on account
of her character.
The Apollo will celebrate the
centennial with a series of events
including a tribute concert by
Cassandra Wilson, the Grammywinning singer who is also releasing
an album of Holiday covers.
Columbia has put out The
Centennial Collection, a CD with 20
of Holidays most influential songs

including Summertime, All of Me


and Strange Fruit.
The pianist Lara Downes in turn
has performed A Billie Holiday
Songbook, which takes inspiration not
only from Lady Days music but her
capacity for improvisation.
Holiday, born in Philadelphia to a
house-cleaner mother and an absent
father, never had a formal musical
education.
In a memoir that was explosive
at the time, Holiday said that she
learned jazz when she ran errands in
brothels as a child.
Holiday had numerous outside
influences, notably Louis Armstrong
and Bessie Smith, but built her
reputation as perhaps the greatestever jazz singer through her inner
passion and a vocal style that was at
once emotive and rugged.
A vast array of singers have taken
inspiration from Holidays music and
style including Diana Ross who

played her in the 1972 film Lady Sings


the Blues to Annie Lennox and the
late Amy Winehouse.
Ahead of the centennial, fans
have flocked to her simple grave in
the Bronx where on a recent day an
empty bottle of Tanqueray stood as an
offering.
But how would Holiday have fared
in the 21st century? White audiences
are far more accepting of African
American artists, but could Holiday
have survived a world where an
artists every mishap is shared by
social media?
Shepard said that Holiday, unlike
modern stars, had few handlers to
protect her but that her raw power
also brought her closer to audiences.
Here was an artist at the top of
her game but who was suffering, just
as they were suffering, Shepard said.
I think she connected with
people because she was real. She was
authentic. AFP

HONG KONG

Antique China porcelain breaks auction record


Shaun Tandon
Chinese tycoon Liu Yiqian splashed
out nearly HK$114 million (US$14.71
million) on an ancient vase at auction
in Hong Kong yesterday his latest
expensive purchase of a rare artefact
originally from the mainland.

The simple octagonal piece, an


800-year-old Southern Song Dynasty
work tinted a milky blue, broke the
guide price of $7.7 million at the
sale by Sothebys.
Taxi-driver-turned-financier
Liu chair of investment company
Sunline Group is one of Chinas

Sothebys Nicolas Chow displays a rare imperial white jade Yongzheng Yubi Zhi
Bao seal from Chinas Qing Dynasty, after its sale for nearly US$13.54 million.
Photo: AFP/Anthony Wallace

wealthiest men and among the


countrys new class of super-rich
scouring the globe for artworks.
The 51-year-old broke the world
auction record for Chinese porcelain
in April last year when he bought a
Ming Dynasty wine cup known as
the chicken cup for $36 million,

which he subsequently famously


drank tea from.
In November he snapped up a
Tibetan silk tapestry for $45 million
at Christies in Hong Kong, setting
another world record for a Chinese
work of art sold by an international
auction house.

Deputy chair for Sothebys Asia Nicolas Chow displays a Guan octagonal vase
from Chinas Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279 AD), after its sale for nearly
US$15 million. Photo: AFP/Anthony Wallace

Liu, who also owns his own


museum in Shanghai, has said he
is on a mission to bring ancient
Chinese artefacts back to the
country.
My museum and myself will
participate in bidding in future
when we see good artwork, he said
during a visit to Hong Kong last
month to take up the ownership of
the 600-year-old tapestry.
Liu beat seven other prospective
buyers in yesterdays auction at
which he was bidding by telephone,
said Nicolas Chow, Sothebys
international head of Chinese
ceramics and works of art.
Chow said the unexpectedly high
price indicated a buoyant market
and strong demand for Chinese
antiques.
We are absolutely thrilled with
the price for the vase, he told
reporters.
To say it is a masterpiece would be
an understatement.
Chow said the piece would go to
Lius Long Museum in Shanghai.
The 20-centimetre-tall vase is
part of a rare collection crafted for
the imperial court.
At the same auction, a Qing
emperors seal crafted from white
jade was sold for $13.5 million
nearly three times the pre-auction
estimate to an undisclosed buyer,
Sothebys said. AFP

the pulse 23

www.mmtimes.com

Uncovering the meaning of memes


Caitlin Dewey

now Your Meme, the


preeminent authority
on all things viral, has
documented some 12,302
memes since launching in
late 2008. There are silly GIFs. Everchanging image macros. Too many injokes, YouTube clips and squash-faced
cats to analyse or name.
And yet, in a new study published
in the Journal of Computer-Mediated
Communication, a team of Israeli
researchers has managed it: Theyve
conducted an actual census of
internet memes.
Now, before you get too
excited, we should caution that
the researchers, led by Tel Aviv
Universitys Elad Segev, didnt
actually tally every meme on the
internet. (That would be impossible.
Also: crazy.) But the researchers, who
are interested in how ideas morph
and branch as they move across the
internet, did analyse what they call
the 50 most popular English-language
meme families, which include the
original meme (think: the very first
illustration of David Silverman,
captioned are you serious?) and its
most widely circulated derivatives (all
the Seriously Guys that came after).
Analysing, in this case, involves
trying to pin down all the things
that make this meme a meme: what
themes it covers, what physical
form it takes, whom it does or does
not depict. (Fun dinner party fact:
quiddity is the collective word
for all this.) Once theyd analysed

some 1000-plus memes that way, the


researchers were able to calculate
their most common features and map
them according to similarities. And
while we tend to think of memes as
fluffy, universal, even meaningless,
they actually found some complex
structures and biases baked into
them.
To wit: Of memes that show
people, versus dinosaurs or cartoons
or cats, men appear twice as often.
And nearly 45 percent of all the
people in memes are Caucasian;
Hispanic subjects make up one-fifth
of 1 percent, by comparison.
These findings corroborate many
of the observations made in [past]
qualitative studies, the researchers
sum up, in which the memetic
sphere was described as dominated
by young, white men.
On one hand, of course, this
conclusion isnt particularly
jarring: Both Reddit and 4chan, the
traditional petri dishes of meme
culture, are overwhelmingly young
and male; Tumblr, a more recent
meme-making upstart, is split about
50-50 on gender, and skews young
across the board.
But even if these conclusions
seem intuitive, they express a great
deal not only about inclusion and
diversity in online spaces, but about
power and information in them: who
the gatekeepers are, who determines
whats cool, whose instincts and
interests are considered most fit,
in the Darwinian sense of the term.
(Memetics, the study of memes,
comes straight from evolutionary

biology: Successful memes, like


successful organisms, need to
reproduce on blogs and forums and
cheap T-shirts in order to survive.)
The internet, despite its more utopian
goals, replicates biases and social
structures that exist offline.
Of course, the internet is a
complicated place, and further
research will be needed to get
into all that; it might be worth
exploring, for instance, memes
that subvert mainstream biases
or promote minority identities
and issues, like Successful
Black Man or 2012s Binders
Full of Women. This study
found that the further
meme families fall from
the mainstream, the more
they stay on-theme an
intriguing hint at the
dynamics in niche
internet communities.
Still, one thing has
become pretty clear
already: Memes, counter
their rep, should be
taken seriously.
Washington Post

The original
Are you
serious?
rage meme
depicting
American Atheists
president David
Silvermans stupefied
expression during a
debate with Bill OReilly
on Fox News in 2011. Picture:
knowyourmeme.com

24 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 8, 2015

DOMESTIC FLIGHT SCHEDULES


Yangon to Mandalay
Flight
Y5 775
W9 515
YH 909
YH 917
YJ 891
YJ 891
YJ 891
K7 282
W9 201
YH 826
YH 835
YH 909
YH 831
YH 911
W9201
YH 829
7Y 131
K7 266
8M 6603
YJ 751
YJ 201
YJ 211
YJ 601
YJ 761
YJ 761
YJ 233
YH 729
YH 737
YH 727
W9 251
K7 822
YJ 151/W9 7151
K7 622
K7 226
YH 731
Y5 234
W9 211

Days
Daily
1
1,2,3,5,6
Daily
3,7
4
1,2,5,6
Daily
Daily
3
1,7
7
4,6
2
1
5
Daily
Daily
4
5
1,2,3,4
5,7
6
1,2
4
6
2,4,6
3,5,7
1
2,5
4,7
1
1,3,5,7
2,4,6
Daily
Daily
4

Dep
6:00
6:00
6:00
6:10
6:00
6:30
6:30
6:00
7:00
7:00
7:00
7:00
7:00
7:00
7:00
7:00
7:15
8:00
9:00
10:45
11:00
11:15
11:15
11:15
11:00
11:00
11:00
11:15
11:15
11:30
12:30
13:00
13:00
13:30
14:30
15:20
15:30

Arr
7:10
7:25
7:40
8:30
8:05
7:55
8:35
8:10
8:25
8:40
8:40
8:40
8:40
8:40
8:25
11:05
9:20
10:05
10:10
14:50
12:25
12:40
12:40
13:10
12:55
12:55
14:00
13:25
13:25
12:55
16:55
16:45
14:25
14:55
16:40
16:30
16:55

Mandalay to Yangon
Flight
Y5 233
YJ 891
YJ 891
K7 283
YH 918
YH 910
W9 201
YJ 891
7Y 132
K7 267
YH 830
YH 912
YJ 762
YH 832
YH 827
YH 836
YH 910
YJ 212
YJ 212
YJ 752
YJ 202
YJ 602
YH 732
YH 732
YH 728
YJ 762
W9 152/W97152
Y5 776
W9 211
K7 823
8M 6604
K7 227
8M 903
YH 738
K7 623
YH 730
YJ 234
W9 252

Days
Daily
4
3,7
Daily
Daily
7
Daily
1,2,5,6
Daily
Daily
5
2
4
4,6
3
1,7
1,2,3,5,6
7
6
5
1,2,3,4
6
6
Daily
1
1,2
1
Daily
4
2,4,7
4
2,4,6
1,2,4,5,7
3,5,7
1,3,5,7
2,4,6
6
2,5

Dep
7:50
8:10
8:20
8:25
8:30
8:40
8:40
8:50
9:35
10:20
11:05
11:30
13:10
13:20
13:20
13:20
13:20
15:00
15:15
15:05
15:30
15:55
16:40
16:40
16:45
16:50
17:05
17:10
17:10
17:10
17:20
17:20
17:20
17:25
17:40
17:45
17:45
18:15

Arr
9:00
10:05
10:15
11:30
10:45
10:05
10:35
10:45
11:30
12:25
14:55
13:25
17:00
14:45
14:45
14:45
14:45
16:25
16:40
16:30
16:55
17:50
18:05
18:45
18:10
18:15
18:30
18:20
19:15
18:35
18:30
18:45
18:30
18:50
19:05
19:10
19:10
19:40

Yangon to nay pyi taw

Nay pyi taw to Yangon

Flight
FMI A1
FMI B1
FMI C1

Flight
FMI A2
FMI B2
FMI C2

Days
1,2,3,4,5
1,2,3,4,5
1,2,3,4,5

Dep
7:15
10:45
17:00

Arr
8:15
11:45
18:00

Yangon to Nyaung U
Flight
K7 282
YJ 891
YH 909
YH 917
YJ 881
YJ 891
YH 909
YJ 881
K7 242
7Y 131
K7 264
YH 731
W9 129
W9 211

Days
Daily
3,7
1,2,3,5,6
Daily
7
1,2,5,6
4
4
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
1,3,6
4

Dep
6:00
6:00
6:00
6:10
6:30
6:30
6:30
6:45
7:00
7:15
14:30
14:30
15:30
15:30

Days
5
3
1,7
4,6
1,2,3,4
2,5

Dep
7:00
7:00
7:00
7:00
11:00
11:30

Dep
8:35
13:30
18:20

Arr
9:35
14:30
19:20

Nyaung U to Yangon
Arr
7:20
7:20
8:25
7:45
7:50
7:50
8:05
8:05
8:20
8:35
16:40
17:25
17:35
17:40

Yangon to Myitkyina
Flight
YH 829
YH 826
YH 835
YH 831
YJ 201
W9 251

Days
1,2,3,4,5
1,2,3,4,5
1,2,3,4,5

Arr
9:40
10:05
10:05
10:05
13:50
14:25

Flight
YJ 891
YH 918
YJ 881
YJ 891
YH 910
YJ 881
YH 910
K7 242
7Y 131
K7 283
K7 265
YH 732
W9 129

Days
3,7
Daily
7
1,2,5,6
4
4
1,2,3,5,6
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
1,3,6

Dep
7:35
7:45
8:05
8:05
8:05
8:20
8:25
8:35
8:50
10:10
16:55
17:25
17:50

Arr
10:15
10:45
10:10
10:45
9:25
10:25
9:45
11:45
11:30
11:30
18:15
18:45
19:10

Myitkyina to Yangon
Flight
YH 827
YH 832
YH 836
YH 830
YJ 202
YJ 234
W9 252

Days
3
4,6
1,7
5
1,2,3,4
6
2,5

Dep
11:55
11:55
11:55
12:30
14:05
16:20
16:45

Arr
14:45
14:45
14:45
14:55
16:55
19:10
19:40

Yangon to Heho
Flight
YJ 891
YJ 891
K7 282
YH 917
YJ 881
YJ 891
YJ 881
K7 242
7Y 131
K7 266
Y5 649
YH 505
YJ 751
YJ 751
YJ 761
YJ 233
YJ 761
YH 727
YH 737
YH 727
K7 828
K7 822
K7 264
YH 731
W9 129

Days
4
3,7
Daily
Daily
7
1,2,5,6
4
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
1,2,3,4,5,6
3,7
5
4
6
1,2
1
3,5,7
3
1,3,5
2,4,7
Daily
Daily
1,3,6

Dep
6:00
6:00
6:00
6:10
6:30
6:30
6:45
7:00
7:15
8:00
10:30
10:30
10:30
10:45
11:00
11:00
11:15
11:15
11:15
11:15
12:30
12:30
14:30
14:30
15:30

Heho to Yangon
Arr
8:40
8:50
9:00
9:35
8:50
9:20
9:00
9:15
10:05
9:15
12:45
11:55
11:40
11:55
12:10
12:10
12:25
12:40
12:40
12:40
13:45
13:45
15:45
15:55
16:40

Flight
YJ 891
YJ 881
YJ 891
K7 283
YJ 881
W9 201
K7 243
YH 918
YJ 891
7Y 132
K7 267
YH 506
YJ 752
YJ 762
YH 732
YJ 762
K7 829
YH 728
YJ 602
K7 264
YH 738
YJ 752
W9 129

Arr
8:15
9:05
13:50
17:00

Flight
Y5 326
7Y 532
K7 320
Y5 326

Yangon to Myeik
Flight
Y5 325
K7 319
7Y 531
Y5 325

Days
1,5
1,3,5,7
2,4,6
2

Dep
6:45
7:00
11:45
15:30

Days
1,3,6
Daily
1,3,5,7

Dep
11:30
11:45
12:00

Days
Daily
1,2,3,4,5,6
1,3,6
1,3,5,7
Daily
1,3,4,6

Dep
7:00
10:30
11:30
12:00
13:00
15:45

Days
1
2,4,6

Dep
7:00
11:45

Flight
W9 309
6T 612
K7 423

Arr
10:35
13:10
13:50
12:50
13:35
16:40

Flight
K7 243
YH 506
7Y 413
W9 309
K7 422
Y5 422

Days
3,7
5
2,4,6
1,3,5

Dep
10:30
10:45
11:00
12:30

Days
3
4,6
1,7
2,5

Dep
7:00
7:00
7:00
11:30

Days
1,5
2,4,6
1,3,5,7
2

Dep
8:35
16:05
11:30
17:15

Arr
10:05
18:10
13:35
18:45

Days
1,3,6
Daily
Daily

Dep
13:10
13:15
15:10

Arr
14:55
14:20
16:30

Days
Daily
1,2,3,4,5,6
1,3,5,7
1,3,6
Daily
1,3,4,6

Dep
10:50
13:10
13:05
14:05
14:10
16:55

Arr
11:45
14:00
15:25
14:55
16:30
17:50

Tel: 513322, 513422, 504888. Fax: 515102

Air KBZ (K7)


Tel: 372977~80, 533030~39 (airport), 373766
(hotline). Fax: 372983

Asian Wings (YJ)


Tel: 515261~264, 512140, 512473, 512640
Fax: 532333, 516654

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)


Tel: 09400446999, 09400447999
Fax: 8604051

Mann Yadanarpon Airlines (7Y)


Tel: 656969
Fax: 656998, 651020

Arr
8:10
12:50

Flight
K7 320
7Y 532

Arr
12:45
13:00
13:00
14:50

Flight
YJ 752
K7 829
K7 829
YJ 752
YH 730

Arr
11:00
11:00
11:00
15:25

Flight
YH 836
YH 832
YH 827
W9 252

Days
1,3,5,7
2,4,6

Dep
12:25
17:05

Arr
13:35
18:10

lashio to Yangon
Days
5
1,3
5
3,7
2,4,6

Dep
13:15
15:05
15:05
15:40
16:45

Arr
16:30
15:55
17:25
17:55
19:10

putao to yangon
Days
1,7
4,6
3
2,5

Dep
11:00
11:00
11:00
15:45

FMI Air Charter


Tel: 240363, 240373, 09421146545

Airline Codes
7Y = Mann Yadanarpon Airlines
K7 = Air KBZ
W9 = Air Bagan
Y5 = Golden Myanmar Airlines
YH = Yangon Airways
YJ = Asian Wings
FMI = FMI Air Charter

dawei to Yangon

yangon to putao
Flight
YH 826
YH 831
YH 835
W9 251

Air Bagan (W9)

Tel: 383100, 383107, 700264


Fax: 652 533

thandwe to Yangon

yangon to lashio
Flight
YJ 751
YJ 751
YH 729
K7 828

Domestic Airlines

Yangon Airways (YH)

Arr
12:55
12:55
13:50

yangon to dawei
Flight
K7 319
7Y 531

Arr
10:05
10:15
10:15
11:30
10:25
10:35
11:45
10:45
10:45
11:30
12:25
14:00
16:30
17:00
18:45
18:15
17:25
18:10
17:50
18:15
18:50
17:55
19:10

sittwe to Yangon

Yangon to thandwe
Flight
K7 242
YH 505
W9 309
7Y 413
K7 422
Y5 421

Dep
8:55
9:05
9:05
9:15
9:15
9:25
9:30
9:35
9:35
10:20
11:10
11:55
14:20
15:50
15:55
16:05
16:10
16:00
16:40
16:30
16:40
16:45
16:55

Myeik to Yangon

Yangon to sittwe
Flight
W9 309
6T 611
K7 413

Days
4
7
3,7
Daily
4
Daily
Daily
Daily
1,2,5,6
Daily
Daily
1,2,3,4,5,6
5
4
Daily
1,2
1,3,5
1
6
Daily
3,5,7
3,7
1,3,6

Arr
14:45
14:45
14:45
19:40

Subject to change
without notice
Day
1 = Monday
2 = Tuesday
3 = Wednesday
4 = Thursday
5 = Friday
6 = Saturday
7 = Sunday

the pulse 25

www.mmtimes.com
BUDAPEST

International FLIGHT SCHEDULES


YANGON TO BANGKOK

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

PG 706
Daily
6:05
8M 335
Daily
7:40
TG 304
Daily
9:50
PG 702
Daily
10:30
TG 302
Daily
14:50
PG 708
Daily
15:20
8M 331
Daily
16:30
PG 704
Daily
18:35
Y5 237
Daily
19:00
TG 306
Daily
19:50
YANGON TO DON MUEANG
Flights
DD 4231
FD 252
FD 256
FD 254
FD 258
DD 4239
Flights

Days
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily

8:20
9:25
11:45
12:25
16:45
17:15
18:15
20:30
20:50
21:45

Dep
8:00
8:30
12:50
17:35
21:30
21:00

Arr
9:45
10:20
14:40
19:25
23:15
22:55

YANGON TO SINGAPORE
Days

Dep

Arr

BANGKOK TO YANGON

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

TG 303
Daily
8:00
PG 701
Daily
8:45
Y5 238
Daily
21:30
8M 336
Daily
10:40
TG 301
Daily
13:05
PG 707
Daily
13:40
PG 703
Daily
17:00
TG 305
Daily
18:05
8M 332
Daily
19:15
PG 705
Daily
20:15
DON MUEANG TO YANGON
Flights
DD 4230
FD 251
FD 255
FD 253
FD 257
DD 4238
Flights

Days
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily

8:45
9:40
22:20
11:25
13:50
14:30
17:50
18:50
20:00
21:30

Dep
6:30
7:15
11:35
16:20
20:15
19:25

Arr
7:15
8:00
12:20
17:05
20:55
20:15

Dep

Arr

8M 231
Daily
8:00
12:25
Y5 2233
Daily
9:45
14:15
TR 2823
Daily
9:45
2:35
SQ 997
Daily
10:25
15:10
3K 582
Daily
11:45
16:20
MI 533
2,4,6
13:35
20:50
8M 233
5,6,7
14:40
19:05
MI 519
Daily
16:40
21:15
3K 584
2,3,5
19:30 00:05+1
YANGON TO KUALA LUMPUR

TR 2822
Daily
7:20
Y5 2234
Daily
7:20
SQ 998
Daily
7:55
3K 581
Daily
9:10
MI 533
2,4,6
11:30
8M 232
Daily
13:25
MI 518
Daily
14:20
3K 583
2,3,5
17:20
8M 234
5,6,7
20:15
KUALA LUMPUR TO YANGON

8:45
8:50
9:20
10:40
12:45
14:50
15:45
18:50
21:40

8M 501
AK 505
MH 741
8M 9506
8M 9508
MH 743
AK 503

11:50
12:45
16:30
16:30
20:05
20:15
23:20

AK 504
8M 9505
MH 740
8M 502
8M 9507
MH 742
AK 502

8:00
11:15
11:15
13:50
14:50
15:05
18:25

Arr
0550+1

Flights
CA 905

Flights

Flights
CA 906

Days

Dep

Arr

1,2,3,5,6
7:50
Daily
8:30
Daily
12:15
Daily
12:15
Daily
15:45
Daily
16:00
Daily
19:05
YANGON TO BEIJING
Days
3,5,7

Dep
23:50

YANGON TO GUANGZHOU
Flights

Days

8M 711
CZ 3056
CZ 3056
Flights

Days

Daily

Dep

Arr

Flights

Flights

Days

13:15
15:55
22:10

Dep

Arr

10:50

16:10

1,3,5,6,7

Dep

Arr

15:55
18:50
18:15

Dep

Arr

19:10

21:25

YANGON TO HO CHI MINH CITY


Flights

Days

VN 942

2,4,7

Days

CZ 3055
CZ 3055
8M 712

Days
1,4,6

Dep

Flights

Days

Flights

4,7
Daily

Dep

Flights

Days

CI 7915

Daily

Flights

MU 2011
CA 415
MU 2031
Flights

Days

Daily

Flights

Days

Daily

Arr
11:40

Flights
QR 918

Arr

5:25

Dep

Arr

06:45+1

YANGON TO DHAKA

Flights

Days

BG 061
BG 061
Flights

Dep

1:10

22:10

2
5

Dep

Arr

11:45
19:45

YANGON TO INCHEON

PG 724
W9 607
8M 7702
8M 7502

Days

1,3,5,6
4,7
Daily
4,7

Dep

12:50
14:30
23:30
00:35

Days

2,4,7

Days
2,4,6
1,5
4,7

Flights

Days

3,5,6
2
1,5

Flights

Days

Flights

AI 234
AI 228

1
5

Dep

7:00
13:10
14:05
Dep

13:10
Dep

14:05
18:45

MANDALAY TO BANGKOK

Flights

PG 710

Days

Daily

Dep

14:15

MANDALAY TO singapore

Flights

MI 533
Y5 2233

Days

2,4,6
1,2,4,5,6

Dep

15:45
7:50

MANDALAY TO DON MUEANG

Flights

FD 245

Days

Daily

Dep

12:50

MANDALAY TO KUNMING

Flights

MU 2030

Days

Daily

Dep

13:50

NAY PYI TAW TO BANGKOK

Flights

PG 722

Days

1,2,3,4,5

Dep

19:45

Days

Daily
3,6

Dep

Arr

7:00

9:50

Dep

Arr

11:50
11:30
14:00

Flights

Days

KA 252
KA 250

2,4,6
1,3,5,7

Dep

Arr

16:40
Dep

11:45

Flights

Days

Daily

BG 060
BG 060

Arr

Flights

Days

2
5

Arr

Arr

Flights

Flights

Arr

20:50
14:15
Arr

Days

2
3,5,6
5
Days

Dep

11:00
17:20
18:45
19:50
Dep
9:25
13:45
17:20
Dep

9:10
9:20
15:00
Dep

7:00

kolkata TO YANGON

AI 227
AI 233

Days

1
5

Dep

10:35
13:30

BANGKOK TO MANDALAY

Flights

PG 709

Days

Daily

Dep

12:05

singapore to mandalay

Flights

Y5 2234
MI 533

Days

Daily
2,4,6

Dep

7:20
11:30

DON MUEANG TO MANDALAY

Flights

15:15

FD 244

Arr

Flights

Days

Daily

Dep

10:55

KUNMING TO MANDALAY

16:40

MU 2029

Arr

Flights

22:45

Dep

8:30
16:30

delhi TO YANGON

Flights

Arr

Arr

Dep

11:45

gaya TO YANGON

AI 235
8M 602
AI 233
AI 235

16:40

Days
2,4,6
1,5
4,7

Days

Daily

Dep

12:55

BANGKOK TO NAY PYI TAW

PG 721

Days

1,2,3,4,5

Dep

17:15

Arr

00:15+1
23:45

chiang mai TO YANGON

16:30
17:20
19:45

1,3,5,6
4,7
Daily
3,6

Air China (CA)

Tel: 666112, 655882


Tel: 253597~98, 254758, 253601. Fax 248175

Bangkok Airways (PG)

Tel: 255122, 255265. Fax: 255119

Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG)


Tel: 371867~68. Fax: 371869

Condor (DE)

Arr

17:15
Arr

10:45
18:45

Qatar Airways (QR)

Singapore Airlines (SQ) / Silk Air (MI)

Eszter Zalan

Dragonair (KA)

Tel: 255320, 255321. Fax: 255329

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)


Tel: 09400446999, 09400447999
Fax: 8604051

Malaysia Airlines (MH)

Tel: 387648, 241007 (ext: 120, 121, 122)


Fax: 241124

Myanmar Airways International (8M)


Tel: 255260. Fax: 255305

Nok Airline (DD)

Tel: 255050, 255021. Fax: 255051


Tel: 379845, 379843, 379831. Fax: 379730

Tel: 255491~6. Fax: 255223


Tel: 371383, 370836~39 (ext: 303)

Vietnam Airlines (VN)

Tel: 255066, 255088, 255068. Fax: 255086

Airline Codes
3K = Jet Star
8M = Myanmar Airways International
AK = Air Asia
BG = Biman Bangladesh Airlines
CA = Air China
CI = China Airlines
CZ = China Southern

Arr

11:55
18:10
22:25
23:25

DD = Nok Airline
FD = Air Asia
KA = Dragonair

Arr
10:15
14:35
18:10
Arr

12:10
12:30
18:00
Arr

12:10
Arr

13:20
18:00
Arr

13:25
Arr

16:30
14:50
Arr

12:20
Arr

12:50
Arr

19:15

Glistening signs, flashing lights and non-stop tinkling lures scores of tourists in
Budapest to Europes largest pinball museum. Photo: AFP

Pinball
paradise lives
on in basement

Tel: 370836~39 (ext: 303)

Tiger Airline (TR)

Arr

INCHEON TO YANGON
Days

Air Bagan Ltd.(W9)

Tel: 513322, 513422, 504888. Fax: 515102

Arr

22:30
23:40

DHAKA TO YANGON

Flights

13:00
21:00

8:20
14:10
15:05

Dep

TOKYO TO YANGON

NH 913

Tel: 09254049991~3

Thai Airways (TG)

Arr
0459+1

18:30
19:30
Dep

Air Asia (FD)

18:10
13:25

Dep
19:45

22:20
21:50

Tel: 255412, 413

Tel: 255287~9. Fax: 255290

HONG KONG TO YANGON

Flights
Y5 252
7Y 306
W9 608

YANGON TO kolkata
Days

Flights

KE 471
0Z 769

Arr
8:05
12:50
16:20

Dep
6:15
11:00
14:30

YANGON TO DELHI

AI 236

10:35
16:40
15:50

SEOUL TO YANGON

PG 723
W9 608
8M 7701
8M 7501

YANGON TO gaya

8M 601
AI 236
AI 234

Days
3,5,7

14:45
16:20
07:50+1
09:10

YANGON TO chiang mai

Flights
Y5 251
7Y 305
W9 607

Arr

3
8:25
Daily
11:10
1,2,4,5,6,7 13:30
HANOI TO YANGON
1,3,5,6,7

Flights

VN 943

Arr

YANGON TO TOKYO

NH 914

Days

Days

VN 957

17:05

8:50
07:45+1

YANGON TO HONG KONG

KA 251

Dep

DOHA TO YANGON

Dep
7:55

0:50
23:55

Arr
22:50

HO CHI MINH CITY TO YANGON


Arr

14:25

YANGON TO SEOUL

0Z 770
KE 472

Dep
19:30

3,6
8:35
1,5
14:40
2,4,7
14:15
TAIPEI TO YANGON

YANGON TO DOHA
Flights
QR 919

Arr

KUNMING TO YANGON

Daily
12:30
3
12:40
1,2,4,5,6,7 14:50
YANGON TO HANOI
Days

VN 956

Dep

Daily
6:55
Daily
10:05
Daily
10:05
1,2,3,5,6
12:50
Daily
13:40
Daily
13:55
Daily
17:20
BEIJING TO YANGON
Days
3,5,7

Flights

YANGON TO KUNMING
CA 416
MU 2012
MU 2032

Days

GUANGZHOU TO YANGON

2,4,7
8:40
3,6
11:35
1,5
17:40
YANGON TO TAIPEI

CI 7916

Flights

All Nippon Airways (NH)

Air India

SINGAPORE TO YANGON
Days

International Airlines

KE = Korea Airlines
MH = Malaysia Airlines
MI = Silk Air
MU = China Eastern Airlines
NH = All Nippon Airways
PG = Bangkok Airways
QR = Qatar Airways
SQ = Singapore Airways
TG = Thai Airways
TR = Tiger Airline
VN = Vietnam Airline
AI = Air India
Y5 = Golden Myanmar Airlines

Subject to change
without notice
Day
1 = Monday
2 = Tuesday
3 = Wednesday

4 = Thursday
5 = Friday
6 = Saturday
7 = Sunday

n the basement of a nondescript


apartment house, Balazs Palfi
displays a unique collection of
over 140 working machines that
has turned into pilgrimage site
for pinball enthusiasts.
Video games cannot replace
them, insists the 42-year-old Hungarian on a busy Saturday in his
museum. Since the 1990s, pinball
machines have disappeared from
most bars. But there is now a renaissance of pinball culture.
From bars and pubs, the pinball
scene moved to museums and collectors, he said.
Launched less than a year ago,
Palfis museum became a quick success. Open to the public five days a
week, it has become a top attraction
in Hungarys capital, according to the
popular travel website Tripadvisor.
Most machines are usually available, and visitors are encouraged to
play as long as they want for an 8
euro ($9) entrance fee.
On busy weeks an average 400
people show up, losing themselves in
the maze of games and mesmerised
for hours. More than half of the visitors are foreigners.
We dont have them anymore in
England; it is a retro thing, enthused
one visitor who identified herself as
Kim.
A Canadian tourist shrieked with
delight, saying: Oh my God, I have
not played The Simpsons since I was
a kid!
The oldest piece in the collection
dates back to 1871, when the ball had
to make its way though dozens of
pins on a wooden board.
Flashing vintage machines from
the 1980s and 1990s feature popular
rock bands like Guns N Roses and
ACDC or movies like Indiana Jones
and Star Wars. Horror and space
themes notably are in vogue, with
tourists and hipsters flocking to the
noisy cave-like setting.
A handful of arcade games, such
as Space Invaders or Mortal Kombat,
are also available.
Only a fifth of the machines were
bought in Hungary. The rest Palfi
located and shipped from 16 different countries, including the United
States, Belgium and France.

Hungary itself never produced


pinball machines. The only known
game in Hungarian was adapted from
a Spanish game and is called Mesevonat (Tale Train) and is on display
at the museum.
Each item is neatly labelled,
just like in a real museum, with its
production date, the name of the
manufacturer, the designer, the artist
and number of units produced.
The soft-spoken Palfi started to
collect pinball games six years ago
on an auction website. He loved
the games as a kid and played a lot
during his university years studying
economics, saying with a smile, I had
a lot of time back then.
He said the price of a pinball
machine can range from 500 euros
($530) up to 10,000 euros ($10,613)
for rarities such as an ACDC limited
version or Medieval Madness depending on the title, production year
and popularity of the game. New
ones usually cost about 4000 euros
($4200).
The museum where only the
machines tinkle fills the air even
hosts a tiny workshop where repairmen, collectors themselves, rebuild
flipper games.
During the Communist era,
Hungary was more open than its East
bloc neighbours so pinball games
an example of Western products
so admired by many of those stuck
behind the Iron Curtain made their
way more readily into this country of
10 million.
Flippers were allowed into the
country even earlier than Coca-Cola
so they became cult items and the
attraction remained for generations
to come, said Palfi, who estimates
that hundreds of thousands of
Hungarians still played daily in the
1990s.
Of the 20,000-odd machines at
work in the mid-90s, Palfi estimates
that barely 300 can be found in pubs
and cafes today, casualties of slot
machines more lucrative for bar
owners, tougher regulations and
other new distractions.
This could be seen as nostalgia,
but it isnt for me, he said of his
desire to revive pinball culture. I still
feel the same as I did 30 years ago
with every ball, trying to make the
most of it. AFP

26 Sport

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 8, 2015

THE MASTERS

Two new hearts later,


transplantee Compton
lives Masters dream
Erik Compton had all but given up
on his dream of playing in the Masters after two heart transplants, but
the 35-year-old American will make
an emotional Augusta National debut
this week.
Compton shared second place in
last years US Open at Pinehurst behind Germanys Martin Kaymer to
qualify and said April 6 after a practice round with Jim Furyk that he is
handling the thrill well and starting to
focus on the test before him.
Its kind of hard to believe with everything Ive gone through. There are
times when I never thought I would
ever play in the Masters, Compton said.
Definitely been an a roller coaster
of emotions. It was a bit difficult to
watch so many years and think, Im
never going to play in the Masters. So
its going to be weird not watching the
Masters this year.

Nick Compton plays golf. Photo: AFP

Golf has been


very therapeutic
for me over the
years.

The new face


of Indian golf

Erik Compton
Professional golfer

Compton has been viewing on


television since he was eight, before
his first transplant in 1992 at age 12 or
the second one in 2008 due to cardiomyopathy, an inflamed heart muscle
that cannot pump adequately.
Compton ranks 117th in the world,
six spots behind 14-time major champion Tiger Woods, and knows his trip
to Augusta National could be a oncein-a lifetime achievement.
Its hard, but its also a great thing,
Compton said. Im a competitor and a
sports person and Im also the recipient of two transplants. So when you put
them together, it does make a little bit of
spaghetti in my mind sometimes.
But Ill take it. Im here at the Masters and thats a great thing. I used golf
as a means to maybe put some of the
tough stuff thats happened to me in
the past. Golf has been very therapeutic for me over the years.
Nothing was quite the same as
the delight of driving down Magnolia
Lane to the Masters clubhouse.
Its every boyhoods dream to play
in the Masters. Its the mecca of golf,
Compton said.
All the expectations are already
met. When you drive in to registering,
getting to the first tee, seeing all the
fans and appreciate the course its
almost like Disney World for a golfer,
like its too perfect.
The undulating greens and epic
pine trees offer a unique challenge to
any first-time player, much less one
who makes a point of showing transplant recipients how much is possible.
I saw my dad on the third hole. He
was kind of emotional, Compton said.
Its a real treat just to play. And then
you need to focus on having a great
week and playing good golf.
I really enjoy the pressures that
majors bring to the game. Even though
I havent had some of the success that
some other people have had, Ive been
playing this game long enough to
know how to handle pressure. Venues
like this just make the pressure that
much greater. AFP

Anirban Lahri plays an approach shot at the Honda Open. Photo: AFP

nirban Lahiri knows


that being the new face
of Indian golf means the
pressure he will feel on
April 9 when he makes
his Masters debut will be all the more
severe.
The 27-year-old from Bangalore
qualified for the years first major on
the back of four tournament wins in
the last year, including two co-sanctioned European Tour wins at the Malaysian Open and Indian Open.
He is currently the Asian number
one and is 34th in the world rankings,
a position that ensures him his first
start at an Augusta National course he
had only ever seen on television before
last weekend.
Its enough to unsettle the hardiest
of souls, but Lahiri believes that the
progress he has made over the last two
years will stand him in good stead.
I think over the last 24 months my
game has improved in various levels,
he said after playing the course for the
second time on April 6. Technically
speaking, I think Ive had a very mild
graph going upward, nothing meteoric, I would say.

But we have tried to improve on


most parameters, including my driving, which has become a lot more accurate than it used to be, and I think
my mental side.
The biggest change has become in
believing that I can compete and beat
a lot of the world-class players.
Lahiri will become just the third
Indian golfer to play in the Masters
after Jeev Milka Singh in 2007, 2008
and 2009, and Arjun Atwal in 2001.
Singhs tie for 25th in 2008 remains the
benchmark.
Lahiri has played in two Open
Championships and one PGA Championship, but the Masters is an altogether different challenge that has
seen him seek advice from many
quarters.
Singh and Atwal were obvious
sounding boards and during his
short time in Augusta he has had
a 15-minute chat with three-time
winner Nick Faldo and played nine
holes in practice with another former green jacket winner Fijian Vijay
Singh.
His short-term ambitions though
remain modest just to go out there

and enjoy myself but in the long


term he is aiming high both for himself and his cricket-loving country.
Its obviously very exciting back
home. Theres going to be a lot of people up through the night watching the
Masters coverage this year, he said.
Its also exciting because its someone outside the three, the three being
Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and
Jyoti Randhawa.
I think the three of them have
been the torchbearers for golf in India
for nearly 15 years now.
There were a couple of us coming
through in the beginning taking baby
steps in the right directions.
Its exciting for everyone at home
to see the younger generation, the
younger lot, beginning to step up.
Whatever happens this week, Lahiris year is only just getting going
as he is set to also play in the three
other majors the Open, the US
Open and the PGA Championship,
as well as a first outing in the Presidents Cup.
Not bad for a player who was little
known outside of the confines of the
Asian Tour this time last year. AFP

Tiger excites with superb Masters practice round


Tiger Woods thrilled Masters fans
with a strong practice round on April
6 at Augusta National, solid chips and
approach shots signalling a return to
form by the 14-time major champion.
Woods, who missed last years Masters due to back surgery, excited spectators with a late-afternoon practice
round alongside long-time pal Mark
OMeara.
I felt good and it was nice to get
out here, Woods said. But the course
was a little bit faster than when we
played last week.
Woods, who has sunk to 111th in the
world rankings, made his first public
shotmaking display since withdrawing
from Torrey Pines after only 11 holes in
February with back issues and a woeful short game.
The last two months has been a
process for me but Im in a good place
now, Woods said. Its progression. I

felt like I had to get my game into a


spot where I could compete to win a
golf tournament and it is finally there.
Woods arrived by plane on the afternoon of April 6 from Florida and
went directly to Augusta Nationals
practice chipping area, where he hit
about 70 shots with no sign of the prior horrid form, and its driving range,
where he spent slightly under an hour.
During the workout, comfortablelooking Woods appeared to be listening to music, dancing at times, and
was smiling and relaxed, sharing hugs
with former swing coach Sean Foley,
past Open Championship winner Darren Clarke and OMeara.
It was good to catch up with Mark
again, Woods said. We text each other all the time, so it felt like old times
out there. I miss him.
Woods casual manner and successful shotmaking harkened back to

the form that made him a four-time


Masters winner, his most recent green
jacket victory coming 10 years ago.
He has not won a major title since
the 2008 US Open as he chases the record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus.
His manner was a sharp contrast
to recent struggles in a 13-month span
where he has managed only three 72hole finishes.
After sending his first tee shot well
left into pine trees near the adjacent
ninth fairway, Woods blasted over the
trees to 5 feet from the cup for a birdie
and practiced his chipping on the hole
as well.
My chipping is fine and today
was good as I wanted to test out some
wedges, Woods said. That was why I
was chipping a little bit more.
Dont ever underestimate Tiger
Woods, OMeara said. I saw some
good signs out there. AFP

Woods hugs fellow golfer Mark OMeara on the practice ground. Photo: AFP

Sport 27

www.mmtimes.com
FIFA ELECTION

Prince Ali vows end to


Blatters FIFA fiefdom
F
IFA presidential candidate
Prince Ali bin Al Hussein
accused Sepp Blatter of
turning the presidency
into a personal fiefdom as
he unveiled his manifesto for the role
on April 6.
Ali, FIFA vice president for Asia,
told AFP in a phone call from Cairo,
where he is attending the Confederation of African Football congress,
that an unfair system of patronage
had taken root under Blatter.
National associations have to
feel that its not a matter of an executive president going and supporting
national associations on an ad hoc
basis, but that they have their rights,
they own this association and that
they should get the support they
need across the board in a case-bycase fashion, said the Jordanian
royal.
Ali, Dutch football federation
chief Michel van Praag and former
Portugal winger Luis Figo are all
vying to unseat 79-year-old Blatter,
who will seek a fifth term in office in
the May 29 election in Zurich.
Alis manifesto contains several
thinly veiled swipes at Blatter, including claims national associations have
become dependent on his personal
approval and a charge that World
Cup revenues have been distributed
at the whim of the FIFA president.
He also warns that drastic action is required to restore the world
governing bodys credibility following corruption allegations over the
decision to award the 2018 and 2022
World Cups to Russia and Qatar
respectively.
When he launched his campaign
in February, Ali spoke of a culture
of intimidation within FIFA and he
believes the fear of losing favour may
yet influence national association
representatives when they vote in
the election.
Obviously there is that fear. I
have to be honest about that, he
said.
The reason being is that many national associations around the world
really depend specifically on FIFA
funding, even though I dont believe

FIFA president Sepp Blatter is seeking a fifth term as the head of global football. Photo: AFP

its where it should be in any case.


Their fear is that there may be
punishments in that respect even
down to confederations levels, where
all of a sudden things are not going
very well for them.
Ali, president of the Jordanian
Football Association, added, When it
comes down to the election, we also
need to discuss with the electoral committee how things are conducted, that
its a proper, secret ballot.
I do have my concerns about
the system thats in place right now,
where possibly people could know
who the voter is at the end of the
day.
Figos manifesto included proposals to increase the size of the World
Cup to up to 48 teams, but Ali, 39,
believes that all stakeholders should

Spotlight on Cairo as
African bosses meet
The African football spotlight falls
on Cairo this week with FIFA presidential hopefuls electioneering while
a proposed rule change could extend
the reign of Confederation of African
Football strongman Issa Hayatou.
There will also be a vote to select
two African representatives for the
FIFA executive committee.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter and
his three election rivals are expected
to seek support and Blatter is sure
to receive an emotional welcome on
a continent where he enjoys massive
support.
It would be a shock if Blatter failed
to garner virtually all 54 African votes
in the May presidential election.
The Swiss brought the World Cup
to Africa for the first time in 2010
and FIFA financial support helps
keep afloat many national football
federations.
CAF also want to change a rule
that prevents officials serving beyond
70, which would force Hayatou to step

down as president in August next year.


There is little doubt that the proposal will be passed, allowing the
Cameroonian to continue a reign that
began in 1988.
He is the longest-serving CAF boss,
surpassing the 16 years of Ethiopian
Ydnekatchew Tessema, who died in
1987.
Hayatou considers helping bring
the 2010 World Cup to South Africa
his greatest achievement and dreams
of a World Cup-winning African team.
Tunisian Tarek Bouchamaoui and
Constant Selemani from the Democratic Republic of Congo are expected
to win a race with Ivorian Jacques
Anouma to fill two places on the FIFA
executive committee.
Anouma wanted to challenge Hayatou for the CAF presidency two years
ago, but a rule change disqualified him.
Algerian Mohamed Raouraoua was
expected to stand for re-election, but
withdrew after reportedly losing the
support of Hayatou. AFP

be consulted before any changes are


brought in.
Im a bit surprised because promises are being made to increase the
number of participating countries in
the World Cup and at the same time,
in 2022, to shorten the actual time of
the World Cup, he said.
To me it doesnt seem like theres
a practical study of how things
should be done and we owe it to the
whole footballing world to do things
in a responsible manner.
The 14-page manifesto outlines
Alis vision for a virtuous circle of
development, football and commercial success supported by a FIFA that
is a service organisation and a model
of good governance.
His proposals include increased
investment in womens and youth

football, as well as a pledge that


every member association will have
a national stadium worthy of that
title.
He also wants to overhaul FIFAs
international ranking system, describing it as flawed, and calls for
a full and open debate on the introduction of video technology.
Blatter is the overwhelming favourite to win the election, but Ali
said he was not yet thinking of withdrawing from the race in order to
throw his support behind Van Praag
or Figo.
I cant predict what will happen
before May 29 and Im just focused
on national associations, on talking
to them, on learning from them and if
Im elected president, on delivering on
the promises made, he said. AFP

Fears over
votes for
World Cup
berths
FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali
bin Al Hussein on April 6 expressed
fears that horsetrading over the allocation of places at the 2018 World Cup
could influence the election.
FIFAs executive committee will
decide on the distribution of World
Cup places by confederation on May
30, a day after the FIFA presidential
election.
Michel Platini, president of European governing body UEFA, has
suggested that Blatter will make
promises about World Cup slots
while campaigning and Ali is also
concerned about the order of events.
At the last executive committee
meeting, it was decided that the issue of whether to allocate new slots
to the World Cup or not should take
place the day after the FIFA election,
he told AFP during a phone call from
Cairo.
My concern is that it could be
used for political purposes by making promises that may not take place
the day after.
At last months UEFA congress in
Vienna, Platini told reporters, For
the allocation of places at the World
Cup, Blatter is organising a committee after the [election] congress. Hes
playing with that.
Platini believes that Europe deserves an extra berth at the 2018
World Cup, having sent 13 teams to
last years tournament in Brazil.
With Russia guaranteed to
qualify as hosts, Europe is expected
to have 14 representatives, which
Platini does not believe reflects the
continents strength.
But Ali expressed caution about
giving certain confederations preferential treatment.
As FIFA, we have to view it as
whats best for the world as a whole,
he said.
The important thing is to view it
through the prism of whats best for
the development of football around
the world.
Blatter is eager to award more
World Cup places to non-European
teams, and said recently, In my 40
years at FIFA, I have regarded it as my
most important task to lead football
out of Europe into the whole world.
AFP

Prince Ali bin


Al Hussein

Michel van Praag

Luis Figo

Jordan

Netherlands

Portugal

Photo: Facebook

Photo: Facebook

Photo: WikiCommons

Served as a FIFA vice-president


for four years and during his
tenure he has called for greater
transparency in the bodies
operations. The 39-year-old
has also been head of his home
Jordanian Football Association
since 1999.
Alis nominators were
more diverse than the other
challengers but still much of
the royals support comes from
UEFA. Michel Platini has said
of Prince Ali that he has all
the credibility required to hold
office. In with a chance, he
will need support from outside
of Europe, particularly from
his fellow Asian associations
where Blatter has much
support.
Prince Alis nominators
were England, the United
States, Belarus, Malta, Georgia
and Jordan.

The quiet man of the race. Chair of


the Royal Dutch Football Association,
van Praag is an outside bet for the
FIFA presidency. The 67-year-old
is also the former chair of Ajax
Football Club, when he oversaw the
Netherlands leading sides victories
in the 1992 UEFA Cup and 1995
Champions League.
The Dutchman listed his
nominators as Belgium, Sweden,
Scotland, Romania, the Faroe
Islands and the Netherlands.

Entering the race at the last moment,


Luis Figo is the name that will be
most familiar to football fans. The
former Barcelona, Real Madrid
and Portugal winger only revealed
his candidacy the day before the
deadline.
Figos, who has acted in the past
as an UEFA ambassador also received
all his nominations from European
associations: Portugal, Denmark,
Montenegro, Macedonia, Luxembourg
and Poland.

Odds on next FIFA President


Sepp Blatter

1/50

Prince Ali

40/1

Luis Figo

30/1

Michel Van Praag

40/1

So confident are the bookmakers in their belief hat no change will be delivered at
the top of FIFA that a US$1 bet on Sepp Blatter would yield only a 2 cent return if
successful. (Odds collected from Unibet on March 29)
Matt Roebuck

Sport
28 THE MYANMAR TIMES APRIL 8, 2015

SPORT EDITOR: Matt Roebuck | matt.d.roebuck@gmail.com

Can anyone oust Blatter


as FIFA president?
SPORT 27

SEA GAMES SHORTS

FOOTBALL

Dominant Mandalay
eye unbeaten Sagaing

Mandalay have scored over 40 goals in their five-match campaign and conceded just one. Photo: AFP

KYAW ZIN HLAING


kyawzinhlaing.mcm@gmail.com

FTER disposing of
allcomers in a ruthless
manner, the U15 side
representing the region
of Mandalay will go into
tomorrows final of the MFF Nippon
Foundation Cup with expectation on
their side.
There they will face a Sagaing
Region side that is also undefeated
in this competition but has not put
their opposition to the sword with
the same relish that their neighbours to the south have.
After qualification from group
stages with a flawless record scoring 30 and conceding zero they set
about the Nay Pyi Taw side in the
quarter-final with a comfortable 5-1
victory. Their route to the final was
completed with a near-unbelievable
8-0 semi-final rout of the representatives from Shan State (East).
Our preparation for this competition was strong and we believe it will
take us all the way to becoming champions, U Win Swe, coach of the Mandalay side, told The Myanmar Times.

Weve studied our Sagiang opposition, weve assessed their strengths


and weaknesses, and now we must
do our best to complete the job,
added the coach.
The captain of the Mandalay juniors praised his teams performance
thus far in the competition.
We came out of the group strong
and performed well in our quarterand semi-finals, said Aung Myo
Naing.
We have shown strength in
teamwork that our opponents have
not, I believe it is this that will lead
us to the champions trophy, added
the youngster.
Mandalays opposition Sagaing
also reached the knockout stages
undefeated before overcoming the
Shan State (North) side 4-1 and then
experience a closer contest in the 2-1
defeat of Ayeyarwady in the semifinal.
The northern side will hope that
their experience of a close competitive match-up in their semi-final will
act as good preparation against a
Mandalay side that has yet to have a
real battle on their hands.
We know on paper our

opponents have the strength over us


but we will focus on our own abilities, not those of opponents, said
Daw Khin Saw Win, the Sagaing
team manager.
But Sagaing will have to pull together as a team as they are without
their star player Thurein Myo Kyaw
after he picked up a red card in the
semi-final clash.
We have lost our main player
but that does not mean our team is
weak. We have many talented players and they will step up to do their
best in the final, added the team
official.
The final kick-off in this tournament jointly organised by the
Myanmar Education Ministry, Myanmar Football Federation and Japan Nippon Foundation will be
at 4:30pm tomorrow at the MFFs
astro-turf pitches opposite Thuwunna Stadium and next to the
Goal Hotel.
The winning side will share a
prize of K2,000,000, runners-up
will receive K1,000,000 and the winners of the third-place final held
today, also at 8am, will be awarded
K500,000.

SINGAPORE
Dragon Boat Racing
The city-state has intensified its attempts to unseat Myanmars SEA
Games dominance over the traditional
boat [dragon boat] race events reported
Channel News Asia.
Since early March both mens and
womens teams have been training in
the mornings for three hours, six days
a week, and then returning to the water
from 5pm until dark.
A number of the Singaporean paddlers have deferred their studies or have
taken unpaid leave from work since November.
Most of us that are working are doing this because this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing that the SEA Games is in Singapore. So, for a lot of us, its our dream
to represent Singapore in our sports. So
this is why they decided to take no pay
leave, male paddler Lam Yi He told the
media outlet.
The last time the men won gold in
these boats was in 1993, also the last
time Singapore held the regional event.
Being at home, racing at home is
the best thing we can ever ask for. The
dragon boat community will be there,
and I hope that more Singaporeans will
come down to Marina to give us their
full support, said mens team captain
Loh Zhi Ying.
The women first medalled in this
sport in the 2013 Games hosted in Myanmar, when they took home bronze
and womens captain Shanice Ng hopes
that her crew can also make the most of
home waters.
With the SEA Games being on
home ground this year, we dont need
to take too much time to acclimatise, so
we can get to feel the water, and we can
even go to the race site to paddle, so it
will definitely benefit us because of the
waves condition and different depths
throughout the race set, so it will definitely help us, said Shanice.

MALAYSIA
Golf
Youth will lead the way for Malaysias
charge down the SEA Games fairways
as the Malaysia Golf Federation named
an inexperienced squad described by
Malaysias The Star as having raised
eyebrows.
The paper noted that the exclusion
of Malaysias leading amateur number

Quarter - Finals

NIPPON FOUNDATION U15 CUP 2015


Group (C)

SHAN (NORTH)

AYEYARWADY

SHAN (SOUTH)

Team

GF

GA

Pts

Team

GF

GA

Pts

Shan (East)

16

Sagaing

18

Shan (North)

Kayah

14

Mon

Yangon

14

10

Chin

11

Rakhine

18

Kachin

Bago (East)

12

22

SHAN (EAST)

Team

GF

GA

Pts

KAYAH

Ayeyarwady

18

Group (B)
W

GF

GA

Pts

Mandalay

30

AYEYAWADY

Shan (South)

15

Nay Pyi Taw

18

Kayin

13

11

Bago (West)

30

Magway

21

Finals

1
4:30pm
Thuwunna,
Yangon

SHAN (EAST)

Tanintharyi

Triathlon
Triathlon chiefs have downplayed the
nations chances of SEA Games medals
despite promising results in the recent
Thailand International Championship
held in Thailand at the end of March,
reports the Khmer Times.
Cambodian triathlete Cheng Chandara came away with a bronze finish
in the U29 category at the event that
brought together over 200 athletes from
nine nations. Teammates Say Sophors
and Chhun Bunthorn also finished well
in 8th and 9th respectively.
The results show we are prepared
for the upcoming 2015 SEA Games this
summer in Singapore, said secretary
general of the Cambodian Triathlon
Federation Ngin Sokpanha. The Khmer
Times added that although the official
was keen to downplay the Kingdoms
chance, his athletes would be doing
their best to honour their country.
Matt Roebuck

SAGAING

Group (D)

Team

CAMBODIA

Semi - Finals

SAGAING

SAGAING
Group (A)

10 in the world, Gavin Kyle Green, was


expected as he is completing his final
year of studies, but Low Khai Jei, Ervin
Chang and Chan Tuck Soon missing the
cut had taken many by surprise.
Their replacements in the mens
competition are four debutants to the
regional competition: Gavins younger
brother, Galven Kendall Green, Daeng
Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz, Bryan Teoh
Wiyang and Amir Nazrin Jailani.
The only member of the Malaysian
squad to hold any past experience is Nur
Durriyah Damian, who competed in the
last two SEA Games. She will be joined
in the womens competition by three
further novices.
Low Teck San, team manager of Malaysias golf squad said this approach
was a long-term one and the exclusion
of Khai Jei and Tuck Soon based on the
expectation that by the 2017 Games they
will have turned professional.
The MGA are looking beyond Singapore, Teck San was reported as saying.
We are looking towards the future
and by giving these youngsters the exposure they can eventually come good.
We want to get them ready by the
next Games which Malaysia will host.
We are counting on this group to deliver
us the gold on home soil.
The Malaysians still expect results
from these Games however and are targeting a podium finish for Galven in the
individual event and a silver and bronze
medal from the mens and womens
team respectively.
This would represent a step up from
Myanmar 2013 when Gavin won a silver
and the men took home bronze.

0
MANDALAY

MANDALAY

NAY PYI TAW

MANDALAY