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Heartbeat of tHe nation 500 Ks. www.mmtimes.com DAiLY eDitioN issUe 24 | thUrsDAY, ApriL 9, 2015
Heartbeat of tHe nation
500
Ks.
www.mmtimes.com
DAiLY eDitioN
issUe 24 | thUrsDAY, ApriL 9, 2015
survivors saY Captain saved russians first HealtH fears for letpadan detainees eXLUsIVe 4 News 6
survivors saY
Captain saved
russians first
HealtH fears
for letpadan
detainees
eXLUsIVe 4
News 6

Hundreds of rescued fishermen, most from Myanmar and Thailand, leave a vessel after being rescued by Indonesia’s illegal fishing task force during an operation in a remote Indonesian island on April 4 that was launched following allegations of slavery. Photo: AFP/Ugeng Nugroho/Ministry of Fishery

iCrC warns of ‘CatastropHe’ in Yemen

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Indonesia to probe slavery allegations

THE Indonesian government has an- nounced it will form a special team to investigate allegations of slavery in the fishing industry, as officials pre- pare to return hundreds of foreign crewmen to their homelands, includ- ing Myanmar. The head of the fisheries ministry’s illegal fishing task force, Mas Achmad Santosa, said several fishermen had claimed that an Indonesian company, which employed more than 1000 for- eigners from several Southeast Asian nations, engaged in slavery and tor- ture in the remote east of the country. The issue was a priority when Pres- ident Joko Widodo chaired a cabinet meeting late on April 7, with fisheries minister Susi Pudjiastuti declaring af- terward Indonesia must show it is se- rious about tackling the problem and stamping out illegal fishing. “We must solve this. It should nev- er happen again, because it is embar- rassing for Indonesia,” she said. The International Organization for Migration has estimated up to 4000 fishermen may be stranded in remote parts of Indonesia, mostly dumped by illicit fishing operators. Mr Santosa said more than 350 mainly Myanmar fishermen were transferred over the weekend from Benjina island, off the coast of West Papua province, for their safety. – AFP

ReLateD RepORt News 2

Heartbeat of tHe nation 500 Ks. www.mmtimes.com DAiLY eDitioN issUe 24 | thUrsDAY, ApriL 9, 2015

Path cleared for six-way talks

President agrees to meet house speakers, NLD leader and commander-in-chief on April 10 following a three-hour meeting with 48 political leaders yesterday that was dominated by debate on constitutional change. News 3

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2

News

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015

Govt team to question migrants stranded in Indonesia MPs and govt face off over housing plan
Govt team
to question
migrants
stranded in
Indonesia
MPs and govt
face off over
housing plan
Ban on political activities at current accommodation
has prompted MPs to push for dedicated housing
NyaN LyNN auNg
29.nyanlynnaung@gmail.com
Thanlwin
Bridge
(To
Mottama)
AFTER 60 Myanmar fishermen en-
slaved on a remote Indonesian island
reportedly declined a rescue mission
last weekend, Myanmar’s Ministry
of Foreign Affairs has announced it
will send a delegation to assess the
situation.
“We need to investigate for our-
selves the conditions on the islands
and see what is going on and what
happened there,” said director general
U Sein Oo.
On April 3, Indonesian authorities
conducted a rescue mission on one of
the isolated islands where thousands
of mostly Myanmar fishermen were
revealed by an Associate Press inves-
tigation to be stranded.
As many as 4000 labourers, includ-
ing many victims of trafficking, have
been dumped on the islands at the
southernmost tip of Indonesia, aban-
doned by trawlers after years of forced
labour, according to the International
Organisation for Migration.
During the rescue mission, more
than 300 fishermen accepted the
offer of assistance, but dozens more
also rejected the help, U Sein Oo
said, citing correspondence received
from police chief of Maluku state
Musa Ginting.
While the embassy works to help
those already rescued, Myanmar
will also send its own delegation of
anti-human trafficking police to as-
sess the situation, including why the
workers declined to accept the offer
of help.
‘’We don’t know why they did not
want to return yet,” said Police Briga-
dier General Win Naing Tun, who
heads the government’s anti-human
trafficking unit.
As many as 257 of the more than
300 fishermen rescued over the week-
end appear to be Myanmar nationals,
the embassy reported after meeting
the group on April 6. Officials have
compiled a list of names which will be
sent back to Myanmar so citizenship
can be confirmed and repatriation
arranged.
“We are starting to confirm the
citizenship of the Myanmar workers
on Tual Island now,” said Pol Brig Gen
Win Naing Tun.
Htoo
tHant
The entrance to Mawlamyine’s colonial-era prison. Officials say work on a new
prison in nearby Kyaikmayaw will finish this fiscal year. Photo: Naw Say Phaw Waa
thanhtoo.npt@gmail.com
Mawlamyine Prison to
close, future unclear
Naw Say Phaw waa
nawsayphawwaa@gmail.com
MAWLAMYINE’S colonial-era prison
is to be relocated from the township
centre to a nearby village, local mem-
bers of parliament heard on April 7.
Colonel Htay Myint Aung, Mon State’s
minister for security and border af-
fairs, told the state hluttaw that the
move should be completed this finan-
cial year.
The facility, which is more than 100
years old and holds 300 inmates, will
be moved to a 10-hectare (25.66-acre)
site at Yedwingone village, in nearby
Kyaikmayaw township, and the land
it now occupies will be used for city
development, said the minister.
The existing downtown site is close
to the landmark Kyaikthanlan Pa-
goda, and borders a market and local
schools.
In reply to a question from state
hluttaw representative U Aung Naing
Oo of No 1 constituency, Chaungzon
township, whether the prison land
would be sold to the private sector, the
minister said there was no such plan.
Since Mawlamyine Prison is the prop-
erty of the Ministry of Home Affairs,
the Mon State government would
propose options to the ministry for its
use, said Col Htay Myint Aung.
“It is planned to finish moving the
prison in the current financial year.
One-third of the [new] prison facil-
ity has been completed,” said U Khin
Maung Gyi, assistant director of the
state’s Prisons Department.
The relocation to Kyaikmayaw is
being managed by the Union govern-
ment, Col Htay Myint Aung said.
One resident said she hoped the
site would be left undeveloped and
then opened up to the public.
“I would like the land to become a
natural park because there are not any
big parks that people can go and take
a rest. It would also be good to have
a playground there,” said Daw Yu Yu
Maw, who sells soft drinks at the cor-
ner of the prison.
– Translation by Kyawt Darly Lin
they may infringe the Political Par-
ty Registration Law,” he said.
But U Banyar Aung Moe, an
ethnic Mon representative, replied
by asking how in that case could
MPs discuss political affairs inside
the state-owned Hluttaw Building.
Colonel Win Lwin Oo, a mili-
tary representative, spoke against
the proposal.
However, Speaker Thura U
Shwe Mann acknowledged the
problems facing MPs, even though
they do mostly do not affect rep-
resentatives from his own Un-
ion Solidarity and Development
Party, who stay in party-owned
accommodation.
“I must apologise to MPs who
have been facing difficulties for
their accommodation and trans-
portation,” he said.
BilliON KYAT
20
Estimated cost of building housing
inside the hluttaw compound for Mps
Mawlamyine
Prison
Kyaikthanlan
Pagoda
A PARLIAMENTARY debate over
building accommodation for MPs
staying in the capital has been
suspended following a dispute be-
tween hluttaw representatives and
the cabinet over the legality of the
proposal.
U Aye Maung, an upper house
representative from the Rakhine
National Party, said MPs needed
their own housing because the Nay
Pyi Taw City Development Com-
mittee, which runs the guesthouse
where many currently stay, has
barred them from holding political
activities there.
U Man Aung Tin Myint, who
submitted the housing proposal,
said, “Prohibiting MPs from car-
rying out political activities at the
guest house, with the reason that it
is a state-owned building, creates
difficulties for them.”
He estimated the cost of build-
ing accommodation at K20 billion,
and said the state could recoup
this by charging MPs K5000 a day
– the amount they currently pay to
stay at the city development com-
mittee guesthouse.
Minister for National Planning
and Economic Development U Kan
Zaw said the proposed project could
not be implemented until the 2016-
17 financial year, as parliament has
already approved the budget and
planning bill for this year.
But U Win Shein, the finance
minister, said no law stipulated
that the state was responsible for
building accommodation exclu-
sively for MPs. Political parties
could not make use of state fund-
ing, he said.
“If they [MPs] convene meet-
ings related to their political par-
ties … at state-owned buildings,
it means a political party may use
directly or indirectly state-owned
money or buildings or vehicles. So,
The speaker said he had includ-
ed the project to develop housing
for MPs in previous budgets, but
that he cancelled it after the cabi-
net promised to take care of it.
Nonetheless, debate on the ur-
gent proposal was suspended.
U Soe Naing from Pyapon town-
ship said that in his opinion the de-
bate was suspended because there
would be a loss of face between the
hluttaw and the government if the
proposal was approved.
The government and the Tat-
madaw were against, but the rest
of the MPs were likely to support
it, he said. He said he hoped the is-
sue would be settled in a manner
acceptable to both sides.
300 m
– Translation by Thiri Min Htun
Lower Main Road
U
epp
r M a ni
R
dao
gnuaT
Y oe T an R oa d
News THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015 Govt team to question migrants stranded in Indonesia MPs

www.mmtimes.com

News editor: Thomas Kean | tdkean@gmail.com

News 3

April 10 meeting to focus on constitutional change Intense fighting flares again in Kokang region Ei
April 10 meeting to focus
on constitutional change
Intense fighting
flares again in
Kokang region
Ei Ei ToE
Lwin
Government media changes tune on conflict
and stops reporting clashes, casualty figures
eieitoelwin@gmail.com
LUN MiN MaNg
gUy DiNMore
A MEETING of 48 political leaders
convened by President U Thein Sein
yesterday has cleared the way for six-
way talks to take place at the presi-
dent’s residence on April 10. Amend-
ments to the constitution are expected
to dominate the agenda, participants
in yesterday’s meeting said.
“This meeting is a pre-discussion
for six-way talks requested by the
Pyidaungsu Hluttaw,” President
U Thein Sein said in his opening
remarks.
While the president did not con-
firm the date for the meeting yester-
day, his spokesperson U Ye Htut said
later that it would take place on April
newsroom@mmtimes.com
10.
“The six-way talks will definitely
be held on April 10,” U Ye Htut said at
a press conference held at the Minis-
try of Information after the meeting.
The three-hour meeting in Nay
Pyi Taw brought together 44 indi-
viduals, including the president, Py-
idaungsu Hluttaw Speaker Thura U
Shwe Mann, Deputy Commander-in-
Chief Vice Senior General Soe Win,
Union Election Commission chair
U Tin Aye, leaders of registered po-
litical parties and 28 ethnic affairs
ministers.
While the president set three
broad topics for the agenda – secur-
ing an agreement on the peace pro-
cess and the nationwide ceasefire
draft; holding elections successfully
to continue the democratic transi-
tion; and ensuring political stability
around this year’s election, which is
scheduled for November – partici-
pants said constitutional change was
the main focus of discussion.
“The president mentioned how
important the nationwide ceasefire
accord was and to support its signing
so that political dialogue could start,”
said U Aye Thar Aung, who attended
for the Rakhine National Party.
“We suggested that these process-
es, including the signing of the na-
tionwide ceasefire, political dialogue
and building a democratic state, can-
not happen without changing 2008
constitution. We urged that constitu-
tional change be discussed at the six-
way talks,” he said.
He added that the nationwide
ceasefire is a “provisional agreement”
and many things will still have to be
done to ensure peace.
“If they [the government] don’t
want to change [the 2008 constitu-
tion] to build a federal union system
GOVERNMENT forces are said to
have launched a heavy offensive
against ethnic Chinese rebels in
Kokang with no sign that a draft
national ceasefire agreement
reached in Yangon on March 31
has had an impact on the two-
month-old conflict.
U Tun Myat Lin, spokesper -
son of the Myanmar Nationalities
Democratic Alliance Army (MN -
DAA), said government troops
had launched a mass attack early
yesterday in a hilly region near
Khote Htan village.
“The fighting began in 5am.
Government troops advanced in
four columns and attacked us,”
he told The Myanmar Times by
telephone.
State media have recently im -
posed what amounts to a news
blackout on the fighting in Ko -
kang after initial extensive cover -
age of the conflict when details
of Tatmadaw and rebel casual -
ties were issued almost daily.
Few independent reports on the
situation have emerged. The for -
merly self-administered area in
a corner of northern Shan State
remains under martial law and
the lack of security has prevented
international aid agencies from
sending assessment missions.
The UN World Food Pro -
gramme said on April 7 that it
estimated some 78,000 people –
mostly ethnic Chinese – had been
displaced by the fighting which
erupted on February 9. Of these
about 70,000 had fled across
the border into China. Other aid
workers said they believed the to -
tal was less, while stressing that
accurate information was scarce.
Myanmar Online, a Chinese-
language website that appears to
have close ties with armed ethnic
groups in the region, reported
the Tatmadaw launched a heavy
artillery bombardment of a hill -
top it identified as Dongshan on
April 7. It said Chinese military
forces along the border were on
high alert and that Chinese au -
thorities had stopped road traf -
fic from moving south out of the
border town of Nanshan yester -
day. China’s embassy in Yangon
did not respond to requests for
comment.
Myanmar formally apologised
to China on April 2 for a cross-
border bombing by one of its
aircraft that killed five Chinese
farm workers and wounded eight
on March 13. Military analysts
said the incident highlighted the
problems facing the Tatmadaw in
pursuing MNDAA fighters close
to the border.
A draft nationwide ceasefire
agreement was signed on March
31 by government representatives
and a team of negotiators repre -
senting 16 armed ethnic groups,
including the MNDAA. The gov -
ernment does not recognise the
Kokang fighters and has shown
no sign of wanting to reach a
ceasefire with the MNDAA, de -
spite pressure from China to
open talks.
President U Thein Sein waves as he arrives to a meeting in Nay Pyi Taw with 48
political leaders yesterday. Photo: AFP
such as that which ethnic minorities
have constantly urged for decades,
genuine peace will never come.”
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi did not
raise any specific topics at the meet-
ing, he said, suggesting that she was
waiting for the six-way talks to air
her views.
She refused to comment to report-
ers when she arrived back at her Nay
Pyi Taw residence last night, but said
she would likely hold a press confer-
ence in parliament today.
She has been calling for four-
way talks – between U Thein Sein,
herself, Thura U Shwe Mann and
Commander-in-Chief Senior Gener -
al Min Aung Hlaing – on the consti -
tution since the middle of last year.
In November, parliament approved
a proposal for a six-party meeting,
which would also include upper
house Speaker U Khin Aung Myint
and an ethnic minority representa -
tive, U Aye Maung.
However, the president has avoid-
ed taking part in the meeting, in-
stead convening talks between larger
groups – an effort to be “all-inclusive”,
according to government officials.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s com-
ments to the media on April 3 that
she would not rule out boycotting
the election unless the constitution is
amended appear to have spurred him
into action, however.
Yesterday, U Ye Htut – who had
previously described six-way talks as
“impractical” – insisted that the presi-
dent had “never denied” the proposal.
“He just said much more infor-
mation [on the agenda] was needed.
Now, the president has agreed to hold
those talks as he assumes that we’ve
got enough information after hold-
ing today’s meeting with participants
from all of the different parties,” said
U Ye Htut.
He added the April 10 meeting
would cover many important issues,
including amendments to the 2008
constitution.
“[Changing the 2008 constitution]
will be one topic among many at the
six-way talks. They will also discuss
holding free and fair elections and
the issues of political stability before
and beyond the election period.”
Aid is delivered to people displaced
by the fighting in Kokang. Photo:
World Food Programme Myanmar
The next stage in the ceasefire
process is for leaders of the vari -
ous armed groups to hold a joint
conference to discuss the terms
of the draft agreement reached
in Yangon. The United Wa State
Army – the most powerful of the
armed groups – has offered to
host the meeting in its border
stronghold of Pangkham from
May 1 to 3.
U Tun Myat Lin said the MN -
DAA would attend the meeting.
U Khun Okkar, a member of the
Nationwide Ceasefire Coordina -
tion Team representing 16 armed
ethnic groups, told The Myanmar
Times that the Kachin Independ -
ence Army had also agreed to at-
tend the talks in Pangkham.

Thirty-five parties debate proportional voting plan

Pyae TheT Phyo

pyaethetphyo87@gmail.com

CONSULTATIONS on a proposed switch to proportional representation wrapped up yesterday, with representa- tives of 35 registered parties having put forward their views over the past three days. Another five parties invited to give their thoughts at the hearing declined. The bill committee of the Amyotha Hluttaw, or upper house, called the hearing to seek feedback on the pro- posed change, which MPs agreed to undertake last year. Views on the pro- posed change were mixed, but most spoke out against scrapping the cur- rent first-past-the-post system. “I’d like to suggest that Myanmar is

not ready to adopt proportional repre- sentation,” National League for Democ- racy Amyotha Hluttaw representative U Aung Kyi Nyunt said on April 7. “The major weakness of the system is that people can’t understand it clearly.” But U Banyar Aung Moe from the All Mon Region Democracy Party told the hearing that introducing propor- tional representation would be impor- tant for peace, because the political wings of armed ethnic groups would have a better chance of winning seats. “Ethnic armed groups … will have a voice in the hluttaw. It will be better for the country if they can participate,” he said. “The proportional representation system is the most suitable for Myan- mar,” he said, adding that he believed

that “people can understand it easily”. Yesterday, National Political Alli- ance League chair U Thein Kyi said he believed proportional representation was unnecessary in the upper house

‘The major weakness of the system is that people can’t understand it clearly.’

U aung Kyi Nyunt

National League for democracy

News editor: Thomas Kean | tdkean @gmail.com April 10 meeting to focus on constitutional change Intense

because each state and region receive an equal number of seats. However, representatives from the Kayan Na- tional Party, the Wunthanu Democratic Party and the Democratic Party (Myan- mar) all called for its introduction. Kokang Democracy and Unity Party vice chair U Khin Maung Aye attended the hearing but declined to speak, say- ing he was there simply to learn from the comments of others. “I have got a lot of electoral expe- rience from listening to the different opinions of MPs on the strengths and weaknesses of each electoral system,” he said. Amyotha Hluttaw representative Daw Khin Wine Kyi of the National Democratic Force tabled a motion

to adopt a system of proportional

representation in elections for the upper house in June 2014. Views are mixed, however, even among smaller parties that might stand to benefit from electoral reform. The Pyithu Hluttaw, or lower house, voted unanimously last November to keep the existing electoral system after the Constitutional Tribunal ruled that seven other proposed alternatives were unconstitutional. The existing system is generally considered to favour the opposition National League for Democracy, while proportional representation would benefit its major rival, the Union Soli- darity and Development Party. Most ethnic minority parties are against changing. – Translation by Thiri Min Htun

4

News

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015

News THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015 Chief Executive Officer Tony Child tonychild.mcm@gmail.com Editorial Director –

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An undated photo from the Myanmar embassy in Moscow shows Myanmar survivors of the Russian trawler sinking. Photo: Supplied

Trawler survivors blame captain for sinking, deaths

Captain was still trying to reel in more fish despite unbalanced vessel leaning dangerously to one side

News THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015 Chief Executive Officer Tony Child tonychild.mcm@gmail.com Editorial Director –

Wa Lone

walone14@gmail.com

MYANMAR survivors of a Russian trawler disaster yesterday blamed the captain of the ill-fated vessel for the deaths of their fellow seamen, saying he had prioritised Russian lives over foreign members of his crew. Just 22 of the 42 Myanmar fisher- men survived the sinking of the Dalniy Vostok freezer trawler, which plunged into the icy waters off Russia’s Far East early in the morning on April 2. The men said more might have survived had the captain not overloaded the vessel with fish, and had he warned all crew instead of only the Russian deck- hands. Myanmar seamen Ko Myo Min Oo said the heavily laden ship was already sloping at a precarious angle when his shift in the freezer started at 2am, just hours before the ship sank. The captain told the crew to take care, but no one believed anything bad would happen. “Everyone thought the ship leaning on one side was normal, but it kept get- ting gradually worse to the point that it was difficult to work,” he said. He went to the deck to ask what was happening and saw the Russian crew trying to lift a huge haul onboard with

a crane. “Something was wrong with the balance of the pulley and the rope, but the Russian fishermen had a hard time trying to control the situation,” he said.

Initial accounts that the vessel col- lided with ice have been dismissed, replaced by suspicions validated by survivors’ accounts that the already overloaded trawler flouted too many regulations trying to bring in a big haul. “[The] vessel didn’t replace used fuel weight with ballast water weight,” said Mikhail Voytenko, a former marine navigator. The ship was carrying 1150 tonnes of fish but had only 50 tonnes of fuel, Vasily Velmeskin, director of the res- cue mission, told the Komsomolskaya Pravda. The lack of balance eventually be- came too much, and then the ship en- countered another problem: It didn’t have enough safety equipment for the 132 onboard, according to Russia’s In- vestigative Committee. The captain told the Russians to grab the few life preservers available, but did nothing to warn the other crew in the cabins, said Ko Myo Min Oo. Some didn’t even know there was a real problem until water began pour- ing in. “When the ship was sinking, lying on one side, the officer told their guys secretly to be prepared. We were all on the lower floor so didn’t know what

was going on until the water came in from the ship window,” said Ko Wai Lin Moe, another of the Myanmar freezer workers. “When we climbed up to the deck, the Russian seamen were wearing all the immersion suits and life jackets.” Too late to get into a lifeboat, Ko Wai Lin Moe jumped into the frigid water and tried to swim to the nearest raft. Most of those who got on the life- boats survived, he said, while those in the water and those who didn’t get off the ship in time died. “The captain was bad - he gave an alarm only five minutes before the ship sank. That’s why people died. It shouldn’t have happened,” he said. One of the last to get an immersion suit, Ko Myo Min Oo said plunged into the frigid ocean water just moments before the ship submerged. The water was so cold he couldn’t yell for help and struggled to move his arms. Two hours later, rescue boats ar- rived. But they too prioritised the Rus- sian crew, grabbing those from the life- boats first, he said. Another 30 minutes later, the rescue teams began to pull people directly from the water. But for many, it was too late. “I still don’t dare to think about what would’ve happened if I stayed in the freezing water another 30 minutes,” he said. The 22 Myanmar survivors are now in a hotel waiting for the embassy in Moscow to process their passports for

repatriation, but their ordeal is far from over. The foreign crew members will be held “administratively liable for illegal work in Russia”, the Russian Federal Migration Services told news agency TASS on April 6. A representative of Magellan LLC - the parent company that owned the sunken trawler - tried to deny respon- sibility for the undocumented labour, claiming the organisation had no idea foreign nationals were onboard, TASS reported. Fishing industry experts, however, said Russia’s Far East is rife with cor- ruption and illegal foreign labour, though none had previously heard of Myanmar workers plying Russian waters. Many of the Myanmar workers joined the trawler in South Korea, some having been lured to the boat by promises of high salaries, while oth- ers were tricked onboard by nefarious recruitment agencies in Yangon, who have since had their licences indefinite- ly suspended. The surviving workers had little to say about the dubious legality of their employment or any potential charges, however. And though they blamed the captain, they refrained from blam- ing their Russian shipmates, many of whom also died in the accident. “We worked all together,” said sur- vivor Ko Win Htut, “and now I feel just the tragedy of losing them.”

White-card handback program hits 100,000

YE MON

LUN MIN MANG

newsroom@mmtimes.com

DEFUNCT white cards, temporary citizenship documents, are being handed in at an increasing rate, im- migration officials say. Authorities in Rakhine State have now collected more than 100,000 of the cards since a handback program began on April 1, a senior official said yesterday. In February, the President’s Of- fice announced that the cards, which have been distributed to temporary citizens, would be invalid from March 31. Holders have been given until May 31 to return them. More than 83 percent of white- card holders live in Rakhine State,

and most are held by Muslims who identify as Rohingya. The handback began slowly, but has gathered speed since, said immi- gration director U Khin Soe. “We have sought help from Ben- gali organisations, the leaders of the refugee camps and ward administra- tors. We have set up centres in the state’s 14 townships to manage the return process,” said the director. Department figures show there are 797,504 white-card holders na- tionally, of whom 666,381 live in Ra- khine State. Only Kayah State and western Bago Region have no white- card holders. Those who surrender their cards are given a receipt that they can use in the process of applying for a

permanent citizenship document, the National Registration Card (NRC), known as the pink card.

‘We have sought help from Bengali organisations, the leaders of the refugee camps and ward administrators.’

U Khin Soe

immigration department

News THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015 Chief Executive Officer Tony Child tonychild.mcm@gmail.com Editorial Director –

State- and township-level scrutiny boards will review applications for citizenship that are supported by the necessary evidence. Applications can be made starting in June. U Kyaw Naing, the leader of Baw Du Pha Camp in Sittwe, who is help- ing the immigration department collect the cards, said holders were handing them in willingly. “The department has already col- lected all the cards from my camp, without complaints or resistance,” he said. “It was easy.” On April 3, the president formed a nine-member advisory board led by U Win Myint, the deputy minister for immigration and population, to re- view laws, rules and regulations gov-

erning the temporary cards.

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News 5

Cabinet orders split of key health ministry department Bus line demands US$1m from TV station Department
Cabinet orders split of key
health ministry department
Bus line
demands
US$1m from
TV station
Department of Health has been split into public health and medical care departments as of April 1
Shwe
Yee Saw
MYint
poepwintphyu2011@gmail.com
THE Ministry of Health has officially
split its key Department of Health
into two departments as of April 1,
in a move aimed at improving effi-
ciency and service delivery.
U Sein Win, a spokesperson for
the minister’s office, told The My-
anmar Times that the order from
cabinet would see the Department
of Health – which received about 80
percent of the ministry’s budget –
split into public health and medical
care departments, both of which will
be headed by a director general.
Public health will be responsible
for improving rural health outcomes,
combating major diseases such as
TB, malaria and HIV, and other
special projects, while medical care
will focus on treatment and hospital
administration.
“The order says to establish these
two departments and implement their
respective plans … by the approval of
the cabinet,” U Sein Win said.
The change was first flagged by
The Myanmar Times in October,
with some sources saying that the
restructure was being driven by an
attempt to sideline those close to the
current minister’s predecessor, Dr
Pe Thet Khin, including the then-di-
rector general of the Department of
Health, Dr Min Than Nyunt.
Dr Min Than Nyunt has now re-
tired, with Dr Soe Lwin Nyein, a dep-
uty director general for disease con-
trol, temporarily in charge of public
health, and Dr Myint Hun, director
general of the Food and Drug Admin-
istration, at the head of medical care.
However, Dr Than Sein, the head
80%
Proportion of Ministry of Health budget
allocated to the Department of Health
of the Public Health Foundation who
is advising the government on the
restructure, insisted at the time that
this was not the motivation, adding
that the change aimed to improve
service provision and strengthen ca-
pacity in anticipation of more fund-
ing for the health sector from the
national budget and international
donors.
He said the plan, which was de-
veloped by Vice President U Sai
Mauk Kham, was being drafted be-
fore Dr Pe Thet Khin was replaced by
Dr Than Aung in late July 2014.
Dr Soe Lwin Nyein declined to
comment yesterday on the depart-
ment’s plans for the future, but said
he would soon release details to the
media.
Another change announced on
April 1 will see all medical universi-
ties placed under the control of the
Ministry of Education, while the
Department of Medical Science has
been changed to the Department of
Human Resources.
Dr Than Tun Sein, a former direc-
tor at the Department of Medical Re-
search, said splitting the Department
of Health could create management
problems, particularly if the two new
departments do not cooperate.
While the new departments have
different focuses, there is still signifi-
cant crossover in their work.
“This is especially the case at the
township level, where the govern-
ment will have to appoint officers for
both public health and medical care,”
he said. “Will they be able to work
together? It is likely that there will
be problems between these two offic-
ers in some cases. To avoid this, they
should have clear responsibilities.”
But Dr Myint Hun said that ini-
tially the two positions would both
be held by one person, and that re-
sponsibilities would be divided later
after a second township officer is
appointed.
He added that it was unclear how
the budget would be divided between
the two departments.
Under the budget approved by
the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, or union
parliament, on April 1, the Minis-
try of Health will receive more than
K757.437 billion (US$737.8 million) in
2015-16, a 6.8 percent increase on last
year’s K708.949 billion, according to
Minister for Finance U Win Shein.
A BUS company is demanding K1 bil-
lion (US$974,000) compensation from
Shwe Than Lwin Media for broadcast-
ing what it says was an inaccurate re-
port of a highway accident on Myan-
mar National Television (MNTV).
The Shwe Sin Sekyar highway ex-
press bus line is demanding payment
within seven days, or they say they will
sue the media company.
On April 6, MNTV reported that
two buses had overturned on the
Yangon-Mandalay Highway. However,
it wrongly identified one of the vehi-
cles as belonging to Shwe Sin Sekyar,
the company says, adding that the bus
was in fact from a different company
called Shwe Sekyar.
Advocate U Nay La, representing
the bus company, told The Myanmar
Times yesterday that the coverage had
resulted in passengers threatening to
cancel their Shwe Sin Sekyar tickets
for travel over the water festival holi-
day period.
“This false report could give the
company a bad name and cause it to
lose business during the touring sea-
son,” he said, accusing the TV compa-
ny of negligence.
MNTV officials did not respond to
requests for comment. – Ye Mon

Commission warns Mon party over statement

THE Mon National Party has received a warning from Mon State election officials over a joint statement it is- sued with an ethnic armed group taking part in ceasefire talks with the government. The statement made with the New Mon State Party on March 12 de- nounced the government’s crackdown on student protests in Letpadan. It was issued following a meeting of the two parties’ leaders. U Naing Soe Mya, a vice-general secretary of the MNP, said the state election sub-commission warned them by quoting sections of the constitution and laws during a meeting on April 7. “Although they did not say releas- ing a joint statement with New Mon State Party on March 12 … was against the law, they said they were calling us to make sure that we exactly follow sections 405 and 407 of the constitu- tion, and section 12 of party registra- tion law,” he said. “Our stance is clear. We have a rela- tionship with any organisation for the interest of Mon people.” “During the meeting [on April 7], when we asked them which sections of the laws was violated by Mon National Party, they could not answer it.” The New Mon State Party is the armed wing of the Mon National Lib- eration Army and signed a bilateral ceasefire with the government in 2012. However, it is still technically consid- ered an illegal organisation by the gov- ernment, and those found to have con- tact with such illegal groups face up to three years’ imprisonment under the colonial-era Unlawful Association Act. But U Naing Soe Mya said having connections with the New Mon State Party should not be a violation of the law, as it is among the armed ethnic groups that negotiated a draft ceasefire agreement with the government last month. The ceasefire states that all sig- natories will be removed from the un- lawful association list. – Lun Min Mang

www.mmtimes.com News 5 Cabinet orders split of key health ministry department Bus line demands US$1m from

6

News

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015

IN DEPTH

Student arrests highlight prison woes

Lack of medical care for those arrested at Letpadan on March 10 symptomatic of a prison system woefully behind international standards

Yola Verbruggen

yverbruggen@gmail.com

OUTSIDE Letpadan Township Court on April 7, worried parents gathered to follow the proceedings of a trial against their children who had par- ticipated in a protest against the Na- tional Education Law. But most of the parents’ concerns were not about the legal system, in which they have lit- tle faith, but about the health of the young activists. “My son was beaten badly and his head still hurts,” said the mother of Ko Mar Naw, a student from Kachin State who had joined the sit-in in Letpadan on March 10. The worried mother feels powerless as all she can do is bring her son medicine in prison. “Medicine will not help him; he needs to see a doctor,” his mother said, while nervously keeping her eyes on the prison van that was about to take her son back to prison. Other parents expressed similar worries. U Khin Maung Kyi, father of student Ko Than Swe, said his son was taken to hospital last week. “He cannot see with one eye because he was beaten a lot on his head,” U Khin Maung Kyi said. “He is one of the boys on the photo who loses his longyi when he was running, you know?” Photos of students being beaten by police officers have circulated on so- cial media and on the covers of news- papers for weeks. In the first weeks after the crackdown, when parents were not allowed to visit their chil- dren, they were desperately trying to gather information through released students and people who had wit- nessed the violent crackdown in the small town north of Yangon. Ko Than Swe was sent to hospital last week, three weeks after he sus- tained his head injury. He was taken back to Tharyarwady Prison the same day. His father had heard rumours that his son would be sent to hospi- tal in Yangon but has been unable to confirm this. Prison authorities are not forthcoming with informa- tion and most of the time friends and family are left worrying about their

News THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015 IN DEPTH Student arrests highlight prison woes Lack of

A relative of one of the Letpadan detainees cries outside court on March 25. Photo: Zarni Phyo

well-being. The lack of access to healthcare is not unique to this case. Prisons in Myanmar are infamous, one apparent reason being the lack of medical care. “The Ministry of Home Affairs needs to address long-standing con- cerns over poor health, sanitation and nutrition for regular and po- litical prisoners. Burma’s prisons are routinely referred to as hellholes, and this is directly the government’s fault,” said David Mathieson, senior researcher for Asia for Human Rights Watch. Convicts and political prisoners alike are often not allowed to see a

doctor and rarely get permission to visit a hospital. “To receive proper medical treat- ment, common prisoners need to pay bribe money and political prisoners need approval from intelligence offic- ers to visit a public hospital outside the prison,” said Ko Bo Kyi, general secretary of the Assistance Associa- tion for Political Prisoners. He added that with the approval of intelligence services, some political prisoners had received proper treat- ment lately. The lack of healthcare for the in- jured students in custody is a viola- tion of the United Nations Standard

Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, which states, “Sick prison- ers who require specialist treatment shall be transferred to specialised in- stitutions or to civil hospitals.” Not only injuries sustained during the crackdown are bothering the stu- dents. Some of them are developing health complaints from sleeping on the hard beds in prison and the heat, which will only get worse in the com- ing month. The medicine provided by their parents will only be able to al- leviate their complaints, not prevent or cure them. Many students at the court yes- terday looked skinny, a result of their

deteriorating health under the harsh prison conditions, the lack of good food and the stress of their pending trial. Parents and other visitors ar- rived with bags of food that had been pouring into the court compound all morning. Bags of rice, fruit and water were lifted over the gate of the court- house all day. One mother quickly was handed two bags of grapes before she went to see her son. “Take it, your son should eat it,” the man who hand- ed it to her said. The parents have been allowed to visit their children each Wednesday and Thursday, and every time they bring food and medicine. This is essential, because in the Myanmar prison system food and medicine supplied by the authorities is far from sufficient. “In some prisons, there is no pris- on hospital but even if there is, there is not enough medicine or doctors,” said Ko Bo Kyi. “The family needs to provide medicine when they visit prisons.” While the prisoners receive meals in prison, Human Rights Watch said that there are systematic reports of dirty rice and haphazard food sup- ply. “By all accounts it’s a culinary dungeon, far below what minimum standards of nutrition should be sup- plied to prisoners,” Mr Mathieson said. The activists standing trial were taken back to prison on April 7 after the hearing was adjourned due to the prosecution’s request for the trial to be transferred to the Tharyarwady District Court. The next hearing has been brought forward to today, and a decision on the location has not yet been made. None of the police officers who acted with extreme violence in the March 10 crackdown on the students and local activists who supported them has been charged. Eighty-one students and activists have been charged under five sec- tions of the Criminal Procedure Code, which could amount to prison terms amounting to dozens of years each if they are found guilty.

Cultural, environment protections

naY PYi taW

promised for Amarapura project

Pharmacies pledge not to sell sexual stimulants

KHin su Wai

A man rows a boat across Taunthaman Lake, below U Bein Bridge. Photo: Phyo Wai Kyaw
A man rows
a boat across
Taunthaman Lake,
below U Bein
Bridge. Photo:
Phyo Wai Kyaw

“It will feature Amarapura-era

transparency was important in view

jasminekhin@gmail.com

Hsu Hlaing Htun

narcotics among young people,” said

‘Until now, we have

hsuhlainghtun.mcm@gmail.com

Pol Col Zaw Khin Aung.

A MODEL village project that would recreate an ancient community will preserve the environment and re- spect history, a development company spokesperson assured journalists yes- terday. Executive consultant U Soe Myat Thu, of the Taungthaman Thit- sar company, told a press conference that the three-year, K10 billion project would avoid felling trees and would not obstruct views of the lake. The 40-acre site on former farm-

NO sex pills please – this is Nay Pyi Taw. Pharmacies throughout the capi- tal have pledged to clear their shelves of amphetamines and sexual stimu- lation drugs for the duration of the Thingyan water festival, Police Colonel Zaw Khin Aung, deputy head of Nay Pyi Taw Police Force, said yesterday. “We want to avoid taking action if possible, so we asked for their under- taking. We’ve already given briefings.

in Pyinmana, Lewe and Zabuthiri.

One chemist in Pyinmana told The Myanmar Times that he had heard drugstores that are suspected of sell- ing illicit drugs were called to a meet- ing with the authorities.

never had to undergo a police check.’

land near the historic U Bein Bridge is situated well beyond the 120-foot (40-metre) clearance area around the

We arrested three people in Tatkon township and we’ve conducted checks

Pyinmana pharmacist

structure prescribed by the Ministry of

Anyone who breaks their guarantee

 

Culture, he said. The Taungthaman village resort will showcase traditional stalls, a ser- vice area, a site map area for tourists and a garden. U Bein Bridge spans Taungtha- man Lake in Amarapura, Mandalay Region. Once the capital of the Kon- baung Dynasty, Amarapura is home to several historic sites, including Pahtodawgyi, Bagaya Kyaung, Maha Gandhayon Kyaung and Kyautawgyi Paya.

model buildings, show the production of edible oil, and bullock carts,” said U Soe Myat Thu. “The highest building is two sto- reys, and will not obscure the beauty of the lake. No trees will be cut down.” Mandalay writer Sue Hnget said

of rumours that the environment might be at risk because of the pro- ject. “Amarapura is the centre of our cultural heritage,” he said. U Soe Myat Thu said the developer was a Myanmar-owned company set up last April.

will face a one-year prison sentence,” he said, warning that spot checks would be carried out. Though last year’s festival was al- most trouble-free except for scattered car accidents and street fights, the po- lice say they are ready to ensure secu- rity throughout the holiday. “It seems young people think they are officially permitted to take drugs and consume alcohol if pandals are authorised. We have noted a year- on-year increase in the spread of

“Our store was clearly told what kinds of drugs could not be sold when we applied for pharmacy registration. But until now, we have never had to undergo a police check,” he said. However, young people say that despite the crackdown, they antici- pate no difficulty in getting hold of drugs and booze at pandals and restaurants. – Translation by Zar Zar Soe

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News 7

Views
Views

Fear, favour infect the region’s media

www.mmtimes.com News 7 Views Fear, favour infect the region’s media RogeR mitton rogermitton@gmail.com WHEN pondering media

RogeR

mitton

rogermitton@gmail.com

WHEN pondering media repression in this region, it is not the blatant cases of molesting, detaining and jailing journalists that inflame us most, but the craftier controls en- forced by backroom bureaucrats and company bagmen. Consider a typical example that occurred some years ago when the then-leader of South Africa, Presi- dent FW de Klerk, paid a state visit to Singapore. Local reporters who were as- signed to cover the event were sent to the foreign ministry to receive a briefing about the itinerary and other details concerning the visit. The official giving the briefing, Bilahari Kausikan, was a high-flyer in the ministry and a favourite of the late former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. Indeed, he was soon made an ambassador and later became permanent secretary, the ministry’s topmost bureaucrat. Much like his mentor, Bilhari never minced his words and regard- ed political correctness as a rather effete Western affectation that tough little Singapore could not afford to indulge in. So, in his usual blunt style, he told members of the press how to report de Klerk’s trip, stressing that it was highly sensitive, even more than the recent visit of United States President George HW Bush. It must be covered in a re- strained way, he said, so that it would not upset Singapore’s neigh- bours, “who are friends with the coons”. Bilahari routinely referred to the South Africans as coons. Actually, he often used far cruder terms for blacks and other minorities. We both once attended a private dinner given by Peter Mackler, who was then the AFP bureau chief in Singapore, and I was later told by Peter and his wife that they had wanted to ask Bilahari to leave because of his offensive racist language. But that is another issue. The point here is that Bilahari ordered the media to play down the visit – keep it off the front page, put a picture on page 3, and do not say Singapore PM Goh Chok Tong played golf with de Klerk. Of course, the Singapore journal- ists obeyed; they did not want to get sacked. Some of them, however, told their visiting colleagues about the onerous reporting rules and the South Africans were shocked. De Klerk was livid. He fumed that even in apartheid South Africa they did not do such things and he let the Singapore government know how he felt. That’s when the offal hit the fan. The local journalists were ques- tioned to try to discover who had spoken to the South Africans about Bilahari’s strictures and the utter contempt for the media that they betrayed. Really, it was nothing special. It happened, and continues to happen

all the time, as readers of the recent memoir of Cheong Yip Seng, the group editor-in-chief of the Singa- pore Straits Times, made clear. Many good journalists left the paper because of that kind of nonsense, most of it due to Lee’s unflinching dictum, “The freedom of

the press must be subordinated to the integrity of Singapore.” Or more bluntly: You will write what I say because I, and my min- ions like Bilahari, will decide what is best for Singapore. What is most offensive about this dismissal of the media’s ability – in fact, its duty – to make up its own mind about the government’s integ- rity is that it has become pervasive across the region. Often done in underhand but crass ways like the Singapore exam- ple above, it is more often commit- ted shamelessly in full public view, thus displaying disregard for the general public as well as the fourth estate. In Vietnam, for instance, perhaps the most media-repressive society in all of ASEAN, every single publica- tion is owned directly or indirectly by the dictatorial and long-ruling Vietnam Communist Party. As a former deputy minister of culture, Do Quy Doan, said, “The press in our country is under the party’s control and is used to pro- tect the point of view, direction and leadership of the party.” And that’s just what it does, with fear and favour. The fear is of summary sacking or prompt jailing; the favour comes in white envelopes with local currency inside worth about US$5 or $10 - not a lot, but it soon adds up. When first given such an envelope at an event in Danang, I handed it back - and upset local re- porters, who needed the money and, like many of their colleagues in the region, were accustomed to skipping to the party’s tune. In Thailand, it was recently revealed that one of the largest and most well-connected companies, Charoen Pokphand Foods, routinely did the same kind of thing. Except that, as might be expected from a profit-oriented conglomerate, CPF formally set up a department to purchase the loyalty of journalists. As the Bangkok Post noted when it ran parts of a leaked CPF report, the company rated journalists as “relatively familiar” (cannot be or- dered to publish stories), “familiar” (can be told to run certain stories), or “close” (can be instructed to do anything). The department had an annual budget of about $70,000 and made monthly payments to reporters to carry CPF-positive stories or to prevent CPF-unfavourable stories appearing. Three years ago, when a CPF staffer committed suicide by jump- ing into a crocodile pool, the com- pany report noted, “We paid 30,000 baht [about $1000] to successfully prevent this story from being published.” That is how it is across the region: Reporters are ordered or paid to carry or not to carry certain stories, or to write them in a certain way, or to place them on a certain page. And they do it. No journalist likes to admit it, but as George Orwell said, “If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” And that includes fel- low journalists.

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National League for Democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi attends a meeting hosted by President U Thein Sein in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. Photo: AFP

What is Daw Aung San Suu Kyi worried about?

www.mmtimes.com News 7 Views Fear, favour infect the region’s media RogeR mitton rogermitton@gmail.com WHEN pondering media

Sithu Aung

myint

newsroom@mmtimes.com

“WE don’t think boycotting the elec- tion is the best choice. But we’re not ruling it out altogether. We are leav- ing our options open.” So said Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in an interview with Reuters news agency on April 3. Her comments have been the hot- test news among political analysts and the public. She also said in the interview that she is worried that President U Thein Sein may delay the election, citing the need to finalise peace talks with ethnic armed groups. On January 12, the president called a meeting in Nay Pyi Taw together with the two parliament speakers, Commander-in-Chief Sen- ior General Min Aung Hlaing, Na- tional League for Democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, other po- litical leaders and ethnic affairs ministers. In the meeting, President U Thein Sein expressed his attitude toward amending the constitution, saying, “I always believe that a constitution must be amended under [particular] circumstances. I believe we have to do the constitutional amendment if we are to build a federal union that ethnic people have continuously demanded and ensure the imple- mentation of the democratic transi- tion. But this should be done based on possible outcomes of political

dialogue that will develop from the current peacemaking process as well as in accord with legal procedures stated in the 2008 constitution. “Trying to change the constitu- tion without legal procedures has a tendency to overtake the rule of law

so we have to do the constitutional amending in accord with the provi- sions of the constitution,” he added. Now negotiators from the govern- ment and armed ethnic groups have reached a draft nationwide ceasefire accord and it is expected that they will sign the agreement in May. After that, political dialogue should start within 90 days, as stipulated in the agreement.

President U Thein Sein is not alone in wanting to prolong the constitutional amendment process as long as possible.

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The president’s speech indicates that he only wants to change the constitution after political dialogue is complete. What the president said contradicts Pyidaungsu Hlut- taw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann’s promise that the constitution amending process will start during the 12 th session of parliament, which is taking place now, and a referen- dum will be held in May to approve proposed amendments. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi seems anxious about this contradiction. She’s right to be. But I don’t think it’s fair to blame

the president alone. The plan of the two Speakers is not totally different from what the president wants to do. On February 12 – Union Day – ethnic leaders met the president and commander-in-chief in Nay Pyi Taw. They also held separate discus- sions with the two Speakers. Amyo- tha Hluttaw Speaker U Khin Aung Myint spoke about the connection between peace and constitutional change. “Parliament gives serious consid- eration to implementation of consti- tutional amendments and has also prepared to start the process,” he said. “Constitutional change is essen- tial for building peace. After signing a nationwide ceasefire agreement, political dialogue will take place and its outcome will be taken into con- sideration when implementing con- stitutional change.” He added, “Some constitutional provisions need just 75 percent of support from MPs, while others also need approval from the public at a referendum.” Given that point, President U Thein Sein is not alone in wanting to

prolong the constitutional amend- ment process as long as possible. Both Speakers and Commander-in- Chief Senior General Min Aung Hla- ing want to do exactly the same. If they continue with this ap- proach, this year’s general election will take place under the 2008 con- stitution. If so, it cannot be free and fair. In conclusion, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s fears over the election are reasonable. Unless the president, the two speakers and the commander- in-chief get the constitution amend- ment process under way, the threat of conflict and instability will hover over Myanmar’s political future. – Translation by Zar Zar Soe

8

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015

Business

Reclaiming the rice bowl title
Reclaiming
the rice
bowl title

DRESSED in Chelsea football shorts and a wide-brimmed hat, U Than Tun toils away in his paddy field on the outskirts of Yangon, sweat pouring down his sinewy arms. Gruelling work that once helped Myanmar become the world’s largest rice exporter is today a Herculean and often lonely job for farmers striving to return the impoverished nation to its former grain prowess. “No one comes here and asks about the difficulties we face,” the 40-year- old said during his break, citing vo- racious insects, crumbling irrigation channels and greedy middlemen as just some of the challenges preventing him making a profit. For much of the early 20 th cen- tury Myanmar was Asia’s rice bowl. But after a nominally socialist junta seized power in 1962, decades of mismanagement shattered the agri- culture industry in a nation where 70 percent of inhabitants still live in the countryside. The quasi-civilian reformist gov- ernment, which took over from the military in 2011, is determined to res- urrect the country’s reputation as a rice producer. But rotting stocks, creaking infra- structure, heavily indebted farmers and minimal foreign investment are among the hurdles it faces. Still, many economists believe helping farmers like U Than Tun of- fers Myanmar one of the fastest ways to both alleviate poverty and turn around the country’s fortunes. “Improvements in agriculture are one of the genuine ‘low-hanging fruit’ of reforms that could do much, re- markably quickly,” said Sean Turnell, an expert on Myanmar’s economy at Australia’s Macquarie University. “This is not just theory – we can see Vietnam as a wonderful example of what is possible. A country that could barely feed itself in the 1980s now dominates various food and com- modity categories,” he added. Sergiy Zorya, a Bangkok-based

expert on rice production at the World Bank, agrees it is high time Myanmar and the international community did more to invest in rice farmers. “A significant increase in rice productivity and yields over the next decade would offer a major opportu- nity to drive GDP growth, increase farming incomes, increase exports and reduce poverty,” he said. Rice is a good poverty alleviation tool, he explains, because money ac- tually filters down to poor farmers rather than resting in the hands of corporations or middlemen. He points to Cambodia, which has heavily invested in improving rice pro- duction and exports. Over the past 10 years each 1 percent increase in GDP has resulted in reducing the country’s poverty rate by 5.2 percent.

‘This is not just theory – we can see Vietnam as a wonderful example of what is possible.’

Sean Turnell

Economist

8 THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015 Business Reclaiming the rice bowl title DRESSED in Chelsea

“But in Laos, an economy dominat- ed by hydro-power and mining, a 1pc growth in GDP results in just a 0.5pc poverty reduction,” he adds. Myanmar is fortunate to have both huge natural resources and farming potential. But it is the former that has piqued the interest of foreign inves- tors scrambling to access the sector as the country opens up. On the northwestern outskirts of Yangon lies Shwe Pyi Tar, a dusty sub- urb of wooden shacks overshadowed by huge warehouses, where most of Myanmar’s rice harvest is milled.

U Kyaw Win, who owns one of the area’s larger processing plants, is des- perate for the government to clear the hurdles for foreigners to invest in the rice industry. “Our farmers need more knowl- edge about how to harvest more effi- ciently. At the moment we are creat- ing a lot of waste,” he says, as workers haul heavy sacks of unmilled rice be- hind him. Lack of good storage facilities means most farmers are forced to sell their rice shortly after the harvest – when prices are at their lowest. Meanwhile, local mills are noto- riously inefficient – some are still steam-powered – and produce low- quality rice that is hard to export and sold on the cheap. In one of U Kyaw Win’s warehouses

a group of Japanese technicians install a gleaming new US$3-million mill controlled by a complicated bank of computers. The rice wholesaler is one of the few businessmen with hard cash to buy new equipment in an industry where most find restrictive financial rules prevent them investing in mod- ern mills. U Kyaw Win says the largest loan he can access locally is around $1.5 million, which he would need to pay off within a year. But the entrepreneur is among the luckier ones already ex- panding his business. “We have plans for a bigger plant, which we’ve already ordered. That will cost $5-6 million,” he said, adding that foreign investment would help other companies like his bring Myanmar’s

rice production back on track. U Than Tun is also dreaming of a better future, but he has smaller goals, starting with decent irrigation. The system for his paddy fields, only 20 kilometres (12 miles) from fast-developing downtown Yangon, was built in his grandfather’s time while his village Htaw Bo still lacks electricity. “The government is not helping the farmers much. We have to take care of the irrigation system our- selves,” he said. U Than Tun said he has never voted and taken little interest so far in the landmark election slated for later this year. “From what I can tell there’s noth- ing offered for us,” he concludes. “We just have to be on our own.” – AFP

8 THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015 Business Reclaiming the rice bowl title DRESSED in Chelsea

Rice workers fill bags for export on the outskirts of Yangon. Photos: AFP

BusinEss Editor: Jeremy Mullins | jeremymullins7@gmail.com

9

digital entrepreneur takes to the web to spread his message

BuSineSS 10

india’s Modi to woo European investors during trip

BuSineSS 12

Exchange Rates (April 8 close)

Currency Buying Selling Euro K1152 K1172 Malaysia Ringitt K290 K297 Singapore Dollar K780 K790 Thai Baht
Currency
Buying
Selling
Euro
K1152
K1172
Malaysia Ringitt
K290
K297
Singapore Dollar
K780
K790
Thai Baht
K32.5
K33.5
US Dollar
K1075
K1086
Government extends one-third of K20 billion in SME loans ko ko aung The vast majority of
Government extends
one-third of K20
billion in SME loans
ko ko aung
The vast majority of local pri -
vate enterprises are SMEs. There
were 30,538 small enterprises
and 8471 medium enterprises
registered in Myanmar as of
2015, according to the SME de -
velopment centre website. This
means 68.28 percent of firms are
small businesses and 18.93pc are
medium businesses, according to
statistics.
Daw Yi Yi Khaing said access to
finance is only part of the barriers
to SME development, adding lack
of technology, low productivity, poor
information access and weak busi-
ness development services also hold
small business back.
Although the government has
been working to increase lending to
SMEs, some small-business owners
say it is tough to borrow from pri-
vate or state-owned banks.
“Still now, there are some restric-
tions on borrowing money from
banks,” said MTE restaurant owner
Ko Zaw Zaw. He said that without
proper documentation showing
land ownership, the bank will not
accept his property as collateral.
The government’s 2014 Small
and Medium Sized Enterprise Devel-
opment Bill defines medium-sized
firms as having capital between K50
million and K1 billion.
This program is not the only one
which is providing loans to SMEs in-
side Myanmar.
DICA licences not
enough to allow futures
trading, official says
pmkokoaung@gmail.com
STATE-OWNED SME Develop-
ment Bank has disbursed K7 bil-
lion (US$6.8 million) to 237 small
and medium enterprises in 2014-15
fiscal year through a government
program.
It aimed to offer loans of up to
K20 billion for 2014-15, but as of
March 24, only one-third of that
amount has been lent out, according
to a government official.
“The government has paid out
loans of about K7 billion for the 2014-
15 fiscal year for SME development,”
said Daw Yi Yi Khaing, director of
the SME Development Department
at the Ministry of Industry.
“The SME Development Depart-
ment is also helping SME owners
with information and loans,” she
said.
The biggest destinations for in-
vestment were Mandalay Region,
with 37 recipients, 25 in Magwe Re-
gion and 39 in Bago Region. Daw Yi
Yi Khaing said there are a number
of areas with growing quantities of
SMEs that need funding, including
Yangon and Mandalay.
Funding provided through the
program, which is administered
by the SME Development Bank,
has slowly grown. In 2012 and
again in 2013 fiscal years, loans
totalled K5 billion.
Kyaw
Phone
Kyaw
k.phonekyaw@gmail.com
THE Directorate of Investment and
Company Administration is regis-
tering companies to trade futures
online, but it is not responsible for
oversight of the business, according
to deputy director Daw Nilar Mu.
A number of companies have set
up futures brokerages in Myanmar.
They allow clients to trade through
online platforms on international
futures markets though some say
the legal situation of some of these
businesses are unclear and should be
more strictly regulated.
Brokerage companies have said
they are cleared to run in Myanmar
as they have business registration
from the Directorate, but Daw Nilar
Mu said yesterday that this is not
strictly the case.
“Our department only provides
permits for a company’s name and
then completes registration. If they
want to run their business, they
must apply for permission from the
relevant government organisation,”
she said.
In the case of financial services
companies, this generally means
permission from a body such as the
Central Bank of Myanmar or the Se-
curities and Exchange Commission of
Myanmar.
The Securities and Exchange Com-
mission of Myanmar is currently pre-
paring policies and reviewing appli-
cants for the planned Yangon Stock
Exchange, which is to launch later
this year. Senior commission mem-
bers could not be reached for com-
ment yesterday.
Businesses involved in online fu -
tures trading say they have permis -
sion to operate through their Direc -
torate of Investment and Company
‘They must apply for
permission from the
relevant government
organsation.’
Daw nilar Mu
diCA official
Administration licences.
Ma Myat Myat, an assistance busi-
ness manager with Asian E-Trade
Consultant Company, a company al-
lowing Myanmar people to trade on
the New Zealand futures market,
says it has both a business licence
from the Directorate of Investment
and Company Administration as well
as an authorisation letter from New
Zealand.
She also said that her firm is not
a broker, but merely providing a ser-
vice for the financial market.
“If someone has K10 million, it is
not enough to set up a company. But
in our business, it’s enough to invest,”
she said. “If clients are able to con-
trol their desire, they might profit by
K200,000 or K300,000 a day – but it’s
not a sure thing.”
Ma Myat Myat said that some of
her clients have lost all of their de-
posit money, as much as US$10,000.
“Some of our clients power off
their phone or switch to silent mode,
so we can’t tell them market informa-
tion. At that moment, they lose,” she
said. “But we also provide avenues to
recover money. It is an advantage of
our business.”
She also declined to reveal how
many customers she has.

Telcos roll out their Thingyan bonuses

BusinEss Editor: Jeremy Mullins | jeremymullins7 @gmail.com digital entrepreneur takes to the web to spread his

aung

Kyaw

nyunt

numbers at K25 a minute, a dis - count from its usually K35. Last year, MPT provided a 20 percent bonus from April 12 to 21, though it currently does not plan a

similar bonus for its non-Swe Tha - har users this year. MPT deputy general manager U Thein Hote said there are currently no announced plans to give a bonus for MPT customers who have not switched to Swe Thahar, though that may change closer to water festival. Its customers say they are hoping for promotions, like last year’s 20pc bonus, which was one of the first such instances of MPT discounting. “Last year we received extra call - ing time – I hope we do this year as well,” said MPT customer Ko Min Khint Soe. MPT’s two rivals have already announced promotions over the Thingyan period. Ooredoo will provide a 30pc bo- nus to all users who top up with K3000 or more from April 8 to 11, it said in a press release late on April 7.
30 The firm has also announced it has lowered the cost per minute of a call from K25 to K20 with its Red plan. Telenor has also announced a plan for water festival, offering top- up bonuses from April 8 to 10 that increase the larger the size of the top-up. A K10,000 top-up during the period will result in a K5000 bonus, while a K3000 top-up gener -

pErCEnt

aungkyawnyunt28@gmail.com

THE three mobile operators are launching bonuses ahead of water festival, a further sign of growing competition for the country’s mo - bile subscribers. Competition has been increas - ing in the market since Telenor and Ooredoo entered the market last year, and MPT began a significant revamp with support from Japa - nese firms KDDI and Sumitomo. MPT has extended promotional prices for users of its Swe Thahar plan, offering half-priced internet beginning in March. It also allows MPT users to call three other MPT

size of bonus ooredoo is giving to its customers topping up between April 8 and 11

BusinEss Editor: Jeremy Mullins | jeremymullins7 @gmail.com digital entrepreneur takes to the web to spread his

ates a K600 bonus.

BusinEss Editor: Jeremy Mullins | jeremymullins7 @gmail.com digital entrepreneur takes to the web to spread his

A Telenor employee gives away branded items during a visit to Hpa-an, Kayin State. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

10

Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015

PROFILE

Digital future for online pioneer

Forestry exploitation must be done carefully

tin Yadanar htun

Ko Aung Kham, 23, chief editor and team leader at YoYarLay Online News. Photo: Aung Htay
Ko Aung Kham, 23, chief
editor and team leader at
YoYarLay Online News.
Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

yadanar.mcm@gmail.com

Su PhYo Win

Topics under discussion includ -

A MARINE engineer by training, Ko Aung Kham, 23, has followed his per- sonal interests into blogging and in- formation technology. He is now chief editor and team leader at Yo Yar Lay online news and program manager at Phandeeyar Myanmar Innovation Lab. He also studied in Singapore to be a Microsoft Certified Technology Spe- cialist and has received many online certificates for networking and infor- mation technology. “I won lots of academic prizes, including at the Myanmar Mercan- tile Marine College in Yangon, which awarded me a diploma,” he said. “But after I finished college, there was no opportunity to become a sea- man, so I decided to move into infor- mation technology.” Blogging began for Ko Aung Kham as a pasttime, something he had been doing since he was 18. “I got into digital marketing at the

suphyo1990@gmail.com

FORESTS must be exploited for the country’s development, while care must be taken to protect the natu - ral environment, the Union Minis - ter for Environmental Conservation and Forestry told an expert work - shop this week. Minister U Win Tun told partici - pants in the National Workshop on Community Forestry Timber Legal - ity at the International Business Centre, Yangon, that 70 percent of the population was dependent on the nation’s forests for a portion of their livelihood. While increased demand for de - velopment had led to the exploita - tion of timber and forest products, “At the same time, they [forests] are very instrumental in biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation,” he said. The workshop is the culmina -

ed the sustainable utilisation of for - est products, opportunities, chal - lenges, and countermeasures for legal trade and sustainable forestry management in line with national policy, and rules and regulations governing the export of forest prod - ucts in accordance with interna - tional standards. The project forms part of the National Forest Master Plan (2001- 02 to 2030-31), under which 826 groups have received authorisation to establish community forestry projects totalling in area more than 80,000 hectares (200,000 acres). In an attempt to combat illegal logging, Myanmar joined the EU FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) process. Once Myanmar and the EU have signed the agreement, Myanmar timber products will be eligible for export to Europe, the minister said. But the movement has its critics.

same time. I will open a digital mar- keting company this year. Digital mar- keting will do well, and I’m interested it. But now I’m a program manager at Phandeeyar and I won’t give up that job. I will try and make a success of Phandeeyar, Myanmar Innovation Lab and then start my own digital market- ing company.” Blogging has been something of a boom business for Ko Aung Kham. His first job after leaving college was with Media Lane, a creative agency, where he quickly became familiar with the internet. He began a blog called International

News for Myanmar and posted four or five news items a week, which quickly grew into gigs with large companies. “After I wrote two blogs, many for- eign companies invited me to write blogs for them. I didn’t need a job, so I wrote blogs like www.blog.techspace. com.mm, www.colay.com.mm, and others, and also joined with Ideabox Myanmar and Rocket Internet like www.house.com.mm.” All of Ko Aung Kham’s blogging commitments require him to be pro- ductive, but he says his interest in his work sees him through. “I’m really interested in reading

and writing, so I don’t find it hard to write 10 news stories a day. I always read one article a day from Wikipedia, where I learn a lot,” he said. “Young people should read Wikipedia articles. We should use the internet usefully, and not waste time.” “When I was younger, my first pri- ority was money, but now money is not so important for me. I want to try to develop the IT sector, and digital marketing,” he said. “I want people to change and be active as a result of my articles, my words. I particularly want to encourage people who are depressed.”

tion of the project for Improved Legality, Governance and Trade for the Community and Smallholder Timber, which began in January 2014 and ends next month. Over the past 15 months, similar workshops have been held across the country as government officials, NGOs and local residents discussed the balance between fair exploita - tion and environmental conserva - tion for the country’s forests. The discussions took place in Kachin and Shan states and Tan - intharyi, Magwe and Ayeyarwady regions.

U Saw Aye Kyaw, who attended the workshop, said large workshops are annexing large swathes of the for - est for development. “Before the new plants are cul - tivated, they would definitely clear all the forest and our mountains are almost clear near the villages. Like the time they did the oil palm projects, too many villages have to be reallocated,” he said. “This is not at all what the com - munity wants.” Last year, Myanmar also banned the export of unprocessed logs in an attempt to capture more added value.

ChiCago

Chinese moonshine, hogs and drought fuel sorghum boom on US plains

ACROSS the Great Plains, Ameri - can farmers are turning to a little- known grain called sorghum for relief from a two-year slump in ag - riculture prices. A kernel-yielding stalk that’s na - tive to Africa, sorghum has three things going for it right now. It’s cheap to plant; it holds up better in drought-like conditions than other crops; and most importantly, demand is soaring in China, where farmers feed the plant to their hog herds, and moonshiners make it into a whiskey-like liquor called baijiu . While corn, soybeans and wheat slumped into bear markets last year amid a global supply glut, sorghum prices have held stable. “As far as an alternative crop, it’s so much better than anything else right now,” said Clayton Short, a 53-year-old farmer in Assaria, Kansas. Mr Short plans to sow sorghum on 650 acres this year, an increase of about 30 percent from 2014 and the most in the six decades that his family has been growing the grain. Overall in the US, sorghum plant - ings will climb to the most in seven years, a jump made possible in part by cutbacks on corn and cotton, a Bloomberg survey showed. Exports of sorghum from the United States, the world’s top grain shipper, are headed for the most in 35 years with most of it going to China, government data show. The Asian nation began tapping foreign suppliers in recent years to meet growing consumption by the world’s largest hog herd. The US Grains Council estimates 10pc of

China’s imports are used to make baijiu, a 100-proof grain alcohol that is the most-consumed booze in the world. While lesser known than corn, wheat, rice and barley, sorghum is the world’s fifth-largest grain by output. Like corn, it is used mostly to feed livestock and to make etha - nol, a grain-based fuel, though sor - ghum kernels also end up in food like couscous or can be popped like popcorn.

‘There are hundreds of baijiu brands, and they go from the very big companies all the way down to mom-and-pop distilleries in every town and city.’

Silvio Leal

Baiju maker

Business THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015 PROFILE Digital future for online pioneer Forestry exploitation must

Domestic sorghum plantings will jump 14pc to 8.148 million acres, the most since 2008, accord - ing to a Bloomberg survey of 15 analysts. Even though the crop accounts for less than 4pc of the land de - voted to corn, soybeans and wheat,

its appeal increased after two years of big global harvests reduced ex - port demand for the top US grains. Prices plunged, compounding a slump in commodities fuelled by surpluses in everything from crude oil to sugar. The Bloomberg Commodity In - dex has tumbled 27pc in the past year, including 21pc for corn, the biggest domestic crop, to $3.9425 a bushel in Chicago. Wheat slumped 24pc, soybeans tumbled 34 and cot - ton plunged 33pc. Some farmers in Kansas are being offered $0.35 cents a bushel more for sorghum planted this spring than corn, according to Dan O’Brien, an economist at Kansas State Univer- sity in Manhattan. The state is the biggest US grower. The cash price for sorghum delivered in Kansas City slid 0.7pc in the past 12 months. China stepped up purchases of US sorghum in 2013 to supplement domestic production, which the USDA expects will remain steady this season as imports surge 68pc to 7 million tonnes, the most ever. While the nation mostly uses the crop in hog and poultry feed, dis - tillers have been fermenting the grain into baijiu for centuries. Do -

mestic sales of the liquor climbed about 5.5pc in 2014 from a year ear - lier, Nielsen data show. Spirit mak - ers are now seeking to sell more to Western consumers. “There are hundreds of baijiu brands, and they go from the very big companies all the way down to mom-and-pop distilleries in every town and city,” said Silvio Leal, the chief operating officer of ByeJoe, a

company based in Stafford, Texas, that makes a lighter version of the Chinese liquor. “These can be very rudimentary, moonshine-type operations that are very small, with small volumes sold right there in the town.” The export surge may not last. China increased buying after ban - ning a genetically-modified strain of US corn used in animal feed. The

Business THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015 PROFILE Digital future for online pioneer Forestry exploitation must

Sorghum. Photo: Bloomberg

ban was lifted in December. Sorghum will average $3.68 a bushel next season, down from $3.87 in the 12 months that end August 31, the University of Mis - souri’s Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute said in a release on March 16. “When a market flashes up over - night, there’s always worries about whether it’s going to stay,” said Tom

Sleight, president of the US Grains

Council in Washington. The US will account for 74pc of world sorghum exports in the sea - son started September 1, compared with 15pc for wheat, the USDA has estimated. Even if exports slow, farmers may plant more because sorghum is hearty and cheap to grow. About 28pc of the High Plains was in moderate to extreme drought as of March 24, up from 11pc at the start of the year, US Drought Monitor data show. It will cost $142 an acre to grow sorghum this year, including seed, fertilizer and chemicals, the USDA estimates. Cotton will be $497.26, corn $350.33 and soybeans $181.07. John Bondurant, who owns 4300 acres in Mississippi and Arkansas, said he’ll increase sorghum plant - ings fivefold to 1000 acres, displac - ing soybeans and wheat. He can deliver sorghum in September at 85 cents a bushel more than corn, of - fering the highest return of any of his crops. “It’s all about dollars and cents,” said Mr Bondurant, 72, who is also

the owner of Bondurant Futures in Memphis. – Bloomberg

www.mmtimes.com

International Business 11

London

Sydney

Shell launches mega purchase of British firm BG Group

 

Oz okays Chinese takeover of

ENERGY titan Royal Dutch Shell yesterday announced a mega

Bloomberg News.

closing share price on April 7, cost- ing Shell “approximately £47.0 bil-

Norwegian energy giant Statoil,

past year has battered some stocks which are clearly now looking at-

Rebecca O’Keeffe, head of invest- ment at stockbroker Interactive

developer

takeover of British rival BG Group

lion” for its rival, the statement

tractive. In the last year BG shares

Investor.

worth £47 billion, consolidating their positions in a sector battered by sliding oil prices. The cash and shares deal, ap -

added. “The result will be a more com- petitive, stronger company for both sets of shareholders in today’s vola-

fell 30pc

By comparison sector be-

“In what is the biggest deal in the sector in 10 years, the company is set to become the second-largest global energy company, behind only Exxon

AUSTRALIAN Treasurer Joe Hockey yesterday gave approval for China’s CCCC International Holding to buy construction firm John Holland in a

proved by the BG board and worth the equivalent of US$70 billion or 64 billion euros, will help Shell to boost its flagging output thanks to BG’s strong position in liquefied natural gas (LNG), a cleaner alter - native to energy types such as coal and nuclear. The new company will be worth twice the value of BP and overtake US energy giant Chevron Corpora -

tile oil price world,” Shell chairm Jorma Ollila said in the release. BG chief executive Helge Lund said the deal “delivers attractive returns to shareholders and has strong strategic logic”. He added, “BG’s deep water posi- tions and strengths in exploration ... will combine well with Shell’s scale, development expertise and financial strength.”

in terms of scale and resources.” Crude oil prices lost more than half their value between last June and the end of January owing to a supply glut fuelled largely by robust output from US shale rock and weak global demand. That in turn has weighed heav- ily on energy majors such as Shell, denting their profits and share pric- es and causing them to cut operat-

deal worth a reported A$1.15 billion (US$881.8 million). CCCC International is a wholly owned subsidiary of the state-run China Communications Construction Company, the fourth-largest construc- tion firm in the world by revenue. Part of global contractor Leighton Holdings, John Holland is one of Aus- tralia’s biggest engineering and con- struction firms, employing more than

tion on finalising the sector’s big -

It is the first major deal for Mr

ing costs.

  • 5600 workers in eight countries.

gest deal in a decade, according to

Lund, formerly chief executive of

– AFP

“The government welcomes foreign

investment where it is not contrary to

  • 2017 over fraud relating to road pro-

BG’s share price, which has tumbled over the past year on plunging oil prices, soared by al - most 40 percent in reaction to yes -

since he took up the reins at BG ear- lier this year. The tie-up will improve Shell’s proved oil and gas reserves by a

Shell and BG Group in Myanmar

holding the remainder. BG Group holds an interest in

 

our national interest,” Mr Hockey said in a statement. “Foreign investment has helped build Australia’s economy and will

terday’s announcement. “The boards of Shell and BG are pleased to announce that they have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash and share offer to be made by Shell for the entire issued and to be issued

quarter and lift output by one-fifth, while delivering “enhanced posi- tions in competitive new oil and gas projects, particularly in Australia LNG and Brazil deep water”, the statement added. “The deal between Royal Dutch

Shell is the operator of three deep-water blocks, AD-9, AD-11 and MD-5. The three blocks cover 21,000 square kilometres and range in depth from 1800 to 2700 metres. It signed the

four blocks along with Australia’s Woodside Energy. These include a 45pc stake in A-4 and a 55pc stake in AD-2, in which it is the operator. It also holds 45pc in both A-7 and AD-5, though it is not the operator in those blocks.

continue to enhance the wellbeing of Australians by supporting economic growth and prosperity.” Mr Hockey noted media reports about CCCC being debarred from World Bank contracts until January

share capital of BG,” said a state - ment issued by the Anglo-Dutch group. The offer represents a premium

Shell and BG Group will prompt sector consolidation,” noted Marc Kimsey, senior trader at Accendo Markets.

Production Sharing Contracts on February 5, and is the 90 percent owner, with Japan’s MOECO

The four are between about 2200 and 2600 metres deep and cover 34,000 square kilometres.

jects in the Philippines. “I have sought advice and action on these and other issues in relation to CCCC,” he said.

of about 50pc compared with BG’s

“The decline in oil prices over the

 

– AFP

 
International Business London Sydney Shell launches mega purchase of British firm BG Group Oz okays Chinese

12

International Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015

TOkyO

 

WASHINGTON

Workers check containers unloaded from a cargo ship at a pier in Tokyo. Photo: AFP

Workers check containers unloaded from a cargo ship at a pier in Tokyo. Photo: AFP

Ageing economies limit future growth

ADVANCED economies face lim - its on future growth due to the drag from ageing populations, un -

A key part of the reason for that is that more people have retired or will retire compared to the level of

less they can boost productivity through technology and infrastruc - ture investment, the International Monetary Fund said. A higher proportion of aged citizens means a smaller workforce and lower potential output, which in turn could spell lower living standards in the future, the IMF said in a new study. The phenomenon of lower po - tential growth in economies is increasingly evident in some ad - vanced economies, but also faces emerging markets like China where the average population age is also

entrants into the jobs market. The result is a drag on the poten - tial increase in output, or economic growth, the study says. For advanced economies, poten - tial economic growth, which was around 2 percent before the crisis, fell to 1.3pc in the crisis years but will be only about 1.6pc through the rest of this decade, the IMF said. In emerging economies, poten - tial growth will slip from 6.5pc in 2008-2014 to 5.2pc through 2020. This shift raises new challeng - es for governments. “In advanced

Japan stands pat on stimulus as economy still disappoints

rising. The new study, part of the IMF’s semi-annual World Economic Out - look, seeks in part to explain why advanced economies have remained so turgid in the wake of the finan - cial crisis which began in 2008.

economies, lower potential growth will make it more difficult to re - duce high public and private debt ratios,” the IMF said. “In emerging market economies, lower potential growth will make it more challenging to rebuild fiscal

THE Bank of Japan held off further easing measures yesterday as it strug- gles to drag up the country’s flat-lining inflation that is defying a massive stim- ulus program launched two years ago. The central bank stayed pat on its record stimulus program, which is add- ing about 80 trillion yen (US$663 bil-

said in a statement consumer inflation

soon after the bank’s statement the dol- lar was at 120.06 yen compared with 120.32 yen in New York on April 7. The bank also kept unchanged its overall opinion of the economy as To- kyo attempts to kickstart growth in the world’s third-largest economy after years of falling or stagnant prices.

with demand both at home and abroad

and in October it surprised markets by expanding the scheme earlier than expected. Tokyo’s campaign to stimulate spending faltered after the government raised the country’s sales tax last year to help pay down Japan’s enormous na- tional debt.

oil prices have hammered energy

‘In emerging market economies, lower potential growth will make it more challenging to rebuild fiscal buffers.’

buffers.” Countries can counter this drag with increasingly focused capital investment, the study noted. “Increasing potential output is a policy priority for advanced and emerging market economies,” it said. The prescriptions differ across economies, but focus mostly on the

lion) to the money supply every year. After a two-day meeting, the BoJ

“Japan’s economy is expected to continue its moderate recovery trend,”

That hammered consumers and led to a brief recession, while falling

IMF report

need to expand investment. But also, the report said that, “structural reforms and greater

was likely to be about zero “for the time

picking up, it said.

inflation.

 

support for research and develop -

being” due to lower energy prices. However, it added, “Inflation ex- pectations appear to be rising on the whole from a somewhat longer-term perspective.” The phrasing is identical to the out- look offered in the statement after the bank’s March meeting.

The price trend is a far cry from the bank’s goal of a sustained 2 percent in- flation level, and has spawned specula- tion that the bank will this year add to the stimulus measures it launched in April 2013. BoJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda has repeatedly said the bank would further

The BoJ’s inflation target is a cor- nerstone of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s drive to resuscitate Japan’s for- tunes, which also includes big govern- ment spending and an overhaul of the highly regulated economy. Japan limped out of recession in the last quarter of 2014 with an unimpres-

Of the key inputs to growth, the supply of capital for investment has expanded, though more slowly than expected. But labour pools have grown even more slowly, as measured by the level of participation by a popu -

ment are key to increasing supply and innovation. “In emerging market economies, higher infrastructure spending is needed to remove critical bottle - necks, and structural reforms must be directed at improving business conditions and product markets.”

The yen picked up on the news –

loosen monetary policy if necessary

sive 0.4pc growth rate. – AFP

lation in the active workforce.

– AFP

SINGApOre

NeW DelHI

Modi to woo Europe investors

Security firm bought by Singtel

SINGAPORE Telecom (Singtel) said yes- terday it will buy almost all of US cy- bersecurity firm Trustwave for US$810 million, saying it was looking to become “a global player” in the sector. Southeast Asia’s biggest telecom firm by revenue said it will acquire a 98 percent equity interest in Trustwave under an agreement it signed with the Chicago-headquartered company. Trustwave, a leading specialist in managed security services, is valued at $850 million, Singtel said in a state- ment. Trustwave chair and chief ex- ecutive Robert J McCullen will hold the other 2pc. “We aspire to be a global player in cybersecurity,” Singtel group chief ex- ecutive Chua Sock Koong said in the statement. Speaking at a news conference Mr Chua added, “I think if you look at ac- quisitions outside of the traditional tel- co business on a single investment basis this is the largest that we have done.” Singtel said it “will leverage Trust- wave’s threat intelligence, technology and talent to meet the growing demand for always-on managed security ser- vices in North America and the Asia- Pacific region”. Trustwave – which helps firms fight cybercrime, protect their data and re- duce security risk – has 3 million busi- ness subscribers. – AFP

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi will take his push to turn thriving India into a major manufacturing and in- vestment hub to the eurozone’s two biggest economies this week on his maiden visit to the continent. Mr Modi flies out today to France, whose government is desperate to save a troubled US$12 billion de- fence deal, before heading to Germa- ny to inaugurate one of the world’s biggest trade fairs. He will also visit Canada at the end of the three-nation trip, home to a large Indian diaspora. The right-wing Hindu nationalist was effectively blacklisted by the Eu- ropean Union for years after deadly communal riots in 2002 in the state of Gujarat, which he governed for over a decade. But after his landslide victory in last year’s general election and with India’s economy now growing fast- er than even China’s, the one-time outcast is likely to receive a warm reception. While New Delhi’s close ties with Moscow may limit the areas of com- mon ground on geopolitical issues, the trip represents a perfect oppor- tunity for Mr Modi to tout India as a place to do business. “I look forward to visit France to seek greater French involvement in our Make in India Program, includ- ing in the defence manufacturing sector,” the prime minister wrote on Facebook ahead of his departure.

France’s President Francois Hollande (left) greets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a G-20 meeting last
France’s President Francois
Hollande (left) greets Indian Prime
Minister Narendra Modi at a G-20
meeting last year. Photo: AFP

Mr Modi launched the “Make in India” campaign last year as the cen- trepiece of a project to rewrite the country’s reputation as a tricky place to do business in, beset by bureau- cracy, corruption and a stringent tax regime.

The government has already re- laxed rules for foreign investors, ea- ger to create work for the millions who enter India’s jobs market each year. But India is currently ranked 142 nd out of 189 countries in a World

Bank “ease of doing business” global league table. And the continued uncertainty over a deal for India to buy 126 Ra- fale fighter jets from the French company Dassault Aviation is seen as symptomatic of the challenges confronting foreign companies. Dassault won the right in 2012 to enter exclusive negotiations to supply the jets, with experts say - ing a final deal could be worth $12 billion. But after tortuous negotiations lasting for over three years, there are now new questions about its cost, al- though Dassault’s boss Eric Trappier recently insisted the deal was “95 pc finalised”. French President Francois Hol- lande confirmed to reporters on April 7 that he and Mr Modi “will have discussions” about the Rafale deal while stressing he didn’t want the issue to define their relationship. There are also hopes the visit will provide a shot in the arm to another delayed deal with French nuclear gi- ant Areva, still awaiting the go-ahead to set up six reactors in India’s west- ern state of Maharashtra, five years after a bilateral civil nuclear accord. “It is really good if it happens dur- ing this visit. If not, it will happen later,” French ambassador Francois Richier said in Delhi. After his three-day visit to France Mr Modi heads to Germany.

– AFP

www.mmtimes.com

International Business 13

WASHINGTON

World Bank’s Kim welcomes China- backed institution

CHINA’S new development bank can have an important role in fight - ing extreme poverty if it establishes high standards for its projects, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said on April 7. Vowing to work with an institu - tion resisted by the United States, Mr Kim called the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank “a major new player in development” that is a “potentially strong” ally in its own work to help development in the poorest countries. “If the world’s multilateral banks, including the Asia Infra - structure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank, can form alliances, work together and sup - port development that addresses these challenges, we all benefit – es - pecially the poor and most vulner - able,” Mr Kim said in a Washington speech. “It is our hope – indeed, our ex - pectation – that these new entries will join the world’s multilateral de - velopment banks and our private- sector partners on a shared mission to promote economic growth that helps the poorest.” Despite Washington’s resistance, China has received applications from more than 50 countries, in - cluding important US allies, to join

the AIIB, which will aim at financ - ing infrastructure development around Asia. The United States and Japan though have resisted joining, with Washington warning that the AIIB needs to erect strong standards for lending and project development, and to be fully transparent in its approach. The United States sees the AIIB and a development bank planned by the BRICS emerging-market countries, the New Development Bank, as competitors to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, where the United States is the largest shareholder. Mr Kim echoed that concern. He stressed that only “with the right environment, labour and procure - ment standards” can the two new institutions become important forc - es to fight poverty. In that case, he said, “the World Bank Group sees these development banks as potentially strong allies.” Mr Kim said he will have talks with Chinese authorities next week at the World Bank’s spring meet - ings in Washington on potential cooperation. “I will do everything in my pow - er to find innovative ways to work with these banks,” he said.

SyDNey

Tech giants defend Australia tax record

GLOBAL technology giants Apple, Google and Microsoft yesterday defended their corporate tax struc - tures at an Australian parliamen - tary hearing, rebuffing claims they were shifting their profits offshore to avoid paying taxes in the nation. The three firms also told the up - per house Senate inquiry into cor - porate tax avoidance, which held its first day of hearings in Sydney, that they were among 12 technol - ogy companies being audited by the Australian Taxation Office.

‘There is a strong sense out there that companies such as

yours

...

also have

a great moral and social responsibility to give more back to this community.’

Sam Dastyari

Chair of hearings

International Business WASHINGTON World Bank’s Kim welcomes China- backed institution CHINA’S new development bank can have

There have been increased ef - forts by governments around the world, including Australia, to crack down on multinational firms that use complex corporate structures to lower their tax bills. The European Union last month unveiled an ambitious plan to force its 28 member countries to share the details of any tax deals agreed with some of the world’s biggest companies.

“The Australian public don’t ac -

cept that the structures that are be - ing created by these companies are necessarily genuine and there is a strong sense out there that com -

panies such as yours

... great moral and social responsibil -

also have a

ity to give more back to this com - munity,” the hearing’s chair Sam Dastyari said. There was a general percep - tion, he added, “that the struc - tures that have been created within your firms, be it through Ireland or Singapore or through the US

have been designed to mini -

... mise your tax obligation in this country”. The firms’ representatives said they were paying all the taxes they owed under Australian law. The inquiry heard Google Aus - tralia in 2013 made A$358 million (US$275 million) in income, gener - ated profits of just over A$46 mil - lion in profit and paid A$7.1 million in tax. Google’s Australia and New Zealand managing director Maile Carnegie told the inquiry she could not reveal how much rev - enue in total was generated in the country. But she said some of the revenue

generated in Australia such as from advertising was booked in Singa - pore, its Asia-Pacific headquarters, which has lower tax rates. Apple’s Australia and New Zea - land managing director Tony King said his firm last year reported revenue in Australia of A$6 billion

and generated a net profit of A$250 million for a tax bill of about A$80 million. “We haven’t shifted any profits. We booked all of our revenues here, all of our costs,” Mr King added.

– AFP

BerlIN

Germany dumps on ‘dumb’ Greek claims

GREECE’S insistence on German reparations for World War II is a “dumb” distraction, Chancellor An- gela Merkel’s deputy said, snubbing a claim of 278.7 billion euros (US$303 billion) calculated by the government in Athens. As Germany seeks a way to aid Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ gov- ernment and keep the euro area in- tact, reparations demands are unre- lated and make it easier for critics to balk at helping Greece, vice chancel- lor Sigmar Gabriel said late April 7. “This doesn’t advance us one millimetre in terms of stabilising Greece,” he said during a panel dis- cussion in Berlin. “Honestly, I think it’s dumb.” The number cited in parliament by Greek alternate finance minis- ter Dimitris Mardas, which almost matches this year’s German fed- eral budget, extends a dispute that’s flared as Greece seeks financing from euro-area partners while pledging to

end fiscal austerity its leaders blame mostly on Germany. Germany’s position, shared by the three parties in Ms Merkel’s govern- ment, is that the treaty reuniting East and West Germany and the post-Cold War Paris Charter, both signed in 1990, legally ended war reparations. The government’s view that the case is legally and politically closed hasn’t changed, a Finance Ministry spokesperson said on April 7, ask- ing not to be identified in line with policy. “If you bring two issues that have nothing to do with one another, both heavily burdened issues politi- cally, into a single context, then you make it damned easy for those from whom you want something simply to exit the debate and say, ‘You can’t do that,’” said Ms Gabriel, who also is economy minister. Greece will deliver a payment to the International Monetary Fund this week and seeks to complete talks on

economic changes needed to unlock more funding by a meeting of euro- area finance ministers on April 24, Euclid Tsakalotos, the minister for international economic affairs, said on April 7. “We’re doing our best to reach a new deal for what we think is good not just for the average Greek, but for the average European,” he told Bloomberg Television. Greece, Europe’s most-indebted state, is negotiating with euro-area countries and the IMF on the terms of its 240 billion euro rescue. The standoff, which has left Greece de- pendent upon European Central Bank loans, risks leading to a default within weeks and its potential exit from the euro area. Ms Merkel has said that while the question of reparations is closed for Germany, she’s open to talks on a sep- arate fund. The German government plans to spend 299.5 billion euros in this year’s budget. – AFP

International Business WASHINGTON World Bank’s Kim welcomes China- backed institution CHINA’S new development bank can have

14

THE MYANMAR TIMES ApRil 9, 2015

15

World

WoRld EditoR: Kayleigh Long

Red Cross sounds alarm on Yemen crisis

World 16

14 THE MYANMAR TIMES ApRil 9, 2015 15 World WoRld EditoR: Kayleigh Long Red Cross sounds

EU tensions flare as Greece and Russia meet

World 17

   

BANGKoK

IN PICTUrES Photo: AFP Activists wearing masks depicting Philippine President Benigno Aquino (L) and Filipina Mary
IN PICTUrES
Photo: AFP
Activists wearing masks depicting Philippine President Benigno Aquino (L) and Filipina
Mary Jane Veloso (R), currently on death row in Indonesia after being convicted of drug
trafficking, stage a protest against Veloso’s impending execution outside the Philippine
consulate in Hong Kong on April 8. Veloso was caught at Yogyakarta airport on the main
island of Java carrying 2.6 kilograms (5.73 pounds) of heroin on a flight from Malaysia in
April 2010.

WASHINGToN

Pressure mounts for ferry salvage

 

SINGAPorE

State forces killed civilians, probe finds

FOUR unarmed Muslim men shot dead last month in Thailand’s con-

not belong to the men. “State actions have caused damage

Civil society campaigners have lit- tle faith in investigating panels, saying

 

Filipino slapped with sedition charges after online rant

flict-racked south were not rebels, an investigation has found, raising the possibility of legal action against the security forces. Two villagers and two students were gunned down on 25 March in a raid on Ban To Chut village in Pattani province, when security forces acting on a tip-off opened fire on a group of suspected militants. In a region where killings of ci- vilians are common and legal ac- tion against security forces is rare, initially authorities said the men were members of one of the patchwork of

and severely impacted on the public, therefore all of the officials who were involved must be prosecuted in line with judicial process,” it added. Rights groups have for years ac- cused Thai security forces of carrying out extrajudicial killings with impu- nity in the remote and inaccessible south. Most of the nearly 6300 victims of the last decade of conflict have been civilians, both Muslims and Bud- dhists, killed by rebels or the security forces. Pattani police commander

that so far no members of the security forces have been prosecuted over civil- ian deaths. When killings occur, inquests commonly rule that police, military and paramilitary forces acted “in the line of duty” even when victims are unarmed. The Pattani case damages a highly- publicised “hearts and minds” strat- egy by the military to pay villagers to provide their own security and inform on insurgent movements. It is also likely to deepen mistrust of the ruling junta, which is trying to

A FILIPINO nurse who insulted Singaporeans online and called for the takeover of the city-state by his coun- trymen was charged in court on April 7 with sedition and lying to police, of- fences punishable by fines or jail. Ello Ed Mundsel Bello, 28, had already been fired from his job at the government-run Tan Tock Seng Hospital in January following inter- nal investigations into a series of so- cial media posts which were deemed offensive. On April 7 he was slapped with two

Singapore”. In the first Facebook post on Janu- ary 2, he wrote, “Singaporeans are loosers in their own country, we take their jobs, their future, their women and soon we will evict all SG loosers out of their own country hahaha”. He ended the post by saying “Re- member Pinoy [Filipinos] better and stronger than Stinkaporeans.’” In a subsequent comment on the same day, Mr Ello said “We will kick out all the Singaporeans and SG will be the new filipino state.”

which is mainly ethnic Chinese. In a statement after Mr Ello was charged in court, the Singapore Police Force said it “takes a stern view of acts that could threaten social harmony in Singapore”. “Any person who posts remarks online that could cause ill-will and hostility between the different races or communities in Singapore will be firmly dealt with in accordance with the law,” it said. Singapore clamps down hard on anyone seen to be inciting communal

1960s.

Muslim rebel groups waging a bloody decade-long insurgency.

Kriskorn Paleethunyawong confirmed the panel’s findings but dampened ex-

revive a stalled peace process with several rebel groups seeking more au-

charges of publishing seditious state- ments on January 2 as well as three

Mr Ello was also charged with ly- ing to the police on three different oc-

tensions after bloody racial riots in the

But an investigating panel headed by Pattani governor Werapong Kaews-

pectations of criminal proceedings. “We are open and listen to all ideas

tonomy for the deep south. Thailand, a mainly Buddhist na-

charges of subsequently lying to the police, a spokesperson for the Attor-

casions during investigations. He had told police officers that he

The Filipino community in Sin- gapore is estimated at more than

uwan found the men were unarmed

and opinions but it depends on the ju-

tion, annexed the region more than

ney-General’s Chambers told AFP.

was not responsible for the offending

170,000.

and mistaken for militants. “It is clear that all four people were not members of militant groups,” the panel said in a statement, adding that weapons seized after the incident did

dicial system to rule what is right or wrong,” he told AFP. Last week the commander said seven members of the security forces were being sought over the incident.

100 years ago and stands accused of perpetrating severe rights abuses as well as stifling the distinctive local cul- ture through clumsy, and often forced, assimilation schemes. – AFP

Charge sheets said Mr Ello’s re- marks have “the tendency to pro- mote feelings of ill-will and hostil- ity between different classes of the population of Singapore, namely, be-

posts, and that his Facebook account had been hacked. Under the Sedition Act, among other things, it is an offence to pro- mote hostility between different races

Singaporean citizens make up just over 60 percent of the 5.4 million pop- ulation, with a low fertility rate forc- ing the government to rely heavily on foreign workers.

 

tween Singaporeans and Filipinos in

or classes in multiracial Singapore,

AFP

   

HANoI

 

JAKArTA

Radioactive box missing in Vietnam

 

Australia makes last-ditch bid at

his first comments since the decision.

VIETNAMESE authorities are search- ing for a lead box containing hazard- ous radioactive material which has gone missing from a steel factory, an official said yesterday.

45 kilograms (100 pounds) and is some 18 inches (45 centimetres) long and 6 inches wide, the department said in a statement. “It contains Co-60 which was used

Minh City. “It’s our top priority to look for the container,” Mai Thanh Quang, director of the science department, was quoted as saying.

reprieve for Bali Nine condemned

The box of cobalt-60, which has a

for liquid measurement. It poses a po-

The biggest risk is that a scrap col-

AUSTRALIA is doing everything it can to save two drug smugglers fac-

they had exhausted all options to

“That’s what we’re doing

Every-

sion that it does not have the authority to hear a challenge to Widodo’s rejec-

Indonesia executed six drug of-

wide range of uses including for ra- diotherapy and in industry, has disap- peared from the Vietnamese-owned Pomina steel mill in the south of the country. “[We] do not know how and when the container went missing,” Do Vu Khoa, an official with the Department of Science and Technology in the south- ern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau said. “We are searching for the radiation box,” he added. The silver-white container weighs

tential danger to the environment and people’s health,” the statement said. State-run Tuoi Tre newspaper said the cobalt-60 was among five radioac- tive sources which Pomina imported in 2010 to measure liquid steel levels at its plant. The equipment was last confirmed to be at the facility late last year, the company said, according to the report. The search zone includes several waste dumps in Ba Ria-Vung Tau and surrounding areas including Ho Chi

lector could find the box and cut open the protective lead casing, potentially exposing himself and others to radia- tion, he said. Cobalt-60 is a radioactive isotope of the metallic element cobalt and the gamma rays it emits destroy tumours. Apart from radiotherapy, it can be used to irradiate food and sterilise health care products. But direct contact or mere proxim- ity can cause cancer without proper safeguards. – AFP

ing the firing squad in Indonesia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said yes- terday after the pair lost their latest legal appeal. On April 6 a Jakarta court dis- missed Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran’s challenge against the rejection of their pleas for clemency. Indonesia’s legal chief then said

avoid the death penalty, but their lawyers insist legal avenues remain. “We are continuing to do every-

tion. Mr Abbott said he had spoken to the Indonesian leader again about the Bali pair. “I’ve had a number of conversa- tions with President Widodo on this issue. I’m not going to go into what was said, but I have certainly made our position very clear,” he said.

fenders in January, including five for- eigners, prompting a furious Brazil and the Netherlands – whose citizens

     

thing we possibly can for them,” Mr Abbott told reporters in Sydney in

were among those put to death – to recall their ambassadors. – AFP

IN PICTUrES Photo: AFP An Indian farmer of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU – Indian Farmers’
IN PICTUrES
Photo: AFP
An Indian farmer of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU – Indian
Farmers’ Union) listens to a speech by the leadership during a
protest demanding compensation for damage to crops due to
fluctuating rains and the waiving of electricity bills and loan
interest, in Allahabad on April 7.
 

SOUTH KOREA said yesterday it would cost US$110 million to

consider” raising the Sewol , tak - ing into account the opinions of

After months of political bick - ering, parliament passed a bill in

linked to the disaster, including 15 crew members – who were

 

SEoUl

raise the Sewol ferry, as pres - sure to salvage the vessel grows before the first anniversary of its

the relatives and salvage experts. At a briefing yesterday, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries

November initiating an independ - ent investigation into the sinking.

among the first to climb into lifeboats.

The Interview airdrops into N Korea

sinking. The 6,825-tonne passenger ship sank off the southwest coast on April 16 last year with the loss of more than 300 lives – most of them high school students. Ahead of next week’s first anni - versary of the tragedy, hundreds of parents of the dead students – some with their heads shaved and clad in white mourning robes – marched 35 kilometres (22 miles) to Seoul from their hometown of Ansan over the weekend. They were joined by hundreds more supporters for a rally in

said the salvage operation – if ap - proved – would cost around 120 billion won ($110 million). “And that is only an estimate, as the final cost would be greatly dependent on weather condi - tions, technological uncertainties etc,” said senior ministry offi -

But relatives have accused the government of trying to influence the probe by appointing officials to key posts in the 17-member in - quiry committee. More than 50 people have been put on trial on charges

The Sewol’s captain was jailed in November for 36 years for gross negligence and dereliction of duty, while three other senior crew members were sentenced to jail terms of between 15 and 30 years. – AFP

But relatives have accused the government of trying to influence the probe by appointing officials to

Relatives of victims of the Sewol ferry disaster march across a bridge over the

A SOUTH Korean activist said yester- day he had launched thousands of cop- ies of Hollywood film The Interview into North Korea by balloon, ignoring dire threats of reprisals from Pyong- yang. The capital has labelled the Seth Rogen comedy, about a fictional CIA plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, a “wanton act of terror”. North Korean defector-turned-ac- tivist Lee Min-Bok said he had carried out four cross-border balloon launches

since January – the latest one on April

North Korea has long condemned the cross-border launches and de- manded that the South Korean author- ities step in to prevent them. Last October North Korea border guards attempted to shoot down some balloons, triggering a brief exchange of heavy machine gun fire between the two sides. Pyongyang issued stern warnings against any effort to include copies of The Interview in the balloon bundles, saying that any challenge to its “just physical countermeasures” will trigger

near the balloon launch site. Mr Lee’s launches were done at night in remote locations, and though they were monitored by local police, no move was made to stop him. “The police would have no right to stop me from doing this,” Mr Lee said. “I am always being tailed by police,” he added. A CNN camera crew that followed Mr Lee filmed him attaching the bun- dles to the balloons in the middle of the night, before releasing them into the darkness.

the capital on April 5 that called

4.

“merciless retaliatory strikes”.

The balloons are wholly at the mer-

on the government to bring the sunken vessel to the surface and ensure a fully independent in - quiry into the disaster. A total of 295 bodies were re - covered from the ferry, and nine victims remained unaccounted for when divers finally called off the dangerous search of its inte - rior last November. President Park Geun-Hye promised on April 6 to “actively

Han river in Seoul on April 5. Photo: AFP

On each occasion he tied bundles carrying copies of The Interview and anti-Pyongyang leaflets to helium bal- loons, which he then released from the back of a truck. “I launched thousands of copies and about a million leaflets on April 4, near the western part of the border,” Mr Lee told AFP. All the launches were carried out at night with little or no advance public- ity, given the sensitivity on both sides.

It stands accused by the FBI of be- ing behind a devastating cyber attack last November on Sony Pictures, the studio behind the movie. While appealing to activists to avoid overly provoking the North, Seoul in- sists their actions are protected by free- dom of expression principles. Police have intervened to prevent some launches, but only when there is a prospect of North Korean retaliation that might endanger residents living

cy of the prevailing winds, and it is im- possible to determine how many will actually come down in North Korea. Seoul’s Unification Ministry, which said it had only become aware of Lee’s latest launches in the past couple of days, declined to comment directly on his efforts to send copies of the movie. “Our stance is that we continue to acknowledge the freedom of individu- als to publicise their opinions,” a minis- try spokesperson said. – AFP

16

World

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015

ADEN

ICRC warns of ‘catastrophe’ in Yemen

THE Red Cross has warned of the “catastrophic” situation unfolding in Yemen’s main southern city Aden, as forces loyal to the president bat-

tled Iran-backed Shiite rebels in the streets. The Huthi rebels and their allies made a new push on a port in the central Mualla district of the city, but were forced back by mili - tia supporting President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, witnesses said. Naval forces of the Saudi-led coalition, which has carried out nearly two weeks of air strikes in support of Hadi, shelled rebel positions across the city, the witnesses said, though the coalition denied launching a naval combat operation. International Committee of the Red Cross spokesperson Marie Claire Feghali said the humanitar - ian situation across Yemen was

... and ground routes cut off”. The situation in Aden was “catastrophic to say the least”.

“very difficult

[with] naval, air

“The war in Aden is on every

... unable to escape,” she said. General Ahmed Assiri, spokes - person for the coalition, how - ever, said many parts of the city remained “stable”. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said the situation was “worsening by the day”. Medics in Aden had “not received large numbers of casualties over the past few days ... due to the difficulties faced in try - ing to reach a hospital,” said MSF’s

street, in every corner

Many are

‘The war in Aden is on every street, in every corner ... Many are unable to escape.’

Marie-Claire Feghali

iCrC spokesperson

World THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015 ADEN ICRC warns of ‘catastrophe’ in Yemen THE Red
World THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015 ADEN ICRC warns of ‘catastrophe’ in Yemen THE Red

A Yemeni supporter of the separatist Southern Movement, loyal to the government forces, stands on a street in Aden’s northern district of Dar Saad on April 7. Photo: AFP

Marie-Elisabeth Ingres. MSF has a team of 140 local staff and eight expatriates at a hospital in Aden. “Our priority is to find a way to send a supporting medical team,” Mr Ingres told AFP, adding a team was waiting in Djibouti “for a green light from the coalition”. Mr Assiri said later that permits had been issued for a boat carrying aid and medics from Djibouti. The Red Cross hoped to deliver to Sanaa 16 tonnes of medical aid on a plane loaded in Jordan yester - day. Another plane carrying twice as much could follow the next day. Two students were killed and several others wounded on April 7 when a rocket hit a school near Al-

Hamza military base in the south -

western Ibb province, an official said, adding it was unclear if the school was hit in an air strike or by Huthi artillery. Rebel-controlled Saba news agency accused coalition warplanes of hitting the school. Coalition strikes killed at least eight Huthis north of Aden, a mili - tary source said, as raids also tar - geted air defence posts in Taez prov - ince, as well as Al-Sadrayn military base in Daleh province. On April 6, Saudi-led warplanes struck the rebel-held Al-Anad air base north of Aden, a general said, while to the east, al-Qaeda’s Yemen franchise sought to tighten its grip on Hadramawt province. Loud explosions were heard as the jihadists attacked an army base in the

provincial capital Mukalla, much of which they captured last week. Meanwhile, 10 Huthis and three tribesmen were killed in Shabwa, according to tribal sources. Fighting in Aden left at least 10 people dead, adding to the 53 people killed in the previous 24 hours. Nationwide, more than 540 peo - ple have died and 1700 have been wounded since March 19, the World Health Organization said. At least 74 children had been killed since the coalition strikes began on March 26 – though the real figure is thought to be much higher – and more than 100,000 displaced, according to the UN. Observers have warned al-Qaeda could exploit the fighting to

expand its control following the withdrawal of US troops overseeing a longstanding drone war against it. The US, which sees al-Qaeda’s Yemen franchise as its most dan - gerous, has “expedited weapons deliveries” in support of the Saudi- led coalition, said Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The Gulf states are also pushing for UN sanctions to be imposed on Huthi leader Abdulma - lik al-Huthi and ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s eldest son, Ahmed, adding them to a list of three others, including the former president, hit by a global travel ban and asset feeze in November. The evacuation of foreigners continued with three Indian planes carrying 604 passengers, includ - ing some Yemenis, from Sanaa to Djibouti. Pakistan’s navy also said it evacuated 146 nationals and 36 foreigners. Islamabad said it would take its time deciding whether to accept a Saudi request to join the coalition, which so far consists of nine Arab – mostly Sunni – countries. Pakistan’s neighbour Iran – the main Shiite power – has strongly criticised the intervention and rejected accusations it is arming the rebels. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan was “not in a hurry” to decide and that diplomatic ef - forts were under way involving Turkey and Iran. Turkish President Recep Tayy - ip Erdogan, who has expressed support for the coalition without providing military forces, held talks in Tehran on March 7. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif were expected in Islamabad yesterday. Pakistan faces a tricky dilemma, as it has long enjoyed close ties with Riyadh and has benefited hugely from the oil-rich kingdom’s largesse. But it has called for a negotiated solution, saying it does not want to take part in any conflict that would worsen sectarian divisions in the Muslim world. – AFP

WASHINGTON

Al Qaeda making gains in Yemen, US concedes

US DEFENSE Secretary Ashton Carter acknowledged yesterday that al Qaeda was seizing terrain amid the chaos in Yemen, but vowed that Washington would continue to com- bat the extremist group despite ongoing fighting there. “We see them making gains on the ground there as they try to take territory,” said Mr Carter, who was in Japan as part of a visit to Asia for talks with regional allies. Yemen has descended into violence over recent months, with Huthi rebels seizing power in the capital Sanaa in February. The Huthis, allied with army units loyal to ex-president Ali Abdul- lah Saleh, have been fighting forces supporting President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who has fled to the Saudi capital Riyadh. Late last month Saudi Arabia launched a campaign of air strikes, amid fears Yemen will slip into Huthi control and shift into the orbit of Shiite Iran, Sunni Saudi Arabia’s regional rival. Observers say al Qaeda and oth- er groups are exploiting the insta- bility, in which the World Health

Organisation says at least 540 people have died since March 19. “The terrorism threat to the West, including the United States, from AQAP [Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] is a longstand- ing and serious one … that we will keep combating,” he added at a press conference alongside his Japanese counterpart, Gen Nakatani. “Obviously it’s always easier to conduct CT [counter-terrorism] ops when there is a stable government willing to cooperate. “That circumstance now obviously doesn’t exist in Yemen but that doesn’t mean that we don’t continue to take steps to protect ourselves. We have to do it in a different way, but we do and we are.” Mr Carter expressed hope that peace would be restored “not only for that reason but also [because] there is a lot of suffering in Yemen”. At the end of last week AQAP, which the US views as the most dangerous wing of the Sunni Muslim extremist group, captured the army headquarters and the southeastern port of Al Mukalla.

AFP

World THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015 ADEN ICRC warns of ‘catastrophe’ in Yemen THE Red

Yemeni fighters opposing the Huthi rebels hold a bullet belt in the northern entrance of the southern Yemeni city of Aden on April 8 as clashes continue to rage in the embattled city between Shiite Huthi rebels and forces loyal to fugitive Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi. Photo: AFP

www.mmtimes.com

World 17

MOSCOW

Greek PM rattles EU in Moscow talks

GREEK Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was due to meet Kremlin strongman Vladimir Putin in Moscow yesterday as part of an eye-catching visit that has fuelled EU fears cash-strapped Athens is cosying up to Russia. The two-day trip comes as Mr Tsipras is battling to unblock a rescue package from the EU and IMF, with some in Brussels warning against any move to barter financial support from Moscow for political backing over the Ukraine crisis. But analysts say that while the visit might see Moscow lift an embargo on Greek fruit, overall it is more about political grandstanding aimed at pres- suring Europe rather than a serious shift in policy. Mr Tsipras, a former Communist who came to power in January, has made no secret of seeking closer ties to Russia at a time when Moscow is at loggerheads with the European Union over the conflict in Ukraine. He has travelled to Moscow al- ready last year, prior to his election win, to meet with several officials and lawmakers. A number of Greek officials have openly broached the prospect of Ath- ens turning to Russia or China for financial assistance if loan talks with the EU end in failure. Ahead of the trip, Mr Tsipras once again rattled the EU’s already shaky stance over Ukraine by lashing out at Western sanctions against Moscow as “a road to nowhere”. “We do not agree with sanctions,” Mr Tsipras told Russian state news agency TASS. “I support the point of view that there is a need for a dialogue and

diplomacy. We should sit down at the negotiating table and find the solu- tions to major problems.” Both sides have talked up the possi- bility of closer economic ties between the two Orthodox nations ahead of the visit – set to be followed by anoth- er trip to Moscow for Mr Tsipras for WWII victory anniversary commemo- rations in May. Prominent among the issues on the agenda is gas after Energy Minis- ter Panagiotis Lafazanis discussed en- ergy exploration and the new Turkish Stream pipeline during a two-day visit last month. But while both sides make posi- tive noises there appears no chance of Russia – battling an economic crisis of its own – stepping in with major fi- nancial aid. “There is no question of Greece re- ceiving any money to plug its holes,” Russian foreign affairs expert Fyodor Lukyanov told AFP. Moscow, however, could well de- cide to revoke a painful embargo on fruit – imposed as part of a wider ban on Western products in response to sanctions over Ukraine – that has bruised Greece’s agricultural sector. “That does not cost anything but still looks good,” Mr Lukyanov said. For Mr Putin, courting Athens is most likely seen as a way of sowing discord in Europe and Greece might be seen as a Trojan Horse for helping to rock his Western foes. “It’s not realistic to expect that Greece will veto the sanctions against Russia,” Mr Lyukanov said. “But it could foment a wave of opinion against the sanctions and that is useful.”

www.mmtimes.com World 17 MOSCOW Greek PM rattles EU in Moscow talks GREEK Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (foreground right) takes part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin Wall in Moscow on April 8. Photo: AFP

For Mr Tsipras, experts said, the visit to Moscow is far more a warn- ing shot to Europe as the wrangling over the bailout drags on rather than a genuine gambit to throw Athens’ lot in with Russia. “The Tsipras government seeks to leave ambiguity hanging over its intentions as if to tell the Europeans ‘don’t take us for granted’,” said Greek

analyst Constantinos Filis. But he added that this is merely a “tactic” rather than a true foreign pol- icy shift and cosying up to Moscow is just “an additional card” in the game of brinkmanship. “Greece needs the EU and Russia needs Greece to remain part of the EU and NATO in terms of the support it can offer against criticism and eco-

nomic sanctions.” Thanos Veremis, vice-president of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy says Mr Tsipras visit is mainly directed at the elector- ate at home. “It’s designed to show that the gov- ernment is proactive and prepared to try things out.”

AFP

WASHINGTON

Jamaican progress: Obama launches Caribbean appeal

BARACK Obama is set to become the first US president to set foot on Jamai- can soil in more than three decades, as the United States bids to check Ven- ezuelan influence in the Caribbean. Mr Obama was set to arrive in Kingston late yesterday for a meeting with the 15-member CARICOM Carib- bean bloc, the first time a sitting US president has visited the island since Ronald Reagan in 1982. Mr Obama will be keen to offer an alternative to cheap Venezuelan oil, which has enticed many of the region’s struggling economies, but looks set to end. Mr Obama will have to woo coun- tries that while geographically close to the US, are often politically distant. “We absolutely feel that the CARI- COM region does deserve greater at-

tention and engagement from the United States,” said senior Obama advisor Ben Rhodes on the eve of the visit. He pointed to a recent energy ini- tiative led by Vice President Joe Biden. “We are looking to continually deepen our relationship with the Car- ibbean and can play an important role in enhancing the energy security of the region,” said Mr Rhodes. The US had “significant” energy re- sources and infrastructure, he added. If the US has not always made its presence fully felt in the Caribbean, that vacuum was filled by Petrocaribe, an initiative by Caracas’ state-owned PDVSA – Petroleos de Venezuela. The program offered Caribbean and some Central American nations the opportunity to defer payment for

oil under low interest rates. But as Venezuela’s own economy has faltered as oil prices slid, Carib- bean states have faced stricter terms and shorter supplies, leaving them vulnerable. Venezuela “has been reducing its subsidized oil exports to Petrocaribe and the smaller states that receive those subsidies including Cuba,” said Ted Piccone, a former advisor in Bill Clinton’s White House. Mr Piccone, now of the Brookings Institution, said the cuts to Petrocar- ibe are estimated to be anywhere be- tween ten and thirty percent of supply. “The goal of the US now is to try to break up Petrocaribe and offer in particular the Caribbean states that are so vulnerable and so dependent on energy imports some extra special

KIGALI

France to declassify Rwanda files

RWANDA’S justice minister yesterday welcomed France’s declassification of documents relating to the 1994 Rwan- dan genocide, in which Kigali accuses Paris of having an indirect role. However, Minster of Justice John- ston Busingye said Paris should ensure the documents released are “total”. A decision to declassify the papers was signed on April 7 and concerns “documents in the Elysee relating to Rwanda between 1990 and 1995”, span- ning the genocide which claimed at least 800,000 lives, a source in President Francois Hollande’s entourage said. “The Franco-Rwanda political, dip- lomatic and military relationship dur- ing the 1990-1995 period has been a

tightly guarded domain,” Mr Busingye told AFP. “Perhaps the goings-on at the time will finally be opened up, and it will shed light on the many dark and grey questions still unaddressed. One only hopes that the declassification is total.” The papers, which include docu- ments from diplomatic and military advisers as well as minutes from min- isterial and defence meetings, will be available to both researchers and victims’ associations, the French presi- dency said. Ties between France and Rwanda are strained as Rwandan President Paul Kagame accuses Paris of com- plicity in the genocide because of its

support of the Hutu nationalist gov- ernment that carried out the mass killings, mainly of ethnic Tutsis. Paris has repeatedly denied the ac- cusations and insists that French forc- es had worked to protect civilians. Re- lations between both countries were completely frozen from 2006 to 2009. The president of Ibuka, Rwanda’s genocide survivors’ association, called for documents to be made available as soon as possible. “Let them do it and do so quick- ly. It is interesting, it is good,” said Jean-Pierre Dusingizemungu, saying it could shed light on France’s role and actions through the period of the genocide. – AFP

attention.” Before the CARICOM meeting to- day, Mr Obama was slated to hold talks with Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller. Her government has been forced to adopt tough austerity measures in order to correct a fiscal crisis and meet the demands of IMF creditors. With domestic pressure building, the White House is lending its “strong support for Jamaica’s work to deal with a debt crisis” said another senior Obama advisor, Ricardo Zuniga. Critics say Jamaica has been forced

to adopt what the US-based Center for Economic and Policy Research called “the most austere budget in the world”. “Jamaica actually has a lower per capita GDP in 2015 than when Obama was elected more than six years ago,” the economic think tank said, urging less strident cuts. Before departing for a Sum- mit of the Americas in Panama Mr Obama will take part in a “town hall” meeting with young leaders in Jamaica and participate in a wreath-laying ceremony.

AFP

 
   

TRADE MARK CAUTION

Sigma-Tau Industrie Farmaceutiche Riunite S.p.A., of Viale Shakespeare, 47-00144 ROMA, Italy, is the Owner of the following Trade Mark:-

LEVOCARNIL

 

Reg. No. 12948/2011

in respect of “Pharmaceutical and veterinary preparations; sanitary preparations for medical purposes; dietetic substances adapted for medical use, food for babies; plasters, materials for dressings; material for stopping teeth, dental wax; disinfectants; preparations for destroying vermin; fungicides, herbicides”.

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 Sigma-Tau Industrie Farmaceutiche Riunite S.p.A. P. O. Box 60, Yangon E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm Dated: 9 April 2015

18

World

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015

WASHINGTON
 

WASHINGTON

CIA chief defends Iran deal

CIA director John Brennan has giv- en a staunch defence of the frame- work nuclear deal with Iran, calling some criticism of the accord “disin- genuous” while expressing surprise at Tehran’s concessions. In his first public remarks since the outline agreement was an- nounced last week, the spy agency chief said the deal would impose a litany of restrictions on Iran’s nu-

enriched uranium for 15 years.

including agreeing to a dramatic re- duction of centrifuges, Mr Brennan said, “Boy, nobody ever thought they would do that at the beginning.” Some critics were less focused on Iran’s nuclear program and more on the effect of lifting sanctions, as they worry it will allow Tehran to “cause more trouble throughout the area”, Mr Brennan said. That was a concern, he said. But

Iranian foreign policy,” he said. “I think we’ll see. But I don’t think this is going to lead to a light switch when all of a sudden the Ira- nians are going to become passive, docile in the region, no.” Mr Brennan, who served as President Obama’s counterterrorism adviser before taking over at the spy agency, said Iran’s attitude on the is- sue had changed since Mr Obama

clear work that had once seemed impossible to secure. “I must tell you the individuals who say this deal provides a path- way for Iran to a bomb are being wholly disingenuous, in my view, if they know the facts, understand what’s required for a [nuclear] pro- gram,” Mr Brennan told an audience at Harvard University. The outline deal would see the United States and the European

‘I certainly am pleasantly surprised that the Iranians have agreed to so much here.’

entered office six years ago mainly because sanctions had hit the coun- try’s economy hard, he said. New leadership under Mr Rou- hani, who was a “more reasonable” figure, also provided an opening. Recognizing the threat posed by the sanctions, the supreme leader, Aya- tollah Ali Khamenei, gave a green light to Mr Rouhani to try to broker a deal, Mr Brennan said. If the talks failed, Mr Khamenei

Union lift all nuclear-related sanc- tions on Iran in exchange for a 98

John Brennan

could then blame Mr Rouhani and his foreign minister for the result, he

per cent cut in Iran’s stocks of highly

CiA Director

added. Mr Brennan also suggested that

The accord would mean “cutting

   

digital sabotage on Iran’s uranium

off pathways not just to uranium

enrichment work had played a role.

IN PICTURES

Kenyans take part in a march demanding greater national

enrichment but to plutonium enrich- ment” and include a “very intrusive inspection regime”, Mr Brennan said.

the framework deal itself offered a way of curtailing any attempt by

Asked by New York Times report- er David Sanger if the cyber attack was a factor, Brennan said: “I think

Photo: AFP

security on April 7, following last week’s massacre by Somalia’s Shebab Islamists, ahead of a candlelit vigil on the final day of mourning for

“I certainly am pleasantly sur- prised that the Iranians have agreed to so much here. “In terms of the inspections re- gime, the reduction as far as the cen- trifuges, the stockpile, what they’re doing with the Arak reactor – all of that I think is really quite surprising

Iran to build nuclear weapons and is “as solid as you can get,” he said. US and allied intelligence agen- cies would be closely monitoring how Iran implemented any deal. It was unclear if the prag- matic approach demonstrated by President Hassan Rouhani

their inability to progress certainly helped slow that program.” Mr Sanger in 2012 broke the sto- ry of Stuxnet, a US-Israeli effort to undermine Iran’s nuclear program with a damaging computer worm. Mr Brennan made a joking refer- ence to Mr Sanger’s articles, saying:

the 148 people killed by the militants.

and quite good.” Citing Tehran’s “concessions”,

on the nuclear negotiations would “migrate to other areas of

“I wouldn’t attribute your reporting to helping that frankly.” – AFP

       
World THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015 WASHINGTON CIA chief defends Iran deal CIA director John

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World 19

lONDON

GlASGOW

Posh nosh: Cameron roasted over hot dog gaffe

Scots look to step up

BRITAIN’S Prime Minister David Cameron has been skewered in the middle of a tense election campaign – for eating a hot dog with a knife and fork. The Conservative leader’s visit to a voter barbecue backfired as an attempt to appear as an everyman, relaxing in

was the headline of the Daily Mail. “What kind of person eats a hot dog with a knife and fork?” asked The Times journalist David Jack. “I do the same at McDonalds with a Big Mac just before I ask to see the wine list,” joked one Twitter user. Mr Cameron has said he will not

SCOTTISH nationalists are prepar- ing for landslide election gains at the expense of Labour next month but also holding out the offer of a pact that could put the centre-left party in power. “Scotland’s voice at Westminster has always been very quiet. In fact it’s been completely muted because the

minister,” Sturgeon said in a televised debate. In the central Scottish town of Cumbernauld, Labour MP Gregg Mc- Clymont won 57 percent of the vote at the last election but is fighting to keep his seat amid polls showing a major swing to the SNP. “It’s certainly going to be a tight contest, there’s no denying it,” he

to translate into SNP success at West- minster. Glasgow has long been solid La- bour territory but the party could be set to lose all but one of its seats, ac- cording to polling. In the northwest of the city, Monaghan–a physics teacher moved to enter politics after the referendum looks set to overturn a Labour major-

a blue shirt as the beer flowed. Newspapers and social media seized on the photograph of Mr Cam- eron using the cutlery as evidence that the prime minister is posh and unrelat- able – an image he has battled to shake. “David Cameron doesn’t know how to eat a hot dog” announced the Metro; “I won’t try to hide the fact I am posh”

change his upper-class accent to win votes, or apologise for what he called his “privileged upbringing”. Mr Cameron, like Prince William, Prince Harry and a large proportion of Britain’s ruling class, attended the prestigious boarding school Eton Col- lege. The UK will take to the polls on May 7. – AFP

a blue shirt as the beer flowed. Newspapers and social media seized on the photograph of

Faced with a tough choice, David Cameron opts to use cutlery. Photo: AFP

strings have been pulled by UK La- bour,” said Carol Monaghan, an Scot-

tish National Party (SNP) candidate in Glasgow. “People don’t want that any more,” she added. Labour won 41 out of 59 seats in Scotland in the 2010 vote, but polls suggest the majority of these will pass to the pro-independence SNP on May 7. Without big wins in Scotland, La- bour has little chance of winning a majority in Britain’s 650-seat House of Commons – but neither does

said, pushing leaflets through doors on a housing estate during a spring hail storm. Many voters seem receptive to Labour’s policies on the key issues of education and the state-run National Health Service, and Mr McClymont remains upbeat. But there is still resentment against Labour, which was in govern- ment in Britain between 1997 and

ity of 19,000. It helps the SNP’s campaign that Labour campaigned with the Conservatives against independence– the Tories are deeply unpopular in Scotland, and have just one MP here. “I think having a stronger SNP voice in Westminster is generally a good thing to shake up the big, larger parties,” said Stewart Cunningham, a 33-year-old PhD student who is

  • 2010. switching from Labour to the SNP. Labour has declined to say wheth- er it would take up its old enemies to

The party has been demonised

Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party, leaving the elec- tion wide open. “If Labour weren’t losing ground

in Scotland

it would be pretty obvi-

pable of forming a government,” said John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University. But the SNP surge could im- prove, not hinder Labour leader Ed Miliband’s chances as the party has indicated it could support a minority Labour government to keep Cameron out. “I don’t want David Cameron to be prime minister. I’m offering to help make Ed Miliband prime

by the SNP as being too similar to the Conservatives and was widely

blamed for the financial crash of

do some kind of post-election deal, only ruling out a formal coalition.

  • 2008. The two parties share some poli- cies – they would both raise the top rate of income tax and the minimum wage, and oppose the referendum that Cameron has promised on Brit- ain’s membership of the European Union. For Mr Curtice, this means that, despite its losses the Labour party has a “friend in the SNP” that Mr Cameron lacks. “And that, to some degree, other things being equal, does tip the odds in favour of Ed Miliband being the next prime minister,” Mr Curtice said. – AFP

The SNP has in recent years pitched beyond its nationalist base to traditional Labour voters with a mes- sage of a fairer, more equal Scotland in charge of its own affairs–with sig- nificant success. The party has run the devolved government in Edinburgh since 2007, and in the 2011 Scottish parliamen- tary elections won an impressive 45 percent of ballots cast. The “Yes” campaign secured a similar proportion of the vote in Sep- tember’s independence referendum, and that enthusiasm now looks set

www.mmtimes.com World 19 lONDON GlASGOW Posh nosh: Cameron roasted over hot dog gaffe Scots look to
s o r the pulse editor: ChArlotte rose charlottelola.rose@gmail.com THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015 n
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the pulse editor: ChArlotte rose charlottelola.rose@gmail.com
THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015
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A hidden beauty uncovered

s o r the pulse editor: ChArlotte rose charlottelola.rose@gmail.com THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015 n

Zon Pann Pwint

zonpann08@gmail.com

T HOSE familiar with Yangon as a place of construction sites and constant, snarling traffic may be interested to know that even 10 years ago, when cars were a rarity and months would go by without a developer breaking

ground, keeping the city green was a source of concern. U Hla Thein Maung, director of So Pyay Landscaping Service, remembers well those days. “It was a beautiful place, marred only by a rubbish dump,” he says, contemplating the placid vista of Inya Lake. In the early days of the century, he and his siblings used to drive past the lake, lamenting the ugly tip of waste and the tangle of weedy undergrowth that spoiled the view of the lake and the University of Yangon. “Whenever we drove past, I would re-imagine it as a lakeside garden,” he said. His dream became reality in 2004 when his company received permission from the Ministry of Education, which owns the site, to clear the land. Within three months, the litter-choked ponds were filled with earth, the overgrown shrubs pruned back,

the mounds of rubbish cleared away, and the entire site landscaped with trees and flowers. The view was transformed. “Passers-by would ask us if they could sit for a while and rest,” said Daw Aye Thandar Tun, another director of

the landscaping service.

The garden, in Inya Road, opened in March last year. They called it Seinn Lann So Pyay, and the public has never stopped pouring in, with up to 700 visitors a day savouring the scenic view. From dawn to dusk, birdsong and the gentle soughing of the wind off the water complement the visual experience and add lustre to the garden. Later in the year, a new restaurant was opened for visitors to the garden. “Yangon City Development Council runs many parks, but they have been neglected,” he said, complaining that all too often after dusk the parks were the scene of furtive fumblings by couples with one thing in mind and nowhere else to go, causing embarrassment to family visitors. “Whenever I catch a couple getting up to that sort of thing in my garden, I put a plant pot there,” he said, surveying the verdant scene. “I don’t want the families and the children to be upset.” Rusty see-saws and slides in some playgrounds are not safe for children to play on, he added, calling for more space to be made over for recreation. “There is no air more fresh than the wind blowing across the lake.”

s o r the pulse editor: ChArlotte rose charlottelola.rose@gmail.com THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015 n

Stunning Seinn Lann So Pyay Garden was once nothing more than a rubbish dump. Photos: Aung Tun Win

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the pulse 21

Blooming trade in Myanmar arts and crafts

www.mmtimes.com the pulse Blooming trade in Myanmar arts and crafts NaNdaR aUNg nandaraung.mcm@gmail.com T RULY dedicated

NaNdaR aUNg

nandaraung.mcm@gmail.com

T RULY dedicated followers of fashion, like me and, possibly, you (no, not you - you over there), will understand accessories.

A merely beautiful dress without accoutrements simply will not do. Good taste demands more. If you go one step further and insist that your daily fashion accessories be crafted with hand- made tools, then you and I may well have rubbed unwitting shoulders at Sunflowers Art, Organic Dye Textile and Crafts store. For those behind the curve, the store is no longer in 35 th Street, Kyauktada township, but has relocated to 54 Shan Gone Street, Myaynigone, Sanchaung township (there’s nothing like the proximity of a brand-new K17 billion reinforced concrete flyover for enhancing the

www.mmtimes.com the pulse Blooming trade in Myanmar arts and crafts NaNdaR aUNg nandaraung.mcm@gmail.com T RULY dedicated

subtle beauty of environmentally friendly products). Naturally enough, the store nestles under the wing of the Sunflowers Group Social Enterprise, run by artists Maung Maung Thein (Pathein) and Chaw Ei Thein as a gallery and studio for art classes since 1994. But the traditional textiles, natural dye and knitting accessories schtick started just last year. “Our store embraces the themes of recycling and natural materials. We draw from our environment that which is useful, and which need not be abandoned,” said Chaw Ei Thein. “All things have beauty. All we need to do is to see that beauty and to use it in an appropriate place.” So here is your hand-made soap, there your shower creams or facial cleansers distilled from tomatoes, or

Photos: Aung Khant

cucumbers, or aloe vera and what have you. Here, too, your colourful knitting accessories, crafts, postcards, recycled products reborn as earrings, bracelets, necklaces, traditional shoes and natural-dye cloth, including cottons, silks and lotus produced and designed by rural women or NGOs earnestly improving education or struggling for the rights of old or disabled people. “We have market demand, but we still face difficulties in production. We’re working on that, with the rural weavers,” promises Ma Chaw Ei Thein. Some Sunflowers products may be had from Pomelo, Thiripyitsaya souvenir shops in Yangon and Narita and Osaka airports and art@ apt in New York. See you there, sweeties.

NEW YORK

Monet’s lillies bloom once again in rare new york art auction

OIL paintings by impressionist master Claude Monet are expected to be stars of the spring auction season in New York, where Sotheby’s believes they could fetch as much as US$110 million. One of the paintings is part of the famous Nymphéas (Water Lilies) series the French artist painted at Giverny. Forecast to sell for an estimated $30-45 million, this work has been held by a collector since 1955, and has not been seen in public since 1945. The six Monet works have been in private collections; they are expected to generate a lot of enthusiasm on the auction block at evening sales. The other works are “Le Palais Ducal” painted in 1908 in Venice; it is expected to fetch $15-20 million; “Bassin aux nymphéas, les rosiers” from $18-25 million;

and “Le Chemin d’Epinay, effet de neige” (1875). It is expected to sell for $6-8 million. In addition, “La Seine à Vétheuil” (1901) is expected to bring in $6-8 million; it has been in private hands since 1955 and has not been sold at auction. And “Au Val Saint-Nicolas près Dieppe, matin” (1897) could fetch $3-4 million, the auction house said. These six works by the impressionist will be shown in London April 10-14, before returning to New York where they will be on view through May 1. Auctioneers Christie’s, meanwhile, announced April 6 it would sell a Monet work – “Le parlement, soleil couchant” – for an expected $35-45 million on May 11 in New York. The record for a single Monet

was set in June 2008 when Christie’s in London sold “Le bassin des Nymphéas” for $80.1 million. “The six works by Monet that we are privileged to present this May represent exactly what buyers are seeking at this moment:

several of his most famous scenes, emerging from prestigious private collections and completely fresh to the market,” said Simon Shaw at Sotheby’s. “We’re undeniably witnessing an exceptional moment for great works by Monet at Sotheby’s. As new generations and new markets

rediscover the master, the supply of strong examples remaining in private hands is shrinking fast. The result is fierce competition that leads to the results we have witnessed recently at Sotheby’s.”

– AFP

www.mmtimes.com the pulse Blooming trade in Myanmar arts and crafts NaNdaR aUNg nandaraung.mcm@gmail.com T RULY dedicated

Claude Monet’s paintings are estimated to achieve in excess of $110 million at an upcoming Sotheby’s auction in New York. Photo: AFP/Handout/Sotheby’s

IN PICTUREs Photo: AFP TODAY Each year the Pralormo castle hosts the “Mister Tulip” event in
IN PICTUREs
Photo: AFP
TODAY
Each year
the Pralormo
castle hosts
the “Mister
Tulip” event
in the English
garden where
over 75,000
tulips bloom at
the same time
and announce
the arrival of
spring.
Folk On Fire with L’n’r Band. From
Folk to Reggae, oldies to recent tunes.
Mojo Lounge and Restaurant, 135 Inya
Rd, Bahan. Free entry. 9:30pm.
Taco Bar Buffet. All you can eat Mexican
with free-flow Coronas, Margaritas and
tequila. Bookings essential, at: events.
tgr@belmond.com or +95 (1) 229 860.
Belmond Governor’s Residence, Taw Win
Road. $42. 6:30-9:30pm.
Juize Mix Battle in collaboration with
Jam It! Artists: Gtone, One way, Hip II,
Net Kyaw/Spider/CJ, YBV, C Phyo Min
biz (Beatboxxer). Graffiti: Wunna Lynn
(Roar) , Thu Myat (O.K.P). MC: K-CA$H.
Taw Win Centre, Pyay Road, Dagon.
Free entry. 4-7pm.
TOMORROW
Aaron Gallegos Trio. Blending diverse
influences from flamenco to bossa,
jazz and world music. Gekko, 535
Merchant Rd. 7pm.
French Love Friday. Davdenam X
Fisewook Tech house, indie dance,
deep house, minimale French touch,
Nu-Disco. K6000 (with 3 free drinks).
Institut Francais de Birmanie, 340 Pyay
Rd. 10pm-2am.
Got an event? | List it in What’s On! | whatsonmt@gmail.com

22

the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015

s creen s cene
 

screen scene

s creen s cene
s creen s cene Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey at Cannes? With the Cannes Film
s creen s cene Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey at Cannes? With the Cannes Film
s creen s cene Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey at Cannes? With the Cannes Film
s creen s cene Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey at Cannes? With the Cannes Film
s creen s cene Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey at Cannes? With the Cannes Film
s creen s cene Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey at Cannes? With the Cannes Film
s creen s cene Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey at Cannes? With the Cannes Film
s creen s cene Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey at Cannes? With the Cannes Film
s creen s cene Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey at Cannes? With the Cannes Film
s creen s cene Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey at Cannes? With the Cannes Film
s creen s cene Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey at Cannes? With the Cannes Film
s creen s cene Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey at Cannes? With the Cannes Film
s creen s cene Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey at Cannes? With the Cannes Film
s creen s cene Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey at Cannes? With the Cannes Film
s creen s cene Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey at Cannes? With the Cannes Film
s creen s cene Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey at Cannes? With the Cannes Film
s creen s cene Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey at Cannes? With the Cannes Film
s creen s cene Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey at Cannes? With the Cannes Film
s creen s cene Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey at Cannes? With the Cannes Film

Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey at Cannes?

With the Cannes Film Festival set to open in just over a month’s time, speculation is swirling over which films – and which top directors and actors – could be getting their moment under the French riviera sun. Woody Allen is seen as more than likely to be walking

With the Cannes Film Festival set to open in just over a month’s time, speculation is

Photographers line the carpet at Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France. Photo: Shutterstock

the red carpet with his new flick, irrational Man, starring Joaquin phoenix. Cate Blanchett might also be along for her movie Carol. And fellow Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey could appear for The Sea of Trees the latest film by director Gus Van Sant, which also stars Naomi Watts.

WARN ING :

SEVERE

SPOILERS

AHEAD!

Cannes’s organisers jealously guard their selections for the competition line-up

The 10 most shocking deaths (so far) in

and the out-of-competition program until a month before the film fest opens. This year, the movies to be shown at Cannes will be announced on April 16, and the festival will run from May 13 to 24. Cannes mixes international arthouse cinema, Hollywood blockbusters, extravagant parties, industry wheeling and dealing, and eye-catching publicity stunts in a potent cocktail that has made it the pre-eminent global showcase for movies. So far the only movie confirmed to be screened is Mad Max: Fury road. The dystopian sci-fi movie, the fourth in the high-action Mad Max franchise and the first to star British actor Tom Hardy in the title role. Asia, as always, is expected to be well represented. Thailand’s Apichatpong Weerasethakul has just completed a romance, love in Khon Kaen, which might screen. Taiwan’s Hou Hsiao-hsien, a competition veteran, has a good chance with martial arts picture The Assassin. – AFp

 

Game of Thrones

 
Game of Thrones House of Cards renewed for season four

House of Cards renewed for season four

There is no trailer. There is no release date. There are no plot details. But Netflix has confirmed that House of Cards has been renewed for a fourth season.

 

“Valar Morghulis.” All men must die.

this list. Just stick with me for a second here, OK? Animals have it as bad as humans in the GoT universe,

random Mountain was on the show that season.

  • 3. King Joffrey Baratheon:

Certainly the most fulfilling death

and disgust. The blood flowing from

The show’s Twitter account announced the renewal on April 2 with president Frank Underwood’s signature line: “i will leave a legacy.”

and since they are just innocent

House of Cards – headlined by Kevin

DAviD MAliTz

beasts, their suffering sometimes

Spacey as president Underwood, a full-time

T his is more than just a

affects us more. Call it the sarah MacLachlan Rule. Anyway, Original

on this list, in part because of how shocking it was. Joffrey’s death by

House of Cards’ Machiavellian Frank Underwood. Photo: Netflix

Machiavellian and occasional murderer, and robin Wright as his icy first lady – more-or-

central theme of Game of Thrones. it is a promise. On the eve of its fifth season, the hBO epic has

Mountain’s single-chop decapitation of his horse after losing a joust to Loras Tyrell was one of the nastiest scenes of the first season.

poison scores points for both surprise

his nose, his purple face, gasping for air, those dead eyes.

less reinvented television in 2013. The show won more than its share of Emmys, including one for Spacey, and proved that a series could be incredibly successful without ever being traditionally broadcast. Headline Hollywood reported the show will begin filming sometime this summer near Baltimore. The show threatened to move out of Maryland after

become synonymous with death. surprising deaths, gruesome deaths,

But not all GoT deaths are created

  • 7. Ros: here’s one death we didn’t

  • 2. Catelyn Stark and Robb Stark:

the show’s producers, Media rights Capital, had a spat with legislators over tax

but most of all, plentiful deaths.

actually see transpire, and thank

the old gods and new for that. it

The Red Wedding. The defining

moment of the show may not be No 1

  • 6. Shae: The Tyrion/shae love affair

credits last year. – Washington post

equal. This list will count down the show’s 10 most shocking deaths.

would be hard to call Ros’s hanging- from-the-ceiling, crossbow-to-the-

on this list, but it remains one of the most memorable television scenes

Films that pass the Bechdel test plummet in 2014

 

For the sake of this list, “shocking” is a combination of surprising and gruesome, with some points for impact. it’s not simply a list of

heart murder Joffrey’s most sadistic moment, but it’s on the shortlist.

of our new century. The chaos of the massacre – starting with the moment Catelyn spotted Roose Bolton’s

The number of films featuring positive depictions of women has dropped significantly. New research suggests that 2014 saw a significant drop compared to 2013

major characters who have died. For example, Khal Drogo’s death was not exactly surprising – powerful men have a habit of not lasting long on this show – and there was no need to shield your eyes during his mostly peaceful final moments. so here are the top 10, which 10 weeks from now will almost certainly have some new additions.

was one of the few heartwarming storylines in GoT. Until, of course, Cersei got to shae and convinced her to turn on Tyrion and implicate him in Joffrey’s death. in terms of karma, she had it coming, but it was still extremely unsettling to see Tyrion Lannister – arguably the moral centre of this universe lacking morals – strangle the former love of his life.

armour-clad forearm and realised what was about to happen, then quickly escalating to Talisa’s violent stabbing – was presented masterfully. Roose Bolton’s send-off line to Robb (“The Lannisters send their regards”) was a classic, and Catelyn’s murderous spasm of vengeance against Walder Frey’s wife before her own throat was slit was as brutal as it gets, emotionally and physically.

in the number of movies released that passed the Bechdel test, the informal guidelines that judge whether individual films represent female characters fairly. According to data publishing site Silk, the Bechdel “pass rate” was 55.4 percent in 2014, while in 2013 it was 67.5pc, a drop of 12 percentage points. The 2014 figure bucked a recent trend of steadily improving rates: 2012 saw a 66.4pc pass rate, 2011 was 62.8pc, and 2010 was 60.8pc. in fact, the 2014 figure was the worst the survey found since 1994, which came in at 52.4pc. The Bechdel test began as a joke in Alison Bechdel’s comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For in 1985, but has since gained huge popularity as a tool for analysing gender bias in films.

Game of Thrones season 5, episode 1, premieres in Myanmar on HBO at 7:30am on April 13, concurrent with the US broadcast. A same-day encore will show at 7:30pm.

The Silk survey also concluded that animated films – of particular concern, as large numbers of young children watch them – have had a chequered history in relation to the Bechdel test, with the last two years showing a startling improvement, presumably down to the “Frozen effect”. in 2012, 59.1pc of animated films received a Bechdel “pass”, while for 2013 the figure jumped to 72.7pc, before falling to 64.3pc for 2014. – Guardian

 

10. Viserys Targaryen: it’s easy to

  • 9. Ygritte: Love is doomed in the

  • 5. Tywin Lannister: Now we get

  • 1. Eddard “Ned” Stark: Did Ned

 

X-Files returns after 13-year

‘commercial break’

 
10. Viserys Targaryen: it’s easy to 9. Ygritte: Love is doomed in the 5. Tywin Lannister:

forget about him now, but Viserys’s death was one of the first times a (seemingly) major character died

to the biggies. After shae, Tyrion’s killing spree ended with his father, the most powerful man in Westeros.

stark’s beheading have the same cultural impact as the Red Wedding? Certainly not. in its first season, GoT

had yet to become a phenomenon –

Cult sci-fi TV show The X-Files is returning for six new episodes, 13 years after David

a gruesome death. Khal Drogo gave Viserys the golden crown he always wanted, burning him alive by pouring molten gold on his head, sending him out in a sort of Raiders of the Lost Ark style.

The impact of his sudden death will likely swing the balance of power in the seven Kingdoms, and like Ygritte’s death in No 9, the act of a sudden projectile to the heart in the middle of an emotional conversation was a “gasp!” moment.

but this pivotal episode is arguably what made it one. Ned stark was the protagonist of the show. he was the foundation on which everything was built. Watching him get paraded to the chopping block, you just assumed he would escape his predicament.

Duchovny and Gillian Anderson’s last outing as agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. The Emmy and Golden Globe winning series – which ran for nine seasons and over 200 episodes between 1993 and 2002 – will begin production this summer with the original stars, broadcaster Fox said. “i think of it as a 13-year commercial break,”

seven Kingdoms, so Ygritte seemed like a goner at some point. But to

  • 4. Oberyn Martell: some of us

are still having nightmares about

being, of course, his face completely

But in the moments before ser ilyn Payne’s sword came down, your

realisation sunk in: “holy

they’re

death set the standard for everything

of the show. if he wasn’t safe, truly

– The Washington Post

said the show’s creator and executive producer Chris Carter, adding,“The good news is the

have her killed by that dirt-covered

this one. The eminently likable

world has only gotten that much stranger, a

teen, Olly, just as she was having a cathartic moment with Jon snow? That was a lot to take.

Red Viper stood little chance of living through his encounter with the Mountain … but did he really

that would happen over the course

perfect time to tell these six stories.” The series follows the adventures of Federal Bureau of investigation (FBi) agents

have to go out like that? “Like that”

Scully and Mulder, who investigate the

Much-loved cult icons

 
  • 8. The Mountain’s horse: Yes, i’m

nobody was safe.

mysterious cases blamed on paranormal

Dana Scully and Fox Mulder.

 

putting Gregor Clegane’s horse on

squished into oblivion by whatever

phenomena. – AFp

Photo: Fox

 

24

the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 9, 2015

DOMESTIC FLIGHT SCHEDULES

Yangon to MandalaY

 

MandalaY to Yangon

   

Yangon to HeHo

   

HeHo to Yangon

 

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

 

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

 

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Y5 775

Daily

6:00

7:10

 

Y5 233

Daily

7:50

9:00

YJ 891

4

6:00

8:40

 

YJ 891

4

8:55

10:05

W9 515

1

6:00

7:25

 

YJ 891

4

8:10

10:05

YJ 891

3,7

6:00

8:50

 

YJ 881

7

9:05

10:15

YH 909

1,2,3,5,6

6:00

7:40

 

YJ 891

3,7

8:20

10:15

K7 282

Daily

6:00

9:00

 

YJ 891

3,7

9:05

10:15

YH 917

Daily

6:10

8:30

 

K7 283

Daily

8:25

11:30

YH 917

Daily

6:10

9:35

 

K7 283

Daily

9:15

11:30

YJ 891

3,7

6:00

8:05

 

YH 918

Daily

8:30

10:45

YJ 881

7

6:30

8:50

 

YJ 881

4

9:15

10:25

YJ 891

4

6:30

7:55

 

YH 910

7

8:40

10:05

YJ 891

1,2,5,6

6:30

9:20

 

W9 201

Daily

9:25

10:35

YJ 891

1,2,5,6

6:30

8:35

 

W9 201

Daily

8:40

10:35

YJ 881

4

6:45

9:00

 

K7 243

Daily

9:30

11:45

K7 282

W9 201

Daily

Daily

6:00

7:00

8:10

8:25

 

YJ 891

7Y 132

1,2,5,6

Daily

8:50

9:35

10:45

11:30

K7 242

7Y 131

Daily

Daily

7:00

7:15

9:15

10:05

 

YH 918

YJ 891

Daily

1,2,5,6

9:35

9:35

10:45

10:45

YH 826

3

7:00

8:40

 

K7 267

Daily

10:20

12:25

                 

YH 835

1,7

7:00

8:40

 

YH 830

5

11:05

14:55

K7 266

Daily

8:00

9:15

 

7Y 132

Daily

10:20

11:30

YH 909

7

7:00

8:40

 

YH 912

2

11:30

13:25

Y5 649

Daily

10:30

12:45

 

K7 267

Daily

11:10

12:25

YH 831

4,6

7:00

8:40

 

YJ 762

4

13:10

17:00

YH 505

1,2,3,4,5,6

10:30

11:55

 

YH 506

1,2,3,4,5,6

11:55

14:00

YH 911

2

7:00

8:40

 

YH 832

4,6

13:20

14:45

YJ 751

3,7

10:30

11:40

 

YJ 752

5

14:20

16:30

W9201

1

7:00

8:25

 

YH 827

3

13:20

14:45

YJ 751

5

10:45

11:55

 

YJ 762

4

15:50

17:00

YH 829

5

7:00

11:05

 

YH 836

1,7

13:20

14:45

YJ 761

4

11:00

12:10

 

YH 732

Daily

15:55

18:45

7Y 131

Daily

7:15

9:20

 

YH 910

1,2,3,5,6

13:20

14:45

YJ 233

6

11:00

12:10

 

YJ 762

1,2

16:05

18:15

K7 266

Daily

8:00

10:05

 

YJ 212

7

15:00

16:25

YJ 761

1,2

11:15

12:25

 

K7 829

1,3,5

16:10

17:25

8M 6603

4

9:00

10:10

 

YJ 212

6

15:15

16:40

YH 727

1

11:15

12:40

 

YH 728

1

16:00

18:10

YJ 751

5

10:45

14:50

 

YJ 752

5

15:05

16:30

YH 737

3,5,7

11:15

12:40

 

YJ 602

6

16:40

17:50

YJ 201

1,2,3,4

11:00

12:25

 

YJ 202

1,2,3,4

15:30

16:55

YH 727

3

11:15

12:40

 

K7 264

Daily

16:30

18:15

YJ 211

5,7

11:15

12:40

 

YJ 602

6

15:55

17:50

K7 828

1,3,5

12:30

13:45

 

YH 738

3,5,7

16:40

18:50

YJ 601

6

11:15

12:40

 

YH 732

6

16:40

18:05

K7 822

2,4,7

12:30

13:45

 

YJ 752

3,7

16:45

17:55

YJ 761

1,2

11:15

13:10

 

YH 732

Daily

16:40

18:45

K7 264

Daily

14:30

15:45

 

W9 129

1,3,6

16:55

19:10

YJ 761

4

11:00

12:55

 

YH 728

1

16:45

18:10

YH 731

Daily

14:30

15:55

         

YJ 233

6

11:00

12:55

 

YJ 762

1,2

16:50

18:15

W9 129

1,3,6

15:30

16:40

         

YH 729

2,4,6

11:00

14:00

 

W9 152/W97152

1

17:05

18:30

 

YH 737

3,5,7

11:15

13:25

 

Y5 776

Daily

17:10

18:20

Yangon to MYeik

   

MYeik to Yangon

 

YH 727

1

11:15

13:25

 

W9 211

4

17:10

19:15

                 

W9 251

2,5

11:30

12:55

 

K7 823

2,4,7

17:10

18:35

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr