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DAILY EDITION

Resentment boils over at Ngapali beach


BILL OTOOLE
botoole12@gmail.com

NEWS 3

Permanent secretaries
take up new posts
Eleven newly appointed permanent
secretaries have taken up their roles
at the head of the civil service, with
more set to be appointed to remaining
ministries in the coming months.

IN October 2013, the Union government laid out an ambitious development plan for Ngapali beach, with
President U Thein Sein reportedly
telling local developers that he wanted a Bali on the Rakhine coast.
Nearby Thandwe had just days
earlier been rocked by anti-Muslim
rioting, but officials in the state and
Union governments pressed ahead
with the plans, accelerating a process that has drastically changed the
small beachfront community over the
course of the last decade.
The raft of new developments
many of which violate the Ministry
of Hotels and Tourisms coastal development rules has sent the price of
land and basic commodities skyrocketing, leaving the areas working-class
Rakhine communities struggling to
make a living.
Some are filing petitions or taking
to the streets, while others are simply
resigned to the new status quo.
Several men from Linthar village,
located in the heart of Ngapalis tourist district, told The Myanmar Times
recently that the tourism boom first
became apparent February 4, 2006,
when their village leaders received a
letter from the township land office
informing them that the public beach
had been scaled down to a 1-acre tract
near the northern end of the beach.
For decades, the Linthar villagers
had assumed the whole beach then
mostly untouched by new resorts
was public property.
In response to the downgrade,
they sent a letter of protest to the
township administration, but received no response. The next message
they received on the subject came in
2007, when they were informed that
their public beach had been further
reduced in size.
CONTINUED ON NEWS 2

ISSUE 27 | THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2015

VIEWS 7

Ceasefire a milestone,
but hard work ahead
Speedy signing of the nationwide
ceasefire will be important for ensuring
the peace process continues to move
forward to the next phase.

BUSINESS 8

First foreign bank talks


up long-term growth
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi becomes first
foreign bank to open a branch office
in Yangon, with more from Japan and
Singapore set to follow suit today.
BUSINESS 9

Singapore pushes
investment above $8b

Residents of Ngapalis Gyeiktaw village take part in a protest against land confiscations on January 19. Photo: Supplied

Myanmar Investment Commission


says contracted foreign investment in
2014-15 topped US$8 billion, more than
double the previous years total.

Constitution back on agenda


Senior member of Constitutional Amendment Implementation Committee says bill is likely to be debated when
parliament resumes on May 11 but MPs say discussion will be worthless without agreement from six-way talks. NEWS 3

2 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES APRIL 23, 2015

IN DEPTH

CONTINUED FROM NEWS 1

Life on the fringes at Ngapali beach


Long-time residents at beach destination are being squeezed out by the tourism industry but the community is divided on how to respond

BILL
OTOOLE
botoole12@gmail.com

IN the years since, they have sent petitions and joint letters of protest to
officials at all levels of the state government. They have yet to receive a
single response.
They took the land piece by piece
by piece, said one of the villagers.
Now theyre going to take it all.
This routine continued until 2010,
when the villagers were informed
that the last of their public lands, at
that point totalling just 0.11 acres,
had been sold. The letters from the
township authorities, and the Linthar letters of protest, were shared
with The Myanmar Times.
The Linthar villagers are also unhappy that the township administration has allowed private construction companies to take sand from
their beach for use in projects elsewhere in the Ngapali area, under the
guise of regional development. Some
days, literally dozens of trucks come
to Linthar beach and leave loaded
with sand.
Each of those interviewed depends on the hotel sector for their
livelihood in one way or another, and
asked not to named for fear of reprisals from their employers.
One 35-year-old taxi driver, the father of a young boy, said celebrations
on the beach used to be a fixture of
their community. Now we have nowhere to have a party or a picnic
Security guards just tell us to get out.
Many member of their village
still depend on fishing as their main
source of income. But the area in
which they can moor their vessels
has been limited to the stretches of
beach where construction has not
yet begun.
A 40-year-old father-of-two pointed to the dozen or so boats moored
on the beach. As soon as the building starts, all the fishing will be finished, he said.
Similar land confiscations have
occurred closer to Thandwe Airport,
at Zeephyukone village, where the
military took 35.5 acres of land in
1996, offering minimal compensation (see related story right).
Further down the road is Gyeiktaw village. Here, too, residents
are feeling the effects of the new

A protester wears a T-shirt calling for the return of land confiscated at Ngapali
beach during a demonstration on January 19. Photo: Supplied

developments and some are taking


action.
On January 19, a resident named
U Kyaw Thin Hlaing led a protest of
more than 1000 people from Gyeiktaw through the main street of their
village, chanting cronies get out,
and demanding compensation and
resettlement for the areas working
poor.
While the majority of families in
the area have held their land for generations, U Kyaw Thin Hlaing lives in
a small community on the outskirts
of Gyeiktaw comprised of Rakhine
people who migrated to Ngapali in
the past 15 years to take advantage of
the once-booming fishing industry.
The people in his community
have no official title to their land,
and many left their homes without
any of their citizenship papers.
Now, with prices high and development encroaching, their dream of
eventually settling in the area on a
permanent basis seems further away
than ever.
U Kyaw Thin Hlaing said the protest was organised with help from
the local chapter of the Rakhine
National Party, who helped ensure
that their application for a peaceful

demonstration was quickly granted.


While local authorities have historically freely granted permission
for nationalist and anti-Muslim
demonstrations, approving open
challenges to the nations ruling elite
is much rarer.

As soon as the
[hotel] building
starts, all the fishing
will be finished.
Linthar resident

While it would seem like residents across the two villages share
a common cause, the men of Linthar, proud members of the National
League for Democracy, said they
were deeply sceptical of the RNPs
involvement in the march, and are
not interested in joining the Gyeiktaw groups activism.
To them, the January 19 march
was more about whipping up

support during an election year than


actually taking on crony capitalists.
Speaking to The Myanmar Times
in his communitys local monastery,
U Kyaw Thin Hlaing dismissed the
notion that the ANP had any ulterior
motives in assisting them. [ANP
chair] U Aye Maung is an honourable man; he will take care of the
Rakhine people.
When asked what he hoped the
effect of his demonstration would
be, U Kyaw Thin Hlaing said he just
hoped to bring more attention to the
plight of his community. We want a
future for our children, he said.
During Thingyan festival, the divisions between locals became even
more apparent when U Kyaw Thin
Hlaing led a protest outside Pearl
Yadanar Monastery, demanding the
migrants be allocated some land beside the monastery.
When the sayadaw asked him
to cease the protest, he allegedly
responded with profane language
prompting about 50 residents to
storm off to the police station, demanding legal action be taken.
Police responded by arresting U
Kyaw Thin Hlaing and five others,
two of whom were injured when locals threw rocks at them. Police have
charged U Kyaw Thin Hlaing with
defamation and he is being held in
Thandwe Prison, while four people
who allegedly threw the rocks have
also been charged.
Even those who own land in the
village foresee a bleak future.
Ko Yan Lin Aung, a 26-year-old
English teacher who lives on the
main street in Gyeiktaw, said that
when the time comes he wont hesitate to sell his familys land.
He told The Myanmar Times that
he and his family could simply not
afford to turn down a quick infusion
of money, even if it was well below
what their land could potentially be
worth.
More to the point, Ko Yan Lin
Aung has read the news reports
about what happens to villagers who
try to fight attempts by the government or cronies to take their land.
He believes that if his family tried
to resist, the military and companies
working together with it would do
something bad.
The poor are getting poorer, he
said. With this tourism business,
there will be no more [space] for the
poor.
Additional reporting
by Toe Wai Aung

Hilton, Max
hotels benefit
from military
land grab
Four of Ngapalis premier hotels sit
on land that was confiscated by the
Tatmadaw in 1996, ostensibly for the
expansion of a compound occupied by
No 55 Infantry Regiment.
The 66 affected landowners were
offered just K3 million in total a
fraction of the tens of millions of dollars the land would be worth today.
Altogether, 35.5 acres (about 13.5
hectares) of farmland around Zeephyugone village in Thandwe township, Rakhine State, was confiscated,
according to deputy defence minister
Major General Kyaw Nyunt, who was
called upon to explain the land grab in
parliament last month.
Speaking on March 10, he said the
land was taken for coastal security.
From 2007 the land was leased for
hotel construction at Ngapali beach.
Four hotels now stood on the land,
and a fifth was under construction.
Of the 35.5 acres, the military
had leased 6.61 acres to Min Zar Ni
company, 6.61 acres to Eden Group
which has since partnered with Hilton
5.65 acres to Fortune, 11.30 acres
to Max Myanmar and 4.43 acres to
Amazing. The remainder was used for
roads and public areas, he said.
Plots measuring 60 by 60 feet (17
by 17 metres) were later given to 66
official tenant farmers as compensation, he said. However, only 37
accepted cash compensation, totalling
K1.9 million, with another 29 rejecting
a total of K1.1 million.
Rakhine State Amyotha Hluttaw
representative U Aye Maung said the
29 uncompensated farmers had suffered as a result of the confiscation,
and called on the government to settle
the dispute.
Speaker U Khin Aung Myint urged
the government to resolve the claim
from the national budget.
If it is found that the farmers
did indeed suffer, they should be
compensated in accordance with the
market price. I dont think Pyidaungsu
Hluttaw will object.
Htoo Thant, translation by
Thiri Min Htun

www.mmtimes.com

NEWS EDITOR: Thomas Kean | tdkean@gmail.com

Constitution bill back on


MPs agenda after talks

THE government plans to appoint more


high-ranking bureaucrats to spearhead
its civil service reform efforts, a senior
official said yesterday, as 11 new permanent secretaries began taking up their
positions.
The permanent secretaries, who become the highest-ranking civil servants
in the government, have taken charge of
what was formerly the Union ministers
office. They were appointed on April 10,
a day before the Thingyan holiday.
The new offices feature five departments, one each for policy, project management, finance, administration and
information.
The title of the [ministers] office is
now the permanent secretary office and
all ministries will have the same structure. The office will operate with more
than 160 staff, said U Myint Htwe, chief
of staff at the Ministry of Informations
permanent secretary office.

eieitoelwin@gmail.com

11

Permanent secretaries appointed by the


government on April 10
Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing (left) and Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker U Khin Aung Myint arrive
prior to a six-party meeting at the Presidents Office in Nay Pyi Taw on April 10. Photo: AFP

participants agreed to meet again before parliament resumes, according


to U Aye Maung.

210

Sections of the constitution that the


committees bill proposes to amend

We hope the amendment process


will move quickly through the parliament if we can reach a common
agreement during our next meeting,
he said.
The 12th parliament session,
which began January 13, went into

recess on April 10 before the water


festival holiday.
U Saw Hla Tun, secretary of the
Pyithu Hluttaw Bill Committee, said
the main focus will be the constitutional amendment bill.
The referendum bill will also be
amended to take out a provision
allowing white-card holders to
vote, which was later declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional
Tribunal.
We dont need to change many
points in [the referendum bill] just
to amend it for white-card holders.
The election commission will submit
the amendment bill to parliament,
he said.
Parliamentary Speaker Thura U
Shwe Mann has announced that the
referendum will take place in May.
However, most observers expect it
will be impossible to organise the
vote in time, and it is likely to be

postponed to June.
We cant see a nationwide referendum taking place in May we
havent even discussed the amendment bill yet, said U Sai Bo Aung,
a member of the Constitutional
Amendment
Implementation
Committee.
U Aye Maung agreed, saying it
would be impossible for the referendum to be held in May as the
speaker proposed.
There is no point in holding a
referendum without reaching an
agreement to change the 2008 constitution and especially section 436,
which gives the military a veto, said
U Aye Maung.
The extent to which we can
change the constitution depends on
the next six-way meeting. Its very
important to get tangible results if
not, it is likely to lead to a political
crisis.

Govt stifles talk of student protests at ASEAN


AUNG KYAW MIN
aungkyawmin.mcm@gmail.com
A YOUNG education activist has been
barred by the government from representing Myanmar at a major ASEAN
youth forum. Ma Phwe Yu Mon, who
has been selected as a representative
to Youth Interface, told The Myanmar
Times on April 21 that the government
had rejected the nomination of Ko
Phone Pyae Kywe, a member of the National Network for Education Reform,
as a second delegate.
Two names were submitted to the
government as delegates to Youth Interface, but the government rejected
Ko Phone Pyae Kywe. We dont know
why, she said.
Instead, the government substituted its handpicked replacement, a
student from the National University
of Arts and Culture.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs official
U Aung Htoo defended the decision to
exclude Ko Phone Pyae Kywe.

Permanent
secretaries
take up
new roles
SANDAR LWIN
sdlsandar@gmail.com

EI EI TOE
LWIN
THE long-awaited constitutional
amendment bill will be debated in
parliament after the current session
resumes on May 11, a senior member
of the Constitutional Amendment
Implementation Committee has
confirmed.
The amendment bill is one of
three major pieces of legislation to
be considered by the hluttaw, along
with amendments to the National
Education Law and a constitutional
referendum bill.
The referendum will seek public
approval for proposed changes to the
constitution and has been proposed
for May, but seems increasingly likely
to be delayed.
It is quite sure the [constitution] bill will be discussed in this
parliament session, said U Aye
Mauk, secretary of the 31-member
committee.
The committee submitted its
draft amendment bill to parliament
in January, proposing changes to
210 sections of the charter, including
59(f ), which bars opposition leader
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi from being
eligible for the presidency.
However, Pyidaungsu Hluttaw
Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann has not
yet tabled the bill for debate. Parliamentarians have supported the decision, saying no significant changes to
the 2008 constitution can be made until an agreement is reached between
Myanmars main political players.
In particular, the military has
a veto over constitutional change
through its grip on 25 percent of
seats in parliament.
In November, parliament approved a proposal calling for six-way
talks between President U Thein
Sein, Commander-in-Chief Senior
General Min Aung Hlaing, Thura
U Shwe Mann, Amyotha Hluttaw
Speaker U Khin Aung Myint, Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi and U Aye Maung
of the Rakhine National Party, representing ethnic minorities.
After months of avoiding
the meeting, the government finally agreed to talks on April 10.
While there was no deal reached,

News 3

We chose one candidate nominated by the Myanmar Youth Forum, and


another from the government side It
is our procedure and I think it is fair,
said U Aung Htoo, who is the deputy
director general of the ASEAN Affairs
Department.
Malaysia will host the ASEAN Leaders Summit from April 24 to 27. On
April 27, the ASEAN leaders will meet
with representatives from The ASEAN
Peoples Forum and The ASEAN Youth
Forum.
The decision appears to be designed
to keep the governments crackdown
on student protests off the agenda at
the interface meeting.
Ma Phwe Yu Mon said she had been
told by the government not to mention
the student protests, which culminated in police attacking demonstrators
at Letpadan on March 10. More than
80 activists are now on trial, facing
charges that could land them in prison
for years.
The government approved my par-

ticipation, but with a lot of limitations,


Ma Phwe Yu Mon said. I was told to
try not to discuss student protest. I
dont know what would happen to me
on my return to Myanmar if I do. My
family members have been investigated by the police.
Ko Phone Pyae Kywe could not be
reached for comment yesterday.
The NNER has been involved in negotiations with the government over
the amendment of the controversial
National Education Law against a background of student protest that led to a
violent police crackdown last month.
Though young people have been
participating in ASEAN meetings
since 2009, the Youth Interface was
launched only last year, during Myanmars term as ASEAN chair.
Government interference in regional civil society and youth events is the
norm rather than the exception. Only
three ASEAN member countries Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar
allow representatives to be selected

by civil society, with the remaining


member governments appointing their
representatives directly. Boycotts are
relatively common, with Myanmar
cancelling the civil society interface
last year due to arguments over who
should be allowed to attend.
This has continued in Malaysia,
with some youth representatives
elected by regional civil society organisations boycotting the ASEAN Youth
Forum from April 19 to 21 because of
what they considered excessive influence from the host government, and
lack of transparency. The youth forum
was organised by the Malaysian National Youth Association.
Most youth delegates selected to
meet with ASEAN leaders have been
appointed by their governments. You
have to wonder whether they will really represent young members of civil society. I will consult with regional youth
civil society on whether we should attend Youth Interface, said Ma Phwe Yu
Mon. Translation by Thiri Min Htun

U Tint Swe, the former head of


Myanmars now-abolished censorship
board and director general of Myanma
Radio and Television, was appointed
to head the Ministry of Informations
office.
He was out of the country and unavailable for comment yesterday.
The office has started its operations
but for the moment we are settling in
to the new structure, U Myint Htwe
added.
One staff member at the permanent secretary office of the Ministry of
Environmental Conservation and Forestry said permanent secretary U Khin
Maung Yie had already got down to
work.
We have opened the office and now
all staff are in the meeting room, she
said.
Media reports said the other ministries to date receive a permanent secretary include health, commerce, defence
and border affairs.
The permanent secretaries were
chosen from a pool of 60 two for each
ministry who underwent six weeks of
training in Nay Pyi Taw earlier this year.
U Zaw Oo, an economic adviser to
the president who organised the trainings, said all ministries would have a
permanent secretary office in future.
I do not know when the other ministries will open them, but it will happen, he said.
The offices will carry out a range of
tasks, including negotiating policy with
policy-makers, designing projects and
monitoring their implementation, conducting internal audits, disseminating
information, and fostering and maintaining foreign ties.
Two officers appointed to handle
each task received training in early
April from the relevant ministries.
Our ministry trained the officers appointed to handle information
and international relation tasks, said
U Myint Htwe from the Ministry of
Information.
The Ministry of National Planning
and Economic Development gave training on project design and monitoring,
and the Ministry of Finance on auditing. The Presidents Office conducted
training on policy negotiation, he said.

4 News
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THE MYANMAR TIMES APRIL 23, 2015

Regional MPs warn of Rohingya


crisis ahead of ASEAN meeting
LAIGNEE
BARRON
laignee@gmail.com

THE Rohingya crisis has all the


warning signs of genocide, regional
parliamentarians have warned in a
new report, adding that ASEAN can
no longer afford to ignore what is now
a regional issue.
Released just days before the 26th
ASEAN Summit opens in Malaysia,
the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights assessment insists that
the treatment of the Rohingya is not
just a Myanmar problem they are an
ASEAN problem.
The longstanding persecution
of the Rohingya Muslim minority in
Myanmar has led to the highest outflow of asylum seekers by sea since the
US war in Vietnam, the report says,

adding that discriminatory practices


have contributed to a trafficking
epidemic.
During its turn at the ASEAN chair,
Myanmar kept the Rohingya issue off
the agenda by declaring it an internal
issue, despite the obvious spillover effects of an estimated 500,000 refugees
in neighbouring countries. Myanmar
has also previously strongly rejected accusations of genocide or crimes against
humanity in Rakhine State.
But with Malaysia now taking the
reins, rights groups are pressuring for
dialogue on the plight of the Muslim
group, whom Myanmar insists on referring to as Bengalis.
It is clearly not just an internal affair. This is an issue that affects all of
ASEAN, from Thailand to Malaysia to
Indonesia, said Charles Santiago, chair
of the APHR and a Malaysian parliamentarian.
Invoking the non-interference
policy in [a] situation that paves
the way for genocide and crimes

against humanity has no logic and


undermines ASEANs very existence.
Many Rohingya have been denied
access to citizenship in Myanmar,
where the government insists they are
illegal migrants from Bangladesh. More
than 150,000 Muslims have been forced
from their homes in Rakhine State due
to violent clashes with Buddhists since
2012, according to the report. Many
now reside in camps without access

This is an issue that


affects all of ASEAN,
from Thailand
to Malaysia to
Indonesia.
Charles Santiago
Malaysian parliamentarian

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education or healthcare.
In October 2012, the then-secretary-general of ASEAN, Surin Pitsuwan, warned the issue could potentially destabilise the region. But
ASEAN countries have never taken an
active stance on regional human rights
abuses. And though Malaysia, as the
habourer of the largest group of refugee Rohingya, may stand to benefit
from regional negotiations, observers
said the chances of the new chair pushing the issue remain slim.
No ASEAN state, irrespective of
their commercial ties or faith wants
to be dealing with the constant flows
of incoming refugees, said Maung
Zarni, a Rohingya expert and member
of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal on
Sri Lanka and its genocide. However,
Malaysia also has other interests such
as significant investment in Myanmars
gas and oil sector.
ASEAN states adherence to the
outdated and fictional notion of Sovereignty is absolute.

A Kyauktada resident checks electoral rolls following their release to the public on March 30. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

Few complaints after election


commission release voter lists
LUN MIN MANG
lunminlm@gmail.com
ELECTORAL officials have hailed the
low percentage of complaints received
following the release of provisional
voters lists in 10 Yangon townships.
But critics warn the reason for the
muted response could just be lack of
information.
The lists went on display on March
30, and were open for complaints until April 12. During that period, out
of more than 200,000 eligible voters,
only about 8600 responded, said an
official from the regions election subcommission yesterday.
The official, who requested anonymity, said about 4500 people left
off the rolls had submitted requests to
have their names added. We also received 2900 [requests] to correct facts
wrongly displayed, as well as 1200
objections contesting the presence of
names on the list.
Compared to the total number

of eligible voters, the complaints


received amounted to some 4.3
percent.
But Daw Mya Nandar of the New
Myanmar Foundation said the low response could be explained by limited
electoral information. Public interest
in the election and related electoral
processes is very low. I think this is because information did not reach most
residents, she said.
Sub-commission chair U Ko Ko
said the complaints received were

4.3%

Requests to modify electoral roll data,


as a percentage of the total number of
eligible voters on voter lists

being handled. The voters lists are


being corrected. But they will not be
displayed again until all lists are released nationwide, he said.
Electoral sub-commission officials met with representatives of 30
electoral civil society groups a week
before the lists went on display to
ask for their help in publicising the
display.
Daw Mya Nandar said she was
aware of faults in the lists. Wrong
names and names of dead people were
included. This happens in elections,
she said.
The electoral civil society groups
are expected to submit a report on
their observation during the voter list
display to the regional election subcommission. This is not compulsory,
but their observations would be helpful, said U Ko Ko.
Voters lists from 14 more townships are due to be displayed for objections in May. No dates have yet been
released.

MYANMARS budding reputation for


press freedom has suffered another
blow, as the Committee to Project
Journalists yesterday ranked the nation among the worlds top-10 worst
censorship offenders.
Despite an end to more than
four decades of pre-publication censorship in 2012, Myanmars media
remains tightly controlled, said the
committee, which ranked Myanmar
as ninth-worst, just one position
above China.
Vietnam, at number six on the
list, was the only other Asian nation
to make the cut. Eritrea topped the
rankings as the worlds most censored country.
Despite media freedom reforms
introduced since 2012, the New
York-based committee pointed to
the governments use of the colonial-era Official Secrets Act to threaten and imprison journalists who report on sensitive military matters as
an example of how the government
continues to keep the press under
wraps.
According to the committees
end-of-2014 figures, 10 journalists
remain behind bars in Myanmar,
including five from weekly paper
Unity who were sentenced to 10
years imprisonment with hard
labour for publishing a report on
alleged chemical weapons production at a military factory. Their sentences were later reduced to seven
years on appeal.
The CPJ ranking was significantly
harsher than that of Reporters Without Borders, which earlier this year
pegged Myanmar 144th out of 180
countries on its World Press Freedom Index.
Minister for Information U Ye
Htut could not be reached for comment yesterday, but during an International Press Institute media conference held in Yangon in March he
praised the increasing openness of
the countrys media landscape.

6 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES APRIL 23, 2015

Free hospital in Thanlyin


set for K900m expansion
CHERRY THEIN
t.cherry6@gmail.com
CONSTRUCTION of a new six-storey
hospital at the Thabawa Thayar Yeik
Thar meditation centre in Thanlyin
township will be completed by early
2016, a spokesperson for the centre
says.
U Tin Win Hlaing said that the new
K900 million building would allow the
centre to accept more needy patients
and provide better services. All treatment at the hospital is free, he added.
We will be able to accept more
inpatients and accommodate more elderly people when construction is complete, he said.
The founder of the centre and a
leading religious figure in Vipassana
meditation, U Uttama told The Myanmar Times that the hospital would
go some way toward meeting rising
demand.
It is hard to tell how many patients
we will accept because I accept any
person in need. There is no limitation
as far as numbers or types of disease
are concerned, he said, adding, If our
capacity is exceeded, we will build another hospital. I will do as much as I
can as long as I am alive.
U Uttama said people neglected
meditation when they were healthy
and prosperous, but turned to it when
they were in trouble. I have experience
in solving problems through Dhamma
[the teachings of Buddha], and I want
to help people through those teachings,
even in their last hours, he said.

The centre was established in 2008


and soon acquired a reputation for
harbouring long-stay and terminal patients, including those suffering from
HIV, cancer, TB, paralysis, visual impairment, deafness, mental disorders
and polio. There is also an intensive
care unit for 100 elderly patients.
Many of the patients are elderly
people abandoned by their children, or
orphans, including those who lost their
parents in Cyclone Nargis in 2008.

If our capacity
is exceeded, we
will build another
hospital. I will do
as much as I can as
long as I am alive.
U Uttama
Thabawa Thayar Yeik Thar founder

The facility is funded by wellwishers, and some services are provided by volunteers from civil society
organisations.
Dr Ma Cho, a volunteer, sometimes
recruits colleagues to contribute medical services. We try our best to meet
the increasing demand for medical
treatment, she said.

A volunteer dentist gives a patient a check-up at the existing hospital at Thabawa Thayar Yeik Thar. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

South American snails threaten crops near Mandalay


KHIN SU WAI
jasminekhin@gmail.com
GIANT alien invaders are threatening the countrys rice supply, fisheries experts are warning. Fist-sized
freshwater snails, native to South
America, have been discovered in
the Taungthaman Lake in Amarapura, Mandalay Region, and the
Thanlwin River in Paung township,
Mon State, said U Swe Thwin, an
adviser to the Myanmar Fisheries

Federation.
Female giant apple snails (Pomacea maculate) can lay up to 500 eggs
a week. In Thailand, they have damaged water convolvulus and paddy
fields, and also eaten nursery plants.
My students report that they can
destroy rice fields, he said. In Taiwan and the Philippines, the snails
rival rats in the amount of damage
they can cause.
I found this snail in Paung township, Mon State, in January. Im

worried about the damage to paddy


fields they could cause in Bago and
Ayeyarwady regions, he said, adding that Myanmar had not yet been
included on the list of countries
with a snail infestation.
They lay masses of pink eggs
glued onto plant stems in the water, he added.
The giant apple snail lives for four
or five years, and can survive buried
in the mud for up to three months. It
is associated with threats to human

health, but also eats paddy.


The Myanmar Times reported
in August 2014 that fields in Mon
States Chaungzon township had
been devastated by the snails, which
can weigh up to 15 ticals, or about
240 grams.
U Swe Thwin said the giant snail
invasion could possibly be repelled
by welcoming more of the snails
predators.
They are a source of food for
many birds, so we should make sure

Activists urge govt to clear


up political prisoners mess
Abolition of committee leaves release process in limbo and activists say Presidents Office should take charge

YE MON
yeemontun2013@gmail.com

ADVOCATES for prisoners of conscience are urging the government to


cut through the confusion that surrounds the amnesty issue by forming
a new body to deal with it.
They also say the government
should avoid the appearance of conflict of interest by placing the new
body under the Presidents Office
rather than, as now, the Ministry of
Home Affairs.
The issue of the release of political
prisoners assumed international importance following the pledge made
by President U Thein Sein in June
2013 to release them all by the end of
that year. In order to carry out this

promise, he set up the Remaining Political Prisoner Scrutiny Committee,


whose members included former inmates. The committees recommendations helped liberate more than 350
prisoners.
However, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP)
claimed that at least 30 eligible inmates were still behind bars as of the
end of 2013, and that the number continued to grow through 2014.
Last January, the president
formed a new body, the Prisoners of
Conscience Affairs Committee, under Brigadier General Kyaw Kyaw
Tun, a deputy minister for home
affairs. Amid protests that the new
body no longer included critics of
the government, it was subsequently abolished.
The AAPP is now demanding fresh
government attention to the matter.
U Tate Naing, the secretary of the association, told The Myanmar Times

yesterday that the deputy minister for


home affairs was not acceptable as
committee chair because his ministry
was responsible for arresting activists
and student protesters.
In 2013, the Remaining Political
Prisoner Scrutiny Committee was
successful because it was chaired by
Minister [for the Presidents Office]
U Soe Thein and included all the organisations that had worked on the
issue, he said.

172

Number of political prisoners in jail,


according to Assistance Association
for Political Prisoners

On April 20, 20 international organisations released a statement calling for a solution to the decades-long
problem. The statement said a reconstituted Prisoners of Conscience
Affairs Committee should review the
cases of all those charged or deprived
of their rights with a view to securing
their release and having the charges
against them dropped. It also called
for a review of all laws used to charge
and detain political prisoners, and
recommended to parliament the repeal or amendment of all such laws
to bring them into line with international human rights standards.
U Zaw Htay, the director of the Office of the President, said yesterday
there were no current plans to reconstitute the committee.
On April 4, AAPP released a list
of 172 people it says have been sentenced for their political views, together with another 296 defendants
awaiting trial.

we dont kill the birds with potash.


Golden sturgeon eat them too, he
said.
U Maung Maung Oo, of Mandalay-based environmental group Sein
Yaung So, said more research needs
to be done on invasive alien species
to protect local flora and fauna, as
well as primary producers.
For example, African catfish are
known to be aggressive. If there is
nothing else to eat, they will attack
other fish, he said.

Colonialera pagoda
uncovered
WORKERS excavating soil for
bricks in Bago Region have
stumbled on the remains of a colonial-era pagoda, a Department
of Archaeology official said.
Sections of the pagoda were
found by workers in Thayet Pin
village, Nattalin township. Excavation on the site began in late
March, following a field visit
from a department team.
The pagoda is estimated to
date to within the past 200 years
based on what we have uncovered so far, official U Kyaw Oo
Lwin said.
He said it appeared to be
from the colonial period. The
British took control of lower Myanmar at the end of the second
Anglo-Burmese War, in 1852.
He added that the department will provide assistance if
residents want to renovate the
site.
So far the pagodas walls have
been revealed but no artifacts
have been found. Excavation
work is continuing.
Cherry Thein

News 7

www.mmtimes.com

Views

Beyond the nationwide ceasefire


AUNG
NAING OO
newsroom@mmtimes.com

AT long last, the ceasefire negotiations are over.


Negotiators, representing the government and ethnic armed groups,
successfully concluded the draft
nationwide ceasefire agreement on
March 31.
Kudos to those who doggedly
negotiated the ceasefire deal for
the past 17 months, particularly the
government team led by Minister for
the Presidents Office U Aung Min
and the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) of the ethnic
armed groups.
They worked toward an agreement
amid incessant criticisms, political
backstabbing and endless interruptions from fighting in conflict areas.
They should also be proud of the fact
that they negotiated a very difficult
ceasefire deal without any foreign
help.
The sudden end of the ceasefire
negotiations stunned many, even
those deep within the peace process.
A few months ago, there were comments calling the process as good
as dead. But it is now likely that the
ceasefire will be signed in May. For
the first time there is a real possibility
of ending Myanmars 67-year history
of armed conflict.
This is an important feat for a
government whose legitimacy has
constantly been called into question
by opponents because of its association with the previous military regime. Yet President U Thein Sein has
resolutely stuck by the call he made
for peace with ethnic armed groups a

few months after assuming power in


2011. He has acted decisively to give
priority to peace.
According to government insiders,
the president was interrupted from
his cabinet meeting on March 31,
and asked to compromise on the last
few items in the negotiations. His
intervention literally put an end to
the protracted negotiations.
Seventeen months ago, the nationwide ceasefire agreement started out
with 122 points. It ended with 106,
under 33 headings in seven chapters. It has been billed as the worlds
longest and wordiest ceasefire deal.
Despite being called a nationwide
ceasefire agreement, it more closely
resembles a political roadmap for the
future of Myanmar. It is therefore no
wonder it took negotiators from both
sides 17 months to grind it out.
A careful analysis of the agreement
reveals that 55 of the overall provisions are related to military matters
while 35 points deal directly with
political issues. The remaining points
focus on various other issues aimed
at strengthening ceasefires, such as
confidence-building measures.
Following the signing of the
ceasefire, the provisions are to be implemented by armed forces from all
sides and by the government. A few
items will require the intervention
of parliament. The timeframes are
complicated and multifarious.
The ceasefire stipulates the formation of several joint committees,
particularly the Joint Implementation
Coordination Meeting (JICM) that
will oversee the implementation of
the agreement, and the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC). On the political
side, there will be the Union Peace
Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC)
and Union Peace Dialogue (UPD),
which will be responsible for political
negotiations.

Kachin Independence Army soldiers stand on guard at the groups headquarters


in Laiza in October 2013. Photo: Boothee

But before we get there, a few


things need to be tackled first.
As an immediate step, the NCCT
members will take the draft agreement back to their respective headquarters. They have stated over and
over again that they need to deliberate more on the ceasefire deal with
their leadership teams. The ceasefire
text requires the endorsement of their
leaders.
The United Wa State Army
(UWSA) recently announced that it
would host the ethnic leaders summit

at their headquarters in Pangkham


near the Chinese border to discuss
the ceasefire on May 1-3. The original
plan was to hold it in Kayin State.
But the news that some of the
ethnic armed groups, particularly
some members of the NCCT, have
been omitted from the list of invitees
has unsettled ethnic politicians and
peacemakers.
For now, no one knows what the
outcome will be from the ethnic
summit. They may come back with
the same text. They may make some

changes to the text or add new


demands. But it is hoped that the
agreement, which the NCCT a
body representing 16 ethnic armed
groups negotiated diligently, will be
accepted without any major modifications.
From the side of the government
of Myanmar, there is nothing more to
add to the current draft. It is as good
as their final decision. All throughout
the negotiations, the government
team continually sought direct approval from the governments top
leaders, notably the president.
On October 31, 2013, I wrote in
The Myanmar Times, under the title
Nationwide ceasefire agreement:
Myanmars road to peace, that the
nationwide ceasefire should be a
clarion call for the nation of Myanmar and all of its people, especially
ethnic minorities, to end the history
of violence and find a path to peace.
The NCA offers a real opportunity for
all of the key stakeholders to end hostilities and make peace for the first
time in Myanmars modern history.
Ultimately, the nationwide ceasefire
can represent a turning point for the
country, a chance for political leaders
on all sides to leave a legacy of peace
a legacy sorely lacking in Myanmar
for the generations to come.
Peace is now within our reach. But
at the same time we have so much to
do beyond the nationwide ceasefire.
Preparations for the next phase have
already begun. We must therefore
sign the agreement as quickly as possible, and in an inclusive manner, so
that we can get on with the upcoming
steps in the peace process.
Aung Naing Oo is director of the Peace
Dialogue Program at the Myanmar Peace
Center. The opinions expressed here are
his own.

Stop the presses yes, things actually happen in Laos!

ROGER
MITTON

rogermitton@gmail.com

MANY people labour under the illusion that nothing much happens in
Laos. Or, if it does, it happens very
slowly.
Then, bang: Several headlinegrabbing things suddenly occur and
remind us that this oft-ignored neighbour actually exists and that, yes, stuff
happens there.
Consider a seemingly minor but
rather significant development that
has set tongues wagging in Vientiane
and caused ripples to echo across
other traffic-jammed capitals in the
region.
Earlier this month, the Vientiane
State Bus Enterprise revealed plans to
start express services on designated
lanes linking the main bus station,
the international airport and the LaoThai Friendship Bridge.
Folks who have visited Vientiane
will know this is no small matter,
given that, like Yangon, the traffic
situation there has become horrendous, with clogged streets, frayed

tempers and frequent accidents.


Of course, as in Myanmar, it has
been caused by reforms which have
led to a sharp spurt in socio-economic
growth, which in turn has led to a
15 percent surge in the number of
vehicles on Vientianes roads.
Anything that might alleviate this
is a big deal and the Lao authorities
realised that one way they might do
this would be by copying the express
bus system that works in places like
Hong Kong and London.
The benign dictators of the ruling
Lao Peoples Revolutionary Party
know they can work this peoplepleasing initiative into their election
manifesto next year and thus consolidate their grip over the country.
To paraphrase an adage of the former United States president Ronald
Reagan, The Lao Communists are
people who see something work in
practice and wonder if it will work in
theory.
Clearly, this is one thing that
will work for them, as will another
unheralded but also meritorious initiative: the new Laos-Myanmar bridge
that has just been completed and is
expected to open next month.
The US$26 million structure
connects Shan States isolated Mong
Hpayak district with Xieng Kok, a
tiny river port in northwest Laos, and
thus opens a potential overland route
between Tachileik and Luang Prabang.
While these two advances in the
Lao transport sector are laudable,
there is another hugely more

ambitious and expensive venture that


has aroused mixed feelings.
It is the much-touted high-speed
rail link that will connect Vientiane
with Kunming in southern China and,
eventually or so party theoreticians
claim (they are ahead of the practical folks in this case) Bangkok and
Singapore.
The Laos section alone, which has
a price tag of $7.2 billion, has been
delayed for the past five years because
of arguments between Beijing and
Vientiane over how much each side
should pay.
The Asian Development Bank has
chastised the project as untimely
and unaffordable for Laos, whose
population of 7 million is among the
smallest and poorest in Asia.
The bank estimates that the line,
which includes 31 stations, 76 tunnels
and 154 bridges, including two over
the Mekong River, will eat up 80pc of
the Lao national budget.
Although Chinese state banks are
set to offer loans, there is a strong
belief that the grandiose scheme may
bankrupt the country and not only stymie that express bus service but also
turn Laos into the Greece of ASEAN.
Several companies who have
signed up for the venture are already
having second thoughts and one
major Chinese construction company
has recently pulled out.
As well, many Lao villagers have
been angrily complaining about the
pitiful compensation they will receive
for being forcibly relocated to make

way for the rail line.


While these and other infrastructure initiatives in Laos have been
blowing hot and cold, one major development appears unquestionably on
track to stir up the strategic balance
of power across the region.
Though it too has been little
noticed, the Vientiane regime, which
normally looks to Vietnam and China
for guidance on all key matters, has
recently developed a closer rapport
with the United States.
Odd though it may seem, a crucial
factor engendering this rapport has
been the aforementioned high-speed
rail link that China is foisting on
Laos, despite the financing terms being clearly unviable for Vientiane.
The way that Beijing has overplayed
its hand over both the rail plan and
other investments in northern Laos,
especially turning large tracts of land
into rubber plantations, has angered
both rural folks and LPRP cadres.
As well, Vietnam already fighting
Chinese sovereignty claims in the
South China Sea worries that Beijings leverage over its closest neighbour, especially in military matters,
will have strategic ramifications.
Thus Hanoi has encouraged
Vientiane to emulate its own policy
of spreading its wings and cultivating
ties with former capitalist adversaries, like Japan, South Korea and the
United States.
Naturally, some LPRP leaders at
Kilometre Six, the partys restricted
HQ just outside Vientiane, are wary

of this new strategy, especially those


close to Beijing who view it as akin to
getting into bed with the devil.
But younger cadres are more
receptive to engaging with the outside
world and increasingly want to embrace all things modern, from riding
on express buses to watching CNN
and using the latest smartphones.
This is where Washington has an
advantage, which it is now, belatedly,
trying to exploit.
Already high-level visits have begun,
led by then-secretary of state Hillary
Clinton in 2012, and next year, when
Vientiane hosts the ASEAN Summit,
Barack Obama will become the first
sitting US president to visit Laos.
And since it became the last
ASEAN member to join the World
Trade Organization two years ago
and began introducing pro-business
reforms, American companies have
started to move in.
Coca-Cola began bottling operations in Laos last year, joining its
already-established competitor Pepsi.
Other US firms, like General Electric,
Johnson & Johnson and ExxonMobil,
have been sniffing around.
Of course, political, economic and
geographic constraints mean the US
can never match Chinas influence
in Laos; that said, voices in both
Washington and Vientiane now agree
that it is in their mutual interest to
boost ties and strengthen the strategic
autonomy of Laos.
And hopefully make the buses run
on time.

8 THE MYANMAR TIMES APRIL 23, 2015

Business
First foreign bank to open branch in
Yangon says long-term view is key
SU PHYO
WIN
suphyo1990@gmail.com

THE first of three foreign banks


to open branches in Myanmar this
week Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
(BTMU) says there is no turning
back for economic reforms and that
patience is the key for success.
If we look at the long term, Myanmar has lots of potential. The liberalisation of the country and its economy
has started and once you get this
momentum, it cannot stop, despite
short-term fluctuations, Go Watanabe, BTMU chief executive for Asia
and Oceania, told reporters yesterday
at the banks launch in Yangon.
Myanmars economy is at a very
early stage in terms of financial market reforms compared with other
countries and banks must take a
long-term view, he said.
U Kyaw Kyaw Maung, governor of
the Central Bank of Myanmar, said
in an opening ceremony speech that
the event marked a new milestone in
the history of the banking industry in
Myanmar.
Business in Myanmar needs a very
long term perspective, Mr Watanabe

said. So at this time we are not very


strict in our budget numbers or targets, he said, setting as the priority
winning business with foreign companies since direct dealing with Myanmar companies is excluded by Central
Bank regulations. Foreign banks are
also presently barred from conducting
retail banking.
Collaboration with local banks
would be important to support small
and medium enterprises, Mr Watanabe said.
In Myanmar, there are not so
many big companies and most of the
companies are SMEs. Form the foreign bank point of view, we are not
so familiar with the SMEs but we understand that SMEs are vital and very
important to the market. So we support SMEs indirectly via the transfer
of knowledge and technology with
collaboration with local banks and
the Central Bank, he said.
Japans Sumitomo Mitsui Banking
Corporation and Singapores OCBC
are scheduled to open their first Yangon branches today. Together with
BTMU they received notices on April
2, giving them the green light to open
their doors.
A total of nine foreign banks won
provisional licences on October 1,
2014, following a heated race with a
number of large banks. The winners
from Singapore, Japan, Thailand,

Go Watanabe, senior official


of Japans BTMU, speaks to
reporters at the opening of
the first branch of a foreign
bank in Myanmar.
Photo: Thiri Lu

Malaysia, China and Australia have


since been busy preparing their operations to meet the approval of the
Central Bank of Myanmar.
Myanmar has not allowed onshore
banking by foreign institutions since
1963, when 14 foreign banks were

nationalised. The Central Bank of


Myanmars website shows there are
currently 43 foreign banks operating
in the country. Many of them competed in last years contest for licences,
though ultimately nine were selected.
BTMU, with a network spanning

40 countries, is part of Mitsubishi


UFJ Financial Group with 258 trillion
yen (US$2.5 trillion) in assets.
International institutions see an
overhaul of Myanmars banking sector as key to attracting investment
and driving economic growth. Local
banks have expressed concern that
they risk being marginalised if international banks are allowed to operate
freely.
Mr Watanabe said compliance was
an important issue. The numbers of
the businesses or companies we can
deal with would be limited due to regulations that we understand. We have
to be in compliance with that, he said.
At the same time some banking
regulations have not been decided on,
meaning that good communication
with the Central Bank was essential,
he said. Building trust between people
and their banks was important and required stable infrastructure, he added.
The Central Bank governor said
that strengthened collaboration between domestic banks and Japanese
banks would promote investment
and drive economic growth.
I am confident that BTMU would
engage in major sectors to develop
Special Economic Zones in Myanmar.
And I encourage BTMU to support
areas in trade financing, SME finance
and project financing, U Kyaw Kyaw
Maung said.

ADB returns after 25 years


Country director helped formulate Myanmar strategy and Pacific island privatisation
STUART ALAN BECKER
stuart.becker@gmail.com
AFTER a 25-year absence, the Asian
Development Bank has returned and
is full of optimism for a challenging future, even if progress may come in fits
and starts.
ADBs back in Myanmar and here
to stay, country director Winfried
Wicklein told The Myanmar Times in a
recent interview.
Mr Wicklein, 45, says he is amazed
at the scale of reforms since U Thein
Seins government took office in 2011.
The most noteworthy reforms have
been in the monetary and financial
sectors following the unification of exchange rates in the early days of reform.
This country is certainly on the move
and it is very important to continue the
momentum, he said.
Reforms take time to identify, design and implement. It takes time to
develop the capacity of the civil service,
to build roads and bridges, to reform
the education and health systems, and
to improve the investment climate.
ADB is not mandated to discuss political issues, but there is a close link between peace and stability and inclusive
economic growth, he added.
We are optimistic on the socioeconomic reform front. We dont really
see a slowdown, but the reality is that
change is never a linear process. You
may go four steps forward and a step
or two backward. You may have various
interest groups whose interests are not
always aligned. You may face low levels
of capacities both on human and institutional levels to drive and absorb the
reforms. And you may have to deal with

multiple layers of government, including in terms of public service delivery


on the sub-national and local levels, he
said.
Mr Wicklein sees the ADB on a steep
learning curve in terms of understanding the context of Myanmars armed
conflicts.
We dont get involved directly in
the peace process, but if we work in
areas of the country that are affected
by conflict, we need to understand the
environment sufficiently well before we
can engage. We need to make sure we
wont do any harm to social harmony
and the peace process. We are working
closely with a team of conflict sensitivity advisers that are very knowledgeable
about the local context, and we regularly seek advice from civil society. This
is crucial to get the design right and in
order to implement projects effectively,
he said.
With very little data for a large and
complex country, the ADB has a lot of
catching up to do after such a long absence. So we put a premium on listening and learning at this early stage of
our reengagement in the country, Mr
Wicklein said.
The country director was involved
in helping to clear Myanmar of debts
to other financial institutions while
working with the World Bank in late
2012 to prepare the country to receive
international lending following years of
economic sanctions.
We rescheduled government arrears
to ADB through a policy reform loan, Mr
Wicklein said. This was a great opportunity for us to better understand the economy and policy setting and to support the
countrys economic and fiscal reforms.

Although he praises the governments enthusiasm and the pace of


reform, he remains realistic about the
formidable task ahead.
Myanmar is one of the poorest
countries in Asia and faces enormous
challenges, he said.
There is a need to balance economic growth and macro-economic stability, improve infrastructure connectivity
and access, strengthen governance and
public service delivery, invest in human
capital, and to promote the development of rural areas where the majority
of the people reside, he said.
The Manila-headquartered ADB was
established in August 1966 to facilitate
economic development in Asia with 31
member countries. Membership has
since grown to 67 countries, with Japan
and the United States holding the largest proportion of shares, both just over
15 percent, while China holds 6.47pc,
India 6.36pc and Australia 5.8pc.
Presidents of the ADB have always
been Japanese and the current head is
Takehiko Nakao, a long-time civil servant in the finance ministry. The official
ADB motto is Fighting poverty in Asia
and the Pacific. It employs more than
3000 people, 12 of whom work in Myanmar out of offices in Yangon and Nay
Pyi Taw.
Mr Wicklein said a total of US$1.8
billion had been approved in loans,
grants and assistance for Myanmar for
the years 2013-16, averaging $450 million a year, with an additional $50-150
million in co-financing from other lenders, depending on the project. Its country partnership strategy for Myanmar
for 2016 to 2021 is expected to be approved by the middle of next year.

Winfried Wicklein is Asian Development Bank country director for Myanmar.


Photo: Stuart Becker

Were gearing up for the long run


with a stronger sector focus, with longterm commitments and much more
depth and scale to our operations here,
he said.
The ADB started operations here in
1973 when Myanmar became a member. It pulled out from 1988 to 2011 and
then re-engaged in 2012, with Mr Wicklein heavily involved in formulating the
Myanmar plan from ADBs Bangkok
office.
The work was promoting state enterprise reform, supporting public-private partnerships, developing financial
sectors and strengthening the legal and
regulatory business environment.
We put a premium on responsiveness, and with a suitable governance

structure in place and a strong team


of dedicated experts on the team, we
could support reform champions with
policy and legal reforms that they
would have otherwise not been able to
achieve, he said.
A citizen of Austria who grew up in
Germany, Mr Wicklein is joined in Yangon by his Filipina wife Irene and their
two daughters and son.
We love it here in Myanmar. My
work is unique and a very exciting opportunity for me to contribute to the
development of this amazing country
as it rebounds from decades of isolation. My wife Irene enjoys discovering
new things and secrets of Yangon every
day, while the kids are just having a fantastic time, he said.

BUSINESS EDITOR: Guy Dinmore | Guydinmore@gmail.com

EU threatens to ban
Thai fish imports

Tokyo stock market


hits 15-year high

BUSINESS 10

BUSINESS 11

Exchange Rates (April 22 close)


Currency
Euro
Malaysia Ringitt
Singapore Dollar
Thai Baht
US Dollar

Buying
K1167
K295
K782
K33
K1067

Selling
K1180
K310
K800
K35
K1080

Singapore leads as foreign investment in Myanmar doubles


SANDAR LWIN
sdlsandar@gmail.com
FOREIGN investment in Myanmar
nearly doubled last year compared to
the previous year, it was announced
yesterday. Overseas investors poured
more than US$8 billion into the country, creating 150,000 jobs, said the Directorate of Investment and Company
Administration (DICA).
More than half that figure, $4.3
billion, came from Singapore alone.
A total of 223 projects garnered $8.01
billion in the financial year just ended,
the highest annual figure since the $20
billion that gushed into the country
to fund heavy hydropower projects in
2010-2011, as Myanmar began its economic and political reform process.
Nearly 35 percent of the 2014-2015
investment, or $3.2 billion, went into
the oil and gas sector, while manufacturing and telecoms received another
35pc. Real estate received nearly $800
million, and hotels and tourism $357
million.
This shows that the countrys goal
of becoming a middle-income country within 15 years can be met, said
secretary of the Myanmar Investment

A farmer ploughs with oxen in Nay Pyi Taw on April 10. Myanmar aims to be a middle-income country by 2030. Photo: AFP

Commission U Aung Naing Oo.


The investment was distributed
among a wide range of businesses,
from important infrastructure like the
telecoms and constructions sectors to
manufacturing and tourism. This is
strong evidence of the countrys economic prospects, he added. U Aung
Naing Oo is also the director general of

DICA.
The Myanmar Investment Commission aimed to attract $5 billion in FDI
last year by promoting the manufacturing sector to create more jobs. The
investment in manufacturing last year
alone was equal to the total investment
of 2012-2013.
I think investors are becoming

more confident in investing in the country as our economic prospects improve


under a strong legal infrastructure. We
have made many bilateral agreements
with the United States, Japan and European Union members, said U Aung
Naing Oo.
Several international organisations,
including the Organisation for Economic

Cooperation and Development and the


Asia Development Bank, are setting their
sights on 2030 as the year that Myanmar
becomes a middle-income country. ADBs
Outlook 2015 study estimates the countrys economic growth as 8.3pc this year
and 8.2pc in 2016-17.
Better prospects in neighbouring
India and Thailand and further afield
in the major industrial economies support the outlook for Myanmar but are
partly offset by a slowdown in China,
ADB said in the report.
Other investors last year included
Hong Kong, with $625 million, and
China, which put $500 million in hydropower projects.
U Aung Thura, chief executive of
Thura Swiss Research and Consulting, is confident that foreign investment will increase over the long term
but cautions that investors will closely
watch the outcome of parliamentary
elections in November.
The outlook for Myanmar to become a middle income country in 2030
can also come true if the country has
an annual growth rate of about 7pc for
15 consecutive years To have this annual growth rate is not difficult for the
country, he said.

VIEWS

Charting Chinas slow-growth opportunity


YU YONGDING
AFTER four disappointing years, Chinese economists have realized that
slowing GDP growth from a postcrisis peak of 12.8 percent in 2010 to
about 7pc today is mainly structural, rather than cyclical. In other
words, Chinas potential growth rate
has settled onto a significantly lower
plateau. While the country should be
able to avoid a hard landing, it can
expect annual growth to remain at
6-7 pc over the next decade. But this
may not necessarily be bad news.
One might question why GDP in
China, where per capita income recently surpassed US$7000, is set to
grow so much more slowly than Japans did from 1956 to 1970, when the
Japanese economy, with per capita
income starting from about $7000,
averaged 9.7pc annual growth. The
answer lies in potential growth.
Whereas, according to Japans central bank, Japanese labour productivity grew by more than 10pc annually,
on average, from 1960 to 1973, Chinese productivity has been declining
steadily in recent years, from 11.8pc
in 2001-2008 to 8.8pc in 2008-2012,
and to 7.4pc in 2011-2012. Japans
labour supply (measured in labour
hours) was also growing during that
period, by more than 3pc annually. By
contrast, Chinas working-age population has been shrinking, by more
than 3 million annually, since 2012
a trend that will, with a four-to-sixyear lag, cause labour-supply growth
to decline, and even turn negative.
Given the difficulty of reversing
these trends, it is difficult to imagine
how China could maintain a growth
rate anywhere close to 10pc for another decade, despite its low per capita income. But there is more.
As the Japanese economist Ryuichiro Tachi has pointed out, Japan also
benefited from a high savings rate and
a low capital coefficient (the ratio of

capital to output) of less than 1. Though


a precise comparison is difficult, there
is no doubt that Chinas capital coefficient is much higher, implying a larger
gap between the growth rate of capital
intensity (the total amount of capital
needed per dollar of revenue) and that
of labour productivity.
At times, a high investment rate
can offset a high capital coefficients
negative impact on growth. But Chinas investment rate is already too
high, accounting for almost half of
GDP. With capital intensity increasing significantly faster than labour
productivity in China, the inefficiency
of investment is clear. In this context,
increased investment would only exacerbate the problem.
Making matters worse, Chinas
corporate debt is already the highest
in the world, both in absolute terms
and relative to GDP. In this context,
increasing investment would not only
reduce capital efficiency further; it
would also heighten the risk implied
by companies high leverage ratios.
With all major indicators suggesting a significant decline in Chinas growth potential, Chinas leaders must accept the reality of lower
growth and adjust their priorities accordingly. Succumbing to the temptation of massive monetary and fiscal
stimulus, such as that pursued in the
wake of the global economic crisis,
would not only fail to boost growth
in a sustainable way; it would actually undermine growth and stability

Making matters
worse, Chinas
corporate debt is
already the worlds
highest.

The flags of Hong Kong and China flutter together outside Hong Kongs stock exchange building. Hong Kong stocks
stormed to seven-year highs yesterday under a new policy that allows Chinese investors easy access to the citys bourse.
Analysts say the rally has some way to go but they warn it will be tempered by cooling measures from a nervous Beijing.
Photo: AFP

in the medium to long term. A better approach would focus on making


economic growth more sustainable.
On this issue, Japan has some useful lessons to offer. In the 1970s, recognising the inevitability of a slowdown, Japan shelved its ambitious
plan to remodel the Japanese archipelago. Policymakers shut down energy-intensive factories in the heavy
chemical industry, promoted innovation, and took steps to address air
and water pollution. As a result, the
quality of Japans economic growth
improved considerably, even as its

rate fell by nearly half in the decade


after the oil shock in 1973.
The good news is that Chinas
leaders seem intent on adopting a
similar approach, including avoidance of monetary and fiscal expansion, unless growth seems set to
collapse. Indeed, at the recently
concluded National Peoples Congress, Prime Minister Li Keqiang
affirmed the authorities 7pc target
for GDP growth this year, while reiterating the importance of deepening reform and carrying out structural adjustments.

For China, accepting lower growth


provides a crucial opportunity to support stable and sustainable development. If Chinas leaders stay the course
of reform and rebalancing, the entire
global economy will be better off.
Yu Yongding, a former president of the
China Society of World Economics
and director of the Institute of World
Economics and Politics at the Chinese
Academy of Social Sciences, served
on the Monetary Policy Committee of
the Peoples Bank of China from 2004
to 2006.

10 International Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES APRIL 23, 2015

BANGKOK

IN BRIEF

EU threatens ban on Thai fish


THAILAND yesterday warned it
risked losing nearly US$1 billion a
year if the European Union makes
good on a threat to ban fish imports from the kingdom unless it
does more to halt illegal fishing.
The worlds third-largest seafood producer was left red-faced
on April 21 when Brussels issued it
with a yellow card for failing to
clamp down on illegal fishing, saying fisheries monitoring, controls
and punishments were inadequate
and had to be brought up to international standards.
A red card and eventual import ban of fish would follow if the
kingdom failed to clean up its fishing industry within six months, the
EU Commission warned.
Thailands Agriculture Minister
Petipong Puengbun Na Ayudhya
told reporters that a ban could cost
the country up to 30 billion baht
a year ($927 million) in European
sales a shortfall the economically
shaky nation can ill afford.

I think we can beat


the 180-day EU
deadline.

Germany raises GDP forecasts

Germany yesterday upgraded its


growth forecasts for both this year and
2016 to 1.8 percent, saying Europes
biggest economy is in an upturn.
Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel
said, Germany is on a solid path of
growth, driven by favourable developments on the labour market, rising
wages and increased employment. The
main pillar of recovery is consumer
spending.
Previously, the government had
forecast gross domestic product
growth of 1.5pc in 2015 and 1.6pc in
2016.

Indonesia calls for new financial


order

Labourers from Myanmar, Cambodia and other nearby countries sort fish unloaded from a trawler at a port in Pattani,
southern Thailand, on September 20, 2013. Some workers are legal but many are undocumented. Photo: AFP

Petipong Pueng Na Ayudhya


Thai agriculture minister of the economy. Its prawn industry
is the worlds largest.
But its image has been battered
by allegations of ships using human trafficking victims and slave
I am confident that our private labour, as well as taking illegal
sector, fishermen and our fisheries catches practices critics say sucoperators are aware that if we fail cessive governments have turned a
to solve this problem our fishing in- blind eye to.
dustries will be faced with several
Thailands junta, which took over
problems, he said.
last May in a coup and has vowed
Thailands fishing industry ac- to kickstart the kingdoms flagging
counts for 40 percent of the coun- economy, has said it is determined
trys food exports and is a mainstay to combat illegal fishing, including a

plan to role out widespread GPS devices on fishing vessels.


Mr Petipong said he was confident Bangkok would meet the EUs
six month deadline, adding that the
countrys rubber-stamp parliament
had already passed a new bill giving greater powers to harbour and
labour officials to monitor trawlers.
But the bill will not become law
for another 60 days, something the
minister said the junta might need
to fast track if needs be. I think we
can beat the 180-day deadline, he

said.
In June the US State Department downgraded Thailand to its
lowest ranking in a report on human trafficking, highlighting abuses in the fisheries industry among
others.
Belize, Guinea, Cambodia and
Sri Lanka were all hit with EU
fishing import bans in the past
but remedial efforts by Belize
means it has now been taken off
the blacklist.
AFP

Indonesias president yesterday called


for a new global financial order to
replace obsolete institutions at a
summit of Asian and African leaders,
as support grows for a new Beijingbacked regional development bank.
The view which says that global
economic problems can only be solved
by the World Bank, the IMF, the ADB, is
an obsolete view that needs discarding, Joko Widodo told delegates,
including Chinese President Xi Jinping,
at the start of the two-day summit in
Jakarta.
Mr Widodo did not mention the
China-backed Asian Infrastructure
Investment Bank (AIIB) by name,
but called for reform of the global
financial architecture to get rid of the
domination of a group of countries over
other countries.

Tesco declares record loss

Britains biggest retailer, supermarket


group Tesco, announced yesterday that
it had plunged into a record loss last
year as it took a huge writedown on the
value of its property.
Tesco, which was hit by a major crisis last October after accounting errors
that overstated profits, reported a loss
after tax of 5.74 billion (US$8.58 billion) in the 12 months to end-February.
That compared with a net profit of 974
million in 2013-14, the group said. AFP

SHANGHAI

Chinas tech firms promise to shake up car market


CHINESE technology giants Alibaba
and Tencent are promising to build
the cars of the future, vehicles linked
seamlessly to the internet and offering shopping and navigation help
while on the road.
E-commerce company Alibaba
and WeChat messaging app provider
Tencent have both announced plans
for cars in the past month, along with
video streaming platform Letv.
The move could shake up the traditional industry in the worlds largest auto market, but details of their
automotive visions are still vague,
analysts said.
At the Shanghai auto show this
week, the stand of Letvs partner in
the venture, BAIC Motor, displayed
the concept for the vehicle, which has
two front seats with a steering wheel
and a futuristic screen control panel.
In the mobile Internet era, the
auto industry is facing a huge revolution, Letv CEO Jia Yueting said
on his microblog. The Chinese auto
industry can subvert traditional European, American, Japanese and Korean giants.
A promotional film at the auto
show said the Letv car would have
features such as gesture recognition,
automatic parking and a fingerprintrecognition locking device.
At the moment we havent seen
the products. This is all the sort of
concept stage, Namrita Chow, principal analyst for IHS Automotive, told
AFP.
In the United States, search engine Google has already made news
with its plans for a self-driving car,
and Apple is reportedly planning to

develop an electric car.


Alibaba, whose $25 billion US-listing last year was the worlds largest,
plans an internet car that would
use technology to provide a better
driving experience including e-commerce, digital entertainment, map
and communications services.
In one sense, Alibaba is already in
the auto business. Its business-to-consumer platform Tmall.com is now offering for sale more than 30 new cars
including a limited-edition Ford Mustang launched at the Shanghai auto
show, which started on April 20.
Rival Tencent also has plans for
an internet-connected car, while Letv
plans an electric vehicle.
Chinas market for fully electric
vehicles and hybrids remains small,
but the government is offering support to the emerging industry. Both
Alibaba and Letv have chosen powerful state-owned firms as partners for
their projects, an odd match for the
nimble private companies.
Alibaba is working with Chinas
biggest auto maker, Shanghai-based
SAIC Motor.

BILLION US

$25

Value of Alibabas listing in the US


last year

A Citroen Aircross attracts viewers yesterday at the 16th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition where
Chinese technology giants Alibaba and Tencent are promising to build the cars of the future. Photo: AFP

The internet will become a musthave feature of future cars, SAIC


chief engineer Jing Lei said in a statement announcing the cooperation.
Last week, Alibaba also announced
it had formed a strategic partnership
with Shanghai General Motors a
joint venture of General Motors and
SAIC Motor for car finance, big data
marketing, after-sales service and online to offline commerce.

Letvs partner BAIC Motor is the


listed unit of Beijing Automotive
Group, which reports directly to the
central government.
Production of the car will depend
on demand, a BAIC Motor official
told AFP, adding it could be on the
market in as little as two years.
Analysts said partnering with an
established auto company allows technology players to develop a car with

a conventional combustion engine, as


electric vehicles are currently the only
area open to companies outside the
industry under government rules.
Tencent has tapped less traditional partners, Apple supplier Foxconn of Taiwan and luxury car dealer
China Harmony Auto, for its vehicle.
Cooperation is still at a very early
stage, a Tencent spokesperson said.
AFP

International Business 11

www.mmtimes.com
NEW YORK

Yahoo
profits
slump
YAHOO reported a 93 percent slide in
quarterly profit from a year ago, while
revenues rose modestly in disappointing quarterly results for the struggling
Internet pioneer.
Net profit for the first quarter tumbled to US$21.1 million from $312 million in the same period last year, amid
what chief executive Marissa Mayer
called encouraging revenue growth
of 8pc.
Total revenue for the first three
months of the year grew to $1.23 billion, led by gains in search revenue,
from ads linked to queries using Yahoos search function. But revenue and
profit were both lower than Wall Street
forecasts.
Yahoo is amidst a multi-year transformation to return an iconic company
to greatness, Ms Mayer said in the April
21 earnings statement.
This quarter, we saw encouraging
revenue growth of 8pc, with display revenue growing a modest 2pc and search
growing 20pc.
She said mobile revenues reached
$234 million in the quarter, up 61pc
from a year ago. The internet giant will
now focus on accelerating revenue
growth while managing our margins
and costs, Ms Mayer said. She disclosed
that Yahoo cut some 1100 jobs in the
past quarter, bringing the number of
reductions to some 3000 over the past
three years. AFP

TOKYO

Nikkei 225 climbs to 15-year high


TOKYOS benchmark index closed
above 20,000 yesterday for the first
time in 15 years as hopes for strong
Japanese corporate earnings drove
the market higher, despite a weak
lead from Wall Street.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange added 1.13 percent, or 224.81 points, to finish at
20,133.90. It last closed above the
psychologically important level in
April 2000.
That puts the Nikkei at a mark
last seen when Sonys groundbreaking PlayStation 2 hit the shelves, the
dot-com bubble was collapsing and
Bill Clinton still occupied the White
House.
The broader Topix index of all
first-section shares climbed 0.80pc,
or 12.91 points, to end at 1621.79.
Investors were now focusing on
the start of Japanese earnings season with many firms set to report
bumper fiscal-year profits. Major
companies including Toyota, Sony,
Japans biggest banks and Canon
are reporting earnings over the next
couple of weeks.
Since the Nikkei is a simple average of 225 [companies], whats behind its rise is expectations for higher corporate earnings, Toshihiko
Matsuno, senior strategist at SMBC
Friend Securities, said. Where the
market will go from here depends
on how company earnings fare.
Tokyo and Washington emerged
on April 21 from marathon talks on
a Pacific-wide free trade area saying
they were close to an agreement.

An electronic quotation board flashes the Tokyo Stock Exchanges key Nikkei
index which hit a 15-year high yesterday. Photo: AFP

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo


Abe is hoping that the Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP) which includes
a dozen nations accounting for
about 40pc of the global economy
will help him push through reforms
to the protected agricultural sector, a key element in his wider bid
to stimulate growth in the worlds
number three economy.
[The Nikkei] could climb higher
if TPP talks reach an accord, sparking hopes for the promotion of external trade, said Mr Matsuno at
SMBC.
Adding to upbeat sentiment
yesterday, fresh data showed Japan posted its first trade surplus
in nearly three years in March as
import bills fell owing to tumbling
oil prices while the value of exports
to North America soared. Investors
were also buoyed by a wave of global monetary easing, most recently
with China loosening its credit grip
on April 19.
The Nikkei finished 2014 just
short of its highest level since before
the global financial crisis. And in
2013 it surged 57pc its best annual
return in four decades helped by
the Japanese premiers growth blitz.
The index was below 10,000 when
Mr Abe came to power.
In 2000, Japan was about a
decade into a longterm economic
malaise after a property and stock
market bubble drove the Nikkei to
an all-time high of almost 39,000 in
the last days of 1989.
AFP

12 THE MYANMAR TIMES APRIL 23, 2015

World

13

Saudi halts aerial


assault on Yemen

Taliban gears up
for spring offensive

WORLD 15

WORLD 14

WORLD EDITOR: Kayleigh Long

MANILA

JAKARTA

Hot water: Philippines to


appeal for US backing

War of words sparked by Abe apology

THE Philippines has announced it will


soon ask the United States for more
military equipment and training to
build its defences, as it faces Chinese
aggressiveness in disputed waters.
As hundreds of Filipino and US Marines simulated an amphibious assault
to reclaim territory from invaders during annual war games, military chief
General Gregorio Catapang told AFP
he was drafting a wish list for US aid.
Gen Catapang said the Philippines
would ask for equipment and training, when Foreign Affairs Secretary
Albert del Rosario travelled to the US
in about a weeks time.
The US has told us that they will
help us develop our capabilities, and
now, we are focused on maritime security, Gen Catapang said as he watched
tanks emerge from the sea and roll
onto the beach.
We want to have capability on wetland, marshland, and beach landings,
he said when asked to elaborate on the
contents of the wish list.
He said he hoped the US military
would train his men on the operation
of amphibious tanks, which the Philippines is buying for the first time this
year as part of a defence upgrade.
The US is already the biggest mili-

A US amphibious assault vehicle hits


the beach during a landing exercise at
San Antonio on April 21 Photo: AFP

PRIME Minister Shinzo Abe expressed deep remorse yesterday for


Japans World War II aggression at a
summit attended by Asian leaders, but
stopped short of repeating previous
apologies in a move that risks angering Beijing and Seoul.
However there were also signs of
a thaw with China, with Mr Abe and
Chinese President Xi Jinping shaking
hands as the summit in Indonesia got
under way and a Tokyo official saying
that the ground was being laid for the
pair to meet on the sidelines.
A new meeting would be a significant step towards easing long-running
tensions over Tokyos wartime past
and territorial disputes.
The leaders have only met once
before, at a summit in November last
year in China, where they shared an
awkward handshake, but have never
had a formal sit-down.
The speech by Mr Abe, a strident
nationalist, at the Asia-Africa Summit
in Jakarta was being closely watched
for clues about a statement he is due
to make later this year marking the
70th anniversary of the end of World
War II.
Observers are waiting to see
whether he will make direct reference
to his countrys colonial rule and aggression and express remorse and
apologise, as previous premiers did on
the 50th and 60th anniversaries.
He suggested in a TV interview this
week he will not repeat a formal apology in that statement.
For China and South Korea, which
suffered under the yoke of Japans imperial ambition, Mr Abes language is
a crucial marker of Tokyos acceptance

tary supplier to the Philippines, a former colony to which it remains allied


by a mutual defence treaty.
The April 21 drills, among the first
of annual war games between the allies, took place 220 kilometres (137
miles) east of the Scarborough Shoal in
the South China Sea.
The shoal is a rich fishing ground
China has controlled since the end of
a standoff with the Philippines in 2012.
Presidential spokesman Herminio
Coloma alleged on April 20 that a Chinese vessel recently used a water cannon to drive Filipino fishermen away
from the shoal.
On April 20, Gen Catapang criticised Chinas aggressiveness as he
showed satellite photos of massive
reclamations on seven reefs in the
South China Sea.
China claims almost the entire
South China Sea, home to vital shipping lanes and also believed to hold
vast mineral reserves.
The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have often
overlapping claims.
During the drills, 21 amphibious
tanks rolled out of the US Navys giant
warship USS Green Bay to battle troops
from the fictitious country Calabania,
which invaded a Philippine island.
As the first batch of tanks approached the beach, they created a
smokescreen setting fire to diesel to
hide the others moving behind them.
Six attack helicopters flying overhead
provided air support.
The tanks beached and Marines in
full battle dress swiftly ran ashore and
advanced inland. Troops fired mortar rounds toward enemy positions to
make way for the ground assault.
AFP

PIRATES attack one small coastal oil


tanker every two weeks in the waters
off Southeast Asia, which remained
the worlds piracy hotspot in the first
quarter, the International Maritime
Bureau announced on March 21.
Southeast Asia saw 38 pirate attacks during January-March or 70 percent of the global total of 54, according
to the latest quarterly report by the
bureaus Kuala Lumpur-based Piracy
Reporting Centre.
The frequency of these hijackings in Southeast Asia is an increasing
cause for concern, the IMBs director
Pottengal Mukundan said in a statement, warning that attacks could increase further if the problem is not
addressed.
The 54 global incidents represented a 10 percent increase over the first
quarter of 2014, the report said.
There were 245 attacks for all of
last year, the IMB had said earlier.
Indonesian waters remained the
most piracy-prone, seeing 21 attacks
in the first quarter.
The report indicated a continued
shift in the world piracy problem over
the past few years toward Southeast
Asia and away from the past hotspots
of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden.
The latter two saw zero attacks in
the first three months of the year as
an international naval patrol off East
Africa launched in response to an

earlier spike in violent attacks by


mostly Somali-based pirates continued to bear fruit.
But the IMB said Southeast Asian
hijackings were occurring at least
every two weeks and becoming an
increasing and worrying cause for
concern.
A number of these incidents have
occurred in international waters, and
a robust and coordinated regional response is required in order to counter
these threats, it added.
Most Southeast Asian attacks involved armed gangs targeting small
coastal tankers to steal their cargoes
of fuel, typically by syphoning it to another waiting vessel.
Pirates took 140 seafarers as hostages worldwide during the course of
attacks in the quarter, compared to 46
during the same period in 2014.
Globally, 13 crew members were assaulted, three injured and one killed,
the report said.
Southeast Asian piracy had been
signficantly reduced over the past
decade by stepped-up regional cooperation and maritime patrols, but has
re-emerged.
Much of the worlds trade passes
through the regions shipping lanes
such as the South China Sea and the
Malacca Strait, which separates Malaysia and Indonesia.
AFP

gional tensions but called for a fair


global financial system, as Beijing increasingly wins support for its new
regional development bank in the face
of US opposition.
Attention will again focus on Mr
Abes choice of words about the war
when he heads to the United States
this weekend on a week-long trip, during which he will address a joint session of congress.
Mr Abes Jakarta speech was just
his latest move that risks inflaming regional tensions it came after he this
week sent an offering to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, the
supposed repository of the countrys
war dead including 14 infamous war
criminals.
And yesterday, more than 100 Japanese lawmakers visited the shrine,
which China and South Korea view as
a symbol of Japans unwillingness to
repent for aggressive warring, drawing a swift rebuke from Seoul, which
expressed deep disappointment and
regret.
But despite Mr Abes notable failure to offer up a full apology at the
summit, there were indications of
warming ties between Xi and Mr Abe
with the handshake and mounting expectations of a meeting.
Asked whether Xi and Mr Abe
would meet, Japans chief cabinet
secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo: I hope we will
have such an opportunity at some
point today.
I have received a report that they
are making the final arrangements,
but it hasnt been decided yet where
and when to hold the meeting. AFP

LONDON

Colonial atrocity to get day in court

KUALA LUMPUR

Pirates of ASEAN on rise

of guilt for its march across Asia in the


1930s and 1940s, which left millions
dead.
At the start of the two-day summit
yesterday, which commemorates a key
conference 60 years ago that helped
emerging nations forge a common
identity, he offered weaker remarks
than previous Japanese leaders potentially a bad omen for the closelywatched statement later this year.
Referring to principles of peace
laid down at the original conference,
he told delegates: And Japan, with
feelings of deep remorse over the past
war, made a pledge to remain a nation
always adhering to those very principles throughout, no matter what the
circumstances.
The weak statement is particularly notable as then Japanese prime
minister Junichiro Koizumi offered
a heartfelt apology and referred to
colonial rule and aggression at an
Asia-Africa summit in Jakarta in 2005,
echoing language in a landmark 1995
statement.
Mr Abe also made a veiled attack
at China over ongoing maritime disputes: We should never allow to go
unchecked the use of force by the
mightier to twist the weaker around.
Beijing and Tokyo are at odds over
the sovereignty of uninhabited islands
in the East China Sea, which Japan administers and calls the Senkakus but
which China claims as the Diaoyus.
China is also locked in territorial
disputes in the South China Sea with
several countries, and tensions are
particularly high with the Philippines.
Xi, speaking prior to Mr Abe at the
gathering, made no mention of re-

IN PICTURES
Photo: AFP

Pro-democracy demonstrators stage a protest outside the government building in Hong Kong on April 22, 2015. Hong
Kongs government announced a roadmap for leadership elections which offered no concessions to the citys democracy
camp -- prompting opposition lawmakers to walk out of the plans unveiling.

HONG KONG

Roadmap irks umbrella movement


HONG KONGS government announced its roadmap for leadership elections yesterday, offering no
concessions to the citys democracy
camp and prompting opposition
lawmakers to walk out as the plan
was unveiled.
Deputy leader Carrie Lam said
the first-ever public vote for the post
of chief executive in 2017 would be
held in strict compliance with a
ruling by Chinas National Peoples
Congress last August.
That ruling stated that candidates for chief executive must first
be approved by a loyalist committee
a decision that sparked more than
two months of street protests that
paralysed the city toward the end of
last year.
Ms Lam said that voters in 2017
would choose from two to three
candidates chosen by a 1200-strong
nominating committee.
That committee would reflect
the current make-up of the pro-

Beijing election committee, which


up until now has chosen the citys
leader, she said.
These proposals are in strict
compliance with the Basic Law
[Hong Kongs constitution] and
the relevant decisions of [Chinas]
Standing Committee of the National
Peoples Congress, Ms Lam said.
At the same time they fully take
into account the views expressed by
various sectors of the community,
she added.
Ms Lam described constitutional
development as complex and controversial.
It is neither practicable nor realistic to expect that one package
of proposals can meet the ideals
cherished by different people, she
said, adding that the plan had attempted to strike a balance between
numerous divergent requests and
perspectives.
Most pro-democracy legislators
marched out of the chamber follow-

ing Ms Lams speech.


The pan-democrats would like
to condemn strongly the government, said Civic Party lawmaker
Alan Leong, one of those who

We will launch a
campaign to oppose
the proposal and
we will ask the
Hong Kong public
to continue to seek
true universal
suffrage.
Alan Leong
Civic Party lawmaker

walked out.
We will launch a campaign to
oppose the proposal and we will
ask the Hong Kong public to continue to seek true universal suffrage, he added.
Pro-democracy lawmakers wore
T-shirts and displayed placards
emblazoned with a yellow X, symbolising their intention to block
the proposal when it comes to the
vote in the legislature in the coming months.
Ms Lam argued that blocking
the plan would deprive the public
of their chance to vote.
She called on legislators to
cooperate and described the proposal as lawful, fair and reasonable.
This is a call made on you by
this era, and it is history which
places this responsibility on your
shoulders, she said.
Protesters gathered outside the
government complex with pro-

democracy demonstrators calling


for true universal suffrage and
carrying yellow umbrellas a symbol of the movement.
They were met with pro-government protesters waving large
Chinese national flags.
Dozens of police were patrolling
the area outside the government
complex, an AFP reporter at the
scene said.
A police spokesperson refused
to comment on whether extra security measures were being taken
in the wake of the announcement.
The legislature is reported to
be stepping up security at government headquarters from May 1
after protesters smashed windows
there twice last year and stormed
the building.
Measures include extra security checks, roller shutters and
metal barricades, the South China
Morning Post reported.
AFP

RELATIVES of 24 rubber plantation


workers killed in Malaysia in 1948 by
British troops will press their decadesold demand for a public inquiry in Britains highest court today, lawyers said.
The December 12, 1948 incident,
dubbed the Batang Kali massacre,
occurred during the so-called Malayan
Emergency, when Commonwealth
forces fought a communist-inspired revolt in the British colony.
The case has potential ramifications
for Britains duty to investigate historical cases involving its troops, including during the Northern Irish conflict
known as The Troubles.
Lawyers for the families will argue
that Britain has a responsibility to commission an independent inquiry under
the European Convention on Human
Rights, even though the convention
was signed after the incident took
place.
I have travelled here to stand before the most senior judges in [the] UK.
I want to let them know the struggle
and hardship that my beloved mother
suffered after the death of my Dad during the massacre, Lim Ah Yin, who
was 11 years old at the time, said in a
statement.
I am 78 years old and I am determined to see the long overdue justice
be done for my beloved father.
The ethnic Chinese labourers were
killed after British soldiers entered the
Batang Kali rubber plantation about
30 kilometres (19 miles) north of Kuala
Lumpur, rounding up and interrogating villagers.
The communist rebels in what was

then called Malaya were predominantly ethnic Chinese.


Chinese had begun arriving in Malaya in the early 20th century to work
as labourers.
The British government at the time
said that the villagers were suspected
insurgents and were shot when they
tried to escape, but lawyers for the
families argue the men may have been
deliberately executed.
Tham Yong, a Batang Kali resident

I am 78 years old
and I am determined
to see the long
overdue justice be
done for my beloved
father.
Lim Ah Yin
Daughter of Batang Kali victim

who died in 2010 at the age of 78, previously told AFP she saw at least one of
the victims shot in cold blood and that
troops pressured another to flee before
shooting him in the back.
She denied that the villagers were
communists or were aiding insurgents.
The killings have been referred to
as Britains My Lai after the infamous
Vietnam War massacre by US troops.
Relatives have fought for years for a

public inquiry but have been denied by


British courts.
Britains Ministry of Defence has
called the killings a deeply regrettable incident, but critics have argued
against applying European human
rights law to military operations.
In a letter to London-based newspaper The Times this month, seven
former chiefs of defence staff criticised
the creeping legal expansion on to the
battlefield, arguing that war demands
different norms and laws than the rest
of human activity.
Nevertheless, a lawyer for the families said it was not too late for the law
to demand answers from the state.
Plainly, the bullets that killed half
the inhabitants of Batang Kali can never return to their barrels and the time
has long since passed when any soldier
who fired them might be prosecuted,
said John Halford of Bindmans LLP.
After all, those killed were British
subjects living in a British Protected
State. They, and their families, have a
right to meaningful British justice.
Brushed aside by Malayan authorities in 1948, the massacre was largely
forgotten until 1970 when a British
newspaper ran an explosive account of
the killings, publishing sworn affidavits
by soldiers admitting they had killed in
cold blood.
The revelations triggered an uproar
in Britain but investigations were never pursued.
The guerrilla war left thousands
dead and only formally ended with the
signing of a 1989 peace treaty with the
Malayan Communist Party. AFP

14 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES APRIL 23, 2015

KABUL

Taliban ramps up for spring offensive


THE Afghan Taliban said their annual
spring offensive will begin on Friday,
vowing nationwide attacks in what is
expected to be the bloodiest fighting
season in a decade as NATO forces
pull back from the frontlines.
This years offensive marks the first
fighting season in which Afghan security forces will battle the insurgents
without the full support of US-led foreign combat forces.
The militants have already stepped
up attacks on government and foreign
targets in recent weeks, taking a heavy
toll on civilians and Afghan security
forces.
The Islamic Emirate is going to
launch the spring operations under
the inspirational name of Azm [determination] at 5 am on 24th April 2015,
the Taliban said in a statement yesterday, using their official name.
The main targets of these operations... will be the foreign occupiers,
especially their permanent military
bases ... Officials of the stooge regime,
their military constellations, especially their intelligence, interior ministry
and defence ministry officials.
NATOs combat mission formally
ended in December but a small followup foreign force has stayed on to train
and support local security personnel.
US President Barack Obama last
month backpedalled on plans to
shrink the US force in Afghanistan

Afghan security personnel walk through the site of a suicide car bomb attack targeting a NATO convoy near the airport in
Jalalabad on April 10, which killed three civilians. Photo: AFP

this year by nearly half, agreeing to


keep the current level of 9800 US
troops until the end of 2015.
The Taliban, who have waged a
deadly insurgency since they were

ousted from power in late 2001,


warned that the announcement would
damage any prospects of peace talks
as they vowed to continue fighting.
Aside from the Taliban, the

Afghan government has also repeatedly warned of the Islamic State (IS)
group making inroads into the country.
President Ashraf Ghani blamed IS

for a suicide attack on April 18 in the


eastern city of Jalalabad that killed 33
people and wounded more than 100
others. If verified, that would mark
the first major attack by the jihadists
in the country.
On April 18, after months of stalemate, Afghanistans new government
announced appointees to fill every
remaining post in cabinet save the
crucial one of defence minister.
The delay over the appointment
has sparked fierce public criticism,
with many blaming the recent uptick
in deadly insurgent attacks on the
leadership vacuum.
The upsurge in attacks has taken a
heavy toll on ordinary Afghans.
The number of civilians killed
and wounded in Afghanistan jumped
22 percent in 2014, according to the
United Nations Assistance Mission in
Afghanistan (UNAMA).
And in the first three months of
2015, civilian casualties from ground
fighting were up 8pc on the same period last year, UNAMA repored.
But in their statement, the Taliban
said their top priority will be given
to safeguard and protect the lives and
properties of the civilian people during the spring offensive.
The Afghan government and NATO
are yet to respond to the Talibans announcement. In the past they rejected
these offensives as propaganda. AFP

VIENNA

LUENEBURG

Iran deal taking shape

Bookkeeper of Auschwitz in court

THREE weeks ago, Iranians celebrated


on the streets after a framework nuclear deal with world powers was announced. But on yesterday in Vienna,
the hard work of finalising the accord
by a June 30 deadline was set to begin.
Following a marathon of negotiations in Switzerland, Iran agreed on
April 2 to what US President Barack
Obama called a historic understanding ... which, if fully implemented, will
prevent [Iran] from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
This will include Iran dramatically
scaling back its nuclear activities and
submitting those that remain to what
Mr Obama described the most robust
and intrusive inspections and transparency regime ever negotiated.
In return, the United States and five
other major powers committed to lift
certain sanctions that have caused the
Islamic republic of 75 million people
major economic pain by strangling its
oil exports and financial system.
The accord, if completed and implemented, would draw to a close a crisis
that has been steadily and dangerously
escalating since Irans nuclear program
was first revealed some 12 years ago.
It could even potentially push axis
of evil member Iran and the Great
Satan US toward better relations after
35 years of bitter acrimony and at a
particularly volatile time in the Middle
East.
With courageous leadership and
the audacity to make the right decisions, we can and should put this manufactured crisis to rest and move on to
much more important work, Iranian
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad
Zarif said in New York Times op-ed
published on April 21.
The Vienna talks yesterday, which
starts the process of drafting the deal,
were set to involve the European Unions Helga Schmid, representing the
six powers, and Abbas Araghchi, Irans
deputy foreign minister.
Officials from other powers were to
join later.
The process of fitting together all
the interlocking pieces in what will be
a fiendishly complex accord is full of
potential pitfalls which could wreck

GERMAN former SS officer Oskar


Groening, dubbed the bookkeeper
of Auschwitz, asked for forgiveness
over his role in mass murder at the
Nazi death camp, as his trial began on
April 21.
For me theres no question that
I share moral guilt, the 93-year-old
former Nazi told the judges, admitting
that he knew about the gassing of Jews
and other prisoners.
I ask for forgiveness, he said at the
trial, which was attended by almost 70
Holocaust survivors and victims relatives, while insisting he never physically harmed a prisoner himself.
You have to decide on my legal culpability, Mr Groening told the court in
the northern city of Lueneburg near
Hamburg.
Given the advanced age of most
Nazi war crimes suspects, Mr Groening
is expected to be among the last to face
justice, 70 years after the liberation of
the concentration camps at the end of
World War II.
He is being tried on 300,000 counts
of accessory to murder in the cases
of deported Hungarian Jews who were
sent to the gas chambers in 1944, and
he faces up to 15 years in jail.
Prosecutors said Mr Groening
served as a bookkeeper who sorted and
counted the money taken from those
killed, collecting cash in different cur-

the entire process, experts say.


US Secretary of State John Kerry
said in Lausanne where the April 2
understanding was announced that he
had no illusions about the fact that we
still have a ways to travel.
The main problem looks to be the
timing of when US and EU economic
sanctions related to the nuclear dossier
UN sanctions and those dealing with
other areas are separate matters will
be lifted.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
said that he wanted this to occur on
the first day of the implementation of
the deal.
But Western officials say this will
only happen once the UN atomic
watchdog has verified that Iran has
taken key steps in the agreement such
as removing nuclear machinery. Mr
Kerry said this would take probably
six months to a year.
The details on other key areas also
still have to be nailed down.
According to a US fact sheet, the
deal will include Iran slashing the
number of centrifuges which can
make nuclear fuel but also the core of a
bomb by enriching uranium to 6104
from 19,000 at present.
In addition, Washington says, Iran
will shrink its stockpile of enriched
uranium by 98 percent. Taken together
this will extend the breakout time
needed to make one bombs worth of
material to at least one year.
Iran has however criticised the fact
sheet and a joint statement by Zarif
and EU foreign policy head Federica
Mogherini on April 2 was much less
specific, saying only that Irans enrichment capacity and stockpile would be
limited.
Other areas that still have to be
cleared up include the details of the
IAEAs expanded inspections role and
the future scope of Irans research and
development of new kinds of nuclear
machinery.
What has been done so far does
not guarantee an agreement, nor its
contents, nor even that the negotiations will continue to the end, Irans
supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on April 9. AFP

rencies from across Europe.


He also performed ramp duty,
guarding the luggage stolen from deportees as they arrived by rail at the
extermination and forced labour camp
in Nazi-occupied Poland, they said.
Prosecutor Jens Lehmann said the
defendant, by diligently performing
his daily duties, had made at least a
low-level contribution to the smooth
operation of the death camp.
Mr Groening, a widowed father of
two adult sons, entered court using a
Zimmer frame walking aid, wearing
eye glasses, a white dress shirt and a
beige sleeveless jumper.
He said that as a young man he had
volunteered for the SS because, in the
fervour of wartime, we wanted to be
part of it, insisting he knew nothing at
the time about the chambers.
Speaking in a firm voice, he recounted acts of barbarism he witnessed
at Auschwitz, including when an SS
guard killed a crying baby by smashing
its head against a truck.
Mr Groening said he was shocked
and asked to be transferred to the front
three times, but that his requests were
denied.
The defendant also said that once
he passed a gas chamber and heard
cries growing louder and more desperate, until they fell silent.
Reflecting on the Holocaust, he

Former Nazi death camp officer Oskar Groening sits outside during a break of
his trial on April 21 in Lueneburg, northern Germany. Photo: AFP

said: What kind of hatred was behind


it? I just cant understand it.
The more than 100 co-plaintiffs,
witnesses, lawyers and reporters listened to him in German or via simultaneous translations in English, Hebrew
and Hungarian in the court.
Romanian-born Auschwitz survivor
Eva Kor, 81, said before the trial that
he is a murderer because he was part
of the system of mass murder.
But after Mr Groenings testimony,
she expressed appreciation for his attempt to shine a light on his dark past.
Hes very old, and meeting him
face-to-face makes me realise that he
did the best that he can do with his
mind and his body, because he has a lot
of difficulties physically and, Im sure,
emotionally, she said outside the court.
He has to remember a lot of things
he did, so I think he is really doing his
best.
Mr Groening, unlike most former
Nazis, has often spoken in media interviews about what he did and saw.
He first opened up about his past in
1985, when a member of his stamp collectors club handed him a book written by a Holocaust denier.
Mr Groening returned it with a
message: I saw everything. The gas
chambers, the cremations, the selection process ... I was there.
He went on to write a memoir for
his family, shared his recollections with
the German press and appeared in a
BBC documentary.
Mr Groening had been cleared by
German courts, but the legal basis for
prosecuting ex-Nazis changed in 2011
with the trial of former death camp
guard John Demjanjuk.
While previously courts had punished defendants for individual atrocities, Mr Demjanjuk was convicted solely on the basis of having served at the
Sobibor camp in occupied Poland.
Some 1.1 million people, most of
them European Jews, perished between 1940 and 1945 in the AuschwitzBirkenau camp before it was liberated
by Soviet forces.
The trial, which adjourned on
April 21, is scheduled to run until July
29. AFP

World 15

www.mmtimes.com
RIYADH

Saudi halts air


strikes as battle
rages below
A SAUDI-LED coalition halted a fourweek air war in Yemen yesterday but
ground fighting between Iran-backed
rebels and government loyalists raged
on in a blow to US-led calls for renewed peace talks.
The air strikes stopped at midnight
(2100 GMT April 21) but residents
of Yemens battleground second city
Aden and third city Taez reported no
let-up in fighting between the rebels
and supporters of exiled President
Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
The coalition said its operations
would now enter a political phase but
left open the option of resuming the
air raids if necessary.
In Taez, the Huthi Shiite rebels
and their allies seized the opportunity
to capture the headquarters of the
35th Armoured Brigade loyal to Hadi
which they had besieged for nearly a
week, an army officer said.
The fighting left dozens dead and
wounded, he told AFP.
The World Health Organization
says at least 944 people have been
killed in Yemen since March 19 and
there were calls from all sides for the
urgent delivery of humanitarian aid.
But the continued fighting doused
hopes of a swift resumption of aid
flights to the Arab worlds poorest

country.
Riyadh said the strikes, which it
launched on March 26 as the Huthis
closed in on Hadis last refuge in Aden,
had removed threats to Saudi Arabia
and its neighbours by destroying the
rebels air and missile capabilities.
But the rebels and their allies
remain in control of the capital Sanaa
and swathes of the country and Hadi
is still in exile in Riyadh, where he fled
when the raids began.
The coalition said an air and naval
blockade would remain in place to
prevent any arms deliveries to the rebels that might threaten the vital shipping lanes off Yemen or neighbouring
Saudi Arabia.
Washington has sent an aircraft
carrier to the region to protect the
key sea route from Asia and the Gulf
to Europe and to monitor activity by
Shiite Iran.
Riyadh has accused its regional
rival of arming the rebels in a bid
to establish a proxy on its doorstep,
something strongly denied by Tehran,
which offered its help in relaunching
peace talks.
A coalition statement said the next
steps would be a resumption of the
political process, aid deliveries and
fighting terrorism.

A Yemeni walks past a vehicle which was damaged during an air strike by Saudi-led coalition warplanes on the nearby
base on Fajj Attan hill on April 21 in Sanaa. At least 38 civilians were killed in explosions that followed the strike. Photo: AFP

Al-Qaedas Yemen branch, regarded by Washington as its most dangerous, has taken advantage of the air
war and ground fighting between the
rebels and Hadi loyalists to consolidate its grip on Hadramawt province
in the southeast.
Washington, which was forced to
withdraw its troops from a Yemen air
base where they had been overseeing
a longstanding drone war against the
jihadists, hailed the end of the Saudiled air campaign.
The US welcomes todays announcement by the government of
Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners
of the conclusion of Operation Decisive
Storm in Yemen, said National Security
Council spokesperson Alistair Baskey.
We continue to support the resumption of a UN-facilitated political
process and the facilitation of human-

itarian assistance.
UN-brokered talks between the
warring parties broke down in February when Mr Hadi fled to Aden after
the Huthis took over the government.
There has been no UN envoy to
Yemen since Moroccan diplomat Jamal Benomar stepped down last week
in the face of coalition accusations
that he had appeased the rebels.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif too welcomed the end
of the air strikes and offered Tehrans
help in bringing the two sides back to
the negotiating table.
Positive developments in Yemen
should be followed by urgent humanitarian assistance, intra-Yemeni
dialogue & broad-based govt. Ready to
help, he tweeted from New York.
In a televised speech from his refuge in Riyadh, Mr Hadi thanked the

coalition for its support and refused to


give up hope of returning from exile.
We will soon return to our
homeland, to Aden and Sanaa, he said.
Hadi again blamed the rebels and
their allies inside and outside Yemen for the deadly fighting but said he
stood ready to join renewed talks.
He called on all sides to work to
implement a UN Security Council
resolution adopted last week which
paves the way for positive and effective dialogue.
In Riyadh, a Western diplomat said
he thought it was a good time for the
Saudis to get out of this, even though
the political objectives had not been
achieved.
The Huthis are still there where
they had been before, said the diplomat, who asked not to be identified.
AFP

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 23, 2015

it

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t

yo

gers o
n
i
f
n

the pulse editor: ChArlotte rose charlottelola.rose@gmail.com

Railing against
superstition
Zon Pann Pwint
zonpann08@gmail.com

EATH on the road, the river or the railway may


have many causes. But no amount of official
reports will stop some people believing that
the true reason was the price exacted by the
ghostly guardians that watch over the nations
transportation infrastructure.
Take the case of the young mother from Mingalar Taung
Nyunt crossing the tracks at Mahlwagon one hot day back in
2007. Seemingly ignoring the train rumbling slowly toward
the station, with her baby in her arms Daw Htay Htay Win
started across the tracks. She was crushed beneath the
wheels of the train even as her baby was thrown free. People
said it was the spirit that made her do it.
The little local gods of the level crossings, or the road
junctions, or the waterways plied by boats, are watchful.
But they take their toll, or so the superstition goes. The
price of their guardianship is the occasional life, taken by
drowning, by crushing or by collision. The blood on the
tracks is an offering.
U Kyi Win, station master at Yangon Railway Station,
said people die on the tracks because they cross without
looking, walk with their back to the train, or jump on or
off a slow-moving train, which is not as easy as it looks.
Accidents usually happen between stations. The
train drivers will say they sound the horn when they see
someone about to cross, but sometimes the person seems
not to hear. He takes no evasive action. Thats why some
people are under the misapprehension that the spirit
possesses him and bewitches him not to hear the horn, he
explained.

All too often, the lives are taken at the same haunted
spots. But the station master prefers a more rational
approach. We have to be more scientific about the accidents.
Was the person sleeping on the rails? Were they under the
influence of drugs? Where they crossing while drunk?
There are 21 circular train and 55 regular train stations
in Yangon. In January this year, four people were killed on
the railway.
The utmost caution must be exercised when crossing
the railway. Sometimes people carefully look down one
track, but ignore the other track. They turn a deaf ear,
said U Kyi Win. Trains cant brake like cars do. The safety
of passengers will be placed at risk if the train makes an
emergency stop, he said.
Children often hang off the door handles even when
there are empty seats. Accidents happen, said U Maung
Maung Latt, a crew member on the circular train. They
happen, in particular, between Insein and Kyeemyindine
stations, and around Mingalardon station and Mahlwagon
station.
Couples meet beside the tracks, and some get drunk.
Kids have their earphones on, the music is too loud,
they dont hear the train. But that doesnt explain every
mishap, he says.
U Maung Maung Latt once saw a man cross the railway
even as the train was bearing down on him. The man seemed
not to hear the siren. U Maung Maung Latt failed in his
attempt to pull him clear in time, and the man was killed.
He admits that crew negligence can contribute to these
deaths. Once a train he was operating in Mandalay hit
a man who was sitting on a chair on the track at night.
In the darkness and confusion, the horn failed to sound
in time. Lack of sleep can be dangerous in night trains.
Drowsiness causes negligence, he said.
Some people enjoy a drink on the tracks, then fall
asleep. Old people, or people with impaired sight or
hearing, are at risk, said crew member Ko Aye Min Oo.
They say the railway is a cool place to sit, he said.

Children play on the circular train. Photo: Kaung Htet

the pulse 17

www.mmtimes.com

Feature film portrays real Myanmar lives


NaNdar auNg
nandaraung.mcm@gmail.com
IT has been screened in California (and
will be shown again in Washington
later this week), as well as in the Czech
Republic, Russia, Romania, South
Korea and Singapore. It was awarded
the NETPAC prize (Network for the
Promotion of Asian Cinema) at the 21st
International Festival of Asian Cinema
2015 in Vesoul, France, in February. But
The Monk, a quintessentially Myanmar
film, still has not been seen in local
cinemas.
The list goes on. From May 8 to
10, The Monk, directed by The Maw
Naing, will screen at the 25th Festival
del Cinema Africano, dAsia e America
Latina in Milan, Italy.
The 42-year-old director, who is
also a poet and a painter, has also
been invited to a film workshop after
the festival.
I dont want to follow the
mainstream local film industry.
I prefer to portray social issues,
The Maw Naing said. I shot this
film for international, not local
screening, because I dont like the
film censorship of the military
government. I want to show the real
lives of Burmese people to the world.
He used to make documentaries,
but in 2010 he shot The Monk for
local and overseas film festivals with

support from the Film and TV School


of the Academy of Performing Arts in
Prague, the Czech Republic, where he
was studying.
Sometimes he weaves his poems
into his documentaries. One of his
films, Nargis When Time Stopped
Breathing, received three special
mention awards from Switzerland,
France and Nepal in 2010-2012, as
well as a jury citation from India in
2012.
The Monk is about a 16-year-old
novice raised by a presiding monk
in a strict village monastery. Despite
his upbringing, he remains outside
the religious moral code. The boy,
Zawana, faces a choice of pursuing
the monkhood or discarding his robes
to enter the laity.
It was written by Aung Min, who
worked as a rural doctor, and took
three years to complete. Shot in
Myanmar with English subtitles and
acted by amateur performers, the
93-minute work presents the daily
lifestyle of villagers.
The Monk will screen at
Washingtons DC International Film
Festival on April 24 and 25, after a
first showing last month at the Palm
Springs Film Festival in California.
I will show this film in Myanmar
if I can pass the censorship, The
Maw Naing said. But I dont think
that will be easy.

Stills from The Maw Naings feature film The Monk. Photos: Supplied

18 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 23, 2015

MORONI

Secret to Chanel N5 under threat

n a dense thicket in the


middle of the impoverished
Indian Ocean archipelago of
the Comoros, Ibrahim Bacar
is plucking tiny ylang ylang
flowers.
The barely visible yellow blossoms
with an intoxicating aroma contain
the oil that provides the distinctive
scent in Chanel n5, one of the
worlds best-selling fragrances.
Ylang ylang is also a key
ingredient of many other perfumes
and Comoros is the worlds top
producer of the essential oil extracted
from the flower a commodity
that makes up one-tenth of the
archipelagos total export revenues.
But decades of under-investment
in ageing plantations, an exodus of
flower gatherers willing to do the
painstaking work and deforestation
are threatening production of the
flower.
Despite the economic
importance of the essential oil of
ylang ylang, it is surprising that
there is no improvement programme
for the plant, wrote Celine Benini,
an agriculture specialist at Belgiums
Liege University, in a study.
Each year, Comoros produces
between 30 and 40 tonnes of the
essential oil mainly on the island of
Anjouan, home to 350 distilleries.
One container of 30 litres is
worth several thousand euros. It is a
gold bar, said Gerard overseeing the
Humblot plantation, named after the
French naturalist Leon Humblot.
Ylang ylang originated in the
Philippines and means flower
of flowers in the local Tagalog
language.
The French introduced the tree
on the island of Reunion in the 1700s
and in the early 1900s its cultivation
spread to the nearby islands of

Fatima Saidi reaches out for Ylang-Ylang flowers on the slopes of the Karthala volcano in Comoros. Photo: AFP/Marco Longari

Comoros and Madagascar.


In 1921 Coco Chanel wanted a
flower that captured the scent of a
woman.
The solution was the ylang ylang,
which led to the creation of n5,
a perfume that had a floral scent
but which was very abstract, said
Christopher Sheldrake, Chanels
director for perfume research and
development.
Other fragrances at that time had
scents that were mostly dominated by
a single flower.
As the n5 contains a significant
amount of the ylang ylang oil, around
10 percent according to Sheldrake,

the company became one of the


biggest customers for the Comoross
precious produce.
Economists believe that the
Comoros could extract more from
ylang ylang if the sector was given an
overhaul.
In 2013 and 2014, the country
exported just 1.5 million euros
(US$1.6 million) worth of the
essential oil a year.
It is modest, said the economist
nour Allah Alnour Assik, adding that
remittances sent by Comorans living
abroad bring more in revenues.
Ibrahim Ahamada, an
economist at the International

Monetary Fund (IMF), said the


flower remains a potential source
of income and significant currency
for the country provided there
is serious reorganisation of the
sector.
Bacar, who inherited his 8-hectare
(19-acre) plot from his father, wants
to move up the value chain by
expanding his business from just
planting ylang ylang trees to also
distilling the essential oil.
But with his limited takings,
saving up to buy a distillery is taking
time.
He sells 1 kilogram of the sixpetalled flowers that bloom all year

for less than 1 euro ($1.10).


If you supply 200 kilos of flowers,
it should equal the price of a cow
1500 euros [$1620], not just 200
euros [$215] said Bacar.
I know they make a lot with the
oils, but I dont have a choice. I take
the little they give me. Well see if it
changes one day, he added, without
specifying which companies he
supplies to.
There are also few people willing
to take on the backbreaking tasks
of pruning the plants and picking
between 25 and 40 kilograms of
flowers a day in high season.
Its difficult because the yield is
small. When I explain the work to
young people, they think Im crazy
because we work so hard to produce
so little, said Bacar.
The job also pays just 50 euros
($54) a month, said one worker.
According to an Ernst and Young
report dated 2009, the basic salary
in the Comoros ranges between 50
euros ($54) and 80 euros ($86) a
month.
Jean Kerleo, creator of the
worlds largest scent archive, the
Osmotheque at Versailles, said
people took on the work only
because there are few jobs available
in the country with a population of
734,000.
Deforestation is also a major
problem as distillation of the oil
requires a lot of wood given the
patchy electricity supply. Forest cover
has shrunk by 25pc in 20 years.
Chanel says it is trying to get its
suppliers to plant their own trees
for firewood in order to meet the
needs of the essential oil extraction.
The perfumer also says it is
committed to providing better
conditions and fair wages for the
workers on these plantations. AFP

Exhibition photographs
tell a thousand stories
ChIt Su
suwai.chit@gmail.com
WHATS in a picture? Our living,
breathing history, if you ask Pablo
Bartholomew.
The Indian-born photojournalist
seeks to uncover the stories of our
lives, as witnessed through the eye of
the lens.
In March, Bartholomew held a
photography workshop at Myanmar
Deitta a project supported by
Goethe-Institut Myanmar and the
Yangon Art and Heritage Festival.
The Past is the Present challenged
seven participants to dig up found
photographs, bringing the dusty old
snaps out of the past and into the
present.

History has a way of repeating


itself, said Bartholomew, who also
encouraged participants to record
oral histories.
The past comes back. Look at the
student protest in Burma. Is it not
repeating itself? In the workshop we
dealt with histories of the material
that the participants brought in,
Bartholomew said.
It was their past, which then they
were dealing with in the present.
Its this reinterpretation this openmindedness, says Bartholomew that
allows us to view the link between
history and current time and space.
To illustrate the connection
between past and present,
participants were encouraged to
contemporise the collected material,

Images from The Past is the Present are displayed at Myanmar Deitta in March.
Photos: Aung Khant

by re-photographing the people and


places depicted in the present day.
Bartholomews father art critic,
photographer, painter and poet
Richard Bartholomew was forced
to leave Myanmar during the Second
World War.
Only a few years ago, my
Burmese family discovered me, said
Bartholomew. This prompted him to
explore his Myanmar heritage.
Before that, I knew nothing about
my relatives here in Myanmar. My
father, who escaped the Japanese
in the Second World War, did not
talk much about his family when we
were growing up. Since he died quite
young, there was no one else to ask.
Bartholomew began to
posthumously promote his fathers
work, creating a website and
publishing photography books in
2007 and 2008. In 2012, relatives from
Myanmar found Richards website

The past comes


back. Look at the
student protest in
Burma. Is it not
repeating itself?
Pablo Bartholomew
Photojournalist
and reached out to Pablo.
There you will learn the basis
of this workshop why images

from the past are important, said


Bartholomew.
Aspiring photographer and
workshop participant Kyaw Zaya said
the workshop helped him understand
the value of photography.
I learned that every photo is
of vital importance for historical
reference, Kyaw Zaya said.
Based on the success of this first
workshop, Bartholomew hopes to take
the project to other cities in Myanmar.
I hope that the seeds are planted
and now this project can grow, said
Bartholomew.
Maybe this can happen in many
other cities and towns in Myanmar,
and that there can be a central
archive or repository of images that
then becomes a centre, where many
of these images then can be used as
an alternative history of Myanmar.
As in all situations, it is money
and funding.

the pulse 19

www.mmtimes.com
BANGKOK

Thai bookseller given jail


term for royal defamation
TODAY

Taco Bar Buffet. US$42 per person.


Bookings: events.tgr@belmond.com or
+95 (1) 229 860. Belmond Governors
Residence, Taw Win Road. 6:30-9:30pm.
The Irrawaddy Arms Pub Quiz with
Quizmaster Matt. K1000. Prizes for
rounds and overall prizes. Turn up on
the night or book: britishclubrangoon@

gmail.com. British Embassy Club,


between Alan Pya Pagoda Road and
Gyo Phyu Road, Dagon. 7:30-9:30pm.

TOMORROW

Bamboo Trio featuring vocalist Tom


Barton. Gekko, 535 Merchant Road.
7pm.
Acoustic music show. Off The Beaten

Track Cafe, Kandawgyi Park (near


childrens playground), Mingalar Taung
Nyunt. 7-9:30pm.
Nightly Live Music. Kokine Bar &
Restaurant (next to Kokine Swimming
Club). 6-11pm.
Live Music by The Four Band.
Thiripyitsaya Sky Bistro, 20th floor,
Sakura Tower, 339 Bogyoke Aung San
Rd, Kyauktada. 7-10pm.

Got an event? | List it in Whats On! | whatsonmt@gmail.com

IN PICTUREs
Photo: AFP
Tigers play in
the water as they
try to beat the
heat during the
rise in summer
temperatures,
at Chhat Bir Zoo
near Zirkpur,
about 13km from
Chandigarh, India.

A THAI man was sentenced


yesterday to two years in jail for
selling books that allegedly defamed
the monarchy, the latest in a string
of convictions under a notorious
lese majeste law.
The Court of Appeals
overturned a 2014 court decision
which had cleared Udomsak
Wattanaworachaiwathin of any
wrongdoing in a case which
stretches back nine years.
The grey-haired 66-year-old was
initially arrested in May 2006 for
selling two books that allegedly
defamed Thailands revered but ailing
King Bhumibol Adulyadej, during a
protest in a Bangkok park.
But prosecutors only filed charges
against him seven years later,
according to iLaw, a local legal group
that monitors lese majeste cases.
A criminal court dismissed
the charges in March 2014 after
ruling that the prosecution had
failed to prove that Udomsak
knew the content of the books was
defamatory of the monarch, now
aged 87.
Prosecutors then appealed the
ruling, resulting in the conviction.
The defendants behaviour has
shown that he knew the book had
insulting details about the monarchy,
and he could not prove the two
copies he sold belonged to other
people as he had claimed, the judge
said.
But the judge said she decided to
reduce the sentence from three to two

years because of useful testimony by


Udomsak.
Thailands monarchy is protected
by one of the worlds harshest lese
majeste laws and the countrys
ultra-royalist military junta has
significantly ramped up prosecutions
since seizing power in a coup last
May.
Under Section 112 of the criminal
code anyone convicted of insulting
the king, queen, heir or regent faces
up to 15 years in prison on each
count.
The most important thing is to
maintain the monarchy. We have
the law for it. We have to protect
and uphold the institution, former
army chief and now Deputy Prime
Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told
reporters.
All authorities and all civil
servants ... also all people must help
to forever maintain and protect the
monarchy.
Earlier this month a military court
jailed a 58-year-old man for 25 years
for a series of Facebook posts that
allegedly defamed the monarchy, a
sentence that received widespread
international condemnation including
from the UN.
Reporting lese majeste cases is
fraught with difficulty and media
must heavily self-censor. Even
repeating details of the charges could
mean breaking the law.
Critics of the law say it is used as
a weapon against political enemies of
the royalist elite. AFP

20 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES APRIL 23, 2015

DOMESTIC FLIGHT SCHEDULES


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

YANGON TO NAY PYI TAW

NAY PYI TAW TO YANGON

Flight
FMI A1
FMI B1
FMI C1

Flight
FMI A2
FMI B2
FMI C2

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

Dep
7:15
10:45
17:00

Arr
8:15
11:45
18:00

YANGON TO NYAUNG U
Flight
K7 282
YJ 891
YH 909
YH 917
YJ 891
YH 909
K7 242
7Y 131
K7 264
YH 731
W9 129
W9 211
W9 129

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

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

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

Dep
8:35
13:30
18:20

Arr
9:35
14:30
19:20

NYAUNG U TO YANGON
Arr
7:20
7:20
8:25
7:45
7:50
8:05
8:20
8:35
16:40
17:25
17:35
17:40
17:35

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

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

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

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

YANGON TO MYITKYINA

MYITKYINA TO YANGON

Flight
YH 829
YH 826
YH 835
YH 831
YJ 201
YJ 201
W9 251

Flight
YH 827
YH 832
YH 836
YH 830
YJ 202
YJ 202
YJ 234
W9 252

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

Dep
7:00
7:00
7:00
7:00
11:00
11:15
11:30

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

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

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

Arr
14:45
14:45
14:45
14:55
16:55
17:10
19:10
19:40

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

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

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

HEHO TO YANGON
Arr
8:50
9:00
9:35
8:45
9:20
9:15
10:05
9:15
12:45
11:55
11:40
11:55
12:10
12:10
12:40
12:40
12:40
13:45
13:45
15:45
15:55
16:40

YANGON TO MYEIK
Flight
Y5 325
K7 319
7Y 531
Y5 325

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

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

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

Dep
11:30
11:45
12:00

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

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

Flight
Y5 326
7Y 532
K7 320
Y5 326

Arr
12:55
12:55
13:50

Flight
W9 309
6T 612
K7 423

Days
1
2,4,6

Dep
7:00
11:45

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

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

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

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

Arr
8:10
12:50

Flight
K7 320
7Y 532

Days
3
4,6
1,7
2,5

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

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

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

Days
1,3,6
Daily
Daily

Dep
13:10
13:15
15:10

Arr
14:55
14:20
16:30

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

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

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

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

Dep
12:25
17:05

Flight
YJ 752
K7 829
K7 829
YJ 752
YH 730

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

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

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

PUTAO TO YANGON
Arr
11:00
11:00
11:00
15:25

Air Bagan (W9)


Tel: 513322, 513422, 504888. Fax: 515102

Air KBZ (K7)


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

Asian Wings (YJ)


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

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)


Tel: 09400446999, 09400447999
Fax: 8604051

Mann Yadanarpon Airlines (7Y)


Tel: 656969
Fax: 656998, 651020

Flight
YH 836
YH 832
YH 827
W9 252

Days
1,7
4,6
3
2,5

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

Tel: 383100, 383107, 700264


Fax: 652 533

FMI Air Charter


Tel: 240363, 240373, 09421146545

Airline Codes
7Y = Mann Yadanarpon Airlines

W9 = Air Bagan
Y5 = Golden Myanmar Airlines
YH = Yangon Airways
YJ = Asian Wings
FMI = FMI Air Charter

Arr
13:35
18:10

LASHIO TO YANGON
Arr
12:45
13:00
13:00
14:50

Domestic Airlines

K7 = Air KBZ

DAWEI TO YANGON

YANGON TO PUTAO
Flight
YH 826
YH 831
YH 835
W9 251

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

THANDWE TO YANGON

YANGON TO LASHIO
Flight
YJ 751
YJ 751
YH 729
K7 828

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

SITTWE TO YANGON

YANGON TO DAWEI
Flight
K7 319
7Y 531

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

Yangon Airways (YH)

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

YANGON TO THANDWE
Flight
K7 242
YH 505
W9 309
7Y 413
K7 422
Y5 421

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

MYEIK TO YANGON

YANGON TO SITTWE
Flight
W9 309
6T 611
K7 413

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

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

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

the pulse 21

www.mmtimes.com

InternAtIonAl FlIGHt SCHeDUleS


YANGON TO BANGKOK

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

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

Days
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily

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

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

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

YANGON TO SINGAPORE
Days

Dep

Arr

BANGKOK TO YANGON

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

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

Days
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily

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

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

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

Dep

Arr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arr
0550+1

Flights
CA 905

Flights

Flights
CA 906

Days

Dep

Arr

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

Dep
23:50

YANGON TO GUANGZHOU
Flights

Days

8M 711
CZ 3056
CZ 3056
Flights

Days

Daily

Dep

Arr

CA 416
MU 2012
MU 2032
Flights

Days

13:15
15:55
22:10

Dep

Arr

10:50

VN 956

1,3,5,6,7

Flights

Days

2,4,7

Days

CZ 3055
CZ 3055
8M 712
CI 7915

Arr

Flights

Days

Daily

Dep

19:10

15:55
18:50
18:15

MU 2011
CA 415
MU 2031

Arr

Flights

21:25

Dep

Days
1,4,6

17:05

Flights

Days

Flights

4,7
Daily

Dep
7:55
Dep

0:50
23:55

Arr
11:40
Arr

8:50
07:45+1

YANGON TO HONG KONG


Days

KA 251
KA 251

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

Flights

Days

Daily

Arr

05:45
05:55

Dep

22:10

Arr

06:45+1

YANGON TO DHAKA

Flights

Days

BG 061
BG 061
Flights

Dep

01:10
01:30

YANGON TO TOKYO

NH 914

2
5

Dep

Arr

11:45
19:45

YANGON TO INCHEON

PG 724
W9 607
8M 7702
8M 7502

Days

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

Dep

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

VN 957

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

Flights

Days

VN 943

2,4,7

Flights

Days

3,5,6
2
1,5

Flights

Days

Flights

AI 234
AI 228

1
5

Dep

7:00
13:10
14:05
Dep

13:10
Dep

14:05
18:45

MANDALAY TO BANGKOK

Flights

PG 710

Days

Daily

Dep

14:15

MANDALAY TO SINGAPORE

Flights

MI 533
Y5 2233

Days

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

Dep

15:45
7:50

MANDALAY TO DON MUEANG

Flights

FD 245

Days

Daily

Dep

12:50

MANDALAY TO KUNMING

Flights

MU 2030

Days

Daily

Dep

13:50

NAY PYI TAW TO BANGKOK

Flights

PG 722

Days

1,2,3,4,5

Dep

19:45

10:35
16:40
15:50

Dep

Arr

7:00

9:50

Dep

Arr

11:50
11:30
14:00
Arr

16:40
Dep

11:45

Flights

Days

KE 471
0Z 769

Daily
3,6

Flights

Days

KA 252
KA 250

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

Flights

Days

Daily

Flights

Arr

Days

2
5

INCHEON TO YANGON

Arr

Arr

Days

2
3,5,6
5
Days

Dep
9:25
13:45
17:20
Dep

9:10
9:20
15:00
Dep

7:00

KOLKATA TO YANGON

AI 227
AI 233

Days

1
5

Dep

10:35
13:30

BANGKOK TO MANDALAY

Flights

PG 709

Days

Daily

Dep

12:05

SINGAPORE TO MANDALAY

Flights

Y5 2234
MI 533

Days

Daily
2,4,6

Dep

7:20
11:30

DON MUEANG TO MANDALAY

Flights

15:15

FD 244

Arr

Flights

Days

Daily

Dep

10:55

KUNMING TO MANDALAY

16:40

MU 2029

Arr

Flights

22:45

11:00
17:20
18:45
19:50

DELHI TO YANGON

Flights

Flights

20:50
14:15

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

Dep

GAYA TO YANGON

Flights

Arr

Arr

Days

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

AI 235
8M 602
AI 233
AI 235

16:40

Dep

8:30
16:30

CHIANG MAI TO YANGON

16:30
17:20
19:45

Dep

11:45

DHAKA TO YANGON

Flights

Arr

Dep

22:50
21:45

TOKYO TO YANGON

NH 913
BG 060
BG 060

Arr

Dep

18:30
19:30

HONG KONG TO YANGON

13:00
21:00

8:20
14:10
15:05

Dep
19:45

Days

Daily

Dep

12:55

BANGKOK TO NAY PYI TAW

PG 721

Days

1,2,3,4,5

Dep

17:15

Tel: 255412, 413

Air Asia (FD)

Tel: 09254049991~3

Air Bagan Ltd.(W9)

Tel: 513322, 513422, 504888. Fax: 515102

Air China (CA)

Tel: 666112, 655882


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

Bangkok Airways (PG)

Tel: 255122, 255265. Fax: 255119

Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG)


Tel: 371867~68. Fax: 371869

Condor (DE)

Tel: 370836~39 (ext: 303)

Dragonair (KA)

Tel: 255323 (ext: 107), 09-401539206

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)


Tel: 09400446999, 09400447999
Fax: 8604051

Malaysia Airlines (MH)

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


Fax: 241124

Myanmar Airways International (8M)


Tel: 255260. Fax: 255305

Nok Airline (DD)

Tel: 255050, 255021. Fax: 255051

Qatar Airways (QR)

Tel: 379845, 379843, 379831. Fax: 379730

Singapore Airlines (SQ) / Silk Air (MI)


Tel: 255287~9. Fax: 255290

Dep

SEOUL TO YANGON

Flights
Y5 252
7Y 306
W9 608

YANGON TO KOLKATA
Days

Days
3,5,7

Arr
8:05
12:50
16:20

Dep
6:15
11:00
14:30

YANGON TO DELHI

AI 236

Flights
QR 918

PG 723
W9 608
8M 7701
8M 7501

YANGON TO GAYA

8M 601
AI 236
AI 234

Arr

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

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

YANGON TO CHIANG MAI

Flights
Y5 251
7Y 305
W9 607

Dep

18:10

Thai Airways (TG)

Arr

Tiger Airline (TR)

13:25

DOHA TO YANGON

YANGON TO SEOUL

0Z 770
KE 472

Arr
22:50

HO CHI MINH CITY TO YANGON


Arr

14:25

Days

Days

YANGON TO DOHA
Flights
QR 919

Dep
19:30

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

Flights

16:10

YANGON TO HO CHI MINH CITY


VN 942

Arr

KUNMING TO YANGON

Dep

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

Dep

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

Flights

YANGON TO KUNMING
Flights

Days

GUANGZHOU TO YANGON

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

CI 7916

Flights

All Nippon Airways (NH)

Air India

SINGAPORE TO YANGON
Days

International Airlines

Arr
0459+1
Arr

22:30
23:40
Arr

00:30
23:30
Arr

17:15
Arr

10:45
18:45

Tel: 255491~6. Fax: 255223


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

Vietnam Airlines (VN)

Tel: 255066, 255088, 255068. Fax: 255086

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

Arr

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

DD = Nok Airline
FD = Air Asia
KA = Dragonair

Arr
10:15
14:35
18:10
Arr

12:10
12:30
18:00
Arr

12:10
Arr

13:20
18:00
Arr

13:25
Arr

16:30
14:50
Arr

12:20
Arr

12:50
Arr

19:15

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

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

4
5
6
7

=
=
=
=

Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

A castle dating from the 16th century plays the role of Game of Thrones Stark
family home, Winterfell. Photo: HBO

For Stark vistas,


head to Northern
Ireland
SiObhan StarrS

n the Kings Road ... at last


... en route to Winterfell.
I, a true pilgrim and loyal
bannerperson, do pledge
allegiance to the clan Stark
and wish to pay homage at Winterfell,
seat of the King in the north.
My journey began in Belfast, my
mothers ancestral home. I confess to
being a fan of the HBO cult hit Game
of Thrones, and, having travelled to
northern Ireland to visit family, I
have seized the chance to visit some
of the filming locations. About 75
percent of the show is filmed here,
giving a boost to the tourist industry.
First I travelled north, to the
Antrim Coast, whose scenic glens
and coves play host to numerous GoT
dramas, on a one-day tour organised
by McCombs Travel.
McCombs started these bus
tours a year ago. Co-owner Caroline
McComb tells me they appeal to a
new demographic of tourist: the
Throners, generally under 50, who
come to northern Ireland to see the
filming sites. Once here, they get to
see all the stunning vistas, castles,
forests, moorland and caves that
originally lured the cable network
all within a two-hour drive of Belfast.
An added bonus is the traditional
hundred thousand welcomes from
the locals in northern Ireland, who
have a tale or two to tell of their own
and legends to rival those written by
George R R Martin.
Our first stop is near the town of
Ballymoney, at the Dark Hedges,
which framed one of the best-known
scenes from the series the flight of a
young heroine, Arya Stark, from her
fathers betrayers at Kings Landing.
There is no mistaking the eerie
beauty of this avenue of beech trees,
and it has become a favourite subject
of amateur photographers.
People dont often visit Ireland in
the hope of fine weather, but I was
blessed with blue skies and glistening
seas. The picturesque Ballintoy
Harbour served as the backdrop to
antihero Theon Greyjoys homecoming.
The Larrybane quarry on the
Antrim Coast will be recognisable to
fans as Renlys military encampment
in Season 2. It also serves as
an overflow parking lot for the
nearby Carrick-a-Rede bridge a
famously terrifying rope bridge
suspended nearly 100 feet above
the sea, connecting a rocky island
to the mainland cliffs. Alas, our bus
schedule meant that we didnt get to
make the crossing.

Most northbound tours make


a detour to the Giants Causeway,
northern Irelands most famous
natural feature and a UnESCO
World Heritage site (though it
hasnt yet appeared in GoT). A
four-mile promontory made of huge,
interlocked basalt columns rises from
the north Atlantic as if it was carved
by the giants who stalk Ulsters
mythology. The columns were created
about 60 million years ago when this
landscape was volcanic and took their
striking polygonal form from rock
crystallisation as lava slowly cooled.
The second day of my pilgrimage
took me south, by car, toward the
Mourne Mountains. I grew up in the
foothills of these granite giants, not
far from Sandy Brae, whose bleak
landscape appears in the TV series as
the entrance to Vaes Dothrak, home
of the Dothraki people and their new
khaleesi (queen), Daenerys Targaryen,
a key heroine and claimant to the
Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms.
Onscreen, though, this idyll is
often a place of menace. Tollymore
appears in the very first episode
as a snowy forest haunted by the
mythological undead. Later, patriarch
Eddard Stark and his men are
travelling in the woods when they
come upon a gored stag and some
direwolf pups, which the Stark
children adopt.
Another short drive brought me
and my companions to my journeys
end: the shows Winterfell.
Castle Ward is an 18th-century
mansion on the shores of Strangford
Lough, popular with visitors in
its own right. But its fame is now
overshadowed by that of the 10 Game
of Thrones locations on the estate
particularly a castle dating from the
16th century that plays the role of the
Stark family home, Winterfell.
The Clearsky Adventure Center
at the castle offers a Winterfell
Experience. I didnt have to be
asked twice whether I wanted to
dress as a Stark in furs and cloak;
I also tried but failed to wield
a sword gracefully. Extras include
meeting the northern Inuit dogs
that have portrayed some of the
direwolves onscreen and getting
archery tips from a Stark look-alike.
Groups can also book medieval-style
banquets.
It seemed that everywhere we
turned on the Castle Ward estate, we
found evidence of Starks, including
Robbs camp on Audleys field, the
seemingly impassable crossing at
Riverrun, and a hanging tree, scene of
a brutal execution. Washington Post

22 Sport

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 23, 2015

ASIA

CyCling

Astana doping decision


expected in days

n International Cycling
Union (UCI) commission is expected to rule
this week on whether
the
doping
tainted
Astana team should be stripped of its
licence, UCI president Brian Cookson said on April 20.
If Astana loses, star rider Vincenzo nibali could forfeit the right to
defend his Tour de France title.
I am expecting a decision this
week. I am hoping so. I dont have a
final date, but the sooner the better,
Cookson told AFP on the sidelines of
the SportAccord convention in Sochi,
Russia.
The UCI president elected to
the post in September 2013 said he
did not expect the licence commission would have another meeting on
whether Astanas World Tour racing
licence should be revoked.
Astana could appeal to the Court of
Arbitration for Sport, but legal officials
have said Astana would not automatically have the right to carry on racing
while the tribunal comes to a decision.
Astanas place in the peloton has
been under threat since five riders
with either the professional World
Tour squad or the Kazakh teams
Continental Tour affiliate failed doping tests last year.
Cookson said that whatever the decision, the UCI has sent a really strong,
powerful signal, not just to Astana, but
to other teams as well, that this has to
stop. We cannot have multiple doping
cases from one team in a year.
Stronger monitoring rules and
team sanctions introduced by the
World Anti-Doping Agency have now
been added to UCI regulations for
this year.
If multiple doping cases hap-

The light blue jerseys of the Astana team are at risk of not appearing at this years Tour de France. Photo: Astana
Cycling/Facebook

pened this year that would be very,


very serious for Astana or any other
team, said Cookson.
Teams have to take their responsibilities very very seriously in terms
of how they monitor riders, how they

support riders and coach riders.


Doctors as well have to be very
very careful about the processes that
they have been involved in, said
Cookson.
Others who are allegedly floating

around on the sidelines, the people


who have been banned, there are
rumours that they are still acting
as intermediaries. It is a warning to
them as well, added the 63-year-old
Englishman. AFP

footbAll

Indonesia FA threatens legal action against govt


THE Indonesian Football Association threatened legal action on April
20 against the government over its
attempt to suspend the association,
in a row that has provoked anger
from FIFA.
The sports ministry last week said
it was freezing all the activities of the
association known as the PSSI and
would replace it, following a dispute
over club ownership that has led to
the countrys top-flight league being
halted.
However, the PSSIs newly elected
chief insisted at the weekend that the
body remained in charge of football in
Indonesia because it came under the
authority of FIFA and not the government. The association has vowed to restart the league this coming weekend.
The world governing body, which
generally opposes government interference in football associations, has
previously sided with the PSSI and
threatened sanctions against Jakarta
if it continues meddling.
On April 20 PSSI chief La nyalla
Mattalitti called on the government
to backtrack on the suspension or
risk legal action.
We will hold talks with the sports
and youth ministry. If they refuse to
revoke the suspension, we will bring
the case to the state administrative
court, he told AFP.
He earlier told reporters the PSSI
had acted democratically, transparently and fairly in a congress at the
weekend in the city of Surabaya,

footbAll

Qatar floats
housing idea
QATAR plans to accomodate some
12,000 football fans on cruise ships
during the World Cup in 2022, a
spokesperson for the Qatar Tourism
Authority said on April 20.
The proposal for floating hotels is
a revival of an idea which was initially
rejected two years ago.
However, Qatar is now seeking to
strengthen its presence in the cruise
ship market and the idea to house
fans during the tournament has been
re-floated.
The QTA announced the proposals
at a trade conference in the US over
the weekend.
In a statement on the official Qatar news Agency, the QTA said, Over
the past few years, QTA established a
number of strong relationships with
international cruise operators as well
as with other specialists involved in
the industry.
This has proved to be of great
importance especially that Qatar will
be extensively benefiting from cruise
ships over the 2022 World Cup, as a
means of providing additional accommodation supply for fans and visitors
over the period.
QTA will be contracting a minimum of 6000 rooms on cruise ships
for the 2022 tournament.
It is not yet clear where the cruise
ships will be docked but as part of
Qatars huge US$200 billion capital
spending project, ahead of footballs
most prestigious tournament, the
country is building a new port south
of the capital, Doha.
FIFA guidelines say Qatar must
have 60,000 rooms available for fans
by 2022.
Ambitious Qatar though has
pledged to make 100,000 rooms
available.
This however may lead to thousands of hotel rooms going empty
once the tournament, being played
in november and December 2022,
finishes.
Housing football fans offshore may
ease any problems of hotel room overcapacity and it could also help with
the thorny issue of alcohol.
Qatar is a dry country where locals
cannot drink alcohol, but expatriates
are allowed to if they have the correct
permit.
The authorities in Doha have previously said that alcohol will be made
available for fans in certain areas in
seven years time.
Some 1 million people visited Brazil
for the last football World Cup in 2014.
AFP

SEA GAMES SHORTS

singApore

Newly-elected Indonesian Football Association chief La Nyalla Mattalitti (centre) greets supporters alongside officials
following a vote in Surabaya in eastern Java. Photo: AFP

where he was elected chief.


Announcing the suspension of the
PSSI in an official decree on April 17,
the sports minister said a transitional
team would be set up to prepare for
the installation of a new PSSI board.
However Mattalitti said such a
move would be an illegal act.
A spokesperson for FIFA, which

wrote to the government earlier this


month urging them to stop meddling, said on April 20 the body was
currently monitoring the situation.
The mounting crisis is a huge setback for Indonesian football, which
is only just recovering from a longrunning feud between the PSSI and
a breakaway association which led to

the creation of two rival leagues. The


two sides have now merged.
The latest row erupted this month
when a government agency said that
two teams could not participate in
the Indonesian Super League due to
ownership issues. But the PSSI disagreed, and then decided to halt the
league entirely.

Rugby
AHEAD of Sevens competition at this
years Games, the Singapore rugby
squad are looking for transferable
skills to give them the edge over their
opponents.
The Straits Times reports that the
team are supplementing their crash
pads with training in wrestling, muay
thai and sprinting.
The boys can get bored by conventional training day after day, so trying
other sports not only keeps things interesting but also develops all-round
skills, Singapore coach Izzy Kadir told
the Times.
national wrestlers have shared
their expertise in balance and ground
technique, helping the rugby boys
improve the way they fall, thereby
improving their protection of the ball
when tackled. Matt Roebuck

Sport 23

www.mmtimes.com
FANTASY FOOTBALL

Can you pick a winner?

his saturday sees the relaunched General Aung


san shield get under way
and with it The Myanmar
Timess first football predictions competition.
On April 25, MNL-2s, 2nd-place horizon face 4th-place Mawyawday FC in
a rematch of the bad-tempered affair
that closed out the first half of the regular season competition on March 27.
As that game kicks off at Thu-

1st Round

Round of 16

wunnas Youth Training Centre venue


across town at the Aung san stadium
hantharwady United will face Pong
Gan FC, also at 4pm.
Youll need to predict the winners
of that and 19 other matches to win
our prize to be announced later in
the week and of course more importantly bragging rights over your
friends until the next competition.
sport Editor Matt Roebuck and
reporter Kyaw Zin hlaing will also

Quarter Final

be putting their necks on the line by


atemmpoting to predict the outcome
of this years competition, though of
course they will only be playing for
bragging rights.
The games over the first weekend will be worth two points each
for every correct selection. With six
games that means 12 points are up
for grabs.
Those in the Round of 16 will also
be worth two points but after that

Final

Semi Final

points double, meaning that 16 points


is the top score from the games to be
played between July 11 and 14.
The quarter-final and semi-final
rounds will also be worth 16 points
each, with a correct selection being
worth four and eight points respectively in each round and the correct selection of the final winner on October
25 should one of your teams make
it will bag you 16 points.
You can download a copy of the

Semi Final

Quarter Final

Yadanarbon
Mawyawady

Match 7

Match 1

???

???

Match 8

???
???

???

Match 19

Magwe

???

GFA

Match 10

???

???

Year

Winner

Result

Runner-up

2010

Okktha United*

31

Southern Myanmar FC

2011

Yangon United

50

Nay Pyi Taw FC

2012

Ayeyawady United

10

KBZ FC

2013
2014

Ayeyawady United

20

???

Nay Pyi Taw FC

horizon FC

hanthawady United

Phong Gan FC

Myawady FC

GFA FC

silver stars FC

University

southern Myanmar FC

Best United

Dagon FC

Rakhine United

Yadanarbon FC

Winner of Match 1

Winner of Match 2

KBZ FC

Magwe FC

Chin United

Write only the name of the side you believe will win. For instance if you
believe Mawyawady FC will win Match 1, write their team name. if you
believe they will then go on to beat Yadanarbon FC in Match 7, then again
write Mawyawady FC do not write Winner of Match 1.

10

Winner of Match 3

Yangon United

11

Zwekapin United

Zeyar shwe Myay FC

12

Winner of Match 4

Ayeyawady United

Points will be awarded as follows:


First Round 2 point for each correct selection (12 total points possible)
Round of 16 2 points for each correct selection (16 total points possible)
Quarter Final 4 points for each correct selection (16 total points possible)
Semi-Final over two legs 8 points for each correct selection (16 total
points possible)
Final 16 points for each correct selection (16 total points possible)
* Do not fill in the points column this is for administrative purposes only.

13

Manaw Myay FC

Winner of Match 5

14

Winner of Match 6

Nay Pyi Taw FC

15

Winner of Match 7

Winner of Match 8

16

Winner of Match 9

Winner of Match 10

17

Winner of Match 11

Winner of Match 12

18

Winner of Match 13

Winner of Match 14

19

Winner of Match 15

Winner of Match 16

20

Winner of Match 17

Winner of Match 18

21

Winner of Match 19

Winner of Match 20

Alternatively download this form from www.mmtimes.com and e-mail the


form below to sport@mmtimes.com by saturday 25th April, 2pm.

Match 6

Match 14

Rakhine Utd

ENTRY FORM

Mawyawady FC

Deliver your entry to Myanmar Times, No 379/383 Bo Aung Kyaw street,


Kyauktada Township, Yangon by Friday 24th April, 5pm.

???

Nay Pyi Taw

*Renamed Hantharwady United

All predictions must be made at the beginning of the competition, if you


incorrectly predict the two finalists then you will be unable to score any
points in Match 21.

Match 5

Dagon

Team 2

Complete the form below by inserting the name of the side you believe will
win each match (Match 19 and 20 the semi-finals will be played over
two legs but counted in our competition as a single fixture.)

southern

Match 18

Cancelled due to SEA Games

Z
5.

???

Team 1

Instructions

4.

Match 13

Best Utd

Match

Entrant Name: .......................................................................


Email Address: ......................................................................
Telephone Number: .............................................................
Address: ..................................................................................
....................................................................................................

3.

???

???

Myanmar Times Fantasy Football


General Aung San Shield 2015

2.

University

Winners of MFF Knockout competition (in professional era)

Yangon Utd

1.

Match 4

Match 12

Manaw Myay

Match 20

???

Match 16

Match 3

???

Match 21

Chin Utd
Myawady

silver stars
???

Ayeyawady Utd

???

KBZ

Match 9

1st Round

Match 11

Match 17

???

hantharwady Utd
Phong Gan

Round of 16

Zeyar shwe Myay

Match 15

???

........................................................................
*This challenge is devised as a nongambling promotion and is intended
solely for entertainment purposes.

Zwekapin Utd
???

horizon

Match 2

entry form at www.mmtimes.com and


e-mail it to sport@mmtimes.com or
alternatively you can fill out this form
below and deliver it to the Myanmar
Times head office at No 379/383 Bo
Aung Kyaw street, Kyauktada township, Yangon.

Winner
Prediction

Points*

Sport
24 THE MYANMAR TIMES APRIl 23, 2015

SHOOTING

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

Join the fun in our Fantasy


Football competition
SpOrT 23

ASIA

Hot shot secures


Olympic berth
KYaw ZIN HlaING
kyawzinhlaing.mcm@gmail.com

e Tun Naung is delighted


to be the first Myanmar
sportsperson to book a
berth for the 2016 Rio
Olympics, he told The
Myanmar Times on April 22.
The pistol shooter secured Myanmar an Olympic Quota spot on April
12 when he scored 201.0 points in his
first final on the world stage at the
International Shooting Sport Federations third leg of their 2015 World
Cup held in Changwon, South Korea.
Im so happy to have qualified for
the Olympics. This is no small feat. I
have competed at the Asian Games
and in World Cup competition. I now
intend to step up to the highest stage
and I think I have a good chance,
said Ye Tun Naung.
Ye Tun Naungs silver at the World
Cup found him second-place only to
the gold medal winning performance
of home shot and triple Olympic
gold medalist Jin Jong-oh, who set
a world record final performance of
206.0.
Rio will be an important learning
experience, Ye Tun Naung added. I
will come away stronger for the experience of competing with the best in
the world and I promise I will do my
best to make my nation proud.
Under the ISSF rules of Olympic
qualification, Myanmar owns the
berth rather than Ye Tun Naung
himself, therefore Ye Tun Naung is
not automatically qualified for the
Games and the final decision remains in the hands of the Myanmar
Shooting Federation and Myanmar
Olympic Committee. But signs look
good for the 31 year-old.

Ye Tun Naung poses with his silver medal after the ISSF World Cup in Changwon, South Korea. Photo: AFP

The general secretary of the Myanmar Shooting Federation Aung


Thura believes Ye Tun Naung has
the ability to better Myanmars past
Olympic performances. In 2012
Maung Kyu finished 39th of 44 in
the 10m Air Pistol, the same event
that Myanmar now own an Olympic
berth in.
This will be Ye Tun Naungs first
Olympics but although he is a young
shooter he begun collecting a great
deal of international experience.
He won a silver medal at the
last SeA Games, he took four golds

home from the MSFs most recent


Presidents Cup and competed at
the Incheon 2014 Asian Games, said
AungThura.
Ye Tung Naung finished 38th in
Incheon with a 566 in qualifying
but his return to action in South
Korea showed his development. The
shooter scored a 583 in qualifying, a
total that would have been enough to
make the final in both Incheon and
the London 2012 Olympics.
Before Ye Tun Naungs mind
turns to Rio, first he must focus on
Junes upcoming SeA Games to be

held in Singapore.
Now the focus of all my attention is on the SeA Games. From Singapore I intend to return with gold
then I can think about taking that
step up to the world-class level where
gold medals are tough to come by,
said the marksman.
The Shooting Federation has a
plan for my Olympic preparation including increased international competition and training tours abroad
but these details are yet to be confirmed. For now my focus is Singapore.

FOrmula ONe

Women deserve their own F1 World


Championship, says Lotuss Jorda
LOTUS development driver Carmen
Jorda has backed Formula One supremo Bernie ecclestones proposal
for a womens championship, saying
it makes perfect sense.
Jorda, who this year became only
the second woman to earn a back-up
position with an F1 team after Susie
Wolff at Williams, told AFP on April
17 that women deserved a fair crack
at a world title.
I think Bernie has a good idea,
the Spaniard said in an interview
before the Chinese Grand Prix. It
will be great for us. They have mens
and womens in other sports so why
not us? Its not fair to say we need to
race against men. Why? To be behind
them?
Wolff herself has voiced opposition to a womens Formula One
series, insisting she wanted to con-

tinue racing as a normal competitor and questioning whether it


would be possible to find a full grid
of drivers.
Sipping on chamomile tea, Jorda
questioned her British rivals stance.
At the moment shes not competing, shrugged the 26-year-old. Shes
just testing, so if she wants to compete [a women-only championship]
will be really good.
To be honest I dont know why
shes against it because she could
become a world champion, added
Jorda. Ive been racing since I was
12 and have seen so many women
trying to make it. No one made it to
the top. Its worth it to give us a try
as Bernie suggested.
Like
Wolff,
former
world
champion Jenson Button also rejected
ecclestones idea, arguing women

could compete with the men a view


quickly shot down by Jorda, daughter of former racing driver Jose
Miguel Jorda.
What about Serena Williams
against [Roger] Federer whats going to happen? she sniffed, pointing
at tennis and dismissing Buttons
claim that women were physically as
capable of matching their male counterparts at the very highest level of
sport. Ask [Button] this next time!
Its not fair, for sure. Women can
race, yes, but for what? To be at the
back, to be 15th place? We deserve a
place to win, you know. If there is a
womens championship, I will definitely be in a good position.
I would be well prepared
because Im already in a Formula
One team. I dont know about Susie but most of the women would

love to do that so definitely I support the idea. I saw a few women


racers who support it. It would be
great for us.
ecclestone floated the idea of a
womens championship as a way to
spice up Formula One with television
audiences falling in key markets.
Since I was little my dream was
to be one day in Formula One, said
Jorda, who began karting in Valencia before her teens. It would be
a dream come true to make it. The
speed, the adrenalin you have in the
car I just love it.
But [Formula One] has to be
a little bit more open. In society
women are getting better jobs, and
in sport, if we want a womens world
champion, we need to have a world
championship. It just really makes
sense. AFP

OlYmpIcS

Backlash
against antiIOC leader
FALLOUT from an explosive dispute
between a sports baron and IOC president Thomas Bach grew April 21as
more federations froze contacts with
the rebellion leader.
But Marius Vizer, head of SportAccord, an umbrella group of 107 sports
federations, refused to back down,
blasting what he called the cardinals
of sport at the IOC.
Vizer, also president of the International Judo Federation, has faced
growing isolation since his attack on
Bach and the IOC at the SportAccord
annual congress in Sochi on April 20.
The Association of Summer Olympic Federations suspended its membership of SportAccord on April 21,
following the withdrawal of the governing bodies of athletics, shooting
and archery.
The International Paralympic Committee also withdrew as an associate
member of SportAccord, whose annual convention is one of the biggest
events on the sporting business and
political calendar.
All are protesting over Vizers stunning attack on Bach at the opening of
SportAccords convention.
But Vizer renewed his criticism
and said the IOC was pressuring federations to withdraw from SportAccord.
The question is to clean up the
system and to make it fair for the benefit of sport. Not a system that defends
itself and a specific group or leaders or
cardinals of sport, Vizer said on the
euronews television channel.
We dont need cardinals of sport.
We dont need popes.
IOC president Bach was a special
guest at the convention when he heard
Vizer slam his reforms of the IOC and
the creation of a new Olympic television channel.
Vizer accused Bach of seeking to
block his attempts to organise multigames sporting events and demanded
more power for sporting federations.
SportAccords members are federations inside and outside the Olympics.
The IOC system is expired, outdated, wrong, unfair and not at all
transparent, said Vizer, who has led
the group since 2013.
Bach flatly rejected Vizers demands before leaving Sochi while
other key sports leaders defended the
IOC.
In my more than 30 years experience, this has never happened, Wu
Ching-Kuo, president of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) told
AFP. Wu was one more than 25 federation leaders to sign a letter condemning Vizers remarks.
SportAccord, from our point of
view, is essentially a place where
people meet, talk and so on. So if we
are going to be challenged for our
loyalty, our loyalty will always be
to the Olympic movement, said International Cycling Union president
Brian Cookson.
Mr Vizer can expect the full force
of the IOC to come down on him, said
another senior Olympic leader, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity.
But not everyone condemned Vizer
outright.
The Association of Winter Olympic
International Federations expressed
disagreement with Vizers comments
but called for constructive dialogue
between SportAccord and the Olympic
movement. AFP