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HEARTBEAT OF THE NATION

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DAILY EDITION

ISSUE 41 | WEDNESDAY, MAY 13, 2015


NEWS 2

Tougher fines proposed


for traffic offenders
A new draft transportation law
has been sent to the president
that would increase traffic fines in
response to growing accident rates.
Critics say suspending licences
would be more effective.

NEWS 4

Ethnic parties alliance


aims for vice presidency
An alliance of ethnic parties plans
to field over 200 candidates in the
November elections and hopes to win
enough seats to secure nomination of a
vice president in the next government.
BUSINESS 8

Dagon City One


developers rebuff critics
Marga Landmark issues statement
clarifying its mixed-use Dagon City One
project and warns against what it calls
critics spreading wrong information
and engaging in groundless speculation.
BUSINESS 9

PAGE

PHOTO: AFP

People rescued from a human smuggling boat receive medical attention at a temporary
shelter after officials found over 2000 passengers from Myanmar and Bangladesh
stranded in waters off Indonesia and Malaysia. Rights groups say thousands will die if
regional governments do not immediately conduct a search-and rescue mission.

Ooredoo Myanmar chief


executive steps down
Ooredoo Myanmar chief Ross
Cormack is replaced by Rene Meza,
currently managing director of
Vodacom Tanzania and a specialist in
emerging markets.

Police defend Letpadan tactics


During yesterdays trial of student activists arrested during the Letpadan crackdown in March, the head of the
Letpadan town police force invoked EU training as the standard allegedly used to quell the protesters. NEWS 4

2 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 13, 2015

Higher traffic
fines expected
later this year
AYE
NYEIN
WIN
ayenyeinwin.mcm@gmail.com

Seized cars are parked inside a compound on Pyay Road in October 2014. Photo: Thiri

Yangon police step up campaign


against noisy power exhausts
TOE WAI AUNG
linnhtet.lt@gmail.com
NOISY drivers beware: The police
will take you off the road if you rig
your car to make excess racket. Police Lieutenant Colonel Lin Htut
of No 2 Yangon Traffic Police says
drivers who installed noisy power
exhausts now face arrest and a sixmonth driving ban.
The confiscation of vehicles fitted

with power exhausts began at the end


of last year, as Yangon regional and
traffic police seized 90 offending vehicles and suspended the drivers licences for a month. They were forced to
sign a pledge not to repeat the offence,
and faced the loss of their licence for
six months if they reoffended.
But Col Lin Htut said the campaign had failed to curb the problem
and punishments would be stepped
up.

Mindless and undisciplined


driving continues, he said. Because
it hasnt stopped, we will start arresting any driver whose vehicle annoys the public.
As of May 4, the department had
seized 925 cars fitted with illegal
noisy exhausts and 67 motorbikes.
Well keep arresting people and
taking them off the road until they
get the message, he said.
Translation by Emoon

TRAFFIC authorities have started to


respond to the many critics who have
spoken out about the problems caused
by the huge influx of new cars on the
streets of Yangon and Mandalay. Since
restrictions on the importation of cars
were relaxed in 2011, the arrival of several million vehicles has caused congestion and a sharp rise in the number of
accidents.
Respect for the law is also a casualty, as the fines payable under outdated
legislation are derisory. Now, U Chit
Ko Ko, director general of the Road
Transport Administration Department
(RTAD), says something is going to be
done about it. A draft revised transportation law has been submitted to the
Presidents Office, after which it will be
submitted to parliament.
We have working on the draft since
2013. After getting clearance from the
Attorney Generals Office, we submitted
it to the Presidents Office last month.
We hope the new law can go before
hluttaw as soon as possible, so that it
could enter into force later this year,
he told The Myanmar Times yesterday.
Under existing laws, which date
back to 1964, some fines are as low as
K1500 so low they are not an effective
deterrent. An order introduced by the
military regime requiring an additional
K50,000 payment to the current fine
was revoked in October 2013 because of
complaints that the fine was too high.
At one point, traffic police chiefs
complained that some drivers were offering to pay for their next 10 offences
in advance. It is not yet known what
the new fines will be, although officials

have previously said they are pushing


for it to be again set at K50,000.
But taxi driver U Kyaw Soe said
more than K10,000 would be too
high. K1500 is too low but I think the
amount is not so important. Suspending the driving license will be a more
effective deterrent, he said.
Critics also say police should enforce the law impartially, no matter
how important the offender. Another
measure already in force where fines
are inadequate is the withdrawal of
licences of offending drivers for six
months instead of three.

KYAT

1500

Current maximum fine for most traffic


offences under 1964 law

Along with the surge in cars, unlicensed drivers have taken to the roads
in huge but unknown numbers, which
officials say is responsible for a rise in
accidents. Many new drivers acquired
their licences without being properly
tested, often using brokers. The RTAD
has banned the use of licence brokers
and adopted a computer system for
road rules exams to stamp out widespread cheating on paper tests.
U Chit Ko Ko cautioned that raising
road fines alone would not stop people
from breaking the law. I dont think
people were breaking the law because
the fines were too low it was because
they didnt know the law. Its a question
of driver education, he said.

www.mmtimes.com

NEWS EDITOR: Thomas Kean | tdkean@gmail.com

News 3

Committee
demands
govt clarify
white cards
A young boy waits along with other rescued
migrants currently housed at a temporary
detention centre in Langkawi in Malaysia. Nearly
2000 people thought to be from Myanmar and
Bangladesh have been rescued off the coasts of
Indonesia and Malaysia. Photo: AFP

Disease, starvation and death


feared for migrants stuck at sea
LAIGNEE
BARRON
laignee@gmail.com

AFTER weeks aboard overcrowded


boats on one of the most dangerous
smuggling voyages, thousands of migrants from Bangladesh and Rakhine
State are now feared trapped at sea,
unable to disembark and at risk of
dying from disease and starvation, according to rights groups.
Since May 10, more than 2000 migrants have swum to Malaysias shore
or been rescued while adrift on boats
abandoned near Indonesia. The International Organisation for Migration
estimates 8000 more are in need of
immediate rescue from boats lingering around the Malacca Straits after
the ongoing crackdown on Thailands
secluded jungle camps has prohibited
smugglers from depositing the human
cargo along the usual routes.
There are up to 100,000 fishing
boats in these waters - thats a lot of
needles in a very big haystack, said
Joe Lowry, spokesperson for the IOM.
We cant find them ourselves, we

dont have the ability, but the governments in the region do.
He added that it was a matter of escalating urgency as the migrants have
been held on the ships since March
and the people who were rescued in
Indonesia were in very poor shape.
We know some of these people are
suffering from beriberi, a very debilitating disease from vitamin B deficiency, he said. The governments need
to be ready to give them an injection
when they land or they will die.
At least 40 percent of the passengers are also expected to be
malnourished.
According to the UN, 25,000 people are estimated to have fled Myanmar and Bangladesh by smugglers
boats in the first three months of this
year. At least 300 died while at sea.
Despite the rising humanitarian
crisis, yesterday Indonesia refused
to allow another migrant-laden boat
to disembark, and instead towed the
ship back to international waters.
The passengers were still alive
and in good condition, Indonesian
Navy spokesperson Manahan Simorangkir told Reuters. They were seeking help and they didnt want to go to
Indonesia. They wanted to go to Malaysia, so we sent them on their way

Muhammad Shorif, a rescued


migrant from Myanmar, displays his
identification card. Photo: AFP

after providing them with food, water


and medical supplies.
The Indonesian Embassy in Yangon could not be reached from comment about the incident or what it
plans to do with the hundred of migrants currently accommodated in
a sports centre. A receptionist at the
embassy said all the diplomats and officers were in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday
watching a basketball match.
Amid calls for enhanced regional cooperation, Thailand announced it will hold a regional
summit on May 29 to address the
illegal flow of people from the Bay

of Bengal. Officials from Malaysia,


Myanmar, Bangladesh, the US and
Australia have been asked to attend.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chano-cha said on May 8 that Myanmars
cooperation is being sought to end the
deadly human smuggling trade which
was re-exposed after Thai officials began finding human remains at a network of secluded death camps.
The Presidents Office has not returned repeated requests for comment
over whether collaboration with Thailand is being considered. However,
office deputy director general U Zaw
Htay told the New York Times on May
12 that he ruled out internationalising the issue through regional discussion. He also said those rescued in
Indonesia and Malaysia might not be
from Myanmar.
The root of this problem is Bangladesh, he told AFP.
The UN refugee office (UNHCR)
said the escalating smuggling crisis
needs to be resolved through regional
cooperation.
The current situation clearly
shows the need for a regional response
to search and rescue at sea and the
disembarkation of passengers, said
Vivian Tan, a UNHCR spokesperson.
With AFP

Thura U Shwe Mann criticizes the


governments lack of transparency
HTOO THANT
thanhtoo.npt@gmail.com
PYITHU Hluttaw Speaker Thura U
Shwe Mann has criticised the governments lack of transparency and called
on officials to demonstrate accountability through their practices, not their
words.
The Speakers intervention came
yesterday after Yankin township MP
U Thar Win accused the livestock and
fisheries ministry of weaknesses in accountability over the question of wells
dug with the use of community development funds.
In reply, U Khin Maung Aye, deputy minister for livestock, fisheries and
rural development, said the ministry
had transferred funds to the state and
regional governments responsible for
implementing the projects.
The [local] governments concerned invited tenders for the projects,
which are then contracted to the winning companies, he said.
However, the Speaker noted a lack
of transparency occurring in many
states and regions.
Accountability is not just a word.
It must be practised. This is a government of the people that must operate

democratically, he told parliament.


If such cases occur across Myanmar, raising questions about the use
of public funds, money will be lost and
the image of the government and of
MPs will suffer, he added.

Accountability is
not just a word. It
must be practised.
This is a government
of the people that
must operate
democraticlly.
Thura U Shwe Mann
Parliamentary Speaker

Thura U Shwe Mann is not the first


to criticise a system that allows private
companies to develop government projects on a tender system that is less
than fully transparent.
Nay Pyi Taw-based businessman U

Nay Soe spoke to The Myanmar Times


yesterday of his own experience of
bias in the tender process initiated by
a ministry.
If a businessman who submits a
tender is familiar with the ministry,
there are not many questions. If not,
he gets asked all sorts of questions
about his companys history, assets,
capabilities and so on. The competitive tender process really should be
fair and square, he said.
Thura U Shwe Mann can be outspoken in his criticism. In March, the
Speaker dismissed as lies a statement
from the deputy transport minister
about the causes of the Aung Takon 3
ferry disaster off Rakhine State.
Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker U Khin
Aung Myint once denounced the poor
quality of some outsourced building
projects, apparently resulting from the
siphoning of state funds during the tender process. He compared it to children
grabbing fruit spilled from an upended
bowl of plums.
In an annual corruption index by
Transparency International, Myanmar
ranked 156th out of 175 countries last
year, the third-lowest of Asia Pacific
nations.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

THE White Card Campaign Committee has demanded a meeting with the
government over the voting status of
temporary citizens. WCC spokesperson
Sayadaw U Par-mouk-kha said yesterday that members of the activist group
want to meet a commission set up by
President U Thein Sein to study the
laws governing the temporary ID documents known as white cards.
The cards were issued as a stopgap to Myanmar residents whose citizenship still needs to be established.
President U Thein Sein ordered the invalidation of the temporary papers on
February 11. Holders were given until
May 31 to hand in their white cards and
undergo a citizen verification process
carried out by local authorities.
The upper house of parliament voted on February 2 in favour of a proposal
allowing white-card holders to vote in a
constitutional referendum. But protests
largely driven by Buddhist nationalists,
monks and parties representing the
Buddhist majority in Rakhine State led
to a swift government U-turn.
Officials have since collected more
than 300,000 cards, which are no longer valid. However, the White Card Campaign Committee is demanding the government explain how they will proceed.
We want to know whether those
whose white cards were revoked
have the right to vote. We need to
know this before the election, said U
Par-mouk-kha.
WCC members say they are prepared to change the election results.
We are watching very closely what
the government is doing over the whitecard issue. What we said about changing the election result doesnt mean we
will disturb the election, but it could encourage a change in the election results
for some parties, said one WCC member, Ko Naung Taw Lay.
U Maung Maung Than, director general of the Ministry of Immigration said
that the ministry could not say what
the policy would be with regard to the
former white-card holders, but that it
would be announced before the election. Aung Kyaw Min, translation by
Zar Zar Soe

4 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 13, 2015

Chief Executive Officer


Tony Child
tonychild.mcm@gmail.com
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EDITORIAL
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Sub-Editors Peter Swarbrick, Laignee Barron
Chief Sub Editor MTM Aye Sapay Phyu
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Activists with flags run alongside police cars delivering student protesters from prison to the Tharyarwady court yesterday. Photo: Zarni Phyo

Police claim to have employed


EU standards at Letpadan

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WA LONE
walone14@gmail.com

A POLICE captain involved in the brutal crackdown against student protesters in Letpadan testified at the trial
of 70 activists yesterday that security
forces had applied EU standards.
U Phone Myint, a police captain
and witness for the prosecution, told
a packed courtroom in Tharyarwady
township that the operation and
mass arrests on March 10 followed
EU standards and techniques. He
did not elaborate but noted that police had held extensive negotiations
with the students in failed attempts
to get them to stop their illegal
protest march against the national
education law.
The 70 students and activists, who
have been in prison for two months,
face an array of charges, including
unlawful assembly and rioting, and
could face long prison sentences
if convicted. The next hearing was

Student leader Ma Phyo Phyo Aung arrives at the Tharyarwady court for the trial
of student protesters yesterday. Photo: Wa Lone

scheduled for May 26. Eleven others


on bail are to face a separate trial
tomorrow.
The EU, which has held training
courses for the Myanmar police, condemned the use of police violence after students, supporters and reporters
were beaten, kicked and charged with

batons. EU officials said the excessive


use of force demonstrated that more
training was required.
Observers from the EU, German,
French and US embassies in Yangon
were allowed to attend the hearing
yesterday.
Bastian Boddenberg, a legal

research officer with the German


embassy, said the EU and German
missions were concerned about the
outcome of the trial. The police and
judiciary had to carry out their work
in a fair and impartial way, he said.
Observers said they wanted to
monitor the transparency of the trial
and the human rights situation of the
detainees.
The detainees held in Tharyarwady
prison complained of serious health
problems, particularly skin infections, denial of clean water and lack of
nourishment, as well as human rights
violations.
Ko Shwe Kyal Moe, a 22-year-old
philosophy student at Eastern Yangon
University, said he was suffering serious injuries to his spine and shoulder
after being beaten with batons during
the crackdown. I need medical care
in prison hospital but nobody cares,
he said.
One of the students present was ordered by the judge to face a juvenile
court as he was under the age of 16.
Ma Phyo Phyo Aung, secretary of
the All Burma Students Federation Union and one of the detainees, said they
would reject the prosecutors account.

Ethnic parties aim for vice presidency


YE MON
yeemontun2013@gmail.com
THE Nationalities Brotherhood Federation (NBF) says it intends to field
over 200 candidates in Novembers
parliamentary elections as the alliance
of ethnic parties hopes to become a
third force in Myanmars politics by
winning enough seats to secure the
position of one of two vice presidents
in the next government.
Daw Chin Chin, NBF director and
member of the Chin National Democratic Party, told The Myanmar Times
yesterday that the federation would
contest 84 seats in the Amyotha Hluttaw, upper house, and 133 seats in the
Pyithu Hluttaw, lower house. At least
20 percent of candidates would be
women, she said.
Identity politics is likely to dominate the elections in areas with large
non-Bamar populations. The federation of 21 parties sees itself as defending ethnic interests against the Bamarmajority and military-backed Union
Solidarity and Development Party

(USDP) and the opposition National


League for Democracy (NLD).
The NBF intends to run in all
constituencies in all seven states and
field candidates in three out of seven
regions, namely Magwey, Tanintharyi
and Bago.
Myanmars
electoral
system
means that ethnic groups are relatively over-represented in parliament, leading to the possibility of a
broad three-way divide as the 2008
military-drafted constitution guarantees a quarter of all seats in each
house to the military.
But the NBF also faces the risk of
seeing the vote split among competing
ethnic parties while also facing tough
competition from the NLD in townships with large Bamar populations.
Members of the NBF say the USDP
and the NLD should avoid running in
ethnic-minority constituencies in the
seven states if they want to secure national unity.
Three candidates for president are
nominated by each of the two houses
of parliament and the military. The

two nominees who fail to secure the


top job in a straight vote are appointed
vice presidents.
We expect to win the seat for the
vice president. We believe we can get
this seat because the vice president position should be an ethnic representative, Daw Chin Chin said.
She said NBF member parties
would also contest all constituencies
for the seven state parliaments with
the aim of forming state governments
with only ethnic parties or ethnic
representatives.
At this early stage in the transition
and given the long marginalisation of
ethnic minority communities, identity
politics still holds sway. This means
parties tend to form around ethnic
identities, not policies, the International Crisis Group, an NGO, said in a
pre-election report last month.
Party registration for the elections
has been completed and a total of 73
have been accepted to take part. About
two-thirds are ethnic-based. The 2010
general elections, boycotted by the
NLD and other groups, saw 37 parties

competing. Ethnic parties in 2010, including pro-government and opposition groups, won 29 seats in the upper
house and 46 seats in the lower house.
Until the 2012 by-elections, which
were contested by the NLD, the second
-largest party in parliament was the
NBFs Shan Nationalities Democratic
Party (SNDP). The NBF currently has
over 60 members of parliament.
Parties must name their candidates
this month.
We will decide the candidate list
soon and new candidates will be included in this list. And also we will
name a candidate for vice president
before the nomination in parliament, said U Sai Hla Kyaw, a SNDP
member of parliament who is NBF
spokesperson.
Daw Chin Chin stressed the federations independence from the ruling party. Some people told us the
USDP supported the NBF. This false
news can lead to misunderstandings
between us and our ethnic people. We
never got support from the USDP, she
said.

News 5

www.mmtimes.com

Govt, hotels pressure local


officials over sand mining
Minister for tourism and hoteliers association both take steps to stop sand mining at Ngapalis beaches

EI EI THU

THOMAS KEAN

THE government, hoteliers and civil


society are stepping up the pressure on Thandwe authorities to curb
rampant sand mining at Myanmars
premier beach destination, Ngapali.
Tourism sources close to the Ministry
of Hotels and Tourism say President U
Thein Sein is aware of the issue, and
has ordered action to be taken against
companies that take sand from Ngapalis beaches for construction projects.
At a meeting in Yangon on May 6,
the Rakhine branch of the Myanmar
Hoteliers Association agreed to hire
international conservation experts
to assess the impact of sand mining
at Ngapali and report to the Union
government.
Three days later, Minister for Hotels and Tourism U Htay Aung instructed the newly appointed district
administrator to halt sand mining in
the area, according to sources present
at the meeting, and take legal action
against those who continue to take
sand from the beach with trucks.
As The Myanmar Times reported, earlier this year the Thandwe
township General Administration
Department granted permission to
private companies to take sand from
three beaches in the Ngapali area
for regional development, prompting complaints from hoteliers and
environmentalists.
The decision to allow sand mining, which has been an intermittent
problem in the area since the 1990s,
contravened a Ministry of Hotels and
Tourism directive from 2004 on the
development of coastal areas and
also a local order that the head of the
department, the Thandwe township
administrator, issued in January.
Opponents say the mining of this
finite resource for short-term financial
gain will have long-term effects on the
natural environment at Ngapali and
drive away tourists.
They also point out that the use of
untreated sea sand in construction is
potentially dangerous because it can
corrode reinforcing. The Myanmar
Times understands the sand is being
used widely in construction projects
in Thandwe that are funded by the
government but contracted to private firms, including schools, bridges,
roads and health facilities.
U Aung Myo Min Din, head of the
Rakhine branch of the hoteliers association, said the decision to hire the
foreign environmental team was taken
because sand mining for construction
sites was starting to affect the beach
area.

A truck arrives at Zeephyukone beach, near Thandwe airport, to take a load of sand on April 4. Photo: Thomas Kean

Teams of workers from local construction companies are loading


trucks with sand beside hotels, he
said, adding that tourists were surprised that the trucks were permitted
on the beach. Some had taken photos
and posted them online, which could
potentially harm Ngapalis image as a
destination.
We need to maintain the natural
beauty, environment and ecology of
Ngapali beach for people who rely on
it. They will suffer if the beach is damaged. Thats why we decided at the
meeting to hire an expert team from a
foreign country, he said.
He also noted that some hotels still
under construction were also taking
sand from the beach.
We dont want to blame anyone
but we will get advice from the experts
and report it to the Ministry of Hotels
and Tourism together with photos.
On May 9, Minister for Hotels and
Tourism U Htay Aung visited Ngapali, meeting local officials at Amazing Ngapali Resort. The minister was
joined on the trip by the Thai ambassador to Myanmar and Thai businesspeople interested in investing in tourism, air services, entertainment and
fisheries in Rakhine State.
U Htay Aung told the new administrator for Thandwe district that only
area residents should be allowed to
take sand from the beach, and not
construction firms, according to U

Khin Aung Htun, joint general secretary of the Myanmar Hoteliers Association, who attended the meeting.
He ordered the administrator to
take legal action against anybody removing sand from the beach with
trucks, as well as those taking sand
from unpermitted areas.

Nobody should be
allowed to sell sand
by the truckload.
This case has already
been reported to the
president.
U Khin Aung Htun
Myanmar Hoteliers Association

U Htay Aung said the beach should


essentially be left untouched by the
sand mining, in line with the ministrys 2004 Directives for Coastal
Beach Areas, which bans sand mining
outright.
The minister said that permission
to take sand is only for small projects,
such as house construction for villagers, U Khin Aung Htun said yesterday.

He said that nobody should be allowed to sell sand by the truckload.


This case has already been reported to
the president and we want serious action to be taken against those illegally
taking sand with trucks.
Area residents have told The
Myanmar Times that local officials
are collecting money from private
construction firms for every load of
sand taken from the beach, but have
stopped residents from taking sand
for private use.
One of the supporters of the campaign to end sand mining is the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business. On April 30, the centres director,
Vicky Bowman, wrote to Vice President U Nyan Tun, chair of the Tourism Development Central Committee,
warning that Ngapalis beaches can
be destroyed in less than a decade
unless action is taken against sand
mining.
Ms Bowman said the problem
requires an urgent and sustained
response involving all stakeholders
focusing on strengthening policy and
enforcement, research into the impacts of sand mining and economic
value of Ngapalis beaches, and education about the importance of protecting the beaches.
She said the centre was willing to
work with the committee to tackle the
problem together with local and national stakeholders.

High-school fees to be waived this year


MAY THINZAR NAING
maythinzarnaing.mcm@gmail.com
FREE education is to be extended to
high-school students for the first time
in the coming academic year, at a cost
to the budget of about K5 billion, the
education ministry has confirmed.
Under the current system, no fees
are charged to students in primary and
middle-school levels, either for tuition
or for parent and teacher association
fees and sports fees. Text and most exercise books, pens and pencils are also
supplied gratis, and students are given

six exercise books and K1000.


For the basic education sector, our
department will adopt a free education system for all students, at the primary, middle and high school levels.
We plan to provide school uniforms
for primary students for free this year,
said a director from the Department of
Basic Education.
Free primary education was introduced in 2012-13 and free secondary
education last year, at a cost of K7
billion.
Among middle school students,
grade 6 students are exempt from

paying a textbook charge of K1550


and K500 for school fees, and grade
7 students are exempt from paying
K1550 for textbooks and K600 of
school fees. In high school, grade 8
students get K1700 worth of textbooks free as well as K700 in school
fees, and grade 9 students are spared
K2300 of textbook charges and K800
in school fees. Moreover, they dont
need to pay parent and teacher association fees, or the previous stationery fee of K500.
However, parents may still face
extra expenditure for their childrens

education in the form of tuition fees


and bus, or ferry, fares.
The higher the level of the student, the more we have to pay. It
would be better if school uniforms
were provided free for all students at
all levels, said the mother of a middleschool student.
There are more than 8 million
primary and secondary students in
Myanmar, of which 700,000 are high
school students, according to statistics
from the Department of Educational
Planning and Training.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

IN BRIEF
Mandalay Hill shops
to reopen, with conditions

Shopkeepers on Mandalay Hill


have received a reprieve, if a conditional one, from the authorities.
The pagoda board of trustees will
allow them to reopen their shops,
the boards chair U Thein Tun
said on May 10. so long as they
clean up their act and dont stay
overnight.
The shopkeepers would stay
overnight on the hill and throw
rubbish around. Thats why we
decided to shut them down. But
bearing in mind their means of
livelihood, we have revised our
decision to let them reopen later
if they dont stay overnight, said
U Thein Tun.
Another member of the board
said the unpleasant smell of rubbish and human waste spoiled
the natural beauty of the hill,
and had led to complaints from
pilgrims.
Shopkeepers cooked there
too so it spoiled the image of the
pagoda, he said.
Of the nearly 200 shops that
plied their wares in the stairways
up the hill, only 48 establishments on the pagoda platform
are permitted to open legally, by
paying monthly rent of K15,000.
As long as they dont stay
overnight, the board of trustees
will arrange security for them,
said U Thein Tun.
Foreign visitors and local
pilgrims visit Mandalay Hill to pay
homage at the pagoda and enjoy
the views from the 240-metre
peak, particularly at sunset.
Ma Ni Ni Aung, a shop owner
at the southern entrance of
the hill, said she welcomed the
compromise.
We are opening a shop here
to cover our daily living expenses,
so we want this issue to be solved
to the benefit of all concerned,
she said. Some shops have been
operating here for more than 10
years. Mg Zaw, translation by
Zar Zar Soe

Mandalay police raid


gaming shops, make arrests

Mandalay police have raided


shops in Pyigyitagun township
that they allege were operating illegal gaming machines imported
from China.
Responding to a tip-off, police
raided Yuri Game Shop on 62nd
Street on May 10, arresting a
20-year-old staff member and
31-year-old customer. They
seized two Chinese-made gaming machines and K146,400. The
manager of the shop is still at
large, and all three have been
charged under the Gambling Act.
Following the arrests, police
raided D-7 Game Shop, also on
62nd Street, arresting a 20-yearold manager, three staff aged
between 19 and 25, and one
customer, aged 38.
Police seized three Chinesemade gaming machines and
K900,000, and have charged five
people under the Gambling Act.
Toe Wai Aung, translation by
Khant Lin Oo

Monsoon season set


to hit south before May 20

Rough sea is forecasted in the


Mon and Tanintharyi coast while
a monsoon wind approaches
southern Myanmar, said U Kyaw
Lwin Oo, director of the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology. He added that it was probable the monsoon would strike
the southern part of the country
between May 15 and May 20.
People should be cautious
of weather conditions such as
thunder storms and strong winds
... resulting from cumulonimbus
cloud, he said.
- Aye Sapay Phyu

6 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 13, 2015

London Sayadaw rejects


Sangha committee charges
AUNG
KYAW
MIN

AUNG KYAW MIN


aungkyawmin.mcm@gmail.com

aungkyawmin.mcm@gmail.com

FIVE monks on trial for allegedly


disobeying religious authorities have
criticised the Yangon Region Sangha
Maha Nayaka Committee for conducting a high-profile police raid on a
monastery in Tarmwe township, Yangon Region.
They also complain of discriminatory treatment at the hands of religious authorities after their arrest
in the raid on Mahasantisukha Monastery in June last year. About 300
police, 280 monks and officials from
the Ministry of Religious Affairs took
part in the raid, which was apparently
prompted by a tangled ownership
dispute.
The 11pm raid, which resulted in
the eviction from the site of 20 monks
and 32 laypeople, was widely condemned at the time by religious and
lay critics alike, with some saying it
recalled the tactics of the former military regime. Others said it was little
more than a politically motivated land
grab. I have never seen a situation
where a monastery was nationalised
like this, political commentator Moe
Thu (Mandalay) wrote on his Facebook page.
The raid took place while the
founder and head of the monastery,
U Pannavamsa widely known as
Penang Sayadaw was visiting Japan
for missionary work. U Pannavamsa
founded the monastery in 1999, but
it was confiscated by the military government in 2002 while he was overseas and given to the State Sangha
Maha Nayaka Committee, the body
that oversees all monks in Myanmar.
With U Pannavamsa out of the
country, Thone Htet Monastery Sayadaw U Panyeinda and London Sayadaw U Ottara, a British citizen, were
detained as the acting heads of the
Mahasantisukha.
U Panyeinda was freed on the
morning of June 11 after signing a
pledge to refrain from any further involvement with the issue, but U Ottara and six other monks were detained
for interrogation, according to presidential adviser U Ant Maung, speaking at a press conference the morning after the raid. At the same press

Former
ministers
appeal to
be heard
this month

U Ottara, a senior British Buddhist monk, arrives at Tarmwe Township Court prior to his hearing on June 27, 2014. Photo: AFP

conference, the head of religious affairs for Yangon Region, U Sein Maw,
said the raid had been conducted at
night with the agreement of the State
Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee to
avoid unnecessary problems for both
monks and laypeople.
In the resumed trial at Tarmwe
Township Court, on May 8, London
Sayadaw objected to the statement
of U Sein Maw to the effect that the
monks had charged for disobeying the
State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee, better known by the acronym Ma
Ha Na.
He said Ma Ha Na had not given
any instructions to the monks staying
in the monastery.
All I knew was that Penang Sayadawgyi was in a dispute over the ownership of the monastery. I was just
staying there temporarily as a guest,
he told the court.
The deputy chair of Yangon Region
Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee,
U Gunarlinkarra, said at the time of

All I knew was that


Penang Sayadawgyi
was in a dispute over
the ownership of the
monastery.
London Sayadaw U Ottara

the raid that the monastery would be


restored to whoever won the lawsuit
over its ownership. He also said the
monastery was searched because of
rumours that 30 of the monks living
there possess arms. No mention of
arms was made by the police at the
time.
U Ottara said the monks had been
treated unfairly by the regional Sangha committee.

Ma Ha Na didnt listen to our


explanation, let alone accept our
apology. They didnt listen to the
explanation of Thone Htat Kyaung
Sayadaw, who is the senior monk of
the monastery built and donated by
former senior general Than Shwe and
Daw Kyine Kyine. Thone Htat Kyaung
Sayadaw never defied Ma Ha Na, U
Ottara said.
I have no grudge with U Sein
Maw. But he should explain to Ma Ha
Na that when we were arrested we
were simply staying in the monastery
as guests. I hope the court will decide
fair and square, he added.
On April 29 the court, under judge
U San Aung, rejected a plea by advocate U Thein Win, the lawyer for U
Ottara, to throw out the case.
The five monks are charged under
section 295(a) of the penal code and
20/90 of the 1990 Law Concerning
Sangha Organizations, both of which
carry a potential two-year prison
term.

THE appeal of former minister


for religious affairs U San Sint
will be taken up by the Supreme
Court of the Union after May 27,
his lawyer U Tin Tun says.
U San Sint was sacked and
arrested in June last year, following a controversial raid on the
Mahasantisukha Monastery in
Yangon.
He was convicted of sedition
and criminal breach of trust at
Dekkhinathiri District Court,
Nay Pyi Taw, in October. He
was jailed for 13 years and fined
K100,000.
Fifty members of parliament
petitioned President U Thein Sein
for his release, and other public
figures have expressed their support for him, claiming his downfall was politically motivated.
An earlier appeal to the Mandalay Region High Court was
rejected.
The case bore upon the expenditure by U San Sint of K10
million for a ceremony to consecrate a pagoda near Nay Pyi Taw
in December 2013. He later paid
back K2.8 million, according to
the government.
Presidential spokesperson U
Ye Htut has publicly stated, however, that the ministers downfall
was related to his defiance of
President U Thein Sein and alleged mishandling of the raid on
the Mahasantisukha Monastery
in Tarmwe township
U Tin Tun said U San Sint
was confident the court would
overturn his conviction, but
would accept the courts verdict
either way.
He said the political nature
of the verdict was evident in the
fact parliament has recently examined cases of misuse of public funds much larger than the
K7.2 million U San Sint allegedly
spent on the pagoda.
His mind is very strong. He
told me, I can be satisfied that
Im not like those present ministers and retired army officers, U
Tin Tun said.

MCDC suspends levy on vehicles entering Mandalay


SI THU LWIN
THAN NAING SOE
newsroom@mmtimes.com
APPARENTLY bowing to public pressure, Mandalay authorities have suspended a controversial scheme to levy
a roadside tax on vehicles registered
outside the city as they enter. The
scheme, announced in April, came into
force on May 1, but was suspended on
May 4 until the end of the month.
U Khin Maung Tint, secretary of
Mandalay City Development Committee, said on May 4 that the tax collection would be suspended until the end
of May.
There are more than 140,000 vehicles in Mandalay, some of which are
registered in other townships. The levy
of entrance tax on those vehicles will
temporarily be suspended until the
end of May to give them the chance
to get MDY registration, change the
ownership and pay related taxes, and
it will resume in June, he said.
The program was aimed at reducing

U Khin Maung Tint, secretary


of Mandalay City Development
Committee, speaks about a new
congestion tax at a meeting last
week. Photo: Si Thu lwin

congestion, while also raising money to


spend on infrastructure projects.
The levy is collected upon entry
to the MCDC area, which comprises
six townships, and applies to all nonMandalay-registered cars, even those
driven by Mandalay residents. The
tax ranges from K2000 to K10,000
depending on vehicle weight, with the

highest tax being levied on vehicles


weighing more than 5 tonnes.
Toll booths have been set up on major roads leading into urban Mandalay
from Madaya, Pyin Oo Lwin, Sagaing
and Yangon, including both the new
and old Yangon-Mandalay highways.
In the four days it was levied, more
than 4000 non-Mandalay-registered

vehicles entered Mandalay each day,


paying about K10 million a day in
tolls, U Khin Maung Tint said.
MCDC has promised the money
will be spent on municipal activities,
including road construction, improvements to the drainage and water supply networks, and cleaning.
But the tax has attracted residents
ire, with some saying it has contributed to rather than reduced congestion.
Opposition to the plan has been led
by a Mandalay-based Facebook group,
Mandalay Tadin Pone Yeik Myar (Mandalay News and Images), which was
started in June 2013 and has 52,910
members.
Some members of the group threatened to stage public demonstrations
unless the plan was halted.
If MCDC taxes these cars, they will
do whatever they can to avoid visiting
Mandalay and the city will miss out on
economic opportunities, said resident
U Ye Win Aung. If they are going to
collect it, the fee should be reduced to
no more than K1000.

MCDC insists it will resume collection of the tax from June 1. In the
meantime, it is working with the Internal Revenue Department and the
Road Transport Administration Department to help car owners wishing
to change their vehicle registration.
U Nay Lin, a regional staff officer
at the Mandalay Region Road Transport Administration Department, said
there had been a strong response.
Weve been helping the drivers of 80
vehicles a day to change ownership
since the announcement [on April 1],
he said.
Resident Ko Phyo said he believed
the tax was simply aimed at getting
people to change the registration of
their car, as this requires payment of
a tax. Most cars in Mandalay are registered elsewhere in the country, he said.
By changing the address, we have
to spend money - we have to pay tax to
the Internal Revenue Department, he
said. I think the regional government
is just trying to get this tax.
Translation by Khant Lin Oo

News 7

www.mmtimes.com

Views

Ceasefire or political dialogue first?

HICH should come


first: the nationwide
ceasefire or political
dialogue? This is not a
chicken-and-egg question. We are having this debate because the politics of the 2015 elections
are impacting the peace process.
I am aware this is a political reality.
Frustrations aside, I also know no one
is to blame.
Having been a political analyst earlier in life, I understand that rational
thinking in politics and peace processes is hard to find. Nonetheless, I will
commit the political sin and say it: For
someone like me, it is crystal clear that
the nationwide ceasefire must come
before political dialogue.
Based on my experience in the
peace process, doing it the other way
round would be messy. These are the
problems with progressing to political
talks first.
First, it would start with questions
on the criteria as to who should be
eligible to negotiate the political settlement. We know more or less who
the key players are. However, having
no nationwide ceasefire means there
are no parameters to determine who
would be eligible to participate.
Perhaps we could start with the 14
ethnic armed groups that have signed
bilateral ceasefires. But how would we
determine the status of groups such as
the Kachin Independence Organisation and others that have yet to sign
bilateral truces? Will they be given the
same status as the bilateral ceasefire
groups? Will they be satisfied being
observers to a process that would determine the fate of their nation? What
would the consequences be if they
stayed out of the process completely?
Critically, such an endeavour would
adversely affect the idea of all-inclusiveness and would have negative
consequences for the outcome of the
political talks.
Second, without a nationwide
ceasefire there would be no clear and
strong ceasefire monitoring mechanisms or codes of conduct in place
to strengthen the existing bilateral
ceasefires, which are only preliminary.
There would be no way skirmishes
could be stopped even if indeed the
stakeholders could overcome the first
hurdle of representation in the political negotiations. This would mean
that fighting in all shapes and sizes
would haunt and continually disrupt
the peace talks.

AUNG
NAING OO
newsroom@mmtimes.com

Such a scenario would force parties, especially ethnic armed groups, to


leave the peace negotiation table. Under these circumstances, political dialogue would add to the acrimony that
already exists among the protagonists.
It could easily lead to a resumption of
open hostilities.
Because ethnic groups exist close to
each other and even have overlapping
claims of territory and operational areas, there is a likelihood that if a nonceasefire group continues its fight, it
could inadvertently draw neighbouring groups into the conflict.
Third, armed clashes are always
accompanied by abuses committed
by armed groups, either intentionally
or unintentionally. How could these
be stopped without any protective
or monitoring mechanisms? There
would be constant demands from all
sides to address these issues during
political negotiations. Under those circumstances, these demands could easily distract the negotiators from their
political talks.
Finally, who would lead the process? Obviously, it could be the government. But given our experience in the
peace process, the whole negotiation
process works best when its a joint exercise. And if the government were to
lead the process and take ownership,
or is seen to be taking the lead and
claiming sole ownership of the process, there would be further problems,
because there is not enough trust for
ethnic groups to give the government
such a free rein.
In fact, there are other issues that
must be taken into account, such as
establishing the timing, timeframes,
objectives, agenda and perhaps the
buy-in from key stakeholders, such as
parliament and the Tatmadaw.
Meanwhile, all the stakeholders
who have spent the past four years
negotiating a nationwide ceasefire
through hundreds of meetings would
feel that their efforts were wasted.
And even with a successful political
dialogue, at some stage a strong, lasting ceasefire would still have to be
achieved.
So what would be the benefits of a

A Karen National Union official speaks at an ethnic leaders conference in Laiza


in July 2014. Photo: Zarni Phyo

ceasefire-first process?
In any armed conflict, ceasefires to
stop the killing should always come
first. This gives peace of mind to all negotiators; they can negotiate without
having to worry about ongoing fighting or ceasefire violations. In addition,
the situation on the ground even the
semblance of normalcy once all parties agree to stop the fighting can

In any armed
conflict, ceasefires
to stop the killing
should always
come first.
help the peace process immensely.
Second, the Nationwide Ceasefire
Agreement is often described as the
doorway to political dialogue. This
is true because it contains guarantees
about the political negotiations.
Thirdly, the agreement has

promised three long-standing demands of the ethnic armed groups:


a nationwide ceasefire, political dialogue and federalism. These demands
are more or less supported by the population at large.
Fourth, the agreement outlines the
mechanisms to strengthen the ceasefires, such as ceasefire monitoring
mechanisms, codes of conduct, civilian protections, public consultations
and the suspension of the Unlawful
Associations Act otherwise known
as section 17/1 for signatories.
Fifth, the nationwide ceasefire
agreement establishes two joint committees: one for political dialogue,
and another for ceasefire monitoring. These are to be formed and their
work is to be implemented in a spirit
of compromise and cooperation. More
importantly, monitoring mechanisms
would seek to prevent ceasefire violations along with abuses against the
civilian population.
Sixth, the agreement would help
the stakeholders to establish the criteria for political dialogue through a
framework for political dialogue. It
would ensure inclusiveness. In addition, it contains a roadmap for peace

that would indicate the scope of the


whole process.
Finally, political dialogue after the
nationwide ceasefire agreement has
been signed would be easier as the
ceasefire process has built trust, established mechanisms and outlined the
way forward. Perhaps once we sign the
agreement the negotiators would have
the luxury of taking as much time as
they need to come to a final political
consensus.
This is a simple analysis as to
which process should come first.
However, from an operational standpoint both the ceasefire and political
dialogue processes must be carried out
simultaneously.
I say this because signing of the
nationwide ceasefire does not mean
that fighting will stop immediately.
All stakeholders must work together
to actually stop the fighting by implementing the various provisions contained in the agreement. This will take
some time. In other words, the ceasefire monitoring mechanisms must be
implemented in earnest while political
dialogue is conducted.
Second, the nationwide ceasefire is
not just about ending the fighting but,
along with political dialogue, it will
lead to negotiations over security reintegration, ensuring completion of the
whole peace process.
Finally, while the ceasefire starts
the peace process, the political negotiations will provide the finishing
touches. Although the ceasefire must
come first, the dual process will begin
as soon as the political dialogue starts.
Political dialogue will not finish in
one or two sittings. It will be a long
process. Even if we can start the process during the remainder of the current administration, the next government will have to shoulder much of
the responsibility that comes with
advancing these political negotiations.
In a recent monthly radio address,
President U Thein Sein said, It is difficult to achieve peace within a single
term of an elected government.
It is crucial that we institute the
nationwide ceasefire first and follow it
with political negotiations at the earliest time possible in order to leave a
foundation for the next government to
build on.
Aung Naing Oo is director of the Peace
Dialogue Program at the Myanmar Peace
Center.

8 THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 13, 2015

Business
Developer
warns against
rumours on
paused project
MYAT
NYEIN
AYE
myatnyeinaye11092@gmail.com

MARGA Landmark has issued a


statement clarifying its mixed-use
Dagon City One project and warned
against what it calls critics spreading wrong information and engaging in groundless speculation.
Dagon City One is one of five
projects that have been temporarily
suspended by government authorities since February, following public concern that the projects may affect the view of nearby Shwedagon
Pagoda or disturb its foundation.
Marga is made up of a number
of international and local investors,
and is the owner of perhaps the
most prominent of the five paused
projects in Dagon township. Four
other projects by Thu Kha Yadanar, Shwe Taung Hyday, Shwe Taung
Development and Adventure Myanmar have also been temporarily
suspended.
Marga said in the statement that
while its plans have been publically
known since receiving Myanmar
Investment Commission approval
in March 2014 and opening a temporary gallery in June 2014, it only
started facing harsh comments
and baseless accusation in January
2015, raised by a small number of
individuals and parties.
These individuals and parties
had not contacted or reached out
to us to find out and clarify the
facts, it said. They continued telling wrong information and making
groundless speculations and allegations in spite of the fact that Dagon
City One has been and is following
and abiding by the law and the approved plans.
It added the board of directors
of Marga Landmark is prepared to
take legal action against individuals who have repeatedly made personal defamatory comments with
inaccurate information and prejudice, causing losses to Marga.
While Marga did not name any
person or entity in particular in the
statement, one of their foremost
critics has been U Khin Hlaing, an
elected member of Yangon City Development Committee.
He has been one of the most outspoken figures opposing the project, criticising the project in local
media. Besides being a YCDC committee member, he is also a publisher, sells religious robes and owns
the Myanmar Big Shops Shopping
Mall near Shwedagon Pagoda. He
told The Myanmar Times on May
11 that he would absolutely not allow the project to move forward.
U Khin Hlaing said he is responsible for the district of Yangon containing the project.

BANGKOK

KYAW
PHONE
KYAW
k.phonekyaw@gmail.com

I am vested with authority from


the people, and I say no through
this authority, he said. Asked
whether he was concerned he may
be at risk for legal action as outlined by Marga, he said it was his
duty as an elected representative to
voice the publics concerns.
U Khin Hlaing said he was appealing directly to the Tatmadaw to reconsider the long-term lease it had given
Marga and the other four developers.
Please, Tatmadaw, love your
land, take back whats yours and
make a beneficial project for the
people or for the Tatmadaw that will
save Shwedagon Pagoda, he said.
U Khin Hlaing also said that it
was not only Dagon City One but
the other four projects that are the
target of his criticism.
The five projects are temporarily paused until YCDC gives approval to move forward. Marga says
it received initial permission from
the Myanmar Investment Commission in March 2014, including for
the master plan and height limit of
Dagon City One.
All works have been prepared
according to what we have been approved [to do], it said.

These individuals
and parties had
not contacted or
reached out to us to
find out and clarify
the facts.
Marga Landmark statement

Authorities subsequently paused


the five projects in February, and the
Myanmar Investment Commission
had industry body the Myanmar
Engineering Society conduct a review. The societys review confirmed
Dagon City Ones plans are compliant with what has been approved by
the Myanmar Investment Commission and YCDC, according to Marga.
It added that a special task force was
appointed to focus on water drainage and on road systems.
YCDC Department of Engineering deputy director U Nay Win said
on May 11 he would not comment
on the five suspended projects, as
they are still under analysis.
CONTINUED ON BUSINESS 10

A man in Dawei prepares his boat for a journey. Photo: Staff

Dawei economic zone on hold


as private-sector partners
negotiate benefit-sharing deal
THE joint venture to develop the
first phase of the industrial estate
in Myanmars Dawei megaproject
has been put on hold indefinitely.
The partners have not yet settled the benefit-sharing deal, SETlisted Rojana Industrial Park Plc
said.
Amara Charoengitwattanagun,
a director of Rojana, said the
company and its partner, SET-listed Italian-Thai Development Plc
(ITD), had not finalised details of
the benefit-sharing scheme since
they had yet to complete an infrastructure plan for the project.
The first phase of the industrial estate as well as the signing
ceremony for the memorandum
of understanding with the Myanmar government will have to be
delayed. We dont know for how
long, she said yesterday, adding
that the signing ceremony was
initially set for this month.
Ms Amara said another major
problem was the company had
not yet finalised a plan for location of main infrastructure facilities such as power plants and
roads for the large-scale industrial estate.
The first phase of the estate in
Dawei is a joint venture between
Rojana and Ital-Thai, with equal
shareholding of 50 percent each
and a total budget of 20 billion
baht (US$59 million).
We cannot develop the first
phase at this stage. No one will

buy land and invest in anything if


theyre not confident about when
all the infrastructure will be in
place, Ms Amara said.
So we need to wait and be
sure about the infrastructure before selling the land for industrial
development, she added.
Thailand and Myanmar agreed
in June 2013 to set up Dawei SEZ
Development Co (DSEZ), the SEZ
part of a project that aims to
more closely link Bangkok with
the Indian Ocean.

We cannot develop
the first phase at
this stage. No one
will buy land and
invest in anything
if theyre not
confident.
Amara Charoengitwattanagun
Rojana director

Myanmar also needs to get


parliamentary approval for the
loan and conduct an environmental impact assessment for
the road construction, part of the

first phase of development.


Japan is also to join the partnership for DSEZ, the specialpurpose vehicle (SPV) that will
manage the deep-sea port and the
SEZ, according to Thai officials.
Japan intends to participate in
the project, offering technical and
financial support.
It is set to sign a deal in July to
participate in DSEZ, running the
languishing multibillion dollar
megaproject.
In addition, Thailand and Myanmar have agreed to set up SPVs
to manage the port, road and rail
links, power plants, waterworks,
industrial estates, telecommunications, and a township.
Ms Amara said the company is
still awaiting a clear sign from its
partner on how to proceed with
the infrastructure, especially the
electricity network, before any
further progress on the signing
ceremony.
Somjet Tinnapong, managing
director of Dawei Development
Co, a subsidiary of Ital-Thai, said
talks about the project are still
ongoing but declined to give details.
ROJNA shares closed yesterday on the SET at 7.50 baht, down
15 satang, in trade worth 26.4 million baht.
ITD shares closed on the SET
at 7.15 baht, down 45 satang, in
trade worth 666 million baht.
The Bangkok Post

BUSINESS EDITOR: Jeremy Mullins | jeremymullins7@gmail.com

Jade industry pushes


for more added value,
but challenges remain

Indias Modi looks for


investment partners
and finds an old rival

BUSINESS 10

BUSINESS 11

Exchange Rates (May 12 close)


Currency
Euro
Malaysia Ringitt
Singapore Dollar
Thai Baht
US Dollar

Buying
K1194
K300
K801
K32
K1088

Selling
K1214
K315
K810
K35
K1089

Change in chiefs for Ooredoo Myanmar


CATHERINE
TRAUTWEIN
newroom@mmtimes.com

OOREDOO Myanmar chief Ross


Cormack has chosen to step down
as CEO from the first international
telco to launch services in Myanmar, the firm announced on May 11.
Mr Cormack will be replaced by
Rene Meza, currently the managing
director of Vodacom Tanzania. Mr
Meza has made emerging markets a
specialty as he has occupied senior
positions at telcos across Asia, Africa and Latin America, according
to Ooredoo.
Ross feels that hes achieved
what he wants to in Myanmar with
Ooredoo Myanmar successfully established and he feels that the time
is right to look for a new professional challenge, said Ooredoo Myanmar senior public relations manager Ma Thiri Kyar Nyo yesterday.
She added it is anticipated Mr Meza
will take over for Mr Cormack in the
third or fourth quarter of 2015.
Mr Cormack led Ooredoo Myanmar through a highly competitive telecoms tender and challenging licensing process, through to a
splashy launch in August of 2014.
The company, which recently announced its financial results for the
first quarter of 2015, has racked up
3.3 million customers in total adding more than 1 million subscribers
in the last three months.
The company drove QAR236 million (US$65 million) in revenues
and achieved a major milestone in
March when its operations finished
EBITDA-positive for the month.

A woman leaves the Ooredoo offices at MICT Park. The firms CEO is also heading out the door. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

About eight of every 10 Ooredoo Myanmar users are on smartphones, and average revenue per
user (ARPU) for the quarter came
in quite high, at K7600 or about $7.
That figure is expected to drop as
the company rolls out into Myanmars more rural areas and poorer
regions get hooked up with Ooredoo service.
What you are seeing right now
is the ARPU from the high-income
and high-GDP areas, said Ooredoo
Group chief financial officer Ajay
Bahri during this quarters analyst
presentation.
As we move to more semi-urban
areas, I think you will obviously see
an impact of that ... And within the
urban areas, as we move to the next
segment of the customers, I think

that one should expect some sort of


an ARPU decline.
The company turned on more
than 500 new network sites from
the beginning of January until the
end of March 2015. Oordoos services now blanket more than half
the population 28 million people and have gone live in all the
countrys major cities and half of its
townships, including 20 added this
quarter.
International telecoms competitor Telenor Myanmar, which began
launching services in Myanmar one
month after Ooredoo, has beaten
the Qatari firm on user acquisition,
however, with almost double the
customers.
The Norwegian telecom has accrued 6.4 million subscribers since

launch, adding nearly 3 million this


quarter.
Though the competition between
the two telcos is intense, Frost &
Sullivan analyst for Asia Pacific telecoms Naveen Mishra stressed that
its still early days for both Telenor
and Ooredoo in Myanmar.
The country only recently
opened up and revamped its telecoms sector, semi-privatising the
market with the debuts of three
international telecoms in the past
year: Ooredoo, Myanmar, and Japan-based KDDI in support of stateowned MPT.
Mr Mishra pointed to the smartphone figure released by Ooredoo as
proof that many in Myanmar need
to connect to the internet.
The services were not available

... Now [that they are], penetration and subscribers are increasing
quickly, he said.
As for Telenors rapid accumulation of users over Ooredoo, which
telco users choose could come down
to data and pricing.
Telenors offering is more attractive to consumers, Mr Mishra
said.
However, he reinforced that in
these initial days, neither telco is
better than the other and said Mr
Cormack was likely not replaced
due to poor performance.
Ooredoo is off to a very good
start, he said. Within a year they
are turning the business into a positive business.
Meanwhile, Telenor also revealed
a major leadership change yesterday. Telenor Group President and
CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas is to be
replaced by executive vice president
and head of Telenor Asia region
Sigve Brekke on August 17. Additional reporting by Jeremy Mullins

Ooredoo Myanmar CEO Ross Cormack


shows off internet speed last year.
Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

South Koreas Dongbu


Safeguard law to curb
Insurance opens Yangon office unfair imports planned
NAY PYI TAW

SHWEGU THITSAR
khaingsabainyein@gmail.com
SOUTH Korean-based Dongbu Insurance has become the 16th international
insurance firm to open a branch office
in Yangon.
International insurance companies
are currently not allowed to operate
in Myanmar. However, the Myanmar
Insurance Business Supervision Committee was established last year with a
view to eventually issuing licences to
allow foreign companies to operate in
special economic zones.
I hope that Dongbu Insurance
Company will collaborate in Myanmar
to help develop the domestic insurance market, said Dr Maung Maung
Thein, deputy minister for finance, to
reporters after the opening ceremony
for the new office, which was held at
Sule Shangri-La Hotel in Yangon last
week.
We will allow international insurance companies to operate here if they
fulfill the criteria we set. All foreign
companies will be given the same opportunity, regardless of when they
open a branch office here, he said.
He added that Japanese insurance
companies have already applied for
permits, while the other companies

are waiting for the criteria to be confirmed.


Lee Jung-Woo, chair of the Korean
Association in Myanmar, said it will
research the insurance system and
culture in general in Myanmar, and
aims to serve as a bridge between the
Myanmar and Korean insurance industries.
From this point of view, Dongbu
will do its best to help the development of Myanmars insurance sector,
he said.
We know that Myanmar is seeking
to expand the competitive force of its
financial sector, said Lee Baek-Soon,
South Korean Ambassador to Myanmar. The development of insurance

We will allow
international
insurance companies
to operate here if they
fulfill the criteria.
Dr Maung Maung Thein
Deputy minister for finance

companies, that reduce the burden


and the risks for entrepreneurs, is essential in doing business, along with
the development of the economy, he
said.
Dongbu Insurance was established
in 1962, as South Koreas first auto
maker. Currently, it is a South Koreanrepresented insurance company offering services for casualty insurance including motor, fire, marine cargo and
health insurance.
It has operations in the US, China
and Southeast Asia, as well as South
Korea, and is looking to expand its
business.
Dongbu chair Kim Jeong-Nam said
Myanmars insurance market will be
one of the more important markets
in Southeast Asia. Myanmar has also
gradually improved its financial market, and has the possibility for largescale development.
We are pleased we can open our
representative office in Yangon, as the
first South Korean insurer in Myanmar, he said.
A number of foreign companies
have received permission to open
Myanmar branch offices, including
companies from Japan and the United
States. Translation by Khant Lin Oo
and Thiri Min Htun

HTOO THANT
thanhtoo.npt@gmail.com
THE Ministry of Commerce is preparing a law aimed at closing the widening trade deficit.
The Safeguard Law will allow
for countermeasures against unfair
practices, such as instituting an antidumping taxes on those selling below
cost to corner the market, and countervailing duties, which aim to neutralise foreign subsidies.
Pyithu Hluttaw representative U
Win Myint, representing Yangons
Hlaing township, said the government
should be prepared to implement preventative measures against excessive
imports.
While Myanmar is a member of the
World Trade Organisation and must
abide by its guidelines, it must also be
concerned with possible negative effects from removing tariffs and trade
barriers.
Our draft of the Safeguard Law has
reached the second stage, and we are
discussing it with government departments, said deputy minister for commerce U Pwint San. Work on the third
stage will start on May 13, as the working committee holds meetings with

government departments, organisations and private businesses.


U Win Myint said some entrepreneurs are worried that lowered trade
barriers may result in a consistent trade
deficit for the country. The ASEAN Free
Trade Zone is to open at the end of
2015, and while Myanmar is somewhat
insulated until 2018, it will ultimately
have to drop its trade barriers.
In the past, taxes could be targeted
about foreign companies, but the new
commercial law removes much of this
discretionary power, he said.
Deputy minister U Pwint San said
many international countries have reduced their trade barriers to zero, but
still maintain the powers to safeguard
the market against those dumping
products or unfairly subsidising their
own production.
Pyithu Hluttaw speaker Thura U
Shwe Mann said he suggested the law
be drawn up as soon as possible, to
submit it to the combined Pyidaungsu
Hluttaw in June.
We want to give our hluttaw a
suitable amount of time to discuss the
bill, he said. If its submitted by June,
it can be discussed for two months in
the hluttaw. Translation by Zar Zar
Soe and Thiri Min Htun

10 Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 13, 2015

MANDALAY

Carving a niche in jade


SHWEGU THITSAR

HLAING KYAW SOE

MANDALAYS jade market fills up


every morning with businesspeople intent on a deal. Hundreds of
little shops lay out their precious
stones, and potential buyers cruise
their stalls looking for a deal. The
vast majority of the purchased jade
eventually finds its way to China,
where most of the stones are cut
and made into jewellery.
There are a few craftspeople at
Mandalays Mahar Aung Myay market who stay out of the buying and
selling fray, but instead work the
precious stones into statues.
Yet the business is small compared to the volume of jade moving
through the market. Most stones
are ultimately crafted into jewellery in China, meaning the financial benefits of the artistry go to
foreign craftspeople.
Mandalay craftspeople say they
need to be more familiar with modern techniques to compete with
Chinese carvings.
Ko Kyaw Hein, who has more
than 20 years experience in the
business, said he is careful to produce carvings that suit Chinese
buyers, such as floral designs and
lockets in the form of leaves.
We have to make fashionable
sculptures, so we look at images
from Chinese catalogues, he said.
So, we can say that we are also
learning from China about producing better sculptures.
Improving the quality of Myanmar-produced statues is not only a
matter of know-how. Chinese craftspeople often have access to larger
investments to purchase the devices used to create beautiful jade
works of art.
We need modern machines,
such as polishing devices, to be
able to compete with Chinese carvings, he said.
Other jade carvers say demand
may evolve over time, with more
room for Myanmar-style designs.
Carved jade dealer U Myo Zaw
said he reckons Myanmar-style
carvings could be popular on the
international market, if high-quality designs can be created.
For instance, Myanmar-style
lion carvings look different than
Chinese-style lion carvings. While

Marga
warns
against
untrue
rumours
CONTINUED FROM BUSINESS 8

Finished jade statues are ready for sale. Photo: Staff

most lions for export are currently in the Chinese style, that could
change in the future.
Myanmar jade carvings are currently selling in the Chinese market. If Myanmar carvings wants to
take a share of the international
market, Myanmar jade carvings
must reflect Myanmar designs,
while including modern machinery
and better sculptors, who can teach
youngsters, he said.
Myanmar jade carvings have
weaknesses in polishing, and the
worksmanship needs to be more tidy.
Most locally produced carvings
are first made with machines, with
the finishing touches added by hand.
Sculptures made with quality stones
and better worksmanship of course
attract higher prices though for
jade particularly, assessing value is
something of an art in itself.
Sculptor Ko Kyaw Hein said
he reckons the industry could be
greatly benefited by a training
school in jade carving.
Carving is a slow art that can
take three or four years to learn.
U Yone Mu, chair of the Myanmar Gems and Jewellery Entrepeneurs Association, said a gems
training school is being built in
Nay Pyi Taw.
Chinese experts will train local
craftspeople in working jade and

Jade workers in Mandalay finish their work. Photo: Kaung Htet

gems, following agreement between the two countries.


The association has pursued
several plans to add value to locally
produced gems in order to boost
the export and domestic markets,
said U Yone Mu, adding that this
process would take time and require industry support.
For years weve been selling
raw gems because we dont have
the knowledge or the technique to
work them. Chinese people revered
and cherish jade, which is often
carved with Chinese zodiac signs.
But we dont have the skills to do
this ourselves, he said.
We will send a study tour to
China to learn about their culture

and customs before the school


opens, he added. I would like to
urge local entrepreneurs to work
together in trying to create a finished product market. If not, we
look like we are serving the interest of their traders.
Producing local statues is no
easy task.
Some images take four days to
be cut, and Chinese traders are very
exacting about the quality they will
purchase for export.
Recently, Chinese traders have
been keen on monkey statutes, images of smiling people and statues
of the Kwan Yin Goddess.
Proficiency in jade sculptures
depends on learners study, creativity and aptitude, he said.
The price of jade sculptures varies widely depending on the quality
and size, with standard prices in
Mandalay of between K30,000 at
the low end up to K1 million or
sometimes beyond.
Besides the jade school, the industry is looking at other ways to
improve local products and capture
more value-add inside the country.
Myanmar sponsored the third
International Gems and Jewellery
U Myo Zaw Expo at the Myanmar Gems MuJade carver seum on Kabar Aye Pagoda Road
from March 27 to 31.
The goal was to study advanced
technology in cutting and polishing, with an eye to extending these
skills in the local industry. Experts
from over 20 countries took part,
including from as far afield as Vietnam, Italy and Germany.
Myanmar Gems and Jewellery
Association secretary (2) U Tun Hla
Aung said the polished gems displayed during the show were not
for sale.
Some countries produce fewer
stones than Myanmar, but they have
a big market share because of technology. We must study it, he said.
Ma Myintzu, an official at the
exposition, said Myanmar is rich in
natural resources such as jade and
rubies, but lacks the other factors
that make successful exporters.
We are studying the advanced
technology used in cutting and polishing. If we can use that machinery, our gems and jewellery market
will be wider, she said.
While many in the industry are
trying to capture higher value inside
the country, there is a long way to
go before the Mandalay craftspeople
are international leaders.
Translation by Zar Zar Soe
and Thiri Min Htun

Myanmar jade
carvings have
weaknesses in
polishing, and the
worksmanship needs
to be more tidy.

Other experts have entered the debate. U Thant Myint-U, a noted historian as well as founder and chair
of the Yangon Heritage Trust, tweeted in February that it was a brave
decision for Yangon government to
suspend a project near Shwedagon.
Yesterday, Yangon Heritage Trust
vice chair and director Daw Moe
Moe Lwin said the organisation
welcomed the regional government
and MICs decision to stop the current works in order to make a full
reassessment of the Marga project.
Being next to the nationally
significant Shwedagon Pagoda and
other historic religious sites, this
project should be considered very
carefully for its potential impacts
before any decision is made, she
said.
Any proposed project in the vicinity of the Shwedagon or other
important cultural heritage sites
must be carefully assessed for their
heritage, environmental and social impacts before any decision is
made.

If they build near


sensitive buildings,
care must be
taken and designs
done with skilled
technical engineers.
U Zaw Zaw Aye
Construction expert

Daw Moe Moe Lwin also said the


trust would like to see careful assessments of the long-term impacts
of the project. She added that no
YHT staff or management has met
with representatives of Dagon City
or provided advice to the project.
Independent experts said that
while the five projects are near
sensitive Shwedagon Pagoda, there
are many similar instances around
the world where construction
has taken place near important
structures.
U Zaw Zaw Aye, managing director of SEAFCO (Myanmar), a
firm with experience building large
projects on a contract basis, said
experienced designers and firms
can build foundations in a way that
does not affect other nearby structures. The five paused projects are
about 500 metres (1640 feet) from
Shwedagon at their closest point.
If they build near sensitive
buildings, care must taken and
there must be good plans and designs done with skilled technical
engineering then the projects can
be built, he said.
In the world, there are so many
buildings that are near important
buildings, but sensitive construction is still completed.
He added Shwedagon Pagoda is
not only iconic, but a religious site,
meaning there are many emotions
tied to the project, which may also
affect decisions .
Additional reporting by
Jeremy Mullins

International Business 11

www.mmtimes.com
NEW DELHI

Modi looks to rival China for investment


INDIAS Prime Minister Narendra
Modi will take his global investment push to China this week, as
Asias rival superpowers look to
put aside a festering border dispute and identify areas of economic cooperation.
Mr Modi will fly out for his first
visit as premier to China before
heading to South Korea where he
will also seek help to upgrade Indias creaking infrastructure.
After Mr Modi hosted Chinas
President Xi Jingping last year in
his home state of Gujarat, Mr Xi
will return the favour by giving him
a tour of his ancestral home province of Shaanxi before they head to
Beijing.
Mr Modi will also meet business chiefs in the financial hub of
Shanghai, seeking to deliver on
election promises for foreign investment in Indias crumbling rail
and other infrastructure.
I firmly believe this visit to
China will strengthen the stability, development and prosperity of
Asia, Mr Modi wrote on Sina Weibo, Chinas version of Twitter, of the
three-day visit that begins May 14.
Despite a reputation as a hardline nationalist, Mr Modi moved
quickly to engage with Beijing after
winning power last May. His main
focus in his first year since taking
office has been to revive Indias
stuttering economy, courting a list
of major economic powerhouses
such as the United States, Japan
and Germany.
Ties between China and India

have long been strained over the


border dispute and Beijings recent
push to forge closer ties with countries in Indias backyard has caused
some alarm in New Delhi.
But in a sign of Mr Modis pragmatic approach toward Beijing, he
has appeared relaxed about Chinas
ambitions, saying it has a right to
seek greater influence.
During Mr Xis visit to India last
September the first visit by a Chinese president in eight years the
two men spoke of their desire to
place cooperation above competition and ensure tranquility along
their border.
The two countries fought a brief
but bloody border war in 1962 over
the northeastern Indian state of
Arunachal Pradesh, areas of which
Beijing claims as South Tibet.
However, in an interview with
Time magazine last week, Mr Modi
said that the two countries have
shown great maturity in recent
decades over the border issue and
were both committed to economic
cooperation.
For his part, Chinese Premier Li
Keqiang said the boundary question is a problem left over from history, albeit a difficult one for the
two countries.
Phunchok Stobdan, a China expert at Delhis Institute of Defence
Studies and Analysis, said mutual
mistrust remained below the surface but Mr Modi knows there is little point in being confrontational.
China is our immediate neighbour so there are compelling reasons

An Indian pedestrian walks past the entrance to a Chinese restaurant in the


Chinatown area of Kolkata. Photo: AFP

for India to be mellow with Beijing,


said Mr Stobdan.
Its a very pragmatic thing to
understand and recognise Chinas
strength rather than try and compete with them. Cooperation with
China is the need of the hour as far
as India is concerned.
Mr Li told India Today magazine
that China stands ready to deepen

our strategic and cooperative partnership as well as economic ties


that include two Chinese industrial
parks in India.
Cooperation between China
and India is a huge treasure house
waiting to be discovered, the premier said.
Analysts said Mr Modi would be
seeking greater access to Chinas

markets for its vast pharmaceuticals industry, and progress on


funding for Indian infrastructure
projects.
There will clearly be a focus on
trade and on infrastructure, such
as the development of high-speed
rail, said Shi Yinhong, professor of
international relations at Beijings
Renmin University.
China is Indias biggest trading
partner with two-way commerce
totalling $71 billion in 2014. But
Indias trade deficit with China has
soared from just $1 billion in 200102 to more than $38 billion last
year, Indian figures show.
Trade will also be the main focus
of Mr Modis two-day visit to South
Korea which begins on May 18 after
a stopover in Mongolia.
As well as talks with President
Park Geun-Hye, Mr Modi is also expected to meet business leaders.
Oh Hwa-Suk, of the Seoul-based
India Economy Research Institute,
said Korean firms such as Samsung,
Hyundai and LG have become major players since India opened its
doors to foreign investors two decades ago, and others were hoping to
reap similar benefits.
South Korea has made far less
investment in India than other
Asian rivals like China or Japan
despite the countrys vast growth
potential, he said.
And India, given its rocky relations with the regional rival China,
is more likely to be keen on attracting investment from South Korea.
AFP

12 International Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 13, 2015

SHANGHAI

Tesla to adopt Chinese


charging standards
TESLA will adopt Chinas future
standard for charging electric vehicles, a company statement said,
in an issue which has been a barrier to sales for the US firm in the
worlds largest auto market.
Teslas imported electric vehicles now use a plug based on the
European standard, which is incompatible with the current Chinese standard, Tesla officials have
said.
But Tesla has pledged to make
its vehicles match Chinas charging standard, which is still under
review, said the statement released late on May 11.
Tesla will also provide conversion devices for vehicles to realise perfect compatibility with the
new standard, it said.
China is currently formulating
its own standards for electric vehicles including charging, the Ministry of Industry and Information
Technology said in September, but
gave no timing.
Solving the charging problem is
the top priority in promoting pureelectric cars, Zhu Xiaotong, Teslas
general manager for the China region, said in the statement.
Tesla will fully cooperate on
the development of the national
standards and construction of
public charging infrastructure,
he added.
The company has struggled in
the Chinese market despite early
positive media coverage, building
up an inventory of unsold cars
and laying off staff.
The founder of the United

SHANGHAI

Strange timing as
Shanghai Composite
declines after lunch
IT is the most dangerous hour in
the Chinese stock market when
the worlds biggest boom suddenly
goes bust.
The time is 1:20 to 2:20pm, and
its losses stand out in a rally that
added 545 points, or 15 percent, to
the Shanghai Composite Index over
the past 30 days.
In that hour alone, the equity
gauge dropped 359 points. It fell
in 19 of 30 sessions, the most consistent declines among rolling onehour periods when the Shanghai
bourse was open for trading.

PM

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (left) pauses for photos with Tesla CEO
Elon Muskat at Tesla headquarters in Palo Alto, California, last month. Photo: AFP

Tesla will also


provide conversion
devices for vehicles
to realise perfect
compatibility with
the new standard.
Tesla statement

States-based firm, Elon Musk, earlier this year told the media, China
is the only place on Earth that we
have excess inventory.
Chinas electric car market remains small for now.
Electric and hybrid vehicle sales
in the country reached 26,581 in
the first quarter of this year, three
times the same period in 2014 but
still accounting for less than 1 percent of total sales, according to the
China Association of Automobile
Manufacturers.
AFP

1:20

Daily time that the Shanghai Composite


Index usually marks losses the largest
blemish on a bull run

So whats behind the losses?


Hao Hong, a strategist at Bocom
International Holdings in Hong
Kong, says large Chinese institutions are probably choosing that
time to place sell orders as they
gradually re-balance portfolios
to accommodate a 109pc surge in
shares trading in Shanghai over the

past year.
A competing theory comes from
William Wong, a director at Chinese brokerage Shenwan Hongyuan
Group.
He says overseas investors may
be reducing their positions, with
orders getting executed late in the
Shanghai day as European money
managers start to wake up.
Of course, patterns like these
tend to self-correct as more investors catch on.
Definitely people are looking
at it, said Brett McGonegal, executive managing director at Reorient
Group, a Hong Kong-based advisory
firm.
Once the needle moves, you
have a lot more that goes behind it.
Computers pick it up very quickly.
The declines may lure traders of
index futures, contracts that make
it easy to place leveraged bets on
intraday swings, according to Bocoms Hong.
Hong Kong and Shanghai have
also opened links between their two
markets.
In Chinas cash equities market,
where the Shanghai Composite rose
3pc on May 11, investors are not
allowed to trade the same shares
more than once in a single day.
Whatever the trends staying
power, it is yet another example of
how volatile Chinese stocks have
become as investors grapple over
what is in store for the nations
longest bull market.
Bloomberg

International Business 13

www.mmtimes.com
ATHENS

Greece narrowly avoids default again as


more trouble gathers on the horizon
GREECE narrowly averted a default
yesterday that could have seen it
crashing out of the euro, but warned it
faced another cash crunch within two
weeks without a bailout deal with its
EU financiers.
Athenss radical new government
managed to scrape enough cash together on May 11 to place the order
for the repayment of 750 million euros (US$840 million) of IMF loans,
the finance ministry said, pledging to
honour both its international and domestic debt obligations.
Greece won some support in the
latest round of debt talks as it battles
to keep itself solvent, but eurozone finance ministers demanded more key
reforms before they agree to release
the final 7.2 billion euro tranche of its
EU-IMF bailout.
We welcomed the progress that
has been achieved so far ... At the same
time, we acknowledged that more
time and effort are needed to bridge
the gaps on the remaining open issues, a Eurogroup statement said after the meeting in Brussels.
But Greek Finance Minister Yanis
Varoufakis leading the charge for the
anti-austerity government of Prime
Minister Alexis Tsipras admitted
Athens faced an imminent crisis as it
struggles to keep up repayments on its
240 billion euro bailout.
The liquidity issue is a terribly urgent issue. Its common
knowledge;lets not beat around the
bush, said former economics professor, who has been at loggerheads
with his international counterparts.
From the perspective [of timing],
we are talking about the next couple
of weeks.
Greece faces a punishing debt re-

payment schedule in coming weeks,


owing another 1.5 billion euros to
the IMF in June and then another 3
billion euros to the European Central Bank (ECB) in July and August.
Athens has been squeezing funds
from the central and local governments to be able to meet its payments,
but mayors are beginning to resist.
World stock markets fell in response to the news, with Asian shares
dropping at the open after Wall Street
snapped a two-day rally, while the
euro was trading at $1.1162 in Tokyo
from $1.1208 on May 8.
Led by Germany, the Europeans
still expect a rigorous regime of reforms from Athens including cuts to
pensions, but Mr Tsiprass leftist government in power since January has
so far refused to deliver on the terms
of the bailout.
Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem insisted that a full deal was
needed for Greece to get its remaining bailout funds, but raised the possibility of breaking up the reform
program into steps and then making
staggered disbursements.
But the eurozone needed more
detailed proposals from Greece, the
Dutchman said, adding there was a
lot of work behind the scenes in Athens that needs to be done.
EU economic affairs commissioner Pierre Moscovici said that on
issues like pensions and the labour
market, Greece had to make alternative proposals for areas of program
that it rejects.
Mr Varoufakis said he hoped for a
deal in coming days.
Meanwhile Germany raised the issue of a possible referendum, a prospect already mooted by the Greeks.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis arrives for a cabinet meeting at the prime ministers office in Athens on May 10. Photo: AFP

Maybe this would be the right


measure to let the Greek people decide if it is ready to accept what is
necessary, Finance Minister Wolfgang
Schaeuble said.
While Mr Varoufakis said the idea
was not on our radar at the moment,
it revives a pledge made by Mr Tspiras
at the end of April that, if Greeces financers push his government to a deal
that contravenes their election promises, it would be put to a public vote.

Greece was hoping that the symbolic statement of progress won from the
eurozone on May 11 will help persuade
the ECB to keep emergency funds
flowing to Greeces fragile banks.
The statement is a clear sign that
the process is ongoing, and thats
something, a European official involved in the talks said on condition
of anonymity. But will it be enough
for the ECB? I dont know.
Mr Tsipras, whose hard-left Syriza

JAKARTA

party swept to power on an anti-austerity platform, has called for an honourable compromise, and the government reportedly plans a number of
concessions to win over its creditors.
These include a new VAT rate,
along with a restriction on early retirement and an unpopular property
tax that would enable the government
to save billions of euros as demanded
by its creditors.
AFP

NEW YORK

Corporate tax cuts coming to Indonesia to EU halts


Alstomkeep companies from fleeing abroad
INDONESIA will gradually cut its corporate tax rate to discourage companies from booking profits in lower-tax
countries such as Singapore, President
Joko Widodos top aide said.
The government will cut the rate
from 25 percent currently to maybe
17.8 or 17.5pc, Luhut Panjaitan, the
presidents chief of staff, said in an
interview in Jakarta on May 8. The
move adds to plans for a tax amnesty
for citizens as the government tries to
lift revenue collection.
Were going to do it, its already
being ordered by the president, Mr
Luhut, 67, said at his office in the state
palace. Its not going to be too much
gap from Singapore, added Mr Luhut,
a former ambassador to the neighbouring city-state.
Mr Widodo, known as Jokowi, is
focusing on shoring up state coffers as
he seeks funds to improve the nations
infrastructure and reach growth of
7pc. A decline in government spending contributed to a further slowdown
in Southeast Asias biggest economy
last quarter, and Indonesias tax collection is falling short of target so far
this year.
Economic growth, which cooled
to a more than five-year low of 4.7pc
from a year earlier in the three
months through March, could recover
to 5.3pc this quarter after the government started to spend its budget in
April, Mr Luhut said. The effects of
increased state spending will be seen
in June or July, he said.

The tax cuts will narrow the gap


with Singapores rate of 17pc to stop
transfer pricing, Mr Luhut said. The
term typically refers to the practice
of companies transfering goods to a
parent overseas before selling internationally and then paying a different tax rate on profits abroad. Indonesia is the worlds largest exporter of
palm oil, coal for power stations and
refined tin.

some retention of profits onshore,


yet it remains to be seen whether
that would offset the lower levy, said
Wellian Wiranto, an economist at
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation
in Singapore.
It comes at a tricky time as well
when the government is trying to
boost the overall tax take, said Mr
Wiranto. If Indonesia offers enough

[Corporate taxes]
are not going to be
too much gap from
Singapore.
Luhut Panjaitan
Presidents chief of staff

A money changer counts rupiah


banknotes for customers in Jakarta on
May 8. Photo: AFP

A lot of big companies dont pay,


said Mr Luhut, the founder of PT
Toba Sejahtra, a group with interests
in coal, power and agriculture. Mr
Luhut said he paid 1 trillion rupiah
(US$76 million) in tax per year in the
past three years.
The government is closely supervising tax officers in its drive to tackle
evasion, he said.
The planned tax cuts may prompt

investment opportunities overall, corporations would be incentivised to


keep their earnings onshore on their
own accord for better returns.
Mr Luhut, previously a four-star
general in the armys special forces
and a trade and industry minister
under former President Abdurrahman Wahid, was hired by Jokowi in
December, two months after the president took office and inaugurated his
cabinet. His mission is to advise the
president on the economy, politics and
relations between parliament and political parties, he said.

Jokowi wants his ministers to move


quickly, and a cabinet reshuffle cant
be ruled out in the coming months, Mr
Luhut said.
Anything is quite possible, said
Mr Luhut, who maintains a military
bearing and a clipped mustache. I
think the president could evaluate
this very well and he will make up his
mind anytime in June or July whether
he can do it after Lebaran, he said, referring to the Indonesian name for the
Muslim celebration of Eid al-Fitr.
Political divisions between the
government and an opposition led by
Prabowo Subianto, a former commando who served with Mr Luhut, have
improved in recent months, the chief
of staff said. He declined to comment
on speculation that the National Mandate Party and Golkar party could seek
to switch sides to join the Jokowi government in return for cabinet seats.
The government will implement
electronic systems to improve tax collection, to boost the number of individual tax payers and reach a tax-togross domestic product ratio of 15pc,
Mr Luhut said.
The government is starting a campaign to improve collection by allowing citizens to avoid penalties if they
pay five years of unpaid taxes, Finance
Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said
in an interview earlier this month.
Indonesias tax-to-GDP ratio is
only 11pc, Mr Luhut said. Theres
something wrong with this country.
Bloomberg

GE review

EUROPEAN competition officials


have suspended their review of General Electrics proposed US$14.1 billion acquisition of the energy business of French rival Alstom, a GE
spokesperson said late on May 11.
GE believes the suspension is
procedural and does not signify a
major barrier to winning approval,
GE spokesperson Seth Martin added.
We have been notified by the
[European] Commission that they
have temporarily stopped the clock
on the investigation process, Mr
Martin said. We continue to have a
constructive dialogue with the Commission.
He added that GE is willing to
explore remedies to get this deal
done, provided the deal economics
are preserved.
The US industrial giant has yet
to receive a statement of objections
from the agency and so has not
specified any concessions, he added.
Mr Martin said the suspension
means the time frame for winning
approval has been pushed back
from a deadline of August 6 to
around August 20.
EU competition authorities in
February launched a probe of the
GE deal, citing fears that the transaction would lead to higher prices
and harm innovation in the sector.
AFP

14 THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 13, 2015

15

World

WORLD EDITOR: Kayleigh Long

Hollande calls for


easing up
on Cuba

Scores dead after


flare-up
in Macedonia

WORLD 17

WORLD 16

DHAKA

JUBA

IN PICTURES

UN pulls out after flareup in South Sudan


OVER 300,000 South Sudanese civilians are without life-saving aid
in the northern battleground state
of Unity, the United Nations said on
May 11, as it and aid agencies pulled
out due to heavy fighting.
The violence is some of the worst
in the countrys 17-month-old civil
war, as government forces push south
from the state capital Bentiu into an
opposition zone around the town of
Leer, home to some of the countrys
once-lucrative oil fields.
Ongoing hostilities in Unity state
have now obliged all non-governmental organisations and UN agencies to
evacuate staff from Leer and other locations, UN aid chief in South Sudan
Toby Lanzer said in a statement.
As a consequence, over 300,000
civilians who are in need of emergency relief, including food aid and medical services, do not currently have
access to such life-saving assistance.
On May 8 the UN said that up to
100,000 people had been uprooted in
the first week of May alone, following
a marked spike in hostilities.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
announced on May 10 it was forced to
pull its foreign staff out of Leer and
halt all medical services amid fears
the rebel-held town was about to
come under imminent attack from
government forces.
The International Committee of
the Red Cross has also warned that
escalating fighting between forces
loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebel

leader Riek Machar was forcing thousands of civilians to flee for their lives
yet again.
Leer, the birthplace of Machar,
was ransacked by government forces
in January 2014. Gunmen looted the
MSF hospital, murdering patients in
their beds and razing the building to
the ground.
MSF has since rebuilt the hospital,
the only referral facility in opposition
areas.
South Sudans civil war began in
December 2013 and has been characterised by ethnic massacres, rape
and attacks on civilians and medical
facilities.
Peace talks in neighbouring Ethiopia have so far failed to reach any
lasting agreement, or even an effective ceasefire.
The violence, which has escalated
into an ethnic conflict involving multiple armed groups, has killed tens
of thousands of people in the worlds
youngest nation, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011.
It has also left over half of the countrys 12 million people in need of aid,
with 2.5 million people facing severe
food insecurity, according to the UN.
Renewed violence in southern
Unity comes at a time when stocks
of food are depleted, and precisely at
the height of the traditional planting
season when civilians could be planting their crops in order to reap a harvest later this year, Mr Lanzer added.
AFP

Photo: AFP

Patients are
carried out
of a hospital
building
as a 7.4
magnitude
earthquake
hits the
country, in
Kathmandu
yesterday.

Atheist blogger hacked to death


A MASKED gang wielding machetes
hacked a secular blogger to death yesterday in northeastern Bangladesh in
the third such deadly attack by suspected Islamists since February.
Police said that Ananta Bijoy Das
had been murdered in broad daylight
as he headed to work at a local bank
in the city of Sylhet, an attack that fellow writers said highlighted a culture
of impunity.
Kamrul Hasan, commissioner of
Sylhet police, said that a group of
around four masked attackers had attacked Das with machetes at around
8:30am on a busy street in Bangladeshs fifth-largest city.
They chased him down the street
and first attacked his head with their
machetes and then attacked him all
over his body, Mr Hasan told AFP.
After the attackers fled into the
crowds, Mr Das was rushed to hospital
but declared dead on arrival, police and
medics said.
Commissioner Hasan would not be
drawn on the motive for the attack but
fellow writers said Das had been on a
hit-list drawn up by militants who were
behind the recent killing of a blogger
who was a US citizen.
Imran Sarker, head of a Bangladeshi
bloggers association, confirmed to AFP
that Das was an atheist who regularly
blogged for Mukto-Mona.
The website used to be moderated
by Avijit Roy, a Bangladeshi-born US
citizen who was himself hacked to

death in the capital Dhaka in February.


We condemn this heinous killing.
It once again confirms our fear that
there is a culture of impunity in Bangladesh. Anyone can now get away with
killing a progressive free thinker, Mr
Sarker said.
Debasish Debu, a friend of Mr Das,
said that the 33-year-old banker was
also an editor of a quarterly magazine
called Jukti (Logic) and headed the
Sylhet-based Science and Rationalist
Council.
In recent months he received
threats from Islamist extremists for his
writings. He was on their hit-list, Mr
Debu told AFP from Sylhet.
He was hacked on the head repeatedly, the same way Roy was attacked by
the assailants, Mr Debu added.
According to the Mukto-Mona site,
Mr Das won the publications annual
Rationalist Award in 2006 for his deep
and courageous interest in spreading
secular and humanist ideals and messages.
While most of Mr Dass output for
Mukto-Mona focused on science and
evolution, he wrote a number of blogs
that criticised some aspects of Islam
and also of Hinduism.
He also wrote a poem eulogising
the famed Bangladeshi secular writer
Taslima Nasreen, who fled to Europe in
1994 after protests by Islamists.
In comments on Facebook posted
early yesterday, Mr Das slammed the
local member of parliament from the

ruling Awami League party for criticising one of the countrys top secular and
science fiction writers.
The murder comes just a week after
Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent
(AQIS) claimed responsibility for the
deadly attack on Roy on February 26
in which his wife was badly injured.
An Islamist has been arrested over his
murder.
Another atheist blogger, Washiqur
Rahman, was hacked to death in
Dhaka in March. Two madrasa students have been arrested over that
attack.
Bangladesh is an officially secular
country but more than 90 percent of
its 160 million population are Muslims.
The country has seen a rise in attacks by religious extremists in recent
years. Supporters of Bangladeshs largest Islamist party, which is banned
from standing in elections, have been
accused of being behind a spate of firebombings since the turn of the year
aimed at toppling the government.
Since 2013, at least five bloggers
have been attacked by Islamists after
another hardline group, Hefazat-e-Islam, publicly sought the execution of
atheists who organised mass protests
against the rise of political Islam.
Hefazat, led by Islamic seminary
teachers, also staged a massive counter protest against the bloggers in May
2013 that unleashed violence, leaving
nearly 50 people dead.
AFP

KATHMANDU

KHARTOUM

Stability concerns as
clashes break out in Darfur

Nepal reels after 7.3-magnitude quake

DOZENS of people were killed in


clashes between two Arab tribes in
Sudans troubled East Darfur state on
May 11, a politician told AFP.
Fighting broke out between the
Rezeigat and Maaliya groups around
the Abu Karinka area of East Darfur
state, the latest in a series of bloody
ethnic and tribal conflicts in the region.
The Rezeigat killed 60 people in
their attack on the Maaliya and when
the Rezeigat departed they left behind them 36 dead bodies and a number of wounded who have not been
counted yet, said Hamdan Tirab, a
member of the states parliament for
Abu Karinka, said by telephone.
Access to Darfur is strictly limited,
so it is not possible to independently
verify the toll.
Fighting started at around 11am
(9am GMT) and continued until dusk,
and heavy weapons and government
vehicles were used, Mr Tirab said.
A Rezeigat leader said on condition of anonymity, We lost 40 of our
men in the fighting that took place in
the Abu Karinka area today, but I do
not know how many were killed from
the other side.
The latest violence comes amid
long-standing tensions between the
two tribes over land ownership rights
and allegations of cattle theft.
A government-initiated peace conference between the tribes in February ended without agreement.
Maaliya youth leader Azraq Has-

A NEW earthquake and several


powerful aftershocks hit devastated
Nepal yesterday, killing at least four
people and sending terrified residents running into the streets of the
traumatised capital.
The 7.3-magnitude quake struck
at 12:35pm, some 76 kilometres (47
miles) east of Kathmandu, the US
Geological Survey said, more than
two weeks after a 7.8-magnitude
quake which killed more than 8,000
people.
Yesterdays quake was felt as far
away as New Delhi, and officials
said it caused buildings to collapse
in Chinese-controlled Tibet.
A second tremor of 6.3 magnitude struck around half an hour
later, followed by aftershocks, according to the USGS.
According to the reports that we
have received from the ground, four
people have been killed due to collapsed buildings, said Paul Dillon,
spokesperson for the International
Organization for Migration.
All the deaths were in the Chautara district, east of Kathmandu,
which suffered huge damage in the
April 25 disaster.
The ground swayed for close to a
minute from the first tremor yesterday, as sirens wailed.
We felt it and suddenly there
were huge crowds running up and
down, said 63-year-old resident
Suresh Sharma, who was in a vegetable market at the time.

san Humeida told AFP by phone the


Rezeigat attacked Abu Karinka using
all kinds of heavy weapons, including
rocket launchers.
Tribesmen had been building up
in the area before the fighting broke
out, a resident of Abu Karinka said by
phone.
For three days, both tribes have
been massing in the Abu Karinka
area, Musa Hamed said.
The United Nations said it was
deeply worried by the violence.
I am very concerned by this
outbreak of fighting, the UNs interim humanitarian coordinator for
Sudan, Geert Cappelaere, said in a
statement.
I call on all parties to stop fighting immediately, exercise restraint to
prevent further escalation and support mediation efforts to resolve the
underlying causes of this conflict.
Darfur has been wracked by conflict since 2003, when ethnic insurgents launched a campaign against
the Arab-dominated government of
President Omar al-Bashir.
The conflict has cost 300,000
lives and forced some 2.5 million
people to flee their homes, according
to the UN.
Mr Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court over alleged
war crimes in the region.
Rising criminality and disputes
over resources in parts of the region
have further destabilised Darfur.
AFP

CATHERINE TRAUTWEIN

The last time we had the big


quake I ran out of my house and
barely escaped. This one felt just like
that one. I cant believe its happening again.
Although the latest quake did
not appear to be as severe as the
April 25 one, residents were terrified
that buildings which were already
badly damaged could come crashing
down.
The IOMs Mr Dillon told The
Myanmar Times that the tremor
had caused damage in Kathmandu,
though to what extent remains unclear, adding that cracks have appeared in one building since the
quake rolled through.
Mr Dillon had been driving and
listening to music when the earthquake set the streets of Kathmandu
rolling. Hundreds of people fled
structures into the open.
Continuing aftershocks of variable magnitudes have kept people
from heading back inside.
This major event has just driven
home how fragile things can be in a
seismically active area, he said.
Meanwhile, aid workers and citizens in Nepal must deal with a fresh
disaster whose full impact remains
unknown.
Mr Dillon called it early to speculate on the quakes impact on existing relief efforts. He said he had
heard word-of-mouth reports of
landslides.
Any seismic activity that undermines the infrastructure is going to
have a knockdown impact on the

delivery of aid, he said.


Kathmandus Tribhuvan International Airport, the main entry point
for flights bringing in international
aid since the April quake, was closed
anew Tuesday as a precaution.
Whole villages were destroyed in
that quake while large parts of Kathmandu were destroyed, leaving tens
of thousands homeless.
Relief teams from around the
world are still working to provide
water, food and medical assistance
to Nepalis following the quake.
At the main hospital in Kathmandu, patients injured in last
months quake were being wheeled
out in wheelchairs.
People could be seen frantically
calling their families as medical attendants rushed to set up tents in
the parking lot.
The capital was filled with the
sound of car horns as desperate residents rushed to get back home to
check on loved ones.
Pramita Tamrakar, who had only
just reopened her familys furniture
store, said she had rushed out onto
the street after grabbing her eightyear-old son and 12-yea--old daughter.
We thought the tremors had
ceased, so we thought we would
start work again, she told AFP.
I dont understand what is going
on. I saw in the news the day before
yesterday that the risk was lower, it
wouldnt happen again ... and today
we had a big one. I am very scared.
My children are also very scared.

Nepalese police urged people


to stay outside and avoid jamming
the fragile cellphone network.
Please stay in open field, help
us make free road, do not make
phone nw [network] busy. SMS is
suggested, said a message from
the national police services Twitter
account.
Nepals National Emergency
Operation Centre tweeted Pray to
Almighty: Keep all Nepalese Safe in
this difficult period of time.
The quake was also felt some
1000 kilometres away in the Indian
capital New Delhi where buildings
shook and office workers evacuated.
Other cities in northern India were also rocked, including
Bihar where television
footage showed residents gathering

on the streets and goods having


toppled over in shop windows.
A Chinese official at the Tibet regional seismological bureau said
there had been reports of damage
but no casualties.
Todays aftershock was felt
strongly in Zhangmu town of Shigatse city, the official who gave his
name as Chen told AFP.
According to local government,
some houses damaged by the previous earthquake collapsed. Since
residents were transferred to safe
areas last time and are still living
in tents, no casualties have been
reported so far.
While nearly all of those killed
by the April 25 quake were in Nepal, around 100 victims also died in
India and China.
With AFP

Nepal new quake


NEPAL

Epicentre
7.3-magnitude quake
Tuesday
CHINA

7.8-magnitude
April 25

INDIA

Gorkha
KATHMANDU

Mt Everest

60 km

Source: USGS

Investigators remove evidence from the scene of atheist blogger Ananta Bijoy Das murder yesterday. Photo: AFP

WASHINGTON

US gives green light to Arctic drilling


US President Barack Obamas administration has approved petroleum giant Shells request to drill for oil and
gas in the Arctic under certain conditions, despite opposition from environmental groups.
The May 11 decision by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
granted Shell the right to explore the
Chukchi Sea as long as the AngloDutch firm gets the correct permits
from the agencies that regulate the
environment and marine mammal
health.
We have taken a thoughtful approach to carefully considering potential exploration in the Chukchi
Sea, BOEM director Abigail Ross

Hopper said.
As we move forward, any offshore
exploratory activities will continue to
be subject to rigorous safety standards.
Environmental groups oppose
drilling in the Arctic due to the vulnerability of animals that are already
struggling with the melting sea ice
and the risk that an oil spill would
pose to the region.
Once again, our government
has rushed to approve risky and illconceived exploration in one of the
most remote and important places on
Earth, said Oceana deputy vice president Susan Murray.
In April 2010, the explosion of the
BP-leased Deepwater Horizon in the

Gulf of Mexico killed 11 people and


spewed 4.9 million barrels of oil into
the sea.
Shell put its drilling plans for the
Alaska Arctic on hold in 2013 following multiple embarrassing problems
with its two rigs.
Shell spokesperson Curtis Smith
said the companys revised plan for
exploration of the Chukchi Sea is
an important milestone and signals
the confidence regulators have in our
plan.
He added that operations are
scheduled to begin this summer, as
long as the remainder of our permits
be practical, and delivered in a timely
manner. AFP

16 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 13, 2015

MANILA

Flexing muscle in the South China Sea


TWO Japanese destroyers and one
of the Philippines newest warships
began historic naval exercises in the
flashpoint South China Sea yesterday, showcasing a deepening alliance
aimed at countering a rising China.
The day-long war games, the first
bilateral naval exercises between the
former World War II enemies, took
place less than 300 kilometres (186
miles) from a Philippine-claimed
shoal now under Chinese control.
Philippine authorities insisted
the exercises were merely focused on
building military capabilities, but security analysts said they were clearly
a signal to China over bitter maritime
territorial disputes.
First they demonstrate that Chinas Pacific neighbours are beginning
to balance against China, professor Michael Tkacik, a foreign policy
expert at the Texas-based Stephen F.
Austin State University, told AFP.
Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam,
and assorted other states are threatened by Chinas behaviour, even as
far away as India. Thus, the Philippines and Japan are jointly making
an important statement about how
seriously they view Chinas actions.
China has caused deep concern
regionally in recent years as it has
become more aggressive in staking
its claims to the South China Sea and
Japanese-claimed islands in the East
China Sea.
China insists it has sovereign
rights to nearly all of the South China
Sea.
However the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei have
competing claims to parts of the sea,
which is vital to the global shipping
industry and is In 2012, China took

A Philippines soldier stands on a beach during the combined South China Sea drill exercise. Photo: AFP

control of Scarborough Shoal, a rich


fishing ground within the Philippines exclusive economic zone and
more than 650km from the nearest
major Chinese landmass.
Chinese coastguard vessels have
since guarded the shoal and denied
Filipino fishermen access, triggering
a series of protests from the Philip-

pines that have been brushed aside in


Beijing.
Although the Philippine navy declined to say exactly where yesterdays exercises would take place, it
said the vessels would sail into the
South China Sea from the former US
Subic Bay naval base.
That base is about 270km south-

east of Scarborough Shoal.


A Philippine navy spokesperson
said the exercises were the first bilateral war games between the two
nations.
He said one of the main drills
would see an AW 109 helicopter from
the BRP Ramon Alcaraz, a frigate
acquired from the United States in

2012, flying to one of the Japanese destroyers when the three vessels meet
at sea.
It would be naive for anyone to
think this is just an ordinary joint exercise in the light of some assertive
actions by China in the South China
Sea, said Wilfrido Villacorta, an international relations lecturer at the
Manilas De La Salle University.
He described this as a natural
reaction by the Philippines after recent provocations.
Mr Villacorta cited in particular
Chinas recent flurry of reclamation
activities on reefs in the Philippineclaimed Spratlys archipelago, turning
them into islands capable of hosting
significant military outposts.
The Spratly islands are about
800km from Subic Bay.
Mr Tkacik said Japans naval presence in the South China Sea in support of the Philippines would likely
anger China.
We can fully expect loud protests
from China about Japan aggravating
the situation, he added.
But in fact it is China that is ignoring international law and its actions are instigating this balancing
behaviour between the Philippines
and Japan.
China has repeatedly rejected
allegations it is breaking international law in the South China Sea,
insisting it has sovereign rights to
the waters.
China and Japan are separately
engaged in a bitter and longstanding
row over ownership of a Japanesecontrolled island chain in the East
China Sea. They are known as Diaoyu
in China and Senkaku in Japan.
AFP

KUMANOVO

Terror charges laid following deadly shootout in Macedonia


THIRTY alleged gunmen were charged
with terror offences on April 11 after a
bloody shootout with Macedonian police which left 22 dead, including eight
police officers, and dozens of homes
destroyed in a town close to the border
with Kosovo.
The clashes in Kumanovo at the
weekend were the worst in Macedonia
for 14 years, and raised fears of a fresh
conflict similar to the countrys 2001
ethnic conflict.
But the opposition and analysts suggested the timing of the violence with
the government under huge pressure
over a series of alleged misdemeanours
was suspicious.
In the district where the shootout
took place several dozen houses and
around a dozen small narrow streets
populated by both Macedonians and
Albanians signs of large-scale destruction were everywhere to be seen.
Cars and houses were destroyed,
with some completely burned down,
and a large amount of debris lay on
the ground, while broken windows
and bullet holes were visible on almost
every house in the district.
Burning could still be smelled midday on May 11 in the area as dozens of
people who had fled their homes started to return, while some from other
parts of Kumanovo came to see what
had happened.
Basti Ramadan, a 77-year-old Albanian, stood in despair in front of
his house, whose roof and upper floor
were burned down. Cartridge cases
were scattered around the entrance of
the house.
I was awaken by grenades early on
Saturday morning. I immediately went
to the basement with my family and we
hid there until police came in the evening, Mr Ramadan told AFP.
We were taken to Skopje for questioning and released only on Sunday

morning. When we came back we


found our house destroyed and robbed.
I saw blood stains in a room on the
floor, the old man said in disbelief.
Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola
Gruevski claimed a particularly dangerous terrorist group of ethic Albanians had been planning a major attack
in the Balkan country.
Eighteen of the 30 men charged
were ethnic Albanians from neighbouring Kosovo, the prosecutor said. Leaders of the breakaway territorys top
leaders condemned any involvement
of Kosovans in the deadly shootings.
The incident came less then three
weeks after around 40 Kosovo Albanians briefly seized control of a police
station on Macedonias northern border, demanding the creation of an Albanian state in Macedonia.
The largest Albanian party in Macedonia, DUI, which is also Mr Gruevskis
coalition partner, led by former guerrila leader Ali Ahmeti, said in a statement that the security incidents in
recent months are not in line with our
strategic orientation and do not represent the interest of the Albanian nation
in the country and in the region.
The shooting erupted on May 9 at
dawn when police moved in on the
armed group. Eight officers were killed
and 37 injured, while 14 bodies were
found at the site.
Ethnic Albanians make up around
one quarter of Macedonias 2.1 million
population.
The 2001 Macedonian conflict with
ethnic Albanian rebels ended with an
agreement providing more rights to
the minority community. However, relations between ethnic Macedonians
and Albanians remain strained.
However, many questions about the
police operation were raised.
Some of Kumanovos inhabitants,
both Macedonians and Albanians,

People stand in the rubble of damaged houses after fighting between Macedonian police and an armed group in the town
of Kumanovo on May 11. Photo: AFP

told reporters they had no idea who


the gunmen were or where they came
from.
All this is created by the authorities, an Albanian in his 40s, who did
not want to reveal his name, told AFP.
Gruevski thinks this is going to
save him, but his days (in power) are
over as on May 17, the people will say
their word, he said, referring to a rally
planned by the main opposition Socialist SDSM opposition party scheduled
for May 17.
His Macedonian neighbour, who
also wanted to remain anonymous,
echoed his words: This is how Gruevski solves problems, but his power will

end after the rally, the 58-year-old


man said.
The violence in Kumanovo erupted
as Macedonia is embroiled in a deep
political crisis. Mr Gruevskis government is accused by the opposition of
wiretapping, covering up murder and
million-euro bribes.
Some analysts also questioned the
timing of the deadly clashes in Kumanovo amid growing discontent with
the government that has faced mounting street protests.
Its very suspicious, just when
the public opinion seems to be turning against the government, suddenly
there is a terrorist threat, said James

Ker-Lindsay a South East Europe researcher at the London School of Economics.


This is not to say there is no terrorist threat, there could be ... but the
trouble is that the trust in the government is so low now that even people
who usually dont buy into Balkan
conspiracy theories cannot dismiss the
idea that maybe this was orchestrated,
he told AFP.
Petar Silegov, of the SDSM, said
the Kumanovo violence would
not deter the SDSM from continuing with anti-government protests, including the May 10 rally.
AFP

World 17

www.mmtimes.com

IN PICTURES
Photo: AFP

Smoke billows
following an
air strike by
a Saudi-led
coalition on
May 11 in the
Yemeni capital
of Sanaa. The
raid targeted
an arms depot
in the Mount
Noqum area
on the eastern
outskirts
of Sanaa,
triggering
several blasts.

HAVANA

Hollande calls for end


to US Cuba embargo
FRENCH
President
Francois
Hollande has called for an end to
the US embargo on Cuba, during the
first visit by a Western leader to the
island since Washington and Havana
moved to restore ties.
Addressing the half-century-old
trade embargo ahead of meetings
with Fidel and Raul Castro on May
11, the brothers who have ruled
Cuba since its 1959 revolution, Mr
Hollande said France will do whatever possible to see that the measures that have so badly harmed
Cubas development can finally be
lifted, repealed.
Mr Hollande said his trip came
at a particularly important but also
uncertain time, as the United States
seeks to restore diplomatic relations
with Cuba and European countries
scramble to reinforce ties.
Mr Hollandes Cuba trip, the first
ever by a French leader, has highlighted the simultaneously cooperative and competitive relationship
between the United States and the
European Union as both look to increase business with Havana.
Asked if US President Barack
Obama would follow suit and
make his own visit, White House
spokesperson Josh Earnest said he
wouldnt rule it out over the course
of the next year.
Since announcing in December
that the United States and Cuba
would move to renew ties, Mr Obama
has used executive authority to
relax parts of the embargo, including
restrictions on travel and on sending
money to the island.
He has urged Congress to lift the
full embargo, in place since 1962, but
with both houses controlled by his
Republican opponents, he faces an
uphill political battle.
Cuba says what it calls the blockade has cost it more than US$100

billion.
Mr Hollande also urged Cuba to
open up its economy, saying there
was vast interest in doing business
with the island.
Of course, we would like to see
your rules relaxed and for our companies to be able to manage their
resources more freely, he told a business forum.
Thats not out of self-interest, its
to foster increased investment.
Raul Castro has presided over
gradual economic and social reforms
since taking over in 2006 from his big
brother Fidel, the leader of the revolution that ousted dictator Fulgencio
Batista and eventually made Cuba a
one-party communist state.
France has joined the Netherlands
and Spain in leading an EU push to
normalize relations with Cuba, suspended in 2003 over a crackdown on
journalists and activists.
The EU opened talks on restoring
ties in April 2014 aiming to persuade
Havana to improve its rights record.
The historic US-Cuban thaw has
lent new momentum to the process,
with Europe keen to position itself
politically and economically for when
the US embargo is eventually lifted.
Mr Hollande, who is traveling
with a delegation of French business leaders, said officials from the
two countries would sign a series of

Thats not out of


self-interest, its
to foster increased
investment.
Francois Hollande
French President

agreements focused on improved access to Latin American markets.


The visit follows a meeting on
May 10 between Raul Castro and
Pope Francis at the Vatican, where
the Cuban leader thanked the pontiff
for his role in brokering the historic
detente between Havana and Washington.
The pope will himself visit Cuba
from September 19 to 22, travelling
to Havana and the eastern cities of
Holguin and Santiago de Cuba.
Mr Hollande, who arrived in Havana late May 10, said it filled him
with great emotion to be the first
French leader to visit Cuba since it
gained independence in 1898.
He took time out Monday to go
for an unscheduled stroll along the
Prado, one of the capitals oldest avenues.
The French leader later held a
lengthy closed-door meeting with
Fidel Castro at the 88-year-old revolutionary leaders home.
Before me I had a man who
made history, Mr Hollande said,
adding that Mr Castro had a lot to
say despite his age.
Mr Hollande later met with President Raul Castro, 83, who has led
Cuba since 2006 when Fidel Castro developed health problems and
stepped aside.
They raised the idea of boosting
the French-Cuban partnership with
respect for the pace and identity of
each, an aide to Mr Hollande said.
Mr Castro also said France could
play a key role in strengthening ties
between the EU and Cuba.
Mr Hollande earlier had vowed
he would not remain tight-lipped,
saying his conversations would not
shy away from the issue of human
rights, a lingering source of tension
in negotiations to restore EU-Cuban ties. AFP

PARIS

Crime syndicates move


in on trafficking racket
THE profits are huge, the risks limited
and the demand virtually inexhaustible: Trafficking illegal migrants to
Europe is increasingly becoming the
domain of organised crime groups attracted by the multi-billion-dollar payoff, experts say.
Transporting desperate migrants
from conflict zones in Africa or the
Middle East is a lucrative business
that generates an estimated US$7 billion a year, and mafia groups want a
slice of the pie.
Cross-border trafficking flows ...
are more often connected to organised
crime. Complex trafficking flows can
be more easily sustained by large and
well-organised criminal groups, said
the United Nations Office on Drugs and
Crime in a recent report.
With better connected and broader
big fish networks taking over, even
the journey itself has changed, said
Arezo Malakooti, who works for Parisbased Altai, a group that advises the
International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
In 2013, the immigrants told us
that they took a journey in stages,
and at each stage they would change
smugglers and pay a new price. Sometimes they would stop at locations to
work and make money to be able to afford the next step, said Ms Malakooti.
She said she had talked to Palestinian migrants who said the process was
now akin to going to a travel agent
and buying a package.
There is evidence to suggest that
there are networks operating all the
way, or at least some cooperation between different networks.
There is also an interconnection
between different networks, suggested
by the fact that some migrants passing through Libya end up working as
prostitutes in Europe.
One of the things attracting the big
fish mafia bosses is a richer clientele
of middle-class Syrians escaping their
war-torn country a more prosperous
group than their African counterparts.

Last year, some 170,000 migrants


entered Italy via the Mediterranean,
with each boat bringing in tens of
thousands of euros for the smugglers.
Ms Malakooti said there was an
aggressive marketing campaign in
place on social media with options
and packages available depending
on the price a migrant is willing to pay.
For an increased price you can
have a safer journey, meaning a life
jacket and you can sit on the upper
deck of the boat. If youre on the lower
deck and the boat capsizes, youre going to be the first to drown.
With the recent dismantling of
some criminal networks and the arrest of some of the major players, authorities are building up an idea of the
profile of people involved.
Italian authorities are now searching for an Egyptian superboss, identified through phone taps.
And in lawless Libya, people traffickers, smugglers and militias are joining forces to create a whole industry.
There are detention centres set
up by militias there to enable the
smugglers to come in and advertise
their services, said Ms Malakooti.
Mohammed Abdelsalam al-Kuwiri,
in charge of combating illegal migration for the Tripoli-based government
set up by the Fajr Libya militia alliance, said the traffickers in the country are part of a wider worldwide
network with strong connections in
Italy and other European countries.
So far this year, some 1,750 migrants have perished in the hazardous
journey to Europe, according to the
IOM, a 30-fold increase over the same
period in 2014.
And when there are people so desperate to risk the journey, there will
be organised criminal groups willing
to take advantage of them, said Ms
Malakooti.
As long as there is a demand for
irregular migration then there will be
people who are going to try to exploit
that. AFP

18 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 13, 2015

SYDNEY

BANGKOK

Meteorologists predict substantial


El Nino system to hit in late 2015
AUSTRALIAN scientists yesterday
forecast a substantial El Nino
weather phenomenon for 2015, potentially spelling deadly and costly
climate extremes, after officially
declaring its onset in the tropical
Pacific.
El Nino had been expected last
year when record-breaking temperatures made 2014 the hottest in more
than a century. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said while the
thresholds were not met until now
it was expected to be a significant
event.
The Japan Meteorological Agency
also confirmed the phenomenon had
begun and forecast it would continue
into late 2015.
Theres always a little bit of doubt
when it comes to intensity forecasts,
but across the models as a whole wed
suggest that this will be quite a substantial El Nino event, David Jones,
from the bureaus climate information services branch said.
Certainly the models arent predicting a weak event. They are predicting a moderate-to-strong El Nino
event. So this is a proper El Nino
event, this is not a weak one or a near
miss as we saw last year.
The El Nino phenomenon which
is associated with drought conditions in Australia can cause havoc
for farmers and global agricultural
markets, hitting economies heavily
dependent on the land.
The last El Nino five years ago
had a major impact with monsoons
in Southeast Asia, droughts in southern Australia, the Philippines and Ecuador, blizzards in the United States,
heatwaves in Brazil, and killer floods
in Mexico.
It occurs when the trade winds

that circulate over waters in the tropical Pacific start to weaken and sea
surface temperatures rise.
US officials announced earlier this
year that the long-awaited El Nino
had arrived, but the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration described it as of weak strength.
Australian scientists said models
were now showing it was likely to
see an increased intensity from about
September and have potential global
impacts.
Last year we saw some indices,
such as the sea surface temperatures
at times exceed El Nino thresholds,
but we didnt see them all coming together at the same time or we didnt
see it sustained, Mr Jones explained.
He said this years pattern could
create drier conditions in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and parts of
Southeast Asia.
In the past it has caused heavier-

They are
predicting a
moderate-to-strong
El Nino event.
So this is a proper
El Nino. This is
not a weak one or
a near-miss as we
saw last year.
David Jones
Australian Bureau of Meteorology

than-normal rainfall in the eastern


Pacific and South America raising
the spectre of floods and landslides
while the southwest United States
and southern Africa tend to be drier.
An El Nino is potentially a bad
sign for large swathes of Australia,
including the states of Queensland
and New South Wales, which are already in the grip of severe drought.
Neil Plummer, the bureaus assistant director for climate information
services, said it was often associated
with below-average rainfall across
eastern Australia and warmer temperatures in the southern half over
the hottest months.
The onset of El Nino in Australia in 2015 is a little earlier than
usual, he said, adding that this was
the first such phenomenon in the
tropical Pacific since March 2010.
Prolonged El Nino-like conditions have meant that some areas
are more vulnerable to the impact
of warmer temperatures and drier
conditions.
El Nino is forecast to strengthen
during the southern hemisphere
winter but while the event increases the risk of drought, it does
not guarantee it with only 17 of
the 26 El Nino events since 1900
resulting in widespread drought in
Australia.
The bureau said it would expect
the tropical cyclone season to be below average for Australia.
Every El Nino is different and
we know that some years like 1972,
1982 and 1994 really fit the stereotype strongly: severe drought, very
hot daytime temperatures, bushfire
activity and so on, said Mr Jones.
But not every El Nino event follows that pattern. AFP

Aus budget puts


security first
AUSTRALIA will allocate an extra
A$450 million (US$355 million) to
fight home-grown terrorism and bolster intelligence agencies in its national budget yesterday to counter
evolving threats and technological
change.
The conservative government
of Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced A$630 million in counterterrorism funding last year after raising its terror alert to high.
The move followed concerns
about the dangers presented by citizens radicalising or returning from
fighting with jihadists in Syria and
Iraq to carry out attacks on home soil.
With several alleged terror plots
foiled this year, including the arrest
of a 17-year-old in Melbourne on May
8 and the discovery of three improvised explosive devices at his family
home, more cash will be pumped into
national security.
To help combat terrorism at home
and deter Australians from committing terrorist acts abroad, we need
to ensure our security agencies are
resourced properly and have the powers to respond to evolving threats and
technological change, Abbott said.
To deter terrorism we need to
challenge the recruitment methods
used by extremist organisations, particularly online.
He said a further $450 million had
been allocated.
The bulk of the funds ($296 million) will help strengthen the capabilities of intelligence agencies while
the telecommunications industry will
also receive a boost to help companies upgrade their storage systems.

This will allow them to comply


with a controversial new law requiring them to retain customers digital
data for two years as part of a range
of previously announced counter-terrorism measures.
Metadata is essential to most
counter-terrorism investigations and
for detecting and prosecuting other
serious crimes, said Mr Abbott.
Other funding will go toward
fighting terrorist propaganda on
social media to challenge the lies
used in slick campaigns by the Islamic State group to recruit young
Australians.
This will make it harder for terrorist groups to attract vulnerable
Australians, particularly young Australians, through the internet and social media, said Mr Abbott.
Fairfax Media said the attorneygenerals department would set up a
team of intelligence and technology
experts to monitor and analyse online propaganda and also its impact,
while the government would step up
its own information campaigns.
Australia raised its threat level to
high last September and has since
carried out a series of counter-terrorism raids, with alarm fuelled by the
departure of more than 100 of its nationals to Iraq and Syria to fight with
Islamic State.
Canberra late last year passed a
law criminalising travel to terror hotspots without good reason, fearful
that nationals will pose a threat when
they return.
Those charged could face up to 10
years in jail.
AFP

BANGKOK

Mentally
ill woman
jailed
THE Appeals Court on Tuesday sentenced a 65-year-old woman accused of
lese majeste to one year in prison without suspension, overriding the lower
courts ruling suspending her jail term
for three years to allow treatment for
mental illness.
Thitinant Kaewchantranont, a Thai
citizen now a resident of New Zealand,
was charged with lese majeste under
Section 112 of the Criminal Code.
The court was told she showed disrespect to an image of His Majesty the
King outside the Constitution Court
on July 13, 2012, where the court was
about to make a ruling on the constitutionality of the constitution amendment bill.
Thitinant pleaded guilty, but blamed
the offence on a mental disorder.
In May last year, the Criminal Court
sentenced her to one years imprisonment, suspended for three years after
finding her guilty of lese majeste.
The court said it was giving her an opportunity to undergo mental treatment
and ordered her to report to probation
officials every six month for treatment
for a two-year period.
The court initially handed down a twoyear jail term, but commuted it to one
year because she confessed.
The prosecution appealed against the
suspension of the prison term.
The Appeals Court yesterday ruled in
favour of the prosecution, ruling that
the offence was a serious threat to the
nation. The court cancelled the suspension of her jail term, so her conduct
would not set an example for others to
follow. Bangkok Post

IN PICTURES
Photo: AFP

Commuters drive past a pile of dog carcasses at the road side in Karachi yesterday.
The city municipality has launched a campaign to eliminate stray dogs whose numbers
are increasing alarmingly.

ge
t

yo

gers o
n
i
f
n

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 13, 2015

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

it

A Chatuchak
restaurant has
come up with
the perfect
recipe: add sex
and stir
Photos: Bangkok Post

CHAIYoT YoNgCHARoENCHAI

Thai food served with extra spice


W

HAT could be hotter than walking through


Bangkoks Chatuchak market in summer? Not
much youd think, but add spicy food to the mix
and the temperature does seem to rise.
Now what could be even hotter than
sitting red-faced over a plate of som tam in a place where
air-conditioning is just a distant dream? Try having your salad
served by topless young men with Adonis-like bodies.
The combination of spicy food and hot bods is the main
attraction at Som Tam Tad Arbsap, a stall that is becoming hard
to miss in Chatuchak Plaza, home to Bangkoks famous weekend
market. Many customers, especially women, seem to be able to find
their way to the stall without knowing the exact location, down one
of the plazas narrow sois at the start of Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road.
A large crowd, and seemingly endless queue, is drawn to the
loud music and a singing som tam vendor dressed in a traditional
Thai likay folk costume, replete with glitter and fake diamonds. The
restaurant is hot right now, in more ways than one. But its recipe for
success is not about whats on the menu its about the waiters.
The stall is the brainchild of Charoensak Tony Prosrichai,
who admits to having struggled in the restaurant business since
moving to Bangkok from Roi Et. He came up with the idea
of using sex appeal to sell his secret-recipe som tam, but was
worried that having topless waiters for their own sake would
seem exploitative.
Realising that Chatuchaks main customers are tourists, he
decided to incorporate Thai culture into his branding. Tony went
to Phahurat, aka little India, the citys largest fabric hub, and set
his imagination to work.
He came up with a Thai angel theme for the waiters, who
wear blue and gold patterned skirts and an elaborate traditional
necklace with jewelled pendant. The look is completed by gold
arm and wrist bands.
Pisit Amp Setsri, 25, is one of the fit young men who are
the restaurants stars. He has a full-time job as a fully clothed
waiter at a Bangkok hotel and works for Tony at Som Tam Tad
Arbsap on the weekends. He told Brunch that the two jobs are
completely different.
At the hotel, I have to be professional. But here I can be
myself and interact more with customers, he explained.
Amp said the customers want to eat good food while having fun
with the staff. Besides taking orders and serving food, all waiters
have to pose for pictures with customers and keep them happy.
There are a lot of people who come here to eat, while many
come here to just have their photo taken with us, Amp said.
Tony originally created the strategy with the idea of attracting
women, and that has worked, but a larger-than-expected number
of customers are gay men.
Daisy, an openly gay 20-year-old university student, and his
three friends are repeat customers. They said they usually stop by
for lunch whenever they hang out at Chatuchak market.
Ill admit that we came to see the waiters at first. But once
I tried the food, I have to say that is the reason we keep coming
back, Daisy said.
As much as Tony wants to sell the look of his sexy waiters, he
has no desire or intention to sell their bodies. There are many
people who have sent me messages on Facebook asking how
much I sell the waiters for a night, Tony explained angrily. I told
them I am an honest businessman, not a pimp.
Tony exposes anyone who contacts him with lewd and
lascivious intentions by capturing the conversation and posting it
on his Facebook page. He said he does it to shame people who try

to abuse his waiters, and prevent others from following suit.


Tony was only 19 when he moved to Bangkok from Roi Et
in 1996. At the time, he told himself he would do anything to
survive in the big city.
The young Tony started off with just enough money to fund
his university studies, so was keen to make more cash through
some kind of small business.
He sold watches on the streets in the Ramkhamhaeng area
where he lived. He also sold cloth that he bought wholesale. He
turned his hand to any money-making endeavour with only one
rule: It must be legal.
Tony became adept at juggling many things. While studying,
he worked at least two jobs at any one time, in order to save
enough money to set up his own business. Despite the workload,
he managed to graduate with a masters degree in business
administration from an international university.
With a strong business background and a high level of education,
Tony was determined to become his own boss. But most of his early
attempts faltered. Tony tried new and fresh ideas, mostly relating to
food, but none of them caught on as he hoped.
Tony found success importing cigarettes and cigarette-making
kits, a business which made a profit and allowed him to expand

and hire more staff. Unfortunately, this good run came to an end
thanks to the financial troubles caused by the anti-government
protests and political turmoil of late 2013 and early 2014.
He had 12 employees to pay at 15,000 baht (US$445) each
every month, but the companys earnings had been slashed. Tony
maintained his passion and will to fight, but was left with little
money.
The budding entrepreneur turned to selling congee and soup
outside his company office in the Ramkhamhaeng area. That
didnt go well either. He sat down and started to think of ways to
increase revenue. After two days of brainstorming, Tony came up
with a simple idea.
Besides the company in Ramkhamhaeng, he was also renting
a shop in Chatuchak Plaza as a distribution centre for his
cigarette business. He decided to turn that space into a som tam
restaurant, since he was confident in his skills as a cook.
Hailing from Isan, Tony had tried every som tam restaurant
in his neighbourhood and came to the conclusion that no one in
Bangkok could make som tam as good as his. He compared many
kinds of som tam to see what was missing and developed his own
special recipe based on his research.
Then came the gimmick: the costumes.
If I dressed up like you, I wouldnt be able to attract any
customers, Tony said. You can get som tam anywhere, but you
cant get it with this flavour.
Tony needed something new, and he thought the easiest way
to attract people was by using himself as a mascot.
Many people said I look like [the singer] Ead Ponglang Saon,
so I developed that image by growing a goatee and wearing a
white sleeveless T-shirt with a sarong that looks like it belongs to
a Scottish bagpipe player, Tony said.
His idea worked, and there were soon customers at his som
tam restaurant. But he felt he could do better, and mapped out a
marketing strategy to boost his business further.
He started by identifying the fact that women were his biggest
customers. Before long, he realised that eye candy could be as
appealing as the food itself, so he hired some hunky men as waiters.
But handsome men with great bodies shouldnt stay hidden
in their clothes, so Tony told his staff to satisfy all those hungry
female customers by going topless.
The first day Tony launched his new idea, the restaurant made
70,000 baht (US$2700). He knew it had been the right move.
Now the restaurant is a big hit, Tony can earn as much as
190,000 baht ($5600) per day. He has received international
media exposure and has been invited to exhibit his food and
business idea in London.
I am glad that my business is going well, but what makes
me happier is that I get to promote Thai culture, Tony said. He
wants to do more to promote Thailand through his food.
The restaurants seating area is now just a series of plastic
tents, umbrellas, tables and chairs, but he is planning to invest
400,000 baht (about $12,000) to build a wooden pavilion with a
golden roof, with wooden tables and chairs.
Nearly a year after starting his som tam restaurant, it has
become one of the most talked-about in Bangkok and generates a
healthy income for him and his staff.
But, unlike other ventures, Tony has no intention of moving
inside an air-conditioned shopping mall, since he wants to keep
Chatuchak market colourful.
He might sell his idea as a franchise, he said, so long as he
can control the quality of the food, but the original Som Tam Tad
Arbsap will remain at the location it was born. Bangkok Post

the pulse 21

www.mmtimes.com

Picasso sets
$179 million
auction record
in New York
A
the top 10 most
expensive pieces
of art sold at
auction

FoLLoWING new auction records


set in New York on May 11, here are
the top 10 most expensive pieces of
art sold under the hammer. Spanish
master Pablo Picasso occupied four
of the top spots and Swiss sculptor
Alberto Giacometti three.
1) Pablo Picasso The Women of
Algiers $179.365 million
2) Alberto Giacometti Man Pointing
$141.285 million
3) Francis Bacons Three Studies of
Lucian Freud $142.4 million
4) Edvard Munch The Scream
$119.92 million
5) Pablo Picasso Nude, Green
Leaves and Bust $106.48 million
6) Andy Warhol Silver car crash
(Double disaster) $105.44 million
7) Pablo Picasso Garcon a la pipe
$104.16 million
8) Alberto Giacometti Lhomme qui
marche I $103.93 million
9) Alberto Giacometti Chariot
$100.96 million
10) Pablo Picasso Dora Maar au
chat $95.21 million
AFP

PICASSo masterpiece
and a Giacometti statue
smashed world records
on May 11 for the most
expensive art sold at
auction, fetching more than US$179
million and $141 million respectively
in New York.
Pablo Picassos oil painting,
The Women of Algiers, sold for
$179,365,000 after 11-and-a-half
minutes of furious bidding from
four to five prospective buyers at
Christies, where two auction rooms
were packed.
It was the highest price for
any work of art sold at auction,
Christies said, but fell short
of the $300 million reportedly
paid privately by Qatar for Paul
Gauguins painting When Will You
Marry? in February.
Applause erupted when
auctioneer and global president of
Christies Jussi Pylkkanen finalised
the Picasso sale, having cut through
the frenzied excitement of the
bidding war with laughter and
jokes.
Just minutes later, the bronze
statue by Swiss artist Alberto
Giacometti Man Pointing broke
the record for the most expensive
sculpture sold at auction, fetching
$141.285 million.
other world auction records were
set for works by artists Cady Noland,
Jean Dubuffet, Diane Arbus, Chaim

Jussi Pylkkanen, president of Christies, takes bids at an auction for the art work Les femmes dAlger, painted by Pablo
Picasso, at Christies in New York City on May 11. Photo: AFP/Andrew Burton

Soutine and Peter Doig, Christies


said.
The auction house listed the
buyers as anonymous but said
clients from Asia, the Gulf, Russia,
Europe and the United States had
competed for the top 10 lots of the
sale.
overall, bidders came from 35
different countries, it said.
Exponential growth in the art
market, particularly for modern and
contemporary works, is attributed
to a growing number of private
investors around the world and

burgeoning interest in Asia and the


Gulf.
The previous world record for an
artwork sold at auction was $142.4
million, set for British painter Francis
Bacons Three Studies of Lucian
Freud, which was sold by Christies in
New York in 2013.
Giacometti had also held the
previous record for the most
expensive sculpture sold at auction,
formerly occupied by his Walking
Man I that fetched $104.3 million in
London in 2010.
Buyers are coming to Christies

Culture ministry
searches for silicon
stars in the making
NyeiN ChAN MAy

Well-known hip-hop artist Sai Sai Kham Leng is one of the stars whose lifesize silicon sculpture will be displayed at the cultural centre. Photo: Facebook

AINT nothing like the real thing,


baby, but it might be a pretty good
likeness anyhow. Local celebrities can
now have their image reproduced
life-size in silicon, for display at the
cultural centre in Yangon. It is an
opportunity for fans to have their
photo taken with their idol, while
sparing said idol the necessity to
actually spend time with fans.
Were inviting artists who are
interested in putting a life-size
silicon statue of themselves in
the cultural centre, so that fans
will be able to see their favourite
performers and have their picture
taken with the statue while they are
visiting the centre, said U Thit Lwin
Soe, who is head of training services
with the Ministry of Culture.
The statues will be made by
sculptors at the National University
of Culture and Art (Yangon/
Mandalay).

Movie stars Wutt Hmone Shwe


Yee and May Than Nu and singer
Sai Sai Kham Leng are having their
statues made by their own sculptors.
We are still inviting artists who
want to be shown, said U Thit Lwin
Soe.
The statues will be displayed
for one year and then given back
to the artists, unless they decide to
donate their likeness for permanent
exhibition.
The Ministry of Culture opened
the cultural centre, located at 131
Kabar Aye Pagoda Road, three
months ago.
So called wax-work exhibits
are already popular throughout
the world: Well-known museum
Madame Tussauds has branches
in major cities including London,
Hollywood, Bangkok and Hong
Kong, which attract millions of
visitors every year who want to pose
for photos with their favourite film,
music, sports or political stars.

from all over the globe and


tonight we saw a huge amount
of competition against American
bidding from European buyers and
also from Asian buyers, Pylkkanen
told reporters.
The number of buyers competing
at the very, very highest levels who
have only been in-market for last five
to six years was extraordinary.
The Picasso and Giacometti both
soared over their pre-sale estimates
of $140 million and $130 million
respectively.
The 1955 painting by Picasso is
one of the last major paintings by the
Spanish master still in private hands.
He painted several versions until
he settled on the nearly 4-by-5-foot
(1.2-by-1.5-metre) canvas.
There are only six casts in the
world of Man Pointing, a wiry,
nearly 6-foot (1.8-meter) man holding
up one hand and pointing with the
other.
one is at the Tate in London and
another in New Yorks Museum of
Modern Art.
Christies sold more than $705
million worth of art at its 35-lot
auction of masterpieces spanning
more than a century from 1902 to
2011, and scored at its swanky New
York premises at Rockefeller Plaza.
The third top lot was another
Picasso oil painting, Buste de
femme, which sold for $67.365
million.
In joint fourth place was a
painting from Claude Monets The
House of Parliament series and Mark
Rothkos 1958 No 36, Black Stripe,
which both fetched $40.485 million.
The proceeds from public art
auctions rose 26 percent from
$12.05 billion in 2013 to $15.2
billion in 2014, and grew 422pc
between 2000 and 2014, according
to Artprice, a leader in art market
information.
This will be the sale of the
century, Artprice CEo Thierry
Ehrmann said earlier of the Christies
evening auction.
New Yorks spring auction season
began last week at Sothebys, which
sold a Vincent van Gogh painting for
more than $66 million to an Asian
collector. AFP

22 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 13, 2015

Bangkok exhibition
th
showcases 20
century design icons
RAChnA SAChASinh

ESIGNERS Charles and


Ray Eames thrived on
having fun. Take your
pleasure seriously,
advised Charles Eames,
and this ethos defined the couples
approach to making furniture, film,
toys and even to understanding
science.
Charles and Ray Eames
are credited with changing
the way we sit by the The
Washington Post. A closer look
at the Eames philosophy and
work demonstrates they did
much more, leaving an indelible
mark on contemporary lifestyle
and revolutionizing furniture
construction and design.
Essential Eames: Icons of
20th Century Design is currently
showing at the Thailand Creative

Design Center (TCDC) in Bangkok,


Thailand. Based on the book An
Eames Primer by Eames Demetrios,
the couples grandson, this
exhibition is not to be missed.
Essential Eames does a
remarkable job charting the
endeavours of an intellectually
adventurous couple who never tired
of exploration and creation. With
over 90 pieces of furniture and
125 original film and photographs
on display, the exhibition covers
architecture, furniture, design, film,
toys and philosophy in various
interactive zones.
One installation dismantles
the iconic Eames Chair and
Ottoman to demonstrate the
creative process, and how mass
production does not have to
forsake good design and comfort.
In a large hall, the curators
assemble original pieces of Eames

Visitors examine the displays at the Essential Eames: Icons of 20th Century
Design exhibition in Bangkok. Photos: Rachna Sachasinh

furniture, including the moulded


wood, plastic and aluminium
collections, created for the office
and the home. Perusing the
Eames oeuvre, it becomes clear
how the dynamic couple recast
shapes, colours and materials,
advancing contemporary design
in new directions. Edited
selections of the ground-breaking
Mathematica and Banana Leaf
studies, as well as the Eames toy
series, are also represented.
The exhibition also includes
the Eames collaboration with
the Herman Miller company. The
Eames helped articulate and finesse
Herman Millers portfolio in the
1950 and 1960s, and the couples
legacy continues to underscore the
companys design philosophy.
In this exhibit, it becomes
apparent how Charles and Ray
Eames influenced everything from
Mad Men to Ikea with impeccable
taste, functionality and, of course,
fun.

Sedona Hotel spices things up


nAnDAR AUng
nandaraung.mcm@gmail.com
SPICY and flavoursome,
Bangladeshi cuisine is not only
popular the world over, but also
a near neighbour, closely allied
to Bengali and northeast Indian
culinary traditions. Its delights have
come a step closer with the opening
this week of the food festival
Culinary Heritage of Bangladesh.
From May 15 to 19 at Sedona
Hotel, Kabar Aye Pagoda Road,
Yangon, foodies can indulge
themselves in real biryani, and
salads concocted from curried
eggplant or cucumber yoghurt, and
a dozen other dishes. Main courses,
salads and distinctive traditional
sweetmeats made of milk products
and rice will also be on display.
Fish and mutton dishes, mixed
vegetables, lentils and, of course,
rice will be featured strongly, along
with their trademark oils and
spices, where the simplicity of the
recipes contrasts with the subtle
arts of the experienced chef.
I hope Myanmar people will
love our food as much as we do,
Tareque Muhammad, deputy chief
of mission at the Bangladeshi
Embassy in Yangon said at a press

The Global Gossip


Blur whip up branded ice
cream for forthcoming UK
tour

First there was cheese, then a


brief foray into fizzy drinks, but
Blurs latest food-based affiliation
is to be ice cream. To coincide with
the release of their latest album
The Magic Whip, the band are
to launch their own brand of ice
cream which will be sold during
their forthcoming UK dates.
Created alongside independent
ice cream revolutionaries the
Licktators who last month
celebrated the birth of Princess
Charlotte by producing breast milk
ice cream the new Blur product
Damon Albarn of band Blur performs at
will be a dairy vanilla custard
the Music Hall of Williamsburg on May 1
ice cream rippled with raspberry
sauce, mirroring their new albums in New York City. Photo: AFP
artwork.
It is not yet known whether the The Magic Whip product will be sold
alongside the rest of their merchandise at gigs, or from behind the bar, but the
ice cream will be available at selected supermarkets. The Magic Whip is Blurs
first album in 12 years, their sixth Number 1 album and first since Think Tank.
The Guardian

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow attends


the Los Angeles special screening
of Ill See You In My Dreams at The
London Screening Room in West
Hollywood, California on May 7.
Photo: AFP/Alberto Rodriguez

PHNOM PENH

Tourists in court for cheeky nude snaps at Cambodias Angkor

Three tourists appeared in a Cambodian court May 11 accused of taking


photographs of their bare bottoms inside the countrys famed angkor temple
complex.
Two men an Italian and argentinian and a Dutch woman were arrested
after a guard spotted them taking the cheeky pictures at one of the temples at
the ancient site on May 10.
They were taking photos showing their bottoms, said Long Kosal of the
apsara authority the government agency managing the angkor complex.
Their action affects the value of our temples, Kosal said, adding they were
sent to court in Siem Reap city over the alleged offensive activities.
Earlier this year, three French men and two american sisters were
deported after they were convicted in two separate cases of taking naked
photos inside angkor temple complex.
They received a suspended six-month prison sentence on two charges
public exposure and making pornography and will be banned from reentering Cambodia for four years.
They were caught just days after a series of photos of asian women posing
nude at ancient Cambodian temples went viral online, outraging officials who
vowed to step up efforts to prevent similar stunts.

Prince turns from recluse to


healer in Baltimore rally

Biryani is a Bangladeshi food favourite. Photo: Shutterstock

conference called to mark the


opening of the event yesterday. This
is the first food festival to be hosted
by the embassy.
We hope this celebration of
our cuisine will show that our two
nations share not just a border, but
conventions and values, including
a love of gastronomy. I welcome
everyone to see not just what we

both share, but what is distinctive


in our food culture, said Mr
Muhammad.
Culinary Heritage of Bangladesh is
open from May 15 to 19 in the Brasserie
Rrestaurant, Sedona Hotel. A buffet
dinner is offered for US$28+tax.
Bookings can be made on 018605377.

Actor Tom Hanks poses during


the photocall of the film Inferno
in Florence on May 11. Photo: AFP/
Tiziana Fabi

Prince, the famously withdrawn and


eccentric pop superstar, refashioned
himself as a community healer as he
led a peace concert in Baltimore on
May 10.
Two weeks after sometimes
violent protests erupted over the
death of african-american Freddie
Gray, who sustained injuries in
Prince fan Ash poses with his Prince
Baltimore police custody, Prince
tattoo before entering a Rally 4
threw what he called a Rally 4
Peace concert in Baltimore, Maryland
Peace at a downtown arena in which
on May 10. Photo: AFP
he debuted live a song dedicated to
the scarred US city.
For the song Baltimore, Prince brought to the stage Marilyn Mosby the
young prosecutor who pleasantly surprised many demonstrators by swiftly
bringing charges against six police officers over Grays death.
are we gonna see another bloody day? / Were tired of crying and people
dying / Lets take all the guns away, Prince sang in Baltimore, which he
released online before the concert.
The song, whose gentle guitar riffs reflect more hope than anger, also
refers to Michael Brown, an african-american teenager whose shooting death
by police sparked protests in Ferguson, Missouri.
Prince, sprightly at nearly 57 years old, told the crowd to seek peace as
much as piece a slice of the economic output of their community. aFP

the pulse 23

www.mmtimes.com

Black Miss Japan


fights for race revolution

RIANA Miyamoto entered


the Miss Universe Japan
beauty contest after
a mixed-race friend
committed suicide. And
she endured abuse after winning the
crown because of her skin colour.
Far from being put off by the
backlash, Miyamoto resolved to use
her new-found fame to help fight racial
prejudice in much the same way
British supermodel Naomi Campbell
broke down cultural barriers in the
fashion industry a generation ago.
Im stubborn, said Miyamoto, the
daughter of a Japanese mother and
black American father, who turned 21
on May 11.
I was prepared for the criticism. Id
be lying to say it didnt hurt at all. Im
Japanese I stand up and bow when
I answer the phone. But that criticism
did give me extra motivation, she said.
I didnt feel any added pressure
because the reason I took part in the
pageant was my friends death. My
goal was to raise awareness of racial
discrimination, added Miyamoto,
who was bullied as a schoolgirl
growing up in the port town of
Sasebo, near Nagasaki.
Now I have a great platform to
deliver that message as the first black
Miss Universe Japan. Its always
hard to be the first, so in that respect
what Naomi Campbell did was really
amazing.

Social media lit up after


Miyamotos victory in March, many
critics complaining the title should
have gone to what they called a
pure Japanese, rather than a haafu
(the Japanese pronunciation of half,
a word used to describe mixed race).
Miyamoto, who turns heads in
Japan with her caramel skin and
height of 1.73 metres (5 feet 8 inches),
admitted she has had to toughen up.
I used to get bullied as a kid but
Ive got mentally stronger, to protect
myself, said the model, whose first
language is Japanese, screwing up her
nose in mock horror when handed an
English menu by a waitress.
When I was small I stood
out and always felt I had to fit in
with everyone. Id try not to bring
attention to myself, but now I say
what I feel. I do things my own way.
I want to start a revolution,
Miyamoto added with a laugh. I
cant change things overnight but in
100-200 years there will be very few
pure Japanese left, so we have to start
changing the way we think.
The hostility Miyamoto faced sits
at odds with a government-sponsored
drive to promote the country overseas
as Cool Japan and entice foreign
tourists for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Some point to the success of
mixed-race celebrities such as Rola
a model of Bengali, Japanese and
Russian descent and half-British

singer and actress Becky as proof of


Japans openness to change.
Its possible that some
conservative people might feel Ariana
Miyamoto doesnt fit the traditional
Japanese image to represent the
country, said psychologist Yoko
Haruka, a regular on Japanese TV.
Its just the shock of the new.
But she certainly has the chance to
be a pioneer, and its an excellent
opportunity for Japan to become
more globally aware.
Miyamoto argues that any shift
still favours Caucasian or Eurasian
lineage in an overwhelmingly
homogenous country, where multiracial children make up just 2 percent
of those born annually.
Should Miyamoto win the Miss
Universe finals later this year,
she would spend a year living in
splendour at New Yorks Trump
Towers and her influence over
issues close to her heart, which also
include gender identity disorder,
would be greatly enhanced.
But despite her noble intentions,
Miyamoto has no plans to run for
political office just yet.
Id like to use my position to
become a leader, she smiled. Im
like a sponge always absorbing
new things. But I havent thought too
deeply about politics yet. Its still a bit
early to think about becoming prime
minister! AFP

Miss Japan Ariana Miyamoto poses during an interview in Tokyo on May 7. Photo:
AFP/Toru Yamanaka

24 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 13, 2015

DOMESTIC FLIGHT SCHEDULES


YANGON TO MANDALAY
Flight
Y5 775
W9 515
YH 909
YH 917
YJ 891
7Y 131
K7 222
6T 805
YJ 201
YJ 201
W9 201
YH 826
YH 835
YH 909
YH 831
YH 911
W9201
YH 829
8M 6603
YJ 601
YJ 761
YJ 211
YH 729
YH 737
YH 727
W9 251
YJ 151/W9 7151
7Y 241
K7 224
YH 731
Y5 234
W9 211

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

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

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

MANDALAY TO YANGON
Flight
Y5 233
YH 918
YH 910
W9 201
YJ 761
7Y 132
K7 223
6T 806
YH 830
YH 912
YJ 202
YJ 202
YJ 761
YH 832
YH 827
YH 836
YH 910
YJ 212
YJ 212
YJ 602
YH 732
YH 732
7Y 242
YH 728
YJ 234
K7 225
W9 152/W97152
Y5 776
W9 211
8M 6604
8M 903
YH 738
YH 730
W9 252

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

Dep
7:50
8:30
8:40
8:40
8:40
8:50
8:55
10:30
11:05
11:30
11:30
12:00
13:10
13:20
13:20
13:20
13:20
15:00
15:00
15:40
16:40
16:40
16:40
16:45
16:50
16:50
17:05
17:10
17:10
17:20
17:20
17:25
17:45
18:15

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

YANGON TO NAY PYI TAW

NAY PYI TAW TO YANGON

Flight
YJ 201
YJ 201
6T 211
ND 910
ND 105
ND 107
ND 109
ND 9109
ND 111
SO 102
6T 211

Flight
SO 101
YJ 201
6T 212
ND 9102
ND 104
ND 106
YJ 202
ND 108
YJ 212
ND 110
ND 9110
6T 212

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

Dep
7:00
7:00
7:10
7:15
10:45
11:25
14:55
17:00
18:25
18:00
18:30

Arr
7:55
10:20
8:00
8:15
11:40
12:20
15:40
18:00
19:20
19:00
19:20

YANGON TO NYAUNG U
Flight
YH 909
YH 917
YJ 891
YH 909
6T 451
K7 222
7Y 131
K7 224
YH 731
7Y 241
W9 129
W9 211
W9 129

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

Dep
6:00
6:10
6:20
6:30
6:30
6:30
6:30
14:30
14:30
14:30
15:30
15:30
15:30

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

Dep
6:30
7:00
7:00
7:00
7:00
7:00
7:00
11:00
11:30

Dep
7:00
8:10
8:15
8:35
9:20
10:00
10:35
13:30
16:00
17:00
18:20
19:35

Arr
8:00
13:25
9:05
9:35
10:15
10:55
13:25
14:25
16:55
17:55
19:20
20:25

NYAUNG U TO YANGON
Arr
8:25
7:45
7:40
8:05
7:35
7:50
7:50
17:25
17:25
17:10
17:35
17:40
17:35

YANGON TO MYITKYINA
Flight
6T 805
YH 829
YH 826
YH 835
YH 831
YJ 201
YJ 201
YJ 233
W9 251

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

Arr
8:55
9:40
10:05
10:05
10:05
9:50
10:20
15:10
14:25

Flight
YH 918
YJ 891
YH 910
7Y 132
K7 223
6T 451
YH 910
YH 732
K7 225
W9 129
7Y 242

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

Dep
7:45
7:55
8:05
8:05
8:05
8:05
8:25
17:25
17:40
17:50
17:25

Arr
10:45
10:35
9:25
10:45
11:00
10:15
9:45
18:45
19:00
19:10
18:45

MYITKYINA TO YANGON
Flight
6T 806
YJ 202
YH 827
YH 832
YH 836
YJ 202
YH 830
YJ 234
W9 252

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

Dep
9:10
10:05
11:55
11:55
11:55
10:35
12:30
15:25
16:45

Arr
11:40
12:55
14:45
14:45
14:45
13:25
14:55
18:15
19:40

YANGON TO HEHO
Flight
YH 917
YJ 891
6T 451
7Y 131
K7 222
7Y 131
YJ 891
Y5 649
YH 505
YJ 751
YJ 761
YJ 233
YH 727
YH 737
YH 727
K7 224
YH 731
7Y 241
W9 129

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

Dep
6:10
6:20
6:30
6:30
6:30
7:15
7:00
10:30
10:30
11:00
11:00
11:00
11:15
11:15
11:15
14:30
14:30
14:30
15:30

HEHO TO YANGON
Arr
9:35
10:35
8:45
9:20
9:30
10:05
9:10
12:45
11:55
12:10
12:10
12:10
12:40
12:40
12:40
15:45
15:55
15:40
16:40

Flight
YJ 891
6T 452
W9 201
7Y 132
YH 918
K7 223
YH 506
YJ 762
YH 732
7Y 242
YH 728
K7 225
YJ 602
YH 738
W9 129

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

Dep
6:45
7:00
7:00
11:15
15:30
8:20

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

Dep
8:00
10:30
11:30
11:45

Arr
8:15
9:05
8:10
13:20
17:00
10:40

Flight
6T 706
Y5 326
7Y 532
K7 320
Y5 326
SO 202

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

Dep
8:00
10:30
10:30
11:30
11:00
15:45

Flight
K7 423
7Y 414
W9 309
6T 612

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

Dep
7:00
8:20
10:30
11:15

Arr
8:55
13:10
11:20
13:50
11:50
16:40

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

Days
2,4,6
3,5,7

Dep
11:00
11:00

Arr
9:35
10:05
17:40
13:35
18:45
15:40

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

Dep
10:10
12:35
13:10
13:15

Arr
11:30
13:55
14:55
14:20

Arr
8:10
9:40
11:30
12:20

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

Dep
9:10
11:35
12:05
13:10
14:05
16:55

Arr
11:30
13:55
14:20
14:00
14:55
17:50

Flight
K7 320
6T 708
SO 202
7Y 532

Flight
YJ 752
YH 730

YANGON TO PUTAO

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

Dep
12:25
14:15
14:20
16:35

Arr
13:35
15:15
15:40
17:40

Days
3,5,7
2,4,6

Dep
Arr
16:10 17:55
16:45 19:10

PUTAO TO YANGON

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YH 826

7:00

11:00

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

Flight
YH 836

Days
1,7

Tel: 383100, 383107, 700264


Fax: 652 533

FMI Air Charter


Tel: 240363, 240373, 09421146545

APEX Airlines (SO)


Tel:95(1) 533300 ~ 311
Fax : 95 (1) 533312

Air Mandalay (6T)


Tel: (+95-1) 501520, 525488,
Fax: (+95-1) 532275

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

LASHIO TO YANGON
Arr
13:00
13:15

Air Bagan (W9)

SO = APEX Airlines

DAWEI TO YANGON

YANGON TO LASHIO
Flight
YH 729
YJ 751

Dep
8:25
8:35
15:35
11:30
17:15
13:20

THANDWE TO YANGON

YANGON TO DAWEI
Flight
K7 319
SO 201
6T 707
7Y 531

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

SITTWE TO YANGON
Arr
9:55
12:20
12:55
12:55

Domestic Airlines

Yangon Airways (YH)

MYEIK TO YANGON

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

Arr
10:35
10:15
10:35
10:45
10:45
11:00
14:00
17:00
18:45
18:45
18:10
19:00
17:35
18:50
19:10

Tel: 656969
Fax: 656998, 651020

YANGON TO SITTWE
Flight
K7 422
7Y 413
W9 309
6T 611

Dep
9:25
9:15
9:25
9:35
9:35
9:45
11:55
15:50
15:55
15:55
16:00
16:00
16:25
16:40
16:55

Mann Yadanarpon Airlines (7Y)

YANGON TO MYEIK
Flight
Y5 325
K7 319
6T 705
7Y 531
Y5 325
SO 201

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

Dep

Arr

11:00

14:45

YH 831

4,6

7:00

11:00

YH 832

4,6

11:00

14:45

YH 835

1,7

7:00

11:00

YH 827

11:00

14:45

W9 251

2,5

11:30

15:25

W9 252

2,5

15:45

19:40

6T = AirMandalay
FMI = FMI Air Charter

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

the pulse 25

www.mmtimes.com

InternAtIonAl FlIGHt SCHeDUleS


Flights

YANGON TO BANGKOK
Days

Dep

Arr

PG 706
Daily
6:15
8M 335
Daily
7:40
TG 304
Daily
9:50
PG 702
Daily
10:30
TG 302
Daily
15:00
PG 708
Daily
15:15
8M 331
Daily
16:30
PG 704
Daily
18:20
Y5 237
Daily
19:00
TG 306
Daily
19:45
YANGON TO DON MUEANG

8:30
9:25
11:45
12:25
16:55
17:10
18:15
20:15
20:50
21:40

DD 4231
Daily
8:00
FD 252
Daily
8:30
FD 254
Daily
17:30
DD 4239
Daily
21:00
YANGON TO SINGAPORE

9:50
10:15
19:05
22:45

8M 231
Daily
8:25
Y5 2233
Daily
9:45
TR 2823
Daily
9:45
SQ 997
Daily
10:35
3K 582
Daily
11:15
MI 533
2,4,6
13:45
MI 519
Daily
17:30
3K 584
2,3,5
19:15
YANGON TO KUALA LUMPUR

12:50
14:15
14:25
15:10
15:45
20:50
22:05
23:45

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

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

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

1,2,3,5,6
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

7:50
8:30
12:15
12:15
15:45
15:45
19:30

YANGON TO BEIJING

Flights

Days

Dep

Days

Dep

Arr

Flights

BANGKOK TO YANGON
Days

Dep

Arr

TG 303
Daily
7:55
PG 701
Daily
8:50
Y5 238
Daily
21:30
8M 336
Daily
10:40
TG 301
Daily
13:05
PG 707
Daily
13:40
PG 703
Daily
16:45
TG 305
Daily
17:50
8M 332
Daily
19:15
PG 705
Daily
20:15
DON MUEANG TO YANGON

8:50
9:40
22:20
11:25
14:00
14:30
17:35
18:45
20:00
21:30

DD 4230
Daily
6:20
FD 251
Daily
7:15
FD 253
Daily
16:20
DD 4238
Daily
19:30
SINGAPORE TO YANGON

7:05
8:00
17:00
20:15

TR 2822
Daily
7:20
Y5 2234
Daily
7:20
SQ 998
Daily
7:55
3K 581
Daily
8:55
MI 533
2,4,6
11:35
8M 232
Daily
13:50
MI 518
Daily
15:15
3K 583
2,3,5
17:05
KUALA LUMPUR TO YANGON

8:45
8:50
9:20
10:25
15:00
15:15
16:40
18:35

AK 504
8M 9505
MH 740
8M 502
8M 9507
MH 742
AK 502
AI 227

8:00
11:15
11:15
13:50
14:50
14:50
19:00
13:20

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Flights

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Daily
6:55
Daily
10:05
Daily
10:05
1,2,3,5,6
12:50
Daily
13:40
Daily
13:40
Daily
17:50
1
10:35
BEIJING TO YANGON
Days

Dep

Days

Dep

Arr

CA 906
3,5,7
23:50 05:50+1
YANGON TO GUANGZHOU

CA 905
3,5,7
19:30
GUANGZHOU TO YANGON

22:50

8M 711
CZ 3056
CZ 3056

CZ 3055
CZ 3055
8M 712

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

10:25
16:30
15:50

1,2,3,5,6
7:00
KUNMING TO YANGON

9:55

Flights

Flights

CI 7916
Flights

Arr

2,4,7
8:40
3,6
11:25
1,5
17:30
YANGON TO TAIPEI

13:15
16:15
22:15

1,2,3,5,6
10:50
YANGON TO KUNMING

16:15

Days

CA 416
MU 2012
MU 2032
Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Daily
12:15
3
12:40
1,2,4,5,6,7 15:20
YANGON TO HANOI

15:55
18:45
18:40

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

Flights

Flights

CI 7915
Flights

Days

MU 2011
CA 415
MU 2031
Flights

Days

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

3
8:25
Daily
10:45
1,2,4,5,6,7 13:55
HANOI TO YANGON

11:50
11:15
14:30

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

International Airlines
All Nippon Airways (NH)
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

Air India

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

VN 956
1,3,5,6,7
19:10
21:30
YANGON TO HO CHI MINH CITY

VN 957
1,3,5,6,7
16:50
18:10
HO CHI MINH CITY TO YANGON

Singapore Airlines (SQ) / Silk Air (MI)

VN 942

Flights

Flights

AI 701
QR 919
Flights

Flights

2,4,7
14:25
YANGON TO DOHA

17:15

VN 943

1,5
14:05
1,4,6
8:00
YANGON TO SEOUL

Arr

19:50
11:10

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

AI 401
QR 918
Flights

2,4,7
11:50
DOHA TO YANGON

13:25

Thai Airways (TG)

1,5
7:00
3,5,7
20:40
SEOUL TO YANGON

Arr

13:20
06:25+1

Tiger Airline (TR)

Days

Dep

0Z 770
4,7
0:35
9:10
KE 472
Daily
23:30 07:50+1
YANGON TO HONG KONG

KE 471
Daily
18:45
0Z 769
3,6
19:50
HONG KONG TO YANGON

KA 251
KA 251

5:55
5:45

KA 252
KA 250

Arr

Flights

Flights

Days

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

Arr

YANGON TO TOKYO

Flights

Days

NH 814

Daily

Dep

21:45

Days

BG 061
BG 061

1,6
4

NH 813

Arr

Flights

Dep

15:35
13:45

YANGON TO INCHEON
Days

Dep

17:00
15:10
Arr

KE 472
Daily
23:30 07:50+1
8M 7702
Daily
23:30 07:50+1
8M 7502
4,7
00:35
09:10
W9 607
4,7
14:20
16:10
PG 724
1,3,5,6
13:10
15:05
YANGON TO CHIANG MAI
Flights

Days

Y5 251
7Y 305

2,4,6
1,5
Days

8M 601
AI 236

Days

AI 236
AI 701

2
1,5

Dep

13:10
14:05

YANGON TO KOLKATA
Days

AI 228
Flights

Dep

3,5,6
7:00
2
13:10
YANGON TO DELHI

Flights

Flights

Dep

6:15
11:00

YANGON TO GAYA

Flights

1,5

Dep

14:05

YANGON TO MUMBAI

AI 773

Days

1,5

Dep

14:05

MANDALAY TO BANGKOK

Flights

PG 710

Days

Daily

Dep

14:05

MANDALAY TO SINGAPORE

Flights

MI 533
Y5 2233

Days

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

Dep

15:55
7:50

MANDALAY TO DON MUEANG

Flights

FD 245

Days

Daily

Dep

12:45

MANDALAY TO KUNMING

Flights

MU 2030

Days

Daily

Dep

13:50

NAY PYI TAW TO BANGKOK

Flights

PG 722
PG 722
PG 722

Days

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

Dep

20:15
19:30
20:15

Flights

06:50+1

YANGON TO DHAKA

Flights

Flights

Dep

1:30
1:10

Arr

Flights

Arr

Flights

8:20
15:05

AI 235
8M 602

Arr

Flights

Flights

AI 227

Arr

Flights

22:35

AI 675

Arr

Flights

Arr

23:15
22:30
23:15

Days

1,6
4

Dep

12:30
10:40

INCHEON TO YANGON
Days

Days

2,4,6
1,5

Dep

Dep

9:25
13:45

GAYA TO YANGON
Days

Dep

2
9:20
3,5,6
9:20
DELHI TO YANGON
Days

2
1,5

Dep

9:20
7:00

KOLKATA TO YANGON
Days

1,5

Dep

10:35

MUMBAI TO YANGON

Flights

Flights

Arr

11:00

Days

1,5

Dep

6:10

Days

Daily

Dep

12:00

SINGAPORE TO MANDALAY

Arr

16:40

Dep

DHAKA TO YANGON

PG 709
Y5 2234
MI 533

Arr

Daily

Days

Daily
2,6

Dep

7:20
11:35

DON MUEANG TO MANDALAY

FD 244

Days

Daily

Dep

10:50

KUNMING TO MANDALAY

Flights

MU 2029

Days

Daily

Dep

13:00

BANGKOK TO NAY PYI TAW

Flights

PG 721
PG 721
PG 721

Days

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

Dep

17:00
18:25
17:45

Arr

00:30+1
23:30

BANGKOK TO MANDALAY

20:50
14:15
15:00

Days

AI 235
AI 401

15:05

16:30

Dep

22:50
21:45

TOKYO TO YANGON

Flights

Y5 252
7Y 306

Arr

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

Arr

22:25
23:25

KE 471
Daily
18:45
8M 7701
Daily
18:45
8M 7501
3,6
19:50
W9 608
4,7
17:20
PG 723
1,3,5,6
11:05
CHIANG MAI TO YANGON

8:05
12:50

16:30
19:50

Days

BG 060
BG 060

Tel: 255287~9. Fax: 255290

Arr

15:40

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

Arr

14:55
13:05
Arr

22:25
22:25
23:25
18:10
12:00
Arr

10:15
14:35
Arr

12:0
12:30

BG = Biman Bangladesh Airlines


CA = Air China
CI = China Airlines
CZ = China Southern
DD = Nok Airline
FD = Air Asia
KA = Dragonair
KE = Korea Airlines
MH = Malaysia Airlines
MI = Silk Air

Arr

12:20
13:20
Arr

13:20

MU = China Eastern Airlines


NH = All Nippon Airways
PG = Bangkok Airways
QR = Qatar Airways

Arr

13:20
Arr

13:20
Arr

16:30
15:00
Arr

12:15
Arr

12:50
Arr

19:00
19:35
19:45

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

26 Sport

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 13, 2015

DEflATEgATE

Brady slapped with four-game ban

om Brady was suspended


for four games and the New
England Patriots were fined
US$1 million on may 11 as
the NFL came down heavy
on its marquee player and its Super
Bowl champ over the Deflategate
scandal.
The National Football League not
only suspended the two-time NFL
mVP without pay but also stripped the
Patriots of both their 2016 first round
draft pick and the 2017 fourth round
draft pick for deflating footballs in a
key AFC playoff contest.
The idea is that a deflated and thus
softer football is easier for a quarterback to handle and pass.
There is substantial and credible
evidence to conclude that you were
at least generally aware of the actions
of the Patriots employees involved in
the deflation of the footballs and that
it was unlikely that their actions were
done without your knowledge, NFL
executive vice president Troy Vincent
said of Brady.
Patriots chair and chief executive
Robert Kraft called the investigation
one-sided and said the punishment
didnt fit the crime.
Despite our conviction that there
was no tampering with footballs, it
was our intention to accept any discipline levied by the league. Todays
punishment, however, far exceeded
any reasonable expectation, said
Kraft. It was based on circumstantial rather than hard or conclusive
evidence.
The 37-year-old Brady will miss
the Patriots first four games of the
2015 regular season, meaning that
if the suspension isnt shortened, he
would return to the field against his
accusers in week six when the Patriots face the Indianapolis Colts.
The punishment was announced
five days after the release of the
Wells report which discovered it was
more probable than not that two
Patriots employees had conspired to
deflate balls in the teams AFC Championship game against the Colts,
which they won 45-7.
That probe also found that Brady
who went on to lead the Patriots to
a Super Bowl victory over the Seattle
Seahawks was at least generally
aware of the inappropriate activities
of the two employees, locker room
attendant Jim mcNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski.
Bradys agent, Don Yee, also
slammed the suspension on may 11,

Tom Brady of the New England Patriots is surrounded by cameras following victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super
Bowl XLIX. Photo: AFP

describing it as ridiculous.
The discipline is ridiculous and
has no legitimate basis, Yee said.
This outcome was pre-determined.
He said four-time Super Bowl
winner Brady would exercise his

right to launch an appeal to commissioner Roger Goodell within three


days.
The fine equals the largest ever
dished out by the NFL, back when
they went after San Francisco 49ers

owner Ed DeBartolo Jr after he


pleaded guilty for his role in a Louisiana gambling fiasco in 1999.
The league came down hard on
the Patriots but singled out Brady
for specific punishment, saying

he not only tarnished the leagues


image but refused to cooperate with
investigators.
The league said Brady who is
arguably the biggest star in American
football declined to turn over his
cell phone, texts and emails to help
with the probe, despite being offered
extraordinary safeguards by the
investigators to protect unrelated
personal information,
The reaction from NFL players
on social media was swift with many
of his teammates saying it was unfair, including New England running
back LeGarrette Blount.
This is absolutely ridiculous!!!
SmH #PATSNATIoN Stand up!!!!!,
Blount wrote on Twitter.
But San Francisco 49ers tackle
Darnell Dockett mocked New England on Twitter.
You have to love the patriots .
They do anything to win a Super
Bowl . #mytypeofteam, Dockett
wrote.
Arizona Cardinals linebacker
Sean Weatherspoon said this was no
slap on the wrist.
I think the suspension is warranted, they came down hard on the
organization though. #Deflategate,
he wrote.
Brady will miss the season opener
against the Pittsburgh Steelers, followed by a Sunday contest against the
Buffalo Bills and then games against
the Jacksonville Jaguars and the
Dallas Cowboys.
His replacement at quarterback
will be Jimmy Garoppolo, who has
thrown just 27 passes in the NFL to
date.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick was
exonerated of any wrongdoing in the
cheating scandal.
The report identified no evidence of wrongdoing or knowledge of wrongdoing on the part of
any member of the coaching staff,
including head coach Bill Belichick,
Vincent said.
The league also said that it believes
this is not the first time the Patriots
have been guilty of deflating footballs
to try to give Brady a competitive
advantage.
The evidence suggests that
January 18th was not the first and
only occasion when this occurred,
particularly in light of the evidence
referring to deflation of footballs going back to before the beginning of
the 2014 season, Vincent wrote in a
letter to the Patriots. AFP

Dirty tricks not new to NFL teams seeking winning edge


A damning report on Tom Bradys
likely role in deflating footballs
rubbed some shine off the NFL Golden Boys reputation, but in truth the
league has long embraced the old
sports adage If you aint cheatin, you
aint tryin.
From the shocking findings of the
New orleans Saints Bountygate
scandal to such simple tricks as using
products to make hands more sticky
and jerseys more slippery, the history
of the National Football League is rife
with examples of players and coaches
pushing the envelope in search of a
competitive edge.
This week an independent investigation concluded that New England quarterback Brady a future
Hall-of-Famer who led the Patriots
to a fourth Super Bowl title in February was probably at least generally aware that low-level locker room
staffers tampered with game balls in
an American Football Conference title
game that the Pats won 45-7.
Theoretically, the under-inflated

balls could have given Brady a better


grip in the chilly, rainy weather conditions of January although its up for
debate just how much of an advantage he might have gained over the
Indianapolis Colts.
Colts linebacker Erik Walden
called it gross that Brady, unquestionably one of the games greats,
would resort to cheating, but said he
didnt think fully inflated footballs
would have made a difference in a
game that sent the Patriots to the Super Bowl.
They whupped us, Walden told
celebrity website TmZ.com.
Deflategate questions dogged
the Patriots in the frenzied build-up
to the championship game in Phoenix, but New England emerged from
the fray with a 28-24 triumph over the
Seattle Seahawks.
Its unfortunate that they did this,
but theyre still the champs, Walden
said. Youve got to give them credit.
They did it, and they got away with it,
and they won the Super Bowl.

NFL teams have been trying to get


away with it for decades and it is not
the first time that New England has
been in trouble.
The Pats were at the centre of the
notorious Spygate videotaping controversy in 2007, disciplined by the
league for videotaping the New York
Jets defensive coaches signals during
a game, in contravention of league
rules.
That infraction earned Patriots
coach Bill Belichick a $500,000 fine
the largest imposed on a coach in the
leagues history.
The league also came down hard
on New orleans coach Sean Payton,
suspending him for an entire season
after concluding he knew and tried
to cover up that the Saints had implemented a bounty program that
offered monetary rewards to players
for attempting to knock opposing
players out of games.
Team officials and coaches have
long sought creative ways to turn tough
playing conditions to their advantage.

In the Snowplow Game of 1982,


the pre-Belichick Patriots hosted NFC
East Division rivals miami in snowy
Foxboro.
Neither team could score on the
slippery artificial turf, that is until stadium snowplow operator mark Henderson conveniently cleared a spot
on the field for Patriots kicker Josh
Smith, who hit the game-winning
field goal in a 3-0 win.
miami coach Don Shula later
called it the most unfair act in the
history of the NFL.
Compared to that, the use of
stickum by receivers to improve
their ability to hang onto balls or
the spraying of silicone on jerseys to
make it harder for tacklers to grab
them pales.
Teams that play in domed stadiums have also found ways to boost
their home field advantage, with the
Colts and Vikings both accused of
piping in fake crowd noise to make it
harder for visiting teams to hear their
quarterbacks signals.

New York Jets and Giants opponents swore those teams opened the
old meadowlands stadiums tunnel
doors to worsen wind-gusts on the
field at strategic times.
In the face of such accusations,
standard practice is to deny.
Pittsburgh Steelers coach mike
Tomlin said he was merely distracted watching the Jumbotron scoreboard when he stepped in front of
Baltimores Jacoby Jones during a
kickoff return slowing Jones on
what had looked like it was becoming a touchdown run.
While plenty of pundits are urging the NFL to throw the book at
Brady, not everyone is all worked
up.
Thats last year, Denver Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe told
reporters when the subject came up
last week.
This is a new year. If they want
to deflate balls, let them deflate
balls.
AFP

Sport 27

www.mmtimes.com
CyCLINg

CRICkET

Matthews wins stage


to consolidate Giro

Pietersen snubbed by
new chief Strauss over
England recall

USTrALIAS
Michael
Matthews burst from
the pack to win a bunch
sprint to claim the third
stage of the Giro dItalia
on May 11 and consolidate his lead
atop the overall standings.
Matthews picked up a 10-second time bonus for the stage win
to stretch his overall lead, which he
took possession of on May 10 after
he finished seventh on stage two.
What more can you ask for?
Matthews said after the race. Im
racing with the pink jersey on my
back and at the end I win the stage.
After the Team Time Trial win,
today was another big target for us.
We reconned the stage last week so
we knew what to expect, and we
pulled it off.
The Orica rider edged Italys Fabio Felline into second, with Belgian
Philippe Gilbert third, after the hilly
136km ride which was marked by
a dramatic fall by Italys Domenico
Pozzovivo.
The AG2r team leader and climb
specialist fell face-first on a fast
downhill section 38km from the
finish.
With memories still fresh of the
death four years ago in the same region of Belgiums Wouter Weylandt,
race doctor Giovanni Tredici quickly
allayed the worst fears of observers, who had noted a pool of blood
beneath the stricken riders head,
saying Pozzovivos life was not in
danger.
But it was the kind of fall that
sends shivers down the spine.
I was really afraid, said Pozzovivos teammate hubert Dupont, who
was first to the scene.
his eyes were rolling and it
seemed such a long time before
medical assistance arrived.
Pozzovivo, fifth overall on the
2014 Giro, never lost consciousness
but was stretchered away and taken
to San Martino hospital in Genoa by

KevIn Pietersen was told by new


england chief Andrew Strauss he
will not play for his country again
just hours after blasting a careerbest 326 not out, according to reports on May 11.
exiled batsman Pietersen surpassed his previous first-class best
of 254 in a mammoth innings for
Surrey on day two of their County
Championship Division Two match
against Leicestershire at The Oval.
The 34-year-olds new record total
came in just 373 balls as he smashed
34 fours and 14 sixes to all corners of
the south London venue in Surreys
first innings total of 528 for nine.
South Africa-born Pietersen, who
has hoped for an england recall
since being axed in the aftermath
of their 2013-14 Ashes defeat in Australia, revealed immediately after the
days play that he was due to meet
Strauss, the eCBs director of cricket,
and chief executive Tom harrison to
discuss his international prospects.
But, according to BBC reports later on May 11, Strauss, who was hired
over the weekend, used the meeting
to confirm to Pietersen that he would
not be allowed back into the fold.
We understand that Kevin Pietersen has been told this evening that
he wont be picked to play for england again, a tweet from the BBCs
Test Match Special account read.
The BBCs cricket correspondent
Jonathan Agnew added, I gather
Strauss has confirmed to KP this
evening that he will not be selected
for england again.
Television personality Piers Morgan, a close friend of Pietersens, had
earlier suggested the talks would go
badly for the batsman.
I can now reveal that Andrew
Strauss and Tom harrison asked to
see KP tonight. I believe to tell him
he wouldnt play for england again,
Morgan tweeted.
If Strauss and harrison still try
to end KPs england career now, they

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) signs the board prior to the start of the third
stage of the 98th Giro dItalia in Rapallo. Photo: AFP

helicopter due to the poor road network in the area.


The tests carried out at the hospital show that he is in a stable condition, said Tredici, adding that he
had a relatively modest head trauma and insisting that his fall could
not be compared with that suffered
by Weylandt in 2011.
however, Pozzovivos team described the injury as a serious trauma to the head and face and added
that the rider had deep cuts above
his right eye which require stitches.
AG2r will continue without him
for the remainder of the race.
The stage got off to a lively start
as Giro favourite Alberto Contador
and his Tinkoff team kept close tabs
on a breakaway group of 25 who led
by more than a minute on the pink
jersey group on the last climb.
Contador will have been happy
to keep a low profile and control the
race from a short distance away just

three days into this three-week Tour.


A lone survivor of that escape,
russias Pavel Kochetkov, crossed
the final summit alone and set off on
a breakneck downhill charge.
But he was caught by three counter-attackers with 10km to race and
even this was helpless as the peloton
took advantage of the last seven flat
kilometres to reel them in 3km from
the line.
Pink jersey wearer Matthews was
in a comfortable position the whole
race, and the 24-year-old Australian
had just enough gas in the tank to
pip the field after a long, drawn-out
race for the line.
We did very well to get two guys
into the breakaway, said Matthews.
The stage was quite hard, and
I tried to get to the foot of the final
climb near the front so that I could
drift back to save some energy. Simon Gerrans worked very hard to
position me for the sprint. AFP

are betraying england sport and the


fans.
The news will be a big blow to
Pietersen, who, following his triple
century, had spoken passionately
about his desire to resume his international career in time for the forthcoming Ashes series.
They say timing is everything.
he [Strauss] has come in, theres a
new chairman on Friday or Saturday,
there has to be a new coach, [Peter]
Moores has gone, Pietersen said.
I was told to go and get a county.
I was told to score runs. I think Im
scoring runs.
There is a meeting this evening
and its a totally private matter.
Ive got to be careful what I say;
its an interesting time, and what
more can I do?
Pietersen had also been encouraged by the dismissal over the weekend of england coach Peter Moores,
with whom he had an acrimonious
power struggle during a previous
spell in charge of the national team.
however, Strauss had an equally
difficult relationship with Pietersen when he captained the volatile
star, who reportedly fell out with
several more of his international
team-mates.
Pietersen had to admit sending
provocative texts about Strauss to
South Africa players in 2012, and
last year Strauss, then working as a
television pundit, embarrassingly let
slip exactly what he thought of his
former team-mate with an obscenity
picked up on a stray broadcast mic.
Ive always said since my knee
was sorted in Australia, if my knees
good, Im going to play well, Pietersen said.
I played well in the Big Bash, I gave
up a contract in India, Im not playing
for any money here Im dedicated to
getting back my england place.
I want my england place, and I
think I deserve my england place.
AFP

AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL

World anti-doping agency to


appeal Aussie Rules verdict
The World Anti-Doping Agency announced May 12 it will appeal against
the Australian Football Leagues decision to clear 34 current and former top
players of taking banned supplements.
The AFL anti-doping tribunal
unanimously declared in March it was
not comfortably satisfied the essendon club players had violated the rules
during the 2012 season.
The Australian Sports Anti-Doping
Authority referred the case to the AFL
last year following a six-month investigation which sent shockwaves through
the game, but then decided not to appeal the findings.
The AFL had hit the top Australian
side with the biggest fine in the sports
history in 2013 A$2 million (US$1.6
million) and banned coach James
hird for 12 months.
however, Montreal-based WADA
announced it would take the case to
the Court of Arbitration for Sport in
Switzerland.
We have now completed our independent review of the full case file on
the AFL Anti-Doping Appeals Tribunal
decision regarding 34 current and former essendon players, WADA director general David howman said.
After a thorough examination of
the evidence contained within the file,

WADA has decided to lodge its independent right of appeal to the decision
to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
essendon chair Paul Little said he
had not been expecting the appeal.
It has really taken us all by surprise,
he told local radio station Triple M.
[Its] early days but I would have
thought it probably could be heard
reasonably quickly.
Despite ASADA not appealing,
even after describing events at essendon in 2012 as utterly disgraceful, it
welcomed the announcement and offered its full support.
ASADA has handed over a comprehensive brief of evidence to assist
WADA in its preparation for the CAS
hearing, chief executive Ben McDevitt
said.
In April, the AFL tribunal found
a sports scientist at the centre of the
scandal guilty of trafficking banned
substances.
Stephen Dank, accused of being the
architect of the clubs peptide supplements programme, is expected to appeal the findings.
he allegedly oversaw the use of
prohibited substances to boost Melbourne-based essendon players and
aid recovery from injury during the
2012 season. AFP

IN PICTURES

Photo: AFP

Charlerois Neeskens Kebano poses after receiving the Ebony Shoe


award at the 24th Gala of the Ebony Shoe, at the Viage, in Brussels
on May 11. The Ebony Shoe award is given to the best African or
of African descent player in the Jupiler Pro League, Belgiums first
division soccer competition.

Sport
28 THE MYANMAR TIMES May 13, 2015

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

Deflategate blows up
on Brady
SPORT 26

FOOTball

Youth teams clash with


an eye to the future
Kyaw Zin Hlaing
kyawzinhlaing.mcm@gmail.com

he u23 southeast Asian


Games squad may have
ran out the victors 3-1 on
May 10, when they met the
u20 side preparing for the
FIFA u20 World Cup, but in a sign
of the relative strengths of the two
Myanmar age-group sides the u20s
used the match to give some valuable game time to their second-string
line-up.
It was a full-strength u23 side
that initially went behind to a Yan
naing Oo goal in the 23rd minute before a si Thu Aung penalty leveled
the friendly just four minutes later.
The older side then took the lead in
the 35th.
The second half became disjointed as both sides introduced a number of substitutes, playing with and
testing out line-ups and formations
as teams are prone to do before a big
tournament.
The u20s introduced fan favourite Aung Thu to the fray but Than Paing and nyein Chan Aung, both key
players, could only watch from the
sidelines as they attempt to recover
from injury in time for their trip to
new Zealand.
After the game u20s coach Gerd
Zeise confirmed he expected the
players to return to action before
their May 30 opener with the united
states.
Although the u20s did much of
the running, it was the u23s Ye Ko
Oo who did his chances for a place in
the starting line-up in singapore a favour when he curled the ball around
defenders to clip the crossbar and
bounce behind keeper Myo Min Latt.
Believing the ball not to have
crossed the line Myo Min Latt gathered it up only for referee Win htut
to point to the centre-spot a decision television replays suggested was
rash.
In the World Cup well be coming
up against sides much tougher than
the Myanmar u23s, said Zeise after
the game.

U23s Aung Kyaw Naing (left) tries to get the better of the U20s Hlaing Myo Aung. Photo: Aung Khant

Today we used our back-up players because I wanted to test their


ability to step up to a challenge. In
the World Cup we may have to rely
on these players to make that step up
to the first team.
This match has helped show
me which players might be able to
do that. I would have liked to see
a better result from them but now
we must prepare the best we can
before the World Cup, added the
German.
u23s coach Kyi Lwin, who is also
the coach for Myanmar national
League side Magwe FC, is also keen

to make the most of the time remaining before they meet Indonesia in
their first seA Games Group A clash
on June 2.
The team had planned to follow
in the footsteps of the u20s european tour and visit serbia for a series of
warm-up games but it seems that the
trip will no longer go ahead.
some of our training trips have
been withdrawn and so we have lost
out on a number of our preparation
games, he said after the game.
But we will make the best of the
time and opportunities we have, we
will improve the teamwork between

the players and the management,


and we will seek out a medal from
the games Anything is possible in
football.
Myanmar u20s will contest
Group A of the FIFA u20 World Cup,
facing the united states, ukraine
and hosts new Zealand. The tournament will run from May 30 to the final on June 20.
The u23 seA Games squad will
attempt to advance from Group A
by overcoming challenges from Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia
and hosts singapore. The gold medal
contest will be held on June 15.

FOOTball

QPR vow to
fight any
financial
penalties after
relegation
Queens Park Rangers reacted on
May 11 to their relegation from the
Premier League by insisting they will
fight any attempt by the Football
League to impose a fine for Financial
Fair Play breaches.
The west London side could face
a fine of up to 58 million (us$90
million) following their demotion to
the second-tier Championship, which
was confirmed by a 6-0 thrashing at
Manchester City on May 10, but they
are challenging the legality of the FFP
rules.
Legal proceedings between QPR
and the Football League are still going on and an independent arbitration
panel will decide on whether QPR are
liable.
A joint statement from QPR and
the Football League said, Legal proceedings are ongoing as between
Queens Park Rangers and the Football
League.
QPR challenges the legality of
the Football Leagues Championship financial fair play rules and
any charge against QPR [if any] for
breach of FFP Rules shall not be
commenced pending the outcome of
that challenge.
The proceedings are confidential
in nature and neither party is entitled
to comment upon the proceedings until the independent arbitral panel has
delivered its decision.
The issue revolves around the
2013-14 season, when QPR were in the
Championship before being eventually promoted to the Premier League
via the play-offs.
They submitted accounts for that
campaign which show a 60 million
income injection classed as an exceptional item in the accounts which was
to write off loans.
Without that money being put in
by the owners, the club would have reported a loss of 69.7 million making
them liable for huge FFP fines.
The Football League position is understood to be that such equity injections by club owners are not permitted
and therefore the club should be dealt
with as though it had made a 69.7
million loss. AFP

FOOTball

Ayeyawady seek AFC Cup away win for home draw


MaTT ROebucK
matt.d.roebuck@gmail.com
AYeYAWAdY united and Yadanarbon go into todays final AFC Cup
group games with very different
agendas: The former will try find a
way to an away win, thereby securing a home fixture in the Round of
16, while the latter are playing only
for pride and experience.
Persib [Bandung] is a great team
and has great fans, said Ayeyawady
coach Marjan sekulovski in his prematch press conference.
The side is short several players
who are with the national sides preparing for the FIFA u20 World Cup

and the southeast Asian Games.


Although weve lost several players I believe in their ability, added
sekulovski, who applauded his teams
display of spirit and co-operation after
their dramatic come-from-behind victory against Lao FC. On that occasion
the delta Boys trailed 2-1 and were
down to 10 men before rallying to win
the game 4-3 and secure qualification
out from Group h.
The Macedonians side will have
to show that grit and determination
early on in todays game to bring away
a win from Indonesia. Both teams are
currently undefeated after the two
drew in their Yangon fixture and
Persib, who currently top the group on

11 points, only need a draw to hang on


to top spot.
Both sides will want to top the
group and avoid a difficult away journey to either hong Kongs Kitchee or
Malaysias Johor darul Tazim whose
final Group F games were played last
night. The Round of 16 tie will be
played as a one-off fixture on May 26
or 27 before the later knockout stages
that are played over two legs.
emral Abus, head coach of Persib
Bandung knows to expect a different
Ayeyawady outlook to the one that
they ran into in their first meet.
In our first encounter, they played
cautiously against us They have
good focus and a strong transition

from defence to attack, said emral.


Well be looking to make the most
of home-field advantage so we can
keep it for the next round.
Yadanarbon, who languish at the
bottom of Group G with only 3 points
from their solitary home-win over the
Philippines Global FC, will be looking
to find whatever positives they can
from their match against unbeaten
south China, a team that have already
qualified as winners of the group.
We will prepare our defence for
a strong south China attack and as
hosts we will look to make that advantage count, said coach Kyi naing in
his pre-match press conference.
Our squad remains under strength

as it has throughout the competition.


We have injuries and players are with
the national sides preparing for international tournaments, and we are
short in number as well as ability.
But Yadanarbons newly arrived
Belgian coach Rene desaeyere will no
doubt once again use this game as an
opportunity to blood young players he
has brought up from the youth squad
since his arrival, after benching some
of the previously settled faces in his
squad.
his mind will have already turned
to how to focus his side for their challenge in the domestic season, which
will restart in late June after the seA
Games.