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HEARTBEAT OF THE NATION

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DAILY EDITION

ISSUE 42 | THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2015


NEWS 2

Myanmar ruby sells for record $30m at auction


A 25.59-carat pigeon blood ruby sold for a world record US$30.33 million at auction in Geneva on May
12, while a rare pink diamond believed to have once
belonged to Napoleons niece fetched $15.9 million,
Sothebys said.
After competitive bidding, the ruby went to an
anonymous telephone bidder for 26.25 million Swiss
francs, with costs.
The Sunrise Ruby from Myanmar, part of a collection of Cartier jewels up for auction, had been expected to sell for between $12 million and $18 million.
It set a record for a ruby and was also a record for
a Cartier jewel at auction, Sothebys said.
The Sunrise Ruby sold for just over $30 million,
$30.3 million, which is I think over three times the
previous record, which was for the Graff Ruby, said
David Bennett, head of Sothebys international jewellery division, referring to a stone sold in November.
The large, pigeon-blood red ruby is amongst the
rarest of all gemstones.
I mean, in 40 years Ive ever only seen one this
colour, this size, so they are beyond rare, Mr Bennett
said. AFP

Nurse wins Florence


Nightingale prize
Sa Naing Naing Tun of Hainggyi
Island is recognised for his efforts to
help rebuild the Ayeyarwady delta
following the devastation of Cyclone
Nargis in May 2008.

EXCLUSIVE 3

Desperate but alive,


migrants face unclear fate
The arrival of more than 1000 smuggled
people has brought the crisis in Rakhine
State to residents of the holiday island
of Langkawi, amid calls for a regional
effort to save thousands more thought
to still be at sea.
NEWS 6

Arbitration council orders


Costec to rehire workers
More than 150 workers sacked from a
South Korean-owned garment factory in
March for protesting low pay could get
their jobs back under a Yangon Region
Arbitration Council ruling.
BUSINESS 9

Central Bank warns on


exchange rate speculation

An employee of Sothebys auction house holds The Sunrise Ruby, which, weighing 25.59 carats, sold at auction on May 12 for more than US$30 million. Photo: AFP

Banks and licensed money changers


are warned to stick to official exchange
rates as the kyat continues to weaken
sharply against the US dollar.

Ceasefire in danger: NCCT


Head of armed ethnic groups negotiation team rules out governments proposal for a two-step ceasefire and says
they will not abandon three armies fighting against the Tatmadaw in the Kokang region of Shan State. NEWS 3

TRADE MARK CAUTION


MERCK SANTE, Societe par Actions Simplifieee, 37 rue Saint
Romain, 69008 LYON, FRANCE, is the Owner of the following
Trade Marks:-

GLURIAD
Reg. No. 4010/2005

GLUCOVANCE
Reg. No. 4009/2005
in respect of Pharmaceutical products for prevention and
treatment of diabetes and complications thereof.
Fraudulent imitation or unauthorised use of the said Trade Marks
will be dealt with according to law.
Win Mu Tin, M.A., H.G.P., D.B.L
for MERCK SANTE
P. O. Box 60, Yangon
E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm
Dated: 14 May 2015

TRADE MARK CAUTION


NISA CO., LTD., of 1078/181-184 Soi Sudsakorn Prannok Rd.
Bangkoknoi, Bangkok, Thailand, is the Owner of the following
Trade Marks:-

Reg. No. 838/2002

Reg. No. 839/2002


Reg. No. 840/2002
in respect of Underwear, shirt , pant.
Fraudulent imitation or unauthorised use of the said Trade Marks
will be dealt with according to law.
Win Mu Tin, M.A., H.G.P., D.B.L
for NISA CO., LTD.
P. O. Box 60, Yangon.
E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm
Dated: 14 May 2015

TRADE MARK CAUTION


NOTICE is hereby given that DAIICHI SANKYO COMPANY,
LIMITED a company organized and existing under the laws of
Japan and having its principal office at 3-5-1, Nihonbashi Honcho,
Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-8426, Japan is the Owner and Sole Proprietor
of the following two trademarks:-

2 News
LOIKAW, KAYAH STATE

Kayah alliance pushes


for electoral support
MATTHIEU BAUDEY
CAROLE OUDOT
newsroom@mmtimes.com
ETHNIC Kayah and Kayan political
parties continued their march toward
consolidation into a single political entity yesterday, concluding a three-day
conference in the Kayah State capital
Loikaw.
Organised by the Kayan National
Party (KNP), the Kayah Unity Democracy Party (KUDP) and the All Nationalities Democracy Party (ANDP), the
event was held on ceremonial animist
grounds on the towns outskirts that
are a symbol of a common past for
Kayah ethnic groups.
The 400 attendees from across the
state gave their views on intra-party cooperation and a planned merger.
I am very happy to see all our
Kayah tribes united here. Together they
could obtain the majority at state parliament, said one local woman in the
audience. I dont vote anymore because I am too old my turn has passed
but I tell every young person to get
registered on the electoral roll.
This conference concluded a series of
seven meetings held in all of the states
townships over the past two weeks.
We collected the voice of the people. Slowly and steadily, we will bring
it up to the next government. Make the
sound louder and louder so that they
can be heard, ANDP vice chair U Solomon said.
In front of an attentive crowd, statements from villagers in Bawlawke and
Mese townships were read by party
leaders and propositions discussed.
The alliance, which was created in
November 2014, will eventually give
birth to a single Kayah party, they say.
While the Union Solidarity and Development Party won virtually all seats in
2010 including in the state hluttaw
the three parties hope for a better
showing later this year.
They say the state hluttaw has been
mostly inactive under USDP leader-

(Reg: No. IV/2826/2012)


The said two trademarks are in respect of:Pharmaceutical preparations and substances
Any fraudulent imitation or unauthorized use of the said
trademarks or other infringements whatsoever will be dealt with
according to law.
U Kyi Win Associates
for DAIICHI SANKYO COMPANY, LIMITED
P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon.
Phone: 372416
Dated: 14th May, 2015

An audience member speaks at yesterdays meeting in Loikaw. Photo: Carole Oudot

ship, with few achievements to boast of


over the past four years.
We hope to get seats for Kayah
people at the state hluttaw for the first
time, said U Stephen Tun Tun of the
KUDP.
Both the KUDP and the ANDP were
formed in 2013 and will field candidates for election for the first time. The
KNP alone ran for 2010 election from
its base in southern Shan States Pekon
township, just over the border from
Kayah State.
Sai Naing Naing Htwe, vice chair of
the KUDP, said representation in Nay
Pyi Taws Pyidaungsu Hluttaw would
also be important.
At the Union level, Kayah State is
the smallest. We always come last and
hold the lowest position for everything, he said.
The centralised political structure
in the 2008 constitution leaves state
governments and hluttaws with only

limited power. Central government


has complete control over state institutions. When people are not satisfied
with something, the chief minister
can just say it is not up to him, but to
the central government, U Solomon
said.
Constitutional reform is one of the
major issues that the parties plan to
campaign on, along with land rights.
Disputes over land being confiscated
from farmers for large development
projects have occurred regularly in recent years, and are a major flashpoint
for conflict with the authorities.
The parties say that representation
in parliament will help them address
these issues. Nevertheless, they face
challenges when canvassing for support.
People are still afraid to talk about
politics, said U Stephen Tun Tun of the
KUDP. Because of this situation lasting for 60 years, it is hard to break the
ice.

YCDC to test public mood on planned


privatisation of garbage collection
AYE SAPAY PHYU
ayephyu2006@gmail.com

(Reg: No. IV/2825/2012)

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 14, 2015

YANGON City Development Committee has promised a public consultation


period before it hands over responsibility for collecting and transporting
the citys garbage to private companies, officials said yesterday.
Two companies, City Environmental Company and TYTC Services Co
Ltd, won a tender to take out the citys
trash for the next 10 years.
Under the companies proposal,
trash collection charges would rise
from K20 to K53 a day for downtown
residents, K15 to K45 for those in Yan-

gons suburbs, and K15 to K40 for residents of satellite areas.


But U Min Aung, head of the committees Pollution Control and Cleaning Department, said YCDC would
gauge public opinion first before giving the deals the final go ahead.
The service charges will be higher
than the fee that we collect now, he
said. But we will not hand [responsibility] over to those companies
straight away. We will listen to public
voices first and if most of the public
agree, we will continue the process.
Department deputy chief U Khin
Win said information on services
and charges under the plan would be

distributed to households. Feedback


will be accepted from May 18 to
around the end of June, after which
it will be submitted to YCDC for a final decision. If the plan gets the green
light, the companies will take over in
September, he said.
He said the current fees do not
cover the expenses of the department,
which currently spends K13 million
making up the shortfall. It handles
about 1600 tonnes of trash a day.
U Pyae Sone Aung, a spokesperson
for City Environmental Company, said
that while consumers would have to
pay more under a privately run system, they could expect better service.

Nurse receives Florence Nightingale prize


A MYANMAR nurse has earned an
international award given out by the
Red Cross for exceptional courage and
devotion to victims of armed conflict
or natural disaster.
Sa Naing Naing Tun, 37, was awarded the Florence Nightingale Medal yesterday along with 35 other outstanding
nurses from 18 different countries.
The recipients were nominated by
their respective national Red Cross
or Red Crescent societies and selected by a commission comprised of

international Red Cross groups.


Sa Naing Naing Tun, from Hainggyi Island, was nominated for his efforts to help rebuild the devastated
Ayeyarwady delta region after Cyclone
Nargis in 2008.
He said he suffered personally from
the storm, which claimed the lives of
more than 138,000 people.
I overcame the challenges and absolute nightmares with my profession
of nursing by helping the public during this time, he said.

His award marks the fourth time


a Myanmar national has earned the
prestigious medal. Chief Nurse Major
Khin Ohn Mya was awarded the medal in 1963 for treating Myanmar troops
wounded in World War II. Nursing officer Daw M Yaw Nam was awarded
the medal in 1993 for treating soldiers
wounded in northern Shan State, and
midwife Daw Thein Yi was presented
the medal in 2001 for rescuing a child
from a burning house.
Ye Mon

www.mmtimes.com

NEWS EDITOR: Thomas Kean | tdkean@gmail.com

News 3

EXCLUSIVE FROM LANGKAWI

Desperate, starving but alive,


arrivals face an uncertain fate
Arrival of more than 1000 people from Myanmar and Bangladesh brings home the reality of the crisis in Rakhine State
FIONA
MACGREGOR
fionamacgregor@hotmail.co.uk

WHY have they come? Is there a


famine?
The concerned Malaysian hotel
staff who have come with donations of
food and clothing are trying to understand what has driven larger numbers
of people to flee Rakhine State and
Bangladesh via perilous sea journeys
and end up in Langkawi, Malaysia,
where they are now held in a government centre.
The sudden arrival on the topical
holiday island of more than 1100 refugees since May 10 has awakened many
residents to the conditions in nearby
Myanmar that force thousands to risk
their lives escaping on overcrowded
boats every year.
The surge of arrivals on Langkawi
has occurred after human smugglers
boats were re-routed from Thailand
due to a recent crackdown on secluded
trafficking camps. The recent discovery of mass graves at camps along the
border with Malaysia has exposed the
extent of the thriving trade and led to
captains and traffickers abandoning
their boats and passengers.
The Langkawi group are among
the more than 2000 who have swum
ashore or been rescued. The International Organization for Migration estimates as many as 8000 more remain
stuck at sea, at risk of both disease and
starvation.
One boat recently sent out a distress signal saying they had been without food and water for three days, according to Chris Lewa, director of the
Arakan Project.
As thousands of lives stand in
Iimbo, both the Malaysian and the
Indonesian governments announced
yesterday that they will turn away
smugglers boats without allowing
those onboard to disembark. Malaysian maritime authorities began conducting aerial searches to assess conditions and potentially provide food
and water, but said unless the boats
were at risk of sinking the official
policy is that no new arrivals would be
accommodated.
Questions are now being asked as
to whether this spiralling crisis will
serve as a wake-up call to ASEAN leaders and encourage a more coordinated
approach to asylum seekers and refugees in the region starting with those
in the water.
Unless that happens soon, people
are going to die in the hundreds and

Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants are taken from a naval base in Langkawi yesterday, bound for a mainland immigration depot. Photo: AFP

thousands on the sea, Joe Lowry, a


spokesperson for IOM, told AFP.
At the Langkawi hall where those
rescued receive food and medical attention, yellow tape and no-entry
signs bar the way, but sympathetic
local NGO staff guarding the door
are willing to turn a blind eye for a
moment.

I have heard about


these extreme
Buddhists in
Rakhine ... Buddhists
are supposed to be
compassionate.
First Admiral Tan Kow Kwee
Head of Langkawi maritime office

Inside, the hall smells of unwashed


bodies and excrement. Mothers, along
with their young children, account for
most of the 130 or so people still being
held here.
They sit in rows: hunched, quiet

women; wailing infants.


Yesterday, the building contained
several hundred people who arrived on
May 10 after enduring weeks of hellish
conditions on wooden boats overloaded with people desperate to leave.
According to workers for MAPIM,
an Islamic humanitarian organisation
helping the refugees, the group was
divided yesterday into Bangladeshis
and Rohingya, with men and women
also separated.
Many people, mostly men, were
transferred to an immigration detention facility on the mainland.
One small boy, wandering around
the room, kept asking for his bapa.
One of the men who remained in
the hall, and appeared to be in his
mid-40s, described in broken Urdu
the journey that brought him and his
family here. They left Rakhine State
more than two weeks ago, he said,
heading, they believed, for Thailand.
Before they could reach Thai shores,
they were intercepted by Thai authorities, who gave them food and water
and sent them back out to sea. Their
boat then made for Bangladesh, where
it was again turned away.
Eventually they made it to Langkawi, but now he has been separated from
his wife and children. He said he has no
idea what will happen to him next.

We are here that is all, he responded quietly.


Unlike some reports from those
stuck at sea, the men at the centre do
not recall witnessing anyone die on
the boat they arrived in. But they do
recount torture and violence in the
land theyve just come from. And while
news reports of these recent arrivals in
Langkawi have described their starving state, the bleak reality is that the
IDP camps in Rakhine are also full of
people who look ill and emaciated.
Asked if the people theyve just
treated are malnourished, a group of
retired nurses wearing headdresses
and professional smiles consult with
each other and respond, Yes, but they
clearly were before they ever got on
those boats.
Reports of severe human rights
abuses suffered by those who call
themselves Rohingya but are referred to as Bengali by the Myanmar
government have periodically appeared in mainstream Western media,
along with calls to action from Western leaders and the UN. But to most
in Langkawi this is a story they dont
know and find hard to comprehend.
Is it because Myanmar people
dont like Muslims? asks the manager
of an upmarket hotel who has come to
donate food.

At the Maritime Office on the outskirts of Langkawis main town Kuah,


First Admiral Tan Kow Kwee the man
tasked with guarding these shores and
preventing boats from landing illegally shakes his head when considering
what will become of those still at sea,
and those who have landed.
I have heard about these extreme
Buddhists in Rakhine and I dont
understand it. I am Buddhist, he
said. Buddhists are supposed to be
compassionate.
He added that he is personally sympathetic to those fleeing rights abuses
in Myanmar, but he recognises why
the Malaysian government doesnt
want to allow boats to land. It fears
doing so will encourage tens of thousands more to seek refuge here.
But rights groups monitoring the
situation are calling for a response that
goes beyond expressions of compassion
to immediate, international action.
Yesterday, Fortify Rights called on
Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia to
immediately coordinate search-andrescue operations and for those three
countries to open their borders to asylum seekers.
This is a grave humanitarian crisis
demanding an immediate response,
said Matthew Smith, the groups executive director. Lives are on the line.

More than 100 fishermen set for homecoming today


NYAN LYNN AUNG
29.nyanlynnaung@gmail.com
MORE than 120 men formerly enslaved on fishing trawlers in Indonesia
will arrive home in Yangon this evening, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
said yesterday.
This is the second group of Myanmar fishermen rescued off of remote
Indonesian islands to return home
this month, and another 400 are set
to return before the end of May, said U
Sein Oo, director general of consular
and legal affairs at the ministry.

We plan to bring back fishermen


in four groups, flying them back before the end of this month, he said,
adding that the last group should arrive by May 22.
According to anti-human trafficking police, the 15 fishermen who
reunited with their families in Yangon
on May 9 the first batch to return
were given priority because they had
spoken to the media about terrible
conditions endured on the trawlers,
including forced labour, beatings,
deprivation and murder. Years of
slavery were then followed by being

abandoned on secluded islands at the


southernmost tip of Indonesia.
According to Police Lieutenant
Major Khin Maung Hla, all of the 535
Myanmar fishermen rescued by the
Myanmar delegation dispatched to Indonesia in April are victims of human
trafficking. He said officials are investigating whether action can be taken
against their traffickers.
Police Major Ye Win Aung, antitrafficking task force commander in
Yangon, told The Myanmar Times
that the victims including Myanmar,
Cambodian, Laos and Thai nationals

will be able to open a regional court


case.
The International Organization for
Migration estimates that thousands of
Myanmar fishermen remain stranded
on Indonesias remote islands, where
they have been dumped by the boats
they had in many cases been trafficked
onto.
While the first groups repatriation
was funded by the IOM, Myanmar
Airways International and its parent
company the Kanbawza Group covered the cost of bringing back the 120
men today.

The trip will cost about


US$50,000, however, we, MAI and the
Kanbawza group, enjoy being able to
pay for it because we have the chance
to be supportive of our Myanmar people and government, MAI said in a
statement.
The United States Mission to the
ASEAN has also pledged $75,000
to help the rescued fishermen from
around the region return home, while
the US government separately contributed $225,000 to support medical
costs and case workers, as well as food,
water and shelter for the victims.

4 News
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THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 14, 2015

Ceasefire accord in danger,


warns chief ethnic negotiator
NCCT leader rules out two-step process that would see groups fighting in Kokang sign ceasefire at a later date

EI EI TOE
LWIN
eieitoelwin@gmail.com

EFFORTS to finalise a nationwide


ceasefire agreement risk collapsing
if the government insists on excluding three groups fighting in northern
Shan State, the chief negotiator for 16
ethnic armed factions warned yesterday.
Naing Han Thar, leader of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team
(NCCT), said the draft nationwide
ceasefire pact signed with the Myanmar government on March 31 would
be void if it did not include the three
factions involved in heavy fighting
with the Tatmadaw in the Kokang border region.
Because we cannot say it is a nationwide ceasefire agreement, we
wont sign it without these three
groups. Thats why we urged the government to discuss with them in order
to participate in signing the NCA,
Naing Han Thar told The Myanmar
Times.
The stand-off between the two
sides threatens to dash the ambitions
of President U Thein Sein to end more
than six decades of civil war and get
the next stage of political dialogue in
place before parliamentary elections
in November.
Ethnic armed leaders are expected
to meet on May 20 in Law Khee Lar,
headquarters of the Karen National
Union, to discuss the draft accord, Naing Han Thar said. The date was not
fixed but the summit would happen
before the end of May, he added.
He said the NCCT was willing to
help the government reach an agreement with the groups fighting in the
Kokang area the Myanmar National
Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA),
the Taang National Liberation Army
and the Arakan Army, which are all
members of the NCCT.
The government refuses to recognise the Kokang-based MNDAA and
the allied Arakan Army and has rejected offers by the ethnic Chinese leadership of a ceasefire with the MNDAA.
U Aung Min, who has led the
governments negotiating team in 18
months of talks with the NCCT, proposed on May 9 a two-stage ceasefire
process that would first include the
bulk of the NCCT and later include the
other three groups.

Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team chief Naing Han Thar speaks to reporters in September 2014. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

But U Naing Han Thar said yesterday, We are afraid that if we left these
groups out of the NCA then the Tatmadaw will keep pressure on them. It

Because we cannot
say it is a nationwide
ceasefire agreement,
we wont sign without
these three groups.
Naing Han Thar
NCCT leader

is very important that the government


be willing to discuss with them.
Last week the Karen National Union and the Restoration Council of
Shan State Army, both seen as closer
to the government, sought to set up a
Coordination Team for Peace and National Reconciliation to smooth the
way toward political dialogue.
A proposal to establish the reconciliation team was included in a sixpart agreement reached in Nay Pyi
Taw on February 12 between the government and some, but not all, ethnic
armed groups and parties.
A forum organised by the two ethnic armed groups at Yangons Inya
Lake Hotel on May 9 announced that
all participants had agreed to form a

coordination team with representatives of the government peace team,


ethnic armed forces, political parties
and ethnic ministers.
However the National League for
Democracy, the Shan Nationalities
League for Democracy, the Pa-Oh National Party, the Karen National Party
and the All Burma Students Democratic Front said they had not agreed to
take part.
They invited us to attend the
workshop for peace and national reconciliation. Forming a committee was
not included in the mandate, said U
Tun Tun Hein, a senior NLD official.
Naing Han Thar also criticised the
initiative, saying the priority was to
formally sign the ceasefire.

Tatmadaw pursues retreating Kokang forces


YE MON
yeemontun2013@gmail.com
ETHNIC armed groups in Shan States
Kokang region have accused the Tatmadaw of launching fresh offensives
against their forces close to the border
with China, even as some of the insurgents are retreating.
The Taang National Liberation
Army (TNLA) claimed yesterday that
the military had suffered heavy losses
in the fighting, while a report from the
Chinese side of the front line said that
at least two artillery shells fired by
Myanmars armed forces had landed
across the border.
The fighting on several fronts followed a report last week that Minister
for the Presidents Office U Aung Min,
the governments chief negotiator in
nationwide ceasefire talks, had suggested to the United Wa State Army

that the government could persuade


the Tatmadaw to reduce its offensives in Kokang if the three armed
groups involved acted first.
On May 9, U Aung Min separately proposed a conditional two-stage
ceasefire agreement with Myanmars
main ethnic armed groups that would
incorporate, at a later stage, the three
factions fighting in the Kokang region.
TNLA spokesperson Mai Aik Kyaw
said yesterday that government forces
had attacked from May 10 to May 12
near Kyaukme township and Thein-Ni
township, and that he had heard that
25 soldiers were killed.
The TNLA wants peace, but the Tatmadaw should reduce their offensive.
And they need to want a peace, he said.
A source close to ethnic Chinese
rebels fighting for the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) said the Tatmadaw had launched

a heavy offensive with artillery, tanks


and aircraft near the 111 border post
and Kon-kyan township. Fighting was
continuing yesterday, he said.
The source said the Tatmadaw was
attacking MNDAA forces in retreat
and that this was confirmed by a report yesterday on the latest offensive
carried by Myawady.
The MNDAA was calling on the
Tatmadaw to halt its offensive, he said.
Myawady, an army newspaper, reported yesterday that a government
offensive had succeeded in capturing
three important hill posts. The bodies
of seven insurgents were recovered
while some government soldiers
were reported killed. Government
forces were pursuing insurgents to
restore peace and stability in the area
of Laukkai, the main town in Kokang,
the newspaper said.
A
Chinese-language
website

separately posted pictures it said were


of Myanmar artillery shells landing
close to the border with Yunnan province yesterday. Two shells had landed
in Chinese territory, it said.
Asked for comment, a colonel in
the Tatmadaws Public Relations and
Psychological Warfare section said the
military was trying to secure peace in
the Laukkai area and that its operations could not be termed as an offensive. He said he had no information on
artillery shells landing in China.
Myanmar last month apologised
to China and agreed to pay compensation after a bomb from one of its
aircraft killed five Chinese sugarcane
workers. China warned Myanmar at
the time that it would take resolute
and decisive measures to protect the
lives, property and security of Chinas
people if such an incident occurred
again.

6 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 14, 2015

Parliament
approves
$400m World
Bank loan
HTOO THANT
thanhtoo.npt@gmail.com
SUPPORTERS of a US$400 million World Bank loan on May 12
brushed aside objections to approving it in the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw
by an overwhelming majority. The
loan will fund projects designed to
reduce rural poverty, and will be
carried out by the Department of
Rural Development of the Ministry
of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural
Development.
The loan, which will be repaid
over 38 years, including a six-year deferment period, and incurs little or no
interest, was approved by 485 votes to
five.
But the loan was more devisive
than the vote would make it seem.
Daw Khin San Hlaing, a National
League for Democracy representative
for Pale township in Sagaing Region,
complained of a lack of transparency,
and said the governments performance in handling an existing World
Bank loan of $80 million raised questions as to whether it could adequately administer the proposed $400
million in funding.
Yangon Regions Thongwa township MP, Daw Su Su Lwin, questioned whether departmental staff
had sufficient experience to administer such a large loan, and said
the proposed 3000 staff should be
doubled.
U Nyan Swe Win, representing
Bago Regions Kyaukkyi township,
suggested that the poverty reduction
plan should be extended to ethnic areas as the peace-making process advanced, so long as this was done impartially, and taking into account the
successes of the $80 million World
Bank project, which had been implemented in nine townships since 2012.
The plan under discussion is to be
implemented in 76 villages until 2021,
and is designed to improve transportation and education, and to expand
access to clean water.
These are the first loans Myanmar
has received from the World Bank in
25 years. The success of the current
first phase depends on the involvement of local residents, said U Mann
Kan Nyunt, Amyotha Hluttaw representative for No 2 constituency in
Kayin State.
However, Pyithu Hluttaw representative U Kyaw Khine Win, a Kayah
national, suggested that it should be
explained more clearly how the villages that benefited from the project
had been selected.
U Sein Win, MP for Maubin township, Ayeyarwady Region, said the
agriculture ministry should consider
repairing damaged drains in the
selected townships.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

Costec workers sit in a protest camp outside their factory in Yangons Shwe Pyi Thar township on February 23. Photo: AFP

Arbitration council orders


Costec to rehire workers
South Korean company has until today to appeal against ruling by Yangons labour Arbitration Council

KYAW
PHONE
KYAW
k.phonekyaw@gmail.com

GARMENT workers dismissed after


going on strike for a K1000-a-day
increase received a boost when a
Yangon Region arbitration tribunal
ordered the factory to re-employ
them. But the factory management,
which has already refused to take the
workers back, has until today to appeal the decision to the level of the
national tribunal.
The Dispute Settlement Arbitration Council for Yangon Region ruled
that 158 garment factory workers
from Shwe Pyi Thar Industrial Zone
can resume their jobs as of May 7.

Last February, thousands of workers from four garment factories at


Shwe Pyi Thar struck in support of
their claim for a K30,000 monthly
pay rise, equivalent to about 40
percent.
The strike camp set up by the
workers, mostly young women, was
broken up by baton-wielding police
and a band of civilians wearing red
armbands. The police attack came
after the South Korean embassy in
Yangon had asked for extra security
for the factorys South Korean management and for non-striking workers, though in a subsequent interview the ambassador, Lee Baek-soon,
insisted that he had not requested
the crackdown.
When the striking workers tried
to return to work at the Costec Garments factory on March 6, the management turned them away.

Under the settlement of labour


disputes law, arbitration councils to
resolve labour-management disputes
operate at the regional and national
level. The council ordered the management of one of the factories concerned, Costec Garments, to allow
the workers to return to their original jobs at the original salary within
30 days. Any worker who failed to
return within that time would be
deemed to have resigned.
Costec garment worker Ma Aye
Sanda Win told The Myanmar
Times yesterday that workers were
unsure whether they would be allowed back, despite the ruling. We
really want to go back to the factory because of the difficulty with
the cost of living. But we hear that
our boss wont give us our jobs
back. We heard they would appeal
the decision, she said.

Appeal to the national-level


Dispute Settlement Arbitration
Council can be made within seven
days.
We will have to wait until May 14
to see if they appeal. If they dont, we
will go back to our jobs, said Ma Aye
Sanda Win said.
She added that about 60 of the
original strikers had already returned to their home villages and
could not be contacted.
Ma Yamin, a worker from Ford
Glory Garments, said fired workers
from other factories were considering submitting a complaint to the
Yangon Region arbitration council in
the hope of recovering the jobs they
had lost.
Efforts by The Myanmar Times to
request a comment from the Costec
management were unsuccessful at
the time of going to press.

UEC trains political party members on voter education


LUN MIN MANG
lunmin.lm@gmail.com
POLITICAL parties are attending
training in electoral law and the rules
that will govern the November general election. Their representatives
are attending training sessions run
by the Union Election Commission
(UEC) so that they can then offer voter education programs as the election
approaches.
Training began last week, with
nine parties attending a course on
May 7-8. The May 11-12 course attracted 19 parties.
As the election approaches,

parties will want to provide their own


electoral education, which will have
to be in line with the laws, rules and
regulations of the election, said U
Thein Oo, a member of the UEC.
All 73 officially registered parties
will be entitled to attend the weekly
sessions.
Daw San San Yi, of the Modern
Peoples Party, who attended the
training, said it focused on general
electoral knowledge. It concerned
getting voters to look out for their
names in the voters lists and related
matters, she said.
The Yangon regional election
sub-commission has also met civil

society organisations to discuss the


display of registered voters lists in
Yangon later this month. Electoral
rolls will go on display in South

73

Registered political parties in Myanmar,


according to the Union Election
Commission

Dagon, North Dagon, East Dagon,


North Okkalapa, Thingangyun,
Thanlyin, Kyauktan, Thongwa, Kayan, Insein, Mingalardon, Shwe Pyi
Thar, Hlaing Tharyar and Htantabin townships from May 25 to June
7, between 9am and 4pm.
Residents are able to check they
are on the rolls and that their details
are correct, but questions have been
raised about whether putting the rolls
on display for two weeks is enough to
ensure their accuracy.
When the names of 240,000 eligible voters in 10 Yangon townships
were displayed from March 30 to
April 12, the regional sub-commission

received only 8600 complaints, according to official figures.


U Ye Aung, of The Serenity Initiative (TSI), an electoral advocacy
group, said his organisation had
urged the regional sub-commission
to extend the display time beyond
office-hours.
Most people living in Yangon
work during the day. The display period should be extended beyond the
office hours so that they can have a
chance to check their names, he said,
adding that officials said they would
consider the suggestion. U Ye Aung
said TSI would distribute voter education materials at the ward level.

News 7

www.mmtimes.com

Views

Economic turbulence threatens region

TS a well-known adage that if


you want to know how the market is doing, ask a bartender or
taxi driver rather than a stockbroker or financial analyst.
Academics and economic pollsters
tend now to be regarded as being
about as reliable as those so-called political experts who predicted a hung
parliament in the United Kingdom
last week.
So bear that in mind as you read
on, and factor in that this writer is on
a par with taxi drivers when it comes
to macroeconomics, and is even
unsure what it means, except that
it relates to countries, not whats in
your pocket.
That caveat aside, it is now clear
that the real growth prospects for the
regions export-oriented economies
are somewhere between dim and dire.
Why? Well, think like a cabbie
and consider what most folks the
ones who dont fly business class or
sip sundowners at the Governors
Residence regard as a basic test of
whether their lives are improving.
Thats right: Its the value of the
money in their pockets.
And if they live in this region, it
aint holding up well. From Thailand
to Indonesia; Singapore to Vietnam,
and of course in Myanmar, currencies
are losing value versus their internationally traded counterparts.
On May 7, Vietnams central bank
devalued the nations currency, the
dong, for the second time this year
in a desperate bid to boost exports
and improve the nations flagging
finances.
In Hanoi, the move was officially
explained as being necessary to cope
with the adverse impacts of international markets. See, thats the difference between mandarins and cabbies.
The latter would tell you in pretty
earthy terms that Vietnams economy
is stuck in the dumps because Hanois
leaders lack the cojones to tackle its
chronically inefficient state-owned enterprises and corrupt banking sector.
Hed also add that the latest dong
devaluation wont work any better than the one in January, or the
half-a-dozen other times its been
devalued since 2008, when Hanois
financial downturn really kicked in
and Vietnam had the worlds worstperforming stock market.
His Thai counterpart would say
much the same about how his leaders, faced with a moribund economy

dollar was the worst since the 1997


Asian financial crisis.
And although labour constraints,
weak consumer prices, and tepid
figures for property sales and factory
production are factors, Singapores
malaise is really due to the slowdown
in China, its biggest trading partner.
Last year, China grew at its slowest
pace since 1990. That situation is unlikely to improve soon and, therefore,
will not improve the economic picture
in Singapore, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia or Myanmar.
Forget about the coming ASEAN
economic integration, the fact is we
are in for a very bleak time.
Of course, the currency devaluations may help a little in the short
term and so will be welcomed by
export-focused businesses who want
to gain some traction out of the
gloom.

MILLION US$

640

The trade deficit in Laos during the first


six months of the 2014-15 financial year

A man shops for vegetables at a market in Singapore on May 8. Photo: AFP

buffeted by weak tourism and falling


exports, have twice this month moved
to weaken the baht.
Thus, like the dong, the baht fell
on May 12 to its lowest level for six
years. The crass tactic did not help:
Thai exports remain less now than
in 2012, the stock market has dipped
ominously, and inflation, already in
minus territory, looks headed for
sustained deflation.
Naturally, folks in the street feel
short-changed, and rightly so. After
all, the money in their pockets has
been steadily losing value and there
is no end in sight to this trend. Diplomatically speaking, they are a tad
peeved.
Just as they are in Laos, whose
economy is reliant on resource industries, especially mining. Unfortunately, mining in Laos is in the doldrums
as its main customer, China, is not

ROGER
MITTON

rogermitton@gmail.com

buying as it once did.


Plus, the country has a massive
trade deficit. In the latest figures
released on May 11, Laos racked up
exports of $1.79 billion and imports of
$2.43 billion for the first six months
of the fiscal year 2014-15.
For a nation with a population
only slightly higher than Yangons, a

deficit of $640 million makes Greece


look healthy and explains why Vientiane could not pay civil servants for
several months a short time ago.
Of course, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam are run by dictatorial regimes,
two Communist, one military, so perhaps they can be excused for reacting
to the economic turmoil in a rather
panicky and doltish way.
But then we have to explain why
the same thing has occurred in democratic Indonesia, whose rupiah has
dropped about 6 percent this year.
Even Singapore, that alleged bastion of fiscal rectitude, has gone down
the same financial cul de sac; indeed,
the slippage of the formerly muscular
Sing dollar has caused most gloom
about regional growth prospects.
Last month, the islands own statemanaged media reported that the
outlook for the depressed Singapore

But local people will not be happy.


Not only have their currencies been
demeaned, but whatever trust they
had in their central banks and financial institutions has been degraded
once again.
And there is another downside: As
nations in the region depreciate their
currencies and make their exports
cheaper than their neighbours, they
also make it tough for local goods to
compete in their home markets.
As the Bangkok Posts Umesh Pandey noted this week, Some countries
in the region still dont realise that a
competitive devaluation to grab the
same piece of the cake could eventually lead to having no one as the
winner.
But perhaps that is too sophisticated a concept for most of the experts
in the regions corridors of power.
All we can say for sure is: Listen to
your cabbie and keep your money in
greenbacks if you can.

8 THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 13, 2015

Business
SMALL BUSINESS

Motorcycle repair shops dodge Yangon ban


MYAT NOE OO
myatnoe.mcm@gmail.com
VETERANS of other Southeast
Asian cities quickly notice the differences when visiting Yangon. The
treed streets and heritage buildings mark the city as unique, and
Shwedagon Pagoda, the citys landmark, is a ready symbol of Yangon.
More disconcerting, though, is
the traffic. Motorcycles are outlawed from Yangons urban townships, markedly changing the
manner of traffic in the city from
the rest of Myanmar, and most of
Southeast Asia.
Yet there are a few motorbikes
to be seen. Many are used for law
enforcement, while some are driven
outside the rules.
To service these motorbikes
springing up in urban areas, a number of shops have quietly opened
their doors.
Traffic officials say the shops
themselves are not technically illegal, though shopowners are keen to
keep a low profile.
Ko Mg opened a store in South
Okkalapa township. His signage
and outward displays are for bicycle repair, but he also carries motorbike parts.
His customers are not only locals but come from many different
areas.

Motorcycles are common sights in places like Mandalay, though prevented from
entering downtown Yangon. Photo: AFP

He said stores in the suburbs,


where motorbikes are legal, such
as a market at 10 Mile, specialise in
parts. His shop captures customers
who are not able to travel that far.
South Okkalapa resident Ko Zarni, who declined to provide his full
name, said he frequently rides his
motorbike in the suburbs, as it is
convenient transportation.

People in this area use motorbike or if not, bicycles, he said.


Most people even have licensed
motorbikes, and if police catch us,
we pay a fine. The police do not
seize our motorbikes or arrest us.
The owner of a shop in North
Dagon township said the area previously had been banned to motorbikes, though this has gradually

changed. She said she reckons each


family now has at least one, and a
number of stores have opened their
doors.
Initially, government officials
periodically ordered the shops to
be closed, though this has become
less common, she said.
Still, without explicit legal sanction legitimising her business, she
said she worries it may still be
closed down.
An official from the Yangon Region Supervisory Committee for
Traffic Rules Enforcement said the
committee does not regulate motorcycle shops.
Repair and spare part shops in
the restricted area are not a direct
concern of the traffic police, he
said. We cannot arrest these motorbike shopkeepers.
While it is more difficult to get
away with using a motorbike the
closer one goes to downtown Yangon, suburban dwellers say it its
often the transportation of choice
for them.
The owner of a Hlaing Thayar
township shop said his business
is good as many people ride and
break down in his area.
Whether urban Yangonites will
ever be legally able to ride downtown remains to be seen, but there
will be some repair shops ready for
them.

IN BRIEF
Petroleum import prices to be
published each Monday
The Myanmar Petroleum Trade Association plans to publish the price of
imported petroleum products, aiming
to increase customer awareness of the
goods, it said yesterday.
A weekly price index of petroleum
imports at the ports will be published
through state newspapers and television, said the association, which is an
industry body.
The price index will be based on
daily international crude prices, the
exchange rate, insurance fees, taxes
and storage expenses, the associations statement said.
The program to publicise costs for
importing petroleum products has
been directed by state-owned Myanma
Petroleum Products Enterprise, due to
a public outcry that domestic petroleum
prices have not declined, despite a
decline of international crude oil by over
50 percent in the past year.

Petronas opens lubricant office

Malaysias state-owned Petronas


Lubricants International opened a
Yangon representative office yesterday, positioning itself for a chunk of
the expanding lubricant business, the
company said in a press release.
We really see potential and we are
confident that [Petronas] direct presence will allow us to develop a more
focused approach to market, said Giuseppe Pedretti, head of Asia regional
business of PLI. Aung Shin

Environmental and social standards


await final approval to move forward
AUNG
SHIN
koshumgtha@gmail.com

A MAJOR issue surrounding project


implementation in Myanmar is the
way environmental and social impact assessment (EIA/SIA) reports
are conducted. Without clear legislation, many investment projects
struggle to complete this critical
step.
The Environmental Conservation
Law was enacted in March 2012 and
its rules and regulations were made
public in June last year.
Foreign investors are obliged to
comply with this law. However, the
local practice of completing EIA/SIA
reports still needs improvement, and
investors and regulators are trying
to put together a standard procedure
to guide the process.
We are going to publish a standard EIA/SIA procedure soon, around
June, said U Kyaw San Naing, a director from the Environmental Conversation Department (ECD) under
the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF).
The department has finalised a
standard EIA/SIA procedure which
has been sent to the cabinet and Attorney Generals Office for final approval. The procedure will offer clear
instructions to companies on how to
complete the reports.

It is really important that these


procedures are published. We need
a solid legal base for companies to
work from, and just one set of rules
rather than different practices in different sectors and locations, said
Vicky Bowman, director of the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB).
The EIA/SIA regulations will cover a range of sectors, including real
estate, infrastructure and electricity, but the extractive industries are
most in need of clear guidelines.
At the moment, only a few mining projects are in operation, focusing on gold, jade and other mineral
resources.
The sector will not thrive without a standard EIA/SIA procedure,
because without a set of clear guidelines, companies are likely to run
into controversies.
For example, the long-running
conflict at Letpadaung Copper Mine
near Monywa is partially resolved,
but could be reignited at any time.
As previously reported by The
Myanmar Times, protests over land
grabs have broken out sporadically at Letpadaung since Chinese
firm Wanbao a subsidiary of arms
manufacturer Norinco and armyowned Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited signed an agreement to
develop the mine in 2010.
The conflict between the company and local residents has impacted
other extractive industry players.
It is becoming more difficult to organise Corporate Social Responsibility

[CSR] projects due to the impact of


conflicts such as this, said an official
from French energy giant Total, which
has been operating in Myanmar for
more than 20 years.
For corporations, CSR activities
may lead to positive brand perception, while Myanmar has promoted
CSR spending because of the benefits it brings to local communities.
Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise
(MOGE) conducted three international bidding rounds in 2011 and
2013 for onshore and offshore oil
and gas blocks. A total of 45 onshore
and offshore blocks were awarded
to international oil companies. The
Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs)
for awarded blocks have been signed
and only a few blocks remain to be
allocated to investors.
Those international oil companies must complete EIA/SIA surveys
before they can progress to the exploration phase, according to the
Ministry of Energy.
However, it is unclear how companies will complete the required
reports without a standard EIA/SIA
procedure.
The respective government ministries and organisations have negotiated to allow oil companies to proceed with seismic acquisition before
the standard procedure is published.
At the request of related ministries and organisations, we will allow the oil companies to continue
their work with the Initial Environmental Examination [IEE] report.
The full EIA/SIA reports should be

submitted later, once the company


reaches the discovery stage in the
exploration period, said U Kyaw San
Naing.
UK-based Ophir Energy was the
first company to begin a seismic
campaign with its IEE report just after it signed a PSC.
So far, around 10 EIA and IEE
reports have been presented by oil
companies to the ECD, to be approved by the independent review
team. A total of 26 local and 24 international organisations are working on EIA/SIA and IEE services at
present according to ECDs records.
These EIA/SIA service companies or organisations will have to
register for a working licence once
we have published the EIA/SIA
regulations. We will be able to take
action against service companies if
their reports are not in line with the
procedures, said U Kyaw San Naing.

The main problem


is capacity-building
among our staff
and the pressure to
complete dozens of
projects in time.
U Kyaw San Naing
Environmental official

Publishing a standard EIA/SIA


procedure is not the only way to promote transparency, environmental
conservation and social well being.
However, MOECAF, which is
tasked with overseeing this process,
lacks resources.
The main problem is capacitybuilding among our staff and the
pressure to complete dozens of projects in time, said U Kyaw San Naing.
He said that the ministry is receiving technical assistance from
the Asian Development Bank and
the Japan International Cooperation
Agency, among other international
institutions, but more resources are
still needed.
They need a lot more qualified
staff to cope with the influx of new
investment as well as the backlog.
They will also need to have technical
advisers on standby for several years
to help them assess the reports they
receive, said Ms Bowman.
If EIA/SIAs are conducted transparently, to an international standard, they can be used to raise standards across the sector and create
more of a level playing field, she said.
Myanmar became an Extractive
Industries Transparency Initiative
(EITI) Candidate Country in July
2014. But the process of delivering
the first EITI report is still being
discussed by members of the Multi
Stakeholders Group, which includes
representatives from the government, civil society organisations and
private companies.

BUSINESS EDITOR: Jeremy Mullins | jeremymullins7@gmail.com

Theres life after


Blackwater for the
firms founder

Chinese retail sales


dropped last month as
economy cools

BUSINESS 12

BUSINESS 13

Exchange Rates (May 13 close)


Currency
Euro
Malaysia Ringitt
Singapore Dollar
Thai Baht
US Dollar

Buying
K1220
K300
K813
K32
K1090

Selling
K1225
K315
K818
K35
K1091

Central Bank warns on USD speculation


AYE THIDAR KYAW
ayethidarkyaw@gmail.com
HTIN LINN AUNG
htynlynnaung@gmail.com
KO KO AUNG
pmkokoaung@gmail.com
THE Central Bank of Myanmar
warned currency speculators they will
face legal action, as the market dollarkyat exchange rate climbs well past the
Central Banks official rate.
Weve given out licences and already warned money traders, but
they rarely abide by our rules. For
the first time, weve called the bankers and warned them, said a senior
Yangon-based Central Bank of Myanmar official.
We are going to field inquires
about whether our rules are followed,
and if they are not, we will take action.
Trading the kyat and US dollar
outside a band of plus or minus 0.8
percent of the Central Banks daily
reference rate is illegal, though widely
practised.
The Central Bank manages the kyat
by setting a daily reference exchange
rate against the dollar in daily auctions, which it then posts on its website. The reference rate is supposed to
reflect the market price, though the
gap between the two has been growing
this year.
Yesterday the reference rate was
K1080 a dollar while the market rate
was about K1130 a dollar. The gap first
began to grow between the two in February, when the Central Banks rate
stayed at K1027 and the market rate

rose. The Central Bank subsequently


raised its reference rate two months
ago, briefly coming near the market
rate, though the gap has since widened
again.
Although the reasons why the Central Bank has not raised its rate in line
with the market are not entirely clear,
insiders say it could be an effort to prevent further depreciation.
The kyat has tumbled against the
dollar this year, as have most international currencies, in large part due to
the dollars strength rather than the
kyats weakness.
Experts say keeping the official reference rate lower than the market rate
is not the best way to attempt to solve
the problem of a depreciating kyat.
The problem cannot be controlled
this way, said KBZ senior adviser U
Than Lwin.
If it is done, the problem will go
from bad to worse.
U Than Lwin said the government
must manage flows of foreign currency
to solve the problem.
There is currently growing demand
for the dollar, which is difficult to supply, leading to the kyats depreciation
against the dollar, he added.
Depreciating kyat is a function of
supply and demand.
Economist U Khin Maung Nyo
said the Central Bank must be responsible for selling enough dollars
to meet market demand.
To run the market mechanism
smoothly, the government must be
strong, he said.
One prominent businessperson

told The Myanmar Times that speculation in the dollar has seemed like a
sure bet recently, as its value has been
rising, while other traditional assets
like cars and real estate have been less
attractive so far in 2015.
U Mya Than, chair of the Yangon
Foreign Exchange Market Committee,
said market trends are crucial for determining the exchange rate, adding
the market does not rely solely the
Central Banks rate.
Banks must also work together
to prevent too much fluctuation
in the exchange rate, as the Central Banks actions alone are not
enough. U Mya Than added there
is a danger a crackdown by the
Central Bank could drive currency
exchange underground.
The informal market will come
again if the rules are more strict,
he said.
U Mya Than, who is also chair of
Myanmar Oriental Bank, said the
Central Bank of Myanmar could explore other policies, such as limiting
the amount of US dollars that can be
withdrawn to US$10,000 unless there
is a proof of need of a large amount, as
otherwise the money can be used for
speculation.
Thailand has a similar policy in
place to protect against dollarisation,
or the increased use of the US dollar in
the local economy instead of the local
currency, he said.
It is not only the kyat that has
weakened against the dollar this year,
but most international currencies.
Not everything about the kyats

Employees count cash at a Yangon bank. Photo: AFP

weakening is bad, said U Mya Than.


We also get some benefit, like promoting exports.
There are 17 domestic banks and
hundreds of private non-bank money
changers trading in four currencies
US dollars, euros, Malaysian ringgit
and Singapore dollar since late 2012.
Another Central Bank of Myanmar official said the Central Bank
has yet to inform the market about
how they will watch for rule breakers, but if they find someone not following the rules of the Foreign Exchange Management Law, they will
face charges or other penalties.
The Central Bank has already
eased the rules to become a money

changer. It hopes to give customers


more changes, so money changers will
not bully customers with services and
prices, he said.
The senior official claimed the
small number of large exchange companies in the market had increased the
possibility of currency speculation.
Weve been encouraging more
non-bank money changers to increase competition, so there will not
be monopolistic habits in the market, he said.
Money changers are notoriously
strict on the condition of bills they will
accept, though the Central Bank has
attempted to encourage them to accept
a wider array of damaged notes.

Parliament pushes for financial


institutions law this year
AYE THIDAR KYAW
ayethidarkyaw@gmail.com

A gold seller arranges wares in Yangons Chinatown. Photo: AFP

Gold price inching up


leads to jewellery sales
MYAT NYEIN AYE
myatnyeinaye11092@gmail.com
GOLD prices may have taken a hit
from the strengthening US dollar
this year, but have shown signs of
life over the past week, according to
local businesspeople.
Aung Thamardi Gold Shop in
Yangon sold gold at K701,500 a tical (16.25 grams or 0.576 ounces)
yesterday, a moderate rise on the
K690,000 a tical of gold cost on May
6, said a company spokesperson.
Within the past week, the price
has gone up slightly because of
nervousness in the currency exchange market, he said.
Spot prices for the precious metal were US$1194 an ounce in New
York yesterday, and are up about 2

percent over the past week, a similar amount to the increase in local
markets.
Gold prices had declined even
further at some points last year.
Traders say the main determinant in gold prices is the relative
strength of the US dollar, with the
two usually moving inversely to
each other.
U Zaw Aung, owner of Taik Sein
gold shop, said prices now are
higher than they have been at some
points this year, meaning he receives an increase in people wanting to sell their jewellery for cash.
Gold shops are busy with customers attempting to sell their gold
and jewellery these days, he said.
Were receiving more sellers than
when gold cost K690,000 a tical.

THE enactment of the Banks and Financial Institutions Law of Myanmar


has been delayed in parliament due to
its complexity, sources said.
The law has proven controversial,
with some parliamentarians criticising the initial drafts for providing
too much power to the Central Bank
of Myanmar. Others have welcomed
the law, saying it modernises the legal
framework underlying the sector.
U Win Myint, secretary of parliaments Banks and Monetary Affairs
Development Committee, said the
much-delayed law will hopefully be
enacted before the 2015 general election.
The relevant committees in parliament have only had time to discuss
one-third of the laws 186 chapters, he
said.
They are not just discussing this
law. Parliament is so busy preparing
for the coming election and discussing
other policies, but we hope to finalise
it during this period, he said.
Bankers are keen to see the law in
place. Harry Loh, country manager
of UOB, which received its licence on
May 4, told The Myanmar Times last
week that he was keen to see the law
in place, adding it will make some
things much more clear.
The Bill Committee and the Legal
Affairs and Special Cases Assessments
Commission are among those discussing the draft.

Banks in Myanmar currently operate under the Financial Institutions


of Myanmar Law (FIML) which was
enacted in 1990 by the State Law and
Order Restoration Council.
The government and local legal
experts began drafting the new law in
2013, with technical assistance from
the World Bank.
A spokesperson from the World
Bank declined to comment on the status of the new law, as it is being handled by the government.

Smaller banks will


find it difficult ...
[but] it will raise the
resilience of banks
in a crisis situation.
U Soe Thein
Asia Green Development Bank

An official at a state-owned bank,


on condition of anonymity, said that
the law will include clauses on corporate governance standards as
well as the accountability of banks
and bankers.
It will also give an equal chance
to public and private banks, he said.
For example, both will be required
to have the same number of direc-

tors on their boards.


U Soe Thein, executive director of
Asia Green Development Bank, said
some bankers prefer the old law which
is clearer and has fewer restrictions,
written on fewer pages.
The new law will raise minimum
capital requirement and reserve ratios, he said.
It states that a banks minimum
capital requirement should be K20 billion (US$18.4 million), and that every
bank must hand 5 percent of its deposits to the Central Bank as a reserve
requirement without the option to
invest it into treasury bonds or other
interest bearing instruments, he said.
Smaller banks will find it difficult.
On the other hand, it will raise the resilience of banks in a crisis situation,
when the exchange rate or interest
rate goes up significantly, but most
of us are not familiar with these new
things, he said.
The Central Bank of Myanmars
deputy governor previously said that
for foreign bank policy the local law
is just as important as international
regulation.
In April, Japans The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Sumitomo
Mitsui Banking Corporation, and
Singapores OCBC, became the first
foreign banks to open branches in
Yangon, following decades in which
international lenders were not permitted to operate in Myanmar. UOB
followed last week, and five more international lenders are expected to
open branches this year.

TRADE MARK CAUTION


SHANGRI-LA INTERNATIONAL HOTEL
MANAGEMENT LIMITED, a company incorporated
under the laws of the British Virgin Islands and having
its registered office at Trident Chambers, P. O. Box 146,
Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands, is the Owner
and Sole Proprietor of the following Trademarks:-

Reg. No. 4/4206/2015


Intl Class 35: Business management and business
operation of hotels, motels, apartment and condominium
services, guest house/accommodation, spa, time share
resorts, beauty services, bar, cafe, cafeteria, coffee
shop, catering, restaurants, club, wine club, cocktail
lounge services and snack-bar for others; provision of
business services and business information; promotional
material and advertising services; advertising agency
services; outdoor advertising, demonstration of goods,
dissemination of advertising matter, distribution of
samples, shop window dressing; updating of advertising
material; rental of advertising space; services of publicity;
organization of exhibitions for commercial or advertising
purposes; organization of trade fairs for commercial or
advertising purposes; professional business consultancy;
business organization consultancy; business research;
economic forecasting; business management assistance
for the sale of goods, business management consultancy
for the sale of goods, commercial management assistance
for the sale of goods; sales promotion; retail store services
relating to souvenirs in hotels and guesthouse, food and
beverages, goods for spa, beauty services; direct selling
services by home party, wholesaling services; provision
of information, management, consultancy and advisory
services for the aforesaid services.
Intl Class 36: Real estate development; real estate
brokerage; real property investment; real property
investment management; real estate agency; real estate
consultancy; real estate management; apartment house
management; rental of real estate; renting of apartments;
rental of offices [real estate]; rental of retail shops;
real estate appraisal; valuation of real estate; financial
evaluation of real estate; rent collection; provision of
information relating to real estate; financial advisory
services relating to real estate property; research services
relating to real estate selection; computerised information
services relating to real estate; arranging the provision
of finance for real estate purchase; assisting in the
acquisition of and interests in real estate; administration
of financial affairs relating to real estate; money exchange
services; charitable fund raising; safe deposit services.
Intl Class 41: Arranging and conducting of conferences;
arranging and conducting of seminars; health club services
(health and fitness training); holiday camp services

(entertainment); planning (party-) (entertainment);


providing amusement arcade services; providing karaoke
services; providing on-line electronic publications, not
downloadable; providing sports facilities; publication
of books; recreation facilities (providing-); recreation
information; rental of skin diving equipment; rental
of sports equipment, except vehicles; rental of sports
grounds; rental of tennis courts; sport camp services;
ticket agency services (entertainment) for the aforesaid
services.
Intl Class 43: Hotels and motels, apartment and
condominium services, guest house services; hotel
accommodation reservation; bar, cafe, cafeteria, snack
bar, coffee-shop, restaurant and catering services; hotel
lounge services; providing facilities for conferences
and exhibitions; booking agency services for hotel
accommodation, arranging of and letting of holiday
accommodation, letting and/or reservation of tourist
accommodation, tourist office and travel agency
services for booking accommodation; provision of
food and beverages services, preparation of food and
drink, self-service and/or fast food restaurant; providing
information relating to hotel services on-line from a
computer database or via the Internet or extranets;
providing information relating to preparation of foods and
beverages and catering services on-line from a computer
database or via the Internet or extranets; rental of meeting
rooms, providing information relating to restaurants
and bars services on-line from a computer database or
via the Internet or extranets; provision of information,
management, consultancy and advisory services for the
aforesaid services.
Intl Class 44: Resort and spa services; florist and
flower arranging services; provision of sauna, solarium
and sun deck facilities; beauty salon services, skin care
beauty treatment services, hairdressing services, massage
services, physical fitness services, weight losing and/
or gaining and/or controlling services; pedicure and
manicure services, provision of information and advisory
relating to the use of skin, beauty treatment and cosmetic
products, health care services; providing information
relating to beauty and hair salon services on-line from
a computer database or via the Internet or extranets;
providing information relating to medical services on-line
from a computer database or via the Internet or extranets;
provision of information, management, consultancy and
advisory services for the aforesaid services.

CHI
Reg. No. 4/4203/2015

Reg. No. 4/4204/2015

Intl Class 3: Soaps; perfumery; essential oils; cosmetics;


hair lotions; shampoos; dentifrices; personal care
products; skincare and haircare products; after-shave
lotions; shaving preparations; antiperspirants [toiletries];
bath salts, not for medical purposes; beauty masks;
cotton sticks for cosmetic purposes; cotton wool for

cosmetic purposes; creams (cosmetic -); depilatories;


lotions for cosmetics purposes; pumice stone; scented
wood; slimming purposes (cosmetic preparations for
-); sunscreen preparations; tissues impregnated with
cosmetic lotions; toiletries and varnish-removing
preparations.
Intl Class 44: Resort and spa services; provision of
sauna, solarium and sun deck facilities; massage services,
beauty salon and hair dressing services; skin care and
beauty treatment, physical fitness services; weight losing
and/or gaining and/or controlling service; health care
services; pedicure and manicure service; provision of
information, management, consultancy and advisory
services for the aforesaid services.

Reg. No. 4/4202/2015

Reg. No. 4/4205/2015


Intl Class 36: Real estate development; real estate
brokerage; real property investment; real property
investment management; real estate agency; real estate
consultancy; real estate management; apartment house
management; rental of real estate; renting of apartments;
rental of offices [real estate]; rental of retail shops;
real estate appraisal; valuation of real estate; financial
evaluation of real estate; rent collection; provision of
information relating to real estate; financial advisory
services relating to real estate property; research services
relating to real estate selection; computerised information
services relating to real estate; arranging the provision
of finance for real estate purchase; assisting in the
acquisition of and interests in real estate; administration
of financial affairs relating to real estate; money exchange
services; charitable fund raising; safe deposit services.
Any fraudulent imitation or unauthorized use of the said
Trademarks will be dealt with according to law.
For SHANGRI-LA INTERNATIONAL HOTEL
MANAGEMENT LIMITED
U Nyunt Tin Associates International Limited
Intellectual Property Division
Tel: 959 4500 59 247, Email: info@untlaw.com
Dated: 14 May, 2015.

International Business 11

www.mmtimes.com
WASHINGTON

TOKYO

AOL disconnects with Australia to dominate in Japan beef


large Verizon deal
OVER its 30-year history, the company
got America on the internet, became
a corporate power, lost its lustre and
reinvented itself several times in an effort to stay relevant.
The roller-coaster ride appeared to
come to an end late on May 12 when
AOL agreed to sell itself to telecom giant Verizon for US$4.4 billion, representing an ignominious closing chapter for a company that was once one
the worlds leading tech stars.
In the early days of the internet,
AOL then known as America Online
signed up more than 26 million US
subscribers for dialup internet, and
became synonymous with the phrase
Youve Got Mail, which also was the
name of a popular movie at the time.
It became one of the worlds most
powerful corporations with a tie-up
with Time Warner one of the largest deals in corporate history valued at
some $165 billion in 2001.
At one point AOL was king of the
world on the internet, said Roger Kay,
analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates.
Now they are basically an alsoran. This is pretty much a fire sale for
AOL.
The company began to unravel
shortly after the merger which created
a conglomerate known as AOL Time
Warner.
Customers began to move to
high-speed connections from cable
firms, and moved beyond the walled
garden of content on AOL to the
much wider universe of the world
wide web.
With the synergies from AOL and
Time Warner failing to materialise,
the companies decide to break up in
2009.
AOL tried to do too much too soon
and didnt do anything well enough,
said Larry Chiagouris, a Pace University professor of marketing.
Still, AOL was a pioneer for the early days of the online sector. It began in

1985 as Quantum Computer Services


and offered an online service named
Q-Link, and in 1989 offered its first online messaging application.
In 1991, it was renamed America
Online through an employee contest
and went public on the Nasdaq the
following year.
It offered chat rooms, bulletin
boards, email, and news and entertainment content for Americans just
learning about the internet, and swallowed up rivals CompuServe and ICQ.
It tried to expand internationally,
first as a dial-up service and later as
a Web portal, with little success. Its
acquisition of the online browser
Netscape also produced little.
The merger with Time Warner was
touted as a way to bring together the
considerable content of Time Warner
with the emerging online world but
ended up as one of the biggest merger
disasters on record.
It became unmanageable and all
the properties began to suffer, Mr Kay
said.
AOL nonetheless began a series of
reorganisations that included both job
cuts and acquisitions in an effort to
rebuild its business.
In 2005, it became the first online
company to win an Emmy award for
coverage of the global Live8 concerts.
It boosted its content with news sites
like the Huffington Post, acquired in
2011, and TechCrunch in 2010, plus
other services such as Moviefone and
Mapquest.
But the key for Verizon could be its
advertising platform which manages
online marketing efforts for the Web
as well as video and mobile.
Verizon has the pipes, AOL the
ability to monetize streaming video
with advertising, said Rebecca Lieb,
analyst at Altimeter Group.
In that respect, the alliance makes
a great deal of sense for both players
as digital video continues to gain traction and viewers. AFP

AUSTRALIA is set to strengthen its


dominance over the United States as
Japans biggest beef supplier as a trade
deal drives shipments toward a fouryear high.
Imports of Australian chilled beef
rose 8 percent last quarter and may
reach the highest since 2011 while
shipments from the US drop to the
lowest in three years, according to
Tatsuo Iwama, executive director of
Japan Meat Traders Association. The
rising inflow of Australian meat to Japans US$2.6 billion beef market is the
result of decreasing tariffs triggered
by a bilateral agreement that went
into effect in January, he said.
Australias expanding market
share will spur the US to reach a similar deal with Japan, its biggest beef
and pork buyer, according to Makiko
Tsugata, an analyst at Market Risk
Advisory in Tokyo. The two countries have been in talks for months
to strike a bilateral agreement, which
would pave the way for the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Lower duties for Australian products are attractive to Japanese meat
importers and beneficial to local consumers, Mr Iwama said. The US beef
industry needs an early conclusion of
TPP talks to regain equal footing with
Australian exporters.
The Japan-Australia Economic
Partnership Agreement is giving
Australia an edge over the US, the
Australian Bureau of Agricultural &
Resource Economics & Sciences said
in March.
Australias market share is expected to increase as Australian beef gains
a competitive advantage over US beef
because of lower tariffs, Mr Abares
said in the report.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and
Premier Tony Abbott signed the accord in July, under which Japan
agreed to gradually lower tariffs on
Australian chilled beef to 23.5pc over
15 years from 38.5pc. Theyre currently
at 31.5pc after two rounds of cuts. Duties on frozen beef will be halved to
19.5pc over 18 years.

TOKYO

Nissan profits from yen


NISSAN yesterday said its fiscalyear net profit soared 17.6 percent to US$4.2 billion, crediting a
weak yen and new model rollouts
for buoyant results that drove
past its own earlier forecasts.
Japans number-two automaker reported a 457.6 billion yen
($3.82 billion) profit in the year
to March it had been expecting earnings of 420 billion yen
on sales of 11.38 trillion yen, up
8.5pc.
The company projected an
even stronger 485.0 billion yen
profit this business year.
Robust demand, especially for
new products in North America
and Western Europe, along with
cost efficiencies and the continued correction in the yen-dollar
exchange rate, offset challenging
market conditions in Japan and
several emerging markets, Nissan said.
A sharp drop in the yen has
made Japanese automakers more
competitive overseas and inflated
the value of repatriated overseas
profits, but sales slowed in their
home market after a sales tax last
year dented consumer spending.
Nissans results come less than
a week after Toyota, the worlds
biggest automaker, said its annual net profit accelerated to a
record $18.1 billion.
Both automakers and domestic

Nissan Motors chair and CEO Carlos Ghosn speaks during the companys
financial results press conference in Yokohama. Photo: AFP

rival Honda are grappling with costs


tied to the recall of millions of vehicles due to a defect in airbags made
by supplier Takata.
Yesterday, before Nissan published its results, the carmaker
and Toyota separately announced
more airbag-linked recalls, the
latest chapter in a crisis linked to
at least five deaths.
Nissan said it was calling back
1.56 million vehicles while rival

Toyota recalled 5 million vehicles


globally.
The announcement comes
after about 20 million vehicles
produced by a string of major automakers were recalled because
of the risk that their Takata-made
airbags could improperly inflate
and rupture, potentially firing
deadly shrapnel at the vehicles
occupants.
AFP

Beef cattle wander a pasture near Wolumla, Australia. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Chilled-beef imports from Australia climbed to 27,723 tonnes in the


three months to March 31, while those
from the US fell 27 percent to 12,913
tons, according to Japanese ministry
data. Shipments from Australia this
fiscal year will be the highest since

Lower duties for


Australian producers
are attractive to
Japanese meat
importers.
Tatsuo Iwama
Japan Meat Traders Association

reaching 132,549 tonnes in the year


ended March 2012, Mr Iwama said.
US exports slid as a port strike on
the West Coast delayed shipments,
said Susumu Harada, senior director
at the US Meat Export Federations
Tokyo office. Mr Harada declined to
comment on the TPP or its potential

impact, citing internal policy.


Australia overtook the US in 2002
as the top supplier to Japans beef
market, estimated at 307 billion yen
($2.6 billion) last year, and solidified its gains after a government ban
following the discovery of mad-cow
disease in US cattle in 2003. The nation shipped 281,706 tonens to Japan
in 2014, accounting for 54pc of the
overseas supplies, while the US made
up 36pc, Japanese government data
show. Japan relaxed trade restrictions
on US beef in 2013.
Japans total beef imports in 2015
will fall 2pc to 727,000 tons because
of higher price offers from the US
and Australia as cattle slaughter and
production falls in both countries,
the US Department of Agricultures
Foreign Agricultural Service forecast
last month.
Australias Eastern Young Cattle Indicator has risen more than 20pc this
year to A$4.760 a kilogram ($1.72 a
pound) as of May 12, the highest in data
dating back to 1996. Cattle futures on
the Chicago Mercantile Exchange have
gained 4.4pc to $1.50375 a pound since
touching a nine-month low in March.
Bloomberg

SYDNEY

Toll shareholders
vote in favour of
Japan Post takeover
AUSTRALIAS Toll Holdings shareholders yesterday voted overwhelmingly in support of a A$6.49 billion
(US$5.18 billion) takeover bid by Japan Post, ahead of the global postal
and logistics giants expected IPO later
this year.
State-owned behemoth Japan Post
unexpectedly offered A$9.04 a share
for Toll in February.
Some 95.88 percent of Toll shareholders took part in the vote, with
99.72pc of them in favour of the offer,
the company said in a statement.
The vote came after Australias Foreign Investment Review Board gave a
green light to the proposal in March,
leaving just formal approval from Victoria States Supreme Court before Toll
stops trading altogether on the Australian Securities Exchange.
The court hearing will take place
on May 14, with the Melbourne-based
transport logistics giant planning to
delist on the same day as the hearing.
The deal will then go ahead on May
28.
Toll shares were up 0.22pc to
A$9.02 in afternoon trade.
Under the proposal, Toll will be run
as a division within Japan Post and retain the Toll name, with the companys
chief executive Brian Kruger reporting

BILLION US$

5.18

Size of takeover bid by Japan Post for


Australias Toll Holdings which was
approved by shareholders yesterday

to his Japan Post counterpart Toru


Takahashi.
Toll has a global network spanning
road, air, sea and rail routes with significant existing operations in Asia.
Mr Takahashi said in February that
it was a perfect fit for Japan Post as it
looks to expand its international footprint.
The Japanese government looks set
to privatise Japan Post, with the global
postal and logistics player confirming
in December that it will list its shares
in Tokyo this year.
The listing could be one of the
worlds biggest IPOs if it takes place.
AFP

12 International Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 14, 2015

HONG KONG

Blackwater
founder finds
a new gig
NEARLY five years after selling his
notorious soldiers-for-hire business,
the founder of Blackwater Worldwide is once again running operations in some of the worlds most
hazardous places.
This time, instead of providing
machine-gun-wielding contractors,
Erik Prince is offering Chinese customers logistical support to get in and
out of African danger zones. The exNavy SEAL and CIA operative, now
chair of Hong Kong-listed Frontier
Services Group, predicts the outlook
is bright for his new company.
We help people get their projects
up and running and once theyre up,
keep them running, said Mr Prince,
45, in an interview in Hong Kong. We
get busy when things are good in Africa and we stay busy when things are
sometimes not good.
While Mr Princes new company is
small relative to the billion-dollar business Blackwater used to be, he has got
a big backer in Citic Group, the Chinese
governments largest conglomerate.
With Chinas stock of direct investment
in Africa reaching US$25 billion by the
end of 2013, much of it in the form of
resources-for-infrastructure deals, Mr
Prince is counting on demand for his
services to surge.
They can do logistics under fire
where other companies wouldnt want
to get involved because of the risks,
said Luke Patey, a senior researcher at
the Danish Institute for International
Studies. I think the expertise of a
former private military contractor is
very useful in this regard.
Frontier Services traces its roots

to a Chinese digital broadcaster


called DVN Holdings, but effectively
started anew with Mr Princes arrival
in January 2014. It is now a logistics
company offering services ranging
from risk assessment to airdrops
and medical evacuations in Africa,
though no guns for hire.
The companys backers saw the
massive investment coming out of
Asia and going into Africa and they
thought: How do you make that work
better, more effectively? Mr Prince
said. They wanted to find people who
know how to operate and make things
happen in difficult places, so I guess
they thought of me.
In its first full year of operations
as Frontier Services, the company
posted a net loss of HK$130.4 million (US$16.8 million) on revenue of
HK$310.4 million. The stock has risen
32 percent this year, double the gain
in the Hang Seng Index.
Mr Prince said he is now in talks to
deepen cooperation with Citic, Frontiers largest shareholder, though he
declined to elaborate. Calls to Citic

BILLION US$

25

Size of Chinas direct investment in


Africa, as of the end of 2014

Blackwater Worldwide founder Erik Prince is once again running operations, this time to support Chinese companies with
African business. Photo: Bloomberg

Groups public relations department


were not answered.
Tapped for his experience, Mr
Princes white-collar job is a far cry
from his past running one of the
worlds largest private security firms.
Despite sounding like a seasoned executive at times repeatedly noting
that I cant make forward-looking
statements Mr Prince concedes hes
still adjusting to the role.
Im new to this public-company
thing, he said. When the winds of life
change, you have to tack with them.
Mr Princes life took a sudden turn
in September 2007, when Blackwater
guards stopping traffic for a State Department convoy shot and killed 14
unarmed Iraqi civilians during a chaotic scene in Baghdads Nisour Square.
For some, the incident made
Blackwater an emblem of American
militarism and imperialism all in
the service of profit. One of the Nisour Square guards was sentenced
last month to life in prison for murder and three others received 30-year
jail terms.
Mr Prince left Blackwater in

2009, sold it the following year and


says hes cut all ties with the company. Academi, as the private security firm is now called, says it has no
more ties with Mr Prince.
Blackwaters demise left Mr Prince
bitter with an American government
he says he served patriotically he
was a CIA asset and was on al-Qaedas
hit list only to see himself vilified as
a soldier of fortune.
I was definitely hung out to dry,
Mr Prince said. It was driven by
politics.
After leaving Blackwater, Mr
Prince ventured into private equity
by forming Frontier Resources Group,
based in Abu Dhabi. He also published a book on Blackwater that may
be turned to a movie.
His main focus now is the logistics
company, whose contracts include a
$23.3 million deal with South Sudans
Ministry of Petroleum to carry supplies and maintain its oil fields amid
the civil war there. Tens of thousands
of people have died in the fighting and
more than 2 million others have fled
their homes after army commanders

rebelled against President Salva Kiir.


Frontier Services is offering this
service to a side in a civil war, Danish
researcher Mr Patey said.
Mr Prince says his company is simply on the side of peace and economic development.
Frontier Services is betting its future on serving Chinese companies,
who Mr Prince says are unprepared to
help employees overseas who suffer
accidents or violence. One of Frontier
Servicess main roles is doing medical
evacuations from Africa to mainland
China, said Mr Prince, who declined
to identify his Chinese clients.
You take a guy out of the middle of China who has no foreign
travel experience and now you put
him into a very remote part of Africa that is a jump, Mr Prince
said. Well give advice on how to
avoid being kidnapped or injured,
local diseases or routes to avoid.
The more preparation we can help
those guys with to be safe and effective and to better interact with the
locals, I think both sides win.
Bloomberg

SHANGHAI

HONG KONG

Money talks in Shanghai rally

HSBC subsidiary to
sell stake in Chinas
Industrial Bank

WITH Chinas main stock market more


than doubling in the past year, authorities are looking to cash in by accelerating flotations, but the state-controlled
listing system is riddled with institutional shortcomings, analysts say.
In a legacy of Chinas decades of
Marxist ideology, when the Communist
Party launched a stock market 25 years
ago perhaps the ultimate capitalist
tool it kept strict control over key
decisions, including initial public offerings (IPOs).
The China Securities Regulatory
Commission (CSRC) decides which
companies offer shares and when, as
well as setting guidelines for the number of shares and their price all of
which are determined by the market in
other countries.
It limits IPO prices to a maximum
25 percent above the average price-toearnings ratio for listed companies in
the same industry, but typically seeks
to make them around the same level.
As a result companies cannot take
demand into account and must go to
the market underpriced, offering those
investors lucky enough to buy a guaranteed profit.
Virtually every floated firm surges
44pc on its first day of dealings the
maximum allowed for new issues.
The most extreme recent example
is Baofeng Technology, which listed in
Shenzhen in March and has repeatedly risen by its daily 10pc limit, offering a cumulative return of more than
2300pc in only two months.

If the issue price is 5 yuan


[US$0.82] then it will go to 50 yuan
[$8.20]. Its a sure thing. Youll definitely make money, said Wang Youfu,
who works as a barber but trades stock
when he is not cutting hair.
Everyone is trying to buy IPOs but
the supply is small.
As a result, investors mostly individuals rather than institutions drain
huge amounts of funds from the rest of
the market as they try to subscribe.
But typically of the countrys
famed socialism with Chinese characteristics the allocation process is
murky, offering rich possibilities for
insiders to profit.
The biggest problem the IPO system faces is that Chinas market is not
mature enough right now, said Shen
Zhengyang, an analyst at Northeast
Securities.
Even so the prestige of listing and
vast profits to be made for employees
who already hold shares ensure IPOs
are still attractive for the companies
themselves.
The system and the current market
frenzy mean it is a long way from an
efficient market for capital, and IPOs
find ready buyers regardless of a firms
quality.
Baofeng Technology itself suffered
a net loss in the first quarter this year,
highlighting the questionable valuations created.
With growth slowing, incentives for
a freer economy are growing stronger
while preserving Chinas unique brand

of socialism.
Leaders declared in 2013 that the
market would play a more decisive
role in the worlds second-largest economy, leaving the IPO rules out of step
with the proclaimed new imperative.
In January last year, the regulator
ended a 14-month IPO moratorium
to help support growth using private
investors funds rather than the debtaddled state banking system.
It has since allowed batches of companies to list but there is a massive
backlog of around 500.
The CSRC released proposals last
year to clarify and straighten out the
relationship between government and
the market, allowing the company, its
underwriters and potential investors to
determine IPO timing and pricing.
But the challenge will be how it can
vet companies to protect investors from
fake information and potential fraud,
while reducing state interference.
What kind of role will the CSRC
play in the future to meet the demand
for both market efficiency and market
supervision? asked Yingda Securities
chief economist Li Daxiao.
Even in a market plagued by what
regulators call irregularities, Shanghai-listed venture capital company
Boyuan Investment last month made
the extraordinary statement that it was
unable to stand behind the truth, accuracy and completeness of its own
annual report. It is now under investigation for fraud.
AFP

HANG Seng Bank, a Hong Kongbased subsidiary of British banking


giant HSBC, on May 12 announced
the sale of a 10 percent stake in
Chinas Industrial Bank in a transaction that could be worth US$4.74
billion.
The sale will leave Hang Seng
Bank with a 0.88pc holding in Industrial Bank. The move was made
in two separate deals, with around
half the stake being sold in February and the other half to be sold
shortly.
According to an announcement
made on Hang Seng Banks website,
the two transactions will raise a total of up to HK$36.78 billion ($4.74
billion) before expenses.
Hang Seng Bank and HSBC
consider that the transaction represents an opportunity to realise part
of Hang Seng Banks investment
in Industrial Bank, taking into account the current market conditions, the firms said in the joint
announcement.
Hang Seng Bank expects to use
the net sale proceeds of the transaction principally to support future
business expansion, they added.
HSBC, which holds a 62.14pc

stake in Hang Seng Bank, is headquartered in Britain but has strong


links to Hong Kong.
It was founded in Hong Kong

Hang Seng Bank


expects to use the
net sale proceeds
of the transaction
principally to
support future
business expansion.
Hang Seng Bank statement

and Shanghai in 1865, but has been


based in Britain since 1992.
The bank recently launched a
review on whether to remain headquartered in Britain, however, as
the country increases its regulation
and taxation of the countrys financial sector. AFP

International Business 13

www.mmtimes.com
BEIJING

Chinese retail sales slip


MULTIPLE Chinese economic indicators missed expectations yesterday, with consumption and investment growth figures falling to
multi-year lows, underlining sluggish momentum in the worlds
second-largest economy.
Growth in retail sales, a key indicator of consumer spending, fell
to 10.0 percent in April, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)
said, the weakest for nine years.
Fixed asset investment, a
measure of government spending on infrastructure, expanded
12.0pc in the first four months of
the year, the lowest since 2000.
The median forecasts in polls
of economists by Bloomberg News
were for retail sales to rise 10.4pc
and fixed-asset investment to
climb 13.5pc.
Industrial output, which measures production at factories,
workshops and mines, rose 5.9pc
in April, according to the NBS,
improving from a 5.6pc gain in
March but also weaker than economists estimate of 6.0pc.
The statistics are the latest
poor data to emerge in China, a
key driver of global expansion,
suggesting that stimulus measures taken by Beijing have yet to
have an effect.
The central Peoples Bank of
China on May 10 announced its
third interest-rate cut since November, and this year has twice
reduced the amount of cash lenders must keep in reserve, as well
as using other measures to inject

What jeans are made of: Chinese workers make jeans at a clothing factory in
Shishi, east Chinas Fujian province. Photo: AFP

liquidity into the market.


Chinas gross domestic product
(GDP) grew 7.4pc in 2014, the lowest rate in 24 years.
Expansion slowed further to
7.0pc in the January-to-March period, the worst quarterly result in
six years and down from 7.3pc in
the final three months of 2014.
ANZ economists said the latest figures indicated GDP growth
may have decelerated to below
the governments annual target of
7.0pc.
Thus, more growth stabilisation policies could be expected to
roll out, they wrote in a note.

Continued falls in Aprils exports and imports announced


last week added to concerns over
weakening momentum in China,
while persisting mild consumer
inflation statistics left room for
further policy loosening.
NBS spokesperson Sheng Laiyun commented in a statement
posted on May 12 that the Chinese
economy was operating in a reasonable range.
Positive elements that will
help the economy grow steadily
continued to emerge and accumulate, he said.
AFP

PARIS

Market oil glut persists


despite big price drop
A GLUT in the global oil market has
not evaporated with other countries
stepping up output while US shale
producers have cut back due to the
sharp drop in prices since last year,
the IEA said yesterday.
In its latest monthly report the
International Energy Agency said
that global oil supply remained flat
at 95.7 million barrels per day (mbd)
in April.
It said slowing US shale oil output was being offset by higher output from countries in the OPEC oil
cartel as well as several non-OPEC
nations.
In fact, the IEA raised its forecast
for non-OPEC production growth
this year. It sees output by countries
outside of the cartel climbing by
830,000bpd to 57.8mbd.
As the market continues to rebalance, pockets of supply growth
are emerging from unsuspected
corners, said the IEA, which noted
that Russia and Brazil had coped unexpectedly well with the drop in oil
prices from last year.
Oil prices plummeted by more
than 60 percent from peaks of over
US$100 per barrel last June to under $50 at the beginning of this year
as OPEC refused to cut production
despite indications of a global supply glut.
The move by the 12-nation OPEC
cartel, which pumps about 30pc of
global crude, was widely seen as
aimed to push US shale oil producers, which have higher costs, out of

the market.
The boom in US oil production
has been one of the biggest developments in the oil market in years, but
the IEA noted that the price fall appears to have brought that, at least
temporarily, to a close as the number
of rigs in use has dropped by 60pc
and stocks actually decreased one
week in April.
While the price responsiveness
of [US shale oil producers] was
widely anticipated, the strong performance of some other sources of
non-OPEC supply defied expectations, said the IEA.
Russian oil companies seem to
be coping exceptionally well with
lower oil prices and international
sanctions, thanks to a flexible tax
regime that lightens their fiscal burden as prices drop and to steep cuts
in production costs that came courtesy of the roubles depreciation, it
said, noting that Russian production
jumped by a steep 185,000 barrels
per day year-on-year in April.
It also noted a jump in Brazilian
output by 17pc in the first quarter of
the year as well as gains in China, Vietnam and Malaysia.
Meanwhile OPEC crude oil output continued to climb in April, the
IEA said, increasing by 160,000bpd
from an upwardly revised jump of
960,000bpd in March as Iraq and
Iran boosted output and top exporter Saudi Arabia held output above
10mbd for a second consecutive
month. AFP

14 THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 14, 2015

15

World

WORLD EDITOR: Kayleigh Long

First Nauru refugees


transferred under
Cambodia deal

Afghanistans
drug problem:
User rates soar

WORLD 19

WORLD 16

SANAA

KARACHI

Clock begins on ceasefire

At least 43 Shiites killed in bus attack

A SAUDI-INITIATED humanitarian
truce took effect in Yemen late on May
12, after 24 hours of intensive bombing
by a military coalition led by the kingdom targeting Iran-backed rebels.
But the Saudi-led coalition warned
the Shiite Huthi rebels it stood ready
to strike back at any violations of the
pause that comes after more than six
weeks of bombing.
Shortly after the truce began guns
fell relatively silent in the southern city
of Aden, which has seen heavy combat
between pro-government forces and
the Huthis and their allies.
Lahj and Abyan in Yemens south
were also calmer, while rebels moved
troops to reinforce positions at Marib,
near the capital Sanaa, and Dhaleh,
witnesses said.
Sanaa was calm about an hour after
the ceasefire started.
The five-day pause aims to allow
deliveries of desperately needed relief
supplies, although aid groups have already warned they need more time.
We are committed to respect this,
Brigadier General Ahmed al-Assiri
said, warning the rebels to do the same.
We will be ready to react to any violation of the pause, he told AFP.
Explosions at an arms depot in the
capital hit by coalition strikes since
May 11 killed at least 69 people and
wounded 250, mostly civilians, an official said.
The blasts at Mount Noqum, on
the eastern outskirts of the rebel-held
capital, lasted until midday on May 12,
when a fresh wave of strikes hit the depot, an AFP correspondent said.
UNESCO director general Irina
Bokova condemned severe damage
caused to heritage sites in Yemen,
such as Sanaas old city, during intense
bombing.
The newly appointed UN envoy to
Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, arrived in Sanaa for talks on restarting a
collapsed political dialogue.
We are not ready to announce a
date for talks but that remains the
goal, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said, adding that the fact that he
got into Sanaa and is meeting with the
Huthis [yesterday] is a sign in the right
direction.
Tensions between Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran have
soared since the air war began on
March 26.
Riyadh has repeatedly accused Iran
of arming and funding the rebels, a
charge Tehran denies.
The Huthis have promised to respond positively to the truce, and allied troops loyal to ousted president Ali
Abdullah Saleh have accepted it.
The UN Security Council welcomed

the pause and expressed grave concern


for the severe humanitarian consequences of the months-long violence
in Yemen.
All parties will need to transparently and reliably suspend military operations for the humanitarian pause
to hold, the council said.
The pause is the first since the Riyadh-led alliance began its campaign
to restore the crumbling authority of
exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour
Hadi.
But doubts have been cast on the
initiative, which has strong backing
from Washington.
There might be a ceasefire but it
wont end the conflict, said a Western
diplomatic source. Id be surprised if it
was honoured across Yemen. There will
still be skirmishes going on.
The UN says more than 1500 people have died in the conflict since late
March.
UN agencies were preparing a massive aid operation as soon as the truce
began.
Since last week, 12 people have been
killed on the Saudi side of the border
from rebel mortar and rocket fire,
which continued before the ceasefire,
Mr Assiri said.
The Huthis, from Yemens mountainous north near the Saudi border,
overran Sanaa in September and extended their control to other regions.
Mr Hadi fled to Riyadh as the rebels closed in on his refuge in the main
southern city of Aden.
Clashes raged in southern provinces
and other parts of the country before
the ceasefire, while coalition air strikes
hit a Huthi-held camp in Marib province, east of Sanaa.
Air raids rocked the Huthi stronghold province of Saada late on May
12 ahead of the truce, according to
witnesses.
We hope the truce would last
longer, and become permanent. And
we hope all sides respect it, Red Cross
spokesperson Adnan Hizam said,
lamenting a catastrophic humanitarian situation.
Human Rights Watch warned the
Huthis had intensified recruitment of
children in violation of international
law.
Al-Qaeda has exploited the growing turmoil to consolidate its grip
on Yemens southeastern province of
Hadramawt.
A provincial commander, Maamoun
Hatem, who headed al-Qaeda in the
central province of Ibb, was among
four militants killed on May 11 in an apparent US drone attack in Hadramawt,
an official said.
AFP

BAGHDAD

Iraq displacements soar


THE number of people displaced by
conflict in Iraq since the start of 2014
has reached a new high of 2.8 million.
The International Organisation for
Migration put the number at 2,834,676
and said a wave of displacement caused
by fighting in Ramadi, the capital of
the western province of Anbar, was the
cause of the latest rise.
The IOM said that 133,000 people left their homes when the Islamic
State group attacked parts of Ramadi
a month ago. More than 16,000 have
since returned to the city centre.
There were around 300,000 internally displaced persons in Iraq at the
beginning of 2014.

Unrest broke out in Anbar early last


year, forcing hundreds of thousands
from their homes.
The International Committee of the
Red Cross launched an appeal on May
11 for an additional US$38.5 million
from donors to fund its emergency response in Iraq.
It will bring the total funding it requires for 2015 to 122 million, making
Iraq its second largest operations in the
world, right after Syria, said the ICRC.
The situation is worse in Syria,
where the internally displaced population stands at 7.6 million and the
response is even more critically
under-funded. AFP

AT least 43 Shiite Muslims were


killed and 13 wounded when gunmen
opened fire on their bus in Karachi
yesterday, Pakistani police said, in the
second-deadliest attack on the minority sect this year.
Pakistan has seen a rising tide of
sectarian violence in recent years,
particularly against Shiites who make
up around 20 percent of the countrys
predominantly Muslim population of
200 million.
According to the initial information which we have received from hospitals, 43 people have been killed and
13 wounded, Ghulam Haider Jamali,
police chief of Sindh province, told reporters at the site.
Six terrorists came on three motorcycles. They entered the bus and
began firing indiscriminately. They
used 9mm pistols and all those killed
and injured were hit by the 9mm pistols, he said.
A senior member of the Ismaili
National Council, a community group

IN PICTURES
Photo: AFP

that represents the Ismaili branch of


Shiites in Pakistan, placed the toll at
at least 41.
Television images from the scene
showed a large pink bus that had been
stained by blood in some parts, while
anxious relatives rushed to visit the
wounded in nearby hospitals.
It was the worst anti-Shiite attack since January 30, when a suicide
bomber blew himself up in a mosque
in the southern Shikarpur district,
killing 61.
Anti-Shiite attacks have been increasing in recent years in Karachi
and also in the southwestern city of
Quetta, the northwestern area of Parachinar and the far northeastern town
of Gilgit.
Around 1000 Shiites have been
killed in the past two years in Pakistan, with many of the attacks claimed
by the hardline Sunni group Lashkare-Jhangvi (LeJ) who view them as
heretics.
Ismaili Shiites are known for their

progressive Islamic views. Their spiritual leader Prince Karim Aga Khan
is a globally renowned philanthropist
and business magnate.
The attack comes as Pakistan steps
up its efforts against militants following a Taliban massacre of 150 people,
mainly children, in a school in Peshawar last year.
In the aftermath the government
ended a six-year moratorium on executions, passed legislation to create
military courts for terrorism cases and
pledged to crack down on all militant
groups.
Karachi, a sprawling city of roughly
20 million, has long had a reputation
for high crime rates as well as ethnic,
political and sectarian violence.
But the violence has significantly
fallen since 2013 after police and paramilitary rangers launched a crackdown that rights activists say has led
to extra-judicial killings of suspected
criminals and militants.
AFP

Rescue team officials search for survivors at a collapsed building in Kathmandu May 12 following the second
major earthquake in less than three weeks.

KATHMANDU

Death toll mounts in quake-hit Nepal


RESCUERS battled yesterday to
reach survivors of a deadly new
earthquake in Nepal that triggered
landslides and brought down buildings, as the search resumed for a
US military helicopter that went
missing while delivering aid.
Thousands of traumatised survivors spent the night outdoors,
afraid to return to their houses after the 7.3-magnitude quake, which
killed dozens of people and hit less
than three weeks after the country was devastated by its deadliest
quake in more than 80 years.
The latest disaster took the overall death toll to more than 8200
people, and has compounded the
already-monumental challenge of
reaching far-flung mountain communities in desperate need of shelter, food and clean water.
The Nepal army resumed its
aerial search for a US Marine Corps
helicopter that went missing during a disaster relief operation in
eastern Nepal, near where the latest quake hit.
The Pentagon has said there

may have been a problem with fuel


on the chopper, which was carrying
six US Marines and two Nepal army
soldiers when it disappeared.
We have been informed that
an American helicopter has gone
missing Search operations have
begun, said Laxmi Prasad Dhakal,
spokesperson for the Nepal home
ministry.
Mr Dhakal said 65 people had
been confirmed dead so far in the
latest quake, which was centred 76
kilometres (47 miles) east of Kathmandu, and also killed 17 people in
northern India.
We had been focusing on relief
distribution, but from yesterday
our resources were deployed for
rescue operations again, he said.
The May 12 quake was felt as
far away as New Delhi, and caused
buildings to collapse in Tibet in
neighbouring China, killing at least
one person there.
A second tremor of 6.3-magnitude struck Nepal around half an
hour later, followed by yet more
aftershocks, according to the USGS.

Two large buildings damaged in


the 7.8-magnitude quake that hit on
April 25 collapsed in Kathmandu on
May 10. But Dolakha and Sindhupalchowk, two of the districts worst
affected by the original quake, bore
the brunt of the damage caused by
the fresh tremors.
Many houses have collapsed in
Dolakha ... There is a chance that
the number of dead from the district will go up, said Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam.
The Red Cross said it had received reports of large-scale casualties in the town of Chautara in
Sindhupalchowk, where its Norwegian branch is running a field
hospital.
Hundreds of people are pouring in. They are treating dozens for
injuries and they have performed
more than a dozen surgeries, said
spokesperson Nichola Jones.
There were several reports of
landslides in the worst-hit areas,
making the task of getting relief to
remote communities in the mountainous country even more difficult.

Save the Children said the


Gorkha region, near the epicentre of the April 25 quake, had also
been hit by landslides and many
key roads were blocked.
Regine Kopplow, a German aid
worker who was in the Dolakha
district headquarters of Charikot
when the latest quake hit, saw
huge dust clouds rise into the air
as buildings collapsed.
I saw a woman in the building opposite jump from the third
floor who suffered injuries to her
leg, elbow and hand, said Ms
Kopplow, who works for Concern
Worldwide.
People stayed outside, the
shaking continued. Some people
were crying, hugging each other
and sitting on the ground supporting each other.
Many in Kathmandu had begun to return to their homes after
weeks sleeping outdoors, but after Tuesdays strong tremors large
numbers once again fled buildings
to spend the night in tents or under tarpaulins.

The Nepalese government has


acknowledged that it was overwhelmed by the scale of the April
25 disaster, which destroyed nearly 300,000 homes and left many
more too dangerous to live in.
At an hour of a natural disaster like this, we have to face it with
courage and patience, Nepals
Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said
after an emergency meeting of his
cabinet on Tuesday.
Scientists said Tuesdays quake
was part of a chain reaction set off
by the larger one that struck on
April 25 in Lamjung district west
of Kathmandu.
Large earthquakes are often
followed by other quakes, sometimes as large as the initial one,
said Carmen Solana, a volcanologist at Britains University of Portsmouth.
This is because the movement
produced by the first quake adds
extra stress on other faults and
destabilises them, she told the
London-based Science Media Centre. AFP

Investigators stand behind the police exclusion zone at the site of the shootings near Karachi on May 13. Photo: AFP

HAVANA

US-Cuba relations thawing: Castro


CUBA and the United States will exchange ambassadors once the island is
removed from the US blacklist of state
terrorism sponsors, President Raul
Castro said on May 12, though Washington said there was no set timetable.
Mr Castro said conversations on
the countries historic move to renew
diplomatic ties were going well, and
that the process would advance after
the expiration of a 45-day period on
May 29 for the US Congress to oppose President Barack Obamas plan to
remove Cuba from the blacklist.
In 45 days, which expires on May
29, that accusation will be lifted and we
will be able to have, to name ambassadors, he said.
US State Department spokesperson
Jeff Rathke said no date had been set.
Certainly, an exchange of ambassadors would be a logical step but only
once we re-establish diplomatic relations. We do not have a fixed time for
that, Mr Rathke told reporters.

Mr Castro said restoring full US-Cuban relations could only happen after
Washington lifts the trade embargo it
has imposed on Cuba since 1962, which
Havana calls the blockade, and hands
back sovereignty over Guantanamo
Bay, where the US has a permanent
lease on a naval base.
Naming ambassadors will extend
our relations, but normalising relations is another matter the complete
blockade has to be eliminated and the
Guantanamo base must be returned,
he said.
Mr Obama notified lawmakers last
month of his intention to take Cuba off
the blacklist, a key point in former Cold
War foes negotiations on restoring ties.
Congress now has 45 days to pass a
joint resolution against the move. But
Mr Obamas Republican opponents
would likely struggle to muster the
votes needed to override a presidential
veto.
Mr Castro said the two sides are

currently in talks on several pending


issues, including restrictions on their
respective diplomats movements and
what he called illegal activities by
staff at the US Interests Section, Washingtons diplomatic mission in Havana.
I told ... the president specifically
that what worries me is that [US diplomats] will continue doing the illegal
things they do now, or have been doing
until now, he said.
He cited as an example training sessions for independent journalists at the
Interests Section or in US diplomats
houses.
These things cant be done. What
we propose is that we all have to comply with the accords on diplomats
behaviour worldwide approved in the
1961 Vienna Convention, he said.
He made the remarks after seeing
off French President Francois Hollande,
whose historic visit marks a significant
step forward for ties between the former pariah state and the West AFP

16 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 14, 2015

HONG KONG

KABUL

Chinese police
accused of torture
CHINESE police carry out appalling torture of criminal suspects,
campaigners said yesterday, as they
released a report detailing Beijings
failure to combat abusive interrogations.
Despite China claiming to have
confronted
forced
confessions
through a series of reforms, prosecutors and judges ignore clear evidence of mistreatment while police
are covering up abuse, the report
from Human Rights Watch said.
The New York-based group said
police manipulate video interrogations so that confessions are made
on camera, while torture using
methods that leave no visible injuries takes place out of sight.
The use of ruthless cell bosses
fellow detainees who oversee detention centres for the police was also
widespread, the report said.
Suspects are sometimes strapped
into metal tiger chairs for days,
deprived of sleep and food as their
legs and buttocks become swollen,
according to the report, titled Tiger
Chairs and Cell Bosses: Police Torture of Criminal Suspects in China.
We heard appalling stories of
detainees being hung by the wrists,
shackled for years, and terrorised by
cell bosses, yet having no real means
to hold their tormentors to account,
said Sophie Richardson, HRWs China director, in the report.
Police continue to be expected
to produce confessions in order to
secure a conviction, Ms Richardson
told reporters in a press conference
in Hong Kong. The expectation of a
conviction is one of the main drivers
of this kind of abuse, she said.
The group analysed hundreds of
newly published court verdicts, and
interviewed 48 recent detainees,
family members, lawyers, and former officials.

Of the 432 verdicts that made reference to torture allegations, only 23


resulted in the court throwing out
evidence, and there were no acquittals, the report said.
HRW found only one torture
prosecution concerning three police officers, but none served prison
time. It also found evidence that
health workers and lawyers were
unwilling to assist torture victims
with their complaints.
After a series of high-profile
police brutality cases in 2009 and
2010, China vowed to crack down
on abuses and revised its Criminal
Procedure Law.
The new measures were intended to strengthen detainees rights to
access lawyers and to ban confessions and written statements obtained through torture.
The ruling Communist Party
claims to have made the rule of law
with Chinese characteristics one of
its top priorities.
But the massive challenge authorities face tackling abuse was
highlighted last December when
state media admitted forced confessions were not rare in the country.
A total of 99.93 percent of criminal defendants in China are found
guilty, official figures show.
The HRW report calls on China
to transfer the management of detention centres from the police to
the justice ministry.
Its not even close to being a
fair fight. The police hold so much
power not just relative to the suspects but relative to the courts, that
the defence is so weak from the very
beginning of any given case, Ms
Richardson said.
Unless the police have their
powers dramatically circumscribed
in a number of different ways, were
not going to see real change. AFP

Afghan farmers stand in


a field of opium poppies
in the countrys north on
May 5. Photo: AFP

Afghan drug use soars


THE number of drug users in
Afghanistan soared to a record high of 3
million last year, almost doubling
over a two-year period in the worlds
leading producer of opium, officials
announced on May 12.
Opium poppy cultivation touched
a record high in 2014 and this year
is expected to yield another bumper
harvest, highlighting the failure of
the multi-billion-dollar US-led campaign to crack down on the lucrative
crop.
Addiction levels have also risen
sharply from almost nothing under the 1996-2001 Taliban regime
giving rise to a new generation of
addicts since the 2001 US-led invasion of
Afghanistan.
In 2005, the number of drug
users was 900,000 it went up to ... 1.6
million in 2012. In 2014, the number
increased to 3 million, which is very
worrying, Afghan Health Minister

Ferozuddin Feroz told reporters, citing a survey conducted jointly with


the US State Department.
This survey shows an alarming
increase of drug users in Afghanistan
both in the cities and in rural areas,
he said, adding that children and
women were among the drug users.
Opioids, including opium, are the
most prevalent class of drugs used in
the country, the survey said.
It showed a national drug use rate
of 11 percent, one of the highest in
the world, with drug use in rural areas three times higher than in urban
areas.
Drug use is an Afghan problem,
an American problem and a problem
for all the 195 countries represented
in the United Nations, said William
Brownfield, US assistant secretary for
counter-narcotics affairs.
It is not a foreign problem, it is a
national problem.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani


echoed similar views on May 10, saying drug addiction was fuelling the
countrys insurgency.
Those days when we thought
drug addiction is not a problem affecting us have ended, he said.
This is a big threat because a
young addict turns into a soldier
fuelling instability, he added.
Poppy farmers are often taxed
by the Taliban, who use the cash to
help fund their insurgency against
government and NATO forces.
Afghanistan grows about per cent
pc of the worlds opium, which is used
to produce highly addictive heroin.
The total area under opium poppy
cultivation rose to 224,000 hectares
(553,500 acres) in 2014, a 7pc increase
on the previous year, the United
Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
(UNODC) said in November.
AFP

WASHINGTON

Calling N Koreas bluff on tests


NORTH Koreas claim that it launched
a ballistic missile from a submarine
was mostly likely a bluff and the images it released appear photoshopped to
overstate the regimes military power,
US experts said on May 12.
Pyongyang state media announced
triumphantly over the weekend that a
new submarine-launched ballistic missile had been tested successfully, under
the personal supervision of the countrys leader Kim Jong-Un.
Kim hailed the SLBM test, saying
the North had a world-level strategic
weapon.
But US defense officials have privately voiced scepticism that anything
resembling a ballistic missile was testfired. And analysts who closely follow
North Koreas weapons programs are
not convinced either.
I have some serious doubts, said
author Joseph Bermudez, who has
written extensively about Pyongyangs
missile program.
The submarine shown by the North
Koreans is a prototype that was only
recently put into service about six or
seven months ago, and it is unlikely the
vessel could already be ready to launch
a missile, according to Mr Bermudez.
Moreover, satellite photos show a
barge near the submarine, which could
have served as a platform to fire the
missile, Mr Bermudez said at an event
organised by 38 North, a website focused on analysis of North Korea.
It is more probable that the test
touted by Pyongyang was carried out
from the barge, said Mr Bermudez,
who has worked as a consultant to the

US military.
And as for the images of the alleged
missile launch posted by the North
Korean news agency, there are details
that do not match up, he said.
The images show a bright pink
shadow in the water, a reflection in
the water from the missile launch, he
said.
And normally you would expect
to see this if you saw a flame coming
from the engine of the missile. However, there is no flame on the picture,
just steam and water.
The incompatible details might
suggest that the imagery provided to
the public was manipulated or photoshopped in some fashion, he said.
The missile that appears in photos
does not correspond to others in the
Norths arsenal, indicating that Pyongyang may be trying to develop a new
missile to be used on submarines, Mr
Bermudez said.
The launch likely involved a
prototype missile, built specifically for
an ejection test, said Joel Wit, a former
US diplomat.
Despite the Norths overblown
claims, the regimes bid to construct
an arsenal of submarine-launched
missiles is no joke, said Mr Wit, the
co-founder of the 38 North site.
Pyongyang is determined to build
an eventual sea-based arsenal, but the
regime has presented it as more advanced than it really is, he said.
A North Korean fleet of submarines
capable of launching ballistic missiles
represents a strategic nightmare for
the United States and its Asian allies.

It would transform the danger posed


by the North, allowing it to carry out
a nuclear strike from distant locations
or to retaliate in the event of a nuclear
conflagration.
Apart from its submarine-based
efforts, Pyongyang has already
conducted three nuclear tests and is
working to place atomic warheads on
missiles.
Shortly after the Cold War, North
Korea purchased submarine missile
technology from Moscow and has
tried to reverse-engineer old Russian
subs to construct a launch system,
according to John Schilling, an aerospace engineer who has written about
Pyongyangs missile work.
If it could muster enough money
and receive badly needed outside technological help, North Korea might be
able to develop submarine-launched
missiles by 2020, Mr Wit said.
Even in that scenario, the weapons
would not pose a risk to the United
States but to neighbouring countries
such as South Korea or Japan, because
Pyongyang has yet to successfully
build a long-rang ballistic missile that
could reach American territory.
Mr Wit said those submarines
would be more of a regional threat.
If the North attempted to deploy
subs near the US coast, the vessels
would be easily countered by sophisticated American anti-submarine radar
and weapons.
I wouldnt want to be on one of
those subs, because I dont think they
could get even close, said Mr Wit.
AFP

IN PICTURES
Photo: XDUBAI
via AFP

Former Swiss pilot Yves Rossy,


known as Jetman, and French
parachutist Vince Reffet fly over
Dubais Palm Island on May 12.

World 17

www.mmtimes.com

TRADE MARK CAUTION


Johnson & Johnson, a corporation organized and existing under
the laws of the State of New Jersey, U.S.A., of One Johnson &
Johnson Plaza, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08933 U.S.A., is
the Owner of the following Trade Mark:-

GENEVA

DARZALEX
Reg. No. 18848/2014

in respect of Intl Class 5: Human pharmaceutical preparations.


Fraudulent imitation or unauthorised use of the said Trade Mark
will be dealt with according to law.
Win Mu Tin, M.A., H.G.P., D.B.L
for Johnson & Johnson
P. O. Box 60, Yangon
E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm
Dated: 14 May 2015

TRADE MARK CAUTION

A man walks past a campaign banner with the new slogan Ebola must go in Monrovia, Liberia on February 23. Photo: AFP

Learning curve:
lessons from Ebola
THE World Health Organization,
reeling under stinging criticism for
its late response to the worst-ever
Ebola outbreak, says it is creating a
blueprint to handle future disease
outbreaks.
A two-day meeting of the UN
agency was aimed at creating better research and diagnostic facilities, improving data sharing between
countries, and creating biobanks,
said Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO assistant director for health systems and
innovation.
WHO chief Margaret Chan said
the latest Ebola epidemic which has
left more than 11,000 dead, mainly in
the west African nations of Guinea,
Liberia and Sierra Leone had intensified research into what was until
recently considered a rare disease.
New tools have been developed
with unprecedented speed, Ms Chan
said, on the first day of the experts
meeting in Geneva.
We are likely very close to having a vaccine that can protect against
Ebola, Ms Chan said, without elaborating.
Ms Kieny said the meeting was
focussed on building better preparedness for potential outbreaks of
deadly diseases such as the Ebola and
Marburg viruses, and Rift Valley and
Lassa fevers.
We know there will be another
outbreak of Ebola, she said. We are

at number 25 already, since it first


surfaced in 1976.
Now, with more frequent travel
between countries, outbreaks that
would once remain localised and easier to fight now have a bigger chance
of spreading, Ms Kieny said.
We need to be prepared for such
a possibility in the future, she added.
If another Ebola happens, the
world needs to be ready ... R and D
needs to happen before an outbreak.
At the Geneva meeting, there was
a discussion for the use and the need
to develop standard protocols for
clinical trials ... so that when the time
comes these protocols are already developed and pre-approved, Ms Kieny
said.

If another Ebola
happens, the world
needs to be ready
... R and D needs to
happen before an
outbreak.
Marie-Paule Kieny
WHO assistant director for health
systems and innovation

When the time comes, they can


be activated quickly.
Ms Kieny said the other proposals,
which would be developed over the
course of the year, included setting
up biobanks and carrying out the
types of tests that are acceptable.
She said Liberia, which was declared Ebola-free on May 8 after 4700
people died from the disease in one
year, had already said it would set up a
biobank, or a repository of human biological samples.
We need to build biobanks that are
owned by countries but at the same
time can be made available for research, Ms Kieny said.
But the question that cropped up
was whether countries in Africa should
each build their own banks, or if there
should be a centralised bank in Africa
and if so, who will control it.
Ms Chan said the latest Ebola
emergency had shown that research
and development models can be
adapted, timeframes can be compressed and partnerships that are
otherwise unlikely can be formed.
In such crises, coordination and
transparent information-sharing are
vital, she added.
The more we know about what
other partners have discovered or
achieved, the better equipped we will
be to make informed decisions and
take the right steps with the greatest
possible speed, Ms Chan said. AFP

VATICAN CITY

Papal warning on global warming


POPE Francis issued a warning
on May 12 to the powerful of the
earth that they will answer to God
if they fail to protect the environment to ensure the world can feed its
population.
The planet has enough food for
all, but it seems that there is a lack of
willingness to share it with everyone,
Pope Francis said at a mass to mark
the opening of the general assembly
of the Catholic charitable organisation Caritas.
We must do what we can so that
everyone has something to eat, but
we must also remind the powerful
of the earth that God will call them
to judgement one day and there it
will be revealed if they really tried to

provide food for Him in every person


and if they did what they could to
preserve the environment so that it
could produce this food.
The striking comments from the
Argentinian pontiff came ahead of
the upcoming publication of a papal
encyclical on the ethical aspects of
environmental issues that is eagerly
awaited by campaigners for action to
address global warming.
An encyclical is a statement of
fundamental principles designed to
guide Catholic teaching on a subject.
It is issued in the form of a letter
from the pope to bishops around the
world.
Campaigners on climate change
believe that a signal from Francis that

the Church considers global warming


a grave danger could influence the
global discussion on the severity of
the problem, what has caused it and
what can be done.
The pope is due to address the
UN Special Summit on Sustainable
Development in September and the
international community will seek to
agree a universal agreement on climate change at a summit in Paris in
December.
Climate change sceptics have
warned Francis not to take sides in
the debate, but all the signs so far
are that he sees the problem as manmade and as one which can be alleviated by political action.
AFP

NOTICE is hereby given that ASHLAND LICENSING AND


INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LLC a company organized
under the laws of United States of America and having its principal
office at 5200 Blazer Parkway, Dublin, Ohio 43017 (formerly at
1000 Ashland Drive, Russell, Kentucky 41169) U.S.A. is the owner
and sole proprietor of the following trademark:-

VALVOLINE
(Reg: Nos. IV/858/1999)
in respect of :- Motor and industrial lubricating oils, auto motive
and industrial greases, transmission fluids, and liquid and gaseous
fuels; and rust and corrosion inhibiters
Any fraudulent imitation or unauthorized use of the said trademark
or other infringements whatsoever will be dealt with according
to law.
U Kyi Win Associates
for ASHLAND LICENSING AND INTELLECTUAL
PROPERTY LLC
P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon.
Phone: 372416
Dated: 14th May, 2015

TRADE MARK CAUTION


FCA US LLC, a limited liability company organized and existing
under the laws of the United States of America, of 1000 Chrysler
Drive, City of Auburn Hills, State of Michigan 48326, United
States of America, is the Owner of the following Trade Marks:-

PLYMOUTH
Reg. No. 3151/1991

MOPAR
Reg. No. 3152/1991

JEEP

Reg. No. 3153/1991

in respect of Motor vehicles, parts and accessories thereof.


Fraudulent imitation or unauthorised use of the said Trade Marks
will be dealt with according to law.
Win Mu Tin, M.A., H.G.P., D.B.L
for FCA US LLC
P. O. Box 60, Yangon
E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm
Dated: 14 May 2015

18 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 14, 2015

BANGKOK

Five years on from bloody Red Shirt


crackdown, divisions remain
FIVE years after a bloody military
crackdown on Thailands pro-democracy Red Shirts, relatives of those
killed say unrepentant army rulers
have failed in their promise to heal
the countrys deep divisions.
Nongnai remembers the precise
moment her younger brother died.
The 38-year-old teacher was at work
when the call came saying her sibling
Attachai Anchalee had been struck by
a soldiers bullet just above the heart.
She listened as a friend described
the desperate efforts of medics to stem
the bleeding and keep her brothers
heart going with chest compressions.
I was on the phone for 10 minutes
... until he said my brother passed
away, she told AFP from her home
outside Bangkok, a picture of her
brother on the mantelpiece.
He just stopped breathing.
Attachai, a 28-year-old law graduate, was one of at least 90 people
killed during the crackdown on antigovernment protesters in April and
May 2010.
He was among thousands of socalled Red Shirts loyal to ousted
premier Thaksin Shinawatra who
took over key intersections in central Bangkok that spring, demanding
fresh elections to replace the pro-military appointed government.
The massive protests brought to a
boil years of resentment following a
2006 coup that toppled the democratically elected Thaksin, a move that led
to his eventual self-exile overseas.
It was the bloodiest episode of
Thailands past decade of political
drama, as soldiers flanked by armoured vehicles fought running
battles with protesters, leaving the
streets strewn with corpses and parts
of the capital in flames.
The militarys first response to the
2010 rallies came on April 10 when
units tried to take a junction controlled by the Red Shirts.
Gun battles broke out between
armed protesters and soldiers. By
the end of the night more than 20 lay

dead, including at least five soldiers


and a foreign journalist.
The more comprehensive crackdown that followed from May 13 to 19
eventually succeeded in clearing the
Red Shirts.
But scores were killed inside army-declared live fire zones including many unarmed demonstrators,
another foreign journalist and two
medical volunteers.
Observers and rights groups accuse authorities of using excessive
force, killing unarmed civilians as
well as armed elements among the
protesters.
No soldiers have been convicted of
any wrongdoing, although the two civilian leaders at the time are facing an
abuse-of-power probe.
Red Shirts say the lack of convictions lays bare the impunity enjoyed
by the military to intervene on behalf
of the anti-democratic forces.
The army assault was overseen by
a core of ultra-royalist senior officers
with the backing of the civilian government. One of those officers, Prayut
Chan-o-cha, was later promoted to
army chief.
Last year he led another military
coup, this time against the elected
government of Yingluck Shinawatra
Thaksins sister and now holds the
dual role of junta leader and prime
minister.
Bangkoks royalist elite and their
supporters within the military, judiciary and in the south loathe the Shinawatras, but the familys populist
policies have won deep loyalty among
urban working class voters and farmers in the rural north.
The army insists it was forced to
act against armed protesters in 2010
while Prayut has angrily rejected any
suggestion his soldiers targeted civilians.
Observers say many Red Shirt supporters equipped themselves with a
range of weapons from homemade
catapults to fireworks and petrol
bombs.

Smoke billows from Red Shirt camps in central Bangkok in the days following the brutal crackdown in 2010. Photo: AFP

Other small groups of masked


figures dubbed men in black for
their dark uniforms were also seen
among the crowds of Red Shirts toting automatic rifles and firing at soldiers throughout the clashes
Yet academics and rights groups
who have studied the crackdown say
soldiers made little attempt to differentiate between civilian protesters
and their armed supporters.
It was excessive use of force
against protesters, says Puangthong
Pawakapan, a professor at Chulalongkorn University who has written a
book about the crackdown.
The idea was to destroy the Red
Shirt movement so that they couldnt
come back, she says.
Of the 14 inquests carried out so

far covering more than 20 deaths,


nine found bullets from the military
were to blame. In five inquests, the
courts were undecided.
When Mr Prayut took over last
May this time following mass demonstrations against Ms Yingluck that
were not quelled he insisted reconciliation between Thailands opposing
camps would be a cornerstone of his
administration.
But Red Shirt supporters say they
have seen little of that. Instead their
leaders have been detained or silenced, while Ms Yingluck has been
banned from politics and is facing
criminal negligence charges.
Relatives of those killed say healing the wounds that have torn Thai
society apart remains a distant dream

while the military stay in charge.


We know the military are not
neutral, said Nongnai, who asked
AFP to use a pseudonym out of fear
of reprisals.
Red Shirts are also alive to the reality that those who had their hands
in the killings have today returned to
rule the country, said Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a Thai politics expert at
Kyoto University in Japan.
Simmering with anger, the movement remains in lockdown. But relatives of the those killed remain defiant and say they are not finished yet.
As Suriyan Pholsrila, whose husband Chanarong was gunned down
on May 15, 2010, puts it, Silence does
not mean defeat.
AFP

BANGKOK

SYDNEY

Manhunt underway for alleged


human trafficking kingpin

MH370 search turns


up shipwreck

A MANHUNT intensified yesterday


for the alleged kingpin of a Thai people smuggling network, police said,
as detectives probe whether a private
island near the Malaysia sea border
was a key link in a trafficking chain
spanning several countries.
Thai police believe Pajjuban Aungkachotephan, a one-time senior provincial official known locally as Ko
Tong, has fled the kingdom since a
warrant for his arrest was issued on
May 9.
The probe is examining whether
Ko Tong used the small island near
the Malaysian sea border as a base
to mastermind a trafficking network
which has unravelled since May 1
when dozens of migrants graves were
found on the nearby Thai mainland.
A police crackdown following the
grim discovery appears to have forced
smuggling gangs to flee, abandoning
hundreds of migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh in a network of
Thai jungle camps near the Malaysia
border.
Around 2000 more have been
found on boats in Malaysian and
Indonesian waters or have swum to
shore in recent days, with fears that
thousands of others remain at sea

THE hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has uncovered
a previously uncharted shipwreck,
leading officials to say yesterday
that if the plane is in their search
zone they will find it.
The Australian-led team is
scouring the southern Indian Ocean
seabed in hope of finding the final
resting place of MH370, which vanished on March 8, 2014, en route
from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
No wreckage from the flight,
which was carrying 239 people, has
ever been found.
In an update on the search, the
Australian Transport Safety Bureau
said it had spotted multiple small
bright reflections on the otherwise
featureless seabed which warranted
close inspection.
Data from a high-resolution sonar scan using an autonomous underwater vehicle revealed possible
items, mostly only about the size
of a cricket ball, some 3900 metres
(12,795 feet) underwater.
While the debris field appeared
to be of man-made origin, it failed
to have all the characteristics of a
typical aircraft debris field, so authorities sent down an underwa-

without food and water.


Ko Tong is a mastermind of the
trafficking gang in Satun province
[bordering Malaysia], but I cant disclose all of the details, Major General
Paveen Pongsirin, a deputy regional
commander in the Thai south told
AFP.
He has a lot of assets tens of
millions of baht in assets have been
seized. He is a very prominent figure,
he said.
Rights groups and observers have
long accused Thai officials, including
the police and military, of turning a
blind eye to human trafficking and
even being complicit in the grim
trade.
Police have arrested 18 people over
the scandal, including senior local officials, with warrants out for 32 more.
However no law enforcement or
military figures have been arrested
yet.
Instead more than 50 police officers, including senior officials, have
been transferred from their posts
for failing to act against the trade.
Thailands police chief on May 12
said Ko Tong had fled to a neighbouring country while local media
reports said he was believed to be on

the Malaysian resort island of Langkawi.


The kingdoms top cop was scheduled to meet with his Malaysian
counterpart in Phuket late yesterday.
Ko Tong Ko means Big Brother
owned a large chunk of land on Rat
Yai, a small island just off the coast
of Satun, which borders Malaysia, according to the provinces governor.
He used to be chairman of Satun
Provincial Administration but recently lost elections, Dejrath Simsiri told
AFP.
He is an influential person, he
said, adding he is also known to have
ties to local officials in nearby Padang
Besar the district where the migrant graves were found in a remote
hillside.
Locals in Satun told AFP that Rat
Yai was renowned for being off limits.
If any boats came near the island
speedboats would come and tell them
to leave, a local resident said, requesting anonymity.
Tens of thousands of Rohingya
Muslims have braved the dangerous sea crossing to southern Thailand from Myanmar in recent years,
with many headed for Malaysia and
beyond. AFP

ter camera which discovered the


shipwreck.
Its a fascinating find, said Peter Foley, director of the operational search for MH370. But its not
what were looking for.
Images clearly showed an anchor, along with other objects
which the searchers said were manmade.
Mr Foley said officials were not
pausing in the search for MH370,
whose disappearance is one of aviations great mysteries.
Obviously, were disappointed
that it wasnt the aircraft, but we
were always realistic about the likelihood, he added in a statement.
And this event has really demonstrated that the systems, people
and the equipment involved in the
search are working well. Its shown
that if theres a debris field in the
search area, well find it.
The search for the aircraft has
been a complex undertaking, with
Australia concentrating on a remote area of the southern Indian
Ocean far off its west coast spanning 60,000 square kilometres
(23,166 square miles).
AFP

World 19

www.mmtimes.com
WASHINGTON

Gaining ground: Reclaiming the Spratlys


PHILIPPINE military chief General
Gregorio Catapang looks worried as he
surveys the rusted cranes and eroded
runway on the tiny island of Thitu,
now on the front line of a rapidly intensifying construction war in the
South China Sea.
Fewer than 48 kilometres (30
miles) away, Chinas giant construction
cranes glint on the horizon, a sign of
the Asian giants reef-building frenzy
in the disputed Spratly chain that has
seen new islands appear seemingly
overnight.
As China and fellow rival claimant
Vietnam race to pave over reefs and
build structures in the strategically important sea, the Philippines stands out
as a laggard.
The 356 residents of the remote
Manila-held coral outcrop of Thitu
fear they will soon be forced out by
Chinas aggressive land grab, in a conflict fought, so far, with dredgers and
cement.
Before we landed we saw the reclamation in the [nearby] Subi Reef and
its really enormous, Gen Catapang
said on a tour of the islands largely decrepit facilities. An old navy transport
ship lay half-submerged in waters off
the coast, with two anti-aircraft guns
the only visible defences.
China claims nearly all of the South
China Sea, even waters approaching
the coasts of its Asian neighbours, and
in recent years it has caused alarm
with increasingly aggressive actions
to assert its claims and increase its
presence.
The Spratlys, an archipelago of

more than 100 islands, reefs and atolls


between Vietnam and the Philippines,
is one of the most hotly contested areas because of its strategic military
importance.
The United States last week sounded the alarm, accusing China of building up to 800 hectares (2000 acres)
of artificial islands in the Spratlys,
and warning it could construct airfields, surveillance systems and harbours that would jeopardise regional
stability.
Alarmed at the Chinese activity,
other Spratlys claimants have not been
idle. Vietnam is reported to be reclaiming land in two areas, while Taiwan
and Malaysia have announced plans to
improve their naval facilities.
The Philippines, which occupies
nine islands or reefs in the chain, in
contrast has done very little partly
because of funding constraints, but
also because it is pinning its hopes on
having the United Nations mediate the
dispute.
Life is usually uneventful for the
inhabitants of Thitu, the largest Philippine-occupied island which lies 433
kilometres (269 miles) from the major
Philippine island of Palawan, and receives electricity just five hours a day.
They include soldiers, coastguard
personnel and military-employed civilians, many of whom bring their wives
and children with them to stave off
loneliness.
But the Philippine army says that
since last month Chinese vessels off
the Subi reef have warned Filipino air
force planes flying in and out of Thitu

to leave, saying they are violating its


military airspace.
This is bad for us who live here.
We depend on the planes to deliver
our food, one concerned municipal
employee, 37-year-old Larry Jugo, told
AFP.
Rear Admiral Alexander Lopez,
commander of Philippine forces in the
South China Sea, said the action was
effectively an enforcement of an undeclared air defence identification zone.
They build these things, they say
for legal reasons, but for military purposes as necessary. Thats very alarming, he said.
Elsewhere in the Spratlys, RAdm
Lopez said China has also been harassing Filipino vessels supplying marines
on Second Thomas Shoal. The puny
unit of nine men lives on a rusting
navy ship that had been deliberately
grounded on a reef.
China has also been driving away
Filipino fishermen at the Scarborough Shoal, 595km to the northeast
of the Spratlys and within the Philippines exclusive economic zone but
which China has controlled since
2012.
Philippine authorities and regional
analysts see it as an powerful campaign aimed at making it impossible
for the Philippines to hold on to its
claims.
As far as I know, there is not much
that the Philippines can do, even if
it wins its UN case, said Harry Sa, an
American research analyst for the Singapore-based S Rajaratnam School of
International Studies.

Alleged reclaiming is conducted by Chinese construction groups on Mischief


Reef in the Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea on May 11. Photo: AFP

I think China is doing something


smart: It is gaining territory without
firing a single shot.
Outgunned by Chinas military
might, the Philippines strongest card
has been a suit to a United Nations
tribunal, asking it to rule that Chinas
claims are illegal.
A verdict is expected next year, but
Beijing has refused to participate and
would reject any finding against it.
Analysts say China is unlikely to deliberately fire at Filipino vessels, wary
the Philippines could ask the United
States to retaliate by invoking a 1951
mutual defence treaty, and also reluctant to be seen as a regional aggressor.
Nonetheless, the Philippines has
sought to upgrade its capabilities by

acquiring two second-hand US patrol


craft and ordering fighter jets from
South Korea that would allow it to
manoeuvre more swiftly over the contested waters.
But its efforts to draw in the United
States, its closest ally and former colonial ruler, have stumbled, mainly because a 2014 treaty to allow American
forces to use Filipino bases and build
facilities is in legal limbo.
With the Philippines becoming increasingly vulnerable, Thitu islander
Jugo plans to send his wife and two
children home to Palawan next year
just in case trouble erupts.
We have nowhere to run ... We will
be forced to fight whatever happens,
he said. AFP

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 14, 2015

the pulse 21

www.mmtimes.com

it

ge
t

yo

gers o
n
i
f
n

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

Pride against prejudice


at LGBT photo exhibition
Photo: Kloie Picol

Photo: KG Krishnan

NaNdar auNg
nandaraung.mcm@gmail.com

N the end, its about respect. A gay friend of mine, Ko Hla Myo, a
make-up artist who runs a beauty salon in North Dagon, said, If you
are gay, whatever job you choose you are still gay. You cant change how
other people think about you. The truth is, we are all struggling to get
acceptance from others and to be liked. Im used to being patient, and
helping my clients understand a bit better.
When it comes to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people,
discrimination is alive and well.
Ko Hla Myat Tun, program manager for the Colour Rainbow LGBT
Network, said, LGBTs are people. They live and breathe like any other, and do
not deserve discrimination or neglect. We need to understand their lives, and
with understanding, respect will come.
This is the idea behind the second &PROUD 2015 photo competition, entries
of which will be on display from May 16 through 24 at Yangons Deitta Gallery.
Jeewee van Rooij, organiser of the exhibition, said the exhibition portrayed
LGBTs as individuals and couples who love and live and work and struggle just
like everybody else.
Right now, a lot of people dont know what it means to be transgender, or
about the struggles that many gays and lesbians face in their communities. It
may be difficult to come to terms with your sexuality or gender when you dont
know anyone like you who is struggling with the same issues, he said. And if
your family and the people around you dont know or accept LGBTs then it will
be very difficult to accept yourself.
The exhibition features 44 photos by 11 local photographers who portray the
Myanmar LGBT community in a positive light.

Photo: KG Krishnan

Photo: Khin Pearl Yuki Aung

Winners of the competition, which was staged from February to May, will be
announced during the opening event on May 16, and will take away prizes of
up to US$300 in two categories: series and single shots.
Malaysian photographer KG Krishnans portrait project Continuum
documents members of the transgender community in Kuala Lumpur, who
face persecution under laws that criminalise all walks of life within the LGBT
community. In Krishnans artwork, the faces are separated from the bodies,
symbolising the separate nature of body and soul.
As part of the International day against Homophobia and Transphobia
(IDAHOT), May 17, when LGBTs across the planet rally for equal rights
and against discrimination, a few activities have also been scheduled for
Yangon, including a panel discussion on May 15 at the American Center, 14
Taw Win Road, Dagon, from 4pm to 5:30pm. IDAHOT events will also take
place that day at the Sein Lan So Pyay Garden Restaurant, Inya Road, from
5 to 8pm.
&PROUD is organised by the LGBT community in Yangon: Colours
Rainbow, Kings n Queens, Myanmar LGBT Rights Network, &PROUD and YG.
Last year the network held the &PROUD LGBT Film Festival at the Institut
Francias.
&PROUD LGBT PHOTO EXHIBITION will run on May 16 (opening event will be at 3pm,
when competition winners will be announced) at Myanmar Deitta, the 3rd floor, 49 44th
Street (lower block), Botahtaung township. Opening hours are 10am to 5pm every day.
For more information: www.facebook.com/andPROUD.

22 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 14, 2015

Film festival takes a trip down memory lane


Zon Pann Pwint
zonpann08@gmail.com

EMORY International
Festival of Heritage
Cinema, featuring more
than 50 classic films from
different countries, will
be hosted from May 29 to June 7 at Nay
Pyi Taw Cinema. The festival is in its
third edition, and the theme this year
is Women.
The festival will be attended by stars
Catherine Deneuve, Michelle Yeoh
who famously played Aung San Suu Kyi

in The Lady Cheng Pei-pe, and other


international directors and technicians,
as well as local actresses Swe Zin Htike,
Khin Thida Tun and Nwe Nwe San.
They will hold panel discussions, a
conference and workshops during the
event.
The festival will feature four
Myanmar classic films: Nay Kywat Khae
(Mr Sun Stone) (1983), Ta Kyaut Hna
Kyaut Tay Ko Thi (Poem for Babies)
(1971), Pho Pyone Cho (Mr Sweet Smiley)
(1955) and Ta Khar Ka Ta Ba Wa (Life,
Once Upon A Time) (1978).
Old films bring back a period

in history, the circumstances and


situations in which people lived and
behaved in that period. Unfortunately,
films age and many films are under
threat from damage. It is a rare chance
to see those good old movies, said
five-time Myanmar Academy Awardwinning film director U Kyi Soe Tun.
The Myanmar Treasure session will
open with the 1983 film Nay Kyawt
Khae film (Mr Sun Stone), directed by
Daw Thin Thin Yu. Part of the movie
was shot on location at Inle Lake,
and the supporting actress, actor and
cinematographer were nominated for

Myanmar Academy Awards.


We had a lot of trouble finding
the film because much of the stock
was damaged through lack of proper
preservation. Fortunately, three rolls of
35mm film survived at the production
company and we chose the best to
show at the festival, said actress Daw
Swe Zin Htike, who helped to organise
the festival and will be a guest actress.
We wanted to show Myanmar films
on the theme of women, but many
rolls were damaged, she said. Its a
great loss that so few good films have
survived, she said.

Other screenings include the


German celluloid animation cartoon
The Adventures of Prince Achmed
(1926), All About Eve (1950), Black
Narcissus (1947), Forever Yours (1955),
Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), A
Woman is A Woman (1961), Story of A
Love Affair (1950) and others.
Students from Yangon-based Laurel
Art Academy will dub The Adventures
of Prince Achmed.
The remaining three films that will
be shown are from the Myanmar Film
Archive.
Entry is free.

Hanyo (The Housemaid) (1960)

La Dolce Vita (1960)

The Women (1939)

New MRTV shows a treat for audiences


nyein ei ei Htwe
nyeineieihtwe23@gmail.com

Burmese actor

and comedian
Pho Par Gyi

HOME (House of Media and


Entertainment) group will broadcast
four new programs on MRTV starting
from July, the first time MRTV and
Home will present jointly.
The programs are Myanmar A
Nyeik Tha Bin Yay See Kyaung (The
flow of Myanmar traditional dance),
movie theme songs, the drama Channel
Zero and Yin Twin Yay Pyat Tha Nar
(Heart problem), a drama series.
Shooting begins this week.
Zaganar, founder of Home
media and director of the Myanmar
traditional dance program, said his
program would introduce viewers

to traditional dance, including


its history and current situation.
Traditions are our national identity.
The dances were created many years
ago and performed locally. As new
techniques were added, the dances
evolved. Ive been researching dance
for years, he said.
Appearing on MRTV was Zaganars
first break, back in the 1980s, the dawn
of national broadcasting here.
I was just a comedian from the
Moe Nat Thuzar anyeik group, but
in 1980 we were invited to appear
on MRTV and we became famous
throughout the country. Im grateful
to MRTV and looking forward to
broadcasting with them, he said.
Former actor and director U Aung

Lwin, who is leading the movie theme


songs program, said it was his dream
to show how movie songs play an
important role in supporting both the
films and audiences.
In six years, our film industry will
mark its centenary. All those famous
movies opened with theme songs. Many
directors re-shoot those films without
the theme songs. They just substitute
modern songs, said U Aung Lwin.
We will choose famous theme songs
from old films and the plots and we will
try to collect more old films, he added.
Hein Soe will direct two dramas
that reflect everyday life. U Kyi Tun,
vice-director of MRTV, Ministry of
Information, said the new programs
would be a treat for audiences.

24 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 14, 2015

DOMESTIC FLIGHT SCHEDULES


Yangon to MandalaY
Flight
Y5 775
W9 515
YH 917
YJ 891
7Y 131
K7 222
6T 805
YJ 201
YJ 201
W9 201
W9201
8M 6603
YJ 601
YJ 761
YJ 211
YH 729
YH 737
YH 727
YH 737
W9 251
YJ 151/W9 7151
7Y 241
K7 224
Y5 234
W9 211

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

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

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

MandalaY to Yangon
Flight
Y5 233
W9 201
YJ 761
7Y 132
K7 223
YH 918
6T 806
YJ 202
YJ 202
YJ 761
YJ 212
YJ 212
YJ 602
7Y 242
YJ 234
K7 225
YH 728
W9 152/W97152
Y5 776
W9 211
YH 738
8M 6604
8M 903
YH 738
YH 730
W9 252

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

Dep
7:50
8:40
8:40
8:50
8:55
9:15
10:30
11:30
12:00
13:10
15:00
15:00
15:40
16:40
16:50
16:50
17:00
17:05
17:10
17:10
17:10
17:20
17:20
17:40
17:45
18:15

Arr
9:00
10:35
10:35
10:45
11:00
10:25
11:40
12:55
13:25
17:00
16:55
16:25
17:35
18:45
18:15
19:00
18:25
18:30
18:20
19:15
18:35
18:30
18:30
19:05
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 917
YJ 891
6T 451
K7 222
7Y 131
K7 224
7Y 241
W9 129
W9 211
W9 129

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

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

Days
2,4,6
1,3.5
3
1,2,4
6
2,5

Dep
6:30
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
7:45
7:40
7:35
7:50
7:50
17:25
17:10
17:35
17:40
17:35

Yangon to MYitkYina
Flight
6T 805
YH 826
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
9:50
10:20
15:10
14:25

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

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

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

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

MYitkYina to Yangon
Flight
6T 806
YJ 202
YJ 202
YH 827
YJ 234
W9 252

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

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

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

Yangon to HeHo
Flight
YH 917
YJ 891
6T 451
7Y 131
K7 222
7Y 131
YJ 891
Y5 649
YJ 751
YJ 761
YJ 233
K7 224
7Y 241
W9 129

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

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

HeHo to Yangon
Arr
9:15
10:35
8:45
9:20
9:30
10:05
9:10
12:45
12:10
12:10
12:10
15:45
15:40
16:40

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

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

Arr
10:35
10:15
10:25
10:35
10:45
11:00
17:00
18:45
19:00
17:35
19:10

MYeik to Yangon

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

1,5

6:45

8:15

6T 706

1,3,5

8:25

9:35

1,3,5,7

7:00

9:05

Y5 326

1,5

8:35

10:05

6T 705

1,3,5

7:00

8:10

7Y 532

2,4,6

15:35

17:40

7Y 531

2,4,6

11:15

13:20

K7 320

1,3,5,7

11:30

13:35

Y5 325

15:30

17:00

Y5 326

17:15

18:45

SO 201

Daily

8:20

10:40

SO 202

Daily

13:20

15:40

Yangon to sittwe
Dep

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

Arr

Flight

Tel: 656969
Fax: 656998, 651020

Yangon Airways (YH)


Tel: 383100, 383107, 700264
Fax: 652 533

FMI Air Charter


Tel: 240363, 240373, 09421146545

APEX Airlines (SO)

sittwe to Yangon
Days

Dep

Arr

K7 422

2,4,6

8:00

9:55

K7 423

2,4,6

10:10

11:30

7Y 413

1,3,5,7

10:30

12:20

7Y 414

1,3,5,7

12:35

13:55

W9 309

1,3,6

11:30

12:55

W9 309

1,3,6

13:10

14:55

6T 611

Daily

11:45

12:55

6T 612

Daily

13:15

14:20

Yangon to tHandwe

Tel: 513322, 513422, 504888. Fax: 515102

Mann Yadanarpon Airlines (7Y)


Arr

Y5 325

Days

Air Bagan (W9)

Tel: 09400446999, 09400447999


Fax: 8604051

K7 319

Flight

Domestic Airlines

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)

Yangon to MYeik
Flight

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

Tel:95(1) 533300 ~ 311


Fax : 95 (1) 533312

Air Mandalay (6T)


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

Airline Codes

tHandwe to Yangon

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

K7 422

2,4,6

8:00

8:55

K7 422

2,4,6

9:10

11:30

7Y 413

1,3,5

10:30

11:20

7Y 413

1,3,5

11:35

13:55

W9 309

1,3,6

11:30

13:50

7Y 413

12:05

14:20

K7 = Air KBZ

7Y 413

11:00

11:50

W9 309

1,3,6

14:05

14:55

W9 = Air Bagan

Y5 421

1,3,4,6

15:45

16:40

Y5 422

1,3,4,6

16:55

17:50

Y5 = Golden Myanmar Airlines

Yangon to dawei

dawei to Yangon

SO = APEX Airlines
7Y = Mann Yadanarpon Airlines

YH = Yangon Airways

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YJ = Asian Wings

K7 319

1,3,5,7

7:00

8:10

YH 634

2,4,6

12:15

13:25

YH 633

2,4,6

7:00

8:25

K7 320

1,3,5,7

12:25

13:35

6T = AirMandalay

SO 201

Daily

8:20

9:40

6T 708

3,5,7

14:15

15:15

6T 707

3,5,7

10:30

11:30

SO 202

Daily

14:20

15:40

7Y 531

2,4,6

11:15

12:20

7Y 532

2,4,6

16:35

17:40

Flight

Yangon to lasHio

lasHio to Yangon

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

YH 729

2,4,6

11:00

13:00

YJ 752

3,5,7

16:10

17:55

YJ 751

3,5,7

11:00

13:15

YH 730

2,4,6

16:45

19:10

Yangon to putao

Days

putao to Yangon

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YH 826

1,3,5

7:00

10:35

Flight
YH 634

Days
7

Dep

Arr

10:35

13:55

YH 633

7:00

10:35

YH 827

1,3,5

10:35

13:55

W9 251

2,5

11:30

15:25

W9 252

2,5

15:45

19:40

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

Flights

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

CI 7915

Arr

Flights

Days

CA 416
MU 2012
MU 2032
Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

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

Flights

Days

15:55
18:45
18:40

MU 2011
CA 415
MU 2031
Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

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)

Singapores culinary scene has come a long way from streetside hawkers. Photo:
Shutterstock

Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG)

Singapores
top restaurants

Tel: 255122, 255265. Fax: 255119


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

12:20
13:20
Arr

13:20

KA = Dragonair
KE = Korea Airlines
MH = Malaysia Airlines

MU = China Eastern Airlines


NH = All Nippon Airways

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

Gastrosmiths
The new Gastrosmiths is proving to be a foodie favourite. It has an interesting
mix of comfort foods across different cultures such as Japanese, Italian,
Spanish and even Canadian, and baked goods and desserts are prepared fresh
daily. I recommends the scallop ceviche, dressed with yuzu and koji; the notso-humble 63 eggs, a sous-vide egg with jamon serrano, pickled onion and
onion soubise; and a Hokubee ribeye rice bowl, served with herbed butter.
Three courses with one drink cost around US$60. 103 Beach Road
Wild Rocket
Lawyer-turned-chef Willin Low, who some have called the father of modern
Singaporean cuisine, recently reopened his flagship restaurant. Not only
does it now look sleeker and more upmarket, his food is noticeably more
sophisticated. The best addition is the dining bar, over which Low serves his
new eight-course degustation menu. His salted egg crab ball, the pomelo salad
with tiger prawns, the frozen coconut ice-cream, and the constantly evolving
dish he calls Singapore noodles are must-haves. Eight-course tasting menu
$118, most mains $30-$40. Hangout Hotel, 10A Upper Wilkie Road

Ding Dong
Theres no stopping Ryan Clift, whose flagship Tippling Club is one of the citys
best (and priciest) restaurants. In addition to Tippling, Clift has also opened
a casual Western bistro in trendy Tiong Bahru, and most recently Ding Dong,
his ode to Southeast Asia. Riding on the trend of shared plates, good affordable
wine and craft cocktails, Ding Dong offers its customers an exciting menu
made of Asian-inspired small plates and a wide range of drinks, including
some exceptional draught wines. As you would expect from Clift well-known
for using modern science to enhance food and flavours many of the dishes
here are surprising and novel. My personal favourite is the Malacca chendol
2013. This is a tremendously fun dessert as well as an incredibly delicious
concoction. It consists of cubes of gula melaka jelly, with crushed ice, peanuts,
condensed milk and corn ice-cream, and popcorn, topped with a not-overlysweet syrup. Mains from $15. 23 Ann Siang Road

PG = Bangkok Airways
QR = Qatar Airways

Arr

o back a few decades in Singapores culinary history and the only


praiseworthy things were its well-known street food, a handful
of upmarket hotel restaurants and Les Amis, the city-states first
independent, high-quality French restaurant. Today, while its street
food is still widely known, most locals agree that the same dishes
are done much better (and more affordably) across the Straits in Malaysia. The
big news in the tiny nations culinary scene hasnt come from its hawkers but
from its chefs toqued, jacketed, some starred, some hatted, and many from
distant lands. Singapore, in the last 10 years, has become a nexus for great
young chefs, eager to make a name for themselves and find well-heeled patrons
who will not just spend freely in their restaurants but back them and their
concepts financially.
Here are just a few of the places that represent the best of Singapores
dining scene.

Chopsuey Cafe
Imagine what it would be like if you could take a chef, give them access to the
best possible ingredients, and convince them to recreate all those horrid (yet
horridly addictive) Chinese takeaway dishes you ate far too much of when you
were a poor student. Well, thats exactly what the owners of the PS Cafe group
did when conceiving Chopsuey Cafe. The best chopsuey, orange beef, prawn
toast, and General Tsos chicken I have ever had. Youll need a bit of irony and
perspective when eating here. The original branch is in a lovely little colonial
bungalow in the Dempsey Village area. The newest branch is darker and more
urban, near Robertson Quay. Mains from $18. 38 Martin Road

FD = Air Asia

MI = Silk Air

Arr

Aun Koh

=
=
=
=

Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

Kki Sweets
My wife is obsessed with Kki Sweets, a small artisianal cake shop hidden in
the School of the Arts. She worships Kkis self-trained chefs ability to create
sophisticated flavour combinations. That he only produces a small quantity every
day is not a problem for her or his other fans. Shell happily wait in line for what
she describes as the most delicate mousse cakes that you can find in Singapore.
Cakes from $8. School of the Arts (SoTA), 1 Zubir Said Drive The Guardian

26 Sport

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 14, 2015

FRENCH OPEN - PREVIEW

Does road lead to Rome


and Paris? Questions
double clay court champion

Rafael Nadal (left) shakes hands with Andy Murray at the end of the final of the Madrid Open at the Caja Magica
sports complex on May 10. Photo: AFP

Dont write off Rafa,


warns Andy Murray

ndy Murray insists it


would be a mistake to
write off Rafael nadal
as a clay court force and
expects the Spaniard to
still be favourite for a 10th French
Open.
World number three Murray
stunned nadal 6-3, 6-2 to win the
Madrid Open on May 10, his first
Masters title on clay and a second
clay court title in a week.
It was also the Scots first victory
over the Spaniard on clay in seven
attempts, but he believes nadal will
still be the man to beat come Roland
Garros at the end of the month.
I think there were periods of the
match where he played like he usually does, but there were also periods where he made more mistakes,
said Murray, who had never won a
claycourt crown before his victory in
Munich last week.
On that court [in Paris] he has
only ever lost one match, so when
the French Open comes round hell
be one of the favourites. It is maybe closer than its been in previous
years, but I wouldnt write him off.
He showed enough this week to
suggest that with two good weeks of

work and good results in Rome [at


next weeks Italian Open], he can go
all the way at Roland Garros.
The defeat saw nadal drop to seventh in the latest world rankings, the
first time he has been out of the top
five in 10 years.
The 14-time Grand Slam champion is also defending 600 ranking
points in Rome having made last
years final.
He stressed his priority was not
dropping further down the rankings
which could seriously affect his seeding at Roland Garros.
nothing changes going from five
to seven, he said.
I need a result in Rome to not
drop below the top eight which
could really affect Roland Garros.
If you are not in the top eight you
can get a top player in a really early
round.
nadal, plagued by injury and illness at the end of last season, is still
searching for his first title on the european clay in 2015.
But he is hopeful for more improvement in Rome after playing
some of his best tennis of the year in
reaching the final in Madrid.
I cannot leave Madrid unhappy.

I have to forget what happened today and remain with the positives,
said the 28-year-old.
There were more good things
than bad this week and I will try
to recover those good sensations in
Rome.
I think Ive made a step forward,
I am playing better. This season I
havent played two good weeks in a
row and now is the time to do that.
Murray, meanwhile, admitted
his recent marriage to long-term
girlfriend Kim Sears has helped his
incredible start to the clay court
season.
Two-time major winner Murray is
9-0 since getting married last month.
The Scottish star even wrote
marriage works on the on-court
camera after thrashing nine-time
French Open champion nadal.
Murray has also taken to wearing
his wedding ring on the laces of his
shoes during matches although he
was quick to put it back on his finger
after sealing victory over nadal.
I think people dont always appreciate that sports people have another part of our lives that is very
important to our performance, said
Murray. AFP

Andy Murray, after completing the


best week of his career on clay with
his first two titles on the surface, was
considering whether to take part in
the Italian Open as he now looks toward the French Open as a potential
favourite.
Murrays comprehensive 6-3, 6-2
defeat of Spanish ace Rafael nadal in the final in Madrid on May
11 knocked the king of clay down to
seventh on the ATP list, his lowest
position in a decade.
Murray and his team were seriously discussing the pros and cons
of playing in Rome, after their man
won trophies in Munich and Madrid
in the space of seven days.
Should he decide to play, Murray
will open today in the second round
against Jeremy Chardy of France.
The third-ranked Scot could not
have asked for a better Paris preparation and might not want to risk
either injury or fatigue with Roland
Garros starting in 13 days.
Its a different story completely
for nadal, who desperately needs
matches and confidence after going
down in front of his home public to

Murray in a Madrid final which did


not even extend to 90 minutes.
nadal insisted he feels his tennis
is on the right path despite not having won a spring clay title.
Im already thinking in Rome,
its an important change. you change
from playing with altitude to no altitude there, the Spaniard said.
Ill try to have a good week in
Rome and by a good week, that
does not mean only to win. That
means to do things good through
the different days. doing things well
every single day, thats a good week.
nadal called the event a very
complicated tournament. We have
the top players there. But I also know
if I manage to play the level I did [in
the Madrid semi-finals] yesterday I
can be competitive against every single player.
The 14-time Grand Slam champion is set to play in an 11th straight
edition at the Foro Italico and has
played the final nine times in 10
visits.
The seven-time champion failed
to reach a final only in 2008 when he
lost in the second round. AFP

Raonic rise up the rankings


neW world number four Milos Raonics participation in the French Open
has a question mark over it after he
was ruled out of this weeks Italian
Open to undergo foot surgery.
I will be undergoing surgery to
repair a nerve in my right foot. I withdrew from Rome to be ready to compete as soon as possible, the 24-yearold Canadian tweeted.
Raonic was knocked out of the
Madrid Open by Andy Murray in the

quarter-finals where he was clearly


struggling for movement.
He suffered the injury at the Monte
Carlo Masters in April where he was
forced to retire from his quarter-final
match against Tomas Berdych.
Berdych also gained two places to
sit fifth in the new rankings.
Japans Keiji nishikori, who made
a run to the semi-finals in the Spanish
capital, dropped one place to sixth.
AFP

Djokovic motivated by historic Open bid


nOvAK djokovic has insisted he is
motivated and inspired by the opportunity to win a first French Open
and become only the eighth man to
complete a career Grand Slam.
The world number one has five
Australian Open titles, two Wimbledon crowns and a single US Open,
but has yet to crack the clay courts
of Roland Garros in Paris, losing to
nine-time champion Rafael nadal in
the 2012 and 2014 finals.
But the 27-year-old is the form
player of 2015 having captured the
Australian Open as well as the Masters titles at Indian Wells, Miami and
Monte Carlo for a record of 30 wins
and just two defeats in the year.
The question coming into each
year: Is this going to be the year or
not? said djokovic as he faced down
the familiar enquiry over his chances
at the French Open with the second
Grand Slam event of the year just two
weeks away.

That is the question present in my


head, but it is not a question that is
distracting me or bothering me; it excites me, added the Serb, who is top
seed at the Italian Open in Rome.
It gives me inspiration and motivation. The approach of being in the
moment also helps, so I need to be
devoted to this tournament first.
If djokovic were to win an elusive
first French Open then he would join
Fred Perry, don Budge, Rod Laver,
Roy emerson, Andre Agassi, Roger
Federer and nadal as one of a select
band of men to have completed the
Grand Slam.
victory in Paris would also put
djokovic halfway to a calendar Grand
Slam a feat achieved only by two
men.
Americas Budge was the first in
1938 before Australian legend Laver
pulled it off twice, in 1962 and 1969.
But djokovic isnt looking too far
ahead, preferring to concentrate on

lifting a fourth Rome title on his return to action after opting out of the
Madrid Open.
I want to build a platform to
get off and perform well, djokovic
told the ATP Tour in-house media at
Romes Foro Italico.
At this level you need freshness
of mind and also fresh legs in order
to perform well to overcome the
challenges of long and exhausting
matches on this surface. I hope my
decision to skip Madrid will positively effect this week and Roland
Garros. Well see.
I have done things in the right
way over the past couple of weeks.
My whole team is here both coaches [Marian vajda and Boris Becker]
so we are taking it really seriously
and we hope to have a good result.
djokovic has a bye in the first
round in Rome before facing either
Spains nicolas Almagro or Italian
wildcard Luca vanni. AFP

IN PICTUREs
Photo: AFP

Richard Gasquet of France hits a return to


Thomas Fabbiano of Italy during the ATP
Rome Open tennis tournament at the Foro
Italico.

Sport 27

www.mmtimes.com
SURFING

SURFING

Extreme surfers
chill in Arctic
T

A protesting surfer is dragged away from the beach by police. Photo: AFP

Surfers fight
to stop coastal
highway project
in Peru
Gnarly scenes have been unfolding
at Perus famed la Pampilla beach,
where riot police have clashed with
surfers fighting to stop a coastal
highway project they say will ruin
their world-class waves.
The beach, a magnet for international surfers that has been the training ground of several world champions, is a narrow stretch of rocky
Pacific coast abutted by the Costa Verde
highway.
Each year, some 18,000 foreign
surfers make the trip there to ride its
legendary waves, which can reach up
to 2 meters (6.5 feet) high.
But surfers say a project by the
lima city government to expand the
highway, one of the capitals main
arteries, will break up their waves
with a retaining wall supporting the
roads new third lane.
The situation escalated last week
when the city plopped large rocks
down in the middle of the beach.
When a group of surfers defiantly
tried to ride the waves anyway, riot
police waded into the ocean boots,
uniforms, helmets and all to stop
them, carting some of them off in
nothing but their swimsuits as they
tried to cling to their boards.
This is a disaster for world surfing, said Karin Sierralta, the executive director of Perus national Board
Sports Federation and vice president of the International Surfing
Federation.
This beach is the cradle of Peruvian surfing, of South american
surfing, which was born here in
1942. If you compare it with football, its like theyre tearing down
the biggest stadium in the country,
he told aFP.
If this project continues, no one
will be able to surf here anymore.
The surfers began their protest last
november, forcing limas then-mayor
Susana Villaran and her left-wing
government to abandon the project,
which seeks to increase the amount of
traffic the highway can handle by 30
percent, to 26,000 vehicles a day.
But in January, a new mayor,
luis Castaneda of the conservative
national Solidarity party, took office
and relaunched the project.
That has united dozens of surfers
in protest.

The project is going to ruin the


waves because theyll bounce off the
retaining wall and break up, said
protester roberto Meza, who runs
the Olas Peru surfing school and won
the Pan-american longboard championships in 2006.
The waves wont have the same
formation for high-level competition. Theyll go from being excellent
to mediocre, imperfect little waves.
The city government is also under
fire from national authorities.
The navy fined it for putting rocks
on the beach, and Mayor Castaneda
has been summoned to explain himself to Congress.
livio Ciriani, one of the surfers
hauled from the beach by police, fought
back tears as he talked about the standoff.
I cant take it anymore. It hurts my
soul that they can be so apathetic and
destroy this beach, said Ciriani, who
has been surfing there for 45 years.
I ask the whole world to help us.
la Pampillas waves were the school
where several world champions from
Peru learned to surf, including Felipe
Pomar, Sofia Mulanovich, Magoo de la
rosa and Piccolo Clemente.
Mulanovich, who won the world title in 2004, wrote on Facebook, Excuse
my language but they are such sons of
XXX, thoughtless and brutish! It makes
me so mad to see how they destroy our
natural playing fields.
The city says the rocks it placed on
the beach are a temporary measure
taken because of tidal wave warnings.
Were interested in the surfers and
their activity, but we have to find a middle ground that permits us to carry out
this project, said Francisco Gaviria, a
city official.
Studies indicate we need to reinforce this part of the highway to
avoid a major collapse.
The surfers say the first big
waves will wipe out the third lane
anyway.
The citys project manager, Jose
Justiniano, said protesters dont
seem to understand the details of
the project.
We believe there is a lack of
technical knowledge in these protests. The third lane is not being
built on the beach zone, but in the
regulation road area, he said. AFP

hE water is icy cold,


its windy and its drizzling out, but the intrepid group dives in: Far
from Californias sunny
beaches, die-hard surfers flock here
year-round to catch the arctics cool
waves.
Situated at the same latitude as
northern Siberia and alaska, Unstad
Beach in norways idyllic lofoten Islands is a favourite spot for surfers
seeking out a completely different
kind of beach experience.
Surrounded by breathtaking
views of snow-covered mountaintops and cliffs dropping into the
ocean, surfers from around the
world come here 365 days a year,
sometimes still in hippie-style vans,
to try out the world-class waves.
Theres usually good waves here,
the setting is intimate and the landscape takes your breath away, with
the northern lights, the midnight sun,
the snow, explains Tommy Olsen, a
45-year-old Viking who has spent
more than 20 years surfing.
In the space of 24 hours, you can
have a series of amazing experiences: you can snowboard during the
day, surf in the evening and watch
the northern lights at night, he says.
The owner of a camping site with
small red wooden cabins near the
beach, Olsen also works as a surf
instructor.
all year, all I do is surf, either as
a job or in my free time, he admits.
In summer, when the midnight
sun lights up the region, aficionados are out on their boards day and
night.
The water is an important element in the lofoten Islands, a popular destination for travellers looking
for pristine nature and wildlife, and
an important fishing ground.
a stones throw from the beach,
thousands of cod heads are drying
on giant wooden trestles, likely waiting for export to africa where they
will be ground up to be used as a nutritional supplement.

A surfer paddles out looking to catch waves near Norways Lofoten Island.
Photo: AFP

It was Tommy Olsens father-inlaw who first came up with the idea
to introduce surfing in the archipelago in the early 1960s.
after returning from a long trip
abroad, Thor Frantzen and a friend
made their own surfboards out of
styrofoam, wet newspaper and glue.
We didnt have any money at
the time, explains the 67-year-old
pioneer.
a half-century later, Unstad
Beach is now a prized location for
surfers from all corners of the world.
In a relaxed and friendly ambiance, an australian pro surfer here
to film a commercial hangs out
on the beach alongside the local
bearded dudes and seven Swedish
students who, after a six-hour drive,
barely finish raising their tent before
throwing themselves into the water,
their boards under their arms.
all thats missing are a few Beach
Boys tunes and ... a bit more warmth.
The bravest can take a dip in
these arctic waters thanks to the

Gulf Stream, a warm current that


crosses the atlantic and laps the
norwegian coast.
as a result, the water temperature rarely drops below five degrees
celsius Still, it remains far from
tropical.
To surf here you need a 6-millimetre drysuit, shoes and gloves. you
feel kind of like a sumo wrestler,
says Kristian Breivik.
The worst part is getting out of
the water and changing clothes behind the car.
This 44-year-old shaper, with
silver grey shoulder-length hair, designs surfboards on his computer,
has them made in South africa, then
sells them out of his garage.
after selling about 150 last year,
he now plans to open the worlds
northernmost surf store, at 68 degrees north.
Thats a latitude that has one special advantage: here, there are no
sharks, he smiles.
AFP

EqUESTRIaNISm

Woman begins last leg of world horse ride


a BrITISh woman passed through
Ottawa last week on the last leg of
her around-the-world horse ride,
a six-year journey that has already
taken her to the Great Wall of China
and along the shores of the Caspian
Sea.
Its been a long ride, Megan
lewis told aFP during a brief stop
to snap a photo outside of Canadas
parliament while being informed
by a friendly federal policeman that
horses are not allowed on the main
lawn.
lewis, 65, a pony breeder from
the village of Pumpsaint in the United Kingdom, started the globetrot at
Chinas Great Wall in april 2009 following the Beijing Olympics.
her journey took her along the
ancient Silk road, around the northern shores of the Caspian and Black
Seas, and through Europes vast
fields and forests.
The route, completed in stages,
spanned the breadth of the asian and
European continents. along the way
she raised money for charities for
children.
The Welsh equestrian borrowed
and traded horses for the trip,

Welsh equestrian Megan Lewis is


told by a Royal Canadian Mounted
Police officer to please keep her
horse off the lawn outside Canadas
parliament on May 7 in Ottawa.
Photo: AFP

including one reportedly rescued


from a meat market, according to
her blog.
The trip was supposed to end
in london in 2012, commemorating the move of the Olympic Games
from Beijing, but lewis just kept going.
She landed in Canadas island
newfoundland province for a tour of
the Maritimes region last year. lewis
returned to the trail in april to begin
the end of her campaign.
lewis now plans to cross the
Great lakes region over the coming
months. She will then head south
and west along the Pony Express
Trail to San Francisco, California,
where her north american journey
is scheduled to end in november
2016.
Shes broken a few ribs in a fall,
come across snakes and spiders,
and was warned to watch out for
predators.
But she said everyone she met
has been very friendly, including a
couple in Quebec who introduced
her to poutine a French-Canadian
dish of fried potatoes, gravy and
cheese curds. AFP

Sport
28 THE MYANMAR TIMES May 14, 2015

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

Gnarly waves and


Arctic chills
SPORT 27

WuSHu

Myanmar Wushu
hopes for top form
KyaW Zin Hlaing
kyawzinhlaing.mcm@gmail.com

USHU, a martial
art of Chinese
origin is a sport
that Myanmar intends to dominate
at the upcoming Southeast Asian
Games.
Myanmar topped the table in the
sport in 2013 after significant improvements on their performances
two years earlier, but continued
success will require an impressive
effort on their behalf.
Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia will provide a strong challenge,
said Khin Soe,
the Myanmar
Wushu Federations vice secretary.
We had home court advantage
at the last games and this year we
understand our competition has
been training hard. Five golds is a
tough target but well give it our
best shot, he added.
The Myanmar Wushu Federation hope their charges will
demonstrate enough perfect form
in the sport described by the
International Wushu as a set of
connecting stylised movements
choreographed
according
to
certain laws, embodying the
philosophical
connotation
of
attack and defence to bring
back five gold medals.
Such a haul that will likely make
them the countrys third-most
successful sport and second-most
successful federation in terms of
sheer weight of gold.
Only the Myanmar Rowing
Federation intends to win more,
supervisors as they are of
traditional (dragon) boat racing,
canoeing and rowing. They hope
to amass 17 top spots, eight from
the dragon boat alone, six from
canoeing and three from rowing
events.
The target shows that the federa-

A Myanamr wushu athlete demostrates her artform at the 2013 Southeast Asian Games. Photo: Staff

tion is serious about continuing the


improvement in their performances that came with 2013s home field
advantage in 2013. On that
occasion the team amassed five
gold, five silver and five bronze to
top the medal table in the sport
and significantly improve on their
2011 performance. At the laos
2011 Games, Myanmar could only
manage fifth in the table after
winning one gold, two silver and
three bronze.
Wushu will send 13 athletes
to compete across 20 events
in Junes Singapore Games but

before that the team currently


find themselves in China, training
with their Chinese counterparts.
We travelled to China before
the last games and it was a very
successful trip. China is strong
in this sport and our athletes can
learn much from training in this
environment, Khin Soe told The
Myanmar Times.
Our preparations began in
Feburary 2014 [a month after the
last SEA Games ended]. Those
athletes who represented us in
2013 continue to represent us now.
They have worked with both local

and Chinese coaches and have


prepared well.
Our preparations included
competing in the 2014 Asian
Games. We did not take any medals from these games but our athletes gathered a lot of experience.
Of the 20 events in Singapore,
18 will be in the non-combative
form of wushu known as talou
a subjective discipline where
competitors demonstrate their
skills, form and ability. Sanda or
sanshou, the combat form of the
sport will award two medals, both
in male categories.

MYANMARS
2015
SEA GAMES
GOLD MEDAL TARGETS

Dragon Boat

Canoeing

Wushu

Judo

Archery

Cue Sports

Rowing

Athletics

Boxing

Chinlone

Sepak Takraw

Shooting

Taekwondo

Fencing

Football

Golf

Gymnastics

Petanque

Sailing

Total

50

EqualiTy

Gays not accepted on sports field finds survey


Only 1 percent of people feel that
gays are completely accepted on
the sporting field, according to a new
international survey released on May
10 highlighting homophobia, as officials vowed to tackle the issue.
Close to 9500 people were interviewed for the survey, initiated by
the Sydney organising committee of
a gay rugby event, which found few
positive signs that lesbian, gay and
bisexual people were welcome playing team sports.
Even in the most promising
countries, such as Canada, discrimination and homophobia were still
widely experienced by both lGB and
straight participants, it said.
Participants in the study, who

mostly came from Australia, Britain,


Canada, Ireland, new Zealand and
the United States, were also largely
unanimous in the view that spectator stands were not accepting of gay
people.
About 78pc of respondents said
they believed lGB people would
not be very safe if they visibly displayed their sexuality, for example by
showing affection to each other.
Participants in the survey also
said the most likely environment for
sporting homophobia to occur were
spectator stands (41pc) and school
sports classes (21pc).
Cricket Australias chief executive James Sutherland said the studys
findings were concerning. He added

that the cricket world, as well as other


sports, was committed to combating
the issue.
The support of the study by
Australian Cricket and sport more
broadly shows we are eager to better understand homophobia in sport
and take action against it, Sutherland said in a statement.
There is simply no place for homophobia in society and in particular sport and we are committed to
eradicating it through better education and training at grassroots level.
Although not an academic study,
the survey, which used data collected by sports market research firm
Repucom,
was
reviewed
by
seven leading experts on homo-

phobia in sport, including Caroline


Symons from Melbournes Victoria
University.
Some lGB people can thrive
in sport, but many others feel
compelled to remain closeted to
keep playing the sport they love,
monitoring every word they say, to
ensure they keep up the appearance
of being heterosexual, she said.
All this effort to hide their
identity can distract from enjoying their sport and improving their
performance.
Fellow Victoria University academic Grant OSullivan said casual
homophobic language such as jokes
heard on the playing fields, or in
locker rooms, sent a message at odds

with inclusiveness.
Often this language is not meant
to be hurtful but can be very damaging when heard by those struggling
with their sexuality, he said.
OSullivan said of particular concern was the fact that the negative
experience could start in school and
had the potential to see gay people
avoid sport for the rest of their lives.
Current lA Galaxy and former
leeds footballer Robbie Rogers, one
of very few professional footballers
to announce they are gay, said he
hoped the study would spur change.
This change can start with every
athlete or fan who decides not to use
homophobic language even if its
meant as humour, he said. AFP