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ISSUE 689 | AUGUST 5 - 11, 2013

Transparency concerns led to energy minister change

Industry sources say disquiet over the awarding of two offshore concessions to Thai energy giant PTTEP, as well as concerns over the future of a contract for the Mann oil field, prompted the government to replace Minister for Energy U Thein Htay with U Zeyar Aung on July 25. NEWS 5

Moustache Brothers leader passes away

Par Par Lay, who shot to international prominence in 1996 after being jailed for a performance in which he mocked the junta, died at his home in Mandalay on August 2, shortly after being discharged from hospital.

City Mart shifts focus from Yangon

Ocean hypermarket stores to open in Mawlamyine, Pyin Oo Lwin and Monywa by the end of next year, as high property prices force company to put Yangon expansion on hold.

Farm bill could devastate economy

Legislation to help the countrys struggling farmers threatens to cripple them as well as undermine efforts to unleash the economic potential of a country that was once the worlds top exporter of rice, warns a report to be released this week.


Remembering an uprising, 25 years on


A hidden world revealed in Hpa-an

Scrambling through caves, skirting bats and sampling the best of the local fare around the Kayin State capital, Hpaan, its easy to see why tourism experts are tipping it to be the countrys next hot destination.


As activists prepare to gather this week in Yangon for a three-day event marking a pivotal moment in the 1988 uprising, The Myanmar Times brings you rare photographs taken on the streets of Yangon during the tumultuous year by photographer Htein Win.


Page 2
THE INSIDER: The local lowdown & best of the web
Pressure cooker raises red flag Concerns about internet security and privacy were again highlighted last week when the story of a raid on the home of US blogger and journalist Michele Catalano surfaced. Six agents from the Joint Terrorism Task Force paid a visit to her family home, after Google searches she, her husband and her son had made over the course of several weeks led them to be suspected of terrorist activity. My sons reading habits combined with my search for a pressure cooker and my husbands search for a backpack set off an alarm of sorts at the joint terrorism task force headquarters, Ms Catalano wrote. The agents asked Catalanos husband, who was home at the time, if the family had a pressure cooker. He replied that they didnt, but admitted to having a rice cooker. Asked if they could make a bomb with that, Catalanos husband replied that his wife used it to make quinoa. Little did we know our seemingly innocent, if curious to a fault, Googling of certain things was creating a perfect storm of terrorism profiling Catalano wrote. Britons gird loins ahead of awkward conversation with ISPs The Great Porn Firewall of Britain is now in full effect and, contrary to earlier reports, the noporn filter will be mandatory even for smaller internet service proviers. So-called questionable content boxes are to be pre-ticked under the new UK internet policy, making adult content an opt-in people will have to address with their provider. Dog has a ball while man sleeps A paralyzed man from Pointsett County, Arkansas, has been given emergency treatment after waking to find his dog had eaten one of his testicles. The 39-year-old man, who told police he has no feeling from the waist down, was awakened by a burning pain in his mid-section. He said he noticed the small, white, fluffy dog hed taken in as a stray around three weeks earlier had blood on its muzzle and front feet. Police took the dog to a local veterinarian where it was euthanized. It was unclear whether or not it had been vaccinated, and its head was sent to the Arkansas Department of Health to be tested for rabies. The victim was taken to St. Bernards Regional Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries. Woman gives birth at Sule Pagoda State media last week reported a woman gave birth in Sule Pagoda on July 26, days after she arrived in Yangon. The 25-year-old had been earning a living by selling cigarettes and, with nowhere else to go, had been taking refuge in the pagoda. The New Light of Myanmar reported that no one had realised she was pregnant as she had been dressing in a mans shirt and longyi. A pilgrim cut the newborns umbilical cord and a taxi driver volunteered to take her to the hospital. Yangon Hospital provides a standard 48 hours of healthcare for mother and child, provided both are in good health. A pilgrim at the pagoda gave the woman a donation of K30,000, with several others following suit.

online editor Kayleigh Long | kayleighelong@gmail.com

When Myanmar was Burma...

Archival material provided by Pansodan Gallery

Style Statement
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi appears on a 1990 leaflet from the National League for Democracy. A woman in a dentists chair graces the cover of Forward magazine, the Burma Socialist Party Programmes official propaganda journal, June 1972.

Mo Mo Ko for NOW! Magazine. Photo by Greg Holland


News 3

Thura U Shwe Mann takes hluttaw reins


Govt boosts census spending

PYAE THET PHYO pyaethetphyo87@gmail.com THE government has allocated US$15 million to conduct next years census, a senior official says. U Nyi Nyi, a director of the Ministry of Immigration and Population, said almost half of the allocation which will cover around one-quarter of the total estimated cost will go toward wages for audit and data collectors. We expect to use 20,000 auditors and 100,000 data collectors. We have calculated that the daily wage will be K3000 and travelling costs will be fixed at K4000 a day, he said. So a significant amount is needed to cover these expenses. The census, which will be the first in almost three decades, is expected to cost more than $55 million and will take place in late March. Foreign donors have already agreed to fund almost half that amount, while U Nyi Nyi said the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has agreed to cover the remainder if the governments contribution is not enough. UNFPA has estimated it will support Myanmars 2014 Census Project with $5 million and so far we have already used $2 million, a UNFPA spokesperson said. Australia has also committed $2.8 million and Norway is in talks with the government over a possible $7 million pledge. It is estimated that the total proposed funding from foreign countries is $26.6 million and we hope we will get it soon, the spokesperson said. An official from the Ministry of Immigration and Population told The Myanmar Times on July 29 that state school teachers will be assigned as data collectors. The school teachers will have an important role when the census project is launched, the official said. A specially created body of census experts known as the International Technical Advisory Board will cooperate with the Ministry of Immigration and Population to train auditors and data collectors in early March. The census will begin on March 30 and will take place over 14 days. Every person in the country, including foreign visitors, will be counted, except embassy staff, U Nyi Nyi said. The census will not cover those in embassies but all other non-resident foreigners will be included in our census. We will record all foreigners, including Rohingya, who are present in the country when the census is held, he said. He said the data would take four to five months to process. A complete population report will be released in early 2015, while a preliminary report will be issued a few months after the census is completed, he said. Translated by Zar Zar Soe

INCOMING Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann sounded a conciliatory note to the government in his first address as leader of the combined houses of parliament. Thura U Shwe Mann, who is also speaker of the lower house, said the legislature, executive and judiciary should draw lessons from previous conflicts rather than blame each other. The governing bodies have to be loyal to the public and to the truth and dutifully carry out their responsibilities, he said.

Its time to carry out practical reforms ... rather than blaming each other
Thura U Shwe Mann Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker

They have to examine where the flaws or mistakes in the reform process are and find workable solutions for national unity, national reconciliation, rule of law and stability, and armed conflict. Its time to carry out practical reforms rather than blaming each other. He made the comments on July 31 after taking over as Pyidaungsu Hluttaw speaker from Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker U Khin Aung Myint. Under the 2008 constitution, the upper house speaker leads the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw for the first half of the five-year parliamentary term, after which the lower house speaker assumes the responsibility. President U Thein Sein, vice presidents Sai Mauk Kham and U Nyan Tun, Commander-in-

Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the chief judge and members of the Supreme Court, Union Government ministers, and region and state hluttaw speakers all attended the handover ceremony. U Khin Aung Myint said in his farewell speech that 58 laws had been enacted during his 30-month tenure as Pyidaungsu Hluttaw speaker, including 15 in 2011, 24 in 2012 and 19 so far this year. Of these, 49 were submitted by the government and nine by parliamentary committees and MPs, he said. MPs told The Myanmar Times that a key test of Thura U Shwe Manns reign as Pyidaungsu Hluttaw speaker will be whether he can guide amendments to the constitution through the house with military support. The amendments will be recommended by a recently formed 109-member committee chaired by U Nanda Kyaw Swar, the deputy speaker of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw. Although the speaker has changed, the legislative process should not change significantly. The most important challenge will be to change laws that need to be reformed before 2015, said U Thein Nyunt, the Pyithu Hluttaw representative for Yangons Thingangyun township. Amendments to the constitution will largely depend on the leadership of [U Nanda Kyaw Swar] and the new speaker, Thura U Shwe Mann, and their political views and decisions, he said. U Saw Hla Tun, the Pyithu Hluttaw representative for Chaung Oo and secretary of the Joint Bill Committee, said he had faith in Thura U Shwe Manns ability to spearhead the reform process. The new speaker has promised to continue the achievements [of U Khin Aung Myint] during his term. I believe he will adopt a better approach and preserve the success we have had by learning from old lessons, he said. We all need to cooperate to carry out the recommendations of the committee for constitutional reforms before 2015.

Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann arrives for a ceremony to take over as Pyidaungsu Hluttaw speaker from U Khin Aung Myint on July 31. He will hold the post for 30 months. Photo: Boothee

However, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi whose candidacy for the presidency after U Thein Sein depends on parliaments ability to change the constitution said constitutional reforms could be completed within 30 days if MPs work together. It will only take 30 days if they ... really want to make reforms to sections of the constitution that do not meet democratic norms, she said. However, she conceded that not everyone wanted to see the constitution changed. They drew the constitution as they wanted so there must be some who are stubborn [and do not want] to make reforms. I have known this for a long time. Translated by Zar Zar Soe

4 News
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Cambodian opposition plays foreigner card ahead of vote


DURING the campaigning for the July 28 Cambodian election much attention was given to the anti-Vietnamese rhetoric of opposition leader Sam Rainsy and his deputy Kem Sokha. They both spewed equally shocking racist sentiments, using the expletive term yuon to refer to Vietnamese people and even alleging that the infamous Tuol Sleng torture centre never existed but was invented by Vietnam. Presumably, then, the conviction of Duch, the centres commander, and the cases now being investigated by the United Nations Tribunal, are all without foundation. Really, it defies comprehension. Cambodias Prime Minister Hun Sen has many faults, from blatant nepotism to media coercion to crudely threatening that civil war would result if he lost. But he has not descended to spouting the kind of racist bile that issued from Rainsy and his team and which seems to be a key part of their partys ideology. Yes, the opposition has been treated unfairly, but that is hardly unusual in this region. Compared to how authoritarian governments in Malaysia and Singapore dealt with opposition parties and identities over the past halfcentury, Phnom Penhs attitude looks rather tolerant. Why then did Rainsy play the antiVietnamese card so flagrantly? Well, any bash-the-foreigners line is always popular among ordinary folks, especially those swayed by a xenophobic vernacular press. But that does not excuse Rainsy putting himself in the same league as

Sam Rainsy, leader of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), speaks to the media in Phnom Penh on July 29. Photo: AFP

Enoch Powell, Orval Faubus and Myanmars anti-Muslim cleric U Wirathu. Nor is it acceptable, after repeatedly using the vulgar yuon term to refer to Vietnamese people, to say that while it may not be politically correct, it is not insulting. One might well claim other non-PC terms like nigger, yid, chink and nip are also not hurtful or derogatory. No, it is despicable nonsense, and worse, it is even more dangerous than the civil war rubbish spouted by the Cambodian PM last month.

Remember, it is not long since the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh was destroyed and lives threatened after equally idiotic remarks by a Thai actress. Rainsys rhetoric could lead to similar violence and even lynchings, and possibly result in the Cambodian embassy in Hanoi being sacked. But please dont misunderstand: It does not mean that the Vietnamese should be let off the hook. Their condescension toward Cambodians, who are often viewed as rather backward

wretches, is also contemptible. Perhaps the best that can be said is that it does not compare to the intense animosity the Vietnamese feel toward China, which, like the sentiment Rainsy voiced, is based on repeated invasions and occupations. The last one occurred when Beijing sought to punish Vietnam for invading Cambodia and deposing the Chinesebacked Khmer Rouge regime. Vietnams action might have been excused as a rare occasion when two wrongs do make a right if only most of its 150,000 troops had not stayed on and occupied Cambodia for the next ten years. Chinas punishment its invasion and occupation of Vietnams northern provinces in February 1979 was one of the most ham-handed and bloodiest conflicts this region has ever seen. Both sides suffered heavy casualties, including civilians, and photographs of the devastation are shocking. One needs to work hard to find them, however, because both Beijing and Hanoi rigorously suppress all public records of this bloodbath. On Martyrs Day in Vietnam, the victories over France and the United States are glorified, but the recent war with China is unmentioned. It has been air-brushed out of existence on both sides of the border. As the Beijing scholar, Yan Lianke, noted, Not a word is written here about how many Chinese or Vietnamese died in the pointless war with Vietnam in the late 1970s. But it has been extensively described elsewhere, especially in Nayan Chandas brilliant book Brother Enemy: The War after the War, which both Rainsy and Kem Sokha ought to re-read. If, after doing so, they continue making stupidly irrational and bigoted statements, then they deserve to be sent to re-education camps, preferably in Ratanakiri, not the 8th arrondissement of Paris.


From Australia, some advice for an adviser

JANELLE SAFFIN newsroom@myanmartimes.com.mm TWO recent articles published in the Messenger news journal on July 8 reflected the outdated thinking of Myanmars dictatorship, not the new democratic thinking required for its political transformation. One was by Htin Lynn Oo and the other by U Nay Zin Latt, an adviser to President U Thein Sein. The articles mount a concerted attack on the parliament and even dare to suggest that parliament could be abolished because the president is doing a good job. The views expressed are understandable given the 50 years of dictatorship Myanmar has endured. But they are troubling coming from a presidential adviser and raise serious questions about the nature and quality of advice U Thein Sein is receiving. U Nay Zin Latts article is chauvinistic in tone. Its message is, We know what is best, so everyone should shut up except the appointed leaders. Under military dictatorship the attitude was that people needed to be shut up to maintain stability. During the transformation it is that they need to be shut up to smooth the reform path ahead. However, the dictatorships modus operandi of command and control is not suitable for democratic leadership, which requires collaboration and compromise. The president and the people need advisers with demonstrated knowledge of democratic transformation and development. There is no evidence in U Nay Zin Latts article that he possesses this knowledge. He says that those in charge control how history is written. However, history judges favourably those political investors would not be as concerned as U Nay Zin Latt about parliament involving itself in the telecommunications tender announcement. Rather, they look for security of their investment, a corruption-resistant environment and, ideally, the rule of law. Time may be a nuisance but the conflicted and challenging situation in Rakhine State lends itself to international comment. of the issue and in many cases contravene human rights norms. A better approach would be to offer sound advice to the president on interfaith collaboration, peace processes and what a model citizenship law looks like. Others have said clearly and concisely what needs to be said, notably that the Citizenship Law must be reviewed within the rule of law framework. The silence is in terms of action from the countrys leadership. U Nay Zin Latt asserts that the people of Myanmar have a different mentality than in earlier times. This may be so but their expectations are the same. They want freedom. They want to be led, not ruled. And they want their basic needs met. He concludes with an ominous warning to unnamed opportunists, saying that there is still time to mend their attitude or recalibrate to be in line with the path to reforms ahead of them. This, sadly, echoes the old, patronising politics of autocratic government, not the new politics of democratic leadership.
Janelle Saffin is an MP in the Australian parliament and a special adviser on policy development to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. A long-time friend of Myanmar, her engagement focuses on constitutional, legal, election and political history.

U Nay Zin Latts article is chauvinistic in tone. Its message is, We know what is best, so everyone should shut up.
leaders who govern with sound policies and laws and a good heart. Put up laws like the Printing and Publishing Enterprise Law and you should expect criticism. State that the government will not review, reform or repeal the draconian Emergency Provisions Act 1950 or the State Protection Act 1975 and you should expect more criticism. He also criticised parliament for proposing to delay the announcement of the telecoms tender winners, and also Time magazine for its Face of Buddhist Terror cover. Foreign In Myanmar, no one accepts the existence of the Rohingya as a race or ethnic nationality group but this needs discussion. Options that have been proposed so far include the United Nations Refugee Agency resettling them in other countries, as well as restrictions on family size, prohibitions on interfaith marriage and segregated living. Apparently there is also no need to change the 1982 Citizenship Law. Some of these views have been attributed to the president and some to MPs. All fail to address the root causes

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News 5

Transparency concerns led to energy minister swap

STAFF WRITERS newsroom@mmtimes.com.mm CONCERNS over the transparency of new oil and gas concessions were behind the downfall of former Minister for Energy U Than Htay and his deputy, U Htin Aung, sources say. U Than Htay was transferred to the Ministry of Rail Transportation by presidential order on July 25 and replaced by the railways minister, U Zeyar Aung. U Htin Aung was appointed Deputy Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security and a replacement has not yet been announced. Several sources contacted last week said the changes were made because of a number of controversial decisions over the awarding of exploration licences and production concessions. One energy expert with more than 30 years experience in Myanmars oil and gas sector said both local and foreign energy companies had been upset about the decision to give two deepwater blocks, known as MD-7 and MD-8, to Thai company PTTEP earlier this year. These are considered to be some of the best blocks in the Gulf of Mottama but PTTEP got them without even having to compete in a bidding process, the expert said. The blocks were not included in a list of 30 offshore fields that the ministry put up for tender in April after PTTEP announced in mid-January it had been awarded the rights to the two fields. The previous month, Chinese state news agency Xinhua quoted Thai Energy Minister Pichai Naripthaphan as saying that U Than Htay had indicated support for PTTEPs proposal for the MD-7 and MD-8 blocks when they met in Nay Pyi Taw on December 20. I have been told the ministry was going to announce they were awarding MD-7 and MD-8 to PTTEP when they announce the winners of these 30 offshore blocks to make it look as though the process was transparent, the energy expert said. A former senior official at the Ministry of Energy confirmed that there had been problems in the awarding of blocks and extending existing contracts, as well as allegations of bribery in relation to other energy projects, including pipeline construction. He said the reshuffle had also seen the deputy director general at the Energy Planning Department, U Zaw Aung, transferred to the Ministry of Mines on July 25. In his previous post U Zaw Aung was also director of planning at Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) and oversaw a steering committee at the ministry that reviewed existing Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) and awarded blocks to foreign and local energy firms. Several sources said the ministry had not announced the decision to award the blocks to the Thai company or its negotiations with MPRL E&P to extend its contract to operate the Mann oil field in central Myanmar. According to the sources, both the company and the ministry had been negotiating an extension that would not require it to compete with other firms. I heard junior officials at [Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise] are not happy about extending the contract with MPRL, one energy expert said. A retired geologist from MOGE said initially there had been rumours that MOGE would not extend the contract for the Mann oil field, which expires this year, because of its good production levels, but it had indicated it planned to approve an extension without a tender. MPRL E&P is a British Virgin Islands-based company founded by U Moe Myint, a former pilot for U Ne Win. It also holds a number of offshore concessions. A spokesperson for MPRL E&P said that there were no negotiations taking place with the ministry about extending the Mann field contract. Negotiations are not ongoing, and the ministry and the Energy Planning Department have informed us there are no complaints from [within] the ministry about the contract. A source close to the Myanmar Investment Commission said no application had been submitted to extend MPRLs contract for the Mann field. The Ministry of Energy did not respond to requests for comment.

Comedian Par Par Lay passes away

PHYO WAI KYAW pwkyaw@gmail.com THE leader of the Mandalaybased Moustache Brothers comedy troupe, Par Par Lay, passed away last week at the age of 67 following a brief battle with illness. The comedian died at his home on August 2, shortly after being discharged from hospital, his younger brother, Lu Maw, said. He had been admitted to Mandalay Central Hospital on July 16 suffering from kidney and urinary problems and his family decided to discharge him after it became clear he would not recover. Par Par Lay shot to international prominence in 1996 after he was jailed for seven years for mocking the military regime during an Independence Day anyeint performance at Daw Aung San Suu Kyis house in Yangon. He was released in 2001 but banned from public performances. Instead, he conducted nightly cultural shows for mostly foreign audiences with his brother, Lu Maw, and cousin, Lu Zaw, at their Mandalay home on Mandalays 39th Street. He was re-arrested twice for his activism, most recently in 2007. Lu Maw said he had appeared to be improving following a kidney operation but his

Par Par Lay (left) with brother Lu Maw in July 2012. Photo: Phyo Wai Kyaw

condition deteriorated a few days before his death. The doctors took good care of him but a blood vessel in his heart was blocked. He had been suffering from these ailments for a long time and we were very late to send him to the hospital, he said. Lu Maw said Par Par Lay had complained of a sore back in early 2013 but had refused to seek treatment because he wanted to continue his no fear campaign, which had seen him tour rural areas and

give public speeches. During this years water festival he had also toured Mandalay on a decorated float and conducted Thangyat performances. He travelled over a period of three months to many places to give his no fear talk to the public He was also tired from his travels, he said. Lu Maw, 65, said he would continue performing with Lu Zaw. I have to continue on my own, leading my family and offering entertainment to

audiences. I also worked like this before during the three times he was in jail. In one of his final interviews before succumbing to illness, Par Par Lay had told The Myanmar Times on July 29 he had been suffering from the conditions for several months, during which he had lost a significant amount of weight. He had expressed hope that he would recover and continue performing and speaking. I still want to entertain to the public.

The British Embassy is currently looking to recruit a highly motivated and energetic individual to join our team as a UK Visas & Immigration Office Manager. For more information and details on how to apply, please visit the link below: https://www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations/britishembassy-rangoon/about/recruitment Deadline for submission of applications will be on 11 August 2013.

6 News


Thilawa backers prepare for share sale

Nine public companies will promote the public offering, which is slated to take place in early 2014 to build infrastructure in the zone


SHARES in a planned public company that will develop the Thilawa Special Economic Zone could go on sale within six months, Deputy Minister for National Planning and Economic U Set Aung said last week. The company will launch an initial public share offering in early 2014 at the latest, said U Set Aung, who is also chairman of the zones management committee. The development of the Thilawa SEZ must be completed by 2015 so the necessary construction work will have to be started in early 2014 ... and the companys shares will go on sale before

we start the construction work, he told The Myanmar Times in an interview on July 29. We also need to elect a board of directors and complete various tendering processes. For the moment, we are calculating how much capital needs to be invested from the Myanmar side. The date of the public offering launch is dependent on the completion of that calculation. The governments of Japan and Myanmar have agreed to develop the Thilawa Special Economic Zone in Thanlyin township, about 25 kilometres (15.5 miles) southeast of Yangon along the Yangon River. The agreed share ratio will be 49-51, with Myanmar holding the majority. Media reports have said Mitsubishi, Sumitomo and Marubeni will head the Japanese consortium. U Ye Min Oo from Dagon Group of Companies, which is owned by U Win Aung, who also chairs the Union of My-

anmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), said nine public companies are working as promoters of the public company. He added that the proposed public company has filed an application for registration to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA). While he would not reveal the nine companies involved, sources confirmed that one is First Myanmar Investment, a subsidiary of Serge Pun & Associates. [The promoters] filed [an application] to DICA in June for company registration. It is still ongoing and we havent got a reply from DICA yet, U Ye Min Oo said. While declining to comment specifically on the Thilawa SEZ public company, U Soe Thein, the executive director of Myanmar Security Exchange Company (MSEC), said that international best practice required public companies to file a prospectus when

performing a public offering. The preliminary prospectus with the expression of the amount of capital necessary to be raised [for the intended business] must be presented for the public company registration, he said. After filing the preliminary prospectus, the promoters can appeal to the public to buy shares but the actual sale can only be launched after finalising the prospectus and it being accepted by the registration authority. To prepare the prospectus, the exact amount of capital to be raised must be stated. U Ye Min Soe said the nine promoters are still finalising the amount of capital they will seek to raise through the offering but would publicise all of the required information. And many parts of the IPO process, including even the official name of the company, still need to be approved. The nine promoters will finish these works. When a valid company

structure has been developed, they will publicise the information. Then, all information on the entire process of the formation of the company, to the companys operations and in what role the company will be operating at the Thilawa SEZ development and so on will be declared and advertised. He added that the nine promoters would not receive any special privileges for their preliminary work. The entire company will be owned by the public through shares, he said. None of the shares are reserved for the nine promoters. They have just been organised as a working team to initiate the formation of the company and deal with the Japanese partners. When the IPO is launched, it is up to them whether they buy shares. U Win Aung, the chairman of UMFCCI, has also clearly told the nine companies they are just promoters and will not receive any special privileges.

Govt moves closer to economic zone compensation Disaster

NOE NOE AUNG noenoeag@gmail.com THE government will compensate and resettle 79 households living or farming inside the first phase of the Thilawa Special Economic Zone, an official told residents last week. Deputy Minister for National Planning and Economic Development U Set Aung said authorities had surveyed the area in April and July and examined satellite photos to ensure those receiving compensation were genuine residents. Based on the surveys, 65 families were found to be living in the 396-hectare site, while 14 others owned farmland in the area. As we mentioned at the last meeting, we are going to give compensation to these families and plan to resettle them as well, he said. Residents will be resettled with the assistance of the Yangon Region government and we are planning to compensate them for the things they cannot take with them, such as livestock, crops and gardens. We will also give them money to cover transportation fees. U Set Aung said that they will give additional support to families with elderly or disabled members, as well as single-parent households. We are calculating how much compensation each family should get. I think we can finalise it in August. The government will also consider compensation and resettlement for those who left the area over the past year, during which it has bulldozed their fields, cut off the water supply and published eviction notices, U Set Aung said. He said there are also plans

warning system to be ready by 2018

AN early warning system to alert residents to oncoming natural disasters will be set up in Ayeyarwady Region and Rakhine State by 2018, the government announced last week. U Thurein Tun, assistant director of the Relief and Resettlement Department (RRD), said the project will include activities to develop early warning networks, training, simulation exercises, public education and preparedness for emergency evacuation. The project will improve communication for sending information, he said, and develop community capacity so disaster management organisations can respond better in a disaster period. The project represents a collaboration between RRD, the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which will provide funding, experts and technical assistance. Representatives of each agency have already conducted a survey of Ayeyarwady Region and Rakhine State in July, U Thurein Tun said, in order to choose specific townships in which to implement the project. U Kyaw Moe Oo, deputy director of the meteorology department, outlined the early stages of the project on July 10. The survey group with representatives from Japan and Myanmar has done a survey this month in Ayeyarwady Region to set up a tide gauge. Then there will be a program for setting up a direct link between DMH and Myanmar Radio and Television [MRTV] to send early warnings and updates on weather news. U Kyaw Moe Oo said the new network will be a vast improvement over the current system, in which forecasts and updates for television are conveyed from the meteorology department to MRTV via car or motorbike. Aye Sapay Phyu

The number of households that will be compensated under the first phase of the Thilawa project


Deputy Minister U Set Aung speaks to Thilawa area residents on July 30. Photo: Zarni Phyo

We surveyed the area where we are going to implement the first phase of the Thilawa zone two or three times, U Set Aung told residents on July 30.

to retrain residents so they can find jobs in the special economic zone. I cant accept it when people say, We are farmers. We cant do anything except farming. We are planning to open training courses where farmers and their children can learn about construction and small industries so that if there are factories they can work there.

While the farmers previously stated that they believed they should get 10 percent of the current price of land at Thilawa as compensation, they said last week they would be happy if the compensation is enough to maintain their standard of living. The plans are perfect if it really happens as the minister has said. We dont want to give

the officials any more trouble. We also want to see our country develop, said farmer U Mya Hlaing from Alwan Sut village. I just want them to resettle us around the Thilawa zone instead of sending us far away. U Set Aung said that the compensation would be fair and transparent and the farmers would not be worse off.


News 7

No ceasefire but govt and Palaung agree to further talks


A SOMETIMES fiery first meeting between the government and the Ta Aung National Liberation Front ended without an agreement but more talks are expected to take place in the coming week. A Union Peace-making Working Committee delegation led by chief negotiator U Aung Min met leaders of the front and its armed wing, the Ta Aung National Liberation Army (TNLA), in Muse, northern Shan State, on July 31. The talks were the first with the group since it formed in 1992 and followed recent clashes in northern Shan State between the Tatmadaw and the TNLA, which is allied with the Kachin Independence Army. U Aung Min had proposed a fourpoint agreement but after almost five hours and no sign either side would be able to bridge the gap in their demands he said the deal could not be signed because the chairman of the front and commander-in-chief of the TNLA were not present. He said an agreement would be signed at the next round of talks, which is expected to take place within 10 days in nearby Namhkam township. The governments proposal included a ceasefire, freedom of movement for troops without arms, a commitment to political dialogue and the opening of a Ta Aung National Liberation Front liaison office. The talks began in what has become

the normal fashion, with U Aung Min urging the Palaung group to cooperate and overcome all of our difficulties together. We belong to this land and so do you. Dont feel that you are a guest, he said. Without any tricks or games we continue to work to political dialogue and cooperate with you. However, the divisions became clear when Lieutenant Colonel Tar Bone Kyaw, a co-founder of the TNLA, made eight demands that he said had come from the groups central committee. The demands included setting up a time frame and process for true political dialogue, reducing conflict between the Tatmadaw and TNLA, assisting displaced people, combating the drug problem and releasing detained TNLA soldiers.

Lieutenant Colonel Tar Bone Kyaw arrives at Shwe Palaung Hotel in Muse for peace talks on July 31. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

What people expect is peace. What they face is suffering.

U Maung Kyaw Chairman, Palaung Selfadministered Zone Leading Body

He also asked for the Palaung Selfadministered Zone to be expanded from two to 13 townships, saying that the zone in its current form was designed to separate the Palaung people. He insisted that the true Palaung population was not less than 1 million, rather than the 400,000 stated by the government. Speaking in a mixture of Myanmar

and English despite no native English-speaking observers being present he repeatedly expressed outrage for the military regimes forced disarmament of the Palaung Liberation Front after it agreed to a peace deal with the government in the early 1990s. The group that was built by our peoples sweat and blood was destroyed, he said, adding that TNLA will become stronger than the Palaung Liberation Front ever was if political dialogue does not take place. The talks were attended by a number of MPs and political figures, while the Tatmadaw was represented by the commander of Northeastern Region Command, Brigadier General Aung Soe. On the recent conflict, he said the Tatmadaw was not the aggressor and had only been trying to ensure national security. He accused non-state armed groups of forced recruitment. We have to protect our soldiers as well, he said. In some areas [groups are] not following the nations laws Only when theres rule of law can governance take place smoothly. If you ask who wants peace most, I will say it is us, the soldiers.

U Maung Maung Swe, the Pyithu Hluttaw representative for Namkham, read a statement from the parliament that urged the TNLA to seek peace. You need to act and travel according to the law, he said, while also urging the TNLA to take part in the development of Palaung regions and the 2014 census. U Maung Kyaw, chairman of the Leading Body for the Palaung Selfadministered Zone, accused the armed groups of arrogance and being out of touch. For the people, the most important thing is to live, eat and sleep peacefully, he said. What people expect is peace. What they face is suffering, he said, adding that those without arms agreed to do anything that armed groups say because they are afraid. The TNLAs Lt Col Tar Bone Kyaw insisted that the Palaung had faced discrimination at the hands of the government that was deeper than that inflicted on other major groups, such as the Mon and Kachin. Discrimination and oppression have existed since independence, he said. Among the hundreds of Palaung supporters who gathered outside the

Shwe Palaung Hotel to show their support for peace negotiations, the discussion was less combative. Wearing the black traditional Palaung dress and holding a bouquet of flowers, Ma Mu Mu Aye said she did not feel the same way as Lieutenant Colonel Tar Bone Kyaw. I myself never experienced [that discrimination]. But I heard about it and I think it exists, she said. Even though she could be mistaken for a TNLA supporter, she said she supported neither side. Im here because I want peace, not because I hate the government or support the TNLA. Like Ma Mu Mu Aye, hundreds of other Palaung waited outside the hotel all day, the crowd growing from dozens in the morning to hundreds in the afternoon. All wore traditional Palaung clothes and many carried flowers, Palaung flags and banners with messages such as We Love Peace and Forever peace. Some played traditional music and shouted words of encouragement in the Palaung language. I dont want to see the two sides shooting at each other, said 56-year old U Aik Maung. Ko Myo Aung, 30, agreed. If theres no fighting, he said, I think everything will be okay.

WHO calls on governments to boost efforts on hepatitis

YAMON PHU THIT yamon89@gmail.com ONLY one-third of the worlds countries have national strategies to combat viral hepatitis, the World Health Organization said last week, as it called for governments to step up efforts against the five hepatitis viruses that cause severe liver infections. The WHOs statement marking World Hepatitis Day on July 28 urged countries to scale up measures to tackle hepatitis infections which can cause chronic and debilitating illnesses and are responsible for 1.4 million deaths each year. Viral hepatitis, a silent epidemic, means a loss of income and high medical expenses for hundreds of millions of people worldwide, WHO said. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, most commonly caused by a viral infection. There are five main hepatitis viruses: types A, B, C, D and E. Types B and C can lead to liver cancer and cirrhosis. Statistics from Yangon General Hospital show that, in 2012, cirrhosis was the third-ranking cause of admissions, while liver cancer was fifth, Dr Win Naing of the hospitals hepatology department told The Myanmar Times. Hepatitis B and C infections are silent and cause no symptoms until there is severe damage to the liver. The patients come to the hospital too late, he said. In Myanmar, hepatitis B affects 8-10 percent of the population, while hepatitis C affects 2-5pc, according to decadeold Ministry of Health estimates. However, experts say the actual rate could be higher. In recent years, we have observed an increase, Dr Win Naing said. It is because of the lack of practice in using disposable [syringes], not getting blood tested before donating to others and not avoiding contact with bodily fluids. Hepatitis A and E are food- and water-borne infections, while hepatitis B, C and D are spread by infected body fluids, including through blood transfusions, sexual contact, mother-to-child transmission during birth and contaminated medical equipment. Dr Naomi Khaing Than Hlaing, liver expert at Mandalay General Hospital, said immunisation, screening and diagnosis were important for combating hepatitis because of the lack of symptoms. While vaccines are only available for the A and B forms, awareness and prevention can help people from getting infected, she said. Vaccines, which she said can prevent at least 80pc of hepatitis B cases, are available locally and cost K15,000 for the three required doses. Echoing the WHOs concerns, Myanmar liver experts also say there is a need to increase public education. Current education campaigns are limited to occasional health programs on state broadcasters and warnings in state newspapers. The governments efforts to improve knowledge about hepatitis are low. There are still barriers to reaching people right across the country, Dr Win Naing said. Liver specialist Dr Than Sitt suggested that independent self-help groups and organisations are also needed to improve awareness of hepatitis-related diseases and boost prevention activities. Organisations should focus on sharing knowledge about hepatitis diseases, helping members of the public get blood tests and conducting mass vaccination programs, he said.

8 News


Critics slam dangerous report on Rakhine State


A REPORT on the conflict in Rakhine State that advocates for 800,000 Muslims to be expelled to Bangladesh generated heated debate at its launch last week, with some dismissing it as rubbish and others warning it could inflame tensions. The Arakan Human Rights and Development Organization released the Conflict and Violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar report at Central Hotel in Yangon on April 1. The report says the Muslims of Rakhine State should be denied citizenship and advocates for what it calls a population exchange to resolve communal conflict that has left almost 200 people dead. The exchange would see Rakhine States 800,000 Rohingya, or Bengali, residents sent to Bangladesh in exchange for an equivalent number of Buddhists. No Rohingya appear to have been interviewed during the research or writing of the report and its lead author, Rick Heizman, faced some angry comments during a discussion session after the launch. We should dismiss this report for the rubbish that it is, a PhD student in Southeast Asian history declared at the launch. The exchange of people from Arakan to Bangladesh does not make sense. Are you also going to exchange African Americans like [US President Barack] Obama back to Africa? asked one Myanmar aid worker. I think co-existence and peaceful dialogue is better not the hatred you spread in press conferences. A diplomat from the German embassy said the report was very dangerous ... Its not a report we can take seriously. I just want to underline: Listening to you and reading the report I get the impression that your report is onesided and over-simplifies the problem in Rakhine to a conflict between Buddhists and Muslims, she said. U Aung Marm Oo, an executive director of the organisation, agreed during the question and answer session that the report was one-sided but in a positive way. Its the Rakhine side of the story that has been ignored, he said. Mr Heizman also faced numerous questions about his academic credentials but dismissed these by saying that it doesnt matter right now. When

pressed after his presentation, he said: My credentials are that Ive been here many times. The questions were likely prompted by what biographical details are available online. An interview with Mr Heizman on the website Thingsasian.com says he is from New York City but lives in the San Francisco Bay area and holds a Bachelor of Arts in music composition and guitar from San Jose State. Despite the criticism, the views expressed in the report reflect those of at least some officials in the Rakhine State government. In a recent interview with The Myanmar Times, government spokesman U Win Myaing described the Rohingya population as illegal Bengalis who should be forced from the state. Like Mr Heizman, U Win Myaing talked at length about the bias against Rakhine people in Western media and in the aid community, singling out the United Nations and Human Rights Watch. They have a pro-Muslim bias, he said. He said that reports of police and military brutality and squalid conditions in camps for Muslims displaced by conflict had been fabricated by Islamic extremists. He also suggested that most of the Muslims displaced by last years violence had burned their own houses down in order to both damage Rakhine homes in the area and get nicer homes from UN agencies. Phil Robertson, the Asia director at Human Rights Watch, described these claims as ludicrous and without merit. Hes just repeating extremist Rakhine canards that have been put out by the government and community leaders ever since the violence in June last year. No one believes these claims, and repeating them just make him look foolish, Mr Robertson said. Any comparison ... will show that [the Rohingya] have hardly gained by being confined to IDP camps without livelihoods and deprived of access to education, health and other basic services, he said. Human Rights Watch has no bias whatsoever against the Rakhine people. U Win Myaing is playing shoot the messenger because he has so few facts on his side and doesnt like the fact that we have proven ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity were committed last year in Rakhine state. Chris Lewa, head of the Rohingya advocacy group The Arakan Project, declined to comment directly on U Win Myaings comments, calling them too ludicrous to respond to. This kind of denial in the face of the truth, she said, will only make peace in Rakhine harder to achieve.

Britains speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow delivers a speech at Yangon University during his visit to Myanmar on August 1. Photo: AFP

No turning back after taste of democracy, says speaker

SANDAR LWIN sdlsandar@gmail.com THE speaker of Britains House of Commons has declared Myanmars reform process irreversible but urged the government to go further in building peace with ethnic groups and improving human rights. John Bercow said during a public lecture at Yangon Universitys Diamond Jubilee Hall on August 1 that the reforms had given people a taste for democracy and as a result would be almost impossible to unwind. I think that the events of the last couple of years have given [Myanmar] people a taste for democracy and freedom. And now they have [had] a taste of it they will want [the rest] not just for one day but every day of their lives. So, I think this appetite will be irreversible, he said in response to a question from the audience. Mr Bercows speech, delivered on the third day of his visit, addressed most of the hot-button issues in Myanmars democratisation process, including the release of remaining political prisoners, constitutional reform, the question of citizenship for Rohingya and the peace process. I hope that the president and the government will release, and release unconditionally, all remaining political prisoners as a matter of urgency, and in so doing, signal their seriousness about real, lasting, irreversible reform, he said, adding that those who were imprisoned for taking up arms against the government for political reasons should also be freed. People who are political prisoners are people in prisons for their political view, their political activities, their political weapons, their political opposition to the government, and those people should not be in prison. Those people should be free, he said. He also urged the government to address the issue of citizenship for the Muslim Rohingya in a manner that meets international human rights standards. That [requires] a review of citizenship law. I didnt say that every single Rohingya is necessarily to be granted citizenship but what I said is that each case should be reviewed and where people can show that they have lived in your country for three generations [they] absolutely must be entitled to citizenship, he said. On the peace process, he urged the government to create a nationwide peace process though a political solution with ethnic minorities. Without a political solution, the root causes of conflict will not be addressed and peace will not be achieved. The desire of the ethnic nationalities, as is well known, is for a federal system, in which they are granted some autonomy, and in which equal rights are respected for all, he said. I welcome the remarks by several very senior leaders in government and parliament displaying an openness to considering the idea of federalism. I hope that such openness will translate into a real dialogue process. Proposed amendments to the constitution relating to the eligibility criteria for presidential nominees and more power for regional governments would make the process more inclusive and give it greater legitimacy. Even if political prisoners are freed and repressive legislation repealed, if the constitution itself hinders democracy, a meaningful transition will be hindered. So there is an urgent need for amendments to the Constitution if the reform process is to be genuinely inclusive and legitimate.

Now [people] have [had] a taste of [democracy] they will want it not just for one day but every day of their lives.
John Bercow Speaker, British House of Commons


News 9

US to begin Tatmadaw engagement


THE United States plans to begin military engagement with Myanmar later this month, ambassador Derek Mitchell said, as part of Washingtons efforts to encourage the Tatmadaw to transform into a professional security force with civilian oversight. Speaking on August 1 in Yangon alongside US Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes, who was in Myanmar on a three-day visit, Mr Mitchell said that initial military engagement would focus on humanitarian issues, officer professionalisation and human rights. This is an absolutely critical institution in the country and has been for 50 years, Mr Mitchell said of the Tatmadaw. We need to establish a regular dialogue. We need to get new ideas into that institution because they have been operating on old ideas that havent seemed to work very well for the country. The nascent engagement will be undertaken by the Defense Institute for International Legal Studies, a Rhode Islandbased organisation of military lawyers that works for the US Department of Defense. The group recently concluded a preliminary trip to Myanmar a visit that Mr Mitchell said was enthusiastically welcomed by Tatmadaw leaders. However, Mr Mitchell insisted that there was no definitive road map for militaryto-military activities. He said

instead that cooperation would be contingent on the continuation of the reform process undertaken by President U Thein Sein and that the US was not even close to arms sales or operational training of Myanmar troops. It was a view echoed by Mr Rhodes, who is a close adviser to President Barack Obama. He accompanied the president to Yangon in November 2012 and is seen as a driving force behind the White Houses policy toward Myanmar.

We need to establish a regular dialogue. We need to get new ideas into [the Tatmadaw].
Derek Mitchell US ambassador to Myanmar

We are not going to be able to see a deepening of that [military] engagement unless we see a continued progress on reform and a permanent change made in terms of an inclusive democratic society, Mr Rhodes said. As well as improving its professionalism, Washington also wants to encourage the Tatmadaw to relinquish its hold on 25 percent of seats in Myanmars parliaments. On the same day that Mr Rhodes and Mr Mitchell expressed their support for increased military-to-military cooperation, US Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, an influential voice

on Myanmar in Washington, issued a statement supporting military engagement. What better way is there to show the virtues of civilian control of the military than to have the most highly regarded armed forces in the world the US military engaged with the Tatmadaw about respect for human rights, accountability and rule of law? McConnell said in the statement, which also called for sweeping constitutional reforms. I believe that a modest, targeted military-to-military relationship would work hand in glove with diplomatic efforts to convince the Burmese military that placing themselves under civilian control is good for the nation. Mr McConnell has long held an interest in Myanmar and for two decades was one of the fiercest critics of the previous military regime. But in May, after President U Thein Sein visited Washington, he changed tack, dropping his longtime support for US sanctions and calling for greater engagement. US policy towards Myanmar has until now largely skirted the military, focusing instead on development aid and furthering economic ties through the easing of sanctions.

A military officer directs Myanmar Red Cross Society members in Sittwe in June 2012 following an outbreak of violence between Muslims and Buddhists in the Rakhine State capital. Photo: Boothee

However, the embassy has always maintained a defence attach and Mr Mitchell also holds regular talks with Myanmars top brass as part of what the embassy calls an ongoing discussion about possible military cooperation. The US movement toward military cooperation follows

the United Kingdoms decision in early June to send a team of experts to study how Britains military can aid Myanmar. The assessment followed a visit by the UKs Chief of Defence Staff General Sir David Richards. However, the US has also made clear its intention to target those members of the

military it believes are deviating from its perceived path to reform. On July 2 the US Department of the Treasury sanctioned Lieutenant General Thein Htay, head of the Directorate of Defense Industries, for apparent arms deals involving North Korea.



Lawyers group to sue over hotel project


THE Lawyers Network plans to ratchet up its campaign against the redevelopment of two historic Yangon buildings by applying to file charges against the chairman of the Privatisation Commission, members said last week. The charges relate to the decision to lease the Yangon Region Office Complex, also known as the Small Claims Court, and the High Court to private companies in 2012. We objected to the auction as soon as we found out about it. We protested, we reported it to the government and we held press conferences expressing our view, U Ko Ni from the Lawyers Network said on July 27. The network has been campaigning against the planned development since it was announced in early 2012. In late 2012 it met then-Myanmar Investment Commission chairman U Soe to discuss the project and was told that the government needed to lease the buildings because it did not have enough money to maintain them. I cant accept these words. The state generates a significant amount of revenue from the offices in the Yangon Region Office Complex, he added. U Ko Ni said efforts to persuade the government and legislature to take the

properties back into state hands have failed. Both the executive and legislature neglected us so now we are focusing on the judiciary. We will charge the chairman of the Privatization Commission We have no other choice. Lawyers Network officials say Tun Foundation, which is owned by U Thein Tun of Myanmar Golden Star, agreed to halt renovation works on the High Court building after meeting with lawyers earlier this year. But the company behind the Yangon Region Office Complex keeps working on the building. We are worried that we cant stop them in time, U Ko Ni said. The building is more than 80 years old and was formerly the Police Commissioners Office. It is a historical building both in the colonial era and also after independence Only the government should maintain [it], said Lawyers Network member U Kyi Myint. Myanmar company JL Family Group plans to work with an unnamed Singaporean partner to turn the building into a five-star hotel called The State House at a cost of US$50 million. The hotel will have more than 240 rooms as well as restaurants, meeting rooms, a swimming pool and other facilities. U Thaung Htike Min, managing director of JL Family Group the parent company of Flying Tiger Engineering, which is overseeing the project said the renovation would leave the faade of the building unchanged.

The former Yangon Region Office Complex on Strand Road, which is being developed into a hotel. The Lawyers Network says it plans to file a suit against the chairman of the Privatisation Commission over the project. Photo: Ko Taik

We are just changing the inside of the building so it can be used as a hotel. We wont demolish it [and] we wont change it as it is a valuable historical building. So I think the lawyers dont need be too worried, U Thaung Htike Min told The Myanmar Times on July 29. The company won the tender with a bid of US$14.4 million and will have to give 5pc of its income to the

government as land rental when the hotel is up and running, he said, adding that construction work on the project is about 30 percent complete and will be finished within two years. Previously no maintenance was being done on the building. Instead of just leaving it to deteriorate, it is better to give it to a private company to renovate. Its also good for the country, its good for us and by the time the hotel is

finished, more than 500 jobs will have been created. So its a win-win situation, he said. We would be really happy if the lawyers cooperated with us instead of objecting. For example, they can advise us if we should leave a particular part of the building because it is of great historical significance for a particular reason. They know about this building more than us.

Traffic police get pre-SEA Games training

MORE than 40 traffic police have undergone a five-week special training program to prepare them for the upcoming South East Asian Games. The course started on July 5 and 43 officers, including members of the highway police force, completed the training on August 2 at the Traffic Police Training Depot in Yangons North Dagon township. The course was taught by officials from the Myanmar Police Force and the Road Transport Administration Department in collaboration with road safety expert Roy Ben-Eliezer, from the Interdisciplinary Centre for Road Safety (ICRS). He said the courses focused on fundamental road safety as well as interaction between traffic police officials and civilians. The training also reinforced that 95 percent of road accidents were due to human error, he said. So many tourists will come to Myanmar and are going to attend the SEA Games. The objectives would be really to be safe and secure and hopefully have zero accidents during the SEA Games, he said. [It is] very important for the policemen to know not only how to react to an accident and investigate but also to know about the bigger picture; road safety and injury prevention in traffic accidents. Police Colonel Kyaw Htwe, the commander of Nay Pyi Taw Traffic Police Force, said traffic police would be deployed to all four locations where SEA Games events will be held. The SEA Games will open in Nay Pyi Taw on December 11, with events to also be held in Yangon, Mandalay and Ngwe Saung. Aye Nyein Win

An uprising remembered
Student leaders prepare to mark 88 anniversary
EI EI TOE LWIN eieitoelwin@gmail.com LEADERS of the 88 Generation say they are excited to finally have the chance to formally mark the events of August 8, 1988, this week. The activist network will host a silver jubilee celebration from August 6-8 at Myanmar Convention Centre in Yangon. They say the event will be an opportunity to put forward their vision for the countrys future. We are so busy for the ceremony but we feel excited and very pleased because we had to wait so long to get this chance, said 88 Generation member Ko Jimmy. 1988 and particularly August 8 was a pivotal moment in Myanmars history. Until recently, however, the anniversary of the uprising has not been publicly acknowledged. The 88 Generation is taking advantage of the greater political freedom under U Thein Seins government to bring to light the events of 1988 once more. We were silent so long. We were even afraid of saying the word 88 in previous years. No one recognised our role. In contrast, this year we are able to celebrate it officially, Ko Jimmy said. All people including ethnic minority groups are being encouraged to participate and cooperate in the event, said 88 Generation leader Ko Min Ko Naing. We invite all people both those involved on that day and those not involved because the 8-8-88 revolution concerned all our citizens, he said. He said that the group had worked hard to ensure the event is a suitable tribute to the events of 1988 and the people who lost their lives. We all gave up our lives to bring down the terrible regime, he said. Now we will try more to move forward to realise genuine democracy and peace in the country. Another 88 Generation member, Ko Pyone Cho, said the group had arranged accommodation and food so that 88 Generation members in other parts of the country and even living abroad can attend. We requested the government to help our members come back to the country. We faced a few difficulties but we have been able to resolve them. Some people just arrived in Thailand today and they will come to Myanmar tomorrow. We will give the airport authorities detailed information about them in advance, Ko Pyone Cho said on August 2. The event will feature seminars focusing on the peace process, human rights, democratic development, state building, the role of the 88 Generation and more. We have already got 30 papers from our members and we are selecting which papers we should discuss at the event, Ko Pyone Cho said. 88 Generation member Ko Htay Kywe said he hoped the discussions could lead to the creation of a roadmap for the countrys future. We will focus on peace and national reconciliation and invite all people to participate in the discussion not only 88 Generation members and other political groups, he said. The event will also feature a photo exhibition, poetry reading and other performances. Leaders said they had received more than US$85,000 in donations to cover the costs of holding the event after issuing a public appeal for support.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi addresses crowds during the uprising. Photo: Sonny Nyein

Dont let pain of 1988 hold us back, urges NLD leader

Remember and learn from the past but do not let it hamper the countrys development, says Daw Suu
SOE THAN LYNN soethanlynn@gmail.com IT was a launching pad for the democratic movement and more than a few political careers that brought people from all social strata together behind a single aim: to topple the government. But Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has warned that those involved should not let themselves be bound to the past. Instead, she says, they should draw lessons from the 1988 uprising that can be put to use in the countrys democratic transition. Although the 1988 uprising is a period of great significance, the development of a country cannot be connected to a single point in time alone, she said in Nay Pyi Taw last week. We cant forget our history but it must be used to help the development of our country. It shouldnt block the way forward. I have found that some people are bound to the past. I dont want them to be held back like that The 1988 uprising must be used as a lesson to make progress, she said. Other MPs echoed her comments, saying they believed it was important to remember the events of 1988 and hoped they would be passed on to the next generation. U Thein Nyunt, the representative for Thingangyun, said that both the failures and successes of the 1988 uprising needed to be acknowledged in any analysis of the period. The students started it but it is important to recognise that people who said they were political leaders at that time couldnt bring about a satisfactory democratic ending, he said. thousands of people. Instead, Myanmar should take lessons from South Africas reconciliation process in the early 1990s. We should not seek retribution, he said. There are a lot of thing that Nelson Mandela forgave in South Africa and Myanmar should follow that example. The 25th anniversary of the August 8, 1988, uprising will be marked this week with a three-day ceremony ceremony and agree with its intentions, he said. We have to go ahead with our political journey by forgetting the grudges between us. The 1988 uprising is an unforgettable situation and it helped bring the light of democracy to Myanmar. Thats why not only the hluttaw but the whole country should record and know what happened. U Zaw Myint Maung, a National League for Democracy representative, said that while the 1988 uprising showed that the people can topple the government he preferred to see peaceful change. He called for a South Africastyle Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The commission informed the public when it found the truth in the countrys history. Then they settled their difficulties peacefully in the interests of national reconciliation, said U Zaw Myint Maung, who was studying at Mandalay medical university when the protests broke out. We cant bury the truth. We should find out exactly what happened in Myanmar and we must try to prevent the same mistakes from happening in the future. It is important that all people participate. Translated by Thiri Min Htun

The development of a country cannot be connected to a single point in time alone.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi National League for Democracy leader

There is no doubt that today when the history books are being written they will record the true facts about whether the political leaders at the time managed the situation they were presented with effectively. He also said those involved in the uprising should not seek retribution for the militarys bloody crackdowns throughout the year, which are thought to have claimed the lives of

in Yangon organised by the 88 Generation student group. Both hluttaw speakers, Thura U Shwe Mann and U Khin Aung Myint, have been invited to attend. U Khine Maung Yi, a National Democratic Force representative for Ahlone who took part in the 1988 uprising, said the speakers had reacted enthusiastically to the invitation. The two speakers recognise this

An uprising

Rare photos bring 1988 to life for a new generation

When protests erupted around Myanmar in 1988, freelance photographer Htein Win took to the streets of Yangon to document the uprising. He captured numerous historic moments, ranging from Daw Aung San Suu Kyis first speech, in front of hundreds of thousands of people at the western entrance to Shwedagon Pagoda, to floral tributes floating on Inya Lake for students massacred by the military. The Myanmar Times is proud to publish these incredible images in its pages for the first time.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Police officers from Lanmadaw township in Yangon protest. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi speaks to hundreds of thousands of people at the western gateway to Shwedagon Pagoda on August 26, 1988. Students swim beside wreaths and flowers set adrift on Inya Lake in memory of the university students who were brutally massacred by the government on March 16, 1988. Members of the All Burma Thabin Union protest. Protesting staff from MRTV listen to Daw Aung San Suu Kyis speech on August 26, 1988. Monks and laypeople protest on Bogyoke Aung San Road in downtown Yangon. Soldiers from No 502 Base Command march through the streets. University teachers stage a protest march. People listen to Daw Aung San Suu Kyis speech at Shwedagon Pagoda on August 26, 1988. Protesters gather in front of the MRTV building on Pyay Road. Cartoonists, poets and members of the literary and film communities protest. Actor U Tun Wai addresses a crowd at the western gateway to Shwedagon Pagoda on August 26, 1988, shortly before Daw Aung San Suu Kyis maiden political speech. Members of a group called the Thiha Front from Bahan Township stage a hunger strike at Sule Pagoda, near the City Hall.

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14 News


Floods displace 38,000 in Kayin and Mon states


THREE people were killed and more than 38,000 displaced by flooding in eastern Myanmar last week, the government said in an August 1 statement. The government said the three deaths had occurred in Kayin State, where nearly 34,000 had been relocated, and one person remains missing. A further 4680 residents from 1050 households in Mon State were affected, it added. The statement also said 25 landslides had hit the Thingan Nyinaung-Kawkareik road, with one bridge in Kayin State destroyed. The capital Hpa-an has been cut off from the border town of Myawaddy since July 29. U Myint Tin, a spokesperson for the Kayin State government, said on July 31 that several days of torrential rain had sparked the flooding, which has displaced thousands across five of the states seven townships. Floods occurred in Hpa-an, Kawkareik, Kya-in, Myawaddy and Hlaingbwe townships. A total of 79 relief camps have been opened in the state, he said. Healthcare services, food and shelter are being provided for flood victims. Myawaddy resident and emergency services volunteer U Khin Zaw Oo said at

least three people had died in the town. A body was found in No 2 quarter on July 31 and two others were found in No 3 quarter this morning, he said on August 1. The water level has fallen in the quarters today but is still thigh-high in some of the low-lying areas of No 1, 3 and 4 quarters. U Khin Zaw Oo said most of Myawaddy was flooded when the Thaungyin River breached its banks after five continuous days of heavy rain. Families began moving to higher ground on July 28.

It was the worst flood to hit Myawaddy since 1994.

U Khin Zaw Oo Myawaddy resident since 1989

It was the worse flood to hit Myawaddy since 1994, said U Khin Zaw Oo, who has lived in the town since 1989. It affected the towns five quarters. Only a few areas were left clear of the floodwaters, he said, adding that the power had been cut to the town and all of its schools had been forced to close. The Department of Meteorology and Hydrology said on August 1 that the Thanlwin River had exceeded danger levels at Hpa-an by 1.2 metres (4 feet) and it was expected to remain above the danger

mark for at least another 48 hours. Meanwhile, thousands of people in Bilin and Ye townships in Mon State were also evacuated, said U Aung Thaung Shwe, deputy head of the Myanmar Red Cross Societys (MRCS) disaster management section. More than 1400 people in Bilin and more than 800 people in Ye moved to safer places because of the floods, he said on July 31. Our evacuation teams have helped flood victims but there were also some weather and transport obstacles to access affected areas. U Aung Thaung Shwe said that MRCS teams in Rakhine State were also assisting 90 families in Ann township who had been forced to relocate because of flooding. The meteorology department said that Kawkareik received more than 10 inches (254 millimetres) of rain on July 28 and 29, with the second day setting a record 24-hour fall of 10.94 inches (278 millimetres). The department has forecast above-average precipitation in many parts of the country in the first 10 days of August, including Kachin, Rakhine, Kayin and Mon states. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated on August 1 that the government had asked its humanitarian partners to help respond to the flooding. Some organisations have delivered food, non-food items, water purification tablets and bleaching powder to flood-affected area in Kayin and Mon states.

Red Cross consortium to reach remote communities

BY YAMON PHU THIT yoonhninphyu92@gmail.com MORE than 30,000 mothers and children in remote communities will benefit from improved access to health care over the next five years thanks to a consortium of Red Cross societies from five countries. With a particular focus on maternal, newborn and child health, the community-based health programs will operate in 75 hard-to-reach villages in Chin State and Sagaing and Mandalay regions, the president of the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) said. Speaking at the project launch on July 29, U Tha Hla Shwe said the aim is to reduce maternal and child mortality rates in Myanmar. We focus on areas where the Ministry of Healths services cannot reach, he said. The programs will be implemented in Falam and Matupi townships in Chin State, Mogok township in Mandalay Region and Sagaing township. Health services will include antenatal care, delivery, postnatal, newborn care, reproductive health services and nutrition practices in children under five years old. The consortium partners which include Red Cross agencies from Denmark, Britain, Norway, Austria and Sweden will provide US$6.5 million to implement the programs. This important agreement will enable us to harness the collective power of our national Red Cross societies in support of the MRCS, said Sir Nicholas Young, head of the British Red Cross. Providing health education is also a key component of the program, he said. The program will work with communities and health authorities to train local residents to become community health workers and auxiliary midwives. About 56,000 children under five die annually in Myanmar, according to a UNICEF report from 2012. The countrys infant mortality rate is estimated at 37.5 for every 1000 live births, while the under-five mortality rate is 46.1 in 1000.


News 15
An uncompleted section of the ChinaMyanmar pipeline in Rakhine State in December 2012. Photo: Ko Taik

Gas begins flowing through China pipeline

HLAING KYAW SOE hlaingkyawsoe85@gmail.com A PIPELINE carrying natural gas to China is now fully operational, officials said at an opening ceremony held in Mandalay Region on July 28. The Shwe project which required the cooperation of four countries over a three-year period, and drew controversy and protest at seemingly every stage was officially opened at Thayatten village in Amarapura township. The project was launched in October 2010 as a joint venture involving six companies from Myanmar, China, South Korea and India. Individual sections of the 793-kilometre (492-mile) pipeline were linked in May of this year, Myanmar Vice President U Nyan Tun said at the ceremony. Gas started flowing from an onshore supply station in Rakhine State on July 15 and reached a station in Namkhan, near the Myanmar-China border, on July 17. The pipeline is 793 kilometres long and 40 inches in diameter. It [transports] over 1200 cubic metres of gas per day, he said. The gas pipeline was built by crossing Rakhine Mountains, Myitnge River, Shan Mountains and Gokteik Gorge. The government appreciates the impressive performance of SEAGP [South East Asia Gas Pipeline Company] and construction firms. Less appreciative have been residents of affected areas, some of whom have complained of receiving inadequate compensation for lost lands. Civil society groups have also lobbied on a range of issues related to the project, from its environmental impact to transparency over the revenue that it will generate. (See related story right.) In a statement, SEAGP said that environmental protection was a top priority. The company used specialised underwater pipes where the pipeline crossed beneath farmland to avoid disrupting irrigation, it said, and also created many jobs for local residents. But in his address U Nyan Tun said the project would benefit both countries by boosting Myanmars economy and meeting Chinas energy needs. Its successful implementation will encourage further collaboration between the two nations, he said. He also thanked SEAGP for providing US$14.2 million aimed at developments for residents living near the project route. The SEAGP consortium includes CNPC of China, Daewoo and KOGAS of South Korea, OCEBV and Gail of India, and the state-run Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise. Translated by Zar Zar Soe

Civil society groups call for more transparency on energy project

KHIN SU WAI jasminekhin@gmail.com THE natural gas may be flowing, but the money isnt or at least, not in the right direction. Thats the message of the Myanmar China Pipeline Watch Committee, a group of 13 civil society groups objecting to the recently opened pipeline carrying natural gas from Myanmars Shwe field to China. In a statement timed to coincide with the opening ceremony of the pipeline on July 28, the group highlighted the fact that while the pipeline may be finished, some whose lands were confiscated for the multi-billion-dollar project have yet to receive compensation, and others along the route will continue to be impacted for many years to come. Among other issues, the statement highlighted the need for greater transparency over the allocation of grants, development projects in areas affected by pipeline, recovery plans for environmental damage and job opportunities for affected farmers. Daw Hnin Yu Swe, officer in charge for the Myanmar-China Pipeline Watch Committee, said the group welcomes development projects but wants to ensure they are implemented and managed in a way that benefits all parties. We are asking that [the project offers] equal opportunities to government, investors and our people, she said, adding that the groups will collect signatures for a petition to support their cause. The committee also called on the government and participating companies to release information on pipeline security and conservation, as well as how many foreign workers are involved.

16 News


General Aung San book should be in a museum, says Daw Suu

SOE THAN LYNN soethanlynn@gmail.com DAW Aung San Suu Kyi says a school exercise book that is believed to contain the handwriting of her father, General Aung San, should be kept in a museum, following accusations it had been stolen from a Magwe Region school by Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker U Khin Aung Myint. Residents in Yenangyaung township as well as activist groups have called for the book to be returned to the school but Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said it needed to be stored properly so it could be seen by future generations. The National League for Democracy leader told journalists in parliament on July 30 that she wanted all sides to work together to preserve the book rather than criticise each other. I appreciate locals from Yenangyaung value and cherish the book and U Khin Aung Myint also values it. He is worried that it could be destroyed if it is kept like that. He said it was kept in a glass box and some parts of it had been torn, she said. All should work together for the best outcome rather than causing misunderstandings. U Khin Aung Myint took the book from the school when he visited the area as part of Martyrs Day celebrations on July 19. While General Aung San grew up in nearby Natmauk, it is not clear how the school acquired the book. Firstly the book should be tested to see if it is genuine and if it is found

Officials investigate shopping centre fire

SHWEGU THITSAR khaingsabainyein@gmail.com A FIRE at La Pyay Wun Plaza that required more than 150 firefighters to be brought under control may have been sparked by an electric wire or a cigarette thrown into an empty room, officials say. The blaze started on the sixth floor of the building, on Alanpya Pagoda Road in Dagon township, just after noon on July 30. Fire Services Department official U Ye Min Lat said 115 permanent firemen and 38 reserves attended the scene, along with 27 engines. The fire was extinguished after about 25 minutes. A Dagon township fire brigade official, U Than Win, said the room in which the fire is thought to have started was empty because the owner is living abroad. U Than Win said a door leading into the room had been left open and officers are investigating whether the fire was started by a discarded cigarette thrown into the room or by an electrical fault. U Maung Maung Win Pe, a retired military officer who lives in a building near the plaza, said he called the fire department after seeing smoke coming from the sixth floor of the building. I was having my lunch and I could smell wires burning, he said. Then I saw some smoke rising from a room in the plaza. Translated by Thiri Min Htun

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi speaks at a Martyrs Day event in Yangon on July 19. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

that the handwriting in the book is indeed my fathers then it should be kept in a museum and shown to the public, she said. She also stressed the need for modern preservation techniques to be used to ensure it is not damaged while on display. The climate of Myanmar isnt always dry; thats why most things in the museum are destroyed. The preservation methods in each museum are also different. Books are especially [fragile] so it should be preserved

with the help of technicians and modern techniques. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said U Khin Aung Myint, who is patron of the committee overseeing the production of a film about General Aung San, had told her he was given the book by a Yenangyaung resident named U Ba Pe. It seems that no one knows how U Ba Pe got it, she said. He also told her that he just wanted to save a precious historic item and that it should be copied

and kept in Yangon University if it is actually the real book of General Aung San. Meanwhile, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said she was upset to hear that high school students had been banned from school for distributing leaflets criticising U Khin Aung Myint for taking the book. They shouldnt stop the students from going to school because of these activities. What danger is there in handing out leaflets? Translated by Thiri Min Htun

Vacancy Announcement Myanmar Nationals only Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the Korean governmental organization responsible for implementing Official Development Assistance (ODA), Myanmar Office is seeking (2) qualified professional for the following position: ASSISTANT PROGRAM OFFICER 2 Posts (F/M) (Project/ Volunteer Program) Job Description - Liaisons with Myanmar government officials for program development and support KOICAs volunteers as required - Researching, analyzing and preparing reports on KOICAs priority assistance sectors in Myanmar - Reviewing and verifying information to be used for KOICAs publications and other information materials - Program administration tasks, etc. Qualifications - Bachelors degree or equivalent is required - Fluency in spoken English and proficiency in written English (Fluency in written and spoken Korean is an advantage) - More than 3 years of relevant experience in program administration, development or other relevant area is an advantage - IT Proficiency (MS Office applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, etc) - Excellent interpersonal, coordination and communication skills - Ability to work in an international and multi-cultural environment Conditions of Employment - The candidate must be a Myanmar National to be considered for the position - The employment contract is one-year basis and is extendable depending on the performance of the candidate How to Apply - Interested candidates are requested to submit completed official KOICA Application form*, C.V, and other necessary credentials to the following address. *KOICA application form is available on http://www.facebook. com/koica.myanmar - For those who had experience in conducting research on any specialized fields are encouraged to attach their research paper(s). KOICA Myanmar Office (Embassy of the Republic of Korea) No (97) University Avenue Road, Bahan Township, Yangon Tel: 01- 527 142~144, 539572 (Or) by Email to eimonmyat08@ gmail.com Closing Date for Application: 16th August 2013 (Friday) Note: Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for subsequent interview. The short listed candidates will be required to undertake personal interview and written test to be qualified for the position.

Mystery surrounds NKorean refugee report

NAN TIN HTWE nantin.htwe@gmail.com THE government is yet to make any comment on reports that dozens of North Korean refugees are being held for ransom by a rebel group near the ThaiMyanmar border, while a number of ethnic armies have denied any involvement. Seoul-based Yonhap news agency reported on July 13 that 64 North Korean refugees were being held by a rebel group in Shan State about 80 kilometres northeast of Tachileik. Kim Hee-tae, a South Korean human right activist, was quoted as saying that the captives were being forced to work as slaves, with the men on opium poppy farms and the women in drug processing and alcohol manufacturing plants. The report did not mention the name of the rebel group but Ms Kim said it was demanding ransom of US$5000 a person for the captives. The Yonhap report was picked up by Agence FrancePress news agency on July 13 and was published around the world. A related government agency is now working to ascertain the truth of such a report, AFP quoted South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-Suk as saying. The Myanmar Times contacted U Ye Htut, spokesperson for the Presidents Office, on July 17 for comment on the Yonhap report but he has not responded. Neither the South Korean nor the North Korean embassies in Yangon have responded
A North Korean soldier patrols along the bank of the Yalu River in the North Korean town of Sinuiju across from the Chinese city of Dandong. Photo: AFP

publicly to the reports. A North Korean embassy spokesperson said on July 25 that it had no comment, while a South Korean embassy official said it is trying to verify the report. On July 17, the Shan Herald Agency for News reported that government officials had searched for the captives but found no evidence to support the claims. The last we heard of North Koreans on their way to Thailand was four years previously, a security officer who requested not to be named told the agency. They had mistaken the Burmese shore north of Tachileik for Thai territory and had [dis]embarked there. We told them to return to where they came from. The major armed groups in Shan State, including the United Wa State Army, have publicly denied any involvement with North Korean refugees. Major Sai Long Hseng, a spokesperson for the Restoration Council of Shan State/ Shan State Army-South, said his

group is not involved. We dont know anything about it, he said. We also dont know whether its true. Meanwhile, a local militia officer told the Shan Herald Agency for News, For one thing, there is only one rebel group operating here that is the United Wa State Army. It has been permitted to run farms along the Mekong by the government for a long time. However, the area where the captives are reportedly being held is awash with different armed groups, including the UWSA and Tatmadaw, as well as militias and border guard forces. The agency added that both government drug eradication officials and Shan Drug Watch researchers said the area has no poppy fields. Its been a few years since we received any reports of poppy fields in the northeast, a researcher was quoted as saying. The report also said that officials do not think the captives could be in nearby Laos.

Jason Eligh, head of the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime, said his agency was ready to help the government if it is asked to assist but no request had been made. If the government decides that they wish to seek assistance on this or any matter, and as a result they decide to ask UNODC for help, then certainly we would consider if there is something we are able to do to assist in meeting such a request, he said. He declined to comment on whether the report could be true. Liberty in North Korea, a USbased non-government organisation working for North Korean defectors, told The Myanmar Times it would be a surprise if the report was correct. As far as I am aware the situation of these refugees is being investigated, and of course the first step should be to clarify the situation of these people, said Sokeel Park, the groups director of research and strategy. If true, then it is a surprise.

18 News


City Mart shifts focus from Yangon


AT Junes World Economic Forum on East Asia in Nay Pyi Taw, business news channel CNBC dubbed Daw Win Win Tint, managing director of City Mart Holdings, Myanmars Supermarket Queen. But by her own account, Daw Win Win Tints rise to retail royalty was more accident than preordained accession. Enthused by Myanmars nascent economic liberalisation in the 1990s, Daw Win Win Tint and her family decided to expand their trading business but struggled to settle on a sector to invest in. Rather than opt for a hotel, restaurant or travel agency like many other small- to medium-sized enterprises, they decided to open a supermarket on the recommendation of a relative living in Singapore. In December 1996 the first City Mart outlet opened at Aung San Stadium. A family friend who was working as the general manager of a supermarket in Singapore was hired to draw up the business plan and growth strategy. But with few foreigners living in Yangon and the supermarket concept still unfamiliar to locals, who were more accustomed to traditional outdoor markets, the outlet struggled to attract customers. After a three-month stint in Yangon the general manager returned to Singapore, leaving Daw Win Win Tint, the familys eldest child, to take over the role. There was no one to manage, so I took over, the soft-spoken Daw Win Win Tint said in an interview with The Myanmar Times last week at the companys Sanchaung township headquarters. When I first joined the company I was very new to the business. I didnt know retail. I was very ignorant about business environment, business organisation I was not really thinking that I could do it for a long time. Seventeen years later she has built one of Myanmars most recognisable and successful brands. Fifteen City Mart branches now dot Yangon. The groups hypermarket chain, Ocean, has five branches in three cities with another under construction in Tarmwe township. The company opened its second Marketplace outlet an upscale take on City Mart earlier this month. It also operates 20 City Care pharmacy and beauty product shops, 19 Seasons Bakeries and three branches of City Baby Club. The supermarket, pharmacy, bakery and baby store are generally grouped together in the same retail development. Seven years ago the group expand-

A worker wheels a wheelbarrow on the construction site of an Ocean hypermarket in Tarmwe township on August 1. Photo: Boothee

ed beyond retail with the launch of City Real Estate, which handles the development and leasing of new store locations. Daw Win Win Tint estimates the group has about 4000 employees. Its real estate holdings alone would be valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars. But for the first four years the business barely survived off the citys small expatriate community and Myanmar citizens searching for the foreign products they had discovered while living or travelling abroad.

We expected [land prices] would go up but not this high.

Daw Win Win Tint Managing director, City Mart Holdings

Only in 2000, Daw Win Win Tint said, did the idea of supermarket shopping finally begin to catch on with Myanmars middle-upper class. Slowly people started realising the benefit of shopping at a supermarket, she said. Even with a growing customer base the supermarket faced a host of challenges. Import restrictions imposed by Myanmar and sanctions levelled by the United States and European countries

made stocking the shelves a tricky task that often included purchasing products through a third country, such as Singapore or Thailand. There was a limited diversity of products and the consistency with which they were shipped to Yangon was sporadic. In the beginning it was how to get customers. But later, after getting more customers, our challenge was always supply chain, she said. We didnt do a very good job in fulfilling our customers needs. It was always a challenge. The countrys decrepit electricity network has meant keeping the lights on at outlets was less than assured. The poorly maintained roads linking Yangon with other cities forced City Mart to invest in a new fleet of trucks to deliver perishable items. As a female executive leading a major company in Myanmar, Daw Win Win Tint said it was also hard earning respect in the countrys maledominated business world. I had to work harder than the men, she said. If I was a man it would have been easier to mingle with other businessmen. Sometimes it is difficult to break the cycle. With the majority of economic sanctions against Myanmar lifted and companies such as Coca-Cola and Unilever starting production in Myanmar the supply problems have eased considerably. The Yangon-Mandalay highway has dramatically cut distribution times and Daw Win Win Tint has sealed her place amongst the countrys top executives. At the World Economic Forum she was recognised as a Young

Global Leader one of just a handful from Myanmar. However, Myanmars opening has brought a new set of challenges. Chief among these is Yangons skyrocketing real estate prices, which Daw Win Win Tint said are so high that the company has temporarily delayed any further expansion in the city.

City Mart managing director Daw Win Win Tint. Photo: Staff

She said some potential properties the company has looked at have risen in value eight to 10 times over the past three years. This is very difficult, Daw Win Win Tint said of the soaring prices. This is the biggest challenge now. We expected that they would go up

but not this high. Instead, the company is focusing on rolling out its Ocean stores to a number of Myanmars second-tier cities, including Pyin Oo Lwin, Monywa and Mawlamyine next year. As a market leader in the retail sector City Mart has also drawn considerable interest from foreign firms looking to enter the country. The companys attractiveness is further bolstered by the fact that City Mart and Daw Win Win Tint have avoided the crony label so often affixed to Myanmar businesspeople that were perceived as using government connections to prosper under the former military regime. Neither the company nor any of its executives are on the US Treasurys Specially Designated Nationals blacklist. US embassy cables released by Wikileaks show Daw Win Win Tint has in the past been a trusted source of information on commodity prices for the embassy, especially in the weeks following the 2008 Cyclone Nargis. Interested foreign parties have approached her, she said, but for now the interest is one-sided. We are not really looking to sell or bring in a partner, she said. Instead, she wants to grow the company organically and is much more open to a public offering. This, however, would depend on the successful overhaul of Myanmars stock exchange. It could be possible to become a public company but we will have to wait [to see what happens in] the future.

Yangon bus owners call for reform of industry body

AYE NYEIN WIN ayenyeinwin.mcm@gmail.com CHANGE could be on the way to the Yangon Regions decrepit bus system with bus owners pushing for an overhaul of the citys Supervisory Committee for Motor Vehicles, better known by its Myanmar acronym of Ma Hta Tha. Transport company owners, who have written to the Yangon Region government to request changes to the committee, say that previous overhauls in May 2011 and June 2012 failed to address their concerns. At a meeting last week they said they want to reform how the committee is managed to make it more democratic and independent of the government. The committee includes members who were assigned to it by the former government, said U Min Zaw, who operates a bus on the No 43 special line. The committee seemed to be half made up of government people. It means we cant do business ... the way we want to. Ma Hta Tha member U Han Soe agreed that many bus operators resent the strong influence the government wields on the committee. We have not had the chance to debate anything because the system is very centralised. The present Ma Hta Tha committee is weak in management and strongly controlled by the government members, he said. He said that bus operators are taxed 3 percent by Ma Hta Tha, with the money used to cover management expenses and develop the sector, but owners say the contributions have not been used effectively. We want to abolish and reform the committee in line with democratic principles and the constitution, he said. Yangon bus owners are pointing to similar reforms in other states and regions to support their case. In Mandalay Region, the government reformed its Ma Hta Tha with bus owners, while the Mon State government formed a Kyaikhtiyo mountain vehicles club with owners, U Han Soe said. He said reform of Ma Hta Tha was even more important in Yangon Region because of its large population and multitude of bus lines. He said the smooth operation of a private bus network should be a priority for the regional government. Daw Nyo Nyo Thin, a Yangon Region Hluttaw representative for Bahan, agreed that the citys bus supervisory committee is not transparent and should be reformed. I put a proposal to the Yangon Region Hluttaw to reform Ma Hta Tha about 18 months ago, she said. I want the committee to be reformed to allow it to work independently. Ma Hta Tha boss U Tin Htut declined to comment on the reform push but said he would continue to act on the orders of the officials who appointed him. He has personally come under fire from bus owners who accuse him of breaking the rules on the No 31 line to benefit his own buses. The owners of other buses on the route are demanding K20 million in compensation and have launched five civil cases against U Tin Htut, as well as a criminal case for alleged forgery. Operator U Ko Ko Naing said the case showed Ma Hta Tha was guilty of double standards. We have launched legal action against U Tin Htut, he said. If our conductors illegally charge K50 extra on a fare, they will be charged K30,000 and suspended for at least one month. But the department has not taken any action against U Tin Htut over our allegations. Why? Whatever happens [regarding this case] we want to express our desire to reform the committee. The Yangon Region Ma Hta Tha oversees 120 bus lines, which are serviced by 2000 buses owned by more than 100 companies.


News 19

University storeman rejects fuel loss claim

HLAING KYAW SOE hlaingkyawsoe85@gmail.com A STOREMAN from the University for the Development of National Races in Sagaing Region says he has been unfairly accused of misappropriating the universitys fuel supplies. Instead, U Kyaw Hlaing has accused six university officials of maintaining two ledgers to steal fuel. To cover up their theft, he said, they have demanded that he pay back more than K9 million (US$9000) and forced his father-in-law to sign over ownership of his mango orchard. To pay back the money, university officials also forced his wife to sign a statement allowing them to deduct money from his salary to pay for the lost fuel, he said. U Kyaw Hlaing said that he lodged formal complaints about the incident with the Sagaing Region government on July 14. I am a storeman and I have to do what my superiors tell me. Sometimes I had to give them the keys to the storeroom, while other times I had to put department fuel in cars owned by their sons, he said last month. It isnt fair to blame me for the lost fuel and force me to give them compensation. Then they also accused my father-in-law and forced him to sign a land sale agreement giving them ownership of his mango orchard as compensation for the lost oil. He said the rector and deputy rector of planning instructed him to keep surplus fuel in a separate storeroom and enter it into a second ledger. They then took the keys to the main storeroom. He said he believed the officials were selling the fuel to local fuel stations. U Kyaw Hlaings father-in-law, U Tin Win, said when the fuel was reported missing he was called to the university. A group of six people told me to give compensation or my orchard because my son-in-law stole the oil, he said. I told them I couldnt pay for it and they said they can charge me with misuse of public property and send me to jail for up to 15 years ... They forced me to sign a land sale agreement on the spot. However, a civil court in Sagaing declared the agreement invalid in June and gave the rights to his orchard back to U Tin Win. No punitive action has been taken over the incident and the rector and deputy rector remain in their positions. A university official with knowledge of the dispute, who asked not to be named, conceded that the case had been mishandled. When it was discovered that fuel was missing it should have been reported to the police and those deemed responsible fired, he said. He said it was unfair for the officials to demand compensation instead of conducting a proper investigation and accused them of trying to hide the details of the case. He said the university had failed to record the amount of fuel used by its vehicles for three years. Translated by Thiri Min Htun


The value of fuel missing from the University for the Development of National Races in Sagaing


Navy Commander-in-Chief Vice Admiral Thura Thet Swe (left), shakes hands with Indian Navy chief Admiral DK Joshi prior to a meeting in New Delhi on July 29. Vice Admiral Thura Thet Swe was in India on an official visit. Photo: AFP

In March 2012 I had to collect K2.3 million from Grand petrol station on the instructions of the deputy rector and I gave the money to him, he said. In early March 2012 he asked the rector and deputy rector for the keys to the main storeroom and was told they were missing, he said. After breaking down the door he found the fuel was missing and informed the rector, after which he was accused of losing the fuel.

20 News


Undergrads return to Yangon University

Yangon and Mandalay universities to accept 300 arts and science undergraduates each for academic year beginning in December



THREE hundred high-achieving students will later this year become the first undergraduates to attend Yangon Universitys main campus since bachelor courses were suspended almost two decades ago. Another 300 undergraduates will be offered places at Mandalay University, according to the 2013 university entrance guide published by the Department of Higher Education (Lower Myanmar), which was officially released on August 1. Students will be admitted to fouryear arts, science and combined arts-science degree programs across 20 majors at both universities, with 15 students allowed into each major course. U Kyaw Naing, the pro-rector at Yangon University, told The Myanmar Times on July 27 that the courses were still being designed as the academic year does not begin until December. Im happy to say that these universities are re-opening [to undergraduates] and we will admit 15 outstanding students for each major. We cant say exactly what the structure and teaching method of the courses will be because we are still planning

the syllabus and course for the next academic year, he said. The arts majors offered include Myanmar, English, geography, history, philosophy, psychology and oriental studies, while the science majors of physics, mathematics, chemistry, zoology and botany will also be offered. Students will also be accepted into the combined majors, such as international relations. While the exact minimum entrance score will depend on the number of applications received, it is likely to range from 430 to 500 out of 600 marks, with English the hardest to enter. This is significantly higher than at Dagon University, which was established in 1993 after the government shut down undergraduate courses at Yangon University. Dagon University accepts students with a minimum mark of 50 out of 100 in English into its English major program, while some arts and science subjects can be undertaken with a score as low as 240. U Kyaw Naing said the courses could feature lectures by foreign professors in coordination with Myanmar teachers, adding that the Ministry of Education has reached agreements with Thailands Thepsatri Rajabhat University; Hankok University of Foreign Studies and Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies from South Korea; and Johns Hopkins University from the United States. We are planning that foreign professors [from these universities] will

A police officer secures the front entrance of Yangon Universitys Convocation Hall on November 16, 2012, ahead of an address from US President Barack Obama during his historic visit to Yangon. Photo: AFP

conduct seminars once or twice a week so that [students] can get exposure to international teaching methods, U Kyaw Naing said. Students could also be sent abroad for further study, while foreign institutions have also expressed interest in sending students to Yangon, he said. U Myo Thant, a part-time assistant professor in the Myanmar language

department at Yangon University, said the minimum entrance scores for the undergraduate subjects will be competitive. He also said the university has plans to establish scholarship programs to support needy students. He said the universities should have been re-opened to undergraduates a long time ago and would help to rebuild the damaged reputation of

Myanmars tertiary sector. We cant change all universities across the whole country immediately, he said. Undergraduates at Yangon University and Mandalay University will be the countrys most outstanding students. Both teachers and students indicated last week the Yangon University undergraduate programs would attract significant interest from matriculating students. Many students will apply to Yangon and Mandalay universities because they were popular when we were young, said a private tutor from Tarmwe township. But I think more students want to attend science than arts. One 16-year-old student currently in her final year of high school at Basic Education High School 1 Dagon said the changes would encourage her to study harder. I will try so hard this year so I can attend Yangon University ... I have always wanted to attend since I saw the university campus in movies and read about it in novels, she said. Ma Kabyar Min, a student from Aunglan in Magwe Region who received five distinctions in her exams this year, said she hopes to study at Mandalay University in December but is unsure whether her score of 481 would be high enough. I want to attend physics but the entrance mark is set at 490, she said. I will apply anyway and see what happens.

Amarapura residents complain over land seizure for cemetery

AUNG YE THWIN aungyethwin.mmt@gmail.com HLAING KYAW SOE hlaingkyawsoe85@gmail.com RESIDENTS in Amarapura township have sent a letter of complaint to Mandalay Regions chief minister over land seized in 2000 that is being used for a cemetery. The 2 acres of farmland is in Amarapuras Oh-bo village about 150 metres (500 feet) from Yatanarpon University. U Myo Aung whose now-deceased father U Hla Aung originally owned the land said the plot was forcibly seized in April 2000 by the chairman of the townships Peace and Development Council, which is now known as the general administration department. When they captured the plot, they verbally threatened us without showing any documents from their superiors, he said. The family says it received no compensation for the land and received no response when they sent complaint letters to the office of the commander of Mandalay Region Command in 2000. The land has been used as a cemetery ever since. Worse still, said U Myo Aung, they have expanded the cemetery area beyond the 2 acres that they forcibly took from us. He added that there are two cemeteries in Mandalay

U Myo Aung (right) looks at graves on his fathers former farmland, which was confiscated in 2000. Photo: Aung Ye Thwin

already and called the seizure bullying behaviour. It looks ugly because Yatanarpon University is just 500 feet from this cemetery, he added. Another resident of Oh-bo village said locals were unhappy about living so close to a cemetery. If we consider the health aspects, it is bad for residents in the village to live near the cemetery, and the students from Yatanarpon University usually visit shops in the village. So this is bad from every

angle, she said. Political activist U Hla Soe, who is backing the complaint, said the use of the plot as a cemetery breaches Mandalays municipal laws, which have covered Amarapura township since 2011. U Myint Soe from Mandalay City Development Committees cleaning department for Amarapura township said he was unaware there was a cemetery near the university. I will go there and check it out, he said. Translated by Zar Zar Soe


News 21

Ministry drafting law on domestic violence


THE Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement is drafting a law that would criminalise domestic violence and expects it will be enacted next year. The ministry began working on the Anti Violence Against Women Law in 2012. A number of parliamentarians and legal experts are also involved in the process, deputy director U Aung Tun Khin said last week. He said the law would stipulate very severe punishments for those who physically or mentally abuse women. However, he conceded that implementation would be a challenge. We faced a lot of challenges ... because some parts of this draft are quite oppositional to our culture and religious rules, he said. Non-government and civil society organisations are also involved in the drafting process. Gender Equality Network (GEM) senior coordinator Ma May Sabay Phyu said the network is providing data and technical advice to the ministry to support the writing of the new law. Ma May Sabay Phyu said that the

draft is not finished but would be in line with international human rights standards. She agreed with U Aung Tun Khin that sections would conflict with some traditional and religious customs. For example, in Kachin traditional family law only the son can inherit from the parents, she said. This is discrimination based on gender [but] some people do not agree that we should change it and instead want to protect traditional culture. She said another challenge was convincing those writing the law of the importance of defining terms such as rape and sexual violence clearly. Vague definitions offer little protection to women, she said. Myanmar acceded to the

We faced a lot of challenges because some parts of this draft are quite oppositional to our culture and religious rules
U Aung Tun Khin Ministry of Social Welfare

Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1997. As part of its treaty obligations, Myanmar has committed to ensuring that its laws uphold womens equality. However, research conducted in January by the Gender Equality Network, which comprises 98 womens rights groups, found that many of the countrys laws are not compatible with the convention as they incorporate restrictive gender stereotypes and are inconsistent with the promotion and protection of womens rights to substantive equality. Representatives from womens rights organisations said Myanmar is one of only two countries in the region lacking a specific law criminalising domestic violence. Ma San Thida, a project manager with the Karen Womens Empowerment Group, said Myanmars legal system and framework does not take violence against women seriously enough. Take the punishment for rape, for example: It is punishable with a term of imprisonment of up to 10 years but often perpetrators receive only seven years and there are remissions, she said. Other areas of womens rights also need to be strengthened, she said. While divorce is relatively straightforward for Buddhist women, for those of other religions it can be very difficult.

Representatives of the International Lawyers Network meet members of the Lawyers Network in Mandalay last month. Photo: Than Naing Soe

International group to help Lawyers Network expand

THAN NAING SOE thennaingsoe@gmail.com THE upper Myanmar branch of the Lawyers Network last month met representatives from an international organisation for legal professionals to discuss expanding its network throughout the country. Lawyer Taw Win U Khin Maung Than said the International Lawyers Network wanted to assist the development of the legal community in Myanmar. He said representatives of the network visited Myanmar at the invitation of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. They want to know things like the licensing process for lawyers: what problems happen when licences are issued and how freely lawyers can get the licence. U Khin Maung Than said the international group would also help the Lawyers Network, which is not yet formally registered, to expand and become the leading network for legal professionals. He said it was important that the network retains its independence from the government. Even though there are lawyers councils organised by the government they do not represent all lawyers. The Lawyers Network should be established formally, from the township level right up to the national head office, he said. These networks will not be against government. We have no political affiliations. We just want to support the development of the executive, judiciary and legislature. For example, if we are allowed to form officially it will enable us to give legal advice to parliaments. Translated by Thae Thae Htwe

22 News


No vacancy for tourists in Myanmar homes

Foreigners should not stay outside hotels because their behaviour is not appropriate and violates Myanmar customs, tourism minister says
SHWE WAR LWIN shwewarlwin.mmt@gmail.com FOREIGN visitors to Myanmar should not stay in private homes unless no other accommodation is available to them, Minister for Hotels and Tourism U Htay Aung said, as their manners are not appropriate for local residents. He said foreigners do not properly follow Myanmar customs, such as sleeping facing the east, and do not like the Myanmar style of eating, such as a family using one spoon to eat from a single bowl of soup. The comments came at a meeting of Mandalays tourism players including hoteliers and tour guides at which U Htay Aung said that homestays are only suitable when foreigners visit remote areas. Where hotels are available, he added, particularly in larger urban centres such as Yangon or Mandalay, such arrangements should not be permitted. The manners of some foreigners are not appropriate for Myanmar people. But we have to choose homestay where there are no hotels or guest houses. In the meantime, we also need to [stay] strictly alert to possible risks, he said at the meeting, which was held at Mandalays Swan Hotel. While technically banned, homestays are common when tourists go on multi-day treks, with accommodation arranged by a guide. In many cases they sleep in monasteries. Ko Thaung Naing Oo, from the Myanmar Tourist Guide Associations Mandalay branch, said homestays would help to alleviate the countrys hotel shortage but open communication is essential for the homestay to proceed smoothly. It might be arranged in some remote areas like Pauk and Myaing [townships in Magwe Region] where there are no hotels. But tour operators need to inform their guests [of the arrangements] before they go there, he said. He said the current lack of adequate accommodation for visitors to Myanmar is likely to be a concern when tourist numbers increase. It is important to ensure the safety of both visitors and local residents. Translated by Zar Zar Soe


United Parcel Service of America, Inc., a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Delaware, of 55 Glenlake Parkway, NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30328, U.S.A., is the Owner of the following Trade Marks:-

and storage and packing and delivery with respect to the foregoing Miscellaneous services, including providing of foods and drink; temporary accommodation services: medical, hygienic and beauty care services; veterinary and agricultural services; legal services; scientific and industrial research services; computer programming services; services that cannot be placed in other classes.


Reg. No. 2277/1989


Reg. No. 569/2002 in respect of Data processing services, namely, providing import and export purchase order status reports via computer terminals for others. Insurance brokerage services; customs brokerage services; customs clearance acquisitions; provision of temporary import bonds; visa/ quota processing; provision of customs bonds; provision of duty drawback; and reclamation of import duties for others. Transportation and delivery of personal property by air, rail, boat, and motor vehicle; air, land and sea freight forwarding services; warehousing services; and arranging ship charters for others.

Reg. No. 2278/1989


Reg. No. 2279/1989 in respect of Vehicles, apparatus for locomotion by land, air, or water; and parts and fittings and accessories therefor: paper and paper articles, cardboard and cardboard articles; printed matter, newspapers, brochures, periodicals, and books; labels; documents; photographs; stationery; uniforms; hats; hosiery; gloves; other articles of clothing, including boots, shoes, and slippers; games and toys and playthings; services of transmitting messages, letters, documents, and other texts, by telex, by telephone, by electronic means, or by other means; services of transportation of letters, documents, communications, printed matter, and other goods and property by diverse means of transportation, and including related services such as warehousing and storage and packing and delivery with respect to the foregoing.

Reg. No. 3672/1997


Reg. No. 3673/1997


Reg. No. 3674/1997

Reg. No. 3675/1997 in respect of Advertising services; business management services; business administration services; office functions services; providing computerized tracing of packages in transit; distribution of samples; management assistance services; management consulting services. Insurance services; financial affairs services; monetary affairs services; real estate affairs services; brokerage services; banking services; factoring services; underwriting services. Services of transmitting messages, letters, documents, and other texts, by telex, by telephone, by electronic means, and by one or more global computer networks or by other means. Services of transportation of letters, documents, communications, printed matter, and other goods and property by diverse means of transportation, and including related services in Class 39 such as warehousing

Reg. No. 2861/2003 in respect of Class 39: Freight forwarding; packaging articles for transportation; services of transportation of letters, documents, communications, printed matter, and other goods and property by diverse means of transportation; warehousing, storage, packing, delivery and returns with respect to the foregoing; providing computerized information on domestic and international transportation and delivery services; arranging ship charters for others; document box rental, document forwarding and receipt and delivery of documents for others. Reg. No. 2862/2003 in respect of Class 36: Insurance services; financial affairs services; monetary affairs services; credit services; customs brokerage services; customs clearance; reclamation of import duties for others; real estate affairs services; real estate brokerage services; brokerage services; banking services; commercial lending services; bonding services in the nature of underwriting customs bonds; provision of temporary import bonds; visa quota processing; provision of customs bonds; duty drawback services; electronic payment services; factoring services; warranty claims administration services; underwriting services; risk management. Reg. No. 2863/2003 in respect of Class 9: Computer programs, computer hardware and computer software; batteries; alternative power supply appliances; voltage surge protectors; magnetic discs and tapes; printers, scales and scanners; providing automated download of files; preparing and printing of shipping labels, documents and invoices; providing electronic shipping labels, shipping documents and invoices; providing information on available transportation and delivery services; providing proof of delivery documentation, including digitized signature of the recipient of the package; and the

receipt, transmission and processing of customer identifying shipping account information. Class 16: Printed publications, pamphlets, brochures, newsletters, books, posters, periodicals, calendars, magazines, printed instructional, educational and teaching material, banners, advertisements, envelopes, boxes and packaging, shipping and address labels, stationery, desks sets, pen and pencil sets, pens, paper clip dispensers, pen and holder desk sets, note holders, fountain pens, desk folders, stationery-type portfolios, business card files, ring binders, letter openers, desk caddies, packing paper, paper bags, envelopes, cardboard, packing cardboard, cardboard packaging boxes, cardboard envelopes and cartons; plastic bags and envelopes and pouches for packaging, plastic bubble packs for wrapping or packaging. Class 25: Clothing, hats, shorts, sweaters, jackets, socks, coats, t-shirts, pants, shirts, vests, sweatshirts, rainwear, footwear and gloves. Class 35: Advertising services; logistics management; business management services; business consulting services; business administration services; office functions services; management assistance services; management consulting services; providing computerized tracking and tracing of packages in transit; distribution of samples; sorting services; retail store services; data processing services; photocopying services; document reproduction services: franchising services; providing automated registration for customer identifying shipping account information over the global computer network; licensing of computer software; transportation network management solution services; arranging expedited pick-up, storage transportation and delivery services; customs clearance services. Class 38: Communications services and telecommunications services; facsimile and electronic message services, message delivery and sending services, telephone services and wire services; services of transportation of letters, documents and other texts by telex, by telephone, by electronic means, and by one or more global computer networks or other means; package tracing using a global computer network; online document delivery via a global computer network. Class 42: Miscellaneous services; legal services; scientific and industrial research services; design and development of computer hardware and software: consulting services in the field of design, selection, implementation and use of computer hardware and software systems for others; services that cannot be placed in other classes.

Reg. No. 3637/1999 in respect of Computer programs and software; batteries; alternative power supply appliances, surge protectors; magnetic discs and tapes; printer, scales and scanners. 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 United Parcel Service of America, Inc. P.O. Box 60, Yangon Dated: 5 August, 2013


News 23

Red Shan seek to build unity ahead of next years census

Census will be an opportunity to define the Red Shan population and push for more political rights
KHIN SU WAI jasminekhin@gmail.com LEADERS of the Red Shan, or TaiLeng, ethnic group from Sagaing Region and Kachin State have staged a third meeting to cement a common position ahead of the national census next year. The group is lobbying for Red Shan to have their ethnicity recognised not only in the census but also on identity documents, such as National Registration Cards. They hope that this will lead to them being given Red Shan ministers in states or regions where they make up more than 0.1 percent of the population, as stipulated in the constitution. A major barrier, however, is the many different names in common use, which also include Shan Lay, Shan Myanmar and Tai-tai. I dont know what Shan groups live in Sagaing Region but in Kachin State there are five major Shan groups Tai-Leng is the one of these, U San Pyae, an Amyotha Hluttaw representative from Kachin States Mogaung township, said at a July 7 meeting in Mandalay. But the group goes by different names in Kachin State, including Tai-Hlan, Red Shan, Shan Lay, Shan Myanmar and Tai-Tai. The campaign began in March and is being led by the Tai-Leng Nationalities Development Party. At the first meeting, they agreed to all use the name Tai-Leng (Red Shan) on identity documents. They have also since resolved confusion over traditional dress and literature but have not yet agreed on a single flag. On July 7, leaders agreed to conduct educational activities in eight Red Shan villages in Kachin State, where they will explain to residents why it is important to use a single

Suit filed in Sagaing over power meter cash

HLAING KYAW SOE hlaingkyawsoe85@gmail.com VILLAGERS in Sagaing Region are suing a committee that they say cheated them by collecting thousands of dollars for electricity meters that were never installed. In September 2011, a 15-member committee promised residents of Nyaungpinwon village in Sagaing township that it would arrange to install electricity meters for households that paid K200,000. Most of the committee members are community leaders. Ma Than Than Wai, who filed the lawsuit in June, said 74 households gave K100,000 as a down payment. We borrowed the money with interest, she said on July 19. The committee said we would receive electricity meters within two months and then we could pay the remaining K100,000 when we get the meters. But the committee has not yet taken any steps to provide the meters, she said, nor is it refunding the payments despite repeated requests from residents to do so. When we asked them to give back the money, they denied it and said the money had instead been collected to pay for the relocation of a transformer, Ma Than Than Wai said. Its a deliberate attempt to cheat poor villagers. Another resident, Daw Kyin, said that the committee also collected K3000 from each household to pay for electricity cables. It also moved the transformer from the middle of the village to the eastern side without the consent of residents. The secretary of the committee did not respond to The Myanmar Times requests for comment. Translated by Zar Zar Soe

Daw Khin San Yee, the Shan affairs minister for Kachin State, speaks at a meeting in Mandalay on July 7 . Photo: Khin Su Wai

name for their ethnicity on National Registration Cards. U San Pyae said issues of identity had not been particularly important to the Red Shan in the past but the impending census has brought the matter to the forefront of leaders minds. We can also see other ethnic groups organising people for the census, such as the Ta-Lone and [Shan Gyi], he said. They are lobbying in the hluttaws and conducting grassroots campaigns. Ethnic leaders are even trying to encourage members living abroad to come back for the census. If we cant get [Red Shan] listed in the census then it will make it

harder to attain our rights later on. U San Pyae said there was little cohesion within the broader Red Shan community, with groups in different regions unaware of each other and the different names that are used. Daw Khine Pyone Yee, 72, the minister for Shan affairs in the Kachin State government, said armed conflict had been a major hurdle to efforts to bring Red Shan groups together. It is harder to become unified when you live in a conflict-ridden place like Kachin State, she said. The Kachin armed groups already forcibly recruit our men, kill people and ask for illegal taxes. We need to try to become united behind a single name and take our

campaign to the Shan villages in Kachin State. But not all Red Shan leaders think that there must be uniformity between communities. U San Shwe, Sagaing Regions minister for Shan affairs, said leaders had compromised on traditional dress because Tai-Leng from Kachin State wear a longyi, while those from Sagaing Region wear Shan trousers. Both are now accepted as Red Shan traditional dress. He said the issue of which flag to use was a potential source of disagreement, as Red Shan in Sagaing Region normally use the Shan Gyi flag. For the flag, we can use the Shan flag that is okay, he said.

Speaker tells ministers to improve implementation

SOE THAN LYNN soethanlynn@gmail.com PYITHU Hluttaw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann has launched his latest swingeing attack on government ministers, ordering them to improve their cooperation with MPs and ensure instructions are properly implemented by their subordinates. He said that constituents were suffering because state and region, district and township officials are weak at following orders and instructions issued by the cabinet. He said the situation was made worse by the fact that regional authorities are also often unwilling to work with hluttaw representatives for the betterment of the people. Orders and instructions are issued because they are needed and all departmental officials have a duty to ensure these orders and instructions are followed, he said on July 29. It is impossible for them to take effect if the relevant officials think their duty is completed once they are issued. He made the comments after Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Commodore Kyaw Zan Myint responded to a question from Pyithu Hluttaw representative for North Okkalapa U Than Win about the lack of collaboration with MPs. The Ministry of Home Affairs oversees general administration offices, which operate from the ward and village-tract level to state and region level. It has also instructed that when something is difficult to implement it should be done in coordination with respected elders from each region, as well as experts, business people, MPs and other locals. MPs are instructed to attend coordination meetings just as locals and give their advice in line with the instruction of the Union Government. Thura U Shwe Mann objected to Commodore Kyaw Zan Myints comment that MPs should attend coordination meetings just as locals, describing it as not suitable because MPs have more responsibility than ordinary citizens to work for community development. In his question, U Than Win said regional authorities regularly excluded MPs and the regional development committees from important meetings. He said that many in grassroots communities had seen little benefits from reforms in Myanmar, adding that we can only get people to believe in what we are doing if regional authorities and MPs implement their activities together. Translated by Thiri Min Htun

Departmental officials have a duty to ensure orders are followed.

Thura U Shwe Mann Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker

The Ministry of Home Affairs is instructed to collaborate with MPs depending on the instructions of the Union Government, Commodore Kyaw Zan Myint said. He added that the Presidents Office had formed committees to ensure that government orders are implemented in close collaboration with residents.

24 News


Military makes move into telecoms

Myanmar Economic Corporation and state-run Myanma Posts and Telecommunications to take on licence winners Telenor and Ooredoo



IN the excitement surrounding the recent telecoms licence tender, a significant announcement went mostly unnoticed: Army-owned Myanmar Economic Corporation will partner with state-run Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications to compete with the foreign firms. The joint venture was revealed in a statement on June 28 announcing that Ooredoo and Telenor had been granted the licences but attracted little attention. It is planned to grant licences to two local operators Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications and Myanmar Economic Corporation as a joint venture and the other Yatanarpon Teleport Co which will reshape itself as a public company, it said. While MPT and MEC will work together, 85 companies concerned were invited and discussions were made transparently to enable local companies to buy shares in Yatanarpon Teleport, it said. While hardly a surprise, the announcement brought greater clarity for investors and consumers and put to bed some persistent rumours about what form the local competition for Telenor and Ooredoo would take. However, it raises questions about the future role of military companies in Myanmars economy and the implications for foreign investors. In the telecoms sector, they will be competing against an armyrun firm that prospered from lucrative government concessions. If they are getting preferential treatment, seeing deals no one else sees, getting better terms, youre creating an environment that deters foreign investment, said Jeremy Rathjen, vice president of Thura Swiss consulting in Yangon. Telenor and Ooredoo could not be reached for comment. However, an international telecoms consultant said he did not believe the companies would be concerned about the new partnership. While it was unlikely that they knew about the plans for a joint venture before it was announced, he described the timing of the announcement as a non-event. But even those close to decision-

makers in the government appear to have been in the dark about the joint venture plans. A government source, who declined to be named, said the committee that conducted the tender was unaware of the planned joint venture when it was awarding the two licences to foreign companies but added that this would not have affected its decision. If MEC is making a joint venture with MPT, that is the choice of MPT, he said. He said the government only wants to create a fair and level playing field and will not tell companies how they should operate. He expressed confidence that the new telecommunications law would support a competitive market, adding that consultants from the Asian Development Bank are advising on how to ensure it meets international standards. Meanwhile, an independent regulatory committee will be formed in 2015. While admitting that two years is a long time to be without such a committee, he said the whole process was generally on the right track. Prior to the announcement there were indications that MEC planned to enter the telecoms sector. When cut-price SIM cards were released

A man holds a MECTel-brand SIM card following a lucky draw in Yangons Bahan township on April 24. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

The next big question on the telecom front is what MPT and MEC have come up with.
Edwin Vaderbruggen Partner, VDB Loi

in April, many observers were surprised to find they had been manufactured by a previously unheard of company named MECTel. Over the following few months the company sold about 1 million SIMs, at K1500 each, and millions of dollars worth of credit top-up cards. For the MEC, however, the decision to become a telecoms player is

probably strategic rather than financial, said independent analyst Richard Horsey. Unlike fellow military-owned firm Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (UMEHL), MEC is mainly focused on securing access to key products that are of strategic importance to the military, including cement, re-bar and vehicle tyres. Mobile communications could also be seen as a key strategic resource, albeit a potentially more lucrative one, he said. Both military firms were important players in Myanmars militaryera economy and were regularly given lucrative import or domestic production monopolies, including on edible oils, vehicles, beer and alcohol. As a result they are both the subject of United States sanctions, which prohibits US companies from doing business with them. Mr Horsey said that despite their continued role in Myanmars economy UMEHL, for example, is a ma-

jor shareholder in the Letpadaung copper mine project all the indications are that their footprint, while it will remain significant, is shrinking. If MEC and UMEHL continued to dominate the new economy as they did the old, this would be to the significant detriment of the country, he said. [But] they have accepted to pay tax, and to lose all of their lucrative monopolies. Roger Barlow, an independent telecoms analyst and chief executive officer of Hong Kong-based RJB Consultants Ltd, said military involvement in telecommunications is by no means unique to Myanmar. Vietnamese telecoms firm Viettel is military-owned and has transformed the market and been very successful, he said. Maybe MEC is looking to emulate this success. While seeing the potential for the joint venture to trouble foreign investors, Mr Rathjen said he was withholding judgement until it becomes clear how the newly formed

company will operate. Whoever can provide the best service should be allowed to do it. Well have to see if [the military] can add benefit to the consumers, he said. Edwin Vanderbruggen, a partner at law firm VDB Loi, said he had not been surprised to see the military firm enter the telco fray. The announcement showed that rumours that the companies would work individually with foreign firms were baseless. For me, the next big question on the telecom front is indeed what MPT and MEC have come up with. I mean, they are not just waiting for the competition to come in. They must have come up with a strategy, Mr Vanderbruggen said. They have a head start, and plenty of sites. So, the big question is, what is their next move? Will they tie up with a foreign joint-venture partner? Or will they raise money themselves? Everyone is waiting to see this. Additional reporting by Thomas Kean

Man injured by elephant dies as attacks continue

SI THU LWIN sithulwin.mmtimes@gmail.com A MAN injured in a wild elephant attack last month has died from his injuries, according to residents of Thabeikkyin township in Mandalay Region. U Kyaw Htay, 68, was struck by an elephants trunk on July 3 in one of a series of recent attacks which have destroyed buildings, damaged crops and left residents frightened. He was initially taken to Kyar Inn Sit Hospital for treatment but was transferred to Mandalay Hospital on July 4 for neurological care. On July 5 his son reported that he was recovering, but residents told The Myanmar Times on July 20 that his condition later worsened and he passed away in the second week of July. Villagers say they have been living in fear since the attacks began. The animals normally raid the villages at night, either alone or in herds, and residents have posted guards armed with torches to scare them off. We have to guard the villages every night. Even in the daytime, no one dares to work in the fields, said Ko Maung Khaing from Kyauk Kyi village. Due to fears of further raids, villagers have postponed crop cultivation, but say they are having trouble finding alternate sources of income. Residents say wild elephant attacks in Thabeikkyin township have been on the rise since the beginning of last year, after an elephant stockade was built nearby. The stockade is used by forestry workers to hold captured elephants while they are tamed for work. Translated by Zar Zar Soe

Even in the daytime, no one dares to work in the fields.

Ko Maung Khaing Kyauk Kyi village, Thabeikkyin


News 25

Seamen suffer in an ocean of corruption


MYANMAR sailors say they are being forced out of work by corrupt agents and brokers who get unqualified workers low-paying jobs on foreign vessels. The popularity of the profession because of its relatively high wages has encouraged thousands to undertake training courses, which are a pathway into the industry. The number of qualified seamen has risen significantly since 2010, a number of sources said. But they are being squeezed out because of unscrupulous agents, said Ko Nay Lin Aung, who qualified to work as an assistant engineer. He said the practice of sending

I have heard there are about 50,000 illegal seamen. It has ruined the industry but the government has done nothing to solve the problem.
Ko Nay Lin Aung Assistant engineer

unqualified workers has become so common that it has coined the term pavement broker someone who finds workers on the street, gives them a fraudulent Department of Marine Administration certificate and gets them a job on a ship. The agents keep most of the salary the people they recruit are happy to get anything, Ko Nay Lin Aung said. I have heard that there are about 50,000 illegal seamen like this. It has ruined the industry but the government has done nothing to solve the problem, he said. The unqualified sailors have to pay anywhere from K2 million to K5 million to be placed on a ship. Some even sign over the deed to their home because they dont have enough money to pay the fee. They do it because they believe that if they get work they can pay the broker back and get their deed back, Ko Nay Lin Aung said. But it doesnt work out as they expect. Later they realise they have been lied to and they work on illegal fishing boats or old ships. It affects their family the people who come from rural areas suffer terribly. Rural people sell or pawn their farms or homes and live at lodging houses in Yangon to find agents to get work. He said qualified seamen struggled to find jobs because they command higher wages. Because there are more than 200 agents, we have to apply to 30 or 40 agents, he said. Myanmar has about 160 licensed shipping agents, and dozens more illegal agencies. Ko Thiha, who works on a South Korean shipping line, said agents charge high fees but give sailors little in return.

Myanmar sailors on board a ship arrested in New Zealand in August 2009 after its owner filed for bankruptcy. Photo: Supplied

He said the industry had been ravaged by the rampant corruption and lack of enforcement. Some who are poor borrow from their friends to pay the service fees. Jobs are rare so they accept whatever salary they are offered, he said. A number of agents contacted by The Myanmar Times declined to comment. Ko Tint Naing Tun, manager of the Victory agency, said his firm only worked with about 10 to 15 qualified sailors that it trusted. Our company only works with old seamen. We dont take on new people, he said. Jobs are rare and taking on new people can create problems. One organisation seeking to root out the corruption in the sector is the Myanmar Maritime Workers Federation, which was registered in May but has been helping workers for about a decade. Federation general secretary U Tin Ko Ko Thet agreed that the problem of illegal workers was widespread, and said recently three agencies had had their registrations revoked. Some Myanmar agents ask seamen

to give broker fees but there is no need to pay for working on a ship, he said. Another seaman, Ko Soe Paing, who has worked for a European shipping line, said he hoped the federation would work with the government to crack down on lawbreakers. Because of illegal seamen the new seamen have no jobs. I hope the federation can create opportunities for those following the rules by cooperating with the government to solve this issue, he said. But federation chairman U Chit Ko Ko said that when Myanmars sailors get on board a ship they face other challenges, including discrimination. Myanmar seamen often suffer abuses, U Chit Ko Ko said. Because they have a very low level of proficiency in English, they dont understand official procedures. Most new sailors are in a rush to go to sea and usually do as their employment agency asks when they fill in an agreement, without carefully knowing the terms and conditions of the employment. Of Myanmars 80,000 qualified seamen, only 20,000 are working at any

one time, with the remainder either working in a different sector or looking for a berth. Of the employed seamen, an estimated 5000 are officers and the remainder are crew members, the federation said. U Ye Win Tun, the deputy general secretary of the federation, said Myanmar seamen suffer wage cuts and rights abuses more regularly than those from other Southeast Asian countries because Myanmar has previously not had organisations actively working to protect their rights. It is a result of good management and their unity, he said. U Ye Win Tun said most Myanmar sailors are also not protected properly by the agencies that placed them on the ship. No one has the right to expel a seaman from a ship unless they have committed a crime, he said. Some employers attempt to force the crews to leave the ship. They dont have the right to bully the seamen. Translated by Zar Zar Soe, Thae Thae Htwe and Win Thaw Tar

Minister calls for mining investment

AUNG YE THWIN aungyethwin.mmt@gmail.com MINING enterprises in Mandalay Region would benefit if the government changed the laws to allow foreign investment in small- and mediumsized companies, the regions forestry and mining minister says. Collaborations between foreign experts and Myanmars mostly small-scale mining enterprises would improve their operations and facilitate faster rapid growth, U Than Soe Myint said at a recent ceremony. The government currently allows foreign involvement only in large enterprises, he said, but he has proposed to other members of the regional government that this be changed. He added that he is not the only one who thinks the law should be changed. The president has also called for foreign investors [to partner with] small and medium enterprises because of the countrys poor technology, he said. Translated by Zar Zar Soe


Move to aid farmers may devastate

DRAFT legislation intended to help the countrys farmers by setting minimum prices for crops threatens to cripple them as well as undermine efforts to unleash the economic potential of a country that once was the worlds top exporter of rice, warns a report that will be released this week. A price-support policy imposes artificial incentives and market distortions that can lead to inefficient decision-making by farmers, traders, and consumers, which in the long run can have detrimental effects on welfare and broader sustainable development in Myanmar, says the report Implications of a Price Support Scheme for Agricultural Products in Myanmar. The report will be released by the Myanmar Development Research Institute-Center for Economic and Social Development (MDRI-CESD). It says that the price-support scheme at the heart of a draft law intended to boost the welfare of farmers which will soon be debated in parliament could also heighten conflict over agricultural land and worsen malnutrition in a country where about 36 percent of children under the age of five suffer from stunting. U Zaw Oo, executive director of MDRI-CESD, told The Myanmar Times

The minimum annual cost of a rice price-support scheme, according to a new report by MDRI-CESD



that a price-support scheme for rice is likely to have a very large negative impact on Myanmars fiscal situation. Since Myanmar exports too little rice to be able to influence the world market price, the government will lose money whenever the world price is below the Myanmar target price, he explained. The government will also have to pay the cost of collecting the rice from across Myanmar, transporting it and storing it. The cost to the government could easily be hundreds of millions of US dollars per annum from the outset, and international experience tells us that the cost of price-support schemes tends to rise over time. Sean Turnell, an economics professor at Macquarie University in Sydney, agrees. Minimum prices for crops sounds attractive but the reality is more complex, he said. We have an example currently on display in Thailand, he added, referring to that countrys rice-pledging scheme that has eroded its export power and cost the government billions of dollars. Mr Turnell said the legislation represents a return to older policies of Myanmar governments, policies that presume high levels of government involvement and control. Such polices have not just failed but failed spectacularly, he said. Mr Turnell and U Zaw Oo said the government has more effective and less costly options. There is a wide range of policies the government of Myanmar could adopt which would be more effective for helping farmers and less costly than a price-support scheme. Such policy options include improving farmers access to credit and input markets; and investing in public goods such as irrigation, roads, access to electricity, and agricultural research and extension services, U Zaw Oo said. Agricultural output in Vietnam and China increased greatly as a result of improvements in farmers property rights there, with the farmers standard of living benefiting considerably from this increased output. Enhancing property rights for Myanmar farmers could

Workers in Ayeyarwady Region load sacks of rice on a truck bound for Yangon. Poor transport is hindering the growth of the agric

have a similarly positive effect, doing far more to increase output and productivity than a price-support scheme would, he added. What farmers really need is freedom, Mr Turnell said. They need clear production rights that allow them to decide what, how and when to produce, he added. Myanmars farmers are great survivors in the most testing of environments it is possible to imagine what they need is freedom to harness their perseverance and knowledge. He also said that contract farming, which critics of the new legislation say it promotes, is ill-suited to Myanmar.

The economies of scale available to rice production, for instance, best suits small-scale cultivation, and not the plantation model that might be suitable elsewhere. The legislation, first called the Farmers Protection bill, was submitted to parliament on June 30 under the title Farmers Interests Promotion bill. Myanmar Farmers Network member Ko Tin Lin Aung said the legislation is silent on land confiscation, which has been identified as a major impediment to the growth of the agricultural sector. We think this legislation is an attempt to prohibit small-scale farmers from doing business how they see fit,

he told a July 27 public meeting on the draft legislation organised by the Myanmar Rice Federation. The bill is set to become law in midAugust, but farmers say it was drafted without significant input from them. It reflects the interests of business leaders and government officials because it was drafted with their advice, critics of the draft legislation say. U Ko Tin Lin Aung said a price-support scheme would benefit large businesses rather than small-scale farmers. Presidential Office business adviser U Myint said the bill should be rewritten to focus on poverty alleviation. The legislation should also do more

BUSINESS EDITOR: Vincent MacIsaac | biz.news.myanmar@gmail.com


French trade minister pays a visit


Government urged to act on surging prices


Exchange Rates (August 2 close)

Euro Malay Ringitt SG Dollar Thai Baht US Dollar

K1280 K302 K770 K31 K973

K1290 K307 K775 K31.5 K975


Factory owners consider private power production


Offshore bidding
AUNG SHIN koshumgtha@gmail.com THE Ministry of Energy aims to announce the winners of a tender for 30 offshore oil and gas blocks as early as December, officials said on Friday. Sixty-one pre-qualified companies are currently reviewing the data pertaining to the 19 deep-water and 11 shallow-water blocks at the ministry and this is expected to be completed by the middle of this month, with final proposals due by November 15, said a director from the Energy Planning Department at the ministry. This time the tender is receiving lots of interest from international companies, said the director, who requested anonymity. It will be a very tough competition with all the global energy giants competing. A total of 61 companies, including industry titans such as Total, Chevron and Daewoo, are reviewing the data in groups of four due to limited office space at the ministry. Eleven firms from Australia and seven from India are competing, alongside firms from Europe, North America and Asia, as well as one Myanmar company. Each firm is permitted to submit a proposal for three blocks. The director said he expects the winners to be announced in December, or early 2014 at the latest. Sanctions imposed by Western governments restricted the last round of tenders to Chinese and Thai firms, he added. The ministry will grant licences for exploration and production for the 30 blocks.

THE Myanmar Industries Association is urging members to consider alternate forms of private energy production to combat chronic electricity shortages, officials said last week. Government-supplied electricity is cut regularly, U Nyan Tun Oo, Yangon Region Minister for Electricity and Industry, told a workshop for association members in Yangon on July 31. Industry owners face major expenses and challenges getting enough electricity. Its time for us to consider private production and distribution systems, he said. U Nyan Tun Oo denied, however, recent reports that the union

government plans to cut the electricity supply to industrial zones next April, saying the energy minister told him it is impossible for the government to stop supplying power to industrial zones. Mandalay RegionMinister for Electricity and Industry U Myint Kyu said he had not received any instruction from the union government to cut power to industrial zones. We dont know anything about that, he said. We have received no instruction from the union government. We are now distributing electricity 24 hours a day to all industrial zones in our region. U Myint Zaw, vice president of the Myanmar Industries Association, said privately generated power plants offered industrialists a way to protect their operations. Myanmars national electricity grid loses much of its power through line losses. We [private industrialists] have to consider exist-

ing and future grid design, policy and prices, he said. Workshop praticipants agreed to conduct further research into private electricity production processes in the next three months by cooperating with technology universities and ministries. The association will then propose a national-level workshop. Presentations on coal- and gaspowered plants, which would be the cheapest ways to generate electricity, were made at the workshop. The country aims to boost electricity supply to more than 3000 megawatts (MW) in 2016. Current production is 1850MW, although demand is 2060MW, the union Minister for Electric Power told parliament in February. The report New Energy Architecture released by the Asian Development Bank in June estimated that demand for electricity in Myanmar is growing by at least 12 percent a year.

Nissan joins race to establish brand in Myanmar

ultural sector. Photo: Kaung Htet

JEREMY MULLINS jeremymullins7@gmail.com COMPETITION among global automakers to establish their brands in Myanmar is intensifying with Nissan and Mercedes joining the race to take advantage of the markets long-term growth prospects. Although used cars currently comprise up to 99 percent of annual domestic sales, industry insiders say automakers are staking out territory with an eye to future market share. Nissan Motor Company of Japan is the latest entrant to begin sales in Myanmar, launching a showroom and service department in Yangon on July 31. If we dont step in here now, it is my judgment that it is going to be too

do address land disputes, said 88 Generation farmers affairs committee member U Myo Thant. A March report prepared by USAID said that Myanmars agricultural sector could accelerate rapidly if a vigorous program of policy and structural reforms was implemented. Many of the underlying structural and policy problems result from selfinflicted wounds, said the report A Strategic Agricultural Sector and Food Security Diagnostic for Myanmar. The new report by MDRI-CESD estimates that a rice price-support scheme will cost the government at least US$225 million a year.

late, Nissan executive vice president Hiroto Saikawa said at the launch event. We are determined to be here and to grow. Malaysian firm Tan Chong Motor Holdings will have the exclusive right to distribute Nissan vehicles in Myanmar for a renewable period of five years. Tan Chong will invest US$2.5 million over three years to begin operations, and expects sales of 300 vehicles annually, according to an announcement submitted to Bursa Malaysia, the stock exchange the company is listed on, last week. Still, Myanmar will remain largely a two-wheeler and used-car market in the short to medium term, according to Dushyant Sinha, principal consultant of automotive practice Asia Pacific

at Singapore-based analysts Frost and Sullivan. On the whole the market is on a growth path, but the next few years are going to be crucial to carry on the momentum, he said. Myanmars automobile buyers are extremely price-sensitive and customer awareness and exposure quite limited, he said, adding that a number of regulatory issues also needed addressing. Nissan follows other recent entrants, such as Ford which has opened a showroom and Suzuki which restarted assembling trucks in Myanmar in May. The [new car] industry is starting out, said U Khin Tun, managing director of Capital Automotive, the Myanmar distributor of US-based Ford.

Increased domestic production of vehicles would follow an improved regulatory climate, he added. We need a little time for the industry to be going smoothly. He said import taxes made used cars preferable to new cars, but this could be adjusted to promote sales of new cars. Carriage and Cycle Automobile Myanmar aims to complete its Mercedes showroom by the beginning of 2014 but has already started promoting its mid- and upper-range vehicles in the country. Were thinking very positively, said head of sales and marketing U Aung Thet Lwin. Myanmar has much bigger potential than many other markets.

Pressure mounts on blacklisted business leader

SU PHYO WIN suphyo1990@gmail.com COMMERCE Minister U Win Myint has sent a second letter to the president of Myanmars largest business federation, U Win Aung, instructing him to resolve a row over its financial report for the last fiscal year, as well as the controversial election that returned him to his position in June. The July 28 letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Myanmar Times, instructs U Win Aung to meet with the federation members who staged a rare public protest at its annual general meeting on July 13 and discuss their complaints. It also instructs his to report the results to the ministry. An earlier letter dated July 17 instructed U Win Aung to meet with protester U Khin Hlaing, chairman of Zawtika International, to discuss his objections to the financial report. Twelve members of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry objected to the financial report they were asked to approve at the annual general meeting, saying they had not been given time to read it. The dramatic protest during which 12 federation members stood up and raised their arms to express disapproval of the way the financial report was approved has opened the door to expressions of discontent about the way the federation conducts business. Federation members who requested anonymity have said it is rife with financial irregularities, cronyism and political intrigue. They accused some members of using it as a piggy bank. Others dismissed the June election as a joke and alleged that some associations within the federation exist only to provide support to executive members. The second letter from the commerce ministry widens the scope of issues it wants U Win Aung to address to include the controversial June election that some federation members say was rigged. It calls on U Win Aung and central executive committee members at the federation to meet with and answer all concerns raised by protesters. The first letter called only for a meeting with U Khin Hlaing to discuss his concerns about the financial report. U Khin Hlaing said neither U Win Aung nor members of the federations central executive committee had contacted him to discuss the financial report, despite being instructed to do so by the commerce ministry. Sources said U Win Aung and federation executive members met on July 31 to discuss the letters from the commerce ministry and the protest, but federation staff claimed the meeting did not occur. They also said they could not discuss the conflict and did not know who at the federation could. U Win Aung, who is on the US State Departments blacklist for alleged links to the former military regime, did not respond to requests for comment. His presence on the list prevents American nationals and companies from conducting business with him or his many companies. Federation members are also lobbying international affiliates to support their call for a fresh election to choose leaders to represent Myanmars business community globally. Additional reporting by Vincent MacIsaac

U Win Aung, president of Myanmars largest business federation, attempts to calm protesters at a federation meeting last month. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

28 Business


Retailers prepare for consumer protection law


RETAILERS are being urged to improve how they handle customer complaints and ensure they sell only approved goods before a consumer protection law is passed. If a consumer protection law comes into effect, customers will receive more power while producers and sellers will face strict rules and regulations, U Soe Moe Thu, general manager of City Mart Holding Company, told the first public seminar organised by the Myanmar Retailers Association. Retailers will need to be particularly careful because they deal directly with consumers, he said at

the July 28 event. The first draft of the consumer protection law was completed by the Ministry of Commerce in January 2012. It was submitted to the parliament on July 15, but it is unclear when the bill will be debated. It is possible, however, that it will become law by the end of this year, retailers said. The bill contains a provision that requires the commerce ministry to help create courts to hear consumer protection-related cases. U Nay Win Myint, general manager of Gamone Pwint Shopping Mall, said the law will force retailers to be careful about what goods they stock, especially food and medicinal products. Shops will be required to sell food and medicinal goods that have Food and Drug Administration approval, he said. In the past, we could sell any products and nobody would complain. But if a consumer

In the past, we could sell any products and nobody would complain. But if a consumer protection law comes into effect, we will have to change our ways.
U Nay Win Myint General Manager Gamone Pwint Shopping Mall

protection law comes into effect, we will have to change our ways. The law will not only include rules and regulations, but will also outline punishments that retailers will face, he said. Retailers will be fined K300,000 and face a possible three-year jail term for the first offence, he said. This increases to K500,000 and five years in jail for subsequent offences, which means that old policies, such as refusing to exchange items, will no longer be acceptable. If we make even a small mistake, customers will have the power to complain and take us to court, he said. U Soe Moe Thu added that he believes the law should also incorporate some protection for retailers as well. Consumers protection laws are in place in developed countries and our country should have this too. But the law should not only offer rights to customers, but list their responsibilities as well. Retailers and shopkeeper also need to be aware of their rights and responsibilities, he said. U Nay Win Myint said the draft law has already been finalised and submitted to the hluttaws. U Ba Okkhaing, chairman of the Consumer Protection Association, said honest retailers would benefit from the proposed law. Retailers and producers are consumers too and if they are hon-

Cashiers at work at grocery store in Yangon. Photo: Staff

est they will benefit from this law, he said. A retailer from Insein township, who did not want to be named, she if the proposed law was passed small retailers would be powerless.

Sometimes we face unsatisfied and complaining customers. If this law comes into being, we wont have any protection but will have to defend ourselves in court, she said. We dont want to go there.


New SME law could transform the economy

In the first article of a two-part series, Yangon-based economist Andrea Smurra explains why a small- and medium-sized enterprise law is vital for development
scores several key features that make such a law successful: it has to clearly identify the enterprises in need of support, avoid generating an excessive burden for the states finances and should prioritise incentives and promotion over subsidies. Three questions provide a starting point for debate in parliament and society as a whole: Why does Myanmar need an SME Law? What should its objectives be? How can they be accomplished? SMEs are a principal source of employment globally. Research has also shown that they have been immensely creative and innovative, increasing a countrys ability to produce a diverse range of goods and services and making its economy more resilient to global commodity price fluctuations and macro-economic shocks. In Myanmar, SMEs account for 88pc of all businesses. They face, however, several barriers mainly fixed costs. For example, complying with tax requirements demands resources. Health and safety regulations also often require large financial investments that have to be paid upfront. Firms also need collateral to access credit, as well as experience with financial institutions and, again, complex accounting systems. Labour regulations might also be too stringent for such small and dynamic enterprises. More generally, lack of experience and managerial skills can pose considerable obstacles to success. SMEs are also generally more reliant on publicly provided services and infrastructure, because private alternatives are too costly relative to their size. Beside helping SMEs overcome obstacles, effective SME laws are vital for harnessing the sectors developmental benefits and opportunities. The need for such a law in Myanmar has been made more urgent by last Novembers Foreign Direct Investment Law, which grants considerable tax exemptions to increase the inflow of FDI. More FDI will deliver important gains for Myanmar, including capital for investment and jobs, and transfers of technology and managerial expertise that could increase productivity. However, the incentive structure created by the FDI Law is set to fundamentally alter Myanmars business environment. Because they have more financial and human capital, as well as better access to international markets and information, foreign investors already possess significant advantages over local ones. The tax holidays granted to foreign joint-ventures under the Foreign Investment Law will make it even harder for domestic SMEs to compete with them. Recognising the need to level the economic playing field, the government has devoted a considerable amount of effort into the drafting of the new SME law. The law aims to prevent small businesses from being crushed by bigger competitors and allows them to deploy their creative potential and generate valuable job opportunities. To accomplish this, the government has a number of options in terms of incentives and policies.
Andrea Smurra is an economist at the International Growth Centre (London School of Economics) and a visiting fellow at the Myanmar Development Research Institute.

The Fine Print

Legal & tax insight

Focus on land
WINT THANDAR OO wint@pwplegal.com TIN SEIN tin@pwplegal.com THE Union government is the ultimate owner of all land, and of all natural resources above and below the ground, above and beneath the water, and in the atmosphere. Section 37 of the Constitution obliges it to enact necessary laws to enable the extraction and utilisation of state-owned natural resources. Land law in Myanmar distinguishes between four types of the land: agricultural land, non-agricultural land, forest land, and vacant, virgin and fallow land. Commercial buildings may only be erected on non-agricultural land. How can Myanmar citizens and companies 100 percent owned by Myanmar citizens obtain land? There is no private ownership of land. However, citizens (this includes companies 100pc owned by citizens) may enter into longterm lease agreements with the state, either in the shape of a grant (which is a 60-year lease) or a freehold (which is a 90-year lease). Indefinite renewal is possible according to section 51 A of the Rules under the Upper Burma Land and Revenue Regulation of 1889 and section 29 of the Rules under the Lower Burma Town and Village Lands Act of 1898. Land grants and freeholds may be sold and bequeathed. How can foreigners and foreigninvested companies obtain land? One has to distinguish between investments under a permit from the Myanmar Investment Commission and investments without such a permit. With a permit from the MIC, the investor may lease land for up to 50 years (Chapter XIV Foreign Investment Law). The term may be extended twice for a period of up to 10 years each time. The investor may lease land from either the state or a private individual or entity. The MIC will enquire with the regional or state government of the area in which the land is located whether there are any objections against the use of the land by the investor. Without a permit from the MIC, foreigners (this includes foreign-invested companies) cannot obtain a long-term lease. Section 5 of the Transfer of Immoveable Property Restriction Act of 1987 limits the maximum term of a lease of immovable property by foreigners to one year. According to sections 3 and 4 of this law, no person shall sell, buy, give away, pawn, exchange or transfer by any means immoveable property to a foreigner and no foreigner shall acquire immoveable property by way of purchase, gift, pawn, exchange or transfer. Whoever contravenes the provisions of sections 3 and 4 risks being sentenced to a minimum of three years and a maximum of five years imprisonment and having the relevant property confiscated as public property. Before leasing land, investors should conduct due diligence. In a first step, one would check the official land map: Who is recorded there as the owner (if the land belongs to an entity of the state) or as the holder of a land grant or freehold (if the land belongs to a private individual or company)? Then, the investor would investigate the title chain (Has the land been sold or leased in the meantime?) in order to find out whether there are third parties that may have a right to object to the intended lease. Additionally, one would check whether the land has been mortgaged. The investor would also do an on-site investigation: Is the land already occupied? What do neighbours know about the history and present ownership of the land? Furthermore, a surveyor hired by the investor should check the land boundaries.
Wint Thandar Oo is a partner and Tin Sein is a senior associate at Polastri Wint & Partners Legal & Tax Advisors in Yangon.


THE draft Small and Medium Enterprise Law, which will be debated during the current session of parliament, has the potential to transform almost 90 percent of Myanmars businesses by encouraging competitiveness and investment. If it is effective, the legislation could ensure that Myanmar SMEs can meet the challenges posed by the opening of the domestic market and spur vibrant entrepreneurial activity that will generate growth, employment and innovation. Little has been disclosed about the laws most recent draft, the fifth since late last year, but several ministries, including the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Finance and Revenue, provided input. The drafting committee also received advice from foreign advisors and business associations on a law that fills a gap in the existing legal framework and will affect the entire economic landscape in Myanmar. International experience under-

The law aims to prevent small businesses from being crushed.


Business 29

Myanmar Companies Act set for revision


France eyes more trade

ZAW WIN THAN zawwinthan@gmail.com EXPORTS from Myanmar to France surged more than 1200 percent during the first five months of this year, the French embassy to Yangon said during a visit by that countrys Minister for Foreign Trade at the end of July. Exports from Myanmar to France in the first five months of the year rose 1250 percent to 20.4 million (US$27 million) from 1.5 million in the same period year last year, the embassy said. Exports from France to Myanmar rose 275pc in the same period, to 23.9 million, it added. The announcement was made during a visit by Minister Nicole Bricq on July 30 and 31 during which she officially opened a trade office and formally cancelled half of the debt owed to France by Myanmar. This morning I signed the agreement on cancellation of the debt. The Myanmar government owed a total of $1.1 billon and we cancelled 50pc of the arrears. The rest services at the French Embassy, said the will be rescheduled [to be paid] over sale of two ATR 92 aircrafts by France15 years, she said at the French Embassy based ATR to carrier Air KBZ earlier this on July 31. We believe this cancellation year demonstrated the scale of emergwill help Myanmar to keep a sustainable ing business opportunities in Myanmar. financial position and manage its developOther key sectors for French busiment policies, she added. nesses are pharmaceutical and mechanThe decision to write off the arrears ical and electrical equipment, he added. was made during a meeting of the Paris French investors are also particularly Club on January 25. interested in the hotel and tourism inMs Bricq, who was accompadustry, Ms Bricq said. nied by representatives of 15 French-based Accor Hospitalsmall- and medium-sized enity is already here in Myanmar and terprises, also said the official developing Novotel Hotel projects inauguration of a trade office in Yangon, as well as in Bagan and she presided over on July 31 Mandalay, she added. reflects the French governFrance is currently developing ment commitments to Mya range of financial support anmar reforms. The ofservices, such as export fifice, adjacent the French nance and grants for feasiembassy in Yangon, has bility studies, that will help been functioning since its companies do business early this year. Minister Nicole Bricq in Myanmar, the embassy Dominique Causse, Photo: Ko Taik said. head of economic

THE nearly 100-year-old Myanmar Companies Act will be revised and written in Myanmar language instead of English, U Aung Naing Oo, director general of the Ministry for National Planning and Economic Development said last week. Weve found that this law is not very relevant anymore, said U Aung Naing Oo. It will be written in Myanmar and then translated to English. The former Burma Companies Act was enacted in 1914. On July 23 Pyithu Hluttaw representative U Kyi Myint proposed that it be revised. Deputy Minister for National Planning and Economic Development U Hset Aung said rewriting the law rather than amending it will make it easier to bring it into compliance with international standards. He added that the Asian Develop-

ment Bank is helping the ministry rewrite the Act. Kelvin Chia law firm advocate U Than Maung said the former law includes a number of complicated procedures that are out of step with todays operating environment. He said a requirement to submit multiple copies of key documents no longer made sense, especially considering that many countries allow companies to register online. A recent report in the staterun New Light of Myanmar said the government will soon allow online company registration. U Than Maung added that the Burma Special Companies Act (1950), which differentiates private and public companies, also needs to be updated and perhaps included in the appendix. However, he added that the new law must fit within Myanmars judicial system. We have to think carefully when international institutions offer to provide technical assistance in drafting a law because it has to be admissible into the countrys judicial system and not made to fit another countrys system.

Sugar shares sell

A PUBLIC share offering by a sugar company formed from small- and medium-sized businesses raised more than US$5 million in July, Myanma Sugar Development managing director U Win Htay said last week. The Mandalay-based company sold slightly more than 1 million shares for K10,000 apiece between July 1 and the end of the month, raising more than K5 billion (US$5 million), U Win Htay said. He said the company has opened a sugar refinery in Sagaing Region. Than Naing Soe, translated by Zar Zar Soe


NOTICE is hereby given that Guangzhou Light Holdings Limited a company incorporated under the laws of China and having its principal office at No. 87, The Bund, Guangzhou, China is the Owner and Sole Proprietor of the following trademark:-

(Reg: Nos. IV/6769/2003 & IV/555/2013) in respect of:- Electric rice cookers, electric fans, kerosene stoves, gas stove, refrigerators, kitchen ventilators, extractor hoods for kitchens, electronic dish sterilizers, electric stoves, hot plates, electromagnetic ovens, electric water heaters, electric thermal pots or thermal flasks, hot water bottles, electric roasters, grilling stoves, electric kettles, hair dryers, pressure cookers, Electric blenders for household purposes, soybean milk makers, washing machines Electric flat irons 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 Guangzhou Light Holdings Limited P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416 Dated: 5th August, 2013

30 Business


Job watch
UNFPA Vacancy Notice No.2013/008
Want to be part of a team bringing positive impact directly to families within Myanmar? Join us and you will too, because at UNFPA, everyone counts. We are seeking an experienced operations specialist to join our team as you help support implementation of the historic 2014 Population and Housing census. If youre looking for an opportunity to make a difference, thrive in a challenging yet rewarding teamwork environment and have a strong operations background, then wed love to hear from you. Position Title : Census and Operations Specialist Grade : SC8 (NO-B Equivalent) Duty Station : Yangon, Myanmar Issue Date : 04 August 2013 Closing Date : 19 August 2013 (5:00pm) Duration of Appointment : 1 Year (possible extensions) Applications are invited from interested Myanmar nationals for the post of Census and Operations Specialist. Applications should be addressed to UNFPA Representative. Attention: International Operations Manager RoomA07, UNFPA, No.6, Natmauk Road, Yangon. Email : myanmar.ofce@unfpa.org For further details, please see the vacancy announcement posted at UN billboard. No.6, Natmauk Road, Yangon and also at UNFPA website (http://myanmar.unfpa.org) Applications will be considered only when meeting all requirements set in detailed vacancy announcement.

Japan sure to play major role in Dawei

AUNG SHIN koshumgtha@gmail.com MYANMAR officials say they remain confident Japan will play a major role in developing the Dawei Special Economic Zone, as officials from the country have joined talks about the ambitious project following the decision of Italian-Thai Development to step aside as developer in June due to lack of funds. Japan is set to host the next meeting with Myanmar and Thailand in the coming months, U Aye Myint, union minister of railway and transportation and the chairman of Dawei SEZ construction committee, told The Myanmar Times after a press conference on the project last week. He said the meeting will be in Tokyo and that the Japanese government is currently discussing the details of the project with Japanese business people. However, U Set Aung, deputy minister of national planning and economic development, said there is no timeframe for finalising an agreement between Myanmar, Thailand and Japan. We are trying to get it done as soon as possible, he said. Japanese officials said they are mulling several options to participate in Dawei. The country could share its expertise through planning and infrastructure development, while financing the project could also be considered, Japan External Trade Organisation Yangon executive managing director Masaki Takahara said. Contribution to the connectivity and development of this region is the task of Japan as one of the largest economies in the region, he said. The massive Dawei SEZ has been discussed formally between Thailand and Myanmar since 2008 and has gone through several versions. The latest plan calls for it to be built in five phases over 75 years. Initially, a deep seaport will be built as well as a highway connecting the zone to Thailand. Electricity and water supply will be provided to develop light manufacturing. Heavy industry is planned for the latter stages, according to U Aye Myint. The Electricity Generation Authority of Thai will complete a gas power plant in Dawei with a generating capacity of 36 megawatts by 2014, he said. A total of 44,850 acres of land will be set aside for the zone, including 10,600 acres for urban development, said Thura U Thaung Lwin, chairman of the management committee. Thai conglomerate Italian-Thai Development was slated to develop Dawei, but asked to be removed from the project in June due to difficulties financing the project. Government authorities have registered a special purpose vehicle (SPV1) in Thailand to secure funding, but U Aye Myint dismissed concerns this could lead to foreign control of the project. It is not true that the project is monopolised by Thailand because SPV1 is registered there, he said, adding implementation will be conducted by a separate company that will be registered in Myanmar, SPV2. The highest authority for the entire Dawei SEZ is the management committee of the Myanmar government, he added. The project has faced criticism over its environmental impact and displacement of villages, but Thura U Thaung Lwin said best practices are being followed to ensure minimum disruption. While adhering to strict environmental regulation, six villages will ultimately be relocated compared to 24 in the original plan, he said. We have already ordered construction companies to avoid archaeological sites and to stop work at once if they suspect theyve found any, he said. Additional Reporting Jeremy Mullins

It's not true the project is monopolised by Thailand because SPV1 is registered there.
U Aye Myint Tranport Minister


Franchise model ideal for ASEAN

SE Asia can spur the growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises by encouraging franchising
their national borders as well as the distraction of alterative trade initiatives. ASEANs failure to achieve the AEC development goals is further hampered by broader economic challenges facing the entire region, including dwindling private investment, weaker exports, decreased household consumption, economic growth at the lower end of the estimates for many member nations and growing global uncertainties particularly around China. While not losing sight of the worthy objective of AEC, it is clear that that ASEAN will not achieve its implementation timetable thereby facing the charge of rendering itself irrelevant by focusing on lofty and unattainable goals. ASEAN should be looking to promote proven strategies that will stimulate economic development in the region that in turn leads to greater cooperation among member nations. Given the unsettled macroeconomic climate of present, it should also be focused on achievable development goals with more immediate impact. One area where ASEAN could provide more direction and influence is in SME development policy. SMEs are the backbone of the ASEAN economy accounting for more than 96 percent of all enterprises, 50-95pc of all employment and 30-53pc of each nations GDP. They are also the largest domestic employer across all sectors. There is little doubt that a small positive influence in the ASEAN SME sector will have a more pronounced impact on the region and there is no better time than now for ASEAN to focus its effort on this area. ASEAN already has a set of guiding principles to promote SME development but what is absent in its bureaucracy is an actionable and achievable plan to deliver economic growth in this sector. According to ASEAN, it aims to promote SME development through improving access to finance and technology, strengthening export capacity, utilisation of ICT solutions, enhanced capacity to innovate and strengthened human resources development through regional programs. While few would have any objection to this, what is clearly missing is next step: the tactics to deliver on this. The franchise business model is a proven tactic that has been especially potent at delivering growth to the SME sector in countries all around the world. For example, in Australia, 14pc of GDP is revenue generated by franchises. The sector also delivers solid employment growth and investment opportunities. In fact, the well defined and robust franchise business model delivers many other economic benefits all of which are outcomes that ASEAN is chasing in its guiding principles for SME development. At its simplest, franchising is the adoption of an existing business system in another location. The franchisee is backed by the proven nature of the business system being franchised and gains immediate access to technology which often incorporates existing ICT platforms. Financiers are more inclined to lend to a franchise concept than a new and unproven venture. From the franchisors perspective, the model provides a no-cost or low-cost form of financing to fund growth. The franchising model also allows for the rapid development of export capacity as franchise systems can be readily licensed to operate in international markets, which in turn are supported by the export of products and services necessary to support the franchise system. Another benefit of franchising is the turn-key solutions it brings to human resources development and product and service innovation. Established and proven business processes in these areas are cascaded through the franchise network allowing for the rapid adoption of new learning and the sharing of intellectual capital from all participants across the franchise network. Rather than wasting time and effort attempting to implement novel SME development plans from the ground up, ASEAN should rapidly embrace the franchise business model and use it as the principle basis for promoting its long overdue action plan for SME development in the region. As all entrepreneurs would recognise, there is a cavernous divide between strategy and execution and it seems that ASEAN has for too long been focused on strategy at the expense of deliverables. What is needed now is compelling evidence of its ability to execute if ASEAN wants to maintain relevance in the Asian century.
Dr Nigel Finch CPA is an Associate Professor at the University of Sydney Business School.


ASEAN has fallen behind its own goals for building an economic community and should promote proven franchise models if it wants to avoid failing on its SME development objectives. Today, franchise businesses provide everything from professional services such as legal and accounting practices through to hotels and resorts, education providers, aged-care facilities, transport and logistics, domestic services and specialised capital equipment for industries such as mining and construction. Beyond burgers and fries, this proven business model also delivers economic growth, employment growth, and export income fuelling activity in the SME sector. The 2010-2015 ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) blueprint outlines areas of cooperation and integration leading to the establishment of a highly competitive economic region with freer movement of goods, services, labour and capital. The objective is to promote more equitable economic development and fully integrate the region into the global economy. However, it is clear that ASEAN has fallen behind and is unlikely to meet its ambitious 2015 deadline for the implementation of the AEC because of challenges hindering the successful negotiations between the 10 member states and domestic political pressures within

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Myanmar is inviting qualified candidates to apply for the following positions: Sr. Title and level Duty Station Deadline 1. Senior Finance Officer/Deputy Financial Yangon 4-August-2013 Management Officer (NOC) 2. Administrative Analyst (NOA) Yangon 4-August-2013 3. Procurement Analyst (NOA) Yangon 4-August-2013 4. Field Finance Assistant (37 positions) Bago, Pyay, Magwe, 6-August-2013 (LICA3) Myintkyina, Hakha, Mandalay, Yangon, Mawlamyine, Hpaan,Monywa, Kalay, Lashio, Pathein, Phyarpone, Hinthada, Loikaw, Taunggyi, Kengtung, Dawei, Myeik,Sittwe,Kyaukphyu,Maypyitaw 5. Planning and Budget Officer (LICA 6) Yangon 15-August-2013 6. Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist (NOC) Yangon 19-August-2013 For details please visit UNOPS website https://gprs.unops.org and click on the post you are interested in applying for. All applications must be made through UNOPS E-recruitment system.


Property 31

Golden peak
Golden Valley prices are creeping into unexpected places, including a street in Hlaing township round the corner from a vegetable market. This house in an upscale estate near Bayin Anaung junction is so expensive because it is in a neighbourhood where high-ranking government officials, including ministers, live, the realtor explained. It is also well-maintained and has reliable security, she added. The commute from downtown requires plenty of patience, but a water fountain and gazebo provide a soothing distraction upon arrival. The 8000-square foot compound includes attractively landscaped lawns at the front and back. All four double bedrooms are on the second floor. Three include private verandas and hand-carved wooden furniture. The first floor has ample space for entertaining. The house includes seven air conditioners and indoor parking. Ei Thae Thae Naing

Location : Mya Kan Thar Housing Estate, Hlaing Township. Rental price : US$7500 (negotiable) Contact : Moe Myint Thaw Thar Real Estate and General Service Phone : 01 9669061

Photos: Zarni Phyo

China hits new height with latest skyscraper



HK billionaire bets on massive casino

A CHINESE billionaire has revealed plans for a US$3.7 billion tropical resort and casino in Australia which he says will be a man-made wonder of the world. The Queensland state government confirmed on August 2 it has streamlined the approval process for Tony Fungs Aquis project near Cairns, plans for which include a casino, nine luxury hotels with 3,750 rooms, and one of the worlds largest aquariums. North Queensland is missing the man-made wonder of the world, which is presented in Aquis, Mr Fungs Aquis Resort at the Great Barrier Reef said in a statement. Mr Fung, from one of Hong Kongs best-known banking families, said the resort will see North Queensland benefit from growing numbers of Asian tourists, particularly from China. Facilities of the like of Aquis Resort at The Great Barrier Reef dont only attract the Chinese mass-market middle-class, but also the big-spending, high-value, ever-expanding Chinese upper-class, the statement said. Australian billionaire James Packer already has plans to bring lucrative Asian tourists Down Under to a casino and six-star hotel complex in Sydney he wants to build, but Aquis said its development would be Australias only genuine, world-class, integrated resort. It said it would be an inclusive facility whether a local retiree or a Chinese billionaire, all will be welcomed, treated equally and feel special. The planned project, to be 13 kilometres north of the Great Barrier Reef gateway city of Cairns in Yorkeys Knob, will include 1,200 apartments and 135 villas, high-end retail shopping, theatres, a 13-hectare reef lagoon, 18-hole golf course, a convention and exhibition centre and a 25,000-seat sports stadium. It is expected to create 9,300 construction jobs and 10,000 ongoing positions once operational in 2018, and supporters see it as a game-changer investment in the tropical region. Tony Fung is keen to make sure it is done properly environmentally, socially, and to the benefit of the whole region, chief executive of advocacy group Advance Cairns Mark Matthews said. This has not happened overnight, it is part of a broader investment confidence in the north. But the development has alarmed some locals in Yorkeys Knob, with the community-elected King of the Knob Jim Cadman saying he will oppose the steamroller project which could threaten the environment and hurt local businesses. Most people are incredulous, he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The state government on Thursday gave Aquis coordinated project status, meaning all approvals including environment, social and licensing requirements will be handled in a coordinated way rather than separately by different departments. The next step will be for it to submit an environmental impact statement. It must also satisfy foreign investment regulations. AFP

Workers celebrate at a topping off ceremony for the Shanghai Tower on August 3. Photo: AFP

WORK on the main structure of the worlds second tallest skyscraper was completed on August 3, as the final beam was placed on the Shanghai Tower. A crane placed the steel beam 580 metres above the ground in Shanghai, Chinas commercial hub, as the building formally overtook Taiwans 509 meter tall Taipei 101 building to become the highest tower in Asia. Globally it is second only to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which stands at 830 metres. The tower, which costs an estimated $14.8 billion yuan (US$2.4 billion), will reach over 630 metres when it is finally finished. Its a landmark and it will change the skyline of Shanghai, Xia Jun, of Gensler, the US firm which designed the tower, told a press conference following a topping out ceremony. I dont think the importance of an architecture lies entirely in its height, he added. The structure stands alongside Chinas previous tallest building, the 492 metre Shanghai World Finan-

cial Center and is due to open next year, by which time it may have been surpassed as the tallest building in China. Chinese firm Broad Group have announced plans to construct an 838 metre tower in the central Chinese city of Changsha, which they say will be completed in April. But reports in state-run media late last month said construction on the tower had been called off, because the building had not gained full local gov-

Height the Shanghai Tower, Asias tallest skyscraper, will be when completed.



ernment approval. The Broad Group called the reports inaccurate and said they had not been asked to halt construction. Work on the Shanghai tower began in 2008, and its construction was partially backed by Shanghais city government. Concerns were raised last year when long cracks began to appear in the ground close to the building, prompting fears that ground around the tower was subsiding. But Ding Jiemin, an architect who collaborated on the towers design, played down fears on Saturday. These problems were just during construction period, it will not affect the security of the architecture, he said. China is home to three of the worlds 10 tallest buildings, according to research group Emporis -- which did not count the Shanghai Tower. The Shanghai Towers final beam was decorated with red ribbons and flags, and carried a banner which read: Team of hoisting heroes. AFP


Church to lease property

GREEK Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is hailing decision to create a company that will seek the exploitation of the Greek Orthodox Churchs vast property assets. Following the motion of Archbishop Ieronymos ... the Holy Diocese of Athens and the Greek state have decided to immediately establish the joint Company for the Exploitation of Church Real Estate Property, said a statement from the premiers office. This comes at an extremely crucial time for Greek society, it added. The Church of Greece is the second biggest property owner in the country, with assets that include monasteries, forested areas and beaches. The company will facilitate the exploitation of the churchs property through leasing, but the churchs ownership would remain intact. All profits will be shared between the church and the state. The church has recently come under pressure for its tax benefits, in view of the harsh austerity measures Greece has been obliged to adopt in return for vital international rescue loans. AFP

32 Business Property


Govt urged to better regulate the market

Industry executives call for government intervention to rein in prices, as well as more comprehensive zoning and land-use laws



IMPROVED regulation will further the booming Myanmar property market, though costly land is cutting into potential development, according to speakers at a property summit hosted by Kelvin Chia Yangon last week. Rapidly increasing land prices are slowing project development, leaving a role for government action to cool speculative activities, said Ronald Lee, Capital Properties project director. Current land prices are on the verge of being uneconomical for most business activities, he said. Prices are fuelled largely by speculative activities and the lack of alter-

native investment opportunities. Capital Properties has built projects such as North Point and Ocean Pazauntaung, as well as the City Mart retail chain, but Mr Lee said a spate a speculation was occurring with purchasers having no intention of developing properties, raising land prices. The government ought to encourage actual development by intervening to cool land prices, he said. Government policy plays a central role in determining Myanmars land use, said Cheah Swee Gim, director of Kelvin Chia Yangon. Myanmar has massive land plots and the largest are in some of the untapped regions, she said. It was crucial to establish a strong regulatory framework to allow project development to proceed, she said. This included more detailed rules lay-

Maximum amount of condominium units that can be owned by foreign nationals in one building, according to a draft law.


ing out land purposes, such as creating a law specifically for farmland. Land valuation requires appreciation of the zoning regulations for the property, specifically what sort of commercial purpose the land can be put to. The length the property can be owned for ought to also be considered, as leases for land approved by the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) for development are restricted to 30-90 years. With much of Mandalay and Yangons land being privately held, it is no surprise that development activities have increased rapidly, speakers said. A number of approvals are required to begin construction on projects, and any property development requires a considerable amount of work to gain the green light from the MIC. An MIC permit is always required for a land-related project in Myanmar, Cheah Swee Gim said. Some regulations are moving forward, but some of them might restrict the market, she added. A draft condominium law includes provisions that will restrict foreigners to owning 40 percent of the units in particular building.

Pedestrians pass an advertisement for a new housing project in Yangon. Photo: Staff

Other regulatory efforts include the development of a national building code. Increased urbanisation means structural safety of buildings is becoming more important, said Myanmar National Building Code Project chairman U Than Myint. Building regulations are being created in Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and Mandalay, he said. Officials are constantly on the lookout to ensure safety of buildings, and a number of local governments can be expected to enact separate re-

quirements in certain places. Yangon codes also required that buildings in the area of Shwedagon Pagoda must not exceed 190 feet above sea level, while commercial buildings outside of the area are restricted to 417 feet above sea level. The potential for earthquake damage is a strong consideration in developing the building code, as a recent earthquake in Taung Twin Gyi had destroyed many of the poorly constructed homes in the area, U Than Myint said. To mitigate the natural

hazardous risk, we need to construct projects according to standardised buildings controls and codes, he added. Plans to enact the building code are moving ahead, with the committee currently discussing the planned regulations with experts, and anticipating the final version being completed by the end of next year. Developers should take the pending building code seriously, as following its guidelines is crucial to projects eventual success, speakers said.

YCDC staff accused of attacking shop owners



FOUR people were injured on August 2 when a bitter dispute between flower-shop owners in Mayangone townships Mindhamma garden compound and the Yangon City Development Committee turned violent, shop owners said. They said the violence erupted at about 2pm when the YCDC sent about 300 workers to fence off the compound and block its main entrance. Daw Ni Wah Lwin, the owner of Nwe Waddy flower shop, said flower-shop owners were not warned about the attempt to fence off the area. We were terrified and

shocked when we saw them try to block off our business area, she said. We oppose the rudeness and ill manners of the YCDC and suggest that its staff try to negotiate with us in a spirit of respect and good will. Daw Ni Wah Lwin also suggested that YCDC staff avoid violence. She said they attacked tenants of the area with sharpened bamboo sticks and also threw stones at them, some of whom are elderly women. Four shop owners were sent to North Okkalapa hospital. The tenants say they will file a complaint at North Okkalapa police station and sue YCDC. We are not squatters. We are

legal tenants who have operated shops in the compound for a long time, one shop owner said. Daw Ni Wah Lwin said the dispute should be settled legally and that talks over the disputed compound should be calm. The attempt to block the entrance to the compound failed as shop owners gathered in a show of force to prevent YCDC staff from fencing them in. Kyaut Khat Kabar flowershop owner U Maung Maung Zaw said the tenants will take their protest to foreign embassies and use social media to gain support. We hope that the YCDC will not attack us again and would like to request that a more trustworthy government agency control them, he added.


Science & Technology 33

July batch of GSM SIMs sold out in Mandalay

THAN NAING SOE thennaingsoe@gmail.com AUNG YE THWIN aungyethwin.mmt@gmail.com THE newly released mobile phone GSM SIM cards that went on sale in Mandalay Region on July 25 are now sold out, officials say. We have sold the GSM SIMs for this month, said a spokesperson of the regions Ministry of Transportation and Communication. He said 58,000 K1500 SIM cards were released in Mandalay Region in July, of which 37,000 were GSM and 21,000 were CDMA. It was the fourth monthly sale since the first batch of K1500 SIM cards were released on April 24. With demand still far exceeding supply, some wards used a lucky draw system to allow buyers a fair chance. In our ward, buyers needed to register at the ward administration office before 6pm on July 24 with a copy of the household membership papers, said a resident of Mawragiwhar ward in Chan Aye Thar San township, where the lucky draw system was being used for the first time. We had to pick a [lot to] draw on the next morning at 9am in person. U Hla Maung said he wasnt successful this time but would try to get one in the next round. I have to wait until October. It is good to know [the next release date] clearly. If we didnt, we may have been waiting expectantly every month. U Win Ko Ko, administrator for Pearl Ngweyaung ward in Aung Myay Thar San township, said Julys allotment of mobile SIMs was lower than in previous months. Our ward was allocated 91 SIM cards in

New supercomputer to help climate scientists

AUSTRALIAs most powerful computer was unveiled Wednesday, in a boost for climate scientists who need to crunch vast amounts of data to make forecasts and pinpoint extreme weather, officials said. The Australian National University in Canberra has named the supercomputer Raijin after the Japanese god of thunder, lightning and storms. You could say that we in the climate science community have a need for speed, the head of the Bureau of Meteorology Rob Vertessy said. The simple fact is that supercomputer capacity is a major determinant of our success in this field, but its always been a struggle to secure access to it. Lindsay Botten, director of the ANUs National Computational Infrastructure centre where the computer is housed, said the machine can handle complex simulations and modelling much faster and at a higher resolu-

Costomers wait outside the ward administration office in Mawragiwhar for the SIM card lucky draw to begin. Photo: Aung Ye Twin

[June] but the number dropped to 47 in July, he said. Many rural regions have so far missed out on the SIM cards because they are outside the coverage area of the network. Some rural residents have bought SIMs in previous draws but resold them because of the poor reception, said U Soe Hlaing from Myotaw village

in Patheingyi township. Some people used the SIM cards ... but then resold them again for K50,000 or K60,000, saying the network coverage is fairly bad. In Mandalay Region, 65,000 SIM cards were made available in April, with 69,395 and 72,795 being offered in May and June respectively. Translated by Zar Zar Soe

Number of Terabytes of memory in supercomputer Rajin (the equivalent of 30,000 laptops)


Black market GSM prices skyrocket amid rampant demand

AUNG KYAW NYUNT zeezee383@gmail.com DEMAND for the newly released GSM SIMs continues to hugely outstrip supply with cards released on July 25 selling last week for up to 100 times their face value. The latest GSM cards are selling for more than K120,000 on the unofficial market even though they were released to the public through Myanma Posts and Telecommunications for only K1500, said Ma Pa Pa from KKA mobile shop in Kyauktada township. I hear the black market price of the latest GSM lines is K120,000130,000, she said. I think prices will continue to rise too. Ma Zar Gyi Lin, general manager of Lu Gyi Min mobile shops head office in South Okkalapa township, agreed. I think that the price of the latest batch of GSM SIM lines is sure to increase, she said. I have heard that GSM lines are selling on the black market for more than K100,000 and I think given that the earlier release of CDMA lines saw prices rise for months after the release its fair to think the GSM connections will continue to appreciate. The SIM cards were sold through ward administrative offices, with many using a lucky draw system to cope with the high demand. Everybody is looking for one of the new GSM lines, said phone user Ko Thein Htoo Aung. I know a lot of people who put in an application for one of the K1500 lines but did not get one, so they are looking for one on the black market instead. CDMA phone owner Ma Aye Myat Mon said she wanted to switch from a CDMA connection to GSM because the latter has more handset options. I bought a K1500 CDMA SIM when they were released because I needed a phone badly, she said. But I want a GSM connection because I want to use an Android handset and its much easier to buy GSM recharge cards.

tion than previously available in Australia. Advanced computational methods form an increasingly essential component of highimpact research, in many cases underpinning discoveries that cannot be achieved by other means, he said. Predicting extreme weather, which is common in Australia, required millions of lines of code and complex information to be processed in an instant, said Andy Pitman from the Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science. You cannot do that on your home computer. You need a seriously large system in order to do that kind of processing, he said. And fortunately we now have one of those. The machine, estimated to be the 27th most powerful computer in the world, weighs 70 tonnes and has 57,000 processing cores (the equal of about 15,000 laptop computers) and 160 terabytes of memory (the equivalent of about 30,000 laptops). The supercomputer was funded as part of Australias infrastructurebuilding stimulus package in the wake of the global financial crisis. AFP


Minsk Belarus leader outdoes Putin with 57 kilo catfish Caracas Venezuela launches school of Chavezian thought
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on July 31 boasted he had caught a catfish weighing 57 kilograms (125.5 pounds), almost three times heavier than a fish said to have been hooked by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlins claim on July 26 that Mr Putin managed to catch a 21kg pike in Siberia was ridiculed by bloggers, who argued that such a dense fish should have sunk to the bottom of the lake. But the Belarussian strongman told a government meeting on hunting and fishing that he had notched up an even greater weight on the scales while fishing on the Pripyat River in Belarus. I personally caught a 57-kilogram catfish, said Mr Lukashenko, adding he had also hooked two other less weighty specimens. That must have been as tall as me, stunned Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Rusy told Mr Lukashenko. But maybe not the same weight, the president shot back at the minister, to laughter. Venezuela on July 31 unveiled its latest tribute to late president Hugo Chavez: its very own institute of Chavezian thought. Creation is hereby authorised of a state foundation that will be called the Institute of Higher Learning of Supreme Comandante Hugo Chavez Friass Thought, read a decree from President Nicolas Maduro in the official gazette. The socialist anti-US firebrand, the most prominent face of Latin Americas left, died five months ago. The institute will approve and monitor coursework on the ideas of the top leader of the Bolivarian Revolution for university-level and postgraduate degree programs as well as set out rules for the use of the late presidents name in public spaces. Mr Maduro announced the creation of the new institute in Sabaneta, Chavez hometown, as part of a week-long national celebration of what would have been the late leaders birthday on July 28.

WORLD EDITOR: Douglas Long | dlong125@gmail.com

Wellington Pacifics Tuvalu wracked by constitutional crisis

The tiny Pacific nation of Tuvalu was caught in a constitutional crisis on August 2 after its prime minister and governor general tried to sack each other, sources in the capital Funafuti said. The tit-for-tat dismissals in one of the worlds smallest countries came after Prime Minister Willy Telavi refused to allow parliament to debate a no-confidence motion in his government, which has been in power since late 2010. The move prompted Governor General Iakoba Italeli to order Mr Telavis removal, with the prime minister responding by firing off a letter to Britains Queen Elizabeth II informing her he was dismissing Mr Italeli from his position. The push for a no-confidence motion was reportedly sparked by Health Minister Taom Tanukales resignation from parliament, which boosted the oppositions numbers in the chamber, giving them the confidence to challenge. AFP


Berlusconi loses final appeal in landmark case

DARIO THUBURN ITALYS ex-leader Silvio Berlusconi has lost his final appeal against a tax fraud sentence in a ruling that jolted the political establishment on August 2 but left the government in place for now. The countrys highest court on August 1 handed the billionaire tycoon his first-ever definitive conviction in a 20-year political career that has been dogged by legal woes and sex scandals. The court ordered the threetime former prime minister to do a year of community service or be placed under house arrest once his parliamentary immunity is lifted an unprecedented verdict. It also said an appeals court should rule on whether he should be temporarily banned from public office, a decision that would eject the 76-year-old from parliament for the first time since 1994. An embittered and visibly shaken Berlusconi delivered a video message on Italian television late on August 1 in which he dismissed the sentence as baseless and vowed to continue his political career. For the commitment I have shown these past 20 years for my country and as I reach the end of my active life, I have been rewarded with accusations and a sentence based on nothing at all, Mr Berlusconi said. This is a country that does not know how to be just, he said, speaking from his luxury residence in central Rome, adding that the sentence takes away my personal freedom and political rights. Groups of Berlusconi supporters and opponents held small rallies outside the courtroom and near his residence, and police blocked off his street for several hours, allowing access only for journalists. A roar went up from antiBerlusconi campaigners when the verdict came, with one elated activist uncorking a bottle of champagne on the courthouse steps and holding up an image of Mr Berlusconi behind bars. This is how we want Berlusconi, the sign read. Pro-Berlusconi campaigners instead lowered their flags and ceased chants of Silvio! Silvio! after initial cheers when they misunderstood the verdict. Mr Berlusconis lawyers, who have repeatedly condemned the legal attacks against him as politically motivated, said they were weighing a possible appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. Prime Minister Enrico Letta meanwhile called for calm for the good of the country amid fears of a split in the already fractious ruling coalition, which includes Mr Berlusconis People of Freedom party. Mr Berlusconi repeatedly stressed ahead of the ruling that he would not end his support for the government and he made no mention of the cabinet on August 1 in what analysts took as a positive sign. The conditions of Mr Berlusconis sentence are still to be determined but experts say he may need permission from prosecutors to carry out political activities and could be excluded from running for office again. AFP

Syrian government forces patrol al-Khalidiyah Syrian government last week announced the Homs, the countrys third-largest city and a al-Assad. Photo: AFP


US fumes as Russi Snowden asylum f

STUART WILLIAMS MARIA ANTONOVA FUGITIVE US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden on August 1 stepped out of the Moscow airport where he was marooned for more than five weeks, after Russia granted him one years asylum, sparking fury in Washington. Mr Snowden slipped out of Moscows Sheremetyevo Airport in a cloak-and-dagger operation overseen by his Russian lawyer but unnoticed by the media hordes trying to follow his every move. The White House said it was extremely disappointed that Moscow had given the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor asylum and would now review the need for a US-Russia summit in September. Mr Snowden, 30, is wanted on felony charges by the United States after leaking sensational details of vast US surveillance programs, but Russia has refused to extradite him. The fugitive was whisked away in a taxi to an undisclosed location, leaving his lawyer to reveal that he had received temporary asylum in Russia. Snowden has left Sheremetyevo Airport. He has just been given a certificate that he has been awarded temporary asylum in Russia for one year, lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said. A spokeswoman for the airport confirmed he had left Sheremetyevo after 2pm. A US President Barack Obama for having no respect for international or domestic law. But in the end the law is winning, Mr Snowden said. Mr Kucherena, who had held several meetings with Mr Snowden and helped him make his asylum application on July 16, added his new place of resi-

Edward Snowden is a fugitive who belongs in a United States courtroom, not a free man deserving of asylum in Russia.
Robert Menendez Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee

A man drinks from a champagne bottle as people celebrate after the Italian Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Silvio Berlusconi in Rome on August 1. Photo: AFP

grainy still image broadcast by Rossiya 24 television showed a young man with a rucksack apparently Mr Snowden about to get into a car outside the airport. In a statement released by the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website, Mr Snowden thanked Russia for giving him asylum and slammed the administration of

dence would be kept secret for security reasons. His location is not being made public for security reasons since he is the most pursued man on the planet. He himself will decide where he will go, Mr Kucherena said, adding Mr Snowden was now in a safe place. Interviewed by Rossiya


Bradley Manning convicted of espionage


Mexican citizens take up arms to fight cartels


King of Thailand leaves hospital

WORLD 42-43


Kerry suggests drone strikes could end

NICOLAS REVISE SECRETARY of State John Kerry said on August 1 that US drone strikes in Pakistan could end very soon, in unusually outspoken remarks welcomed in Islamabad but immediately downplayed by American aides. It is the first time such a senior member of the US administration has indicated there could be a definitive end to the program, which the CIA has in the past called an effective counterterrorism weapon. But the strikes are a major thorn in often fractious ties between Islamabad and Washington, and are officially condemned by Pakistan as a violation of sovereignty and international law. Mr Kerry waded into the row at the tail end of a visit to Islamabad, in which he announced that Washington was reviving strategic dialogue with Pakistan for the first time after a series of crises in 2011. Asked in an interview by a Pakistani television station whether the strikes could end, Mr Kerry said he thought the program will end as we have eliminated most of the threat and continue to eliminate it. Pressed on whether a timeline was envisaged, Mr Kerry replied, Well, I do. And I think the [US] president has a very real timeline and we hope its going to be very, very soon. Pakistans top diplomat Sartaj Aziz on August 1 demanded a halt to drone strikes that have already decreased. US officials immediately sought to downplay Mr Kerrys remarks. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the number of drone strikes had declined owing to the drawdown of American troops from Afghanistan and because of progress in curtailing the al-Qaeda threat. Today the secretary referenced the changes that we expect to take place in that program over the course of time, but there is no exact timeline to provide, she said in a statement. Pakistans new government led by Nawaz Sharif is likely to seize upon Mr Kerrys remarks as a coup. A spokesman for the foreign ministry welcomed Kerrys remarks, saying it was Islamabads longstanding position that they should stop. Mr Kerrys television remarks strayed from what he told a press conference with Mr Aziz, when he tackled complaints about drones by pointing the finger at al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, believed to be based in Pakistan. An al-Qaeda leader like AlZawahiri is violating the sovereignty of this country. And when they attack people in mosques and blow up people in villages and marketplaces they are violating the sovereignty of the country, he said. On Afghanistan, he said he was confident that Washington and Kabul would reach a long-term security agreement that would allow American troops to remain in the country beyond 2014. Were making progress. Were working on it. I am personally confident that we will have an agreement, Mr Kerry said. Afghan President Hamid Karzai suspended talks on the deal in June, furious that a Taliban liaison office in Qatar appeared to have been opened as an embassy for a government in waiting. Let me be clear: The US is drawing down, not withdrawing, Mr Kerry said. There are concerns that a complete departure of foreign troops in late 2014 could leave Afghan government troops too weak to contain a Taliban insurgency and possibly see the country slide back into civil war. Mr Kerrys visit announced the resumption of so-called strategic dialogue between Pakistan and the United States, and he invited the newly elected Sharif to hold talks with US President Barack Obama in the autumn. It will be the highest level talks between the two sides since January 2011, after which US troops found and killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May 2011. In November 2011, US air strikes mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border, leading Islamabad to shut down NATO ground supply lines for seven months. Mr Kerry said it was time to put the relationship on a stronger footing. Mr Sharif has made economic growth and resolving the energy crisis the top priority of his new administration, but Mr Kerry also stressed that prosperity depends on doing more to eliminate militant havens. Pakistan cannot realise its full economic potential until it overcomes extremists, Mr Kerry told the news conference. The choice for Pakistanis is clear: Will the forces of violent extremism be allowed to grow more dominant, eventually overpowering the moderate majority? Mr Kerry paid tribute to Mr Sharif s election, which marked the first time that an elected civilian Pakistani government had completed a full term in office and handed over to another at the ballot box. Mr Sharif described Mr Kerry as a wonderful friend. Mr Kerry also met the outgoing President Asif Ali Zardari and army chief General Ashfaq Kayani. AFP


KATO CONSTRUCTION CO., LTD., a Company incorporated in Japan, of 19-1, Aza Shimoichiba, Oaza Kanieshinden, Kanie-cho, Ama-gun, Aichi, Japan, is the Owner of the following Trade Mark:-

Reg. No. 6515/2013 in respect of Intl Class 37: General building construction works; dredging; general civil engineering works; road paving; masonry; glazing [glasswork]; steel structure construction works; plastering; carpentry; tile laying, bricklaying or block laying; joinery; building reinforcing; painting; scaffolding, earthworks or concrete construction; upholstering; sheet metal work; building damp-proofing; roofing services; plumbing; machinery installation; drilling of wells; electrical works; telecommunication wiring; thermal insulating for buildings; repair or maintenance of construction machines and apparatus; rental of construction machines and apparatus. 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 KATO CONSTRUCTION CO., LTD. P. O. Box 60, Yangon E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm Dated: 5 August 2013


district in the city of Homs on July 31. The capture of Khalidiyah, a key rebel district in symbol of the revolt against President Bashar


Gemalto N.V., of Barbara Strozzilaan 382, 1083 HN Amsterdam, The Netherlands, is the Owner of the following Trade Mark:-

sia grants for one year

24 television, Mr Kucherena held up a scanned copy of Mr Snowdens asylum certificate. It was issued on July 31, valid until July 31, 2014, and complete with his fingerprint. Mr Kucherena said Mr Snowden would eventually emerge into public view and give media interviews but that the fugitive first required an adaptation course after so long in the transit zone. American friends would assist with the fugitives security in Russia, he added. Meanwhile, the founder of Russias most popular social network VKontakte, Pavel Durov, offered Mr Snowden a job as a programmer. Mr Snowden has been staying in the transit zone of the Sheremetyevo Airport north of Moscow since he flew in from Hong Kong on June 23. Until now, he had never formally crossed the Russian border. Russias decision to award Mr Snowden asylum status came two days after US soldier Bradley Manning was convicted of espionage for passing US secrets to WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks, which has supported Mr Snowden, said on Twitter he was still under the care of WikiLeaks British staffer Sarah Harrison who flew in with him from Hong Kong and is believed to have been with him ever since. The White House warned the decision could prompt Mr Obama to cancel a planned visit to Moscow in September for talks with President Vladimir Putin ahead of the St Petersburg G20 summit. Were extremely disappointed, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. Were evaluating the utility of a summit in light of this. This move by the Russian government undermines a long-standing record of law enforcement cooperation. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said that a meeting of foreign and defence ministers could also be scrapped. But she also stressed areas of recent cooperation, adding that Washington and Moscow have both been very clear that this is an example of something that we want to treat separately, that we dont want it to adversely affect the whole relationship. AFP

Reg. No. 3513/2006

in respect of Scientific, nautical, sur veying, photographic, cinematographic, optical, weighing, measuring, signalling, checking (supervision), lifesaving and teaching apparatus and instruments; apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, transforming, accumulating, regulating or controlling electricity; apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound or images; magnetic data carriers, recording discs; automatic vending machines and mechanisms for coin-operated apparatus; cash registers, calculating machines, data processing equipment and computers; fire-extinguishing apparatus; telecommunications services; scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; design and development of computer hardware and software; legal services. 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 Gemalto N.V. P. O. Box 60, Yangon E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm Dated: 5 August 2013

36 World International


Climate catastrophe looms in Pacific: Marshall Islands

THE Marshall Islands has warned of a Pacific climate catastrophe that will wipe it off the map without decisive action on global warming, saying the next 12 months are critical. Tony de Brum, minister in assistance to the Marshall Islands president, was in Australia last week making the case for a major climate declaration at the 16-member Pacific Islands Forum that it will host in September, which he has insisted US Secretary of State John Kerry must attend. Mr de Brum hopes the Majuro Declaration can be presented to the United Nations General Assembly to help renew global efforts on emissions reduction as the Pacific region confronts rising seas and growing numbers of climate refugees. Our hosting of the forum comes at the cusp of the most important geopolitical period for the region since World War II, Mr de Brum told reporters at a briefing in Sydney on August 1. He added that the next 12 months are critical to addressing climate change. Business as usual will lead to a climate catastrophe and time is running out, he said. We feel very strongly that if [Mr Kerry] does not attend it would be a slap in the face and like the United States would be reversing its socalled pivot to the Pacific. Mr de Brum said the tiny Pacific atoll of 55,000 people, which stands at an average of just 2 metres (6.6 feet) above sea level, was already feeling the impacts of global warming, with an unprecedented sevenmonth drought in the north and a devastating king tide earlier this year triggering disaster declarations. During my lifetime I have seen an island in the lagoon of Majuro atoll, the capital centre of the Marshall Islands, disappear from the surface of the Earth, he said. We do not have scientists measuring this, that and the other. We have experienced first-hand the effects of climate change It is not something that is down the road or at the turn of the century. Mr de Brum said the Marshall Islands government was already ferrying food and drinking water to 13 outer island communities due to drought-linked shortages that were threatening the export of copra, the dried-out flesh of coconuts from which oil is extracted, which underpinned its economy. There had also been a marked increase in what he described as climate refugees from neighbouring Kiribati and Tuvalu. He said the government expected similar movements out of the Marshalls itself in coming years, with a 2-metre sea-level rise predicted by the World Bank before the end of the century. This would fundamentally alter the world as we see it and be the end of my country, the end of Kiribati, the end of Tuvalu and many other countries like it. AFP

Nepals Royal Bengal tigers soar to 198: study

NEPALS number of Royal Bengal tigers in the wild has soared 64 percent to 198 in just four years, according to a government survey released on July 29. Experts attributed the rise to a crackdown on poaching as the government vowed to double the number of tigers in the wild within 10 years. The survey has found the number of adult tigers in the wild is now 198, conservation minister Tek Bahadur Thapa Gharti said in Kathmandu. We have pledged to double this number by 2022. The reports release at a meeting in the Nepali capital coincided with World Tiger Day. Conservationists said the sharp increase from 121 tigers counted in a similar survey in 2009 was due to tougher action against poachers and better management of tiger habitats. Law enforcement played a vital role, said Maheswar Dhakal, a wildlife department ecologist. Hundreds of conservationists and wildlife experts at the meeting watched images of tigers caught on camera during the survey of protected areas. According to the survey, the Chitwan National Park in southcentral Nepal alone has 120 Royal Bengal tigers. Fifty others roam Bardiya National Park while the rest live in three other protected areas.

A Royal Bengal tiger walks in Bardiya National Park in southern Nepal on March 1. Photo: AFP

The conservation areas, where the animals roam, have also increased, contributing to the rise in numbers, Mr Dhakal said. Around 500 cameras were placed in protected wildlife areas to carry out the tiger census, he said. More than 250 conservationists and wildlife experts worked on the survey, which cost 35 million rupees (US$367,955). Mr Dhakal said a parallel survey was conducted in India and the results from both countries will be

published in December. It will take a few more months for India, which now has 1300 Royal Bengal tigers in several huge protected areas, to finalise the results, he said. The World Wildlife Fund has warned that tigers worldwide are in serious danger of becoming extinct in the wild. The number of tigers in the wild has fallen from 100,000 in 1900 to around 3200 now, the group said. AFP


US could reduce army further

THE US Army could be reduced by a further 15 percent, with cuts to the numbers of full-time active soldiers as well as reserves, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on July 31. He said a review found that priority missions could be handled with between 420,000 and 450,000 active troops compared to the 490,000 currently envisaged after cuts. Presenting the results of a study to reporters at the Pentagon, Mr Hagel said the additional cuts would help him make US$150 billion in savings at a time when budgets are tight. But he warned that even with an additional 15pc reduction in troop numbers, the Pentagon would not be able to meet the savage spending cuts imposed on it by the so-called sequester. This package of across-the-board funding reductions was a result of Congress failing to agree on a budget and has forced the Defense Department to furlough thousands of civilian workers. One option the review examined found that we could still execute the priority missions determined by our defense strategy while reducing army end-strength to between 420,000 and 450,000 in the active component and between 490,000 and 530,000 in the Army reserves, Mr Hagel said. Similarly, the Air Force could reduce tactical aircraft squadrons potentially as many as five and cut the size of the C-130 fleet with minimal risk, he said, referring to the militarys workhorse transport plane. But he said that the review had also laid out two more dramatic options for meeting the budget cuts demanded under the sequester. AFP


International World 37


NOTICE is hereby given that Bausch & Lomb Incorporated, of a company organized under the laws of the State of New York, USA and having its principal office at One Bausch & Lomb Place, Rochester, New York 14604, U.S.A. is the Owner and Sole Proprietor of the following trademark: -

Second generation aims to save A-bomb memories

AS atomic bomb survivors continue to age, their children are making efforts, in some cases for the first time, to preserve memories of their experiences and pass them on to future generations. In April, an organisation of children of atomic bomb survivors was established in Tokyo. Michio Yoshida, 55, a freelance writer who heads the secretariat of the organisation, Tokyo Hibaku Nisei no Kai, has interviewed survivors and is sharing the results of his work at an exhibition to mark the anniversaries of the August 1945 bombings. The exhibition, held at the observatory of the Tokyo metropolitan government office building, opened on July 31. Yoshidas father, Kazuto, 81, survived the atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, when he was 13. He was on a road about 3 kilometres (1.8 miles) from ground zero, and he was blown off it by the blast, injuring his lower back. But he was left with no scars and did not experience any aftereffects of radiation. For a long time, the father and son refrained from talking about Kazutos experience. I thought it would be difficult for my son to understand my experience as he is among the generations who know nothing about the war, Kazuto said. I didnt feel it was necessary to ask my father about the atomic bombing, as he remained healthy, Michio said. But Michio Yoshida changed his mind in 2004 when he watched a movie depicting a woman who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, which had been casually recommended by his father. In the movie, she intentionally kept herself from having a happy life, as she suffered from guilt over surviving while so many people around her died. The movie, Chichi to Kuraseba, was based on a play of the same title, written by Hishashi Inoue. The play is also known as The Face of Jizo in English. Michio said he shed tears while watching how the woman continued to suffer even after the war. Kazuto himself has suffered survivors guilt. On the day of the atomic bombing, he was in a long line at Nagasaki Station to buy a ticket for a trip the next day. Then air-raid sirens suddenly screamed. Kazuto deliberately waited to enter an air-raid shelter later than others so he could get out quickly after the sirens stopped. When the alarm was lifted, he jumped

(Reg. Nos. IV/ 6097/1997 & IV/5815/2013) The said trademark is used in respect of: - Contact lens solutions 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 Bausch & Lomb Incorporated P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416 Dated: 5th August, 2013



Destruction in Nagasaki, Japan, on September 24, 1945. Photo: US Department of Defense

than I was meant to, Kazuto said. In 2005, 60 years after the atomic bombing, Michio finally asked his father to talk about his experience. They went for a walk in Nagasaki together, and Kazuto took

Maybe someone else died because I bought a ticket earlier than I was meant to.
Kazuto Nagasaki survivor

out of the shelter, bought his ticket and left the station. Soon after that, the atomic bomb was dropped and Nagasaki Station was destroyed. Maybe someone else died because I bought a ticket earlier

Michio Yoshida (right) and his father, Kazuto, in Tokyo. Photo: The Yomiuri Shimbun

his son to an alley, which was roughly where he was during the atomic bombing. Then, in a restaurant in front of Nagasaki Station, the father told what he experienced on the day to his son, as if all in one breath. Kazuto said, I had no intention to talk about it, but I did because the station was the place that determined my fate. Michio wrote down his fathers tale in a booklet titled Kan-chan no Natsuyasumi (Little Kans summer vacation). He gave copies to about 5000 people. Tokyo Hibaku Nisei no Kai has about 50 members who are children or grandchildren of atomic bomb survivors. At the exhibition about the atomic bombings, held by the Tokyo Federation of ABomb Sufferers Organisations (Toyukai), Michio displays interviews with atomic bomb

survivors along with pictures by a photographer who is also a child of a survivor. The interviews and photos are displayed on nine panels at the exhibition. In a survey conducted in 2011 by the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors Council, onethird of children of survivors said their parents had not told them about their experiences. Michio speculated about the reason for the reticence. Probably the survivors worry that if they talk about their experiences, their children may feel a sense of obligation that they have to do something, and the feeling may become a heavy burden. He added, However, because they are sons or daughters of the survivors, they have the power to appeal directly to peoples hearts. I want to join the efforts to hand down the memories of their experiences for 100 or 200 years into the future. People with at least one parent who survived an atomic bombing are called hibaku nisei (second-generation atomic bomb survivors). They are estimated to number 300,000 to 500,000, but few details are known about them. Many complain of poor health, and thus the Radiation Effects Research Foundation is conducting research on them to determine whether they suffer from genetic damage. There are at least 19 organisations of children of atomic bomb survivors across the nation, including in Nagasaki and Kyoto. The Yomiuri Shimbun

NOTICE is hereby given that Vans, Inc. a company organized under the laws of the United States of America and having its principal office at 6550 Katella Avenue, Cypress, California 90630, United States of America is the owner and sole proprietor of the following trademarks:-

(Reg: No. IV/ 4839/2013)


(Reg: No. IV/ 4840/2013) (Reg: No. IV/4842/2013)


(Reg: No. IV/4843/2013)


US calls Assad Instagrams repulsive

THE United States on July 31 denounced as repulsive an Instagram site by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying it did not reflect the reality of the civil war. The embattled Syrian leaders office took to the social media site to post pictures that include Mr Assad greeting supporters and his wife Asma comforting the injured. This is nothing more than a despicable PR stunt, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters. Its repulsive that the Assad regime would use this to gloss over the brutality and suffering its causing. Ms Harf said the Instagram account ignored the horrific atrocities in Homs and elsewhere in Syria. We would encourage people to take a look at unfiltered photos of whats actually happening on the ground, she said. Most comments on the Instagram account praise the secular-minded Assad for fighting terrorism and Islamists, and criticise foreign media coverage of the conflict. However, occasional comments on the account (instagram.com/syrianpresidency) blame Mr Assad for civilian deaths. Users need to follow the account to leave comments, providing a way to remove critical remarks. The United Nations says that more than 100,000 people have died in a war that erupted when security forces cracked down on dissent in March 2011. The United States has called for Assad to step down and is assisting the mostly Sunni rebels. But unlike Sunni Arab monarchies such as Qatar, the United States says it is only providing non-lethal aid. AFP

(Reg: No. IV/6342/2013) The above five trademarks are in respect of :Protective covers and cases for cellphones, laptops and portable media players, audio/stereo accessories, namely, headphones and mousepads; sunglasses. Class: 9 Watches, key chains. - Class: 14 All-purpose carrying bags; beach bags; book bags; carry-all bags; messenger bags; overnight bags; travel bags; school bags; shoulder bags; sling bags; tote bags; handbags; multi-purpose purses; purses; backpacks; wallets, handbags, surfboard bags.- Class: 18 Footwear and clothing, namely T-shirts, shirts, sweatshirts, pants, shorts, denim pants, denim shorts, denim skirts, sweater, jackets, hats, caps, beanies, belts, boxers, socks, scarves, underwear, swimwear, board shorts, dresses, shoes and sports shoes. - Class: 25 Online and in-store retail services featuring clothing, accessories and footwear.- Class: 35 Entertainment services, namely, arranging and conducting international competitions in the field of ocean sports; organizing skateboarding/extreme sports/ punk rock festivals, concerts and tours. - Class: 41 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 Vans, Inc. P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416

Dated: 5th August, 2013


NOTICE is hereby given that Apollo Tyres Ltd., of Apollo House, 7 Institutional Area, Sector 32, Gurgaon 122 001, India do solemnly and sincerely declare that we are the owners and sole proprietors of the following trademark in Myanmar: The said mark is used in respect of Tyres, tubes and flaps for automobiles The said trade mark is the subject of Declaration of Ownership recorded with the Registrar of Deeds and Assurances, Yangon, Myanmar, in Book under No. IV/2153/2013 Dated 1st March, 2013. Any infringement or colourable imitation thereof or other infringement of the rights of the said corporation will be dealt with according to law. U Kyi Win Associates For Apollo Tyres Ltd., Remfry & Sgar Attorneys-at-law India Dated: 5th August, 2013

38 World International




NOTICE is hereby given that Bausch & Lomb Incorporated, of a company organized under the laws of the State of New York, USA and having its principal office at One Bausch & Lomb Place, Rochester, New York 14604, U.S.A. is the Owner and Sole Proprietor of the following trademark: -

(Reg. Nos. IV/ 6098/1997 & IV/5816/2013) The said trademark is used in respect of: - Contact lenses 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 Bausch & Lomb Incorporated P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416 Dated: 5th August, 2013


Activists hold signs showing support for Bradley Manning outside the main gate of Fort Meade, Maryland, on July 30. Photo: AFP

Manning: convicted spy hailed as a whistleblower

ARTHUR MACMILLAN BRADLEY Manning, the soldier convicted of espionage for the biggest leak in US history, has always insisted his sole aim was to reveal the true face of Americas wars. The baby-faced intelligence analyst said during his trial that the violence he saw in Iraq drove him to hand over a trove of military reports and diplomatic cables to the antisecrecy site WikiLeaks. But a military judge ruled on July 30 that, while Mr Manning did not knowingly aid al-Qaeda, he did commit espionage, and the 25-year-old could now spend the rest of his years behind bars. Supporters of Mr Manning present him as a heroic whistleblower. Critics say he betrayed his uniform and his country, putting US national security and the lives of fellow soldiers at risk. The towering narratives have often seemed to overwhelm Mr Manning himself, a skinny, bespectacled US Army private with an aptitude for computers who has quietly watched the proceedings. Mr Manning is said to have struggled with his homosexuality while in Iraq and to have displayed suicidal tendencies during his more than 1100 days spent in military custody, much of it in solitary confinement. Born in Crescent, Oklahoma, to an American father and a Welsh mother who later divorced, Mr Manning had a talent for computers from an early age and reportedly created his first website when he was only 10 years old. During his trial, even prosecution witnesses recounted how skilful he was in front of a screen. At the age of 17, when he was living as an openly gay man, Mr Manning got a job with a software company in Oklahoma City, only to be fired four months later. He then migrated to computer hacking and even attended events with fellow hackers, a paradoxical prelude to the high-level security clearance he obtained when he became a military intelligence analyst. I am the type of person who always wants to figure out how things work. And as an analyst, this always means I want to figure out the truth, Mr Manning said in his pretrial testimony at the Fort Meade military base near Washington. His homosexuality and gender identity issues Mr Manning enlisted despite the Dont Ask, Dont Tell policy on gays in the military at the time led to bullying, as they had when he was in school. Commanders judged him ill-suited to military life, and during training he was recommended for discharge. But his technical skills were perfectly suited to becoming an intelligence analyst and the decision was overturned. Ultimately he was sent to Iraq where appalled with what he saw in the reports he analysed his motivation for illicitly uploading such material and passing it to WikiLeaks appears to have taken hold. Mr Manning ultimately leaked hundreds of thousands of frontline military reports from Iraq and Afghanistan and diplomatic cables to Wiki Leaks, the website founded by Julian Assange, an anti-secrecy activist and harsh critic of the United States. A US Army video recording of two Apache helicopters gunning down a group of Iraqis in Baghdad, an attack that killed at least 12 men and wounded two children, was an incident Mr Manning said burdens me emotionally and was among his first leaks. They dehumanised the individuals they were engaging and seemed to not value human life by referring to them as dead bastards and congratulating themselves on their ability to kill in large numbers, Mr Manning said in court. Such an account matches the view of Mr Manning held by supporters, who say he was a voice of conscience who lifted a veil on what he considered the worst transgressions of US foreign policy. Daniel Ellsberg the military analyst who famously leaked the Pentagon Papers, a top secret study that detailed how the government had misled the public about the Vietnam War has said Mr Manning is a hero deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize. The Bradley Manning Support Network has received more than US$1.1 million in donations to pay his legal costs and has campaigned relentlessly on his behalf. Before the trial verdict the group paid $52,000 for a full page advertisement in the New York Times, funded by 850 donors, arguing that he should be freed. The prosecution presented a far darker view of Mr Manning, saying he set out to harm the country he had pledged to serve. He was not a troubled young soul. He was a determined soldier with the knowledge, ability and desire to harm the United States in its war effort, lead prosecutor Major Ashden Fein told the court. AFP



NOTICE is hereby given that Crocodile Garments Limited, a company incorporated under the laws of Hong Kong and its principal office at Rm 1001, 10/F, Lai Sun Commercial Centre, 680 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong is the Owner and Sole Proprietor of the following trademarks:-

( Reg: No. IV/4225/2013 ) ( Reg: No. IV/4226/2013 )

( Reg: No. IV/4227/2013 ) The above three trademarks are in respect of:Leather and imitations of leather, and goods made from these materials and not included in other classes; animal skins, hides; trunks and travelling bags; umbrellas, parasols and walking sticks; whips, harness and saddlery Class: 18 Clothing, footwear, headgear Class: 25 Any fraudulent imitation or unauthorized use of the said trademarks will be dealt with according to law. U Kyi Win Associates for Crocodile Garments Limited, P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416 Dated: 5th August, 2013

I am the type of person who always wants to figure out how things work. And as an analyst, this always means I want to figure out the truth.
Bradley Manning US soldier convicted of espionage


International World 39


NOTICE is hereby given that Casio Keisanki Kabushiki Kaisha (Casio Computer Co., Ltd) a company organized under the laws of the Japan and having its principal office at 6-2, Hon-machi 1-chome, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan is the Owner and Sole Proprietor of the following trademark:

Pope Francis: Who am I to judge gays who seek God?

JEAN-LOUIS DE LA VAISSIERE POPE Francis reached out to gays on July 29, declaring that it is not his place to judge them while also condemning the Vaticans reported gay lobby as a serious problem. The remarks to journalists as he flew back to Rome from a high-profile trip to Brazil appeared to be more conciliatory toward homosexuals than those of his predecessor, Benedict XVI. If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge? the pope asked. The problem is not having this orientation. It is lobbying. Thats the most serious problem. The pope had admitted in June that there was a gay lobby in the Vaticans secretive administration, the Roman Curia, according to a Latin American Catholic website. It followed earlier Italian media reports claiming that a secret report by cardinals investigating Vatican leaks included allegations of corruption and blackmail attempts against gay clergymen, as well as favouritism based on gay relationships. Pope Francis also fielded questions about Battista Ricca, appointed by the pontiff to a key position at the troubled Vatican bank. He is embroiled in allegations that he had gay relationships with male prostitutes. The pope said he had ordered a brief investigation but we found nothing on him. I have not seen anyone at the Vatican who is registered as gay on his identity card, he said, adding, however, We acknowledge that there are [gays].

Polish nuns frolic in the waves on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 27, ahead of a prayer vigil with Pope Francis to mark World Youth Day. Photo: AFP

(Reg: No. IV/3358/2013) in respect of: - Electronic calculators; scientific electronic calculators; software for computers; computer software for scientific electronic calculators; handheld personal computers; personal digital assistants; personal computers; computer hardware components and computer peripherals thereof; printers for computers; computer software for a personal computer for use in achieving data exchange between a personal computer and a wrist watch or a digital camera and other electronic apparatus and instruments; projectors; data analyzers; motion sensors; electronic personal organizers; digital cameras; printers for digital cameras; liquid crystal display television sets; navigation apparatus and instruments, car navigation apparatus and instruments; cellular telephones; electronic label printers; radio pagers; radios; compact disk players; apparatus for recording, transmitting or reproducing sound or images; recorded music discs, recorded video discs; films of movies; batteries; battery chargers; AC adapters; cables; USB cables; memory cards; memory units; CD-ROMs; cases for electronic calculators; parts and fittings thereof. 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 Casio Keisanki Kabushiki Kaisha (Casio Computer Co., Ltd) P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416 Dated: 5th August, 2013

The catechism of the Catholic Church says clearly that we must not marginalise these people, who should be integrated in the society, he said, and gays and lesbians should be treated with respect, compassion and sensitivity, without discrimination. Gay rights and liberal Catholic groups in the United States gave the popes remarks a qualified welcome. Prominent gay rights group the Human Rights Campaign said that while his words do not reflect a shift in Church policy, they represent a significant change in tone. Progressive US group Catholics United

said his comments speak to what every young person knows: God loves gay people, and so should the Catholic Church. The groups leader James Salt said in a statement, This statement on gay people, while largely symbolic, is a big step in the right way. Gay rights groups had voiced hopes on Pope Franciss appointment that the Argentine would be friendlier to homosexuals than his predecessor. Pope Benedict had angered the gay community with his suggestion in 2008 that homosexuality was as much of a threat to the survival of the human race as climate change. AFP


NOTICE is hereby given that Apple Inc. a company organized and existing under the laws of the States of California, United States of America and having its principal offices at 1 Infinite, Cupertino, California 95014, United States of America, is the owner and Sole Proprietor of the following trade marks:


In Syria, al-Qaeda uses ice cream, family fun days to soften image
LOVEDAY MORRIS THE jovial tug of war and childrens ice cream-eating contest would not look out of place at any town fair. But the family festivities in the battle-scarred Syrian city of Aleppo had a surprising organiser: al-Qaeda. The media arm of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an al-Qaeda affiliate, has been churning out videos featuring community gatherings in Syria during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan as the group battles to win hearts and minds. It is a far cry from the organisations usual fare of video offerings, which includes public executions. The attempt to soften Islamic States image comes as it struggles to win support in the areas of Syria that are outside government control. Many residents view the group as a foreign force more concerned with imposing Islamic law than with fighting against President Bashar Assad and his allies. They are well aware that people out there on principle dont like lots of foreign fighters coming in to fight jihad in their country. They are aware they need to reassure people their presence isnt negative, said Charles Lister, an analyst at IHS Janes Terrorism and Insurgency Centre. Ramadan parties and ice cream-eating competitions are one localised example of that. Whether they will be successful remains to be seen, will depend on other armed groups and how they portray them. Islamic State has rapidly risen to prominence in Syria since emerging in April. Analysts say the group, which includes established jihadist factions that now fight under a common banner, comprises 2500 to 3000 men nationwide. It is most influential in Aleppo and its countryside to the north, in Idlib and in Latakia. Anger built as the attempt to choke government-held areas of supplies prevented residents and food from passing through, causing severe shortages and increasing prices at the beginning of Ramadan. Aleppo was already facing a massive humanitarian crisis, and the blockade only worsened conditions. Some rebels complain that headline-grabbing events such as the recent assassination of a moderate rebel commander, which was blamed on Islamic State, have withered support for the opposition. Hard-line Islamist fighters have also harassed residents for not adhering to strict Islamic codes. They give all of us a bad name, said Mohammed Faizou, a rebel from the Islamist Ansar al-Din Battalion in coastal Latakia province, where Islamic State has a significant presence. In the face of growing discontent, Islamic States efforts to improve its reputation have included Ramadan food distribution, residents of Aleppo say. Copies of leaflets circulated by Islamic State in Azaz, near the Turkish border, describe Ramadan Koran-reading competitions, with daily cash prizes amounting to 10,000 Syrian pounds (US$95). In many of the groups videos, a curly-haired Islamic State member, who introduces himself as Abu Waqas from Tunisia, entertains the crowds. In one, he dons a glitter-covered eye mask as he describes the days competitions and games. In another, filmed at an Aleppo event last month, he oversees two children racing to eat ice cream with their hands tied behind their backs. He also works the crowd at an Aleppo tug of war event. Three bearded, middle-aged men for team Islamic State of Iraq and Sham take on another for Jabhat al-Nusra, a closely linked rebel group that is designated a terrorist organisation by the United States. Children later pile in and both sides end up declaring victory. But the videos are also used to spread Islamic States core message. In one, Abu Waqas explains Islamic States reason for coming to Syria was to establish the laws of Allah. Who among you refuses the laws of Allah? he asks the crowd. No, of course not, we are all Muslims. Children shout, God is great! as the speech turns to deeply sectarian rhetoric lambasting dirty Shiites. We stopped them in Iraq, and now weve come for the Nusayreen, Abu Waqas says, using a derogatory term for Alawites, the offshoot of Shiite Islam to which Assad belongs. The Washington Post

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They give all of us a bad name.

Mohammed Faizou Syrian rebel

The group, however, is facing increasing isolation as others try to distance themselves from Islamic States hard-line tactics. In Aleppo, which has seen a year of horrific fighting, Islamic State has been working to expand its influence. But it was the target of protests last month after imposing a blockade on a key checkpoint that divides rebel-held and government territory.

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World 41

Cartel menace remains in Mexico

Even with federal police patrolling their streets, residents of Aguililla have taken matters into their own hands by forming a vigilante group armed with assault weapons and handguns to protect their town from the Knights Templar drug cartel
VIGILANTES armed with AK-47 rifles watch over Aguililla from a hilltop while police reinforcements patrol the western Mexican town, bracing for any counterattack by the Knights Templar cartel. The federal government deployed troops and police to towns like Aguililla in the embattled state of Michoacan two months ago to bring an end to the cartels reign of violence, but the powerful gang has launched bold attacks on the authorities. The Knights Templar cartel, which is believed to have retrenched into the rough mountain terrain, is accused of killing a senior Mexican navy officer and his assistant in an ambush on July 28. Three suspects were detained in the case. The white sport-utility vehicle of Vice Admiral Carlos Miguel Salazar Ramonet was riddled with bullets after it was attacked on a rural road near the town of Churintzio. His wife and driver were wounded in the shooting. Last month, federal police clashed with armed commandos in seven separate gunfights, leaving four officers and 20 suspects dead. In Aguililla, a town of 17,000 people, residents are taking no chances despite the presence of new federal police officers. They walk around with assault rifles or handguns, patrolling the streets and the wooded mountains. This is a war, said Jorge Vazquez Valencia, head of the Aguililla vigilante group. People are armed, ready and in their homes. The moment we get a battle, the order is for them to shoot from their windows and rooftops but that they dont go out in the open. We arent soldiers, we arent guerrillas. We are ordinary people. Community self-policing groups they were fed up of the cartels murders, threats and kidnappings. The gang demanded a protection tax from businesses, from sawmills to lime growers, and torched any companies that refused to pay up. Aguililla waited until June 26, after the police showed up, to form a vigilante group. The town has been under the thumb of various cartels for years. There were 10 of us at first. As time went on, more and more people joined us, said Uriel Contreras, a leader of the self-defense group who was barking orders to fellow vigilantes manning a checkpoint. The residents of Aguililla are unable to venture out of town and they have lacked fuel for the past three weeks. The federal police has been ambushed on the road leading to the town. Residents say the mayor, Jesus Cruz Valencia, is a cousin of a Knights Templar capo and has not been seen since the self-defense group was formed, town residents said. We were prisoners of the cartels. They were meting out justice, Mr Vazquez said. If there was any controversy, any debt problem between individuals, a deal, people wouldnt go to the authorities. They would go to the head of the plaza [cartel turf ], the head of the cartel to fix the situation. The Knights Templar have accused the vigilante groups of being fronts for their rivals, the Jalisco New Generation cartel, which is fighting for control of Michoacan, a key state for traffickers because South American narcotics land on its Pacific coast. Resident of Michoacan say the security situation deteriorated in 2011 when the Knights Templar exhausted their resources on turf wars. Looking for easy money, the gang began to extort money from businesses and farmers. They became abusive with people. They stole cows, charged a protection tax. Sometimes they would kill innocent people, said Jose Antonio Jimenez Chavez, a member of the self-defence group. Aguililla has been a key town for drug traffickers for more than a decade. Residents say the town prospered after the Valencia brothers began to produce marijuana and formed the Milenio cartel in 1999. The gang later joined forces with La Familia Michoacana cartel, whose founder, Nazario Moreno, alias El Chayo, is said by police to have been killed in 2010. The Knights Templar cartel was founded afterward by members of La Familia. But Morenos body was never found and Aguililla residents as well as a federal police officer in the area who requested anonymity believe he is now leading the Knights Templar. AFP

Juan Manuel, a former member of the Knights Templar drug cartel and now a member of an Aguililla vigilante group, is inteviewed on July 25. Photo: AFP

began to emerge in April in several towns of Tierra Caliente, a region whose name means Hot Land that is known as a major producer of limes, avocadoes and an illegal crop: marijuana.

The Knights Templar have drawn inspiration from religion, using a red cross as their symbol, which they have displayed in public, painting it on walls and the sides of their vehicles. Residents took up arms because

This is a war. People are armed, ready and in their homes. The moment we get a battle, the order is for them to shoot from their windows and rooftops.
Jorge Vazquez Valencia Head of the Aguililla vigilante group

Uruguay lawmakers back government-grown marijuana

URUGUAY moved closer to becoming the worlds first nation to produce and distribute marijuana, after its lower house approved a bill putting control of the drug in government hands. The controversial measure approved on July 31 was unveiled in June of last year as part of a series of efforts to combat rising violence. If the measure wins Senate approval, it would mark the first time a national government has taken charge of production and distribution of legal marijuana. Lawmakers argued for 14 hours before approving the text with 50 votes in favour out of 96. The regulation is not meant to promote consumption, lawmaker Sebastian Sabini, who helped draft the legislation, said at the beginning of the session. Consumption already exists. NGO workers favouring regulation of legal marijuana had filed into the chambers visitors galleries as lawmakers emphasised that the drug business finances organised crime. Marijuana use has doubled in the past 10 years in the small, mostly rural South American country of 3.4 million. The government of leftist President Jose Mujica, who is a doctor by training, has given its blessing to the measure. The lengthy debate was expected in the lower house, where the presidents left-leaning Frente Amplio (FA) party has a narrow majority. All the opposition parties are against the proposed law. the drug as part of a marijuana-growing club; or purchase up to 40 grams a month at a dispensary. Marijuana users in Uruguay, not surprisingly, said they were delighted by the vote. As a user, it is an important law because we are going to have control over [the marijuana] we consume said William, 21. By contrast, he said, the cannabis sold by drug traffickers contains a lot of substances that we dont want to consume. Gerardo Amarilla of the opposition National Party, listing marijuanas effects on health, said the project was playing with fire. According to a survey released this week, 63 percent of people in Uruguay are against the governments plan. Under the current law, possession of marijuana for personal use is permitted in Uruguay. Judges, however, can determine what quantity is considered appropriate for personal use. Many Uruguayans are concerned the law will give the impression to foreign tourists that the country is a great place to unwind with marijuana or stronger drugs. AFP

Percentage of Uruguayan population against the governments plan to produce and sell marijuana The measure specifies that the government would assume control and regulation of the importation, planting, cultivation, harvesting, production, acquisition, storage, marketing and distribution of marijuana and its derivatives. After registering, users would be able to cultivate up to six plants; gain access to

42 World Asia-Pacific


Vietnam to clamp down on social media news

COMMUNIST Vietnam is to ban bloggers and social media users from sharing news stories online, under a new decree seen as a further crackdown on online freedom. Blogs or social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter which have become hugely popular over the past few years in the heavily censored country should only be used to provide and exchange personal information, according to the decree. The document, signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and made public on July 31, stipulates that internet users should not use social networks to share or exchange information on current events. Social media users will not be allowed to quote general information from newspapers, press agencies or other state-owned websites, said Hoang Vinh Bao, head of the Department of Radio, TV and Electronic Information, according to a report on the state-run VNExpress news site. It is not clear how the law will be implemented or what penalties will be faced, but internet commentators said it could in theory make it illegal to share links to stories or even discuss articles published online in Vietnams state-run press. The decree, which comes into force in September, also bans internet service providers from providing information that is against Vietnam, undermining national security, social order and national unity or information distorting, slandering and defaming the prestige of organisations, honour and dignity of individuals. At the same time, the decree effectively aims to make web giants like Facebook and Google who have publicly criticised previous drafts complicit in curbing online freedoms, said Shawn Crispin of media watchdog the Committee to Protect Journalists. Experts believe foreign internet companies would refuse to comply with the regulations and the government will struggle to enforce them. It seems highly unlikely that these companies would oblige government demands to reveal the IP addresses of users of their services for merely speaking their minds, Crispin added, referring to the identifying numbers on every computer. Vietnams deputy minister of information and communications, Le Nam Thang, said the new rules aim to help internet users find correct and clean information on the internet, the VietnamNet online newspaper reported. The country, branded an enemy of the internet by Reporters Without Borders in 2013, bans private media, and all newspapers and television channels are state-run. Many citizens prefer to use social media and blogs to get their information rather than the staid official press. Online commentators reacted with fury to the decree. This decree clearly aims to muzzle the people, Nguyen Quang Vinh wrote on his wellread blog. The authorities want to turn us into robots, wrote popular Vietnamese Facebook user Nguyen Van Phuong. So far this year 46 activists have been convicted of anti-state activity and sentenced to often lengthy jail terms under what rights groups say are vaguely defined articles of the penal code. AFP


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Thousands cheer as Thai king leaves hospital

APILAPORN VECHAKIJ THAILANDS revered but frail king left the hospital where he has lived for almost four years on August 1, as thousands of flag-waving well-wishers cheered him on his way to his coastal palace. Crowds shouted, Long live the king! as 85-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej was driven away from Bangkoks Siriraj Hospital, where he was admitted in September 2009 suffering respiratory problems. The king, wearing a salmonpink jacket, waved acknowledgement to supporters lining the route, many of whom were respectfully on their knees and clad in the royal colours of yellow and pink. The worlds longest-serving monarch, treated as a neardeity in politically turbulent Thailand, left for his residence in the seaside town of Hua Hin, about two hours drive south of Bangkok. He was accompanied by 80-year-old Queen Sirikit, who has also been in hospital for the past year. The tears came automatically. I was so happy I could not hold them back, said one onlooker, Sasitorn Intarachit, a pink jacket draped over her shoulder, after the convoy had passed. The 27-year-old said the daylong wait in the tropical heat had been worth it for a sighting of the monarch. Bangkok traffic police estimated between 20,000 and 30,000 people had turned out to show their devotion. Brandishing a picture of the royal couple, the Thai national flag and a yellow flag that read I love the king, Chatprapa Poomman said she was happy to take time off from her job as a grocer to show her devotion. I am the most happy. I have come here eight or nine times, whenever I know that he will appear, said the 53-year-old, adding that she was wearing pink because she had heard that the colour would aid the royal recovery. As dusk fell, the royal convoy arrived in Prachuap Khiri Khan province where the Hua Hin palace is located. It was met by thousands of flagwaving supporters. Weera Sriwathanatrakoon, the governor of the province, said he did not know how long the royal couple would stay at the seaside residence, which is called Klai Kangwon, or far from worries and is a longtime favourite of the royals. Royal physician Udom Kachintorn said the royal couple would be given the same level of care as they had in hospital. Both the king and queen are in good health now and the king thinks that he should go and reside in Hua Hin so the public will not worry, he told Channel 3 television station. The palace has made no comment on the move. The elderly king, who has been on the throne for 67 years, has suffered from a range of ailments since being admitted in 2009. He suffered a minor brain bleed in July 2012, but has since made several official appearances, including meeting Barack Obama during the US presidents visit to the country in November. The queen has largely disappeared from public life since July 2012, when she was admitted to Siriraj Hospital with what doctors termed a slight loss of blood flow to the brain. The monarchy has no official political role but during his birthday celebrations in December the king called for stability. Thailand has been rocked by sporadic rival street protests for years, with ultra-royalist and nationalist Yellow Shirts and rural working-class Red Shirts taking to the streets. Political instability has coincided with increased use of the countrys controversial lese majeste rules, which prohibit criticism of the Thai king, queen, heir or regent. AFP

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People try to cool off summer heatwave sent

Illegal Ban party barred

SHAFIQUL ALAM BANGLADESHS main Islamist party was on August 1 barred from contesting next years elections when judges declared its charter breached the secular constitution, sparking sporadic violence in the volatile nation. Amid tight security outside the court in central Dhaka, a panel of judges ruled in favour of a long-running petition which argued that Jamaat-eIslami should never have been allowed to register as a political party. [Jamaats registration] is hereby declared illegal, said Moazzem Hossain, the senior judge hearing the case, reading out the brief verdict. Secular protesters gathered outside the court flashed V-forvictory signs in celebration. The election commission said the ruling meant Jamaat could not stand in a general election scheduled for January. Jamaats lawyers immediately appealed the verdict, as party activists took to the streets of Dhaka and some dozen towns and cities elsewhere in the country, blocking roads and attacking vehicles, police said. Senior police officer Syed Abu Sayem said the ruling triggered violence just outside the northern city of Bogra as scores of Jamaat supporters burned a



NOTICE is hereby given that FIRST GRADE AGENCY PTE LTD a company organized under the laws of Singapore and having its principal office at 271 Bukit Timah Road # 05-01 Balmoral Plaza Singapore 259708 is the owner and sole proprietor of the following trademark:-

(Reg: No. IV/1047 /2013) In respect of:- Coconut , coconut products, coconut paste, desiccated coconut, grated coconut, coconut cream, coconut cream in powder form, coconut milk, coconut fat, coconut butter, coconut oil, dried coconut, coconut jam, kaya [jam], egg and coconut jam, compotes, desserts [jellies for food]. - Class: 29 Sauces [condiments], cooking sauces, savoury sauces, flavourings in the form of concentrated sauces, mixes for preparing sauces, fruit jellies [confectionery], coconut paste [condiment], custards, flavourings [other than essential oils], essences for foodstuffs [except etheric and essential oils]. - Class: 30 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 FIRST GRADE AGENCY PTE LTD P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon Phone: 372416 Dated: 5th August, 2013


A bus, allegedly set on fire by Jamaat-e-Islami activists, burns in Bagra, Pakistan, on August 1. Photo: AFP


Asia-Pacific World 43

Chinese video game lets players retake disputed islands

A VIDEO game backed by Chinas military that lets players fight enemy forces in islands disputed between Beijing and Tokyo was released on August 1. Glorious Mission Online, Chinas answer to Call of Duty, marks the 86th anniversary of the founding of the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA). The game, an online version of an earlier first-person shooter used by the PLA to train troops, features the East China Sea islands known as Diaoyu by Beijing and Senkaku by Tokyo. Tensions have been mounting over the islands, which are claimed by China but controlled by Japan. Beijings vessels regularly sail into the disputed waters and, according to state media, tell Japanese ships they are encroaching on its territory. A press release for the game says players will fight alongside Chinese armed forces and use weapons to tell the Japanese that Japan must return our stolen territory! Images from the games website are labelled Guard the Diaoyu Islands, and a trailer posted online features shots of Japans Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. It also shows planes taking off from a computer-generated version of Chinas first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which went into service last year. Game designers Giant Interactive Group, who developed it jointly with the PLA, said millions of users had already registered to play before it became available at 5pm on August 1. Giant cooperated closely with the PLA while working on the game to ensure that weapons looked authentic and soldiers voices were accurate, said company vice president Gu Wen. Our relationship with the military is like the relationship between the US army and Hollywood, he said. The release comes at a time of increased fears over the PLAs expansion amongst Chinas neighbours Beijing is also in dispute with several countries in the South China Sea. But Mr Gu linked the game with attempts by the PLA to present itself as more transparent, including inviting foreign media to tour military bases, to boost its image abroad. It will also boost military recruitment, he said. On one hand its a training tool. On the other hand its about army recruitment, Mr Gu said. The army aims at recruiting university graduates, and gaming is the most popular culture among students. Chinas government banned home video game consoles, de-

In Western games the Peoples Liberation Army is always the enemy; this is the first game where it is on the good side.
Gu Wen Vice President of Giant Interactive Group game designers

at a water park in Suining, southwester China, on July 27 as a temperatures soaring up to 41 Celsius (106 Fahrenheit). Photo: AFP

ngladesh Islamist d from polls

bus and damaged several cars. A lawyer for the election commission, which oversees preparations for next years polls, said the ruling meant Jamaat could not field candidates. As a party, Jamaats registration with the election commission is declared illegal, with the consequence that they cannot contest the election as a political party, Shahdeen Malik said. The party can still carry on with other political activities. If it amends its charter, to bring it in conformity with the constitution and reapplies for registration, it can be re-registered, Mr Malik added. Police and members of the elite Rapid Action Battalion were deployed outside the court ahead of the verdict, amid fears the ruling could trigger fresh protests by Jamaat supporters in a country already reeling from violence over war crimes verdicts passed on Jamaats top leadership. Religious as well as several secular organisations filed public interest litigation in January 2009 seeking to scrap Jamaats registration just days after a secular government took power. The petitioners argued that Jamaats charter violates the countrys secular constitution as it calls for the rule of Allah and discriminates against minorities and women. Defence lawyer Tajul Islam said Jamaat lodged an appeal and was seeking a suspension of The August 1 judgment pending a hearing in the Supreme Court. Senior Jamaat official Abdullah Taher said the party was shocked by the decision. He said the court had bowed to pressure from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasinas secular government. We are stunned. The ruling reflects the will of the government, said Taher. The ruling will further destabilise the country, he added, accusing the government of persecuting the party ahead of the elections. More than 100 people have been killed in political violence since a tribunal hearing allegations of war crimes dating back to the 1971 civil war began handing down sentences at the start of the year, including against senior Jamaat figures. Five of Jamaats top leaders have been convicted, including three who got death sentences. Several other party leaders are still on trial for charges including mass murder, rape and religious persecution during the war. Although the exact number of people killed in recent months is in dispute, Human Rights Watch said in a report on August 1 that at least 150 people have died in clashes with security forces. Jamaat says the war crimes trials are a sham aimed at eliminating the party, which is a key opposition force. AFP

Its about soft power, he said. Through the game we want to allow ordinary people to gain an understanding of the army, which is often seen as closed-off and mysterious. In Western games the Peoples Liberation Army is always the enemy; this is the first game where it is on the good side. Chinas neighbours have sought closer ties with the US in the face of growing concerns about Beijings mounting military budget, which now ranks second in the world, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. But experts say that its military technology lags far behind that those of the US and Europe which embargo arms exports to China. In a lot of respects the Chinese army is behind other countries, trying to catch up, Mr Gu said. The US army is shown every day with guns in Iraq, and no one thinks thats strange, but the Chinese army is shown playing computer games and people think thats weird.

scribed by state media as electronic heroin, in 2000 after fears that they were a negative influence on Chinas youth. But the past decade has seen an explosion in computer games played online, with Chinas internet game market raking in 31.3 billion yuan (US$5.1 billion) in the first half of this year alone, according to industry estimates. Maggie Du, the director of Giants Centre for Overseas Business Development, insisted Glorious Mission Online would not add to the tensions between China and its neighbours. We need to be related to actual events, but its not about politics. Its a commercial consideration to attract customers. The company hopes to attract foreign gamers to fight alongside the PLA, she said, adding that possible future versions of the game designed for export might be altered to avoid identifying participating nations. We might replace the US and Russian armies with robots or zombies or something like that, she said. AFP


US airstrike accidentally kills five Afghan police: NATO

A US airstrike killed five Afghan policemen during a joint operation against insurgents, officials said on August 1, in an incident likely to further strain ties between the allies. Afghan and US troops called for aerial support while fighting in the eastern province of Nangarhar, the US-led NATO coalition said, with local officials reporting special forces were reacting to a Taliban attack on a police post. We can confirm five Afghan police were accidently killed [on July 31], said Lieutenant Colonel Will Griffin, a spokesman for NATOs International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). It was a combined [Afghan National Security Force] and ISAF operation and it was a combined call for supporting aerial fire which resulted in the deaths of five Afghan policemen, he said. Our condolences go out to the families of the policemen who lost their lives. Accidental casualties from US airstrikes have often provoked a furious reaction from Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and the deaths of the five policemen come at a sensitive time for Afghan-US relations. With the US-led coalition due to withdraw its 100,000 combat troops by the end of 2014, the Afghan police and army are increasingly taking responsibility for tackling the insurgency that erupted after the Taliban were ousted in 2001. Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial administration, said Taliban fighters had attacked a police checkpoint in Bati Kot district late on July 31. Special forces went to assist the police. They called in air support. An airstrike was conducted but hit the police post mistakenly, and as a result the officers are dead and two others are wounded. Mr Abdulzai said the rebels also suffered casualties but he gave no further details. Bati Kot district is on the main road from the capital Kabul to neighbouring Pakistan a key transport route as NATO forces withdraw military equipment from Afghanistan. Talks on whether a number American troops would remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014 to target remaining al-Qaeda militants and further train Afghan forces collapsed in June when Mr Karzai was angered by the opening of a Taliban office in Qatar. The Taliban issue was just one in a series of spats between the nations, which also included which country should have control over prisons holding suspected insurgents. AFP

Jamaats registration with the election commission is declared illegal, with the consequence that they cannot contest the election as a political party.
Shahdeen Malik Election Commission Lawyer

44 the pulse
THE PULSE EDITOR: MANNY MAUNG manny.maung@gmail.com






ANYELANN (Path of Flowers) are a group of charity buskers who have been entertaining customers with their music at tea shops across the country, since May 2012 while raising funds for the people in Kachin State. The groups repertoire of peace songs many of which, including Nadi Mingalar (Greetings Nadi) and Pan Kayan Pya (Violet Flower) were banned from 1962 to 1988 is striking a chord with audiences in unexpected venues. And their desire to help war victims and bring an end to conflict in war-torn areas has earned them respect, and often large donations, from their fans. Ko Ye Lwin, 65, is the man behind the music. A composer and singer in another band called Myintzima Hlaing (Middle Wave), he first got the idea for Panyelann after travelling to Thanlyin in May 2012 to donate bottles of water after a devastating drought. I thought to bring my guitar with me. I didnt play there, but it gave me the idea of bringing my guitar to the next donation and playing and singing to the people who were in need of help, Ko Ye Lwin said. First, Panyelann started with two musicians, Ko Toe Lwin and I, but later more musicians came to take part. The group took their name from a song composed by Ko Ye Lwin based on a poem by D Chit Myo, a political activist who wrote it when in prison. The song has not been recorded, but has shot to fame anyway through the bands charity performances across the country. Not to say, however, that the bands path has always been strewn with flowers. The group didnt even have a microphone when they started out, and tea shops are not known for being quiet places. And amplification hasnt been the only challenge theyve faced in the quest to have their voices and their message heard. When we first started going into the tea shops to play our instruments and sing, we were told to sing at beer stations and sometimes were also told to apply for a permit to sing, Ko Ye Lwin said. Weeks after Panyelann was formed, we heard from the tea shop owners in Yangon that the authorities came to them and warned them not to allow the band to perform in their tea shops. Some owners of the tea shops were afraid. Sometimes they told us to stop after singing one song and would just donate a large sum of money. But the band persevered in trying to get the message across to those on the street that fighting in some parts of the country is continuing, and that people have not yet got peace. We dont want to always entertain at beer stations, so we asked tea shop owners with whom we are friends if theyll let us play. We usually perform at their tea shops

every Sunday, Ko Ye Lwin said. We collect money by telling people that we aim to help war victims. At first, the customers at the tea shops are surprised to see musicians go into the streets and play among ordinary people. They ask us why we played and sang in the tea shops on the streets. We tell them we want to lend a hand to the victims in Kachin State where the civil war has affected people and we want people to be able to forgive one another, to cease the civil war. Ko Ye Lwin says that most people are generous when they find out what Panyelann is doing. We even got over K1 million within a month. The band works with a local NGO to distribute the funds to those in need. Ko Ye Lwin recalls the excitement of May 2012, the first time they travelled to Mandalay to hand over the donations they had earned.

Inside the train, I kept the purse touching my skin because I was very happy and I have never dealt with such a large sum of money.
Ko Ye Lwin, after receiving a large donation from audiences while busking with his band in 2012

Inside the train, I kept the purse touching my skin because I was very happy and I have never dealt with such a large sum of money, he said. After Panyelann returned to Yangon, they decided to busk every weekend at wellknown tea shops like Morning Star near Yangon Zoological Garden; Seik Taing Kya tea shop; Royal Rose in Shwegonedine Road; and Lucky Seven tea shop in 8-Mile. Such was the spread of the bands fame that when they travelled to Mandalay to play shows in May of this year, audiences in the region were already waiting for them. Since then, the band has many offers from other areas to entertain and to raise funds. The members of Panyelann performed at the Chauk in Magway Region last September, and the township and young residents asked them to come back again. We went to Yenanchaung again and entertained there, receiving over K2 million.

But in spite of the bands success, some authorities are continuing to clamp down. The authorities came and asked us to stop again, Ko Ye Lwin said. Days after we arrived back in Yangon, a resident who helped us to be able to perform was detained by police for helping the band. Ko Thar Htwe, 50, is another member of Panyelann. We are still facing some hindrances in Yangon. Some owners of the tea shops in Yangon are not willing to allow us to perform, especially tea shops in Hlaing township and Tarmwe township, he said. We dont entertain there because we dont want to hurt the owners. The authorities dont prohibit us, but they ask us to apply for a permit to perform. It takes two weeks. We dont perform for our own profit so we just avoid the places where the owners are unwilling. One venue that has been a consistent supporter of the band is the Royal Rose on Shwegonedine Road. Ko Thar Htwe said audiences wanting to hear Panyelanns music or make a donation to their cause will find them there every Saturday morning, starting about about 7am. We will be singing and playing peace songs as long as the country still struggles for peace.


the pulse 45


The road to peace may not always be smooth, but a group of Yangon performers are hoping to make the way a little easier through their music

Wathann Film Fest 2013: Serving up cinema with some tea

NYEIN EI EI HTWE THE 20 films shortlisted to appear in this years Wathann Film Festival are to receive special showings in tea shops around Yangon as part of a new section of the event aimed at introducing new audiences to short films, the events director has revealed. The festival, which is in its third year, is running from August 4 to August 8, with main screenings taking place at Waziya Cinema, Yangon. It features 14 documentary films, five short films and one animation which were chosen by the events selection panel from 43 submissions. The finalists are competing for titles in three categories: Best Short Film Award; Best Documentary Award; and New Vision Award. Winners will receive a K500,000 prize and a Wathann Film Festival Trophy. Festival director Ma Thu Thu Shein said the festival selection team, which included movie experts and film fans, chose the finalists from submissions received in the first two weeks of July. However, names of those involved in the selection were not being revealed, she added. Theres a secret team that chose the finalists. It included experts and some members of the general public but we dont want to name them, Ma Thu Thu Shein said. She said the selection had been made according to the aims of the festival which include: raising the standard of Myanmar films to an international level; promoting short film and documentary-making throughout the country; and encouraging new talent and improving skills through workshops and seminars involving local and foreign filmmakers. As well as the competition, Ma Thu Thu Sein said there are four new sections appearing for the first time in years festival, including the teashop screenings. Well choose teashops in each township to screen the films with the aim of developing a closer relationship between the audience and short films, said Ma Thu Thu Shein. She said another new section this year is the South East Asia Cinema program. The new program is screening five films from Chop Shots Film Festival which is one of the South East Asia Documentary film festivals, she said. Contestants will get the chance to talk with the Indonesian director who arranged that film festival. Lars Henrik Gass of the International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen, Germany will also be appearing at the festival in Yangon, she added. Ma Thu Thu Sein said the fourth new section to the event will be a Burmese translation of Seven Minute Screen Play, a book about script-writing by Pavel Jech, the president of the Film and Television School in Prague (FAMU), Czech Republic. The lists of films and schedule of the film festival can be found on online at www.wathannfilmfest.net and Wathann Film Fest page on Facebook. Last years winners included (Aung Nway Htwe won the Best Documentary Award for Behind the Screen, Htoo Paing Zaw won the the Best Short Fiction Award for Long Time No See and Best New Version Award was awarded to Zaw Naing Oos Flowerless Garden.

2013 Wathann Film Festival

My Grandfathers House (Shunn Lei Swe Yee) Insein Rythym (Soe Moe Aung) No. 62 Pansodan Street (Cho Pyone) Yin-Craving (Nang Moon) A Grand Mother (Han Linn Aung) Har Ywe Nar Ywe Che (Aung Kyaw Htwe) A Letter From Civil War (Lin Thet Naung) Tyres (Kyaw Myo Lwin) On Hteedan Road (Ten Man Group) Life & Wish (Wynn Htut) An Old Mans Homesickness (Jai Jai) All Fishes go to Heaven (Zaw Ye Myint) Trapped (Myat Thurein Oo) Shangri-La (Maung San, Tay Zar and Pe Maung) The River our Ayeyarwadday (Same) The Spotlight in Darkness (Nadi) Take Me Home (Shin Daewe) Kings N Queens (Khun Minn Ohn) The Potters Song (Hnin Ei Hlaing) Next Month (Soe Moe Aung)

Photo Caption. Photo: AFP

46 the pulse local


Kimchi: a closer look at a Korean favourite

Schools give visitors a chance to sample some genuine Seoul food

HEN you hear the word kimchi, you probably think of cabbage. As I found out when I got a chance to make kimchi at training school in South Korea, however, there are more kinds of the countrys national dish than that. Many more, in fact at least 187 varieties of the pickled treat exist, according to the Kimchi Field Museum in Seoul, and no doubt more are being invented every day. Kimchi a traditional fermented Korean side dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings is eaten at all levels of society at what appears to me to be almost every meal. Its become such a vital part of Korean culture that, when taking photographs of one another, Koreans often prompt each other to say kimchi to form their mouths into a smile, the same way English-speakers do by saying cheese. Although the word kimchi doesnt have any meaning itself, according to locals, it is derived from dimchae, a much older word meaning fermented food. Traditionally, kimchi needed to be left to ferment

A student tries her hand at making kimchi at a kimchee training school in Seoul. Photo: Nuam Bawi

underground in jars covered with straw for months at a time until it was ready. Those interested in classes will be relieved to hear the schools now follow a more modern approach. Nowadays, it is more convenient to keep it in the refrigerator, said You Me of Kimchi Land shop, a kimchi training school in the suburbs of Seoul. She said the northern area of the country is the best place to get cabbages for kimchi. But other vegetables can be used as well, including radish, scallion, cucumber and carrot. And some think even further outside the (vegetable) box. Some wealthier people can add more expensive ingredients according to how much they can afford. For example, they use squid rather than cabbage for the main ingredient. But the basic way of making the dish is the same. For the standard dish, the first step is to divide the cabbage into two equal parts and spread salt on each layer. After immersing it in water for six hours until the leaves become soft, rinse it three times in water and let it drain for one hour. Then add your seasonings onto each layer of cabbage leaves: choices include brine, scallions, spices, ginger, chopped radish, garlic, shrimp sauce and fish sauce. Freshly made kimchi can be eaten on the spot, but it can also be stored for another day for up to three years, Im told, though like

most things in the fridge its probably better eaten sooner rather than later. Seoul boasts more than 20 kimchi training schools. The classes are popular with tourists, who, after their lesson, can pose for photos wearing traditional Korean clothes in front of backdrops showing Korean scenes. If you book in a group in one of the schools further from the downtown, costs tend to run about 10,000 won (about US$9) each. For training schools in more central locations, prices run to 25,000 won each. As Korean media becomes more popular in Myanmar, kimchi flavoured foods are no longer considered strange to the public here, with some even being listed on the menus of Yangon food courts such as Ruby Mart and Taw Win Center. While the World Health Organization has noted the health benefits of kimchi, they caution against eating too much because of its high sodium content. But Koreans like Oh Da Eun, who has worked at Kimchi Land for 10 years, say they are proud of one of their most popular exports. Kimchi is a very natural food, she said. It is very good for digestion as it gives us vitamin C like yogurt. It helps us have good skin and keeps us strong to fight diseases. Its become famous through K-pop and Korean dramas around the world, so we Koreans are very proud of it.

Portraits of the peacemakers of Myanmar

A SOLO exhibition by artist Maung Maung Saw will be held from August 8-15 at the Judson Hall, Pyay Road, in Kamayut township to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1988 uprising. Portraits of famous people from political, social and literary circles such as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, U Zaganar, U Kyaw Thu and Ko Min Ko Naing, along with Ma Win Maw Oo, who was killed in the uprising, will be displayed. Politicians and democracy activists have never been properly honoured in their own country, even those who have risked their lives for the country, U Maung Maung told the Myanmar Times. I want to honour them so I painted the portraits of those people who work to achieve political and social change. Aside from portraits, the exhibition will show paintings of the Saffron Revolution in 2007, a girl kissing Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on her trip to upper Myanmar and an old woman hugging political activist Min Ko Naing. I drew 88 paintings for the anniversary of the 88 uprising and the exhibition is held on August 8. The paintings are sure to stir up memories, he added. It is the second solo exhibition for artist Maung Maung Saw, who lives in Sittwe, Rakhine State. Profits from sales will be donated to the families of political prisoners, war victims in the camps and educational activities. Zon Pann Pwint

Peace festival brings money, awareness and entertainment

LWIN MAR HTUN lwinmarhtun.mcm@gmail.com A TWO-DAY event to raise donations for refugees and internally displaced peoples in Kachin State has been a huge success, organisers say. The Myanmar Peace Festival, headed by local comedian Zaganar, was held July 27-28 at Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon. Entertainment ranged from live music performances to theatre and poetry readings, with a number of highprofile local acts performing and a film by director Kyaw Zaw Lin titled Myay Sar Pin (Innocent Victims of the Fight) being shown to audiences. The musical line-up saw local artists Zaw Paing and Mee Mee Ke playing alongside Big Bag, No U Turn and Cyclone, among many others. Performances ranged from the heavy rock of Iron Cross to traditional dancers Moe Win, Moe Min and Han Zaw Moe Win, who entertained the crowd with the song Nyein Chan Yay Lo Tel (We Need Peace). While the event focused on encouraging peace and tolerance and drew donations from people of various faiths, the atmosphere was somewhat marred by an often overly loud sound system as well as the overtly aggressive tone of a few jokes targeting Muslims by comedy act Five Star, which drew mixed reactions from the crowd. However, an impression of General Aung San by another comedy act called Har Ngerr Kaung drew big applause. The festival was broadcast live on SkyNet with pledges being made via telephone. MCs Ayine, Nghet Kyaw and Zaganar announced donations and collected funds in between the performances. All money collected will be donated by the Myanmar Peace Center to refugees from Kachin State who have been displaced by ongoing conflict in the area.

Bogyoke film bids open

THE team behind a new script for a film about the life of Bogyoke Aung San, are inviting production companies to tender for the opportunity to make the movie. We dont know yet which company will make the film, that is why we are putting it out to tender, said Ko Zaw Thet Htwe, spokesperson from Bogyoke Film Executive Board. The movie, which is scheduled for completion by 2015, will feature between 100 and 150 actors, he said. The script, which is now completed, covers Aung Sans life in four sections: childhood, student life, his time as a soldier, and his life in politics. The movie is set to be filmed on location in his home town of Net Mouk as well as other parts of the country. Ei Ei Thu

Kyat Pha from the band Project One performs at the Myanmar Peace Festival in Yangon on July 27. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing


the pulse local 47

Kayan Beauties arrive in Yangon

NANDAR AUNG nandaraung.mcm@gmail.com

A still from the film Kayan Beauties. Photo: Supplied

N award-winning film about the famous neck coil-wearing Padaung women of Shan and Kayah states will be shown in Yangon for the first time next month six years after it was completed. The film was screened in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw last year without drawing big crowds. But it won a Special Jury Award at the ASEAN International Film Festival held in Malaysia in March this year, and has

also been screened in Singapore. The director said he began filming without a permit back in 2006, though his project was granted official approval soon after. I started to shoot [again] in January 2007 and finished in April before the water festival. The locations for filming were Kayah State and Shan State. A number of tribes including the Kayan Kahwi, whose women are well known for wearing neck rings are featured in the film. From a young age, an ever-growing stack of brass coils are placed between the collarbone and

the chin. The stretching, or appearance of it, has even prompted the use of derogatory terms such as giraffe people when describing them. Prior to 2008, Aung Ko Latt said, a number of Kayan tribespeople were crossing the border into Thailand because of human trafficking or of their own volition. As the tribes were growing scarcer, he based his film on true events as a way to depict the culture and traditions of the Kayan peoples. Based on a script written by Hector Carosso from the United States, the film features Kayan non-actors Nwe Ni Win, Khin Mar Win, Hnin

Mai and Rose Mary, as well as Myanmar actor Htun Lwin Aung. The film opens a tiny window into the lives of four Kayan women in their small village and during their rare visit to a distant city. When one of them is faced with the dangers of human trafficking, the rest have to join together to save her. Kayan Beauties is about 90 minutes long, with Myanmar subtitles used when Kayan language is spoken. It was filmed using Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, setting it apart from other films produced in Myanmar but Aung Ko Latt said the shooting ended

up costing as much as ten times as much as other Myanmar films. He said he feels vindicated now. People were telling me I was a fool. But I was satisfied that we made a good quality film in Myanmar and won an international award. Im really thankful to all who helped me, said Aung Ko Latt. I hope people who want to see the reality [of the lives of Padaung women] will come to watch the film. Kayan Beauties is set to screen in Yangon on September 6 at the Thatmada cinema. Unfortunately, it cant be seen with English subtitles as yet.

Living well in Myanmar - The trouble with stomach trouble


IN the last few months many of my friends and colleagues have suffered from intestinal troubles, sometimes for a few days and often for several weeks. They have tried different types of treatment, from selfprescribed dietary changes and therapies to visits with doctors. Their interactions with doctors have often been confusing and frustrating not surprising, given that a persons symptoms dont reliably point to a specific cause of belly pain, and diagnostic tests have difficulty a series of trial-and-error treatment attempts as the approach to intestinal disease becomes providing a definite answer. More often than not, doctor and patient may face more art than science. Lets assume most of the gastro-intestinal (GI) episodes were talking about are from new infections. We see that these increase during rainy season in Myanmar as the environment becomes more hospitable to viruses, and food hygiene and water quality become more prone to bacteria and parasites. People suddenly have abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever and fatigue. What to do next? Antibiotics? Probiotics? Avoid

some foods? Increase some other foods? See a doctor? I try to start by remembering that the body often does a good job of healing itself diagnostics and medicine may not be necessary. However it remains important to look for reasons to do testing or offer treatments. Diarrhea is medically defined as watery poopthat occurs more

seriously ill person may need more lab checked and possibly hospitalisation. Using medications is a tricky decision. In developed countries most diarrhea is caused by viruses for which antibiotics are not useful. At the same time, medical guidelines recommend trying a course of antibiotics for travellers diarrhea in develop-

Exposing a weakened and fragile intestine to a sudden large amount of bacteria from probiotics could cause further problems, particularly if the illness is caused by a parasite rather than a bacteria.
than three times per day. If this is happening doctors should use a physical exam to determine the need for oral rehydration salts or IV (intravenous) therapy. Checking a stool sample is usually only needed if the diarrhea has blood or mucus in it, if the patient has high ongoing fever or if the diarrhea lasts more than two weeks. A ing countries. Readers of this column have lived in Myanmar for different lengths of time, and there is no guideline for who is a traveler. In certain bacterial infections antibiotics could actually be harmful. Meanwhile the illness may be the result of a parasite (ie, Giardia) rather than bacteria, in which case a different type of

medicine is needed. So sorting out who is right for antibiotics or anti-parasitics is complicated and what I mean by the art of medicine. Antidiarrheal medicines are usually safe. As a long as patients have no fever or blood/ mucus in the stool, Im comfortable with them using Imodium (Loperamide) or Pepto-Bismol/ Kaopectate (bismuth subsalicylate) on their own. Some of my friends are attracted to the theory of a probiotic being able to regulate gut flora during GI disease. As a western doctor I havent seen sufficient medical evidence to recommend probiotics for acute diarrhea (although there are some other data-proven indications for probiotics). Also I worry that exposing a weakened and fragile intestine to a sudden large amount of bacteria from probiotics could cause further problems, particularly if the illness is caused by a parasite rather than a bacteria. As for food consumption while suffering from abdominal symptoms, it is generally felt that trying for a balanced diet with plenty of water is best. A sick person might struggle with this. I recommend eating as well as possible, trying to get nutrients and calories from whatever feels edible. For sickness that begins to stretch into weeks, you might have to guess which foods/spices are giving your temporarily weakened GI tract ongoing problems.

Avoiding dairy products and non-familiar foods for a period of time is a good place to start. Hopefully youre not now more confused. The process of getting well after a GI infection is variable, requires some guesswork and generally goes better if youre able to communicate well with your doctor. The gut is intricate and sensitive. Give it time to heal.

Dr. Gelsdorf is an American Board of Family Medicine physician who sees patients in Yangon and California. He is an honorary member of the Myanmar Medical Association. Reader thoughts and questions are welcomed.

48 the pulse local


Inside a hidden world:

HE vaulted ceiling of Saddar Cave seemed to ripple and undulate above me. The air was damp and I felt the squelch of a slippery substance mud, I told myself oozing between my bare toes. My travel partner turned around to face me and his eyes flashed in alarm. Bat shit, he hissed. Saddar Cave is a sacred Theravada Buddhist site, one of many ancient shrines set among the craggy limestone peaks and mountains that tower over the Kayin State landscape, deep in Myanmars southeast. Shoes must be left by the silvery elephants that guard the descent to the caves entrance the beasts are revered in Myanmar and legend has it that the elephant king Sa-Dan once took shelter in this caves hollows. Our guide, U Soe, had promised us the half hour or so of tunnelling through passages and over mossy rocks and clambering down steep, slippery staircases would be rewarded with a secret world: a clear, hidden lagoon enclosed by limestone karsts, droopy tamarind trees and shrubby mountains. Lean and sinewy, the elderly, wry U Soe was full of verve and sarcasm, cackling to himself through teeth stained crimson from betel nut as we squeezed through a crevice. He assured me we were near the end but there was a sly glint in the mans eyes. The passage opened up to a vast chamber and the shrill squeal of bats, hundreds of the things, perched above us. Its okay, they just sound like cicadas, U Soe laughed, while I desperately wished Id not dismissed that rabies shot. The trail through the cave was breathtaking: Dappled sunlight pierced through cracks and holes in the limestone; grand, eerie stalagmites dripped from the ceiling. In the throes of the regions wet season, we had waded through thighhigh waters just to get to Saddars entrance, and once inside the cathedral, we skirted around cool, inky pools of rainwater. Just as splendid was U Soes secret world. A handful of languid fishermen tossed nets into the lake while U Soe passed around long, trumpetshaped cheroots. The hike back through the cave proved easier this time, and we took time to explore the caves ornate entrance, a gaping space brimming with statues; sparkling, mirrored tiles and frescoes carved into the walls; reclining Buddhas studded with ruby and sapphire jewels and other relics. Deep inside the space, surrounded by relics and offerings, lay a gilded stupa. The golden, bell-shaped spire is found atop mountains and between crumbling buildings the country over and is perhaps the most symbolic structure of Myanmar. Wed arrived in the sleepy town of Hpa-an, built on the banks of the Thanlwin River, not long after midnight the day before. After a week exploring Myanmars fascinating but heaving capital Yangon, the seven-hour evening bus journey

Myanmars untouched Southeast

Claire Knox scrambles through caves, skirts bats and samples the best of local fare in and around Hpa-an, in the remote and beautiful Kayin State _ a destination thats expected to be next big thing in tourism.

The view down from the Kawgoon caves reveals the lush, green landscape of Hpa-an. Photo: Claire Knox

Kawgoon cave: there are a thousandodd Buddha carvings, said to be engraved in 1057. Photo: Claire Knox

In the throes of the regions wet season, we had waded through thigh-high waters just to get to Saddars entrance, and once inside the cathedral, we skirted around cool, inky pools of rainwater.

A monk walks over a bridge at a monastery next to the twisting Kyaung Kalap pagoda. Photo: Claire Knox

A group of young female

A young girl plays with friends inside Hpa-ans Shweyinhmyaw Pagoda. Photo: Claire Knox

proved something of a respite, an easy trip interspersed with saucers of sweetened tea at smoky, ramshackle coffee shops. We were quickly ferried by pickup truck to the Golden Sky, a charming hotel with a jumble of mismatched tiles and bizarre furniture with views over the river and flanked by the towns biggest pagoda, Shweyinhmyaw. The hotel owner a steelylooking woman with painted brows and a lick of frosty lipstick insisted we called her Madam, but quickly won us over with steaming plates of sugary chapatti and more tea. Hpa-an, home to about 50,000 people, is the capital of the ethnically diverse Kayin State, and is, at least in rainy season, devoid of foreign tourists. (Myanmar and Thai tourists make pilgrimages to the pagodas

and caves all year round.) Aside from being a base to explore the regions rich, fertile scenery, its a fascinating city to explore. Kayin State is home to Myanmars Kayin ethnic minority (they make up about 7 percent of Myanmars population of around 50 million), who, since the country was unshackled from Britain in 1948, have been entangled in a fight for their own independence one of the worlds longest-running internal conflicts. Although tourists have been able to visit Hpa-an for years, swathes of the state have been inaccessible, with special permits required by the government to visit the colourful Kayin villages and see traditional weaving and the ethnic groups kaleidoscopic textiles. Most of the state is completely off-limits.

Tourism insiders expect that to soon change: Tourism in the city and its surrounding escarpments will boom as a gateway town, they say, with a border crossing at MyawadyMae Sot poised to open soon. Tourists then will be able to enter from Thailand and visit the entire country, flying out of either Mandalay or Yangon. While tourists can currently enter from Thailand, travel is restricted, with passports left at the border and a requirement to exit the country from the same point. We were woken early the next morning and greeted with a breakfast feast: bowls of fried rice with peas and shallots, eggs, crunchy, flavoursome samosas, an assortment of spongy Indian cakes along with plates of tropical fruit and coffee and tea.


the pulse local 49

A swirl of pink, mauve and tangerine: sunset over the Thanlwin River in Kayin State. Photo: Chan Aye

e monks giggle on a village road close to Hpa-an. Photo: Chan Aye

A row of gilded Buddhas plunge into the dark cave. Photo: Claire Knox

Myanmars morning markets come alive early. We wandered through stalls of turquoise and fuchsia longyis, while stallholders with long, silky hair and thanaka smeared over their faces grinned. The air was thick with the musky sandalwood scent. After Saddar, we travelled to Hpaans tallest peak, Mount Zwegabin, which reaches almost 727 metres (2400 feet), its stupa said to be home to a hair of the Buddha (pilgrims often climb the mountain, staying overnight at a monastery to watch the sun set and rise again). At its base are hundreds of tranquil Buddha figures. Close by, we enjoyed spicy tom kha gai soup and a fiery basil and chicken stir-fry at a small, outdoor Thai restaurant. Next stop was the striking

Kawgun Cave, another cathedralesque cave dug deep into a mountain containing thousands of 7th century clay Buddhas and carvings etched into its moss-covered, chalky walls. An Indian archaeological survey first recorded the pagoda in 1893 and ancient Mon inscriptions line its walls (Thaton, about 40 kilometres from Hpa-an was, 1000 years ago, the capital of the Mon Kingdom). We rode back through dewy fields to Kyaung Kalap; A twisting, column-like rock topped with a stupa, it looks straight out of Mordor. The karst seems to sprout from the lake beneath it and is one of the regions most popular, and photographed sites. An abundance of animals silky Burmese cats and tiny white rabbits add to its fairytale allure. Back in Hpa-an, we joined locals

and a clutch of other tourists for an early dinner at San Ma Tau, a Burmese restaurant on the towns fringes. The food was some of the best we tasted in Myanmar. We chose several rich, piquant curries along with bowls of vegetables, spices and herbs, lentil soup, rice and desert: sticky balls of sugar-coated tamarind and blobs of saccharine, hardened palm sugar - K2000 (US$2) for two. Our dining companions told us of their sunset boat trip to Hpa-an along the Thanlwin from Mawlamyine. Formerly Moulemein, it has literary roots: George Orwell called it home for several years (he was stationed in Burma as a colonial police officer from 1922 to 1927), while Rudyard Kiplings alluring call to Burma in his oft-quoted poem Mandalay was, in fact, based on a Mawlamyine

pagoda, the glittering Kyaikthanlan. The poet visited Myanmar in 1889 and stayed in the country for only three days. One of these was spent in Mawlamyine yet he never actually reached Mandalay. We meandered back through Hpa-an, winding through cream and pastel shop-houses, majestic teak houses with wide verandahs, towering Hindu temples and rickety wooden homes with shuttered windows. The sky, smeared in watercolour hues, began to darken: The monsoonal rains were about to arrive. Back by the river port next to Shweyinhmyaw Pagoda, a nun in pink robes smiled shyly at us before she slipped into a longtail boat and journeyed back home down the gentle Thanlwin River.

A pro-democracy monk mystery Also close to Hpa-an is Thamanya Kyaun, a monastery founded by Buddhist monk, social worker and fervent Aung San Suu Kyi supporter, U Vinaya, who died in 2003. Douglas Long tells the story: For a few years his preserved body was displayed for veneration by pilgrims visiting ... One night the monastery was raided by soldiers who stole the corpse, which was never seen again. There was no official claim of responsibility, but the story I heard from locals was that the body had been taken into the forest and burned to ashes. The raid, it was whispered, was arranged by a pro-military monk from Hpa-an it is said he feared the growing cult of reverence for a monk who had supported the countrys democracy movement.

50 the pulse tea break

Universal Crossword
Edited by Timothy E. Parker



AUTOMOTIVE CARE By Johnni Pierpont

ACROSS 1 Bar mitzvah officiator 6 Alone at the prom 10 Light source 14 Shown on television 15 The doctor ___ see you now 16 The first Mr. Shirley Temple 17 Overdo it onstage 18 Napoleons exile isle 19 Half, quarter or eighth follower 20 Driving concern quip (Part 1) 23 Game piece, generically 25 Partook of 26 The eyes have them 27 Traitor Benedict 30 Hardly candid 31 Paw at 32 Clapping animal 34 Shopping bag 38 Driving concern quip (Part 2) 41 Inspires wonder in 42 Batman co-creator 43 Acetic and nitric 44 Funny Tina 45 Orbital high point 46 Bladed tool 50 Brooks the filmmaker 52 Admission requirements, sometimes 53 Driving concern quip (Part 3) 57 Part of ABM 58 Alveoli site 59 Make a new law 62 Leer 63 If all ___ fails ... 64 Person in a cast 65 Tournament ranking 66 Football blockers practice device 67 In the poorhouse DOWN 1 The Facts of Life costar Charlotte 2 Prepare to fire 3 Be a suck-up 4 A March girl 5 Creative morsel 6 It pours from pores 7 Spanish diacritic 8 Jessica of Fantastic Four 9 Bloom with swordshaped leaves 10 Luau locale 11 Ancient Greek athletic competitions 12 Photo finish? 13 Bench exercise 21 Little bit 22 Like some senses of humor 23 Subterranean molten rock 24 Object in a quiver 28 Makes a decision 29 Feline zodiac sign 30 Sidewalk eatery 32 Reprieve from the governor 33 Many, many moons 34 Crunchy munchie 35 Stem (from) 36 Momentarily eased, with over 37 Abbreviations for weekend days 39 Small four-stringed guitars 40 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 54 55 56 60 61 Bit of toy ammo Finders take Brewed drink Pandemonium Gate pivot Fiber used in carpets Confined to a pen Clerics quarters Goaded (with on) Without value The Tree of Life star Penn Storybook beginning Cape ___, Mass. Make the effort








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the pulse food and drink 51

All carrot, no stick: two great ways to get the kids eating vegetarian for Buddhist Lent


ERE are some vegetarian dishes to prepare during Buddhist Lent. I have chosen carrots as the inspiration this week. The first recipe is very similar to biryani and the second is a new twist on Korean-style salads. Both are suitable for the whole family, including toddlers: My own little food critic Thirisu has tested both and given her approval. Easy to try and all in one pot, theyre healthy, yummy and easy for mummy. RICE WITH SWEET CARROT STICKS INGREDIENTS (SERVES 4) 1 onion 2 medium carrots 1 cup rice, uncooked 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cinnamon stick 4 cloves 2 cardamom seeds 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 cup vegetable stock A pinch of salt 2 tablespoons sultanas Handful of chopped coriander to serve

PREPARATION Slice the onions and julienne the carrots (cut into short, thin strips). Wash the rice and drain well. Add olive oil into wok and saut the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom and turmeric powder for few seconds. When the aroma starts to comes out, add onions and saut for 2-3 minutes. Add the carrots to the mixture and fry them for 4-5 minutes or until nearly crisp. Add the uncooked rice and mix until well coated. Transfer the mixture into a rice cooker. Add vegetable stock and salt. Cook in the rice cooker then remove. Stir in sultanas. Serve garnished with coriander. WARM AND CRUNCHY CARROT AND BEAN SPROUT SALAD INGREDIENTS (SERVES 4) 100 grams bean sprouts 2 carrots 1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 tablespoon ginger 2 teaspoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons roasted white sesame seeds cup lime juice PREPARATION Wash and trim the bean sprouts and drain well. Peel and julienne the carrots. In a wok, add vegetable oil and sesame oil and heat gently. When the oil is warm enough, add ginger and sugar, quickly followed by carrots and bean sprouts. Toss to mix, letting the vegetables be coated with oil for 30 seconds but without frying them. Turn off heat. Add roasted white sesame seeds and lime juice and mix well. Transfer to plates and serve immediately. For a healthier option, if you love your bean sprouts and carrots fresh you can also choose to

Rice with sweet carrot sticks. Photo: Phyo

leave the wok on the shelf. Prepare the dressing first by adding sugar, ginger, lime juice and oil into a jar and shaking well. Then prepare the carrots and bean sprouts and mix them in a big bowl with the toasted white sesame seeds. Sprinkle on the dressing and toss well. Serve immediately. TIPS Let the onions and carrots caramelise when you fry them. It will give a sweeter flavour to the rice. If you are not vegetarian, chicken stock can be substituted for vegetable

stock for stronger flavour. When you toss the bean sprouts and carrots in a wok, let the warm oil mix with the vegetables, but dont fry them too long. If the juice starts to come out of the bean sprouts they will lose their crunchiness. QUOTE A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand. Barbara Johnson, author and comedian NEXT WEEK Garlic oil noodles

Warm and cruncy carrot and bean sprout salad. Photo: Phyo

The Riverhouse Bistro where you can hang with Princesses

MANNY MAUNG manny.maung@gmail.com THERE arent too many places in the world Ill ever be able to visit where I can meet a real life princess. Im sure there are even fewer places where a princess would be happy to treat me as her very own guest. But at the Riverhouse Bistro on Phnom Penhs busy tourist hub of Sisowat Quay, Princess Soma Norodom of Cambodia plays the happy host, chatting enthusiastically with guests and recommending some of her favourites from the menu. Shes a regular socialite at the venue and also sits on the restaurants board. I order some samosas as a starter (US$4.80) and a sesame-crusted fresh tuna salad ($8.50). My friend, who Im catching up with over lunch, goes for more traditional pub grub a serving of fish and chips ($7.50). Hes disappointed to find out the Australian flake isnt on the menu anymore, but apparently patrons were getting upset about having shark on the menu, so the chef decided to change to a more acceptable species of dori. Princess Soma is horrified when I tell her Ive ordered samosas. She rounds up one of the waitresses and orders a serving of deep-fried pork and prawn dumplings. Im not sure its much healthier but she tells me theyre worth it. Im really pleased when the food arrives. The samosas are crisp and light, the salad is a hearty serving and the fresh tuna is seared on the outside but with the middle left just undercooked exactly the way I like it. Its a rare treat to be able to eat fresh tuna. And the dumplings that Princess Soma has ordered are quite light after all considering they have been deep-fried. Unfortunately the waitress has forgotten to order the fish and chips for my friend, but Princess Somas on top of it. It arrives within five minutes of her calling out to remind them of the order. Riverhouse Bistro offers standard pub fare thats a mix of Asian and European choices. The food isnt outstanding, but there are plenty of choices to make everyone happy. And if you stick around long enough through the afternoon, the place turns into a pumping nightclub where the cool Khmer kids hang out through the night. Just remember to take a princess with you.

Wine Review
Don Cristobal (no year): As far as 8-dollar wines go, a drinker could do a lot worse. This bottle has a dry, tangy flavor that never becomes overpowering. Served in a nice glass with a few tiny umbrellas, it could pass for top shelf. session with friends.




The Riverside Bistro

Sisowat Boulevard, Phnom Penh, Cambodia +855 0 23 213 898 Food: 7 Drink: 7 Service: 7 Atmosphere: 7 X-factor: 10 (extra points given for the presence of a princess) Value for money: 7
Photo: Faine Greenwood The Riverside Bistro in Phnom Penh, Cambodia is an ideal location to people-watch while having your lunch.


Gustave Lorente, Gewurztraminer 2010:

This French bottle goes heavy on the citrus taste, to the point where one feels like theyre drinking cleaning solution. Insipid and unbalanced, not worth forking out for this.





52 the pulse socialite


Ferrrero Chocolate launch

Marcello Gallo Andrea Wang Li Jub


Yuko Osawa

Agnes French Wine Dinner

Tone Yap, U Sein Lwin and U Aye Naing Denny and Jhorshwa

Marry Brown donation ceremony

Ma Nan Thapyay and Ma Saw Ohnmar Lwin Pyay Ti Oo and Daw Than Myint Aung Wendy, Sue, Shwe Yee, Helen, Wut Yee, Mr Ho, Thu, Nilar, War and Chan Chan

Mirror magazine launch

Model Model U Khin Maung Lay and Ma Theint


Mercedes Benz launch

U Aung Moe Kyaw Eaindar Kyaw Zin Chaw Yadana Thandar Bo

NEC new products launch

Digvijay Garg Ma Thin Thin Soe David Ooi Soe Ngwe Ya Poe Ei Phyu Zin

Justine Wong


Wut Hmone Shwe Yee

the pulse socialite 53


SOCIALITE rarely has a moment to think about chores and it has become a dire situation where a mountain of paperwork has been piling up on her work desk for some time. Luckily for her, she was so busy again this week that she didnt even need to go into the office to look at it. Mirror magazine on July 26 launched its opening party at Junction Square, meaning Socialite would be mingling with some of the most famous models in the country. Agnes French Wines also held a dinner the same night at Kandawgi Palace Hotel so she jetted off to that not long after. The following day, Socialite attended a donation ceremony at the the new Marry Brown restarant in the late morning. Next, she was off to Traders to meet her editor and the winners of the Myanmar Times Sudoku contest. She also had a great time stuffing her face with Ferrero Chocolates after their launch party but held off eating too much as she still needed to squeeze into an outfit for the Moda fashion magazines 1st anniversary show. The cleaning can wait until next week ...

Daw Hlaing Thida Khin

Daw Theingi Sithu

MODA magazine 1st anniversary fashion parade

Moe Aung Yin with couple Htet Htet (Pop Soul) Wint Yamone Hlaing

The Myanmar Times Sudoku winners lunch

U Tun Myint and Saw Thin Par Ma Phyu Phyu Thant Ma Sandar Myint

Business Air launch

Doris Kyi Kyi San

PH Care Lucky Draw


Dr Thet Mon Thant, Ma Mo Mo Ei, Daw Nan Ei Ei Zar and Daw Swe Zin Htike

New Revital Lift cosmetics launch

Soe Nandar Kyaw


Chit Snow Oo

54 the pulse travel



YANGON TO NAY PYI TAW Flight 6T 401 FMI A1 FMI A1 UB-B1 FMI A1 UB-C1 Day 1 1,2,3,4,5 6 1,2,3,4,5 7 1,2,3,4,5 Dep 7:00 7:30 8:00 Arr 7:55 8:30 9:00 Flight Y5 233 YJ 892 YH 918 YJ 143/W97143 6T 402/K7 223 K7 223 YJ 892 NAY PYI TAW TO YANGON Flight UB-A2 UB-A2 UB-B2 UB-A2 UB-C2 Day 1,2,3,4,5 6 1,2,3,4,5 7 1,2,3,4,5 Dep 8:50 Arr 9:50 W9 201 W9 144 W9 201 Y5 132 6T 402 K7 227 K7 627 YJ 202 Arr 7:25 8:05 8:15 8:40 8:45 7:30 8:35 8:40 7:55 8:10 8:10 8:25 9:05 9:05 9:40 8:55 9:10 10:10 YJ 762 K7 845 YJ 202 YJ 762 YJ 602 W9 120 YJ 762 YH 732 W9 129 YH 728 6T 502/K7 225 K7 225 YJ 725/W9 7752 W9 129 K7 625 8M 6604 YJ 725/W9 7752 YH 738 W9 511 W9 252 YJ 725/W9 7752 YH 730 MANDALAY TO YANGON Day Daily 2,3,4,6,7 Daily 1,2,3 2,3,4,5,6,7 Daily 1 4,5,6,7 Daily 1,2,3 3,5,6,7 1 2,4 1,5 4 6 2,4,7 1,3 1 6 1,3 2,4 Daily 4,5,6,7 1,5 Daily Daily 3 1,2,3 Daily 2,4,7 5 3,7 2 2 7 2,4,6 Dep 8:10 8:30 8:40 9:20 8:55 8:55 9:00 9:10 9:20 9:25 9:30 Arr 9:25 10:25 10:45 10:45 10:55 11:00 10:55 11:05 10:45 11:20 10:30 Flight YH 917 YJ 891 YJ 143/W9 7143 YJ 143/W9 7143 K7 222 6T 401 YJ 891 YJ 891 6T 401 YH 732 6T 502/K7 225 W9 129 W9 129 K7 225 NYAUNG U TO YANGON Day Daily 2,3,4,6,7 1,2,3 4,5,6,7 Daily 2,3,4,5,6,7 1 5 1 Daily Daily 1,2,3 Daily Daily Dep 7:45 7:45 8:35 8:05 8:05 8:05 8:15 7:45 9:10 Arr 10:45 10:25 10:45 10:45 11:00 10:55 10:55 9:50 12:00 Flight YJ 892 YJ 892 YH 918 YJ 892 6T 402/K7223 K7 223 W9 201 W9 201 YANGON TO MYITKYINA Flight YJ 201 YJ 211 K7 844 W9 251 K7 624 YJ 211 YJ 201 Day 4 5 2,4,7 2 Daily 7 1,3 Dep 6:30 7:00 7:30 Arr 9:20 9:50 11:05 6T 402 K7 829 YJ 762 W9 120 YJ 762 YJ 762 YJ 762 W9 129 W9 129 YH 731 MYITKYINA TO YANGON Flight YJ 202 YJ 212 YJ 202 YJ 211 K7 625 W9 252 Day 4 5 1,3 7 Daily 2 Dep 9:35 Arr 12:25 YH 728 6T 501/K7 224 K7 224 YH 738 K7 827 HEHO TO YANGON Day 5 2,3,4,6,7 Daily 1 2,3,4,5,6,7 Daily 4,5,6,7 1,2,3 1 1,3,5 1 1,3 2 4 6 1,2,3 4,5,6,7 Daily 1,5 Daily Daily 3,7 2,6 Dep 8:40 9:15 9:35 9:45 9:45 9:45 9:55 Arr 9:50 10:25 10:45 10:55 10:55 11:00 11:05 Flight 6T 605 6T 608 THANDWE TO YANGON Day Dep Arr 5 12:25 15:00 1 15:20 16:15 Flight 6T 605 6T 607 K7 826 W9 129 W9 129 6T 501/K7 224 K7 224 YH 731 2,6 1,2,3 4,5,6,7 Daily Daily Daily 11:45 13:00 14:45 15:55 14:30 15:40 14:30 15:40 14:30 15:45 14:30 15:55 Flight YH 634 YJ 302 K7 320 6T 708 6T 708 YJ 302 MYEIK TO YANGON Day Dep 1,3,4,5,7 11:25 2 11:25 Daily 11:30 2 11:55 6 15:40 4,7 15:10 Arr 13:25 13:35 13:35 13:55 17:40 18:45

11:30 12:30 15:30 16:30 16:30 17:30

17:25 18:45 17:40 19:00 17:40 19:00 17:25 18:45 17:45 19:00

YANGON TO THANDWE Day Dep Arr 5 11:15 12:10 1 12:30 15:05

10:00 11:00 13:00 14:00 17:00 18:00 18:00 19:00

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

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

YANGON TO MANDALAY Flight YJ 211 W9 512 YJ 891 YH 917 YJ 891 Y5 234 6T 401/K7222 K7 222 YJ 201 K7 626 K7 226 YJ 211 YJ 143/W97143 W9 251 6T 401 YJ 761 W9 201 8M 6603 YJ 761 YJ 751/W9 7751 W9 251 K7 624 YJ 751/W9 7751 YJ 761 YJ 201 YJ 751/W9 7751 YJ 761 YJ 751/W9 7751 YJ 601 YH 737 YH 727 YH 729 YH 731 W9 129 K7 224 6T 501/K7 224 Day 7 3 2,3,4,6,7 Daily 1 Daily 2,3,4,5,6,7 Daily 4 1,5 2,4 5 1,2,3 Daily 1 6 1,2,3 2,4,7 1 3 2 Daily 5 4 1,3 7 2 3,5,7 6 3,7 1,5 2,4,6 Daily 1,2,3 Daily Daily Dep 6:00 6:00 6:10 6:10 6:10 6:15 6:30 6:30 6:30 6:45 6:45 7:00 7:00 7:00 7:00 7:00 7:45 9:00

Domestic Airlines
Air Bagan Ltd.(W9)
Tel : 513322, 513422, 504888, Fax : 515102

10:30 13:25 10:30 13:25 6:00 8:50 11:00 13:50

Air KBZ (K7)

Tel: 372977~80, 533030~39 (Airport), Fax: 372983

Air Mandalay (6T)

Tel : (Head Office) 501520, 525488, Fax: 525937. Airport: 533222~3, 09-73152853. Fax: 533223.

Asian Wings (YJ)

Tel: 951 516654, 532253, 09-731-35991~3.Fax: 951 532333

10:05 13:25 14:05 17:25 9:05 12:25 15:40 18:35 16:05 19:00

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)

Tel: 95 9 400446999, 95 9 400447999, Fax: 95 9 73256067

YANGON TO SIT T WE Flight 6T 605 6T 611 Day 5 3,7 Daily 1 2,4,6 Dep Arr 11:15 13:15 11:30 12:55 12:30 13:50 12:30 13:55 14:30 15:55

Yangon Airways(YH)
Tel: (+95-1) 383 100, 383 107, 700 264, Fax: 652 533.

YANGON TO HEHO Flight YJ 891 YH 917 YJ 891 YJ 891 6T 401/K7222 Day 5 Daily 1 2,3,4,6,7 2,3,4,5,6,7 Daily 1 6 4,5,6,7 1,3,5 1,2,3 1 3 1,3, 5 2,4 7 1,5 3,7 Dep 6:10 6:10 6:10 6:10 6:30 6:30 7:00 7:00 7:30 7:30 7:45 Arr 8:25 9:35 9:30 9:00 9:30 9:30 10:35 8:10 9:40 8:45 9:55

K7 426 6T 607 6T 611

FMI Air Charter - Sales & Reservations

Tel: (95-1) 240363, 240373 / (+95-9) 421146545

10:00 11:55 10:00 11:55 10:30 11:55 10:30 11:55 10:30 12:25 11:00 12:10 11:00 12:25 11:00 12:55 11:00 12:55 11:00 12:55 11:00 12:25 11:15 13:25 11:15 13:25 11:15 14:15 14:30 16:40 14:45 16:40 14:30 16:35 14:30 16:35

SIT T WE TO YANGON Flight 6T 612 6T 606 K7 427 6T 608 6T 612 Day 3,7 5 Daily 1 2,4,6 Dep Arr 13:15 14:40 13:35 15:00 14:05 15:25 14:15 16:15 16:15 17:40

6T = Air Mandalay W9 = Air Bagan YJ = Asian Wings K7 = AIR KBZ YH = Yangon Airways UB = FMI UB Charter Y5 = Golden Myanmar Airlines

YANGON TO NYAUNG U Flight YH 917 YJ 891 YJ 891 6T 401/K7 222 K7 222 YJ 143/ W9 7143 6T 401 W9 129 W9 129 6T 501/K7 224 YH 731 K7 224 Day Daily 1 2,3,4,5,6,7 2,3,4,5,6,7 Daily 1,2,3 1 1,2,3 4,5,6,7 Daily Daily Daily Dep 6:10 6:10 6:10 6:30 6:30 7:00 7:00 Arr 7:45 8:00 7:30 7:50 7:50 8:20 8:55

K7 222 6T 401 YJ 761 W9 201 K7 828 W9 201 YJ 761 YJ 751/W9 7751 W9 119 YJ 751/W9 7751 YJ 761 YJ 751/W9 7751 YH 727 YH 737

10:00 11:10 10:00 11:10 10:30 11:40 10:30 11:40 11:00 12:10 11:00 12:10 11:15 12:40 11:15 12:40 Flight K7 319 YJ 301 YH 633 6T 707 6T 707 YJ 301

YANGON TO MYEIK Day Daily 2 1,3,4,5,7 2 6 4,7 Dep 7:00 7:00 7:00 7:30 Arr 9:05 9:10 9:15 9:30

14:45 17:25 14:30 17:10 14:30 17:20 14:30 17:25 14:30 17:25

Subject to change without notice

Day 1 = Monday 2 = Tuesday 3 = Wednesday 4 = Thursday 5 = Friday 6 = Saturday 7 = Sunday

11:15 13:15 12:45 14:55


the pulse travel 55


Flights PG 706 8M 335 TG 304 PG 702 TG 302 8M 331 PG 704 Y5 237 TG 306 YANGON TO BANGKOK Days Dep Daily 7:15 1,2,3,4,7 9:00 Daily 9:50 Daily 10:30 Daily 14:55 1,5,6 16:30 Daily 18:20 Daily 18:05 Daily 19:45 Arr 9:30 10:45 11:45 12:25 16:50 18:15 20:15 19:50 21:40 Flights TG 782 MANDALAY TO BANGKOK Days Dep Arr 2,3,5,7 9:30 11:55 MANDALAY TO DON MUENG Days Dep Arr Daily 12:45 15:00 MANDALAY TO KUNMING Days Dep Arr Daily 14:40 17:20 BANGKOK TO YANGON Days Dep 1,2,3,4,5 6:15 Daily 7:55 Daily 8:50 Daily 13:00 Daily 16:45 Daily 17:50 Daily 19:15 Daily 20:15 Daily 21:10 Flights NH 913 TOKYO TO YANGON Days Dep 1,3,6 10:30 Arr 15:30

Flights FD 2761

Flights KA 250

HONG KONG TO YANGON Days Dep Arr 1,3,5,7 21:45 23:30 KOLKATA TO YANGON Days Dep 1,5 10:35

Europes urban rivers spring back to life


Flights MU 2030

Flights AI 227

Arr 13:20

YANGON TO DON MUENG Flights Days Dep Arr FD 2752 Daily 8:30 10:20 FD 2754 Daily 17:50 19:35 YANGON TO SINGAPORE Flights Days Dep MI 509 1,6 0:25 8M 231 Daily 8:00 Y5 233 Daily 10:10 SQ 997 Daily 10:25 8M 6232 Daily 11:30 3K 586 Daily 11:30 MI 517 Daily 16:40

Arr 5:00 12:25 14:40 14:45 16:05 16:05 21:15

Flights 8M 336 TG 303 PG 701 TG 301 PG 703 TG 305 8M 332 PG 705 Y5 238

Arr 7:00 8:50 9:40 13:45 17:35 18:45 20:00 21:30 21:55

Flights FD 2760

DON MUEANG TO MANDALAY Days Dep Arr Daily 10:50 12:15 KUNMING TO MANDALAY Days Dep Arr Daily 13:55 13:50

MARIANNE BARRIAUX EACHES in Paris and Warsaw, a bucolic bicycle ride in Madrid capitals around Europe are slowly transforming their riverbanks from noisy, polluted thoroughfares to green, leisurely havens. Keen to boost their image, environmental credentials and economies, authorities in many cities are giving rivers pride of place again after years of neglect. We cant live without water, said Jean-Pierre Gautry, honorary president and former head of the French Society of Urban Planners, explaining that for centuries cities had depended on rivers. But with the growing popularity of cars during the 1960s and 1970s, he said some cities decided to transform riverbanks into roads to make way for drivers a process that is now slowly being reversed. Authorities poured concrete on the linear routes along rivers because they were easiest to take over as they often belong to a quasi-public area and are mostly flat, said Gautry. [Former French president Georges] Pompidou had a famous saying: The city must adapt to the car. But today were saying the opposite. In Paris, drivers who once whizzed past the Seine in a cloud of exhaust fumes are having to change their route as authorities gradually claw back some of the riverbanks. In June, the city inaugurated a 2.3-kilometre (1.4-mile) pedestrian walkway along the Seine near the Eiffel Tower. I wanted a place that respected one of the most beautiful areas in the world by bringing it back to life, Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe said. And every summer, the riverbanks are closed to traffic to make way for a beach the now famous Paris Plages. Truckloads of sand are brought into the capital and poured onto the asphalt next to the Seine. Sun worshippers are then able to lie on deck chairs and under parasols in front of the murky water almost like being at the beach. This year, we couldnt go on holiday because we dont have enough

Flights MU 2029

International Airlines
Air Asia (FD)
Tel: 251 885, 251 886.

Flights FD 2751 FD 2753

DON MUENG TO YANGON Days Dep Arr Daily 7:15 8:00 Daily 16:35 17:20

Air Bagan Ltd.(W9) Air China (CA) Air India

YANGON TO KUALA LUMPUR Flights Days Dep Arr 8M 501 1,3,6 7:50 11:50 AK 1427 Daily 8:30 12:50 MH 741 Daily 12:15 16:30 MH 743 Daily 15:45 20:00 YANGON TO BEIJING Days Dep 2,3,4,6,7 14:15

Tel : 513322, 513422, 504888, Fax : 515102 Tel : 666112, 655882. Tel : 253597~98, 254758. Fax: 248175

Flights CA 906

Arr 21:55

SINGAPORE TO YANGON Flights Days Dep SQ 998 Daily 7:55 3K 585 Daily 9:10 8M 6231 Daily 9:10 VN 943 2,4,7 11:40 8M 232 Daily 13:25 MI 518 Daily 14:20 Y5 234 Daily 15:35 MI 520 5,7 22:10 BEIJING TO YANGON Days Dep 2,3,4,6,7 12:40

Arr 9:20 10:40 10:40 13:25 14:50 15:45 17:05 23:35

Bangkok Airways (PG) Condor (DE)

Tel: 255122, 255 265, Fax: 255119 Tel: + 95 1 -370836 up to 39 (ext : 810)

Dragonair (KA)

YANGON TO GAUNGZHOU Flights Days Dep 8M 711 4,7 8:40 CZ 3056 3,6 11:20 CZ 3056 1,5 17:40 YANGON TO TAIPEI Days Dep 1,2,3,5,6 10:50 YANGON TO KUNMING Days Dep 1,3 12:20 2,4,5,6,7 14:40 2,3,4,6,7 14:15

Tel: 95-1-255320, 255321, Fax : 255329

Arr 13:15 15:50 22:15

Flights CA 905

Arr 13:15

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5) Malaysia Airlines (MH)

Tel: 95 9 400446999, 95 9 400447999, Fax: 95 9 73256067 Tel : 387648, 241007 ext : 120, 121, 122 Fax : 241124

Flights CI 7916

Arr 16:15

Flights AK 1426 MH 740 8M 502 MH742

KAULA LUMPUR TO YANGON Days Dep Arr Daily 6:55 8:00 Daily 10:05 11:15 1,3,6 12:50 13:50 Daily 13:30 14:40

Myanmar Airways International(8M)

Tel : 255260, Fax: 255305

Silk Air(MI)

Flights MU 2012 MU 2032 CA 906

Arr 18:35 18:00 17:35

GUANGZHOU TO YANGON Flights Days Dep CZ 3055 3,6 8:40 CZ 3055 1,5 14:45 8M 712 4,7 14:15 TAIPEI TO YANGON Days Dep 1,2,3,5,6 7:00 KUNMING TO YANGON Days Dep 1,3 8:20 2,3,4,6,7 12:40 2,4,5,6,7 13:30

Tel: 255 287~9, Fax: 255 290

Arr 10:30 16:35 15:50

Thai Airways (TG)

Tel : 255491~6, Fax : 255223

Vietnam Airlines (VN)

Fax : 255086. Tel 255066/ 255088/ 255068.

Flights W9 9607

YANGON TO CHIANG MAI Days Dep Arr 4,7 14:20 16:10 YANGON TO HANOI Days Dep 1,3,5,6,7 19:10

Qatar Airways (Temporary Office)

Arr 9:55
Tel: 01-250388, (ext: 8142, 8210)

Flights CI 7915

FD & AK = Air Asia TG = Thai Airways 8M = Myanmar Airways International Y5 = Golden Myanmar Airlines PG = Bangkok Airways MI = Silk Air VN = Vietnam Airline MH = Malaysia Airlines CZ = China Southern CI = China Airlines CA = Air China KA = Dragonair Y5 = Golden Myanmar Airlines IC = Indian Airlines Limited W9 = Air Bagan 3K = Jet Star AI = Air India QR = Qatar Airways KE = Korea Airlines NH = All Nippon Airways SQ = Singapore Airways DE = Condor Airlines MU=China Eastern Airlines BR = Eva Airlines DE = Condor AI = Air India

money, said Claudine, a 67-year-old Parisian who was taking in the rays with her young granddaughter. Normally, we go to my flat in Cannes but I chose to rent it out to earn a bit of money. But here its great. Its like in Cannes! In Madrid, the riverbanks of the Manzanares sprung back to life in 2011 as part of the Madrid Rio project after years of neglect. Long, leafy promenades and cycling routes lined with some 25,000 trees replace a polluted and noisy ring road that now runs under the project area. The riverbank park also includes an urban beach, similar to the one that lines the Vistula River in Warsaw the difference being that the Polish capitals shore is natural. Forgotten in the reconstruction of the city after World War II, the riverbanks in Warsaw have become fashionable again in the past decade. The presence of water is a magnet, said geographer Maria GravariBarbas, who wrote a study on the transformation of urban riverbanks. There are now countless parties and festivals that have an urban section of a riverfront as a background, and even as a raison dtre, as if the presence of water was an excuse for partying, for gathering there. In Vienna, for instance, Danube Island was created in the 1970s and 1980s with earth taken from the river. Every year, a three-day music festival takes place there. In Rome, residents and ecologists decry the state of the Tiber riverbanks, which are littered with trash and dilapidated pontoons. The neglect is such a cause for embarrassment that Rome Boats, the company that controls river cruises for tourists, said in May that they had stopped tours to spare visitors to the Eternal City the sight. Nevertheless, authorities are making an effort with a 34-kilometre cycling route along the Tiber banks. Gautry said that apart from bringing a better quality of life to urbanites, the transformation of riverfronts also had an economic advantage. Its a whole series of jobs that spring up, starting with tourism. AFP

Flights VN 956

Arr 21:30

YANGON TO HO CHI MINH CITY Flights Days Dep Arr VN 942 2,4,7 14:25 17:10 YANGON TO DOHA Days Dep 1,4,5 8:15

Flights MU 2011 CA 905 MU 2031

Arr 11:30 13:15 13:55

CHIANG MAI TO YANGON Flights Days Dep Arr W9 9608 4,7 17:20 18:10 HANOI TO YANGON Days Dep 1,3,5,6,7 16:35

Flights QR 619

Arr 11:15

YANGON TO PHNOM PENH Flights Days Dep Arr 8M 403 3 16:50 19:15 YANGON TO SEOUL Days Dep 3,4,6,7 0:35 Daily 23:35

Flights VN 957

Arr 18:10

HO CHI MINH CITY TO YANGON Flights Days Dep Arr VN 943 2,4,7 11:40 13:25 BANGKOK TO MANDALAY Days Dep Arr 2,3,5,7 7:25 8:50 DOHA TO YANGON Days Dep 3,4,7 21:05

Flights 0Z 770 KE 472

Arr 9:10 08:05+1

Flights TG 781

Flights KA 251

YANGON TO HONG KONG Days Dep Arr 1,2,4,6 1:10 6:00 YANGON TO TOKYO Days Dep 1,3,6 21:30 YANGON TO KOLKATA Days Dep 1,5 14:05

Flights QR 618

Arr 07:00+1

Flights NH 914

Arr 06:40+1

PHNOM PENH TO YANGON Flights Days Dep Arr 8M 404 3 20:15 21:40 SEOUL TO YANGON Days Dep Daily 18:40 2,3,5,6 19:50

Subject to change without notice

Day 1 = Monday 2 = Tuesday 3 = Wednesday 4 = Thursday 5 = Friday 6 = Saturday 7 = Sunday

Flights AI 228

Arr 15:05

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People sunbathe along the Seine River in Paris on July 20, during the 12th annual Paris Plages event. Photo: AFP

56 the pulse international


Iconic US indie music club ends 35-year run

TERRENCE DOPP AND ELIZABETH DEXHEIME AMES Mastro, guitarist for the rock band the Bongos, had just graduated high school when he heard about a small corner bar in Hoboken, New Jersey, that was luring musicians to the square-mile New Jersey city west of the Hudson River. Mastro came to Hoboken in the early 1980s and joined the Bongos, the group that evolved from a, the first band to play at Maxwells. He even lived above the venue at 11th and Washington streets for two years when he first moved there from northwest New Jersey. It was definitely kind of what drew me to the town, Mastro, 53, said in an interview from his Hoboken music-repair shop, the Guitar Bar. In a weird way, it was easier to tell my parents I was moving to Hoboken than to New York.


AUGUST 5 - 11, 2013

AQUARIUS | Jan 20 - Feb 18

LEO | Jul 23 - Aug 22 Some things are better left in the dreamy realms of your imagination. Develop your instinct for perfect timing by maintaining motivation, which is an integral part of achieving your personal best. Make your mind a receptacle for constructive influences, which will help you become the master of yourself and the leader of others. VIRGO | Aug 23 - Sep 22 Your strong mind-body connection can easily be broken by delusion and defilement. In the face of emotional interference, you need to keep you inner thoughts fresh and sharp to maintain your intellectual balance. Absolute calm is not the law of the ocean, and you should learn more about the social and political forces swamping you from all directions. LIBRA | Sep 23 - Oct 22 Do whatever it takes to turn intentions into visible action. By doing so, you will be able to perform miracles. Allow change to occur according to the laws of nature, and learn how to adapt. Pay attention to your communication habits and their influence on your social relations. Love means acting for the benefit of others rather than succumbing to emotional greed. SCORPIO | Oct 23 - Nov 21 Believe in yourself as a cool person filled with confidence and endurance. It is important not to overemphasise the importance of material things, thoughts of which can take over your mind if youre not careful. Unexpected social changes will affect your life and pose professional risks. Calm yourself and freshen your perspective so you can look forward with clarity. SAGITTARIUS | Nov 22 - Dec 21 Unity and cooperation are essential for enjoying the fruits of success. Your life will entail a lot of responsibility. Dont be afraid of situations that challenge your imagination and logic. Try to get along with those who harbour viewpoints that are in opposition to yours. Looking down on others will only make you seem petty and stupid. CAPRICORN | Dec 22 - Jan 19 Understand the value of the smiles you see on the faces of those who are going about their daily business. Plant fragrant flowers in the garden of love, and give them the nourishment they need to bloom. Much of your mental energy will be occupied with family affairs. You must take care to express yourself diplomatically in social situations.

John Baizley of progressive metal band Baroness performs at Maxwells on November 20, 2008. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

After 35 years of hosting bands in its 200-capacity back room, Maxwells, an icon of the New York-area music scene, closed its doors on July 31. As Hoboken evolved from a working-class neighbourhood, to a haven for musicians, then a home for bar-hopping Wall Street professionals, club co-owner Todd Abramson said the new residents werent as interested in seeing concerts at Maxwells. Hobokens parking regulations are geared toward residents, a hassle for customers as well as band members, Abramson said, adding that after more clubs opened to serve the citys growing 20-something crowd, the bar scene came to resemble spring break in Florida. Thats a turnoff for some people, he said. I just felt long-term that this business was getting more and more difficult to operate in Hoboken. The club goes the way of other venerable New York City-area rock venues that have closed, including the Mudd Club and Maxs Kansas City. CBGB, which beckoned generations of punks on the Bowery with its graffiti-covered white awning, is now a John Varvatos clothing store. Maxwells opened in 1978 in a former shot-and-beer joint that catered to workers in the nearby Maxwell House coffee factory. Over the years, it hosted bands such as REM, Nirvana, the Replacements and New Jersey natives the Feelies. Parts of Bruce Springsteens Glory Days music video were filmed there in 1985. In the 1990s, Maxwells was named the Best Club in New York Even Though Its in New Jersey by the New Yorker magazine. It was just a great little club, Mastro said. If you saw someone walking around town in a leather jacket, you knew youd see them later in Maxwells because there werent too many people dressing like that around here. Yo La Tengo, an independent rock band formed in Hoboken, became known for staging Hanukkah shows there annually for nine years. Ira Kaplan, singer and founding member of the band, said the club was known as

a place where performers were treated well and music came first. Maxwells was less about trying to make a scene, and it was just a place to hear great music, said Kaplan, 56. It had the feeling of being more of an adjunct to our basements. At Maxwells, there was no backstage, and musicians had to wade through the crowd to get on stage. Band members would mill about with fans and eat at tables in the restaurant before and after their shows. Abramson said he always tried to take good care of the musicians, including giving them free meals. Theres definitely a sense of loss, Kaplan said, and New Jersey is going to miss it. Tim Gehan, 50, said he saw more than 500 shows at Maxwells, including about 70 Yo La Tengo gigs. The first artists he saw there were country rockers Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore in September 1990, the same month he moved to Hoboken. I remember that show like it was yesterday, he said. It was a weeknight and it was pouring rain, and there were fewer than 50 people at the show, Gehan said. Half of them were soaking wet, including the artists. After about three songs, one of them said, If you guys would be more comfortable sitting on the floor, go ahead and do it. And everybody sat down on the floor, Gehan said. It was just two guys and a guitar. I was just like, I love this place. Maxwells final concert was an afternoon block party for the community, as well as indoor performances. The show featured the Bongos, the Individuals and a. With old warehouses in Hoboken now being converted into luxury condominiums, the city is not the same as it was in the 1980s, said Abramson. He said he will continue booking shows at Brooklyns Bell House and is considering opening a new club in Jersey City, Hobokens neighbour, which has a growing music scene. People who live nearby Maxwells these days are not necessarily people who want to spend the night at a rock club, Yo La Tengos Kaplan said. Theyre as likely to be dismayed that theres a rock-and-roll club on their corner. Bloomberg

Dont feel selfish about putting yourself at the top of the priority list. If you dont take care of yourself and manage your life, nothing will get done. Promise yourself that from now on, you will make a plan to deal with each new problem rather than living in denial. Treat people with dignity and respect. PISCES | Feb 19 - March 20 Your inventive mentality, including the ability to appreciate the beauty of human society, will help you progress through difficulty. Uphold the principle of love and the humanitarian desire to share your good fortune with those around you. Everything will change for the better, and you will be lost in happiness. ARIES | Mar 21 - Apr 19 Professional training, social skills and useful connections are indispensable to achieving a favourable outcome, attainment of wealth or fame. Nobody is perfect and everyone can learn from others. Know that your loyalty is a vital ingredient to a relationship. Now is the time to start looking for true love. TAURUS | Apr 20 - May 20 Knowledge and the willingness to apply yourself are essential for minimising the dangers of negative effects. Balance your emotions by finding a place far from external disturbances where you are free to relax. The comfort zone is never static: If you are not consciously striving to expand it, it tends to contract on its own. GEMINI | May 21 - June 20 Prepare yourself to face new social risks and challenges, but dont be too quick to take action. Spend less time talking and more time doing. Use your oratory skill to inspire others and keep your mind clear when looking for love. It would be beneficial to put your mental powers to use in more positive directions. CANCER | Jun 21 - Jul 22 The best way to control your emotions and prepare your defences is to smile while carefully observing those with whom you might disagree. Resolving to be successful is the most important consideration at this time. The essence of positive thinking is keeping your mind on the goal and striving to move forward. Keep love fresh and active.


Jolie tops Hollywood earning list in momentous year

ANGELINA Jolie has topped Forbes magazines annual list of top-earning actresses after pulling in an estimated US$33 million in a year marked by her decision to have a double mastectomy. Last years top earner, Kirsten Stewart, slipped to third in the list with $22 million, behind Jolie and second-placed Jennifer Lawrence, whose Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook helped her pick up $26 million. Jolies bumper earnings year reflected her return to blockbusters with the 38-year-old having signed up to star in Disneys Maleficent, a new version of the Sleeping Beauty story that began filming last month and is due for release in 2014. The film is Jolies first since she revealed in May that she had undergone a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery after being diagnosed as having a gene that gives her a very high chance of developing breast or ovarian cancer. The decision to go public over a choice have had no impact on Jolies standing in the business. Hollywood hasnt shied away from Jolie, Forbes reporter Dorothy Pomerantz wrote. Shes still one of the few actresses who can demand a paycheck north of $15 million for the right movie. Lawrence meanwhile earned relatively modest fees for her Oscar-winning role and for starring in the hugely successful first movie in The Hunger Games series. But, according to Forbes, she was able to leverage that success into much bigger cheques for the upcoming Catching Fire, which hits theatres in November, and for co-starring in the next X-Men film, Days of Future Past. Stewarts fortunes meanwhile appear to be on the wane now that another mega-hit franchise, the Twilight series, is finished. Former Friends star Jennifer Aniston placed fourth w on the list with estimated earnings of $20 million, while newcomer Emma Stone came fifth with $16 million. AFP

US film star Angelina Jolie speaks before a screening of the movie In the Land of Blood and Honey, which she directed, in Tokyo on July 29. Photo: AFP

influenced by the loss of her mother to ovarian cancer at the age of 56 was widely praised as empowering for other women facing a similar dilemma, and appears to

AUNG MYIN KYAW 4th Floor, 113, Thamain Bayan Road, Tarmwe Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 09-731-35632, Email: williameaste@gmail.com

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Tel: 512642, 510205 South Korea 97 University Avenue, Bahan Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 527142-4, 515190, fax: 513286, email: myanmar@mofat.go.kr Lao A-1, Diplomatic Quarters, Tawwin Road, Dagon Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 222482, fax: 227446, email: Laoembcab@ mptmail. net.mm Malaysia 82, Pyidaungsu Yeiktha Road, Yangon. Tel: 220248, 220249, 220251, 220230, fax: 221840, email: mwkyangon@mptmail. net.mm Nepal 16, Natmauk Yeiktha, Yangon. Tel: 545880, 557168, fax: 549803, email: nepemb @mptmail.net.mm Pakistan A-4, diplomatic Quarters, Pyay Road, Yangon. Tel: 222881 (Chancery Exchange) fax: 221147, email: pakistan@ myanmar. com.mm Philippines 50, Sayasan Road, Bahan Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 558149-151, fax: 558154, email: p.e. yangon@gmail.com Russian 38, Sagawa Road, Yangon. Tel: 241955, 254161, fax: 241953, email: rusinmyan@mptmail .net.mm Serbia No. 114-A, Inya Road, P.O.Box No. 943-Yangon. Tel: 515282, 515283, fax: 504274, email: serbemb@ yangon.net.mm Singapore 238, Dhamazedi Road, Bahan Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 559001, email: singemb_ ygn@_ sgmfa. gov.sg Sri Lanka 34 Taw Win Road, Yangon. Tel: 222812, fax: 221509, email: slembassy. yangon@gmail.com The Embassy of Switzerland No 11, Kabaung Lane, 5 mile, Pyay Rd, Hlaing Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 534754, 512873, 507089. Fax: 534754, Ext: 110 Thailand 94 Pyay Rd, Dagon Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 226721, 226728, 226824 United Kingdom 80 Strand Rd, Yangon. Tel: 370867, 380322, 371852, 371853, 256438, fax: 370866 United States of America 110, University Avenue, Kamayut Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 536509, 535756, 538038, fax: 650306 Vietnam Bldg-72, Thanlwin Rd, Bahan Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 511305 email: vnemb myr@ cybertech.net.mm Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia No.287/289, U Wisara Rd, Sanchaung Tsp. Tel : 01-536153, 516952, fax : 01-516951 UNITED NATIONS ILO Liaison 1-A, Kanbae (Thitsar Rd), Yankin Tsp, Yangon, Myanmar. Tel : 01-566538, 566539 Fax : 01-566582 IOM 12th Flr, Traders Hotel, 223, tel: 252560 ext. 5002 UNAIDS Rm: (1223~1231), 12 Fl, Traders Hotel. tel: 252361, 252362, 252498. fax: 252364. UNDCP 11-A, Malikha St, Mayangone tsp. tel: 666903, 664539. fax: 651334. UNDP 6, Natmauk Rd, Bahan tel: 542910-19. fax: 292739. UNFPA 6, Natmauk Rd, Bahan tsp. tel: 546029. UNHCR 287, Pyay Rd, Sanchaung tsp. tel: 524022, 524024. fax 524031. UNIAP Rm: 1202, 12 Fl, Traders Hotel.tel: 254852, 254853. UNIC 6, Natmauk St., BHN tel: 52910~19 UNICEF 14~15 Flr, Traders Hotel. P.O. Box 1435, KTDA. tel: 375527~32, fax: 375552 email: unicef.yangon@unicef. org, www.unicef.org/myanmar. UNODC 11-A, Malikha Rd., Ward 7, MYGN. tel: 666903, 660556, 660538, 660398, 664539, fax: 651334. email: fo.myanmar@unodc.org www. unodc.org./myanmar/ UNOPS Inya Lake Hotel, 3rd floor, 37, Kaba Aye Pagoda Rd, Mayangone Tsp. tel: 951657281~7. Fax: 657279. UNRC 6, Natmauk Rd, P.O. Box 650, TMWE tel: 542911~19, 292637 (Resident Coordinator), fax: 292739, 544531. WFP 3rd-flr, Inya Lake Hotel, 37, Kabar Aye Pagoda Rd. tel: 657011~6 (6-lines) Ext: 2000. WHO 12A Fl, Traders Hotel. tel:250583. ASEAN Coordinating Of. for the ASEAN Humanitarian Task Force, 79, Taw Win st, Dagon Tsp. Ph: 225258. FAO Myanma Agriculture Service Insein Rd, Insein. tel: 641672, 641673. fax: 641561.

General Listing
No. 205, Corner of Wadan Street & Min Ye Kyaw Swa Road, Lanmadaw Tsp, Yangon. Myanmar. Tel: (95-1) 212850 ~ 3, 229358 ~ 61, Fax: (95-1) 212854. info@myanmarpandahotel .com http://www. myanmarpandahotel.com PARKROYAL Yangon, Myanmar 33, Alan Pya Pagoda Rd, Dagon tsp. tel: 250388. fax: 252478. email: enquiry.prygn@ parkroyalhotels.com parkroyalhotels. com. Golden Hill Towers 24-26, Kabar Aye Pagoda Rd, Bahan Tsp. tel: 558556. ghtower@ mptmail.net.mm. Marina Residence 8, Kabar Aye Pagoda Rd, Mayangone Tsp. tel: 6506 51~4. fax: 650630. MiCasa Hotel Apartments 17, Kabar Aye Pagoda Rd, Yankin Tsp. tel: 650933. fax: 650960. Sakura Residence 9, Inya Rd, Kamaryut Tsp. tel: 525001. fax: 525002. The Grand Mee Ya Hta Executive Residence 372, Bogyoke Aung San Rd, Pabedan Tsp. tel 951-256355 (25 lines).

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Emergency Numbers
Ambulance tel: 295133. Fire tel: 191, 252011, 252022. Police emergency tel: 199. Police headquarters tel: 282541, 284764. Red Cross tel:682600, 682368 Traffic Control Branch tel:298651 Department of Post & Telecommunication tel: 591384, 591387. Immigration tel: 286434. Ministry of Education tel:545500m 562390 Ministry of Sports tel: 370604, 370605 Ministry of Communications tel: 067-407037. Myanma Post & Telecommunication (MPT) tel: 067407007. Myanma Post & Tele-communication (Accountant Dept) tel: 254563, 370768. Ministry of Foreign Affairs tel: 067-412009, 067-412344. Ministry of Health tel: 067-411358-9. Yangon City Development Committee tel: 248112. HOSPITALS Central Womens Hospital tel: 221013, 222811. Children Hospital tel: 221421, 222807 Ear, Nose & Throat Hospital tel: 543888. Naypyitaw Hospital (emergency) tel: 420096. Workers Hospital tel: 554444, 554455, 554811. Yangon Children Hospital tel: 222807, 222808, 222809. Yangon General Hospital (East) tel: 292835, 292836, 292837. Yangon General Hospital (New) tel: 384493, 384494, 384495, 379109. Yangon General Hospital (West) tel: 222860, 222861, 220416. Yangon General Hospital (YGH) tel: 256112, 256123, 281443, 256131. ELECTRICITY Power Station tel:414235 POST OFFICE General Post Office 39, Bo Aung Kyaw St. (near British Council Library). tel: 285499. INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Yangon International Airport tel: 662811. YANGON PORT Shipping (Coastal vessels) tel: 382722 RAILWAYS Railways information tel: 274027, 202175-8.

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22, Pyay Rd, 9 mile, Mayangone Tsp. tel: 660769, 664363.

Marina Residence, Yangon Ph: 650651~4, Ext: 109 Beauty Plan, Corner of 77th St & 31st St, Mandalay Ph: 02 72506

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(Except Sunday)


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Media & Advertising

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INTERNATIONAL MONTESSORI MYANMAR (Pre-K, Primary) 55 (B) Po Sein Road, Bahan Tsp, Yangon, Tel: 01-546097, 546761. imm.myn@gmail.com


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The Ritz Exclusive Lounge Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake Yangon 40, Natmauk Road, Tamwe Tsp, Ground Floor, Tel: 544500 Ext 6243, 6244

Road to Mandalay Myanmar Hotels & Cruises Ltd. Governors Residence 39C, Taw Win Rd, Dagon Tsp, Yangon. Tel: (951) 229860 fax: (951) 217361. email: RTMYGN@mptmail.net.mm www.orient-express.com

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22, Kaba Aye Pagoda Rd, Bahan Tsp. tel 541997. email: leplanteur@ mptmail.net.mm. http://leplanteur.net Traders Caf Traders Hotel, Yangon. #223, Sule Pagoda Rd. Tel: 242828 ext: 6519

The Emporia Restaurant Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake Yangon 40, Natmauk Road, Tamwe Tsp. Lobby Level, Tel: 544500 Ext 6294

Yangon International School Fully Accredited K-12 International Curriculum with ESL support No.117,Thumingalar Housing, Thingangyun Township, Yangon. Tel: 578171, 573149 www.yismyanmar.net Yangon International School New Early Childhood Center Pan Hlaing Golf Estate Housing & U Tun Nyo Street, Hlaing Thar Yar Township, Yangon. Tel: 687701, 687702

Asian Trails Tour Ltd 73 Pyay Rd, Dagon tsp. tel: 211212, 223262. fax: 211670. email: res@ asiantrails.com.mm Shan Yoma Tours Co.,Ltd www.exploremyanmar.com

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Expert Services
MONEY CHANGER software for Computer System : Changing one from another currency. Buy & Sale Currency with receipt. Enable to Show External Display for daily exchange rate. LED board not included (Separate charge For upgrade) Ph: 09-730-75931, Email: zinmyintzx@gmail.com JAPANESE Interpretor Services Yangon/ Outskirt Area. Ph :09732-4 2077 Email:tnt. hr.my@gmail.com WE construct all kinds of Qualified Buildings with very fair price in Yangon, Myanmar Now! (P.A.E * 13500 kyat) (Constructed

EPSON Slip Printer (include all accessories and cable) Model_ TMU220D Color- Black Price- 145,000 Ks 2ply roll paper 20 packs Ph: 09-503-6050 HONDA FIT GE-6 2008 mode 6F/---- 1300cc, Aution Grade 3.5, white, TV, Back Camera, 4 speaker, New Tires. PH; 09-4210-85758 HUAWEI C8800, Excellent Condition, Original Box and Full Accessories, 4 Months used only . Price : 50,000 Kyats Ph: 09-5081344 (For CDMA 800 ) USED SAMSUNG Galaxy Note1 GT-N7000 Black -265000 Samsung Galaxy Ace White -80000 Samsung Galaxy S Advance white -150000 Apple Iphone 4g-32GB White -280000 Ipad3 16gb wifi -330000 Sony Xperia P -150000 Iphone 4s White 16GB -350000 Contact - 09-517-8391 99% NEW SAMSUNG Galaxy Camera Blue Color With Original Box & Accessories (4.1.1 Jelly Bean) Price : 290000 Ph : 09-501-6694 HUAWEI C8800, Excellent Condition, 4 Months used only. Price 50,000 Kyats

09-511-2500, 09-8613324, Res: 386495, 205791, No.7, Central Block, Bogyoke Aung San Market, Yangon. Show Room, 240966 (Ext: 729), 09-550-2792. ACCU Lighting, Aye Maung @ Kyaw Kyaw 09-430-67777. No.159161, Ground Floor, 29 St, Pabedan, Yangon, Ph: 376668, 09-73009120, Fax: 241064, Email: kokyaw@ accuracylighting.net KANBAWZA Wellness Centre : Products from Japan, France & USA: 80, Kanbawza St, Golden valley 1 ward, Bahan. Ph: 532254, 09-4250-15125. Email: kbzwellnesscenter@ gmail.com GOLDEN STAR Bangkok High Class Tailoring & Tetrex Centre, No.292, Banyadala Rd, Kyauk Myaung, Tamwe, Yangon, Ph: 9552060, 552069. PLUS 4, Engineering Group, Airconditioner Sale & Service Centre, Add: 54, Lan Thit St, Lanmadaw, Yangon. Tel: 09-730-39033, 09515-2348, 09-540-4040, Email: akt.plus4@gmail. com

WEB DEVELOPMENT & Design Training Sat & Sun - 3:00pm-5:00pm. Contact: 09-4211-44937 IELTS/SAT Teacher Training Are you a native speaker of English? Do you want to become a IELTS/SAT English Teacher? We train you practically. No. 757, 3rd Flr, Lanmadaw (in Chinatown). theinhtikesan01@gmail. com 095139298 MTTC : Myanmar Teachers Training Centre, Teach English for Myanmar Foundation :75A, Po Sein Rd, Bahan. Ph: 551864, 09-5052312, 09-4211-23926.

Want to Rent
"A COUPLE, no kids and pets looking for a fully furnished small condo in a nice area. Contact lulanita.bbb@gmail. com." FOREIGN Engineering company is looking for apartment for its representative in secure & quiet area in Nay Pyi Taw : 2 bed rooms(not less). living room, dining room, designed & furnished in European style, modern interior decoration. Fully furnished & ari conditioned. With kitchen utensils. Generator equipped. Housekeeping & security to be provided. All offer to Eamil : tpe-yangon@ yandex.ru

VIRGIN LAND TOURS : Visa Services, Worldwide Air Ticketing, Worldwide Hotel reservation, All kind Transportation Rental, Inbound & Outbound Tour Operator, Tour Guide Services. Ph. 018610252, 09-512-3793, 09-520-2643 NATTHMEE Classical Travels : Taunggyi-InlyKalaw-Pindaya ( july 18) hotels + Transportation + breakfast, lunch, Dinner Package Trip for 3 night 4 days 180000 kyats for one person. Bagan-Popa (july 18) hotels + Transportation + breakfast,lunch,Dinner Package Trip for 2 night

Want to Buy
SUPER CUSTOM : Model 99,2000. Ph: 09518-8320. USED APPLE IPHONE Samsung HTC Sony Huawei Used Laptop notebook Netbook macbook pro and table ipad etc.. contact : 09517-8391


organizational skills. Pls send application letter, CV, passport photo, copies of education qualifications & references to: MSFHolland/ AZG (Yangon Coordination) .62A, Bawdiyeiktha-Thanlwin Rd, Bahan, Yangon. Or through rakhine-esdrecruiting@oca.msf.org. Closing date : 9th August 2013 MYANMAR RED Cross Society is seeking (1) Project Officer (CBHD) 1 post in Nay Pyi Taw : University Degree or advanced education, certificate in health/ social science, management or other relevant subject. 2 years of experience in health related field. Effective both Myanmar & English Language skills. Effective Computer Knowledge. (2)Branch WASH Officer (CBHDP focus on MNCH) 4 posts in Falam, Matupi, Mogoke, Sagaing: University Degree or AGTI. 2 years' experience in Wat San related activities in CBHD. Pls send application letter, CV & related documents to Myanmar Red Cross Society Head Office Yazathingaha Rd, Dekhinathiri, Nay Pyi Taw. Or mrcshrrecruitment@ gmail.com. REQD. URGENTLY in Limited Foreign Company, salary as per experiences & market standard. Designation: GM or AVP. Experience: 14+ years. Age: No bar. Salary:As per industry standards. Nationality: Indian(Preferred) / Other. Responsibility: To develop Commodities Trading to Myanmar. Competencies: Must have experience of dealing in Bulk Commodities. Preferably import into Myanmar. Contact details: Tel: 09500-2025, 01-371374, Email ID: zmtcool@ gmail.com, jyoti.b227@ gmail.com, jyoti.b227@ rediffmail.com ASSOCIATE needed for a Singapore based company; age 2130; fluency in English a must; people with commerce, mathematics and business background will be preferred; salary: negotiable; Interested candidates email kshitij. arora@atcapital.co.in MYANMAR RED Cross Society is seeking (1) Community Safety & Resilience (CSR) Coordinator 1 post in MRCS- Nay Pyi Taw & Yangon : University Degree or advanced education, certificate in health/ social science, management or other relevant subject. 3 years experience. Effective both Myanmar and English language skills . Effective Computer knowledge. Understanding of the Red Cross Movement & willingness to actively promote Red Cross fundamental principles. Red Cross Volunteers are preferable. (2) Disaster Management Officer 1 post in Sittwe: Bachelor's degree or social science. 1 year experience in disaster management, including specific experience in disaster response. Effective English language skill & computer knowledge. Red Cross Volunteers are preferable. Pls send application letter, CV & related documents to Myanmar Red Cross Society Head Office. Yazathingaha Rd, Dekkhinathiri, Nay Pyi Taw. Or Email : mrcshrrecruitment@ gmail.com SOLIDARITES Int'l (SI) is seeking Administrative Manager in Bhamo, Kachin State : University level or equivalent in accounting/ m a n a g e m e n t / administration. 2 years experience in a similar position with NGO. Excellent knowledge of Word and Excel. Fluent in English & Myanmar. Pls submit application (CV, cover letter, references) by email: hr.solidarites. mm@gmail.com, recuriment@solidaritesmyanmar.org Closing date: 10 August 2013. Comfortable working with young learners, Able to devote oneself to teaching, Friendly, enthusiastic and patient. All candidates should be good in communication and interpersonal skills. (3).Receptionist(Main Campus) - F 1 post :Age under 30. Bachelors Degree in any field or Diploma in the relevant field. Sufficient work experience in the related field. Good command of English. Able to handle phone communication. BENEFITS: Attractive Salary, Lunch is provided, An opportunity to work for an institution where students have lots of outstanding international achievements, Enhancement training . Interested candidates can come for between the office hours. Pls bring CV along with a copy of your credentials to 235, ShukintharMyoPatt Rd, Taketa, Yangon.Ph: 450396, 450397. CLosing date : August 9th, 2013. (1)SPEAK English fluenly F 3 posts ( 2) Computar (word, Excel, photoshop) 2 posts. (3) Driver - 2 posts : Age 30 to 50. Ph : 09-4921- 4276, 09- 4201-14749 JOTUN is one of the world's leading manufacturers of decorative paints, marine, protective and powder coatings from Norway. Jotun Myanmar Services Co. has recently been established with the aim to grow and develop in Myanmar. (1)Sales Executives - 3 posts :Bachelor degree in Business, Commercial or any related field. 2 years working experience in sales. Good in spoken & written English. Computer literate (2)Multicolor Technician - 1 post : Diploma or Degree in Technology/Engineering (Mechatronics, Mechanical or related field). 4 years experience in electrical or mechanical field. Good in English (reports, manual guides & documentation will be in English) Computer literate. We offer: Trainings to ensure our employees are competent in the position. Exciting challenges in a growing company with commitment. An int'l corporate culture founded on our four values; Loyalty, Care, Respect and Boldness. Pls submit CV with necessary documents to Manager: Career Development Section, RVi Institute : 44, Than Lwin Rd, Bahan, Yangon. Email : rvinstitute.cds@ gmail.com within 7 days. WE ARE searching for Assistant Sales Manager , Sales Supervisor who is good in English, knowledge background of Food & Beverage for Hotel, restaurant and Bakery Supplies. Contact: 09-500-8359, 01450858, 09-4310-3561 Grand Wynn Group of Companies (1)FEMALE Executive Assistant Required Excellent English; Salary USD 250-600; Email CV : kshitij.arora@atcapital. co.in (2) Business Analyst Required Business/ Commerce/Maths Background; Preferable Salary : Negotiable; Email CV kshitij.arora@atcapital. co.in ADMIN - F 1 post : With good communication skill (Myanmar & English), Marketing & accounting knowledge, Age between 22-28 years. info@allianz.com. lazumruthhkawnawng@ gmail.com, 09-4400-0 2276 URGENT NEED : Marketing - F 1 post : Part Time, Experience in Web field, May be Bachelor degree, Can market wherever around Yangon by bus, Mon, Wed, Thursday and 9 am to 5 pm (Working Days & Hours) Interested candidates must bring all necessary documents (CV form, copied of NRC no / recommendation of ward and police, all of the qualification documents) and pls contact Future Point (Thuwunna) 09732-15521. WOULD you like to work at international company? We are seeking (1)Civil Engineer - M/F 2 posts: Well known at concerte or quality control (Q.C) experience, willing to travel around Myanmar (2)Admin - F 1 post For 1 & 2 : Basic knowledge of English. Civil E(3)Office helper - F 1 post . All applicants must be hard working & healthy. Pls contact Email: myanmar @th.sika.com. Ph: +95973227962, www.sika. co.th LEGENDARY Myanmar Co., Ltd is seeking for Emport / Import Departmet (1)Office staff - F 3 posts (2) Custom Clearance _ M/F 2 posts (3)Packers (10 Standard passed) - M 5 posts. For Travel & Tour Department (1) Tour Operator - F 2 posts (2)Office staff F 2 posts. Allapplicants must have University graduate, spoken & written English, excellent interpersonal skill & good computer knowledge, 1 year experience in relative field. Pls apply CV with 2 recent photo, NRC copy, Labour registration card, Police recommendation leltter & other document to No. 9 Rm A-4, 3rd Flr, Kyaung St, Myaynigone, Sanchaung. GENERAL MANAGER : University Graduate in Business Management. Age between 30 ~ 45. Minimum 2 years experience in management field. Good spoken and written English. Must be able to travel within the country. Must be able to work under pressure. Excellent interpersonal & communication skills and strong organizational skills. Submit your CV at 344, Maharbandoola Rd, between 39th & 40th St or send to cntmobileshop@ gmail.com. VOLUNTEER Required Are you a native speaker of English? Are you interested in helping children and teenagers or adolescents speak English? Pls contact us. Ph: 09-73255281, 09-513-9298 theinhtikesan01@gmail. com No.757, 2nd Flr, Mahabandoola Rd, Lanmadaw (Chinatown), Ygn. SMART and Presentable Female executive assistant needed for a Singapore based company, age 21-32, fluency in English a must, salary: 250-600 USD, Interested candidates email kshitij.arora@ atcapital.co.in LOOKING for professor or lecturer A reputable Myanmar company is looking for a trainer who can work full time. Social science or management professor/ lecturer preferred. If interested, please contact Sue at sungeoo87@gmail.com SING-LINK Training Center is currently seeking for: Native or Near Native English, Chinese, Myanmar Language Teachers (full-time/part time) Requirements : Be a native/ near nativespeaker. Hold a 4-years university degree or higher. Have minimum 2 years teaching experience. Be positive thinking , hard-working. Flexible, innovative & resourceful teaching methods. Interested Candidates, pls forward CV to singlinkeducation@ gmail.com & singlinkedunandar@ gmail.com. Pls contact us, Sing-Link Training Center:15/17, MTP Tower, 5-B (Hledan), Insein Rd, Kamaryut. Tel:09-4211-45155, 093130-6367. ASN has recently expanded to Myanmar opening branch in Yangon soon another in Mandalay and Tachilek. ASN is global marketing company offering wide selection of fast moving consumer goods: (skin & body care, make ups, supplements, cleaning products) We are currently looking for independent distributors to market our products throughout Myanmar. We provide free training and ongoing support. To arrange meeting call Mr. Tom 09-4237-02352 WE ARE seeking (1) Sales Trade Development Manager : Bachelors Degree in Business Administration or relevant educational degree. 5 years experience in similar position, in FMCG. Good understanding of Sales policies, WHO code & working process. Computer literacy & English communication skills. (2)Brand Manager : Bachelors Degree in Business Administration (Marketing) or related fields: MBA is a plus. 5 years experience in field sales. Computer & English literacy (Thai literacy is a plus). (3) Sales Executive Bachelors Degree in Business Administration (Sales & Marketing) or related fields. 1 years experience. Computer literacy & English communication skills. (4)Nutrition Advisors Supervisor (Mandalay) : Bachelors Degree in Food Science, Food Technology, Doctor, Nurse or related fields. 3 year work experience in Nutrition or Food Sciences. Knowledge of nutrition, physiology, pharmacology, bio chemistry, food science, nurse applied science or physical therapy is required. Computer & English literacy. (5) Nutrition Advisor (Nay Pyi Taw) : Bachelors Degree in Food Science, Food Technology, Doctor, Nurse or related fields. 1 year experience in Nutrition or Food Sciences. Knowledge of nutrition, physiology, pharmacology, bioche mistry, food science, nurse applied science or physical therapy is required. Computer & English literacy. Pls submit resume to Nestle Trading (Thailand) Ltd. (Myanmar Repre sentative Office) :65, 11th Flr, Center Point. Corner of Sule Pagoda Rd & Merchant St Kyauktada, Ph: 09-732-32462. Email: zinhnaung_a@ nestlemyanmar.com. mm ORYX Int'l General Svc's Co., Ltd is seeking (1) Computer Operator - F 2 Posts : Good in English, 5 years experience in Internet, Email, Office Word, Excel, Pagemaker & Photoshop (2)Admin Officer - F 1 Post: Good in English, leadership skills, Age over 35, computer skills & knowledge of routine administration, strong personality. Able to work under stress situation (3)Office Staff - F 2 Posts: Good in English, Age over 30, computer knowledge, above 5 years experience. Salary will depend on experience & qualification. Submit details resume to Rm 806, Yuzana Tower, Shwe Gone Daing Junction, Bahan, Yangon. Tel: 558398, 09-430-66708.

UN Positions
WFP Myanmar is seeking Programme Assistant (Food/Cash for Asset Engineer) Reference no. VA13/020. 1 post : Sittwe : 6 months (Extendable) - Bachelor degree in majoring Civil engineering and/or equivalent degree/ diploma in a field related to Civilengineering.4yearsof progressively responsible in rural infrastructure development projects and at least 1 year at level 4 or equivalent. Experience utilising computers including word processing, spreadsheet and other software packages.Fluency in English and Myanmar. Pls send the applications with UN P-11 form to HR Unit, World Food Programme, 3rd Flr, Inya Lake Hotel, 37 Kaba Aye Pagoda Rd, Yangon, P.O. Box 650(or) email to Myanmar.vacancy@wfp. orgCOB 8 August 2013. IOM Int'l Organization for Migration is seeking Community Facilitator in Mawlamyinegyun, Ayerwaddy Region: Must have a client-oriented and result-orientated mindset, and uphold the programme valuesof caring, innovating, partnering, demonstrating competence & working for positive change. 2 years progressively responsible experience in working with commu nity based health programs (preferably in the field Maternal & Child health, Primary Health Care) with an INGO, LNGO, UN agency. Ability to undertake travel out of Mawlamyinegyun town to villages. Pls submit CV to IOM Mission in Myanmar - Yangon, 12th Flr, Traders Hotel, 223, Sule Pagoda Rd, Yangon, Email: iomyangon@iom.int, Tel: 252560, 254008

Ingo Positions
MEDECINS Sans Frontieres-Holland (AZG) is seeking Medical Program Manager 1 post in Rakhine State: Medical degree. 2 years experience with MSF. Experience in related field will be an asset. Good computer skills, preferable. Pls send application letter, CV, passport photo, copies of education qualifications & references to: HR Coordinator, MSFHolland/ AZG (Yangon Coordination), 62A, Bawdiyeiktha-Thanlwin Rd, Bahan, Yangon, Or through rakhine-esdrecruiting@oca.msf.org. Closing date : 13th of August 2013. WORLD VISION Myanmar is seeking Cashier Cum Book keeper in Hmawbi: University Degree in accounting/ finance or related subject. 2 years experience as Cashier or in the field of finance and administration. Working knowledge of Microsoft Word & Excel. Pls submit resume (clearly identify the post you apply) by post to HR Department, World Vision Myanmar or in person to application drop-box at No (18), Shin Saw Pu Rd; Ahlone, Sanchaung PO or send to myajobapps@wvi.org Closing date : August 9, 2013. SOLIDARITES Int'l (SI)

is seeking Hygiene Promotion Supervisor in Sittwe, Rakhine State: 2 years of professional experience in INGO. Demonstrated team management & planning abilities. Knowledge of the RakhineState&theproject area is considered as an advantage. Excellent computer skills. Pls submit application (CV, cover letter, references) to the attention of: HR Department Solidarites Int'l, 44A, Tharyarwaddy Lane, Bahan, Yangon or per email: hr.recruitment. mm@gmail.com, cc: to sit.hr.tech@solidaritesmyanmar.org. Closing date : 12th August 2013. MEDECINS Sans Frontieres - Holland (AZG) is seeking Nurse 2 posts in Yangon: University degree in nursing care or Diploma in Nursing. Valid licence and official registration. Basic English. Able to speak local language. Pls send application letter, CV, passport photo, copies of education qualifications & references to: Project Coordinator, MSFHolland (Yangon Project Office) 15(C), Aung Min Khaung St, Kamayut, Yangon. Or through yangon@oca.msf.org. Closing date : 8th August 2013 MEDECINS Sans Frontieres - Holland (AZG) is seeking (1) HR Assistant (Only for Myanmar National) 1 post in Yangon: 10th standard passed. Fluent in English. MSF experienced preferred. 1 year experience within an administrative role. Excellent computer skills. Closing date : 9th August 2013 (2) Malaria Mobile Field Monitor 1 post in Sittwe: 10th Standard passed. Knowledge of malaria diagnosis & treatment. 1 year relevant experience preferably with MSF in health education, microscopy, dispensing or field site monitoring, or PHC. Closing date : 13th August, 2013. Pls send application letter, CV & passport photo, copies of education qualifications &references to: HR Coordinator, MSFHolland/ AZG (yangon Coordination), No.62A, Bawdiyeiktha-Thanlwin Rd, Bahan, Yangon. or through msfh.myanmar. recruitment@gmail.com. MEDECINS du Monde (MDM) is seeking (1) Field Administrator 1 post in Pyapon: University Degree in Finance, Accounting and general administration. 3 years experience in related field (minimum of 30 staff). Fluent in Myanmar & English. (2) Field Nurse 2 Posts in Pyapon: Nursing Diploma or midwife. Experience working in position, field nurses preferably with an int'l organization. Pls submit CV and a cover letter to MDM Country Coordination Office, Yangon, No.47-B, Po Sein St, Bahan, Yangon, Ph: 542830, 09-73171002, Email: office. mdmmyanmar@gmail. com MEDECINS Sans Frontieres - Holland (AZG) is seeking Nurse 5 posts in Rakhine State: University Degree in nursing care. Basic English. Good

Local Positions
REAL FITNESS is seeking (1)Receptionist - F 1 post : Age 20 ~ 28. Fluent in English. Relevant work experience. Can us Internet & Email, Fax and Copier . (2)Fitness Trainer - M/F 2 posts : Age 21 ~ 35. Certificate in gym personal training/ physical fitness. Can speak English (3) Cleaner - M/F 2 posts : Age 25 ~ 35. English Basic. Relevant work experience. Pls submitCV Form, Labour copy Photo with necessary docments to 20, Ground Flr, Pearl St, Shwe Taung Gyar Word, City FM Compound, Bahan Tsp. Ph: 011220881, 09-509-7057, 01-549478 Ext 103. Closing date : 31.8.2013 URGENTLY REQUIRES a receptionist who can speak English. Please apply to the following address and e mail. advertising.myanmar@ gmail.com BPMI Co., Ltd (Ginvera & Bio-essence) is seeking Marketing Manager - F 1 post : Any graduate, Age 25 ~ 32, Computer literate, 3 years of supervisor experience in related field, Excellent interpersonal skill, Management skill & communication skill. Self motivated, initiative & enthusiastic to team, Able to work to deadline. Pls send application with a CV, one recent passport photo with necessary documents to HR department : 19/84, 32 St (75 ~ 76), Mandalay. Ph: 02-61975, 02-69861, 09-492-73172. ITALY INTERPRETER Female 1 post. Contact : Sunny Shoes Company Limited :09-730-94957, 09-502- 1732 HORIZON Int'l Schoolis looking for qualified and energetic personnel for the following positions. All candidates should be good in communication and interpersonal skills. (1).Office secretary (For Kindergarten) - F 3 posts : Age under 30. Bachelors Degree in any field or Diploma in the relevant field. Sufficient work experience in the related field. Good command of English. Computer literate. Customer care skills (2). Assistant Teacher (For Kindergarten) - F 5 posts :Age 20 ~ 35, University graduate, Must be proficient in English,

62 Sport


Pacquiao to have early morning fight in Macau

PHILIPPINE boxing legend Manny Pacquiao will strap on his gloves on a Sunday morning when he takes on Brandon Rios in Macau, as promoters cash in on the lucrative US pay-perview market. In an almost unprecedented move, Americas top promoter Bob Arum announced that the November 24 fight will begin at 10am, ensuring a prime-time Saturday night audience in America. The unorthodox start time copies the strategy used back in 1975, when Muhammad Ali fought Joe Frazier in the legendary Thrilla in Manila, which kicked off at 10.45am. November 24 will be an historic occasion. Its expected this event will reach more people than any event held in China, other than the Olympics, said Arum, who is striving to penetrate the country of 1.3 billion potential fight fans. The fight will be live here at about 10am on Sunday, which is 9pm on Saturday night in New York, the usual time to start a pay-per-view show. Arum made the announcement at a press conference at Macaus Venetian resort-hotel on July 28, which will play host to the biggest bout in Chinas history. Pacquiao, whose record stands at 54-5-2 with 38 knockouts, will be searching for a convincing win if he wants to extend his fight career, following a pair of consecutive losses. In December last year he suffered an excruciating defeat during his fourth meeting with Juan Manuel Marquez, whose hammerblow right at the end of the sixth sent the Filipino crashing to the canvas. Following the knockout the 34-year-old vowed to fight on, despite calls from family, friends and media commentators to call it a day.

Manchester Uniteds Ashley Young (R) reacts after being tackled at Hong Kong stadium on July 29. Photo: AFP

Worse for wear

Premier League teams count the high cost of Asia tours
HE Premier Leagues top teams swarmed to Asia chasing the regions growing wealth and unquenchable thirst for English football, but they go home counting the fitness costs. At least two key players Jan Vertonghen of Spurs and Matija Nastasic of Manchester City suffered injuries during lucrative friendlies that could see them miss the start of the season, which kicks off in under three weeks. Manchester Uniteds Wayne Rooney was in Bangkok for less than 24 hours when he sustained a hamstring injury in training and was immediately sent back to Britain for rehabilitation. He is at least expected back before the start of the season and is pencilled in for a return on August 6. Trips to Asia are becoming a hugely important revenue source for clubs keen to cash in on television and sponsorship deals, fees from friendly matches and sales of official merchandise. But while the clubs moneymen rub their hands together at the everincreasing demand for live appearances across the continent, coaches and players alike have admitted the demanding schedule is exhausting. Spurs manger Andre Villas-Boas was in open revolt after seeing Vertonghen, a first-choice defender, pick up an ankle injury playing on a surface in Hong Kong that his Sunderland counterpart Paolo Di Canio branded a killer pitch. If I can be sincere, I would prefer not to play, but this is the reality that we have to face, said the Portuguese on the eve of his sides friendly against South China. After seeing his team hammer the hopelessly outclassed local side 6-0, Villas-Boas said that he was just relieved to get out without any more injuries. Hours later Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini found himself in the same boat when he lost firstpick centre-half Nastasic, also at Hong Kong Stadium, where days of heavy rain had the players slipping and sliding dangerously. The young Serbians injury was caused by a kick to the ankle, said Pellegrini, who refused to blame the muddy pitch. Nastasic appeared to be in considerable pain as he was stretchered from the field in front of a 40,000 sell-out crowd. Manchester United were the most ambitious, jet-setting on a whistle stop tour of Thailand, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong. They played five times in just 17 days. Their manager David Moyes said it was inevitable players would pick up minor injuries in such a tight schedule. When youve been away for three weeks and played the games in quick succession and had to travel theres always going to be slight niggles and strains which you want to protect, he said. His Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger, whose side embarked on a two-week tour that took in Vietnam, Japan and Indonesia, where temperatures nudged above 32 degrees Celsius (90F), also admitted four games in 13 days had taken its toll. We are well advanced in our preparation, Wenger said. It depends now on how quickly well recover from that trip because it was very difficult. The England striker Jermain Defoe, who hit a hat-trick in the romp over South China, was another to admit that playing on the other side of the world in the fierce summer heat and humidity had been draining. A lot of the boys have been really tired, to be honest, as you can imagine with the time difference and training twice a day, he said. But its a long season and you need to get fit. Its not a holiday, at the end of the day. Weve had six or seven weeks to have our holidays and that, and now its time to work. Liverpool was also in town, playing friendlies in Indonesia, Australia and Thailand that racked up a total of seven goals, but thankfully for manager Brendan Rodgers there were no significant injury worries. AFP


Im going to show the world, everybody that doubts me.

Brendon Rios American boxer

Manny Pacquiao (L) and Brendon Rios pose during a press conference in Beijing on July 30. Photo: AFP

As the fights promotional tour kicked off, Rios (33-1-1 with 23 KOs) confidently told his detractors who call me a punchbag that he would secure victory over the former world champion in eight weight divisions. The 27-year-old American told journalists, Im very nervous ... Im not nervous about the fight, Im nervous about being in front of all you people. Im going to show the world, everybody that doubts me, everybody that talks bad about me, that says Im a punching bag. They are going to see, November 24 ... Brandon Rios win. Pacquiao said, I would like to thank God for another chance in my life to fight again. His trainer, the veteran Freddie Roach, added, We will be back on top soon. AFP


Banner controversy sparks South Korea Japan row

POLITICAL banners and a military flag displayed at a football match between South Korea and Japan have dragged top government officials from both countries into a diplomatic spat. The Korea Football Association (KFA) issued a statement on July 31 insisting that Japanese fans waving a large rising sun Japanese military flag had incited South Korean supporters at the July 28 East Asia Cup tie in Seoul. The home fans had unfurled a giant banner in the first half that read There is no future for a people that have forgotten history, a reference to Japans 1910-45 occupation of South Korea. Many South Koreans believe Japan has failed to atone for abuses during the colonial period which remains a constant source of tension between the two countries. The banner was taken down at half-time, but Japans football association still lodged an official complaint and demanded an explanation from the KFA. Two other banners displayed before the game bore portraits of a Korean independence activist who assassinated a top Tokyo official in 1909, and the admiral who fought off a Japanese invasion in the 16th century. On July 31, Japans chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said the banners were extremely regrettable and violated a FIFA ban on political statements. Sports Minister Hakubun Shimomura went further on Tuesday, saying the style of the banners called into question the nature of the people in South Korea. The South Korean foreign ministry then responded with a statement deploring Shimomuras rude comments. Although the size of the South Korean banners suggested the protest was pre-planned, the July 31 KFA statement argued it had been triggered by the away supporters military flag-waving. The flag evokes painful memories for Koreans. Yet the Japanese fans waved a giant flag right after the match kicked off, greatly provoking South Korean fans and triggering the whole incident, it said. Japan should stop highlighting the act by South Korean fans while ignoring the fact some Japanese waved the giant rising sun flag in the middle of the South Korean capital, the KFA said. A similar incident occurred when the two football teams met during the London Olympics last year. South Koreas Park Jong-Woo was banned for two games by FIFA and fined after he displayed a sign referring to a territorial dispute between the two countries. AFP

Portraits of Korean independence activist Ahn Jung-Geun, and Korean Admiral Yi Sun-Sin (L) held aloft by fans at the East Asian Cup on July 28 in Seoul. Photo: AFP


SPORT EDITOR: Tim McLaughlin | timothy.mclaughlin3@gmail.com

Premier League teams hurting after Asia tours



Yangon Mixed martial artists to square off in Yangon

Fourteen mixed martial artists from nine nations will take part in a tournament on August 31 at Thuwana Stadium in Yangon. The event, organised by the Forever Company, Bec-Tero and Myanmar Media Group, is expected to draw fighters from the United States, England, Australia, Pakistan, Iran, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and Myanmar. Boxers Htet Aung Oo and Lay Hnyo Shin will represent Myanmar. We were using Myanmar traditional boxing, which will give us a chance to showcase the discipline. But mixed martial arts is different from boxing because in boxing we are not allow to wrestle with our opponents, said Lay Hnyo Shin. Tickets to the event will be priced from K10,000 to K8,000.


Yangon Yadanarbon FC hauls in July awards

Yadanarbon FC coach Zaw Lay Aung has been named the Myanmar National League Coach of the Month for July with Yadanarbon striker Yan Paing collecting the Player of the Month award. Zaw Lay Aung led the 5th place Yadanarbon to five wins and three draws over the past month. Much of the clubs success was due to the exceptional play of Yan Paing who netted three goals in eight matches. Both U Zaw Lay Aung and Yan Paing will accept their awards on August 6. Kyaw Zin Hlaing

Kansas City MLS to add four teams by 2020

ITH one week of matches remaining in the season, Yangon United FC captured their third consecutive Myanmar National League title on July 29 at Yangon United Soccer Complex with a win over Magwe FC and a little help from Zeyar Shwe Myay FC. Heading into the match Yangon United found themselves atop the MNL table with 43 points. Nay Pyi Taw FC was sat within striking distance in second with 41 points as they squared off against Zeyar Shwe Myay FC in Monywa. To seal the title Yangon United needed to collect a win at home but also needed Zeyar Shwe Myay to win or draw in their match against Nay Pyi Taw. Yangon got the win 21 and Zeyar Shwe Myay mustered a 11 delivering the Lions their third title in as many years.

The United States Major League Soccer plans to add four new teams by the 2020 season, commissioner Don Garber announced on July 31. MLS has added 10 clubs since the beginning of the 2005 season. That includes a new franchise announced earlier this year, New York City Football Club, backed by English Premier League club Manchester City and baseballs New York Yankees and set to begin play in 2015. NYCFC will be the leagues 20th team. AFP

Zeyar Shwe Myay helped us to become champions. I am grateful to Zeyar Shwe Myay.
Ivan Kolev Yangon United FC coach

I am very happy because we are the three-time champions. Zeyar Shwe Myay helped us to become champions. I am grateful to Zeyar Shwe Myay, Yangon United coach Ivan Kolev said following the match. Yangon United got off to a sluggish start and the match remained knotted at 00 through the first half of play. Magwe caught a break in the 59th minute when striker Ko Ko Naing slipped behind the defence, and perhaps the eye of the referee, to put the ball past Yangon United goalkeeper Naing Zayar Tun on a play that what many fans and Yangon players thought should have been flagged as offsides. Magwe remain on top 10 until the 67th minute when Adama Kon attacked from the left wing, putting a powerful shot into the back of the net for the equaliser. The goal was Kons 13th of the season. The striker from Cte dIvoire nearly netted his 14th in the 84th minute when he broke free on a long run but was stopped short when he was tackled by a Magwe defender Nay Min Tun. But just two minutes later Brazilian Cezar put Yangon ahead on a penalty kick for his MNLleading 19th score of the season. As the final seconds of stoppage time ticked off the clock Yangon fans flooded the pitch to celebrate. I want to congratulate my players because they tried very hard throughout the season to win, Kolev said. This year was difficult for us. Every team plays hard when they meet Yangon United. We also were distracted as we played in the AFC Cup this year. But in the second

half of the season we sustained our first place position. Yangon United will officially celebrate their victory after their final match against Nay Pyi Daw on August 4 at Wunna Theikhti Stadium in the capital. There will be considerably less excitement surrounding the match now that a champion has been crowned. Despite falling short of the MNL top spot Nay Pyi Taw can find a

silver lining in their marked improvement from last season when they finished seventh. Their second place finish this season is enough to qualify for the group stage of next years AFC Cup. Hantharwady United and Rakhine United will end the season at the bottom of the table. Both clubs will be relegated to the second division for the 2014 season.

Yangon Uniteds Kyi Lin is tackled by a Magwe defender on July 29 at the Yangon United Soccer Complex. Photo: Supplied

Sugars bitter reality

Although data is scarce, experts believe that as many as 7 out of every 50 people in Myanmars urban areas have diabetes an illness which can be fatal if left untreated

U Hla Myo was diagnosed with Type I diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, as a five-year-old and now, at 58, he has Type II diabetes. He can barely see and had to close his business last year after having an operation, which was the result of a complication from the life-long disease. One way diabetes has attacked his body is through his skin. Over the years U Hla Myo has had several operations for skin disease. His body takes much longer to recover from operations than most, because his skin cells take longer to repair and his blood doesnt clot as it should. Ive had the disease since I was five, but I never paid any attention to what I ate and I never exercised, he said. Type II diabetes is primarily caused by obesity in people with a genetic predisposition to the disease. Diabetes has given him a lot of trouble in his life, he said, and he feels sad for himself, for the fact that he did not take the correct prevention methods even though he knew early in his life that he had the condition. Dr Ko Ko, who is the assistant manager of the Myanmar Diabetes Project, said that after the age of 40, everyone should take a blood test to check for diabetes. However, he said, most people avoid the test because it can be very difficult for people to accept they might

have diabetes and think it will make more trouble for them if they find out. Diabetes is believed to be brought on by several factors in addition to a high-fat and high-sugar diet and genetic predisposition. A lack of exercise, fluctuating blood levels, blood pressure and cholesterol are also contributing factors to the onset of the disease. Keeping these factors in balance and close to normal levels, Dr Ko Ko said, can help delay or prevent diabetes and its complications. People who already have the disease need regular monitoring, with insulin treatment continuing indefinitely for many people. In addition, those with diabetes have a higher risk of developing infections should they suffer from other diseases, Dr Ko Ko explained. People with diabetes also have an increased risk of developing a number of serious health problems, affecting the heart and blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, nerves and teeth. Diabetes is also the leading cause of blindness in Myanmar, according to research released this year, Dr Ko Ko said. Myanmar lacks adequate data concerning diabetes, but four regional surveys will be taken in Myanmar in October this year with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health and the National Diabetes Federation, Dr Ko Ko said. According to the statistics from a 2010 Ministry of Health study, estimates show that 6 percent of people in Myanmar between the age of 25 and 70 have diabetes. Figures are higher in the

Consuming excessive amounts of sugar and fat contributes to the onset of diabetes. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

cities, where it is estimated that 14 pc of urban dwellers (due to food and life style) are diabetic, with 7 pc of the rural population diagnosed with the disease. The government estimates that 5 million people in the entire country have diabetes, Dr Ko Ko added.

Western-style fast foods are becoming popular in cities, Dr Ko Ko said. We are now seeing obesity in children because they are playing video games every day and eating a lot of fast food. While a change in diet is contributing to the increase in child obesity, Dr Ko Ko

We are now seeing obesity in children because they are playing video games every day and eating a lot of fast food. - Dr Ko Ko
He said there is evidence that the problem is getting worse in both children and adults in Myanmar. He cited a less active lifestyle and a change in diet as contributing to this more recent increase in the prevalence of the disease. said Western food is not the only, nor greatest, factor contributing to the increase in the disease. Local people also eat a lot of rice, which is also problematic for causing the onset of diabetes, he said. Rice is full of carbo-

hydrates, which converts to sugar in the blood, he explained. Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that acts like a key to let glucose (sugar) from the food we eat, passing from the blood stream into cells in the body to produce energy. Fifty percent of Type II patients risk developing health problems when this happens, he added. Most diabetes patients cannot afford to treatment because its too expensive, particularly when there are complications, such as requiring a kidney transplant or having heart disease, he said. Ma Khin Lay Kyu lives in Bago Region and she never had a problem with her health until she was in her late 40s: One day she fainted while eating a mango. I had a fainting attack [known as a syncope] after eating a mango, when I was 48 years old. This is the first time I had such a fainting attack and my family didnt know why it happened. But the doctor said I had diabetes. It was devastating. After a while, she said, she felt better but as she was unaware of the impact lifestyle has on the condition, she didnt take any steps to improve her health. It wasnt until she moved from her village to Yangon that she began seeing a specialist. The damage, however, is irreparable. I have had three checkups now because my eye-

sight is weakening and Im always drowsy, she said. The key to increasing survival rates and reducing complications, said Dr Ko Ko, is to educate the public and bring awareness to people about the symptoms and options for treatment. Doctors in Myanmar have the medicine and knowledge to treat the disease, he said, but they dont always give out enough information about how to prevent it. One step that has been taken to improve things came when the Department of Endocrinology opened in North Okkalapa General Hospital this past April, which is Myanmars first department dedicated to the treatment and prevention of diabetes. But to date, Dr Ko Ko said, the hospital has treated few patients because the public is largely unaware it exists. There are also two groups implementing disease prevention programs for diabetes in Myanmar: the Myanmar Diabetes Project, under the Ministry of Health, and the Myanmar Society of Endocrinology, which is organised by doctors under the Myanmar Medical Association. The Myanmar Diabetes Association is also in the process of registering with the government and it is expected to be launched soon, said Dr Ko Ko. If we dont address the issue of prevention among the public, then in the next five years I am certain diabetes rates will escalate, he said. So I want to tell people to have regular medical checkups dont carry an enemy in your waist.

A Myanmar Times Special Report
Editors: Myo Lwin, Jessica Mudditt Writers: Ei Ei Thu, Shwe Yee Saw Myint, Mya Kay Khine, Mark Sisson, Jessica Mudditt, Zarzar Khin, Sabine Tonkin, Phyo Wai Kyaw, Douglas Long, Christoph Gelsdorf, Phyo Arbidans, Michelle Schaner, Kyaw Zin Hlaing, Aung Kyaw Nyunt For enquiries and feedback: myolwin@myanmartimes.com.mm jess.mudditt@gmail.com Cover & Layout Design: Tin Zaw Htway, Ko Pxyo, Khin Zaw Cover Model: Su Nandar Aung Photographers: Aung Htay Hlaing, Ko Taik, Boothee, Douglas Long, Khin Maung Win, Phyo Wai Kyaw

An insect hawker on 19th Street in downtown Yangon. Photo: Boothee

Wack Wax
REMEMBER the old adage, beauty is pain? Instead of a corset or high heels, the 21st century equivalent is the bikini wax. The key to a good bikini wax is an experienced professional with a quick hand. Heat the wax, strip the cloth, apply, pull (wince): no more than 15 minutes and youre done. At Le Coiffeur, which I recently visited, the motto is slow, steady and sadist. Two very young women entered. The smell of burning wax filled the room. The wax should be hot, but not that hot. Without the use of cloth strips, waxing by an inexperienced young girls went from bad to worse. Two pairs of scissors appeared. Ignoring any prior maintenance to the bikini line, they proceeded to explain that the shorter the hair, the better. On the contrary, hair must grow out a fair bit for the pain to lessen and the waxing to be clean. Thirty minutes later, wax continued to pour onto my red, burnt skin. The landscaping was worse than before. Ten minutes later, tweezers: an attempt to individually attack the many tiny hairs missed by the socalled professionals. One more slow pull of the wax and the humiliation and pain were too much to bear. Defeated, the bikini wax was put to an end, and despite the tears of the tortured, only half of the money returned. Forget leaving feeling sexy. To wax or not to wax? Wait for that visa run to Bangkok, ladies. Yangon and Le Coiffeur is not the place.

Insects: the new protein

Regardless of whether you love them or hate them, insects such as those sold on Yangons 19th Street may just be the food of the future, says the United Nations
Times, I feel disgusted by the idea of eating [insects] and therefore Ive never tried them. I also cannot remember any of my friends eating them. However, Spanish photographer Juan Gallardo took the plunge while in Yangon and described fried insects as I like the fried crickets from my native town, she said. The taste is different from those sold in Yangon because they are very fresh. Ma Htwe Htwe said she didnt know that eating crickets or other insects was a UN-endorsed source of nutrition. She just likes them and eating them with her family when she was young. Dont like crickets? Dont worry: Theyre not the only edible insect for sale. Even ants can be a good source of protein, Ma Htwe Htwe said. She particularly enjoys a kind of a winged white ant called palu, which has a plumper Myanmar. Fried crickets are famous here, Dr Aye Aye Thaw said, as a way of generating income and jobs by selling insects and also as an additional source of protein. Theyre also low-impact: According to the UNFAOs report, a cricket requires 12 times less food than a cow does to produce an equivalent amount of protein. Traditional forms of livestock produce a much higher percentage of harmful greenhouse gases, not to mention the large quantities of chemicals often used in raising them that later leech into our food and land. To borrow a saying from another context, thats just not cricket.


THE United Nations doesnt usually offer restaurant recommendations, but next time youre tired of the same, its Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says it may have just the thing for you in the form of the newest high-protein, high-mineral content, low pollution-causing snack of choice: insects. Whether the advice seems obvious or surprising, of course, depends largely on where in the world youre living. According to a report published this year by the FAO, more than 2 billion people in the world already look to insects as a nutrition-boosting snack. While the practice may seem repulsive to those from Western countries, those in other parts of the world including Southeast Asia see nothing odd about feasting on a handful or two of crunchy critters. Most simply taste like salted crisps, albeit with legs (which seasoned consumers tend to rip off before consumption). Most of my consumers are Myanmar, said Ko Zaw Zaw, 26, an insect seller on 20th Street in Latha township. He adds, however, that others are curious too. Now the Chinese, Indians and foreigners are eating crickets in Yangon. German expat Tobias Esche told The Myanmar

A cricket requires 12 times less food than a cow does to produce an equivalent amount of protein. Food and Agriculture Organisation
yum. I had crickets as snacks with a mojito, he said. Ko Zaw Zaw said the best time of year for sales is during the winter season from November until January, because the crickets are large and fresh. Unless buying in bulk, 10 crickets will set you back around K1500. Ko Zaw Zaw used to sell king crabs, he said, but they were more expensive and people didnt buy them as often. Now he makes a whopping K100,000 a day selling about 20,000 crickets, and hes been in the trade for five years. I started selling insects after I saw someone in Yangon selling them. I thought, This work could support my family. Thats why I chose it, and I plan to continue doing it. He added that he buys the crickets that come ready-fried from farms in Mandalay and Mawlamyine, as he considers these to be of superior quality to those in Yangon. Ma Htwe Htwe, 30, agreed that the best crickets come from places other than Myanmars biggest city. particularly in October around Thadingyut, the festival of lights, when they are cheapest in her home town. Now that shes living in Yangon, she said, she doesnt eat them as often, but she has fond memories of catching body and a different taste compared to crickets. Dr Aye Aye Thaw, a retired deputy director and nutrition program manager in Nay Pyi Taw, said the value of eating insects both nutritional and economic is well known in

Live long and practise

Is longevity all in the genes or part of a healthy lifestyle? Reporters Kyaw Zin Hlaing and Aung Kyaw Nyunt hit the streets to find out
Translated by Mya Kay Khine and Thae Thae Htwe

U Maung Gyi 93 years old, North Okkalapa township, Yangon My wife passed away long ago and I have three sons and two daughters. One daughter and one son have passed away. Now I live with my daughter. I used to eat instant noodles but they are salty and I am worried about high blood pressure, so I have boiled vermicelli instead. I dont smoke or chew betel leaf. My home town is Kyae Mon village in Monywa district. When I lived in Myatpar, Mandalay, I joined the army as a lieutenant under a Japanese commander, Thayet Tha Min, in the northwest command. When the revolution against the Japanese happened, I faced the Japanese forces at Daik-Oo and sustained an injury to my leg. I rolled into the ditch and ran away into the forest. I met with villagers from Kyokyar Myaing village. They sent me to Nat Sin Kon village. From there I reached Tada-Oo and I went to Sin village through Min village monastery and I was finally safe and sound. I retired from Defense in 1960 and then I joined the Defense Services Records Office when I was 60. I havent suffered any sickness and I am in good health.

U Khin Maung Maung 96 years old, Ahlone township, Yangon I was a police commissioner and have been retired for 50 years [after taking early retirement]. I played golf until I was 90 years old and I also used to play tennis. I havent ever had so much as a drop of alcohol, nor a cigarette. I have been able to live to this age because I keep my moral precepts as a Buddhist. I go to sleep early at 9pm and rise at 5am. I always keep the five precepts. I meditate and count the beads. I also read about golf on the internet. I have written a novel about golf and many articles about sport. I dont eat meat but I do eat fish and I eat vegetables almost every day. I stay away from sweet or salty foods. Sometimes I drink milk. I have suffered from serious kidney disease for the last 30 years and one of my kidneys has been removed. But I havent suffered from any other diseases. I want young people not to follow their five senses excessively but to live moderately. I myself have four children. I want to pass my life living well and living moderately. I dont obsess over anything. I dont feel weary mentally. I had stress when I worked in the past, but I solved it by doing meditation. I try to get enough sleep because if I dont, my body doesnt feel good and vice versa. I enjoy performing acts of philanthropy. I donate to Free Funeral Services, a home for the aged and a school for the deaf. I am happy with my family and regularly attend donation ceremonies.

U Kyaw Shein 98 years old, Mawbi township, Yangon Region I was a farmer and retired about 40 years ago. I am single. I was adopted into my family. When they moved to another country, I was left on my own. Ive never killed an animal and I avoid misdeeds. I want to tell young people to be highly moral: Its important. I dont do any significant physical exercise. I am happy here in this home for the elderly. Now that I have grown old, I live according to the doctrine of Buddha. I think Ive lived this long because I always practise Buddhist meditation.

Daw KV Laxmi 94 years old, Pazundaung township, Yangon I dont exercise or avoid any foods for health reasons. Since childhood Ive gone to bed early and woken up early. After getting up, I pay respect to Buddha. I have a bath, apply thick thanakha: As I see it, being beautiful can help a person to stay healthy. I dont eat out because I dont like the food sold from roadside stalls. I only eat homemade snacks. I didnt run my own business but have always done a lot of household chores. I havent suffered from any serious diseases Ive only ever had common sicknesses. I think I have been able to live until this age thanks to the three gems [Buddha, monks and nuns and teachings]. If I dont have any work to do, I count the beads [of my rosary] and it helps keep my state of mind positive. I have two children, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. I have none of the diseases which happen in old age, such as diabetes or heart disease. My husband died at the age of 80. I have a glass of milk and bread every night. Young people use alcohol and cigarettes and it destroys their health.

Daw Tin May 95 years old, Kyonebyaw, Ayeyarwady Region I was a farmer. I came to Yangon when I was 25, and since then Ive never been back to my village. I had five children but all have died. Three of my five grandchildren are still alive, and I also have two great-grandchildren. I practise Buddhist meditation and I believe that if I am knowledgeable about the doctrine of Buddha, I will have a good life after I die. When I meditate, I recover from illness quickly. I havent had many diseases. I have pains in my knee and my waist sometimes. My hobbies are sewing clothes and arranging flowers. If I cant sleep in the night, I recite the attributes of Buddha. I wake up at 4am each morning. I avoid mixed salads, beans and sour foods in my diet because they make me ill.

An immodest price to pay for beauty

AFTER weeks of dreary monsoon weather and feeling generally lethargic, the idea of being pampered at a day spa was more than just tempting. At the time, I had been enduring cold showers at home, as many of us living in Myanmar must do. After leaping in and out of a stream of cold water for days on end, I was also feeling that I could do with a more thorough yet relaxing cleansing, so I finally made the decision to outsource my hygiene in full. Choosing a Sunday afternoon at the Inya Day Spa, I booked in for the French Thalgo products rebalancing facial (K63,000) and a natural body mask treatment (K40,000). Ive undergone a facial treatment many times before but it was to be my first body mask so I wasnt really sure what to expect. Arriving at the spa located on Inya Road (which its named after), I walked into a cool, calm sanctuary. The raindrops all of a sudden felt soothing and watching them bounce off the koi fish pond had a hypnotising effect. I skipped the Boost Juice bar where a range of smoothies are offered mainly because I was so eager to start relaxing. I started out with the body mask treatment, which involved a delicious smelling scrub made of rice, green tea and tamarind a divine blend. Beware though: This is no time to be shy as I quickly discovPhoto supplied by Inya Day Spa

my arms up, bend my knees and erm, let her rub the paste across my chest. It was a startling moment that broke my reverie, but I quickly tried to get over the embarrassment and remember my mantra to relax. This was just the first round of that

I was covered for the third time in dark green mud and wrapped like a mummy in cling film.
ered. Whereas I am used to having massages where the attendant offers a towel to cover up private body parts, the woman slathering me with the rich paste had no qualms about asking me to strip down, lift thorough cleanse I had been chasing. After the initial scrubbing down and a shower, I was then covered in a deep moisturising cleanser and then shown into a sauna which proved to be heavenly. For some

reason, a hot, humid box seemed to be a thousand times more enticing than the hot, humid environment outside. Another shower later and I was covered for the third time in dark green mud and wrapped like a mummy in cling film. While allowing the mud to work its magic, the facial treatment was applied. It was gentle but possibly not as soothing as it could have been because I was trying not to hyperventilate from a short bout of claustrophobia that ensued as my eyes were covered. That being said, I felt like a new woman after the experience. My skin was soft and

supple, I felt like I had just finished a bout of yoga without actually having to move and Id discovered a newfound sense of empowerment in Myanmar of all places of being mature enough to have my breasts massaged by another woman without breaking into giggles. All par for the course, really.
Inya Day Spa is located at 16/2 Inya Road, Yangon. 01 537907 www.inyaspa.com Thaya Day Spa is located: Building 17, 3rd Floor, Junction Square, Yangon. 01 973173973 www.thayaspa.com

Yangons yogis offer deepe

Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the

ITS 6pm on a Wednesday evening and I am rushing through Yangons traffic in a taxi. Im worried that I am late late for my yoga class, late for my effort to find some peace of mind and tranquility at the end of a stressful day. When we pull up I pay the taxi, check the address on the crumpled piece of paper in my pocket and then make my way down an alley toward an apartment building. I breathe a sigh of relief when I see others with yoga mats under their arms, marching like me toward their safe haven. That safe haven is a small, cramped apartment six floors up. Inside, Siu Sue Mark, an international development consultant and yoga teacher from the United States, is rearranging her furniture to prepare for the onslaught of students. We arrive in pairs and alone, lay our mats down and take our places on the living room floor, avoiding the television and furniture now set aside. Initially, some of the other faces show concern maybe it will be too crowded, awkward, or uncomfortable for a yoga class but within five minutes the room is focused, all are engaged and the journey into the practice of yoga begins. In many cities around Asia and throughout the world, finding a place to practise yoga is easy. But finding a qualified teacher

Yoga teacher Jenny leading a class. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

and studio in Yangon often depends on which email list you belong to and whether you are an English or Myanmar speaker. The good news is Yangons yoga scene like the city itself has a character all its own, with authentic, dedicated teachers in both languages. Classes may take place in a studio or in a teachers cramped, sweaty apartment, and may not adhere to a consistent schedule, but prices are reasonable and students rarely leave dissatisfied. For Ms Mark, the journey into yoga began nine years ago at a fitness centre in

Washington DC. It was not her intention back then to become a yogini or female yogi, Ms Mark said. Rather, she was intrigued about yogas physical aspects. She

other types of yoga she has tried, she said, it is more intellectual and requires more depth to understand. In the beginning, she said, her own practice

Yangons yoga scene - like the city itself - has a character all its own, with authentic, dedicated teachers in both languages.
began taking classes with a teacher who practised Iyengar yoga, a discipline which focuses on careful poise and mindful breathing. Ms Mark described Iyengar as being a bit like classical ballet, integrating anatomy and alignment. Compared with was less disciplined and more about exercise. That changed when she moved overseas seven years ago and started practising every day on her own in her apartment. Other types of exercise were less accessible to me [overseas], Ms Mark said. [Yoga] was something that I incorporated into my daily life. Living in different places with different people, it served to stabilise my mindset It started to become much more a part

of my life. When her friends began to ask her for advice about yoga, requesting that she teach a class or two on the side, she started teaching casually, offering classes at her house. After a few years, she felt she did not know enough to teach properly and attended her first teacher training course in the United States in 2010. She said the training made both her teaching and her practice more formal and refined. Before it was just an open, free service that I did for the community, she said. I was just doing what I felt like but didnt have the fundamentals and good teaching methods. I knew that I enjoyed teaching, but I wanted to do it better. That same desire to improve is what led Jing Li Jenny, to her stu-

dents in Yangon to seek out teacher training in China in 2009. After being introduced to yoga as a university student, Ms Li first started daily practice while travelling around Asia with her husband. She too had been informally teaching friends, but one day she had a fateful meeting with one of Chinas most famous yoga teachers, a woman named Qu Ying. The two soon became good friends, Ms Li said, and Qu Ying encouraged her to go for further training. For six months she studied at the International Yoga School in Beijing, learning the Iyengar philosophy under two Chinese teachers and a teacher from India. When she moved to Yangon with her husband just over a year ago, Ms Li with the encouragement of her friends and the help of her Myanmar language teacher and her husband opened a studio of her own. Jenny Yoga is a bright, sunny space in a downtown condominium off Anawratha Road in Chinatown. Ms Li said many of her students are Burmese, but she has a mix of expatriates, mostly Thai, Korean, Chinese and some Japanese students, as well as a few from Western countries. Her classes, often taught in the Myanmar language, are mostly led by Myanmar teachers she has trained. The opposite is true for Ms Mark, whose classes are taught in English and whose students are mainly from Western countries. Ms Mark has a few steady Myanmar patrons, she said, but she would love to have more. But she said she has found many Myanmar people dont consider yoga a sport and are therefore unaware of its benefits. Its abstract, said Ms Mark. Its not meant to be

er, fuller path to health

gates of the soul open. BKS Iyengar, founder of the Iyengar school of yoga
very accessible. Ms Li said that she has also had difficulty attracting Myanmar students, even though her business is growing and she has a lot of students from other backgrounds. One reason, she said, is that yoga is not only a sport. It is also an attitude. In other countries, people like to train their body, Ms Li said, but most [Myanmar people] dont practise yoga or do other sports. There are several Myanmar teachers in Yangon who offer yoga classes, but they are somewhat difficult to find. The only listing that can be found through both the internet and the phone book is Jenny Yoga. Classes run by Ms Mark and other expatriates are publicised through email lists or on Facebook. If there are Myanmar teachers offering their own classes, there is no simple way to search for them. Once youve found a group of likeminded practitioners, however, you can continue developing no matter your current level. Ms Mark recently went to India to train at the centre of the Iyengar tradition. Ms Li took a trip to China to work more closely with her original teachers. For both women, the additional study, which focused on the spiritual more than the physical aspects of yoga, has profoundly influenced their practice. Yoga is more about ones heart, said Ms Li. Its actually not too much about the body. Ms Li and Ms Mark both said the purpose of teaching yoga, for them, is really about trying to help the student connect with their body and spirit. To do this, its important to make beginners feel comfortable. Everyone comes in at a different level, Ms Mark said. I try to give a tone that its okay wherever youre at. I let them know I enjoy teaching and let them enjoy practising, Ms Li agreed. She added that the point of yoga is to know how to listen to your body and try to understand how it works. Its an understanding that benefits students like me for whom classes are a chance to recentre in the midst of a stressful week as well as the teachers themselves. Thoughtfulness gives the aura of mindfulness, Ms Mark said. I really enjoy when I can create that. Even if they come once a week, and do it a little on their own, it makes me happy.
For more information, visit Jenny Yoga or Sie Sues Yangon Yogis on Facebook

Breathing deeply is an essential part of yoga. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

The Asian Paradox: why rice can be

Health expert and power blogger Mark Sisson explains how its possible for Asian populations to consume large amounts of rice without the conseq

Photo: Ko Taik

YOU know the French Paradox and how it confounds the experts. To mention all those smug surrender monkeys with their brie and their butter and their duck confit and their Gauloises and their seeming imperviousness to heart attacks is to make the physician Dean Ornish binge on bran and pull out tuft after tuft of frizzy hair.And then theres the lesserknown Israeli Paradox, which attempts to answer why Israelis have skyrocketing rates of heart disease despite a skyrocketing intake of healthy omega-6 fatty acids. In its wake, nutrition researcher Walter Willet might be found weeping into a mug of safflower oil.Theres even an American Paradox those who ate the most saturated fat had the least coronary heart disease that had the minds of researchers thoroughly boggled. But what about the Asian Paradox?How can people in Asian countries consume so much white rice and so many noodles and remain so thin? If carbohydrates make you fat, how do they eat so many of them? Moving frequently at a slow pace Whenever Im in a large city with a sizable Asian immigrant popula-

tion, I notice a different approach to walking. For instance, my wife Carrie and I were recently visiting San Franciscos Golden Gate Park. We spent the day just walking around and getting sort of lost, and we both noticed the difference. Of all the multitudes of people walking, jogging and otherwise being active, everyone but the older Asian folks seemed to be actively exercising. Exercising on purpose. Trying to burn calories or improve VO2 max. We noticed as a young mother with strollered child power-walked down the path, wearing compression tights, a baseball cap and the latest running shoes, while the elderly

by on a simple 10-speed. I got the distinct impression that walking or cycling or just getting around using your own limbs as the vehicle was simply a way to get from here to there for the older Asian folks. It wasnt a special occasion. It was an everyday occurrence. It was normal. For everyone else, it was exercise. It was a big event that you had to get geared up and spend money for. Exercise is great, and walking with intent of getting healthier is great I do it all the time. But my observations speak to a huge cultural difference between the way older Asian folks who immigrated over (and, presumably, the cultures back at home) and Americans treat

better mood, lowered blood pressure and triglycerides, and greater longevity. America is a car country, and has been for about 100 years. We dont and havent for over 50 years have to walk to get around. Heck, oftentimes we cant walk to get where we want to go even if we wanted to walk, since many of us live in a kind of suburban sprawl that requires the use of cars just to buy groceries or take the kids to school. The result is a country that takes fewer steps per day than the rest of the world. As Asians start buying more cars, relying more on vehicular transportation and moving further away from labourintensive work, I suspect youll see

more than in Western nations, but the downward trend is clear. The same study found the proportion of overweight children also increased by the year 2000. An otherwise unprocessed, nutritious diet Traditional Asian food is highly nutritious. Go to a Vietnamese noodle house and the signature dish is pho, a big bowl of homemade beef marrow bone broth, tripe, tendons, brisket and rice noodles. Go to a real Thai restaurant and get bone broth soup with cubes of pork blood, greens, rice noodles and a duck egg. Go to a Chinese restaurant and get sauted (alas, in soybean or corn oil these days) pork kidneys with Chinese broccoli and rice on the side. Go to a Japanese restaurant and get wild caught salmon eggs rolled with seaweed and rice, mackerel sashimi and some fermented miso soup with kelp strips. Go to a Korean barbecue and eat a dozen different kinds of kimchi, grilled short ribs, beef tongue and liver all wrapped in lettuce, with rice on the side. In all these foods, rice is present, but so are real bone broth, fresh meat, fermented cabbage, offal and vegetables. The presence of rice does not invalidate or negate the presence of every other nutrient. Of course, thats restaurant food.

You cant reduce a diet down to a single constituent food.

Chinese grandma she passed wore some Keds and a knit sweater. Two seemingly identical joggers with Bluetooth earpieces jabbed at each other with business-speak opposite a pair of old friends strolling along and loudly speaking (in another language) of politics and times long past (again, it was another language) in well-worn suits and loafers. A group of cyclists could have passed for pros with all their gear and advertisements and special cycling shoes, while an older Asian gentleman wearing a collared shirt and slacks cruised moving frequently at a slow pace. People living in Asian countries have historically been more active than people living in the United States. Its not that theyre all lifting weights and running sprints and joining gyms; its that their average daily activity levels are higher. And as everyone probably already knows, the simple act of walking on a regular basis does wonders for ones health. Daily walking is consistently associated with (among other health benefits) improved insulin sensitivity(better tolerance of carbohydrates like white rice), more carbohydrate intolerance, fat gain and general ill health begin to emerge. Its already happening, as youll see. I think daily activity levels are probably the biggest determinant in tolerance to carbs. In American cities where walking is required or more convenient than driving, like New York, people are generally healthier, slimmer and longerlived.Things are changing, though. In 1989, 65 percent of Chinese performed heavy labour on a daily basis. By 2000, that proportion had dropped to 50pc still far

nice for the Asian waistline

If you want to get an idea of how Asian folks cook at home, go to their supermarkets and note what people are buying. Its not as fancy or flavourful, but its just as nutritious. Stand by the register and youll see 20 kinds of whole fish; live oysters, mussels, clams, crabs, snails and sea urchins; a pigs entire digestive tract; buckets of chicken feet; bags full of strange leafy green things and exotic vegetables like bitter melon; all sorts of herbs, roots and teas; fermented, pickled foods; a dozen different kinds of root vegetable; and yes, rice. If you want to isolate the rice from that list of nutrient-dense offerings and say What about that? be my guest, but not me. Ill be admiring the handsome beef foot oozing collagen and marrow and imagining all the wonderful dishes it could make (while I mentally compare the contents of shopping carts in Asian markets to the contents of shopping carts in standard American grocery stores guess who wins). Until recently, Asians ate less refined sugar and used animal fats for cooking. Sugar intake is rising now, of course, and cooking oils made from corn and soybean have largely replaced lard and tallow, but rice in the context of a low-sugar, no-high-fructose corn syrup, low-vegetable oil, nose-totail nutrient-dense diet is (or was) acceptable. You cant reduce a food down to its constituent parts and focus on, say, the bit of fructose in a blueberry and then condemn the entire berry because of it. Similarly, you cant reduce a diet down to a single constituent food and condemn or praise it based on that single food. You have to look at the entire picture, and the Asian diet is largely a nutritious one. More rice, less wheat Thanks to regular monsoons, 90pc of the worlds rice production is located in Asia. Its been cultivated in the region for close to 10,000 years, so the regions occupants tend to eat a fair amount of the stuff. Luckily for them, rice, especially white rice (the favoured type across most of Asia; as a Thai friend of mine who grew up there and came to Hollywood in the 60s told me, rice bran was for the chickens), is a mostly non-toxic source of glucose. On the grain spectrum, where wheat and other gluten grains reside at one end, rice relaxes at the opposite end. Its not good, but its also not bad. It just is. Its pretty much neutral. Whether you can handle (or need) the glucose load is another thing, but you can rest assured that white rice will be generally free of gut irritants, phytic acid and deleterious lectins. If youre eating wheat, on the other hand, you have gluten, wheat germ agglutinin and a host of other anti-nutrients with which to contend. And, as Ned Kock has posted online in a masterful (and under-appreciated) series of stats posts on the China study data, rice intake is associated with a reduction in cardiovascular disease while wheat flour intake is associated with an increase in cardiovascular disease. The upper level of rice intake did correlate with a slight increase in coronary heart disease, however, but not a major one. All else being equal, people will be healthier on a rice-heavy junk food diet than on a wheat-heavy junk food diet. Is Asia even all that much healthier anymore? Healthy, long-lived Asia isnt so healthy and long-lived. Both China and India are facing diabetes epidemics. In Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam and Thailand, diabetes is also increasing.The perfect storm of sedentary living, processed junk food full of carbs and bad fats, and poor sleep that has ravaged America and other industrialised nations for almost a century and led to a host of debilitating illnesses is beginning to descend upon Asia. Cooking oils have displaced traditional animal fats and sugar intake is rising. People walk less and eat more wheat. Even the low body mass indexes (BMIs) of Asian countries are misleading. At equal BMIs, Asians generally have more body fat than other groups. So, on average, the American or the Pacific Islander with a BMI of 25 has less body fat than the Chinese guy with a BMI of 25. Its not clear whether these higher body fat levels (at lower BMIs) correspond to increased risks for certain diseases, but it does suggest that BMI is an unreliable barometer for a countrys leanness on a particular diet. You can be skinny-fat with a low BMI and it appears that significant numbers of Asians with low BMIs fit that profile. So, like every other one before it, the Asian Paradox topples: There is actually no paradox. Asian countries remain lean (if theyre actually lean, that is) on a rice-heavy diet by virtue of lots of low-level aerobic activity to promote insulin sensitivity, lots of nutrient-dense food to go with that rice and because rice is the least offensive grain.
Mark Sisson is the author of Primal Blueprint and the publisher of marksdailyapple.com

quence of weight gain, but cautions that changing lifestyles could be a game changer


From longyi to lycra: womens bo

Female bodybuilders in Myanmar have overcome social prejudice and gone on to achieve international success in a sport that takes healthy living
petitions. That all changed in 2009, when the federation changed its name to the Myanmar Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Federation and its rules, allowing women to show their muscles as well. That same year, the World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Federation was founded, with the approval of the International Olympic Committee, and women bodybuilders at last had a venue to display their skills. After the World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Federation was founded ... female athletes were granted a special category, said U Hla Myint Swe. Miss Universe and Miss World are assessed on beauty, talent and action [while] the current competition marks bodybuilding, a lack of body fat and sports sections. The change was dramatic for Myanmar entrants. Although U Hla Myint Swe said that competitors from the previous competitions, who competed wearing a longyi, cant compete in new competitions, it nevertheless brought a measure of equality to the sport, with women now showing their physiques in front, left, right and back poses just as the men do.



THE popularity of bodybuilding in Myanmar waned in the 1970s but is now regaining strength, which is in no small part due to the recent success of its female athletes. Before 1948, bodybuilding competitions were held under the Myanmar Bodybuilding and Weightlifting Federation, which allowed women to participate in two-piece clothing. Following independence, men were allowed to carry on weightlifting but women were barred from doing so. In 1990, the federation founded the Myanmar Bodybuilding and Physical Beauty Contest. Male athletes showed off their muscles, while female athletes, wearing longyis, were confined to showing off their physique, which was deemed to be more in keeping with Myanmar traditions. For a long time it wasnt considered a sport, said U Hla Myint Swe, the federations president. So contestants competed wearing longyis but were therefore unable couldnt break into international com-

Aye Aye Soe is pictured onstage, third from left. Photo supplied by Myanmar Bodybuilding and Physique Sport Federation

There are two kinds of competition for women, he said. In Athletic Physique, competitors are judged on low body fat, bodybuilding and muscles. In Model Physique, competitors are judged on body proportions, low body fat and bodybuilding. I started this sport after high school, said 24-year-

Myanmar wasnt expected to win a prize at the 46th Asian Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Competition, which was held in Bangkok, Thailand, in September 2012, but Aye Aye Soe walked away with a bronze medal. Three months later, she also won sixth place in her category at the 4th World Bodybuild-

This sport carves your body like wood.

- Aye Aye Soe

old Aye Aye Soe, one of Myanmars top bodybuilders. Now I have been doing it for seven years and Im addicted to it. She said she was drawn to bodybuilding because she admired the fit appearance of the female actresses she saw in foreign movies. At that time, female bodybuilding was far from being a popular pursuit in Myanmar, and she faced resistance from her family and friends. But her trainer encouraged her to continue, telling her that her struggle would be acknowledged one day. When womens bodybuilding became a sport in Myanmar, she started entering competitions. Her efforts paid off.
From left to right: Aye Aye Soe, Nan Htet Htet Lin and Khaw Win. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

ing and Physique Sports competition, which took place in Bangkok. After winning a silver medal on June 27 at Yangons Olympic Day Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Competition, Aye Aye Soe and two other medal-winners will go on to compete at the next Asian Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Competition, to be held at the end of August in Vietnam. She has taken leave from her job as a personal trainer at Yangons Sedona Hotel to focus on her training. I very much hope to [succeed] in Vietnam so Ive left my job for three months and I am training hard, she said, adding, This sport carves your body like wood.

The first-place finisher in Yangon, Nan Htet Htet Lin from Kayan State, will also be heading to Vietnam. Shes a third-year physics student at the University of Hpa-an and has been active in the sport for a year. My relatives said I was slim, she said. So I worked out at the gym to bulk up and the trainers encouraged me. She works out twice a day each day, for one-and-a-half or two hours each session. I start working on my waist and stomach at 8am. I take a rest in the afternoon because Im naturally slim people who are slim should sleep in the afternoon and then restart, working my upper body and lower body in the evening. Khaw Win said people are becoming more interested in sports lately, especially those in Yangon who are sitting all day long in offices and feel the need for a healthy outlet. Her fellow bodybuilder, Khaw Win, 27, from Kyitkyina, got into the sport for exactly this reason. She has been active in sports since her childhood and won prizes as a sprinter. When she moved to Yangon in 2009,


to its extreme
emphasise sport, so this is good for all women. Daw Nwe Ni Win said those who work out are able to eat more because they need and can burn the calories as part of their training. Those who stop going to the gym, however, often do not adjust their diet, and many end up putting weight on very quickly. If someone goes to the gym for beauty, they tend to stop after three and four months. But if someone goes to the gym for sport, especially elder people, they must work out continuously to avoid putting weight back on, she said. She said that adjusting competitors diets should take six months to a year, but theres not much time before the upcoming Asian competition. While she said women dont need to control their diet as much as male athletes do, because men need to eat more in order to bulk up. Nonetheless, a lot of planning goes into what female bodybuilders eat. The diet is high in protein chicken, beef, goat all boiled and without so much as a trace of oil. MSG is strictly avoided, and fish is steamed. Also, she says, its important to eat eggs lots and lots of eggs. I feed them seven to ten eggs [each day], Daw Nwe Ni Win said. Not yolks, only egg whites. Daw Ye Ye Win, 62, is also helping to prepare the athletes for competition. Shes a trainer for the Myanmar Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Federation, but she also holds a referee certificate, after the federation sent her to study the Asian competition. She also acts as a trainer for the Yangon Sport Department, as well as volunteering for NGOs. The difference between athletes at the world competitions, she said, is that Myanmar athletes have less pronounced muscle lines, while the European women, who have been training for over ten years, have muscles like the mens. But Myanmars female athletes, she added, have had to overcome difficulties those from other countries havent, which is why their strong start has her feeling optimistic for the future. First, we struggled to change from wearing longyis to Lycra shorts, she said, but officials allowed it and approved bodybuilding as a sport. I believe the future of this sport will burn bright.

Photo supplied by Myanmar Bodybuilding and Physique Sport Federation

however, she found that her job as a designer required her to be sitting down all day long. She started working out at the gym, then began competing as a bodybuilder. She took a bronze at the Olympic Day competition and will also be heading to Vietnam later in the month. I worked with a trainer closely for 8 months, Khaw Win said. Each day, I work out for up to four hours. As the competition nears, I work out the whole day. Women in Yangon can choose between two types of gym, either female-only or co-ed. Daw Nwe Ni Win is the owner of Top One Female Special Gym, which is just for women. She held the title of Miss Myanmar in 1995 and currently serves as an executive of the Myanmar Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Federation. She said the desired lack of body fat has been a constant since she competed, but shes also seen a change in the competition. The competitions in 1995 were really different from current competitions. At that time, competitions emphasised beauty, tradition and femininity, she said. Now, competitions


Gym bunny 101


Model: Su Nandar Aung Photos: Aung Htay Hlaing REGULAR exercise keeps a person in the best possible mental and physical shape. The Myanmar Times met with Vasurat Yaban Peang (John), a fitness trainer at Real Fitness gym in Bahan township. He provided the following tips for an ideal workout following a 10-15 minute warm-up: Walking or jogging on the treadmill (1) and using an exercise bike (2) are ideal forms of aerobic and cardiovascular activity. Cardio is important for improving lung capacity and keeping the heart strong. John said that although its not strictly necessary to work up a sweat in order to lose weight, you should aim to raise your heart rate (the maximum heart rate is calculated by subtracting your age from 220). As a guide, if you can chat away on your mobile phone while doing cardio activity, youre not working out hard enough. John said the treadmill in particular is great because it uses every muscle: If you run for more than 20 minutes, your shoulders start getting a workout, he said. On the other hand, exercise bikes and other cross-training equipment are better suited for people with ankle, back or joint injuries, because its a lower impact exercise. Free weights (3) and strength resistance training (4) and (5) are aimed at improving muscle strength. Build up the number of repetitions slowly so as not to cause injury. The benefit of this type of regular exercise is a trim and toned body. Johns tips: If you feel dizzy at any point during your workout, take a break and do some stretching. After exercising for 20 minutes, be sure to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Consult a doctor before embarking on an exercise regime if you are aged 45 years or above. Real Fitness - 20 Pearl St, Bahan www.realfitness.com +95 9 420165094


Who says healthy must be bland?


The Myanmar Times resident chef provides two chicken salads with flavours inspired by regional neighbours that are guaranteed to put some added zing into your menu
Indian spice with Myanmar salad to create a hot, sour, salty dish thats bound to be popular with all your guests. While most cooks would traditionally use all parts of the chicken in the salad feet, wings, neck and thigh bones, skin liver and giblets, all cut up into bite-sized pieces and it can be fun to crack through all the bones if youre used to it, others might prefer less muss and fuss. This recipe doesnt skimp on authenticity, but it does use boneless chicken breasts instead, making it a more accessible introduction to Myanmar cuisine for visitors. Ingredients For the salad 500 grams boneless chicken breast fillets 2/3 teaspoon turmeric powder 2 teaspoons salt 2 onions, sliced 1 cup fresh mint leaves 1 cup fresh coriander leaves 200 grams cabbage For the gravy 1 tablespoon chickpea powder, roasted 1 cups cold water teaspoon vegetable oil onion, sliced teaspoon salt for taste For the mix 3 tablespoons lime juice 3 tablespoons fish sauce 1 tablespoons soy sauce 1 large red chilli, chopped 1 teaspoons masala Preparation Wash the boneless chicken breast fillets and drain well. Marinate the chicken in a mix of turmeric powder and salt for 30 minutes. Then arrange the chicken breasts in a pot and add enough cold water to just cover them. Heat gently until water boils then turn down heat. Simmer the chicken, turning once, for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through. Drain, remove from pot and let cool. Shred into small pieces and set aside. Slice the onions. Chop the mints and coriander. Slice the cabbage, discarding the hard cores. To prepare the gravy, slowly add roasted chickpea powder into cold water, mixing as you go until there are no lumps remaining. Then heat vegetable oil in a pot over medium heat, add the onions and saut for few minutes. Then add the chickpea-powder-and-water mixture into the pot. Heat until boiling then simmer for 10 minutes. The mixture should be kept a bit runny: You dont want it to thicken. If you need to add water, dont use more than a cup. You should end up with at least 1 cup of gravy. Combine shredded chicken, chickpea gravy, herbs, lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce and chopped-up chilli in a large bowl and mix well. Taste the mixture: If you prefer a saltier taste, add more fish sauce. For extra sourness, add more lime juice. Serve with extra chopped onions and lime wedges on the side.

Indian-style chicken salad (Serves 6)

HEREs a dish that might be described as an IndianMyanmar fusion: It combines

Phyos quick tip I use Hmwe-brand roasted chickpea powder and Kalalay masala, which can be found in supermarkets or wet markets.

Vietnamese-style chicken salad (Serves 6)

THIS Vietnamese-style chicken salad is made with fresh herbs and spiced poached chicken. The aroma of star anise will tickle the appetite and the sweet-andsour dressing will spark the taste buds. Its quick and easy to prepare as well as healthy to eat: With fresh herbs and oil-free chicken, meals like this are sure to keep you in fine form. The dish is high in protein but low in fat, so if youre on a diet, it will help you control your weight. Best of all, its versatile, and works well for snacks, lunch or dinner. Ingredients For the meal 500 grams boneless chicken breast fillets 2 cloves 2 star anise 4 spring onions, white parts only 100 grams bean sprouts 2/3 cup fresh mint leaves 1 cup fresh coriander leaves 2/3 cup fresh Vietnamese or Thai basil leaves 1 large cucumber 2 carrots 500 grams Chinese cabbage (roughly half a medium-sized Chinese cabbage) cup roasted salted peanuts, crushed For the dressing 1/3 cup lime juice 1/3 cup fish sauce 4 small red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped 2 tablespoons brown sugar Preparation Wash the boneless chicken breasts and drain them well. In a pot, arrange the chicken breasts with cloves and star anise and add just enough cold water to cover them. Boil gently till bubbling, then turn down heat. Simmer the chicken, turning once, for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through. Drain, discard spices, and let the chicken cool down before shredding. Cut the whites of the spring onions diagonally into small pieces. Trim the bean sprouts and finely chop the herb leaves. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and discard the seeds, then julienne (cut into short, thin strips). Peel the carrots and julienne as well. Slice the Chinese cabbage leaves only, discarding the hard parts (or saving them for another dish). Mix the ingredients for the dressing by combining them in a jar and shaking well. In a large bowl, add chicken, herbs, peanuts and dressing. Toss well just before serving.


Untying the knots: the benefits of traditional Myanmar massage


FOLLOWING ankle surgery in February, Mandy (not her real name) was unable to walk for four months. Even afterward, she fell flat on her face the first time she attempted to jog. After two sessions of traditional Myanmar massage, however, Mandy said the benefits are already apparent. Its not that physiotherapy hadnt worked for me, but in the United States its prohibitively expensive. I was busy and lazy so I wasnt doing my exercises at home either, she said. Mandy stresses that Burmese traditional massage isnt designed with relaxation in mind, though that can be an additional benefit. Its a treatment, a no-frills experience, she explained. You dont need the candles and the music and youre highly unlikely to fall asleep. Her practitioner is Ko Min Min Soe, whose knowledge about the therapy was passed down to him from his grandfather, who was a professional masseur. In Burmese culture its traditional for a parent or grandparent to ask their children to tend to their aches and pains by giving them a massage, he said. Thats how my interest in it began. My grandfather taught me everything I know. Ko Min Min Soes grandfathers own mentor was a monk, who had himself spent several years in India studying traditional medicine and subsequently combined this knowledge with Chinese massage skills to develop a unique form of traditional Myanmar massage. According to Ko Min Min Soe, traditional Burmese massage predates Buddhism. He added that the Pali word for masseuse is listed along with other members of royal palace households in Myanmar. The hand massage treatment doesnt require oils and focuses on the bodys multitude of pressure points pressure is applied for an extended period before release, when the renewed blood-flow creates a warm sensation where the pressure was applied. Its not out-

right painful, but its not for wimps either: The sensation can be somewhatdisconcerting, depending on your level of sensitivity. With a skilled practitioner, however, it can be invigorating. Mandy said, [Ko Min Min Soe] is very intuitive with his hands he im-

builds up, and are thus always an important part of administering traditional Burmese massage. Ko Min Min Soe also prescribes home exercises to maintain suppleness and overall health in between visits. However, it isnt necessary to be suffering from a physi-

Myanmar traditional massage at Yangon Home Stay. Photo: Aldrich Sawbwa

and sleeping better than before. Ko Min Min Soe said the only time it would be counterproductive to have a

My grandfather taught me everything I know. - Ko Min Min Soe

mediately knows where the problem lies. The massages have been so successful that she intends on making them a weekly regimen. Ko Min Min Soe has teamed up with the owner of Yangon Home Stay, Aldrich Sawbwa, and two months ago they began offering traditional massage services to the public three times a week. A one-hour session costs K15,000; for K20,000, its possible to have warm herbs in a bulb-shaped sack incorporated, to speed recovery from injuries. By day, Ko Min Min Soe works as a driver although he said hed gladly make the switch to being a full-time masseuse if he could. First, though, he has to think of family finances. He said going full-time would be like opening a shop I could have 10 customers one day and then one on another. I need to support my wife and children. Until the situation changes, Ko Min Min Soe administers treatments twice weekly in a gym at 9 Mile and at Yangon Home Stay on 16th Street in Chinatown on Sundays. Aldrich told The Myanmar Times, Im a personal trainer and I also play a lot of sport, so I get injured frequently. Burmese traditional massage is very popular among locals but I thought it would be good to introduce it to expats. The feedback so far has been positive. One person, a 38-year-old furniture mover, responded to a post on Yangon Expat Connection by declaring it better than physio. Before the treatment I felt pain every time I turned around, he wrote, after a session with Ko Min Min Soe. Now its gone. I definitely recommend it. Ko Min Min Soe said of the patient, The pain was in his back but the treatment doesnt focus on the problem spot alone. He explained that the soles of the feet are where tension in the body cal ailment to benefit from Ko Min Min Soes magic. A session will reduce stress as well as improve blood circulation, which leaves a person feeling refreshed, energised traditional Myanmar massage is if someone is suffering from internal injuries. When asked for how long he can keep massaging patients before getting weary,

he responded by saying that it depends on the needs of the individual. Some people require more energy, such as those who are in rehabilitation after a stroke, or suffer from serious scar tissue. Does the masseur enjoy a massage himself? His answer was somewhat ambivalent: It feels ticklish, he said with a laugh.

To book a traditional Myanmar massage with Ko Min Min Soe, call Aldrich Sawbwa on 09420280430, email aldrich@fitnesswharf.com or visit www.facebook. com/burmesemassage


Mountain biking adventures made easy

Mini getaways from Yangon by Bike World Explores Myanmar offer offbeat adventures on a Sunday afternoon

NEITHER of us paid much attention to the bullock cart parked in the middle of the trail. It sat as if abandoned, with neither driver nor cows anywhere to be seen, so we simply pedalled past and continued down the narrow dirt path on our mountain bikes. A few minutes later our two-way radio crackled to life. My cycling companion Australian Jeff Parry, a longtime resident of Yangon was carrying the device in the back pocket of his cycling jersey. The other radio was in the hands of a group of Myanmar cyclists with whom we were exploring the hilly terrain around Nga Su Taung village, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Yangon. We pulled over to answer the call. The other riders were somewhere behind us, and their shouted message wasnt entirely clear through the radio static. We could only make out a few disjointed words elephant, hunting and come back among them which were enough to prompt us to turn around and hightail it out of there. Turns out the cart had been parked on the path for a reason: It had been intended as a warning against proceeding farther down the trail. A farmer had seen me and Parry fly past on our bikes and had flagged down the following riders to tell them that heavily armed soldiers were

tramping through the brush up ahead, hunting a wild elephant that had, over the course of the past few weeks, trampled several villagers to death. Needless to say, we spent the rest of the day exploring in other directions. The elephant incident occurred in 2006, when local cyclists had just discovered Nga Su Taung and its environs. Since then, the areas dirt roads and pathways have been thoroughly explored by mountain bikers, and a handful of safe but challenging routes have been mapped out for riders to follow. Nga Su Taung might

The rides attract cyclists of widely varying abilities, from shaky first-timers to iron-thighed veterans.
sound like a remote destination, but it can be easily reached by joining the cyclists who visit the area every Sunday morning. The excursions start at 6:30am, when a light truck loaded with riders and their bikes departs from the headquarters of local travel company Bike World Explores Myanmar (BWEM). The drive takes a bit more than an hour, and the cyclists usually eat a light breakfast (fried rice or mohinga) in the village. The riding start around 8:30am and lasts for about three hours, followed by some casual time back in the village, which usually involves drinking local beer and trading stories about the ride. Arrival time back in Yangon is 2pm to 3pm.

Typical rides are about 25 kilometres (15 miles) on dirt roads and trails, through terrain that offers challenges but not overwhelming obstacles. There are some hills, and a few of them are quite steep, but theyre also short. Even for those who need to dismount and walk, it never takes too long to get to the top. Likewise, downhill sections arent too technical, so advanced mountain biking skills are not required. Seasonal changes bring their own unique challenges: During the dry season, sections of the trail can be sandy, while the monsoon introduces mud, water crossings and rutted roads into the mix. Trail conditions are best just after the rainy season ends, in November and December. The rides attract cyclists of widely varying abilities, from shaky first-timers to iron-thighed veterans. But there are frequent stops to regroup, so slower riders never fall too far behind. An experienced guide brings up the rear to make sure no one goes astray and to help those who might experience mechanical problems such as a flat tyre. Of course, mountain biking around Nga Su Taung brings the same health benefits as cycling anywhere: Its a low-impact exercise that increases cardiovascular fitness, builds strength and muscle tone, boosts stamina and burns loads of calories. According to the website of the Australian governments Better Health Channel (betterhealth.vic.gov.au), cycling is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems such as

A cyclist crosses a footbridge in Nga Su Taung. Photo: Douglas Long

Sunday cycling trips offer mini adventures away from the stresses of a Yangon working week.

stroke, heart attack, some cancers, depression, diabetes, obesity and arthritis. Among other statistics, the website cites a Danish study conducted over 14 years with 30,000 people aged 20 to 93 years, which found that regular cycling protects people from heart disease. In addition to the health benefits of cycling, simply getting out of Yangon for

a few hours constitutes a mini adventure holiday and therefore helps relieve stress accumulated during the work week. Its a great excuse to focus on something other than the pressures of day-to-day life, and allows participants to enjoy the weather, breathe fresh country air, commune with nature and come into close contact with traditional vil-

lage life in Myanmar. Parry, a technical consultant for BWEM and the organiser of the Sunday rides, says the latter point about observing rural lifestyle is one of the biggest attractions for cyclists who are visiting from outside of Myanmar. (About 80 percent of the riders are locals and expats living in Myanmar, while 20pc are


Riders return to Nga Su Taung at the end of a 25 kilometre ride. Photo: Douglas Long

Photo: Khin Maung Win

tourists.) Many tourists say they saw more and learned more about the rural Myanmar lifestyle during the Sunday bike ride than by doing touristy things around the country, he says. They can see water buffalo at work, kids riding water buffalo, rubber production, a cashew nut plantation and more.

This enthusiasm is reflected in the many fourand five-star ratings the rides have earned on Trip Advisor (www.tripadvisor.com), where they are ranked second on a list of 22 things to do in Yangon. The reviews are enthusiastic. Typical examples: The Sunday group ride was a great opportunity to meet other bikers and view some off-the-beaten-path sites near Yangon, writes Adam M. from Beijing. Lorraine P. from Australia says that mountain biking is not something she would normally do, but adds she was glad she went on the ride: Went through some great countryside; saw rubber-making from scratch; the local school supported by BWEM, and will never forget the small children running out everywhere shouting Mingelabar [sic] as we passed by. Her quote refers to an added bonus of the Sunday rides: The cycling group supports a rural school run by a Buddhist monk, which teaches about 60 students from first through seventh standard. With the money raised, the school has been able to hire a full-time teacher, provide educational materials for the students and pay school fees for kids who cannot afford them. The funds are raised through donations from the cyclists, says Parry. Some tourists have given as much as $100, and one Swiss man donated K600,000 just before he left Myanmar rather

than changing it back to foreign currency. One rider with connections to a local shoe factory gave slippers to all the children. As already mentioned, following the ride, the cyclists get the chance to relax and enjoy beer or soft drinks before heading back to the city. Everyone will have a story to tell about their mountain biking experience. It might not be as dramatic as accidentally wandering into an elephant-hunting zone, but its guaranteed to be memorable.

Bike World Explores Myanmar is located on 10F Khabaung Road, off Pyay Road at 6-Mile, Hlaing township, or phone +95-1 527-636 or 527-109. The fee to participate is K20,000 a person if two or three cyclists join the ride, and K10,000 if the group numbers four or more. (Rides during monsoon typically attract half a dozen riders, while the dry season sees the number increase to 10 or more.) The fee includes breakfast, transport, guide, mechanical assistance, helmets and water. Those who dont have their own mountain bike can rent one for K20,000.


120 years young

She could be the worlds oldest person, but Daw Mya Kyi remains youthful at heart

PEOPLE used to pray that they would live long until 120 but few expect these prayers to actually come true. For one woman in Mandalay Region, however, thats whats happened. According to her identity card, Daw Mya Kyi will be turning 121 this October. If that number could be verified by officials from Guinness World Records, it would make her a half-decade older than the woman currently listed as the worlds oldest person, Misao Okawa from Japan, who compared to Daw Mya Kyi is but a spritely 115. In fact, it would put her only a year and a half behind the oldest verified person ever, 122-year-old Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997. As yet, however, no attempts have been made to have Daw Mya Kyis name listed in the Guinness book. To those who know her, though, she is already a treasure. It is about one-and-a-half hours by motorcycle from downtown Mandalay to Daw Mya Kyis home in Pauk Chaing Kone village in Amarapura township. The village consists of about 30 houses, and since 2006 I have visited once or twice a year

to distribute donations on behalf of others. It used to be that 62nd Street, the main road passing through the nearby industrial zone, might well have been bumpier than the surface of the moon. Reaching the road leading to the village entrance, it used to be too muddy to drive any further and we had to get off the motorcycle and push. I kept a strong stick to scratch away the mud. Now, much to my relief, the road has been replaced by rough stone, making visits much easier. Daw Mya Kyis house is inside the villages monastery compound. Whenever I reach it, she is always sitting on the floor by the entrance holding a lit cheroot in her fingers. She makes for an unusual sight because her appearance does not change from one year to the next. She is in excellent shape for a woman who celebrated her 100th birthday two decades ago. I spoke with her in the first week of July, at which time I asked her for the se-

there has been nothing to get irritated over. Once when I was young and was angry with my mother, I cried and my mom slapped me. Now, when I am confused, I lie down on the floor and roll over. When I do this I can release my stress all by myself. Daw Mya Gyi eats a simple lunch of rice and pounded peanuts, though she said she likes nan bat chin (fermented sesame oil cake) for dessert. She said shes also fond of Ensure nutrition powder: One of my donors sends me a tin every month. She also keeps a regular schedule. I go to bed at 8pm or 9pm and I sleep soundly. I wake up at 4am and then I pay respect to Lord Buddha. I couldnt help asking Daw Mya Gyi about that everpresent cheroot: How does that fit in with her extraordinary health? I started smoking from the time

Daw Mya Kyi at home. Photo: Phyo Wai Kyaw

Whatever the secret vegetarianism or stress relief or Buddhism or cheroots her longevity means that she has outlived everyone else of her generation. My friends have passed away, she said. Three of her children have also passed on, and the youngest of her two remaining children is 75 years old. Now, she said, she looks to a

Ive eaten only vegetables since I was 30 years old. - Daw Mya Kyi
cret to her extraordinary longevity. Ive eaten only vegetables since I was 30 years old, Daw Mya Kyi told me. Because of that habit I have been able to live so long until this age. Doing it didnt mean any effort because I dont like meat. Another reason is living happily throughout my life. I havent had feelings of annoyance and I was seven years old, lighting my fathers cheroot, she said. So I cant give up completely. The doctor instructs me not to keep smoking. When guests come to visit me, they say that too. I demonstrate throwing away the cheroot in front of them. Then I collect them again one by one and continue smoking when they leave. younger generation for interaction. I want to hold a donation ceremony with my grandchildren. Ko Aung Naing, 35, lives in the same village. In spite of the steady stream of visitors, he said, his grandmother lives alone in her small house and turns down help getting around outside, even when it is raining heavily.

Since last year, however, she has had one steady companion: A small hen has started living nearby, he said, and she has lately grown very fond it. Her physician Dr Aung Khaing Oo said her health is very good, with a heartbeat as strong as anyones. Although her longterm memory has faded quite a lot, she promptly responds to questions about present events. You often have to repeat yourself when speaking to her, but only twice for someone of her age, thats enough to say her hearing remains good. When I said goodbye, she said she wished I would live to be over 100 years old. I dont believe I will live to be over 100 but I do believe she will be waiting for me when I come to see her again next year. - Translated by Thae Thae Htwe

Medical tourism: a passport to health

For those who can afford it, quality medical care often means booking a flight out of Myanmar
MALAYSIA used to be a place such as Myanmar that people left if they could afford to seek better medical treatment elsewhere. However all thats changed in recent times: Malaysia not only meets the needs of its own citizens, its doctors say, but is actively marketing itself as a destination for patients from other countries, including Myanmar, who dont yet feel they can trust the service theyll receive at home. For the last 50 years we have gone to Singapore for health treatment, said Dr Chan Kok Ewe, one of the directors of Island Hospital in Penang, Malaysia. Now we dont go because our healthcare system is improving and has reached high international standards. We are busy with our local patients but we are also urging the government to promote our medical market to other countries. The promotion seems to be working. In 2012 Malaysia received 664,000 international medical tourists, 16 percent more than in 2011. Of these, 7260 were from Myanmar. At about 20 a day, that number may be less than the numbers of Myanmar patients who opt for more well-known medical tourism destinations such as Thailand, Singapore or India, but it does represent a jump of more than 32pc compared to Malaysias figures for the year before. Steering this success is the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, an organisation set up by the Malaysian Ministry of Health to promote Malaysia as in the words of the website the medical tourism haven in Southeast Asia. Our countrys main medical tourist market is Indonesian patients, said chief executive officer Mary Wong Lai Lin, but we would like to extend into other countries markets, like Myanmars. Myanmars healthcare system was long-neglected under the former military government, meaning it now faces a number of challenges to delivering effective and affordable care. Patients say central hospitals lack basic supplies, medication and equipment and many forms of treatment continue to be cost-prohibitive. As a result, said Dr Mei Mei Ko, who is chief editor of the medical magazine Ziwaka, patients who can manage it are often opting to travel to other countries. The trend started 15 years ago, she said, when promotions and advertising led patients especially cancer, heart, liver and kidney patients to start crossing borders for treatment. [Hospitals in other countries] give great service and a lot of time for patients, with treatment from a whole network, Dr Mei Mei Ko said. I have never seen service like this in our hospitals. She said patients in Myanmar can expect to spend between K5000 and K7000 just to spend a few minutes in front of a specialist. While theyll spend more much more, in some cases, even upward of K5 million (US$5128) for treatment in foreign hospitals, some feel the need for quality care leaves them with no choice, Dr Mei Mei Ko said. We need to change our healthcare system to match [the needs of] our patients. One of those patients is U Hla Thaung. At 68 years old, he has been battling coronary artery diseases for the past eight years. Since 2011 hes travelled twice to Bangkok for treatment, but he said he doesnt worry about the cost. Nothing is as important as life. We can find money if we are still alive but we want safe services and proper treatment. He said Myanmar physicians usually support patients decisions to go elsewhere. When my heart problem grew worse my doctor said I needed to have an operation. Then he asked me where I want to have the operation. If I had the money, he said, I should go to Bangkok, because it is safe and has good service. In Myanmar, only Yangon General Hospital offers heart surgery. Long lines, however, can mean patients face waits of up to three months. To avoid the wait, U Hla Thaung at the suggestion of relatives who are doctors enquired at a Bangkok hospital representative office in Yangon. Unexpectedly, he found there was a waiting list there as well, so popular was his decision among fellow patients. When I arrived at this office I saw there were at least 15 patients waiting in this office to go to medical treatment in Thailand. He said it was easy to arrange the treatment in advance at the office, and was even given his choice of practitioner. They showed me ten pictures and profiles of heart surgeons in this [Bangkok] hospital. I had a choice of which doctor I wished to operate on me for my disease. Then they arranged a time and date for the operation with the doctor. While he doesnt regret the decision at all, he did add that such care remains prohibitively expensive for many. I like their service but I spent a lot of money, about K1 million for my treatment, he said. If we had hospitals like this I would never go to a foreign country for treatment.


Play by play
The Myanmar Times health columnist assesses the state of play for kids in Myanmars urban areas and says parents need to toss out the day planner

Photo: Boothee


ONE of the many challenges of parenting is organising a childs day to offer a balanced range of activities that support development. Many priorities including school, organised social activities, extra academics, sports, hobbies and family events compete for time, and a hurried lifestyle combined with the logistical challenges of getting around Myanmars cities quickly may mean having to make tough decisions on what to leave out. Speaking with parents about childrearing strategies, however, I find that we often neglect to set aside adequate time for one of the most important parts of a childs experience free play. The benefits of free, unstructured play are well established by medical and psychological research. The American Academy of Pediatrics has outlined the numerous benefits of play for childrens healthy physiological and emotional development. Play increases cognitive capacity and the ability to store information, and also promotes physical dexterity. Undirected play in which children interact with the world, create approaches to problem solving, experience negotiation and learn selfadvocacy, fosters emotional development and teaches them about group dynamics and leadership skills. By

experimenting, kids discover personal areas of interest. Free play also tends to promote physical activity, thereby supporting healthy bodies. So what is free play? Basically, it is child-directed activity that can be individual or involve others. While group activity with other kids can or, depending on the activity, should be supervised, it should not be directed. While free play can and frequently should include a parent, it should be driven by the child. The important thing is for there to be no adult-presented guidelines for how free

computers or other electronic devices. The medical journal Pediatrics clearly states the distinction: In sharp contrast to the health benefits of active, creative play and the known developmental benefits of an appropriate level of organised activities, there is ample evidence that this passive entertainment is not protective and, in fact, has some harmful effects. In my opinion the data on the

to teaching environments, builds readiness to learn, teaches learning behaviours and develops problem-solving skills. The pros and cons of pursuing more defined activities at free plays expense need to be carefully considered. For parents, the main thing to remember from all of this is that free play is a fundamental part of a healthy childhood. The

benefits of using traditional toys such as blocks, dolls and cars rather than packaged activities are well-known. Such activities should be active, child-directed and occur frequently from the age of two-and-a-half years old onward. By encouraging free play, parents can feel comfortable that they are being great caregivers and supporting their childs future.

Christoph Gelsdorf is a family physician in Yangon and teaches medicine in the United States. He is an honorary member of the Myanmar Medical Association and writes a bi-weekly column, Living Well In Myanmar, for The Myanmar Times.

Play increases cognitive capacity and the ability to store information.

play time will be spent. Remember too that packaged activities marketed as ways to develop a childs intellect are not the same as free play. Parenting magazines and the media often suggest that good parents provide tools for enriching their childs development: These can include computer programs, videos, music, specialised toys and games, and after-school programs. Many parents of my young patients pursue these options with the intention of doing the best for their children. However, these kid genius items typically lack validated evidence of making long-term contributions to a childs success. Its also important to note that free play is different from the free time kids might use for passive entertainment via television, dangers of TV and computers is not yet definitive, but I do try to work with parents to establish an amount of daily screen time they feel is appropriate for their child. My personal preference is no more than 1-2 hours daily, with some autonomy given to older children about how to schedule the screen time each day. Talking with parents, I find that setting aside time for free play competes most frequently with efforts to improve a childs academic accomplishments via math tutoring, language classes, piano lessons and so forth. These activities are obviously well intentioned and provide great benefits.However, we know from many medical studies that free play itself is important in academic development. It helps children adjust



AUGUST 1, 2013
Dear readers T is my honour and my privilege to present you this special supplement in the Myanmar Times to celebrate the first Swiss National Day since the opening of the Swiss Embassy in Myanmar. As you may know I arrived in Myanmar as Resident Ambassador only last November after representing Switzerland in Nay Pyi Taw from Bangkok for four years. My first few months in Myanmar as a Resident Ambassador have been very exciting. I have been overwhelmed by the friendliness and kindness of the people, by the beauty of the country, its breath-taking landscapes and its cultural treasures. August 1st is an important day for me. On this our National Day, I am given the opportunity to address a few words to you and to look back on an eventful time over the past eight months. The opening of the Embassy in November has been a milestone in the history of the relations between Myanmar and Switzerland. But it was not their beginning. Quite the contrary: Our diplomatic relations date back to 1956 and have always been close. For more than two decades, the Swiss Humanitarian Aid has been active in the Myanmar context. When cyclone Nargis ravished the country and its people in 2008, Switzerland was able to respond immediately because it was already established in Myanmar and provided fast, non-bureaucratic and efficient help. Later on the support to the communities in the Ayeyarwady Delta continued through reconstructing schools, storm shelters and health posts in more than 40 villages. But the final impetus to open an Embassy in Myanmar was the reform process launched in 2011. Switzerland acknowledges the positive and courageous steps taken during the past few years and months towards an increasingly democratic State in Myanmar and wanted to show its solidarity with the people of Myanmar not only by building schools and storm shelters, which we will continue to do, but also in sharing our experience of living together in diversity, developing democratic institutions, and the rule

Christoph Burgener

Ambassador of Switzerland to Myanmar christoph.burgener@eda.admin.ch

Ambassador Christoph Burgener (51) was born and raised in Visp, Switzerland. He studied law at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and entered the Swiss diplomatic service in 1991. After various postings in Bern, Algiers and Dublin, he was transferred to Bangkok from where he also covered Myanmar as an Ambassador. In 2012 he was appointed as first Resident Ambassador of Switzerland to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar in Yangon, covering as well Lao PDR and the Kingdom of Cambodia.

of law. For this purpose, this Embassy was opened. We want to deliver a concrete and sustainable contribution to the transition of the country. We are to stay. Maybe I should explain more about our background and history: August 1st 1291 our National Day - was the date on which three small Alpine cantons swore an oath of confederation, an act which later came to be regarded as the foundation of Switzerland. Cultural, linguistic and religious diversity however had always been a fundamental challenge for the young Swiss confederation. Like Myanmar, Switzerland is a country that consists of different ethnic, linguistic and cultural groups, bound together only by the will to remain together, as other alternatives may seem less palatable. Over time and with much patience, the regional and federal authorities managed to integrate this diversity into a system that turned diversity into an opportunity and a strength for the whole country and all of its communities. In this way, diversity favoured nation-building through dialogue, protection of minorities and a system of checks and balances. These fundamental values and this spirit of Switzerland have brought us a very long period of internal peace and stability which

has been crucial for creating and sustaining economic development. Before becoming an island of prosperity and stability and a centre of innovation and competitiveness in the heart of Europe, Switzerland has had to build federal and democratic

institutions, ensure human rights protection, and establish peaceful and constructive relations between the different groups of its society with channels that allow differences to be sorted out in a non-violent manner. Switzerland lies in the heart of Europe and at important northsouth cross-roads, like Myanmar lies in the heart of Asia, at the crossroads between India and China. My biggest hope is that one day, Myanmar will be a haven of prosperity, welfare and peace in the middle of Asia like Switzerland is one in Europe. And this is what we would like to contribute to, together with all people of Myanmar. I know that there is still a long way to go. The ethnic conflicts still need to be settled, and the transition of the members of ethnic groups mainstreamed into everyday life in Myanmar. Several million people in Myanmar live below the poverty line, and hundreds of thousands of girls and boys have no access to proper education. We are also committed to supporting and strengthening the recent reforms towards the rule of law and democracy, so that in the future all people in Myanmar can enjoy the same rights that we Swiss can take for granted. We therefore will continue to support the peace and democratisation efforts, build

schools and health posts in conflict areas in South-East Myanmar, support returning displaced persons and refugees in their reintegration, and assist impoverished farmers in accessing better livelihoods. Apart from consolidating and strengthening this political and developmental framework, the Embassy also seeks to expand our economic ties with Myanmar by assisting Swiss companies wanting to invest in Myanmar, and Myanmar businesses wishing to operate in Switzerland. I am convinced that both Myanmar and Switzerland will profit from this exchange and from closer economic ties. A strong economy is always a driver for welfare and development, provided the investments are done in a sustainable manner and their results benefit the population and not just a small few. Most importantly, I want the Embassy of Switzerland to be an open house for all Myanmar people. I always enjoy a constructive and open exchange. Should you have any suggestions, proposals or wishes, feel free to share them with me. I and my staff are at your disposal. Christoph Burgener Ambassador of Switzerland to Myanmar christoph.burgener@eda.admin.ch

The Embassy of Switzerland

The Embassy of Switzerland is located in a colonial building in Kabaung Lane in Hlaing Township near the western side of Inya lake. It offers room for 30 staff, including 10 expatriates from Switzerland. Since 2008 the building has been used for the office of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid. It was renovated and refurbished in 2012 to become the first Embassy of Switzerland in Myanmar. On November 3, 2012, Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter opened the Embassy during his State visit to Myanmar. Adress: No. 11, Kabaung Lane, 5 mile, Pyay Road, Hlaing Township, Yangon E-mail: ygn.vertretung@eda.admin.ch Phone: +95 1 534754 / 512873 / 507089 Fax : +95 1 534754 / 512873 / 507089 Office hours: Monday to Thursday, 08:0017:30 Friday, 08:0013:00 Visitors: Monday to Friday, 09:0011:00

SWISS NATIONAL DAY | August 1, 2013


10 great things about

Switzerland is at the heart of Europe. With its borders shared with 5 countries (Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein) it is geographically in the exact middle of the European Union even though it is not a member.

Switzerland is the most innovative country in the world. It has the highest share of patent applications per capita in the whole world. This is a driver for development, employment as well as economic welfare.

citizens are collected within 100 days after the law has been passed. If the vote shows that a majority of the citizens disagree with the law, it is not enacted.

Switzerland is a multicultural and a multilingual country. There are 4 official languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. More than one quarter of the population is not Swiss but from all over the world, and most of the people living in Switzerland speak more than one language.

7 Federal Councillors govern Switzerland as a collective head of state. The president of Switzerland has representational competencies and is elected once a year from among them. All important decisions are taken by the Federal Council and there is no prime minister.

Switzerland is a confederation composed of 26 cantons and 2,408 municipalities. Most political questions are decided at a municipal and cantonal level. In the national parliament, each canton sends two delegates to the upper house (Council of States), while the lower house (National Council) provides one seat for every 37,500 inhabitants. This way also the smaller cantons have a say in parliament. There are 46 members in the Council of States and 200 in the National Council.

Switzerland although small in size is one of the hubs of international politics. Geneva hosts not only the European seat of the UN but also the headquarters of more than 25 international organisations and over 250 NGOs and is the birthplace of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Lausanne is the seat of the International Olympic Committee and Zurich hosts the FIFA.

Switzerland is known as Europes water fortress. 60% of Switzerlands electricity is produced by hydroelectric power and the most important rivers of Europe have their sources in the Swiss Alps. And wherever you are in Switzerland you are never more than 10 miles from a lake!

If a Swiss citizen has a political proposal at the federal level, she or he can call for a public vote by collecting 100,000 signatures. If a majority of the population and the cantons agree with the proposal, it is enshrined in the constitution. If Swiss citizens do not agree with a law that is being passed by Parliament, it can be challenged in a national vote providing that 50,000 signatures from voting

Although Switzerland has very few natural resources and a difficult topography, its economy is one of the strongest in the world. The core of the Swiss economy is its highly qualified labour force performing highly skilled work. The main areas include micro technology, hi-tech, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, as well as banking and insurance know-how. Most of the people working in Switzerland are employed by small and medium-sized enterprises, which play an extremely important role in the Swiss economy. The Swiss franc is among the worlds most stable currencies and Switzerlands capital market is one of the most important in the world. The Swiss are concerned that any economic activity should have as little impact as possible on the environment. Switzerlands energy and transport policies aim to be environmentally friendly.

Contrary to popular belief, the Matterhorn is not Switzerlands highest peak its just the most famous. The highest peak of Switzerland is the Dufour Peak (15,203ft), named after a legendary Swiss general.


This school building in Ah Shey Phyar (Pyapon Township) was built by the Swiss Humanitarian Aid in 2012. It also serves as a storm shelter.

August 1, 2013 | SWISS NATIONAL DAY

From reconstructing schools to vocational training and supporting peace the Swiss cooperation in Myanmar
Switzerland can look back on a long and eventful history in Myanmar. While its Humanitarian Aid already had been present in the country since the late 1990s, the 2008 Nargis emergency response turned into a longer-term engagement, leading to the reconstruction of combined school buildings and storm shelters in the Delta. With the opening of the Embassy last year Switzerland has established its foundations for a long-term commitment. It is expanding its engagement to vocational skills development, agriculture and food security, local governance, health, social services and peace support.
Nargis as a turning point The Swiss engagement in Myanmar started almost two decades ago with the funding of humanitarian projects in the country. But it was cyclone Nargis that turned these activities into a large long-term operation. Due to our presence in the country, we were able to offer quick first response shortly after the cyclone struck, says Thomas Fisler, Head of Humanitarian Aid Affairs who is based in Yangon since 2008. We sent medicine and tents. In this early phase of the situation it was crucial to secure the survival of the victims. We provided basic first aid, and together with the UN World Food Programme we sent rice and other necessities to the victims he adds. But Switzerlands aid went much further than just delivering first aid and food. In the devastated Ayeyarwady Delta, where even the most basic infrastructure was destroyed, Switzerlands ambition was to restore and improve the living conditions for the people in a sustainable way. For this purpose, the idea of reconstructing schools as storm shelters that offer both class rooms and a safe haven for communities during natural disasters was born. In the years after Nargis, Switzerlands efforts to build new school buildings provided classrooms for over 7,000 students and storm shelters for over 40 villages, as well as help to communities to build boats and jetties along with the rebuilding of some of the destroyed houses. This was not a simple task. It was not easy to build in the Delta. The transport routes were difficult as water had always been a problem. Basic building materials had to be shipped in from far away as well states Thomas Fisler. MORE ON PAGE 4

SWISS NATIONAL DAY | August 1, 2013

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Switzerland in brief:

Name: Swiss Confederation President (in 2013): Ueli Maurer Capital: Bern Population: Size: GDP: Currency: 8.1 Million 15940 square miles $363,421 billion ($45,417 per capita) Swiss franc (1 franc = 910 Kyat)

The opening of the Embassy The initiation of the political reform process in 2011 was seen as a good opportunity for Switzerland to strengthen its relations with Myanmar. The opening of the Embassy on 3rd November 2012 by Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter is a milestone in the relations between the two countries. On this occasion Switzerland made a committment to make a significant contribution to a peaceful and prosperous future for Myanmar by gradually increasing its bilateral aid up to USD 35 million per year for the next 5 years. According to Peter Tschumi, Director of Cooperation, the Swiss contribution will aim at providing a meaningful support to some of the countrys most vulnerable communities, including conflict-affected areas, and will focus on restoring and improving the living conditions of the poor people. Southeast Myanmar will be a geographic focus area, and a mix of instruments will be applied ranging from emergency and humanitarian aid, to long-term development cooperation and support to peace and democratisation. Four thematic domains In discussions with partners and stakeholders from Government, civil society and private sector, Switzerland has decided to focus on four domains: The first one provides support for vocational skills development to improve Myanmars technical and vocational education and training system in order to provide better employment and income for the huge amount of young and underprivileged job seekers in the country; the second is to improve food security and agricultural productivity, including enhanced access to land, forest and aquatic resources along

Official Languages: German, French, Italian, Romansh Largest cities: Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Lausanne, Bern

Tourism hotspots: Lucerne, Interlaken, Jungfraujoch, Matterhorn, Bern, Geneva, St. Moritz Links: www.myswitzerland.com, www.swissworld.com, www.fdfa.admin.ch, www.sdc.admin.ch

with development of agricultural value chains that cater to the growing markets. The third component, building on the long-standing experience of Swiss Humanitarian Aid, is the provision of social services such as schools and health centres in combination with assistance to community health and broader local governance. Last but not least, Switzerland will support efforts to consolidate peace and the transition to democracy and human rights as well as protect the civilian population affected by conflict. In this last domain, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs can look back on a long and rich experience. Civilian peace building has been a Swiss core competency, going back to the creation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the 19th century, the Geneva conventions and its mediation activities in the Cold War. The Swiss approach to peace building is a long-term engagement with the various actors involved in negotiations. On request it can provide specialists who can offer practical advice and tailor-made trainings to the conflict parties to help them prepare and build up their own negotiation capacities. Switzerland also seeks to help bring the voices of the affected people to the negotiation tables. We are not seeking the role of mediators, says Claudine Haenni Dale, Senior Democratisation, Peace building and Human Rights Advisor to the Embassy. In the case of Myanmar, the different groups and the Government are already talking directly with one another. That is good. But we are ready to assist in whatever way when asked to by any of the various stakeholders. In doing so, we will be remain neutral and discreet.

Manuel Bessler, Head of Swiss Humanitarian Aid, talking to pupils during a visit of the Ah Shey Phyar school.