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HEARTBEAT OF THE NATION

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DAILY EDITION

ISSUE 40 | TUESDAY, MAY 12, 2015


NEWS 3

Trafficking victims wash


up in Malaysia, Indonesia
Muslims from Rakhine State and
Bangladesh have been dumped
by traffickers in Malaysia and
Indonesia in recent days, in
apparent response to a crackdown
on trafficking in Thailand.

NEWS 4

Ko Par Gyi trial resumes as


soldiers secretly acquitted
Human rights commission reveals
two soldiers linked to the death of a
journalist in Mon State in October
were cleared by a military court the
following month.
BUSINESS 8

Serge Pun says FMI will be


first and only listed firm
FMI chair Serge Pun says his firm will
be the only one in a position to list on
the Yangon Stock Exchange when it
launches this year a claim already
dismissed by government officials.
BUSINESS 10

PAGE

PHOTO: AUNG KHANT

Volunteers sing in front of Dagon Centre on May 10 to raise funds for earthquake
victims in Nepal. The group has raised more than US$5000 in public donations since
beginning the nightly performances on April 30, and conducted shows in front of
Junction Square, Parkson, Hledan Centre and several other locations.

Ministry halts planned


commodities exchange
Myanmar firm MICEx had planned
to launch an online exchange in the
coming months, but the Ministry of
Commerce says it has not yet granted
approval to the venture.

$1.2b Myeik resort proposed


Salon Island near Kawthoung would become the Phuket of Myanmar under a plan put forward by a Singaporean
firm to develop a casino and luxury resort but tourism officials say they have been left in the dark. BUSINESS 8

2 News

Govt agrees
to second
six-way
meeting
A SECOND round of the six-party talks will be held when all participants are available, Minister
for Information U Ye Htut said
yesterday.
The first meeting between the
so-called Big Six President U
Thein Sein, Commander-in-Chief
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker
Thura U Shwe Mann, Amyotha
Hluttaw Speaker U Khin Aung
Myint, National League for Democracy leader Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi and Rakhine National
Party leader U Aye Maung was
held on April 10. Talks focused
on the election, constitutional
change and the peace process.
Parliament has urged a second round of discussions, but
the government has so far refused to meet again.
But U Ye Htut said a meeting would be held to set a date
for a second round of talks once
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing
returns from a foreign trip to Pakistan and Serbia.
All stakeholders need to negotiate the date for the second round
of the talk. When the commanderin-chief comes back, we will all
meet together and negotiate. The
second round of the talks will be
held on the date they agree, U Ye
Htut said. Htoo Thant, translation by Thiri Min Htun

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 12, 2015

Thousands return to Kokang,


but others flee recent clashes
GUY
DINMORE
guydinmore@gmail.com

SEVERAL thousand civilians have returned to their villages in and near


the Kokang region in recent weeks but
a renewed offensive by government
forces close to Myanmars border with
China has prompted another exodus of
refugees, the World Food Programme
(WFP) said yesterday.
Separately the Shan Human Rights
Foundation, an NGO, reported that
many refugees were too afraid to return
to Myanmar from China because of ongoing fighting and reports that several
returning villagers had been killed.
Fighting in the northeast corner of
Shan State between the Tatmadaw and
ethnic Chinese rebels has entered its
fourth month with aid agencies and independent observers still struggling to
gain a clear picture of the scale of the
crisis.
The UN food agencys Myanmar office reported yesterday that the UN Department for Safety and Security was
expected to carry out its first assessment
mission to the main town of Laukkai
this month. That survey could then pave
the way for UN aid to enter the region.
A three-month period of emergency
rule and martial law imposed by President U Thein Sein on February 17 is

A woman who fled from the Kokang region of northeastern Shan State cries at a
temporary refugee camp n Lashio on February 18. Photo: AFP

due to lapse in the coming days. Fighting erupted in Kokang between the
military and the Myanmar National
Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA),
an ethnic Chinese militia, on February 9. The WFP estimated that 60,000
displaced people were still in camps on
the Chinese side of the border. Most are
ethnic Chinese.
It also quoted a Myanmar government estimate that 60,000 people might require support after
the conflict has subsided. The UN
agency said a significant number of

internally displaced people, or IDPs,


had returned in April to their villages
in the Kokang region, the nearby Wacontrolled enclave and other parts of
northern Shan State. Among those
going back were 2000 IDPs who went
back to Laukkai from a camp known
as Border Point 125, although others
decided to cross into China. More
than 1400 people also left a camp in
Namhkhan township.
However, it said heavy fighting in
Mone Koe, close to the border, had displaced a further 150 households. Mone

Koe was the scene of fighting in early


1968 when the China-backed Burma
Communist Party including Peng
Jiasheng, the current octogenarian
leader of the MNDAA chose the Kokang region to launch a major offensive
against the Myanmar government. The
collapse and splintering of the BCP in
1989 led to the creation of the MNDAA
and other allied groups close to China,
including the United Wa State Army,
the biggest of Myanmars armed ethnic
groups.
Reports from the region on the Chinese side of the rugged frontier indicate
that the latest fighting is concentrated
on the Nan Tian Men range of hills, just
a few miles north of Laukkai.
The Shan Human Rights Foundation said Tatmadaw artillery fire landing on the Chinese side had caused
more than 700 refugees sheltering at
the Chin Cai Go border crossing to
evacuate deeper into China.
Ongoing shelling in the Nan Tian
Men area since early May is continuing to instill fear in the refugees. Most
are too afraid to even cross back and
make brief visits to their homes, due to
cases of killing and disappearance of
villagers returning across the border.
Refugees said that most villages in their
area are now completely deserted, the
NGO said.
WFP said it had delivered 33 tonnes
of food in April to more than 2700 IDPs
in Hseni, Kutkai and Namhkam in
northern Shan State, and the Wa area
of Nam Tit.

www.mmtimes.com

NEWS EDITOR: Thomas Kean | tdkean@gmail.com

News 3

IN BRIEF
President proposes minor
changes to population bill

Illegal Bangladeshi migrants wait at the police headquarters in Langkawi, Malaysia, on May 11. Photo: AFP

Unclear future for thousands


of rescued trafficking victims
LAIGNEE
BARRON
laignee@gmail.com

THE number of smuggled migrants


stranded on Malaysian and Indonesian shores continues to climb as
boats are abandoned or forced to
reroute amid Thailands latest crackdown on the human trafficking trade,
officials and migration experts said
yesterday.
While Thailand scrambles to
meet a 10-day deadline to oust people smuggling from its borders, boats
that would normally disembark at
the recently exposed network of Thai
jungle camps have been forced to
new locales. Nearly 2000 impoverished migrants from Rakhine State
and Bangladesh have been rescued in
recent days.
Yes, our crackdown is affecting
the boats, Thai police spokesperson
Lieutenant General Prawut Thawornsiri told Reuters. Why else would

they go to Indonesia? It is so far ...


Our job is to block the boats and not
let them land on our shores.
More than 500 refugee seekers
were recovered from two tiny, overcrowded wooden boats in Indonesias
Aceh region on May 10, while several
more boats unloaded on Malaysias
Langkawi Island later that night.
According to the UN Refugee
Agency (UNHCR), more than 25,000
Rohingya and Bangladeshis boarded
boats bound for Thailand and Malaysia in the first three months of
this year, about twice as many as the
same period in 2014. At least 300 are
estimated to have died in crossings
during the three-month span, largely
from dehydration, starvation and
beatings.
The UNHCR noted that the majority of the smuggled migrants are
transiting through secluded camps
in the Thai jungle or plantations near
the border with Malaysia, where they
are held for ransom, starved and often brutally tortured until fees of
about US$2000 can be procured from
relatives.
At the camps, the migrants are

beaten with pipes and wires, hung


upside-down from trees, and had fingernails pulled off with pliers, said
the UNHCR, which also noted that
many of the women were raped while
held in the camps.
During its ongoing investigation,
Thailand has exhumed more than 30
human remains from shallow graves
at four recently abandoned detention
camps.
Over 250 survivors have been
found wandering Thai jungles after
they were abandoned by traffickers,
according to Thai police.
The women and children will be
sent to government-operated shelters
while the men will likely be forwarded to immigration detention, according to Human Rights Watch.
With Myanmar typically unwilling to accept back Rohingya whom
the government calls Bengali and
Thailand unwilling to consider them
as refugees, it is unclear where the
smuggled migrants will go next.
Rohingya often end up in indefinite administrative detention in the
Thai immigration lock-up, or in a shelter operated by the Thai government,

said Phil Robertson, deputy director of


HRWs Asia division. In either case,
they are left in a permanent limbo unless they decide to escape and make
their own way, or agree to be handed
over to brokers in the guise of a socalled soft deportation in which Thai
authorities never actually send the
person over the border.
Rights groups say that refugee
seekers are likely to continue to wash
up on the shores of Indonesia and
Malaysia, as more smugglers boats
remain parked around the Malacca
Straits, unable to complete their normal circuit.
Chris Lewa of the Arakan Project
estimated 7000 to 8000 smuggled migrants are currently trapped on what
have turned into offshore camps.
Dozens [have] already died at
sea, Ms Lewa said. The real problem
is that no countries in the region are
ready to extend protection to fleeing
Rohingya refugees. This is what creates the smuggling/trafficking market. Closing the door on one side will
only displace the problem and put
victims at even greater risks.
With Bangkok Post and AFP

President U Thein Sein has


recommended amendments to
the recently approved Population
Control Healthcare Bill but the
changes will not affect the most
controversial sections of the draft
law.
The bill was passed by parliament on April 6. On April 9, the
president responded that some
terms in the bill do not fit the new
structure of the Ministry of Health
and should be amended.
He suggested changing
references to the Department
of Health to the Department of
Public Heath, and those to the
head of the township health office
to head of the township public
health office.
The Pyidaungsu Hluttaws Bill
Committee reported the presidents letter to MPs yesterday
and suggested parliamentarians
approve the proposed changes.
MPs who want to discuss the
proposed changes have until
May 15 to register for the debate. However, as the changes
are only minor, U Nein Khim
Pong, a Chin representative,
said he expected there would
be little discussion. Once approved, the bill will become law
within seven days.
Htoo Thant,
translation by Zar Zar Soe

Weapons seized during raids


in rural Hpa-an township

Police have seized homemade


guns from the homes of residents in rural Hpa-an township,
Kayin State.
The May 6 raids followed an
incident in Byatkha village in
which a 28-year-old man allegedly shot a 40-year-old man with
a 140 centimetre (4 foot 8 inch)
homemade gun.
The older man had tried to
calm the gun-wielding resident,
who police said was drunk and
standing in the middle of the road
cursing and shouting.
When officials from the village administration office tried
to subdue the man, he pulled a
28cm dagger on them and resisted arrest. He was eventually
disarmed and been charged with
four offences.
Police from nearby Eaindu village then searched his home and
found a 110cm gun and
ammunition.
After the detained man said
other residents in the area also
possessed homemade guns, the
police searched five other homes,
seizing 11 weapons, spare barrels and ammunition.
Three men, ranging in age
from 26 to 48, have been arrested
and charged with weapons offences, while another two are on
the run. Toe Wai Aung, translation by Khant Lin Oo

Student defence lawyers urge govt ministers to testify


YE MON
yeemontun2013@gmail.com
LAWYERS defending students arrested for protesting against the
National Education Law plan to call
two prominent ministers in the Presidents Office to testify in court.
U Robert San Aung, who is representing some of the detainees, told
The Myanmar Times the ministers
should be listed as witnesses because
they had given a commitment during negotiations with students that
police action would not be taken
against their attempts to march from
Mandalay to Yangon.
Police forcibly broke up the

protest march at Letpadan in Bago


Region on March 10 and carried out
mass arrests.
Charges have been brought
against 81 people, some of whom
face 50 indictments five for each
of the 10 townships they passed
through between Mandalay and Letpadan in Bago region.
During talks with student representatives in February, minister U
Aung Min agreed that action would
not be taken against the protesters
campaigning against the education
law. Other ministers in the Presidents Office were also involved in
the four-way talks that included
members of parliament and educa-

tion experts.
I met with U Aung Min on May
8. He told me he will help us with

81

Students charged following the police


crackdown at Letpadan in Bago Region
on March 10, of which 70 are being held
at Tharyarwady Prison

this case after the [preliminary]


court hearing. I want to add him and
other ministers to the witness list. I
will negotiate with them but it can
be difficult, U Robert San Aung said.
The defendants lawyers will submit their list of witnesses after the
Tharyarwady court meets to decide
whether to uphold the indictments.
The 43 prosecution witnesses
will be questioned. After that, the
court will decide whether the indictment is needed or not, the lawyer
said.
Defence lawyers also plan to call
members of the National Network
for Education Reform, which took
part in the four-way talks, as well as

members of the 88 Generation student group, the media and monks.


The director of the Presidents Office did not respond to calls for comment yesterday.
Lawyer U Htay, who will also represent some detainees, said yesterday that Police Major Phone Myint,
who brought charges against the students and their supporters, would be
questioned in a court hearing today.
Thirty of the prosecutions witnesses
are police officers.
The lawyer said todays court
hearing would involve the 70 people in detention, while 11 released
on bail would be called to court for
questioning on May 14.

4 News
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THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 12, 2015

Staff protest sackings from Bagan hotel


SI THU LWIN
sithulwin.mmtimes@gmail.com
ANGRY staff at a Bagan hotel say they
will hold further protests unless five
sacked colleagues are reinstated and
given compensation.
The workers were fired from Bagan
Hotel River View on March 8 for leaking confidential information on service money paid to staff members, according to the secretary of the Bagan
labour union, who was among those
fired.
Two labour tribunals have ordered
the hotel to reinstated them and give
compensation of six months salary,
but they have not yet been rehired,
said U Myint Oo.
On May 8, about 100 staff from
Hotel@Tharabar Gate, Bagan Thande
Hotel and Bagan Hotel River View

Hotel staff stage a protest on May 8 calling on Bagan Hotel River View
management to rehire five of their colleagues. Photo: Bagan Thar

demonstrated on May 8 with permission from local police.


Service money has been going

own year by year so all staff held a


meeting and discussed it. Then the hotel sacked us for leaking statistics, U

Myint Oo said.
We must wait and see if the hotel
follows the decision of Mandalay and
Nay Pyi Taw tribunals . If they wont
follow the decisions, we will stage
more protests.
I have worked here for 20 years. To
me the hotel is like my family. I dont
want to do something to give it a bad
reputation but we feel we are doing
the right thing.
Officials from Bagan Hotel River
View declined to comment when contacted by The Myanmar Times, saying
only that the sackings were an internal
issue.
Bagan Hotel River View is located
in Old Bagan, near the archaeological
museum, and is a part of KMA Hotels,
a subsidiary of U Khin Maung Ayes
KMA Group.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

KYAIKMAYAW, MON STATE

Military acquittal raises fresh


doubts about civilian inquest
Judge and prosecutor unaware that two soldiers had already been cleared of responsibility for journalists killing
YOLA VERBRUGGEN
NAW SAY PHAW WAA
LUN MIN MANG
newsroom@mmtimes.com
A COURT hearing into the death of a
journalist while in military custody in
October 2014 heard testimony from his
widow yesterday, but was overshadowed by the revelation that the soldiers
who shot him had already been acquitted by a military tribunal last year.
Two soldiers accused of shooting
Ko Par Gyi, who was killed as he allegedly tried to escape from army custody,
were acquitted by an army court martial of a charge of death by negligence
in late November.
The verdict was announced in a
May 8 press release uploaded to the
website of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC).
The verdict of the military court,
which apparently allowed the two
soldiers to walk free, appears to run
counter to the recommendation made
by the rights commission, which had
taken up the case on the direct instructions of President U Thein Sein.
In its report last December, the
rights commission said the case against
the two soldiers should be judged in a
civil court, rather than a military court.
Though a civil action has indeed begun, on April 10 in Kyaikmayaw Township Court, Mon State, it opened in the
absence of Ko Par Gyis widow, Daw
Thandar, who has been campaigning
to keep public interest in the case alive.
MNHRC vice chair U Sit Myaing
confirmed yesterday to The Myanmar
Times that the case had been dealt with
by a military court last year.
The case was decided on November
27. Unaware it had occurred, the commission issued its report just days later.
We received this information in
April in response to our request concerning the case, he said.
The statement said that the death
of Ko Par Gyi occurred during a period
of active service, which under the Defence Services Act meant that it could
be judged by a military court.
Accordingly, the case was heard
by a Summary General Court Martial
as Case No (146/147) under the provisions of the Defence Services Act 1959,
the Code of Criminal Procedures and
the Rules and Procedures of the Court
Martial and an order of acquittal was
passed on two guard soldiers of 210
Light Infantry Regiment, namely Lance
Corporal Kyaw Kyaw Aung and Private
Naing Lin Tun under section 71 of the

U Robert San Aung and Daw Thandar walk outside Kyaikmayaw Township Court
yesterday. Photo: Naw Say Phaw Waa

Defence Services Act and section 304 of


the Penal Code, said the statement.
Section 304 relates to death by negligence, and carries a potential 10-year
prison term.
U Sit Myaing declined to comment
on why a case apparently decided by a
military court should now also be before a civil court. Now that the case is
sub judice, it should be up to legal experts to comment rather than us, he
said, adding, The commission did its
best to protect a citizens rights in this
case. However, the result may not always be as we expected, he said.

We will only find


out how he died, but
we wont find who
did it.
U Thet Aung
Township judge

A military official from the Public


Relations and Psychological Warfare
Department said the response to the
request from the commission concerning the case was not handled by them.
Ko Par Gyi, a freelance journalist, was shot dead in a military custody while allegedly trying to escape

detention on the evening of October


4 last year. He had been arrested in
Kyaikmayaw township while covering
the fighting between the Tatmadaw
and the Democratic Karen Benevolent
Army (DKBA).
Daw Thandar, who gave evidence
at yesterdays hearing at Kyaikmayaw
Township Court, said she only learned
of the military court martial after reading the rights commissions statement.
The decision will further complicate the proceedings, according to her
lawyer, U Robert San Aung. The rights
commission statement referred to section 304 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which states that a person cannot
be retried for the same offence.
Crouched over stacks of documents
yesterday, U Robert San Aung and Daw
Thandar discussed how to move forward with their campaign for justice.
They are just tricking us, said the
well-known human rights lawyer.
He said that the militarys lack of
transparency would ultimately harm
its reputation further.
If the military would allow for this
case to be investigated at the civilian
court, the image of the military would
be improved, and we will also know the
truth.
Daw Thandar said she planned to
file a legal objection to the military
trial.
I have the right to appeal if I dont
agree with the verdict, she said.
Asked why the case was opened at

the civilian court after a verdict had


already been reached at the court martial, district prosecutor U Nyi Nyi Lwin
and township judge U Thet Aung said
they had not been aware of the military
trial.
We are examining this case because
the police opened it as a homicide case
at the civilian court, the district prosecutor said. We will only investigate
how Ko Par Gyi has died.
We will only find out how he died,
but we wont find who did it, agreed
judge U Thet Aung.
Evidence submitted at the military
trial will not be used in the civilian inquest into Ko Par Gyis killing, he said.
Our civilian court is isolated from
the military court. Only the police may
ask for evidence from the military, but
they will not share it with us.
The prosecution does plan to call
witnesses from the military, but said
that the soldiers would need permission from their superiors to appear.
Three or four witnesses from the police
force have already testified. Altogether
about 40 witnesses, including police
and military officers as well as civilians,
are scheduled to testify.
Yesterday, Daw Thandar had her
chance to give evidence. During the
hearing she described details of Ko Par
Gyis life, including how they met when
he was working as a security guard for
NLD leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Daw Thandar said she cherishes the
photos of her husband with the democracy icon. After she heard about Ko
Par Gyis death, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
sent me a letter, telling me to be brave,
she said.
She told the judge that she had not
been given any information when she
inquired about her husbands disappearance. She also explained how she
had found out that her husband had
died, and told of her struggle to get his
body exhumed, examined and sent to
Yangon.
She was joined by fellow activists at
the hearing, who dismissed the notion
that justice had been done through a
secretive military trial that acquitted
Ko Par Gyis killers.
I want to ask this: Is there no law
to prevent this and to protect [Ko Par
Gyis] dignity? said Ma Nilar Thein, a
prominent activist from the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society, and a
long-time friend of Daw Thandar.
As Daw Thandars testimony took
the entire afternoon, the four other
scheduled witnesses will appear at the
next hearing, on May 25.

6 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 12, 2015

Police
warn on
precursor
chemicals

AMARAPURA, MANDALAY

SI THU LWIN
sithulwin.mmtimes@gmail.com

Tourists take a boat around Taungthaman Lake, near the popular U Bein Bridge, in Mandalays Amarapura township. Photo: Supplied

Factories cleared of blame for


fish die-off at Taungthaman
Death of hundreds of thousands of fish at popular tourist spot in Amarapura township was likely due to the
hot weather, not the pumping of wastewater into the lake from a nearby industrial zone, according to officials

KHIN SU
WAI
jasminekhin@gmail.com

FACTORIES around Mandalays scenic Lake Taungthaman have apparently been cleared of involvement in
the death of hundreds of thousands
of fish last month. Though some local
residents blamed the alleged dumping of toxic chemicals for the die-off, a
site inspection has found no evidence
of this.
Dr Swe Thwin, an adviser with
the Myanmar Fisheries Federation,
told The Myanmar Times yesterday
that about 40 samples had been taken
from the lake on May 6. The cause of
death was not toxicity in the water,
he said. Except for three places, the
water was good.
The two mass die-offs of fish, on
April 12 and April 30, occurred close
to a landing popular with tourists
visiting the site in Amarapura township famous for a 1.2-kilometre teak
bridge that dates to 1850 causing an

outcry among local residents.


Tests conducted by the Mandalay
fisheries department focused on the
acidity and alkalinity of the water and
the presence or absence of chemicals.
The tests found three anoxic dead
zones, one at the influx of Payan
stream and two on the western side
of the lake.
When the weather is hot, the water in the lake divides into layers, an
upper and a lower layer. The upper
layer contains the oxygen, but in the
lower layer, water plants absorb the
oxygen, causing the fish to die suddenly, said Dr Swe Thwin.
Immediately after the fish deaths,
Mandalay City Development Committee suspended production in the factories in the lakeside industrial zone,
and the Amarapura fisheries department charged 12 factories under the
freshwater fish enterprise law, including operations involving the manufacture of alcohol, sugar, paper, fertiliser
and leather.
Fisheries department director U
Myo Aung said the charges related
to the discharge of acid and other
chemicals that affected oxygen levels
in the water.

Last May, charges brought by the


fisheries department against three local factories were thrown out when the
companies concerned demonstrated
that they had clean water systems.
U Swe Thwin said local concerns
about waste water from industrial
zone remained widespread, despite
the latest findings.
There no exact findings of how
much pollution wastewater has
caused. The Payan stream passes

What with
chemicals from the
industrial zone and
waste from the city
flowing into the lake,
we have to monitor it
very closely.
U Swe Thwin
Myanmar Fisheries Federation

through the whole urban area of Mandalay before draining into Taungthaman carrying urban waste, he said.
What with chemicals from the
industrial zone and waste from the
city flowing into the lake, we have to
monitor it very closely, he said.
Once a rural retreat, Taungthaman
is now on the outskirts of bustling
Mandalay and its population of 1.2
million, as well as the industrial zone.
Tourists are attracted to the lake, the
site of the famous U Bein Bridge, and
fish farming is widespread.
On May 8, prominent environmental group Sein Yaung Soe said in
a statement that it believed the fish
die-off was the result of a number of
factors, not only pollution from the
industrial zone.
It also pointed to the establishment of fish farms on the lake, and
the dumping of wastewater from
households and businesses at Amarapura, including cotton dye from
nearby weaving workshops.
It called on the government to ban
fish farms from the lake, to introduce
wastewater treatment in the area and
to collaborate with residents to improve disposal of rubbish and dye.

MANDALAY police have announced a


crackdown on illegal drugs, including
stricter licensing of controlled chemicals that can be used to make drugs.
Police Colonel Thet Naing, deputy head
of the Mandalay regional police office,
said on May 9 that importers should be
sure they are following all the rules and
regulations on using, storing and selling
controlled chemicals, including those
imported with official authorisation.
They should inform the Inspection
Team for Controlled Chemicals or the
head of the township police office when
their chemicals arrive in Mandalay Region, he said.
If they have imported 100 tonnes of
chemicals, they need to be able to show
100 tonnes. Controlled chemicals are
not directly defined as narcotic drugs,
but they can be used to manufacture
narcotic drugs. Controlled chemicals
cannot be sold without official permission. Sometimes controlled chemicals
run out soon after they arrive here.
When the inspection team come to
check them, there are no chemicals to
show. We are asking importers to inform us when their imported chemicals
arrive in Mandalay so that we can prevent their illegal use, he said.
Pol Col Thet Naing is also secretary
of the Committee for the Prevention
of the Danger of Narcotic Drugs and
Psychotropic Substances in Mandalay
Region.
Business people are required to apply for separate licences for the transportation, storage and sale of controlled
chemicals, he said.
The Inspection Team for Controlled
Chemicals has charged a cement factory in Kyaukse township for storing
controlled chemicals because its licence
covered only transportation, according
to an inspector.
The factory stored the chemicals
without a licence because the owner
was not aware of the rules. The factory
stored 17 tanks of hydrochloric acid for
factory use, not for reselling. The factory
has now applied for a storage licence.
We have charged them under section
16(b) of the Narcotic Drugs Law, which
carries a maximum punishment of seven years imprisonment or a K700,000
fine, though it is rare to sentence offenders to both punishments, said Pol Maj
De De Yaw Han of the inspection team.
U Tun Naing Soe, head of the soft
drinks factory EAC Europe and Asia
Commercial, said yesterday that the
briefing on the rules for keeping such
chemicals was very helpful.
We know that the regulations require us to hold suitable licences for
each separate activity. Its best to apply
for all licences in order to avoid any
trouble under the regulations, he said.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

Tribunal rules white-card voting rights unconstitutional


SANDAR LWIN
sdlsandar@gmail.com
THE Constitutional Tribunal has ruled
that giving holders of temporary identity cards better known as white cards
the right to vote is unconstitutional.
The nine-member tribunal announced the decision on May 11 in response to a case filed by 24 lawmakers
following parliaments decision to give
white-card holders the right to vote in
a referendum law for amending the
2008 constitution.
Members of the Rakhine National
Party and the National League for

Democracy were among those who


submitted the case.
The Tribunal has decided today
that [giving white-card holders voting
rights] is unconstitutional. It has been
done, said RNP chair U Aye Maung.
Article 11(a) of the Referendum
Law enacted earlier this year prescribed that the citizens and temporary identity card holders are eligible
to vote in the referendum and be included on electoral rolls.
While white-card voting rights
had initially been rejected by parliament, MPs agreed to a request from
President U Thein Sein to reinsert

them into the bill in February, prompting the lawmakers to submit their case
to the tribunal.
The prospect of allowing whitecard holders to vote also prompted
fierce protests in Rakhine State, where
more than 80 percent of white cards
have been issued, and smaller demonstrations in Yangon.
The president responded by cancelling white cards and ordering holders
to hand them in to the authorities by
May 31.
Those who return the cards will be
eligible to apply for citizenship under
the 1982 citizenship law.

But the tribunal continued to hear


the case, and announced yesterday
that giving voting rights to temporary
identity-card holders was unconstitutional according to sections 38(a) and
391 of the constitution.
Section 38(a) states that every
citizen has the right to elect and be
elected in accord with the law, while
section 391 says that every citizen of
18 years on election day who is eligible
to vote and not disqualified by law has
the right to vote.
The constitution clearly states
that every citizen [has the right to
vote but] not temporary card holders.

They are not yet citizens, a veteran


judge said after the decision yesterday.
Temporary identity cards were issued by the former military government starting from around 1990,
when it agreed ceasefires with many
armed ethnic groups.
While some were issued to members of the Wa, Kokang and other
ethnic minorities, about 83pc of the
797,000 white cards were issued to
members of the Muslim Rohingya
community in Rakhine State, according to Ministry of Immigration and
Population figures.

News 7

www.mmtimes.com

Views

Can new voices quell hate speech?


SITHU AUNG
MYINT

newsroom@mmtimes.com

N unusual book launch


was held at the House of
Media & Entertainment
on Yangons Bo Aung Kyaw
Street on April 25. The title of the book is Vibhajja Echo, and
all of the contributors are monks.
The book has been released at
a time when outbreaks of violence
based on religion and race have been
occurring. Some monks and laypeople have propagated hate speech
against non-Buddhists, and as a result peaceful Buddhism has been
misunderstood by the international
community.
The two monks who spearheaded
the production of the book are Sayadaw U Javana, who resides in the
United States, and Sayadaw U Rarjika, who lives in Germany.
Buddhist monks in Myanmar during the 2007 Saffron Revolution were
oppressed for protesting peacefully
on the side of the people. When the
international community saw the
monks marching and praying during the protests, the positive image of
Buddhism grew across the world.
However, after U Thein Seins government took office, outbreaks of violence based on religion have occurred
in Myanmar. Some Buddhist monks
have become involved in the conflict
in different ways. As a result, the image of Buddhism has been stained.
Thats why these two monks
sought to publish Vibhajja Echo. At
the launching ceremony, Bawa Alin
Sayadaw said they wanted to rebuild
the reputation of Buddhism and ensure its true doctrine is followed once
again in Myanmar.
The writers are outspoken in their
criticism of some Buddhist nationalist movements, including the Committee for the Protection of Nationality and Religion, better known by its
Myanmar-language acronym Ma Ba
Tha.

Buddhist monks attend a conference about religious violence at a monastery on the outskirts of Yangon on June 13, 2013. Photo: AFP

Sayadaw Ashin Zawana writes,


Ma Ba Thas Interfaith Marriage Law
cant help to protect race and religion,
but it can provide the inspiration for
the destruction of the country. Ethnic
minority distrust of the [Bamar] is
the basic cause of our civil war. This
law is likely to affirm the suspicions
of ethnic minorities. Successive governments have always said, Dont
mix religion and politics.
Another author, Min Thone Nya,
writes, Our Buddhas ideology is vibhajjavada to accept everything after reasoning what is wrong and what
is right. It is not an ism that forces
people to believe what is said by a
well-known or educated monk, without first judging whether it is right or
wrong. Is the monk from Ma Ba Tha
who is popular today as popular as
Devadatta, a cousin of the Buddha?
Does he have psychic powers like

Devadatta? Prince Ajatasatru


was led the wrong way and as a result
killed his father, King Bimbasara, because he lacked reasoning power. He
followed Devadatta because of his attaining psychic powers and popularity. Thats why I never join Ma Ba Tha.
Sayadaw U Yarvika writes, I dont
want to see the Buddhist community

The reason religious


extremism has taken
root in Myanmar
is because of the
support of some
Buddhist monks.

formed with suicide bombers. No one


should force the government to give
special privileges to Buddhism.
These are just sample paragraphs
extracted from the book. There are
many writings from renowned monks
about Buddhist doctrine that are worthy of careful consideration.
However, hatred of those of other
faiths is still strong in Myanmar.
Some monks are openly delivering speeches propagating this hatred,
while even teachers of some Buddhist
summer classes for children are doing the same.
Rather than imparting teachings
of the Buddha, monks are showing
children photos of Buddhists killed
by members of others faiths. Aside
from spreading hatred, the photos are
obviously not suitable for children.
But such messages of hatred are
also being spread by monks and

laypeople through the media, too, including weekly journals and books.
The reason religious extremism
has taken root in Myanmar is because
of the support of some Buddhist
monks.
Vibhajja Echo is the first of its
kind, a compilation of articles on
tolerance written by more than 20
monks. One of the authors, Sayadaw
U Kawvida, now plans to translate
the book into English and distribute
it around the world.
However, it is impossible for one
book alone to overwhelm the hate being spewed by others.
And we should not be motivated by
concerns about the international image of Buddhism. The most important
thing is to use the Buddhas authentic
teachings to eradicate racial and religious extremism. Translation by
Thiri Min Htun and Zar Zar Soe

8 THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 12, 2015

Business
Phuket of Myanmar seeks MIC approval
CLARE
HAMMOND
clarehammo@gmail.com

THE US$1.2 billion LuxDream Island


project is branded the next Phuket
and will feature a high-end marina,
luxury hotels, a theme park and a casino.
The plan may seem incongruous
with the serenity of Myanmars Myeik Archipelago. But the island dream
looks set to become reality, as Singaporean Zochwell Group prepares to
sign a Build, Operate, Transfer (BOT)
contract with the Tanintharyi Region
Government next month.
The Myeik Archipelago is a group of
more than 800 islands in the Andaman
Sea, off the southern tip of Myanmar.
The islands are home to the Moken,
or sea gypsies and are almost untouched by tourism.
The area had five hotels and motels
with a total of 196 rooms by the end
of 2014, according to the Ministry of
Hotels and Tourism. But this is set to
change.
In 2012, Gareth Chin, Zochwells
chief commercial officer, was looking
for business opportunities in Myanmar, and was introduced to Kawthoung, the city at the southernmost
point of Myanmar.
Following preliminary studies on
Salon Island, or LuxDream as it appears in investment literature, he met
with U Htay Aung, Union minister for
hotels and tourism, who wrote a letter
to connect Zochwell Group to the chief
minister of Tanintharyi Region, according to Mr Chin.
Salon is another name given to the
Moken people in Myanmar. The island
is 697 acres in size, located around 20
minutes by boat from Kawthoung jetty.
Several farmers who were living on
the mainland used the island for planting crops including coconut, cashew
nuts, betel nuts, corn and rubber. So we
have spent the past two years negotiating compensation, said Mr Chin.

Salon Island could be the future home of a US$1.2 billion resort. Photo: Staff

Almost all the farmers have now


been compensated, he said. Those who
have not accepted the terms will keep
their land and, for now, the development will go ahead around it.
The land was previously classified
as farmland, which Zochwell changed
to commercial land under Myanmar
law. This was not a problem as the
project had already been approved in
principle by the regional government,
said Mr Chin.
We are going to sign the land lease
and the Build, Operate, Transfer terms
with the chief minister [of Tanintharyi
region] in the next month, as soon as
the Attorney Generals Office approves
the agreement. After that, we will seek

We have signed
an MOU and are
working on a
masterplan for the
whole island.
Andy Goh
Architect

Myanmar Investment Commission approval.


Zochwell will rent the island under
standard BOT terms of 50 years, with
an option to extend the contract twice,
by 10 years each time, said Mr Chin.
However, U Hlwan Moe, assistant
director of the Ministry of Hotels and
Tourism in Myeik, said he did not know
about the project.
We oversee all of the islands in the
Myeik Archipelago. They need to get
approve from our department, but we
havent had any information yet, he
said.
The entire project will cost an estimated $1.2 billion. Phase one will
include development of the marina, a
golf course to be designed by former
US golfer Jack Nicklauss company,
Nicklaus Design, and a clubhouse.
Zochwell has approached companies including ONE15 Marina Club
and Resort, a Singapore listed firm
which operates the Sentosa Island
marina in Singapore, according to
Mr Chin. ONE15 Marina is exploring the possibilities of developing
and managing a marina on the island, he said.
Zochwell is also in talks with Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, according to
Mr Chin. The hotel operator is most

famous for its 7 star Burj Al Arab


Jumeirah hotel in Dubai.
Neither Nicklaus Design, ONE15
Marina Club and Resort nor Jumeirah
Hotels & Resorts responded to requests
for comment. However, Singaporean
architect Ong & Ong confirmed that
it was working with Zochwell on the
design.
We have signed an MOU and are
working on a masterplan for the whole
island, said Andy Goh, Ong & Ongs
chief consultant in Myanmar. We will
start with the design for the marina
and the hotel.
Furthermore, the island will feature
a casino. While these are not legal in
Myanmar, it is possible to gain a licence
for an offshore establishment. The Andaman Club Resort, on an island near
to Salon Island, has had a casino in operation since 1996.
The LuxDream Island casino has
already been approved in principle,
though still requires MIC approval,
said Mr Chin.
Assuming the project gains MIC approval, the initial phase will begin at
the end of 2015, he said.
We are in the process of choosing
contractors, operators and investors.
We will manage the island in the same
way that Sentosa Development Corpo-

ration (SDC) manages Sentosa Island


in Singapore. We will lease it from the
government, divide it up, and sub-lease
sections of it to independent investors.
The SDC describes Sentosa, which
means peace and tranquility in Malay,
as follows: Once a modest fishing village and military base, it has since been
transformed into one of Asias leading
leisure and lifestyle destinations.
Several islands in Myeik, too, have
long been used by Myanmars military.
The island immediately west of Salon
Island is a naval base. Its well located,
as it will help protect us from monsoons, jokes Mr Chin.
Prospective partners from Singapore, Thailand and China have conditionally agreed to invest, and are now
waiting for MIC approval, said Mr
Chin.
We are getting ready to open this
project to Myanmar investors soon, he
said.
Zochwell will develop the marina,
which Mr Chin hopes will become a
major destination on the global yachting route.
Many people with yachts want to
do a round-the-world tour. In this region, they pass through Singapore,
then Malaysia and Phuket. But all four
marinas on Phuket are fully booked
and the government wont issue any
more licences as capacity is to the
brim, he said.
The next stop on the map is the
Nicobar Islands [in the Eastern Indian
Ocean]. Currently only larger boats can
make this trip directly from Phuket.
But with a marina in Myanmar, smaller boats could stop at our island before
moving on.
He plans to include immigration facilities on Salon Island, so that it can
become a gateway to Myanmar, said
Mr Chin.
In a later phase, we will build an
800-metre bridge to the mainland via
another island, where there is already
a causeway to the mainland. We will
need to work with the Ministry of
Transport to ensure we dont block the
waterway, he said.
MORE ON BUSINESS 9

FMI first and only company to list on YSX, says Pun


CLARE HAMMOND
clarehammo@gmail.com
FIRST Myanmar Investment (FMI)
Company will be the first, and for
the time being the only, company
to launch an initial public offering
(IPO) on the Yangon Stock Exchange
(YSX) when it opens later this year,
according to company chair Serge
Pun.
Speculation over which firms will
attempt to list has intensified as the
exchange gets closer to launch
though deputy finance minister Dr
Maung Maung Thein yesterday dismissed the claim that only FMI will
be ready, saying it is too early to tell.
Mr Pun said that many companies had initially shown interest in
listing, but the number has declined
closer to the launch.
It started with many companies,
but as we grow closer to the date I
am told that we are the only company. That bothers me but its too late.
Were in, so we will be there, he said
during a Banyan Tree Leadership Forum held by the Centre for Strategic

and International Studies (CSIS) in


Washington DC last week.
In late 2014, FMI announced that
it had signed an engagement letter
with Japans Daiwa Securities and
the Myanmar Securities Exchange
Centre for advisory services ahead
of its IPO.
Daiwas sister company Daiwa
Institute of Research and Myanma
Economic Bank, a state-owned
bank under the Ministry of Finance,
signed an agreement last December to establish the Yangon Stock
Exchange, which is Myanmars first
ever bourse. At the moment, shares
in public companies are traded on
an over-the-counter (OTC) basis.
Once the agreement had been
signed, the Ministry of Finance invited a number of businesses to list,
from among the 200 public firms
under the Directorate of Investment
and Company Administration.
Several other companies have
announced their intention to debut on the exchange, including Asia
Green Development (AGD) Bank
and Myanmar Agri-Business Public

Company (MAPCO).
However, neither is likely to be
ready to IPO this year, according to
a source at the Myanmar Securities
Exchange Centre, a joint venture between Daiwa Securities Group and
Myanma Economic Bank.
Neither AGD Bank nor MAPCO
were available for comment by
deadline yesterday.
Dr Maung Maung Thein, who is
also chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar,
said it is too early to say how many
companies will list, as the listing criteria is not yet complete.
We havent even decided who
will qualify yet, he said. The criteria for listing have not yet been approved by the authorities.
The criteria that must be met
for companies to attempt a listing
is almost finished, according to Dr
Maung Maung Thein. After that,
a list of eligible companies will be
made public.
We cannot say a definite time. If
the criteria are too stringent, there
will be no companies at all. If they

Serge Pun speaks to reporters last


year. Photo: Zarni Phyo

are too lenient, that is not good for


the market, so we are thinking about
these two extremes and trying to
strike a balance, he said.
The stock market is on track to
open toward the end of this year, he
said. Seventy percent of the preparation has been finished.
This is the second time that Dai-

wa and Myanma Economic Bank


have attempted to open a stock exchange in Yangon.
In 1994, during the first attempt,
we were invited to list, as we were
the only public company in the country, said Mr Pun in Washington last
week. I said, I have one condition,
I want the serial number 001. They
said, good, youve got it. I asked
who else was going to be listed. They
said, no one else, only you, he said.
I didnt want to be in the middle of a circus with everyone looking in and absolutely no benefit [to
the company] so we didnt list. As a
result the stock exchange didnt happen for nearly 20 years.
The difference today is that there
is some understanding of what needs
to be done to develop a functioning
capital market, he said, although
there is still a long way to go.
It would be nave and a folly to
think it will be anywhere near what
a stock exchange should look like. It
will not. But its a good start. Without this start it will never [become]
what it should be, he said.

BUSINESS EDITOR: Jeremy Mullins | jeremymullins7@gmail.com

Online commodities
exchange hit by Ministry
suspension

US Fed chair Yellen is getting


fed up and that could change
the markets

BUSINESS 10

BUSINESS 12

Exchange Rates (May 11 close)


Currency
Euro
Malaysia Ringitt
Singapore Dollar
Thai Baht
US Dollar

Buying
K1190
K302
K820
K33
K1095

Selling
K1230
K315
K835
K35
K1100

Association aims to
simplify real estate
transactions with law
KO KO AUNG
pmkokoaung@gmail.com

Summit Parkview aims to expand by adding a new wing. Photo: Zarni Phyo

A wing for the oldest


foreign-owned hotel
CLARE
HAMMOND

clarehammo@gmail.com

VIVIAN Chan, general manager at


Summit Parkview Hotel in Yangon,
unpins a badge from the front of her
jacket.
We all wear these as part of our
uniform, she says. The staff are very
proud to wear them. The badge is
shaped like a Myanmar version of a
Russian doll, a pyint taing htaung.
On it is a smiling lady, her cheeks
daubed with thanaka, and the
words: Where R U? Im @ Summit
Parkview.
The badge is a symbol for the hotel, says Ms Chan. It has a round base
to symbolise that even when shaken
it will never topple and fall.
Summit Parkview is Yangons
longest running 100 percent-foreign-owned hotel. It opened in 1995,
and has survived several natural
disasters, including Cyclone Nargis

CONTINUED FROM BUSINESS 8


The project will be developed according to responsible tourism guidelines,
said Mr Chin. The Myanmar government wants to avoid the sort of pollution and damage that has happened
in Phuket.
Last year, Flora & Fauna International (FFI) proposed establishing a
Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the
Myeik Archipelago, as the area has a
unique biodiversity, which is under serious threat.
The FFI carried out studies over two
years in collaboration with the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and
Forestry (MOECAF), the Department
of Fisheries and the navy, according to
an October 2014 statement. The parties
are now discussing the best ways to
protect the area. The region is also on
UNESCOs tentative list of nominations

in 2008. Part of the roof flew off,


said Ms Chan. Luckily nobody was
hurt.
Now, celebrating its coming 20th
anniversary in June, the 251-room hotel is due to be extended, with work
on a new 195-room wing to begin in
the next few months.
Since the lifting of sanctions
in 2012, the Ministry of Hotels and
Tourism (MoHT) has been asking the
hospitality industry to increase the
number of rooms, to cater to the increasing demand. Even the local inns
and guesthouses were expected to do
the same, said Ms Chan.
Several long-standing Yangon hotels seriously considered the request.
It came at a time when Yangon desperately needed to increase capacity
ahead of an expected influx of tourists.
But now, with thousands of new
rooms to be built over the next few
years by both local and foreign investors, Ms Chan believes that most hotels will find it a challenge to fill the
new rooms.
Right now even we are quite
unsure about whether there will be
more arrivals, she said.

Just over 3 million international


arrivals visited Myanmar throughout
2014, up from 1 million in 2012, according to MoHT statistics. However,
almost two-thirds of these arrived
through the countrys borders gateways only a third came through
Yangon International Airport.
The new wing will be built in an L
shape around the existing hotel, said
Ms Chan. The permit has been approved and the project will start once
all the formalities are completed in a
couple of months.
As well as 195 additional rooms,
the new wing will feature a 600-person ballroom, a second restaurant,
a new bar, an executive floor, a new
swimming pool, a gym and a spa, according to Ms Chan. It is expected to
open in mid-2017.
The hotel is 100pc owned by Singaporean investors, and the architect
for the new wing is also Singaporean, said Ms Chan, adding that negotiations with prospective contractors
are still under way.
The Summit Parkview is a 4-starhotel and the new wing will be built
in line with this, she said.

for World Heritage Sites.


We will have to prepare an EIA
[environmental impact assessment]
before our MIC application, and to do
whatever is proposed by the government, said Mr Chin.
Furthermore, he suggested that a
research centre could be built on Salon
Island, for academics and scientists to
study the Myeik Archipelago before it
disappears. Zochwell has been talking
to the National University of Singapore,
among other potential partners, to find
out whether this is feasible, he said.
Zochwell is not the only company
with ambitious plans for the region.
Myeik Public Corporation plans to develop island resorts in the archipelago
on Kunthee Island, East Sula Island,
Langan Island and Tanintharyi Island,
according to a 2014 article in stateowned newspaper The Global New
Light of Myanmar.

The projects are likely to include


hotels, a golf course and amusement
parks, according to the article.
Zochwell Group began doing
business in Myanmar in 2012. In addition to Salon Island, the company
has several ambitious projects including a chain of boutique, threestar hotels in Yangon, which will
go by the brand Equiloft, a mix of
exquisite and loft.
The group is also building a smallscale residential development in Dawbon township, Yangon, and has cement
batching plants in Yangon and Bago,
with another to be built in the Thilawa
Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
Finally, the group is in talks with
several Norwegian companies about
a gated community project in Yangon
for Norwegian expats, which would include facilities including a clubhouse,
a gym, a spa, restaurants and a school.

THE Myanmar Real Estate Association has begun drafting a law to


govern the real estate market, aiming to standardise rules governing
transactions and provide mechanisms for dispute resolution.
Current transactions are governed by a mix of rules and laws,
but a single law could clarify the
business, according to U Than Oo,
managing director of Mandaing
Real Estate Services and vice president of the Myanmar Real Estate
Association.
There are existing laws and city
laws, to some extent, he said. But
some cases need to be solved in a
detailed way, which is why we are
trying to create a real estate law.
The law is now being drafted by
the association and real estate legal
experts. After a final draft is put together, the Real Estate Association
will submit it to parliament for final approval.
It has not been easy creating
the law. We need a lot of legal experts for real estate. With sponsorship from the Myanmar Real Estate
Association, we are asking for legal
experts to come in and help define
the law, said Myanmar Real Estate Association president U Khin
Maung Than.
The local land market is notoriously convoluted, rife with overlapping claims and ownership challenges, which the association also
aims to address in its law.
There are still land ownership
issues in Myanmar, said U Khin
Maung Than.

If there is a real estate law, we


can set out how to register land; if
we dont know how to do this, we
face costs and [negative] effects.
There also may be some rules
about how to buy and sell land
properly, he said.
While a law may be necessary,
not everyone is convinced the industry association is the right body
to draft it.

There are existing


laws and city laws,
to some extent ...
but some cases need
to be solved in a
detailed way.
U Than Oo
Myanmar Real Estate Association

We really need a real estate law


to allow us to handle issues clearly,
but it must be created for the sake
of people, not only for real estate
agents, said a real estate lawyer,
who requested anonymity.
The real estate law is also not
the only piece of legislation aimed
at better regulating the property
market.
There is still no condominium
law in force, which has been widely
tipped to assist developers by allowing foreigners to own some
apartments outright.

10 Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 12, 2015

Ministry halts online exchange


JEREMY
MULLINS
jeremymullins7@gmail.com

A FORTHCOMING commodities
exchange has been suspended following a letter from the Ministry of
Commerce stating it is not allowed
to operate.
Myanmar firm MICEx had aimed
to bring a commodities exchange online in the next few months, but is
now left waiting while it discusses the
situation with government authorities. While company officials admit
they are not ready to launch, they say
they had been making progress preparing the groundwork.
We will not launch our trading
operation until we have received
regulatory approval, said MICEx
business consultant Ashok Kawalsot.
Before the letter from the Ministry of Commerce, MICEx had received some government approval
for its exchange. The firm showed
The Myanmar Times a copy of a
permit from the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development from April 2013 allowing it to run businesses including
to manage, run and operate such
international standard commodity
exchange centres in Myanmar, either solely or jointly with foreign
and local counterparts.
While MICEx was some way
from beginning operations on the
exchange, company officials claim

CATHERINE
TRAUTWEIN
newroom@mmtimes.com

to have held discussions with


other government bodies including the Ministry of Finance, which
oversees the Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar,
on providing oversight for the online marketplace.
Last month, the firm received
a letter, dated March 31, from the
Ministry of Commerce Department of Trade Promotion, claiming that following a launch event
at the Myanmar Convention Centre in Yangon, MICEx did not have
legal permission from authorities
to launch a commodities exchange
in beans and gold. It had initially
planned to begin with trading
these two commodities.
The letter was signed by director general U Toe Aung Myint, and
forbids the firm with operating the
commodities exchange business, as
well as spreading information and
collecting fees for it.
Company officials told The Myanmar Times they were surprised
by receiving the letter and are
looking at ways to discuss the suspension with the Ministry of Commerce. Members of the ministrys
Department of Trade Promotion
could not be reached for further
comment yesterday.
MICEx is chaired by U Sein

Win Hlaing, who is also president


of the Myanmar Paddy Producers
Association.
The Myanmar Pulses, Beans and
Sesame Seeds Merchants Association (MPBSA) has also objected to
the plans for an exchange.
Association secretary general U
Min Ko Oo said there must be proper rules and regulations in place to
support an exchange and ensure it
is fair to the public, farmers and the
country.
A commodity exchange would
cover the whole country, like the
stock exchange, he said. While
founding the [Yangon Stock Exchange], it is being done against a
strong backdrop of support, including cooperation from Japan.
U Min Ko Oo said he supports
the Commerce Ministry as it stops
MICExs work toward launching the
exchange.
MICEx is now focusing on
launching two other businesses, according to MICEx project manager
Kedar Sirohi.
First up will be an attempt to
disseminate price information of
commodities to farms through SMS
messages. Mr Sirohi said this service
will allow farmers to find the true
value of their crops and demand actual market prices from merchants
and middlemen.
Another business will be warehouse receipt financing, which
allows crops to be used as collateral for short-term loans. Farmers
would deposit their crops at the
warehouse instead of selling them
immediately upon harvest. MICEx

previously inked a memorandum


of understanding with a Myanmarbased division of Indias Sohan Lal
Commodity Management (SLCM) to
provide the service.
The MoU was terminated by
SLCM on April 7 after disclosure of
the letter from the Ministry of Commerce, though the two firms have
not ruled out working together in
the future once the ministrys concerns are met.
At SLCM we follow the worlds
best corporate and legal practices;
we decided to terminate the MOU
referring to the same, wrote corporate communications general manager Vaishali Sharma in an email.
Since the MoU was terminated,
MICEx has been looking for other
partners for warehouse receipt financing, talking to India-based
warehouse companies, local banks
and the Myanmar Paddy Producers
Association. It is also preparing to
move forward on the SMS messaging component of its business.
Educating stakeholders such as
farmers about the companys mission has proved a challenge for the
company. The online exchange is on
hiatus until the Ministry of Commerces concerns are addressed,
and MICEx is focusing on spreading
knowledge of the firm. It recently
revealed a new logo with the tagline, Where trust begins.
We need confidence first, exchange chair U Sein Win Hlaing
told The Myanmar Times in a previous interview. Operation later.
Additional reporting
by Su Phyo Win

IN BRIEF
Honour thy mother with
MPT top-up bonus

MPT is celebrating mothers this month


by giving all their subscribers a 30
percent bonus when they top up from
May 10 to May 16.
The bonus is valid from May 10
to the end of the month, for all GSM,
WCDMA and CDMA customers, according to a press release. The bonus
is automatically put into accounts.
MPT should always give out a promotional bonus for Mothers Day, said
U Khin Maung Aye, a Yangon customer.
The three telcos, also including
Ooredoo and Telenor, have been discounting prices as competition in the
market heats up.
Aung Kyaw Nyunt

Thailand hopeful on Japan


joining Dawei in July

Japan in July will sign a tripartite


agreement to join development of the
Dawei special economic zone in Myanmar, an official said yesterday.
Hiroto Izumi, special adviser to
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe,
confirmed Japans willingness to finally
commit to the project during a meeting
with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha at Government House yesterday,
government spokesperson Yongyuth
Mayalarp said.
The special adviser was quoted as
saying Japan was ready to invest in the
Dawei SEZ Development Co through
the Japan International Cooperation
Agency and Japan Bank for International Cooperation.
Dawei is an ambitious project in
Myanmars Tanantharyi Region that
aims partly to provide an overland land
between Bangkok and the Andaman
Sea. The Bangkok Post

International Business 11

www.mmtimes.com
SHANGHAI

SYDNEY

Baidu probes own


execs for corruption
CHINESE search engine giant Baidu
often described as the countrys
equivalent of Google said yesterday
it has launched anti-corruption investigations into its own employees after
reports three department heads were
being probed.
Baidu did not reveal any details of
its inquiries, nor confirm how many
were being investigated or their
names.
Internal anti-corruption action
creates a just and transparent working environment, and a sound environment for workers development,
the company said in a statement.
We call on all employees to respect company ethics and national
laws, to create a healthy and just
working environment.
Yesterday, Chinese internet portal

Sina reported that Baidu was investigating three departmental directors.


President Xi Jinping launched a
much-publicised drive against corruption after he came to power two
years ago, vowing to target both highlevel tigers and low-ranking flies.
But rather than the Communist
partys feared internal watchdog,
the Central Commission for Discipline and Investigation, Baidus
anti-corruption investigations were
conducted by its own ethics and
morality construction department,
reports said.
Baidu fired five executives last
November for bribery and illicit appropriation and dismissed four of its
employees for bribery in August 2012,
according to media reports.
AFP

TOKYO

Multinationals to be
targeted in Oz tax push
AUSTRALIA yesterday announced
plans to go after large multinational firms shifting profits offshore to minimise taxes, with 30
companies in the governments
sights.
It also outlined proposals to
force companies selling digital
products, such as streamed content and e-books, to pay a goods
and services tax.
Treasurer Joe Hockey, who last
year said the practice of corporations shifting profits amounted to
theft, said he would reveal the
new legislation when he hands
down the national budget today.
The government will be proceeding with new tax integrity
measures in the budget, he said,
adding that the multinational antiavoidance law would target the activities of 30 identified companies.
These companies are diverting profits earned in Australia
away from Australia to no-tax or
low-tax jurisdictions, said Mr
Hockey.
The initiative comes amid increased efforts by governments
around the world to crack down
on global firms that use complex
corporate structures to lower their
tax bills.
Last month, Australian parliamentarians grilled global technology and mining giants including
Apple, Google, BHP Billiton and

Rio Tinto at an upper house Senate hearing on their tax structures.


The inquiry heard Google Australia in 2013, for example, made
A$358 million (US$275 million) in
income, generated profits of just
over A$46 million and paid A$7.1
million in tax.
The firms insisted they had
paid the taxes they owed under the
countrys laws.
Mr Hockey did not name any
of the companies being targeted,
or say how much revenue the government hopes to get back, but
said the Australian Tax Office had
spent months embedded in some
of the worlds biggest firms.
They had noted that billions of
dollars in profits have been transferred offshore to minimise tax in
Australia.
A usual scenario was to operate

These companies
are diverting
profits earned in
Australia away
from Australia.
Joe Hockey
Australias Treasurer

in Australia with billing occurring


out of Singapore.
The money is transferred to
Ireland and then advantage is
taken of a range of different EU
tax procedures in relation to royalties, said Mr Hockey.
This is all designed to avoid
paying tax in Australia on profits
earned in Australia.
Under the planned rules, the
Tax Commissioner will have the
power to recover unpaid taxes and
issue a fine of an additional 100
percent of the unpaid taxes plus
interest.
Australia made closing corporate tax loopholes and endorsing a
common reporting standard to increase transparency a key focus of
the G20 meetings last year when it
assumed the rotating presidency.
As well as targeting profit-shifting, Mr Hockey plans to impose a
Goods and Services Tax (GST) on
digital products.
It is plainly unfair that a supplier of digital products into Australia is not charging the GST
whilst someone locally has to
charge the GST, he said.
When the GST legislation was
originally drafted, it did not anticipate the massive growth in the
supply of digital goods like movie
downloads, games and e-books
from overseas.
AFP

TOKYO

Toshiba trading tumbles with


report of accounting probe
A customer looks at products made by Japanese electronics manufacturer
Sharp at an electrics shop in Tokyo yesterday. Photo: AFP

Sharp drops with


capital reduction plan
SHARP lost more than one-quarter of
its market value yesterday following
reports that the struggling Japanese
electronics giant is planning a drastic
capital reduction to help wipe away
losses.
The firm plunged as much as 31 percent in Tokyo before recovering some
ground to close at 190 yen (US$1.63),
down 26.35pc from May 8.
Weekend reports by the leading
Nikkei business daily and other Japanese media said Sharp plans to reduce
its capital by 99pc to just 100 million
yen.
The Osaka-based company a major supplier to Apple and a leader in
screens for smartphones and tablets
plans to use surplus money squeezed
out of the capital reduction to wipe
away years of losses, the reports said.
The rare move comes as Sharp
struggles to move past years of gaping
losses, partly due to bleeding in its television unit, which has been hammered
by competition from lower-cost rivals.
Sharp was also expected to get financial assistance from its bank lenders, such as swapping debt for preferred shares with no voting rights,
reports said.
Investors may be afraid that preferred shares, if converted into common shares, would dilute stakeholders

rights, said Toshihiko Matsuno, senior


strategist at SMBC Friend Securities.
While there are so many uncertain
factors, the stock has become a target
of [the] money game, he added, referring to speculative trading.
Responding to the media reports,
Sharp yesterday said a capital reduction remains an option as part of its
wider restructuring.
As for our capital policy, we have
been making various considerations
including issuance of preferred shares
and a capital reduction but there has
been no decision made, the company
said in a statement.
Sharp is to announce a mid-term
business plan May 14 along with its
fiscal-year results.
For the reported capital cut, Sharp
would need to get approval at a general shareholders meeting in June.
Earlier this year, the Nikkei said
Sharp is considering closing four domestic factories that produce electronic components, as well as withdrawing
from its solar cell business.
As the company writes off production equipment in unprofitable businesses, its net loss for the year ending
in March was likely to exceed 100 billion yen, up from the companys own
loss forecast of 30 billion yen, the business daily said. AFP

TOSHIBA shares plunged yesterday after the Japanese conglomerate


withdrew its earnings forecast and
said it will not pay a dividend, citing
accounting problems on a number of
infrastructure projects.
The company faced massive selling throughout the day with the stock
tumbling to its low limit of 403.3 yen
(US$3.40), down 16.55 percent.
Shortly after the Tokyo market
closed on May 8, Toshiba announced
it had cancelled its projection for a 120
billion yen ($1.0 billion) net profit on
sales of 6.7 trillion yen in its latest fiscal year to March.
The vast engineering conglomerate, which makes everything from batteries to nuclear reactors, also warned
it may revise past earnings.
Toshiba said it would hire an
outside team of experts to look into
the matter after finishing an internal investigation.
So far, the probe revealed that
Toshiba underestimated the cost of
certain infrastructure projects along
with other accounting irregularities,
it said in a statement with few other
details.
The company added that it will not
report revised fiscal-year results until
at least next month.
This is unlikely to affect Toshibas
profitability but it damaged investors
trust, said Mitsushige Akino, an executive officer at Ichiyoshi Investment
Management in Tokyo.
The stock dropped mainly because of the uncertainty since the actual losses are not known. This selling
will probably continue until Toshiba
clarifies the situation.
A Toshiba spokesperson said yesterday that several construction projects have understated costs.

A customer checks out computers by Japanese electronics manufacturer


Toshiba at an electrics shop in Tokyo. Toshiba shareholders are seeing red after
the stock fell nearly 17 percent yesterday. Photo: AFP

The extent of the problems and


who was responsible for them was
not yet clear, she added.
The investigation include power
systems, social infrastructure and community solutions units, the spokesperson said, referring to its energy, rail
and air traffic control services, and an
urban infrastructure division.
Toshibas embarrassing roll-back
comes after its nine-month net profit
surged 86pc from a year earlier to 71.9
billion yen, thanks to strong sales in

the energy and infrastructure business, such as nuclear power plants, as


well as electronic devices, including
memory chips.
Earlier this year, Toshiba said it
was getting out of the North American television business and selling its
brand in the market to a Taiwanese
manufacturer.
Japans TV makers, including Sony
and Panasonic, have suffered from
razor-thin margins and fierce overseas
competition. AFP

12 International Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 12, 2015

WASHINGTON

Yellens
patience
wearing thin
JANET Yellen could be losing patience. And that could mean a lot for
global markets.
When the chair of the Federal Reserve said on May 6 that stocks were
overvalued and bond yields too low, it
was a signal that investors should not
expect to indulge on the Feds cheap
dollars forever.
But after a knee-jerk reaction
to the warning, two days later Wall
Street was back near record highs and
bond yields even lower than before Ms
Yellen spoke.
The reason? The April jobs report
released on May 8 that suggested the
economy still has some way to go to
meet the Feds criteria for beginning
to raise interest rates. And that means
more easy money for investors.
When Ms Yellen became Fed chair
15 months ago the path ahead seemed
clear: End the huge quantitative easing stimulus program of her predecessor, Ben Bernanke, in October 2014,
and then after around six months begin raising interest rates.
That was the path toward normalisation, easing out of the crisisera monetary policy that had the Fed
pumping trillions of dollars into the
economy even with its benchmark interest rate stuck at zero for six years.
It was nearing the time to normalise. As 2014 progressed, the United
States generated more than 3 million

SINGAPORE

Chinese
market led
by Apple
CHINAS smartphone market contracted in the first quarter for the first
time in six years with Apple becoming the top vendor, researchers said
yesterday.
International Data Corporation
(IDC) said figures from its mobile
phone tracker show that 98.8 million smartphones were sold in China
in January-March, down 4.3 percent
from the same period last year.
This is the first time in six years
that the China smartphone market
declined year-on-year as the market
continues to mature, IDC said in a
statement.
Compared with the previous quarter, the market shrank 8.0pc on the
back of a large inventory buildup at
the end of last year, it said.
Apple was the top vendor in China
during the quarter, selling 14.5 million
units, up more than 62pc from last
year. It had a 14.7pc market share.
Apples rise from fourth place in
the first quarter of 2014 was driven
by strong consumer preference for the
bigger screen of the iPhone 6 and the
iPhone 6 Plus, IDC added.
The US phone maker was followed
by Chinese brand Xiaomi with a 13.7pc
market share. Another Chinese firm
,Huawei, was in third place with 11.4pc.
South Korean technology giant Samsung, which held the top spot in the
first quarter of 2014, fell to fourth place.
Smartphones are becoming increasingly saturated in China, said
Kitty Fok, managing director at IDC
China.
AFP

new jobs and the unemployment rate


sank toward the Feds target.
Inflation, which the Fed wants to
bring to 2.0 percent, did not pick up,
but there were reasons for that, like
the oil price crash.
Meanwhile, the easy money policy
was fuelling stock and property speculators while its impact on overall
growth was starting to diminish.
The Fed repeatedly implied that a
rate rise could come around mid-year
2015. In March, it sent a major signal
for the coming hike, by dropping from
its policy statement a pledge to remain patient for the economic data
to improve.
But since then, patient is what
the Fed has had to be. US economic
growth stalled in the first quarter, and
markets read that as meaning a longer
wait for a rate rise, even though the
Fed stressed that the slowdown was
mainly for transitory reasons, like
the severe winter weather.
Ms Yellen made clear this week
that she is concerned that markets
have too easily shrugged off a rate
hike and the turmoil it could bring to
markets.
Stock valuations generally are
quite high, she said at a finance forum on May 6. There are potential
dangers there.
Bond markets were risky too.
We need to be attentive to the

Federal Reserve Board chair Janet Yellen participates in a discussion on global finance on May 6. Photo: AFP

possibility that when Fed decides


its time to begin raising rates, these
term premiums could move up and
we could see a sharp jump in longterm rates, she said.
Stocks took the calculated message
at face value, sinking sharply, while
bond yields spiked higher for all of
two days.
Then came the April jobs report
which suggested the winter slowdown
was not completely past. The job creation number was pretty strong, and
unemployment fell to 5.4pc.
But here was no sign of rising
wages an indicator Ms Yellen herself
has focused on to show labour market
tightening.

Moreover, the labour force participation rate, the measure of what


percent of working-age Americans
are actually working or seeking jobs,
remained at a post-2008 crisis low of
62.8pc, compared to more than 66pc
before the crisis.
This indicates that millions of people have dropped out of the workforce,
discouraged by the paucity of jobs and
the low wages on offer. And if wages
dont rise, consumer spending and
economic momentum stay weak.
This dynamic means theres
more slack in the job market than
the relatively low unemployment
rate suggests, said Jared Bernstein,
a former White House economist

with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.


Ms Yellen is clearly caught between
the economy and markets in deciding
the first rate rise. While her primary
guide has to be the economic data, she
cannot ignore potential bubbles in asset markets, even if those markets ignore her.
That could mean breaking the ice
even if the economy still shows weakness, some analysts say.
She seems to be hinting that theyre
going to have to raise rates one way or
the other as long as the economy is
growing at all, said Chris Low, chief
economist at FTN Financial.
AFP

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO

China smartphone Latin America must


market
confront corruption
Apple
14.7

Xiaomi
13.7
Huawei
11.4
Share by
top makers
%, Q1 2015

Others
42.2
Lenovo
8.3

Samsung
9.7

Total units shipped

Million

Q1
2014
Q1
2015

Source : IDC

103.2
98.8

CORRUPTION across Latin America


must be overcome or foreign investors
could turn their backs on the region
as it seeks to attract capital inflows,
experts warn.
The scourge of corruption has
rocked leaders across the region, with
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff
and Chilean counterpart Michelle
Bachelet both embroiled by damaging
graft scandals.
Eduardo Leite, chair of Baker &
MacKenzie, the US-based legal giant,
told a World Economic Forum on Latin America held here last week that
state-owned institutions were becoming less alluring for investors.
Institutions are losing their shine,
the quality that they should have, Mr
Leite said, blaming the problem on a
failure of governance.
This should be looked at from
the angle of leadership, he stressed.
Good policies depend on having the
right leaders. It is about leadership
and talent as opposed to the institutions. It is about ethics and the way we
govern ourselves.
Both Ms Bachelet and Ms Rousseff
have seen their approval ratings nosedive following scandals in their own
countries.
Chile has consistently been ranked
as the least corrupt country in Latin
America according to an annual index
issued by the Transparency International graft watchdog.
However Ms Bachelets government has taken a hit after revelations
that her son and his wife used political influence and inside information
to make US$5 million on a shady real
estate deal.

While is there no evidence tying Ms


Bachelet to the case, the scandal has
been devastating for Chiles first woman president, who last week sacked
her entire cabinet as she attempts to
manage fallout from the affair.
Ms Bachelets approval rating has
slumped to 31 percent, the lowest level of her two presidential terms, and
left her ambitious reform agenda in
tatters.
In Brazil, Ms Rousseffs government is reeling from the countrys
worst ever corruption scandal which
has seen dozens of politicians, mainly
close allies, accused of collusion in a
kickbacks scheme involving contracts
with state-owned oil firm Petrobras.
The scandal involving the biggest
corporation in Latin Americas biggest
economy has left Ms Rousseffs popularity in freefall.
Ms Rousseff wants to jumpstart
the Brazilian economy which eked
out just 0.1pc growth last year by expanding trade and attracting foreign
investment, especially in much-needed infrastructure spending.
But as long as the legislation is not
modernised, regulated and starts to be
applied, as is the case of Brazil, there
is a certain instability in the progress,
Mr Leite argued.
For investors, the legal framework, stability, predictability, and
long-term planning is absolutely crucial, stressed Jose Ignacio Sanchez
Galan, CEO of Spains energy player
Iberdrola.
Mexicos President Enrique Pena
Nieto warned that corruption was
deeply embedded in the region.
AFP

14 THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 12, 2015

15

World

WORLD EDITOR: Fiona MacGregor

Indian opposition
leader cleared of
corruption

Controversy as
China opens replica
Summer Palace

WORLD 16

WORLD 17

HAVANA

WASHINGTON

French presidential visit


to Cuba first in 100 years
FRANCOISE Hollande arrived in
Havana on May 10 the first French
president to visit Cuba in more than
a century cementing Pariss lead in
the EU rapprochement with the Communist island.
Mr Hollande is the first Western
leader to visit Cuba since a surprise
announcement in December by Havana and Washington that the former
Cold War foes would move to normalise relations after half a century of bad
blood.
Mr Hollande arrived at Havanas
Jose Marti International Airport late
on May 10 and was greeted by Cubas
Deputy Foreign Minister Rogelio Sierra, the latest leg of a whirlwind fiveday tour of the Caribbean.
I come to Cuba with great emotion because it is the first time that a
president of the French Republic has
come to Cuba, he has said on arrival.
No French leader has visited Cuba
since the island nation gained independence in 1898.
There are historic ties, deep ties,
between the people of France and the
people of Cuba, said Mr Hollande,
applauding Cubas long-time commitment to independence.
The visit is aimed at boosting
French and European Union interests
in Cuba, which has undergone gradual
economic and social reforms under
President Raol Castro.
France is seeking to be the first
among European nations, and the first
among Western nations, to be able to
say to the Cubans that we will be at
their side if they decide themselves to
take needed steps toward opening up,
Mr Hollande told reporters before arriving in Havana.
The French president said the easing of a decades-long economic embargo by the United States will help
Cubas cash-strapped economy.
Cuba wants to move on to a new
phase, a new period, a new time for
this island that was victim of an embargo, Mr Hollande said on a stop in
Guadeloupe, referring to the US sanctions in place since 1962.
The French leader said removing
the embargo was key to opening Cuba
up to the rest of the world, adding that
despite the move toward thawing relations with Washington, economic barriers remain.
There are still a lot of measures in
place that block trade and business,
Mr Hollande said.
Several agreements will be signed
during the trip, though the details of
the deals were not made public. Mr
Hollande said the accords would focus
on improved access to Latin American

markets.
Mr Hollande has already made
stops in Saint-Barthelemy, Saint-Martin, Martinique and Guadeloupe, and
will end his regional visit in Haiti today.
The French president was due to
meet later yesterday with his Cuban
counterpart Mr Castro, whom he last
met with in December 2013 in South
Africa at Nelson Mandelas funeral.
Mr Hollandes office has said he is
available to meet with revolutionary
icon Fidel Castro as well, but Havana
has not confirmed that face-to-face
talks between the two will take place.
The visit follows a meeting on May
10 between Raul Castro and Pope
Francis at the Vatican, where the Cuban leader thanked the pontiff for his
role in brokering the historic detente
between Havana and Washington.
In addition to economic issues, the
trip is also a chance to discuss human
rights issues. Activists have criticised
Cubas rights record, accusing Havana
of cracking down on dissidents and
free press.
Mr Hollande did not rule out addressing tough issues during his visit.
I speak of human rights whenever
there are political prisoners, every time
there are violations of freedom. France
does not remain tight-lipped, Mr Hollande said before arriving in Havana.
The European Union suspended
relations with Cuba in 2003 over a
crackdown on journalists and activists, but it opened talks to restore ties
in April 2014, aiming to persuade Havana to improve its rights record.
It was under the French presidency
of the EU in 2008 that political dialogue was first resumed between Brussels and Havana.
France, which has made its relations with Latin America and the Caribbean a foreign policy priority, has
along with the Netherlands been a
strong supporter of the normalisation
of ties between Cuba and the 28-member European bloc.
Europes rapprochement with Cuba
began before the December announcement on Cuba-US relations.
French Foreign Minister Laurent
Fabius made a brief stopover to Cuba
in April 2014, the first visit to the island by Frances top diplomat in three
decades.
Trade between France and Cuba is
modest, worth around US$388 million a year, with the balance solidly in
Frances favour.
French officials recognise the importance of the EU positioning itself
politically and economically for when
the US embargo is eventually lifted.
AFP

French President Francois Hollande arrives at Jose Marti Airport in Havana on


May 10. Photo: AFP

IN PICTURES

Photo: AFP

AN Afghan shopkeeper
inspects the damage to
his shop at the scene of
a suicide bomb attack
in Kabul on May 10. A
Taliban suicide bomber
struck a government
bus, killing three and
wounding at least 16
others, officials said,
the second such attack
on a government bus
in less than a week in
the Afghan capital. The
bus was transporting
employees of the
attorney generals office
to their homes when
the suicide bomber
on foot detonated
explosives strapped
to his body, as the
militants continue
to press on with
their annual spring
offensive.
LONDON

EU seeks to share refugees across member states


As high numbers of refugees arive in Italy, Malta and Greece, European Union leaders have proposed that responsibility for them should be divided among all EU nations
THE executive body of the European Union will propose that countries share responsibility for housing thousands of refugees arriving
in Europe from across the Mediterranean, UK media has reported.
European Commission president
Jean-Claude Juncker on May 13 will
propose a mandatory migrant quota system under which the EUs 28
member states will share responsibility for migrants during times of
emergency, The Times newspaper
reported.
To ensure a fair and balanced
participation of all member states to
this common effort ... the EU needs
a permanent system for sharing the
responsibility for large numbers of
refugees and asylum seekers among
member states, the proposal reads,
according to the newspaper.
The number of refugees sent to
each country would be decided according to a redistribution key
based on GDP, population size, unemployment rate and past numbers
of asylum seekers, it added.
Currently, asylum seekers are the
responsibility of the country in which
they first arrive, meaning countries
close to migrant-crossing routes such
as Italy, Malta and Greece have complained of shouldering the bulk of

Europes refugee crisis.


In addition, Mr Juncker is expected to propose the EU resettle
an extra 20,000 asylum seekers
identified by the United Nations per
year by 2020.
Britains Home Office said the
plans were unacceptable and that
efforts should focus on stopping
people traffickers.
The UK has a proud history of
offering asylum to those who need
it most, but we do not believe that
a mandatory system of resettlement
is the answer, a home office spokesperson said.

The EU needs a
permanent system
for sharing the
responsibility for
large numbers
of refugees and
asylum seekers.
EU proposal

We will oppose any EU Commission proposals to introduce a


non-voluntary quota.
The report follows a meeting
by EU defence ministers in France
to tackle the increasing flow of
migrants making the perilous sea
crossing from North Africa that has
seen 5000 people die in the last 18
months.
The Times said the issue would
be British Conservative leader David Camerons first battle of his
second term as prime minister,
after an election in which over 12
percent of British people voted for
the anti-EU, anti-immigration UK
Independence Party.
Under pressure from the eurosceptic wing of his own party, Mr
Cameron has promised to cut immigration to under 100,000 and
re-negotiate the terms of Britains
membership of the EU, before holding an in-out referendum by 2017.
In an editorial, The Times said
the plans pose a direct threat to
British membership of the European Union.
For David Cameron, now committed to a referendum on Britains
very membership of the European
Union, the timing is laughably
poor, it added. AFP

A member of Tunisias national guard patrols the sea for vessels potentially carrying migrants trying to reach Europe
on May 5 off the coast of Tunisias southeast port of Zarzis. Photo: AFP

Saudi king snubs


Obama Gulf summit
NEWLY crowned Saudi King Salman has refused an invitation to
attend a landmark summit hosted by President Barack Obama,
amid angst over US-Iran nuclear
negotiations.
Mr Obama had invited six Gulf
kings, emirs and sultans to the
presidential retreat at Camp David,
seeking to shore up wavering trust
while Washington negotiates with
regional power Tehran.
Mr Obamas plans now lie in tatters, with only two heads of state
slated to attend the May 14 meeting.
Saudi Arabias embassy in Washington said May 10 that recently
named Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Nayef would instead lead the
Saudi delegation to the meeting.
The kings youthful son, Deputy
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who is tipped as a possible
future successor and who has driven recent military operations in
Yemen will also attend.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel alJubeir said King Salman would miss
the meeting due to the timing of
the summit, the scheduled humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen and the
opening of the King Salman Center
for Humanitarian Aid, according to
the embassy statement.
Omans Sultan Qaboos has been
ill, and diplomats said Muscat will
be represented by the deputy prime
minister.
Abu Dhabis Crown Prince Sheikh
Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan
will attend, according to diplomats,
as United Arab Emirates President
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan
is also unwell and has not appeared
in public since having an operation
after a stroke last year.
Even before becoming king, King
Salman was rumoured to be ill, and
his son and the now crown prince
have played oversized roles in Saudi
foreign policy. Saudi Arabia has denied the illness.
As late as May 8, US officials said
they had expected King Salman to
come to Washington, before learning of the change in plan.
This is not in response to any
substantive issue, insisted one senior US administration official.
Bahrains King Hamad bin Issa
al-Khalifa will also miss the meeting, officials indicated May 10, with
the crown prince coming instead.
That means Mr Obama will likely meet only the leaders of Kuwait

and Qatar, despite the prestigious


invitation.
The White House had hoped the
meeting would assuage deep unease
over Iran talks, which Gulf states
see as a Faustian bargain, and Mr
Obamas perceived disengagement
from the region.
Gulf officials had been pressing
for the United States to supply advanced weapons like F-35 stealth
fighters as well as a written security
guarantee in the face of a threat
from Iran.
The Iran nuclear deal, which
could be agreed in June, would curb
Tehrans nuclear program in return
for unfreezing sanctions and funds
worth more than US$100 billion.
Gulf states fear that money could
be used to by arms and further
support Shiite proxy groups in the
region.
A US official said a key part of
the meetings would be to support a common Gulf defence
infrastructure.
This focus on mutual security
extends to various areas: counterterrorism, maritime security, cybersecurity and ballistic missile defence, the official said.
Washington and the Gulf nations
are also expected to discuss conflicts across the Middle East including in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen.
The Obama administration has
privately pressed Saudi Arabia to
ease an imprecise air campaign on
Yemen that appears to have had a
limited military impact but caused
humanitarian suffering.
More than 1400 people have
been killed since late March in the
conflict, according to the United
Nations, and 17 aid agencies have a
statement calling for an immediate
ceasefire.
Riyadh has offered a five-day humanitarian truce from 8pm GMT
today. Yemeni rebels have said they
would respond positively to ceasefire efforts and their allies accepted
a US-backed truce plan.
King Salman said the Saudiled air campaign in Yemen was
launched in order to foil a plot by
a sectarian group to undermine
Middle East security and prevent
the country from becoming a theatre of terrorism.
Officials also pointed out that
missiles capable of reaching Saudi
Arabia fell under the control of
Iran-backed Huthi rebels. AFP

US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Saudi Arabias King Salman at the
Royal Court, in the Saudi capital Riyadh on May 7. Photo: AFP

16 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 12, 2015

MANILA

BEIJING

Custody death sparks


media outrage

Residents along Manila Bay play in the waves created by nearby Typhoon Noul on May 10. Photo: AFP

Two die despite typhoon


evacuation awareness
TWO people have been killed in a
powerful typhoon that grazed the
Philippines northeastern tip, according to authorities who said yesterday that the evacuation of coastal
villages and volcanic slopes averted
a higher toll.
Many of the thousands who fled
the storms path started to return
home after typhoon Noul the
fourth and strongest storm to hit the
Philippines this year whipped the
coast with wind gusts of up to 220
kilometres (137 miles) per hour.
Eighteen months after super typhoon Haiyan devastated the central
Philippines, churning up tsunamilike waves and leaving more than
7350 people dead or missing, authorities credited the greater awareness
with saving lives.
People listened to our warnings.
Theyve learned their lesson from
past storms, Norma Talosig, civil
defence director for the northeastern region, said.
The two confirmed deaths were a
70-year-old man and his 45-year-old
son who died after being electrocuted while fixing their house in Aparri
town early on May 10 as Typhoon
Noul started to bear down.
The evacuations had begun on
May 8, with more than 3000 people

leaving coastal fishing communities


in Isabela and Cagayan province,
and hundreds more from villages
near the slopes of Bulusan volcano
in the central region.
Authorities had feared heavy
rains could trigger volcanic mud
flows after the volcano started belching ash earlier this month.
With civil defence authorities
warning of dangerous storm surges
of up to 2 metres (6.5 feet), coastal
residents were taken inland in buses
and truck, even ambulances.
Most of the evacuees started to
return home on the night of May 10,
local authorities said.
In the coastal town of Santa Ana
strong winds broke power lines and

People listened
to our warnings.
Theyve learned
their lessons from
past storms.
Norma Taloisg
Civil defence director

peeled off palm thatch roofs, but


there were no casualties reported
after residents fled exposed areas,
including 700 holdouts who finally
abandoned their seaside huts as
winds began to blow violently on
May 10.
We went around town telling
people that it was best to evacuate
ahead, police officer Melvic de Castro said.
At least five towns in the area remain without power, the National
Grid Corporation said.
Typhoon Noul was yesterday
headed northeast toward Japan,
after skirting the east coast of Taiwan.
Some 1000 tourists were evacuated from Taiwans scenic Green island
in the southeast in anticipation of
the storm, and all flights and ferries
were suspended to that island and
nearby Orchid Island, another tourist hotspot.
Meanwhile, another storm is
brewing in the Pacific Ocean that
could threaten the Philippines early
next week, state weather forecaster
Aldczar Aurelio said.
The Philippines is battered by an
average of 20 storms per year, many
of them deadly.
AFP

RELATIVES of a man shot dead by


police in China say he was murdered
after resisting a beating from officers, a lawyer said yesteday after media uproar over his death.
Xu Chunhe, 54, was killed in
the northern city of Qingan earlier this month, highlighting more
widespread arming of Chinese police in the wake of several train station attacks.
Police prevented Mr Xu who
had been in a long-term dispute
with local officials over benefit
payments from boarding a train
before beating him with batons
and shooting him, family lawyer
Xie Yanyi said.
The mistake was completely
on the polices side. Its a suspected case of intentional homicide,
Mr Xie said, adding, We have a
responsibility to pursue criminal
prosecution.
Mr Xu had previously attempted to seek higher-level intervention in his dispute, he added.
Local officials in China often
employ staff known as interceptors to forcibly prevent people
from travelling to lodge complaints
with more senior authorities.
The practice, often carried out
without any legal basis, has come

in for increasing criticism, and several Chinese media outlets speculated that police had used excessive force against Mr Xu.
According to the official news
agency Xinhua, authorities said
the dead man had assaulted police,
trying to grab an officers gun and
truncheon, and posed an obvious
threat to public security.
But in an unusually outspoken
commentary, Xinhua called on
local authorities to release video
footage of Mr Xus death.
Mr Xie said that police had detained Mr Xu in the train station
waiting room, tying him to a railing before beating him. Mr Xu was
shot after resisting, he cited witnesses as saying.
Police sent Mr Xus mother to a
nursing home following the shooting as a kind of soft arrest to prevent her from contacting the outside world, Mr Xie added.
The provincial railway police in
Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang, declined to comment to AFP.
Regular police in major Chinese
cities began patrolling with guns for
the first time last year in response
to a deadly mass knifing blamed on
separatists from the northwestern
region of Xinjiang. AFP

MANILA

Philippines seeks to
expand drinks cabinet
THE Philippines largest liquor producer Emperador said yesterday it
will bid to acquire a French cognac
producer, as it embarks on a global
expansion that has seen it pick up
Spanish vineyards and a Scottish
whisky giant.
Emperador said in a disclosure
to Manilas stock exchange that
it has expressed interest to participate in a bidding process for the
acquisition of Louis Royer SAS, a
cognac producer in France.
The company said it would submit a preliminary offer on May 13 to
buy Louis Royer from Japanese liquor titan Suntory, which also owns
the popular Courvoisier brand.
However, its offer is still subject
to the evaluation and final decision
of the seller, the statement added.
Emperador is currently debtfree and is, therefore, in a very
strong financial position to further
expand its business both globally

and domestically, the statement


said.
Emperador started as a brandy
maker in the Philippines but in recent years, has been expanding to
other spirits and markets.
Last year, it paid 430 million
pounds (US$726 million) for Scottish whisky maker Whyte and
Mackay and 60 million euros ($82
million) for half of Spanish brandy
producer Bodega Las Copas. It has
also been acquiring Spanish vineyards and brandy stocks.
Emperador is a wholly owned
subsidiary of Alliance Global
Group, a Philippine conglomerate
with interests in liquor, real estate,
resorts and gaming, and fast food
restaurants.
Alliance Global is controlled
by Andrew Tan, the Philippines
fourth-richest man according to
Forbes Magazine.
AFP

BANGALORE

Celebrations as Tamil leader Mother cleared of corruption


THE head of Indias largest Tamil party
was cleared of corruption yesterday, in
a verdict that sparked wild celebrations
by supporters and paved the way for
the return of one of the countrys most
powerful politicians.
Jayalalithaa Jayaram was forced
to stand down as chief minister of Tamil Nadu after being found guilty last
September of amassing illegal wealth
while in office. The former film star
was sentenced to four years in jail in
a case that ran for nearly two decades.
But High Court judge CR Kumaraswamy declared her appeal upheld
yesterday at a hearing in the city of
Bangalore which lasted only seconds.
Although Ms Jayalalithaa had been
forced to quit as chief minister of the
southern state, her return is now seen
as a formality as she continued to

control her party while on bail awaiting the outcome of the appeal.
The 67-year-old enjoys huge popularity in Tamil Nadu where fans know
her simply as Amma (Mother) and
ministers have been known to prostrate themselves before her.
Security was tight outside the court
in Bangalore and in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, where supporters
cheered, handed out sweets and set off
firecrackers.
Outside Ms Jayalalithaas house in
Chennai, hundreds of supporters held
up photos of their leader and danced
in the streets chanting Amma, Amma.
Party loyalists had been holding religious ceremonies in temples, praying
for her conviction to be overturned.
Ms Jayalalithaa has always dismissed the corruption charge, first

brought by a rival politician in the state


in 1996, as politically motivated.
She was charged in 1997, when
police seized assets including 28 kilograms (62 pounds) of gold, 750 pairs of
shoes and more than 10,000 saris in a
raid on her home.
Prosecutors said her assets, which
reportedly included two 1000-acre estates in the lush tropical state she ran,
were vastly disproportionate to her
earnings during her first term as chief
minister, which ran from 1991 to 1996.
Ms Jayalalithaa has earned the loyalty of many voters in Tamil Nadu with
a series of highly populist schemes including an Amma canteen that provides lunch for just 3 rupees (US$0.05),
although she has also drawn accusations of an autocratic governing style.
AFP

Indian chief minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa Jayaram (centre) arrives at a


hotel in Bangalore on November 29, 2012. Photo: AFP

World 17

www.mmtimes.com

IN PICTURES
Photo: AFP

Devotees gather at the


high stone image of Kala
Bhairava at Durbar Square
in the historical centre
of Kathmandu on May
10. The 7.8-magnitude
earthquake which struck
the Himalayan nation
on April 25 has had a
devastating impact on the
economy of Nepal, where
tourism attracted almost
800,000 foreign visitors
in 2013 many of them
climbers heading straight
to Mount Everest, but also
less adventurous tourists
seeking the rich cultural
history of Kathmandu.
PHNOM PENH

US returns
ancient
Cambodian
statue
AN American museum has returned
a 10th-century sandstone statue of
the Hindu monkey god Hanuman to
Cambodia.
The move comes decades after the
relic was looted from a jungle temple
when the kingdom was in the throes
of civil war.
The metre-high statue was stolen
in the 1970s from the Koh Ker temple site near the famed Angkor Wat
complex.
The artwork, which had been
in the possession of the Cleveland
Museum of Art in the US since
1982, was received by Cambodian
officials late on May 10, an official
said.
Buddhist monks chanted blessings and scattered flowers over the
statue upon its arrival at Phnom
Penh International Airport.
We welcome back the statue of
Hanuman from the Cleveland Museum of Art in the US, Chan Tani,
Cambodian secretary of state for the
Cabinet Office, said.
The museum agreed to return
the artwork after negotiations.
Mr Chan Tani did not say how
the museum came into possession
of the artifact.
Last year, Cambodia received
three ancient statues looted from
the kingdom more than 40 years
ago, including one, Duryodhana,
retrieved after a long legal battle in
the US.
In June 2013, two other 10thcentury Khmer-era statues known
as the Kneeling Attendants were
returned.
They were also looted in the
1970s from the Koh Ker temple site
and were on show for 20 years at
New Yorks Metropolitan Museum
of Art.
The statues are considered pieces of extraordinary value to the
Cambodian people and part of their
cultural heritage.
AFP

BEIJING

Summer Palace replica opens


after legal threats from original
A FULL-SIZE replica of parts of Beijings nationally sensitive Old Summer Palace has opened 1000 kilometres (620 miles) away from Chinas
capital, state media reported yesterday, despite managers of the original threatening legal action.
The vast array of gardens, palaces and lakes in the western suburbs
of the Chinese capital was used by
Qing dynasty emperors in the 19th
century.
The original site is regarded as
a symbol of national humiliation in
China after it was sacked by British
and French troops in 1860 in response to the capture, torture and
killing of members of a delegation
from the two European countries.
Communist authorities tout
it as an example of the countrys

victimisation by foreign powers as


the complex parts of which were
designed by French and Italian Jesuit missionaries was looted again
by forces from the United States,
Russia and Britain in 1900.
The first stage of the sprawling
400-hectare (1000-acre) replica in
the eastern province of Zhejiang
opened its doors to tourists on May
10 despite being plagued by a never-ending debate, the Beijing News
said.
The 30 billion yuan (US$4.8 billion) attraction will eventually feature a replica of 95 percent of the
Old Summer Palace, state media
said.
While the original, known as the
Yuanmingyuan, is now mainly ruins, managers of the site last month

threatened legal action if the replica infringed intellectual property


rights, the official Xinhua news
agency reported.
[The original complex] is
unique and cannot be replicated,
the venues administrative office
said in a statement sent to Xinhua.
The construction and development of the site should be planned
by national organisations, and any
replication of it should reach certain standards.
Bosses at the newly built attraction hit back, saying the replica
recreated classic architecture to
share history with the younger generation, Xinhua said.
The project bears no conflict of
interests with the one in Beijing, executive Xu Wenrong told the agency.

Tourists visit the replica of Old Summer Palace in Hengdian, east Chinas Zhejiang province, on May 10. Photo: AFP

Li Min, deputy secretary general


of the Yuanmingyuan Society of China, also backed the new attraction,
telling Xinhua it was a good experiment because the palace could not
be re-created on its original site.
The replica is being built within a giant film studio complex by
Hengdian Group, which also includes copies of sections of Beijings
Forbidden City, the main residence
of Chinas imperial rulers.
Reports said ticket prices for the
new attraction were set at 280 yuan
($45), but some visitors were not
impressed with the palace.
[It is] just a place full of empty
rooms, one surnamed Xu told Xinhua. I cannot sense history here.
Something is missing.
AFP

20 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 12, 2015

it

ge
t

yo

gers o
n
i
f
n

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

Lucky bird

vendors ruffle
some feathers

Photos: Aung Myin Ye Zaw

the pulse 21

www.mmtimes.com
siam reap

The practice of freeing


animals to deliver them
from suffering is thought
to bring good luck to
the liberator, but some
vendors are taking
advantage of the ritual in
order to make a profit
Zon Pann Pwint
zonpann08@gmail.com

O Ko Gyi visited Sule Pagoda determined to do a good


deed to mark his birthday, April 5. At the entrance to the
pagoda, he bought every single caged bird he could find
and ordered them released from their cages. As he saw
them take flight, into the wild blue yonder, free at last,
he felt a surge of good feeling. But then he saw two of his winged
protgs still in the hands of the bird-sellers, feebly flapping, unable
to overcome gravity. At his request, the seller placed the birds at the
foot of the banyan tree near the pagoda entrance.
One of the birds took off, but then fell to the ground. The other
one just flapped its wings, but didnt go anywhere, recalled Ko Ko
Gyi.
Ashin Theikha Nyama, a monk who has himself freed captive fish
at the Maha Wizaya Pagoda near Shwedagon, said liberating caged
birds brought good luck to the liberator, and released him or her
from future confinement.
The practice entails freeing or rescuing any kind of animal or
bird in danger or in a trap in order to deliver them from suffering.
But some people take advantage of this kind religious impulse to
make a profit, Ashin Theikha Nyama said.
The merit that can be derived from freeing the birds does not
extend to those who first catch it and put it in a cage to give others
the chance to perform a good deed, he said. This is a misconception.
Many of the people paying for the creatures release know perfectly
well how they came to be in the cages in the first place. The birdcatchers are playing on the religious sensibility and the guilt feelings
of pious visitors to the pagoda, he said.
If we dont free them, maybe someone else will, but that means
the birds have to stay in the cages longer until someone takes pity
on them. The longer they stay in the cages, the less food they get and
the more they get into fights with other birds. They could get hurt in
those confined spaces.
At Sule Pagoda, there are three bird sellers who keep sparrows in
little plastic cages. The sparrows little heads protrude from between
the plastic bars as they struggle to escape from the cages.
Underlying the business model of the cage-owners is the
astrological concept of yataya chay, an act performed on the advice
of a soothsayer to avert impending misfortune, or to make a wish
come true. People release birds to obey their astrologers instructions
to avoid bad luck.
They make a wish as we open the gates: If I free you once, may
you free me 10 times, explained Daw San San Aye, a sparrow seller
at Sule Pagoda. She sells 30 to 40 birds a day, at K500 a time.
Many people buy a birds freedom at the astrologers behest
rather than for religious reasons, though some visitors to the pagoda
do release birds because they feel sympathy for them, she said.
Buyers also wish for good health and good fortune, said Daw
San San Aye, who has been in the bird business for years.
In Twante, bird catchers snare large numbers of birds for sale.
At Maha Wizaya Pagoda, cage owners can sell 1000 birds a time
for great religious ceremonies.
Sometimes during religious ceremonies at the pagoda, a single
person will buy up every bird in every cage, said Daw Nilar, who
sells birds at the pagoda.
Veterinarian Dr Tun Myint said keeping caged birds for sale is a
kind of torture.
If there is no buyer, they have to live longer in captivity, he said.
The practice could also help spread bird flu.

Animal welfare activists


want power to intervene
on merit birds
AT the shrine near Siem Reaps Royal
Gardens yesterday, more than two
dozen cages filled with hundreds of
birds sat on the ground waiting to be
bought and then released by people
seeking karmic merit.
One of five sellers at the spot, Koa
Sokhon, said she would sell up to 200
birds a day, but claimed the birds
werent seriously harmed.
Some of them arent able to make
it, she said, but its only one or two
out of a hundred.
Moments later, four swifts were
released. Three flew off, but one
crash-landed only metres away and
lay where it fell.
The purpose of releasing the birds
was to give life to the other being,
and by giving life to make merit, said
Somnieng Hoeurn, former deputy
head monk at Siem Reaps Wat
Damnak.

Angkor Centre for Conservation of


Biodiversity, said birds were often
denied access to food, water or shade,
and that the wire mesh of the cages
could cause limb and foot injuries.
The two main problems are
exposure to people and overcrowding.
Birds, even birds of prey, become very
stressed when they have nowhere
to hide or escape, she said. Its
basically like a person being in a
shark cage.
And to keep birds like the parrots
or finches with dozens or hundreds
in a single basket so that they are
standing on top of each other is also
very stressful. They become covered
in faeces and urates. But mostly I
think they are at risk of dying from
stress, she said.
Wood added that birds of prey
usually have territory that they
know and defend, and that flock

While the tradition of merit releasing


birds is rooted in Buddhist principles
of compassion, activists in Cambodia
say the worldly effects are devastating
for wildlife
Giving life is the best gift you can
give, he said. But it also symbolises
forgiveness and cleaning sin from
previous actions. People wish or
pray when they release the animals
to cleanse their sins and to ask for
forgiveness.
However, the ancient principle
of merit seeking has turned into
a thriving trade in capturing and
selling wild animals for ceremonial
release. It has taken root across Asia
with devastating consequences for
the animals involved.
Hoeurn acknowledged the
potential harm. Its very hard, he
said. We need to raise awareness
that other beings have the right
to live happily and freely, not just
from the religious perspective but
also from the scientific and political
perspective. Every life is equal.
And its not just small birds like
swifts that are being trapped and
released for merit.
Battambang native Johnny Orn,
the director of the Sam Veasna
Centre, a Siem Reap-based birdwatching and conservation NGO,
said he was distressed to find three
barn owls being offered for sale at the
shrine earlier this week.
There were three in a cage in a
weak condition. Two were standing
and one was lying on its side. I think
the seller did not give water or food
to them for several days, he said.
It was ironic that the barn owls
were being used for merit gathering,
Orn said, given their association with
death in Khmer culture.
It is weird for me because most
Cambodians think barn owls are bad,
especially when they sing at night,
he said. It is believed that the song
of the barn owl will cause humans
to die, and I think this is the reason
no one bought those owls from the
seller.
Catherine Wood, a British
vet and former employee of the

species have no hope of survival


as individuals. Such close contact
with so many other birds also
risked transmitting diseases such as
H5N1 bird flu and the capture
of endangered species further
jeopardises their viability.
In Phnom Penh, a study carried
out by the Wildlife Conservation
Society in 2012 found that as many
as 770,000 birds went up for sale
at two sites in the city. Among the
species identified were the Alexdrine
parakeet and Asian golden weaver,
whose populations are nearthreatened, and the yellow-breasted
weaver, which is endangered.
The birds were also in poor health,
with more than 10 percent in the
sample testing positive for H5N1.
According to the report, the
sheer number of birds observed
for sale raised questions about the
conservation impact of the activity.
It also referenced another study in

Hong Kong which found that as many


as half of the observed birds died
within 10 days of release.
Conservationists say there is little
they can do to stop the practice as
trading in merit-release animals is
allowed under the Forestry Law, which
otherwise bans trade in wildlife.
We are not allowed to confiscate
birds [kept] for merit release, said
Nick Marx, director of the wildlife
rescue and care program at the
Wildlife Alliance.
It is legal and we are not allowed
to intervene despite the fact that it
is pointless, serves no useful purpose
and probably ends in the deaths of
most of the birds that are released.
At least one of the barn owls
survived after a group of foreigners
managed to convince a group of small
children in the park that were playing
with the bird to hand it over.
While barn owls dont normally
drink water they get their moisture
from their food this one drank
awkwardly when offered water from a
bottle, he said.
The fate of the other barn owls
remains uncertain.
Daniel Roper-Jones, director of
conservation education organisation
Fauna in Focus, assisted with the
release of the rescued barn owl.
The biggest problem that I see
with the trafficking of merit birds is
that conservation organisations do
not yet have the authority to stop the
practice, Roper-Jones said.
He is working on campaigns to
help build public awareness and
support within schools, communities
and pagodas.
If these awareness campaigns are
successful, I hope it will build enough
public support, especially among
local monk leaders, to petition the
Department of Cult and Religion to
condemn the practice.
If they do, conservation
organisations working to protect
wildlife will get the permissions they
need to shut these activities down
permanently.
He emphasised that while barn
owls arent a protected species, their
predatory roles are vital to the food
chain.
Ive had sellers tell me it doesnt
matter because these owls are not
endangered, he said. Then they
complain that there are too many rats
in their fields while they are catching,
to sell or eat, all the native predators
like snakes, monitor lizards, eagles,
owls and so on. Phnom Penh Post

Barn owls were among birds waiting to be sold and released for merit at the
shrine near the Royal Gardens recently. Photo: Phnom Penh Post/Johnny Orn

22 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 12, 2015

Glass man
has heart
of gold
An inspirational documentary
recognises one mans efforts to
help disabled children
CHit Su
suwai.chit@gmail.com

H
The Glass Man, directed by Wi Ra
Aung, was recognised as Best Short
Honorable Mention at the Asians on
Film Festival, held in Los Angeles from
April 23 to 29. Photo: Supplied

IS bones have been broken


more than 40 times. A
slight fall or a sudden
cough could cause a rib
or a wrist to crack. Kaung
Htet Naing, 23, has suffered since
birth from osteoporosis, brittle-bone
disease. But his eyes are piercing, and
his will is of iron.
My parents found out about
this when I was a baby, when my
arm broke because someone held it
too tight. Since then my arms, my
chin, bones in my back have all been
broken, he said.
My parents were scared to have
any more children for years. My
younger brothers are more than seven
years younger than me, said Kaung
Htet Naing.

Kaung Htet Naing, who suffers from osteoporosis, devotes his time to helping disabled children. Photo: Aung Myin Ye Zaw

An ordinary school was out of the


question. He was not able to learn
to read until he was 11, and so his
parents sent him to the School for
Disabled Children in Yangon.
I wanted to wear the same greenand-white school uniform as everyone
else, but I couldnt. I could not play
with the other children, he said.
Now, Kaung Htet Naing is vicepresident of Future Stars advocacy
group for people with disabilities,
as well as a part-time teacher at the
School for Disabled Children.
The attitudes of others left almost
as many bruises as a fall.
There is discrimination, he
said. Transportation is a challenge.
Buses and trains are not designed for
disabled people, he said, criticising
the government for not doing more
to take on traditional distaste for
disability. I dont care if people think

Im weird.
Khin Myo Su, the secretary of
Future Stars as well as the mother of a
disabled child, said Kaung Htet Naings
first loyalty was to disabled children.
He turned down a would-be
donor who wanted to set him up in a
typing service shop and asked him to
give the money to disabled children
instead, she said.
I can ask for myself, but they
cant, said Kaung Htet Naing. I
believe that if disabled children are
properly taught they can make their
own way in society.
I have so much to do for Future
Stars. Weve never had an office since
we started in 2010. Thats what Im
working on now, he said.
His paintings and drawings have
won awards. My work has been
displayed in Japan, he said proudly.
A short documentary film about

him directed by Wi Ra Aung in


2013, The Glass Man, has also
acquired a good reputation, having
been screened extensively overseas,
including Japan, and winning an
honourable mention for best short
documentary in the Asians on Film
Festival, held in Los Angeles from
April 23 to 29.
I wanted to do something for
disabled people, said director Wi Ra
Aung.
The documentary focuses not
on Kaung Htet Naings difficulties,
but his character and strength. I
didnt want audiences crying at
the tragedy scenes. I want them
inspired by how hard he tries. I
made the film as an activist rather
than as a director, he said. This
is a man who runs around helping
disabled people, even though he can
hardly walk.

tEHRAN

With Matisse and Van Gogh, Tehran gets a makeover


DRIVERS and millions of commuters
used to spending hours in Tehran
traffic jams have at least had
something nicer to look at during
journeys this week famous works
of art.
Advertising hoardings that
normally feature the latest
smartphones, home appliances or
banks and insurance plans have made
way until May 16 for masterpieces
by famous artists in a giant urban
beautification scheme.
Vincent Van Goghs Sunflowers,
Edvard Munchs The Scream and
The Blue Window by Henry Matisse
are among the reproductions lining
streets and highways, aiming to get
citizens more interested in art and to
encourage gallery visits.
The project A Gallery as Big as
a Town took the city by surprise on
May 9.
Its great to see these paintings
instead of commercials for this or
that brand, said Leyla Mohammadi, a
24-year-old student in the capital.
Some 1600 billboards featuring
200 Western and Asian works and
500 Iranian ones now sit near
murals of supreme leader Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei, his predecessor, the
Islamic republics founder Ruhollah
Khomeini, and countless martyrs of
the Iran-Iraq war.
The art, all of which would have
required approval by the culture
ministry nudes are banned in Iran
and other works risk being deemed
un-Islamic may be considered a
distraction as well as a welcome sight
in a city where fatal road accidents
and bad driving are common.

An Iranian woman waits for a taxi under a billboard displaying Trees at Estaque, a painting by French painter Georges
Braque, on northern Tehrans Modares highway on May 9. Photo: AFP/Behrouz Mehri

For example, The Son of Man,


the apple in the face of a man in
tie and bowler hat work by Belgian
surrealist artist Rene Magritte, stares
out at drivers from an overpass.
But the sprawling scheme
represents an evolution, albeit
temporary, in the citys appearance:
After the Islamic revolution in
1979 advertising was banned on
the grounds that it encouraged
materialism and consumerism.
Street and television adverts,
however, started popping up in the
1990s and then proliferated, now

accompanied by the occasional public


health promotion.
The art also offers a softer side
to an architecturally bland cityscape
where concrete housing blocks and
revolutionary slogans such as Death
to America and We will always
resist are common.
The art has been a long time
coming, Hamid Rezaie, a public
relations officer for the Organisation
for Tehrans Beautification, said,
noting that an Iranian sculptor, Said
Shalapour, came up with the idea a
decade ago.

It became a solid possibility


last year and a frantic push in
the past month brought the plan
together. Rezaie said it has already
been judged a success and will be
repeated.
The exhibition is being funded by
advertisers under a clause in their
contracts with the municipality that
sets aside for cultural promotions or
events 10-15 percent of the fees paid
for the billboards.
Without a doubt, contemplating
works of art in a quiet and silent
space has more effect, but how

many people can go to galleries


and museums? asked Jamal
Kamyab, head of the beautification
organisation.
We wanted to remind people
about art.
Leading figures in Irans art scene
welcomed the scheme.
What they have done is incredible
... Its an exemplary cultural act,
Lili Golestan, one of Tehrans oldest
gallery owners, said.
It also makes a refreshing change
for at least some of the thousands
who earn their living driving across
the congested capital, one of the
worlds biggest and most polluted
cities with a population of more than
12 million.
My customers are very happy
about it ... at how good the work of
the foreign and Iranian artists is,
said Mohsen Mosleni, a 60-year-old
taxi driver.
But the scheme has also bred
speculation among Iranians that it
has political aims.
Tehrans conservative mayor
Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf is a
former Revolutionary Guards Air
Force commander who lost out as a
presidential candidate in 2005 and
2013.
Critics say Ghalibaf could use a
public relations boost, given that the
public judged him less palatable than
Hassan Rouhani in June 2013.
But the municipality has denied
any political motive, insisting the
art is just the latest scheme from the
mayor following the opening of
vast parks and sports complexes to
improve the lives of Tehranis. AFP

the pulse 23

www.mmtimes.com

Foodie group gathers


for barbeque feast
Charlotte rose
charlottelola.rose@gmail.com

TUESDAY

ONE are the days when


expats in Yangon spent
their time complaining
about the lack of good
restaurants or grumbling
about not being able to find a
decent piece of cake.
With a spate of new bars and
restaurants offering cuisines to satisfy
almost every taste and spanning
nearly every region of the world, from
Latin America to the Mediterranean
it seems the citys food scene has
finally taken off.
There has also been a trend
emerging for foodie events in recent
months: April saw chefs from four
of Yangons top restaurants fighting
it out to be crowned food fight
champion at the Yangon Food
Fight, and last weekend guests
flocked to the recently opened
Windermere Hill Caf for the first
ever Backyard Barbeque event,
organised by food enthusiasts the
Yangon Foodies.
The event on May 9, which sold
out in less than a week, brought
together over 50 food lovers for an
evening of grilling, feasting and
merrymaking in the gardens of the
Windermere Hill Caf.
Yangon is changing so fast,
and it is so exciting to see so many
people who are enthusiastic about

12

MUSIC

Live music by The Experience Band.


Thiripyitsaya Sky Bistro, 20th floor, Sakura
Tower, 339 Bogyoke Aung San Road,
Kyauktada 7-10pm

MISC

Tuesday Snippets. Gallery conversation


and drinks. Pansodan Gallery, Pansodan
Street 7-10 pm

Guests gather in the gardens of Windermere Hill Caf on April 9 for the
Yangon Foodies Backyard Barbeque. Photo: Charlotte Rose

exploring the citys new food scene.


For me, eating isnt just something
you have to do, its an occasion an
opportunity to gather people around
food, said event organiser Ekis Joson.
It is great to see so many people
at this event who are passionate
about food and meeting other
people, she said.
The Yangon Foodies, which
describes itself as a group
dedicated to food junkies and
hungry tummies, meets weekly
to try new restaurants in the city
an activity that would have been
almost impossible only a few years
ago, or at least limited to a handful
of humdrum eateries.

I have always been passionate


about food, so I started Yangon
Foodies so we can share our foodie
adventures in the city. The group
has already grown to over 1900
members, said Joson, originally
from the Philippines.
She said she also hopes to
promote small businesses that
are making their own products in
Yangon, like Tiffanie Widjaja, who
makes granola which she donated
has lucky draw prizes.
There are so many small
businesses making great food in
Yangon I hope by organising more
events like this we can help them,
said Joson.

WEDNESDAY

13

NIGHTLIFE

Mojito Night. The Lab, 70A Shwegonedaing Road, Bahan 5:30-10pm


Girls night out. Mojo Bar, 135 Inya Road,
Bahan 8pm
Salsa at Salud. K5000 entry (includes free
Mojito, beer or cocktail of your choice).
Salud Salsa Club (Latin Restaurant), 7C

Wingabar Road (next to Clover Hotel),


Bahan

MUSIC

Jazz music and dinner. Rendez-Vous


restaurant and bar, Institut Francais, 340
Pyay Road 7:30-9:30pm

THURSDAY

14

MISC

Weekly run. All levels of runner can join.


Balance Fitness, 103 University Avenue
(corner of Thanlwin Street), Bahan
6:15am

FRIDAY

15

MISC

Lay Phyu Live. Solo show by Myanmar rock


artist Lay Phyu. Tickets K40,000-50,000,
available at the MRTV-4 Showroom, New
University Avenue. Myanmar Event Park,
Shin Saw Pu Street 8pm

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

24 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 12, 2015

DOMESTIC FLIGHT SCHEDULES


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yangon to naY pYi taw

naY pYi taw to Yangon

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

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

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

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

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

Yangon to nYaung u
Flight
YH 909
YH 917
YJ 891
YH 909
6T 451
K7 222
7Y 131
K7 224
YH 731
7Y 241
W9 129
W9 211
W9 129

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

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

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

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

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

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

nYaung u to Yangon
Arr
8:25
7:45
7:40
8:05
7:35
7:50
7:50
17:25
17:25
17:10
17:35
17:40
17:35

Yangon to MYitkYina
Flight
6T 805
YH 829
YH 826
YH 835
YH 831
YJ 201
YJ 201
YJ 233
W9 251

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

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

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

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

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

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

MYitkYina to Yangon
Flight
6T 806
YJ 202
YH 827
YH 832
YH 836
YJ 202
YH 830
YJ 234
W9 252

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

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

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

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

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

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

HeHo to Yangon
Arr
9:35
10:35
8:45
9:20
9:30
10:05
9:10
12:45
11:55
12:10
12:10
12:10
12:40
12:40
12:40
15:45
15:55
15:40
16:40

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flight
K7 423
7Y 414
W9 309
6T 612

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

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

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

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

Days
2,4,6
3,5,7

Dep
11:00
11:00

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flight
K7 320
6T 708
SO 202
7Y 532

Flight
YJ 752
YH 730

Yangon to putao

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

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

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

Days
3,5,7
2,4,6

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

putao to Yangon

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YH 826

7:00

11:00

Tel: 513322, 513422, 504888. Fax: 515102

Air KBZ (K7)


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

Asian Wings (YJ)


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

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)


Tel: 09400446999, 09400447999
Fax: 8604051

Flight
YH 836

Days
1,7

Tel: 383100, 383107, 700264


Fax: 652 533

FMI Air Charter


Tel: 240363, 240373, 09421146545

APEX Airlines (SO)


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

Air Mandalay (6T)


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

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

lasHio to Yangon
Arr
13:00
13:15

Air Bagan (W9)

SO = APEX Airlines

dawei to Yangon

Yangon to lasHio
Flight
YH 729
YJ 751

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

tHandwe to Yangon

Yangon to dawei
Flight
K7 319
SO 201
6T 707
7Y 531

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

sittwe to Yangon
Arr
9:55
12:20
12:55
12:55

Domestic Airlines

Yangon Airways (YH)

MYeik to Yangon

Yangon to tHandwe
Flight
K7 422
YH 505
7Y 413
W9 309
7Y 413
Y5 421

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

Tel: 656969
Fax: 656998, 651020

Yangon to sittwe
Flight
K7 422
7Y 413
W9 309
6T 611

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

Mann Yadanarpon Airlines (7Y)

Yangon to MYeik
Flight
Y5 325
K7 319
6T 705
7Y 531
Y5 325
SO 201

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

Dep

Arr

11:00

14:45

YH 831

4,6

7:00

11:00

YH 832

4,6

11:00

14:45

YH 835

1,7

7:00

11:00

YH 827

11:00

14:45

W9 251

2,5

11:30

15:25

W9 252

2,5

15:45

19:40

6T = AirMandalay
FMI = FMI Air Charter

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

the pulse 25

www.mmtimes.com

InternAtIonAl FlIGHt SCHeDUleS


Flights

YANGON TO BANGKOK
Days

Dep

Arr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

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

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

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

YANGON TO BEIJING

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Flights

BANGKOK TO YANGON
Days

Dep

Arr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Flights

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

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

Dep

Arr

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

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

22:50

8M 711
CZ 3056
CZ 3056

CZ 3055
CZ 3055
8M 712

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

10:25
16:30
15:50

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

9:55

Flights

Flights

CI 7916
Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Flights

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

13:15
16:15
22:15

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

16:15

CI 7915

Arr

Flights

CA 416
MU 2012
MU 2032
Flights

Days

Dep

Days

Dep

Arr

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

Flights

Days

15:55
18:45
18:40

MU 2011
CA 415
MU 2031
Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Days

Dep

Days

Dep

Arr

Arr

Arr

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

11:50
11:15
14:30

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

Arr

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

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

VN 942

Flights

Flights

2,4,7
14:25
YANGON TO DOHA

17:15

VN 943

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

Arr

19:50
11:10

Flights

Days

AI 701
QR 919
Flights

Flights

Days

Dep

Dep

Arr

2,4,7
11:50
DOHA TO YANGON

13:25

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

13:20
06:25+1

Days

AI 401
QR 918
Flights

Days

Dep

Dep

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

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

KA 251
KA 251

5:55
5:45

KA 252
KA 250

Arr

Flights

Flights

Days

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

Arr

YANGON TO TOKYO

Flights

Days

NH 814

Daily

Dep

21:45

06:50+1

YANGON TO DHAKA

Flights

Days

BG 061
BG 061
Flights

Dep

1:30
1:10

1,6
4

Dep

15:35
13:45

YANGON TO INCHEON
Days

Dep

Arr

17:00
15:10
Arr

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

Days

Y5 251
7Y 305

2,4,6
1,5

YANGON TO GAYA

Flights

Days

8M 601
AI 236
AI 234

Days

AI 236

Dep

13:10

YANGON TO KOLKATA
Days

AI 234
AI 228
Flights

Dep

3,5,6
7:00
2
13:10
1,5
14:05
YANGON TO DELHI

Flights

Flights

Dep

6:15
11:00

1
5

Dep

14:05
18:45

YANGON TO MUMBAI

AI 775

Days

1,5

Dep

14:05

MANDALAY TO BANGKOK

Flights

PG 710

Days

Daily

Dep

14:05

MANDALAY TO SINGAPORE

Flights

MI 533
Y5 2233

Days

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

Dep

15:55
7:50

MANDALAY TO DON MUEANG

Flights

FD 245

Days

Daily

Dep

12:45

MANDALAY TO KUNMING

Flights

MU 2030

Days

Daily

Dep

13:50

NAY PYI TAW TO BANGKOK

Flights

PG 722
PG 722
PG 722

Days

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

Dep

20:15
19:30
20:15

Arr

8:05
12:50
Arr

Flights

1,6
4

Days

Days

2,4,6
1,5

Dep

12:30
10:40
Dep

Flights

Flights

19:35

AI 675

Arr

Flights

Dep

9:25
13:45

GAYA TO YANGON
Days

Dep

2
9:10
3,5,6
9:20
5
15:00
DELHI TO YANGON
Days

AI 235

Arr

Dep

7:00

KOLKATA TO YANGON
Days

1
5

Dep

10:35
13:30

MUMBAI TO YANGON
Days

1,5

Dep

6:10

BANGKOK TO MANDALAY

PG 709

Days

Daily

Dep

12:00

SINGAPORE TO MANDALAY

Flights

20:50
14:15

Y5 2234
MI 533

Arr

Flights

Days

Daily
2,6

Dep

7:20
11:35

DON MUEANG TO MANDALAY

FD 244

Days

Daily

Dep

10:50

KUNMING TO MANDALAY

Flights

16:40

MU 2029

Arr

Flights

23:15
22:30
23:15

11:00

INCHEON TO YANGON

Flights

AI 227
AI 233

Arr

Days

Flights

17:20
19:45

15:00

Dep

DHAKA TO YANGON

Y5 252
7Y 306

Flights

Arr

Daily

Days

Daily

Dep

13:00

BANGKOK TO NAY PYI TAW

PG 721
PG 721
PG 721

Days

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

Dep

17:00
18:25
17:45

Arr

00:30+1
23:30

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

Arr

16:30

Days

Flights

Flights

Dep

22:50
21:45

Arr

22:25
23:25

TOKYO TO YANGON

BG 060
BG 060

AI 235
8M 602
AI 233

Arr

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

NH 813

8:20
14:10
15:05
16:30

Days

Arr

Arr

15:40
Arr

14:55
13:05
Arr

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

10:15
14:35
Arr

12:10
12:30
18:00

International Airlines
All Nippon Airways (NH)
Tel: 255412, 413

Air Asia (FD)

Tel: 09254049991~3

Air Bagan Ltd.(W9)

Tel: 513322, 513422, 504888. Fax: 515102

Air China (CA)

Tel: 666112, 655882

Air India

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

Bangkok Airways (PG)

Tel: 255122, 255265. Fax: 255119

Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG)


Tel: 371867~68. Fax: 371869

Condor (DE)

Tel: 370836~39 (ext: 303)

Dragonair (KA)

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

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)


Tel: 09400446999, 09400447999
Fax: 8604051

Malaysia Airlines (MH)

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


Fax: 241124

Myanmar Airways International (8M)


Tel: 255260. Fax: 255305

Nok Airline (DD)

Tel: 255050, 255021. Fax: 255051

Qatar Airways (QR)

Tel: 379845, 379843, 379831. Fax: 379730

Singapore Airlines (SQ) / Silk Air (MI)


Tel: 255287~9. Fax: 255290

Thai Airways (TG)

Tel: 255491~6. Fax: 255223

Tiger Airline (TR)

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

Vietnam Airlines (VN)

Tel: 255066, 255088, 255068. Fax: 255086

Airline Codes
3K = Jet Star
8M = Myanmar Airways International
AK = Air Asia
BG = Biman Bangladesh Airlines
CA = Air China
CI = China Airlines
CZ = China Southern
DD = Nok Airline
FD = Air Asia
KA = Dragonair
KE = Korea Airlines
MH = Malaysia Airlines
MI = Silk Air

Arr

12:10
Arr

13:20
18:00
Arr

13:20

MU = China Eastern Airlines


NH = All Nippon Airways
PG = Bangkok Airways
QR = Qatar Airways
SQ = Singapore Airways
TG = Thai Airways

Arr

13:20
Arr

16:30
15:00

TR = Tiger Airline
VN = Vietnam Airline
AI = Air India
Y5 = Golden Myanmar Airlines

Arr

12:15
Arr

Subject to change
without notice

12:50
Arr

19:00
19:35
19:45

Day
1 = Monday
2 = Tuesday
3 = Wednesday

4
5
6
7

=
=
=
=

Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

26 Sport

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 12, 2015

WORLD
RUgby UNIoN

First three Olympic


Sevens spots settled

F
IN PICTUREs

Fans of Queens Park Rangers react during


their May 10 game with Manchester City.
QPR were relegated from the Premier
League following a 6-0 defeat.

Photo: AFP

TRADE MARK CAUTION


JVC KENWOOD Corporation, a joint stock company duly
organized under the laws of Japan, Manufacturers and Merchants
of 3-12, Moriyacho, Kanagawa-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa
221-0022, Japan is the Owner and proprietor of the following
trademark:-

(Reg: No. IV/587/1989)


The said trademark is used in respect of:
Scientific, nautical, surveying, electric, photographic, cinematographic
optical, weighing, measuring, signaling, checking (supervision)
, life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments; 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, including; video tape recorders; video
tape players; video cameras; combined video camera and video tape
recorders; video disc recorders; video disc players; video projectors;
video printers; duplicating, correcting or editing devices for video and/
or audio recording and/or reproducing apparatus; television receivers;
combined television receivers and video tape recorders and/or players;
radio receivers; tape decks; audio disc players (for phonograph records
and/or digital audio discs); cassette tape recorders and/or players;
radio cassette tape recorders; combined television receivers and
radio-cassette tape recorders; combined radio cassette tape recorders
and audio disc players; audio tuners; amplifiers; loud speakers;
digital audio tape recorders; digital audio processors; microphones;
headphones audio timers; personal computers; display monitors for
computers; prerecorded computer programs; magnetic tapes or discs
for computers; floppy disc drive units; mixers for audio and/or video
recording and/or reproducing apparatus; electronic still cameras;
magnetic data carriers for electronic still cameras; wired of wireless
telephones, phonograph records; blank or prerecorded digital audio
discs; blank or prerecorded audio tapes; blank or prerecorded digital
audio tapes; blank or prerecorded video tapes; blank or prerecorded
video discs; motion picture projectors; cine cameras; and parts and
accessories for the foregoing goods Intl Class: 9
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 JVC KENWOOD Corporation
P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon.
Phone: 372416

Dated: 12th May, 2015

iji won the Glasgow Sevens,


the penultimate round of
this seasons World Sevens
Series, coming from behind
to beat New Zealand 24-17 in
the final on May 10.
But there was a silver lining for
New Zealand in that their run to the final helped them secure a place at next
years Olympics in Rio, where sevens
will be making its Games debut.
Apisai Domolailai came off the bench
to score two second-half tries, with Fiji
coming from 12-5 down at the break to
win their fourth Sevens title this season.
Victory also saw the Pacific islanders move ahead of South Africa in the
race for the Sevens World Series title,
having earlier beaten the Blitzboks
15-0 in their quarter-final.
The top four teams at the end of
this seasons World Rugby Sevens will
qualify automatically for next years
Olympic tournament in Brazil.
The results on May 9 saw Fiji and
South Africa book their Olympic places and New Zealand joined them a day
later.
Fiji will now head south to London
leading the overall standings on 147
points, with South Africa second on
142 and New Zealand third on 139.
England are in the box seat to gain
the fourth and final automatic Olympic place as they currently have 117
points compared to Australias 101,
with the 16-point lead highly unlikely
to be overturned in London.
Delighted Fiji coach Ben Ryan said,
This is the most amount of [tournament] wins four that weve done in
one season.

New Zealands Sam Dickson (right) scores a try during the Rugby Union
Glasgow Sevens final between Fiji and New Zealand. Fiji won 24-17. Photo: AFP

We have put ourselves in a great


position to win our first World Series
in 10 years. We have a fit team and we
want to win back-to-backs, the Englishman added.
New Zealands long-serving sevens
chief Gordon Tietjens, while disappointed by his sides position in the
standings, said there had been a bigger prize at stake.
The World Series was important
but qualification for the Olympics was
the goal, said Tietjens.
We knew it wasnt going to be easy
to finish in that top four so to know were
there is really pleasing and you can start
seeing yourself going to Rio now.
Australia lost 14-7 to the United
States in the quarter-finals and then
went down 21-12 to South Africa in
the plate semi-final at a wet Scotstoun
Stadium.

if Australia do finish the season


in their current position of fifth, the
green and golds will play in the regional Oceania Rugby tournament in
Auckland on November 14-15, with the
winning nation booking its ticket to
Rio.
Going into the game against the
USA we were very confident and
played well in patches, said Australia
sevens coach Geraint john.
However, we shot ourselves in
the foot against the Americans by
turning the ball over too many times
and handing them two tries from
around 100 metres out which is particularly disappointing, the Welshman added.
Throughout the weekend i think
weve shown glimpses of what we
are capable of, but we have been too
erratic. AFP

ICE hoCkEy

US, Czechs, Finns, Russia advance at worlds


THE USA, Czech Republic and Russia joined Canada and Sweden in the
quarter-finals of the ice hockey world
championships on May 10.
Finland did not play but also made
it to the last-eight too, leaving only two
quarter-final places up for grabs.
New York islanders forward Brock
Nelson improved his record at the
tournament to six goals after scoring
twice and adding an assist to help the
USA beat Slovenia 3-1.
Nelson put the USA 2-0 up with
goals in the fifth and 17th minutes.
Slovenian forward Ales Music narrowed the difference on 27 minutes as
the Americans lost momentum in the
second period, but Boston University
forward jack Eichel added a third one
for the USA early into the final period,
tipping in Nelsons shot.
Our line has been working well for
quite a few games now, Nelson told
the championship website.
i dont know what the secret is
it would be nice if we did but i
think weve played well from the getgo to create chances and capitalise on
them.
in Group Bs other game, defending
champions Russia struggled past Slovakia 3-2 in overtime.
Slovakia took the lead on six minutes courtesy of Florida forward Tomas Kopecky.
Russian forward Sergei Mozyakin
put Russia level midway through the
game and St Louis Blues forward
Vladimir Tarasenko added a second goal for Russia early in the final
period.
Los Angeles Kings forward Marian
Gaborik levelled the score on 50 minutes to take the game into overtime

Jordan Eberle (2nd left) of Canada shoots to score past goalkeeper Ronan
Quemener of France during their group A preliminary round on May 9. Canada
won the match 3-4. Photo: AFP

which lasted just over two minutes


when Artemi Panarin handed Russia
two points for a win.
The USA lead Group B, played in
the eastern Czech city of Ostrava,
ahead of Russia, Finland and Belarus,
while Slovenia are relegated from the
worlds as they sit last in the group
with zero points from six games.
in Group A, played in Prague, Canada swept Switzerland 7-2.
Dallas forward Tyler Seguin scored
for Canada in the first minute, but
Morris Trachsler equalised five minutes later.
Canada then dominated the game
as Nathan MacKinnon, Aaron Ekblad,

jordan Eberle and Cody Eakin made


it 5-1 before the second intermission.
Damien Brunner scored for Switzerland at the beginning of the final
period, but Sean Couturier and Claude
Giroux dashed Switzerlands hopes of
a decent loss.
Earlier on May 10, the Czech Republic beat Germany 4-2 after trailing
their rivals twice.
jaromir jagr once again stretched
his record as the oldest player ever to
score at the worlds to 43 years and 85
days.
Canada lead Group A with a perfect
record ahead of Sweden, the Czech
Republic and Switzerland. AFP

Sport 27

www.mmtimes.com
ASIA

badmINtoN

Dope-ban Lee starts


on road to Olympics

ChAsTeNed lee Chong


Wei returned to action at the weekend
for the sudirman Cup
after a doping case
which threatened to put paid to his
career and Olympic title ambitions.
The long-time world number one
leads Malaysia in dongguan, China, two weeks after escaping with
a backdated eight-month ban for
accidentally ingesting a banned antiinflammatory.
The mixed-teams event is a new
start for the two-time Olympic silver-medallist, whose ranking has
dropped to 45 since the positive
test on a sample given last August
and his subsequent suspension in
November.
It also represents the first step
along a road which the 32-year-old
hopes will end with an Olympic
gold medal next year in rio de Janeiro, after his near-misses in 2008
and 2012. The next step will be seA
Games gold in June at the 2015 singapore event.
his doping ban expired only on
May 1 and any rustiness could be
punished in Malaysias early matches against south Korea and India,
whose rising stars son Wan-ho and
K srikanth are both ranked in the
top 10.
Further down the track, lee
could run into his perennial nemesis
lin dan, playing in front of his home
fans along with top-ranked Chen
long as China seek a 10th sudirman
Cup title.
Im aware that srikanth and
Wan-ho have been playing really
well. They are a danger to anybody,
lee said, according to Malaysias
Star newspaper.
But I dont feel itll be a problem
for me. Ill just go and try my best as
the pressure is not on me.
While attention focuses on lee,

Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia returns during his mens singles match of the
2015 Sudirman Cup world badminton championships in Dongguan, China, on
May 10. Photo: AFP

anything other than a win for China


on May 17 would be a shock given
their all-conquering record in the
sport.
double Olympic singles champion lin, who denied lee at both
the 2008 and 2012 Games, will also
have rio at the back of his mind as
he leads Chinas title defence.
World title-holder Chen and boyfriend-girlfriend mixed doubles pair
Zhang Nan and Zhao yunlei are also
part of a formidable Chinese line-up.
Indias challenge relies heavily
on their singles players including
srikanth and hs Prannoy, as well as
saina Nehwal and PV sindhu on the
womens side.
But europes top team denmark
arrived in disarray after five top
players were kicked out last month
in a row over sponsorship by rival
cookie companies.

Mathias Boe, Carsten Mogensen,


Joachim Fischer Nielsen, Christinna
Pedersen and Kamilla rytter Juhl,
who are sponsored by Kjeldsen
Cookies, are at odds with Badminton
denmark since it signed a deal with
danisa Cookies.
One point of interest will be the
performance of Americas Mathew
Fogarty, who at a grandfatherly 58
years old is in line to play against
France and Brazil in the opening
ties.
lee knows that Malaysia will
have their work cut out to make it
out of their sub-group and into the
final stages.
The sudirman Cup is a tough
competition for us. Both south Korea and India are strong opponents
and well have to beat at least one
of them to qualify for the quarterfinals, said lee. AFP

sqUash

David dominance under


threat from El Weleily
NICOl david, the Malaysian multiple
record-breaker who has been world
number one for 106 months, faces a
renewed challenge to her dominance
when she begins the defence of her British Open title.
david is seeded to meet raneem el
Weleily in the final in hull and the improving egyptian has shown signs of being able to match the Malaysian great.
el Weleily beat david two months
ago in Chicago and, three months previously she had four match points against
david in Cairo before losing the most
exciting world final of them all.
Although the 31-year-old david has
appeared out of reach during most of
the last eight years, el Weleily has whittled down her lead in the rankings to
fewer than 600 points.
Thats a narrowing of the gap by 850
since the start of the year and, at the
age of 26, she is still moving toward her
peak.
david, however, has reasons for
feeling good about this weeks venue,
a North sea port with regular ferries
to and from her adopted home city of
Amsterdam.

It was in hull last year that she won


an absorbing showdown with laura
Massaro, the english woman who had
beaten her in the previous British Open
final and had not long succeeded her as
world champion.
There are two tournaments you
want to pick to do well, the British Open
and the World Open, and its nice to
have had time off to train before this,
said david, referring to her two-month
break after the Chicago loss.
Ive also had tournaments in the
earlier part of the year, so Ive been able
to analyse and refine what I did.
In particular, david watched a video
of how she survived those extraordinary
four match points in Cairo.
david admitted it been tough to
lose to el Weleily in Chicago. she took
her chances and played really well, david said.
david did however beat el Weleily
in the final of the Cleveland Classic in
February, her only title so far this year,
but will be concerned over the next
few days not to focus on their rivalry
before dealing with other capable
opponents. AFP

Nicol David has been world


number 1 for nearly nine
years Photo: Steve Cubbins/
Wikicommons

Football

Chelsea
announce
Bangkok
match

IN PICtUREs

Photo: AFP

Bodybuilder Kim Hae-Yong of South Korea poses for a photographer after winning the Miss Sport Model
category of the 2015 Muscle Pump NABBA WFF Korea Championships in Seoul on May 10. Some 550
competitors took part with the winners earning the chance to compete at international level. Bodybuilding
is widely reported to be gaining popularity in South Korea, which hosts a number of annual national and
international bodybuilding contests.

Freshly crowned Premier league


champions Chelsea have announced
a second post-season fixture against
Thailand All-stars at Bangkoks rajamangala stadium on May 30.
Jose Mourinhos side, who wrapped
up the league title with three games
to spare, had previously announced
plans to play sydney FC at the ANZ
stadium on June 2.
We are very pleased to finalise our
post-season schedule and I look forward to visiting Bangkok again, chair
Bruce Buck told the Chelsea website.
Our visits to Asia are always
memorable, and I know the team
will be well received by our tremendous supporters in Thailand. I am
sure Jose and the team will deliver a
performance to entertain as we celebrate what has been such an excellent season.
Chelsea, who also won the league
Cup this season, are due to play in the
International Champions Cup friendly
tournament in North America in July
as part of their preparations for the
2015-16 campaign. AFP

Sport
28 THE MYANMAR TIMES May 12, 2015

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

Rugby Sevens Olympic


berths secured in Glasgow
SPORT 26

FOOTball

Myanmar
lose out
in ASEAN
cup final
MaTT ROebuck
matt.d.roebuck@gmail.com

yANMAR womens football team fell at the last


hurdle on May 10 when
they were defeated 3-2
by Thailand in the final of the ASeAN Football Federation championship played at Thong
Nhat Stadium in ho Chi Minh City,
Vietnam.
The women failed to show the steel
and determination they demonstrated
when they closed out the Australian
U20s 1-0 in the semi-final but despite
allowing themselves to fall behind to
a Kanjana Sung Ngoen goal in the 37th
minute, the Myanmar team fought
themselves back into the game.

Khin Moe Wai equalised in the


56th minute but the Thais wrestled
the lead back in the 56th through Nisa
Romgen before Rattikan Thongsombut extended in the 70th. Myanmar
attempted to make another comeback after Win Theingi Tun scored
their second four minutes later but
to no avail.
The opening goal came from a
momentary lack of concentration in
the Myanmar defence. Nisa drive forward with the ball, drawing defenders
in and allowing her to slip the ball
through to a now unmarked Kanjana,
who finished calmly as defenders desperately scrabbled back to block.
Myanmars best opportunity
came when a Khin Marlar Tun cross
found yee yee Oo who had broke free

A visibly disappointed Wei Wei Aung collects her runner-up bouquet after the final. Photo: MFF/Facebook

of her defender in the box. Unfortunately her header while low and
powerful was too low and the resulting bounce took the sting out of the
attempt, making it easy for the Thai
keeper to collect.
yee yee Oo turned provider for Myanmars first. A cross from her found
Naw Arlo Wer Phaw unmarked at
the far post but her shot ricocheted
against the diving keeper. Khin Moe
Wai was quickest to react and levelled
the scores.
Moments later Khin Marlar Tun
ran at the Thai defence from the halfway line. She parted the opposition
until she was forced wide in the box
and allowed the ball to get just slightly
too far ahead of herself to find purchase in her shot.

Sometime around the Thai second goal, the live feed playing on
Myanmars MRTV entertainment
cut out; when it returned, Thailand
had three.
The third came from a Silawan Intamee from within her own half. The
long ball seemed to take the Myanmar defence by surprise and Rattika
latched onto the ball to finish with
ease.
In response Khin Marlar Tun again
ran at the Thais from deep. This time
with players in support she was able to
lay off the ball to substitute Win Theingi Tun who finished to provide the
glimmer of a comeback.
But another close game ultimately went the way of Thailand, just
as the 2013 Southeast Asian Games

semi-final did when Thailand edged


Myanmar out 9-8 on penalties before
going on to win gold.
Unfortunately Singapore has chosen not to include womens football in
this Junes SeA Games, meaning that
Myanmar have no immediate chance
to avenge their loss.
Thailand will instead head to Canada for the June 6 kick-off of the FIFA
Womens World Cup.
Myanmars next opportunity for
revenge will come in September when
they join Vietnam, Jordan and Chinese Taipei in Thailand for the second
phase of qualification for the Rio 2016
Olympics.
In the days other game Australia
U20s defeated Vietnam 4-3 to take the
championships third-place finish.

FOOTball

Palestinian FA to press for FIFA ban on Israel


The Palestinian Football Association
vowed May 10 to push ahead with efforts to have Israel suspended from
FIFA following joint talks with the
world football bodys president Sepp
Blatter in Zurich.
But both sides agreed to continue
talking with Blatter, who announced
plans to visit the region for top-level
talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian
President Mahmud Abbas on the issue
ahead of the upcoming FIFA Congress,
in Zurich on May 29.
News of the visit was announced
by Blatter on May 10 as he met with
Israel Football Association chief Ofer
eini and his Palestinian counterpart
Jibril Rajoub.
FIFA said the main purpose of the
meeting was to discuss the Palestinian FAs request to suspend their Israeli counterparts at the upcoming
FIFA congress which starts on May
28.
But the Palestinians said there had
been no progress at the meeting, adding they would not be deterred from
efforts to have Israel suspended.
It is clear that the Israeli Football
Association is not willing to recognise
the PFA as a federation with equal
rights and obligations, just as they
continue to violate their commitments

Palestinian FA chief Jibril Rajoub speaks in the West Bank. Photo: PFA/Facebook

made before FIFA, Rajoub said in a


statement.
We are therefore determined to
continue our path to suspend the Israeli Football Association during the
next FIFA Congress.
Palestine, which has been a

member of FIFA since 1998, is


currently pressuring world footballs governing body to bar Israel
from international competition over
its restrictions on the movement of
Palestinian players.
It
is
also
protesting
the

participation in the Israeli national


championships of five clubs located
in Jewish settlements in the occupied
West Bank. The clubs play in the third
and fourth divisions.
The Palestinians want the matter put to a vote at the annual FIFA
Congress where it will only pass if it
gets the support of three-quarters of the
209 member federations.
In a statement, the IFA said the
parties discussed various possibilities
for cancelling the Palestinian request to
hold a vote on Israels suspension at the
upcoming congress, with eini saying he
was a little more optimistic after the
talks.
The Israeli football chief praised
Blatters sincere efforts to resolve the
matter, but said they were preparing for
the eventuality of a vote.
I am convinced that it will be
possible to move forward in a more
significant way during Blatters visit
to the region, and it is important that
the dialogue continues, he said in a
statement.
This is an attempt to mix politics
and sport, and there is no place for this
within FIFA, he said.
It is clear to me that most FIFA
members understand very well the
intention behind this Palestinian move
and the destructive impact it would

have on the agency.


FIFA said both associations had
agreed to pursue the dialogue.
Blatter has spoken out against
suspending the Israeli FA.
Such a situation should not come
up at the FIFA Congress because the
suspension of a federation, whatever
the reason may be, is always damaging
to the organisation as a whole, he said
in Cairo last week.
The Palestinians say they are confident of winning support from many
federations within the congress, notably those based in Africa and Asia,
recalling how the Asian Football
Conference banned Israel in the mid1970s.
Israels Football Association, which
was recognised by FIFA in 1929
during the British Mandate, was
admitted to the Asian Football Conference in 1954, but expelled 20 years later
followingpressurefromArabandMuslim
members.
It was admitted to UeFA in 1994.
In related news, the Palestinian
national team will take on Saudi Arabia
in a World Cup qualifier on June 11 at
Faisal husseini stadium in Al-Ram near
Jerusalem, Palestinian officials said.
It is the first time that Saudi
Arabia are coming to play in Palestine,
officials said. AFP