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HEARTBEAT OF THE NATION

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DAILY EDITION

ISSUE 44 | MONDAY, MAY 18, 2015


NEWS 3

PAGE

PHOTO: NAW SAY PHAW WAA

A young boy shouts


in excitement as
Daw Aung San Suu
Kyi gives a speech
in the Mon State
capital Mawlamyine
on May 16. The
National League for
Democracy leader
continued on to
Thanbyuzayat in
southern Mon State
yesterday, where
she was greeted
by hundreds of
residents. The trip is
ostensibly to mark
the 100th anniversary
of the birth of her
father, independence
hero Bogyoke Aung
San, but had all the
appearances of a
party campaign rally.

Govt to probe reports of


shelling Chinese territory
Presidents Office spokesperson
confirms shells hit Chinese territory
but says investigation will focus on
whether the Tatmadaw or Kokang
rebels were responsible.

NEWS 4

Malaysia threatens
emergency ASEAN meet
Myanmars apparent refusal to engage
in talks over thousands of migrants
stuck on boats in the Andaman Sea
prompts ASEAN chair to threaten an
emergency meeting of the bloc.
VIEWS 7

Ethnicity and Nay Pyi Taw


The challenge of reaching a political
settlement between Nay Pyi Taw and
the groups on Myanmars restive
fringes will dominate not just President
U Thein Seins government but
administrations well into the future.

BUSINESS 8

German chamber of
commerce launches
The German Myanmar Business
Chamber joins French and British
chambers in setting up in Yangon, with
backers saying they hope the body can
drive more German investment.

Digicel, Yoma to sell tower JV


Sources have told The Myanmar Times that several initial bids have been made for Myanmar Tower Company, a joint
venture between Digicel and Yoma Strategic that has agreed to build 1250 towers for the Ooredoo networks. BUSINESS 8

2 News

Page 2

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 18, 2015

Kayleigh Long |
kayleighelong@gmail.com

THE INSIDER: (because its on the inside page)

Once was Burma ...


Archival material courtesy of Pansodan Gallery
First floor, 286 Pansodan, upper block, Kyauktada township

Life drawing in the socialist era. Forward magazine, 1970.

Gathering dust
The British Foreign Office has unearthed a
treasure trove of colonial-era government
documents which had, up until this point,
escaped declassification by virtue of the fact
that they were held in a separate storage
facility. It had been reported by The Guardian
in 2013 that the FCO had hoarded hundreds
of thousands of historic documents, in what
was perceived as an attempt to sidestep
declassification and handing over of the files
to the National archives.
During a Commons session in January
of 2015, it was revealed that these other
files existed. How did the FCO find out? It
was the result of an internal management
audit.
We became aware in July last year that
a substantial number of legacy paper files
are held outside the main FCO archive, the
Hansard reads.
Following this file audit we have
identified a number of collections of
records across the FCO which contain
files overdue for review under the Public
Records act. The total number of files in
these record series is just under 170,000.
Unlike records held in the main FCO
archive, a significant proportion of these
files contain copies of original records or
routine management, finance, personnel
and consular records. Some files,
however, are likely to require permanent
preservation.
While the individual documents
are unlikely to get released any time
soon, the FCO has helpfully provided a
manifest stating the number of boxes
theyve turned up, their origin, how
many documents are inside, and very
rough summary about the nature of the
files contents. a number of them are
classified Top Secret and originated in
the Colonial Office, which oversaw the
various outposts of the British Empire.
Intriguingly, one of the documents listed
is a Record of destruction of secret and
top secret papers.
a quick search for Burma turns up
some potentially interesting results.
The box containing documents from
1711 to 1999 is named Confidential print:
France. Heres a rundown of its contents:
Treaties with foreign powers;
Newfoundland fisheries; armistice of
1859; neutrality of Chablais; extradition;
Congress of Rastadt; foreign coins;
monetary conference; spies; Desolation
Island; flag at Donganta; arrest of British
subjects; exhibition of 1889; budget;
medical practice; army; navy; mail ships;
St Paul and amsterdam Islands; horse
breeding; channel tunnel (19th Century);
construction of harbours; salaries of
officials in France; Suez Canal; Indian
emigration to Reunion; commercial

regulations; proposed channel tunnel


and railway; independence of the New
Hebrides; relations between France and
Burma; French establishment in the
Pacific; ship brokerage; France in West
africa; anglo-French agreements; annual
reports; diplomatic reports; leading
personalities; report on French leaflet
campaign; Savarkar arbitration; Waima
collision; case of the Minquier and the
Ecreous - International Courts of Justice
case; Tunisia.
Most of the documents would appear to
be consular files and registers 1948-2014,
as well as some paperwork about pensions
and compensation from British subjects for
war damage in Burma.
and for the World War II fans, there are
three boxes which contain information on
the following: Operations in Burma (19411942); Burma campaign; annual reports;
diplomatic reports; leading personalities
1937 1999. Now we might finally get
to the bottom of what happened to those
damned Spitfires.

I dont apologise
in any way for
the action that
Australia has taken
to preserve safety
at sea by turning
boats around where
necessary. And if
other countries
choose to do that,
frankly, that is
almost certainly
absolutely necessary
if the scourge of
people smuggling is
to be beaten.
Australias inexplicably-still-there
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
demonstrates a thorough understanding of
the crisis unfolding on the andaman Sea

www.mmtimes.com

NEWS EDITOR: Thomas Kean | tdkean@gmail.com

News 3

Govt promises
probe after
shells again
land in China
Strong dissatisfaction in China as Shan State
fighting creeps over the international border

GUY DINMORE

YE MON

INTENSE fighting in the Kokang


region of Shan State has pushed
retreating ethnic Chinese rebels
right up to Myanmars border
with Yunnan province, with artillery fire reported to have wounded several civilians on the Chinese
side of the frontier, according to
official accounts.
Independent sources spoke of
mounting casualties being treated in hospitals in China, raising
concerns as to how Myanmars
giant neighbour will respond to
the conflict and whether the rebel
forces are receiving help from inside China.
U Zaw Htay, director of the
Presidents Office, confirmed official Chinese media reports that
artillery shells had hit Chinese
territory. He told The Myanmar
Times that the government would
investigate whether the fire had
come from Tatmadaw forces or
Kokang insurgents.
The real facts can come out
soon. Once we know the real situation then we will discuss with
China, he said, adding that Myanmars ambassador to Beijing had
been told by the Chinese government to take responsibility for the
incident.
Official Chinese media quoted
a statement from the local authorities in Lincang town close
to the border that five villagers
four Myanmar nationals and one
Chinese had been injured by two
artillery shells on the night of May
14. Two were said to be in a critical condition.
On May 15, Chinese foreign
ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying expressed Chinas strong
dissatisfaction and urged Myanmar to restore stability to the region as soon as possible, according to Chinese state media.
The rebel Myanmar National
Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) said its forces were fighting
close to the border but denied the
artillery fire came from its side.
Fighting between the Tatmadaw and the MNDAA erupted in
the heart of the Kokang region on
February 9, forcing tens of thousands of mostly ethnic Chinese
civilians to flee to safety in China.
In recent weeks the conflict has
focused on hilly ranges close to
the frontier.
The deaths of five Chinese farm
workers in a cross-border strike
by a Myanmar aircraft on March
13 led to a strong warning from
Beijing that China would take
resolute and decisive measures
to protect the safety of its people if such an incident occurred
again. Myanmar formally apologised after a joint investigation
and agreed to pay compensation.
The Tatmadaw was stepping up
attacks and preparing to capture

hill point 2070, the last stronghold of the MNDAA, the official
Global New Light of Myanmar reported on May 16.
It said the army took two prisoners and recovered 24 rebel bodies after days of heavy fighting
including artillery barrages, air
strikes, tanks and close combat
that culminated in the capture of
hill points 2202 and 2017 late last
week. The army suffered some
casualties, the daily said.
An independent Myanmar
source, who asked not to be named
due to the sensitivity of the issue,
said the Chinese military had established a field hospital near the
border which was overflowing
with casualties from Myanmar. He
also said the Tatmadaw believed
that MNDAA fighters were receiving aid inside China and were able
to cross the border with ease, raising questions over how costly it
would be for the armed forces to
hold onto the newly captured hill
posts.
China has repeatedly denied
helping the MNDAA and has
called on Myanmar to hold negotiations with the rebels, whose
militia was formed out of the

The real facts can


come out soon.
Once we know the
real situation the
we will discuss
with China.
U Zaw Htay
Director of the Presidents Office

break-up of the China-backed


Communist Party of Burma in
1989.
China has a huge amount to
gain from the peace process being successful in Myanmar, said
U Thant Myint-U, an adviser to
President U Thein Sein.
There is no reason to think
that they want anything else other
than peace and stability on the
border, he told The Myanmar
Times on the sidelines of an economics summit in Yangon organised by The Economist.
But he conceded that China
was a very opaque system and
it was difficult to assess how different parts of the system may
have different views. Elements in
China had had long relations to
the successors of the Communist
Party of Burma along the border,
he noted.
Asked whether the president
and the military were on the same
page over prosecuting war in Kokang while trying to negotiate a
nationwide ceasefire accord with
Myanmars other more powerful
ethnic armed groups, U Thant
Myint-U replied, As far as I can
tell, there is no conflict.

A factory worker adds her suggestion for how to improve labour rights protections during a May 17 forum. Photo: Zarni Phyo

National Unity Party promises to


take up factory workers cause
NYAN LYNN AUNG
29.nyanlynnaung@gmail.com
THE National Unity Party is trying
hard to woo the factory workers vote.
The party yesterday held a labour
rights forum in Yangons Shwe Pyi
Thar Industrial Zone where members
pledged their solidarity and support
for the workers cause. Politicians
yielded the floor and lent their ear to
union leaders and worker representatives, who used their day off to press
the party on the minimum wage, a
labour protection law and healthcare.
Among the scores of issues and
gripes discussed at the open forum,
one thing was clear: Myanmar workers are demanding better protection of
their rights.
There are so many issues to talk
about with labour rights but the

basic point is that the laws protecting


workers are weak. So, whatever we demand, it wont matter until the laws
are reviewed, said Myanmar Trade
Unions Federation member Ko Naw
Aung, who was among the hundreds
of workers at the discussion.
The representatives managed to
chisel their concerns into 41 points
presented to the party.
The party will report those points
to parliament, issue a statement with
the points and preserve them as party
priorities, said Ma Myo Myo Aye, a
member of the NUP.
Party executive U Han Shwe
pressed the importance of the factory
worker voting bloc.
We sponsored the forum because the labourers have big power
to change the country and build it
up. But the labourers dont know the

extent of their power, he said.


Ma Moe Wai, head of the union at
the Tiri Foot Factory in Hlaing Tharyar
Industrial Zone, said she hopes that the
party will really work to improve the
situation for the workers and not just
make hollow pre-elections promises.
We need a just and fair resolution to labour disputes and all labour
laws, she said. So we want this forum
to result in workers needs really being
represented.
The NUP was established by former members of Ne Wins Burma
Socialist Programme Party after the
latter was dissolved in 1988. It was
the major opponent of the National
League for Democracy in the 1990
election, winning 21.2 percent of the
vote but just 10 seats. In 2010 it won
12 seats in the lower house and five in
the upper house.

4 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 18, 2015

KO LIPE, THAILAND
Chief Executive Officer
Tony Child
tonychild.mcm@gmail.com
Editorial Director U Thiha Saw
editorial.director.mcm@gmail.com
Deputy Chief Operating Officer Tin Moe Aung
tinmoeaung.mcm@gmail.com
EDITORIAL
Editor MTE Thomas Kean
tdkean@gmail.com
Editor MTM Sann Oo
sannoo@gmail.com
Chief of Staff Zaw Win Than
zawwinthan@gmail.com
Editor Special Publications Myo Lwin
myolwin286@gmail.com
Editor-at-Large Douglas Long
dlong125@gmail.com
News Editor MTE Guy Dinmore
guydinmore@gmail.com
Business Editor MTE Jeremy Mullins
jeremymullins7@gmail.com
World Editor MTE Fiona MacGregor,
Kayleigh Long
The Pulse Editor MTE Charlotte Rose
charlottelola.rose@gmail.com
Sport Editor MTE Matt Roebuck
matt.d.roebuck@googlemail.com
Special Publications Editor MTE Wade Guyitt
wadeguyitt@gmail.com
Regional Affairs Correspondent Roger Mitton
rogermitton@gmail.com
Sub-Editors Peter Swarbrick, Laignee Barron
Chief Sub Editor MTM Aye Sapay Phyu
News & Property Editor MTM
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Khin Su Wai, Phyo Wai Kyaw
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A boat off southern Thailand carrying Rohingya people from Myanmar is towed back toward Malaysian waters by a Thai Navy vessel on May 16. Photo: Fiona MacGregor

Maritime ping-pong
continues off Thai island
FIONA
MACGREGOR
fionamacgregor@hotmail.co.uk

THAILAND pushed back to sea for the


second time a boat carrying hundreds
of people from Myanmar on May 16,
as international pressure continued
to grow on ASEAN countries to save
thousands of refugees and migrants
adrift in the ocean.
Malaysian maritime authority or
military vessels could be seen close to
where Thailand let the boat go in the
waters between the Thai island of Ko
Lipe and Malaysias Langkawi. A Thai
Navy official told reporters the boat
was later intercepted by Malaysian
authorities.
The move was the latest in a growing humanitarian and diplomatic
crisis that has left an estimated 8000
refugees and migrants stuck at sea in
dire conditions. Many were thought to
be bound for Thailand, but a government crackdown has closed many of
the trafficking camps on the border
with Malaysia, and other countries in
the region are turning them away.
When The Myanmar Times
reached the vessel on May 16, people
were crammed onto an open deck in

Head Office: 379/383 Bo Aung Kyaw Street,


Kyauktada Township, Yangon, Myanmar.
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If they want to land


in Thailand they have
to accept our law,
which means they
will face charges.
Lt Cmd Weerapong Nakpradit
Royal Thai Navy

Storms overnight only added to


the misery of those on board, most of
whom are living out in the open.
Passengers on the boat told reporters on May 14 that they had been at
sea for three months, and that the
boats captain and crew abandoned
them six days earlier. Ten people died

during the voyage, and their bodies


were thrown overboard, the passengers said.
The boat has been drifting between
Malaysian and Thai waters for several
days. It was intercepted by the Thai
Navy on the afternoon of May 14 and
towed out to sea. It then drifted into
Malaysian waters between Ko Lipe
and Langkawi on the night of May 15,
according to Lieutenant Commander
Weerapong Nakpradit of the Thai Navy.
But by 12.30pm on May 16, when
The Myanmar Times saw the boat, it
had re-entered Thai waters and was
being towed back to sea by the Thai
Navy.
After the Navy let it go, the boat
then turned toward Malaysia, where
two ships apparently belonging to
Malaysian maritime authorities were
waiting.
Thai authorities have said that they
will allow those on board the vessel
to enter Thailand, but they will be
charged under the countrys immigration laws.
If they want to land in Thailand
they have to accept our law which
means they will face [immigration]
charges, but at least they will receive
assistance, Lt Cmd Weerapong said.
We will say to the Rohingya,
What do you want? If you want to
go to Thailand you are welcome. It
will mean humanitarian [assistance],

food, water and medication.


According to Thai Navy officers who towed the boat back out
to sea, some of those on board had
wanted to land in Thailand, despite
the threat of criminal charges, but
had been persuaded not to by others on board who were determined
to continue to Malaysia. It is unclear
whether there are still traffickers on
board the vessel.
The first day they all wanted to
go to Malaysia. Today some of them
wanted to go to Thailand, but [some
men] on board forced them to [try to]
get to Malaysia, said one Thai officer,
who declined to be named.
The officer said they had provided
those on board with food and water, and fixed the boats engine for a
second time. It had previously been
mended on May 14, when the passengers were also given food and water.
Another of the Navy crew said yesterday that none of the passengers was
seriously ill or injured, but they were
sleep deprived and hungry.
However, their future remains perilous. It is unclear what authorities
intend to do with the boat beyond
pushing it back and forth between Malaysia and Thailand. The International
Organization for Migration has condemned the regions governments for
risking lives in a game of maritime
ping-pong.

Myanmar hits back at international pressure


GUY DINMORE
guydinmore@gmail.com

Myanmar Consolidated Media Ltd.


www.mmtimes.com

the midday sun, huddled together.


Women and children were crying,
while others made pleading gestures
with their arms. The green and red
fishing boat was flying a flag proclaiming the passengers are Myanmar Rohingya.
The boat was still adrift between
the two countries yesterday morning
and had re-entered Thai waters, according to naval authorities.

A SENIOR Myanmar official has lashed


out at growing international pressure
over the nations refusal to engage in
talks about the boats floundering in
the Andaman Sea while Malaysia yesterday threatened to call an emergency
ASEAN meeting to break the deadlock.
In a hard-line statement, director of
the Presidents Office U Zaw Htay accused Thailand and Malaysia of trying
to shift the blame for a problem that
has its root in human traffickers and
corrupt officials exploiting migrant
workers.
The statement on May 15 came as

Western diplomats and other envoys


worked at persuading Myanmar to acknowledge the exodus of stateless Rohingya Muslims from its territory and
join a region-wide effort to deal with the
crisis.
Myanmar has not formally responded to international calls for dialogue
on the issue, including Thailands invitation to attend an urgent meeting of
involved countries on May 29. Bangkok
says it wants to find a solution to an
unprecedented increase of irregular
migration, including its root causes
in countries of origin a reference
mainly to Myanmar and Bangladesh.
The US says it will send a senior delegation to the meeting, and its

ambassador in Yangon is among the


foreign envoys lobbying Myanmar to
attend.
Last night, Malaysias foreign minister threatened to call an emergency
meeting of the ASEAN, which his country is chairing this year, if Myanmar refuses to participate in talks.
If necessary, we will call for an
emergency [ASEAN] meeting, Foreign
Minister Anifah Aman told the staterun Bernama news agency.
Mr Anifah said Malaysia hopes Myanmar can sit together to find a solution before it is brought to the international level.
U Zaw Htay made it clear that Myanmar would not accept being singled

out for blame. Writing on Facebook, he


said corrupt officials in Thailand and
Malaysia were taking money from human trafficking gangs and hiding their
guilt by making Myanmar appear responsible for an exodus that originated
primarily in Bangladesh.
As countries in ASEAN region, they
need to deal with their own weaknesses
and problems boldly. Their guilt wont
disappear if they just put the blame on
Myanmar, U Zaw Htay wrote.
Associated Press quoted him as saying separately that Myanmar would not
attend the special meeting if Rohingya was mentioned on the invitation.
The government officially refers to the
group as Bengalis.

6 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 18, 2015

President
to hold
regular
meet with
parties

IN BRIEF
3MDG to fund construction of 100
health centres in remote areas

EI EI TOE LWIN
eieitoelwin@gmail.com
PARTY leaders insist they are not
excited about the invitation to meet
President U Thein Sein this afternoon
in the Yangon Region parliament
building. Nor are they making any
special preparations for the meeting,
not least because there is no agenda.
The most likely topic of discussion appears to be maintaining a
stable political environment both
before and after next Novembers
election, they say.
Presidents Office director U Zaw
Htay described the meeting, which
will take place at 4pm today, as regular, as opposed to the sporadic sixparty talks which might, or might not,
hold the key to the countrys constitutional problems.
It is a regular meeting. The president often meets with party representatives to discuss the state of the
country, said U Zaw Htay.
Another issue is likely to be the
peace process and the political dialogue associated with it. The president
also wants to hear about any difficulties parties are having that he could
help to resolve through the various
government ministries, said U Zaw
Htay.
This is nothing special. We dont
know what will be discussed, other
than the current political situation.
We havent drawn up any specific
plans for the meeting, said U Nyan
Win, spokesperson for the National
League for Democracy.
The chair of the Karen National
Party, U Saw Tun Aung Myint, said
he had received a summons over the
phone, but had not yet received a written invitation. I dont know what topics will come up, he said.
But U Zo Zam, chair of the Chin
National Party, wants to take advantage of the unstructured nature of
the meeting to bring up last years
census.
The results will be published on
May 29. We are concerned whether or
not new types of ethnic minorities are
going to be announced, he said. That
would be a very controversial issue. Increasing the number of ethnic groups
could cause disunity among existing
groups.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi speaks at a National League for Democracy event in Thanbyuzayat, southern Mon State,
yesterday. Photo: Naw Say Phaw Waa

NLD chief woos voters


in unofficial campaign
NAW SAY
PHAW WAA
nawsayphawwaa@gmail.com

DAW Aung San Suu Kyi has urged


voters to consider the background of political parties when
deciding who to vote for in this
years election, scheduled for
November.
Speaking in the Mon State capital Mawlamyine on May 16, she
also told members of the audience
to vote for the National League for
Democracy if they like her.
People should analyse the history of the political parties. We are
not afraid for them to do the same
to us. We dont say that we dont
have any weaknesses, but we try
to repair them as much as we can,
she said.
The NLD leader was touring
Mon State to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of her father,

independence hero Bogyoke Aung


San.
In Mawlamyine she spoke at a
school sports centre, while yesterday she travelled to Thanbyuzayat,
to the south of the state, and gave a
talk in front of the Allied war cemetery run by the Commonwealth
War Graves Commission.
At each of the events she answered seven questions from residents after concluding her speech.
Asked if her party would participate in the election, Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi said she would decide
after taking into the consideration the desire and needs of the
people.
We have one simple belief. We
should never break the promises
that we have made to the people. I
dont want to say too many things.
If I do and I cant fulfil it later, I
will be breaking my promise to the
people, she said.
Questioned on the six-way talks
between herself and other key political leaders, including President
U Thein Sein and Commander-in-

Chief Senior General Min Aung


Hlaing, she said all participants
had agreed on the need for regular
meetings to ensure stability after
the election.
We need to holds more talks
regularly if we want our country to
be stable and peaceful.
While official campaigning for
the election has not yet begun
election rules permit events only
within 60 days of the vote the
events resembled party rallies.
However, turnout was significantly lower than when she toured
the country prior to the 2012 byelections. Some said this was because her visit had not been widely
promoted.
Its not yet campaign time for
the election so most people dont
know about her trip, Daw Kyaw
Way from Ye township, said after
yesterdays event in Thanbyuzayat.
Im sure that if she comes on an
official campaign trip there will be
lots of people the crowd is still in
the thousands here today.
Translation by Emoon

Parties ordered to avoid personal attacks


LUN MIN MANG
lunmin.lm@gmail.com
POLITICAL party members and officials of the Union Election Commission have jointly completed a code of
conduct (COC) for parties during the
coming electoral campaign. Meeting
separately in Yangon on May 14 and
15, UEC members also introduced
and demonstrated voting procedures
to civil society organisations and political parties.
U Aung Than Tint, chair of the
Bamar Peoples Party (BPP), said the
use of religious premises for campaigning was allowed under the new
code. The use of religious buildings
for campaigning is not the same as
the use of religion for political purposes, which is prohibited, he said.
The code of conduct stipulates
that all campaign posters must be
the same size, regardless of numbers.
I wish the numbers of posters were
limited, so as to be free and fair, said

U Aung Than Tint.


Campaigners will also not be allowed to attack rivals on personal
issues, said commission member
U Win Ko. Personal affairs should
not be used, but a candidates performance or past conduct can be the
subject of campaigning, he said.
U Aung Than Tint said rival campaigns should be able to highlight
not only the history or background
but the current performance of
candidates.
Compliance with the code of
conduct is not compulsory. But if a
party fails to comply with the code,
the party will be publicly criticised
and the image of the party could be
harmed as a result, he said.
During the demonstration of voting, the UEC used the first-past-thepost voting system for the Amyotha
Hluttaw, though parliament has not
yet ruled out the use of proportional
representation in the upper house.
Commission member U Win Ko,

however, said it would not be possible to use PR in the coming election.


Although the Amyotha Hluttaw
has not yet decided [whether to use
it], I think there is not enough time
to explain the complexities of PR to
the voters, he said.

Personal affairs
should not be used,
but a candidates
peformance or
past conduct can
be the subject of
campaigning.
U Win Ko
Union Election Commission

Commission member U Win Kyi


also explained the current status of
nationwide voter registration, and
urged the parties to help improve
public participation.
The Yangon Region chair of the
election sub-commission, U Ko Ko,
said the first display of provisional
voters lists on March 30 provoked
little response from voters. We need
more cooperation from the CSOs and
political parties. According to our records, only about 30,000 people [of
more than 200,000 listed] checked
their names during the first display
in 10 townships in Yangon.
Further displays of the provisional
voters lists will be held throughout the
country on May 25, June 8 and June
22 before the final display. On May 25,
voters names will be displayed in 14
townships in Yangon Region and the
south and north districts of Nay Pyi
Taw. The UEC says voter registration
will be completed in August, at least
two months ahead of the election.

Healthcare provision in 100 remote villages is to be improved thanks to new


facilities to be provided by the Three
Millennium Development Goal Fund
(3MDG). Dr Paul Sender, fund director
of 3MDG, said the goal was to improve
services to poor and vulnerable rural
residents.
The 100 sub-rural health centres
will be built, by the end of 2016, in Magwe, Sagaing and Ayeyarwady regions
and Chin, Kayah and Shan states, at an
estimated cost of US$15 million.
The villages that we selected are
very remote, and the villagers face
great difficulty in accessing healthcare.
We hope these facilities will improve
the health of mothers and children, Dr
Sender said.
Dr Yin Thandar Lwin, deputy director
of the Department of Public Health,
said 3MDG will fund the construction,
and the ministry will provide the medicines and the staff for the centres.
A ground-breaking ceremony for the
sub-rural health centre in Seikphyu
township, Magwe Region, was held on
May 14, led by Dr Yin Thandar Lwin.
3MDG is a multi-donor fund that
supports the provision of health services, with the three goals of reducing
child mortality, improving maternal
health, and combating HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. Myint Kay Thi

State insurer pays out over


Russian trawler sinking

The families of 12 of the Myanmar


seamen who died in the sinking of the
Russian trawler Dalniy Vostok in the
freezing Okhotsk Sea last month will
receive compensation today. State-run
Myanma Insurance says it will pay out
a total of K5 million to each family at
its offices.
There were 42 Myanmar seamen
aboard the vessel when it sank on April
2, of whom 22 were saved. Rescuers
recovered 16 bodies, and four were
never found.
U Aye Min Thein, managing director of Myanma Insurance, said that it
would not pay out for all the deaths.
Though 16 Myanmar seamen died
in the sinking, we will give compensation only for 12 seamen because four of
the known deceased were not insured,
he said, adding that families received
K5 million each.
Two of the four missing were also
insured, but families would have to wait
two years for the payout, he said.
We have had experience of people
returning alive after four or five years,
after the insurance money has already
been spent. We took no action, but
in this case, we will have to wait two
years. Shwegu Thitsar, translation
by Thiri Min Htun

Chin parties to draw electoral plan

Ethnic Chin parties have agreed to


work together to give both the ruling
Union Solidarity and Development
Party and the opposition National
League for Democracy a run for their
money in Chin State. Following a twoday meeting in Yangon, eight Chin parties agreed on steps toward electoral
cooperation that should improve their
chances of victory in November.
At the meeting in Yangon on May 16,
48 representatives of the eight parties
agreed to form a strategy committee.
The two-day meeting was agreed by
the parties at their first meeting last
March. At their next scheduled meeting, in July, the newly formed committee will report on progress and discuss
further details of the strategy.
Working together will help our parties policies reach local voters, said U
Ngai Serk, head of the Chin League for
Democracy.
The Chin parties are also urging the
government and ethnic armed groups
to sign the nationwide ceasefire agreement not later than June, and to start
political dialogue before the election.
However, the Chin parties do not
want the election postponed to accommodate the political dialogue.
Lun Min Mang

News 7

www.mmtimes.com

Views

Ethnic politics from the capital


NICHOLAS
FARRELLY
nicholas.farrelly@glenlochadvisory.com

HEN you have 135 official ethnic, or national race, categories, its
hardly surprising that
ethnic politics take up
a great deal of space. Consider what
happens in grandiose Nay Pyi Taw.
On the northern outskirts of the
city the National Landmark Garden
is a distillation of all that is good and
glorious. It is a mini-version of Myanmar, with selected sights and spectacles packed into the sprawling site.
On foot or in a motorised buggy, it is
possible to venture from Tanintharyi
to Putao, and almost everywhere in
between.
The presentation of Myanmar society is predictable enough. There
are stupas and mountains, palaces
and forts. And across the length and
breadth there are hints of ethnic flavor
and diversity. Energetic tourists can
even dress in their favourite minority
costumes for photo-shoots. While that
might seem patronising in the eyes of
outsiders, it has clear appeal in a place
where ethnic uniforms are standard.
On the other side of town, the
hluttaw, or parliamentary, compound
showcases another side of ethnic diversity. The ceremonial foyer of the
upper house (Amyotha Hluttaw),
which is where national (Amyotha)
rather than peoples (Pyithu) representatives take their seats, has a
display of mannequins to showcase
Myanmars ethnic dimensions. The
life-sized dolls are neatly adorned
with all the recognisable outfits.
When flesh-and-blood representatives of minority groups attend the
hluttaw, they always wear their distinctive clothes. Instead of boring
business suits, the average ethnic MP
takes the floor of parliament each day
wearing eye-catching fabric and a distinctive headdress.
They are marked out from the
crowd of USDP members, who make
for a much less colourful scrum. For
ethnic politicians the distinction
of their clothes says a lot about the
countrys history.
The basic point is that since independence in 1948 most of Myanmars
minorities have spent at least some
period in open warfare with the central government. They have fought
for the chance to represent their
own interests, even to run their own
shows. For some groups, particularly
among the Kayin, Shan and Kachin,
that conflict has almost never ended.

J Yaw Wu, an ethnic Lisu representative from Kachin State in Myanmars Amyotha Hluttaw, or upper house, puts on his parliamentary outfit. Photo: Christopher Davy

When ceasefires are agreed they tend


to signal merely a pause in hostilities.
There is no escaping the fact that
ethnic politics in Myanmar are the
hardest politics. The government
of President U Thein Sein has, unsurprisingly, found it difficult to get
new policies in place. Achieving sustainable accommodations that mean
minority rebels are content to live

Ethnic leaders know


the great personal
and social cost of
conflict, but also
appreciate that many
of their people still
yearn for greater
independence.

peacefully in Myanmar has remained


the over-riding challenge.
In the ranks of the Tatmadaw there
is also wariness. The army has long
fought against internal opponents
and still accuses some of seeking to
destroy the sacred unity of the country. The fighting these recent months
in Kokang reinforces a siege mentality. That Facebook is now awash with
supportive messages for the armys
Northeastern Command is another
sign of the times.
Such messages suggest that the
Tatmadaw has become savvy to the
value of visible popular support.
While few visitors to Nay Pyi Taw ever
make it out to the Defence Services
Museum, which happens to be next
door to the National Landmark Garden, there is a growing pride in some
quarters of Myanmar society that the
army keeps national disintegration at
bay.
Of course, ethnic leaders, including some who take their seats in the
Hluttaw, heavily contest such a view.
They know the great personal and

social cost of conflict, but also appreciate that many of their people still
yearn for greater independence, even
if they remain in a federal union.
What this means is that todays
ethnic politics point to problems not
just for the current government, but
also for any that follow. It was General Aung San who recognised the
need for including minorities in the
formation of the independent nation.
It is his successors who now have the
responsibility for making it work.
For now, far from the pomp and
ceremony of Nay Pyi Taw, one of the
first areas requiring attention is the
demilitarisation in ethnic areas. In
places where ethnic minorities live in
large numbers, the forward deployments of the Tatmadaw are an obvious grievance.
Even when troops are well behaved
and effectively disciplined, which isnt
always the case, they remain a concern. Nobody really likes living down
the street, or over the ridge, from
heavily armed men whose primary
purpose is to stamp out dissent.

There is, all the same, a need to


get the balance right between majority interests and the stakes claimed
by minorities. This is sometimes
framed as an economic question, but
of course it has other dimensions
too. There are issues of language use,
access to education and the maintenance of human rights.
Given the history of political violence in Myanmar, and the prospect
of its continuation, the story of minorities will also need to be told in
new ways. For this mission, sites
like the National Landmark Garden
will prove increasingly important. If
Myanmars fragile peace agreements
are ever to become permanent then
all the countrys people will need to
know more about this history, warts
and all.
Nicholas Farrelly is director of the
Australian National Universitys Myanmar
Research Centre. He is also the coconvenor of the ANU Myanmar Update
Conference to be held in Canberra on
June 5 to 6.

EDITORIAL

International loans demand sound state management


ONE of the most visible and tangible
outcomes of the reforms launched
by Myanmars quasi-civilian government is the re-engagement of multilateral lenders, including the Asian
Development Bank.
Myanmar joined the ADB in 1973
as a member and the Manila-based
development institution started
operations here shortly after. However, Myanmar stopped repaying its
loans in 1987, a year before the military crackdown on the pro-democracy movement. Over the years the

interest accrued on the loans, but


Myanmar refused or was unable to
clear its debts. Engagement between
the government and ADB was minimal.
But U Thein Seins government
realised that it needed support from
multilateral lenders to achieve its
economic ambitions. It sought to repay its old debts to access new loans.
As a result, the ADB in 2012 announced plans for US$1.8 billion in
loans, grants and aid to 2016. Some
of this funding has already arrived

and is being spent on the ground.


The influx of loans and grants
from international financial institutions like the ADB and the World
Bank, along with inflows of foreign
direct investment, are important indications of the international communitys confidence in the democratic
reforms taking place inside Myanmar.
In this particular case of ADBs
commitment, the plan is to promote
reforms in state-owned enterprises,
to support public-private partnerships, to develop the financial sectors,

and to strengthen the legal and regulatory business environment. The


plan also focuses to some extent on
rural development.
All of this assistance is needed.
The problem is when one considers
who will manage and implement the
projects.
The ADB itself may have a few
experts in Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon overseeing the implementation
of projects, but the task of making things happen in a proper
and transparent way lies with the

Myanmar officials.
A loan is a loan. It has to be repaid. Sometimes the interest rate
may be as low less than 1 percent,
if its on concessionary terms but
the burden of paying back the loan
and any interest lies squarely on the
people of Myanmar.
It is only natural that the public
demands for transparency and efficient management of such loans.
The ball is now in the governments
court to prove they are up to the
task.

8 THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 18, 2015

Business
Coal provokes debate
AUNG SHIN
koshumgtha@gmail.com
THE concerns of civil society must
be taken into account and strong
technology must be used if the negative effects of coal-fired power generation are to be minimised, according
to experts.
The future use of coal power has
been opposed by some local residents
and civil society groups, who are concerned about possible environmental
and social affects. Earlier this month,
senior officials from the Ministry of
Electric Power told The Myanmar
Times they plan to move forward on
several coal-fired projects, claiming
they are necessary to improve the poor
domestic electrification rates.
Local and international experts are
split on the issue, with some claiming
coal is exceptionally environmentally
unfriendly and should be stopped, and
others saying it is necessary to move
forward with the dozen or so projects
for which Myanmar has signed memorandums of understanding since 2010.
Speaking at a Yangon summit hosted by The Economist on May 15, Asian
Development Bank vice president
Stephen Groff said there is a place for
coal generation in Asias future energy
supply.
There are good and bad technologies when it comes to coal, but there
are energy poverties that need to be
addressed, so using some coal is unavoidable, he said.
We need to make sure the latest

technology is available in order to


minimise [any] negative impact.
Not everyone said they agreed with
Mr Groffs assessment. U Win Myo
Thu, co-founder and managing director of Ecodev, said at the summit that
there are a range of groups in opposition to the fuel.
Today, coal power is a great concern internationally as the world is
looking at to reduce carbon emissions [which cause] climate change,
he said.
I think international institutions
advising the government such ADB
should help deliver this concern.
Mr Groff said the ADB is focusing
on improving the transmission and
distribution system, as power loss is
as high as 25 percent. The institution
has worked on two transmission projects in Myanmar as well as an off-grid
renewable plan with the Ministry of
Electric Power, he said.
There is always set to be a balance
between energy poverty and potential
negative impacts. We need to make
sure we take these concerns into account when designing projects to minimise negative impacts, he said.
Ken Tun, chief executive officer of
local firm Parami Energy, said that
many of these infrastructure projects
also do not allow a large portion for a
local owner. Myanmar firms may own
less than 5pc of the total new investment in the local energy sector.
Whatever projects are implemented, the question is what is the net benefit for Myanmar, he said.

IN PICTURES

Speakers converse on stage at The Economists Myanmar


Summit 2015 on May 15: from left to right, Information
Minister U Ye Htut, moderator Richard Cockett, presidential
economic adviser U Aung Tun Thet, Daw Aung San Suu Kyis
senior legal adviser Robert San Pe, and First Private Bank
chair U Sein Maung. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

Myanmar Tower Co in
talks for firms sale
CLARE
HAMMOND
clarehammo@gmail.com

MYANMAR
Tower
Company
(MTC), which is owned by Digical Asian Holdings, a joint venture between Digicel Group and
YSH Finance, has been put up for
sale, including all its contracts and
sites, according to several market
sources.
Several companies have made
an initial bid and are now carrying out the due diligence process
on MTC, according to a source at
one of the companies, who did not
want to be named as the matter is
sensitive.
MTC and Yoma Strategic both
declined to comment.
Digicel Group first came to Myanmar with a view to securing one
of two international telecommunications licences tendered by the
government, which were eventually won by Norways Telenor and
Qatars Ooredoo.
Digicel Asian Holdings comprised Digicel Group, George Soross Quantum Strategic Partners
and YSH Finance, according to
company statements at the time.
YSH Finance comprises Yoma Strategic Holdings and First Myanmar
Investment Company, both chaired
by prominent local businessperson

Serge Pun.
After Ooredoo and Telenor won
the licences, Digicel and YSH restructured Digicel Asian Holdings
and formed a subsidiary called
Myanmar Tower Company, which
signed an agreement in 2013 with
Ooredoo to develop, construct and
lease 1250 telecommunications
towers. Unlike other towers companies such as Irrawaddy Green
Towers, MTC did not provide power to Ooredoo.

TOWERS

1250
Number of sites Myanmar Tower
Company agreed to construct for
Ooredoo in 2013

In May 2014, Yoma increased


its stake in MTC from 8 percent to
25pc.
Ooredoo launched its services
in August 2014 in Yangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw and surrounding
area. Senior company officials said
at the time that they wish they had
more towers to provide coverage
particularly in Yangon, though a

tricky approvals process and impact from the rainy season slowed
down the construction. Besides
MTC, Ooredoo had an agreement
with Pan Asia Towers to build its
sites.
Myanmars land-use law has
posed challenges for the companies building telecoms towers. For
example, the law specifies more
than 10 types of land and also often requires that projects receive
approval from more than one ministry or department.
In December last year, the
Asian Development Bank (ADB)
approved a loan of up to $100 million to Yoma Strategic to improve
infrastructure connectivity. It was
not clear how much of this loan
would have been used to build telecommunication towers.
Digicel Group Limited is an international
telecommunications
provider with operations in 31
markets in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific. It
is owned by Irish businessperson
Denis OBrien, and has been in operation for 13 years.
Mr OBriens businesses also
own Myanmar electronic payments company Red Dot Network,
as well as a major shareholder of
MyJobs, one of Myanmars main
recruitment companies.
Earlier this month, Mr OBrien
and his business partner Leslie
Buckley sold their China recruitment business ChinaHR.com to
online classifieds company 58.com.

German chamber
comes to town
JEREMY MULLINS
jeremymullins7@gmail.com
THE German Myanmar Business
Chamber launched last week, becoming the first membership organisation in the country specifically
for German businesses and their local counterparts.
It joins the already-established
British and French chambers in
representing business from the 28
European Union member nations.
A separate European Chamber was
also launched last year, and is being
set up by a consortium led by the
French chamber.
German Chamber executive director Monika Staerk said that while
German investment is relatively low
in Myanmar, it has been expanding
rapidly over the past few years.
German companies are not the
first companies to invest, but I think
their investment is extremely valuable, she said.
Germans are renowned for their
patient capital. Once they invest,
they dont expect a quick return.
Germany is the fourth-largest
economy and third-largest exporter
in the world. Largely manufacturer-driven, its exports to Myanmar
reached 130 million euros (US$148
million) in 2014. Its imports from Myanmar were largely textiles last year,
and amounted to US$100 million.
The German Myanmar Business
Chamber launched on May 14. There
are currently about 40 registered
German companies in Myanmar, of
which 30 have joined the chamber
and more expect to join shortly. It
is also open to German companies

conducting business from regional or


international offices, as well as local
companies doing business with German counterparts.
German Myanmar Business Chamber president Jens Knoke, who is also
the general manager of Henkel Myanmar, said Germany has a strong
manufacturing and industrial base to
its economy, meaning German companies are well-placed to locate in Myanmar and support domestic business
and suppliers through equipment and
know-how.
Ms Staerk said she has fielded
a number of enquiries from firms
looking to source from Myanmar.
They say, We know we need to
develop our suppliers. We are well
aware the industrial base is not yet
that mature to supply European
markets. We have been there before.
20 years back we did the same thing
in China.
The European Union is also negotiating an investment protection
agreement with Myanmar.
Laura Ahrens, head of the economic and commercial section at the
German embassy, said that the next
round of negotiations are set for Myanmar in about a week.
The EU will negotiate on behalf
of the 28 member countries. A deal
would provide a certain amount of
legal protection for the two bodies
bilateral investments.
I think its a very important process, it cannot be underestimated,
said Ms Ahrens. Germany has investment protection agreements
with nearly every country in the
world except Myanmar and a couple
of others.

BUSINESS EDITOR: Jeremy Mullins | jeremymullins7@gmail.com

Obama renews authority


to maintain remaining US
sanctions

Indias Modi signs


$22 billion in deals
with China

BUSINESS 10

BUSINESS 13

Exchange Rates (May 17 close)


Currency

Buying

Euro
Malaysia Ringitt
Singapore Dollar
Thai Baht
US Dollar

K1233
K302
K809
K33
K1087

Selling
K1245
K315
K822
K35
K1090

ADB signs
agreement to assist
private projects
AYE THIDAR KYAW
ayethidarkyaw@gmail.com
THE Asian Development Bank has
signed an agreement with the government that will allow the bank
to provide loans, investment, guarantees and trade finance directly to
private firms and projects.
The bank aims to support Myanmar projects in areas such as connectivity, electricity distribution and
trade finance, according to officials
at a May 15 ceremony held at Yangons Sule Shangri-La.
The ADB can provide financial
or technical assistance to connectivity or energy projects in the private
sector, from now on, said deputy
finance minister Dr Maung Maung
Thein.
He added that international institutions need the guarantees the
agreement provides to begin lending

to the domestic private sector.


ADB vice president Stephen Groff
said at the ceremony that there are
a number of areas requiring investment in the country.
The role of private sector investment in meeting infrastructure financing requirements and providing
important expertise and technology
is critical, he said.
The ADB said it expects to approve up to US$1 billion in nonsoverign investment until 2016, in a
number of areas including logistics,
power, telecoms, urban development
and the financial sector.
It has already disbursed some
funds for domestic private-sector
development such as providing
$100 million in loans for infrastructure to Yoma Strategic Holdings
in December last year. Yoma is a
Singapore-listed, Myanmar-focused
company.

A man walks through Pazundaung station yesterday. Photo: Aung Khant

First rail station to be


redeveloped this year
AYE
NYEIN
WIN
ayenyeinwin.mcm@gmail.com

Deputy finance minister Dr Maung Maung Thein (left) speaks, while ADB vice
president Stephen Groff looks on. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

IN BRIEF
Korea week to boost trade links

South Korea will hold a series of events


from May 21 to 26 to promote trade
and investment with Myanmar.
Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency managing director Ahn
Jae-yong said some Korean companies may be hesitating, waiting to see
the local political situation unfold, but
many are convinced it is the right time
to invest in Myanmar.
The week aims to mark the 40th
anniversary of Korea-Myanmar
diplomatic relations. Trade has grown
significantly between the two countries, reaching US$10 million in 1975
and growing to $1.38 billion last year.
The trade balance currently favours
Korea, with Myanmars imports at
about $800 million and exports to
Korea at about $500 million.
Ahn Jae-yong said garments are
likely the main source for Korean
investment in Myanmar. Su Phyo Win

SEAOP hands out phones

South East Asia Oil Pipeline (SEAOP)


aimed to better relations with the
residents of Made Island by handing
out mobile phones.
The island is the landing point for
the SEAOP pipeline, which stretches
across Myanmar to southern China.

A soft opening for the pipeline was


held in January, with both China and
Myanmar investing in the US$2.45
billion, 771-kilometre (481-mile)
pipeline. It offers the ability for Middle
East-produced oil to be shipped across
Myanmar by pipeline rather than
reaching China through the crowded
Malacca Strait near Singapore. The
company has installed a telecommunications tower and handed out about
350 phones and SIM cards, according
to a press release. Aung Shin

Food and hotel exhibition coming

The second Food and Hotel Myanmar


2015 exhibition will take place from
June 3 to 5 at Yangons Myanmar Event
Park, according to officials.
U Yan Win, chair of the Myanmar
Tourism Federation, said technology
and know-how from international food
and hotel companies will be on display,
which could assist with developing the
domestic tourism standard.
Organised by Bangkok Exhibition
Services, the show aims to include 250
exhibitors from 20 countries.
Myanmar people can learn about
food supplies and technology ... without
travelling to foreign countries, said
Daw Win Win Kyi, chair of Food Science
and Technology Association. Ei Ei Thu

THE tender for the redevelopment


of Pazundaung railway station in
Yangon will close this coming July,
according to general manager U
Htun Aung Thin from Myanma
Railways, of the Ministry of Rail
Transportation.
The station will be the first of
many to be upgraded as part of a
large-scale plan to modernise Yangons circular railway, which could
cost up to US$2 billion for the track
alone.
The Pazundaung railway station
is located on a 2-acre site on upper
Pazundaung Road, in the eastern
district of Yangon region.

The site is divided into two yards.


In yard 1 is a commodities warehouse, which was built before the
Second World War. This will not be
demolished, but will be used as an
office, or turned into a museum.
Railway staff currently occupy
yard 2. There are also 34 shops on
the site, but their leases expired in
May 2014, and will not be renewed.
In their place, the tender winner will be licenced to build car
parks, offices and other multi-storey buildings.
The open tender to redevelop the
site was called on April 27 and will
close on July 27. We called a direct
tender for this development project,
and 10 companies have bought the
form so far. We will favour local
companies and we will start the project within this year, said U Htun
Aung Thin.
The developer must build a railway station and office tower including

car parking space in yard 1, as well as


multi-storey buildings to resettle the
railway staff.
For this, we will use a 50-year
Build, Operate and Transfer [BOT]
contract, with two options to extend
it by 10 years to a total of 70 years. It
will be open to local citizens and foreign companies, under the foreign
investment law, said U Htun Thin.
The first phase of the Yangon
circular railway line upgrade will
cover half of the track, from Dayin
Gone station in northwest Yangon,
through southern Yangon, to Pazundaung station in the southeast.
The project is overseen by the
Ministry of Rail Transportation and
the Japan International Cooperation
Agency (JICA), which has already
agreed to partly fund the project.
Yangons circular railway is 46
kilometres long and connects 39 stations. The train takes three hours to
finish a complete circuit.

Value Chains for Rural Development

Call for Applications: Innovative Grants Fund


The Value Chains for Rural Development Project invites qualified producer groups, for profit businesses, non-governmental
organizations, community based organizations, and non-profits to propose initiatives under one or more of the Projects
broad objectives:
1) to improve agricultural productivity of smallholder producers;
2) to strengthen value chains;
3) to enhance private sector engagement
Grants will fund initiatives that support value chains found within Southern Shan and the Dry Zone. This competition
is open for one year (May 18, 2015 May 17, 2016) for grants up to 300,000,000 Myanmar kyat (approximately
$300,000) to be implemented over a 6-18 month period. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. The deadline for
applications to be considered under the first review round is June 30, 2015. Grants are available in the following award
amounts:
Small Grants:
Up to 50,000,000 MMK
Medium Grants: 50,000,000 MMK 150,000,000 MMK
Large Grants:
150,000,000 MMK 300,000,000 MMK
Solicitation workshops will be held on the following dates/venues:
May 20, 2015 at 10:00 12:00 Yangon at Sedona Hotel
May 22, 2015 at 10:00 12:00 Taunggyi at Winrock Internationals Taunggyi Office
Held in the Myanmar language, the workshops will provide an opportunity for potential applicants to ask questions and
better understand the application process and grant parameters. Interested applicants are encouraged to confirm their
attendance via email to VCRD.Myanmar@winrock.org prior to each workshop.
The full Annual Program Statement and application materials can be downloaded on Winrocks website at:
http://www.winrock.org/news.

10 Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 18, 2015

Obama renews authority to maintain sanctions


CLARE HAMMOND
clarehammo@gmail.com
US President Barack Obama has
renewed his authority to maintain
sanctions on Myanmar for another
year, as international alarm increases
over the Rohingya-Bengali migrant
crisis, according to US media.
Media reported that the White
House notified Congress of the renewal on May 15 five days before
the existing authority was due to
finish. Reportedly, the decision was
made as concerns remain over conflict and humans rights abuses, particularly in ethnic minority areas
and Rakhine State.
When Mr Obama extended sanctions against Myanmar through the
National Emergencies Act last year,
he cited ongoing conflict and human
rights abuses in ethnic areas, as well
as the continued role of the military in
the countrys political and economic
activities, as reasons for the decision.
His decision to renew sanctions
comes at a time when rights group
estimate some 8000 impoverished Rohingya generally called Bengalis in
Myanmar and also people from Bangladesh, are adrift at sea, abandoned by
those who smuggled them through

international waters and abandoned


by the neighbouring nations that insist
Myanmar bears responsibility for a
problem it has long described as a domestic issue.
While many of those so far rescued say they are from Myanmar, Nay
Pyi Taw denies it bears any respon-

We continue to
stress that we see a
need for Burma to
fulfill its previous
commitments.
Jeff Rathke
US State Department spokesperson

sibility. Presidents Office director U


Zaw Htay previously said those who
arrived in Indonesia and Malaysia
might not be from Myanmar.
The US remains deeply concerned
about the urgent situation faced by
the migrants, and has discussed the
possibility of Thailand providing

temporary shelter for them with the


Thai secretary of state, said press officer at the US Department of State
Jeff Rathke during his daily press
briefing on May 15.
We continue to stress that we
see a need for Burma to fulfill its
previous commitments to improve
the living conditions of everybody
affected in Rakhine State, and we
press the Burmese government as
well to address migrant smuggling
and human trafficking of Rohingya,
and we think thats extremely important, he said.
The US government plans to send a
senior delegation to the regional conference hosted by Thailand in Bangkok on May 29, which will focus on
illegal migration in the region, he said.
It is unclear whether representatives from Nay Pyi Taw will also attend.
In 2012, Mr Obamas government
began to ease long-standing sanctions on business with Myanmar.
Last month, U Win Aung and his
two companies, Dagon International
Ltd and Dagon Timber Ltd, became
the first to be taken off the Specially
Designated Nationals list, prompting speculation that other blacklisted individuals and companies would
also be removed.

US President Barack Obama speaks in Yangon last year. Photo: Kaung Htet

SHENZEN

The little village that could: Shenzhen


set to surpass nearby Hong Kong
WHATEVER happened to Shenzhen?
Remember the place that spawned
Chinas meteoric rise in manufacturing? The little fishing village opposite
Hong Kong on the Pearl River delta
that became a sprawl of factories and
pollution and 10 million migrants
from all over the nation?
Well, the city has reinvented itself
once more, with an economy set to
overtake Hong Kongs this year.
The sheds full of workers banging
out the worlds toys and clothes are
mostly gone. The board-stuffing electronics lines filled with migrant workers are headed the same way. In their
place are bankers, tech entrepreneurs,
researchers and hipsters.
Shenzhen reported a 7.8 percent
rise in gross domestic product in
the first quarter, topping the biggest
Chinese cities. Gone is the model of
cheap labour and foreign investment
pioneered by Deng Xiaoping; its now
driven by a force current Premier Li
Keqiang wants replicated across China: innovation.
Its a true paradise if you want
to create your own business, said
James Wang, a 39-year-old internet
entrepreneur based in Kexing Science Park, where the canteen can
serve 12,000 diners. Shenzhen is no
longer a fishing village or a sweatshop. There are thousands of firms
like mine in this park.
Mr Deng made Shenzhen a test
ground for a market-based economy
in 1980, and it succeeded beyond all
expectations. In the Nanshan district, the technology heartland of the
city, the per-capita GDP last year was
308,700 yuan (US$49,730), higher
than Japans, Germanys and Hong
Kongs. The city is home to many of
Chinas most successful companies,
including telecom giant Huawei Technologies, web portal Tencent Holdings
and Ping An Insurance (Group) Co.
In China, while places like the rustbelt in the northeast or the coal-mine
area of Shanxi are falling into economic stagnation, Shenzhen is offering new
hope, said Shen Jianguang, chief Asia
economist at Mizuho Securities Asia
in Hong Kong. Shenzhens growth is

People sit on a bench at night in the Luohu district of Shenzhen, China. Photo: Bloomberg

relying on innovation, technology and


the efficient use of capital.
The switch to innovation and finance helped almost double the size
of the citys economy to 1.6 trillion
yuan in the five years to 2014. At that
rate it would this year eclipse Hong
Kong, whose economy is growing
more slowly.
Behind that recent growth are companies like SZ DJI Technology, maker

[Shenzen] is a true
paradise if you want
to create your own
business.
James Wang
Tech entrepreneur

of the top-selling Phantom drones,


and OnePlus, whose smartphones are
taking on Samsung Electronics and
Apple under co-founder Carl Pei, who
is in his mid-20s.
You want to do something or get
something, you can get it here, said
Hellen Tse, director of venture capitalist Oneworld Investment, while
sipping tea in her 30th-floor office,
surrounded by books and statues of
the Buddha. Outside her window,
construction crews are finishing the
600-metre (1968 foot) Ping An Financial Center, one of about a dozen skyscrapers over 200m.
The breakneck speed of Shenzhens rise has come with the usual
corruption and pollution that permeated Chinas boom years. Jiang
Zunyu, a former district party chief,
is suspected of taking more than 250
million yuan in bribes in an official
probe that caused the countrys first

developer bond default by Shenzhens


Kaisa Group Holdings.
While the air quality is better than
other major Chinese cities, the rivers
are still tainted by the citys industries,
despite billions of dollars spent trying
to clean up the provinces waterways.
Two of the most polluted rivers in
Guangdong in the first quarter flowed
through Shenzhen, according to the local environmental protection agency.
Even so, Shenzhen is doing better than most places in the country,
which had the slowest expansion
last year since 1990, as the central
government grapples to stamp out
corruption and inefficiency in dominant state-run companies. Profits at
Chinas state-owned enterprises fell
by 8 percent in the first quarter from
the same period a year earlier.
State companies value seniority
and formality, but the Shenzhen gene
is different, said Shorn He, 36, who

moved to the city four years ago after


working for a decade in a Beijing-based
state company. He rented a small factory near the airport to process aftermarket smartphone screens. Shenzhen has everything I need the clients,
the materials, the trained workers and
the knowledge.
Its a combination that made dronemaker DJI the darling of investors. In
less than a decade, it has gone from
start-up to a valuation estimated in the
billions of US dollars.
Its the first time for a Chinese
company to create a new global
market, said spokesperson Michael
Perry, from Texas, who estimates the
company sells more than half the
worlds private drones. When Mr
Perry joined a year and a half ago,
the company occupied three floors.
Now it has 11.
Downtown, on a scrolling ticker board in front of the dark-grey
Shenzhen Stock Exchange, an abundance of the lucky colour red shows
Chinas equities market is having
another bullish day. The bourses
benchmark index has more than
doubled in 12 months.
In the new financial free-trade zone
of Qianhai to the west of the city, companies have special dispensation to
borrow yuan from Hong Kong at lower
rates than mainland banks offer. Each
working day, 100 new companies register in the zone, according to an official
report. One was WeBank, Chinas first
private- funded Internet-based bank,
where Premier Li hit the button to
make the first loan in January.
One thing that hasnt changed in
Shenzhen is a feeling that this city is
special in China that here, things are
done differently.
The biggest advantage of Shenzhen used to be policies: You could get
things done in Shenzhen that were
impossible in other parts of China,
said Ye Qing, chair of the Shenzhen
Institute of Building Research, which
designs eco-friendly buildings. That
advantage has gone completely. The
new advantage for Shenzhen is its
people, the young and ambitious people who love the city. Bloomberg

International Business 11

www.mmtimes.com
New York

US pushes
pedal on
talking
cars
ENGINEERS have known for some
time that if cars could only talk to
each other, they could avoid a lot of
accidents.
Vehicles could be driven more
safely with information about another car, obstacle or pedestrian
around a blind curve, for example.
But the hurdles to implementing these systems are numerous:
They require a legal framework and
the allocation of wireless spectrum
to enable vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V)
communications.
The US administration announced this month it was speeding up efforts to promote V2V in a
push for better road safety and to
help facilitate the self-driving cars
which are on the horizon.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said during a visit to
Silicon Valley that he hopes to have
regulations for these technologies
by the end of the year.
Were accelerating our timetable on a proposed rule that would
require vehicle-to-vehicle, or V2V,
technology that allows cars to talk
to one another, Mr Foxx said.
And it is something that we
believe can have a huge impact
on preventing accidents from ever
happening, and in helping us eventually produce a car that can drive
itself better than a human can.

What happens
when someone
hacks the system
and ... effectively
shuts down traffic in
an entire city?
randal oToole
Senior fellow, the Cato Institute

The National Highway Traffic


Safety Administration, which has
been testing V2V since 2012, said
the technology can accomplish a
number of things such as determining if a car can safely make a left
turn across traffic by calculating the
speed of oncoming vehicles, whether it is feasible to overtake another
car and if it is safe to enter an intersection with limited visibility.
Researchers say systems which
cost around US$350 per car can
avoid 592,000 accidents and save
1083 lives per year, if the fleet
of US cars is equipped with the
technology.
Aside from the technical issues,
vehicle-to-vehicle communications
could be held back by debate over
issues of legal liability if something
goes wrong and by privacy questions about the creation of a new
database.
Randal OToole, a senior fellow
at the Cato Institute, a libertarian
think tank, said it would appear to
be positive if a broken-down vehicle
sends out a signal that allows motorists to take a different route to
avoid congestion.
That sounds good, but what
happens when someone hacks the
system and puts out radio signals
in a thousand critical urban intersections that effectively shut down
traffic in an entire city? Mr OToole
said in a blog post. AFP

Liberia

Buried alive: Young Liberians


risk all in deadly mines
PETER Kollie was digging for gold
in the forests of southeastern Liberia when the deep shaft he had
carved out of the earth collapsed,
turning into a dark, airless tomb.
But that was a risk the 20-yearold, like thousands of desperate
and impoverished young men
working the illegal gold-mining
camps of the border region by Ivory
Coast, had been prepared to take.
In such cases there is nothing
we can do. We leave the body there
and abandon the area for a while,
Lomax Saydee, a fellow miner and
youth welfare volunteer, told AFP a
few days after Mr Kollies death.
After a certain period of time
we go back and re-open the place
and generally in that case you discover a huge quantity of gold in
the area where the person died
underground.
So it is like you are digging your
own grave sometimes, because if it
closes on you no one can help you.
Mr Kollie had been working in
the Dark Forest, in the heart of
Grand Gedeh County, where Liberias unofficial alluvial gold sector

is a booming but poorly regulated


business.
Boys aged from seven or eight
toil alongside men in their 30s in
expansive open pits, digging into
narrow shafts which drop as far as
100 metres (330 feet) to gold seams
from where ore is lifted to the surface in baskets on ropes.
Fatalities from tunnel collapses
are not uncommon, said a 2012 report by the United Nations Panel of
Experts on Liberia.
The miners, mostly Liberians but
also former fighters fleeing political
violence in Ivory Coast, live under
vast encampments of tarpaulin,
cooking bush meat on open fires.
The more remote camps lack basic services and are overcrowded,
putting their inhabitants at risk of
waterborne infections.
Drug abuse is widespread, according to the UN panel, which has
voiced concern about the potential
threat to border security that these
itinerant and disaffected young
men pose.
The government says it appraised 416.5 kilograms of gold val-

ued at US$16.5 million for export


in the first nine months of 2013,
although industry sources estimate
the real annual production is likely
to be closer to 3,000kg.
The government sees little of
those revenues, about $500,000 in
2013, but it is the miners who really
lose out, sometimes making a few
dollars in a day and often nothing
at all.
Meanwhile, legitimate brokers
complain the market has become

It is like you are


digging your own
grave sometimes,
because if it closes
on you no one can
help you.
Lomax Saydee
Miner

increasingly dominated by illegal


traders and their agents from Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia and
Mali.
From the Dark Forest the gold
is smuggled by ethnic Mandingo
and Fulani traders to Monrovia or
into Guinea and Ivory Coast, where
it is smelted into bullion and then
trafficked on to the United Arab
Emirates.
Jasper Tomapu, 12, sweats profusely as he struggles with a spade
which looks much too big for him
in a township of some 3000 miners called Benin, in the heart of the
forest.
I want to go to school but I have
no one to pay the fees. My parents
are jobless. Since I was born I have
not seen a classroom, he says.
Moses Kerkula, who tells AFP
he is just eight, says he needs gold
so I can buy some clothes, adding
that there is no school in Benin.
Officials from Liberia and the
UN agreed in 2012 to suspend all
alluvial gold mining in the border
regions, but the decision has never
been implemented. AFP

TRADE MARK CAUTION


NOTICE is hereby given that Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals
a company organized under the laws of Ireland and having its
principal office at Operations Support Group, Ringaskiddy, County
Cork, Ireland (formerly located at Pottery Road, Dun Laoghaire,
Co., Dublin, Ireland) is the Owner and Sole Proprietor of the
following trademark:-

LIPITOR

(Reg: Nos. IV/3884/2001 & IV/1232/2007)


in respect of: - Pharmaceutical preparations for use in the
treatment of cardiovascular disorders and cholesterol reduction
Intl Class: 5
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 Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals
P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon.
Phone: 372416
Dated: 18th May, 2015

TRADEMARK CAUTION
3M Company, a company incorporated and existing under the laws
of Delaware, United States of America, and having its registered
office at 3M Center, 2501 Hudson Road, St. Paul, Minnesota 55144,
United States of America, hereby declares that the Company is the
Owner and Sole Proprietor of the following Trademark.

FUTURO

Reg. Nos. IV/689/2015 (29 January 2015)


The above trademark is used in respect of Orthopedic articles:
orthopedic braces and supports; orthopedic elastic bandages and
wraps; orthopedic cervical collar; orthopedic sling; hot packs; cold
packs; therapeutic hosiery; compression hosiery; anti-embolism
hosiery; therapeutic arch supports in Class 10.

12 International Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 18, 2015

Tokyo

Japan banks raise shareholder


returns after strong profits
MITSUBISHI UFJ Financial Group
plans to buy back more shares and
Mizuho Financial Group is raising its
dividend as Japans largest banks increase shareholder returns after profit
exceeded their expectations.
Mitsubishi UFJ will spend 100 billion yen (US$836 million) in its second
buyback in the past year, the nations
biggest bank said on May 15, after annual profit surpassed 1 trillion yen for
the first time. Mizuho raised its fullyear dividend by 1 yen to 7.5 yen and
surprised analysts by forecasting net
income will climb to 630 billion yen in
the year ending March.
Mitsubishi UFJ stands alone among
Japans three so-called megabanks in
buying back stock as Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe urges companies to boost
returns to shareholders. The Tokyobased lenders face the dilemma of
either sharing more earnings with investors or putting the money into expanding abroad to counter shrinking
loan profitability at home.
How the banks return profits to
shareholders was a big theme for investors during this earnings season,
said Naoki Fujiwara, Tokyo-based

chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset


Management Co. Banks answered
those expectations to an extent, and
that will be a catalyst for their share
prices to rise as theyve been low.
Net income at Mitsubishi UFJ rose
5 percent to a record 1.03 trillion yen
for the year ended March, exceeding
its target for 950 billion yen, helped
by interest income on loans abroad.
Profit will probably slip to 950 billion
yen in the current year, the bank said.
Thats lower than the 1.06 trillion yen
average estimate of analysts surveyed
by Bloomberg.
Mitsubishi UFJ will continue to
enhance returns to shareholders,
maintain an ample capital base and
use capital to boost revenue, president Nobuyuki Hirano, 63, said at a
briefing in Tokyo on May 15. The company also bought back shares for 100
billion yen late last year. At Mizuho,
the countrys third-biggest bank by
market value, net income declined 11
percent to 611.9 billion yen in the year
ended March. That was still higher
than the companys forecast for 550
billion yen. This years 630 billion-yen
profit goal exceeded analysts estimate

for 580 billion yen.


The lenders, along with Sumitomo
Mitsui Financial Group Inc, are counting on a domestic lending revival to
offset shrinking interest margins.
They are also expanding abroad, with
Mizuho this year agreeing to buy
North American loans from Royal
Bank of Scotland Group Plc for about
$3.5 billion and hire people from the
British bank to boost its client base.
Its positive for Mizuho to send
the message that it intends to raise
dividends and return profit to shareholders, even if its inch by inch, said
Takaaki Nishino, an analyst at Morgan
Stanley MUFG Securities Co in Tokyo.
Mizuho will consider acquisitions
abroad and may target banks, brokerages or asset managers, chief executive officer Yasuhiro Sato, 63, told
reporters. At home, loan demand is
spreading from large manufacturers
to smaller makers as the economy
picks up and capital spending increases, he said.
All three megabanks trade at less
than their book value even after their
shares gained this year, data compiled
by Bloomberg shows. Bloomberg

kuala lumpur
A man in Kuala Lumpur
cooks chicken. Photo: AFP

Any fraudulent imitation or unauthorized use of the above mark or


other infringements whatsoever will be dealt with according to law.
Daw Thit Thit Kyaw, (H.G.P.)
For 3M Company,
c/o BM Myanmar Legal Services Limited (Baker & McKenzie)
# 1206, 12th Floor, Sakura Tower,
339 Bogyoke Aung San Road,
Kyauktada Township, Yangon,
The Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
Dated: 18 May 2015

TRADEMARK CAUTIONARY NOTICE


Hood River Distillers Imports LLC, a company organized under
the laws of Oregon and having its principal office at 660 Riverside
Drive, Hood River, Oregon 97031, United States of America is the
owner and sole proprietor of the following Trademark :-

Myanmar Registration Number 4/13079/2013

LUCID

Myanmar Registration Number 4/13080/2013


Used in respect of : Liquor, distilled spirits in class 33.
Any unauthorized use, imitation, infringements or fraudulent
intentions of the above mark will be dealt with according to law.
Tin Ohnmar Tun, Tin Thiri Aung & The Law Chambers
Ph: 0973150632
Email:law_chambers@seasiren.com.mm
(For. Domnern Somgiat & Boonma,
Attorneys at Law, Thailand)
Dated. 18th May, 2015

Export decline slows


Malaysias economy
MALAYSIAS economic growth eased
last quarter on weaker exports, a slowdown that could deepen after the start
of a new consumption tax in April.
Gross domestic product rose 5.6
percent in the three months through
March from a year earlier, after climbing a revised 5.7pc in the final quarter
of 2014, the central bank said in Kuala
Lumpur on May 15.
Malaysias central bank has refrained from joining global counterparts in easing monetary policy,
saying interest rates are delivering
support for growth while guarding
against inflation risks. Economic expansion may lose steam as an uneven
global recovery hurts export demand
and prompts consumers and companies to hold back spending.
We see growth continue to slow
down a bit moving into the second
quarter, Edward Lee, regional head of
research at Standard Chartered Plc in
Singapore, said before the announcement. After the initial pre-GST consumption spurt, we will possibly get
a bit of slowdown as well in private

consumption. We see the export sector


remaining very weak.
The ringgit was Asias worst performer last quarter as a drop in crude
prices hurt government finances and
dented investor confidence. It has
since swung to become the regions
second-best amid a rebound in oil.
The Malaysian economy is forecast
to grow 4.5pc to 5.5pc this year, down
from an earlier projection of as much
as 6pc. The government trimmed expectations as it cut expenditure amid
lower expected revenue from oil.
The central bank left its key rate
unchanged for a fifth straight meeting this month, saying prospects
are for the economy to remain on a
steady growth path. Governor Zeti
Akhtar Aziz signaled last month she
sees no need for a rate cut in the near
future, barring the threat of a fundamental downturn.
Prime Minister Najib Razaks efforts to broaden the tax base through a
6pc goods and services tax has pushed
up prices at supermarkets, restaurants
and retailers. While the experience in

other countries showed a moderation


in consumer spending in the first year
of such a tax, lower oil prices may be
a buffer to an expected easing in consumption, Mr Zeti said in April.
Exports fell 0.6pc in the first
quarter from a year earlier, after increasing 1.9pc in the previous three
months.
Manufacturing
growth
quickened to 5.6pc, while private investment rose 11.7pc.
Private consumption expenditure
climbed 8.8pc last quarter from a year
ago, accelerating from 7.6pc in the
previous period. Household consumption was high on food and beverages, transport and communication, the
statistics department said in a statement on May 15.
Malaysias current-account surplus
widened to 10 billion ringgit ($2.87
billion) in the first quarter from a revised 5.7 billion ringgit surplus in the
preceding three months. That compared with the median estimate of 6.1
billion ringgit in a Bloomberg survey
of five analysts.
Bloomberg

International Business 13

www.mmtimes.com
SHANGHAI

Raft of China deals inked by Modi


INDIAN Prime Minister Narendra
Modi got down to business on the final day of his trip to China on May 16,
saying his country was open for investment as firms signed deals worth more
than US$22 billion.
Let us work together in mutual interest and for progress and prosperity
of our great countries, Mr Modi told
executives from 200 Chinese and Indian companies at a business forum
in the Chinese commercial hub Shanghai. Now India is ready for business.
The nationalist leader was on the
final day of a three-day trip to his fellow Asian giant, as the two jockey for
regional influence and Indias trade
deficit with China balloons.
Despite his hardline reputation, Mr
Modi has moved to engage with Beijing
since his election last year, and he was
looking for an economic boost from
the visit, seeking to deliver on election
promises for foreign investment.
China is Indias biggest trading
partner, with two-way commerce
totalling $71 billion in 2014. But
Indias trade deficit with China has
soared from just $1 billion in 200102 to more than $38 billion last year,
Indian figures show.
Indian embassy trade counsellor
Namgya Khanpa said the 21 agreements signed at the Shanghai event
were worth over $22 billion, with another five exchanged earlier.
Many of the contracts were for
Chinese banks to finance Indian
firms, and also included deals in the
telecom, steel, solar energy and film
sectors, she said.

They included an agreement for the


China Development Bank to fund a
power plant for Indias Adani Power, as
well as a steel project between Indian
conglomerate Welspun and two Chinese firms, according to a list released
by Indian officials. No individual deal
values were given.
Mr Modi welcomed potential
Chinese investment in sectors including housing, renewable energy,
high-speed rail, metro, ports and
airports, adding that India was eager to draw on Chinas expertise in
mass manufacturing.
We are very keen to develop
the sectors where China is strong,
he told the business forum ahead
of the signing ceremony. We need
your involvement.
I strongly believe that this century
belongs to Asia, he said as he sought
to stress historical links between the
two countries.
But they have followed significantly
different economic paths in recent decades, with China rising to become the
worlds second-largest economy while
India has lagged behind, although Mr
Modis election raised hopes for reform
among investors.
Earlier during Mr Modis visit
Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed him in Xian, the capital of his
ancestral home province Shaanxi, in
what his host said was an unprecedented gesture.
Nonetheless relations between the
worlds two most populous nations are
soured by a long-running border dispute that saw them fight a brief war in

1962, and on May 15, Mr Modi told Premier Li Keqiang that China needs to
reconsider its approach to their ties.
Our relationship has been complex in recent decades, Mr Modi
said in Beijing, adding there were
issues that trouble smooth development of our relations.
His comments stood out from the
usual public declarations by diplomatic visitors to the Chinese capital, who
normally stick to uninterrupted pledges of friendship and good relations.
Both countries are members of the
BRICS grouping of major emerging
economies, but China has vowed to
pour investment into Indias arch-rival
Pakistan as it rolls out infrastructure
development plans across Asia, much
of which bypasses India.
On May 16, Mr Modi also opened a
centre for Indian and Gandhian studies referring to the former Indian
leader Mahatma Gandhi at prestigious Fudan University.
Mr Modi, elected in a landslide victory at polls a year ago, said on May
15 that democracy was an advantage
for his country. But when a group of
Indian students studying at Fudan
chanted his name as he arrived, suspicious Chinese security guards moved
toward them before being waved off.
We just wanted to greet him, one
of the students said.
Mr Modi left China late on May 16
to arrive in Ulan Bator, where he will
stay for one day as the first Indian
prime minister ever to visit Mongolia,
according to a tweet by the external affairs ministry. AFP

Indian Prime Minister


Narendra Modi speaks
last week. Photo: AFP

14 THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 18, 2015

15

World

New volcano
rises to the
surface in Japan
WORLD EDITOR: Kayleigh Long

Ireland to vote on
gay marriage
WORLD 16

WORLD 17

CAIRO

KABUL

Ex-president Morsi
sentenced to death

Taliban strikes in Kabul again

AN Egyptian court on May 16


sentenced deposed Islamist president
Mohamed Morsi and more than 100
other people to death for their role in
a mass jailbreak during the 2011 uprising.
Hours after the ruling, gunmen
shot dead two judges, a prosecutor
and their driver in the strife-torn Sinai Peninsula, in the first such attack
on the judiciary in the region.
Mr Morsi, sitting in a caged dock
in the blue uniform of convicts after
already been sentenced to 20 years
for inciting violence, raised his fists
defiantly when the verdict was read.
Judge Shabaan El-Shamy handed
down the same sentence to more
than 100 other defendants including Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badei, already sentenced to
death in another trial, and his deputy
Khairat al-Shater.
Mr Morsi, elected president in
2012 as the Brotherhoods compromise candidate after Shater was disqualified, ruled for only a year before
mass protests spurred the military to
overthrow him in July 2013.
Many of those sentenced on Saturday were tried in absentia, including
prominent Qatar-based Islamic cleric
Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
The court will pronounce its final
decision on June 2, since under Egyptian law, death sentences are referred
to the mufti, the governments interpreter of Islamic law, who plays an
advisory role.
Defendants can still appeal even
after the muftis recommendation.
If he (Morsi) decides that we appeal against the verdict, then we will.
If he continues to not recognise this
court, then we wont appeal, said
defence lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel
Maksoud.
Amnesty International lashed out
at Saturdays verdict, saying it reflected the deplorable state of the countrys criminal justice system.
The death penalty has become
the favourite tool for the Egyptian
authorities to purge the political opposition, the London-based rights
watchdog said.
After the May 16 verdict was pronounced, gunmen in the Sinai shot
dead two judges and a prosecutor travelling to El-Arish for a court hearing.
Their driver was also killed and
another prosecutor was wounded,
health ministry spokesman Hossam
Abdel Ghaffar told AFP.
Mr Morsi, 64, has yet to be sen-

tenced in the first of two trials that


concluded on Saturday, in which the
death penalty was given to 16 other
defendants convicted of espionage.
They were all found guilty of colluding with foreign powers, the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and Iran
to destabilise Egypt.
The court will pronounce the verdicts for Mr Morsi and another 18 defendants in that trial on June 2.
The court then delivered its verdict in the case in which Mr Morsi
and 128 defendants were accused of
plotting jailbreaks and attacks on
police during the uprising that overthrew president Hosni Mubarak in
2011.
Mr Morsi and more than 100 of
them were sentenced to death.
Many of the defendants are Palestinians alleged to have worked with
Hamas in neighbouring Gaza. They
were tried in absentia, as was a Lebanese Hezbollah commander.
They were alleged to have colluded with Mr Morsis Muslim Brotherhood to carry out attacks in Egypt
in what prosecutors allege was a vast
conspiracy.
Condemning the verdict, Hamas
said that some of its members mentioned in the proceedings were already dead before the 2011 uprising,
while some are in Israeli prisons.
Mr Morsi and other former opposition members have now been condemned for violence during the antiMubarak uprising, while Mr Mubarak
himself has been cleared of charges
over the deaths of protesters during
the 18-day revolt that toppled him.
Mr Morsi was in prison when the
anti-Mubarak uprising erupted on
January 25 2011, having been rounded up with other Brotherhood leaders
a few days earlier.
On January 28, protesters fuelled
by police abuses torched police stations across Egypt, allowing thousands of prisoners to escape when the
force all but collapsed.
Since Mr Morsis overthrow, the
police has largely been rehabilitated
in public eyes, with officials and loyal
media blaming the Brotherhood and
foreigners for the violence of the antiMubarak uprising.
The army chief who overthrew Mr
Morsi, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, was himself elected president last year.
He has pledged to eradicate the
Brotherhood, once Egypts largest
political movement.
AFP

Egypts deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi sits behind the defendants
cage as the judge reads out a verdict sentencing him and more than 100 other
defendants to death at the police academy in Cairo on May 16. Photo: AFP

THREE people including a foreigner


working with a European Union police unit were killed when a Taliban
car bomber struck a foreign convoy
yesterday, the latest attack of Afghanistans fighting season.
At least 18 people were wounded
in the attack, which comes three days
after 14 people mostly foreigners
were killed in a Taliban assault on a
Kabul guest house that trapped dozens attending a concert.
The suicide bomber detonated an
explosives-laden car against the convoy near Kabul airport during Sunday
morning rush hour. The convoy included two vehicles of the European
Union Police Mission in Afghanistan
(EUPOL).
A suicide bomber detonated his
Toyota sedan targeting a foreign forces convoy near Kabul airport today
at 9am, Kabul police spokesperson
Ebadullah Karimi told AFP.
The target of the attacker was the
foreign forces convoy. So far we have
two women dead, 18 others wounded,
all of them civilians, he said, adding
that three children were among those
wounded.
A foreigner working with EUPOL
was also killed, a spokesperson for the
unit told AFP, without specifying his
nationality.
All we can say at this moment is
that two of EUPOLs vehicles were
there at the time of the attack. The
one killed inside a vehicle was a foreigner who worked for EUPOL, said
Aziz Basam, senior press officer.
Three mission members who were
also in the vehicle suffered injuries
which are not believed to be lifethreatening, EUPOL said in a separate statement.
An AFP photographer at the scene
saw troops hauling away the body of
a person in a military-style uniform,

A rescued migrant is carried to a waiting ambulance upon his arrival at the new confinement area in the fishing town of Kuala Langsa in Aceh province on May 15. Photo: AFP

SHAH PORIR DWIP, BANGLADESH

Human traffic: the business of smuggling


FRINGED with coconut trees and
sandy beaches, Bangladeshs neardeserted island of Shah Porir Dwip
feels more like a sleepy fishing
port than a launchpad for a multimillion-dollar
people-smuggling
industry.
But while the shores are still
lined with wooden fishing boats,
the crews are nowhere to be seen
and the nets have seen little action
of late.
They all used to be boatmen or
fishermen but gradually they realised how lucrative human trafficking is, so they became middlemen
or traffickers themselves, said local police officer Kabir Hossain on
a tour of the island, the rolling hills
of neighbouring Myanmar visible
on the horizon.
More than 60 percent of the
people living here are now either
directly or indirectly involved with
trafficking, Hossain added.
Activists estimate up to 8000
migrants may presently be at sea
in Southeast Asia. Most of them
are ethnic Rohingya, heading
south from Bangladesh or Myanmar to wealthier countries such as
Malaysia.

But growing numbers of Bangladeshis are also trying to make the


trip themselves, forking out up to
US$3000 for a place on rickety and
overcrowded trawlers that often
fail to reach their destination.
In doing so, they are fuelling
a trade that offers riches far outweighing the money that can be
legally earned from fishing.
Shah Porir Dwip, which is accessible from the Bangladeshi mainland at low tide, carries tell-tale
signs of new wealth.
Nearly all the houses are built
out of brick and concrete rather
than mud or straw as in towns
further inland. Many appear to be
freshly painted.
Hossain was one of the few men
on the streets, locals having fled in
droves to avoid raids by security
forces sparked by the recent discovery in Thailand of mass graves
containing the remains of migrants
from Bangladesh and Myanmar.
More than 90 suspected human
smugglers were arrested from Shah
Porir Dwip and an adjoining village
during the raids and they are now
being held on remand.
Three alleged smuggling king-

pins were also shot dead during the


crackdown, all of them from Shah
Porir Dwip.
Normally home to around
12,000 people, the island has become something of a ghost town
since the elite Rapid Action Battalion set up a checkpoint on the
island and other agencies raided
homes.
A handful of elderly men who
were milling around on the streets
all refused to speak to an AFP reporter although one teenager, who
was waiting to go fishing, did let
slip that his was one of the few
boats that aimed to return fuller
than when setting sail.
Ive heard that people are being
taken out in the fishing boats to the
ships which are anchored in deepsea, said Mahmud Hossain.
Police and other observers have
identified scores of launchpads
from where the migrants begin
their journey, all in the Coxs Bazar
district of southern Bangladesh
that borders Myanmar.
While only around a dozen migrants get into the initial fishing
boats, the larger vessels that then
head toward Southeast Asia are

usually jam-packed with hundreds


on board.
A UN official based in Coxs
Bazar said the smuggling trade
took off in 2001 when the first Rohingya attempted to reach Thailand and Malaysia by sea. Bangladeshis, wanting a better life,
started making the same journey
around five years later.
Its become one of the most
profitable of all forms of organised
crime, said the official, who has
been working with the Rohingya
for many years and spoke on condition of anonymity.
While Bangladeshi police dont
have figures on the number of sailings, their record of arrests point
to the scale of the recent increase.
While only 132 people were arrested in 2012 as they tried to travel illegally to Malaysia, that figure
jumped to 1550 in 2014.
The alleged kingpins who were
shot dead included Dholu Hossain, whom police say smuggled
more than 1000 refugees.
Locals whisper that Hossain
was shielded by a lawmaker, fuelling suspicions that officials have
turned a blind eye for a cut of the

profits.
Calls to a host of smugglers who have previously been
willing to speak to journalists went
unanswered, highlighting their
fears that phones are now being
tapped.
Mujibur Rahman, a police detective, said officers who monitored the phone and bank activity
of one suspected smuggler found
some 3.1 million Bangladeshi taka
(US$40,000) had been paid into
her account in six months. The
woman is now in custody.
Despite the newfound push
to combat people smuggling, the
authorities face an uphill task in
reining in the trade in the long
term.
There are around 9,000 fishing vessels plying the seas off Coxs
Bazar, mostly unlicensed. Its very
hard for the authorities to trace
them once they are out at sea, the
UN official said.
If a crime such as peopletrafficking cant be detected and
halted on land then the chances of
it being prevented out at sea are
even less.
AFP

RABAT

Morocco
to allow
abortion
MOROCCO is to allow abortion in cases of rape or serious foetal malformation, the Royal Palace announced on
May 15 after a heated debate on illegal
abortions in the North African nation.
Abortions will be allowed in the cases of pregnancies resulting from rape
or incest, or serious deformities and
incurable diseases of the foetus, the
statement said.
It came after a royal audience at
which the ministers of justice and Islamic affairs and the president of the
National Council of Human Rights
(CNDH) gave their opinions.
Legalising abortion will be limited
to these cases alone, it said.
In March, Health Minister El Hossein Louardi said he favoured an urgent revision of the law on abortion
in cases involving rape, incest or foetal
deformity.
In a country of 34 million people
where extramarital relations are illegal,
abortion is currently punishable by between one and five years in prison.
Although there are no official figures, it is estimated that between 600
and 800 abortions are carried out in
Morocco every day. AFP

pulled out from the twisted wreck of a


badly damaged sedan.
Taliban insurgents, who launched
their spring offensive across Afghanistan late last month, claimed responsibility for the attack.
A suicide attack carried out on
foreign forces near the gate of Kabul
airport, spokesperson Zabihullah
Mujahid said on Twitter.
Afghan forces are facing their first
fighting season against the Taliban
without the full support of US-led foreign combat troops.
Deputy interior ministry spokesperson Najib Danish said three civilian vehicles, one of them belonging to
foreign troops, were damaged at the
site of the attack.
Khalilullah Hodkhil, the deputy
head of Wazir Akbar Khan hospital,
said he had so far received the bodies of two young girls and 19 wounded
people.
All of them are civilians, including
women and children, he told AFP.
They are under treatment and
their wounds are not life-threatening.

The attack came after NATO on


May 13 formally announced plans to
retain a small military presence in Afghanistan after 2016 to help strengthen local security forces.
NATO Secretary General Jens
Stoltenberg said the future mission
would be led by civilians and will
have a light footprint, but... [with] a
military component.
Afghan forces are now solely responsible for security after NATOs
combat mission formally ended in December, with a small follow-up force
staying on to train and support local
personnel.
A Taliban suicide bomb hit a European Union police vehicle in Kabul
in early January, killing at least one
passer-by but not wounding any passengers.
The Taliban have waged a 13-year
war to topple the US-backed government in Afghanistan. Official efforts
to bring the insurgents to the negotiating table have so far borne little
fruit.
AFP

An Afghan woman (L) sits with her two sisters at a hospital after being wounded
after a suicide attack in Kabul on May 17. Photo: AFP

TRADEMARK CAUTIONARY NOTICE


MASSEY FERGUSON CORP, a company incorporated under
the laws of United States and having its principal office at 4830
River Green Parkway, Duluth, Georgia 30136-2574, United States
of America., is the owner and sole proprietor of the following
Trademark:-

MASSEY FERGUSON
Myanmar Registration Number. 115/1996

Used in respect of:


Machines, implements and apparatus, all included in Class 7;
and all for use in agriculture, harvesting, horticulture, mowing,
forestry, earth or materials handling and moving, soil working,
timber handling and moving, civil engineering construction, snow
shifting, beach cleaning, parts and fittings for all the aforesaid
goods Class 12; Tractors and trailers (vehicles); land vehicles
for use in agriculture, harvesting, horticulture, forestry, earth or
materials handling and moving, soil working, timber handling and
moving, snow shifting and civil engineering construction; parts
and fitting for all the aforesaid goods.
Any unauthorised use, imitation, infringements or fraudulent
intentions of the above mark will be dealt with according to law.
Tin Ohnmar Tun, Tin Thiri Aung & The Law Chambers
Ph:0973150632
Email:law_chambers@seasiren.com.mm
(ForDomnern Somgiat & Boonma, Attorneys at law, Thailand)
Dated: 18th May, 2015

16 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 18, 2015

DUBLIN

Ireland goes to vote on same-sex marriage


IRELAND could become the first country in the world to vote for same-sex
marriage in a historic referendum
this week in this traditionally Catholic
nation.
Voters on May 22 will be asked
whether or not to add an article to the
Irish constitution saying, Marriage
may be contracted in accordance with
law by two persons without distinction
as to their sex.
The latest polls show the Yes side
in the lead. Volunteers for and against
gay marriage have been canvassing
door to door in recent weeks and billboards have appeared appealing for
votes, as a colourful Yes bus makes its
way around the country.
All the main political parties, including conservatives, are supporting
the change a seismic shift in a country where homosexuality was only decriminalised in 1993 and abortion is
still illegal.
But a Yes victory is by no means
certain and there is concern among
proponents about whether Yes supporters will come out and cast their
ballots.
We will ensure that people will be
treated equally, no matter who they
love, Prime Minister Enda Kenny has
said.
The move is opposed by the Catholic Church, whose influence has waned
in Ireland amid growing secularisation
and after a wave of child sex abuse
scandals that badly discredited the
hierarchy.
Marriage should be reserved
for the unique and complementary

relationship between a woman and a


man from which the generation and
upbringing of children is uniquely possible, the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference said in a statement.
An Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll
published on May 16 showed 70pc support for the Yes side and 30pc for the
No. The same pollsters in March had
given the Yes side 78 percent.
There is a clear divide in the polls,
with many older people and rural residents intending to vote No.
Eighteen countries around the
world have so far legalised gay marriage or are about to do so, including 13
in Europe. Across the border in Northern Ireland, gay marriage is banned
even though it is legal in the rest of
Britain.
Referendums have previously been
held in Croatia and Slovenia, and in
both cases voters rejected legalising
gay marriage. In Slovenia same-sex
marriages were, however, legalised by
parliament in March.
The constitutional referendum in
Ireland would have to be followed by
specific legislation in parliament.
While the country has undergone
vast economic and social change in recent decades, abortion is still banned
except in cases where the life of the
mother is in danger. Thousands of Irish
women seek abortions in Britain every
year.
The central No argument is that
the constitutional amendment would
undermine the traditional definition
of marriage and would facilitate laws
allowing gay couples to adopt or have

Locals wave flags during a gay pride parade on May 9 in Havana, Cuba. Photo: AFP

surrogate children.
Children are the real issue, Margaret Hickey, a spokesperson for one of
the leading No groups, Mothers and
Fathers Matter, told AFP.
I think its important to defend the
right of a child to a mother and to a
father at least at the start of their lives,
she said.
But officials have pointed out that
same-sex couples can already adopt
children under the current legislation.
The debate has become increasingly
heated, with the No campaign saying they have been vilified and some of
their posters have been defaced.

The Yes side has been boosted by


the support of sports, music and film
stars including Irish Hollywood A-lister
Colin Farrell and U2 frontman Bono.
Trying to co-opt the word marriage
is like trying to co-opt the word love,
Bono was quoted by the Irish Times as
saying ahead of the start of his world
tour in Canada last week.
In a YouTube video supporting the
change, comedy TV star Mrs Brown
a man dressed as an old woman likened the furore to controversy in the
past over marriages between Catholics
and Protestants and between black and
white people.

They still went and got married


and the world didnt end and we all
grew up a little bit, she said in her
message from the mammy-in-chief.
Jerry Buttimer, a lawmaker with
Kennys Fine Gael party and one of the
few openly gay politicians in Ireland,
said it was about making Ireland a
more equal nation.
As a country we have come on a
journey, he told AFP.
Amnesty International Ireland
chief executive Colm OGorman said it
would be a phenomenal message for
Ireland to send to the rest of the world.
AFP

World 17

www.mmtimes.com
TOKYO

New island
offers natural
laboratory
A BRAND-NEW island emerging off
the coast of Japan offers scientists a
rare opportunity to study how life begins to colonise barren land helped
by rotting bird poo and hatchling
vomit.
Researchers say bird waste will
be the secret ingredient to kickstart
Mother Natures grand experiment on
what is a still-active volcano that only
poked its head above the waves in November 2013.
That speck of land, some 1000 kilometres (620 miles) south of Tokyo, has
grown to engulf its once-larger neighbour, Nishinoshima, a part of Japans
Ogasawara island chain known for the
wealth and variety of its ecosystem.
The new Nishinoshima a respectable 2.46 square kilometres (0.95
square miles), the Japan Coast Guard
said in February, roughly the size of 345
football pitches is currently almost all
bare rock, formed from cooling lava.
But scientists say it will one day be
humming with plant and possibly
animal life, as nature moves in to
what is being called a natural laboratory on one of the latest bits of real
estate in the Pacific Ocean.
We biologists are very much focusing on the new island because well

be able to observe the starting point


of evolutionary processes, said Naoki
Kachi, professor and leader of Tokyo
Metropolitan Universitys Ogasawara
Research Committee.
After the volcanic activity calms
down, what will probably happen first
will be the arrival of plants brought by
ocean currents and attached to birds
feet, he said.
Those seabirds, who could use the remote rock as a temporary resting place,
could eventually set up home there.
Their excreta along with their
dropped feathers, regurgitated bits of
food and rotting corpses will eventually form a nutrient-rich soil that offers fertile ground for seeds carried by
the wind, or brought in the digestive
systems of overflying birds.
I am most interested in the effects of birds on the plants ecosystem
how their bodily-wastes-turned-organic-fertilisers enrich the vegetation
and how their activities disturb it, Mr
Kachi told AFP.
The old Nishinoshima, measuring
just 0.22 square kilometres, was home
to bird colonies until the eruptions
scared the creatures away.
A small number have clung on to
the only patch of the old island that is

This handout picture taken by Japan Coast Guard on March 25 shows the newly created Nishinoshima island at the
Ogasawara island chain, 1000 kilometres south of Tokyo. Photo: AFP

still visible, making their nests among


ash-covered plants.
Japan, which sits at the junction
of several tectonic plates, is home to
more than 100 active volcanoes.
Scientists have no idea when Nishinoshima will stop spewing lava, but its
expansion is being offset by erosion
around the edges.
The island is expected to follow a
route laid out by Surtsey, an island
that emerged from the sea in 1963,
around 30 kilometres from the coast
of Iceland.
The UN Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
World Heritage spot is known globally as an outstanding example of a
pristine natural laboratory where researchers have been able to trace the
evolution of a habitat.
Since they began studying the island in 1964, scientists have observed
the arrival of seeds carried by ocean
currents, the appearance of moulds,

bacteria and fungi, followed in 1965


by the first vascular plant, UNESCO
says on its website.
By 2004, [vascular plants] numbered 60, together with 75 bryophytes,
71 lichens and 24 fungi. Eighty-nine
species of birds have been recorded on
Surtsey, 57 of which breed elsewhere
in Iceland. The 141 hectare island is
also home to 335 species of invertebrates.
Not bad for somewhere that has
only existed for half a century.
Nishinoshima might not be quite
as quick as Surtsey to establish itself
as a teeming wildlife haven it is a
long way from mainland Japan and
not too close to its neighbours in the
Ogasawara island chain, which limits
the number of species of birds and
seeds that will make it that far.
Nonetheless, it is an exciting blank
canvas, said Mr Kachi, and needs to be
treated with respect which means
keeping out foreign invaders that

would not naturally drift or fly in.


Id like to call on anyone who
lands on the island to pay special attention to keeping it the way it is
not to take external species there, he
warned.
He said when he conducted a field
study on another island in the chain in
2007, his team prepared a fumigated
clean room where they packed all research equipment, after making sure
everything they had was either brand
new or scrupulously clean.
While Nishinoshima is currently
only being monitored from the air, the
first field researchers will need to take
similar precautions.
Biologists know the business, but
probably the first batch of scientists
who will land on the island will be geologists and vulcanologists who may
not be familiar with the problems, he
said.
Id be pleased to offer advice on
this to scientists in other fields. AFP

TRADEMARK CAUTIONARY NOTICE


Megabass Inc., a company organized under the laws of Japan and
having its principal office at 1590-1, Nishigasaki-cho, Higashi-ku,
Hamamatsu-shi, Shizuoka 431-3115, Japan is the owner and sole
proprietor of the following Trademarks :-

18 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 18, 2015

SEATTLE

Myanmar Registration Number.


4/2703/2014, 4/2704/2014 & 4/2705/2014
Used in respect of : Bags for sports; Waist Bags; Tote bags; Shoulder bags; Card
cases; Key Cases; Purses; Rucksacks; Travelling bags; Umbrellas;
Vanity cases, not fitted in class 18.
Clothing; Caps; Jackets; Jumpers; Parkas; Tee-shirts: Polo shirts;
Golf Shirts; Short-sleeve shirts; Fishing shirts; Sport shirt; Hooded
sweatshirts; Trousers; Vests; Bandanas; Belts; Sports shoes;
Wind resistant jackets; Waterproof clothing; Jerseys (clothing)
in class 25.
Fishing tackle; Lures for fishing; Fishing rods; Fishing lines;
Fishing hooks; Floats for fishing; Fishing sinkers; Reels for fishing;
Creels (Fishing equipment); Artificial fishing bait in class 28.
Any unauthorized use, imitation, infringements or fraudulent
intentions of the above mark will be dealt with according to law.
Tin Ohnmar Tun, Tin Thiri Aung & The Law Chambers
Ph: 0973150632
Email:law_chambers@seasiren.com.mm
(For. Domnern Somgiat & Boonma,
Attorneys at Law, Thailand)
Dated. 18th May, 2015

TRADE MARK CAUTION


NOTICE is hereby given that Morinaga Nyugyo Kabushiki
Kaisha (also trading as Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd.), a
company organized under the laws of Japan and having its principal
office at 33-1, Shiba 5-chome, Minato-ku,Tokyo, Japan is the Owner
and Sole Proprietor of the following trademark:-

(Reg: No. IV/2789/2015)


in respect of: - Powdered milk for babies, infants and children,
Powdered milk for pregnant and nursing women, Powdered milk for
middle-aged people and elderly people, Powdered milk as nutritional
supplements, Dietetic food and substances adapted for medical use,
Food for babies, Nutritional supplements for humans and animals,
Liquid nutritional supplements for humans and animals, Nutritional
additives for use in manufacturing foods, food supplements, beverages,
dairy products and animal foodstuffs, Dietetic food for pregnant and
nursing women, Dietetic beverages for babies, infants and children,
Dietetic beverages for pregnant and nursing women, Dietetic beverages
for middle-aged people and elderly people, Food for infants and
children Class: 5
Milk, Milk beverages, Milk products, Flavored milk drinks and
beverages, Peptido milk, Tea with milk, Milk-based beverages
containing tea, Dietetic milk and milk products, Dietetic beverages for
babies, infants and children with milk, Lactic acid drinks, Lactic acid
bacteria drinks, Cream, Whipped cream, Cheese, Butter, Buttercream,
Margarine, Milk powder, Condensed milk, Curd milk, Fermented milk,
Whey, Powdered milk for babies, infants and children for non-medical
purposes, Powdered milk for pregnant and nursing women for nonmedical purposes, Powdered milk for middle-aged people and elderly
people for non-medical, purposes, Powdered milk as food supplements,
Yoghurt, Yoghurt drinks, Yoghurt-based beverage, Soya milk (milk
substitute) Class: 29
Carbonated drinks, Non-alcoholic beverages, Isotonic Beverages,
Waters [beverages], Aerated waters [beverages], Fruit juices, Vegetable
juices, Mineral water, Whey beverages, Soybean beverages Class: 32
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 Morinaga Nyugyo Kabushiki Kaisha
(also trading as Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd.),
P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon.
Phone: 372416
Dated: 18th May, 2015

ShellNo flotilla participants float near the Polar Pioneer oil drilling rig during demonstrations against Royal Dutch Shell on
May 16 in Seattle, Washington. Photo: AFP

Activists stage paddlein over arctic oil drilling


ENVIRONMENTAL activists in Seattle paddled out to sea on March 16 to
protest a Shell oil rig moored off the
coast of the US city that is headed for
Arctic drilling, local media reported.
Hundreds of kayaks, canoes, sailboats and a solar-powered barge
called The Peoples Platform circled around Shells massive yellowand -white oil rig moored in the citys
port, The Seattle Times reported.
Protesters held signs reading
Paddle in Seattle and posted flags
from their boats calling for Climate
Justice, condemning Shells plans to
drill in the Arctic.

The protest follows an announcement from President Barack Obama


this month allowing Shell to drill in
the Arctic, a move that has angered
environmentalists.
The tiny boats on the water
against the backdrop of the giant
oil rig ... It is a chance to show how
much people care, protester Amy
McKendry told the newspaper.
The 307-foot (94-metre) Shell oil
rig has been in Seattle port since
May 14, according to The Seattle
Times.
The rig is the largest part of the
25-vessel fleet Shell Oil has in the

area as it prepares to resume oil


exploration in Alaskas Arctic, the
newspapaper added.
Mr Obama recently called oil
production important, while also
asking for a transition toward cleaner energy.
Environmental groups oppose the
drilling in part because of the threat
an oil spill would pose to the region
full of vulnerable Arctic animals.
Shell put its drilling plans for
the Alaskan Arctic on hold in 2013
following multiple problems with two
exploration rigs.
AFP

kAThmAndu

Red Cross ramps up appeal


THE Red Cross on May 16 ramped up
its appeal for aid to disaster-hit Nepal, requesting US$93 million in assistance after two earthquakes in les
s than three weeks killed nearly 8500
and left thousands homeless.
Relief teams have been working for
weeks to provide water, food, shelter
and medical assistance after the first
7.8-magnitude quake hit on April 25,
flattening whole villages and leaving
thousands without shelter with just
weeks to go until the monsoon rains.
We are still in full emergency
mode the task at hand remains
expanding our response while also
adapting to meet emerging needs,
said Elhadj As Sy, secretary general of
the International Federation of Red

Cross and Red Crescent Societies.


What we are doing, no matter
how appreciated it is, it is not yet
matching the scale and magnitude of
the problem that we face, Mr Sy told
reporters in Kathmandu.
The humanitarian agency revised
its initial request for $35 million after a second, 7.3-magnitude quake
struck last week, triggering panic in
Kathmandu and devastating remote
villages in the countrys mountainous
northeastern region.
Last weeks quake exacerbated
the situation that we found at the
beginning ... [with] areas which were
not really affected becoming more affected, Mr Sy told AFP in an interview.

These kind of disasters, they


leave also many invisible wounds.
People are traumatised, people are
scared, people are really shocked, he
said.
Aid agencies have warned of a
race against time to provide shelter
and bring relief to victims before the
approaching monsoon triggers landslides and blocks access to quake-hit
villages located along the Himalayan
nations hills and mountains.
The Nepalese government, which
has faced criticism over the speed of
its response to the disaster, has said it
was overwhelmed by the scale of the
April 25 earthquake, the deadliest to
hit the country in more than 80 years.
AFP

kAThmAndu

Eight dead in US rescue helicopter


THE Nepalese army announced on
May 16 troops had found the bodies of
all eight people from the wreckage of
a US helicopter which crashed while
delivering aid in the quake-devastated
country.
The UH-1Y Huey was carrying six
US Marines and two soldiers from the
Nepalese army when it went missing
during a relief flight in the mountainous northeastern region on the
same day that a second quake hit the
country.
Nepalese and US troops recovered
all eight bodies from the crash site this

morning, Major General Binoj Basnyat told AFP by telephone.


None of the bodies are recognisable, Mr Basnyat said.
Nepalese troops on May 15 spotted
the aircraft in a remote forest around
70 kilometres (40 miles) northeast of
Kathmandu, three days after it disappeared from sight.
Teams from the US military and
the Nepal army were investigating the
wreckage to determine the cause of
the crash, Mr Basnyat said.
Army helicopters and hundreds of
US and Nepalese ground troops had

been deployed to scour the mountainous region where the chopper disappeared.
Relief teams from around the
world have been working for weeks to
provide water, food, shelter and medical assistance to Nepal after the first,
7.8-magnitude quake hit on April 25.
Nearly 8500 people have now been
confirmed dead in the disaster, which
destroyed more than half a million
homes and left huge numbers of people without shelter with just weeks to
go until the monsoon rains.
AFP

World 19

www.mmtimes.com
PHNOM PENH

Naughty tycoon deported


CAMBODIA deported on-the-run
Russian tycoon Sergei Polonsky
yesterday, who officials say has been
accused of embezzling tens of millions of dollars in a real estate scam.
Mr Polonsky, who is in his 40s,
was detained on an island off the
southwestern town of Sihanoukville
on May 15 for overstaying his visa.
He was deported on Sunday
morning back to his country, Uk
Heisela, chief of the investigations
unit at the interior ministrys immigration department, told AFP.
He is a naughty man, he said,
adding that Russian officials were
escorting him back to his country.
Mr Polonsky had lived illegally in
Cambodia by over-staying his visa
for more than two years and his activities affect Cambodian national
security, Uk Heisela said.
Eight other Russians have been

arrested and also face deportation,


he added.
In August 2013 a Russian court
ordered Mr Polonskys detention after he was charged in absentia for
his alleged role in a 5.7 billion rouble (US$174 million) swindle which
defrauded more than 80 investors.
Investigators have accused the
businessman of orchestrating the
scam linked to the construction of a
housing complex in 2007-2008.
Mr Polonsky was detained in
Cambodia in November 2013 after a
request by Russia, but freed by an
appeals court in January 2014.
Cambodias Supreme Court in
April 2014 rejected the request by
Russia to extradite Mr Polonsky,
ruling that the tycoon could not be
sent back home because the two
countries do not have an extradition treaty.

Mr Polonsky, who denies the accusations, said at a news conference


in Phnom Penh in 2014 that it was
a big case involving a lot of bad
men.
Mr Polonsky still faces a separate
trial in Cambodia over allegations
that he and two other Russians
threatened a boat crew in the kingdom at knifepoint.
He was granted provisional release in April 2013 in that case after
spending three months in prison in
Cambodia, where he has business
interests.
The outspoken tycoons business was hit hard by the 2007-2008
global financial crisis, forcing him
to abandon work on Moscows Federation Tower, which he had hoped
would become Europes tallest
building.
AFP

SEOUL

S Korea clears DMZ peace march


SOUTH KOREA has given the goahead for a group of womens rights
activists to march from North Korea
across the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ)
in a call for peace led by American
feminist Gloria Steinem.
Once dubbed the scariest place
on earth by former US President
Bill Clinton, the DMZ is one of the
worlds most heavily militarised frontiers, bristling with watchtowers and
landmines.
Seouls Unification Ministry said
it would allow the group to cross the
heavily fortified border between the
two Koreas on May 24.
However, the march will not pass
through the truce village of Panmunjom where North and South Ko-

rean soldiers stand in a permanent


face-off across the border.
As to the course of entry, we plan
... to recommend the group uses the
Gyeongui road, the ministry said in a
statement texted to reporters.
The road crossing on the western
part of the border is mainly used by
South Koreans accessing the Kaesong joint industrial zone, which lies
10 kilometres (6.2 miles) inside the
North.
Around 30 women are expected to
take part in the crossing after holding a peace symposium and rally in
the North Korean capital, Pyongyang.
The organisers, WomenCrossDMZ.org, said they had received permission from North Korea last month

to traverse the border.


The marchers, who will also include Nobel peace laureates Leymah
Gbowee and Mairead Maguire, hope
the event will build momentum for
a permanent peace treaty to replace
the armistice that halted but technically never ended the 1950-1953
Korean War.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the division of the Korean
peninsula into North and South following World War II.
The buffer zone stretches for 2km
in both North and South Korea.
Crossings are extremely rare, but
there is a recent precedent with five
New Zealanders allowed to travel
across on motorbikes in 2013. AFP

Russian Sergei Polonsky (centre) is escorted by Cambodian military police


officials on an island in Preah Sihanouk province on May 15. Photo: AFP

TRADE MARK CAUTION


NOTICE is hereby given that Hankook Tire Worldwide Co.,
Ltd. a company organized under the laws of Korea and having
its principal office at #647-15, Yoksam-dong, Kangnam-gu,
Seoul, Korea is the Owner and Sole Proprietor of the following
trademark:-

SMARTEC Hankook TBR Technology


(Reg: No. IV/1644/2015)
in respect of: - Automobile tires; bicycle tires; casings for pneumatic
tires; covers for tires; motorcycle tires; adhesive rubber patches
for repairing inner tubes; inner tubes for bicycles; inner tubes for
motorcycles; inner tubes for pneumatic tires; inner tubes for vehicle
wheels; inner tubes for vehicle tires; luggage nets for vehicles;
pneumatic tires; repair outfits for inner tubes; rims for vehicle wheels;
saddle covers for bicycles; saddle covers for motorcycles; safely belts
for vehicle seats; brake segments for vehicles; shock absorbers for
vehicles; ski carriers for cars; spikes for tires; studs for tires; tires for
vehicle wheels; tires, solid, for vehicle wheels; treads for retreading
tires; treads for vehicles [roller belts]; treads for vehicles [tractor type];
tubeless tires for bicycles; tubeless tires for motorcycles; valves for
vehicle tires; vehicle wheel tires Intl Class: 12
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 Hankook Tire Worldwide Co., Ltd.
P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon.
Phone: 372416
Dated: 18th May, 2015

TRADEMARK CAUTIONARY NOTICE


MASSEY FERGUSON CORP, a company incorporated under
the laws of United States and having its principal office at 4205,
River Green Parkway, Duluth, Georgia 30096-2568, United States
of America, is the owner and sole proprietor of the following
Trademark:-

MF

Myanmar Registration Number. 4/560/1997


Used in respect of:

IN PICTURES
Photo: AFP

Philippine soldiers display various types of seized improvised


explosive devices with related material and shahada banners
similar to those used by ISIS, at a village in Mohammad
Ajul town, Basilan province, in the southern island of
Mindanao on May 16, after government troops raided the
bomb factory on May 14. Three Muslim militants and a soldier
were killed during the government troops raid on a bomb
factory of an al-Qaeda-linked group, a military official said.

Machines, implements and apparatus, all included in Class 7;


and all for use in agriculture, harvesting, horticulture, mowing,
forestry, earth or materials handling and moving, soil working,
timber handling and moving, civil engineering construction, snow
shifting, beach cleaning, parts and fittings for all the aforesaid
goods Class 12; Tractors and trailers (vehicles); land vehicles
for use in agriculture, harvesting, horticulture, forestry, earth or
materials handling and moving, soil working, timber handling and
moving, snow shifting and civil engineering construction; parts
and fitting for all the aforesaid goods.
Any unauthorised use, imitation, infringements or fraudulent
intentions of the above mark will be dealt with according to law.
Tin Ohnmar Tun, Tin Thiri Aung & The Law Chambers
Ph:0973150632
Email:law_chambers@seasiren.com.mm
(ForDomnern Somgiat & Boonma, Attorneys at law, Thailand)
Dated: 18th May, 2015

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 18, 2015

the pulse 21

www.mmtimes.com

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

Neng (left) blesses the tattoo of a German tourist.

Foreigners flock to ancient


Thai tattoo masters
Thai master tattoo artist Arjarn Neng prays in front of a shrine at his studio in Bangkok. Photos: AFP/Nicolas Asfouri.

MARIoN THIbAuT

Neng works on a German tourist.

Neng works at his Bangkok studio.

A German tourist is tattooed at Nengs studio.

N a cramped Bangkok room filled with statues of deities and


plumes of incense smoke, a master is at work.
With expert precision Ajarn Neng repeatedly plunges a
razor-sharp needle dipped in black ink into the back of a
disciple, each stab producing a perfectly placed pixel that
forms a traditional Thai tattoo.
It is an ancient art carried out by ajarns (masters), steeped in
superstition that Thais have prized for centuries. But increasingly
it is foreigners beating a path to this Buddhist tattooists door.
Ive been dreaming of getting a tattoo like this for years, says
Silvia Falbo, from Rome, proudly showing five lines of Khmer
script Neng recently inked onto her shoulder blade.
Im attracted to Buddhism and all the spirituality that goes
with it. And the design is really beautiful and original, she adds.
Ever since American GIs passed through Bangkok for their
R&R during the Vietnam War foreigners have returned home
sporting traditional Thai tattoos known as sak yant.
But it was when Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie unveiled a
Khmer inscription traditionally used in the region for Buddhist
scripture on her left shoulder that sak yant hit the mainstream.
Now the faces patiently waiting for their turn in front of Neng are
just as likely to be from outside Thailand than inside.
But foreign enthusiasm for exotic Thai ink is not without its
controversies.
While tattoos in the west are largely an aesthetic decision,
in Thailand they are imbued with both spirituality and
superstition.
Those who wear sak yant often believe their tattoos genuinely
lend them magical powers, bringing good luck or protection from

evil spirits. Some are even convinced that their inking will make
them bulletproof.
The designs lines of script, geometric patterns and
animal shapes are also deeply interwoven with Buddhist
and animist imagery that some Thais fear Westerners fail to
appreciate.
Tattoos showing religious deities such as the Buddha
or the Hindu god Ganesh also popular in Thailand are
particularly problematic, especially if they are below the waist.
In Thai culture, the head is the most sacred part of the body.
The further down the body, the less sacred, and foreigners with
religious figures inked on their legs have caused upset.
On the main highway into Bangkok from the citys
Suvarnabhumi Airport, huge 50-foot-wide (15-metre) billboards
declare, Its wrong to use Buddha as a decoration or tattoo.
Some groups want a complete ban on any tattoos of
religious figures.
The Buddha was a person who was clean from inside to
outside. His mind was free from illusion and all the impurities,
said Manat Chareekote, a spokesperson for the Knowing Buddha
Organization.
To tattoo the clean one like Buddha on the body is considered
improper and lacks respect.
Sukanya Sujachaya, adviser and former director of The Center
of Folklore Research at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok,
believes foreigners should do more research before opting for
such tattoos.
Today its about fashion. But this type of tattoo cannot be sold
just for their beauty. It also has to be for the belief, she said.

Thailand is not the only Buddhist country to experience a


backlash against foreigners appropriating religious imagery.
In April 2014 a British nurse was thrown out of Sri Lanka for
sporting a tattoo of Buddha on her arm, despite her insistence she
was a devout Buddhist who bore the tattoo as a mark of respect.
And in March Myanmar jailed a New Zealand bar manager
for using an image of Buddha wearing headphones to advertise a
cheap drinks night.
But while many foreign tourists have little idea about the
spiritual significance attached to religious tattoos, others deny
being insensitive and say their inkings are more than a fashion
statement.
When I look at my tattoos, it helps me and I think back
to what my ajarn told me, said Logan, an American living in
Thailand. Ive finally found a perfect ajarn for me. He is really a
big brother. He is like a mentor.
When a follower of an ajarn receives a tattoo, they are often
told by their master to follow a certain set of rules to improve
their life, with the warning added that failure to do so invalidates
the power of the tattoo.
Among the rules are the first five Buddhist precepts do not
harm living beings, do not steal, do not have inappropriate sexual
behaviour, do not lie, and do not consume drugs or intoxicating
liquor.
Neng says many of those visiting him are thinking beyond the
look of tattoos.
Foreigners like the unique beauty of patterns, he says. But
also, they have learned that believing in the sacred letters of the
tattoo might bring them strength. AFP

22 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 18, 2015

screen scene

Future Stars participants pose with trainers. Photo: Facebook

Future Stars shine


brightly in self advocacy
Chit Su
suwai.chit@gmail.com

HE men and women


concentrate on their
tasks. Some are cutting
paper, others are
folding paper flowers.
These are childrens tasks, but
these adults suffer from mental
disability.
Future Stars is an advocacy
group for intellectually disabled
adults. Its main objective is to
train them in vocational programs
so that they can earn money.
Intellectual disabilities are
more challenging than physical
disabilities, said Khin Myo Su, the
secretary of Future Stars.
The group was formed by
parents and trainers with 15
members in 2010. Now, there are
about 50 members.
This is the first group of its kind
in Myanmar. Other groups help
them learn, but not to earn, which
is where we come in. We parents
offer support, but we let them lead

the group, said Khin Myo Su.


The group leader is Min
Swe Htet, who is intellectually
disabled.
We try hard to be self-reliant
and earn money to support
ourselves, he said.
The mother of a disabled
person, Myint Myint Than, 52, said
she always worried about her son,
who could do nothing without
help. He is not deaf but he speaks
rarely. He cant react to questions
quickly, and he cant read or write.
I always worried about how he
would live once his parents pass
away, she said.
Her son came to Future Stars
three years ago. He has totally
changed.
The group taught him how to
speak in public and even to sing in
public. He is so much more mature
than before. He talks to people now.
I am completely amazed, she said.
Her son, Kaung Htet Naing,
24, is now working for Novotel
Hotel as a kitchen helper earning
US$250 a month.

Htet Htet Wai is another


success story for Future Stars. She
competed in the Asian Special
Olympics as a runner and won
prizes. She also works for Novotel.
She is a grade 9 student in
ordinary school, but she cant
read. She doesnt know colours,
cant tell the time and cant count
money. She arrived at the group
two years ago. I am very happy to
see how much she has matured,
said her mother, Tin Tin Aye.
The group also trains people
with intellectual disabilities to
speak out in front of others.
Most of them cant speak in
public. They dont know their rights
and cant ask for them. We train
them to speak out about what they
want. This is very important, said
Kaung Htet Naing, who suffers
from osteoporosis and is vice
president of Future Stars.
Parents with intellectually
disabled children can join the
group for free. They can contact
futurestars22010@gmail.com or
call 09420138645.

Artists share techniques and inspiration


NyeiN ChaN May
ARTISTS from both sides of the
border came together this week
for a special collaboration. The
33 artists, from Myanmar and
Thailand, held an art workshop
and exhibition yesterday and
today at the Yangon Gallery in
Peoples Square and Park, Yangon.
The artists completed about 40
paintings at the art workshop on
May 16, then added 30 more for the
display.
Last February, 16 Myanmar
artists went to Thailand to
participate in an art workshop
and exhibition in Bangkok, at
the invitation of Thai artists. Our
experience gave us the idea of
holding a similar event in our own
country as a way of demonstrating
the friendship between our two
countries and to expose local
artists to international concepts,
styles and techniques, said Mon
Thet, one of the exhibitors.
The exhibition not only
promotes cultural exchanges, but
also represents an opportunity to

The Myanmar-Thai art exhibition finishes at the Yangon Gallery today. Photo:
Aung Myint Ye Zaw

exchange ideas, he added.


An artist and a sculptor from
Japan were also invited to take
part, in addition to the 17 Thai
participants.

The paintings on display are not


for sale.
Im very glad I had the chance
to interact with Thai artists in this
exhibition, said artist Nay Myo Say.

Last call for Mad Men and Don


Draper
On Sunday, many an Old Fashioned were
raised to Don Draper or raised in his memory.
After seven seasons, eight years and nearly
100 episodes, Mad Men fans finally discovered
the fate of the shows dashing but conflicted
anti-hero as the curtain came down on the
award-winning retro-cool series.
US mainstream and social media have been
awash with speculation about the denouement
of the stylish series, which has won 15 Emmy
awards and four Golden Globes over the years.
Without giving away any key plot points,
Actor Jon Hamm who plays protagonist Don
Draper said in the lead-up to to the finale that
he hopes the alpha male, whose life is built on
a stolen identity, will finally find peace. Many
wondered if Sundays finale would finally resolve
the central lie at the root of Drapers successful
but ultimately unfulfilling life.
Mad Men will most certainly rank among
the top shows in television history and with good
reason. Rarely has there been such a perfect
melding of character, time period and subject
matter in a one-hour TV drama, said media
analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

Actor Jon Hamm poses next to the


grey suit Don Draper wore in Mad Men.
Photo: AFP/Mandel Ngan

Move over superheroes, video-game movies are going upscale


There was a time when a new video game adaptation was enough to make film critics gag, but
the big money involved is starting to attract a new level of talent.
Video game movies have an ignoble history in Hollywood, dating back to the dark days of
the early 1990s when clangers like Super Mario Bros. starring Bob Hoskins and Street Fighter
with Jean-Claude Van Damme were stinking up the screen.
But the lure of tapping into the worlds estimated 1.8 billion gamers has kept drawing filmmakers back for more, and the new projects seem determined to up the quality and match the
success of superhero franchises.
Among the more promising projects is Splinter Cell, which has been gestating for some ears
but is thought to still have actor Tom Hardy attached, fresh from his hailed action turn in Mad
Max: Fury Road.
Edward Noeltner, president of the Cinema Management Group touting the film at Cannes,
said it was always a good idea to tap into existing markets, particularly for smaller independent
companies.
Its difficult to build an audience from scratch unless youre a big studio who can spend $80
million on production and another $80 million on promotion, he said.

Surrealist filmmaker David Lynch


announced that he will direct the
sequel of the cult classic Twin
Peaks television series, a month
after saying a pay dispute had
scuttled his return. Photo: AFP/
Gerard Julien

David Lynch to make Twin Peaks


return after all
Surrealist filmmaker David Lynch announced
May 15 that he will direct the sequel of the cult
classic Twin Peaks television series, a month
after saying a pay dispute had scuttled his return.
The US television network Showtime
announced in the fall that the series, based on a
small-town murder in quirky Twin Peaks, would
return as a limited series in 2016, 25 years after
the shows last airing.
But in April, Lynch told his 2.4 million
Twitter followers that after more than a year of
negotiations. I left because not enough money
was offered to do the script the way I felt it
needed to be done.
His apparent about-turn was greeted with joy by
diehard fans and at least one star of Twin Peaks.
Kyle MacLachlan, who played FBI Agent
Dale Cooper in the original series and is reprising
his role, tweeted, Welcome back again!!
#TwinPeaks Special Agent Dale Cooper! on
#Showtime #damnfinecoffee.

Okely dokeley!: Simpsons voice artist quits


Harry Shearer, the Emmy-winning actor who voices pious neighbour Ned Flanders and
greedy boss Mr Burns in The Simpsons, said May 14 he is leaving the show but the shows
manager hopes to change his mind.
Shearer, who plays Homer Simpsons okely dokeley neighbour Flanders and the evil
billionaire Burns, tweeted a message from James L Brooks, an executive producer of the hit
series, relayed by his lawyer.
Show will go on, Harry will not be part of it, wish him the best.
The hit series
showrunner, Al Jean, told
the New York Times in an
email, Harry Shearer was
offered the same deal the
rest of the cast accepted,
and passed. The show will
go on and we wish him
well.
He added that the
characters voiced by Shearer
also including also Burns
obsequious manservant
Smithers will live on. We do
not plan to kill off characters
like Burns and Flanders but
will recast with the finest
voiceover talent available, he
told the newspaper. Shearer
The voice actor behind Flanders, Burns and Smithers
has been a part of the
Simpsons cast since its debut has passed up a new contract with The Simpsons.
in 1989. AFP
Image: Fox.

TRADE MARK CAUTION


NOTICE is hereby given that MEGMILK SNOW
BRAND Co., Ltd a joint-stock company duly organized
under the laws of Japan, Manufactures and merchants
of 1-1, Naebo-cho, 6-chome, Higashi-ku, Sapporo,
Japan is the Owner and sole proprietor of the following
trademarks:-

(Reg: No. IV/11050/2011)

(Reg: No. IV/11051/2011)

MEGMILK SNOW BRAND


(Reg: No. IV/11052/2011)
The above three trademarks are in respect of:Class 5: Pharmaceutical and veterinary preparations;
sanitary preparations for medical purposes; dietetic
substances adapted for medical use, food for babies;
plasters, materials for dressings; material for stopping
teeth, dental wax; disinfectants; preparations for
destroying vermin; fungicides, herbicides; food for
babies including powdered milk for babies, infants
and young children, follow-up milk for infants and
young children; growing-up milk for young children
and children; powdered milk for medical treatment of
congenital abnormal syndrome; lacteal flour for babies;
powdered milk for pregnant and lactancy period women;
powdered milk for added vitamins and minerals for
adults and elder men; dietetic substances adapted for
medical use, dietetic beverages adapted for medical
purposes, dietetic food adapted for medical purposes,
dietetic food for preparations adapted for medical
purposes, dietary supplements, food-supplements
not for medical purposes, mineral food supplements,

medicated confectionery; medicated drinks, medical


drinks; medical teas, herb teas for medical purposes,
mineral water for medical purposes; therapeutic diets
intended to prevent gastro-esophageal reflex adapted
for pharmaceutical purposes; dietetic bread adapted
for medical use; royal jelly for medical purposes;
medical herb; vitamin preparations, enteral nutrition;
albuminous preparations for medical purposes;
albuminous milk; milk ferments for pharmaceutical
purposes; milk sugar (lactose); enzymes preparations
for medicinal purposes; enzymes for medicinal
purposes; amino acids for medicinal purposes; protein
for medical and veterinary use, peptide for medical
and veterinary use, whey peptide for medical and
veterinary use; ceramide for medical and veterinary
use, milk ceramide for medical and veterinary use,
sphingomyelin for medical and veterinary use; iron
lactoferrin for medical and veterinary use, microbe
for medical and veterinary use, microorganism for
medical and veterinary use, non-medicated nutrients
being nutritional supplements
Class 29: Powdered milk for children; powdered milk
for pregnant and nursing women; powdered milk for
added vitamins and minerals for adults and elder men;
whole milk powder; skimmed milk; condensed milk;
milk beverages; milk-based beverages; fermented
milk; yoghurt; butter, cheese, cheese spread, cream,
milk ceramide (milk products), ceramide (milk
products), sphingomyelin (mild products), iron
lactoferine (milk products), milk and milk products;
artificial cheese (or imitation cheese); margarine and
fat spreads; fat-containing mixtures for bread; fatty
substances for the manufacture of edible fats; nondiary Cream (Cream made from edible oils and/or
fats); lard for food; chocolate nut butter, peanut butter,
edible oils and fats; fermented soybeans; fermented
bean curd; whey; protein for human consumption;
nutritional consumption in the form of powder,
granule, grain, tablet, liquid, gel, jelly and capsule
made from proein; meat, fish, poultry and games; meat
extracts; meat products; seafood products; preserved,
dried and cooked fruits and vegetables; jellies; jams;
compotes; eggs; soups
Class 30: Coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, rice, tapioca,

sago, artificial coffee; flour and preparations made from


cereals; ices; honey, treacle; yeast, baking-powder; salt,
mustard; vinegar, sauces (condiments); spices; iced
coffee; beans; seasonings; spices; aromatic preparations
for food (not from essential oils); rice; husked barley;
husked oats; flour for food; gluten for food; cereal
preparations; Chinese stuffed dumplings; pizza
crust; sandwich; Chinese steamed dumplings; Sushi;
steamed buns stuffed with minced meats; hamburgers;
pizzas; box lunch (being prepared meals); hot dogs;
meat pie; ravioli; confectionery and bread and buns;
instant confectionery mixes; ice cream mixes; sherbet
mixes; yeast powder; Binding agents for ice cream;
meat tenderizers for household purpose; preparations
for stiffening whipped cream; sake lees; chocolatebased beverages; cocoa-based beverages; coffee-based
beverages; ice cream; tea-based beverages; edible
ices; sherbets; frozen yogurt (confectionery ices); fruit
jellies (confectionery or desserts); puddings (desserts);
seasoned powder for sprinkling on rice: pizza sauce;
nutritional and dietary supplement (other than for
medical purposes)
Class 32: Beer; Beer wort; Extracts of hops for making
beer; Mineral water [beverages], table waters, Waters
[beverages], aerated water, soda water, preparations
for making aerated water; ginger ale, powders for
effervescing beverages, pastilles for effervescing
beverages, fruit drinks and fruits juices, lemonades,
non-alcoholic fruit nectars, tomato juice [beverage],
vegetable juices [beverages], sherbets [beverages],
syrups for beverages, essences for making beverages,
preparations for making beverages, whey beverages,
isotonic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages, mixed fruit
and vegetable juices.
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 MEGMILK SNOW BRAND Co., Ltd.
P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon.
Phone: 372416
Dated: 18th May, 2015

24 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 18, 2015

DOMESTIC FLIGHT SCHEDULES


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yangon to naY pYi taw

naY pYi taw to Yangon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MYeik to Yangon

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

1,5

6:45

8:15

6T 706

1,3,5

8:25

9:35

1,3,5,7

7:00

9:05

Y5 326

1,5

8:35

10:05

6T 705

1,3,5

7:00

8:10

7Y 532

2,4,6

15:35

17:40

7Y 531

2,4,6

11:15

13:20

K7 320

1,3,5,7

11:30

13:35

Y5 325

15:30

17:00

Y5 326

17:15

18:45

SO 201

Daily

8:20

10:40

SO 202

Daily

13:20

15:40

Yangon to sittwe
Dep

Air KBZ (K7)


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

Asian Wings (YJ)


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

Arr

Flight

Tel: 656969
Fax: 656998, 651020

Yangon Airways (YH)


Tel: 383100, 383107, 700264
Fax: 652 533

FMI Air Charter


Tel: 240363, 240373, 09421146545

APEX Airlines (SO)

sittwe to Yangon
Days

Dep

Arr

K7 422

2,4,6

8:00

9:55

K7 423

2,4,6

10:10

11:30

7Y 413

1,3,5,7

10:30

12:20

7Y 414

1,3,5,7

12:35

13:55

W9 309

1,3,6

11:30

12:55

W9 309

1,3,6

13:10

14:55

6T 611

Daily

11:45

12:55

6T 612

Daily

13:15

14:20

Yangon to tHandwe

Tel: 513322, 513422, 504888. Fax: 515102

Mann Yadanarpon Airlines (7Y)


Arr

Y5 325

Days

Air Bagan (W9)

Tel: 09400446999, 09400447999


Fax: 8604051

K7 319

Flight

Domestic Airlines

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)

Yangon to MYeik
Flight

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

Tel:95(1) 533300 ~ 311


Fax : 95 (1) 533312

Air Mandalay (6T)


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

Airline Codes

tHandwe to Yangon

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

K7 422

2,4,6

8:00

8:55

K7 422

2,4,6

9:10

11:30

7Y 413

1,3,5

10:30

11:20

7Y 413

1,3,5

11:35

13:55

W9 309

1,3,6

11:30

13:50

7Y 413

12:05

14:20

K7 = Air KBZ

7Y 413

11:00

11:50

W9 309

1,3,6

14:05

14:55

W9 = Air Bagan

Y5 421

1,3,4,6

15:45

16:40

Y5 422

1,3,4,6

16:55

17:50

Y5 = Golden Myanmar Airlines

Yangon to dawei

dawei to Yangon

SO = APEX Airlines
7Y = Mann Yadanarpon Airlines

YH = Yangon Airways

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YJ = Asian Wings

K7 319

1,3,5,7

7:00

8:10

YH 634

2,4,6

12:15

13:25

YH 633

2,4,6

7:00

8:25

K7 320

1,3,5,7

12:25

13:35

6T = AirMandalay

SO 201

Daily

8:20

9:40

6T 708

3,5,7

14:15

15:15

6T 707

3,5,7

10:30

11:30

SO 202

Daily

14:20

15:40

7Y 531

2,4,6

11:15

12:20

7Y 532

2,4,6

16:35

17:40

Flight

Yangon to lasHio

lasHio to Yangon

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

YH 729

2,4,6

11:00

13:00

YJ 752

3,5,7

16:10

17:55

YJ 751

3,5,7

11:00

13:15

YH 730

2,4,6

16:45

19:10

Yangon to putao

Days

putao to Yangon

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YH 826

1,3,5

7:00

10:35

Flight
YH 634

Days
7

Dep

Arr

10:35

13:55

YH 633

7:00

10:35

YH 827

1,3,5

10:35

13:55

W9 251

2,5

11:30

15:25

W9 252

2,5

15:45

19:40

FMI = FMI Air Charter

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

the pulse 25

www.mmtimes.com

InternAtIonAl FlIGHt SCHeDUleS


Flights

YANGON TO BANGKOK
Days

Dep

Arr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

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

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

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

YANGON TO BEIJING

Flights

Days

Dep

Days

Dep

Arr

Flights

BANGKOK TO YANGON
Days

Dep

Arr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Flights

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

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

Dep

Days

Dep

Arr

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

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

22:50

8M 711
CZ 3056
CZ 3056

CZ 3055
CZ 3055
8M 712

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

10:25
16:30
15:50

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

9:55

Flights

Flights

CI 7916
Flights

Arr

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

13:15
16:15
22:15

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

16:15

Days

CA 416
MU 2012
MU 2032
Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

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

15:55
18:45
18:40

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

Flights

Flights

CI 7915
Flights

Days

MU 2011
CA 415
MU 2031
Flights

Days

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

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

11:50
11:15
14:30

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

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

Air Asia (FD)

Tel: 09254049991~3

Air Bagan Ltd.(W9)

Tel: 513322, 513422, 504888. Fax: 515102

Air China (CA)

Waves of colour roll in over the Pacific as the sun sets on another great day in
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Photo: The Washington Post/Kate Silver

Tel: 666112, 655882

Air India

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

Bangkok Airways (PG)

Tel: 255122, 255265. Fax: 255119

Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG)


Tel: 371867~68. Fax: 371869

Condor (DE)

Tel: 370836~39 (ext: 303)

Dragonair (KA)

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

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)


Tel: 09400446999, 09400447999
Fax: 8604051

Malaysia Airlines (MH)

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


Fax: 241124

Myanmar Airways International (8M)


Tel: 255260. Fax: 255305

Nok Airline (DD)

Tel: 255050, 255021. Fax: 255051

Qatar Airways (QR)

Tel: 379845, 379843, 379831. Fax: 379730

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

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

Singapore Airlines (SQ) / Silk Air (MI)

VN 942

Flights

Flights

AI 701
QR 919
Flights

Flights

2,4,7
14:25
YANGON TO DOHA

17:15

VN 943

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

Arr

19:50
11:10

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

AI 401
QR 918
Flights

2,4,7
11:50
DOHA TO YANGON

13:25

Thai Airways (TG)

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

Arr

13:20
06:25+1

Tiger Airline (TR)

Days

Dep

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

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

KA 251
KA 251

5:55
5:45

KA 252
KA 250

Arr

Flights

Flights

Days

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

Arr

YANGON TO TOKYO

Flights

Days

NH 814

Daily

Dep

21:45

Days

BG 061
BG 061

1,6
4

NH 813

Arr

Flights

Dep

15:35
13:45

YANGON TO INCHEON
Days

Dep

17:00
15:10
Arr

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

Days

Y5 251
7Y 305

2,4,6
1,5
Days

8M 601
AI 236

Days

AI 236
AI 701

2
1,5

Dep

13:10
14:05

YANGON TO KOLKATA
Days

AI 228
Flights

Dep

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

Flights

Flights

Dep

6:15
11:00

YANGON TO GAYA

Flights

1,5

Dep

14:05

YANGON TO MUMBAI

AI 773

Days

1,5

Dep

14:05

MANDALAY TO BANGKOK

Flights

PG 710

Days

Daily

Dep

14:05

MANDALAY TO SINGAPORE

Flights

MI 533
Y5 2233

Days

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

Dep

15:55
7:50

MANDALAY TO DON MUEANG

Flights

FD 245

Days

Daily

Dep

12:45

MANDALAY TO KUNMING

Flights

MU 2030

Days

Daily

Dep

13:50

NAY PYI TAW TO BANGKOK

Flights

PG 722
PG 722
PG 722

Days

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

Dep

20:15
19:30
20:15

Flights

06:50+1

YANGON TO DHAKA

Flights

Flights

Dep

1:30
1:10

Arr

Flights

Arr

Flights

8:20
15:05

AI 235
8M 602

Arr

Flights

Flights

AI 227

Arr

Flights

22:35

AI 675

Arr

Flights

Arr

23:15
22:30
23:15

Days

1,6
4

Dep

12:30
10:40

INCHEON TO YANGON
Days

Days

2,4,6
1,5

Dep

Dep

9:25
13:45

GAYA TO YANGON
Days

Dep

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

2
1,5

Dep

9:20
7:00

KOLKATA TO YANGON
Days

1,5

Dep

10:35

MUMBAI TO YANGON

Flights

Flights

Arr

11:00

Days

1,5

Dep

6:10

Days

Daily

Dep

12:00

SINGAPORE TO MANDALAY

Arr

16:40

Dep

DHAKA TO YANGON

PG 709
Y5 2234
MI 533

Arr

Daily

Days

Daily
2,6

Dep

7:20
11:35

DON MUEANG TO MANDALAY

FD 244

Days

Daily

Dep

10:50

KUNMING TO MANDALAY

Flights

MU 2029

Days

Daily

Dep

13:00

BANGKOK TO NAY PYI TAW

Flights

PG 721
PG 721
PG 721

Days

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

Dep

17:00
18:25
17:45

Arr

00:30+1
23:30

BANGKOK TO MANDALAY

20:50
14:15
15:00

Days

AI 235
AI 401

15:05

16:30

Dep

22:50
21:45

TOKYO TO YANGON

Flights

Y5 252
7Y 306

Arr

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

Arr

22:25
23:25

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

8:05
12:50

16:30
19:50

Days

BG 060
BG 060

Tel: 255287~9. Fax: 255290

Arr

15:40

Tel: 255491~6. Fax: 255223


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

Vietnam Airlines (VN)

Tel: 255066, 255088, 255068. Fax: 255086

Airline Codes
3K = Jet Star
8M = Myanmar Airways International
AK = Air Asia

Arr

14:55
13:05
Arr

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

10:15
14:35
Arr

12:0
12:30

BG = Biman Bangladesh Airlines


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

Arr

12:20
13:20
Arr

13:20

MU = China Eastern Airlines


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

Arr

13:20
Arr

13:20
Arr

16:30
15:00
Arr

12:15
Arr

12:50
Arr

19:00
19:35
19:45

SQ = Singapore Airways
TG = Thai Airways
TR = Tiger Airline
VN = Vietnam Airline
AI = Air India
Y5 = Golden Myanmar Airlines

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

4
5
6
7

=
=
=
=

Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

Night of the Iguana


and day of the taco cart,
in Puerto Vallarta
Kate Silver

hen I think of
Puerto Vallarta, my
mind goes back to
that first bite of
taco al pastor, sold
by a street vendor in the Old Town
neighbourhood, somewhere near
a market, or maybe it was near a
smoothie cart.
Wed come to Mexico after much
discussion. My boyfriend, neil,
was nervous about Mexico, and
considering hes someone who reads
at least two national newspapers a
day, thats not unreasonable hed
been spooked by stories about drug
cartels, carjacking, kidnapping,
murder. I brought up Puerto Vallarta,
because a former boss had retired
there, and her Facebook posts
revealed a gorgeous city halfway
down Mexicos Pacific coast urban
enough for exploring but beachy
enough for relaxing.
We get off our plane, grab a cab
and within minutes were revelling in
views of the Sierra Madre mountains
as we drive to our apartment up a
hill as steep an A-frame. Wed been
in town for all of about two hours
enough time to take a cab from the
airport, drop off our bags, get the lay
of the land and hit the streets for a
snack. The taco al pastor cart would
draw us back, again and again, with
its sizzling meat tossed and chopped
before us and then scooped onto a
griddled corn tortillas.
We start the vacation off by
sinking into the pool, sipping Coronas
and taking in the scene. Were in the
Old Town area of Puerto Vallarta,
away from the touristy resorts. To
one side we can see the ocean and on
the other rise the mountains, covered
in thick forest. Between us and the
ocean are layers and layers of homes,
apartments and small shops.
We can hear the crowing roosters
that roam the streets, along with the
happy screams of kids kicking around
a soccer ball. And across the way, a
woman on the second-floor patio is
hanging sheets out to dry, playfully
chatting with a man and sipping
wine. Theres an easiness in the air.
Cue James Taylor: Oh, Mexico ...
We continue on to the Malecon, a
mile-long paved path along the ocean
that offers gorgeous views. The route
crosses a bridge over the River Cuale,
and we stop to watch the water flow
from deep in the mountains, past
hillside homes, melding with the ocean.
Below us, we spy some men gathering
some sort of shellfish from the water,
cracking them open and selling them,
on the spot, from a makeshift counter.
Kicking off my shoes, I grind my toes
into the sand and watch the sky turn a
hundred impossibly beautiful shades of
neon. I take dozens of photos. none of
them do it justice.

In the days that follow, we do


a few touristy things. We indulge
in the ubiquitous three-for-one
margarita deals (ouch). We eat dinner
at La Palapa, a romantic waterfront
restaurant, where we kick our shoes
off and, again, snuggle our feet in the
sand, watching another ridiculous
sunset while eating incredible, fresh
seafood. And we take a snorkelling
trip that we booked from a guy in
a Mexican restaurant (who also
gave us a coupon for a free order of
guacamole).
But the stuff we really remember
is what we found off the beaten path.
I had emailed my former boss and
asked her for suggestions. She directs
us to a friend who offers a tour called
Power Walk the hidden Streets of
Puerto Vallarta. Youll love her, she
says.
So we sign up with Sylvie
Scopazzo, and on the last day of
our vacation she meets us on the
Malecon. Following her lead, we turn
our backs to the ocean and look up
at the jumble of houses stacked deep
into the foothills. From where we
stand, you can see no streets, no grid,
no sense of order. Just Jenga-like
buildings, ranging from dilapidated
shacks to sprawling, tile-roofed
mansions. Thats where were going,
she says.
We walk up steep, brick-lined
streets, passing colourful murals,
learning about the history of the
city. We ascend a series of concrete
steps, so close to the small, slightly
crumbling houses that it feels like were
trespassing. Climbing higher above the
ocean, she leads us along these covert
passageways again and again.
eventually, we reach a rocky
summit, where a simple white
cross sticks out of some kind
of rudimentary stick-and-stone
structure. here, we have a majestic
view of Puerto Vallarta: the blue of
Banderas Bay, the towering resorts
and condos that line the beach. Weve
entered a world we would never have
found on our own.
We descend from the hills, and the
tour ends with us taking our shoes
off and walking across the rocky Rio
Cuale to Isla Cuale, a long, narrow
island thats home to art galleries and
workshops and restaurants.
Later that afternoon we wind our
way back to our apartment. About
halfway up, a man with silver hair
and a bright smile pulls up beside
us in an SUV and rolls his window
down. Want a ride to the top? he
calls out in english. Its a steep
climb! We thank him and say no, we
could use the exercise. he waves and
continues on his way. As we marvel
at the gesture one that would never
happen back home and reflect on
our trip, we both feel a little silly for
thinking twice about travelling here.
The Washington Post

26 Sport

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 18, 2015

Golf

Zaw Zaw Latt recognises


rival on Myanmar Tour
Kyaw Zin HlainG
kyawzinhlaing.mcm@gmail.com

Im very proud to be the champion. I intend to compete in every event


on this years [nine-leg] tour and I
want to keep winning, he added.
Zaw Zaw Latt has ambitions to join
Zaw Moe, Myanmars only other representative on the asian Tour, but failed
to progress from qualifying school in
January.
I didnt qualify this year and it
will be tough to qualify for next but
Ill continue to focus my preparations on that goal, Zaw Zaw Latt told
The Myanmar Times.
In the meantime he must focus on
the tour ahead.
The tours visits to Yedaung Taung
GC and Shwe Mann Taung GC [both in
Mandalay] will be the toughest venues
on the tour for me as I am unfamiliar
with the courses.
First, though, he, Myo win aung
and 30-odd other professionals will
tee off at the Defence Services GC in
Yangon, June 2-5, each looking to
claim a slice of the K38,500,000 prize
pot available for each contest, including K3 million for the winner.
The tour also includes amateur
categories for men and women. In
the womens event Yin May Myo has
shown her steel, winning both events
played so far. In the mens Zin Min
Thu led in Bago after Maung Maung
Oo took victory in Nay Pyi Taw.

aw Zaw Latt, the leading


player on the 2014 Myanmar
Golf Tour hopes the challenge posed to him this year
by last years outstanding
rookie Myo win aung will spur on his
game to a level where he can compete
on the continental tours.
a two-time winner and two-time
runner-up from last years six-leg tour,
Zaw Zaw Latt carded a three-shot victory over his rival in the second leg of
the 2015 tour held at Hantharwaddy
Golf Club in Bago.
Myo win aung turned professional
in april 2014 when the Myanmar Tour
was relaunched after it folded in 2011
due to a lack of sponsorship support.
In his second full year as a professional he confirmed his presence
on the tour with victory in the Tours
opener at the Royal Myanmar GC in
Nay Pyi Taw before his second-place
finish in Bago.
Hes a talented golfer. I expect him
to continue to provide me with strong
opposition as the tour progresses,
said Zaw Zaw Latt of his adversary.
My play in this years first-leg
didnt provide good results but I prepared well for this tournament and
the result came my way.

Zaw Zaw Latt tees off on the 18th hole at Hantharwaddy Golf Club in the second leg of the Myanmar Tour. Photo: MPGA

Asian U23 Mens Volleyball Championship group results


Pool A
Rank

Matches
Team

Sets

Points

Pts

Ratio

Ratio

Myanmar

MaX

226

166

1.361

Thailand

2.000

220

201

1.095

Saudi arabia

0.375

244

248

0.984

Maldives

0.222

196

261

0.751

Pool B
Rank

Matches
Team

Sets

Points

Pts

Ratio

Ratio

Iran

MaX

225

160

1.406

India

2.000

208

208

1.000

Qatar

0.500

188

201

0.935

Philippines

0.000

178

230

0.774

Pool C
Rank

Matches
Team

Sets

Points

Pts

Ratio

Ratio

Chinese Taipei

3.000

281

256

1.098

China

1.750

261

233

1.120

australia

1.000

273

253

1.079

Vietnam

0.000

152

225

0.676

Pool D
Rank

Matches
Team

Sets

Points

Pts

Ratio

Ratio

South Korea

9.000

248

186

1.333

Japan

1.200

255

249

1.024

Indonesia

0.571

242

261

0.927

Kazakhstan

0.333

245

294

0.833

football

Blatter calls for Israel concession


in Palestine football dispute
FIFa leader Sepp Blatter said on May
15 he hopes to head off a Palestinian
call for a vote to expel Israel from footballs governing body but that Israel
must make a concession.
Blatter said he will meet Israels
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
and Palestinian President Mahmud
abbas next on May 20 and 21 in a
bid to end what he called his biggest
challenge.
The Palestinians have sought a vote
at the FIFa Congress on May 29 claiming abuse of Palestinian footballers by
Israel.
Blatter has made it clear he opposes the vote but that a solution is only
a realistic proposition when those who
are privileged are prepared to concede
something and contribute to equality.
The onus in this respect is on Israel with its outstanding infrastructure, fully functioning professional
league and economic context, Blatter
wrote in his weekly column for a FIFa
magazine.
In an interview with a small group
of reporters including aFP, Blatter
said Israel should make it easier for
Palestinian and foreign footballers
and sports equipment to get in and
out of the occupied territories.
He added that Netanyahu would
not receive the FIFa delegation if he is
not ready to make some concessions,
I am sure.
He knows the situation, added
Blatter, who has been trying to end the
dispute for two years.
Blatter said he would meet Netanyahu in Jerusalem on May 20 and abbas in Ramallah the next day.
Palestine, which has been a FIFa
member since 1998, wants world footballs governing body to bar Israel
from international competition over

its restrictions on the movement of


Palestinian players.
It also opposes the participation in
the Israeli championships of five clubs
located in Jewish settlements in the
occupied west Bank. The clubs play in
the third and fourth divisions.
The motion will need a threequarters majority to be passed at the
FIFa Congress in Zurich.
The FIFa president held his latest
meeting with the heads of the Israeli
and Palestinian federations in Zurich
on May 10.
He said he hoped that after his talks
with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders
the federation hold new talks to find a
solution before the May 29 deadline.
This is my challenge number one
for my remaining time to the election.
But it is a very delicate problem, said
Blatter, who will seek a fifth term in a
FIFa election also on May 29.
He added that the case was making headlines from South america to
asia.
There is so much pressure by social media toward FIFa to kick out Israel on one side and on the other side
keep Israel in.
Israel Football association president Ofer Eini has accused the Palestinian federation of launching the initiative to score political points as the
Palestinians seek greater international
recognition.
Blatter said that a successful vote
would be a dangerous precedent
that could get FIFa involved in other
political and diplomatic battles.
It opens the door, he said. we
want to be in sport and not in politics.
This would be a very dangerous precedent, we have to fight [it] but they
realise that it would be a precedent.
AFP

Sport
28 THE MYANMAR TIMES May 18, 2015

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

Myanmar Tour champions


drive to stay on top
SPORT 26

vOlleyball

Myanmar set to surprise


China for semi-final berth
Kyaw Zin Hlaing
kyawzinhlaing.mcm@gmail.com

YANMARS U23 Volleyball side has come from


nowhere to comprehensively top its group
in the inaugural Asian
Mens U23 Volleyball Championship
with three straight-sets victories and
is now just two games away from a
berth in the World U23 Championships to be held in Dubai, UAE, this
August.
The tournament began at Nay Pyi
Taws Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium
on May 12. Undefeated, the hosts Myanmar hold the best record from the
group stages after wins over the Maldives (25-12, 25-14, 25-16), Thailand
(25-21, 25-20, 25-20) and Saudi Arabia
(25-20, 26-24, 25-19).
Today, their quest continues with
the quarter-finals and an unexpectedly
tough meet with tournament second
seeds China, after the Chinese were
upset by Chinese Taipei, who overturned them 3-1 on May 15.
China qualified as second seeds
for this tournament courtesy of their
showing at the 2014 U20 Championship. At junior level China rank 10th in
the world, while Myanmar, who did
not compete at the 2014 championship, have no rank at U20 level.
At senior level Myanmar sit at 78th
in the FIVB World Rankings, China at
17th.
Before the tournament began our
target was a quarter-final berth, Nyi
Nyi Lwin, head coach of the Myanmar
side told The Myanmar Times.
Now we have succeeded in that
aim,. We can take one game at a time.
China is a stronger side than those
who we have met so far. Their play
is genuinely at continental-level but
there are no easy games at the quarter-

final stages, he added.


Myanmar pulled together a youth
side after scouting players from various Ministry of Sports programs and
pulling them together to form a training squad in February 2014.
Buoyed by a home crowd just
as Myanmars U20 football side were
when they qualified for the U20 FIFA
World Cup the young side outclassed
their first opponents the Maldives
with Aung Thu announcing his presence early in the tournament as he
scored points from around the court.
Aung Thu who competed for
Chonburi E-Tech Air Force Club in the
Thai professional volleyball league
then led Myanmar to a straight sets
victory over Thailand in a game Nyi
Nyi Lwin believed his team had only
a 50-50 chance of winning before the
match-up.
In their final group game Aung
Thu devastated the Saudi Arabian side
with 25 points, including 20 kills, from
37 attempts.
But Nyi Nyi Lwin highlighted the
importance of all his players in achieving what they have.
Our team works hard for each
other. I hope we can keep this side together for the future, said the coach.
Whether the team makes it to a
home final and books their tickets to
the Emirates or not, come the end of
the week their attention will turn to
the Southeast Asian Games this June.
The SEA Games squad will be
based on the athletes we have here,
said Nyi Nyi Lwin, adding that they
will be joined by five senior-squad
athletes.
When Myanmar hosted the event
in 2013, the men missed out on a
bronze medal by losing to Vietnam in
the third-place play-off. This time they
say they target a guaranteed prize by
reaching the June 16 final.

Myanmar volleyballers look to block a Saudi Arabian attack. Photo: Asian Volleyball Confederation website

Quarter-finals
May 18

Myanmar

Semi-finals
May 19

May 20

QF 1 Winners

China
South Korea

Final

SF 1 Winners
QF 2 Winners

Thailand
Iran

Champion
QF 3 Winners

Japan
Chinese Taipei
India

SF 2 Winners
QF 4 Winners

FOR gROuP TableS See SPORT 26

The missing million: Fewer than one in five graduate high school
A groundbreaking
multi-year education
review cites lack of
interest as primary
reason for dropouts,
confirms need for
sector reform
STUART ALAN BECKER
stuart.becker@gmail.com

UST one in five Myanmar


youngsters finishes high school,
according to analysis of data
gathered by a Comprehensive
Education Sector Review (CESR), which
began in 2012 and is now in its final
phase. Lack of interest has been found
to be the primary reason for dropout.
Led by Myanmars Ministry of
Education and supported by the Asian
Development Bank and other development partners including UNICEF and
the aid agencies of Australia, Germany
and Japan the CESR is the first education study of its kind conducted in
Myanmar in 20 years.
Heading the ADBs efforts to discover whats required for Myanmar
to transition from a natural-resource
economy toward a more profitable service and technology economy is Chris
Spohr, a socio-economist who earned
his doctorate from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology.
Speaking to The Myanmar Times, Mr
Spohr said successful economic transitions such as those in Japan and the
Peoples Republic of China require the
development of human capital, and
thus they depend on the strength and

quality of the education system.


International experience suggests
education is critical, said Mr Spohr.
Myanmars ability to prepare todays
youth to be the skilled workers of
tomorrow will shape the pace and
nature of economic growth, as well
as the extent to which that growth is
equitable and inclusive.
Mr Spohr said the data collected and
analysed in the CESR is important because it enables policy makers at the
Ministry of Education to understand
the underlying causes of dropout rates,
and thus lays groundwork for effective
formulation of solutions.
This is the first attempt at hard
analysis of the education sector in
two decades to generate evidence and
hard facts as a basis for pinpointing
challenges and priorities for education
sector reforms, he said.
Of the 1.1 million Myanmar students who enter the countrys primary
schools each year, only about 300,000
make it to grade 11 (10th standard)
in public high schools 11 years later,
the study reveals. Of these students,
only one-third (just above 100,000) are
able to pass the matriculation exam
required for high school completion
and access to university.
The numbers suggest theres nearly
a missing million of youth exiting the
school system each year with limited
prospects for further education or
employment, the study said.
The number of matriculation
re-takers those who fail one or
more subjects and thus have to wait a
year to retake the entire test is also
perhaps shocking large, Mr Spohr
said. Every year, there are on average
470,000 matriculation exam takers
versus only 300,000 grade 11 students.

That means over half fail some


multiple times. We dont know what
to do, Mr Spohr quoted one parent as
saying, after a child resat and failed
matriculation three years running.
Whether youth graduate or drop
out, the study found little quality
education awaiting those wishing to
take up a trade. Technical and vocational education and training (TVET)
is a critical missing component of the
educational puzzle.
TVET has generally not provided
a pathway for the gross majority of
those exiting formal schooling. This is
partly because many existing forms
of TVET require matriculation exam
passage. Analysis of recent household
survey data suggests that 1 out of
9 youth age 16-19 were enrolled in
higher education, while less than 1%
of the remainder were taking any form
of training, the study said.

Nearly a missing
million of youth
[are] exiting the
school system each
year with limited
prospects for
further education or
employment.
ComprehensiveEducationSectorReview

Analysis of findings shows that five


out of six Myanmar school children
complete primary school. While low,
Mr Spohr says this is far from the lowest in the region.
However, he added, Nearly a quarter of those who complete primary
school fail to transition into middle
school [lower secondary education],
leaving Myanmar with the lowest transition rate among countries with data
in Southeast, East, or South Asia.
Among younger children, the primary factor behind dropping out is that
poor families cannot afford to send
their children to school. For dropouts
from secondary education, however,
the most commonly cited factor is lack
of interest.
Mr Spohr attributes this to a pervasive, widespread belief that schools fail
to provide relevant quality education
which will prepare students for success in the real world.
This is likely based on parents
and students perception about the
quality of education that the current
curriculum, pedagogy and rote-based
assessment are outdated and weakly
relevant to the real world or to getting
a decent job. In other words, quality
is feeding back into access issues, he
said.
Quality also drives access through
financial costs, which is the secondmost-cited reason for exit from
secondary grades. ADB-supported
analysis under the CESR indicates that
high school, not university, is the most
expensive level of education in terms
of household expenditure burden
per child enrolled. That analysis also
shows that private tutoring is the
largest single component of household spending on education, driven

Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

by the matriculation exam and other


rote-based assessments. Once again,
quality issues are driving access.
He added, however, that the government does recognise that secondary
education is a critical bottleneck, and
therefore a key front line in Myanmars
battle to modernise its economy.
CESR analysis of various challenges
is now being used by the Ministry
of Education and other government
agencies to formulate the National Education Sector Plan, which will address
comprehensive priorities throughout
the education sector, from preschool
through higher education, he said.
The CESR has provided evidence
on the who, when, and why of
school dropout and exit, as well as the
challenges this poses for Myanmars
socioeconomic transformation.
Mr Spohr identifies two key priorities needing attention. First, he says,
the completion rates of middle school,
which are currently less than half, and
high school, which are one in five, need

When students leave


school and why
Of the nations children, about

Of these,

4 percent,
or 45,000,

about 1 in 2

never start school at all.


A total of

1.1 million
Myanmar children newly enter
the countrys public primary
schools each year.
Of these,

5 out of 6

make it to the last year of


secondary school.
Of these,

1 in 3
pass the matriculation exam
(though some re-take and pass
in later years).
As a result, out of 1.1 million
students entering public school
each year,

complete primary school.

just over 100,000

Of these,

pass directly through to


completion.

3 out of 4
continue to start secondary
school.

The biggest reasons for leaving?

Lack of interest and


lack of money.

For more information, see:


http://www.adb.org/projects/46369-001/documents or http://www.cesrmm.org

to rise.
Second, he says, TVET needs to be
reformed and enhanced to provide a
pathway for a much larger number of
youth exiting academic education in
particular providing access to poor and
disadvantaged youth and unskilled
workers.
Interventions, including needsbased student stipends and expanding
school networks, are also important
elements to addressing the current
problems, he adds.
The upgrading of rural affiliated,
branch, and post-primary schools into
full-fledged middle schools may be a
low-hanging fruit. But CESR analysis
also points to less obvious dimensions
that will be particularly critical in
Myanmar.
In secondary education, Mr Spohr
says the government recognises that
reforming the curriculum including
transforming textbook content as well
as teaching and assessment will be
vital in countering the lack of interest

driving most dropouts.


ADB has been very proud to
support the Ministry of Education
in formulating prospective secondary education curriculum reforms
via two technical assistance projects
co-financed by Australia, and working
closely with other development partners, he said.
To raise the standard of trade training, the findings suggest the need to
open the doors to TVET, developing
a large array of new programs aimed
at providing industry-demanded skills
to disadvantaged youth and unskilled
workers regardless of academic
credentials. ADB, with support from
the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction,
is very proud to be supporting the
Ministry of Science and Technology
and Ministry of Industry in developing
and pilot testing competency-based
modular short courses.
ADB has been the main development partner supporting secondary
education and one of a small number
of partners supporting CESR analysis
of TVET and higher education, something Mr Spohr says he is proud to be
involved in.
From my own perspective, Ive been
extremely impressed at the extent to
which my government counterparts
are willing in fact eager to candidly
discuss challenges. Ive seen that more
in Myanmar than in any other country
Ive covered in my more than 15
years working on education in Asia.
Clearly there are huge challenges here.
However, I see that candor and commitment to work with development
partners to get at the root of problems
and tap international experience to
formulate workable solutions as a
huge asset in pursuing solutions.

Whats ahead for your child?


U Tin Aung, 49, Tarmwe

My son is in the third year of secondary


school at MLA International School.
I have enrolled him there since the
second year of primary. Before that
he was at government school but we
wanted better-than-ordinary education
for him so we decided MLA would be a
good place.
He always says that his dream is to
become an engineer. I respect that. We
are not going to decide what he studies in college or what kind of person
he should to be. However, we have
to motivate him every time he seems
distracted. What we are most afraid of is
him succumbing to peer pressure and
losing his focus.
We dont know which country he will
head to after taking the IGCSEs. He
has an uncle in Singapore. However,
we dont want everything about his life
to be decided by us. All we do now is
encourage. Who knows? Maybe hell go
to college in the US.

Staff writers Stuart Alan Becker, Mya Kay


Khine, Nay Zaw Aung Win, May Thinzar
Naing, Cherry Thein, Myat Noe Oo, Bill
OToole, Shwe Yee Saw Myint, Phyo Wai
Kyaw, Myo Lwin

Daw Ye Ye Oo, 42, Thingangyun

Two of my children finished high school


long ago, and the eldest is working in
Dubai. My youngest son just passed
Grade 8 from BEHS 1 Thingangyun.
My dream is for him to become a
doctor. Ever since he was a little boy, he
worked hard and passed exams with
flying colours, so I strongly believe my
dream will become reality. Who wouldnt
want to become a doctor? Its a dream
for all parents. Being a doctor is such an
honour. And the most important thing is
you get merit for saving peoples lives.
You can help a lot of people that way.
For now, though, I have to keep an eye
on him. He spends too much time playing games on his phone. When school
reopens I might have to take it away.
I dont know whether hell be studying
here or abroad after high school. The
thing is, we are not very rich. If he really
tries hard and gets a scholarship to a
country like Australia I would be very
happy. Nay Zaw Aung Win

Sub editor Mya Kay Khine Soe


Staff photography Aung Htay Hlaing,
Naing Wynn Htoon

Cover photograph

Contributors Ewan Cameron, Rupin

Aung Htay Hlaing (Pauktaw township, Rakhine)

Mahiyaria, Michelle Schaner, San Tun Aung

Cover design Ko Htway

Editors Myo Lwin, Wade Guyitt

Page layout Ko Khin Zaw

For feedback and enquiries, please contact

wadeguyitt@gmail.com, myolwin286@gmail.com

The high cost of free ed


MYA KAY KHINE
mya.simplefly@gmail.com

HE recently approved decision


to offer free high-school
education is the last of a threeprong lifting of fees for the countrys
roughly 8 million state school
students. Fees were removed from
primary education starting from
2012-13; from secondary (middleschool) education last year, and now
from high school, the Ministry of
Education confirmed last week.
As The Myanmar Times has
previously reported, grade 10 (9thstandard) students now get K1700
worth of textbooks free as well as
K700 in school fees, and grade 11
(10th-standard) students are spared
K2300 of textbook charges and K800
in school fees. Also lifted are parent
and teacher association fees, plus
stationery fees of K500.
The news comes as a relief to
families whose children were
unable to continue their schooling
in years past due to insufficient
income. However, formal fees are
only the tip of the iceberg when it
comes to the true cost to parents
of sending a child to school. From
car ferries to necessary tutoring
in the form of extra-curricular
tuition classes, education remains
prohibitively expensive for some.
This year, I cant enroll my grade
10 child in school because I faced a
problem last year when I couldnt
pay the monthly fee to the tuition
teachers of my younger children
after the first month, said Daw Aye
Aye Khaing, mother of six. I asked
my two elder children, a grade 11

repeater and a grade 10 student, to


help me by working out of school.
Daw Aye Aye Khaing washes
and irons for other households in
her ward in Yankin township. Her
husband works at Theingyi Market
in downtown Yangon. Together they
pay extra tuition fees of K10,000
for grade 1 and K20000-K25000 for
older children. They say having
extra after-hours tutoring is the
only way students can cover the
curriculum properly in Myanmars
severely under-resourced public
education system.
Since finishing exams, the 10thgrader and the eighth-grader have
gone to work. I pool their money
each day with neighbours by using
a savings club, a system commonly
used by those without bank
accounts to make it easier to adhere
to a savings plan.
Last year, she says, she put away
K1000 daily just for the childrens
education. This year shes striving
for twice that.
While enrollment itself is not
expensive, Daw Aye Aye Khaing says,
extra stationery and other school
costs add up. While textbooks are
given free, for example, exercise
books must be bought. How much
does her family spend on education
in total? K150,000 a year, she said.
Thats too much to keep everyone
in the classroom at once. One
daughter, who failed grade 10 last
year, had to take a year out to work.
If she passes grade 10 in this
coming year, she will attend grade
11 the next year. But it will cause
difficulty for us because the current
grade 9 girl will also enter grade 10

at that time.
A head teacher from Mingalardon
township, who asked to remain
anonymous, said the school system
is doing what they can to reduce
costs. The teacher added, however,
that while some families struggle,
others spend unnecessary amounts.
In school we need one book for
each subject but some parents
are using more books for each
subject. For example, they use
separate books for grammar or
meanings for English class. Then
they are spending money on
expensive school facilities. So they
face high costs for their childrens
education.
Daw Ei Pyo Kyi, who lives
in Bahan township, has a son
attending both state school BEHS
2 Bahan, home to a relatively
affluent student body as well
as an international school on
weekends. For tuition classes to
keep up with his state school
studies they pay K50,000 a month,
while the weekend school costs
US$500 a month.
And dont forget his daily K1200
for bus fare, plus K1000 for pocket
money.
When there is a traffic jam, I give
K4000 daily for his taxi fee, added
Daw Ei Pyo Kyi.
She said she spends a total of
K9000 a month combined just on
exercise books for the state school,
tuition and international school
classes. Her son also goes through
an average of 12 pens in one month,
she said, and she has three times
had to repurchase erasers and
rulers after they disappeared.

4
NEW DELHI

Under pressure, Indias


students turn to cheating

Until the system changes,


AYALI, 15, knew she was doing
cheating will remain a common
wrong when she scribbled
feature during exams.
prompts on her hands before
Rakesh Kumar, who left school
entering one of Indias thousands of
in 2008, makes no apologies for his
examination rooms But like many
efforts, including smuggling notes
other students, the pressure to pass
into the exam, hidden under his
her annual exams was too intense.
watch and in his socks.
Failure would jeopardise her chances
There werent many teachers or
of climbing out of poverty long
chairs, sometimes no electricity. I lost
shackling her family.
interest slowly, so I didnt study, Mr
Theres too much to memorise
Kumar, from Bihar, said.
and pressure from parents, teachers
Sometimes the invigilators
and even competition with friends,
wouldnt care much. They turned a
she told AFP. If you cant handle it
blind eye ... That helped. Honestly, I
all, you fail.
had no choice. I had to cheat..
Television footage last month
For better-off students, cameras
showed dozens of relatives scaling
hidden in buttons, ties, pens and
school walls in northern Bihar, one of
bras accompanied by Bluetooth
Indias poorest states, passing cheat
sheets through exam-room windows
technology are available
as staff and police looked the other
online and in shops tucked
way. The footage made international
away in the backstreets of
headlines, forcing authorities to issue
Delhis old quarter.
Sometimes kids come
parents with fines, but experts were
by to check out the items,
unsurprised.
Arjun Dev, former head of a
shopkeeper Rocky Binwal
government body that plans and
said, adding that his policy is
promotes schools, said an endless
not to ask questions.
Anand Kumar, who
overemphasis on memory-testing
exams has stubbed out creativity
teaches maths to students
and reasoning.
from poor families in Bihar,
Spy pens help
The system
said plenty of students work
kids from better-off
has failed
hard rather than cheat, and
families to cheat on
students. It
that teachers needed to
Indian exams, while
in poorer areas
doesnt equip
work harder to help them.
parents pass notes
them with
Also, there needs to be
through windows as
necessary
a sense of shame that
accompanies cheating
qualifications and officials turn a blind
eye. Photo: AFP
then overplays
and not just when the
the importance of exams, whose
person gets caught. It
certificate is hailed as the
should not be considered
ultimate ticket to success, he
the done thing.
said.
AFP

University
application
process to be
reformed
Students depart BEHS 6 Botahtaung after writing 10th-standard matriculation exams. Photo: Naing Wynn Htoon

Proposed overhaul of the university entrance process will mean less focus
on matriculation scores and more on self-directed applications by students
MAY THINZAR NAING
maythinzar99@gmail.com

OR students abroad, choosing a


university is one of the biggest
and most difficult decisions
they will make. Interests, location,
reputation and a host of other
factors come into play. For students
in Myanmar, however, selecting a
university has traditionally posed far
less of a dilemma: Students simply
enroll on the best degree course
available to them based on their
matriculation exam results.
This looks set to change, however,
with the introduction of the
Ministry of Educations long-debated
education reforms. The proposed
reforms scheduled to be introduced
for the 2015-2016 academic year

include a new system of university


admission that will enable students
to apply to universities offering
courses that match their interests.
Under the current fixed
admission system, a lot of students
end up studying subjects they
are not interested in, one retired
senior officer from the Ministry of
Education told The Myanmar Times
under condition of anonymity.
When they graduate, they work in
sectors completely unrelated to their
degree subject, which means they
dont utilise skills they have learned.
With the new system, students
will be able to study subjects that
interest them, and therefore make a
greater contribution to the country.
Under the new system, students
will sit entrance exams for the
universities of their choice, based on
the subject they want to study.
The current system, long derided
as outdated compared to those of
neighbouring countries, also prevents
students who fail their matriculation
exams from applying to university
straight away. Under the proposal,
students can re-sit the entrance
tests of the universities they want to
attend until they pass.
Entrance exams will be set
by individual universities, and
institutions across thte country
including Yangon University,
Mandalay University and the
University of Foreign Languages are
already preparing the exams for the
next academic year.
Our questions will test how
much a student is interested in the
subject they have applied to study,
said U Aung Thu, rector of Yangon
University. We wont be testing
subjects they have already learned as
part of the 10th-standard curriculum.
Instead we plan to test students
analytical and logical skills.
The director general of the
Department of Myanmar Education
Research Bureau, Daw Khine Mye,
said not all universities will hold
entrance exams, however. She said
arts and science universities will be
excluded under the new system.
We are currently finalising the
criteria for operating university
entrance exams. They will only
be held in some universities, and
policies for university entrance will
be published soon, she said.
But critics say these changes
will pose additional challenges for
students. One rector, who wished to

be anonymous, said the new system


may encourage corruption among
unscrupulous exam administrators.
Bribery of examiners could
become a problem. During the
transition period we need to be
careful to ensure the system is fair,
he said, adding that entrance exams
could become a burden for students.
Students are already working
hard to pass their matriculation
exams, and now they have to sit an
entrance exam as well, he said.
Budget and space limitations also
have to be considered. There will be
many students applying to sit the
tests, and most universities will not
have the space or budget available
for all of them to take the exam, he
added.
A professor from the University
of East Yangon, who asked that
his name not be printed, said the
content of the exams must also be
carefully considered.
It is still being discussed what
questions the papers will include. If
this system goes ahead, the entrance
exams should be rigorously tested
to ensure they are fair. Otherwise
there is a risk that a university will
lose its reputation, the professor
said, adding that matriculation exam
results should also be considered as
part of the admission process.
Whether the reforms will make
a difference in a country where
decisions regarding students
education are often steered by
parents many of whom hold
conservative views about the prestige
of subjects such as medicine and
engineering remains to be seen.
But Daw Khine Mye says the new
system will significantly increase
students choices when it comes to
choosing an institution.
Eligible students will be able to
attend universities in other regions, so
students in other states and regions
will be able to attend university in
Yangon and vice versa, she said.
Not everyone agrees increased
choice will be a relief, however.
Education consultant U Aung Kyaw
San says the reforms will make
decisions about where and what to
study even more difficult.
Most Myanmar students have an
inability to decide what subject to
study, he said. Myanmar students
are industrious, but they are weak in
decision making.
Translation by
Thiri Min Htun and Emoon

International school fees to rise:

Whats driving the price?


MICHELLE SCHANER
mschaner@gmail.com

HE majority of international schools


in Yangon expect to hike tuition in
the 2015-2016 academic year by an
additional 9 percent on average, citing
devaluation of the local currency and the
high cost of living particularly the cost of
housing for staff and teachers.
For children attending the most expensive schools in Yangon the increase
is somewhat lower. But annual fees will
range from US$11,000 (for preschool
children) to upward of $25,000 (for years 12
and 13) to attend either the International
School of Yangon (ISY), which has a USbased accredited curriculum, or the newest
and most expensive on the block, The
British International School Yangon. BISY
has the backing of a prestigious, UK-based
foundation and an accreditation new to
Yangon that distinguishes it from other UK
curriculum-based accredited schools.
Thus far the high fees and expected
increases do not seem to be deterring parents. ISY has waiting lists for most grades
in the coming year, and BISY still in its
first year has nearly doubled in size.
In terms of demand, the demand here
has been really big, said Mark Johnson,
head of administration for BISY. Compared to [the BIS school in] Kuala Lumpur
which was a very quick growing school
this has probably surpassed the growth we
had there Its been really busy.
Two years ago, the International School
of Myanmar (ISM), a smaller international school with a higher percentage of
Myanmar students, informed parents that
growing pains and rising costs were forcing
the school to raise fees by as much as 20pc
in some grades for the following year. The
announcement was not received well by
parents, some of whom staged a protest
outside the school demanding it be more
transparent with its finances in order to
justify the rising costs.
Those protests were followed by large
public meetings, at which parents invited
members of the press and confronted
school board members, rallying for greater
input in management of the school.
The public response surprised board
members, said ISMs new director, Ambler
Moss, and they have since responded to
parent concerns.
It [the protests] certainly changed
things, Mr Moss said. He now gives presentations to incoming groups of parents to
explain precisely how their money will be
spent, and to answer any and all questions
they may have about the schools management and financial procedures.
If you tell people instead of surprising
people if you tell them the reason and
the rationale its not that big of a deal, he
said.

In the two years since those protests the


school has also increased teacher salaries
by as much as 25 percent for some, and
has hired more experienced teachers including couples, to help reduce accommodation costs. Still, he said, housing costs
alone account for more than 20 percent of
the schools overall budget and limit the
schools ability to invest in capital projects,
such as new facilities for music and the
arts, or materials that increase the prestige
of the school.
The majority of ISMs students are
Myanmar, and many parents pay out of
pocket in contrast to ISY and BISY, where
many parents have come from abroad
and have tuition fees subsidised by their
companies or organisations. Depending on
the grade, ISMs fees for the 2015-16 school
year are expected to be anywhere from 60

Our facilities, salaries


and our benefits
increased at a rate
that is either equal
to or higher than our
tuition.
Ethan Van Drunen
Myanmar International Schoo l of Yangon
to 40 percent lower than those set by ISY
and BISY. They will range from roughly
$4200 (for pre-kindergarten) to $13,000 for
grade 12.
We have to play smarter on some
things and we have to do without some
things [to keep costs down], Mr Moss said.
[The board] still has the dream to keep the
school affordable for people.
The Myanmar Times contacted several
well-known international schools for this
story. Network and Yangon Academy declined to disclose their fees for the 2015-16
school year, and said by email they would
not be able to comment further given
the tight publication deadline. ILBC and
The Yangon International School did not
respond to emails.
The Myanmar International School of
Yangon (MISY) also did not disclose fees for
the coming year. But the schools director, Ethan Van Drunen, said fees would
increase in 2015-16, mostly for operating
costs related to the schools explosive
growth in the past two years. MISY has
seen a 58pc increase in enrollment in that
time frame, with numbers increasing from
350 students two years ago to an antici-

pated 600 students in the coming year.


Our facilities, salaries and our benefits
increased at a rate that is either equal to
or higher than our tuition, Mr Van Drunen
said.
An estimated 70pc of MISYs student
body is from Myanmar, with the remaining
30pc comprised of international students
from 27 different countries. Both ISY and
BISY, in contrast, are primarily geared
toward expatriate children, and restrict the
number of Myanmar students to around
30pc of the total student body.
Although Mr Van Drunen did not disclose MISYs fees for the coming year, he
said they are in line with those at international schools of a similar category, such
as ISM.
ISY director Stephen Plisinksi said
fee hikes for the coming year would be
minimal, at 6pc, and mostly related to
operating costs. The schools board made
a conscious decision to keep the increase
lower, he said, despite a spike in expenditures related to an ambitious and ongoing
construction project that will add new
classrooms in the upper grades, a new science lab, a gymnasium, a health clinic and
a state-of-the art arts centre to the schools
compound in Golden Valley.
Even with the construction, the school
was able to minimise the fee increase
by drawing upon an existing fund for
construction costs and choosing to scale
back its plans to include a more phased
approach, he said.
For the majority of international schools
in Myanmar, keeping housing and staff
costs down remains a challenge. As a
school director, MISYs Mr Van Drunen said
he is consistently facing three bottom lines:
financial; educational; and a third relating
to the schools culture. Complicating these,
he said, are the significant uncertainties
of doing business in Myanmar rent, currency fluctuation and the changing nature
of the country.
Mr Van Drunen said much of his time
is spent simply managing expectations of
both teachers and parents.
While the teachers Mr Van Drunen hires
are recruited via the same agency as ISYs,
MISY is not able to offer them the same
salary, benefits or overall package that ISY
can. Many teachers arrive from countries
where they have a better life, more amenities and a lower cost of living. Therefore, he
said, he must work harder to find the right
teachers for his school.
I tell teachers that their life will be a little
difficult and ask them if they are up for the
challenge, he said. If the salary and benefits
are good enough then teachers will stay until
they want to move on to a different culture
or a different location. They stay because
of the overall mission of the school The
salary doesnt make them leave, but it also
doesnt always convince them to stay.

Draft law in works for


international schools
Until it passes, however, the legal
status of international schools will
remain difficult to pin down, despite
their rapidly growing numbers
SHWE YEE SAW MYINT
poepwintphyu2011@gmail.com

DRAFT regulatory law for international schools is


coming this month, the Ministry of Education says,
which should help to sort out some of the legal
ambiguities surrounding the status of the institutions.
U Soe Win, deputy director of the Basic Education
Department, said a draft will be ready in May, and that
while the ministry had earlier met with international school
founders to form teams to plan a draft, widespread protest
against the National Education Law briefly put progress on
the back burner.
Experts have told The Myanmar Times that there are
over 1000 so-called international schools in Yangon alone,
ranging from enormous institutions to smaller apartmentsized businesses. Regardless of size, however, thus far the
non-Myanmar-curriculum schools arent acknowledged as
such: Instead, they are classed as holding company licences,
making data about them difficult to assess and regulations
difficult to enforce.
U Tin Maung Win, managing director from ILBC, one of
the largest and longest-established international schools, is
among those drafting the international schools law. He said
the law will cover everything from tax status to curriculum
equality between state and international institutions as well
as possible upgrades.
This draft was planned together with 25 international
schools by assigning them into groups. There are also some
schools contributing to planning the draft by themselves.
After the draft is finished, U Tin Maung Win says, it will
be sent to the ministry to be put before parliament for
affirmation. If hluttaw affirms the draft, it will become law,
he said.
Exactly when this will happen, however, is not yet certain.
And in the meantime there are no restrictions on new
international schools opening, meaning the business is
skyrocketing.
U Tin Maung Win said that with foreign investment
rising in Myanmar and the economy growing, the number
of international schools is ever-rising, but still not meeting
demand from locals and foreigners willing to pay the hefty
fees.
One managing director of an international school, who
who wished to remain anonymous, said that without a law
to arrange oversight, international schools are growing more
and more and we dont know how well they are teaching. And
people who dont know better are attending.
The source said a dedicated law to govern the schools is
needed. But there is an upcoming election. The National
Educational Law hasnt been finished. There are also public
schools. So the government and the Ministry of Education
wont give priority to international schools like us. I think it
will take more time.
In the meantime, U Tin Maung Win from ILBC said that,
despite enrolment fees rising across the board, and multibillion-dollar institutions opening up every year offering the
best of the UK, US, Singaporean and Japanese curricula, some
arrivals from abroad are seeking out still more exclusive
options.
Some people came and asked our school to teach their
foreigners kids from a foreign company separately, he said.
But I responded to them I cant because we dont have
enough resources. Translation by Khant Lin Oo

Better skills in a land of entrepreneurs


Peace in Kayin means fewer economic migrants to Thailand and more opportunity to educate those at home, writes LIFTs Rupin Mahiyaria

HE opening-up of Myanmars
economy has meant a boom
in the demand for a qualified
and skilled workforce, highlighting
the importance of government-led
Technical and Vocational Education
and Training (TVET). TVET is one of
the six focal areas of the governments
Comprehensive Education Sector
Review 2012-2014 that seeks to reform
Myanmars education system.
TVET in Myanmar faces several
challenges, however. Firstly, training
is disparate and managed across
some 19 government ministries.
Secondly, TVET in Myanmar has
not had strong links with private
industry and businesses, meaning
that training is not always aligned
to the requirements of the job
market. Thirdly, infrastructure is a
major problem, and there is a lack of
technology, equipment and welltrained teachers. This has resulted in
a lack of trust in the programs and
qualifications that are on offer.
The multi-donor Livelihoods and

Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) is


strengthening TVET in Kayin State.
LIFT promotes income diversification,
and encourages non-productive
households to step out of agriculture
and into more productive sectors of
the economy over time. Vocational
training can help make this happen.
LIFT is funding the Adventist
Development and Relief Agencys
(ADRAs) upgrade of TVET facilities in
Hpa-an, in a pilot project implemented
under the Ministry of Science and
Technology. The project found that
after 60 years of conflict in Kayin State,
young people were now flocking to
its capital in search of employment
opportunities, as opposed to migrating
to Thailand. TVET facilities at Hpa-an
Technical College were upgraded,
and teachers from the college went
to Thailand to take part in Training of
Trainers at Thai-run TVET colleges.
Short modular courses were
developed for skills that are in
high demand in Kayin: agricultural
machinery and motorbike repair,

People believe in me now. This is


the first time in my life that this has
happened.
Naw Tin Tin Aye
Vocational training recipient, Hpa-an

computer studies and tailoring. With


a curriculum adapted from the Office
of Vocational Education Commission
(OVEC) in Thailand, the practical
aspects of finding a job are addressed
in the training: There are modules
on complementary life skills, with
information on gender and good
nutrition; pre-employment training;
and small business skills; and trainees
are linked to relevant businesses
through a compulsory two-week
internship at the end of the course. To
help poor students join the course, a
living costs stipend is offered.
In the first batch of graduates, 70
percent started their own businesses
or found employment, earning a
regular monthly income of US$25-200.
Daw Po Po owns a busy printing
shop in Hpa-an, and took on two
computer graduates as interns.
After the two weeks of internship
finished, she offered them full-time
employment. Its a win-win situation.
I get trained staff, and they get sound
employment, she says.
Naw Tin Tin Aye used her stipend
to get a loan to set up a tailoring
shop next to a bus stop in her village.
Her average monthly income has
been $100, allowing her to grow the
business while sending her children to
school. People believe in me now, she
says, This is the first time in my life
that this has happened.

Daw Po Po has been running her own printing business for 10 years. The TVET
course provides her with a stream of interns. She has kept two of them on as
full-time staff. Its a win-win situation, she says. Photo: LIFT/Jacquetta Hayes

According to the International


Office on Migration, three-quarters
of Myanmars migrants to Thailand
come from Shan, Mon and Kayin
states and Tanintharyi Region. With
much of Kayins workforce in Thailand,
improved TVET training at home will
ensure that new migrants are better
skilled, can find better employment
and send back higher remittances to
their families. Workers may also be
able to stay at home, as opportunities
to be involved in the growing
manufacturing sectors arise.

LIFT is a multi-donor fund set-up in


2009 to improve the lives and prospects of poor and vulnerable people
in rural Myanmar. It is funded by the
governments of Australia, Denmark,
the European Union, France, Ireland,
Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand,
Sweden, Switzerland, the United
Kingdom, and the United States of
America, as well as, from the private
sector, the Mitsubishi Corporation.
The Fund is managed by the United
Nations Office for Project Services
(UNOPS). For more information,
please visit www.lift-fund.org

Living heritage
CHERRY THEIN
t.cherry6@gmail.com

ODAY being an artist seems


nearly rebellious, but once
they were cherished, even by
kings. In royal times artists served
as ombudsmen for the kingdom,
bringing news, information and
entertainment to the palace and the
public.
In return, they were blessed with
royal favour. At banquets, artists ate
alongside the king, and because
royal custom dictated the king
couldnt share a plate with them
they ate from special leaf-cups, phet
kyuat. Hence they came to be known
as phet khuat sar a person who eats
from a leaf plate.
When the British seized the
Myanmar throne in 1885, the natural
order of things was upended, and the
leaf-plate-eaters were no exception.
With nothing to fill their leaf-plates
with, artists gave up the stage for
the street. Rather than playing to
royal houses or people in authority,
they entertained the people, calming
their fury, soothing their sadness,
reminding them of the cultural roots
otherwise being actively swept away
by colonial rule.
In return, people appreciated
their artists, particularly those who
supported Independence. Some gave
money; some gave gifts. Though the
artists position was diminished, for
the ruling British did not praise or
promote local artistic traditions, they
continued to be cherished.
In time, though, the official antipathy trickled down. Some considered
artists merely beggars: Public performances sometimes drew criticism.
In Myanmar, as in many countries,
prejudice remains even to this day
against pursuing art as a passion let
alone entering into it as a career.
Fortunately, the struggle to
preserve artistic livelihoods and
traditions took institutional form
after Independence, in part with the
establishment of the Art Institute in
1952, later renamed the State School
of Fine Arts and the State School of
Dance, Drama and Music. (Both are
now located in the architecturally
stunning former home of Chinese
immigrant Lim Chin Tsong at 131
Kabar Aye Pagoda Road in Yangons
Bahan township.) Equivalent institutions opened in Mandalay in 1953,
and today all four are overseen by

If we
buy a
dozen its
cheaper
Taking stock of
the back-to-school
stationery boom

the Department of Fine Art of the


Ministry of Culture.
The Departments mandate is
stated on its website: To study,
expose and preserve Myanmar
traditional performing arts, drama,
plays, Anyeint classical dramas and
national races traditional dance and
music; To expose and preserve ten
kinds of Myanmar traditional arts and
crafts; To carry out cultural exchange
programmes with foreign countries;
To scrutinize Myanmar fine arts
[to check] if it is [in] harmony with
norms and customs; To nurture and
bring out new generation persons
of advanced fine arts through basic
painting, sculpture and theatrical
training schools and the Universities
of Culture.
Daw Mu Mu Khin served as principal of the State School of Dance,
Drama and Music from 1996 to 2010.
She told The Myanmar Times it is important to train young generations to
cherish the artistic traditional.
Actually art comes from the heart.
When I say train it is to appreciate
and value it, despite bad attitudes and
criticism upon it, she said.
Training artists and promoting the
high standards of Myanmar art has
been her lifelong devotion, she said.
For me, Myanmar performing art is
living heritage.
When contacted by The Myanmar
Times, Yangons state art schools said
they would prefer not to speak to the
media.
Each, however, advertises a tailored
program of artistic focus.
Fine arts students can study

aesthetic art (fine art), commercial


art, Myanmar traditional art, basic
carving and sculpting, carving and
sculpting animal and human forms,
and Myanmar traditional kanote (the
carving of floral designs, such as the
decorative motifs seen on carved
furniture or wooden columns).
Students at the School of Dance,
Drama and Music can study dancing,
singing, harp playing, xylophone
playing, saing (Myanmar drum circle)
playing, Myanmar oboe playing, piano
playing, violin playing and dramatic
acting.
Both schools offer three-year
certificates. While the study body
once ranged from 12 to 16 years of
age, policies changed in 2000 and the
schools now enrol students between
14 and 17 years of age.
In the early days, Daw Mu Mu Khin
said, passion drove enrollment: Those
who attended arts schools did so even
though they knew it would not lead
to a lucrative future. There were, she
said, no opportunities for artists then.
A higher institution offering bachelor and post-graduate degrees the
University of Arts and Culture Yangon
did open in 1993, however, allowing
further formal learning opportunities
for state school graduates and others.
Originally located at the same
grounds as the state schools, the university later moved to a separate 52acre location in South Dagon. Today it
offers degrees in cinematography and
drama, music, dramatic arts, painting, and sculpture, with post-grad
offerings in applied archaeology and
museology, plus an undergraduate

Visitors look at artwork from the State School of Fine Arts, Yangon. Photos: Staff

MYAT NOE OO
myatnoe.mcm@gmail.com

With royal patronage long gone, state support for


young artists, dancers and musicians today
falls to a handful of arts schools

OTHING offsets the sting of a


new school year like the promise
of new pencils and paper not
to mention pens, highlighters, soft
pens, erasers, liquid correction fluid,
notebooks, and, if youre lucky, maybe a
few stickers to decorate your pages too.
Perhaps more than those of any other
country, Myanmar children have a love
of stationery supplies and with public
schools set to open for another year
in June, stationery shops are currently
packed with parents and students
gearing up for the semester ahead.
Among the most popular places
to buy are Theingyi Market, Mingalar
Market and Yuzana Plaza, which over
will be teeming with shoppers in coming weeks, says stationer Ma War.

Shops see a boom in late May and


early June, she said. At other times they
sell school bags and other materials
but pencils and paper are their bread
and butter come back-to-school time.
In Myanmar schools we do not
use laptop computers. They only use
books and pencils, said Daw Thit Thit
of Yankin, who recently went shopping
for her school-age child.
I buy books and pencils by the
dozen for my son because they need
to use them the whole year. They use
books and pencils in school as well
as in tuition classes. I buy in Mingalar
Market because it fits my budget, and if
we buy a dozen its cheaper, she said.
Ma Hnin runs a stationery shop in
Hledan. She said when parents are
handling the pocketbook for younger
students, the shopping list runs to the
ordinary: Theres a focus on quality,

degree in computer arts. Foreign


students can also attend to learn
about Myanmar arts.
In 2001 a second University
of Arts and Culture opened
in Mandalay, offering BA
degrees in music, dramatic
arts, painting and sculpture.
Daw Mu Mu Khin said
the state schools used to only attract
students whose parents were artists,
as families with non-artistic backgrounds never encouraged children
to take up the arts, shepherding them
into more stable careers in business
or medicine.
She herself, however, did not come
from a family of artists. In fact, her
grandmother used to beat her when
she came back home from dancing.
But she kept dancing every day and finally was given permission to join the
state school with an evening course
in dancing.
That was in 1986, back when
students at the state school had a
starker choice: regular education or
arts education. Daw Mu Mu Khin decided to try juggling both by studying
dance in the evenings.
I earned my academic education
[during the day] and did not give up
my interest in dancing as well. I felt
grateful to my mother for giving me
that choice, she said.
The student body has now diversified to include children from families
in diverse fields. Students no longer
have to choose between arts and
standard educational credits: As parents were wanting their children to be
able to study art without falling behind in academics, the schools sought
permission from the Department of
Fine Art to add academic studies to
the curriculum, which happened in
2007-2008.
Students now split their days into
two shifts. From 7am to noon is for
academic study, like in mainstream
schools, and from 1pm to 4:30pm is
for arts study.
Daw Mu Mu Khin, who is also a
retired official from the Department
of Fine Art, said including standard
academic learning supports art studies in many different ways.
When children are gifted in art,
at the same time they also need
academic knowledge to promote their
interest. When they know English and
have good communications skills and
other general knowledge, it is easier
to develop their skills, Daw Mu Mu

and no splurging on the kinds of fancy


stationery on offer at City Mart and
other more upscale shops.
I sell few fancy stationery products,
just the most popular brand that most
people buy in books and pencils, said
Ma Hnin. The fancy materials are
expensive and some people think they
are only for looks and not good for

Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

Khin said.
Former student Ko Myint Mo attended the State School of Music,
Drama and Dance before the revised
curriculum allowing broader study
was implemented. That meant he had
to give up academic study to pursue
his love of dance. But by then he had
already been skipping out off school
here and there to watch zet pwe
Myanmar performing arts much to
the chagrin of his family.
My father used to beat me when
he heard I skipped school and
watched zet pwe, but I was stubborn
and kept on, Ko Myint Mo said.
While his father pushed him to get
a standard education, Ko Myint Mo
was keenly interested in dance. After
he failed seventh standard, his parents allowed him to join the state arts
school, which he attended from 1997
to 2000, then entered professional
life always a difficult transition for
any artist.
In March and April of 2015, Ko
Myint Mo was invited to join the
Asian Cultural Council, which
supports transformative culture exchange by awarding grants to artists.
He said he was so proud to share
Myanmar art and dance with the
world, and was glad to have had the
training that allowed him to do so.
But he also expressed regret at
not having had a chance at a regular
education as well.
I did not regret my education
because I am happy dancing, and it is
my life, but I wanted to be educated,
Ko Myint Mo said.
He said he appreciates the education system in a place like the US,
where people have more choices in
their education, as well as more job
opportunities and appreciation from
society after graduation.
I feel being education means being able to appreciate and promote
different interests and gifted qualities, Ko Myint Mo said, adding that
he wished Myanmar would reform
its education system to offer better
options for students artists and
non-artists alike.

actual use.
Dont tell the older kids, though.
When students in 9th and 10th standards go shopping, it tends to be with
a group of friends, and without adult
supervision they gravitate toward the
cute and fancy materials, Ma Hnin
said.
Ma Nu Nu, stationery shop owner
at Theingyi market, said pop culture
drives decision making for the older
crowd.
We are not afraid of the more
modern materials because we have
our regular customers. But the times
are changing and we have to change
to match the current demand. For example, Korean movies are famous and
we sell book covers with Korean actors
and actresses on them. But we dont
sell other fancy materials, because
most people cannot buy them.

Pioneering
classrooms
With their focus on development and community
involvement, non-profit civil-society educators
arent just filling gaps, writes Ewan Cameron
theyre rethinking how education should work

HEN students finish high


school in Myanmar and want
to continue their studies, their
future is already somewhat planned
out. The subject they will pursue
at university depends on their final
grades from school. If they come from
privilege, there may be opportunities
to study at private schools, or even
go abroad, but for most students
especially those from marginalised
communities these are not options.
In the past five years, however,
civil society groups and local NGOs
have been setting up educational
programs and institutions that aim
to give alternative academic opportunities to previously disadvantaged
youth in Myanmar. While these nonprofit post-secondary programs exist
independently across the country,
they often have a lot in common.
Students are in their late teens and
20s, and most come from civil-society
backgrounds. They study on intensive
year-long programs that have a strong
focus on English and social studies.
English can get people out of the
world they live in. It can open their
minds, so they can see the real world,
says Thomas, head teacher at the Pinnya Tagar Academy in Myitkyina.
The academy runs two-year
English and social studies programs
for youth from around Kachin State.
It has a strict English-only policy for
the first year Thomas notes that
English is not only useful for accessing a wider breadth of knowledge, but
also gives speakers access to better
job opportunities, particularly in the
development sector.
In Yangon, Kantkaw Education
Centre is one of the first non-profit
post-secondary institutes, having run
courses since 2009. The centre, part of

Thabyay Education Foundation, takes


around 60 students a year. These students come from all over the country
and arrive for a year-long course of
English, social studies and critical
thinking. The program started as a
means to help students access international scholarships, by giving them
the English and general education
needed to apply. While scholarships
are still a goal last year six students
won places at international universities the program now focuses on the
larger objective of giving a new generation of Myanmar civil society the
professional skills necessary to gain
meaningful employment, particularly
in the NGO and INGO sectors.
There is a need in the development sector for students educated
in subjects like English and social
science who also have critical thinking skills. We see ourselves as like
a development-based liberal arts
program for Myanmar, explains Zin
Mar Oo, director of programs.
The Level Up program, in Loikaw,
Kayah State, is another example of
community-based post-secondary
education. Each year a group of 30
students is chosen from around
Kayah State to attend the two-year
multi-disciplinary courses.
The principal, Elis, explains the
need for such courses: After students
finish high school, they need more
skills and confidence to get a job or
to go for further studies. Even if they
only go back to work for their communities, they still need more skills.
Level Up alumni have gone on to
work as teachers, public health officials and NGO workers, and Elis notes
how their course helps with social
mobility for those in development
fields. Now they can get higher posi-

Graduates and guests attend a graduation ceremony at Kantkaw


Education Center. Photo: Supplied/Thabyay Educational Foundation

tions and be a part of their organisations planning and decision-making.


Nationally, the number of students
taking these courses is relatively
small compared to the private sector,
and places are competitive. However,
the impact can be wide as there is a
focus on giving back to communities. Students are encouraged to see
their educational development both
as a means of achieving personal
goals and as a tool for community
development.
Our students are from marginalised communities, for example IDP

Practical learning
is good, because
if we dont know
how to apply what
we learn to real
life then its not as
effective.
Shwe Yee Oo
Kantkaw graduate and NGO worker
areas or low-income families, and
have community work experience,
such as those involved with development or volunteer work, says Zin Mar
Oo. After they attend here, they are

motivated to better serve the community back home.


Thomas from Pinnya Tagar also
notes how the content of their program
has an outward focus on learning.
When alumni become professionals,
they can benefit their communities.
For example, in social science we teach
about gender issues but we also teach
about how to apply knowledge of gender to real-life situations.
As these programs are independent, they offer a greater degree of
flexibility in course design than the
private or public sectors. Most of the
programs have incorporated experiential learning into their courses,
a way of engaging students through
activitity rather than simply reading
or discussion. The concept of experiential learning has a long history:
One of the earliest advocates was
Confucius, who famously said, I hear
and I forget; I see and I remember; I
do and I understand.
Despite many being convinced of
its benefits, theres a certain irony that
experiential learning is popular among
educational theorists but so far has
yet to be widely adopted in practice.
Nowhere is this more true than in
Myanmar, where rote learning is still
widely used as a method of instruction.
A lot of the educational programs
in the non-profit sector, however,
believe there is a benefit to practical
learning and have incorporated it into
their courses. Pinnya Tagar and Level
Up both have community development modules, where students study
subjects such as project management

and then develop and implement


their own community projects.
Kantkaw also has a similar program. For one semester, students do a
service learning project. After being
trained in class, they go to work with
community partner organisations
across the country, usually on education and awareness-raising projects.
Shwe Yee Oo studied at Kantkaw
in 2012, and after graduation went
on to work for local and international
NGOS. She recalls the benefits of
experiential learning: I worked in
Mon State with Pa-O, Karen and Mon
ethnic groups there. I was teaching
them but I was also learning from
them too. Practical learning is good,
because if we dont know how to apply what we learn to real life then its
not as effective.
As the Myanmar government starts
the long process of national educational reform, what is the future of
these programs? Some may wish
to partner with public institutions;
others may become private schools;
still others may wish to remain independent. Whatever they choose, its
clear that such programs currently
are not merely filling the gaps, but
creating new ways of educating, with
innovative curriculums and learning
methods which have set standards
high and could be a model for further
education programs nationally.
Ewan Cameron is an Educational
Policy Fellow at Thabyay Educational
Foundation. He can be reached at
ewancameron@thabyay.org

10

For Chin
dialects, a
long road
back to the
classroom
BILL OTOOLE
botoole12@gmail.com

ALKING around Falam, the


former capital of Chin State,
a person can expect to hear
no less than eight different Chin
dialects widely spoken around town.
However, there is one place where
these languages are entirely absent:
the schools.
Prior to 1948, all basic education
classes in the state were conducted
in Chin language. But after
independence, Prime Minister U
Nus government pushed Burmese
as the national language, relegating
minority languages to a single class
taught in basic education schools.
Since the early 1990s, teaching of
Chin or any other ethnic minority
language in state schools has been
banned outright by the central
government.
Today, with the Ministry of
Education embarking on an
ambitious but controversial plan
to reform the nations education
system, Chin teachers and activists
are cautiously optimistic that they
may, after more than 60 years, be
able to bring their native tongue
back into the classroom.
A law regarding the teaching of
minority languages has been put
forward as an amendment to the
education law passed by parliament
earlier this year, but the upper and
lower houses have yet to debate the
measure.
A copy of the amendment
obtained by The Myanmar Times
provides little information as to
when or how minority languages
will be integrated, saying only that
they will be allowed in minority
areas after students have mastered

Charting the rise


of English tutors
From two to 2000 ... and counting
ALASDAIR MACMILLAN
alibmac@gmail.com
Children study after dark in a village in northern Chin State. Photo: Phyo Thiri Aye

the ministry-approved Myanmar


language. It further states that
decisions regarding which languages
to teach will be decided by state or
region ministers.
The Ministry of Educations offices
in Nay Pyi Taw and in state capital
Hakha did not respond to requests
for comment last week.
Salai Van Gyi, a retired member
of the Falam education department,
said that academics and other
old-timers like himself are ready to
start teaching and designing classes,
but the parliaments dithering is
holding back progress.
[The law] is up to them. Maybe
something will happen after the
election, he said.

There should be
research programs
focused on how
many languages
we have and
which ones are
appropriate to teach
. . We really need the
government to
allocate the budget.
Salai Van Gyi
Retired education official,
Falam, Chin State

Beyond legal concerns, the sheer


number of dialects and variations
on the language found in Chin
State poses unique challenges for
designing a workable curriculum
across the state.
In Chin State, there is disagreement
over how many dialects we even
have, said Salai Bawipi, an executive
director with non-profit NGO the Chin
Human Rights Organization. He said
that among academics from different
towns, debate continues over even
minor points in the written script.
Like Salai Van Gyi, he was quick to
praise the church groups and other
volunteers who have continued
teaching Chin languages in Sunday
schools and other extracurricular
venues since the 1990s ban, but said
that these groups simply dont have
the resources preserve every dialect.
In particular, Salai Bawipi said that
the less populous tribes in the state,
such as the Khumi and Naga subgroups, often lived in communities
that were beyond the reach of the
church groups and volunteers
who have continued to teach Chin
languages outside the classroom.
Speaking to The Myanmar Times,
he said that resolving these issues
would require more support from
the state and Union education
ministries, beyond just changing
the law. There should be research
programs focused on how many
languages we have and which ones
are appropriate to teach, which are
most relevant, he said. We really
need the government to allocate
the budget.
If the government doesnt allow
[official] teaching and support
multilingualism, he added, I dont
think these dialects will last much
longer.

HE recent history of English


tutoring in Yangon started in
the 1950s, when Monica Mya
Maung, affectionately known as
Aunty Monica to those who knew
her well, started tutoring Myanmar
people to speak English well. She was
an English woman who married a
Myanmar local and devoted her life
to this country.
No doubt there were a few Myanmar tutors teaching English as well
at this time, but mastery of English
was not a priority for most people at
that time and salaries for tutors were
not very high.
In the 1980s, an Anglo-Indian lady,
who asked her students to address
her as Rosair, also began tutoring in
Yangon, and a few of her students
now tutor in the former capital.
Monica Mya Maung and Rosair
are sadly no longer with us, but they
were the very beginnings of an ever
growing English Language teaching
fraternity in Yangon.
Schools
The International School in Yangon
(ISY), with mainly American teachers, catered to a well-heeled clientele
and is still probably the most soughtafter school for wealthy Myanmar
and foreign parents. There was also
the Diplomatic School, where two
American teachers were extremely
helpful in encouraging their students
to study abroad.
It was not until 1996 when the
British Council opened as a full DTO
(Direct Teaching Operation) before
that it had been used as a selfaccess centre that young Myanmar students straight out of their
10th Standard exams at public high
schools started to take an interest
in learning English. Three teachers
and one teacher trainer arrived from
Britain in April 1996 with a teacher
centre manager in September. Since
this humble beginning, the British Council has grown enormously,
offering adult, teenage and youngerlearner classes, teacher training to
both native and non-native teachers,
and exam preparation, among other
things.
The American Center also provided skills courses at that time,
especially in writing and public
speaking, and is still running.
The year before, in 1995, the
Myanmar government had decided
to allow private education schools to
run alongside the national curriculum Basic Education public ones,
teaching foreign curriculum. The
first organisation to take advantage
of this ruling was ILBC, which today
has primary and secondary schools
throughout Myanmar, staffed by
both Myanmar and foreign teachers.
At the same time or shortly
afterwards ILBC was joined by Crane
School and then progressively by
MIS, MISY, ISM, YIS, Pride International, Brainworks, Total, NIEC, ALBA,
YES, and more recently The British
School, Pun Hlaings Harrow School

and Shichida Myanmar, the latter of


which caters to very early learners.
In addition, it was possible for
private adult language schools to
open from about 2009. The first of
these was Nexus, followed in 2011
by Edulink Australia. Both of these
organisations have now branched
out into young learners or providing
Myanmar businesses with muchneeded corporate English skills for
their employees, as well as catering
to the swelling numbers of students
who want to travel abroad to study
and therefore need a good IELTS
band score to do so. In fact, it would
be fair to say that the number of
IELTS courses run by various schools
and organisations is, alongside everincreasing young learner classes, the
focal growth potential in Myanmar.
Nevertheless, demand for Business
English courses is also very much on
the rise.
Tutors
If students cannot attend regular
classes, or desire more time with a
teacher, then this becomes the job of
an English tutor. In Yangon now there
at least 800 Myanmar tutors teaching
English, as well as just a sprinkling of
foreigners brave enough to face the
uncertainties of freelance work in an
essentially unreliable environment.
What is meant here is that Myanmar is still not at the income levels
of China, Vietnam or even Thailand,
where parents will pay ever increasing fees to get the very best teachers
for their children. Therefore, the
foreign tutor in Yangon may want to
charge the going rate, but quite often
may have to lower the fee in order to
get the customers to show any interest. Moreover, there is the issue of
high rent for apartments and houses,
not to mention the constant struggle
to get anywhere in the often-gridlocked Yangon traffic.
Why a class? Why a tutor?
In a class, students have a lot of fun
learning together, and provided they
have a well-trained teacher they will
eventually do well enough to achieve
their dreams of getting a new job or
going abroad to study.
A tutor, in contrast, offers more
individual learning time with a qualified teacher, who will have more opportunity to concentrate on correct
pronunciation and intonation, rather
than just grammar and vocabulary
learning, which so often happens in
bigger classes (although not necessarily at all the centres mentioned
above).
While a plethora of English training opportunities await the aspiring
English student in Yangon, the advice
of this teacher is to talk to your prospective centre or tutor about exactly
what you hope to get out of your
class, to ensure the experience will
be worth the money you put down.
Alasdair MacMillan teaches in Yangon. All opinions are his own, and he
apologises in advance for errors or
omissions.

11

Lining up for
private schools

Students write exams at KMC private school in Mandalay. Photo: Supplied

Since their reintroduction three years ago, private schools have been a hit
PHYO WAI KYAW
pwkyaw@gmail.com

HEN private schools were


first allowed in Myanmar
in August 2012, for the first
time in half a century, Myanmars
public education system appeared
to be letting down its students: not
just in quality but in quantity. The
system offered five years of primary
school, four years of secondary
school and two years of high school.
Singapore ranked at 26th on the
UNs Human Development Index
that year, compared to Myanmars
149th offers a 6-4-3 system, with
education mandatory to the highschool level. And while systems
in Australia and the US differ by
district, on average students in those
countries receive two more years
of schooling than children do in
Myanmar.
The decision to allow private
schools back into Myanmar, for
the first time since private schools
were nationalised in 1965, was
therefore an important shake-up
to address inadequate educational
opportunities stifling the countrys
children its future leaders. While
international schools, teaching
foreign curriculum, had been
operating for some time, only the
ultra-rich could afford them and
for those unlikely to pursue further
education or jobs abroad afterward
they made a poor bet. Private
schools, on the other hand, offered
an alternative, teaching the required
core Myanmar curriculum but also
offering extra focus on English, as
well as more diversity in teaching
enriched subjects such as music or
sport, plus smaller class sizes (and
hence lower student-teacher ratios)
than their public counterparts.
All this happens, on average, at a
fraction of the cost of international
school fees: A year of private
enrollment costs around K500,000
for primary school, K800,000 for
secondary school and K1,000,000 for
high school. Its still too much for
most, but reasonably accessible for
the urban middle class.
In the first year of allowing
private schools, 66 schools opened
nationwide. The next year, 46 schools
opened, with a further 69 schools
the next. In addition to the 160

now operating nationally, for the


coming year Yangon Region alone
has received 100 applications to
open new private schools a sign
of the swelling demand for these
institutions.
KMC private school in Mandalay
was among the first batch of private
schools to open, having been granted
a five-year permit, the longest
offered (two-year permits and
one-year trial permits may also be
awarded to institutions, with reviews
happen at the end of the term to
assess renewals).
KMC founder U Khin Maung
Cho told The Myanmar Times last
week that private schools should be
more than just private equivalents
of public schools. Rather than just
preparing students to pass exams
with distinction, he said, private
schools should also guide students

160

The number of private schools


currently licenced nationwide. A
further 100 have applied to open
next year in Yangon Region alone
toward becoming good people who
can better serve their communities.
To this end, KMC offers not only
core curricular subjects but also
classes for sports, music, personal
relationships and so forth, he said.
There are some children who are
outstanding players at sports and
music despite not earning applause
in curricular subjects. But first place
is not just for class or for curricular
subjects; you can be a winner in
other areas, U Khin Maung Cho
said.
A school is a place where children
are developed and raised beyond
their natural talents, even when they
have difficulties learning.
He said a teaching system
which focuses on exam grades
alone disrupts the true potential of
education, which particularly needs
to be nourished in younger years.
We try to have our students earn
distinctions in the high-school level,
but we give priority to multi-role
development in earlier grades, he
said.
With English as a dominant

global language, private schools are


focusing on it increasingly, to enrich
students opportunities by creating
bilingual graduates.
English is the focus in the
teaching. The higher the grade,
the more obvious this is. In big
private schools, it becomes quite
obvious they give more priority to
English than before. Some private
schools sign memorandums of
understanding with international
schools. Although local teachers
were once the only teachers hired
in my school; now native English
speakers are being hired also, said U
Khin Maung Cho.
In handing out permits, the
government is known to assess
a number of factors, including
facilities such as the playground, the
library, student numbers, teaching
equipment and laboratories. Private
schools are supposed to have at least
300 students, though U Khin Maung
Cho said enforcement on this metric
is sometimes lax, something he
criticises.
If a school does not reach the
stated requirements, I wish they
would not allow that school to open.
I wish they would not give permits
easily to increase the number of
private schools. Another controversy
in private schooling, he said, is
that some students enroll for show
without attending in reality. These
are facts which could destroy private
schools. Schools should warn each
other, he said.
Some private school founders told
The Myanmar Times said they face
trouble getting permits in time for
the enrollment period.
At the same time, the inverse
problem also occurs, in which
some new schools hire premises
and equipment before securing a
permit, then continue to accept
enrollments in advance, not giving
families sufficient notice if they do
not receive a permit to open, leaving
students high and dry when it comes
to taking exams at the end of the
semester.
Ma May Thu Myint, founder of Pan
Pyo Khin private primary school in
Taunggyi, said schools should not
just be taking money no matter
how good the potential of private
schools may seem to be.
Translation by Kyawt Darly Lin

Completely outdated

Clinical psychologist Dr Nyi Win Hman speaks


to MT editor Myo Lwin by email from Australia
How important is it for teachers to
understand educational psychology?
Apart from infrastructure and other
human and financial resources,
understanding psychology and
behaviour is most important in
teaching-learning, especially for
young children from pre-primary up.
This is why post-graduate training
for teachers includes various courses
on psychology, such as child, school,
educational psychology, etc. Teachinglearning is most crucial in a persons
life, as that determines their future
life and success.
What needs to be addressed?
UNICEFs 2012 study [Situational
Analysis of Children Study, with
the Ministry of Planning] provides
hard data on the insufficiency of,
amongst other things, the number
of teachers, as well as outdated/
outmoded teaching methodologies.
Of course the study describes many
other very important health and
social problems of children such as
malnutrition, widespread disparities
across regions, childrens rights to
health and nutrition, education,
quality of education and services, costs
of education, and so on.
How can we improve understanding
of childrens behaviour?
The utmost importance of teacher
quality is highlighted by the case of
Finland, which has the best basic
education in the world. It selects and
employs the best-quality teachers,
who are very competitive. Most have
masters degrees. These teachers
generally earn more than recently
graduated medical doctors.
The fundamental purpose
of education is to promote and
develop critical, analytic thinking
in both children and adults. Its not
pushing information and facts down
childrens throats in a top-down
fashion. The only way to improve
the quality of teaching is to provide

many short-term refresher courses to


teachers from all states and regions
on a long-term basis.
How do you judge Myanmars
education system?
In terms of teaching/learning
methodology, our entire education
system process from pre-primary and
primary to tertiary (higher education) is
completely outdated/outmoded.
Students are passive recipients rather
than active participants. (See more on
this in my Myanmar Times article on
higher education published about two
years ago.) As well, the assessment of
students is outmoded. This is especially
true in the basic education sector.
How do you see the mental health of
children here? Any common disorders?
There are no specific studies on
mental health (MH) of students. The
UNICEF study mentioned above
concentrated on physical health
problems and needs of children.
However, a World Health Organization
AIMS (assessment instrument for
mental health system) study in
2006 mentioned different kinds of
mental disorders found in facilities in
Myanmar. This study indicated that
in out-patient settings there were
children who suffered from neurotic
disorders (ie, less serious/severe),
as well as schizophrenia, which is
a severe disorder. In the in-patient
setting (most probably referring to
general hospitals) schizophrenia and
substance abuse including alcohol
disorders were reported. In a mental
health hospital setting, schizophrenia
and mood disorders (depression,
etc) were reported. To summarise,
children were found to suffer from
the usual range of mental disorders.
It is important to note that substance
abuse, including of alcohol, was
reported. As drug abuse is widespread,
especially among those who are poor,
this is expected to be a major problem
in older school-age children.

12

For those who aspire to study abroad...


Having earned a university degree at home followed by two abroad all three under scholarship
San Tun Aung offers advice to those looking to make their way in the educational world

OR almost 10 years, I worked in the


civil service as an editor with the
News and Periodicals Enterprise
under the Ministry of Information. I
held an MSc in mathematics from the
University of Yangon, but I felt I needed
more knowledge and formal education
relevant to my field of work.
I therefore left government service
and went to work in Bangkok at
universities teaching English. One
day I hoped I would get admission
to a post-graduate program on a
scholarship. After three years, I
was granted a scholarship from
the International University of
Japan to study for an MA. I had
the option of pursuing an MBA or
MA in international relations, or
international development. As it
was not my intention to work in
the business field, I opted out of the
MBA. My mathematical background
also gave me confidence in choosing
international development.
Through the international
development program, I studied
international political economy,
statistics, mathematics,
microeconomics, macroeconomics
and econometrics, among other
topics. International political
economy, an interdisciplinary field,
draws mostly on political economy,
political science and economics, and
may also include sociology, history,
and cultural studies.
As I was studying at an
international university, my fellow
students came from different parts
of the world and had different
educational and career backgrounds.

what I used to earn in Myanmar,


including the income I earned
moonshining as a private tutor.
However, I still felt my mission
for further education was not fully
fulfilled. After having worked for six
or seven years I decided to apply for
a scholarship to pursue a doctoral
degree. I discussed the matter with
my spouse and two children I was
already in my late 40s at that time
and told them that in my 50th year
I would apply for a scholarship to
pursue a doctoral degree. But I also
said it would be the last year I would
make such an attempt. Fortunately or
unfortunately, I got a full scholarship
to study for a PhD in sociology at the
University of Hawaii.
I was awarded the degree after only
nine semesters, but that stretched
out over seven years. The monthly
stipends and other allowances
covered mainly my expenses in the
States; I also returned home every
summer and in addition took a
couple of leaves of absence to stay
longer with my family and to earn
enough money to sustain my family
in my absence. We could not spend
extravagantly during this period: It
was really a hard time for all of us
and I must express my thanks to all
my family members, who underwent
many hardships during those years.
Having completed my goal of
pursuing higher education to the
doctorate level abroad, I have several
suggestions for those would like to do
the same. These tips will benefit those
looking to study in other countries as
well as those remaining here.

Photos: Aung Htay Hlaing

Besides what I learnt from lectures,


books, journals and the internet,
informal discussions with friends and
faculty members widened the scope
of my knowledge.
In Myanmars job market, those
who can speak and write well in
a foreign language are considered
an asset to their organisation. An
advanced degree from a foreign
country, then, is a big plus when
trying to land a good job, especially
with a foreign company or an
international organisation. However,
for those who are too smart, it could
be a different story, as they may find
they are considered over-qualified for
the kinds of jobs on offer.
Studying for another masters
degree improved my financial
conditions. My monthly stipends,
which I enjoyed while studying in
Japan, as well as the salaries I earned
in the country following the awarding
of the degree were much more than

Preparing for undergraduate


programs
For students at state or private
schools whose language of instruction
is Myanmar but want to continue
tertiary education abroad, here is my
advice:
Try to be good at mathematics.
Myanmar students face difficulties
abroad, especially in their early
semesters because of the education
system they have been through here.
Improve your analytical and logical
reasoning skills. For students who are
in the lower and higher secondary
grades (Grades 6-10), you might
want to try answering some of the
following:
1.

It takes 6 cubes to build a staircase


with 3 steps. How many cubes will be
needed for 11 steps?
2a. True or false: The opposite sides of
a parallelogram are parallel to each
other.

2b. True or false: The opposite sides of a


trapezoid are parallel to each other.
2c. True or false: A square is also a
parallelogram and a rhombus.
3. Ma Ni runs faster than Ma Phyu but
slower than Ma Nyo. Who runs the
slowest?
4. The length and width of a rectangle
are integers. The perimeter is 20m.
Which such rectangle has the largest
area?
5. A box contains 14 packages. Each
package weighs 3lb or 4lb. The total
weight of the box is 47lb. How many
of each type of package are in the
box?
6. In a class of 30 students, 21 can
name all the continents of the world,
23 can name all the major oceans
of the world, and 4 can do neither.
How many can name both? (Solve by
drawing a diagram.)
For those whose curricula do not
cover the topics mentioned above,
you might want to familiarise
yourselves with that kind of
mathematical problems by reading
texts or supplementary books on
mathematics being taught abroad
or at international schools here. If
you spend time working out such
problems which are suitable to your
age, soon after taking your grades
8 and 9 final exams and before the
start of the next academic year, you
will not be much behind others while
studying abroad for a college degree.
Also make sure not to shun long
mathematical problems in those
texts and supplementary books. For
those studying for final matriculation
exams, however, it would be best to
throw yourself into those rather than
looking at extra-curricular studies.
Needless to say, try to be good at
English. If you have taken your grades
8 or 9 final exams, try to read books in
English meant for children, especially
during your summer holidays. You
might need someones assistance or
guidance. Also try to cultivate a habit
of using a monolingual dictionary
during those years.
Try to read as many books as you
can on the following reading series
and other abridged editions and
childrens literature: the Ladder series;
the Ladybird series; the Blueberry
series. I am not quite sure if the
Ladder series of American English
stories are available now or not,
though there were many during our
childhood days.
During my childhood, my late
father forced us to listen to BBC
English radio lessons as well as the
VOAs news in special English and
its words and their stories. I regret
that I was not able to persuade my
own children to do the same, for such
radios shows offer excellent learning
opportunities for free. I wish I had
been more dictatorial in dealing with
my children when they were younger.
Preparing for post-graduate
programs
If you are applying to post-graduate
programs together with some kind
of financial aid, you will generally be
asked to write two kinds of essays.
You will be expected to write a
personal statement, detailing why you
wish to enroll in the programme and

institution you are applying


for, as well as outlining
your career plans after
completing the programme.
Educational institutions
abroad generally expect
you to return to your
country of origin
after graduation and
play your part in
bringing about its
development.
You will also
need to write
a research
proposal
form. One of
the most

important requirements for obtaining


the degree you are pursuing is to
complete a thesis/dissertation of
high quality. You therefore may need
to arrive at the institution with a
clear proposal for your research.
Sometimes schools provide an outline
for a research proposal; if so, strictly
follow it. You can always change the
topic of your thesis or dissertation
once you arrive at the institution
in fact, its almost expected it will
change once the time comes to begin
writing it, based on what you have
learned in the interim.
The following are my suggestions
for those seeking entrance to, and
scholarships for, graduate study.
Try to write in academic fashion,
especially when composing your
research proposal. To do that, read
articles, particularly from peerreviewed journals, which nowadays
should be made available from open
sources even if you have no links to
a research or academic institution,
and emulate the style of writing
found there. Do not, however, simply
copy-and-paste the writing or change
a few words here and there in them:
Plagiarism is not forgiven under any
circumstances, and ruins academic
and professional careers.
Institutions or scholarships may
have their own biases. They may
prefer to award spots to people from
certain countries at certain periods of
time, or be in favour of those who have
studied certain subjects and or worked
with certain types of organisations. Be
aware of those biases and try to align
yourself with them.
Nowadays, people have a fancy
for things quantitative. A better
knowledge of mathematics will help
you to follow lessons on statistics,
micro and macro economics. For
those who want to study computer
science, a good knowledge of discrete
maths will go a long way.
To increase your knowledge of
current events and international
affairs, try to visit regularly the

websites of The New York Times, The


Economist and similar internationally
regarded, strictly edited publications,
not just blogs.
To improve your listening skills,
try to watch films and TV series
with correct English sub-titles. In
some DVDs available in our country,
the subtitles may not be accurate.
Through friends and contacts, locate
shops where such quality versions are
available.
To improve your writing skills,
attend a class or engage a private
tutor.
When applying to schools and
scholarships, dont give up easily.
You might have to make many
applications perhaps up to 40 or 50
or even more.
If you have an option, try to choose
a university which has different
colleges under it. Then you will have
an opportunity to cross-register
for courses which are not available
in your own department or at the
college at which you are studying.
Form a study group. When I was
studying in Hawaii, I studied with
three others, and it helps to reinforce
your knowledge.
Whatever your choices, though, try
to spend more hours on self-learning.
There is a saying that self-taught is
the best-taught you should read,
write and think as much as you can,
inside and outside the classroom.
I would always encourage the
young and not-so-young to continue
their education whenever in a
position to do so. But start early, and
if you are going to do it in your 40s or
50s, think twice if you have to leave
your immediate family behind.
San Tun Aung is research director
at Myanmar Survey Research. He
holds an MS in mathematics from
the University of Yangon, an MA in
international development from the
International University of Japan,
and a PhD in sociology from the
University of Hawaii.