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DAILY EDITION

ISSUE 62 | THURSDAY, JUNE 11, 2015


NEWS 2

The Lady still barred from


presidency under new bill
A 25-page constitutional amendment
bill submitted to parliament yesterday
still blocks the NLD leader from
holding the top office, but would have
many other, far-reaching political
changes if passed.
NEWS 4

Master plan for Yangons


development unveiled
Yangons mayor yesterday submitted
to the regional parliament The
Greater Yangon Strategic Plan 2040,
a US$ 7.4 billion roadmap for turning
the city into an international hub of 10
million by 2040.

BUSINESS 8

China under scrutiny as


Myanmar joins bank
Parliament has voted to join the Beijingled Asia Infrastructure Investment
Bank, with MPs saying they hope they
see benefits from the $264 million that
Myanmar has agreed to contribute.
BUSINESS 10

PAGE

PHOTO: THIRI LU

The kyat takes a big tumble against the US dollar


The local currency has declined nearly 7 percent against the greenback since the start of
the month, making business difficult for importers and driving up gold prices.

Rice exporters count on


growing China market
The second batch of legal rice exports
to China are set to depart Myanmar
later this month. China is playing a
larger role in the rice trade, overtaking
traditional markets such as Africa.

Rakhine conflict divides UN


A fierce debate is splitting the United Nations over how to pressure or persuade Myanmar to change its policy of
discrimination toward the Rohingya minority, with some senior figures calling for a tougher approach. NEWS 3

2 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 11, 2015

IN DEPTH

NLD chief still barred


from presidency under
draft charter changes
Proposed amendments would reduce the military role in national politics
by ensuring a civilian president, while also devolving more power to states

Daw Thandar, freelance journalist Ko Pa (left) and Naing Soe Myint, a Mon
National Party member, speak outside court yesterday. Photo: Naw Say Phaw Waa

Mounting fears of
interference in Ko
Par Gyi investigation
NAW SAY PHAW WAA
nawsayphawwaa@gmail.com
AT the seventh hearing into the death
of freelance reporter Ko Par Gyi, the
district prosecutor was switched out,
eliciting concerns from the deceaseds
wife.
Changing the government lawyer is suspicious, said Daw Thandar,
Ko Par Gyis wife and a well-known
activist.
He is an expert about this case,
but he has been transferred to another town just yesterday. We will have
to wait and see what the real meaning is.
Daw Thandar said the lawyer was
already causing misgivings because of
a tendency to ask witnesses leading
questions.
Ko Par Gyi, whose real name was
Ko Aung Kyaw Naing, died on October 4 while in military custody. He
had been detained on September 30
while covering fighting between the
Tatmadaw and rebel troops in Mon
States Kyaikmayaw township.
Following local and international
criticism, President U Thein Sein ordered an investigation into the murky
circumstances of Ko Par Gyis death
on October 30. But the fairness of the
ongoing investigation which is proceeding at court hearings where no
one is on trial has been the subject
of much scrutiny.

The new lawyer assigned to the


case, Daw Yin Yin Htay, declined to
comment about her appointment. Her
predecessor, U Nyi Nyi Tun, said he was
transferred to Maungdaw township in
Rakhine State due to a promotion.
I cant be here at the court for the
next hearing because I have to move
to another city, he said, adding that
he had been on the waiting list for the
promotion for two years and suddenly
received approval.
Yesterdays hearing also included five testimonies: two people
who alleged to have known Ko Par
Gyi, two paramilitaries and a ward
administrator.
Freelancer Ko Pa told the court he
was a close friend and colleague of the
deceaseds.
I heard he went to the war area
then came back. I thought [at the
time] why did this idiot come back
from the war area because I knew he
could be arrested. Then I heard he had
disappeared.
Ko Pa added that freelancers who
cover border or refugee issues have to
accompany ethnic armed groups to
fighting zones because the Myanmar
government might arrest them if they
go by themselves.
Around 15 testimonies have already
been heard, with another 25 remaining. No Tatmadaw testimonies have
yet been heard. The next hearing will
be on June 15.

EI EI TOE LWIN

HTOO THANT

DAW Aung San Suu Kyi would still


be barred from the presidency under a long-awaited constitutional
amendment bill submitted to parliament yesterday, but other proposed changes would have potentially wide-reaching changes for
national politics.
The 25-page amendment bill was
submitted after receiving the support of at least 20 percent of MPs,
as required under the constitution.
The bill would change to 33 of
the constitutions 457 sections, including the amendment, removal
or addition of clauses. It also adds
subsections to schedule 2, which
outlines the responsibilities of the
state and region authorities, and
schedule 5, which states the taxes
that states and regions can collect.
The changes appear largely designed to give more power to states
and regions, and also strengthen
the role of parliament.
However, any change will require the support of at least 75pc of
MPs and, in some cases, approval at
a national referendum.
The two thorniest problems relate to section 59 and 436, which
govern eligibility for the presidency and the process of changing the constitution, which effectively gives the military a veto over
amendments.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is ineligible because 59(f ) bars those with
children who are foreign citizens.
While the bill proposes amending
section 59(f ), it would only relax
the criteria slightly; those whose
children are married to foreign citizens would no longer be ineligible.
It would also amend section
59(d), which currently states that
presidential candidates must be

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi delivers a


speech in May. Photo: AFP

well acquainted with the affairs


of the Union such as political, administrative, economic and military, to remove the reference to the
military.
Section 436, meanwhile, would
be amended to reduce the threshold for approval of constitutional
amendments to 70pc, opening up
the possibility of change without
military support for the first time.
The National League for Democracy
had proposed reducing it to as little
as 50pc.
One major proposed change
would significantly downgrade the
militarys role in national politics.
The bill suggests that the three
presidential nominees one of

33

Sections of the constitution, out of 457,


that are affected by the amendment bill

whom becomes president, and the


other two vice presidents must
be drawn from elected MPs. This
would rule out a military president
or vice presidents.
Union ministers would also
have to be MPs, and even the
three ministers appointed by the
commander-in-chief those for defence, border affairs and home affairs would need to be appointed
military MPs.
The bill also addresses calls from
ethnic politicians to give state parliaments the right to choose their
chief ministers, who are currently
appointed by the president.
Under proposed changes to section 262, the 14 state and region
parliaments will nominate candidates for chief minister and then
choose them through a vote. The
selected candidate will then be sent
to the president for approval. If he
or she is rejected on reasonable
grounds, the parliament can nominate another parliament. The chief
minister and members of state and
region governments must all be
serving MPs.
Following the submission of the
bill yesterday, Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann
handed the draft to the Joint Bill
Committee. Once the committee
has compiled its report, the bill will
be debated in parliament.
MPs contacted by The Myanmar Times declined to comment
yesterday, saying they had not had
enough time to analyse the bill.
Political commentator U Yan
Myo Thein said the bill contained
provisions that would move Myanmar toward a federal system,
but he believed many would not
meet the required 75pc support
threshold.
Nothing proposed by the bill
can be approved without the approval of the military representatives, he said. I dont believe military will accept a bill that could
lead to a lesser role for the military
in national leadership and politics.

www.mmtimes.com

NEWS EDITOR: Thomas Kean | tdkean@gmail.com

News 3

Big stick or softly-softly? UN split over


tackling human rights in Myanmar
GUY
DINMORE
guydinmore@gmail.com

A FIERCE debate within the highest


echelons of the United Nations over
how to deal with Myanmar on the issue of the Rohingya is moving from
behind closed doors into the public
domain, casting doubts over whether
the UN body has formulated a coherent strategy.
UN officials say the divisions are
at the same time ideological, personal
and tactical. But they ultimately boil
down to the question of how best to
get Myanmar to address what are seen
as the root causes of the recent boat
migrant crisis the systematic persecution of the Muslim minority who
are said to make up the worlds largest stateless community. Bangladeshs
own harsh rejection of the Rohingya is
also in the spotlight.
Calls for a more robust rightsoriented approach is strongest at UN
headquarters in New York, although
divisions exist there too. Prince Zeid
Raad Al Hussein of Jordan, the high
commissioner for human rights appointed last year, is said to be leading
the charge with the backing of UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who
in turn is under pressure to act from
Samantha Power, US ambassador to
the UN.
Defending a more softly-softly
line that prioritises development issues is Renata Dessallien, the UN
resident coordinator in Yangon and
the most senior UN official in Myanmar. Vijay Nambiar, a veteran Indian
diplomat who has been the secretary
generals special adviser on Myanmar
since 2010, is also seen as a strong advocate of non-confrontational diplomacy who previously has not placed
human rights high on his agenda.
The UN has got to have backbone,
a senior official in New York told The
Myanmar Times, requesting anonymity. But the UN is divided and there
are those who say that Myanmar is at
a difficult and delicate stage of transition, that being tough backfires. It is
not a united line.
The policy divisions trace their own
roots to fears of a repeat of the genocidal massacres witnessed in Rwanda
and Bosnia and more recently in Sri
Lanka in 2009, when thousands of civilians were slaughtered in the closing
months of its long-running civil war.
An independent review by Charles
Petrie, commissioned by Mr Ban,
was hugely critical of the UN, calling
its actions in Sri Lanka a systematic
failure.
In response to the Petrie report, Mr
Ban launched the Rights Up Front

Vijay Nambiar, the UN secretary-generals special adviser on Myanmar (right), visits Muslim migrants staying at a temporary
centre in northern Rakhine State on May 23 before being repatriated to Bangladesh. Photo: EPA

initiative in late 2013 with the aim to


ensure the UN system takes early and
effective action, as mandated by the
charter and UN resolutions, to prevent or respond to large-scale violations of human rights or international
humanitarian law.
Achieving this, the UN said, would
require a cultural change within the
UN system, so that human rights and
the protection of civilians are seen as a
system-wide core responsibility.
In that spirit, Prince Zeid briefed
UN Security Council members in New
York on May 28 on the human rights
situation in Myanmar as thousands of
Bangladeshi and Myanmar migrants,
many of them Rohingya, were drifting
in open seas, abandoned by human
traffickers.
Ms Power tweeted that the briefing was a historic first. Participants
said Prince Zeid delivered a damning
report on the institutional discrimination that the Rohingya in Myanmars
Rakhine State face, and how root
causes of the migrant crisis should be
addressed.
The first signs of a backlash were
not long in coming.
Thura U Shwe Mann, Speaker
of parliament and a possible contender for the presidency next year,
wrote an open letter to Mr Ban on
June 3 requesting that national and

international organisations exercise


great care to avoid creating misconceptions about our country and aggravating communal tensions and conflict.
Keeping in mind the peace and
security of the whole world, including
Myanmar, the international community needs to adopt an objective and
impartial approach, he said.

The UN has got to


have backbone. But
the UN is divided.
There are those who
say ... that being
tough backfires.
A UN official in New York

While some UN workers in Myanmar welcomed Prince Zeids get-tough


approach, a majority was said to be
opposed. One official, who asked not
to be named, said his report was accusatory and unbalanced and risked
undermining concrete signs of progress from the government.

We push and engage but others


want to pound on the door. But the
risk is that Myanmar closes the door
and thats it, he said.
In terms of progress, he noted that
Myanmars participation in the regional conference called by Thailand
on May 29 was the first time that Myanmar had agreed to discuss the Rohingya issue with the international
community.
The official also disclosed that since
mid-March, U Maung Maung Ohn,
chief minister of Rakhine State, had
overseen the return to their homes
of some 10,000 Rohingya from detention camps holding a total of 140,000
Muslims. Homes destroyed in the 2012
inter-communal violence are being rebuilt. A further 25,000 are planned to
follow in the coming months.
A former deputy minister for border affairs, U Maung Maung Ohn was
installed as chief minister by President
U Thein Sein in part because of his
proven ability to work with the international community, including the UN.
The government cannot say publicly that these people are returning,
the official said, noting the dangers
of a backlash, both in Rakhine State
from the Buddhist majority and from
Buddhist nationalists, including influential monks. The latter have already
protested in Yangon against foreign

pressure on Myanmar over the Rohingya, while Rakhine groups will take
to the streets on June 14.
Shortly before Prince Zeids intervention, Ms Dessallien and Mr
Nambiar released a joint statement
in Rakhine State following the Myanmar navys rescue of more than
200 migrants in desperate condition
aboard a human smugglers boat. The
statement was noted in New York for
its mostly conciliatory approach and
dismayed those seeking a tougher line.
It is Prince Zeid versus Dessallien
and she is feeling the heat. She is a big
supporter of the Rakhine chief minister and has bought the government
line, the UN official in New York said.
Ms Dessalliens office did not respond to requests for comment. Mr
Nambiar could not be reached as he
was involved in week-long talks in a
remote border area with leaders of
armed ethnic groups discussing a nationwide ceasefire agreement.
With the immediate boat crisis
abating, UN attention is shifting to the
citizenship verification program that
is getting under way, with the Muslim
minority offered the chance to prove
they meet legal criteria to gain citizenship. This includes renouncing the label Rohingya, which the government
argues is a recent political construct
and not an ethnic identity.
A pilot project in Myebon township
and elsewhere has already led to 900
people granted citizenship, although
they are still confined to IDP camps.
Some UN officials are sceptical about
Myanmars real intentions behind the
program, fearing it could lead to another exodus.
Myebon is a fake. It is for PR. They
are not serious about giving them citizenship, said one official involved.
He noted that many Rohingya IDPs
would have difficulty proving their
identity and credentials because their
documents were destroyed during
communal conflict in 2012.
Asked if Mr Ban was requesting
the UN in Myanmar to take a tougher
approach over government policy toward the Rohingya, his office replied,
The UN has consistently condemned
policies of discrimination, hate speech
and incitement to violence by extreme
elements in Myanmar and called on
the government to take strong action against those who engage in such
conduct.
We have been pressing the government to address the substantive issues
affecting the Rohingya community in
the Rakhine State comprehensively
and urgently, including their access to
citizenship, the statement said.
It went on to say that Mr Ban noted
that all people have suffered in Rakhine State and that the UN continued
to work to support the government in
addressing development and humanitarian needs of all people there.

4 News
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THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 11, 2015

Govt denies India operation


took place inside Myanmar
Special forces raid on Naga rebel camp comes after a June 4 attack on Indian soldiers that left 20 dead

KAYLEIGH LONG

WA LONE

AN Indian air force and special forces


joint operation inflicted significant
casualties on a Myanmar-based
Naga rebel group, media reports
and Indian officials said yesterday.
The Myanmar government, however,
has insisted the attack did not take
place on its side of the border and
it does not allow its territory to be
used by rebel groups to attack foreign
countries.
The Indian military said in a statement that two separate groups of insurgents had been engaged along the
Indo-Myanmar border at two separate locations on June 9.
The attack inside Myanmar was
carried out on a base of the Nationalist Socialist Council of NagalandKhaplang (NSCN-K). It was both a
pre-emptive and retributive strike,
coming in the wake of a June 4 ambush in Chandel, Manipur, that saw
18 members of the Indian military
killed.
Responsibility for that attack
was claimed by the Myanmar-based
NSCN-K, as well as Kanglei Yawol
Kanna Lup (KYKL) and a faction of
the Kangleipak Communist Party
(KCP). The latter are both outlawed
insurgent groups from Manipur.
Indian military statements did not
give specific details on the attack but

military sources cited in Indian media outlets reported that the operation was carried out with an Air Force
Mi-17 helicopter and 21 Para, an elite
unit, and resulted in the deaths of 15
rebel soldiers.
Deputy chief of mission at the
Indian embassy in Yangon Sailas
Thangal confirmed that the Indian
army carried out strikes at two locations along the India-Myanmar
border after receiving credible and
specific intelligence that the group
that had attacked the Indian army on
the June 4 in Chandel, Manipur, was
planning further attacks against the
Indian army.
The clashes follow the collapse
in March of the 2001 ceasefire between the NSCN-K and the Indian
government.
An informal ceasefire agreement
between the Tatmadaw and the
NSCN-K remains in place. There is
no Myanmar military presence in the
areas of the border where the strikes
took place.
An unnamed major from the Tatmadaw said yesterday that Myanmars armed forces had conducted a
discovery mission into NSCN-K territory over the past month to speak
with representatives of the group, but
declined to elaborate.
The NSCN-K was formed by current leader SS Khaplang and the leader of the Konyak Naga, Khole Konyak,
after a factional split in the NSCN in
1988.
Fellow NSCN leaders Isak and
Muivah splintered off to form a separate group, the NSCN-IM, which has

a far larger number of cadres and is


based on the India side of the border.
The NSCN-K has regularly been
accused of harbouring and training
rebels from Indias restive northeastern states, including the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and
its leader Paresh Barua.
In an interview conducted by The
Myanmar Times through an intermediary at an NSCN-K base in late
2014, SS Khaplang confirmed his
faction was working in close cooperation with rebel groups from the
northeast.
On April 17, following a meeting
inside the Taga region of upper Sagaing, NSCN-K joined forces with eight
other rebel groups to form a new umbrella group called the United Liberation Front of Western South East Asia
(UNLFW). Groups that count themselves as members include the ULFAs
independent faction, the Kamatapur
Liberation Organization (KLO), and
the National Democratic Front of
Boroland (Songbijit).
It was not clear whether Myanmar had been given specific advance
warning of the planned strike but
the embassy said the two countries
have a long history of military
cooperation.
India and Myanmar have a long
history of close cooperation between
the two militaries its not just today or yesterday, Mr Thangal said.
We also have institutional dialogues
which are held regularly. The cooperation has always been there and
we look forward to continuing to
work with Myanmar authorities in

combating terrorism and anti-social


elements.
NSCN-K representatives were not
available for comment on the reported strike at the time of printing, but
have refuted the casualty count in
Naga media outlets.
But a Myanmar government official has denied that the attack took
place on this side of the border, adding that Myanmars foreign policy is
to not accept any rebel group gaining a foothold to fight neighbouring
countries.
Presidents Office director U Zaw
Htay said Indias ambassador to Myanmar had met Myanmars deputy
minister of foreign affairs to explain
about the raid on Indian territory,
near the border with Myanmar.
We will cooperate with India to
fight the rebels if they give us information about them, he said.
However, the government has long
acknowledged that the NSCN-K operates from its territory. U Hla Maung
Shwe, a senior adviser to the Myanmar Peace Center, said yesterday that
the NSCN-K was a recognised armed
ethnic group in Myanmar, and had
observed negotiations on a nationwide ceasefire. He said the NSCN-K
would be eligible to sign the document once negotiations are complete
over the draft.
I cant give any comments about
the fighting, he said.
A Tatmadaw lieutenant general
from the Public Relations and Psychological Warfare Department, who
asked not to be named, said his office
had no information on the attack.

Govt unveils Yangon development plan


YE MON
yeemontun2013@gmail.com
MYAT NYEIN AYE
myatnyeinaye11092@gmail.com
YANGONS future got a little clearer
yesterday, as Mayor U Hla Myint
submitted detailed plans for planned
growth along seven corridors to the
regional parliament.
The development vision initially
put forward by Yangon City Development Committee urban planning
chief U Toe Aung, and developed
jointly by the Japan International
Cooperation Agency, proposes dividing the former capital into seven
sections: North East Yangon, South
West Yangon, Dala township, Thanlyin township, Htantabin township, Hmawbi township and Hlegu
township.
The expansion project aims to accommodate 10 million people up
from about 5.2 million by 2040,
according to U Hla Myints pitch to
parliament.
These projects can help to develop
Yangon city and many houses will become available for squatters. Job opportunities will increase, he said.
Both the projected budget and the
scope of the development plans are
enormous at 118,732 acres costing k
8.178 trillion (US$7.4 billion).
Under the plan, developers will
launch the North East section first.
U Hla Myint said the area should
be prioritised because it has a low
population, good transportation and
is located between Thilawa special
economic zone and Hantharwaddy
Airport, both of which are under
development. This section of the
project is expected to cost K491.13

A labourer works at a construction site in downtown Yangon. Photo: AFP

billion ($442 million), he said.


The developers would then move,
in order, to South West Yangon, Thanlyin township, Dala township, Htantabin township, Hmawbi township and
then to Hlegu township.
The largest portion of the budget is
earmarked for Dala township, according to the mayors estimates.
This area is envisioned as accommodating 1.4 million people in over
334,000 houses, which would cost
K1.869 trillion to set up.

The South West zone is the 30,000acre Yangon new city that was announced last year by the regional government. After a public outcry against
the projects lack of transparency, the
government in September 2014 agreed
to put it on hold indefinitely.
U Toe Aung, the YCDC urban planner behind the plan, told The Myanmar Times that proposed megacity
plans were completed in 2013, but the
project was delayed after the regional
government requested more detailed

plans for all seven mini-cities, including a budget breakdown.


Daw Nyo Nyo Thin, the representative for Bahan, said yesterday that
she still has more questions about
whether the requested budget is
appropriate.
The amount is very high, so I will
ask the mayor about it in the parliament, she said.
The parliament will discuss the
Greater Yangon Strategic Plan 2040
on June 19.

News 5

www.mmtimes.com

On anniversary
of raid, monk urges
president to intervene
AUNG KYAW MIN
aungkyawmin.mcm@gmail.com

An Intha man searches for fish at sunrise on Inle Lake in southern Shan State. Photo: AFP

Inle Lake joins UN


list of biosphere sites
AYE SAPAY
PHYU
ayephyu2006@gmail.com

IN a first for Myanmar, Inle Lake


has been selected as one of 20 new
sites added to the World Network of
Biosphere Reserves. Forestry department officials are hoping that the
decision will result in both improvements to the environment and a fresh
influx of visitors to the site, one of the
countrys prime tourist destinations.
The long-awaited decision was
taken by the International Coordinating Council of UNESCOs Man and
the Biosphere Programme (MAB) in
Paris on June 9.
Man and the Biosphere is an intergovernmental scientific program set
up by UNESCO in the early 1970s to
improve the interaction between people and their natural environment,
on a global scale. Biosphere reserves
are places for learning about sustainable development that reconcile the
conservation of biodiversity with the
sustainable use of natural resources.
New reserves are designated each
year.

267

Bird species found at Inle Lake,


of which 82 are wetland birds

There are now 651 such sites in


120 countries, of which Inle Lake is
the first to be designated in Myanmar.
U Win Naing Thaw, director of
the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestrys Nature and
Wildlife Conservation Division, attended the Paris meeting as part of
a five-member delegation. He said 26
proposals had been submitted by 19
countries.
The meeting announced its congratulations to Myanmar for having
its first biosphere reserve, he said by
email yesterday.
UNESCO said the Inle Lake
biosphere reserve covered a total
of 489,721 hectares. The wetland

ecosystem of the freshwater lake is


home to 267 species of birds of which
82 are wetland birds 43 species of
freshwater fishes, otters and turtles.
Diverse flora and fauna species are recorded and the lake is reported to be
the nesting place for the globally endangered Sarus crane (Grus antigone).
In addition to its ecological importance, Inle Lake is also unique for
the way the local inhabitants have
adapted their lifestyle to their environment. Farmers from one of the
dominant ethnic groups in the region,
the Intha, practice floating island agriculture, locally called ye chan. Inle
Lake and its watershed provide several ecosystem services on which local people depend, including clean
air, clean water, a cooler climate, fish
stocks and other resources.
UNESCOs Myanmar office said
yesterday that the nomination of the
Inle Lake region had received wide
support from the Union government,
the Shan State government, local
communities, NGOs, university representatives, youth groups and the
private sector.
It also said UNESCO had been
providing technical support to the
government, in close collaboration
with the UNDP and the environment
ministry, with generous support from
the government of Norway, to designate the Inle lake region as the first
biosphere reserve of Myanmar.
Ministry director general U Nyi
Nyi Kyaw told a press conference last
month that designation in the Man
and Biosphere project would help
long-term development, conserve
varieties of species and cultures, and
aid research into the connections between humans and the environment.
Now it is hoped that Myanmar will
receive assistance in conservation
techniques as well as possible financial support, said U Naing Zaw Tun
of the Forest Department. If the lake
is identified as a world-standard heritage site, it will also stimulate tourism, he added.
The coveted designation comes
amid expert warnings that the lake
could disappear, as climate change
and pollution take their toll. The lake
now covers only half its previous extent, as deforestation and silting have
shrunk its surface from 134 square
miles to 63.
Senior program adviser Igor Bosc
of the UNDP, which is working with
the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry on an Inle
Lake conservation and rehabilitation
project, told The Myanmar Times in

an interview last June that a major


program of public awareness-raising
was required.
The water level has decreased a
lot over the past 70 years, while the
amount of silt has risen higher and
higher. If the lake community continues as usual, the lake could disappear within a century. We need to do
more, he said.

THE embattled monk at the centre


of a complex criminal trial has appealed to President U Thein Sein to
intervene. U Ottara, widely known
as London Sayadaw because of his
UK citizenship, made the appeal to
mark the first anniversary of the
case, which has roiled Yangons religious establishment.
U Ottara wants the president to
tell the local religious authority, the
State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee, better known by its acronym
Ma Ha Na, to drop the case against
him because it is unreasonable.
The case arises from the raid on
June 10, 2014, by 300 police, 280
monks and officials from the Ministry of Religious Affairs on the Mahasantisukha Monastery in Tarmwe
township, Yangon.
The night raid, apparently
prompted by a tangled ownership
dispute, was widely condemned,
with some saying it recalled the tactics of the former military regime.
U Ottara and four other monks
are facing charges of insulting religion and refusing to obey the orders of sangha organisations. The
charges relate to their alleged creation of the International Organisation of Burmese Monks, or Sangha
Regency, an overseas missionary
body. The law carries a potential
two-year prison term.
Over the past year, they have attended court 35 times, although the
trial has been regularly delayed be-

cause several legal issues have been


referred to a higher court.
Insisting on his innocence, U
Ottara said yesterday, If the president stands on the side of truth, he
would have to tell Ma Ha Na that
this prosecution is not reasonable.
The ownership of Mahasantisukha Monastery has been disputed since the property was seized
in 2003 by former prime minister U
Khin Nyunt and transferred to the
Ma Ha Na. The former owner, the
prominent monk known as Penang
Sayadaw, has appealed to the government to resolve the issue in the
interests of justice.
The ownership dispute should
be settled between Ma Ha Na and
Penang Sayadaw. But now monks
who are not involved the dispute
have been put on trial. Its pretty
ugly that Buddhist monks are being
insulted by other Buddhist monks
in Myanmar. There must be a better
way of resolving this dispute, said U
Ottara.
Meanwhile, the township judge
hearing the case, U San Aung, is to
be transferred to the Yangon Region
High Court and will be replaced by
Judge U Tun Tun Oo as of June 19.
Contacted by The Myanmar
Times, a spokesperson for the Presidents Office deflected the request
to intervene on the grounds that
the case was sub judice, and added
that the question of ownership of
the monastery was a matter for the
Ministry of Religious Affairs.
Translation by Zar Zar Soe
and Thiri Min Htun

6 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 11, 2015

IN BRIEF
Heavy rainfall expected in
Rakhine, northern Myanmar

A Myanmar fisherman (centre) is greeted by a family member at Yangon International Airport after returning from Indonesia on May 9. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

Another 100 fishermen rescued


in remote Indonesian islands
New group found as final members of a first batch of 500 rescued fishermen returned to Yangon last night

NYAN LYNN
AUNG
29.nyanlynnaung@gmail.com

INDONESIAN authorities have rescued more Myanmar fishermen


stranded on remote islands, anti-human trafficking police said, as the last
batch of the 500 initially found in Indonesia returned home yesterday.
About 100 men were found last
week on the same islands where more
than 500 Myanmar fishermen were
rescued in April. Some of the marooned men had spent 10 years enslaved on Thai fishing trawlers where
abuse including beatings, electric
shocks and starvation was rampant.
Police Brigadier General Win

Naing Tun, head of the police forces


anti-human trafficking unit, said
about 70 Myanmar fishermen were
found at Ambon island and another
30 Myanmar fishermen where located
on Tual island.
We will have to begin confirming
their citizenship. After that, we will
also rescue them, said Pol Brig Gen
Win Naing Tun.
Over the past two months, Myanmar has been repatriating in groups
the 500 fishermen verified by a government delegation that travelled to
the far-flung islands in April. The first
group arrived in Yangon on May 9,
and the final group arrived last night,
he said.
Private donors had contributed
to the earlier repatriation efforts and
the government may need more funds
to help return the newly rescued
fishermen.

We are examining the information


on [the latest fishermen], said U Sein
Oo, a director general in the foreign
ministry. However, we cannot bring
all of them back like the previous repatriated groups. We will have to discuss with the [International Organization for Migration] to get support to

When I returned
back [to Yangon],
many Myanmar
fishermen ... were
still left there.
Ko Phyo Kyaw
Rescued fisherman

repatriate them group by group.


According to Myanmars embassy
in Jakarta, further search and rescue
missions will be planned with Indonesian officials.
The IOM has estimated that as
many as 4000 fishermen, mainly from
Myanmar but also from Thailand, Nepal and Cambodia, were stranded in
the area surrounding Benjina island
in southernmost Indonesia. The men
are believed to have been enslaved on
fishing boats but then abandoned by
their captors amid a crackdown on unlicensed vessels.
When I returned back [to Yangon] many Myanmar fishermen,
including my friends, were still left
there, said Ko Phyo Kyaw, who was
trapped at Benjina for two years and
repatriated on May 9. I hope my
friends can also be rescued as soon
as possible.

Insurer to pay out over 39 migrant deaths


PYAE THET PHYO
pyaethetphyo87@gmail.com
SURVIVING family members are to
receive compensation in the deaths
of 39 Myanmar migrant workers
who suffocated in the back of a coldstorage container in 2008, it was announced on June 9.
Police Captain Min Khine, of the
Anti-Trafficking Unit, said in Kawthoung township, Tanintharyi Region, that the compensation would
be paid at the end of this month.
The payout comes as a result of
collaboration between Myanmar investigators and the Lawyers Council
of Thailand, who tracked down the
families from the documents in the
possession of the deceased. Though
54 workers in all died in the incident, on Phetkasem Road between
Ranong and Phuket, only 39 were
insured.

Liberty Insurance, the firm concerned, has refused to pay compensation in the case of the remaining
15 workers.
Kawthoung police said the insurance firm will pay compensation
in respect of 39 Myanmar migrants
according to Thai law. We have the
list, Pol Capt Min Khine said.
The families of three of the victims will receive 40,000 Thai baht
(about US$1190) each, while the
remaining 36 families will receive
26,000 baht ($773).
Working with local anti-trafficking units, the investigation commission formed in 2008 in the wake of
the deaths established the identities
and home addresses of the deceased,
and located family members.
Weve managed to find the
families concerned, though some
had moved. We will contact all of
them and invite them to receive the

compensation, said the police captain.


The Lawyers Council of Thailand
said surviving family members needed a letter of recommendation from
their ward or village administrator,
and from the Immigration and National Registration Department, as
well as the ID card and household
membership list of the deceased to
establish that they could inherit the
compensation.
Regional anti-trafficking officers
got the documents from the families
in each region and sent them to Kawthoung, Pol Capt Min Khine said.
We forwarded the documents to the
human rights sub-commission of the
Lawyers Council of Thailand. The
Thai lawyers then translated the documents into Thai and verified them.
The Thai lawyers have now informed us that the verification process is complete, so we can proceed
with the payment of compensation

under the supervision of the Ranong district administrator. We still


have to negotiate transportation
and accommodation costs for the
families who will come for the award
ceremony.
Following the 2008 incident, Thai
police arrested about 30 Thai and
Myanmar suspects on trafficking
charges. The investigation led police
to U Zaw Moe, also known as Thone
Bee, of Kan Hla village, in Mon States
Ye township, who by then had been
imprisoned in Phuket on narcotics
charges.
Thai police handed him over to
their counterparts in Ye for interrogation and he is facing charges under section 367 of the penal code for
kidnapping in relation to the alleged
trafficking of 120 Myanmar migrant
workers, of whom 54 died in the
cold-storage container.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

Heavy rain has been forecast for


the Rakhine coast and northern
Myanmar through to the last
week of June, due to monsoon
strengthening in the Bay of
Bengal. U Kyaw Lwin Oo, director
of the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH), said
on June 9 that the monsoon had
intensified in recent days.
He said strong monsoon conditions will persist until June 25.
Northern Rakhine areas have
received heavy rain over the past
two days, he said. Monsoon
intensity is forecast to increase in
coming weeks and the Rakhine
coast and northern Myanmar,
including Kachin State and northern Sagaing Region, can expect
widespread rainfall and isolated
heavy rain.
According to department
figures, in the 24 hours to 9:30am
on June 9 Sittwe received 6.42
inches (163 millimetres) of rain,
while Maungdaw received 5.79
inches. Kyaukpyu and MraukOo received 3.5 inches and 3.23
inches respectively.
The coming week will bring
up to 3 inches of rain a day in
some areas of the Rakhine coast,
with more than 10 inches in total
expected in both the northern
Rakhine coast and northern
Myanmar between June 8 and
16. Bago and Yangon regions
and Mon State around the Gulf of
Mottama are expected to receive
3 to 6 inches. Aye Sapay Phyu

Democratic Party to avoid


ethnic areas in election

The Democratic Party (Myanmar)


has ruled out fielding any candidates in ethnic constituencies in
the November elections. Party
chair U Thu Wai said on June 8
that his party would compete only
in the countrys seven regions,
which are dominated by ethnic
Bamar, and not in the seven
states, home to most of the countrys ethnic minorities.
The decision had been taken in
order to encourage the growth of
ethnic-based parties that would
develop the states, he said.
We think its very important
to encourage emerging ethnic
representation, he said, adding
that the lack of development in
the states was related to the low
level of ethnic representation in
parliament.
The party will field 50 candidates in the seven regions, he
said, adding that they would have
to fund their own campaigns.
Our funds are low, so we cant
support them, he said, adding that candidates had been
selected for Yangon, Mandalay,
Ayeyarwady, Tanintharyi and
Bago regions.
While the Democratic Party
will steer clear of the states,
both the National League for
Democracy and Union Solidarity
and Development Party plan to
field candidates in ethnic minority
areas in this years vote. Mg
Zaw, translation by Khant Lin Oo

MPs approve cooperation


agreeement with Belarus

The Amyotha Hluttaw has approved the signing of a memorandum of understanding with
the upper house of Belaruss
parliament.
The agreement, signed on
May 24 in the Belarusian capital
Minsk, was approved by MPs in
Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker U
Khin Aung Myint said the agreement aimed to build ties between
the two parliaments and increase
mutual understanding. Pyae
Thet Phyo, translation by Khant
Lin Oo

News 7

www.mmtimes.com

Views

Lips that are zipped keep leaders happy

ROGER
MITTON

rogermitton@gmail.com

ES, it is an implied reprimand to all those who forgot my birthday this week,
and a big hug to my sister,
who never forgets, and who
sent me a card with an inspiring British postage stamp on the envelope.
On the left side, it shows the face
of a man and a woman in 17th century
attire, and opposite them, there is this
quote: That excessive bail ought not
to be required, nor cruel and unusual
punishments inflicted. Bill of Rights,
1689.
The stamp is one of a set of six
that mark the 800th anniversary of
Englands Magna Carta, which, with
the Bill of Rights, still forms the bedrock of the uncodified constitution of
the United Kingdom.
As is well known, the UK has no
written constitution; but the nations
of this region do yet they often
appear to inflict cruel and unusual
punishments rather too freely.
Consider the way the people of
Thailand are being punished by having
their freedom to information repressed
and, yes, that kind of repression is a
cruel punishment, though regrettably
not unusual in these parts.
It involves curtailing the rights of
politicians, academics and ordinary
folks to speak their minds. The

A Thai policeman photographs


a sign at the entrance to the
Foreign Correspondents Club of
Thailand in Bangkok notifying
the cancellation of an event on
September 2, 2014, on freedom
of expression and human rights
under martial law. Photo: EPA

military regime in Thailand believes


that would lead to social unrest and
therefore it zips lips zealously.
In Bangkok last Thursday, its
security men strode into the Foreign
Correspondents Club of Thailand
with a letter ordering the cancellation
of that evenings event.
The club had scheduled an all are
welcome meeting to launch a third
report by the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights about the situation in the
country after last years military coup.
The brave lawyers have also investigated the impact on civil rights of
military courts and martial law since
democracy was quashed last May, and
compiled a report on political

prisoners in Thailand.
Unfortunately, the junta regards
such topics as too sensitive and too
prone to remind people that their
human rights are being repressed
and cruel and unusual punishments
inflicted.
So lips are zipped. It was not the
first time since the military takeover
that such events have been banned,
and it will almost certainly not be the
last.
Whether the correspondents club
should have questioned and resisted
the culture police, and if necessary,
told them where to put their banning
letter is another matter.
The episode somehow brings to
mind the late White House correspondent Helen Thomas, a resolute
battleaxe who, when doing her job,
took orders from no one, not even
presidents, let alone junta upstarts.
She was once asked how, when
interviewing public figures, she would
define the difference between a probing question and a rude one. I dont
think there are any rude questions,
she instantly replied.
Now, thats a real correspondent, a
species that is rare on the ground in
this region; but let us return to that
wonderful postage stamp motif and
move on to Singapore.

There, the ever-vigilant culture


police have deemed a graphic novel
called The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock
Chye as potentially undermining the
authority or legitimacy of the government and its public institutions.
Wow, thats heavy. Yet the book,
by local author Sonny Liew, merely
depicts Singapores recent history and
thus features former Prime Minister
Lee Kuan Yew, opposition figures and
various seminal events.
Unfortunately, the accounts do
not stick rigidly to the official line,
and so last week Singapores National
Arts Council withdrew the US$6000
publishing grant it had previously
awarded.
The oddly repressive move, ostensibly due to sensitive content, was
taken just a day before the books May
30 launch.
Still, displaying more spine than
Bangkoks FCCT, the bookseller, publisher and author decided to go ahead
with the launch and the entire print
run promptly sold out.
The publisher, now hurriedly
preparing a second edition, said,
We havent had a book sell out in
practically one week and weve never
reprinted a book within one week.
Avid readers now await to see
whether that unusual boldness reaps

any further cruel and unexpected


punishment, aside from the grant
withdrawal.
Meanwhile, over in Malaysia, the
ever-alert constabulary was obliged
to curtail another event in order to
protect the communitys moral wellbeing and, coincidentally, to prevent
embarrassing Prime Minister Najib
Razak.
Poor Najib has been on the rack
for some time over a slew of inept
and possibly illegal actions, the most
damaging of which are allegations of
corrupt practices involving billions of
dollars.
At a meeting last week entitled
Nothing To Hide, the PM was due
to talk about 1MDB, a financially
crippled state-investment body, and
to confront former PM Mahathir
Mohamad, who has demanded his
resignation.
Unfortunately, the event was
cancelled at the last minute when
the national police chief, Khalid Abu
Bakar, issued a directive saying that it
threatened public order and national
harmony.
Undaunted, Mahathir showed up
and told the crowd he had hoped
to hear his successors explanation
for 1MDBs $11.5 billion debts, and
there were other matters too, but he
was shut off by the police after a few
minutes.
Police boss Khalid lamely said
later that the police had received
eleventh-hour information that two
opposing groups were planning to
create chaos at the forum.
It was no doubt the same kind of
chaos that the FCCTs event in Bangkok and the comic books publication
in Singapore could have created.
And it was no doubt what Cambodias Information Minister Khieu
Kanharith had in mind two weeks
ago when he said that he supports the
prosecution of social media users who
insult government officials.
Such officials, along with junta
leaders and powerful politicians, need
to be protected from insults and the
kind of rude questions Ms Thomas
and her ilk might direct their way.
That is why open debates must
be quelled, books banned, reporters
jailed, and other cruel and unusual
punishments inflicted in this region.
They are absolutely necessary.
Now please just go away and
breathe slowly into a brown bag while
I enjoy my birthday.

8 THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 11, 2015

Business
COMMENTARY

Long journey
for Chinas
Belt and Road
AUNG
SHIN
koshumgtha@gmail.com

CHINAS recent high-profile economic and political initiatives often


evoke a sense of travel.
After decades of keeping a relatively low profile, the country has
become more assertive with its international interactions. It is now
pushing two plans that could have
a large impact on its neighbours,
turning to the past for inspiration.
The Silk Road Economic Belt is
a China-led initiative to better connect the region, stretching west
along the path of the old China to
Europe trade route.
Officials
subsequently
announced the 21st Century Maritime
Silk Road, a ocean-based route
counterpart to the Belt.
The plan is expected to change
the world political and economic
landscape through development of
countries along the routes, most of
which are eager for fresh growth,
state news agency Xinhua has said.
The plans have been closely associated with China president Xi
Jinping, and references to it have
generally been in the context of increase infrastructure development
through the region.
In March, according to a Wall
Street Journal China Real Time report, Chinese officials fleshed out
some of the details. Financing is
to come from a variety of sources,
including the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a
government-backed US$40 billion
Silk Road Fund, and a New Development Bank set up by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The report said plans dont just
call for roads, rails and ports, but
also for development of oil and gas
pipelines, fiber networks, IT, new
energy, and biotech.
High-level diplomatic visits by
Chinese leaders have been frequent in
the region, and they have gained significant backing for their initiatives.
Its Asian Infrastructure Investment
Bank for instance has 57 prospective
founding members, including Myanmar and also usual US allies like
Australia and the United Kingdom
though the United States and Japan remain the two most prominent
countries to sit it out.
Along with these high-level
pushes, China is also working to
build better connections with regional non-government organisastions. State-funded China NGO
Network for International Exchanges is part of the push, working to
develop institutional platforms for
exchange and cooperation between
Chinas NGO and their ASEAN
counterparts.
Chinese NGOs are restricted,
and some commentators say the
planned introduction of an NGO

law this year may introduce further


restrictions.
Beijing, though, is keen to cement ties with its state-sponsored
NGOs and their ASEAN counterparts. It held the second ChinaSoutheast Asia High-Level People-to-People Dialogue in Bali,
Indonesia last week. The Myanmar
Times was one of the participants
sponsored to attend.
Yet journeying to the conference
laid open the challenges of the Belt
and Road.
Flying to Bali from Yangon usually entails a Southeast Asia stop in
a city such as Singapore or Kuala
Lumpur, but Chinese organisers
were keen to showcase the improving transportation links.
Yet Guangzhou, the scheduled
transit airport, was closed due to
weather, and the plane had to continue to the Haikou Meilan airport
on Hainan Island. The situation
greeting arrivals on Hainan Island
bordered on the farcical.
Non-Chinese getting off the
plane were allowed only a few steps
into the airport. Chinese immigration officials greeting the arrivals
did not speak English, though they
kept asking each non-Chinese passenger the same questions in Chinese, which none of the remaining
passengers spoke.
The ancient Silk Road was not
only a link of roads and trails, but
also people. The mixing of different cultures produced a degree of
understanding and mutual respect;
clearly, there is some way to go on
this front for the Silk Roads modern counterpart.
Passengers were finally given
temporary visas allowing them
past the immigration counter, just
in time to turn around and board

COUNTRIES

57

Number of prospective founders of the


Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure
Investment Bank

another plane, to Guangzhou and


then Kuala Lumpur, a more usual
city for transit between Yangon
and Bali. What was novel about the
journey was the imperative to transit in Chinas Hainan Island.
In the end, The Myanmar Times
missed most of the soft diplomacy
on display. Chinas vice president
Liu Yangong was in attendance, as
were numerous other Chinese and
ASEAN delegates from NGOs, business and media.
Reporters were in time to attend
MORE ON BUSINESS 9

The Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank may provide another source of funding for local infrastructure. Photo: Thiri Lu

Parliament votes to join and


contribute to Asian bank
HTOO
THANT
thanhtoo.npt@gmail.com

PARLIAMENT has overwhelmingly


voted to sign up with the Beijingbacked Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, agreeing to contribute
US$264.5 million over 10 years.
Myanmar is one of 57 prospective members for the bank, which
is slated to play a similar role to
other development institutions
such as the Asian Development
Bank and the World Bank. Yesterday, Pyidaungsu Hluttaw parliamentarians voted on the June 9
proposal to join, with 454 in favour, 7 against and 3 abstentions.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has drawn criticism
it may be under too much control
from China, though local officials
say it provides an additional possible source of funding.
Finance minister U Win Shein
said Myanmars low development
status means it will only have to
contribute 20 percent of $264.5
million, or $52.9 million, in 10 installments over the first 10 years.
The calculations for fees to join
were based on GDP and consumption, he added. The bank is to
launch with $100 billion in capital, and Myanmars $264.5 million
contribution is to give the country
2645 votes.
The proposal in the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw to join the institution
came from U Win Shein on June 9,
and was seconded by U Kan Zaw,
minister for national planning
and economic development, and
U Kyaw Kyaw Maung, governor of
the Central Bank of Myanmar.
Some parliamentarians said
they wished more time was spent

considering the proposal.


U Win Oo, a representative
from Yephyu township, told The
Myanmar Times there were only
two good points from providing
initial capital, that Myanmar can
vote and that it can get more loans.
But we need to think on what percent of profit Myanmar can get
from joining the infrastructure
bank.
U Win Oo added he did not object to working with the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, which
is supported by China, adding it
may reduce reliance on the United
States-supported World Bank.
The United States and Japan
have been the two most prominent
countries not to join the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank.

We need to think
on what percent
of profit Myanmar
can get from joining
the infrastructure
bank.
U Win Oo
Parlimentarian

Meanwhile, China will ultimately have veto power over major decisions of the new Beijing-led
Asian Infrastructure Investment
Bank, the Wall Street Journal reported on June 9.
The Wall Street Journal quoted
people close to the bank as saying
its voting structure will give China
the upper hand as the largest
shareholder, effectively granting it
veto power.

According to the banks articles


of incorporation, China is providing nearly $30 billion of the institutions $100 billion capital base,
giving Beijing between 25 to 30
percent of total votes, it said.
The banks lean structure will
be overseen by an unpaid, non-resident board of directors, the newspaper said.
The bank, which is expected to
be operational later this year, has
been viewed by some as a rival to
the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
But there are concerns over
transparency of the lender, which
will fund infrastructure in Asia, as
well as worries that Beijing will use
it to push its own geopolitical and
economic interests as a rising power.
Last week former Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke rebuked US lawmakers for allowing
China to steal a march with the
new bank, which threatens to upend Washingtons oversight of the
world economic order.
He said lawmakers were to
blame because they refused to
agree 2010 reforms that would
have given greater clout to China
and other emerging powers in the
International Monetary Fund.
Under President Xi Jinping,
China is pushing to build on the
ancient Silk Road trade routes on
land and sea, through its One
Belt, One Road initiative expected
to be partly funded by the AIIB.
But supporters say fears over
undue Chinese influence are overblown, and that the participation
by more than 50 countries, including ones as diverse as Britain and
Iran, will dilute Beijings power.
The United States led a highprofile, and ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to dissuade allies from
taking part in the bank.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun,
Additional reporting by AFP

BUSINESS EDITOR: Jeremy Mullins | jeremymullins7@gmail.com

Rice exporters pin


hopes on growing
China trade

Airline chiefs say they


are failing at getting it
right for passengers

BUSINESS 10

BUSINESS 12

Exchange Rates (June 10 close)


Currency

Buying

Euro
Malaysia Ringitt
Singapore Dollar
Thai Baht
US Dollar

Selling
K1259
K312
K825
K36
K1114

K1239
K295
K811
K32.5
K1112

Kyat extends its


decline on local
exchanges

Long journey ahead for


Chinas Belt and Road
CONTINUED FROM BUSINESS 8
discussions on Towards Peoples
Consensous on Community of Common Destiny and Towards Peoples Actions for Win-win Cooperation. A declaration pledging closer
cooperation was duly announced.
China NGO Network for International Exchanges, the ASEAN Foundation and the Indonesian Academy of Science announced plans to
form a permanent organising committee for future dialogues.
The committee aims to strengthen ties between the roughly 60
countries that are to be included in
the Belt and Road initiatives.
China NGO Network for International Exchanges secretary general You Jianhua said all of ASEAN
is on board with the Belt and Road
initiative.
We are going to organise more
people-to-people meetings to undertake concrete actions leveraging
non-governmental actors, he said.
Yet not everybody appeared to
be on the same page. ASEAN is one
of the worlds most diverse regions,
with some countries such as Philippines and Vietnam in confrontation
over ownership of islands in the
South China Sea.
The rise of China as a super

power, its influence in the region,


and the South China Sea conflict
are key issues that we cant avoid,
said one speaker from Philippines
during a panel session.
How will China make sure or
promote peace and security in the
region to ahead with its Belt and
Road program?
The event finished with an overwhelming chorus of Chinese cultural songs, accompanied by dances
and performances.
The flight back was mercifully
less of a headache than the trip to
Bali. This time the transit point
was Hong Kong while more out
of the way than Singapore or Kuala
Lumpur, at least its customs officials are friendlier than Hainan
Island. It also ended four days of
travel for one day at the event.
As much as the hosts were eager
to please, it was clear they were also
interested in the views of delegates.
Over dinner at the conference,
amid the Chinese dance displays,
singers and general pageantry, a
senior Chinese official asked what
The Myanmar Times thought about
the twin Belt and Road initiative. I
said I wondered, with all the Chinese involvement, whether there
would be room for any from Southeast Asia.

How many kyat to buy a dollar?


Central Banks reference rate in green, market rate in red
1000

1100

1200

09-Jun

1300
01-Jun

U Myo Htwe
Money changer

on which he spends $40 million a


month.
A sharp decline in kyat against
the dollar is likely to be a big headache for local businesses. Even if
they are export-oriented, they need
to import items like machinery and
fuel for production.
U Myo Htwe said many consumers will be forced to buy imported
products at higher prices. However,
it is also the start of the rainy season, which traditionally marks a
slow-down in work, decreasing demand for some items such as fuel.
The situation would be even
worse if it happened in the summer, he said. U Myo Htwe said gem
mining was one area that is particularly slow this time of year.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

16-May

The value of the US


dollar is steadily
increasing in kyat
terms, day-by-day.

Money changers make a deal. Photo: Kaung Htet

04-May

THE local currency has been rapidly declining this month, reaching
K1220 per US dollar yesterday on
unofficial exchanges, according to
industry website naungmoon.com.
The kyat has slid about 7 percent
over the last 10 days, after starting
June at around K1137 in the informal market.
The value of the US dollar is
steadily increasing in kyat terms,
day-by-day, said U Myo Htwe, a director at Farmer Pho Yar Zar money
changers.
He said an announcement issued
on May 29 by the Central Bank of
Myanmar which limited withdrawals of US dollars to $5000, twice a
week, may have spooked entrepreneurs. The value of Myanmars
kyat has been decreasing more and
more since then.
Money changers said that being
unable to access dollar accounts at
banks has led to more demand from
money changers.
The Central Bank of Myanmar
maintains an official exchange rate,
which yesterday was K1105, though
it was K1095 on June 1. It is technically illegal to trade outside a band

22-Apr

htynlynnaung@gmail.com

of plus or minus 0.8pc of this official rate, though this rule is unevenly enforced.
Recently, many major banks
have been officially following the
Central Banks exchange rate but
in reality not selling dollars, while
some smaller money changers have
tried to get around the rules and
use the market rates.
One trader said some customers
are becoming desperate, offering
large amounts to obtain foreign
currency.
People who need dollars are offering as much as K1280 because
they are so rare in the market, he
said. We do not dare to trade a lot,
because the dollar has been appreciating so quickly.
The depreciating value of the
kyat hurts all business, particularly
those that are import-dependent.
Prominent entrepreneur U Chit
Khine said he needs dollars to import crucial inputs such as fuel,

01-Apr

HTIN
LINN
AUNG

Gold price climbs on kyats decline


AYE THIDAR KYAW
ayethidarkyaw@gmail.com
INVESTORS are rushing in to gold
as the kyat declines and US dollar
supply grows scarce.
While prices have barely moved
in months on international exchanges, on local exchanges gold
has shot up in price, in keeping
with rapid depreciation in the kyat.
Gold was K778,000 (US$700) per
tical on local markets yesterday, a
climb of about K70,000 since June
1. A tical is 0.576 ounces or 0.527
troy ounces.
This means gold has increased
in value by 10 percent since June 1,
while the kyat has depreciated by
about 9pc against the dollar over
the same period.
U Maw, market general manager
at Aung Thamardi Gold Shop, said
the main reason behind the hike in
gold is the appreciation of the dollar against the kyat.
Gold generally follows the
world price, though local markets in Yangon and Mandalay also
closely follow local currency fluctuations, even though there is little
trade abroad, he said.
U Maw added that prices will
likely continue to depend on the
dollar for the medium term.
The local high in recent years

was near K793,000, which was


reached in September 2013, when
the kyat was somewhat stronger.
A salesperson at a Lanmadaw
township gold shop said many customers are selling back to her shop
even though prices are not yet as
high as they can go.

THOUSAND KYAT

778

Price of gold per tical yesterday, a drop


of about 10 percent since the start of
the month

Economist U Hla Maung said


that while gold is dependent on
currencies and the international
market, it is also gaining longerterm interest as the property market cools.
There is also more money in circulation, partly due to rises for government staff.
More money is coming into circulation, so it is not assured people

will be able to keep money. Theyre


out buying something instead of
watching the money shrink in their
hands, he said.
Although market rates are showing a significant depreciation, official rates have also recorded a
decline of about 17pc in the kyat
against the dollar over the last ten
months. The depreciation has not
only been against the US dollar, but
against other currencies, though by
a lesser amount.
Ministry of Commerce adviser U
Maung Aung said the current situation is likely speculative, and may
also be partly related to the Central Bank of Myanmars announcement at the end of last month that
it was putting a new version of the
K10,000 bill into circulation.
He added that the market can be
open to manipulation, and relevant
government ministers will be holding meetings on the issue after one
minister comes back from a trip
abroad.
The Ministry of Commerce and
counterparts in the Central Bank
of Myanmar and Ministry of Home
Affairs police departments will be
investigating commodity price stability, he said.
I want to inform [the public]
that this situation is unlikely to
continue for the long term.

10 Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 11, 2015

BANGKOK

Thai business supports change to minimum daily wage


BUSINESS are voicing support for
the National Wage Committees decision to cancel the fixed 300 baht
(US$8.90) minimum daily wage next
year and replace it with a floating rate,
with 300 baht to remain the daily
floor.
But Supant Mongkolsuthree, chair
of the Federation of Thai Industries
(FTI), said the floating rate should depend on the strength of the economy
in each area, with provincial wage
committees considering whether their
rates should be increased.
The more economic growth in a
province, the higher the minimum
wage should be, he said.
The FTI agrees with the National
Wage Committee that the fixed rate
should be cancelled. However, the

new minimum daily wage should be


floated and increases should be in line
with costs of living in each area, Mr
Supant said.
He said businesses, especially
small and medium-sized enterprises
(SMEs), had already suffered from
the high 300 baht rate for a couple of
years, with many being forced out of
business.
Some parts of the country with
higher economic growth and industries that require skilled workers
would be willing to pay more than 300
baht a day, Mr Supant said.
In contrast, small enterprises that
cannot afford more than 300 baht a
day would not be forced to pay a higher
rate or could even move to areas where
wages were lower in order to survive.

The Labour Ministry said analyses


of a higher wage rate would be based
on inflation rates and the cost of living in each province, just as they were
now. The ministry will forward the
proposed rates to the National Wage
Committee for consideration, and its
decision will be forwarded for cabinet
approval.
The Thai government raised the
minimum daily wage to 300 baht on
April 1, 2012, in seven provinces initially including Phuket and Greater
Bangkok.
The nationwide hike was implemented in January 2013.
Some parts of Thailand previously
operated with a 150 baht daily wage,
which caused a few businesses, especially SMEs that could not afford the

300 baht wage, to move to neighbouring


countries for their cheaper labour costs.
These companies were mainly in

The new minimum


wage should be
floated and increases
should be in line
with the cost of living
in each area.
Supant Mongkolsuthree
Federation of Thai Industries

labour-intensive industries such as


garments and textiles.
The 300 baht minimum wage is estimated to increase labour costs to 16.1
percent of total production costs from
11.9pc, Industry Ministry data shows.
Kalin Sarasin, secretary general of
the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said
the TCC planned to conduct a feasibility study on the effect of a floating
minimum wage rate on businesses,
which should be completed next
month.
The TCC is about to collect information from several businesses and
industries on the impact of the floating rate system, with 300 baht the
minimum rate, he said.
Its too early to gauge the impact
at this moment. Bangkok Post

Changes
slow for
collateral
AYE THIDAR KYAW
ayethidarkyaw@gmail.com

Rice farmers may receive a higher price if exports grow, though domestic consumers may suffer. Photo: AFP

Rice hopes pinned on China

Historical rice exports,


thousand tonnes per
year average
3500
3000
2500
2000
1500
1000
500

Source: World Bank report 2014

2000-2009

1990-1999

1980-1989

1970-1979

1960-1969

1950-1959

0
1940-1949

RICE exports are set to continue


rising on the back of increased
shipments to China, according to
U Ye Min Aung, general secretary
of the Myanmar Rice Federation.
Myanmar launches its first official rice exports to China in May,
and aims to export the next portion
of its 100,000tonne quota at the
end of June, he said.
Rice exports to China have generally been illegal from Chinas
point of view, until the two sides
reached an agreement last year to
begin legal shipments.
With the start of the official
trade with China, Myanmar exports have to meet certain health
standards and can now be shipped
by sea, rather than the informal
trade which generally goes overland past Muse in northern Shan
State.
Official exports to China are
succeeding, said U Ye Min Aung.
The next round of official exports

1930-1939

htynlynnaung@gmail.com

will start this month and in July.


In the meantime, we are also expanding in African markets, so we
expect next years exports to be
stronger.
The price of 1 metric tonne of
emahta rice is from US$330 to
$350, an increase from about $320
last month. Rice prices traditionally
climb the furthest in the year from
the November-to-December harvest.

1920-1929

HTIN
LINN
AUNG

1990-1919

BANKS would like to diversify from relying on property as collateral, though


significant challenges remain, according to experts.
Over 90 percent of domestic loans
are secured against land, though
banks are making tentative steps beyond a focus on property.
The Central Bank of Myanmar has
allowed five kinds of collateral since
early 2012, including land as well as
agricultural products, treasury bonds,
gold and savings deposits.
Banks already are widely accepting gold as collateral, though there is a
limited quantity of the precious metal
for use, said U Than Lwin, senior consultant at Kanbawza Bank.
Yet property remains the preferred
collateral because it is relatively secure. Borrowers must deposit proof of
ownership at the bank when receiving
a loan, which are generally examined
by legal experts to ensure they are
suitable.
Banks also take strict stances on
lending to property to ensure that in
the event of a market downturn, the
collateral does not fall in value below
the principal of the loan.
KBZ for instance only loans to 40
percent of propertys value, to ensure
its collateral is not suddenly worth less
than advertised.
Lending to real estate will not face
problems like those in other countries,
as the borrower essentially pawns
their property, its not a mortgage,
said U Than Lwin.
Loans are notoriously short-term,
with terms of one year being common.
Asia Green Development Bank
executive director U Soe Thein said
domestic banks generally lend to big
business or corporations, meaning
there is less non-performing loan risk
than in other countries.
The conservative approach may insulate banks, but may also mean loans
do not get to the industries that need
it.
U Kyaw Tun Myint, deputy chair
of Myanmar Shrimp Association, said
proving collateral is a challenge for
many businesspeople.
A businessperson may buy farmland for as little as K1.5 million an acre
in the Ayeyarwady delta but be unable
to secure the financing to turn it into
a shrimp farm.
Buyers must wait for their land
prices to rise to an amount like K10
million to receive loans. We have very
little chance to obtain capital, we are
trying to request the government support us on this, he said.

A total of 29 companies now


have permission to legally sell rice
to China.
Nine companies were initially
approved for the trade earlier this
year. At the time, industry insiders questioned the fairness of some
of the firms, which have to meet
Chinas stringent health standards,
saying many of the selected companies were small or not yet formed.
Myanmar hopes to export 2 million tonnes of rice this year. The
country had previously average
over 2 million tonnes of exports
a year until World War II, before
steadily declining until the 1990s,
according to a World Bank report
last year. Rice exports have since
been steadily increasing, it added.
Much of the recent growth in
exports has come from Chinese demand. It went from insignificant
in 2011 to 747,000 tonnes in 2013,
more than half of the total 1.277
million tonnes traded that year, the
report said.
U Ye Min Aung said domestic
exporters see bigger opportunities from growing demand along
the Chinese border, even though
it does not official recognise the
trade.
Growing exports have been

blamed for putting upward pressure on domestic prices, but U Ye


Min Aung said there is still room
for both exports and domestic consumption.
High prices in the domestic
market are not good for consumers, he said.
It is hard to handle, but we need
to find ways to lower the gap between wholesale and retail prices.
U Chit Khine, a prominent businessperson and official with the
Myanmar Rice Industry Association, said prices surges do not always end up with farmers.
Rising rice prices increase the
price for paddy. When this happens, its good for farmers. But
if there are restrictions by way of
price controls, farmers dont receive the benefits, he said.
Instead of the old method of restricting price rises, we should seek
more exports and find other ways
to import for domestic consumption, such as importing cheap rice
from Thailand.
Thailand has been attempting
to sell off its buffer stocks of rice
following a failed attempt to corner
the global market by its previous
government.
Translation by Zar Zar Soe

International Business 11

www.mmtimes.com
BEIJING

EU confidence ebbs in China


EUROPEAN companies are losing
confidence in Chinas economy, a
lobby group survey said on yesterday, with many firms planning to lay
off staff as Beijing struggles to boost
growth and embarks in an anti-monopoly drive.
From car makers to wine growers to tech firms, Europeans have for
years looked to China to bolster sales
as growth prospects back home have
flagged.
But only 28 percent of firms
polled by the European Chamber of
Commerce in China said they were
optimistic about their profitability
in the country, which the group said
was an all-time low.
The number of respondents who
see China as a top three investment
destination fell to 58pc this year, the
lowest since 2011, it added.
The proportion of the 541 firms
surveyed who plan to expand their
Chinese operations fell to 56pc from
nearly 90pc two years ago, with nearly two-thirds planning to sack staff to
cut costs.
European companies fortunately
know how to deal with difficulties,
said Joerg Wuttke, Chamber president. But the longer the companies
are here in China, the less optimistic
they are.
Chinas economy grew 7.4pc last

BEIJING

Baidu
plans selfdrive car
CHINESE search engine giant Baidu
plans to develop a driverless car, according to domestic media reports, following in the footsteps of fellow technology firm Google.
Several Chinese technology firms,
including e-commerce company Alibaba and WeChat messaging app provider Tencent, have announced plans for
cars, shaking up the traditional industry in the worlds largest auto market.
Baidu will work with a yet unknown
auto manufacturer to introduce a driverless car by the end of this year, Wang
Jin, a vice president of the company,
was quoted by the Beijing-based Economic Observer as telling a conference
on June 7.
Baidu has previously worked on
semi-autonomous cars with German
automaker BMW. Google of the United
States is also developing a driverless
car and has said it plans to test it on
public roads this year around its headquarters in California.
Alibaba is planning an internet
car that would use technology to provide a better driving experience including e-commerce, digital entertainment,
maps and communications services.
Tencent also has plans for an internet-connected car, while Chinese video
streaming platform Letv plans an electric vehicle.
But analysts say details of the automotive visions of Chinese technology
firms remain vague, and commercial
production is unlikely.
Baidus announcement follows a series of scandals.
The company was banned from
competing in an international artificial intelligence competition next year
after it was discovered that a team of
researchers cheated this year.
And last month it said it had
launched anti-corruption investigations into an unspecified number of
its own employees after reports three
department heads were being probed.
AFP

A women uses her mobile phone as she walks past a model of the Eiffel Tower
outside a mall in Beijing. Photo: AFP

year, its slowest pace in 24 years, and


the slowdown has continued into
this year.
The Communist Party has vowed
to shift the economy away from bigticket investment projects and toward personal consumption, while
also fighting graft and clamping

down on anti-monopoly behaviour.


But nearly two-thirds of companies surveyed this year said an unpredictable legal environment was
an obstacle to business, according to
the survey.
China has during the past year
launched anti-monopoly probes

against a number of high-profile


foreign firms, drawing accusations
of double standards as domestic
players are allowed to dominate
some markets.
One-third of respondents believe
that Chinas ambitious reform agenda has not helped create an even
playing field for foreign investors,
the report says.
The pace of the implementation
of the reform agenda still lags behind the expectations of European
companies.
Respondents also cited slow internet speeds and online censorship
as barriers to business.
Chinas system of website blocks
means that its not just that the Internet is slow, but also that the Internet doesnt give our companies a way
to legitimate research, Mr Wuttke
said.
He added that while some companies were looking to other emerging
markets as a source of growth, so far
they were staying put.
The optimism is shrinking but
the optimism is still there, he said.
We dont see European companies
leaving China.
For many years, he added, it was
just China that drove their growth,
but now, basically, they have options
and other choices. AFP

Tokio Marine buys


out US insurer
Tokio Marine Holdings has
agreed to buy US-based HCC
Insurance Holdings for US$7.5
billion, the firms said yesterday,
the latest overseas acquisition
by a Japanese firm to counter a
declining market at home.
The cash deal will see Tokio
Marine pay $78 per share for
HCC, a 35.8 percent premium
on the US firms average share
price over the past month, a
joint statement said.
The acquisition of HCC
significantly enhances
Tokio Marines operations in
the United States, the largest
insurance market in the world,
and internationally, it said.
The companies said the deal
was friendly and has the backing of HCCs board.
The deal diversifies the
Japanese firms products and
market portfolio, said Tsuyoshi
Nagano, president of Tokio
Marine.
HCC is a top-tier speciality
insurer with market-leading
underwriting capabilities. Leveraging Tokio Marines financial
strength and global footprint,
HCC will further expand the
revenues, profits and capabilities of Tokio Marine, he said in
the statement. AFP

12 International Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 11, 2015

MIAMI BEACH, USA

Airlines struggle to please passengers


WHAT does the modern air traveller want? Is it the perfect-sized carry-on? A wearable device that tells
you how to avoid jet lag? Free WiFi? Cheap flights? Better service?
Airlines are struggling to keep
pace with the finicky desires of todays passengers, many of whom
are constantly connected to a mobile device and want something
special on each trip.
During a panel discussion on
June 9 at the annual meeting of
the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the largest trade
group for airline executives, hundreds of industry representatives
were asked in a quick informal poll
how many of them thought airlines
are doing a good job meeting passenger demands.
Some 55 percent pressed no on
their handheld devices.
So what should airlines be doing
differently?
Dont give me a vanilla experience, said panellist Lee McCabe, a
former executive with Expedia who
is now Facebooks head of travel.
Make the information you give
me very personal, he said. Make
my life easy.
Alex Cruz, CEO of the low-cost
Spanish airline Vueling, said his
company strives to keep it simple.
They want a nice, reliable experience at a normal price, he said.
The key to keeping passengers
happy is managing expectations,
he added.
Qantas chief executive Alan

Joyce said, Every customer wants


something different.
The key to an individual experience is allowing passengers to decide on which perks they receive,
he said.
Let them decide what they
want. Let them pay for what they
want, Mr Joyce said.
According to Jen Durkin, CEO
of Project Travel, millennials dont
want healthy snacks or free Wi-Fi.
Millennials are curious, and because there are so many things that
distract our attention we need help
understanding what we should put
our attention to, she said.
For instance, she suggested airlines offer passengers a behind-thescenes view of their suitcase as it
moves through the airport machinery.
I want to know what my bag is
doing from the time it goes in the
conveyor belt little door to the time
it comes out of the conveyor belt,
Ms Durkin said.
If smartphones are everywhere
in the airport, then so are the opportunities to use them to encourage people to shop.
The permanently connected
traveller is an opportunity for airlines, airports, other service providers to improve their offerings, said
Tom Windmuller, IATA senior vice
president for airport, passenger,
cargo and security.
We will be able to learn more
about our passengers and be able to
offer them more tailored information

International Air Transport Associations senior vice president Tom Windmuller,


holds up the groups proposed ideal-sized carry-on bag that would allow every
passenger on most flights to fit one into the overhead compartment. Photo: AFP

to their needs, he added.


During the conference, Mr
Windmuller announced a new industry-wide standard for carry-on
bags, an idea that aims to resolve
bickering and delays over whether

any given suitcase is too big to fit


in the overhead bin.
Many airlines have different size
requirements for carry-ons, which
can lead to confusion.
This is a nuisance for everyone,

he said, adding that the sizing bins


many airlines place near the gates
are ridiculous.
So the IATA consulted with Boeing and Airbus to come up with a
standard size: 55 centimeters (21
inches) tall, 35cm (13.5 inches)
wide and 20cm (7.5 inches) deep.
But whether this standard will
please consumers remains to be
seen. It requires travellers to buy
a new carry-on bag, which may
be smaller than what they already
own.
The new bags will made by different manufacturers and will be
marked with a special label, IATA
Cabin OK.
The label is not available to be
placed on an existing bag.
Since delays cost airlines money,
Delta is working on its own way of
speeding up the boarding process
by having its crew members load
passenger carry-ons ahead of the
flight. The service, called Early Valet, is free for now and began this
month at certain US airports.
Another idea in the works is an
air travel app, called SkyZen, that
can be used with wearable fitness
devices to tell travellers about their
exercise and sleep levels during the
flight.
Eventually, IATA representatives
said it will also offer advice about
how many steps to try for and how
much sleep to get in order to avoid
jet lag and have a healthier flying
experience.
AFP

14 THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 11, 2015

World

15

WORLD EDITOR: Kayleigh Long

Man declared
innocent after 43
years in solitary

US to bolster
support for antiIS training in Iraq

WORLD 17

WORLD 16

MANILA

PHNOM PENH

Poor set to lose out on care with


hospital earmarked for privatization

Uproar over NGO law draft

PARAPLEGIC Venerando Acabal wriggles on a rust-eaten bed to soothe painful bedsores, in misery but also fearful
that privatisation plans for the Philippines only bone hospital will rob him
of his refuge.
The state-run Philippine Orthopaedic Centre, a cramped and dizzying
maze of rickety stretchers that spill out
of humid wards into dingy hallways,
has treated tens of thousands of patients for free since it opened in 1945.
But it is slated to close after a private firm last year won a contract to
replace it with an expanded new facility, part of a multi-billion-dollar privatisation program by President Benigno
Aquinos administration.
If they kick me out of here, I have
no choice but to go home and die in
my house, said 55-year-old carpenter
Mr Acabal, who has been bedridden at
the hospital since breaking his back in
a construction site accident four years
ago.
Despite wretched appearances, the
hospital is much-loved by the poor as
they can turn up, have complicated operations and stay for years even if they
do not have any money.
Of the nearly 7000 patients treated
last year, only two percent paid their

bills in full, according to hospital records, and the facilitys chief is worried
the charity will be severely curbed under private management.
Its difficult to reconcile profitability and service to the poor, hospital
director Jose Brittanio Pujalte told AFP.
Our patients here are the poorest
of the poor and they have nowhere else
to go.
The private operator, MegawideWorld Citi, has a contract to run the
hospital for 25 years from mid-2016
before having to hand it back to the
government.
It did not return requests from AFP.
When asked about the issue, the
head of the Philippines privatisation
office, Cosette Canilao, said the new
operators were contractually obliged to
only charge full rates to 10 percent of
patients.
She could not provide details on
whether the remaining 90 percent
would still be required to make some
payments.
Ms Canilao emphasised that privatisation was necessary to help upgrade
the Philippines woefully underfunded
health system.
There is an urgent need for us to
improve the health services for the

A young patient lies with with a metal-braced leg suspended on the posts of his
bed at the Philippine Orthopaedic Centre in Manila on May 27. Photo: AFP

public and one way of doing that is to


take private partners, said Ms Canilao,
executive director of the Private-Public
Partnership (PPP) Centre.
The developing nation of 100 million people spends half the global average on health as a percentage of gross
domestic product, according to the
World Health Organization.
The countrys largest mental institution and a major hospital that serves
provinces regularly hit by typhoons are
also set to be privatised.
The hospital is undeniably in need
of extra funds.
Mr Acabal, the carpenter, shares a
squalid ward with no air conditioning
with seven other men.
Im in pain all day from bed sores
on my back. I go to sleep, wake up, and
that wall is all I see, he said, gasping
for air.
A corner of the hallway has been
transformed into a ward with rusty
stretchers. On an adjacent ward, a boy
with a metal brace on his leg wails in
pain.
Relatives watch over their loved
ones, sprawled on the grimy concrete
floor half-covered with chipped vinyl
tiles. Some spend the night on cardboard laid out on the pavement outside
the hospital building.
Still, 40-year-old former security
guard Randy Gonzaga, who is paralysed from the waist down due to a tumour on his spine, does not want to be
anywhere else.
The father of five-year-old twin girls
survived Super Typhoon Haiyan in his
home province of Leyte in 2013 but discovered he had a tumour on his spine
that same year.
Mr Gonzaga is selling purses made
by his wife from his hospital bed to
raise 60,000 pesos (US$1,300) for a titanium implant that is required before
surgery to remove the tumour.
The hospital cannot afford the implant but it can provide the surgery,
which could cost up to 200,000 pesos,
for free.
I hope to have my tumour removed
before the new owners come in. Otherwise, I have nowhere else to go, he
said.
AFP

KUALA LUMPUR

KUALA LUMPUR

Quake toll rises to 18

Nude tourists
detained

THE death toll following a strong


earthquake that jolted Malaysias
Mount Kinabalu last week has risen to
18 after the final two remaining victims
who were unaccounted for were confirmed dead yesterday.
The remains of Navdeep Singh
Jaryal, a Singaporean student, and Mohammad Ghazi Mohamed, a Singaporean teacher, will be sent to their home
country after further forensic tests in
Malaysia, according to a statement
from Singapores education ministry.
As a result, Malaysian authorities
said they would end their search and
rescue operations.
These are the final two people who
were missing. We will stand down the
search and rescue by the end of today,
said Mohammad Farhan Lee Abdullah,
police chief of the town of Ranau near
the mountain.
Singapore declared a day of remembrance on June 8 for its students and

teachers lost in the earthquake.


Of the 18 who died, seven students
and three adults were from Singapore.
The students were taking a route to
the summit known as the Via ferrata
-- Italian for iron road which was
one of the worst-hit areas, traversing a
steeply sloping granite rock face.
They were among 29 students and
eight teachers from Singapores Tanjong Katong Primary School who were
part of an excursion to the climbing
destination.
A minutes silence was observed on
June 9 at all Southeast Asian Games
venues at the start of the competition,
which Singapore is hosting.
The 6.0-magnitude quake struck
early on June 5 near the picturesque
mountain, triggering thunderous landslides that obliterated sections of trail
on the peak in the Malaysian state of
Sabah on Borneo island.
AFP

Malaysian authorities have detained


four tourists two Canadians, a Briton
and one Dutch national for allegedly
stripping naked on Mount Kinabalu,
an act some locals say angered tribal
spirits and caused a deadly earthquake, officials said.
Pictures of 10 naked tourists had
spread on social media and infuriated
locals following the 6.0-magnitude
quake that struck near the mountain
on June 5 and killed 18 people. Six other tourists are still apparently at large.
We detained all four of them on
Tuesday [June 9]... and yes we are still
searching for the other six tourists,
and we will catch them, said Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman, the police commissioner for the Malaysian state of
Sabah where the mountain is located.
AFP

A COPY of the long-secret draft law on


NGOs obtained yesterday seemingly
confirms civil societys longstanding
fears that the legislations language
could be used to hamper, rather than
help, Cambodias NGOs.
The law on associations and nongovernmental organisations (LANGO)
a draft of which was last seen by the
public in 2011 purports to be aimed
at safeguarding the rights and freedoms of NGOs and protecting their
legitimate interests. Critics, however, say the laws provisions place an
onerous burden on civil society.
Despite government claims that
critics would be surprised by the
drafts friendliness and flexibility, an
unofficial copy reveals a number of
vaguely worded provisions and seemingly harsh restrictions.
A local NGO, for instance, must
have at least five founding members
[who have] never had a position of
leadership of any association or [local
NGO] which had been deleted from
registration.
The Interior Ministry can also
deny a request for registration if the

organisations aims and objectives


jeopardize peace, stability and public
order or harm the national security,
national unity, culture, and traditions
of the Cambodian national society.
Those not registered are not allowed to conduct any activities in
Cambodia, it says.
Even if approved, NGOs must be
neutral toward all political parties,
and the government can request full
details of activities and finances if it
deems it necessary to do so.
Any associations thought to jeopardize peace will be punished in accordance with the existing criminal
law.
If local NGOs operate without government approval they could be fined
between 5 million and 10 million riel
(US$1,230 to 2,460), while foreigners could face deportation and other
criminal punishment.
Before being green-lighted on June
5, two articles were removed by Prime
Minister Hun Sen one stating that
administrative expenses ... shall not
exceed 25 percent of the total budget,
and the other ordering that an organi-

sation declare its agreement on aid


projects to the Council for the Development of Cambodia.
Both articles dealt only with international groups.
Phil Robertson, deputy director of
Human Rights Watchs Asia division,
said if passed in its current form the
law will be an unmitigated disaster
for civil society.
The law would serve as an axe
that Hun Sen and the government will
no doubt use to chop off the heads of
NGOs and associations active in protecting human rights, exposing official corruption, and demanding accountability for elites looting of land
and natural resources.
But Meas Sarim of the Interior
Ministrys General Department of
Administration said the law had improved since 2011.
I really dont understand why
NGOs are so concerned about this,
he added.
The opposition will meet today to
discuss the draft, said CNRP lawmaker Mu Sochua.
Phnom Penh Post

CANBERRA

Australia re-places Jakarta envoy

A man wearing a face mask checks his reflection on a building in an alleyway in Seoul on June 9. Photo: AFP

SEOUL

Park postpones US visit over


MERS outbreak concerns
SOUTH Korean President Park Geun-Hye has postponed a planned
trip to the US, her spokesperson
said yesterday, amid growing public alarm over the MERS outbreak
which has now claimed nine lives.
The decision to delay the June
14-18 visit came after Ms Parks administration came under fire for
what critics say has been an insufficient response to the crisis.
President Park decided to postpone the US trip in order to help
end the outbreak of MERS and take
care of public safety, her senior
press secretary Kim Sung-Woo told
reporters.
We asked for understanding
from the US government and both
nations agreed to reschedule the
trip at the earliest convenience, he
said.
Two new deaths and 13 new cases were confirmed yesterday, bringing the total number of deaths to
nine and the number of infections
to 108 in the outbreak, the health
ministry said.
The first infected patient was
diagnosed on May 20 after a trip to
Saudi Arabia.
The 68-year-old man spread
the germs, visiting four medical facilities and infecting other patients
and healthcare workers.

Since then, nearly 3500 people


who were exposed to patients have
been placed under quarantine of
varying degrees.
Ms Parks approval ratings have
taken a dive as critics accused her
administration and health officials
of responding too slowly to the crisis.
A new survey by the polling
agency Realmeter showed yesterday that more than half of
South Koreans opposed Ms Parks
planned trip to the US, a major ally.
The two latest fatalities were a
75-year-old woman and a 62-yearold man, victims of the largest outbreak of the virus outside Saudi
Arabia.
The pair contracted the virus at
Samsung Medical Centre, a major
hospital in southern Seoul.
It has seen 47 infections, the
highest number at any single
health facility, as well as 10 of the
13 new patients reported yesterday
.
The three other new victims
had their diagnoses confirmed at
three different hospitals, including
two in the central city of Daejeon
and one near a southern suburb of
Seoul.
All the infections, however, were
limited to hospitals, and health

authorities stressed that the outbreak had not spread to communities outside hospital settings.
The nine dead had pre-existing
health conditions, the ministry
said, adding four patients so far
have recovered and were released
from hospital.
As the number of cases and
deaths has risen and public alarm
escalated, nearly 2500 schools
mostly in Seoul and surrounding
Gyeonggi province were closed
yesterday, up 300 from the previous day.
Local businesses including
shopping malls, movie theatres
and theme parks reported a sharp
drop in sales as people shunned
crowded public venues.
Acting Prime Minister Choi
Kyung-Hwan called for coopera-

108

The number of confirmed cases


in South Koreas MERS outbreak
as of yesterday

tion from the public in fighting


the virus and promised more support for thousands who are quarantined at home.
Please refrain from excessive
responses such as avoiding shopping trips ... and continue your
normal daily activities, he said
during a news conference yesterday.
We will provide all possible
support for those quarantined at
home including cash aid and essential necessities, Mr Choi said.
Yesterday health officials also
launched nationwide screening
of sick persons with pneumonia,
as MERS patients often develop
pneumonia.
The virus is considered a deadlier but less infectious cousin of
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed hundreds of people when it appeared
in Asia in 2003.
There is no vaccine or cure for
MERS which, according to World
Health Organization (WHO) data,
has a fatality rate of around 35
percent.
A WHO team of experts and
South Korean health authorities are jointly investigating the
outbreak.
AFP

AUSTRALIAN Prime Minister Tony


Abbott yesterday defended his decision to send Australias ambassador
back to Jakarta, following a six-week
absence in protest at the execution of
two drug smugglers.
Indonesia executed Australians
Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran by firing squad in April, ignoring impassioned pleas from the Australian government and public.
I made it clear that the ambassador would be withdrawn for a time
because of the depth of Australias
feeling in response to those executions, Mr Abbott said.
We took what was a pretty unprecedented step, but hes been out of
there for about 40 days and I think
now is an appropriate time for him
to go back.
Ambassador
Paul
Grigson

resumed his post on June 8.


Our relations with Indonesia are
strong and getting stronger, Mr Abbott continued.
Obviously there was some stress
as a result of the execution of two of
our citizens and obviously we made
the strongest possible representations at the time.
We
thought
that
those
executions were unnecessary and
counterproductive.
But we also made it crystal clear
at the time that we werent going to
let this permanently damage what is
a very good friendship and a very important relationship.
Indonesia executed five other
foreign drug convicts along with
the Australians, igniting global
condemnation.
President Joko Widodo has

strongly advocated capital punishment, insisting that Indonesia faces


an emergency over rising narcotics
use.
Ties between the two neighbours
had been slowly recovering before
the executions, after sinking to their
lowest point in years in late 2013 on
reports that Australian spies tried to
tap the phones of the president and
his inner circle.
Jakarta recalled its ambassador
from Canberra and suspended cooperation in several areas, including efforts to stop people-smuggling boats
reaching Australia.
Australias military-led efforts to
turn back asylum-seeker boats also
angered Indonesia, with tensions rising last year after the navy admitted
entering the Southeast Asian nations
territorial waters. AFP

Australian Andrew Chan (right) and Myuran Sukumaran (centre) talk to their lawyer from a holding cell at Denpasar District
Court in Bali, Indonesia, in 2010. The pair were executed on April 29. Photo: EPA

16 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 11, 2015

WASHINGTON

US set to bolster presence in Iraq


US President Barack Obama appears
poised to approve the deployment of
hundreds more US training personnel to Iraq, in a bid to reverse gains
by the Islamic State group.
Officials said Mr Obama is considering authorising an increase of
under 500 troops to boost the capacity of the Iraqi army and Sunni
tribal fighters.
We are considering a range
of options to accelerate the training and equipping of Iraqi security
forces, National Security Council
spokesperson Alistair Baskey told
AFP.
Those options include sending
additional trainers to Iraq.
Recent Islamic State victories in
Ramadi in Iraq and Syrias Palmyra
have thrown into doubt Mr Obamas
strategy of depending on US airpower and Iraqi ground forces to
win the war.
But in response, the Pentagon
has drawn up plans to augment an
existing mission rather than forge a
new approach.
Weve determined it is better
to train more Iraqi security forces,
Pentagon spokesperson Colonel Steven Warren said.
Because the forces weve trained
are performing better than expected, we feel its in everyones interest
to train more.
The current US mission comprises roughly 3000 advisers and
trainers.
A larger deployment could mean
increasing the number of training
sites from the four currently being
used, one official said.
The training effort would carry
a particular emphasis on the Sunnis, the official added.
Until now, Baghdad has overseen
the training of Sunni tribal fighters,
who are likely to be key to victory in
Ramadi and the surrounding Anbar
province.
Now, the Obama administration
is looking at American troops directly training those Sunni volunteers.
Weapons deliveries, however,
would continue to flow through the
Iraqi central government.
Iraqs Sunni Muslim community
has yet to join the fight against the
self-proclaimed Islamic State in
large numbers.
Among Sunnis there is lingering
distrust of the Shiite-led government in Baghdad, which IS fighters
have sought to exploit.
Within the administration, there
was said to have been no serious talk
of sending forward air controllers to

An Iraqi Shiite fighter from the Popular Mobilisation units inspects a burnt-out building in the city of Baiji, north of Tikrit, following battles in which the units fought
alongside Iraqi forces against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group to try to retake the strategic northern Iraqi town for a second time, on June 9. Photo: AFP

the front with Iraqi or Kurdish forces, or of dramatically expanding the


American military presence.
Republican lawmakers have
blasted Mr Obama over his approach
to the conflict, with some hawks demanding a more aggressive stance
that would include spotters on the
ground to direct bombing raids and
a larger-scale air war.
But even the broader training
mission may pose its own difficulties.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider alAbadis government has struggled to
provide enough recruits for courses
and ensuring units show up properly equipped, officials said.
Wed like to see ... more Sunnis come into the pipeline and be
trained, Mr Warren said. This is
what we have urged Abadi to help
solve.

After meeting Mr Abadi on June


8 in Germany, Mr Obama said the

Weve determined
it is better to train
more Iraqi security
forces ... Wed like
to see more Sunnis
come into the
pipeline
and be trained
Colonel Steven Warren
Pentagon spokesperson

Iraqi side needed to show it could


make use of extra help being offered by the United States and other
members of the anti-Islamic State
coalition.
All the countries in the international coalition are prepared to do
more to train Iraq security forces if
they feel that additional work is being taken advantage of, Mr Obama
said on the sidelines of the G7 summit.
And one of the things were still
seeing in Iraq is places where we
have more training capacity than we
have recruits.
Mr Obama said he was waiting
for final plans to be presented by
the Pentagon.
US concerns about the Iraqi
armys ability to absorb the training
were
highlighted
by
the
absence of trainees at al-Asad air

base in Anbar province, where


several hundred American troops
are stationed to help with combat
instruction.
The Pentagon said Baghdad had
pulled out the trainees and redeployed them to help provide security
for a religious pilgrimage.
The US-led coalition has trained
8920 Iraqi troops so far in basic
combat skills and 2601 are going
through courses now.
The US-trained troops have deployed to Samarra, north of Baghdad, to a front line in the north with
Kurdish peshmerga forces, and in
al-Karmah in Anbar province, Warren said.
Other units that completed the
training are at the ready for an
eventual counterattack to retake the
western city of Ramadi, which fell to
IS jihadists on May 17. AFP

World 17

www.mmtimes.com
CHICAGO

Man declared innocent


after 43 years in solitary
AFTER enduring more than four
decades in solitary confinement and
lengthy court battles to prove his innocence, Albert Woodfox was told by
a US appeals court on June 9 he must
wait in prison a little longer.
A federal judge had ordered his
unconditional release in a strongly
worded June 8 ruling that barred any
further trial on the murder charges.
But Louisianas attorney general
filed an appeal and won a temporary
stay blocking Mr Woodfoxs release
until at least June 14.
Mr Woodfox, 68, has served more
years in solitary than any other US
prisoner: 43.
A member of the radical Black
Panther movement, Mr Woodfox was
among three men who were convicted
of the murder of a guard during a 1972
prison riot.
The men became known as the
Angola Three as their years in solitary confinement at the notorious
Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola drew attention to their avowals of
innocence.
Mr Woodfox is the last of them to
remain behind bars.
In November, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit overturned
Mr Woodfoxs conviction, but he
was charged again at state level in
February.
Mr Woodfox has long maintained
his innocence, namely citing a witness

Albert Woodfox, now 68, in an undated picture released on June 10 by Amnesty


International. Photo: AFP

who said he was not involved in the


murder, as well as scientific review
of evidence at the scene that exculpated him and a polygraph test that
found he had truthfully denied his
involvement.
Evidence supporting claims of Mr
Woodfoxs innocence gives this Court
even more reason to question his two
previously overturned convictions,
US District Judge James Brady wrote
in ordering his release.
Mr Brady listed five exceptional
circumstances for Mr Woodfox to be

released unconditionally and immediately, rather than the usual conditional release pending trial.
In addition to Mr Woodfoxs age
and poor health, the judge also listed
the courts lack of confidence in the
state to provide a fair third trial, the
prejudice done onto Mr Mr Woodfox
by spending over 40 years in solitary
confinement, and finally the very fact
that Mr Woodfox has already been
tried twice and would otherwise
face his third trial for a crime that
occurred over 40 years ago. AFP

JERUSALEM

Netanyahu speaks out


against Iran deal
AN emerging deal between Iran
and world powers wont prevent the
Islamic republic from reaching nuclear weapon capacity, Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said
on June 9, noting Arab states shared
his concern.
I know Im often portrayed as
the nuclear party pooper, and that
would be okay if I was the only voice
against the impending deal with
Iran, he said at a security conference at Herzliya near Tel Aviv.
But I speak with quite a few
with our neighbours, more than you
think. And I want to tell you that

I know Im often
portrayed as the
nuclear party
pooper ... I want
to tell you that
nobody in this
region believes
this deal will block
Irans path to the
bomb.
Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli prime minister

nobody in this region believes this


deal will block Irans path to the
bomb.
Mr Netanyahus remarks came as
a June 30 deadline looms for a deal
that would row back Irans nuclear
program in return for relief from
sanctions.
In a possible move to allay concerns, chair of the US Joint Chiefs
of Staff General Martin Dempsey on
June 9 held meetings with his Israeli
counterpart as well as Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon.
Israel and the IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] have no greater friend
on the face of the earth than the US
military, Mr Dempsey told Israeli
military chief of staff Lieutenant
General Gadi Eisenkot.
Mr Dempseys visit, his last to
Israel as the top US military officer,
came as a report emerged that CIA
chief John Brennan made a secret
visit to Israel last week to discuss the
Iran deal.
According to a report in Israels
Haaretz newspaper, Mr Brennan
met his counterpart Mossad chief
Tamir Pardo and other intelligence
officials, as well as Mr Netanyahu.
They discussed the emerging
Iran deal and Tehrans subversive
activities around the Middle East,
Haaretz said.
Mr Netanyahus staunch opposition to any agreement with Iran has
helped bring relations with US President Barack Obama to an all-time
low. AFP

ROME

GENEVA

Putin bets on Italy

Europes migrant crisis spikes: UN

RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin made a rare international outing


yesterday with a high-profile visit to
Italy and the Vatican two days after
the G7 threatened him with tougher
sanctions over Ukraine.
The Russian president is due in
Milan to visit his countrys pavilion
at the World Expo and will travel on
to Rome, where an audience with
Pope Francis is expected to focus on
Ukraine amid fears a second ceasefire
agreed in February is falling apart.
In Milan, Mr Putin will be greeted
by Italian premier Matteo Renzi, one
of the G7 leaders who signed up to the
June 8 warning that the major powers
stand ready to take further restrictive
measures to increase cost on Russia
should its actions so require.
The statement reflected concern
about a recent flare-up in fighting
in eastern Ukraine, where the West
accuses Russia of providing gamechanging military support to pro-Moscow rebels who control parts of two
Russian-speaking regions.
Ukraine this week said Russian aid
had allowed the separatist forces in
the east to establish a 42,500-strong
fighting force.
Mr Putin says any Russians fighting alongside the rebels are volunteers
answering a call of the heart.
Italy has long had an important
economic relationship with Russia
and political ties were sufficiently
close prior to the eruption of the
Ukraine crisis for Russias Baltic neighbours to object to an Italian, Federica
Mogherini, being named the EUs
foreign policy chief last year amid
claims she would be too soft on
Moscow.
According to the foreign ministry,
Italy is Russias third-biggest trading
partner after China and Germany.
Exchanges between the two countries
were worth just over 30 billion euros
(US$33.9 billion) last year, down by
over 1 billion euros from 2013 due to

MORE than 100,000 migrants made


the perilous crossing over the Mediterranean to Europe this year, the
United Nations announced on June
10, reporting a huge spike in arrivals
that will add to Europes migration
worries.
The immigration crisis is a burning
issue for EU governments with member states trying to put in place ways
of tackling human trafficking, while
arguing over how to share the burden
of the tide of people arriving on the
continents shores.
Since January, 103,000 refugees
and migrants have risked their lives
often on flimsy boats to reach Europe,
the UN refugee agency said.
UNHCR is stepping up its presence in Greece and in southern Italy
in response to the dramatic increase
in numbers of refugees and migrants
who we have been seeing arriving,
spokesperson Adrian Edwards told
journalists in Geneva.
A frantic weekend of rescues saw
nearly 6000 people, most of them
sub-Saharan Africans, pulled to safety
from packed fishing boats and rubber
dinghies off Libya, and taken to Italy,
bringing the years total of new arrivals in the country to 54,000.
Pregnant women and children
were among those picked up in the
weekends major international rescue
operation, coordinated by the Italian
Coast Guard, Mr Edwards said.
While the numbers arriving in Italy
mark about a 10 percent increase on
the same period last year, the situation
in neighbouring Greece has worsened
dramatically.
A full 48,000 migrants and refugees have landed on Greek shores so
far this year, compared to 34,000 arrivals during all of 2014, according to
the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Another 920 have arrived in Spain
this year and 91 in Malta, according to
the fresh statistics from UNHCR.

sanctions and their knock-on effect on


the Russian economy.
Mr Renzi had said he would not be
lecturing the Russian leader during
their talks on yesterday, while stressing that Italy stands fully behind international demands that Moscow ensure the respect of a second ceasefire
between Kiev and the rebels that was
agreed in Minsk in February.
I have nothing to explain to him
that he does not know already: The
compass, the guiding star is the Minsk
agreement, Mr Renzi said at the end
of the G7.
The US president said Mr Putin
was wrongheadedly trying to recreate
the glories of the Soviet empire.
Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni
said on June 8 that Italy wanted to see
more dialogue with Russia on issues
other than Ukraine.
The fact that we are going through
a period of tension related to Ukraine
... should not prejudice the need for dialogue with Russia on many international issues and the existence of economic relations which, in sectors not
subject to sanctions, should not have
any brake applied to them, he said.
Russia is trying to diversify its
economy because of the [low] oil
price and this can be an additional
opportunity for Italian companies in
infrastructure and other areas.
Analysts
say
Mr
Putins
meetings with Mr Renzi, recentlyelected President Sergio Mattarella
and the pope will play well to his
domestic audience, giving the impression he remains a player on the global
stage.
The Vatican has been criticised for
failing to overtly criticise Moscows actions in Ukraine.
After his visit to the Vatican, Mr
Putin is expected to call on long-standing friend Silvio Berlusconi, the media
tycoon and disgraced former Italian
Prime Minister.
AFP

Those who made it to shore were


the lucky ones. Mass drownings in the
Mediterranean have claimed nearly
1800 lives so far this year, according
to IOM.
Some 800 died in a single sinking
in April, marking the biggest maritime disaster in the Mediterranean
since World War II, and prompting
European governments to significantly increase Mediterranean search and
rescue operations.
There has been a significant surge
in especially Syrian, Afghan and Iraqi
migrants trying to reach Greeces Aegean islands from the Turkish coast
recently, mirroring the swell in perilous crossings from north Africa to
Italy.
The Greek islands have recently
been receiving an average of 600 migrants daily, with around half of them
landing on the island of Lesvos, Edwards said.
Record numbers of refugees are
continuing to arrive in rubber dinghies and wooden boats on Lesvos,
putting huge strain on the islands
capacity and resources, he said, warning that reception facilities were vastly
overstretched.

There are currently as many as


2500 on the island waiting for registration by the authorities, he pointed
out.
Nearly half of them were at the
main screening centre in the village
of Moria, which is housing more than
1000 refugees more than twice its official capacity of 410 people, he said.
The UNHCR, Mr Edwards said,
was calling for urgent reinforcement
of personnel and resources of all the
state services and civil society organisations dealing with the reception of
refugees.
We are also seeking increased support to the affected island communities, he said.
The IOM meanwhile said in a
statement that the weekend rescue
operation was a prelude to what is expected to be a surge of migrant crossings in the months ahead.
The organisation warned that
calm weather in the Mediterranean
encourages smugglers to fill unseaworthy open boats with vulnerable
people aboard, among them refugees
and economic migrants.
AFP

Demonstrators hold a sign reading Lets respect and accommodate refugees


during a protest against the evacuation of migrants from a camp under a subway
bridge in northern Paris on June 9. Photo: AFP

18 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 11, 2015

PRETORIA

Ticking time
bomb for bees
IN A worrying development which
could threaten food production,
South Africas traditionally tough
honey bees which had been resistant to disease are now getting
sick of humans, with the population
of the crucial pollinators collapsing,
experts say.
The seriousness of the global
problem was highlighted when US
President Barack Obama announced
a plan last month to make millions of
acres of land more bee-friendly.
Loss of habitat, the increasing use
of pesticides and growing vulnerability to disease are blamed by many critics for the plight of the honey bees.
The environmental group Greenpeace, which has launched a campaign to save the insects, says that 70
out of the top 100 human food crops,
which supply about 90 percent of the
worlds nutrition, are pollinated by
bees.
In South Africa, an outbreak of
the lethal bacterial disease foulbrood
is spreading rapidly for the first time
in recent history, says Mike Allsopp,
honey bee specialist at the Agricultural Research Council in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape province.
Its exactly the same as around the
world: The bees are sick of humans
and the pressures and the stresses
humans are putting on them, said
Mr Allsopp.
In the past they were less vulnerable because they werent stressed by
intensive bee-keeping and pesticides
and pollution.
The foulbrood hitting South Africa
is the American strain of the disease,
he said. The countrys bees have previously coped with the European version.
The fear is that the disease could
spread north through Africa, where
hundreds of thousands of people
work in small-scale bee farming, Mr
Allsopp said.
It is a ticking time bomb. Every
colony that Ive looked at that has

clinical foulbrood has died, and were


not seeing colonies recover.
When honey bee farmer Brendan
Ashley-Cooper discovered foulbrood
in his colonies in 2009, he knew the
worst was yet to come.
We thought we were going to
have this major explosion of foulbrood, said Mr Ashley-Cooper, a
44-year-old based in Cape Town. I
didnt know what to do. I didnt know
what the extent of it was. I was just
worried about the bees.
Six years later, the nightmare has
come true for the third-generation
beekeeper as hives die off.
The state of South Africas bees
has never been as bad as it is now,
he says.
Foulbrood attacks the bee larvae,
leading to the collapse of the colony.
It is spread when bees raid the dead
colony, bringing back spore-infected
honey to their colony, or by the importation of contaminated bee products.
While North America and Europe have battled foulbrood for
centuries, South Africas bees have
stayed healthy a resilience attributed to the countrys diverse bee
population, which has naturally
fought off disease and pests in the
past, as well as strict regulations
that require any imported bee products to be irradiated.
Yet today the hardy South African bees are under siege. Foulbrood
has spread massively in the last five
months. It has now spread over a
500-by-400-kilometre [about 300-by250-mile] area where most beekeeping operations are infected, said Mr
Allsopp.
It is growing rapidly and I can
think of no reason why it will stop
unless human intervention stops it or
controls it.
The stakes are too high for bee
keepers to ignore, said Mr Allsopp.
We cannot afford to lose our bee

A beekeeper inspects a brood frame inside a bee hive suspected of having been infected with the foulbrood bacterial
disease on a farm near Durbanville, about 50 kilometres from Cape Town, on May 18. Photo: AFP

population, not because of the losses


of honey, but because we have 20 billion rands [US$1.6 billion] worth of
commercial agriculture that requires
bee pollination.
Faced with the realisation that
the bees cant adapt to the foulbrood
threat fast enough to sustain agricultural pollination, South African
officials say that they are in talks to
introduce stiffer regulations to tackle
foulbrood.
There is a team that is currently working on an action program that will be between industry and the department that will

be announced in the next few


weeks, said director of agriculture Mooketsa Ramasodi.
The government plans to clamp
down on the registration of beekeepers, heighten awareness of the issue,
and enforce beekeeping management
measures such as checking the larvae regularly which are aimed at
identifying the disease before it kills
the colony, he said.
South Africa would use antibiotics to treat hives a controversial
method only as a last option, Mr
Ramasodi said.
Mr Ashley-Cooper worries that the

government action may be too little


too late for an industry that has a
laissez-faire approach to beekeeping.
In general, South African bee
keepers leave the bees to fend for
themselves, confident that they will
eventually recover, as they have always done in the past.
Its really a beekeeper issue, its
about beekeeper education and becoming modern beekeepers, said Mr
Ashley-Cooper.
We are keeping bees like our
grandparents did 150 years ago.
Theres huge room for improvement.
AFP

HOUSTON

CARACAS

US police officer resigns after


excessive force at party crackdown

Report alleges 189


extrajudicial killings
in the past year

A TEXAS police officer videotaped


pulling a gun out at a teen pool party
has resigned on June 9, following the
latest racially charged incident involving alleged excessive force by US
law enforcement.
McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley denounced Eric Casebolts indefensible actions, insisting they did
not reflect the departments high
standard of action.
Video filmed by one of the teens
and later posted on YouTube shows
Mr Casebolt who is white shouting obscenities at the black teenagers as he orders them to lie on the
ground.
At one point, he is seen throwing a bikini-clad girl to the ground
and pinning her down. He pulled his
gun when two young black men approached, apparently trying to help
her.
Our policies, our training,
our practice do not support his
actions, the police chief said at a press
conference.
He came into the call out of control and as the video shows, was out
of control during the incident.
Mr Conley said a dozen officers
were sent to the community centre
on June 5 amid reports of a disturbance at the community pool. A

group of youngsters had shown up


at the pool party and then refused to
leave, police said.
Authorities launched a probe after becoming aware of the existence
of the video, which went viral and
was replayed repeatedly on US news
broadcasts.
The incident comes at a time of
heightened racial tensions in the
wake of a series of incidents involving
questionable use of sometimes-lethal
police force in black communities
across the United States.
Late on June 8, a group of protesters demonstrated at a school and a police station in McKinney, waving signs
that read End Police Brutality and
calling for Mr Conley to lose his job.
The US Justice Department has
launched investigations into possible
civil rights violations by police in a
number of the cases.
Long-simmering tensions erupted
into weeks of sometimes violent protests after the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown
in Ferguson, Missouri, in August.
A grand jury declined to indict
the officer who shot Mr Brown and
investigators with the US Justice Department concurred that he acted in
self-defence.
The family of 12-year-old Tamir

Rice, who was shot dead by police


while holding a toy gun in Cleveland in
November, is waiting to hear if prosecutors will charge the officers involved.
A number of other incidents that
gained national attention in recent
months have led to criminal charges
against the officers involved.
A white police officer who was
videotaped shooting an unarmed,
fleeing black motorist in South Carolina was indicted on murder charges
on June 8.
Michael Slager, who served with
the North Charleston police force,
was indicted for murder in the killing
of 50-year-old Walter Scott on April 4.
Mr Slager was dismissed from the
force and arrested a short time after
the release of a bystanders cellphone
video that shows Mr Scott running
away as Mr Slager pulls his gun and
fires eight shots, five of which hit Mr
Scott in the back.
Six officers also face criminal
charges in the death of Freddie Gray,
25, who died due to a serious spinal
injury suffered while in the back of
a police van in Baltimore, Maryland.
Mr Grays April death sparked
days of sometimes violent protests in
Baltimore which is just an hours
drive north of the US capital and in
other major US cities. AFP

AT least 189 people died in


extrajudicial executions last year in
Venezuela at the hands of security
forces, a human rights group said
on June 9.
Another 31 died from torture
or excessive force by police or the
military, including five during
demonstrations
against
the
government of President Nicolas
Maduro, according to PROVEA.
Of the 189 summary executions, most came during police or
military raids aimed at arresting
a large number of people, said
PROVEA researcher Inti Rodriguez. The group has monitored human rights in Venezuela since 1988.
The figure marks a five percent
increase compared to the cases
documented by PROVEA in 2013.
The
biggest
increase
in
extrajudicial killings came during
early morning raids by a police investigative unit called the CICPC.
These are aimed at hunting
down suspected criminals and meting out justice, Mr Rodriguez said.
The CICPC is responsible for
probing violent deaths in Venezuela.

Three of the victims were under


age 12 and 25 were adolescents.
Of the total of 189 deaths, no
one was ever punished, PROVEA
added.
In a presentation of its annual
report, the NGO said another 31
people died at the hands of people in uniform: 15 from indiscriminate use of force, eight from
excessive use of force, four from
torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and four from
negligence.
Of the 31, five died during protest rallies against the government
of Maduro that lasted from February to May, Rodriguez said. Violence in the demonstrations left a
total of 43 dead.
The research is based on complaints filed with the courts or by
relatives of the victims.
Venezuela is considered the
worlds most violent country after
Honduras, with a yearly average of
82 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, according to another local
rights group.
AFP

ge
t

yo

gers o
n
i
f
n

THE MYANMAR TIMES June 11, 2015

DePuTY Pulse eDiTor: ToM BArTon tom.a.barton@gmail.com

it

www.mmtimes.com

Toy library teaches

honesty, sharing

Stuart alan Becker

WORLD of possibilities has just dawned for some


lucky kids in Yangon. The imaginations of countless
little ones have been given a collective boost,
following the launch of a new toy library in Dala
township. A group of women from the Yangon
Newcomers Group established what could well be Yangons first
toy library on June 8 at Sunshine Kindergarten located across
the Yangon River.
The 138-member association, consisting mostly of expat
women, has a social welfare subgroup of 23 women and theyre
the ones who provided a lot of action figures, stuffed animals,
puzzles and educational toys to the kindergarten.
Social Welfare Group chair Irene Wicklein, whose husband
Vinnie heads the ADB organisation in Myanmar, introduced the
toy library concept shed seen successfully implemented in the
Philippines.
After a trip by ferry across the river and a short ride through
the narrow country roads of Bayin Naung Dala, the group arrived
and met Principal Vung Deih Lun, who said the schools 75
students, aged 3 to 5 and mostly from poor families, were grateful
for the access to toys they could check out for a week.
Ms Wicklein had met Vung Deih Luns brother about a month
ago and started the conversation about the possibility of a toy
library.
Like a book lending library, children are able to take toys
home for a week using a check-out form and they have to return
them the same day the following week. The toys originate from
the Yangon Newcomers Group, jokingly described as a bunch of
desperate housewives whose kids were outgrowing a lot of very
good toys.

Vung Deih Lun said the toy library would not only improve
relations between the kindergarten and the parents but also
would teach the youngsters the concept of borrowing and
bringing things back in good shape and on time.
This is our dream to communicate with the parents and it
finally came true, she said.
With five teachers and a Myanmar curriculum from 9am to
3pm, the kindergarten is one of three such schools owned by Go
Chin Zam, who also serves as local director of an international
Christian NGO called Operation Mobilization. The teachers are
mostly Christians, and Christian songs are sung and Bible stories
are read, but the education is secular, with all religions welcome.
The cost to send a child to this kindergarten is K10,000 per
month and the students bring their own lunch.
These toys make them very happy because most of the
parents cant afford these kinds of toys, she said. The children
get more confidence with toys like these, she said.
Ms Wicklein credited YNG social welfare group members Srey
Oun Brimble, Sata Seck, Intira Thepsittawiwat, Nina Kezman
Susnjar and a dozen others with making the project come to life.
This is probably the first toy library in Yangon and certainly
the first one in Dala township, Ms Wicklein said.
We would like to see this concept replicated all over
Myanmar and we are willing to help with this effort, she said.
When I came here I had a lot of toys to give away, which I
thought I would give to an orphanage, but then two months ago
we decided to form a group and donate toys.
Group member Babli Saha donated plastic zipper bags to each
student including a notebook, crayons, eraser and sharpener.
For Srey Oun Brimble, it was a first experience of donating to a
school. Im happy to do it, she said.
The YNG was founded in September, 2013, by author Jan

Merchant as a group of newcomers, many of whose husbands


work here for companies, governments and NGOs.
We are an informal and casual group, Ms Wicklein said. If
anyone wants to join they can send an email and we will invite
you to our coffee mornings.
YNG also supports the Myanmar Christian Fellowship of
the Blind, a school in Mayangone township that teaches blind
students, including highly talented chess players and musicians.
We are desperate housewives trying to do good things, said
social welfare group co-chair Intira Thepsittawiwat, a Thai national.
Members Wicklein and Brimble, both of whom live at the
Shangri-La Serviced Apartments, became acquainted with
Shangri-La front office manager Nandar Aung and chief engineer
Zaw Linn Oo, both of whom spent their own time and money
supporting the project, with Zaw Linn Oo painting the schools
interior walls.
As we all know, toys are really important in childrens
development, said Ms Wicklein. Toys help with motor skills and
stimulate the imagination, and we promote learning through
play, she said.
Children from Sunshine Kindergartens other kindergarten will
be able to begin borrowing from the toy library in another month.
Vung Deih Lun said, We have children on the waiting list
and we dont have the capacity for everybody who wants to
come here. The school also teaches personal hygiene, generosity,
sharing and putting rubbish in the bin.
Our system helps teach honesty, she said.
Readers who have surplus toys to donate may contact the Yangon
Newcomers Association on yangonnewcomers@gmail.com and a dropoff point will be provided.

Social Welfare Group chair Irene Wicklein (centre) cuts a cake at the opening of the toy library. Photos: Stuart Alan Becker

the pulse 21

22 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES June 11, 2015

CHIANG SAEN

Expensive espresso: Thailands elephant dung coffee

n the lush, green hills of


northern Thailand, a woman
painstakingly picks coffee beans
out of a pile of elephant dung,
an essential part of making one
the worlds most expensive beverages.
This remote corner of Thailand
bordering Myanmar and Laos is
better known for drug smuggling
than coffee, but Blake Dinkin decided
it was perfect for a legitimate
enterprise that blends conservation
with business.
When I explained my project
to the mahouts [elephant riders], I
know that they thought I was crazy,
the 44-year-old Canadian founder
of Black Ivory Coffee, which uses
the digestive tract of elephants to
create a high-end brew for coffee
connoisseurs.
Initially, he considered using
civet cats to make kopi luwak coffee,
which uses beans collected from
the droppings of the Asian cats. But
the quality of the end product has
weakened as demand has grown
in Southeast Asia including in
Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Civet cats are also often kept in
cages and force-fed beans, a chasm
away from Dinkins desire to support
rather than damage the environment.
Lions and giraffes also made the
shortlist of prospective coffee filters,
but eventually Dinkin settled on
elephants after discovering that the
creatures sometimes eat coffee during
periods of drought in Southeast Asia.

A woman extracts coffee beans from elephant dung. Photos: Christophe Archambault

An employee serves cups of Black Ivory Coffee at the luxury Anantara resort.

He also teamed up with an


elephant rescue charity which saves
the creatures from the tourist trade.
But making coffee from
pachyderm poop was harder than
expected.
I thought it would be as simple
as taking the beans, giving them to
the elephant, and out will come great
coffee, said Dinkin, adding that
the initial result was horrible and
undrinkable.
It took me another nine years

the elephants sometimes defecate in


the river while bathing.
The mahouts wives collect the
coffee beans from the elephant
dung, before washing and drying
them in the sun, a division of labour
that is helping to boost the local
communitys income.
To make a kilogram of coffee, the
elephants have to have consumed
around 33kg of the beans, along with
their usual ration of rice and bananas.
The rarity of the drink is a key
part of its branding. In 2015, their
third successful harvest, Black Ivory
produced 150 kilograms of coffee.
At around US$1880 per kilogram
or $13 for an espresso-sized cup it
does not come cheap.
But riding the grand cru trend
for coffee, it is sought after by
customers eager to pay sky-high
prices for unusual products.
Black Ivory coffee will soon be
available at high-end establishments
in Paris, Zurich, Copenhagen and
Moscow.
But for now it is sold exclusively
at luxury hotels in Asia, mostly in
Thailand, but also Singapore and
Hong Kong.
John Roberts, the director of
the foundation that supports the
elephants, which have all been
rescued from the tourist trade in
Bangkok, was initially sceptical of
feeding elephants coffee beans.

to actually succeed in doing what I


wanted, he said.
The enzymes in the elephants
stomach function as a kind of slow
cooker, he said, where the coffee
beans marinate alongside the herbs
and fruits the animal also eats.
As the beans work their way
through the elephants digestive tract
a 17-hour process the digestive acid
takes the bitterness out of the bean.
I lose a lot of beans in the bath in
the morning, he said, explaining that

But he has since warmed to the


project.
The caffeine doesnt come out of
the coffee bean until its boiled ... so
its fine for them to eat it, he said.
In addition, families of mahouts are
paid for collecting beans and 8pc of the
sale price is donated to the foundation,
helping to pay for veterinary treatment
and facilities for the animals.
For all the hype, it has yet to win
round all coffee lovers.
From his Cafe Lomi in Paris,
Aleaume Paturle said the elephant
dung brand is more gimmick than
taste sensation.
Its fun but its not the best product.
To make the best coffee, youve got to
control fermentation and when this is
happening in the stomach of an animal,
this is harder, he said.
But even if the beverages taste
is a bit inconsistent, the fact that
the beans have passed through
an elephant in Thailand gives the
product a romantic appeal that will
help sales, he said.
At the Anatara hotel in Chiang
Saen, where some of the elephants are
based, the precious coffee is prepared
in front of guests in an elegant
19thcentury French coffee machine.
Its a unique taste, said Barbara
Schautz, a German tourist, adding
she could detect notes of caramel and
chocolate in the brew.
Its not bitter at all. AFP

An elephant eats a mixture containing coffee beans.

the pulse 23

www.mmtimes.com
YANGON

YANGON

Blockbuster prizes for young


Myanmar film-makers previewed

Local brand fusing traditional


and pop art brings the goods
CHiT Su
suwai.chit@gmail.com

F
U Lu Min announces the Myanmar Youth Micro Film contest at a press
conference. Photo: Facebook/Myanmar Youth Micro Film

NYeiN CHAN MAY


nyeinchanmay11@gmail.com
YOUNG movie-makers could win a
staggering US$10,000 in a contest
being organised to identify rising
film directors. The Myanmar Motion
Picture Organisation, Sky Net media
and Monnect Group are jointly staging
the Myanmar Youth Micro Film
contest for the first time, with total
prize money amounting to $21,000.
The idea was imported from the
west, where it proved very popular.
The main purpose is to help
identify young Myanmar who are
interested in the film industry.
The prizes are the highest in the
country, said actor Lu Min, who

chairs the Myanmar Motion Picture


Organisation.
Anyone can participate in this
contest to produce a three-to-fiveminute film, on any subject. The films
will be shown on Sky Net.
Application forms are available from
www.facebook.com/mynmarmicrofilm,
and once completed should be emailed
to microfilm2015@gmail.com or
dropped in at number 9, 4th floor, Taw
win housing, dagon by July 31. The
competition will be held in August.
First prize is $10,000, second is
$5000 and third $3000. Another
prize of $3000 will be offered for the
most liked film on social media, and
winners will also receive career advice
and help from the MMPO.

STOCKHOLM

A sticker with a warning that reads (left), You wont catch chlamydia here. Youll
catch it after the beach party on Rhodes. Take care of yourself this summer.
Use a condom, and, (right) Get laid, get safe, on a toilet seat at the Vaesteras
airport, Stockholm. Photo: AFP/Patrik Lindkvist/Magic Circle

Sweden gets cheeky in safe


sex toilet-seat campaign
SwediSh healthcare authorities are
warning young travellers this summer
against sexually transmitted diseases
(STds) by posting cheeky messages
on airport toilet seats, a project leader
said on June 9.
Starting June 15, travellers using
the loos at airports in central and
southern Sweden, including Skavsta
airport outside Stockholm, will be
greeted with a message on the toilet
seat that reads, You wont catch
chlamydia here. Youll catch it after
the beach party on Rhodes. Take
care of yourself this summer. Use a
condom.
we wanted to rely on a new way
of sending out a message. if we were
to display the information in the
ordinary spots, we would probably
not get the same kind of attention,
said Caroline Lundh, one of the
campaign organisers.

The campaign, named Ligg lugnt


in Swedish (Get laid, get safe), was
being financed by eight counties and
regional councils.
Lundh said it was aimed at 20-to30-year-olds heading off on holiday
who rarely use condoms, and who are
the main group at risk of contracting
the venereal disease chlamydia.
Condoms are expected to be dispensed
free of charge in the airports.
when returning from their
holidays, travellers will be met by a
life-size picture of a young woman in
a short dress holding a sign reading,
You didnt bring back an STd in your
luggage, did you? Take a test if youre
worried.
According to campaign organisers,
around 38,000 Swedes contracted
hiV, gonorrhoea or chlamydia last
year. They did not provide specific
statistics for each disease. AFP

ANCY a piece of traditional


Yangon thats at the cutting
edge of style? You might
find what you want from
Yangoods, the brand
blending Myanmar heritage tradition
with the modernity of the 21st century,
which was launched on June 9.
Goods for sale include vintage
pictures printed on pillows, handbags,
purses and books, and the likeness of
daw Aung San Suu Kyi on a coffee
mug.
we blend Myanmar heritage and
modernity. Yangoods handicrafts and
Souvenirs offers colourful, original
items to decorate homes and offices,
offer as gifts and use in everyday life,
said designer delphine de Lorme.
As Myanmars tourism industry
continues to flourish and its expat
community expands, the demand
for unique accessories has also been
growing and Yangoods has heard the
call, she said.
Customers can choose between
Burmese Vintage and Myanmar Pop.
Burmese Vintage is rejuvenation of
Myanmar heritage from the early
20th century, while Myanmar Pop is
brilliantly coloured, larger-than-life
pop art.

i collected old pictures from my


Myanmar friends. Sometimes i bought
postcards from Bogyoke Market and
colourised them, said delphine.
The three women behind Yangoods
are Clara Baik, a Korean fashion
designer; French artist delphine de
Lorme; and htin htin, editor of Moda
magazine.
we are inspired by Myanmars
heroes, famous symbols and relics.

Yangoods products celebrate the


countrys deep and diverse artistic
history, while also reinvigorating it,
she said.
Yangoods products are available
at Bogyoke Market, Karaweik or Le
Planteur.
we target not only foreigners
but also local people, because many
of them like Yangoods so much, said
delphine.

Yangoods crafts combine traditional heritage with pop art styling. Photo: Supplied

24 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 11, 2015

DOMESTIC FLIGHT SCHEDULES


YANGON TO MANDALAY

MANDALAY TO YANGON

YANGON TO HEHO

HEHO TO YANGON

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Y5 775

Daily

6:00

7:10

Y5 233

Daily

7:50

9:00

YH 917

Daily

6:10

9:15

YH 918

Daily

9:15

10:25

W9 515

6:00

7:25

W9 201

Daily

8:40

10:35

7Y 131

2,4,6,7

6:30

9:20

W9 201

Daily

9:25

10:35

YJ 211

5, 7

6:00

8:05

YJ 891

1,2

8:40

10:35

K7 222

1,3,5

6:30

9:30

7Y 132

2,4,6,7

9:35

10:45

YH 917

Daily

6:10

8:30

7Y 132

2,4,6,7

8:50

10:45

7Y 131

Daily

7:15

10:05

K7 223

1,3,5

9:45

11:00

YJ 891

1,2

6:20

8:25

K7 223

1,3,5

8:55

11:00

Y5 649

Daily

10:30

12:45

YJ 761

Daily

12:25

17:00

7Y 131

2,4,6,7

6:30

8:35

YH 918

Daily

8:30

10:25

YJ 751

1,3,4,5,6,7 11:00

12:10

7Y 242

1,3,5

15:55

18:45

K7 222

1,3,5

6:30

8:40

6T 806

2,4,6

10:30

11:40

YH 737

3,5,7

11:00

12:25

K7 225

2,4,6,7

16:00

19:00

6T 805

2,4,6

6:30

7:40

YJ 212

5,7

10:40

12:35

YH 727

11:30

12:55

YH 728

16:15

18:25

YJ 201

1,2,3,4

7:00

8:55

YJ 202

1,2,3,4

12:00

13:25

K7 224

2,4,6,7

14:30

15:45

YH 738

3,5,7

16:25

18:35

W9 201

Daily

7:00

8:25

YJ 761

1,2,4

13:10

17:00

7Y 241

1,3,5

14:30

15:40

W9 129

1,3,6

16:55

19:10

W9201

7:00

8:25

YJ 602

15:40

17:35

W9 129

1,3,6

15:30

16:40

8M 6603

9:00

10:10

7Y 242

1,3,5

16:40

18:45

YJ 601

11:00

12:25

K7 225

2,4,6,7

16:50

19:00

YJ 761

1,2,4

11:00

12:55

YH 728

17:00

18:25

YH 729

2,4,6

11:00

14:00

W9 152/W97152

17:05

18:30

YH 737

3,5,7

11:00

13:10

Y5 776

Daily

17:10

18:20

YH 727

11:30

13:40

W9 211

17:10

19:15

W9 251

2,5

11:30

12:55

YH 738

3,5,7

17:10

18:35

7Y 241

1,3,5

14:30

16:25

8M 6604

17:20

18:30

K7 224

2,4,6,7

14:30

16:35

8M 903

1,2,4,5,7

17:20

18:30

Y5 234

Daily

15:20

16:30

YH 730

2,4,6

17:45

19:10

W9 211

15:30

16:55

W9 252

2,5

18:15

19:40

YANGON TO NAY PYI TAW


Flight

NAY PYI TAW TO YANGON

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YANGON TO MYEIK
Flight

MYEIK TO YANGON

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Dep

Arr

Y5 325

1,5

6:45

8:15

Y5 326

1,5

8:35

10:05

1,3,5,7

7:00

9:05

6T 706

2,4,6

8:55

10:05

6T 705

2,4,6

7:30

8:40

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

Flight

Days

Dep

Flight

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

YJ 201

1,2,3,4

7:00

7:55

SO 101

Daily

7:00

8:00

ND 910

1,2,3,4,5

7:15

8:15

YJ 201

1,2,3,4

8:10

13:25

ND 105

1,2,3,4,5

10:45

11:40

ND 9102

1,2,3,4,5

8:35

9:35

ND 107

11:25

12:20

ND 104

1,2,3,4,5

9:20

10:15

Flight

Days

ND 109

1,2,3,4,5

14:55

15:40

ND 106

10:00

10:55

K7 422

2,4,6
1,3,5

YANGON TO THANDWE
Dep

THANDWE TO YANGON
Dep

Arr

K7 = Air KBZ

14:25

W9 309

1,3,6

11:30

13:50

7Y 413

12:05

14:20

SO 102

Daily

18:00

19:00

ND 9110

1,2,3,4,5

18:20

19:20

7Y 413

11:00

11:50

W9 309

1,3,6

14:05

14:55

Y5 421

1,3,4,6

15:45

16:40

Y5 422

1,3,4,6

16:55

17:50

YANGON TO DAWEI

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

6:30

8:55

6T 806

2,4,6

9:10

11:40

YH 826

1,3.5.7

7:00

9:40

YJ 202

1,2,3,4

10:35

13:25

YJ 201

1,2,3,4

7:00

10:20

YH 827

1,3,5,7

11:30

13:55

YJ 233

11:00

15:10

YJ 234

15:25

18:15

W9 251

2,5

11:30

14:25

W9 252

2,5

16:45

19:40

W9 = Air Bagan
Y5 = Golden Myanmar Airlines
YH = Yangon Airways

DAWEI TO YANGON

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

6T = AirMandalay
FMI (ND) = FMI Air Charter

YH 633

2,4,6

7:00

8:25

K7 320

1,3,5,7

12:25

13:35

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

YANGON TO LASHIO

Dep

SO = APEX Airlines
7Y = Mann Yadanarpon Airlines

17:55

2,4,6

Airline Codes

11:30

13:30

Days

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


Fax: (+95-1) 532275

13:55

17:00

Flight

Air Mandalay (6T)

9:10

6T 805

Tel:95(1) 533300 ~ 311


Fax : 95 (1) 533312

11:35

1,2,3,4,5

MYITKYINA TO YANGON

Tel: 240363, 240373, 09421146545

1,3,5

ND 110

YANGON TO MYITKYINA

FMI Air Charter (ND)

2,4,6

ND 108

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

Tel: 383100, 383107, 700264


Fax: 652 533

7Y 413

19:20

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

Yangon Airways (YH)

K7 422

18:00

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

Tel: 656969
Fax: 656998, 651020

8:55

18:25

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

Tel: 09400446999, 09400447999


Fax: 8604051

11:20

17:00

Arr
7:20
7:45
7:40
7:50
7:50
17:25
17:10
17:35
17:40
17:35

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)

8:00

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

Tel: 515261~264, 512140, 512473, 512640


Fax: 532333, 516654

10:30

1,2,3,4,5

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

Asian Wings (YJ)

Days

ND 111

Flight
YJ 211
YH 917
YJ 891
K7 222
7Y 131
K7 224
7Y 241
W9 129
W9 211
W9 129

Tel: 372977~80, 533030~39 (airport), 373766


(hotline). Fax: 372983

Flight

ND 9109

NYAUNG U TO YANGON

Air KBZ (K7)

Arr

7Y 413

YANGON TO NYAUNG U

Tel: 513322, 513422, 504888. Fax: 515102

APEX Airlines (SO)

SITTWE TO YANGON
Arr

Air Bagan (W9)

Mann Yadanarpon Airlines (7Y)

Days

K7 319

YANGON TO SITTWE

Domestic Airlines

LASHIO TO YANGON

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YH 729

2,4,6

11:00

13:00

YJ 752

YJ 751

3,5,7

11:00

13:15

YH 730

YANGON TO PUTAO

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

3,5,7

16:10

17:55

2,4,6

16:45

19:10

PUTAO TO YANGON

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YH 826

1,3,5,7

7:00

10:35

YH 827

1,3,5,7

10:35

13:55

W9 251

2,5

11:30

15:25

W9 252

2,5

15:45

19:40

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
PARIS

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
2,6
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
MH 743
AK 503

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

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

1,2,3,5,6
7:50
Daily
8:30
Daily
12:15
Daily
15:45
Daily
19:30
YANGON TO BEIJING

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Flights

BANGKOK TO YANGON
Days

Dep

Arr

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

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

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

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

TR 2822
Daily
7:20
Y5 2234
Daily
7:20
SQ 998
Daily
7:55
3K 581
Daily
8:55
MI 533
2,6
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
12:55
15:15
16:40
18:35

AK 504
MH 740
8M 502
MH 742
AK 502

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

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

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

Flights

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

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

10:25
16:30
15:50

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

9:55

Flights

Flights

CI 7916
Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Flights

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

13:15
16:15
22:15

CZ 3055
CZ 3055
8M 712

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

Arr

16:15

Flights

CI 7915

Arr

Flights

Days

CA 416
MU 2012
MU 2032
Flights

Days

Dep

Dep

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

Dep

Days

Days

15:55
18:45
18:40

MU 2011
CA 415
MU 2031

Arr

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

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

11:50
11:15
14:30

Dep

Arr

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

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

VN 942

VN 943

Flights

Flights

QR 919
Flights

Days

Dep

Days

Dep

Days

Dep

Arr

2,4,7
14:25
YANGON TO DOHA

17:15

1,4,6
8:00
YANGON TO SEOUL

11:10

Arr

Arr

Flights

Flights

QR 918
Flights

Days

Dep

Days

Dep

Days

Dep

KA 252
KA 250

Arr

Flights

Days

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

Arr

YANGON TO TOKYO

Flights

Days

NH 814

Daily

Dep

21:45

06:50+1

YANGON TO DHAKA

Flights

Days

BG 061
BG 061
Flights

Dep

1:30
1:10

1,6
4

Dep

15:35
13:45

YANGON TO INCHEON
Days

Dep

Days

Dep

Arr

Arr

Flights

Y5 251
7Y 305

8:05
12:50

2,4,6
1,5

YANGON TO GAYA

Flights

Days

8M 601
AI 236
Flights

Days

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

AI 236
AI 701
Flights

6:15
11:00

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

Days

1,2,3,4,5

Dep

19:30

Arr

Arr

8:20
15:05
Arr

Dep

Days

Dep

Flights

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

AI 227

1,5

Dep

10:35

MUMBAI TO YANGON

AI 675

Days

1,5

Dep

6:10

BANGKOK TO MANDALAY

Flights

Days

Daily

Dep

12:00

SINGAPORE TO MANDALAY

Y5 2234
MI 533

Days

Daily
2,6

Dep

7:20
11:35

DON MUEANG TO MANDALAY

Flights

15:00

FD 244

Arr

Flights

Arr

12:30
10:40

Days

2,4,6
1,5

Flights

Flights

22:30

Dep

INCHEON TO YANGON

Flights

Arr

16:40

1,6
4

AI 235
8M 602

PG 709

Arr

Days

15:40
Arr

14:55
13:05

Days

Daily

Dep

10:50

KUNMING TO MANDALAY

MU 2029

Days

Daily

Dep

13:00

BANGKOK TO NAY PYI TAW

Flights

PG 721

Days

1,2,3,4,5

Dep

17:00

Air China (CA)

Tel: 666112, 655882

Air India

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

Bangkok Airways (PG)

Tel: 255122, 255265. Fax: 255119

Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG)


Tel: 371867~68. Fax: 371869

Condor (DE)

Tel: 370836~39 (ext: 303)

Dragonair (KA)

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

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)


Tel: 09400446999, 09400447999
Fax: 8604051

Malaysia Airlines (MH)

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


Fax: 241124

Myanmar Airways International (8M)


Tel: 255260. Fax: 255305

Nok Airline (DD)

Tel: 255050, 255021. Fax: 255051

Arr

Arr

12:0
12:30
Arr

12:20
13:20
Arr

13:20
Arr

13:20
Arr

13:20
Arr

16:30
15:00
Arr

12:15

Tel: 379845, 379843, 379831. Fax: 379730

Singapore Airlines (SQ) / Silk Air (MI)


Tel: 255287~9. Fax: 255290

Thai Airways (TG)

Tel: 255491~6. Fax: 255223


Tel: 371383, 370836~39 (ext: 303)
Tel: 255066, 255088, 255068. Fax: 255086

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

BG = Biman Bangladesh Airlines


CA = Air China
CI = China Airlines

DD = Nok Airline
FD = Air Asia
KA = Dragonair
KE = Korea Airlines
MH = Malaysia Airlines
MI = Silk Air
MU = China Eastern Airlines
NH = All Nippon Airways
PG = Bangkok Airways
QR = Qatar Airways
SQ = Singapore Airways
TG = Thai Airways
TR = Tiger Airline
VN = Vietnam Airline
AI = Air India
Y5 = Golden Myanmar Airlines

Subject to change
without notice

Arr

12:50
Arr

19:00

Day
1 = Monday
2 = Tuesday
3 = Wednesday

4
5
6
7

=
=
=
=

The Viaduc des Arts and Promenade Plante, Paris. Photo: Besopha/Wikimedia
Commons

Rise above the


tourist traps
on Pariss original
High Line
HugH BIggAR

Qatar Airways (QR)

CZ = China Southern

Arr

10:15
14:35

16:30
20:50
14:15

11:00

Air Bagan Ltd.(W9)

Tel: 513322, 513422, 504888. Fax: 515102

AK = Air Asia

Arr

Y5 252
7Y 306

Flights

Arr

Daily

Dep

DHAKA TO YANGON

Flights

Arr

Arr

TOKYO TO YANGON
Days

Arr

00:30+1
23:30

18:10
12:00

AI 235
AI 401

22:35

Dep

22:50
21:45

Arr

22:25
23:25

W9 608
4,7
17:20
PG 723
1,3,5,6
11:05
CHIANG MAI TO YANGON

16:30
19:50
15:05

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

Flights

BG 060
BG 060

16:10
15:05

Days

NH 813

17:00
15:10

W9 607
4,7
14:20
PG 724
1,3,5,6
13:10
YANGON TO CHIANG MAI
Flights

Flights

Tel: 09254049991~3

Vietnam Airlines (VN)

06:25+1

5:55
5:45

Flights

Air Asia (FD)

Arr

3,5,7
20:40
SEOUL TO YANGON

KA 251
KA 251

Tel: 255412, 413

Tiger Airline (TR)

13:25

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

All Nippon Airways (NH)

Arr

2,4,7
11:50
DOHA TO YANGON

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

International Airlines

Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

n a recent trip to Paris,


a determined accordion
player seemed to follow my
friend Carrie and me from
Metro car to Metro car,
playing the same wheezy melody each
time. Fortunately, we recognised our
symptoms and knew what to do. The
fault wasnt the accordion players, it
was ours.
He was a sign that we had hit the
tourist wall. For all its charms, we
needed a break from the touristy side
of Paris that point where the queues
at the museums suddenly become
too long, and we really didnt want
to see another Eiffel Tower snow
globe or notre Dame tea towel.
Ready for a reboot and wanting
to experience Paris more as the locals
do, Carrie and I headed to the Viaduc
des Arts and Promenade Plante
an elevated public park that allows
visitors to see the city from above it
all, or at least from the rooftops.
A quick walk from the Place des
Vosges, once home to Victor Hugo
and other luminaries, took us by
the Place de la Bastille, site of the
uprising that sparked the French
Revolution and now a busy traffic
circle, past the neighbouring LOpra
Bastille a modernist cube on the
former site of a railway station and
then up the stairs to the park.
now nearly 20 years old, the
Promenade Plante known in
French as the Coule Verte, or
Green Flow follows an abandoned
railway as it ambles 3 leisurely miles
through the 12th arrondissement.
Since its launch as one of the
worlds first elevated rails-to-trails
projects, the Promenade has inspired
similar parks, such as Manhattans
popular High Line, and provided an
innovative example of Pariss ongoing
efforts to reimagine its past in the
form of a stylish present.
At the top of the stairs, we entered
through a rose trellis and proceeded
along the parks paved path, which
follows an old rail bed. This is so cool,
Carrie said, looking toward the eye-level
upper floors of Beaux-Arts buildings
and balconies of modern apartments.
Trains ran here for 110 years,
starting in 1859, but on this winter
day it was just me, Carrie and a mix
of locals, reminding us we had passed
into a corner of Paris for Parisians.
I could see only two other people
who might be tourists, with telltale

cameras out. We passed them by to


find a homeless man taking a nap on
a bench, a young couple nuzzling in
one of the secluded alcoves off the
path, a father pushing a stroller and a
group of strident joggers.
The path, flanked by leafy
gardens, offered expansive views of
the neighbourhood. The chimneylined rooftops on the older buildings
reminded me of an impressionist
painting I had seen recently in
Pariss Muse dOrsay, Rooftops in
the Snow, by Gustave Caillebotte.
Happily, on this cold but sunny day,
no snow was in sight.
As the Promenade path narrowed,
widened and narrowed again, backlit
by the low winter sun, we quietly
strolled on wooden trestles above the
avenues past small arbours and long,
narrow fountains.
Below, high-end arts-and-crafts
workshops are housed in the bricklined arches of the old railway, and
the shops, built in the 1990s, evoke
the artisanal character of the old
neighbourhood.
We moved past a man in a track
suit emphatically practising his
kickboxing, strolled the path as it
cleaved tightly between modern
buildings, then followed it to a
wooden footbridge. The bridge arced
over a large swathe of green, which
a sign identified as the former home
of 5th-century kings known as the
Merovingians, distinctive for their
shoulder-length hair. It is now a
public park, the Jardin de Reuilly.
On this day, instead of long-haired
Merovingian monarchs named Clovis
or Pepin, children enjoyed the parks
playground and groups of people sat
on the grass warming up in the sun.
Up ahead, the path coursed
through broad public squares and
small tunnels as it dipped and rose
down to the street level, making its
way to a large public park with an
ancient chateau on one side, the
Bois de Vincennes. But the Jardin
de Reuilly was too inviting and
sunny to pass up, so Carrie and I
found a bench where we could join
the locals before we wandered to a
neighbourhood cafe for hot chocolate.
For a moment, we had brief tourist
guilt that we were leaving undone
major landmarks from our Paris to-do
list. Then we realised thats precisely
the point. We were here to simply
kick back and go with the flow the
Green Flow, Parisian-style.
The Washington Post

26 Sport

THE MYANMAR TIMES June 11, 2015

Billiards

Billiards player Min Sithu Aung has


criticised the inefficiency of officials
at the 28th SEA Games in Singapore,
suggesting it played at least a part in
his and his teammate Aung Htays
inability to add Team gold to the
Doubles gold they won on June 9.
I did not sleep well last night
because a Singaporean official
continued with medical checks of me
until 1am, Sithu Aung said.
Although the English Billiards
Mens Doubles was the last title to be
decided on June 9, it was well over
two hours before Min Sithu Aung
was released. He and his partner had
just deprived Singapores three-time
World Champion Peter Gilchrist of a
third gold medal at the Games.
Our sport requires a clear head
and focus, so I did not feel fit to
perform as I would like in todays
final, said Min Sithu Aung.
Aung Htay was more understated
about the result. Every competition
has a winner and a loser, he said. I
hoped for two gold medals but I have
one gold and one silver. Im happy.
The result left Myanmar with one
gold, four silver and three bronze
medals as the cue sports drew to a
close yesterday evening short of
their stated target of three gold.
[Silver-medalist in the Mens 9-Ball
Pool Singles] Maung Maung was
unlucky today and so Im disappointed,
said general secretary of the Myanmar
Billiards Federation Than Htay.

Brazil
1E

Im satisfied our players have the


talent and we have prepared well ...
We will go back to Nay Pyi Taw and
come back stronger.

Archery

Day 5 saw the start of the Archery


competition, beginning with the
Mens and Womens Individual and
Team Recurve disciplines as well
as the Mixed Team category. In the
Mixed Team ranking round San Yu
Htwe and Aung Myo placed seventh,
meaning theyll start their knockout
phase this afternoon against secondplace Vietnam. Myanmars Womens
Team saw San Yu Htwe joined by San
Nu Lwin and Zar Khyi Win to rank
sixth and line up a quarter-final with
home bows Singapore. Individually,
San Yu Htwe and Zar Khyi Win
progressed to the elimination rounds
while San Nu Lwin and Myanmars
number four, Thida Nwe, missed out.
In the Mens equivalents, Nay Myo
Aung, Aung Myo Thu, and Nyein Si
Thu ranked sixth yesterday morning,
lining up a meeting with Thailand
this afternoon. Nay Myo Aung and
Aung Myo Thu guaranteed at least
one of them will reach the second
round of elimination matches, as by
qualifying ranked ninth and 10th they
will shoot off against one another.
The results of the Compound events,
meanwhile, mean there will be
several Myanmar-Philippines matchups in todays mens elimination
round.

Gender test nixed for volleyball player


SEA Games organisers turned down a
request to gender-test an Indonesian
womens volleyball player yesterday as
she faced down boos on the court and
defiantly said she was ready to undergo
scrutiny.
Organising committee SINGSOC
said the Philippines plea over Aprilia
Manganang, 23, had been rejected after
a review of medical documents.
The Southeast Asian Games Federation medical committee [has] reviewed
the documents submitted by the Indonesian volleyball team and ... the appeal
has since been rejected, a statement
said.
The Philippines risked opening a
long and complex process with its request on the eve of the volleyball tournament at the Southeast Asian Games
in Singapore.
Manganang has previously faced
questions over her gender and despite
booing from Filipino fans, she appeared
unfazed as Indonesia beat the Philippines 25-22, 25-20, 25-14 in their Pool B
opener.
Afterwards she said she had undergone gender examinations a lot of
times, both in her former career as a
sprinter and in volleyball, and wasnt
afraid of being tested again.
I am ready [for a gender test]. I am
also not in the wrong whatever I have
is given from above, Manganang said in
Bahasa.
If I am the one who is in the wrong
then I will withdraw, but this is not the

23-year-old volleyballer Aprilia


Manganang. Photo: AFP

case and I am not afraid.


Gender testing is controversial because of the psychological effects on the
athlete and because the science of the
process is complex.
But Manganang said with a resigned
smile, There has been a lot of times and
I am used to it already.
It hurts my personal pride but maybe people [make assumptions based on]
my appearance and demeanour.
Before leaving for Singapore, [I
knew] there must be a few countries
who will protest but I was already mentally prepared.

Indonesias team manager Hanny


Sidik Surkatty said the Philippines request was out of line and based on
nothing more than Manganangs appearance.
Its baseless. I can also say to the
other team: Six of your players are also
transgender ... According to my eyes
they are transgender, he said.
Philippines volleyball chief Ricky
Palou said he was told the appeal had
failed just before the start of the June 10
game.
Yes, we accept the decision, he said.
There was some questions on the gender so we just wanted to make sure and
they finally got in touch ... and shes been
approved to play.
Other high-profile cases include
South African runner Caster Semenya,
who underwent a series of humiliating
tests before being cleared to compete.
Indian sprinter Dutee Chand is currently fighting her ban after being diagnosed with hyperandrogenism, which
causes high testosterone levels.
Manganang insisted she wasnt that
affected by the row, despite boos which
rang out when she was involved in crucial moments of the match.
It actually gave me more spirit [to
play], she said, adding, It became a motivation for me that I shouldnt give up.
I have to keep moving forward because behind me there are a lot of people supporting me. It spurred me on to
prove them that I am not in the wrong.
AFP

FIFA U20 WORLD CUP


The Myanmar Times wallchart for New Zealand 2015

USA
2A

V
2D

Uruguay

Portugal

2C

QUARTER-FINAL

QUARTER-FINAL

june 14, 1pm, hamilton

june 14, 4:30pm, auckland

1C

Colombia

Serbia
1D

V
3

New Zealand

june 17, 7:30pm,


auckland

june 17, 4pm,


chRiStchuRch

Austria
2B

Hungary

SEMI-FINAL

SEMI-FINAL

Ghana
1B

june 20, 5pm, auckland

2F

Uzbekistan

QUARTER-FINAL
V
june 14, 4:30pm, wellington

Ukraine

QUARTER-FINAL

Mali

V
june 14, 1pm, chRiStchuRch

1A

Germany
1F

V
3

Senegal

Upcoming:
Thursday June 11
Austria 10:30 pm Uzbekistan
Germany 2:00 pm Nigeria
Potugal 2:00 pm New Zealand
Brazil 7:30pm Uruguay

Upcoming:
Wednesday June 10
Ghana 0 - 3 Mali
Serbia 2 - 1 Hungary
USA 1 - 0 Colombia
Ukraine 1 - 1 Senegal
(Pen 1 -3)

2E

Nigeria

Sport 27

www.mmtimes.com

1. Rex Emmanuel Intal (right) of the


Philippines vies for the ball with
Yap Kent Bin of Malaysia (left) in the
mens volleyball preliminary match
on June 10. Photo: AFP

2. Raining buckets? In Myanmar,


yes, but at the SEA Games not
so much. The team caught another
loss on the basketball court June
10, succumbing to Cambodia 10354. Photo: AFP
3. Aye Aye Thin lines up a shot
during the Womens 50m Prone
Individual. Photo: Singapore SEA
Games Organising Committee/Action
Images via Reuters
4. Maung Saw clears a barrier on
Le Lucky but his luck ran out when
it came to medalling the jumper
came in ninth. Photo: Singapore SEA
Games Organising Committee/Action
Images via Reuters
5. Htike Kaung shot his way through
the Mens 50m Prone Qualifier to the
final, where he placed fifth. Photo:
Singapore SEA Games Organising
Committee/Action Images via Reuters
6. Dennis Orcollo looks none too
happy at the table, but the Filipino
shooter later won his match against
Myanmars Maung Maung. Photo:
Singapore SEA Games Organising
Committee/Action Images via Reuters

Medal Table

Results Day 5
Myanmar Medallists
Silver
Athletics:
Billiards:

Bronze
Womens 800m (Swe Li Myint)
Mens 9-Ball Pool Singles (Maung
Maung)
Mens English Billiards Team

Athletics:

Mens 10,000m (San Naing)

June 10 sports started Archery, Badminton, Pencak Silat, Volleyball, Water Polo
June 10 sports ended Billiards, Boxing, Equestrianism, Gymnastics, Softball
June 11 sports starting Cycling, Floorball, Rowing, Waterskiing
June 11 sports ending Swimming

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Total

SINGAPORE

60

51

64

175

VIETNAM

48

23

44

115

THAILAND

46

54

41

141

MALAYSIA

27

31

38

96

INDONESIA

22

28

42

92

PHILIPPINES

21

23

36

80

MYANMAR

11

19

19

49

CAMBODIA

LAOS

12

15

BRUNEI

TIMOR LESTE

Sport
28 THE MYANMAR TIMES JunE 11, 2015

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

SEA Games updates


on location in Singapore
SPORT 26

SEA GAmES

Hockey heartbreak as
Myanmar loses shot at gold
mATT ROEbuck
matt.d.roebuck@gmail.com

t was heartbreak for the Myanmar hockey team yesterday at


Sengkang Hockey Stadium when,
on goal-difference, they missed
out on playing for gold.
the team first lost 2-0 to the Malaysians, playing against the worlds
number 12-ranked sides heavily experienced U21 squad.
If we get to the final I think we will
beat them next time. Now Ive seen
them I know what we can do, said
Myanmar coach Muhammed Akhlaq
after the game. But not winning that
game against Singapore could cost us.
Playing last they know exactly what
they have to do.
After Singapore lost 4-1 to Malaysia
on June 8, what they had to do was
post four unanswered goals against
the thai side to relegate Myanmar to
the bronze-medal play-off.
Myanmar will most likely secure
that bronze medal that was the target expected. But this vastly improved
side came privately hoping for more,
knowing just what it could do for their
sport.
Singapore coach Soloman Casoojee
could not believe the difference in the
team that faced him in the opening
game of this SEA Games tournament
and came so close to a shot at gold.
they are much improved. It was
only a couple of years ago we beat
them 6-0, said Soloman.
that was at the Southeast Asian
Cup, just before Akhlaq a 1992 Olympic bronze medallist joined Myanmar.
His first task in turning a squad of
30 hockey minnows into a team that
could be genuine challengers at the
Southeast Asian Games was to take his
players on a tour of Malaysia. there
they went unbeaten.
this was followed by silver at the
continents second-tier international
competition, the Asia Challenge, then
bronze at the 2013 SEA Games in
both the mens and womens events.
His charges have not played an
international game since that tournament and have made do with playing
among themselves with the 30 players
available to them. their only semicompetitive preparation was their
tour to Malaysia, where they took on
school, university and club sides.
the Malaysian U21 side was in
the Netherlands and the national
side were not interested in giving us a
game, Akhlaq said.
At the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh,
they challenged the Canadian side to a
test match but the North Americans
were uninterested in the proposition.
If I prepare a full training program
it cannot be fulfilled. We can only play
against each other in our training, and
this is a major challenge.
So how, then, did this Pakistani
bronze medallist from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics make his team
competitive?
First they were very weak in the
basics, so we worked on nothing else
for three or four months. then we
worked on their physical fitness,
Akhlaq said. As they are soldiers this

Malaysias Sufi Ismat Rohulamin (left) and Myanmars Zar Ni (right) fight for the ball during a Mens Preliminary Hockey match on June 10. Malaysia, the gold medal
favourites, won 2-0. Photo: Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee/Action Images via Reuters

was relatively easy, but it was very


important. Because of our lack of
strength in depth, players often play
the whole 70 minutes.
the third element was the mental preparation. I had to work very
hard on that, he continued. We play
modern hockey, adapted to our abilities through careful planning.

When you dont


have the facilities or
the wealth, you have
to give a little bit
extra.
muhammed Akhlaq
Myanmar coach

I am a seven-in-one coach. I must


be the head coach, the goalkeeper
coach, the video analyst and the mental trainer.
there may also be a little bit of
an X-Factor in Myanmars hockey development. When asked by members

of Singapores media about the spirit


displayed by his players, he replied,
When you dont have the facilities or
the wealth, you have to give a little bit
extra.
But while the transformation and
Myanmars performance at these
Games suggests to Akhlaq that the
nation stands on a potential tipping
point where it could start to perform
as well as the best teams in Asia, the
lack of resources may ultimately hold
them back.
the winner of the Asian Challenge
wins the right to join the top nations
in Asia at the Asian Cup. In their first
appearance at the tournament in
thailand in 2013, Myanmar were led
by Akhlaq to the final, eventually going down 2-1 to Sri Lanka.
two years on, Myanmar have the
opportunity to make a home-field advantage pay dividends this December.
the calendar says the next Challenge is to be held in Myanmar but
without investment in facilities the
hosting rights will be lost. thein Phyu
Hockey Stadium in Yangon must be
upgraded to the standards of international tournament hockey. A new
playing surface is likely to be needed
as well as upgrades such as floodlights.

But to do this the Federation will


need to spend money and the money
is not there, Akhlaq said.
Akhlaq believes the likelihood of
additional support from the Ministry
of Sport is unlikely at this stage.
Hockey was not originally on the
list for the 27th SEA Games [held in
Myanmar in 2013]. It was only because
the MHF took it upon themselves and
their own expenditure that the competition was held.
the hockey tournament played at
thein Phyu stadium was one of the
few disciplines held in Yangon, rather than the specially created Wunna
theikdi Sports Complex in Nay Pyi
taw.
the MHF is currently in talks with
sponsors but the provision of a new
pitch will likely need to come from
elsewhere, the current surface having
been donated by Bangladesh.
If that opportunity passes, it may
not only be the chance to see Myanmar hockey step up to the next stage
that is lost but also the opportunity for
the sport to move out of military backwaters and into becoming a game for
civil society.
Of my 30 players, only three are
not in the military and two of them

are here. thet Htwe and thein Htike


Aung grew up close to our hockey
field, Akhlaq said.
thet Htwe and thein Htike Aung
who has been the standout star across
all teams in this tournament add the
attacking flair and creative haircuts to
a military side that Akhlaq has taught
to develop defensive, disciplined
hockey.
thein Htike Aung is a quality
player. With three more like him we
could challenge the best in Asia: Pakistan, Korea and India. But we dont
have three like him, he said.
But there are seven or eight under16s who also live close and have become very good. Soon there could be a
transition toward a mixed team.
Before the final, Akhlaq spoke to
The Myanmar Times. I am satisfied I
have done a good job. I have a contract
with MOP Vught in Holland next. I do
not know if I will come back it is not
a final decision, but either way, I hope
I can finish the job the right way.
Unfortunately these Games have
not ended the way Akhlaq dreamed.
But he will still hope that his work
in Myanmar over the past two years
will have not been in vain and will be
worth far more than one silver medal.