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Published by: The Myanmar Times on Jun 24, 2013
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WWW.MMTIMES.COM ISSUE 682 | JUNE 17 - 23, 2013
Thousands protest actory working conditions
 About 12,000 workers rom 30 Yangon actories protested their working conditions in HlaingTharyar township on June 9. They also accused employers o ailing to abide by decisions made by a new arbitration council set up under a labour dispute settlement law.
NLD security acing assaultclaims ater Pyin Oo Lwin visit
 A woman engaged in a lawsuit with the National League or Democracy’s MP or Pyin Oo Lwin hasaccused party security sta o assaulting her as she tried to give a letter to Daw Aung San Suu Kyiduring the democracy icon’s recent visit to Pyin Oo Lwin.
Factory workers protesting inHlaing Tharyar township on June 9.
Govt engineerfles suit againstMT reporter
The Myanmar Journalists Association and
The Myanmar Times
’ management have vowed to stand by a seniorreporter who has been accusedo deamation or hiscoverage o an electricity upgrade dispute in Mandalay’sMadaya township.
Ethnic partiesreveal merger plan
Fiteen ethnic minority political groups plan to orm a “Federal Unity Party” in orderto compete with the NationalLeague or Democracy andthe Union Solidarity andDevelopment Party in the2015 election.
Energy frms lineup or gas bounty
 Almost 60 internationalrms are in the running ora government energy tenderthat aims to put an end todecades o under-investmentin the sector – and tapnatural gas reserves that areestimated at up to US$75 billion. What has themmost excited, however, isthat many deepwater areasremain almost completely unexplored.
Yangon’s youthembrace the aith
 Young Yangon activists haveorganised an event on June 30called “Interaith Youth Door”, which aims to break downthe barriers between culturesand show that dierences inreligious belies can instruct,not just divide.
The local lowdown & best o the web
JUNE 17 - 23, 2013
Page 2
Revelations continue in NSA case
The urore has continued over the wideranging online security apparatus o theUS National Security Agency, with Facebook last week revealing governmententities made thousands o userdatarequests.In the six months to December 31,2012, the social networking sitereceived as many as 10,000 requests.Facebook issued a statement assuring that any such requests are subjectto heavy scrutiny, and they respond“only as required by law”.This news comes amid revelationsthat Yahoo challenged the NSA ordersin secret court proceedings.The company eventually lost the caseand was orced to comply.
The future is nigh
A secretive experiment carried outin the sleepy New Zealand town oGeraldine has attracted worldwide attention ater it was revealed that a redvolleyballsized sphere placed on theroo o a home was part o a Googletrial or providing Internet access toremote areas.The experiment, part o ‘ProjectLoon’, involves an antenna in themounted sphere communicating witha similar antenna – loating 60,000eet above sea level, on a solarpowered balloon.Google is expected to hold a pressconerence with New Zealand PrimeMinister John Key to reveal theirindings. 
Tweets from Hillary 
Hillary Clinton has entered the socialmedia ray, making her Twitter debuton June 10.Her bio on the site describes heras “Wie, mom, lawyer, women & kidsadvocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hairicon, pantsuit aicionado, glass ceilingcracker, TBD”.In what is no doubt a savvy PR move,her tweets so ar have given a hattipto the ‘Texts From Hillary’ meme thatcirculated on the web in 2012, andoalso showing that she’s frmly graspedthe concept o a ‘selfe’ by posting aphoto with daughter Chelsea.
SAM Rainsy, Cambodia’s oppositionleader and ormer nance minister, isnot a man you would want your sisterto marry.Though still boyishly handsomeand stylish, he is outspoken, arrogantand very smart. Such men tend to risemeteorically and then sel-destruct be-ore gaining real power.That said, despite sel-imposed exilein France to avoid an 11-year jail sen-tence, he claims is politically motivat-ed, it is still too early to write o Rain-sy, 64, as a recent incident in Bangkok has shown.On June 5, the Foreign Correspond-ents’ Club o Thailand (FCCT) plannedto host an event at which Rainsy woulddiscuss poverty, corruption and injus-tice in Cambodia.Given past conicts with media-suppressive Thai governments, theFCCT stressed that it was not sponsor-ing Rainsy’s visit and that “responsibil-ity or program content was solely thato the event organiser”.The organiser’s name, however, was not revealed, although it wasstated that the event would eature thelaunch o Rainsy’s new autobiography,
We Didn’t Start the Fire: My Struggle for Democracy in Cambodia
.The book recounts his early daysin Phnom Penh, his amily’s expulsion,the Khmer Rouge regime, the Viet-namese occupation and Prime Min-ister Hun Sen’s control o the country since 1985.The choice o Billy Joel’s inamous vocal rant, “We Didn’t Start the Fire”,or the book’s title aptly reects Rain-sy’s precocious nature.But in truth, he cannot be blamedor the inernos that have ravaged thispoor country over the past century, al-though he has sparked his own shareo heated incidents. Another one happened last week when he arrived in Bangkorom South Korea and was told by immigration ofcials that he was not welcome in Thailand.The ostensible reason was theear that Rainsy would badmouthHun Sen’s government ahead o nextmonth’s national elections.“We do support democratic rule, but on the other hand we do not sup-port other people using our country toattack others or political gain,” saidThai oreign ministry spokesman Ma-nasvi Srisodapol.It could be pointed out that criticis-ing the government is an oppositionleader’s job, and that many o themhave visited Thailand in the recent pastand done that without any problem.Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim and LimKit Siang spring to mind, as do Sin-gapore’s Chee Soon Juan and JamesGomez and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.Indeed, Rainsy himsel visitedBangkok last November and did notcurb his enthusiasm or excoriatingHun Sen’s “reign o the maa in a ba-nana kingdom”.So what has changed? Well, thereis that general election on July 28 andHun Sen wants to take no chances thathis bête noir’s Bangkok speech mightsway voters at home. And as press reports have highlight-ed and Rainsy himsel has noted, HunSen is known to be riendly with theexiled ormer Thai PM Thaksin Shina- watra, whose younger sister Yingluck is the current PM.So it appears a word rom Hun Sento Thaksin to Yingluck means Rainsy isdenied entry until ater the end o July.It was not only silly but also point-less since he went ahead with his talk at the FCCT via Skype rom Singa-pore, which happily welcomed him –as Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar andthe Philippines had earlier. And it was counterproductive, sincethe “victimised” Rainsy reaped greaterpublicity and kudos or himsel and hisparty in the lead-up to the election.In his spiel, Rainsy said the Cam- bodian poll would be a arce, thatHun Sen was a coward who was araido the opposition and that his in-evitable victory should be consideredillegitimate.In the past, the bristly Hun Sen hasresponded with similar wild allega-tions, such as warning o “civil war” i Rainsy’s side wins the election.O course, the opposition will not win. On that, both men concur.There will be no electoral re inCambodia next month. Like Rainsy’s visit to one o his neighbours, it willnot be permitted.
online editor
Kayleigh Long
Stoking the lames in Cambodia
 Awn Seng is o Kachin ethnicity, and made her entry into themodelling industry when she won the Miss Kose Contest. Sincethen, she has appeared in a number o Myanmar commercials,all the while continuing to orge a successul career as a model.
 Photo: Aye Zaw Moe (Setthmu)
 If you'd like to be involved in a NOW! Magazine photo shoot, email us at editorial@now.com.mm
Local real estate broker and hobby contortionist David Ney delighted punters at theNawaday Gallery open mic night last week when he sprung forth from a suitcase.He then went on to perform a routine of impressive limb-based feats because, in hiswords, he’s “not spinal.
Woman to charge NLD securityofcials ater alleged assault
 A WOMAN plans to press chargesagainst National League or Democ-racy security guards who she saysassaulted her when she tried to givea complaint letter to Daw Aung SanSuu Kyi during the party leader’srecent visit to Pyin Oo Lwin.Ma Khine Wutyay Thanda Maungsaid she was hospitalised ollow-ing the incident on June 10, whichoccurred about midday in ront o Royal Rose garden in Inn Htite Oo village, where Daw Aung San SuuKyi was staying during her visit tothe ormer colonial hill station.Ma Khine Wutyay Thanda Maung wanted to inorm the party lead-er about her lawsuit against NLDPyithu Hluttaw representative orPyin Oo Lwin U Kyaw Thiha, whoshe says is the ather o her child.She has accused him o ailing to up-hold a promise to pay child supportand the case is currently beore thedistrict court. U Kyaw Thiha has ad-mitted to paying Ma Khine Wutyay Thanda Maung K400,000 compensa-tion about a decade ago but says theaccusations are abricated by peoplein the party who want to destroy hisreputation.“Daw Aung San Suu Kyi allowedthe public to ask ve questions dur-ing her public meeting on June 9 butI didn’t get the chance to ask a ques-tion so I went on June 10 to give hera complaint letter,” Ma Khine Wu-tyay Thanda Maung told
The Myan-mar Times
on June 12.“In the letter I made copies o thecourt documents and news reportsin journals [about U Kyaw Thiha’scase]. … But the security men physi-cally assaulted me in a way that hurtmy dignity,” she said.She said that she planned to presscharges against them in the comingdays.“I inormed the police shortly a-ter I was hit. Now I have dischargedmysel rom the hospital against theorders o the doctors because I am worried about my son,” she said. An ocial rom the party’s oceor Mandalay Region, who asked notto be named, said the conrontationshould never have occurred.“There’s no reason to assault a citizen like this, regardless o what-ever the personal issues behind theincident are. I eel sad that it hap-pened and legal action should betaken against those who physically assaulted [her]. We have to accepttruth,” he said. An ocial rom Wetwun policestation in Pyin Oo Lwin said onJune 12 they had been inormedabout the incident and were inves-tigating but a complaint had not yet been led.
Translated by Zar Zar Soe
Ma Khine Wutyay Thanda Maung, who alleges she was assaulted by National Leaguefor Democracy security guards in Pyin Oo Lwin on June 10.
Photo: Si Thu Lwin
Associationbacks MTreporter overdeamationallegations
THE Myanmar Journalists Asso-ciation has criticised governmentocials or ling a deamation suitagainst a senior reporter rom
The Myanmar Times
over coverage o a recent dispute in Mandalay Region’sMadaya township.The association’s Mandalay  branch vowed to stand by the re-porter, Ko Si Thu Lwin, and help himght the legal action.Myanmar Consolidated Media,publisher o 
The Myanmar Times
,stands by Ko Si Thu Lwin and thecontents o his article, a spokesper-son said.The company is ready to providelegal support i the court accepts thecharges ollowing the investigation,the spokesperson said.Madaya township electricity en-gineer U Nyan Htun submitted thecomplaint on May 29 on the basisthat an article by Ko Si Thu Lwinpublished in the paper’s May 24 My-anmar-language edition contained“some words that damaged the dig-nity o the electricity departmentand its staf.Madaya Township Court onJune 12 sent the case back to policeto gather more evidence. The courtis expected to decide in late June whether there is enough evidence toaccept the charge.Journalists’ association chair-man or Mandalay Soe Bar Dine saidhe would lobby the government to withdraw the case i the charge isaccepted by the court.“I the issue proceeds any urther we will send a letter to the Minis-try o Electrical Power and othergovernment bodies. … The Madaya Township Court needs to decide rst whether there is a basis or chargesso the situation can change,” he saidon June 12.The article concerned a dispute inMadaya between residents and engi-neers over the route o new high-ten-sion power lines. Residents arguedthat the line should bypass the townrather than be run down the mainstreet or environmental and saety reasons. The dispute was resolvedin avour o the residents through a lucky draw, but the Mandalay Regionelectricity department has vowed topress ahead with its original plan. A second article was published inthe paper’s Myanmar edition on May 31 that included comments rom theregion-level engineer who is believedto have initiated the legal action.
(See related story page 23.)
“The articles did not includethe reporter’s opinion or view and just explained the public’s views onthe project. When a complaint wasreceived ater the rst article thereporter met again with the Man-dalay regional engineer and wrote a ollow-up article,” Soe Bar Dine said. Ater the complaint was led onMay 29 it was immediately trans-erred to the township court. Thecourt accepted the case and trans-erred it back to the police station toinvestigate.“I opened the case with the super- vision o the district electrical engi-neer. To continue the process, we willalso coordinate with the region anddistrict levels. I was sad when I readthe rst article,” Madaya townshipelectrical engineer U Nyan Htun saidon June 5.Senior reporter Si Thu Lwin saidhe only learned a complaint had been led when he read an articleabout it in the state-run
 daily newspaper on June 3. “Whenthe ocial letter [about the charges]comes to me, I will do what I have todo to ght the charges,” he said.
‘I will do what I have to do to fght  the charges.
Si Thu Lwin
Senior reporter, The Myanmar Times
Electricity engineer in Madaya initiates legal actionagainst senior reporter or coverage o dispute
Ministry boosts research budget to US$5300
MEDICAL research unding in thegovernment budget has been in-creased tenold – but is still theequivalent o just US$5300 a year.Speaking at the 50
anniver-sary o the establishment o theDepartment o Medical Research(Lower Myanmar), Minister orHealth Dr Pe Thet Khin said theministry would use its K130 billion budget increase in 2013-14 to putmore money toward research atuniversities and hospitals.“In our country, students who doresearch are only masters-level anddoctorate students. Medical studentsseem to be unamiliar with research,”the minister said.Budget restrictions have pre- vented implementation o a ministry policy that medical universities mustconduct research, he added, but theincrease in research unding – romK500,000 to K5 million a year – willallow implementation.Under the ministry’s plan, re-search laboratories will be installedin medical universities and gov-ernment hospitals, and existinglaboratories upgraded.This will be o long-term benetto the medical industry, said Dr KhinSaw Aye, director o the Departmento Medical Research. “Most doctorshere are unamiliar with research, which plays an important role inmedical development,” she said.The health budget or the 2013-2014 nancial year is more thanK400 billion, which is 3.21 percent o the total budget and an almost 50pcrise on 2012-13.
The increase in the health budget orthe 2013-14 fnancial year

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