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Published by The Myanmar Times

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Published by: The Myanmar Times on Jul 22, 2013
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WWW.MMTIMES.COM ISSUE 686 | JULY 15 - 21, 2013
Fishermenreturn homerom Indianprisons
More than 120 menconvicted o illegalshing in India received an emotionalhomecoming at Yangon International Airport on July 10. About 1000 Myanmarnationals are thoughtto still be serving jail terms in theprison at Port Blair,in the AndamanIslands, and India hasrecently increased theminimum sentence orillegal shing to seven years, prompting earsthat the number willonly continue to grow.
General pulls gun onarmers in Nay Pyi Taw
Former Senior General Than Shwe’s personal sta ocer, Major General Soe Shein, is accused o threatening to shoot armers cultivating land at the centre o a long-running land dispute in Nay PyiTaw. The high-ranking military ocer says he “only wanted to intimidate them a little bit”.
A man is greeted byhis mother at Yangonairport on July 10.
MPs slam govtover land delays
Government bodies aredeliberately avoidingimplementing a parliamentary commission’s recommendationson land disputes, MPs say.
An oasis orMandalay’s gaycommunity
Despite a raid last week by police, the corner o Mandalay’smoat remains a hub or thecity’s gay community, withscores turning out each night tostrut and firt on the pavement.
Infation worrieson the rise
The kyat’s decline against the USdollar and a speculative boom inthe property market are drivingup the cost o living, witheconomists warning infationcould spiral out o control.
A month o asting,refection begins
Muslims in Myanmar plan a month o contemplation anddonations to the poor to mark Ramadan, the ninth and holiestmonth o the Islamic lunarcalendar, which began July 10.
969 goes online,rom Caliornia
 A US resident who has never visited Myanmar launches a new website and Twitter eedpurporting to representthe 969 movement.
JULY 15 - 21, 2013
Page 2
online editor
Kayleigh Long
Mo Mo Ko and Poe Ei Phyu for
 NOW! Magazine
Photo: Greg Holland
The Thai Ministry o Healthplans to purchase more54millimetrewide condoms,to cater or the growing needso Thai men under 30 yearso age, according to a reportrom
The Bangkok Post
.“More Thai men are nowover 170 centimetres talland exceed 70 kilograms inweight. They can no longeruse condoms with sizes o49mm and 52mm,” saidPornthep Siriwanarangsun,directorgeneral o theDisease Prevention andControl Department.“Small condoms makethem eel uncomortable andeventually they won’t usethem”, he said, adding that hehoped promoting condom usewould reduce HIV inectionrates.This comes ater the Juneunveiling o the SizeThailandprogram, the country’s frststandard body size chart,which concluded Thai peopleare generally growing tobigger sizes and shapes thanprevious generations.The fndings o the chartft in neatly with the PublicHealth Ministry’s June launcho its “Got Milk?” campaign,which urged Thais to drinkmore milk in order to growmore taller and stronger.
Yasiin Bey, widely known byhis ormer stage name oMos De, made headlinesthis week ater undergoingorceeeding in order to drawattention to the procedurebeing routinely carried out onhungerstriking detainees atGuantanamo Bay.The ourminute video othe enteral eeding attemptwas produced by humanrights organization Reprieve,and attracted millions ohits within days o its July 9release.In the video, Bey wearsan orange jumpsuit and isshackled to a restraint chair.Around a minute and a halare dedicated to the processo intubation, or inserting thetubes through which ood ispumped. This process cansometimes take as long astwo hours.The video is not one orthe squeamish, with Bey atone point pleading the twovolunteer doctors perormingthe procedure to stop.“When the tube went in, thefrst part o it is not that bad,but then you get this burning.And then it starts to be, like,really unbearable. It eels likesomething is going into mybrain. And it started to reachthe back o my throat. I reallycouldn’t take it. “Hunger strikes at thedetention acility have escalated in recent months, andthe video’s release comesas the US aces increasingpressure to stop the practiceor Muslim detainees over theholy month o Ramadan.
Yangon’s techsavvy Chineseembassy recently changed itsFacebook profle photo to acartoon o a two men, one Chinese and one Myanmar, sittingtogether in a wooden boat. Thecartoon carries an old Myanmar proverb, which translatesas “Riding in one boat, going inthe same direction”.A number o people tookissue with the power dynamicthey believed wasrepresented by the picture’sseating arrangements.Mr Gao, head o theembassy’s political section,oered a somewhat dierentinterpretation, saying that theChinese rower sat at the rontas the character was emaleand thereore lighter.
Thought of the week from
The New Light of Myanmar 
’s“Perspectives” column:
“It is said in Myanmar that a personwithout a Facebook identity is like a personwithout a home address.” 
The cartoon by ‘Naing’ used as the Chinese Embassy’s Facebook profile picture.
Photo via Facebook
Hundreds o armers rom Yangon, Bago and Ayeyarwady regions protest outside City Hall in downtown Yangon on July 9. The armers were protesting against land grabs by the military and government ministries and what they described as the “ineectiveness”o a parliamentary commission set up to investigate land disputes.
– Noe Noe Aung 
Hluttawignorespresidenton CentralBank Law
 A PROMINENT MP has accusedhis counterparts o “bullying”ater the Pyidaungsu Hlut-taw rejected both o PresidentU Thein Sein’s recommendedchanges to the Central Bank Law on July 8.Pyithu Hluttaw representa-tive U Kyi Myint o Latha saidthe ailure o the hluttaw to ac-cept one o the president’s rec-ommendations was a “loss orthe public”.“The amendment was cor-rect and should have passed but the hluttaw voted againstit. Now people are saying thatthe hluttaw is bullying” becausethey are all voting together without properly consideringthe issue, said U Kyi Myint, whoseconded the president’s recom-mended change.“I’m not going to complain i MPs all vote or something thatis correct but it is a loss or pub-lic when they vote together likethat on something o which they have a limited understanding.The president had recom-mended that the wording o sec-tion 27 be changed rom “gen-eral special money” to “generalspecial account”.“I agree with the president’susage because there are someother clauses, such as ‘put inmoney’ or ‘take out money re-peatedly’, in the bill. To do this you need to have an accountand i there an account then asa consequence you can do audit-ting and bookkeeping,” U KyiMyint said.U Kyi Myint said he disagreed with the president’s other recom-mended change, however, which would have seen the phrase “se-quential discount” in section2(n) changed to “discount”.Following parliament’s de-cision on July 8, the law wassigned by President U TheinSein on July 11, a spokespersonor the President’s Oce said.Details o the new legislationhave not yet been published butocials say the central bank  will have more autonomy and will no longer operate as part o the Ministry o Finance.“The signicant thing is thatthe central bank will be an in-dependent body,” a central bank ocial said.The main role o the CentralBank o Myanmar up to now,experts say, has been to printmoney to und the government’s budget decit.
– With AFP, translated byThiri Min Htun
NGOs in dilemma over NKorean hostages in Shan State
SOUTH Korean NGOs ace a dilemma over how to rescue 64 North Koreansheld by Myanmar rebels and orced to work on a drug arm, an activist saidlast week.The North Koreans have beentaken to a rebel camp northeast o Tachileik, a town along the border be-tween Myanmar and Thailand, overthe past nine years, Pastor Kim Hee-Tae said.The reugees were caught whileattempting to travel on their ownthrough rebel-held territory to Thai-land in order to deect to South Korea ater feeing their poverty-strickenhomeland.“We’re in a great dilemma over how to rescue them,” Mr Kim said, addingthe rebels are asking or US$5000 ran-som or each o the hostages.He said NGOs are unable to launcha campaign to raise the money orto ask or Seoul to intervene as thehostage-takers were extremely public-ity shy.“We need very quiet negotiations topull it through,” he said. About 80 percent o the NorthKoreans are women and are orcedto work at alcohol manuacturing ordrug processing plants. “Some o themare orced into prostitution,” he said.Male captives are used to grow poppies. A South Korean oreign ministry ocial said the ministry was investi-gating the case.Myanmar is the world’s secondlargest producer o opium – theraw ingredient or heroin – ater Aghanistan, accounting or 10pc o global production, according to UN data.Since the end o the Korean War in1953, some 25,000 North Korean reu-gees have escaped and settled in theSouth.Most begin their journey by cross-ing into China, where they ace repa-triation i caught.They then try to reach a secondcountry, with Thailand the most popu-lar choice, rom where they generally seek permission to resettle in SouthKorea.Those who are caught and de-ported back to the North ace severepunishment, including being sent to a labour camp, rights groups say.
– AFP 
MPs slam governmentfor delaying on land grabs
THE head o a parliamentary com-mission investigating land disputeslast week called on the government tospeed up implementation o the com-mission’s recommendations on landconscations.U Tin Htut, the representative orZalun, submitted the proposal to thePyidaungsu Hluttaw on July 8.“This proposal does not mean thatthe ministries and departmental or-ganisations are not paying attention toland seizure issues,” U Tin Htut said.The aim, he said, is to make surethe government is aware that armershave high expectations that the gov-ernment will act to compensate themor their losses.During the discussion on July 12and 13, many MPs expressed supportor the proposal.“I the authorities are slow toresolve the cases examined by thecommission then they might inviteunnecessary problems,” warned U Win Myint, the Pyithu Hluttaw repre-sentative or Pathein.He said that although the recom-mendations have been submitted tothe relevant government bodies arm-ers are still suering and unrest isincreasing.“This is the direct result o the dis-obedience o these bodies, which aredelaying their tasks,” he said.“The local authorities have toundertake [the commission’s recom-mendations] i they are approved by the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.”He also urged the government toensure the process o returning theland was not used or political gain.“When armland is given back the local authorities should directly transer it to the original owners andnot transer it through particular or-ganisations or political reasons. Wecan understand that the authoritiesare taking some time to make surethe disputes are resolved correctly  but we need to be careul to makesure the delays are not political,” hesaid.U Win Myint was one o 14 MPs who discussed the commission’s ac-tivities on July 11, while another eightdebated it on July 12. The remaining23 MPs will give their thoughts onJuly 15 and 16.The investigation commission sub-mitted two reports to the PyidaungsuHluttaw earlier this year, with oneocusing on military seizures and an-other on conscations or industrialzones and urban development.The reports detail the commis-sion’s eorts to negotiate compensa-tion or the original owners o cons-cated land, a process that U Tin Htutsaid was ongoing.“The commission will completeurther negotiations or compensa-tions … between armers and author-ised companies,” he said.The reports also acknowledgedthat “some persons or organisations”are “exploiting these land seizuresor personal or political gains by re-leasing the pent-up rustration o thearmers”.“The commission knows thatthere are people exploiting armers by asking or money to help them with these land issues,” he said.
– Translated by Zar Zar Soe
MPs say delays in implementing land dispute investigation commission’s recommendations are uelling unrest
‘[The unrest] is a direct result of thedisobedience of [government] bodies, which are delaying their tasks.
U Win Myint
Pyithu Hluttaw representative for Pathein

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