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201335711

201335711

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Published by The Myanmar Times

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Published by: The Myanmar Times on Jan 06, 2014
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WWW.MMTIMES.COM ISSUE 711 | JANUARY 6 󰀭 12, 2014
1200
Ks.
HEARTBEAT OF THE NATION
Ex-prisoners demand apology
Connect with us
 @
twitter
 @TheMyanmarTimes
email
 newsroom@mmtimes.com
facebook
facebook.com/themyanmartimes
SMS
09 5000 613
NEWS 4󰀭5
Ethnic Kayin mark New Year in Yangon
Competitive troupes gathered at  Arlein Nga Sint Pagoda to perform the traditional
don
 dance, an essential component of Kayin identity.
NEWS 6
Has the president honoured his promise?
President U Thein Sein said jails would  be emptied of all political prisoners by the end of 2013, but activists say some 40 remain behind bars.
BUSINESS 14󰀭15
Electricity problems far from solved
Investment in Myanmar’s energy sector increased in 2013, but power supplies remain far below the current level of demand.
PROPERTY 18
Subdivisions bode ill for land prices
The trend toward carving property  blocks into small plots threatens to drag down real estate values in exclusive areas.
Former political prisoners met on January 2 to remember activists who died in prison under the previous military regime and to ask the government to issue a national confession and apology for past abuses.
NEWS 13
Myanmar marks Independence Day 
Residents of Yaetarshay Quarter in Yangon’s Bahan township participate in a wheelbarrow race to celebrate Myanmar Independence Day on January 4. The national holiday recognises the day in 1948 when Myanmar officially became independent from Britain.
IN PICTURES
Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing 
 
2
THE MYANMAR TIMES
JANUARY 6 󰀭 12, 2014
Style
Statement
Release short-lived for two former MI figures
While President U Thein Sein has largely honoured his commitment to the 2013 year-end deadline for the release of Myanmar’s remaining political prisoners, a few notable exceptions remain behind bars. Civil society bodies such as Amnesty International continue to push the case for the release of detained Rohingya activists U Kyaw Hla Aung and Dr Tun Aung. Equally controversial is the matter of whether or not former Military Intelligence figures qualify for political prisoner amnesties.
The Myanmar Times
 reported in late December that members of the Political Prisoner Scrutiny Committee had rejected a proposal for former MI officials to fall under future presidential amnesties for political prisoners, but conceded those detained may be able to push for release on “humanitarian grounds”.Following the most recent round of releases, BBC Burmese and
Mizzima Daily 
 reported former MI figures Colonel Tin Oo and Major Moe Thu were freed from Lashio and Hpa-an prisons respectively – only to be arrested later the same day. The pair, who have been behind bars since 2004, are reportedly set to face charges that fall under the Electronic Transactions Act. The exact nature of the allegations is not yet clear, but the BBC quoted Deputy Information Minister U Ye Htut as saying they would be facing court. Around 20 former MI officers, including high-ranking officials, still await release.
Pack of dogs story probably a pack of lies
Late last week, a story began to gain momentum in mainstream media that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had doled out a fairly horrific form of capital punishment to his uncle and his five closest aides, having them stripped naked and fed to 120 famished dogs.The North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s purge of “counter-revolutionary factionalists” was originally rumoured to have seen his uncle Jang Song Thaek face death by firing squad.The “execution by 120 bloodthirsty hounds” tale has been around since the announcement of the execution, and can be traced back to Hong Kong-based independent newspaper
Wen Wei Po
. This version of the story was picked up by the
Straits Time
s, and quickly re-reported as fact by a number of major outlets. In other news from Pyongyang, the
Korean Central News Agency 
 last week released a set of images that would indicate the Dear Leader has successfully circumvented international sanctions in order to procure ski lifts, snowmobiles, snow cannons and other related equipment for the newly completed Masik Pass resort near Wonsan. The difficulty Kim Jong Un faced in procuring ski lifts from European and Canadian producers had prompted him to issue a statement late last year calling the matter a “grave violation of human rights”.
Questions surround elevator death
Reports of a young man being crushed to death in an elevator at the New Yangon General Hospital grew more complicated last week, with the hospital issuing a statement saying an autopsy had concluded he died from a pre-existing cardiac condition. The initial report from Eleven Media said 26-year-old Aung Zaw Myo was in a wheeled bed which was not entirely inside the lift, when the elevator suddenly shot up. “He was killed at the second floor due to the unexpected accident, while on his way to the floor after receiving a treatment at the ground floor. We tried hard to save his life, but in vain,” medical superintendent Dr Mya Thaung told
Eleven
. The autopsy reportedly revealed the young man suffered no internal or external injuries as a result of the incident. The hospital says it will take responsibility for funeral arrangements.“I heard a loud noise. When I went there to see what happened, the patient was crushed to death there at the elevator. I came back down quickly as I dared not to see it [the horrible scene] any more. An elevator used to fall down from up, but here it went up suddenly. It’s weird,” a guard working at the hospital told
Eleven
at the scene.The Lanmadaw Police Station is investigating the incident.
Chit Thu Waifor
 NOW!
 magazine.
 Photo: Thu Taw Lwin
THE INSIDER:
 
The local lowdown & best of the web
 When Myanmar was Burma...
 Archival material provided by  Pansodan Gallery
Yangon’s Independence monument on the cover of socialist propaganda magazine
Forward
in 1972.
online editor
Kayleigh Long
 |
kayleighelong
@gmail.com
Page 2
 
News 
3
 www.mmtimes.com
 NEWS EDITOR:
 Thomas Kean
|
tdkean
@gmail.com
RESIDENTS of the Pauk Chaung vil-lage tract in Sagaing Region are lob- bying the government for the return of land they say they were tricked by a pharmaceutical company into sell-ing in 1999.Residents said representatives from the company told them that 400 acres had been confiscated in 1998 by the government for a phar-maceutical factory run by June Phar-maceutical and Foodstuff Industry Ltd.The 400 acres include plots in Chaung Pauk, Shwe Kyet Htauk, Pauk Taw, Myay Daing, Let Pan and Pe Ngar Ze villages claimed by more than 70 farmers.  Villagers said they were “forced” to sign affidavits saying they never owned the land, but they later found out the company had never received permission from the government for the factory project.Frustrated at local officials’ reti-cence to take up their case, the vil-lagers have now written to the Chief Minister of Sagaing Region, U Thar  Aye, asking for the land to be given  back.U Hla Maw from Pauk Taw village said company officials “made villag-ers sign a letter that said the farmers had no rights to the land because it had been confiscated under section 39 of the Land Nationalising Act”. But he said the 400 acres in ques-tion were not included in the phar-maceutical project, and pointed out other irregularities in the process. “There was no office seal on the company’s letter, and we also found inconsistencies in the years stated on the letter, in both the Myanmar lunar calendar and the Western calendar,” U Hla Maw said.“It appears to be a fabricated  working licence, so the locals are ask-ing the government to take action so they can regain their land.”Locals said lower-level govern-ment officials have not taken any action in the case, despite the fact that authorities at the regional and district levels have ordered them to do so. U Phoe Kyaw from Pauk Taw vil-lage said that when pressed to solve the problem, low-level officials re-spond that they are “too busy”. “There is a mountain between the actual project area and the area  where the company grabbed land using a forged working licence. The company said they were granted a  working licence to conduct business on these lands, but we have receipts for land tax paid through 2012,” he said.He said locals have sent complaint letters to U Thar Aye and relevant government committees about the allegedly forged licence, and they also protested in front of the phar-maceutical company in July 2012 af-ter applying for permission from the authorities.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun
Farmers await action in land confiscation case
CIVIL society groups from around Myanmar gathered in Yangon last  week for a three-day People’s Forum to discuss issues such as social de- velopment and democratisation, but many participants were disappointed that the crucial issue of farmland dis-putes was not included. The forum, held at the Myanmar Convention Centre from December 28 to 30, attracted 165 participants representing more than 100 civil soci-ety organisations, and also drew 650 independent guests.The event included 18 work-shops focusing on major issues such as human rights, social develop-ment, democratisation and peace. Topics under discussion included en- vironmental conservation, women’s and children’s issues, migration and refugees, ethnic minority education, healthcare and poverty reduction.  What was missing was any discus-sion about widespread disputes over ownership of farmland, which many participants called one of the most important civil society issues facing the country. In response to complaints from participants, U Kyaw Lin Oo, a spokesperson for the People’s Forum Organising Committee, said that  when the forum was in the planning stages, civil society groups were in- vited to submit lists of topics they  wanted to discuss. “But nobody submitted farm-land disputes as a topic, so it wasn’t included,” he said.“We picked the main topics that participants indicated they wanted to discuss. But it seems the lack of at-tention to the farmland issue reduced the effectiveness of this forum, so next time we will try to correct the oversight.” The results of last week’s forum  will be discussed at the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN People’s Forum (ACSC/APF), scheduled to be held in Myanmar from March 20 to 23. The event is expected to draw 1200 representatives from civil soci-ety groups throughout ASEAN. Myanmar civil society groups  will submit proposals at the con-ference regarding issues related to peace, the judiciary, human rights and democracy.
Farmland issues absent from forum
SHWE YEE SAW MYINT
poepwintphyu2011@gmail.com
SI THU LWIN
sithulwin.mmtimes@gmail.com
‘There was no office seal on the company’s letter, and we also found inconsistencies in  the years stated on  the letter.
U Hla Maw
Pauk Taw resident
TRADE MARK CAUTION
NOICE is hereby given that
ALPS ELECTRIC CO., LTD.,
a joint stock company duly organized under the laws o Japan and having its principal office at 1-7, Yukigaya-otsukamachi, Ota-ku, okyo, Japan is the owner and sole proprietor o the ollowing trademarks:-
(Reg: No. IV/792/1978)
in respect o: - “television tuners; radio tuners; variable resisters in all types; variable capacitors in all types; all sorts o switches; magnetic heads; tapedecks; all other electric and electronic instruments and apparatus, and their parts and accessories”
(Reg: No. IV/2628/1996)
in respect o: - “scientific, nautical, surveying, electric, photographic, cinematographic, optical, weighing, measuring, signalling, checking (super vision), lie-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments; apparatus or recording, transmission or reproduction o sound or images; magnetic data carriers, recording discs; automatic vending machines and mechanisms or coin operated apparatus; cash registers, calculating machines, data processing equipment and computers; fire extinguishing apparatus, including; Amusement apparatus adapted or use with television receivers only; Amusement machines, automatic and coin operated; Anti-thef warning apparatus; Bar code readers; Cassette or Floppy disk; Electroluminescent panels and devices; liquid crystal display: Magnetic encoders; Magnetic tape units (or computers); Optical goods; Optical lenses; Compact discs (including CD-V and CD-ROM) (audio-video, read and/or write memory); Compact disc drives, compact disc changers and compact disc magazines; Computers; Computer peripheral devices; Computer keyboards; Computer memories; Computer sofware (recorded); Input devices, Pointed devices; Printer (Computer peripheral devices); Data transmission units or computers; Mouse (data processing equipment); Optical character readers; Remote control apparatus; Magnetic Heads; Locks (electric); ransmitters (telecommunication); ransmitters o electronic signals; ransmitting sets (telecommunication); Connections (electric); Connections or electric lines; Connectors (electricity); BS Antenna; BS elevision Converters; BS elevision uners; CAV Head Ends. Door closers (electric), Door openers (electric); FM & AM Radio uners; FM Radio Front Ends; Frequency Synthesizers; High Frequency Oscillator; Radio Frequency Modulators; Radio uners; elerupters; elevision uners; ransceiver Units; uners & Modulator Units; Video-recorders; ape recorders; Facsimile machines; Battery chargers; Inverters (electricity); Joy stick, Stick controllers; Resistors; Sensor; Fluid level sensor; Pressure sensor; Trottle position sensor; Shock-absorber actuator; Connectors (electricity); control panels (electricity); Dimmers (regulators) (Light-) (electric); Switches (electric); ransmission switch; Converters (electric)” – Class: 9“Apparatus or lighting, heating, steam generating, cooking, rerigerating, drying, ventilating, water supply and sanitary purposes, including; Lighting apparatus or vehicles (including bright control apparatus and parts thereo or indicator panel); Air conditioners and parts thereo or Vehicles; Ventilation (air-conditioning) installations and parts thereo or vehicles” – Class: 11“Vehicles; apparatus or locomotion by land, air or water and parts thereo, including; Anti-thef devices or vehicles; Direction Signals or vehicles; Rearview mirrors; Rotary connector (or Airbag systems); Sensors or vehicles; Shock-absorber actuator; Switches or vehicles” – Class: 12“Paper, cardboard and goods made rom these materials, not included in other classes; printed matter; bookbinding material; photographs; stationery; adhesives or stationery or household purposes; artists’ materials; paint brushes; type-writers and office requisites (except urniture); instructional and teaching material (except apparatus); plastic materials or packaging (not included in other classes); playing cards; printers’ type; printing blocks, including Inking ribbons (or computer printers and word processors); Labeling sheets (or computer printers and word processors)” – Class: 16 Warning is hereby given that any raudulent imitation or unauthorized use o the said trade marks or other inringements in any manner whatsoever o the rights o
ALPS ELECTRIC C󰁯., LTD.,
thereto will be dealt with according to law.U Kyi Win Associates or
ALPS ELECTRIC CO., LTD.,
P.O. Box No. 󰀲󰀶, Yangon.Phone: 372416 Dated: 6
th
 January, 2014

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