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Published by The Myanmar Times

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Published by: The Myanmar Times on Jul 21, 2014
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WWW.MMTIMES.COM ISSUE 738 | JULY 21 󰀭 27, 2014
Speaker says civilians must be put first
Thura U Shwe Mann says stakeholders in the country’s peace process should put the needs of affected civilians before their own interests in the wake of recent fighting.
NLD petition campaign closes
The opposition group says that it could reveal the final number of signatures gathered by the end of this month.
 Japanese to invest US$2 billion in MPT
Long-awaited deal finally signed with Japan’s KDDI and Sumitomo.
Nation pauses to observe Martyrs’ Day
Honour guards march in front of Martyrs’ Mausoleum in Yangon on July 19 as part of a ceremony to mark the 67 
 anniversary of Martyrs’ Day. General Aung San and other independence leaders were assassinated on the morning of July 19, 1947, while holding a cabinet meeting at the Secretariat building in downtown.
JULY 21 󰀭 27, 2014
online editor
Kayleigh Long
The local lowdown & best of the web
Vale, sharlom
On July 13, a cartoonist from Katha in Sagaing Region shared a picture of a strange animal caught by residents of the area.People began to speculate as to exactly what it was, chiming in with internet-assembled opinions. Some suggested it could be a ring-tailed cat, a carnivorous member of the raccoon family. Others thought it might be a palm civet, or a large Indian civet, which is Myanmar is apparently called
 (a kind of cat).“A Kachin hunter told that this kind of animal are so clever, are rare and most hunters are afraid of them. They are called Sharlom in Kachin. The reason most hunters are afraid of them is when hunters take aim at animals, there may be more Sharlom at the scene. Immediately after the animals are shot down, before the hunters come and get the dead animal, Sharlom usually runs and gets it,” wrote cartoonist Harjuly.“The meaning of ‘Shar’ is ‘eating’ and of ‘lom’ is ahead in Kachin dialect,” he added.While the debate continued over what species the sharlom was, on the night of July 13 it attempted to escape and in an unfortunate turn of events wound up accidentally hanging itself. It had been detained with a steel chain around its neck, which caught on a spiked fence. There is still no consensus on exactly what it was. If you have any ideas, please feel free to get in touch. You might get to choose its Latin name.
 – Additional reporting by Lun Min.
Shwedaung-8 cotton strain harvested in Wetlet Tsp
The model plot of Shwedaung-8 strain pre-monsoon cotton was harvested in the Leinbin village tract of Wetlet township, Sagaing Region, on July 18 – apparently proving something of a coup for farmers, who reaped a handsome yield of some 1400kg per acre. All of this excitement was presided over by the head of Shweboi District Industrial Crops Development Department (SDICDD) U Myint Hlaing and officials,
 The New Light of Myanmar
reported. The head of district is said to have urged local farmers “to grow more cotton on places where paddy can not be grown”, which is savvy agricultural advice the farmers should duly consider. Why does this deserve a mention? Well, the story ran in the
New Light 
 on July 19 – a date some of you may recognise as Martyrs’ Day, commemorating the 67th anniversary of the assassination of Bogyoke Aung San and six of his cabinet ministers. It’s why there were slightly more cars honking at 10:37 on Saturday morning. This occasion warranted nary a line in the
New Light,
 who are otherwise pretty big on anniversaries.
Tumbleweed on the road to Mandalay 
The number of tourists visiting Taung Taman Lake and U Bein Bridge in Mandalay has plummeted since the recent outbreak of violence and imposition of a curfew, according to local tour operators and business owners cited in a report from
 last week.While the monsoon season usually sees a corresponding drop-off in tourist numbers, it turns out that forecasts which include not only heavy showers but the possibility of late afternoon pogroms apparently aren’t that good for business. That said, the high-end tourism sector at Ngapali still seems to be doing okay so maybe it is just the rains after all.
 Juche-y details
North Korean embassy officials last week extended an invitation to Myanmar’s Interim Press Council to visit the DPRK in order to learn about the hermit kingdom and meet with domestic media outlets, in an move that rendered satire almost entirely redundant.“If the Press Council is interested it is only for the goodwill between North Korea  journalists and Myanmar  journalists not in regards to press freedoms,” a Press Council member told NK News.The Council have reportedly called for a meeting with President U Thein Sein to discuss the
Unity Journal
 verdict and address what they consider to be “intentional oppression against the media industry”.
Mandela’s message lives on
The Facebook event page for Nelson Mandela Day at the Institut Français last week was the lucky recipient of a spam post from a fake Facebook account (the likes of which
The Myanmar Times
 gets every now and then), with a user posting the 969 flag and the comment “All right friends”. One can’t help but wonder if a better allocation of time for whoever is behind that particular account would have been to have a sit-down and actually read a bit about Mandela and the sort of stuff he was into – like, not apartheid. In other Facebook- and 969-related news, U Wirathu posted on July 17 that he had been locked out of his account for two days. He regained control of the account, and merrily resumed updates.
In brief:
Man adamant colonialism is the sole reason for high literacy among older generations in Myanmar, backs this up based on observations made in two months of living in the country “Myanmar Culture Valley” mall development near Shwedagon appears to contain very little in the way of culture Passengers shocked as study proves conclusively that removing seatbelt and standing as soon as plane touches the tarmac at Mingalardon does not make disembarking process go any fasterGlance at Facebook news feed reveals there are more experts on the Israel/Palestine conflict than previously thought
Next week:
Cyclist almost lands perfect 360 flip after taxi driver opens door of moving vehicle to spit betel
Fashion Focus:
This season, tie your
 like a man’s
 and enjoy being able to take bigger steps forward! This is not a metaphor!
Patricia from
 Photo: Htet Aung Kyaw (Studio HAK)
Page 2
Photo: via Facebook
Oh Wei 
, July 15, 1971. Stories include “The Last Days of General Aung San” and “When The Two Generals Met in Le Wai”. In the 1930s, Aung San served as one of the editors of the journal.
 Archives provided by Pansodan Gallery
Once was Burma ...
 Thomas Kean
THE Ministry of Construction will tar 240 kilometres (150 miles) of the Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw- Manda-lay highway in an effort to improve safety on the road. The tarring will take three years,  with 50 miles done each year for the next three years, Deputy Minis-ter Dr Win Myint told the Amyotha Hluttaw session on July 15.Since it was opened in 2009, hundreds of people have died in traffic accidents on the road, which is colloquially called the “death highway” or “highway of death” by local media outlets. The deputy minister added that the ministry will seek K10 billion in additional funding for this fi-nancial year to tar an additional 26 miles and widen 25 bridges from 24 feet (7.2 metres) to 40 feet (12m) in  width, following a number of high profile, deadly accidents. The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw pro- vided a budget of K15 billion (about US$15.5 million) to conduct repairs to the vital highway during the 2014-15 financial year. These repairs  will cover the tarring of nearly 38 miles and the addition of a fence for 45 miles. The funding will also  widen 25 bridges to 48 feet (14.4m). The ministry will also install six cameras to monitor speeding, and 1178 signs will be erected to show the distance travelled in kilometres. Additional special funds were released to widen 25 bridges to 48 feet after the Yar Zar Min bus accident in May, which claimed 14 lives.  A ministry official said in a press conference following the Yar Zar Min accident that it cost K2.5  billion to build every mile of the 386-mile-long
highway. He said additional spending of about K2.5  billion a mile is required to make the highway safer. –
Translation by Thiri Min Htun
THE final tally of signatures gathered  by the National League for Democracy during its petition campaign calling for a constitutional amendment could be announced as early as the end of the month, an organiser said.  A member of central executive com-mittee of the NLD, U Tun Tun Hein, said that the last signatures would be collected on July 19, when the nation marks the
Martyrs’ Day but the nal count is not scheduled to be completed un
til July 26. “The number of petitioners can be an
nounced only after July 26 or may be ear 
lier next month,” U Tun Tun Hein said. He declined to estimate how many signatures had been collected.
The petition is an attempt to pres-sure the government to amend Section 436 of the 2008 constitution, which sets the threshold for changes to the consti-tution at 75 percent. The military’s con-trol of 25pc of the seats in parliament guarantees the Tatmadaw the power to  veto any proposed change. Amending section 436 is seen as a crucial first step in clearing the way for further changes, including to section 59(f), which currently bars Daw Aung San Suu Kyi from being eligible for the presidency. The petition campaign was launched in Nay Pyi Taw on May 27  by the NLD and the 88 Generation student group and included a series of large public rallies since it began led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and 88 Genera-tion leaders, the last of which was held in Pakokku township, Magwe Region, on July 12. The petition has already attracted over 3 million signatures as of June 27.The constitution was drafted by Senior General Than Shwe’s military regime and enacted at a nationwide referendum in 2008. The commission tasked with overseeing the referendum, led by former chief justice U Aung Toe, said more than 24 million people, or 93.2pc of those eligible, voted in sup-port of the constitution.
THE Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), the principle body for foreign and domestic investment, has returned to Yangon from Nay Pyi Taw, to pro- vide better access to businesses, an official said. The directorate moved to Nay Pyi Taw in 2006 when the military government shifted the country’s capital to the new city, built 400 kilometres to the north of Yangon. It resumed operations in Yangon on July 14. “The entire directorate has been moved back to Yangon for the con- venience of investors,” said U Linn Htut, director of DICA’s administra-tion department. “It also makes it easier for us to administer investors since most businesses are based in  Yangon.However, DICA’s line ministry, the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development, re-mains in Nay Pyi Taw. “Those staff members who have families in Yangon are happy with this move. For me, it is not so spe-cial,” U Linn Htut said.The entire process of company formation and administration can now be done at DICA’s office in  Yankin township, which was previ-ously used as a branch only.
NLD set to reveal final signature count
NLD supporters gather to hear Daw Aung San Suu Kyi speak at a rally in Pakokku on July 12.
Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing
A pedestrian crosses the Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw highway.
Photo: AFP
DICA returns to Yangon
Part of Yangon-MDY highway to be tarred

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