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ISSUE 708 | DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013
Wai Phyo Aung hugs his mother after winning a gold medal in the nandao section of the wushu competition at the Southeast Asian Games in Nay Pyi Taw on December 9.

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NEWS 4

A golden start for the host nation
After a spectacular Southeast Asian Games opening ceremony on December 11 that impressed even the most cynical observers, Myanmar continued its winning start to the competition last week. The host nation has won gold medals in sports as diverse as canoeing, chinlone, chess and shooting and as of December 14 led the medal table with 26 gold, 25 silver and 21 bronze medals, ahead of Vietnam with 23 gold medals and Indonesia and Thailand with 22 each. Among the winners for Myanmar was Wai Phyo Aung (right), who topped the nandao section in the wushu on December 9.

Agri-businesses leave millions of acres fallow
More than 75 percent of the 5.2 million acres of land given away to private companies as land concessions is yet to be planted.

ANALYSIS 6

Vote-buying fears over constituency funding
A parliamentary plan to distribute K100 million to each township could be used by MPs to kick-start campaigning for the 2015 election.

BUSINESS 22-23

City Mart distributor execs to face charges
Premium Distribution has been unable to show import documents for 80,000 bottles of wine found in a December 4 raid, the Ministry of Commerce says.

PROPERTY 29

Dispute over Bogyoke Market renovation plan
Several dozen jewellery traders at the historic market have vowed to ignore an order to leave by December 31 so renovations can take place.

Govt to reveal MPT partner
The government is scheduled to announce on December 18 which foreign consortium will partner with Myanma Posts and Telecommunications – a key decision as the state operator prepares for new competition from Telenor and Ooredoo. NEWS 3

2 THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

Page 2

online editor Kayleigh Long | kayleighelong@gmail.com

THE INSIDER: The local lowdown & best of the web
Local paper in hot water over “hate speech”
The Ministry of Information has urged the Interim Myanmar Press Council to take action over claims monthold weekly journal Thuriya Naywon (The Sun Rays) has been a vehicle for personal attacks and unfair criticism of the government. “We have found that all writings in all issues of this journal that have been published are unethical, [reflecting of] yellow journalism and contain hate speech”, read a release on the ministry’s website. “All writings by the journal were personal attacks and damaged the current government.” What specific action the ministry is calling for, however, is unclear – particularly given the Council was established as a consulting body for those operating under new press regulations, and has no authority to mete out punishment. The Sun Rays has made repeated claims of cronies reaping the benefits of close ties to the former regime and the current government. Last month, the journal was threatened with legal action by U Tay Za, who claimed they had defamed him when it ran a front page story with his photo under the headline “Cronies should jump into the Andaman Sea”.

Golden Rock ramps up security

A ban on mobile phones and cameras has come into effect at the Golden Rock in the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda precinct, with Thaton District police authorities citing concerns over security. A metal detector has also been installed at the footbridge leading to the boulder itself, Eleven Media reported last week. Cameras and mobile phones are still permitted in the pagoda grounds but, like women, are not allowed near the precariously-balanced rock where pilgrims make merit by applying gold leaf.

Monks Sans Frontieres established in Japan

When Myanmar was Burma...
Archival material provided by Pansodan Gallery

Japanese monks have established a new body to promote ties between Buddhists in different countries, calling the group “Monks Without Borders”. The inaugural meeting of the group, whose name apes the Nobel Prize-winning Doctors Without Borders, was held in Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto on Wednesday, said Hiroaki Nakajima, chief priest at Joko-ji temple in the city. “Normally, Buddhists do not have regular interactions with people from different schools (of the religion), but I think we can cooperate under the name of Buddhism, which cherishes salvation of individual souls and lives,” he said. Nakajima, who says the grouping has sparked interest overseas, believes it will help with the self-promotion he thinks many Buddhists struggle with. “Monks are generally not good at publicity, even though individually they are active in helping the weak, such as visiting hospitalised patients and natural disaster victims,” he said. “We hope to strengthen our public relations by setting up a Facebook account,” he said. To avoid potential conflicts with governments or Buddhist school officials, the grouping will take the form of a loose “cloud”, where individual monks support others’ activities in poverty reduction, the fight against discrimination and disaster-relief, he said. – AFP

MP humiliated over back-door treatment

A poster for Workers’ Day, 1978

Union Solitary and Development Party MP U Aung Tein Lin has expressed humiliation following a slight by regional ministers during a recent meeting, where he was made to enter and leave the premises via the back door. U Aung Tein Lin, the former mayor of Yangon, was meeting with regional chief minister U Myint Swe over protests on land grabs in Thingyanguan township. This is considered a fairly grave insult in local culture, with perhaps the most famous example being an incident involving King Thibaw and the invading British. “We struggled together during campaigning period to win victory embracing the hatred of competitors. When our party wins our members become government. You can guess how I will feel when I was humiliated by my colleagues who are now members of the government,” U Aung Thein Lin told Thandaw Sent journal.

Gone Yi Aye Kyaw for NOW! magazine. Photo: Nay Ma Kha

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News 3

Protest ends after MP promises to investigate dispute
NOE NOE AUNG noenoeag@gmail.com AUNG SHIN koshumgtha@gmail.com FORMER Thingangyun township residents protesting the confiscation of their land by the military last week agreed to suspend their demonstration for three months following negotiations with Yangon’s former mayor. The talks with U Aung Thein Linn, who is now a Pyithu Hluttaw representative, brought an end to the protest on December 12, after 17 days. The MP promised a parliamentary investigation into the dispute. The protests were launched on November 26 after two of the displaced residents from Mee Kyaung Kan ward were jailed for leading an earlier demonstration, which took place without government permission. U Sein Than, a protest leader who was released in an amnesty on December 11, said U Aung Thein Linn had promised to resolve the dispute within three months by negotiating with the government and military. “We suspended the protest for three months while the parliamentary members investigate the dispute,” U Sein Than said. “[U Aung Thein Lin] told us that they found that Mee Gyaung Kan lands were not taken under the 1894 Land Acquisition Act. They found out we were not squatters because we have lots of receipts for tax paid to Yangon City Development Committee.” The resolution came after nine women were injured in a December 7 confrontation between demonstrators and military workers, who were trying to fence off the disputed site. U Aung Thein Lin said that he agreed to investigate the case because he did not want to see more people get hurt. “From what we can see they paid land tax regularly to YCDC and they have household registration documents, so we cannot call them squatters,” he said. “The land is owned by Ministry of Defence and that is [a] union-level [ministry] … The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw will do the investigation,” he said. However, he said the Mee Gyaung Kan residents had been unable to show enough documentation to prove they owned the land before it was confiscated in 1991. The military has also paid compensation to some residents, he said. “This case can’t be solved immediately and … cannot be solved if they are too insistent on just getting the land back.” He also defended the actions of the military workers who injured the demonstrators. “Before that day, I went there and told them that we were just making a fence for the pagoda [behind the protest camp] because we didn’t want people to sleep in the pagoda compound,” Col Tin Win said. “But when the workers from committee made the fence, they did not move out. The workers just did what they had to do.”

A protester injured by military workers cries at the Thingangyun protest camp on December 7. Photo: Zarni Phyo

The commission will investigate the dispute, discuss it with the military and then report its recommendations to the government.

Yangon Region Minister for Security and Border Affairs Colonel Tin Win said the regional government will not be involved in the investigation.

MPT to get its ‘foreign giant’ this week
Government to select one of three consortiums to partner with state operator on December 18, with Orange, SingTel and KDDI in the race

TIM MCLAUGHLIN
timothy.mclaughlin3@gmail.com

THE government will this week reveal which consortium is to partner with Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications, in what could prove a key decision for the state enterprise as it prepares to battle new competition from Telenor and Ooredoo. Consortiums headed by France’s Orange Group, Japan’s KDDI and Singapore’s SingTel – which were beaten by Telenor and Ooredoo in a hotly contested licence auction in June – are being considered by the government. An announcement is expected on December 18. The government invited the three consortiums to submit proposals for the partnership in early November. All three responded prior to the December 5 deadline. An official from KDDI in Yangon confirmed on December 10 that the company had submitted an application to work with MPT but would not provide details on the type of partnership it had proposed. The official said only that the company hopes to collaborate

with MPT “in the near future” and MPT’s choice is “confidential”. France Telecom senior vice president Dominique Espinasse confirmed that the consortium of Orange and Marubeni Corporation of Japan had also submitted a proposal. Mr Espinasse said that a foreign operator would “bring specific knowledge” to a partnership with MPT and “the capacity to help them [MPT] transform into a competitive operator”. A spokesperson from SingTel said only that the company “continues[s] to seek opportunities in Myanmar”. In September, MPT managing director U Aung Maw told The Myanmar Times that the enterprise, which has had a monopoly on telecoms services for decades, had conducted discussions with firms from France, Singapore, Japan, and other Western countries. “We are now discussing a joint venture agreement with a foreign giant,” he said. An MPT official said last week that more details regarding the type of partnership would be available when the announcement is made. Another official added that representatives from Roland Berger, the German consultancy firm that advised the government on the licence tender won by Telenor and Ooredoo, had arrived in Nay Pyi Taw on

EXCLUSIVE
December 11 to assist the government on the process. All three consortiums in the running were shortlisted in the telecommunications operating license tender in June. KDDI leads a consortium with Japan’s Sumitomo and two local partners: Myanmar Information and Communication Technology Development Corporation and A1 Construction Company.

‘A foreign partner can bring urgently needed management skills and expertise in areas such as product development and marketing.’
Roger Barlow Independent telecoms consultant

SingTel is in a consortium with KBZ Group and Myanmar Telephone Company. Orange and Marubeni Corporation of Japan were selected as back-up options if either Telenor or Ooredoo are unable to fulfil their obligations. It is unclear if Orange would have to forfeit this position if selected to work with MPT. Bringing in a foreign partner is seen as essential for MPT if it is to remain competitive as the government liberalises the telecommunications sectors. For more than a decade MPT made millions of dollars selling SIM cards at exorbitant prices – initially as high as US$3000 – but both Telenor and Ooredoo have promising cheaper SIM cards, along with increased network coverage and higher standards of customer service. “MPT needs assistance to expand and modernise its networks [both fixed and wireless], and a foreign partner can bring expertise and capital to help enable this,” said Roger Barlow, an independent telecoms consultant and the CEO of Hong Kong-based RJB Consultants Limited. “As, if not more, importantly, a foreign partner can bring urgently needed management skills and expertise in areas such as product development and marketing.”

Telenor has pledged nationwide geographic coverage of 83 percent for voice and 78pc for data after five years. The company has also committed to around 70,000 point-of-sale locations for SIM cards and more than 95,000 for top-up cards within five years. Ooredoo has promised to provide nationwide geographic coverage of 84pc for both voice and data after five years. It is promising a larger distribution network than Telenor, with around 240,000 point-of-sale locations for SIM cards and 720,000 for top-up cards. Both Ooredoo and Telenor, however, are waiting to sign their final licence agreements, after which they have nine months to launch services. While companies working with MPT will benefit from an existing customer base estimated at 7 million and close ties to the government that will likely bring state contracts, the partnership is likely to come with challenges. These include an “entrenched culture as a former monopoly telecoms operator”, Mr Barlow said. There are also concerns over the extent to which a foreign partner will have “management and operational control and influence over decision-making in the organisation”. – Additional reporting by Aung Shin

4 News
Farmers walk through a field in Aungban in southern Shan State in late November. Photo: AFP

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

Journalism school set for June opening
EI THAE THAE NAING LWIN MAR HTUN newsroom@mmtimes.com PLANS for a journalism school in Yangon supported by international organisations and donors have moved a step forward with the signing of an agreement on December 7. The school’s backers now say a June 2014 opening is likely, although many details remain unclear. As The Myanmar Times reported in September, Germany’s DW Akademie, France’s Canal France International, global NGO International Media Support (IMS) and Sweden’s Fojo Media Institute will help set up the institution, with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and governments of Denmark, France, Germany, Norway and Sweden also offering support. On December 7, Minister for Information U Aung Kyi and Aurélie Filipetti, France’s minister for culture, signed a “cooperation agreement on cinema and media” at the Women’s Forum in Yangon. “Our goal is to improve skills and reach the same levels as international media for the young people who interested in journalism,” Ms Filipetti told the press afterward. She added that journalism in Myanmar had a bright future, with people able to “get the news freely from now on”. The Myanmar Journalism School is set to open in July 2014, offering a one-year diploma course in journalism. “The trainers, syllabus development, recruitment of trainers, coaching and monitoring for this diploma course were contributed by IMS and Fojo Media Institute,” said U Khin Maung Htay, a cofounder and director of the school’s local partner, Forever Group. UNESCO said in a statement that the signing of the agreement indicates that the new school will initially target working journalists before eventually merging with the bachelor of ars ( journalism) course offered by the National Management College to create a “centre of excellence” for journalism. Monika Lengauer of DW Akademie said that while all parties are committed to the project, many details are still unclear – including where the school will be located. “We have a plan to open this school but we have not decided on the location and also the curriculum is not ready. We will find out everything that is necessary depending on the situation in Myanmar.”

Three quarters of new land concessions unused: ministry
More than 5.2 million acres were awarded to companies from start of 2010-11 to end of 2012-13, figures show

BILL O’TOOLE
botoole12@gmail.com

NEW Department of Agricultural Planning data shows that less than one-quarter of the area of large-scale land concessions awarded to businesses since 2010-11 is being used for agriculture, a statistic that activists say raises “serious questions” about the government’s land use policies. Of the more than 5.213 million acres allocated from the start of the 2010-11 financial year to the end of 2012-13, only 1.197 million, or 23 percent, has actually been planted, the data shows. In Sagaing Region, just 3.7pc of the 533,000 acres given out have been planted, while Yangon tops the table with 95.1pc planted. “The justification by the Myanmar government [for industrial farms] is about increasing agricultural productivity to increase exports,” said Kevin Woods, a Southeast Asia research analyst for the Transnational Institute. “That is clearly not being achieved.” The data also confirms anecdotal reports of a dramatic increase in land concessions under the new government, although concessions were regularly doled out by the military regime. According to separate figures from the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, 1.94 million acres had been

awarded to January 31, 2011. Beyond the problem of land sitting idle, land rights activists say the data is concerning because it contradicts new agriculture bylaws that state that companies granted land concessions must fulfill certain quotas for planting and cultivation in order to keep the concession. The trend is indicative of the corruption and lack of oversight that continues to define land issues in Myanmar, especially in rural areas, they said. “This data really concerns me. The government needs to increase their efforts to look at how [land rights] can be improved for small holder farmers … [and] to do that they must have a proper policy and appropriate law,” said U Shwe Thein, chair of the Land Core Group, a network of land-focused non-government organisations. The law states that land concessions that remain unused after three years must be returned to the government. However, several land rights activists interviewed for this article say they have never heard of a single case of an agri-business firm being forced to relinquish unused land. In a report released earlier this year by the Environmental Law Institute said that “while exact information remains difficult to obtain, over the last 20 years, several hundred thousand hectares across Myanmar have been allocated to hundreds of companies”. While no official statistics exist on what percentage of concessions given by the military government

have been planted, anecdotal reports from rural areas say much of it remains unused. With the figures showing threequarters of land concessions are not being used for agriculture, there are now concerns over what the companies are doing with the land. Mr Woods suggested the large concessions may be a pretense for large companies to exploit other natural resources in the area, such as timber. The government’s policy of giving land concessions to large-scale industrial farming projects across the nation has long been criticised for the
Agribusiness concessions by state/region 2010-11 to 2012-13
2,000,000

Allocated Planted
1,500,000

1,000,000

500,000

human and other costs it inflicts on communities. Kachin State and Sagaing and Tanintharyi Regions have both the highest numbers of land concessions by acre and the lowest proportion of planted land. All three regions have experienced a significant number of disputes between local populations displaced by concessions and the companies that have received them. As many independent groups, including LCG, have documented, civilians living in areas awarded to agribusinesses are often coerced into giving up their land through empty promises of compensation or outright intimidation and violence. “The main thing that should be realised is that people’s lives and livelihoods are behind this data. These are lands that have been actively farmed for generations and this land is being given to big companies legally under the current land laws,” Mr Woods said. While U Shwe Thein said the farmland law passed in 2012 included many provisions that improved on the old land management system but there are still gaps that leave smallscale farmers vulnerable to eviction. Despite repeated attempts by The Myanmar Times, the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation could not be reached for comment. However, in an interview earlier this year, director general U Kyaw Win affirmed that his department is committed to largescale agriculture concessions and will continue to facilitate such projects.

Tanintharyi

Kachin

Ayeyarwady

Sagaing

Other

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News 5

Yangon Uni triples 2013-14 enrolment
EI THAE THAE NAING
eithaethaenaing@gmail.com

SKorea to provide computers to schools
EI THAE THAE NAING eithaethaenaing@gmail.com THE Yangon Department of Basic Education has inked an agreement with a South Korean education group that will see it receive information and communications technology support over the next three years. The department signed the memorandum of understanding with Sejong City Office Education on December 13. The South Korean group will provide 60 computers, which will go to Basic Education Middle School 1 Insein and Basic Education Primary School 2 Kamaryut. “We chose these schools because they didn’t have any computers yet. They went to the schools to see whether they were really needed,” said department official U Khin Aung Yee. “This is the first time the basic education department has worked with a foreign country.” He said that while the schools are short on computers, the teachers have received annual training at the University of Computer Studies. The agreement will also see 20 teachers from Yangon visit South Korea for two weeks in April 2014. “This training was also included in the agreement,” U Khin Aung Yee said. “The teachers will selected by the department.”

THE reopened Yangon University has increased enrolments more than three-fold after deciding to allow students to stay in the campus’ dormitories. The university, which was closed in 1996 but reopened this year, initially announced it would accept 15 students for each of 20 arts and science courses for the 2013-14 academic year. It has since decided to allow 50 students in each major, taking total enrolments to 1000, said rector U Tin Tun. A higher number of enrolments is likely in 2014-15, when more dormitories are ready to open. He said the change was made after deciding to allow students to stay in the university’s dormitories. “At first, we didn’t plan to allow them to stay in dormitories so we only accepted 15 outstanding students for each major,” he said. “But now we plan to provide them with a dormitory room and we also asked teachers how many

student they can teach and decided to accept 50 students for each major. “We plan to open more dormitories next year and accept more students.” The eight dormitory buildings – four each for men and women – will also be open to students from the National Management College and the University of Foreign Languages. “The dormitories will be well equipped for the students. They will have Wi-Fi and Skynet satellite television,” U Tin Tun said. The increased class sizes mean many students who thought they missed out on being accepted to the highly regarded university will now get a second chance to enrol. “We will choose students with lower marks than the first group that we offered positions to. From those that apply we will then choose the students who have the highest marks,” said U Hla Swe, the head of the university’s training department. While the syllabus will mostly be the same as at other arts and science universities, teachers will adopt a “child-centred approach” rather than rote learning, U Tin Tun said. They will have more opportunities to get international scholarships and do exchanges at foreign universities, he added.

IN PICTURES

PHOTO: PHYO WAI KYAW

Built in 1903 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, the Zegyo Market clock tower in Mandalay got a facelift last week for another landmark event: the 27th Southeast Asian Games. The city is hosting women’s football matches, with the first game kicking off on December 10.

6 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

Vote-buying fears over MP funds plan
MPs could use K33 billion program to kick-start election campaigns THOMAS KEAN
tdkean@gmail.com

PARLIAMENTARIANS have vowed to press on with a planned K33 billion (US$33.67 million) constituencyfunding program despite concerns about corruption and vote buying, and President U Thein Sein declaring it unconstitutional. A number of politicians and analysts said the introduction of the program will mark the start of campaigning for the 2015 election, as many MPs are likely to use the funding to try and shore up support in their constituencies. “Most representatives want to use the money for their next election campaign,” said Pyithu Hluttaw representative U Ye Tun, adding that he agreed with the president’s argument. “Most [MPs] do not understand the constitution well, about their legislative power, so they are just happy to get this funding.” Independent political analyst U Kyaw Lin Oo said he was concerned about the prospect of vote-buying as MPs each dole out tens of thousands of dollars. “I lived in Thailand for many years so I have seen [vote-buying] and the damage it has done to Thai politics,” he said. “I feel the president or executive branch is worried a bit about this … I don’t think [the president] actually believes it is unconstitutional.” As The Myanmar Times reported in April, the program will see each township allocated K100 million for the financial year to March 31, 2014. The funds, which came from a K50 billion cut to the Nay Pyi Taw Council budget, will be distributed to development projects selected by MPs, with a maximum of K5 million for a single project. The idea reportedly came from Thura U Shwe Mann after he visited India and

saw the country’s constituency funding program. Earlier this month, President U Thein Sein wrote to parliament warning that constituency funding is unconstitutional because MPs would be exercising executive power. However, parliamentarians have already agreed to ignore the warning and continue with the plan, and The Myanmar Times understands about 70 townships are in the process of receiving funding. U Ye Tun said he believes the president is unlikely to take the issue to the Constitutional Tribunal despite his warning because most MPs from his party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), support the plan. When the bill was voted on during the eighth session of parliament, virtually the only opposition came from Tatmadaw MPs. But Pyithu Hluttaw representative

K100
The amount to be distributed to each township for MPs to spend U Aye Mauk from the USDP said the program was needed because the government does not provide enough support to communities. “The government funding is not enough,” U Aye Mauk said. “Also, the government officials are not in every place but MPs are in each constituency, in every township. They are talking with people. They know about the situation in the villages and what is needed. “I do not agree with the president. We have already discussed this in the parliament and agreed we are working

MILLION

according to the constitution.” There are, however, concerns over how the funding will be administered and whether there will be enough safeguards to ensure it is spent properly. Under the law, village or ward committees submit project ideas to a “township support committee”, after which the four MPs from the township – one each from the Amyotha Hluttaw and Pyithu Hluttaw, and two from the state or region hluttaw – select which projects to support. They then submit the proposed project list to parliament for approval, after which the funding is distributed and put in a bank account. The support committee chooses a contractor to implement the project, and the contractor is paid upon completion of the work. “Hluttaw representatives only have the right to choose the project, check the work after it is finished and, if it is okay, to pay the money,” U Ye Tun said. He said the law contained “concrete and very strict rules” but he was still “worried about money being misspent”. Conflict could also occur in townships where the four MPs are from different parties with different priorities, he warned. Internationally, constituency funding has generally made headlines for cases of corruption, most recently in the Philippines. In August, tens of thousands staged a protest in Manila demanding the constituency program be abandoned after MPs were accused of funnelling US$135 million into fake non-governmental organisations. On November 29, prosecutors recommended criminal charges against eight former MPs, including the country’s customs chief, who were accused of stealing more than $220 million. But the negative effects of constituency funding are much more insidious, according to the International Budget Partnership, a coalition of civil society organisations focused on budgeting issues. The group argues that such programs breach separation of powers, weaken government service delivery and harm MP-constituent relations. These negative impacts are compounded when the program allocates funds equally among townships, regardless of need, it said in a 2010 briefing paper. “Enough evidence exists to suggest

USDP members canvass for votes before the April 2012 by-elections. Photo: Boothee

that [constituency funding programs] put unwelcome pressure on service delivery and accountability systems in countries where these systems are already weak,” it said. “Rather than introduce [these programs], poor countries should strengthen their legislatures and pursue decentralisation programs more vigorously.” MPs who support the program concede they are in uncharted territory but say they expect it will help bring

benefits to constituents. “This is our first time doing this,” said U Aye Mauk. “Actually we need more than this K100 million. This is the bare minimum for every township.” U Kyaw Lin Oo said the relatively small amount for each township was probably deliberate, and would allow political leaders to see if the program is effective. “Maybe they will get the experience using the money and then later on they will increase the amount.”

Yangon MPs focus on roads
MPs in Sanchaung township say they plan to use their K100 million constituency funding for improving roads based on suggestions from residents. They will concrete about 15 streets that are currently tarred roads, while the pavement on Pyay Road between Shin Saw Pu and Bargayar roads will be repaired, said region hluttaw representative U Myo Min Aung. Meanwhile, pavements and car parking on Kyuntaw Road will be upgraded. Some funding has also been allocated to repair buildings at two high schools in the township, he said. “It is not as much as we want to do,” he said. “We will negotiate with government officials when we do these projects and make sure the money is spent fairly. We have now opened a current account at our township bank to transfer the money to the township development support committee,” U Myo Min Aung said last week. MPs approved the constituency funding plan at a Pyidaungsu Hluttaw session on November 15. The law requires the formation of township development committees to oversee the implementation of the projects. In Sanchaung, a 29-member committee was established on November 28, said Pyithu Hluttaw U Soe Win. – Aung Kyaw Min

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News 7

Powered paragliders take to Myanmar skies
EI EI THU 91.eieithu@gmail.com A NEW and exciting aerial sport has landed in Myanmar for the first time. Paramotoring – also known as powered paragliding – involves one or two riders strapped into a seated harness and dangling from the kind of parachute, or wing, used in paragliding. Behind their backs is what looks like a large circular fan, which, powered by a motor, propels the rider through the air. Rider Mathiev Rovanet, 36, from France, was the first to fly a paramotor in Myanmar with permission. Together with Emilia Plak from Poland, the pair flew over Inle Lake last week and will head to Bagan this week. “We have a big chance to fly legally in Myanmar for the first time. When I tell my friends from Europe I will fly in Myanmar nobody believes me. But now my dreams have come true,” Mr Rovanet said ahead of the Inle flight. Those who missed the Inle Lake flight on December 13 can catch the pair in Bagan on December 16-17. “We will take photos over Inle Lake and Bagan and will give thanks to the Myanmar government and people by giving them the photos and video for allowing us to come to Myanmar.” The results won’t be the first aerial photos of the areas, thanks to the popular tourist attractions of hot-air ballooning, but Mr Rovanet said the two experiences are very different. “Paramotor is very different from hot-air balloons,” he said, “because it needs speed like a plane to fly.” That speed also means it can be steered, which, combined with the ability to launch without a runway, makes it ideal for researchers, archeologists, explorers, filmmakers – even animal herders. Ms Plak, who has been involved in the sport since 2000, said the main challenge for the flights would be finding places for a safe takeoff. “But we are professionals and we can manage,” she said, adding that the paramotor itself is “a very special kind of machine”. She also said safety is a top priority. “We usually fly in the morning and evening, as we depend on the weather. We don’t fly during strong winds.” Although still in its infancy, paramotor was popularised in France, where it has an estimated 10,000 participants. Is it set to take off in Myanmar too? Locals who want to learn should head to Thailand, Mr Rovanet said, where the sport is also popular. He added that he’d like to fly here again and perhaps teach others in the future. Herve Flejo, from Thanakha Travel and Tours, which organised Mr Rovanet’s trip, said the company had no plans to open paramotor training courses but if people want to learn they will help them. “Myanmar people should do it,” he said, “so that one day they can use it to attract tourists.”

Spitfire dig to resume
Aviation enthusiast David Cundall says he has new funding from a global logistics firm and fresh evidence that up to 36 Spitfire aircraft were buried after World War II

KAYLEIGH LONG
kayleighelong@gmail.com

BRITISH farmer and aviation enthusiast David Cundall’s search for WWII-era Spitfires supposedly buried in teak crates near Yangon’s Mingalardon airport has been revived, with global logistics firm Claridon announcing it will fund the latest expedition. Previous efforts to find the aircraft have yielded no evidence to suggest they are buried at the airport and in February Belarusian online gaming website Wargaming.net pulled its funding from the expedition. The rainy season put a further damper on reconnaissance efforts, as did local authorities blocking the airport dig because of the lack of evidence and concerns over possible damage to buried cables. But while many observers have concluded that the Spitfire tale is nothing but an enticing myth based on dubious anecdotal accounts, Mr Cundall has returned to Yangon to resume the hunt armed with renewed enthusiasm and, he says, new evidence. Speaking to his local newspaper, the Birmingham Mail, Mr Cundall said recently that several new sources have come forward to offer testi-

Excavation project leader David Cundall (left) points to a model of a Spitfire near Yangon International Airport on January 9. Photo: AFP

mony supporting the story that 36 aircraft were buried at locations in Yangon and the Kachin State capital Myitkyina. “I have an expert who has confirmed evidence show[ing] that there are large metallic objects at depth in the same place as eyewitnesses saw Spitfire boxes being buried,” he told the paper. Mr Cundall told The Myanmar Times last week a motorised bore will be used to drill down to where the

crates are believed to be buried and a small camera will be sent in to photograph what lies inside. If the Spitfires are found it will mark the conclusion of a 17-year personal quest for Mr Cundall. If the planes are indeed discovered below the airport, Mr Cundall says their restoration would create 400 jobs in the United Kingdom over a five-year period. After that, he hopes many of the aircraft will find homes in museums across the country.

8 News
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THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

Tatmadaw soldiers patrol a village in Thandwe township following an outbreak of religious violence in early October. Photo: Kaung Htet

Democratic transition will not be complete without security reform
MARK SJOLANDER
mmsjolander@gmail.com

Myanmar Consolidated Media Ltd. www.mmtimes.com Head Office: 379/383 Bo Aung Kyaw Street, Kyauktada Township, Yangon, Myanmar. Telephone: (01) 253 642, 392 928 Facsimile: (01) 392 706 Mandalay Bureau: Bld Sa/1, Man Mandalar Housing, 35th Street, between 70th and 71st streets, Yan Myo Lone Quarter, Chan Aye Thar San Township. Tel: (02) 65391, 74585. Fax: (02) 24460 Email: mdybranch@myanmartimes.com.mm Nay Pyi Taw Bureau: No. 10/72 Bo Tauk Htein St, Yan Aung (1) Quarter, Nay Pyi Taw-Pyinmana. Tel: (067) 23064, 23065 Email: capitalbureau@myanmartimes.com.mm

MYANMAR’S democratic transition has progressed at remarkable speed. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is in parliament, censorship of the press has ended and economic reforms have been launched. While these developments are positive, the common denominator in determining transition progress has been the military. Many former senior figures in the Tatmadaw have transformed themselves from officers to civilian political leaders, including President U Thein Sein. Many officers retain senior executive positions in the civil service although they are now branded as civilians. Moreover, many officers have control over commercial interests in Myanmar and have not given up their systems of patronage. While change will likely continue, it is the military that continues to determine the nature and pace of reform in Myanmar. That is not to say there is a lack of genuine goodwill and desire for democratic change. President U Thein Sein appears committed to building peace and shepherding a democratic transition process that is sustainable beyond the next general election. Nevertheless, reform of the military needs to be at the centre of the reform process in Myanmar. The president also recognises this. In a speech at London’s Chatham House on July 16, he outlined his vision for the future and the Tatmadaw’s role. “The current transition to democracy from military rule requires adjustment [of the] security sectors, including [the] Tatmadaw. The government welcomes international assistance to strengthen civil-military relations in Myanmar. This is crucial for the success

of the political transition underway,” he said. Transitioning to democracy and reforming the security sector in Myanmar are two sides of the same coin. At the core of progress toward democracy is ensuring that the military is subordinate to the will of the people. This means improving governance of the security sector to ensure it becomes transparent and accountable to elected leaders. So what kind of reforms might be useful? The constitution should be amended so that defence is no longer a pillar of governance along with the executive, parliament and the judiciary. At the strategic level, there should be agreement on a set of principles that enshrines civilian control of the military more broadly, setting out a roadmap for change. At the grassroots level, there needs to be an educative and mentoring process within the Tatmadaw that provides rule-of-law training to junior officers and ordinary soldiers. Senior officers should be given opportunities to visit staff colleges in countries that can serve as examples of best-practice in civilian control of the armed forces. Reforming the security sector is very simple to talk about but incredibly complex to undertake in practice because the military’s influence and control extends across the entire spectrum of governance. Of course, many elites inside and outside the military have benefited from military control and perhaps may not be committed to reforming the security sector. This is why leadership will be crucial in achieving reform and success through the transition process. President U Thein Sein has demonstrated a strong willingness to engage in reform and in his speech at Chatham House publicly asked the international community for support and expertise in security reform. There is a unique opportunity now for the international community to support and deepen reform in Myanmar that should

not be allowed to pass. Of course, a real risk for the future of reform in Myanmar is time. Plenty of well-intentioned international support is flowing into Myanmar. Many international organisations, foreign governments and civil society organisations are highlighting what they believe needs to change. There is an underlying theme of impatience in many of these contributions, however. While it seems obvious that democratic transition cannot happen overnight, there are expectations that change should happen almost immediately across the full spectrum of challenges and issues. Since the end of the Cold War, the international community has sought to support many democratic transitions globally. Every situation is different and Myanmar has its own unique challenges. There are, however, valuable cautionary lessons that should be heeded. First, everyone involved in the reform process needs to be patient. Unrealistic expectations around the pace of reform are counterproductive. Second, the transition needs to be civilian-led and controlled. Only

civilian leaders and parliamentarians will have the legitimacy to lead and entrench reform. Finally, there needs to be understanding that everything done now needs to lay the foundation for sustainable success into the future. Reform that only delivers “quick wins” without addressing the structural challenges will not last. I believe democratic change will continue in Myanmar and it will ultimately lead to a government that represents its people. Perhaps that change will not be complete in my lifetime. It starts though with reforming governance so that the military no longer holds political power. The time for security sector reform in Myanmar is now – the people demand it.
Mark Sjolander is a governance-reform technical expert currently based in Yangon. From 2007 to 2012 he served as chief of staff to Australia’s Deputy Minister for Defence. He holds a Master of Arts (International Relations) with honours from the Australian National University in Canberra.

Letter
Dear editor, When the Hotel @ Tharabar Gate in Bagan advertised a “special promotion offer” for the Southeast Asian Games I contacted them only to learn that they charge different rates for locals and foreigners. As a SEA Games visitor I am shocked by the policy of this and many other hotels in Myanmar. This is a crude violation of the SEA Games spirit! The SEA Games belong to all ASEAN members and the Myanmar government should act decisively against hotels like this one. Such discriminatory practices are commonplace in North Korean and were in communist Vietnam and China in the 1980s. I cannot believe that Myanmar wants to be in this league. This ripping off of foreigners (even against fellow ASEAN brethren!) is in stark contrast to the SEA Games slogan, which emphasises friendship. Myanmar is a wonderful country but establishments like the Hotel @ Tharabar Gate spoil the image and bring shame on the country. Just as there is no reason why a black man in South Africa should pay more for a hotel than a white man, there is also no reason why a Filipina should pay extra for a hotel in Myanmar. The late Nelson Mandela would be aghast at these kinds of tactics. Gina Reyes Gonzalez

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Western hypocrisy: Lest we forget
The abduction and probably murder of an activist by the Lao government is a reminder of the West’s own rights failings

Views
Remember the tall one about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction – and all the others, from IranContra to not spying on allies like Angela Merkel and Lee Hsien Loong. Remember also that Laos has signed the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, adopted by the United Nations in 2006. The United States refuses to sign this convention, saying it does “not meet our expectations” – in other words, it would stop them abducting people on the street at night. Unfazed, Human Rights Watch has urged Vientiane’s colleagues in ASEAN to publicly raise their concerns about Sombath’s enforced disappearance. But the fact is that Thongloun has got his priorities right. It is tempting though to suggest a silver lining to Sombath’s despicable abduction and probable murder by the minister’s security goons: It reminds us of a greater evil conducted by the cruel and hypocritical leaders of countries who castigate Laos over this incident. Shame on them. They should put their own house in order before they attack others.

News 9

ROGER MITTON
roger.mitton@gmail.com

DIPLOMATIC sources claim that at a recent dinner, the minister of foreign affairs of Laos, Thongloun Sisoulith, waxed indignant about America’s abduction of hundreds of individuals from around the world. A bit late to whinge about extraordinary rendition to Guantanamo, you may say. But Thongloun apparently adheres to his country’s national credo, perhaps best conveyed by its official name, the Lao PDR, affectionately translated as “in Laos, please don’t rush”. He has clearly taken his time, in this case around a decade, to condemn the inhumane kidnapping and subsequent torture of these hapless and largely innocent men. Most of them were snatched on the street at night time, driven off to a military airport with a bag over their head and flown out of the country. Imagine – going out on a dark

night for some tea and pita bread, and waking up shackled inside a small outdoor cage in an isolated corner of the Cuban jungle. Many could not stand the ensuing interrogations and committed suicide, while others were flown back months later and deposited on the same street corner. Having spent several days at Guantanamo and witnessed the horrific conditions and barbaric treatment of the abductees, I can understand the belated outrage allegedly expressed by Thongloun. But why did he raise it now? Well, there is an obvious reason: This week marks the one-year anniversary of the extraordinary rendition of the noted Laotian agronomist, Sombath Somphone, 61, by Thongloun’s state police. Like those poor Guantanamobound wretches, Sombath was also accosted on the street at night – in fact, thanks to a CCTV camera, it is known that he was stopped at a police checkpoint in Vientiane at 6:03pm. It was December 15 last year, and Sombath, something of a government irritant due to his community development activism, has not been seen since.

The seizure of Sombath Somphone is a piffling affair compared to what the United States and its allies get up to.

Of course, his seizure is a piffling affair compared to what the United States and its allies get up to. They seem to follow Stalin’s adage: One abduction is a tragedy, several hundred is a statistic. Western human rights groups have naturally taken up Sombath’s case and given it a global profile. Amnesty International’s Rupert Abbott said, “The international community should demand that Lao authorities return Sombath and respect the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.” Well, sure, and Australia should win the football World Cup next year. Thankfully, here in Southeast Asia, Sombath’s abduction is something of a big yawn – or, as shown by Thongloun’s outburst, a chance to highlight the staggering hypocrisy of countries complaining about it. Consider the way Western politicians have accused Lao officials of telling “ridiculous lies” in relation to the disappearance of Sombath. Yes, they have lied, and yes, two wrongs don’t make a right. But keep in mind that few people lie more often and more gratuitously than European and American governments.

10 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

First phase of housing project to finish early next year
PHYO WAI KYAW HLAING KYAW SOE newsroom@mmtimes.com THE first phase of the mixed-used Mingalar Mandalay project will open in early 2014, a senior official from one of the developers said last week. Launched in August 2012, the first phase of the 46-acre project – on Mandalay’s 73rd Street, between Thazin and Ngu Shwe Wah streets in Chan Mya Thar Si township – will see 125 units, an Ocean Super Centre, and parking for 1000 cars built. CAD Construction, New Star Light Construction and Mandalay City Development Committee are working together on the project. “We expect this project will not only provide housing for people but will also make the area a business district,” said U Zin Min Swe, managing director of CAD Construction. He said the companies were working with foreign experts to make sure the infrastructure is in place. “When other new towns were built in Mandalay, there were problems with infrastructure, such as the water supply, electricity and even the sewage system.” Sales in the four-storey building opened in April and 80 percent of units have been sold, with per-squarefoot prices ranging from K100,000 to K150,000. The second phase of the project, scheduled for completion in 2015, will see a four-star Novotel Hotel, a 114-unit condominium and a 69-unit housing project developed.

IN BRIEF
Shan accuse Kachin Independence Army of forced recruitment
A Shan civil society group in Myitkyina has accused the Kachin Independence Army of forcibly recruiting around 50 Shan people in Mansi township. The Shan Ethnic Affairs Society (Kachin State) said the recruitment had taken place since the start of December. Twenty-one young people were taken from Man Phwa village on December, said U Sai San Wai, the deputy chairman of the society. “This will only create hatred and misunderstanding between the Kachin and Shan. The government should take full responsibility and provide protection for our Shan villages. Because of the KIA our people are on the front line,” he said. The KIA was quoted in local media as saying it was unaware of forced recruitment in the area. Clashes between the Tatmadaw and the KIA erupted in Mansi township in late October. According to the Kachin Peace Network, more than 13,000 residents have been displaced. – Khin Su Wai

Residents walk through a field in Ohntonebin village in Yinmarbin township. Photo: Kyay Mohn Win

More confiscations near Letpadaung mine
KYAY MOHN WIN
kyaymonewin@gmail.com

Myanmar close to joining Chemical Weapons Convention

The Mingalar Mandalay Project on 73rd Street. Photo: Phyo Wai Kyaw

THE confiscation of more than 70 acres of farmland near the Letpadaung mine in Sagaing Region has prompted displaced farmers to send letters of complaint to the president. A farmer from Ohntonebin village in Yinmarbin township, Daw Hlaing Yin, says the farmlands – next to the new Pathein-Monywa highway – are being confiscated to develop a new residential area to the east and No 28 police station to the west. The site is about 3.2 kilometres (2 miles) from the controversial Letpadaung mine. More than 40 farmers whose lands were confiscated complained to the president on November 30 with assistance from the Lawyers’ Network. Authorities sought to seize the same lands in January 2012, Ohntonebin farmers said, but they were allowed to continue growing crops after submitting a petition letter to the chief minister of Sagaing Region. But on November 13 authorities

from the village administration department told farmers that the land is being developed and will be divided into five plots per acre, with two of the five to go to the farmer who owned the land, Daw Hlaing Yin said. “The heads of village tracts and villages came and told us we can get compensation if we will give up our lands willingly,” she said. “They told us about the compensation verbally but they don’t show any evidence of it.” She said several meetings have been held between authorities and farmers since the announcement and that most farmers oppose the development. “They know that farmers don’t want to give up their lands, so they went door to door and collected our signatures for agreement to give up the land. Some farmers were woken up late at night to sign the agreement. Some didn’t want to sign but were afraid and had to sign it.” Ma Aye Aye Win, another resident whose farmlands are being confiscated, also said farmers were told they would receive two-fifths of each acre confiscated. “It means they are giving back a little after taking a lot of lands … We also can’t grow crops if the new town is planned on those farmlands.”

“They are carrying out their process without telling us exactly what they are doing or by whose order,” said another resident of Ohntonebin. The head of Yinmarbin township’s administrative department confirmed that the region government is planning to develop a new town in the area. While he arranged the meetings between the Sagaing Region government and the farmers, he said he has no right to decide whether the new town proceeds.

‘They are ... [not] telling us exactly what they are doing or by whose order.’
Ma Aye Aye Win Ohntonebin village resident

Three of the six countries not covered by the Chemical Weapons Convention, including Myanmar, are close to joining the agreement, the head of the world’s chemical watchdog said last week. Speaking in Oslo on December 11, the day after the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) formally received the Nobel Peace Prize, director general Ahmet Uzumcu said Myanmar, Angola and South Sudan “are very close” to joining. “The three others have other concerns” which could be related to “regional reasons”, he added during a meeting with Norwegian lawmakers broadcast by the NRK public service network. The Chemical Weapons Convention, which outlaws production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons, entered into force in 1997 and has 190 member countries, including Syria, the latest nation to join in October this year. – AFP

Biman resumes direct flights between Yangon, Dhaka

The official said that U Soe Soe Zaw, secretary of the Sagaing Region government, and the heads of the district administration department came to meet the farmers on December 7. “They said that the new town project is for the development of the region,” the official said. “[When] the farmers [objected] … they said that they approved it because they thought it was vacant land.” – Translation by Thiri Min Htun

Bangladesh national carrier Biman Airlines last week resumed flights to Myanmar after a hiatus of almost a decade. The first flight between Yangon and Dhaka took off on December 9 using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The flights will operate every Monday and Thursday and cost about US$200 return. “We stopped [almost] 10 years ago because of market demand. But now the situation has changed and many people are travelling between Myanmar and Bangladesh,” said Kevin John Steele, Biman’s managing director and chief executive officer. “This is good time to restart.” – Ei Ei Thu

12 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

Govt allows ex-political prisoner to return to uni
EI THAE THAE NAING
eithaethaenaing@gmail.com

Wet Tae residents protest outside the office of a mining company in Thabeikkyin township on December 7. Photo: Supplied

Thabeikkyin residents end protest against mining firm after agreement
SI THU LWIN sithulwin.mmtimes@gmail.com RESIDENTS in Mandalay’s Thabeikkyin township have ended a protest after securing an agreement with the authorities and a local mining company over environmental concerns and the terms of the mining lease. The protest in Wet Thae village, outside the office of a mining company owned by a local MP, started on December 6 with about 100 people but quickly grew to more than 700. However, on December 8 the villagers ended the demonstration after reaching an agreement with the company and authorities. “We closed the demonstration camp at 4pm on December 8 because after negotiations the company promised to fulfil our demands within three months,” said Wet Thae resident U Tun Wai. The 11-point agreement covers environmental degradation and the return of confiscated land. A group comprising community leaders, township police and officials from the Ministry of Mines was formed to monitor the company’s activities. In 2011 the Ministry of Home Affairs demarcated 155.36 acres of land in the village and gave it to about five gold mining companies. Residents said the mining companies had polluted the village’s water supply and refused to leave the area after their leases expired in July. “The term of the company’s mining lease expired long ago. We protested over this in August with official permission but no legal action was taken against the company,” said Wet Thae resident U Maung Gyi, who took part in the recent negotiations with the company. “Are businessmen above the law? Are MPs also free from law enforcement? We get a three-month period to see whether they actually do what they have promised. If they break that promise, we will resume our demonstration.” Local administrative officials observed the negotiations but did not witness the signing of the agreement. “We just tried to mediate between residents and the company,” said Thabeikkyin township administrator U Ko Ko Hlaing. – Translation by Zar Zar Soe

FORMER political prisoner Ko Si Thu Maung has received the green light from the President’s Office to resume his tertiary studies. The activist, who was jailed after the September 2007 protests and freed in a January 2012 amnesty, had previously been barred from resuming his studies at Yangon Institute of Economics.

‘Many other former political prisoners are facing this problem too.’
Ma Phyo Phyo Aung Former political prisoner

Job Vacancy Announcement
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However, he applied to the committee overseeing the release of political prisoners for permission to re-enrol. The committee forwarded the request to the President’s Office, which approved it on December 2, Ko Si Thu Maung said. He said the university did not ask him to sign a pledge to refrain from political activities when he resumes classes. “I met with my university professors and they just told me to attend classes regularly and to sit the exams like the other students. There are no limits on joining any organisations,” the third-year student said.

The decision will bring hope to other former political prisoners who have also faced restrictions in their efforts to resume unfinished university degrees or enrol in new courses. “From what I understand distance education students were quite a while ago allowed back to university. But many students who attended full-time classes can’t got back yet,” Ko Si Thu Maung said. Another former political prisoner, Ma Phyo Phyo Aung, has also faced restrictions in her efforts to resume studying engineering at the Hmawbi University of Technology. Jailed after the 2007 protests, she was released in October 2011. When she tried to re-enrol she was told that she could not because she had stopped studying for more than two years. “I think that rule should not be enforced for students who were imprisoned for political activities. We should have a chance to return to our studies,” she said. “Many other former political prisoners are facing this problem too.” She said students should not have to apply to the President’s Office to get permission. “I don’t have any connection with the committee examining political prisoners. This should not be done case by case. There should not be any rule that you cannot go back if you leave for more than two years.” Committee member U Ye Aung from the Former Political Prisoners group said his organisation would do its best to get freed prisoners back into study. “We are helping and supporting all ex-political prisoners so they can have the chance to go back to their universities.” The Department of Higher Education declined to comment on its admissions policy for former political prisoners last week.

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News 13

‘Martyrs’ Street’ push begins ahead of 1938 protest anniversary
HLAING KYAW SOE hlaingkyawsoe85@gmail.com ACTIVISTS have called for Mandalay’s 26th Street to be renamed Arzani, or Martyrs’, Street in honour of the 17 people killed in the 1938 protests against colonial rule ahead of the 75th anniversary next year. Proponents say the gesture would help to remind the public of the importance of the protests, which previous governments have tried to downplay out of fear it would encourage fresh protests against military rule. “Most young people today don’t know about the 1300 Revolution – many don’t even know there is a Martyrs’ Mausoleum in Mandalay to the 17 people killed,” said U Thein Tan, who is one of organisers of events to mark the 75th anniversary of the killings. “Some parts of Myanmar’s history were almost eradicated under the former government.” The 1938 protests are also known as the 1300 Revolution, because they took place in the year 1300 in the Myanmar calendar. After erupting in the country’s oil fields, they soon spread to Yangon and Mandalay, where general strikes were called. The colonial authorities put down the protests, killing 33 people. U Thein Tan said the uprising in Mandalay started at Eaindawyar Pagoda, where a large crowd gathered on February 20. The crowd began marching down 26th Street, where a confrontation with the authorities took place and 17 people were killed. Ceremonies to mark the uprising in Mandalay will be held on February 20 and 21 at Eaindawyar Pagoda and the Martyrs’ Mausoleum in Chan Mya Thar Si township. U Thein Tan said the Martyrs’

Chery cars are displayed at a showroom in Yangon. Photo: Staff

Car prices to fall with ministry tax change
Ministry of Commerce to set new Cost, Insurance and Freight values this week
AYE NYEIN WIN ayenyeinwin.mcm@gmail.com SALES at car showrooms are expected to pick up after the Ministry of Commerce announces reduced import taxes on some types of vehicles this week. The Ministry of Commerce last week confirmed that it would announce new Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) values for imported cars this week following a meeting on December 19. The CIF value of a car is used to calculate the tax and has a significant impact on market prices. “The owners of car sale centres and dealers requested us to change the CIF price,” deputy director general U Min Min said on December 11. “The prices will not change significantly but I think it will affect all kinds of vehicles. We will give the exact prices within one week.” The news confirmed earlier rumours that CIF values would change at the start of 2014. These rumours had encouraged many customers to hold off buying a car in the hope that prices would fall after the new CIF values are released. In response to the drop in demand, freelance dealers and car showroom owners lobbied the Ministry of Commerce to release the new values as soon as possible. “I heard three months ago that the ministry would announce new prices but they didn’t confirm it until now. Because of the rumours about this plan, there was a significant impact on sales,” said U Soe Tun from Farmer Auto on Sayar San Road. Dealers and car showroom owners are encouraging the ministry to reduce CIF values for vehicles with an engine smaller than 1500 cubic centimetres, or 1.5 litres, and also to reduce CIF values for older models. ‘’There will not be any change [in CIF values] for the new cars – those made since 2008,” U Min Min said. “Also, in the overage car substitution program, we set the same CIF value for all Toyotas. But in the coming year, we will revise this. The present policy is only good for those who import newer models. So we are going to change the CIF price for all kinds of vehicles.”

U Thein Tan man speaks at a meeting to discuss plans for the 75th anniversary of the 1938 uprising. Photo: Than Naing Soe

Mausoleum is not owned by the government but was donated by four rich people shortly after the uprising to commemorate the lives lost. At Eaindawyar Pagoda, organisers plan to offer provisions to 1300 monks, conduct public lectures, hold a ceremony to open a commemorative plaque at the mausoleum, and lay wreaths, one of the coordinators, U Min Htet Nyein Chan, said at a press conference last week. They will then offer meals to 75 monks at the Martyrs’ Mausoleum. “After that we will hold a respect-paying ceremony to the martyrs by laying wreaths and bowing to them,” he said. A number of committees have been established to ensure the events are commemorated each year and have invited members of the public to send historical photos to support their efforts. Ceremonies are also planned for the oil field towns of Yenangyaung, Chauk, Pyay and Aunglan, as well as Yangon and Hinthada in Ayeyarwady Region. – Translation by Thiri Min Htun

New climate change body prepares 2014 projects
AYE SAPAY PHYU ayephyu2006@gmail.com A PROJECT will be launched next year to work toward a program of action to counter climate change in Myanmar, the government announced last week. The Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry said on December 11 that a national committee, formed at the end of October, would launch awareness-raising and capacitybuilding activities next year. Known as the Myanmar Climate Change Alliance (MCCA), it comprises 28 government officials and is chaired by Minister for Environmental Conservation and Forestry U Win Tun. U Hlaing Oo Maw, assistant director of the ministry’s Planning and Statistics Department, said after 2014 the alliance will then “proceed to develop [a] national climate change strategy and draw up an action plan”. The alliance held a workshop in Nay Pyi Taw on December 2 to gather input for the alliance’s activities. It was attended by representatives from government, civil society and the private sector. U Hlaing Oo Maw also said discussions are under way to sign a funding agreement with the European Union, under which the 27-member bloc will provide 4 million euros (US$5.5 million) to develop a climate change strategy to guide development planning.

14 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

Grandmothers set to light up villages with new knowledge
BRIDGET DI CERTO SU PHYO WIN IN a country where less than one third of the population has access to reliable electricity, Mon State grandmother Naw Aye Sein is taking matters into her own hands. She has become a solar engineer. The 57-year-old, a former farmer, from Ywar Thit village in Kyaikhto township, was one of six grandmothers chosen from across the country to be trained as solar engineers at a college in India. “I think Buddha chose me for this,” Naw Aye Sein said. “In my village, the electric light problem is a very huge problem. We need to have power to educate our children.” The team of grandmothers from remote villages was taught how to create a self-sustained solar-powered electricity network for their villages during a six-month course at the India-based Barefoot College. “We work with very poor people from very rural villages,” the founder and director of the college, Bunker Roy, told The Myanmar Times. “In the very rural areas there are only kids and old people, because the other generations have all left to the city to find work,” he said. “That is why we train grandmothers – because they are the ones in the village after all the men are gone.” According to Minister for Electric Power U Khin Maung Soe, only about 30 percent of Myanmar’s population has access to electricity. Apart from the day-to-day practical restrictions of not having access to electricity, it significantly impinges on the education of rural children – a factor that can lead to a generational cycle of poverty and underdevelopment. The solar engineer training is delivered without the use of textbooks or seminars. To accommodate multilingual and partially literate classes, instruction is entirely through sign language. The women begin by gaining a basic understanding of solar energy and equipment, such as batteries, panels and tools. After three months, the grandmothers are able to assemble a charge controller circuit, LED/ CFL lamp circuit and lantern circuit,

Yangon river cruises on the rise
EI EI THU 91.eieithu@gmail.com YANGON River is seeing a resurgence in leisure traffic thanks to the growing number of tourists and locals looking for an easy way to escape the confines of the city for a few hours. Three boats – RV King Whale, Royal Green and Dora – currently ply the waterways and compete for customers. “Yangon river cruises were popular before but they disappeared for a long time,” said U Nay Moe Aung, general manager of Green Holiday Travel and Tours, which in November launched the RV King Whale boat. “Now that more and more tourists are coming to Myanmar, cruises are coming back again.” U Nay Moe Aung said Green Holiday is considering offering more cruises depending on customer interest, though it’s too soon to know if the trips will catch on. But he was quick to add that the trips aren’t just for the tourists. “We’re attracting local people with fair prices and service … so they will be satisfied.” RV King Whale operates cruises three times daily, with morning, daytime and evening sunset sailings available for K25,000 for locals and US$35 for tourists. The service comes in the wake of the launch of Royal Green on November 9. U Htay Aung, the company’s managing director, says the service was started by a group of friends who are passionate about boats. “We’ve arranged for sunset tours each weekend on Yangon River for people living in Myanmar and tourists visiting Yangon,” U Htay Aung said. He said the company hasn’t had time to line up business from package tour groups, many of which arrange their itineraries up to a year ahead. But guests on its longer charter tours – two- or three-night cruises to Mandalay or Bagan along the Ayeyarwady River – can expect the same amenities as a “standard hotel”, he said. Royal Green offers a sunset tour of Yangon River every weekend for up to 50 passengers at a cost of K20,000 for locals and US$25 for tourists. Prices for one of the eight luxury rooms available on the company’s longer trips are negotiable depending on the number of clients.

Students from Myanmar study solar engineering at the Barefoot College in India. Photo: Supplied

and test each of the networks. Mr Roy said the Barefoot College solar engineer program was specifically aimed at rural grandmothers as these women were the ones who had a natural desire to pass on their knowledge to other generations upon return to their village. “We have reached the conclusion that men are untrainable. They all just want the certification and as

‘We have reached the conclusion that men are untrainable. They all just want the certification.’
Bunker Roy Barefoot College founder

soon as they have that certification within hours they try to leave the village looking for other work in the city,” Mr Roy said. For Naw Aye Sein and her five compatriots, attending a universitylevel solar engineering course for six months in a foreign country posed a number of difficulties. “We faced many difficulties when we arrived,” Naw Aye Sein said. “Myanmar was the only country there from Asia and all the rest were from Europe. “Although we faced so many difficulties, my purpose to go there is to be educated so I tolerated the difficulties. I strongly wish to see my community become developed before I die … so I will make my village have power first and then later help other villages nearby.” In addition to solar energy, the Myanmar grandmothers were trained to make mosquito nets, sanitary napkins, recycled products, candles and chalk, which could provide them with supplementary

opportunities for income. Like Naw Aye Sein, Chin State grandmother Daw Hla Ngwe left the college with bursting ambitions. “I’ve never dreamed I could become an engineer before I went to college,” the 42-year-old said. “After six months, I can make light and I feel like I am a useful person for my community. “In the past, we women just live in the village as usual with the children doing household chores. But now I can show that I am not an ordinary women,” she said. Mr Roy said it is this unique desire to leave a legacy that makes grandmothers ideal candidates for the training. “They become not only an engineer but a trainer. They go back to their village and will pass the skills on to others because they want the skills to stay in the village,” he said. “Often elderly women are left behind. But now they become heroes for their communities and the future engineers for Myanmar.”

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News 15

More political prisoners freed
THE government last week released 44 political detainees as part of efforts to meet an end-of-year target to free all political prisoners. While hundreds of dissidents have been freed since 2011, there are still thought to be dozens of activists behind bars. About 44 more political detainees are still in jail, according to U Bo Kyi of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma). He said a further 200 activists are awaiting trial, some of whom are locked up. “The government should create rule of law and space for demonstration,” said U Bo Kyi, who is a member of a government-appointed committee tasked with identifying political prisoners. “As long as there are arbitrary detentions, there will be political prisoners.” Before Myanmar’s reforms, rights groups accused the then-military government of wrongfully imprisoning about 2000 political opponents, dissidents and journalists. The latest amnesty came as foreign dignitaries gathered in Nay Pyi Taw for the opening ceremony of the Southeast Asian Games. President U Thein Sein, who has won international praise and the removal of most Western sanctions for reforms, announced during his first

Seismic network to expand
MYANMAR plans to expand its seismic monitoring network with assistance from international organisations – including the United States Geological Survey – to reduce future disaster risk, a government official said last week. U Kyaw Moe Oo, deputy director general of the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, said the USGS is interested in helping to establish more seismic stations. “Based on initial conversations with the USGS we plan to set up more seismic monitoring equipment in 2014,” he said. “But we still have to hold detailed discussions and make an official agreement. The specific time, places and types of equipments for the seismic stations can then be decided.” The US embassy in Yangon said early this year that USAID and the USGS are working with the department and the Myanmar Engineering Society to develop a long-term strategy to improve earthquake preparedness in Myanmar. The organisations are developing plans to upgrade the seismic monitoring network with improved equipment and support systems and also discussing with the department and MES ways to strengthen the country’s capacity to prepare for earthquakes. – Aye Sapay Phyu

Former political prisoners celebrate after their release from Insein Prison on December 11. Photo: Zarni Phyo

visit to London in July there would be “no prisoners of conscience in Myanmar” by the end of the year. He pardoned 69 inmates in November as Myanmar hosted several top-level international delega-

tions, including from the European Union. Soon afterward, a United Nations rights committee called on Myanmar to stick to its pledge to free political inmates as it passed a toned-down

version of its annual resolution on the former pariah state. Many of those released on December 11 were connected to the country’s ethnic conflicts, U Bo Kyi said. – AFP

ASEAN human rights leadership questioned
SHWE YEE SAW MYINT poepwintphyu2011@gmail.com AS Myanmar prepares to assume the chair of ASEAN for the year 2014 next month, observers have questioned the country’s human rights laws and practices. In becoming ASEAN chair, Myanmar also takes over leadership of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). The commission’s theme for the period of Myanmar’s chairmanship will be human rights and the environment, the country’s current representative on AICHR, U Kyaw Tin Swe, said at a ceremony to mark Human Rights Day on December 7. But ASEAN expert and coordinator of the ASEAN People’s Forum working group U Kyaw Lin Oo said AICHR activities should be expanded to include human rights protection. “AICHR can only educate and promote human rights, but they cannot prevent violations,” he said. Unlike the UN, which has a range of mechanisms for the protection of human rights, including an international criminal court, ASEAN is limited to issuing declarations, he said. Some AICHR representatives, he added, represent the governments rather than the people of their countries. In a statement issued on December 10, local NGOs accused Myanmar of falling below international standards on human rights and committing numerous violations. “We still have violations of human rights because at the grassroots levels the attitude of the government has not changed,” Equality Myanmar director U Aung Myo Min said. “They don’t really understand the concept of human rights yet.”

TRADE MARK CAUTION
NOTICE is hereby given that Raymond Weil SA. a company organized under the laws of Switzerland and having its principal office at avenue Eugène-Lance 36-38, Grand-Lancy, Lancy is the owner and sole proprietor of the following trademark:-

16 News
FEATURE

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

(Reg: No. IV/8890/2013) in respect of :- “Mechanical watches with manual and automatic winding, electric and electronic watches, movements, cases, dials, watch bracelets, watch parts, divers’ watches, chronometers, chronographs; table clocks, electric, electronic or manually wound alarm clocks, jewellery, jewellery watches.” Any fraudulent imitation or unauthorized use of the said trademark or other infringements whatsoever will be dealt with according to law. U Kyi Win Associates for Raymond Weil SA. P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416 Dated: 16th December, 2013

Dhammazedi Bell: Fact or fiction?
Controversy is ignited as researchers say Dhammazedi Bell narrative is based almost exclusively on foreign sources that may not be reliable CHERRY THEIN
t.cherry6@gmail.com

TRADE MARK CAUTION
NOTICE is hereby given that DAIICHI SANKYO HEALTHCARE CO., LTD. a company organized under the laws of Japan and having its principal office at 3-14-10 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-8234, Japan is the owner and sole proprietor of the following trademark:(Reg: No. IV/7988/2013) in respect of :- “Pharmaceutical preparations and substances; antifebrile; febrifuge; antipyretic analgesics; cough expectorants; pharmaceutical preparations for the treatment and prevention of inflammation; pharmaceutical preparations for the treatment and prevention of nasal inflammation; pharmaceutical preparations for the treatment and prevention of sinus infection; pharmaceutical preparations for the treatment and prevention of allergy; pharmaceutical preparations for the treatment and prevention of prevention and treatment of cold; pharmaceutical preparations for the treatment and prevention of prevention and treatment of influenza; pharmaceutical preparations for the treatment and prevention of respiratory disease; pharmaceutical preparations in the form of vaccines for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases; oiled paper for medical purposes; adhesive plasters; bandages for dressings; liquid dressings; gauze for dressings; absorbent wadding; wrapping wafers for medicine doses; sponges for medical purposes; capsules for pharmaceutical purposes; eyes patches; ear bandages; menstruation bandages; menstruation tampons; sanitary napkins; sanitary panties; lactose for preparing pharmaceutical and veterinary preparations; substances, namely, vitamin preparations and multi-vitamin preparations; absorbent cotton; adhesive plasters; breast-nursing pads; bracelets for medical purposes; incontinence diapers; fly catching paper; mothproofing paper; powered milk for babies; semen for artificial insemination; dietetic foods adapted for medical purposes; diabetic bread; edible plant fibers [non-nutritive]; dietetic substances adapted for medical use; food for babies; plasters; dental materials; materials for stopping teeth; dental wax; disinfectants; fungicides; herbicides; diagnostic reagents and contrast media for medical use; dietary supplements for humans.” - Class: 5 Any fraudulent imitation or unauthorized use of the said trademark or other infringements whatsoever will be dealt with according to law. U Kyi Win Associates for DAIICHI SANKYO HEALTHCARE CO., LTD. P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416 Dated: 16th December, 2013

LU LU

THE famed Dhammazedi Bell – supposedly the largest ever cast, and for centuries a flashpoint of conflict and controversy – is once again the subject of debate, after speakers at a recent seminar on the bell called for conclusive evidence that it exists at all. Held at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) in Yangon on November 9, the seminar drew more than 100 people, from historians to professors to politicians, and comes after a prominent businessman announced plans to launch yet another salvage attempt. Presenter U Myint Thu raised a number of controversial points as he outlined his scepticism about the conventionally accepted narrative of the bell’s forging and sinking. Reputed to weigh an estimated 270 tonnes, the Dhammazedi Bell is named after King Dhammazedi, a Mon ruler during whose reign the bell was cast in 1485. The bell was later given to the monks at Shwedagon Pagoda, where it was displayed. In 1608, however, Portuguese mercenary Filipe de Brito e Nicote – known as Nga Zinka – stole the bell. The Portuguese had established a colony across the river in Thanlyin and they planned to melt down the bell and use the bronze to make cannons. However, the barge carrying it sunk near the confluence of Yangon and Bago rivers. No one has been able to recover the bell since – but it’s not for lack of trying. Multiple expeditions, ancient and recent, have taken place, and a few divers have even died in the attempts to salvage it. Some say the multiple failures mean that nats, or guardian spirits, are protecting the bell from being recovered. U Myint Thu suggested another reason for the failure – that the bell may not exist at all. “Was the bell really cast?” he asked attendees. “Was it really 270 tonnes and placed at Shwedagon Pagoda? ... More study is needed.” Most facts about the bell’s provenance, dimensions and whereabouts come from reference books written by non-local sources, he said. One famous contemporary account is by the Venetian gem trader Gaspero Balbi, who described the bell in his diary. “I found in a hall a very large bell which we measured, and found to be seven paces and three hand breadths,” Balbi wrote. No one knows whether the measurement is accurate, U Myint Thu said. “The information is unclear and some facts are vaguely referenced to English authors.” U Myint Thu said the history of the bell needs to be studied more accurately to ensure future recovery projects aren’t undertaken in vain. “It will be more difficult to find the bell unless we have accurate facts and information.” The presentation proved controversial. At a press conference held afterward at the Myanmar Journalist Network offices in Kyauktada town-

An illustration of the Dhammazedi bell Photo: Supplied

ship, U Naing Ye Zaw, a Mon writer and researcher, expressed frustration that the presenters refused to consider the bell a Mon rather than a Myanmar artefact. “For us [Mon], the bell is an important symbol of our culture. The Dhammazedi [Bell] belongs to the Mon. If the government plans to salvage it, we should participate meaningfully in the process. “I have no personal feeling against the presenter, but when they are conducting research, why aren’t they even looking at Mon history and literature? We feel that Mon heritage and culture are being neglected.”

Number of tonnes the Dhammazedi Bell, cast in 1485, is believed to have weighed

270

U Naing Ye Zaw also said the Ministry of Culture should be more transparent about salvage plans, particularly in light of a recent announcement of another attempt to recover it. In October, U Khin Shwe, an Amyotha Hluttaw representative from the Union Solidarity and Development Party and owner of construction firm Zaykabar, announced plans to mount an expedition, telling local journal Snapshot he was “ready to spend any amount” to salvage the bell. U Khin Shwe was quoted as saying that the involvement of the leading

monk from Kyaik Htee Saung Pagoda in Mon State’s Bilin township would ensure his project’s success: “King Dhammazedi was born on a Tuesday and so is the abbot of Kyaik Htee Saung [Pagoda]. So I’m 100-percent confident that this project will be a success.” However, no specific plans have been released, and no serving government officials attended either the seminar or the press conference. U Hla Ngwe, a retired government official, said at the seminar that the bell – and efforts to salvage it – has always captured the imagination of the public. The only way to end the debate over the bell is to salvage it from the river, he suggested. “The debate is over if someone can show us all the bell,” he said. “And if people can find the wreck of the Titanic in a wide ocean, why not the Dhammazedi Bell in the river?” The first attempt in modern times took place in February 1987 with a salvage team led by historian U Kyaw, archaeologist U Ko Ko and diver U Kyaing. In 1995, an American deep-sea diver, James Blunt, made 115 dives in three months to find the bell. He said he had touched it on the riverbed and gave its location. U San Lin attempted to find it between 1997 and 1999, while Yangon City Development Committee joined the hunt in 1997 as well. In 2010, an Australian documentary director, Damien Lay, made further attempts. In 2012, the Ministry of Culture’s Historical Research Department and SD Mark International from Singapore held a workshop to build interest in a renewed attempt. The company promised to contribute US$10 million to the salvage efforts.

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News 17

Debate begins over ministry’s coal plans
AYE SAPAY PHYU
ayephyu2006@gmail.com

SEA Games gift for NPT motorcyclists
HSU HLAING HTUN hsuhlainghtun.mcm@gmail.com TO mark the opening of the Southeast Asian Games, the Ministry of Home Affairs last week donated 2600 helmets to motorcyclists in Nay Pyi Taw. The helmets were distributed on December 10 in front of the Nay Pyi Taw Council office as well as near Wunna Theikdi Stadium, which hosted the opening ceremony the following day. The Thailand-made helmets are valued at K9000 each. The program was supported by Cooperative Bank and individual donors and aims to reduce unnecessary road deaths, Police Major Kathy Tun said. “Motorcyclists are involved in the majority of accidents that we see and in those accidents many suffer head injuries and die because they aren’t wearing a helmet,” she said. “Protecting your head with a helmet can save your life.” – Translation by Zar Zar Soe
Traffic police distribute helmets to motorcyclists outside the Nay Pyi Taw Council office on December 10. Photo: Hsu Hlaing Htun

BURN coal? Or rely on solar power and other renewable resources? A debate is under way among energy experts as the country prepares for a huge expansion of its energy supply to meet growing needs. Deputy Minister for Electric Power U Aung Than Oo told the Pyithu Hluttaw last month that the ministry plans to develop more coal-fired power plants, including in Yangon Region, to feed the country’s growing hunger for electricity and support industrialisation to expand the economy. He promised that the plants would use clean coal technology, resulting in less harm to the environment. U Aung Than Oo said producing electricity from coal costs less than natural gas but more than hydropower. He said coal-fired power plants would make up for any future deficit in the supply of natural gas, and for the annual shortfalls in hydropower supply during the hot season. But some oppose the use of coal, which has been described as the dirtiest power source. “Coal should be the last choice because it is the dirtiest energy

3143
Expected electricity demand, in megawatts, in 2015-16

resource,” said U Aung Myint, general secretary of the Renewable Energy Association Myanmar, a nongovernmental organisation. “Myanmar doesn’t even have coal. All we have is lignite, which produces less power and more pollution. Electricity generation from tidal waves and biomass should be upgraded rather than sticking to plans based on coal.” He said the shortfalls in the national grid, which covers only 26 percent of the country, should be regarded as an opportunity to develop renewable energy. “Most government policies are focused on expensive large-scale energy generation and transmission systems. Most villagers, who are this country’s major human resource, live off-grid. Costly and time-consuming grid extensions are not a feasible way of providing for their immediate needs,” he said. Mini-grids could supply small rural communities by using environmentally available sources. Offgrid areas should be supplied by decentralised renewable energy, he said. “There is great potential to improve energy access for the majority of the population by using clean energy sources of solar, biomass and micro-hydro power. That would also help fill the development gap in a sustainable way,” he said. He said the main challenges to the development of renewable energy are managerial weakness, lack of financial and technical support, and insufficient public awareness. The state-run Myanmar Ahlin newspaper reported on October 28 that the country’s electricity consumption is growing every year, and the government expects demand to grow from 2370 megawatts in 2013-14 to 2844MW in 2014-15 and 3143MW in 2015-16.

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News 19

Four missing students found at SEA Games
AUNG KYAW MIN newsroom@mmtimes.com FOUR students from Yangon’s Mayangone township who were reported missing last week have been found – at the Southeast Asian Games in Nay Pyi Taw. The grade eight students, aged about 14, left home at about noon on December 9 to go to school. Instead, however, they travelled to Nay Pyi Taw, using their pocket money to buy bus tickets. Their parents realised they were missing an hour later, when their class teacher called to ask why they were absent from class, said U Win Naing, the neighbour of one of the students. After arriving in Nay Pyi Taw, however, they soon ran out of money. On December 10, one of them called their elder brother to ask how to get back to Yangon. After they made contact, the father of one of the students immediately drove to Nay Pyi Taw and found them at the railway station at about 5:30pm. They were arrived back in Yangon

‘In the end they didn’t even get to see any events because they had no money.’
Daw Hla Hla Myint Mother

Rescue workers put a body into an ambulance on December 10, after seven people died in a fire at Gandamar market. Photo: AFP

Gandamar fire claims seven lives
TOE WAI AUNG newsroom@mmtimes.com A FIRE in a spa on the top floor of Gandamar Wholesale last week claimed the lives of seven migrant workers, the fire department said. The three men and four women, all migrant workers from outside Yangon, died from smoke inhalation in the early hours of December 10. The fire started when an iron overheated in Venus Garden Spa. It spread to a nearby mattress and the people in the room suffocated, the fire department said. The fire brigade was called at about 12:25am to the centre, on the corner of Waizayanda and Gandamar roads in Mayangone township. Twenty-four fire engines were required to extinguish the blaze. Mayangone township police have charged the spa’s manager, U Tun Tun Naing, with negligence. Gandamar Wholesale opened in September 2011 and is owned by army-run Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited. The threestorey market cost K6 billion (about US$6.12 million) to build and covers about 50,000 square feet. – Translation by Thiri Min Htun

early on December 11, said Daw Hla Hla Myint, the mother of one of the students. “We went to Nay Pyi Taw as soon as we got phone contact from them and took them home at once,” she said. “Now they are meeting their headmaster. We haven’t really had a chance to speak to them but we know they went to the SEA Games. “In the end they didn’t even get to see any events because they had no money and when we found out they were there we brought them back immediately.” – Translation by Thiri Min Htun

IN BRIEF
Charter flights begin from old Mandalay airport
Myanma Airways will operate charter flights from Mandalay’s old airport just south of the city’s downtown area. The charter flights, which are the only services from Chan Mya Thar Si Airport, were launched at a ceremony on December 8. The flights will use an Americanmade Cessna 208B Grand Caravan Ex aircraft capable of carrying 12 passengers. It is one of two Cessnas operated by Myanma Airways, with the other based at Nay Pyi Taw. The flights will operate based on customer demand and could be used for emergency transport, sightseeing tours of Bagan and Mandalay, and business trips, the state-run airline said. It is also trying to get permission to land charter flights from Mandalay at airfields in the country’s border areas that are not serviced by regular domestic carriers. Flights will cost K16,000 per person and K800,000 an hour. Formerly Mandalay’s main airport, Chan Mya Thar Si Airport has seen little use since Mandalay International Airport opened at Tada Oo, about an hour south of Mandalay, in the mid1990s. – Than Naing Soe, translation by Zar Zar Soe

Deforestation workshop this week
Forestry experts are to gather in Nay Pyi Taw this week to discuss how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation. The forum will be hosted by the forestry department on December 17-18. The Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry and the International Tropical Timber Organisation will take part, along with representatives from UN agencies and more than 100 technicians from international groups such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Asia Air Survey and the Wildlife Conservation Society. They will discuss papers on human resources development techniques. A three-year project, running from 2012-15, to develop human resources to reduce emissions due to deforestation in Bago Region’s Taungoo district is already under way. – Pyae Thet Phyo, translation by Thiri Min Htun

20 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

Census prep moves forward in Mandalay
KHIN SU WAI
jasminekhin@gmail.com

DATA from Myanmar’s first nationwide census in 30 years is already starting to produce some interesting conclusions about how the country’s population has shifted, and how migration, the nation’s ethnic groups, and even the lifespan of the population have changed over time. A trial census was undertaken in March and April, and since August the Mandalay immigration department have been conducting interviews and mapping villages and households, said department head U Thaung Zaw. “We have also identified 150 spe-

Percentage of Myanmar people living abroad, according to the pilot census

14%

cial areas in Mandalay Region, such as military camps and homes for the aged, where people are away from their homes. We will give special training to [enumerators] from these places,” he said.

“The data [from the census] is crucial to the development and monvitoring of national plans,” he said. The census is also likely to have implications for Myanmar’s next general election in 2015. Ethnic groups qualify for a representative in a state or region government if their population is above 0.1 percent of the state or region’s population. As a result, some ethnic leaders are actively campaigning to ensure their group’s population is as high as possible by encouraging members to ensure their ethnicity is listed correctly. “We have heard the ethnic groups campaigning over this issue of identity. The Chin group has even raised it in the hluttaw,” U Thaung Zaw said. “For people to change their race [on official documents], they might need sufficient evidence,” he said, adding that they would need to get approval from township and regional authorties. One such group lobbying to have their ethnicity recognised not only in the census but also on identity documents, such as national registration cards, is the Red Shan, who are also known as the Tai-Leng and live mostly in Kachin State and Sagaing Region. Daw Khin Pyone Yee, a minister for Shan affairs in the Kachin State government who identifies as Red Shan, said she hopes the group will be able to gain representation and be given its own ministers at the state or regional level. However, to do so will require significant organisation and preparation, she said. “We need to try to become united behind a single name and take our campaign to the 800 Shan villages in Kachin State,” Daw Khin Pyone Yee said.

Enumerators conduct a pilot census in Mandalay in April. Photo: Khin Su Wai

A trial census, carried out from March 30 to April 10 in 20 townships this past year, reflected some of the dramatic shifts that are likely to be uncovered when the census – Myanmar’s first in 30 years – is conducted countrywide in March and April 2014. That trial polled 20 townships throughout the country. Results showed, for example, that the ratio of elderly people had increased 10pc from the census conducted in 1983. The male-female ratio had also shifted in favour of women. Researchers say

that shift was partly the result of migration, which had increased by more than 20pc. The trial census also found a significant proportion of Myanmar people – about 14pc – are living abroad. The survey revealed that the majority of these expatriates are in Thailand (74pc), Malaysia (9pc) and the United States (5pc). Among the residents surveyed in Chan Aye Thar San township in Mandalay Region for the pilot census was U Hti Aung, a 77-year-old retired govern-

ment official. Although he has lived in the area since 1970, he said it was the first time he had ever participated in a census. “There are 13 members in my family but most of them are away at a pagoda festival,” he said. “When they visited to ask about the census, there were only five people here. They asked many questions, including whether I own a bicycle or other form of transport. There were so many questions – it took about 40 minutes, I think.”

22 THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

Business
Cigarette prices on the rise
Task forces working to snuff out illegal imports have importers running scared, leading to a shortage of brand-name cigarettes
AYE THIDaR KYaW ayethidarkyaw@gmail.com PHILIp HEIJmaNS pheijmans13@gmail.com FIRST it was the booze. Now the government task force targeting illegal alcohol imports – including the confiscation of tens of thousands of bottles of alcohol – has begun cracking down on illegal cigarette imports, officials said. As a result, local vendors in Yangon are experiencing a shortage of supply that has forced up the price of wellknown brands by more than half. The price of Marlboro, Dunhill, Kent and Esse, many of which are smuggled into the country, has risen in recent weeks from about 12.5 to 66.6 percent, depending on vendor and brand.

Government to charge wine
AYE THIDaR KYaW
ayethidarkyaw@gmail.com

100%
Current excise tax on cigarettes sold legally in Myanmar A task force member who requested anonymity said they had recently confiscated and destroyed at least one truckload of cigarettes near the Chinese border and were monitoring other illicit imports. MORE ON BUSINESS 26

EXECUTIVES of wine importer Premium Distribution will stand trial and face a possible prison term after a government investigation revealed the company was unable to produce an import licence for about 80,000 bottles of wine stored at its warehouse in Yangon, officials said. On December 4, a task force from the Ministry of Commerce raided the Premium compound in Thaketa township, netting about 90,000 bottles of wine as well as tonnes of imported luxury foodstuffs as a part of continuing efforts to crack down on illicit alcohol imports. Officials claim to have given the country’s largest wine distributor ample time to produce the appropriate documents, but as of December 12, the paperwork was not forthcoming, they said. “The company directors cannot substitute managers or others to face these charges,” deputy director U Soe Aung of the mobile team told The Myanmar Times. Premium did produce licences and ID for about 10,000 bottles of wine and 37 tons of food, he said. “We waited a week, and we accepted the licences they produced, but now we will follow procedure,” he said. Nobody from Premium Distribution could be contacted in time for this report. The commerce ministry’s hard line, following its raid last month on food and wine importer Quarto Products, has unnerved the hotel and restaurant industry and raised questions about the clarity of Myanmar’s laws on importing alcohol and tobacco. Quarto’s managing director, Daw Htay Htay Mar, is now on trial for allegedly importing the items without a licence and illicitly using licences from hotels to import alcohol on Quarto’s be-

Officials from a government task force process bottles of wine as evidence at Premium Distribution’s warehouse in Yangon on Dec

half. The trial opened on November 22. As a result of confusion in the service industry, several supermarkets and shops have withdrawn imported alcohol stocks from their shelves, making it largely inaccessible to consumers except for at certain hotels. “There has been no transparency in the retail sector since we started in 1996. It is difficult for us to check how the products from our suppliers have been imported ... This situation has

cost the country a lot of revenue,” the country’s largest supermarket chain, City Mart, said in a statement earlier this month. Alcohol raids began in September after the government opened investigations against distributors suspected of illegally importing goods. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism announced that hotels must import alcohol products to be sold to customers directly, and

80,000
Bottles of wine for which Premium Distribution has been unable to produce an import licence

BUSINESS EdiTOR: Philip Heijmans | pheijmans13@gmail.com

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Dawei halted, investors lobby to abort project
BUSINESS 25

Quality control gap leaves interior renovations shaky
pROpERtY 28

Exchange Rates (December 13 close)
Currency
Euro Malaysia Ringitt Singapore Dollar Thai Baht US Dollar

Buying
K1340 K302 K782 K30.50 K982

Selling
K1350 K307 K787 K31 K984

e distributor
frozen goods from Quarto Products immediately as these are not durable,” he said, adding that the customs department is considering a change in policy to prevent buyers of auctioned goods from reselling them commercially. He said that despite the confiscation, Premium could continue to import alcohol, providing they had an import licence. The ministry task force comprises of about 280 officers charged with inspecting imports throughout the country, though U Win Lwin claims it was not enough to begin investigating retail shops. For the time being, he said the government is still working from tips given by good Samaritans. “If we get any information [about the sale of illicit alcohol], we follow up immediately,” he said, adding that his ministry was working with the Ministry of Home Affairs on the matter. The Myanmar Retailers’ Association (MRA) has called on the Ministry of Commerce to clarify import policy. Daw Win Win Tint, MRA chair, said tobacco, beer, wine and spirits had entered the country for years despite the absence of a specific trade policy, and cracking down on distributors was not a long-term solution for illegal trade. Retailers and restaurants are, meanwhile, worried about mobile team raids and confiscations. They also warn that the current climate could induce forgers to fake popular international brands of alcohol and tobacco to meet the high demand. Commerce department director U Win Myint said the mobile team had found equipment for bottle-washing in some warehouses. “We assumed the company might be filling old bottles with their own products, at the consumer’s expense. We did not take any action, but just confiscated the products. There will be a lot of fake products on the market,” he said. Parliament is considering introducing trade liberalisation measures early next year, and the commerce ministry will review trade policy in March to bring it into line with international standards during the next fiscal year, he said.

DICA confident of hluttaw approval on the combined investment law
tHOMaS kEaN
tdkean@gmail.com

cember 12. Photo: Zarni Phyo

the Ministry of Commerce issued a warning to airport duty-free shops in November not to resell alcohol stocks to unlicensed businesses, he said. U Win Lwin, another member of the government task force responsible for the recent raids, said that distributors would have the opportunity to buy back confiscated goods from the government before they go on the auctioning block. “We organised auctions of some

A PLANNED amalgamation of two of Myanmar’s investment laws is set to proceed smoothly ahead of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, making it easier for both foreign and local investors to conduct business under a more modern and comprehensible framework, a senior government said. The current rules, which are set under the 2012 Foreign Investment Law and the Myanmar Citizens Investment Law passed earlier this year, were written and passed in only a matter of months in order to establish a legal framework that could support growing business prospects both from foreign local investors. As a result, the rushed laws have created an imbalance between what businesses can and cannot do, detracting investors. U Aung Naing Oo, the director general of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, said that government has learned its lesson from the turbulent passage of the Foreign Investment Law in 2012, which experienced lengthy delays in Parliament, and that the amalgamation plan would likely be formally approved soon by the Myanmar Investment Commission. “I will report [the plan] at the upcoming [MIC] meeting and then we will start the process,” U Aung Naing Oo said, adding that consultations will then be held with parliament and the private sector, and DICA will receive international technical assistance on the project. “I’m fully confident [parliament will approve it] because MPs already asked our directorate to give them advice on how to create a better environment for doing business.” A number of sources told The Myanmar Times that informal talks between the government and key MPs have already begun to smooth the passage of

a bill through parliament. The Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development will hope to avoid a repeat of the delays to the Foreign Investment Law, which parliament took more than six months to approve. After shuttling a number of times between the two houses of parliament and the President’s Office, and undergoing numerous changes, some of which were later reversed, the law was finally enacted in November 2012. U Aung Naing Oo said the merger of the two laws would level the playing field between foreign and local firms. “If we have only a single law we can make sure there is fair and equitable treatment for all and create a more attractive environment for foreign investment,” he said. “We received some suggestions [to amalgamate the laws] from the OECD [The Organisation for Economic Co-

laws is one of a number of steps the government is undertaking to encourage more investment, such as greater protections for both foreign and domestic investors, and measures to streamline and simplify the investment process. But a “big factor” in the amalgamation is the regional integration requirements when Myanmar joins the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015. “[After joining] you can’t have special treatment for domestic businesses and treat foreigners adversely,” Mr Schneider said. “[The economic community] is not only trade relations, it’s also investment. That’s one of the reasons to do this now – it’s part of the integration process. But it’s also being done because it’s what you need to do for the reform process to keep moving forward. “An indicator of the success [of efforts to improve the investment climate] is whether investors continue to

‘If we have only a single law we can make sure there is fair and equitable treatment for all’
U Aung Naing Oo Director General of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration

operation and Development] and other international institutions,” he said. “Myanmar is the only country in ASEAN that has two laws for investment. All the rest of [the countries of] ASEAN have one law.” The current set-up of having two laws favours foreign companies in some contexts and local companies in others, he said. “In terms of arbitration, the Foreign Investment Law allows investors to settle disputes outside Myanmar but there’s no such provision in the Myanmar Citizens Investment Law.” The directorate is receiving technical assistance from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector lending arm of the World Bank. IFC resident representative Charles Schneider said the combining of the

invest when they are here. It’s like marketing: When you sell the first time, do they come back? It’s a similar concept with investment. Investors won’t put everything down at the beginning, and investor protections give them more reason to grow their investment.” Alessio Polastri, a managing partner at Polastri Wint & Partners, said bringing the two laws together would be “a positive step” that would likely lead to “better interaction between foreigners and locals”. However, he stressed it was important to wait and see how the single piece of legislation is implemented. “Investing is already a difficult task. If the law does not help but, on the contrary, complicates the situation, investors will think twice before proceeding.”

Cost of living for expats on the rise in Yangon
BRIDGEt DI CERtO bridget.dicerto@gmail.com YANGON has climbed to become the sixth most expensive city in the ASEAN bloc for expatriates to live and work, a new survey by global consulting firm, ECA International found last week. Singapore was the most expensive Southeast Asian city and the 30th most expensive city worldwide for international assignees to live. The ranking was judged on the cost of living and looked at indicators like the average price of weekly groceries, basic goods like drink and general services like motoring and hospitality that reflect an “international lifestyle”, ECA said in a press release. Behind Singapore were Bangkok, Jakarta, Vientiane and Kuala Lumpur. Yangon pipped expat-populous Chiang Mai to take the spot of the sixth most expensive. Tusker Manpower Recruitment manager Michael Myat said the salaries in Yangon – even for expats – had remained low and stagnant in the face of rising living costs in Yangon. “The living costs are quite low regionally, but so are the salaries,” Mr Myat said, adding it can be difficult to attract expatriate workers to employment in Myanmar. “The cost of living is higher day by day.” In Tokyo, the Asian city with the highest cost of living according to the index, a can of soft drink is US$1.60, compared with about $0.50 in Myanmar. A beer at a bar is about $2 and $1 respectively in Myanmar.

Average cost of a soft drink in Yangon

$0.50

24 Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

Foreign banks to be allowed in early 2014
AUNG SHIN koshumgtha@gmail.com AS many as 10 foreign banks may be allowed to open branches as wholly-foreign owned entities in Myanmar starting next year, an official at the Central Bank said. This move is likely to turn the spotlight on the ability of local banks to handle international competition as the country gears up for entry into the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015. The decision to loosen restrictions on foreign banks apparently follows a meeting between Central Bank of Myanmar officials and Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, earlier this month. “We discussed this with the managing director of the IMF. She suggested not allowing a large number of foreign banks [to operate in Myanmar] at the same time, not delaying the process but allowing a small number in the early phase. That might be five or six, not more than 10,” said one Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) official, who requested anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the press. However, the entry of foreign banks into the country is likely to be delayed because of deficiencies in the infrastructure of CBM and a lack of regulatory capacity, say observers. “As far as I know, the Financial Institutions Law is still being drafted, and the rules and regulations of the Central Bank Law have not yet been finalised. Without these laws, the process cannot be completed, including decisions on what the foreign banks will be able to do,” said U Than Lwin, vice president of Kanbawza Bank. A CBM official who requested anonymity told The Myanmar Times on December 11, “We are awaiting instructions from the Office of the President on the type of permission for financial services from foreign banks. It is likely to happen early 2014.” The selected banks are likely to be chosen from among the 34 international banks with a presence in Myanmar, said the official. Concern has been expressed over the implications for domestic financial institutions. “The local banks won’t accept any disadvantage from allowing foreign banks because we can’t compete with them. We don’t have the capacity. But we are willing to cooperate with them and learn from them,” said U Than Lwin. A regional bank official said the entry of foreign banks would be beneficial for the growth of local businesses.

‘Without these laws, the process cannot be completed, including decisions on what the foreign banks will be able to do’
U Than Lwin Vice president of Kanbawza Bank

Christine Lagarde speaks during the Myanmar Women’s Forum on December 7. Photo: Philip Heijmans

Economic policy should come at a pace, says IMF
BRIDGEt DI CERtO
bridget.dicerto@gmail.com

Number of international banks with representative offices in Myanmar

34

“I think it is good news, depending on the circumstances. But the CBM has to build strong infrastructure by developing its staff capacity, and to establish mechanisms to supervise and regulate foreign banks before this starts,” said Kim Bun Socheat, managing director of microfinance institution Acleda MFI Myanmar Co Ltd., which is based in Cambodia as the country’s largest commercial bank. “We have to have enough time to prepare for foreign banks” said the CBM official. “They should apply with concrete proposals. The selection process is likely to take time. But the joint venture process will take the longest time. We are not sure yet what kind of type of permission will be given to foreign banks.” The United States this year issued a general licence to Myanmar Economic Bank, Myanma Investment and Commercial Bank, Asia Green Development and Ayeyarwady Bank.

THE principle of “no haste, no waste” must be applied in opening up Myanmar’s economy, International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde said on December 7. “This means development done at the right pace without overwhelming the system,” the French national said, adding lasting development can only happen in an environment where there are proper controls and gatekeepers. “‘No haste’ means that there are lots of very interested candidates for the opening of new business … yet, whether it is monetary policies, central bank governance or organising the SEA Games, there is still a lot of groundwork to do,” Ms Lagarde said in closing remarks at the Myanmar Women’s Forum. Ms Lagarde credited the adoption of a managed floating exchange rate, the removal exchange

restrictions, the establishment of an autonomous central bank and increasing spending on health and education with opening Myanmar’s economy up to the 21st Century. But, she added, “We really have to start from scratch. There is still a lot that needs to be done.” The IMF is providing technical assistance for banking supervisions and tax reforms as part of a staff-monitored program initiative. Banking supervision was a “clear imperative” ahead of foreign banks entering the market with limited financial service offerings in 2014, she said. “We believe that once financial stability is established and banking supervision reinforced under stable and safe conditions … the next step is for tax reform.” Tax reform would be like turning a Swiss cheese into a French camembert, Ms Lagarde said, with the objective to eliminate loopholes in the system and eventually condense it to a smaller by more efficient framework. Ms Lagarde emphasized four key factors for Myanmar to incorporate in its reform agenda, one of which is to bring in women as active players in business.

“There needs to be policies to support women participating in the economy. [People must] overcome the cultural barrier that is in people’s minds [between men and women],” she said. “The second thing that is key in Myanmar is education and access to education. In developing countries the best way to advance development is to educate women.” Ms Lagarde cited access to credit for women as the third point of a suggested policy agenda and mentioned quotas as the fourth. The drop-out rate for working mothers occurs because the step to continue employment after a family can often be too high, Ms Lagarde said. “I decided from experience that there should be room for quotas for a period of time … once a significant result is achieved, sequenced into affirmative action and then sequenced into anti-discrimination,” she said. “Women of Myanmar are brave, courageous and have put Myanmar on the map of the world. They have a great inspirational leader and she will take them further.”

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Business 25

Specialty bean prices soar to highs
KYaE MONE WIN kyaymonewin@gmail.com IT has been a surprising year for Mandalay’s beans and pulses market as some usually popular varieties are being sold at less profit than anticipated, while others have recorded unexpected price rises thanks to climate change-related declines in yield. The most noticeable surge in demand this year is for myae-htaukpae (kidney beans), the price of which rose as much as 52.77 percent this year up to K110,000 per bag [each bag weighs 48 kilograms or 108 pounds], said a member of the information team at Mandalay Wholesale Centre. “It opened at K72,000 a bag in mid-January and rose to ... a record K110,000 at the end of the season,” said one Mandalay trader, who asked not to be named. “We still receive orders, but the supply is short.” “Its regular buyers are from India and Pakistan, but this year we have also received demand from China,” he said, adding that the price for kidney beans peaked out at K98,000 about 10 years ago before remaining steady at about K70,000 in later years. “This year’s peak was unexpected,” he said. Green gram or green mung bean prices, meanwhile, have grown 27.77pc to K92,000 after prices dropped as low as K70,000 per bag in January. “Green gram was in demand the whole season, though it fluctuated in price,” said U Khin Htay, owner of Bawga Wholesale, adding the bean is harvested in early May. “Though we can’t say the price will reach K100,000 [per bag], it is still climbing. We haven’t seen such prices for green mung bean before,” he said. “The previous high was K94,000 in May last year.” Buyers from Pakistan and India have also come forward this year, but it is hard to predict prices for next year, he said.

Lobby asks firms to leave Dawei
NOE NOE AUNG noenoeag@gmail.com BRIDGEt DI CERtO bridget.dicerto@gmail.com WITH the Japan-ASEAN summit approaching, a local rights group is calling on Japanese investors to back away from the controversial Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ) until international best practices for compensation and environmental protection are established. The government last month suspended all work on the multi-billion dollar SEZ until it can undergo a due diligence assessment in cooperation with Thailand ahead of seeking an investor to take over the whole project from the Italian-Thai Development Company (ITD) after the first phase of construction is completed. According to government officials, Myanmar and Thailand will invite Japan to partner with the Dawei SEZ project, which would be a regional hub for energy and transport. However, rights group Dawei Development Association (DDA) has warned against Japanese investors becoming embroiled in the land and human rights abuse allegations erupting from the beleaguered project. “Local communities have not been provided with adequate information about the project,” DDA coordinator U Thant Zin said. “They have been forced off their land without fair or equal compensation, and have not had access to adequate housing or livelihoods after being displaced.” The group attests that as many as half a million people have been adversely affected by land-grabbing for the Dawei SEZ project. On December 2, the government announced it was partnering with Thailand to conduct a due diligence assessment of the environmental and social impacts of the project. Central Bank deputy governor U Set Aung said ITD had suspended construction until the assessment could be undertaken. “We want to invite other international investors and developers for the project and we have to make a proper due diligence assessment of ITD’s work. To make this assessment, ITD must stop all work,” he said. “No company, no consultancy, no international investors can make an assessment if the ITD work is ongoing.” In November, Myanmar and Thailand took control of the SEZ project from ITD over its failure to attract investors and decide on an energy source for the project. ITD is nearing exhaustion of its original US$8.6 million investment in phase one of the project that includes the deepsea port, the first phase of

Construction labourers works on an elevated platform at a deepsea port project in Mayingyi, part of the Dawei Special Economic Zone development last year. Photo: AFP

the Thai highway express, industrial zones, workshops, residences, a hospital, a school and markets by the end of 2015. However, the company has said it will source additional funds to complete the phase one project, on the proviso that all expenditure for phase one is reimbursed to ITD by the international investor that will take over the project from it. “It is not like ITD is leaving the project,” said U Set Aung, who is also

chairman of the Project and Related Works Procedural Drafting Sub-committee. The government will invite international tenders for the project on December 20 and will choose companies by March 2014, U Set Aung said. “Actually, ITD can also participate in putting in a proposal [if they wish]. So ITD can win … or maybe we can come up with a separate collaboration of ITD and other Japanese or nonJapanese companies.” 

Increase in green gram, or green mung, bean prices since January

27%

However, other varieties of beans have suffered due to bad weather and production of more popular types, such as myae-htaukpae, declined by 40pc because of earthquake activity. The drop in production comes amid rising export demand that drove the price upwards, traders have said. With specialty bean prices up, prices for other types have either remained constant or fallen, traders said. The price of pigeon peas, which are used in several local and Indian dishes, has fallen 22.72pc to K51,000 per bag after reaching a high of K66,000 per bag in March, said U Maung Htay. Chickpea prices, which peaked above K70,000 a bag in 2012, have dropped this year to between K46,000 and K49,000, said a source at the Mandalay Wholesale Centre. – Translation by Zar Zar Soe

VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT
INGO is looking for Admin & Finance Officer (national post) 1 year contract, excellent English,University degree, send your CV and cover letter to: abdalrahman.lahmouni@qrcs.org.qa

26 Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

Farmers lose out of buffer stocks
SU PHYO WIN
suphyo1990@gmail.com

Job Vacancy
The Department for International Development (DFID) is currently looking to recruit a highly motivated and energetic individual to join our team as a Finance Manager. DFID is based at the British Embassy, Yangon. For more information and details on how to apply, please visit the link below: https://www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations/ british-embassyrangoon/ about/recruitment Deadline for submission of applications will be on 5 January 2014. Vacancy Announcement - Administrative Officer for DFAT and DFID Joint Liaison Office in Nay Pyi Taw
The Australian Government Aid Program, DFAT and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) are looking for highly motivated applicants for the position below: • Administrative Officer – Nay Pyi Taw (OB-4 Level) • Salary range: US$ 850 to US$ 987 per month Selection Criteria and Job Descriptions can be obtained from the Australian Embassy, 88 Strand Road, or from http://www. myanmar.embassy.gov.au Application with the documents mentioned in selection criteria should be submitted to The Recruiter – The Australian Aid Program, the Australian Embassy, Yangon or by e-mail to: dfataap.recruitment.yangon@dfat.gov.au. Please clearly identify the position which you apply for in the e-mail subject line or on the envelope. The DFAT and DFID do not discriminate in regard to race, ethnicity, gender and age. Closing date: 4:00pm Friday, 03 January 2014.

BUFFER stock, designed to tide rice farmers over tough times, has become controversial, with some farmers accusing traders of making unfair profits. The scheme was launched in 2011 to stabilise the price of rice. The government would buy rice from farmers at harvest time with the aim of selling the staple food for a profit if prices subsequently rose. Now the president of the Independent Farmers Association, U Thein Aung, said traders and rice companies were profiting from the stock at the expense of hard-working farmers who see little more than substandard rates for their yield. “The basic idea is good, but it should be managed by farmers. At present, it’s all in the hands of traders, while farmers bear the

risks. The management committee should fix a reasonable price in the interests of all concerned,” he said. Rice is bought for the stock at harvest time, when the farmers are in debt and have little or no choice as to the price. But later in the season, once prices are high, sales are handled by the traders, who take the profit, said U Thein Aung. “They buy at the lowest rice price, at harvest time, when farmers need money to repay their loans. But the farmers don’t share in the profits,” he said. U Tin Lin Aung, secretary general of the Farmer Union, said that farmers are currently only able to make about US$100 cultivating one acre of rice paddy, a process that takes five months. “[It] is impossible for farmers to make a living. We think the buffer stock does little more than level farmers’ balance if the rice price decreases too much,” he said, adding that government programs in other regional countries pay more than twice what they do in Myanmar for similar programs. Myanmar Rice Federation officials

disputed these remarks, saying the buffer scheme worked in the country’s interests by stabilising rice prices. “It meets the country’s needs. Other ASEAN countries also store buffer stock, but we store much less than they do, and the results are less effective. Thailand stores 12 million tonnes for buffer stock, but we can only store 50,000 tonnes,” said U Soe Tun, joint secretary general of the Myanmar Rice Federation. Last year, the stock of about 50,000 tonnes was sold starting from September, during a price surge, said U Nay Lin Zin, a CEC member of the Myanmar Rice Federation. “Last August and September the rice price rose to the highest level in 50 years. We sold the buffer stock and the price fell. When flooding occurred in Myawaddy, the government used the buffer stock to help the devastated area,” he said. MRF statistics shows that more than 2045 tonnes of buffer stock were sold last September at about US$15 a sack (48 kilograms or 108 pounds). Tenders are now being prepared for next year’s buffer stock.

cONtINUED fROm BUSINESS 22 “We don’t plan to raid cigarette vendors or shops in downtown Yangon, but we are closely watching how shipments get here,” he said. Imports of most brands have been banned in Myanmar since 1995, as “nonessential items”. The crackdown, entailing confiscations and prosecutions, is making traders think twice about smuggling, said U Win Myint, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce. “Suppliers daren’t carry the products anymore,” he said, adding that fewer illicit cigarettes were being sold on the streets. He also said the government had no plans to ease cigarette import regulations despite current efforts to relax alcohol import rules. Cigarettes and other outlawed commodities are smuggled over land borders, particularly at the Thai border crossing at Myawadi, Kayin State, as well as through shipping containers, and by individuals flying in from Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. With supply down and stocks low, several premium-brand cigarette vendors in Yangon have been forced to increase prices to make up for the drop in trading volume. “We hardly sell any more as some customers don’t want to pay the higher price,” said 32-year-old vendor Ko Khin Maung, adding that he now asks K3000 for a pack of Marlboro, up from K1800 just two weeks ago. Ko Khin Maung – one of only a handful who sell premium cigarette brands in Yangon – said sales at his shop in front of Bogyoke Market had dropped by more than half since last month’s crackdown. “I can’t cut prices because of my expenses,” he said. U Win Naing, a vendor near Traders Hotel, said supply cuts had forced him to charge 12.5-20pc more for Marlboro and Esse imported from Singapore and Malaysia, making K200-K300 profit a pack. A cigarette supplier at Theingyizay wholesale market in Pabedan township said fear of the customs had reduced the use of shipping containers for smuggling. “Some traders who import cigarettes in small amounts are not making much profit,” he said. Despite the raids, the government still

VACANCY NOTICE
No. 2013/020
Want to be part of a team advancing sexual and reproductive health and promoting reproductive rights within Myanmar? Join us and you will, because at UNFPA, everyone counts. We are seeking a creative, dynamic and highly motivated individual to join our growing communications effort to drive forward to the next level our country programme on population, gender equality and reproductive health and reproductive rights. If you’re looking for an opportunity to make a difference, thrive in a challenging yet rewarding teamwork environment and have a strong communications background, then we wish to hear from you. Position and Grade : National Programme Officer (Advocacy, Communication and Resource Mobilization) NOB Type of Contract : Fixed-Term Duty Station : Yangon Application Deadline : 30 December 2013 Applications should be addressed to UNFPA Representative. Attention: International Operations Manager, Room A-07, UNFPA, No.6, Natmauk Road, Yangon. Email : myanmar.office@unfpa.org For further details, please see the vacancy announcement posted at UN billboard. No.6, Natmauk Road, Yangon and also at UNFPA website (http://myanmar.unfpa.org) Applications will be considered only when meeting all requirements set in detailed vacancy announcement.

A customer buys a pack of cigarettes from an iillicit vendor in Yangon. Photo: Zarni Phyo

VACANCY NOTICE
No. 2013/021
Want to be part of a team advancing sexual and reproductive health and promoting reproductive rights within Myanmar? Join us and you will, because at UNFPA, everyone counts. We are seeking a creative, dynamic and highly motivated individual to join our growing communications effort to drive forward to the next level our country programme on population, gender equality and reproductive health and reproductive rights. If you’re looking for an opportunity to make a difference, thrive in a challenging yet rewarding teamwork environment and have a strong communications background, then we wish to hear from you. Position and Grade : 3 Drivers (SC-2) Type of Contract : Service Contract Duty Station : 2 posts, Yangonand 1 post, Kachin Application Deadline: 30December 2013 Applications should be addressed to UNFPA Representative. Attention: International Operations Manager, Room A-07, UNFPA, No.6, Natmauk Road, Yangon. Email : myanmar.office@unfpa.org For further details, please see the vacancy announcement posted at UN billboard. No.6, Natmauk Road, Yangon and also at UNFPA website (http://myanmar.unfpa.org) Applications will be considered only when meeting all requirements set in detailed vacancy announcement.

has difficulty preventing smuggling due to a lack of manpower and equipment able to detect contraband, said the commerce ministry’s U Win Myint. “Some items are difficult to investigate thoroughly, as they are mixed with other items of a similar nature so that it’s hard to recognise them when checking with an Xray detector,” he said. Cigarettes sold legally – those produced here – have been taxed 100 percent since the 2012-2013 fiscal year, up from 75 percent the year before, according to the Internal Revenue Department.

According to a 2007 World Health Organization survey, 45pc of Myanmar men use tobacco, as against only 8pc of women and 13pc of teenage boys. International brands are planning to move into the local market. British American Tobacco, the world’s second-largest cigarette manufacturer, announced in July that it would spend $50 million over five years to set up a new factory, while Japan Tobacco, makers of Winston, Camel, Mild Seven, and Benson & Hedges, signed a joint venture with banking and industrial tycoon U Kyaw Win last year to do the same.

IN BRIEF
Paris Peugeot confirms it is in talks with Chinese carmaker, GM pulls out

Peugeot confirmed last week it is in talks with Chinese giant Dongfeng about a shareholder tie-up, while GM announced it was dropping its stake in the loss-making French carmaker. Peugeot stressed that there had not been any agreement on a tie-up and that the talks were at a preliminary stage, but GM’s statement said Peugeot no longer needed its support. – AFP

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Business 27

The Fine Print
Legal & tax insight

Getting the lowdown on the new hiring law
SEBaStIaN PaWLIta sebastian@pwplegal.com YI YI MON yimon@pwplegal.com THE Employment and Skills Development Law, enacted on August 30 this year, came into force on December 1 and is reshaping the hiring landscape. The law limits job placement services to state-operated job centres (“employment exchange offices”) and 100-percent Myanmar-owned private recruitment agencies. Foreign human resources companies therefore may have to review their business model. Further, private recruitment agencies now require a licence from the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security and must not charge employees for their services. Violation of these provisions is a criminal offence. Employers are supposed to inform the job centre (which would in practice be the township labour office) of any vacancies, but the law contains no penalties for non-compliance. The law stipulates the essential parts that must be included in a labour contract. Apart from the job description and the salary, contracts must cover details such as probationary period, location and duration of the employment, working hours, days off, overtime, accommodation, meals, shuttle service and, of course, termination of employment. Many employers will probably continue to use the labour contract template issued by the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, and labour contracts signed before the law came into force continue to be valid. The labour contract “must be signed within 30 days” after the employer has hired the employee. In practice, this means that the employer must prepare a written contract and present it to the employee for signature no later than 30 days after the commencement of employment. The law states that “a trainee undergoing pre-hiring training and probationary period is not covered by this provision”. This probably reflects the present practice of having a separate agreement with the employee for the probationary period and signing the actual labour contract only after the hiring decision is made. The law does not stipulate the permissible length of the probationary period. According to present practice, it is three months. The law also explicitly allows parties to agree on a post-training bond period during which an employee sent for training must not quit the company. Interestingly, “violating any matters contained in the labour contract” is now a criminal offence. The law now clearly states what has always been the opinion of the township labour offices: namely, that a copy of the labour contract must be sent to the township labour office (the “employment exchange office”) for approval. The law does not, however, specify the consequences of non-compliance. The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security has yet to issue – as the law requires – a notification specifying the amounts of severance payments. Present practice requires the payment of a job-loss allowance of 2-5 months’ salary, depending on the length of the employment. The employer is not obliged to pay if the term of a fixed-term labour contract expires, or if the employee resigns voluntarily, or if the employee is dismissed for grave misconduct. The law also requires the government to set up a “central body for employment and skills development” which, in turn, shall form an “employment development team” and a “skills development team”. None of these units have been established yet, though, and the provisions of the law relating to skills development and assessment have not yet been implemented. It is also interesting to note that there will be a skills development fund to which each employer will have to contribute at least 0.5 percent of the sum of salaries, and also that foreigners will be allowed to open, and work for, training schools and skills assessment companies.
Sebastian Pawlitaand Yi Mon are consultants at Polastri Wint& Partners Legal & Tax Advisors.

H&M may raise prices to pay its poor workers
An employee arranges a clothes rack displaying garments for sale inside an H&M fashion store in Budapest, Hungary, in October. Photo: Bloomberg

PHNOm PENH

CLOTHING giant H&M is considering raising retail prices and passing the buck onto the consumer to help pay higher wages to garment workers in poor countries, such as Cambodia. There won’t be any price increases in the short term, but it “might be a possibility” in the future, Helena Helmersson, head of sustainability at the Swedish clothing maker, told Agence France-Presse last week in Stockholm, where the company was meeting with advocacy groups. Ken Loo, Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia secretary general, welcomed the announcement as a “natural response” from one of Cambodia’s most prominent sourcing brands. “Someone has to absorb this price hike, so either it has to come out of the pocket of the retailers or the brands or the consumers have to pay more. In most likelihood, it would be a combination of the two,” he said. Mr Loo cautioned, however, against turning a complex supply

chain into a formula of higher consumer prices equalling higher salaries for workers. “It is not a transparent thing where ‘X’ dollars goes in, ‘X’ dollars goes out,” he added. Mr Loo said factories could not simply charge more to cover wages because they would lose business to buyers chasing their own margins. Dave Welsh, country director for labour rights group Solidarity Center/ ACILS, was less optimistic about the proposal, given that huge corporate profits have rarely trickled down to workers. “There is already enough in the pot, in my mind, to say that brands can certainly engage in a serious way given the current prices,” he said. H&M’s Mr Helmersson said the company would use its clout with suppliers and governments to improve working conditions and lobby for minimum wages to be raised. “We can set goals to make sure the right pay structures are in place with

our suppliers,” she said. The talk about raising garment wages, which are at a monthly base of US$75 in Cambodia, would be the latest in H&M’s attempt to position itself as a do-gooder among global brands. In October, H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson met with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to push for annual garment worker reviews and functioning industrial relations. In November, H&M said they had teamed up with some of their best suppliers to create “model factories” in Cambodia, though the locations haven’t been disclosed and little has been revealed about what makes them a model for others to emulate. “Our aim is to work together with them and develop standards for our industry in many areas, such as quality and sustainability, both environmental and social aspect,” Elin Hallerby, H&M press officer, said in a November 13 email. – The Phnom Penh Post

IN BRIEF
Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia faces a tax bill of more than 210 billion rupees (US$3.4 billion) in India from liabilities arising out of unpaid charges and penalties since 2006, a report said last week. Indian tax authorities froze some of Nokia’s assets in October including its bank accounts and buildings over a dispute which has forced Nokia to approach the Indian courts seeking relief. Nokia has reportedly offered to pay about 30 billion rupees ($490 million), but the income tax department “has informed the Delhi High Court that Nokia India and its parent Nokia Corp have a tax liability adding up to 211.53 billion rupees [$3.46 billion]”, the Times of India reported. The paper said the submission was made by the income tax department in its reply to Nokia’s plea for the unfreezing of its assets in India. Nokia’s Indian unit was not immediately available for comment on the report. The case was due to be heard in court on December 10.

Mumbai Nokia faces $3.4 b tax claim in India, report says

European aerospace giant EADS, the maker of Airbus aircraft, announced plans last week to cut 5800 jobs in its defence and space division over three years. The job cuts, part of a major restructuring in the face of falling orders, will affect the group’s workforce in Germany, France, Spain and Britain, the company said in a statement. The news came after a meeting of its European works council with chief executive Tom Enders, whose bold plan to merge the conglomerate with Britain’s defence group BAE Systems was torpedoed last year with a surprise veto by Germany. “We need to improve our competitiveness in defence and space – and we need to do it now,” Mr Enders said, according to the statement. “With our traditional markets down, we urgently need to improve access to international customers, to growth markets. For that to work, we need to cut costs, eliminate product and resource overlaps, create synergies in our operations and product portfolio and better focus our research and development efforts.” – AFP

Berlin EADS to cut 5800 jobs in Europe in restructuring

28 THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

Property
City plan could drive up prices
A new plan to limit highrises could send property prices upward throughout the city
MYat NYEIN AYE myatnyeinaye11092@gmail.com TIN YaNDaNaR HtUN tinyadanar.mcm@gmail.com ZONING plans that confine highrise buildings in Yangon to the downtown area could help drive up property prices in the short term, real estate experts said. The effect could spread through out-of-town areas as far as Bago Region. “If the commercial zone is limited, prices will rise as the number of businesses there increases,” said Daw Moh Moh Aung, secretary of the Myanmar Real Estate Service Association (MRES). A ripple effect could see appreciation of land values in Dagon, Thanlyin, Thilawa and as far as the boundaries of Yangon Region, some speculators believe. But U Yan Aung, manager of Sai Khon Naung Real Estate, said the zoning decision could help end price volatility. “The big construction companies were waiting for the zoning decision because they didn’t want to buy land in areas where they couldn’t build high-rises,” he said, adding that uptown land zoned for high-rises could increase in value. “Prices won’t go up significantly in areas already slated for high-rise construction,” he said. “Uptown areas zoned for highrise could be as valuable as downtown,” said U Khin Maung Aye, of Shwe Kan Myae Real Estate Agency. “High-rise zones will be worth 20 percent more. Prices will stabilise when the zoning comes into effect and many low-cost buildings can be built uptown,” he added. The city’s development committee, YCDC, has designated Bahan, Dagon, Kamaryut and Mayangone townships as low-density. In Manyangone Township, Parami, 7 mile, Shwe Hnin Si and Aye One quarters have been designated as exclusively residential areas. Among the downtown townships, Lanmadaw will allow mid-sized buildings, while in the region around Sule Pagoda buildings cannot exceed a height of 160 feet (49 metres) above sea level, or 100 feet in the surrounding heritage area. Other townships will allow mixed-use structures. NG XINYaO ngxinyao@gmail.com THE commercial practice of developers passing on responsibility for apartment interior renovations to buyers could end up costing them more in structural damage and repairs in the long run, property experts said. “Most units are delivered without any interior furnishing, just the bare minimum fittings of lighting, water piping and cement flooring,” said U Soe Naing, managing director for Blue Sea Services Group, a real estate agency service provider. “Hence it is common for people to use thirdparty interior design contractors to finish the apartment.” “Most of the time, first-time owners and even second-time owners have to pay for extensive renovations of their homes. And they expect to do so, since the developers and the landowners do not carry any responsibility to maintain the properties.” In a bid to keep the bill for these renovations low, property owners often seek cheaper contractors using cheaper materials, U Soe Naing said. “An example is the choice of parquet flooring imports from Korea or China which are very cheap and affordable. The downside of this material is risk of insect infection – commonly termites – and it’s easily flammable and non-waterproof.” U Soe Naing said most contractors don’t provide adequate waterproofing in their renovations. “Some even resort to mixing quality waterproof materials with others, which leads to integrity issues on top of water leakage issues. Many homeowners even have to extract the buried or hidden lighting systems for total replacement,” U Soe Naing said. Despite risking the future failure of installations, the lure of immediate cost savings continues to draw property owners to gladly take on the responsibility of renovation work themselves. Businessperson U Khin Maung Lay owns four apartments in Thanlyin’s Star City development and one more in downtown Yangon. He recently spent US$60,000 renovating two of his units in Star City which he purchased for a total of $92,000. “The units were delivered with partial tiling in the kitchen and bathroom, with toilet bowls and tap fittings, basic lighting, a basic layer of white paint partially done and concrete cement floors without tiles. I spent a higher amount on the renovations with my own choice of renovation contractor, as I want [the apartments] to be of better quality,

BUSINESS EdiTOR: Philip Heijmans | pheijmans13@gmail.com

Quality control gap leaves interior renovations shaky

Workers carry out construction on a building covered in bamboo scaffording in downtown Yangon. Photo: Staff

like the showrooms,” U Khin Maung Lay said. “The amount I want to spend on renovations can be adjusted. If I want to save, I can do the basic. I can also do a nicer job by spending more. And I can save a lot by engaging the contractor of my choice rather than using a recommended one. The cost savings are as much as 50 percent.” With no building standards or certifications uniformly enforced,

as a result of using amateur contractors to put in plumbing fixtures on the cheap. “Our kitchen ceiling is suffering from water damage now, and cracks appeared in our bedroom. Maybe the contractors had mixed bad materials into the cement when building the wall and that’s why it cannot withstand the wet, humid weather.” U Khin Maung Lay said he had been burdened with the consequenc-

‘Most of the time, first-time owners and even second-time owners have to pay for extensive renovations of their homes.’
U Soe Naing Managing director of Blue Sea Services Group

however, cheaper work can sometimes cause expensive headaches down the road. “The root of a plant had damaged the water piping and we had to pay for replacement piping for all three levels,” said Ma San San Yee, who purchased a two-storey house on downtown Yangon’s 50th Street in 1987. Adding to her problems, she said, her home sustained further damages

es of badly done interior construction work at a property he owns in Pazundaung township. “In 1996 when they laid roofing, they didn’t clean it properly before building another storey on top, resulting in air pockets that expand and contract due to weather changes,” he said. “Also, we don’t have much choice on the use of materials, which are usually of really questionable quality. I have had to take out the

ceiling and redo it. Then the ceiling came off as no waterproofing system was used.” The problem with ad hoc renovations taken on by cheap contractors – often procured by owners who are themselves inexperienced – is that there was no effective government regulation curbing the practice, real estate agent U Soe Naing said. “Gaps in the quality control system are too big to fill. Government engineers have poor knowledge, and the authorities have little understanding of what standards should be set. And the audit procedures are dubious and leave plenty of room for creative maneuvering,” U Soe Naing said. “The lack of proper risk assessment guidelines leads to questionable structural integrity.” But better-quality materials, such as weather resistant walls and roofing, taps and flush systems are becoming available in the market. The hope is that as the market continues to open to outside investment, the real estate sector will gain some traction with international development firms who could raise the standard of construction, U Khin Maung Lay said. “Quality companies deserve a reward while black sheep should suffer some repercussions to deter the continuation of unhealthy practices,” he said.

QUOte Of the WeeK

29

‘Most units are delivered without any interior furnishing, just the bare minimum fittings of lighting, water piping and cement flooring’ — U Soe Naing, managing director of Blue Sea Services Group

Assad win may be Syria’s best option?
WORLD 32

Shangri-La spend $115m on new hotel
NOE NOE aUNG noenoeag@gmail.com HONG Kong-based Shangri-La International Hotel Management has announced an investment of US$115 million to build a 350-room Lakeside Shangri-La hotel near Kandawgyi Lake. The hotel, which will be located near the Shangri-La residences that were opened recently, will be the second, after Traders Hotel, to be operated in Yangon by Shangri-La. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on December 8. “We expect the second phase to be completed by late 2016,” said Kuok Koon Kwong, the director of ShangriLa Yangon. Hotels and tourism minister U Htay Aung said he was confident that the investment for Lakeside Shangri-La hotel would be worthwhile as the tourist arrivals to Myanmar were increasing. “As of November this year, tourist arrivals are 82 percent up compared to last year,” he said. “Foreign direct investment hotel projects like Emerald Rose Garden and Centre Point Tower, and local investment hotels like Taw Win Garden and Novotel, will open in the first quarter of 2014,” U Htay Aung added.

Bogyoke market shopowners upset after being ordered out
Renovations to the market’s famed jewellery hall are set for this month, during the busiest time of the year.

MYat NYEIN AYE
myatnyeinaye11092@gmail.com

Expected date the new multi-million dollar hotel is expected to be completed.

2016

According to recent government data, although there are more than 200 hotels and guesthouses together offering more than 9000 guestrooms throughout Yangon, the city still faces an accommodation shortage for visitors.

SEVERAL dozen merchants at Yangon’s popular Bogyoke Aung San Market are refusing to follow orders to temporarily evacuate the premises at the peak of the tourism season, complaining that the loss of business could affect their livelihoods. About 30 stallholders, running some 60 counters in the market’s jewellery hall, were ordered on short notice to evacuate the premises before December 31, while the main jewellery hall undergoes a renovation that will take an unspecified amount of time, shopkeepers said. “We will stay open. We cannot close,” said Daw Khin March Cho, owner of Golden House Jewellery, who said the notice was served on December 1 by the company that runs the jewellery hall, Super World Co. “They gave only one reason for this sudden action – that they needed to upgrade the jewellery hall. There has been no negotiation about our returning after the upgrade. But this is peak season for tourist customers,” she said. Another stallholder, Ma Khaing, owner of King and Queen Jewellery, said that there are no vacancies in the market and that being forced to leave in December would ruin her livelihood. “We can’t relocate because Bogyoke is the main market and we have regular foreign customers here. If we are forced out, our livelihoods will be destroyed,” she said. Shop owners in the market have been there for the better part of

A man wheels away trash in front of Bogyoke Market in Yangon last week. Photo: Boothee

ten years with the understanding that they would pay rent directly

Number of stallholders asked to leave Bogyoke Market for renovations

30

to the Cooperative Department of the Ministry of Cooperatives, who runs the remainder of the market. “But now the hall is owned by a private company,” said Daw Khin Kyawl, owner of Yaung Shwin jewellery counter. “We were never told of any change in ownership.” Daw Yi Yi Swe, manager of Super World Co, declined a request for comment from The Myanmar Times. “I have no authority to answer. Our boss is overseas and will not

be back for some time,” she said. U Htun Myint Aung, a member of parliament, said that based on documents held by the cooperative department and the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC), the 1993 sale of the hall appears to have been illegal. “They had no right to sell to a private company unless the sale was approved at the governmental level,” he said. “This is not fair.” He said he would raise the issue in parliament.

TRADE MARK CAUTION
NOTICE is hereby given that Citigroup Inc. a company organized under the laws of United States of America and having its principal office at 399, Park Avenue, New York, New York 10043 U.S.A. is the Owner and Sole Proprietor of the following trademark: -

30 Property
HOUSE OF THE WEEK

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

(Reg: Nos. IV/2061/1998 & IV/8314/2013) in respect of:- “Insurance; financial affairs; monetary affairs; real estate affairs” Any fraudulent imitation or unauthorized use of the said trademark or other infringements whatsoever will be dealt with according to law. U Kyi Win Associates for Citigroup Inc. P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416 Dated: 16th December, 2013

CITIGROUP

Cooking with fire
This downtown location will be suitable for tenants wishing to do business in Yangon. It is within easy reach of City Hall and has access to good transportation (though noisy). The second-floor, 2800-sq-ft apartment (in an 11-storey building) with tiled floors offers two double and two single bedrooms and a storeroom beside the kitchen. Seven air conditioners keep the white-walled, partially furnished space cool. Natural sunlight pours through adequate windows. – Ei The The Naing Location : Pansodan Business Tower, the corner of Pansodan Road and Anawrahtar Road, Pansodan township Price : US$4500 (for rent) Contact : Moe Myint Thaw Tar General Service Company Phone : 1 9669061, 01 9669062

TRADE MARK CAUTION
NOTICE is hereby given that Peninsula Intellectual Property Limited a company organized under the laws of British Virgin Islands and having its principal offices at P.O. Box 957, Offshore Incorporations Centre, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands is the Owner and Sole Proprietor of the following trademark:

(Reg: No. IV/7981/2013) in respect of :- “Hotel, restaurant and catering services; provision of accommodation services; provision of facilities for meetings; conferences and exhibitions; reservation services for hotel accommodation, services for providing food and drink; temporary accommodation” – Class: 43 Any fraudulent imitation or unauthorized use of the said trademark or other infringements whatsoever will be dealt with according to law. U Kyi Win Associates for Peninsula Intellectual Property Limited P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416 Dated: 16th December, 2013

Israel to allow building supplies back in to Gaza
ISRAEL is to allow construction materials for UN projects back into the Gaza Strip after reaching an agreement with the world body, officials said last week. The ban on building materials was put in place on October 13 after troops discovered a sophisticated tunnel running under the Israel-Gaza border, built with the alleged aim of perpetrating anti-Israeli attacks. “An agreement over the means of controlling and checking the import of these materials – which will be used solely for UN projects in the Gaza Strip – was reached on Monday [December 9] and will go into force on Tuesday [December 10],” said a spokesman for COGAT, the defence ministry unit responsible for civilian affairs in the Palestinian territories. He said the deal, which was agreed by UN peace envoy Robert Serry and COGAT head Major General Eitan Dangot, would ensure the materials only reached UN bodies and did not find their way to Gaza’s ruling Hamas movement or militants allied with it. But the agreement did not apply to the import of steel and cement for private use, which Israel had permitted in September for the first time since 2007 for fear such materials would be used to build tunnels and fortify Hamas positions. The move was confirmed by Mr Serry’s office, which said it would allow the implementation of “critical construction projects” such as schools, social housing and water and sanitation facilities, worth some US$500 million. “The situation in Gaza remains concerning and the United Nations is engaged with relevant parties in trying to address the most urgent issues such as energy, water and private sector construction,” said a UN statement which also addressed the enclave’s ongoing energy crisis. “The United Nations hopes that a solution will be found quickly to the particularly pressing energy situation,” it said, calling for potential contributors to step forward “urgently and decisively”. Gaza has been living through the worst fuel crisis in its history, which is causing power cuts of up to 16 hours per day and creating major problems for hospitals and water and sanitation plants. – AFP

JERUSaLEm

TRADE MARK CAUTION
NOTICE is hereby given that HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY a company organized under the laws of Korea (South) and having its principal office at 231, Yangjae-Dong, Seocho-Gu, Seoul, Korea (South) is the owner and sole proprietor of the following trademark:-

(Reg: No. IV/11153/2013) in respect of:- “Automobiles, parts and accessories for automobiles, motor cycles, handcarts, baby carriages, automobile tire [tyres], shock absorbers for automobiles, brake systems for vehicles, tractors for agricultural purposes, transmission for land vehicles, engines for land vehicles, motors for land vehicles, tractors, bicycles, wheelchairs, locomotives, vessels[boats and ships], aeroplanes, parachutes.” Any fraudulent imitation or unauthorized use of the said trademark or other infringements whatsoever will be dealt with according to law. U Kyi Win Associates for HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416 Dated: 16th December, 2013

XCIENT

SHaNGHaI

Man sues gov’t over demolition of his museum, house in Shanghai
A MAN is suing local authorities in Shanghai for almost US$48 million over the demolition of his home – which doubled as a private museum – a court and reports said last week. Liu Guangjia, whose house and a museum-style garden of bonsai trees and exotic rocks in the southwestern suburb of Anle were destroyed in April last year, is seeking 289 million yuan ($47.6 million) in compensation, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The museum was free to visit for the public, it added. It is rare for cases against the authorities to reach the courts in China, and state media said Mr Liu’s demand was the largest ever brought against a local government. A district court heard that Mr Liu and his wife Zhu Rongzhou, both in their 70s, were taken away and tied up for 30 hours during the demolition, the Global Times said. “Zhu had just finished treatment for breast cancer and Liu’s arm was dislocated in the struggle,” it reported. “When they were released, the house, museum and all the contents were all gone,” it added. In an online trial report, the court said objects taken away from the house and museum included dinosaur fossils, calligraphy, gold and jewellery. Mr Liu said the district authorities and a local property developer “forcefully and unlawfully” tore down the property and took away his collections, according to Xinhua. The local Minhang government denies the accusations and says the demolition followed legal procedures. Forced demolitions are common in China as local governments rely heavily on land sales for their incomes and investment projects to drive economic development. Users of China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo microblogging service condemned the Minhang authorities. “Forced requisition and demolition are no different from robbery and plunder of villains and bandits,” Xie Zhiyong, a professor at Chinese University of Political Science and Law, wrote on his verified Weibo.

MILLION

$47.6
Amount of compensation Liu Guangjia is seeking for the destruction of his property last year “I hope to see an impartial verdict from the court,” said another Weibo user. The case was continuing Friday, the Higher People’s Court of Shanghai said on its verified microblog. – AFP

www.mmtimes.com
LONDON WASHINGTON

Technology 31

World writers demand UN charter to curb state surveillance
More than 500 authors, including J. M. Coetzee and Günter Grass, have signed a petition to the United Nations published Tuesday which claims mass state surveillance is violating basic freedoms. The signatories called for a new international bill of digital rights to curb what they claimed was the abuse of democracy through widespread Internet snooping. The letter comes the day after eight leading US-based technology companies called on Washington to overhaul its surveillance laws following the recent revelations of online eavesdropping from fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden. The Writers Against Mass Surveillance petition, signed by 562 authors from more than 80 countries, was published in around 30 newspapers worldwide, including The Guardian in Britain. The signatories were led by five winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature: South African writer Coetzee, German novelist Grass, Austrian playwright Elfriede Jelinek, Swedish poet Tomas Transtroemer and Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk. It was also signed by Booker Prize winners Margaret Atwood, Julian Barnes, John Berger, Roddy Doyle, Kazuo Ishiguro, Thomas Keneally, Yann Martel, Ian McEwan, Michael Ondaatje and Arundhati Roy. Others included Peter Hoeg, Colm Toibin, Martin Amis, Lionel Shriver, Louis de Bernieres and Irvine Welsh. “In recent months, the extent of mass surveillance has become common knowledge,” it began. “With a few clicks of the mouse the state can access your mobile device, your email, your social networking and Internet searches. “It can follow your political leanings and activities and, in partnership with Internet corporations, it collects and stores your data. “The basic pillar of democracy is the inviolable integrity of the individual... all humans have the right to remain unobserved and unmolested. “This fundamental human right has been rendered null and void through abuse of technological developments by states and corporations for mass surveillance purposes. “A person under surveillance is no longer free; a society under surveillance is no longer a democracy. To maintain any validity, our democratic rights must apply in virtual as in real space.” The writers said mass surveillance treated all citizens as potential suspects. “Surveillance is theft. This data is not public property: it belongs to us,” they said. They demanded the right for people to determine how their data can be collected and stored, to know how it is being used and demand its deletion if illegally harvested. “We call on all states and corporations to respect these rights. “We call on the United Nations to acknowledge the central importance of protecting civil rights in the digital age, and to create an international bill of digital rights. “We call on governments to sign and adhere to such a convention.” – AFP

Mars lake may have been friendly to microbes: NASA
A US space agency rover tooling around on the surface of Mars has found remnants of an ancient freshwater lake that may have supported tiny life forms, scientists said Monday. There is no water left in it, but drill tests and a chemical analysis of its fine-grained rocks by the Curiosity robot’s science instruments suggest microbial life could have thrived there billions of years ago. The rocks contain signs of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulphur, and “would provide perfect conditions for simple microbial life,” said the report in the journal Science. Small bacterial life forms known as chemolithoautotrophs are known to thrive under similar conditions on Earth, and are typically found in caves and under the sea in hydrothermal vents. “This is really similar to an Earth environment,” said John Grotzinger, professor of geology at the California Institute of Technology, describing what was once likely a cold lake connected to streams and surrounded by a vista of snow-capped mountains. While no life forms have been detected in the rocks, the mobile Mars Science Laboratory has drilled into the mudstone and sandstone rocks and found clay minerals, suggesting an interaction with water. “These are relatively young rocks in Martian history,” Grotzinger told reporters, saying that among the “surprising results” of the latest findings was the rocks’ age of 3.5 to 3.6 billion years old. “That just happens to exactly coincide with the oldest records on Earth for which we have a microfossil record,” he told a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San

This mosaic of images from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) instrument on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover released December 9, 2013 shows a series of sedimentary deposits in the Glenelg area of Gale Crater. Photo: AFP

Apple bows to Beijing
US technology giant Apple has removed an anti-censorship application from its Chinese app store on orders from Beijing, say developers. The “FreeWeibo” app is intended to allows users to read censored postings on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter. Beijing maintains strict controls on the Internet, including a range of technical measures known as the Great Firewall of China, and Weibo operators employ ranks of censors to delete contentious comments. California-based Apple blocked Chinese app store users’ access to the FreeWeibo app on November 28 following a request by Beijing, said Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW), which co-developed the software with Chinese cyber-activists. A co-founder of FreeWeibo, who uses the pseudonym Charlie Smith, linked the move to Apple’s “big business interests” in China. “Apple’s image of being a hip and trendy company is eroding -- the brand will hold little cachet for the consumer because of actions like these and in the long run that means less Apple devices will be sold,” he told AFP. “Steve Jobs must be rolling over in his grave. This is a ‘bad karma’ move on Apple’s part,” he said. The app went online in early October and survived attempts to “frustrate its functioning”, the RNW statement said. Beijing had asked Apple to remove it “because it goes against local laws”. – AFP

Francisco, California. Researchers have already found evidence of water elsewhere on Mars’ surface, and the work of past orbiters has strongly suggested Mars had lakes at some point. The US space agency chose the Gale Crater as the landing site for the unmanned, six-wheeled Curiosity rover – which touched down in August 2012 – specifically because it was believed to contain many geological layers and likely held water. The latest findings provide “the strongest evidence yet that Mars could have been habitable enough for life to take hold,” said the study. “This is the first time that we have actually found rocks on Mars that provide evidence of the existence of lakes,” co-author Sanjeev Gupta of Imperial College London told AFP in a phone interview. “This is great because lakes are a perfect environment for simple microbial life to develop and be preserved,” he said. The next step is to analyze speci-

mens from a thick pile of rocks scattered on the crater’s surface for further evidence of habitable environments, Gupta said. The $2.5 billion dollar car-sized rover is remotely operated by NASA engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Its mission is to search for geologic conditions that might have been right for life to exist, but it does not contain tools that can actually detect life. Gupta said the latest findings are a “huge technical achievement,” and that scientists have been surprised at the diversity of ancient environments they have found so far, from acidic and salty to gentler freshwater. More unmanned rovers are scheduled to land on Mars in the coming years, including a European space agency robotic explorer called ExoMars in 2018 and another NASA vehicle in 2020, he added. “It gives us great confidence for the future and for this mission that we should carry on exploring,” Gupta said. – AFP

32 THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

World
WASHINGTON

WORLd EdITOR: Bridget Di Certo | bridget.dicerto@gmail.com

Assad win may be Syria’s best option: ex-CIA chief
THE sectarian bloodbath in Syria is such a threat to regional security that a victory for Bashar al-Assad’s regime could the best outcome to hope for, a former CIA chief said on December 12. Washington has condemned Mr Assad’s conduct of the conflict, threatening air strikes after he was accused of targeting civilians with chemical weapons and demanding he step down. The United States is also supplying millions of dollars in “non-lethal” aid to some of the rebel groups fighting Mr Assad’s rule. But Michael Hayden, the retired US Air Force general who until 2009 was head of the Central Intelligence Agency, said a rebel win was not one of the three possible outcomes he foresees for the conflict. “Option three is Assad wins,” Mr Hayden told the annual Jamestown Foundation conference of terror experts. “And I must tell you at the moment, as ugly as it sounds, I’m kind of trending toward option three as the best out of three very, very ugly possible outcomes,” he said. The first possible outcome he cited was for ongoing conflict between ever more extreme Sunni and Shiite factions. The rebel groups are dominated by Sunni Muslims, while Mr Assad is generally backed by Syria’s Alawite, Shiite and Christian minorities. And the second outcome, which Mr Hayden deemed the most likely, was the “dissolution of Syria” and the end of a single state within the borders defined by a 1916 treaty between the French and British empires. “It means the end of the Sykes-Picot [Agreement]. It sets in motion the dissolution of all the artificial states created after World War I,” he said. The British diplomat Mark Sykes and a French counterpart Francois Georges Picot divided the Middle East into zones of influence that later served as the frontiers of independent Arab states. A breakdown in the century-old settlement could spread chaos in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, Mr Hayden warned. “I greatly fear the dissolution of the state: a de facto dissolution of SykesPicot,” Mr Hayden said. “And now we have a new ungoverned space, at the crossroads of the civilization. “The dominant story going on in Syria is a Sunni fundamentalist takeover of a significant part of the Middle East geography, the explosion of the Syrian state and of the Levant as we know it.” Fighting erupted in Syria in early 2011, when Mr Assad launched a crackdown on pro-democracy protests, and has since evolved into a full-blown civil war that has claimed an estimated 126,000 lives. Mr Assad, backed by Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah militia, is locked in combat with a diverse group of Sunni rebel factions which are increasingly dominated by hardline jihadist groups. – AFP

IN PICTURES

People walk near palm trees as snow falls outside Jerusalem’s old severe weather to the Middle East, forcing the closure of roads areas with snow and ice. Photo: AFP

TOKYO

Plague ‘epidemic’ kills 39 in Madagascar
AN outbreak of plague even more vicious than the bubonic strain dubbed the Black Death has killed 39 people in Madagascar, the government said on December 12. A government doctor said 90 percent of the cases were pneumonic plague, a strain much more vicious than the common bubonic plague that can kill within three days, leaving little time for antibiotics to work. Authorities urged anyone suffering fever and headaches to consult a health practitioner, saying drugs to treat the plague were available free of charge. “There is an epidemic in Madagascar which is currently affecting five districts [out of 112]. Eighty-six people have been inflicted by the plague, of which 39 have died,” said the health ministry. The first person died before November, but government only officially declared the existence of a plague on November 23. The outbreak has been blamed on an infestation of rats in residential areas due to uncontrolled deforestation. The plague is an ancient evil that has claimed hundreds of millions of lives over the millennia, and still causes outbreaks today, despite the effectiveness of antibiotics. Pneumonic plague is rarer but far more vicious than the bubonic kind, as it gives little time for antibiotics to act. Indian Ocean island aimed at ending a four-year political and economic crisis. Jean Claude Rabemanantsoa, head of the forestry department, said Madagascans traditionally burned bushes as a form of political protest or to vent their anger against authorities. “This year there is an increase in bushfires in Madagascar,” he said. “We are in an electoral period right now. In Madagascar, bush fires are used as a way of expression during political crisis.” There is also a superstition that smoke triggers rains in Madagascar. “The drought this year has also encouraged bushfires. There are people who believe that if they burn the vegetation, it creates smoke and brings the rain,” said Mr Rabemanantsoa. There have been three plague pandemics since the Middle Ages, inflicting an estimated death toll of 200 million people. In the 14th century, the disease wiped out an estimated onethird of Europe’s population. Modern sanitation and the advent of antibiotics have mistakenly led many to believe that the plague is a disease of the past. In fact, a number of people, albeit relatively small, die from the disease in poorer countries each year and doctors are worried at the rise of several antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacterium. – AFP

ANTANANARIVO

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (left) shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on December 13. Photo: AFP

Japan to pledge $20b aid to ASEAN: reports
JAPAN will pledge US$20 billion in aid to Southeast Asian countries at a 11-nation summit this weekend as it looks to shore up ties in a region increasingly dominated by China, reports said December 13. In a summit of Japan and 10 members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will announce 2 trillion yen ($20 billion) in loans and grants over five years, public broadcaster NHK and business daily Nikkei reported. Mr Abe will also announce an expansion of the existing JapanASEAN Integration Fund aimed at economic integration of Southeast Asian countries with a fresh 10 billion yen, the reports said. The summit comes at a time when Japan is re-engaging with the region after several years in which it has been muscled out by China’s growing economic might. Japan is also hoping to rally support in its dispute with China over a chain of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. Four members of the bloc have their own territorial disputes with Beijing. The meeting also comes just weeks after China’s declaration of an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) over a tranche of the East China Sea, including islands disputed with Japan, a move that ratcheted up an already-tense situation. – AFP

The bubonic plague bacteria taken from a patient. Photo: AFP

The plague bacterium gets transmitted into the lungs, carried in the droplets that are breathed in. The World Health Organization says pneumonic plague “is one of the most deadly infectious diseases” with a mortality rate that “is always very high”. According to the government doctor, who cannot be named because he does not have clearance to speak to the media, the first case was registered in a village in the remote region of Mandritsara. Teams have been put in place with the help of the World Health Organization and the international public health research foundation Institut Pasteur to handle the epidemic. The outbreak comes a week ahead of a presidential run-off election in the

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Passing away: Notable deaths of 2013
worLD 39

Coal port plan will kill Great Barrier Reef, activists say
worLD 34

Ex-general who opened Guantanamo Bay wants it closed
WorLD 41

TUNIS

Arab Spring hopes pinned on Tunisia
WITH chaos in Libya, a military takeover in Egypt and Syria’s brutal conflict threatening to extinguish hopes fuelled by the Arab Spring, only Tunisia stands out, even as its stability hangs in the balance. By the end of 2013, the political forces that emerged from the tumultuous changes in the region nearly three years ago have yet to build the new democratic order or bring about the social transformations demanded by the millions who took to the streets. Some argue that the Egyptian army’s decision in July to depose democratically-elected Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was the death knell for any remaining hope of real change that accompanied the mass uprisings in 2011. “The July 3 coup confirmed the end of the Arab Spring given Egypt’s importance in the region,” said Shadi Hamid, research director at the Brookings Doha Center. “No one can argue that Egypt is moving towards democracy. It is actually going in the opposite direction ... There is now an effort to eradicate the Muslim Brotherhood as a political force,” he added. The military takeover in Egypt has certainly cast a shadow over the democratic transition in Tunisia, birthplace of the Arab Spring, where the ruling Islamist party Ennahda has accused its secular opponents of seeking to replicate events in Cairo. “[Tunisia’s] Islamists experienced the military coup as if it happened in Tunisia. Various politicians continue to talk about the putschist threat even though there is nothing to prove it,” said Selim Kharrat, an analyst with the NGO AlBawsala. Such fears have only aggravated the mistrust between the country’s rival factions that has dogged negotiations to appoint a caretaker government of technocrats and resolve the political crisis sparked by the murder of opposition MP Mohamed Brahmi in July. Suspicion has also been stoked by the rise in attacks this year by armed Islamists, who are blamed for the killing of Mr Brahmi and another secular politician in February, and whom the security forces have been battling in the Mount Chaambi region near Algeria. Tunisia’s militants have benefited from the chronic instability in neighbouring Libya and the surge in arms trafficking since former dictator Moamer Kadhafi’s ouster. Over two years after the NATObacked rebellion toppled Kadhafi’s regime, Libya lacks a stable government, with jihadist groups mushrooming and the authorities struggling in vain to integrate former rebels into the army. Starkly illustrating the growing lawlessness plaguing the country, gunmen briefly abducted Prime Minister Ali Zeidan from his Tripoli hotel in October, and the following month seized the deputy intelligence chief as clashes in the capital left nearly 50 people dead. “In Libya they have to build a state from scratch. That is going to take time and prolong the transition period which has been marked by armed violence in a country largely controlled by militias,” said Libyan political analyst Khaled Bouchoucha. By contrast, Tunisia’s revolution has a much better chance of succeeding, Mr Bouchoucha argued, essentially because it has managed to “preserve a strong state” and because the army remains neutral. But as the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based thinktank, warned last month, the “alarming rise” in jihadist attacks in Tunisia, while still low in intensity, threatens to weaken the state and further polarise the political scene. In its report, entitled Tunisia’s Borders: Jihadism and Contraband, ICG said the worrying increase in cross-border arms trafficking was enhancing the jihadists’ disruptive potential and intensifying corruption. “In the long term, only minimal consensus among political forces on the country’s future can enable a truly effective approach to the border question,” it said, adding that an end to the country’s political crisis “seems distant at the time of writing”. As in countries across the region, concern is also growing in Tunisia about the likely blowback from the fighting in Syria, when the thousands of foreign jihadists thought to have joined the rebel ranks there return home. The conflict, which erupted when a brutal government crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy protests in March 2011 inspired by the Arab Spring escalated into full-scale civil war against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, has now killed an estimated 126,000 people and left millions displaced. – AFP

city on December 12. A bruising winter storm brought and schools and blanketing much of the high altitude

TEHRAN

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani (right). Photo: AFP

Iran halts nuclear talks after US blacklist move
IRANIAN negotiators halted nuclear talks with major powers to return to Tehran for consultations last week after Washington blacklisted a dozen companies and individuals for evading US sanctions, state media reported. “The Iranian negotiators interrupted the talks with the P5+1 for consultations in Tehran,” a negotiator told Iran’s official IRNA news agency. The negotiators had been discussing the implementation of a landmark interim accord agreed last month with the P5+1 – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany. The decision to halt the talks in Vienna came hours after Washington blacklisted a dozen overseas companies and individuals for evading US sanctions on Iran. The move prompted two top senators to bow to White House pleas not to introduce new sanctions in Congress. But it risked angering Tehran after repeated warnings from Iranian officials in recent days that any additional punitive measures would be a violation of last month’s agreement. Under the interim deal reached in Geneva, Iran agreed to freeze parts of its suspect nuclear program for six months in return for some US$7 billion in relief from Western sanctions as it negotiates a final, comprehensive accord to allay suspicions it is seeking a weapons capability. The United States also agreed to refrain from slapping new sanctions on Iran, but senior administration officials argued that December 11’s measures were taken as part of the existing sanctions regime which had forced Tehran to the negotiating table. – AFP

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SYDNEY BANGKOK

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

Coal port plan will kill Great Barrier Reef: activists
CONSERVATIONISTS on December 11 slammed Australia’s approval for an Indian firm to expand a major coal port on the Great Barrier Reef coast, warning it would hasten the natural wonder’s demise. “The Great Barrier Reef is dying and [Prime Minister] Tony Abbott is hastening its death,” Greens leader Christine Milne told reporters. “[He] has made it clear that industrialising the reef, giving approvals to coal mines and gas facilities for his big business mates, is a much greater priority for him than protecting the reef and the 63,000 jobs that depend on it,” she said. Environment Minister Greg Hunt on December 10 gave the green light to the project by India’s Adani Group, under what he labelled “some of the strictest conditions in Australian history” governing environmental protection. Adani can now dredge some 3 million cubic metres (106 million cubic feet) from the seabed to allow for freighters to dock at the port in Abbott Point, lifting the facility’s capacity by 70 percent to make it one of the world’s largest coal ports. WWF Australia said the material dredged during the expansion would be enough to fill 150,000 dump trucks that “lined up bumper-to-bumper would stretch from Brisbane to Melbourne”, a distance of more than 1000 kilometres (620 miles). Greenpeace said Mr Hunt had been ignoring the “serious concerns of scientists, tourism operators, fishers and UNESCO” to approve a development just 50km (31 miles) from the pristine Whitsunday Islands. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee is to decide in June whether to list the Great Barrier Reef as being in danger, Greenpeace campaigner Louise Matthiesson noted, “and this decision will cause alarm among the international community”. “If these plans succeed, and Abbot Point becomes the world’s biggest coal port, Australia will be speeding up the climate crisis that threatens our children’s future.” The reef is now formally considered to be in “poor” health by government scientists, with overall coral cover declining 15 percent since 2009 due to cyclones, floods, pollution and attacks by the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority – whose board is currently under investigation for its links to the mining industry – must now issue a permit allowing the dredge material to be disposed of within the park. It said it would reveal its intentions within the next 10 days. Mr Hunt has also approved a major liquefied natural gas plant and transmission pipeline at Curtis Island, which is also within the reef marine park, for Australian firm Arrow Energy under 53 environmental conditions. – AFP

Ex-Thai PM Abhisit indicted for murder
FORMER Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was indicted for murder on December 12 in connection with a deadly military crackdown on mass opposition protests in Bangkok three years ago, prosecutors said. The move comes as fresh political turmoil rocks the Thai capital, with protesters backed by Mr Abhisit’s opposition party seeking to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and rid the kingdom of the influence of her brother, deposed former leader Mr Thaksin. “We have indicted him [Abhisit],” Nanthasak Poonsuk, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said outside the Bangkok court where the closed-door hearing was held. “The court accepts to hear the case.” Under Mr Abhisit’s government, more than 90 people died and nearly 1900 were wounded in street clashes in the capital in 2010 between mostly unarmed pro-Thaksin “Red Shirt” demonstrators and security forces firing live rounds. A small group of Red Shirts shouted “Murderer!” as the Democrat Party leader arrived at court, without speaking to waiting media. There were about 10 Abhisit supporters outside the building, some holding bunches of flowers. Thailand has seen several bouts of political turmoil since Mr Thaksin was ousted in a military coup in 2006, with

Former Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva (centre) gestures as he arrives at the court in Bangkok on December 12. Photo: AFP

rival protests sometimes resulting in bloody unrest. Prosecutors have accused Mr Abhisit and his former deputy Suthep Thaugsuban of issuing orders that resulted in murder and attempted murder by the security forces. Oxford-educated Mr Abhisit – who was formally charged in December – insists he is innocent and has described the accusations against him as politically motivated. Some observers doubt British-born Mr Abhisit will go to prison given his links to the Thai elite, and see the case as part of the country’s political brinksmanship.

Mr Suthep, who did not attend the December 12 hearing, also faces a murder charge but had asked the court to postpone his hearing. The former deputy premier is now spearheading the mass opposition protests against Ms Yingluck, for which he faces an arrest warrant for insurrection. In December 2012 the trial began of 24 Red Shirt leaders on terrorism charges related to their roles in the violence. Proceedings against the top Red Shirts – several of whom are lawmakers – will likely drag on for years, with counsel on both sides calling several hundred witness. – AFP

NEW DELHI

India court criminalises gay sex
INDIA’S Supreme Court upheld a law criminalising gay sex on December 11, setting aside a landmark lower court decision in 2009 which had overturned a colonial-era ban on homosexuality. A two-judge bench ruled that the courts should not intervene and that it was up to parliament to legislate on the issue in a decision that comes as a major blow for gay rights in the country. “It is up to parliament to legislate on this issue,” Judge GS Singhvi, the head of the two-person bench, said in the ruling. The Delhi High Court ruled in 2009 that section 377 of the Indian penal code prohibiting people from engaging in “carnal acts against the order of nature” infringed the fundamental rights of Indians. The decision was strongly opposed by religious groups, particularly leaders of India’s Muslim and Christian communities, who appealed to the Supreme Court. “The legislature must consider deleting this provision [section 377] from law as per the recommendations of the attorney general,” Mr Singhvi added in his judgment. Though prosecutions under section 377 are rare, conviction carries a fine and a maximum 10-year jail sentence and it is used by police to harass gay couples, activists say. “Such a decision was totally unexpected from the top court. It is a black day for the community,” Arvind Narayan, a lawyer of the Alternative Law Forum gay rights group, told reporters. “We are very angry about this regressive decision of the court.” – AFP

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BEIJING

International World 35

TRADE MARK CAUTION
NOTICE is hereby given that SUMITOMO BAKELITE CO., LTD. a joint stock company duly organized under the laws of Japan, manufacturers and merchants of 5-8, Higashi-shinagawa 2-chome, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, Japan is the Owner and Sole Proprietor of the following trademark: (Reg: No. IV/4425/2007) in respect of:- “Plastic films and sheets for wrapping or packaging; plastic films for wrapping or packaging medicines; plastic sheets for wrapping or packaging medicines; plastic films for wrapping or packaging foods; plastic sheets for wrapping or packaging foods.” – Int’l Class: 16 Any fraudulent imitation or unauthorized use of the said trademark or other infringements whatsoever will be dealt with according to law. U Kyi Win Associates for SUMITOMO BAKELITE CO., LTD. P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416 Dated: 16th December, 2013

Environmentalists hail PRC’s shark fin ban
ENVIRONMENTALISTS last week hailed a Chinese government ban on serving shark’s fin, bird’s nest soup and other wild animal products at official functions, saying it will set a precedent that will help protect endangered species. China’s ruling Communist Party announced the ban as part of a sweeping government crackdown on corruption, excessive spending and extravagance. An official notice from the party’s Central Committee and the State Council, China’s cabinet, released December 8 “ruled out dishes containing shark fins, bird nests and wild animal products in official reception dinners”. “I think it is great. I think it is extremely important for a whole bunch of reasons,” said Matthew Durnin, a former director of science at the Nature Conservancy, who has spent 20 years in China working on projects concerning endangered species. “With sharks particularly, they are an apex predator. They are very important. Lots of systems and animals are getting destroyed in the oceans. “Something that is at this higher level in China really sets a precedent that needs to be set,” he said. Shark fin soup has long been a luxury enjoyed by China’s wealthy, but environmentalists say shark populations around the world have been decimated by its consumption. Mr Durnin said he believed Beijing would enforce the new ruling, as concerns over the environmental impact of such habits had become “very high profile” in recent years. Huge banquets are commonly held by local officials and state-owned companies in China to show off wealth and status to visiting guests, and expensive dishes such as shark’s fin have long

SUMILITE

TRADE MARK CAUTION
Workers prepare shark fins for sale in Hong Kong. Photo: AFP

been staples of the occasions. Yao Ming, the former NBA basketball player who is possibly China’s biggest sports star ever, pledged to stop eating shark fin in 2006 and two years ago launched a campaign urging Chinese to do the same. “It’s a commendable decision and a brave one that the Chinese government has taken,” said Alex Hofford, executive director of the marine conservation group MyOcean, based in the southern Chinese territory of Hong Kong. The decision was “hugely significant”, he said. “It’s going to have a great impact on society, because what the government does shows leadership in society and then the corporate sector will quickly follow suit,” Mr Hofford said. “From a cultural point of view, it’s pretty important that they ... recognise how outdated traditions can be left by the wayside eventually like footbinding and slavery – why not shark fins?” he said. “It doesn’t really matter if it is for

environmental [reasons] or for curbing official extravagance, as long as the job gets done,” he said. The decision would have a “massive impact” on some restaurants serving shark fin, said Gary Stokes, Hong Kong coordinator for the conservation campaign group Sea Shepherd. “The reason why they’re doing it mainly is austerity cuts; however, the ramifications it’s going to have on conservation to the sharks is huge,” he added. The new rules were intended “to provide diligence, fight extravagance, and to build a clean government”, the official announcement on December 8 said. The detailed document also bars expensive liquors and cigarettes from being offered at local authority receptions. Officials below provincial level are banned from staying in hotel suites on business trips, while local hosts are forbidden to give them cash, securities or souvenirs as gifts. – AFP

NOTICE is hereby given that Fabrique de montres Rotary S.A. (Rotary watch Company Limited). a company organized under the laws of Switzerland and having its principal office at rue du Grenier 18, 2300 La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland is the owner and sole proprietor of the following trademark:-

(Reg: No. IV/8905/2013) in respect of :- “Wristwatches.” Any fraudulent imitation or unauthorized use of the said trademark or other infringements whatsoever will be dealt with according to law. U Kyi Win Associates for Fabrique de montres Rotary S.A. (Rotary watch Company Limited). P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416 Dated: 16th December, 2013

TRADE MARK CAUTION
NOTICE is hereby given that HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY a company organized under the laws of Korea (South) and having its principal office at 231,Yangjae-Dong,Seocho-gu,Seoul, Korea is the Owner and Sole Proprietor of the following trademark: -

AZERA
(Reg: No. IV/11152/2013) in respect of:- “Model cars, toys, scale model vehicles, toy vehicles, board games, tennis balls” Class: 28 Any fraudulent imitation or unauthorized use of the said trademark or other infringements whatsoever will be dealt with according to law. U Kyi Win Associates for HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416 Dated: 16th December, 2013

TRADE MARK CAUTION
Zuellig Investments (Singapore) Pte., Ltd., of 1 Kim Seng Promenade, #14-06, Great World City, Singapore 237994, is the Owner of the following Trade Mark:-

Reg. No. 12009/2013 in respect of “Class 05: Pharmaceutical and healthcare products, health food supplements; vitamin and minerals preparations; herbal preparations; herbal preparations incorporating vitamins and minerals all for pharmaceutical or health purposes, in all dosage forms”. Fraudulent imitation or unauthorised use of the said Trade Mark will be dealt with according to law. Win Mu Tin, M.A., H.G.P., D.B.L for Zuellig Investments (Singapore) Pte., Ltd. P. O. Box 60, Yangon E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm Dated: 16 December 2013

Kordel’s

36 World International
TRADE MARK CAUTION
NOTICE is hereby given that Mr. Somboon Pitianusorn of Thailand and having its office at 1/33 Moo7, Putthabucha Road, Bangmod, Jomthong, Bangkok 10150, Thailand is the owner and sole proprietor of the following trademarks:-

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

MONTEVIDEO

TOFFY SWEET
(Reg: No. IV/6827/2003) (Reg: No. IV/6828/2003) In respect of: - “Clothing, suits, shirts, T-shirts, polo-shirts, slacks, trousers, skirts, coats, raincoats, sweaters, night wear, under wear, hosiery, gloves, hoods, hats, caps, bands, belts, braces, swimsuits, swimming caps, footwear, sporting and gymnastic wear, sporting and gymnastic footwear” “The leaflets, hand bills, T.V. advertisement, radio advertisement, blocks, designs, stamp, receipt are being used by stating the “TOFFY SWEET & COCOA” trademarks and distributed all over the Union of Myanmar. Any fraudulent imitation or unauthorized use of the said trademarks or other infringements whatsoever will be dealt with according to law. U Kyi Win Associates for Mr. Somboon Pitianusorn P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416

COCOA

Dated: 16th December, 2013

Uruguayan Senator Lucia Topolansky votes to approve a law legalising marijuana in the Legislative Palace in Montevideo, on December 10. Photo: AFP

TRADE MARK CAUTION
NOTICE is hereby given that Kabushiki Kaisha Pilot Corporation (also trading as Pilot Corporation) a company organized under the laws of Japan and having its principal office at 6-21, Kyobashi 2-Chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan is the Owner and Sole Proprietor of the following trademark: -

Uruguay’s Senate legalises marijuana
URUGUAY’S Senate has approved ground-breaking legislation legalising marijuana, becoming the first nation in the world to oversee the production and sale of the drug. After a marathon debate, 16 leftist senators out of 29 lawmakers voted on December 10 in favor of the legislation championed by President Jose Mujica, who must now sign it into law. Outside the Senate, hundreds of cannabis-smoking supporters launched fireworks in what they dubbed “the last march with illegal marijuana”. “The war against drugs has failed,” said Senator Roberto Conde as he presented the bill on behalf of the ruling leftist Broad Front, calling it an “unavoidable response” to that failure. The bill passed the lower house of Congress in August and was assured of approval because the ruling coalition controls both chambers. It authorises the production, distribution and sale of cannabis, allows individuals to grow their own on a small scale, and creates consumer clubs – all under state supervision and control. Mr Mujica, a 78-year-old former leftist guerrilla fighter, has called his plan an experiment. “There are a lot of doubts and the doubts are legitimate,” he told Channel 4 television before the vote. “But doubts shouldn’t paralyse us in trying new paths to deal with this problem that has gripped us.” However, he added, “We are not totally prepared. But as in everything, you have to give it a chance.” The legislation has caused unease in neighbouring Brazil and Argentina. The bill goes well beyond the marijuana legalisation measures recently approved by the US states of Colorado and Washington, or the similarly liberal laws of the Netherlands and Spain. Consumers over 18 will be able to grow their own marijuana, though no more than six plants per person. They can also get it through clubs or buy up to 40 grams per month from pharmacies. In every case, they must be registered with the government. Mr Conde argued that the law strikes a balance between individual liberty and public health, while also resolving the “grotesque juridical inconsistency” arising from the status quo, in which marijuana consumption is not penalised but its production and sale is. Opposition parties rejected the measure, while pharmacists, who oppose the idea that marijuana will be sold in drugs stores. There is also widespread public scepticism in this small country of 3.3 million. A poll taken in September found 61 percent disapprove of the law.

(Reg: Nos. IV/5012/1998 & IV/8794/2008 & IV/10019/2013) in respect of : - “Paper, Cardboard and goods made from these materials, not included in other classes; printed matter; bookbinding material; photographs; writing instruments; stationery; adhesives for stationery or household purpose; artist’s materials; paint brushes; typewriters and office requisites (except furniture); instructional and teaching material (except apparatus); plastic materials for packaging (not included in other classes); playing cards; printer’s type; printing blocks” Any fraudulent imitation or unauthorized use of the said trademark or other infringements whatsoever will be dealt with according to law. U Kyi Win Associates for Kabushiki Kaisha Pilot Corporation (also trading as Pilot Corporation) P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416 Dated: 16th December, 2013

TRADE MARK CAUTION
NOTICE is hereby given that Millennium & Copthorne International Limited a company organized under the laws of Singapore and having its principal office at 36 Robinson Road #0401 City House, Singapore 068877 is the owner and sole proprietor of the following trademark:(Reg: No. IV/9229/2012) in respect of: “Business management of hotels and resorts/motels and other temporary accommodation including serviced apartments and apartment hotels; public relations services in relation to temporary accommodation, including hotels and motels, serviced apartments and apartment hotels; marketing of temporary accommodation including hotels and motels, serviced apartments and apartment hotels including the advertising of the aforementioned services via the Internet and other global computer networks.” - Class: 35 “Temporary accommodation services, accommodation (rental of temporary), catering (food and drink), rental of meeting rooms, restaurants, cafés, reservations of temporary accommodation; providing temporary housing accommodation; providing serviced apartments; hotel services.” Class: 43 Any fraudulent imitation or unauthorized use of the said trademark or other infringements whatsoever will be dealt with according to law. U Kyi Win Associates For Millennium & Copthorne International Limited P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon Phone: 372416 Dated: 16th December, 2013

MILLENNIUM

Legalising cannabis will “diminish the perception of risk and foster consumption, especially among children and adolescents”, said Senator Alfredo Solari of the opposition Colorado Party. “Neither our government nor the rest of the world should experiment with Uruguayans,” he said. Uruguayan psychiatrists were divided over the measure. Some argue it will help tamp down the use of more dangerous drugs, while others say it trivializes marijuana’s harmful effects. Not all users were in favour of the law, either, with some chafing at the government controls. “It’s invasive, because it is not up to the government to determine how much marijuana can be consumed and the quality,” said Alicia Castilla, the author of a book on “Cannabis Culture” who spent three months in jail for growing the drug at home. In a region where the war on drugs has claimed thousands of lives, the Uruguayan initiative won the support of former Latin American presidents who served on the Global Commission on Drug Policy. But the International Narcotics Control Board, which oversees the implementation of international treaties on drugs, has warned that it violates the Single Convention of Narcotic Drugs, adopted in 1961 by Uruguay and 185 other countries. The government has accompanied action on the law with a publicity campaign featuring the slogan, “All drug consumption has risks.” Mr Conde said the law deals with an already entrenched social reality. “Marijuana is the illegal drug that is most consumed, fundamentally by young people, one that is perceived as extremely low risk and is easily obtained,” he said. Consumption of cannabis has doubled here in the past decade, and now accounts for 70pc of the illegal drug consumption in Uruguay. The government estimates that 128,000 of the country’s inhabitants smoke cannabis, though marijuana consumer associations put the number at around 200,000. The top international drug agency later condemned the landmark action. The International Narcotics Control Board said the legalisation of the narcotic was an “illegal” act that compromised Uruguay’s treaty obligations and would lead to a rise in drug addiction in the South American country. – AFP

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International World 37
WASHINGTON

Syrians find little comfort in new homes
THEY fled air strikes and shelling, but many of Syria’s 3 million refugees have found little comfort elsewhere, suffering in squalid camps and risking death to reach Europe’s shores. In Lebanon, many crowd into makeshift shelters in agricultural fields that will soon be blanketed in thick snow, and in Egypt they have faced government crackdowns and deportation. A lucky few have found asylum in Sweden or Germany, but many more have ended up in the EU’s poorest nation Bulgaria, held in overflowing shelters. Some of the estimated 3 million Syrian refugees are treading paths well-worn by economic migrants from Niger, Eritrea and elsewhere – people fleeing poverty as much as conflict. Together, they have boarded boats barely worthy of the name, travelling from Africa to Europe, or Asia to Australia, and paying thousands of dollars to unscrupulous traffickers for the privilege. Despite a planned peace conference in Geneva next month, almost three years into the conflict, aid groups expect the crisis to grow further in 2014, even as donations fail to keep pace. The massive flow of refugees from Syria has strained the capacity of surrounding nations, including Lebanon, which has felt the crisis most acutely. It is hosting more than 825,000 registered refugees, but likely closer to a million in total, representing a quarter of its population. Its borders have remained open, but the government has refused to allow the establishment of formal refugee camps. Instead, refugees have set up makeshift, unofficial camps, many dotted across the eastern Bekaa Valley – a stark counterpoint to the bucolic vineyards Beirut residents visit for weekend lunches. Their shelters are constructed of refuse plastic sheeting slung over wooden frames, and the earth underfoot quickly churns to mud when it rains. “Winter here is something terrible,” says Fatima Hanhoun, from Syria’s western Idlib province, who lives on a piece of land in the Bekaa. “Last year the ground was comBut other countries have been more welcoming, with Sweden announcing it would grant residency to all Syrian asylum seekers who reach its territory. The Hodl family bought false Belgian passports to escape Syria and arrive in Sweden, but for Khaled the trip was worth it. “We want to live here and get Swedish nationality,” he said, adding that now he imagines his daughter growing up as a doctor. But the lure of European asylum has ended with disappointment for thousands of refugees who sought to enter the EU from Bulgaria. Its three refugee facilities have been quickly overwhelmed and new arrivals are housed in dilapidated former schools or deserted army camps. “If we knew what we would find, we never would have come here,” Abdul Jalal Bonja said at the Harmanli camp in southeast Bulgaria, as children waded barefoot through freezing puddles. And the search for a safe haven has proven deadly for some Syrians, who have boarded rickety boats in a bid to reach Europe. Their plight is caught up with those of economic migrants fleeing the Middle East and Africa -- hundreds of whom died in early October in two shipwrecks off the coasts of Italy and Malta. The accidents prompted soulsearching in Europe, but many nations with already stretched resources are reluctant to open their doors to refugees or migrants. Aid agencies warn that nations most tested by the Syrian crisis, including Lebanon, are likely to see increasing tensions between local residents and refugees. The issue was highlighted this month when Lebanese villagers set a Syrian camp alight after accusing four refugees of rape, despite a doctor saying the allegations were baseless. Ms Russo said UNHCR is now focusing on reducing tensions by bolstering impoverished towns flooded by refugees. “If we continue like this, the tension that is already increasing is only going to escalate. “The situation could degenerate.” – AFP

BEIRUT

Snowden fuels fear of ‘Big Brother USA’
AN avalanche of intelligence leaks from former CIA contractor Edward Snowden sent shockwaves around the world in 2013, lifting the lid on a vast global spying network and raising fears of a surveillance state. As the year drew to a close, the 30-year-old Mr Snowden remains exiled in Russia, his final port of call following a worldwide game of cat-and-mouse that appeared to come straight from the pages of a spy novel. A traitor to some, a heroic whistleblower to others: Mr Snowden’s disclosures have shed light on intelligence-gathering methods which shocked many through their sheer scale. Tens of thousands of documents leaked by Mr Snowden to The Guardian and other media outlets have detailed the nature of the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) shadowy activities. “What we recoil most strongly against is not that such surveillance can theoretically occur, but that it was done without a majority of society even being aware it was possible,” he said via email. Mr Snowden’s revelations made it clear that metadata and information from millions of emails and phone calls – incidentally, some of it about American citizens – has been systematically raked in by the NSA. Civil rights groups decried the NSA’s activities as actions of a Big Brother-like government, trampling on the rights of individuals with little oversight. The repercussions have been felt far and wide. President Barack Obama in August promised reforms to improve “transparency” while at the same time stating that many of the NSA programs were a necessity. Washington has also had to soothe anger amongst its allies, particularly after revelations that the NSA had targeted German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone. Yet according to some analysts, the long-term consequences of the Snowden revelations remain to be seen. Gordon Adams, an expert on defence and national security at American University, says the NSA was given unprecedented freedom following the 9-11 attacks. “In a climate of fear we basically took the reins off of accountability for the intelligence community,” Mr Adams said. “The reality is the law gave them [NSA] immense running room and they have seized every inch of that running room and then some.” So far, only 1 percent of the 58,000 documents provided by Mr Snowden have been disclosed, according to an official from The Guardian. – AFP

A Syrian refugee begs in Istanbul on December 11. Photo: AFP

pletely water-laden. We couldn’t step outside the tents without sinking up to our knees in water and dirt.” Roberta Russo, spokesperson for the UN refugee agency UNHCR, said the sheer size of the influx into Lebanon this year posed a major challenge. “In December last year, we had less than 200,000, and now we are at 830,000,” she said. “And the funding has not increased proportionally.” In Jordan, 130,000 Syrians live in the UN-run Zaatari camp, a dusty refuge so desolate that many residents want to leave. “The only solution is to return to Syria, because this camp is nothing but a huge prison,” said Hassan Nashwa. One of the year’s most visible influxes of refugees came in August, when some 50,000 people walked across the border between Syria and Iraq into the country’s autonomous Kurdish region. In Turkey, around 600,000 Syrians are scattered throughout the country, only a quarter in camps. The rest fend for themselves as best they can. In Istanbul, whole families with children sleep in the open in local parks. Many beg to survive, unable to find work in a country with an unfamiliar language. In Egypt, Syrians found themselves the target of attacks after the July ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, who was publicly supportive of the Syrian uprising.

Demonstrators hold placards supporting former US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden during a protest in Washington, DC. Photo: AFP

In BRIEF
New York One-third of children do not have a birth certificate: UN

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One in three children worldwide cannot have their existence legally verified with a birth certificate since their birth was not registered, UNICEF warned on December 11. Almost 230 million youngsters under the age of five have no birth certificate, which puts them at a disadvantage for procedural matters and leaves them more vulnerable to abuse. “Birth registration is more than just a right. It’s how societies first recognise and acknowledge a child’s identity and existence,” said deputy UNICEF executive director Geeta Rao Gupta. “Birth registration is also key to guaranteeing that children are not forgotten, denied their rights or hidden from the progress of their nations,” she said, adding that “we recommend a registration system that is free, universal in coverage and confidential.” When natural disasters separate parents and children, reuniting families is much tougher when birth certificates are lacking, the UN agency stressed. – AFP

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International World 39
 MEXICO CITY

Passing away: deaths of 2013
SOME of the notable figures who have died in the year just ending: – Nagisa Oshima, Japanese filmmaker, directed Furyo, aged 80, on January 15. – Andree Putman, internationally acclaimed French designer, aged 87, on January 19. – Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan president, aged 58 from cancer, on March 5. – Ieng Sary, Cambodian Khmer Rouge co-founder who was on trial for genocide and war crimes, aged 87, on March 14. – Zillur Rahman, Bangladesh president, aged 84, on March 20. – Boris Berezovsky, exiled Russian oligarch and Kremlin critic, in London aged 67 of hanging, on March 24. – Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first female prime minister, known as the “Iron Lady”, aged 87, on April 8. – Robert Edwards, British scientist, Nobel laureate for work on developing in vitro fertilisation (IVF), aged 87, on April 10. – General Jorge Videla, Argentinian dictator at the height of its “Dirty War” against leftist activists, in prison aged 87, on May 17. – Ray Manzarek, co-founder of legendary 1960s group The Doors and creator of their signature organ sound, aged 74 from cancer, on May 20. – Esther Williams, US swimming champion and Hollywood star, aged 91, on June 6. – Fatai Rolling Dollar, Nigerian musician, aged 86, on June 12. – Jiroemon Kimura, world’s oldest person and the oldest male ever known to have lived, aged 116, on June 12. – Marc Rich, controversial founder of Swiss commodities giant Glencore, aged 78, on June 26. – Douglas Engelbart, US engineer who invented the computer mouse, aged 88, on July 2. – JJ Cale, US singer-songwriter whose music was covered by Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Johnny Cash, aged 74, on July 26. – Berthold Beitz, patriarch of German industrial giant Thyssen Krupp, who saved hundreds of Jews from Nazi persecution, aged 99, on July 30. – Laszlo Csatari, most wanted Nazi war criminal, aged 98, on August 10. – Dutch Prince Johan Friso, who regained only minimal consciousness after being buried in an avalanche in February 2012, aged 44, on August 12. – Seamus Heaney, celebrated Irish poet and Nobel laureate, aged 74, on August 30. - David Frost, British TV giant, on board the Queen Elizabeth cruise liner aged 74 of a heart attack, on September 2. – Ray Dolby, pioneered noisereducing and surround-sound audio

PARIS

Mexico recovers radioactive material
Authorities have recovered dangerous radioactive cancer-treating material that was being transported on a truck stolen at a gas station, Mexican officials said on December 10. They did so with a remote controlled robot that placed it in a truck with a container covered with concrete, the National Security Commission said. The truck was stolen in early December in the town of Hueypoxtla in central Mexico. Five men have been arrested. Four of the men are accused of stealing the truck while the fifth suspect bought it. The suspects were hospitalised last week in the central state of Hidalgo with signs of radiation exposure, but they were given the all-clear after 24 hours. The truck was carrying an obsolete cancer-treating medical device that was on its way to a radioactive waste storage facility when it was stolen at a service station in Hidalgo on December 2. The truck and device were found 65 kilometers (40 miles) north of Mexico City after a two-day manhunt. The machine contained 60 grams of cobalt-60, a highly radioactive isotope that experts say could be used to make a crude “dirty bomb”. – AFP

Pakistani NGO workers hold a candlelight vigil in memory of late South African president Nelson Mandela. Photo: AFP

technologies, aged 80, on September 12. – Tom Clancy, best-selling author of spy novels, aged 66, on October 1. – Vo Nguyen Giap, Vietnamese general who defeated French and US forces, aged 102, on October 4. – Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of Israel’s Sephardic Jewish community, aged 93, on October 7. – Erich Priebke, Nazi war criminal, aged 100, on October 11. – Manna Dey, legendary Bolly-

wood singer, aged 94, on October 24. – Lou Reed, US singer-songwriter, aged 71 of complications following liver surgery, on October 27. – Doris Lessing, British author and Nobel laureate, aged 94, on November 17. – Frederic Sanger, British biochemist, double Nobel laureate, aged 95, on November 19. – Nelson Mandela, apartheid icon, Nobel laureate and South African president, aged 95, on December 5. – AFP

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in respect of “Int’l Class 29: Meat, fish, poultry and game; meat extracts; preserved, frozen, dried and cooked fruits and vegetables; jellies, jams, compotes; eggs, milk and milk products; edible oils and fats; processed fruits and vegetables; vegetable and fruit salads; cheeses; fruit-flavored milk beverages; chocolate milk; milk-based beverages containing coffee; soya milk; prepared and frozen entrees or meals consisting primarily of any combination of meat, poultry, pork, fish and vegetables; sandwiches consisting primarily of meat, cheese, hot dogs, sausages or vegetables; grilled sausage and hot dogs; chicken wings; meat snacks; beef jerky; potato chips; processed nuts and seeds; dairy and non-dairy snack food dips; bean dip; dip mixes; nut and seedbased snack bars; natural snacks, including dried fruits and nuts; cheese and cracker combinations; soups; soup mixes; pickles; milk substitutes; tofu; bean curd foods; soybeans; peanut butter; onion rings; and pork rinds. Int’l Class 30: Coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, rice, tapioca, sago, artificial coffee; flour and preparations made from cereals, bread, pastry and confectionery, ices; honey, treacle; yeast, baking-powder; salt, mustard; vinegar, sauces (condiments); spices; ice; bakery products, namely cookies, cakes, donuts, muffins, pies and brownies; crackers; chewing gum; frozen confections and treats; ketchup, mayonnaise and sauces; salsa; caramel and chocolate dips; soups; soup mixes; corn chips; tortilla chips and shells; pizza; pasta and noodles; meal kits consisting primarily of noodles or pasta; prepared, dried and frozen noodles or pasta, seasonings and vegetable combinations; pretzels; chocolate or yogurt covered pretzels; pepper; wheat and multi-grain chips and crackers; macaroni and cheese; cheese curls; puffed rice squares; calzones; tea based beverages; prepared hot chocolate; hot chocolate mix; prepared cappuccino and lattes; cappuccino and latte mix; tea and coffee substitutes; soya bean paste; dumplings; sushi; cereal based snack foods; rice based snack foods; rice balls; pancakes; wontons; pickled ginger; dried herbs; rice pudding; spring rolls; popcorn; salad dressing; soya sauce; and bean sauce. Int’l Class 32: Beers; mineral and aerated waters and other non-alcoholic drinks; fruit drinks and fruit juices; syrups and other preparations

for making beverages; coffee flavored beverages; tea flavored beverages; drinking water; isotonic beverages; semi-frozen beverages; soft drinks; fruitflavored beverages. Int’l Class 35: Retail convenience store services featuring the sale of convenience store items and gasoline; retail store services featuring the sale of food and beverages, personal care products, health and beauty products, first aid and medicinal products, household cleaning products, automotive maintenance and cleaning products, gasoline, pet care and food products, stationery and office supplies, tobacco products and accessories, telecommunications products, personal electronic devices and accessories, electronic media, CD’s and DVD’s, batteries, flashlights, eyewear, wearing apparel, umbrellas, hardware and notions, toys, sporting goods, gift wrap, books, maps, magazines and newspapers and gasoline; franchising, namely, offering business management assistance in the establishment and operation of retail convenience stores; business management services; advertising; business administration; office functions; product commercialization services. Int’l Class 43: Convenience store services featuring the sale of food and beverage products for consumption on or off the premises; provision of restaurant, bar, café, coffee bar, tea bar, juice bar, dairy bar, snack bar, self-service restaurant, canteen services; reservation services for restaurant, bar, self-service cafeteria services, canteen places; temporary accommodation; provision of temporary lodging and/or board in hotels, boarding houses, and tourist camp services, namely, providing camping accommodation; reservation services for temporary accommodation for lodging and/or board in hotels, boarding houses, and tourist camps; cafeteria services; takeaway services”. Fraudulent imitation or unauthorised use of the said Trade Marks will be dealt with according to law. Win Mu Tin, M.A.,H.G.P.,D.B.L. for 7-ELEVEN, INC. P.O. Box 60, Yangon E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm Dated: 16th December, 2013

40 World Asia-Pacific

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

Shirts showed Mandela true to himself: tailor
PATHE Ouedraogo can barely keep up with demand for his “Mandela shirts” since Nelson Mandela died last week. The man whose designs were made famous by the anti-apartheid icon has fond memories of his most highprofile client, who was “not afraid” to show the world who he was through his trademark colourful shirts. “All the shops have been calling,” he said, raising his voice above the hum of sewing machines and African music in his bustling workshop in Abidjan, where some 30 workers were racing to fill orders. “We had a special stock prepared, but it’s all gone. We’re making more,” the tailor said, a tape measure around his neck and clad in his own Mandelastyle flowing shirt of blue and pink batik prints with yellow sleeves. In his boutique across from the workshop in the Ivorian city’s Treichville quarter, photos of celebrity clients line the wall, including model Naomi Campbell, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former UN chief Kofi Annan and, of course, his favourite customer Mr Mandela. Mr Ouedraogo said Mandela was a world leader who dared to dress differently on the global stage, shunning the standard uniform of a dark suit to proudly wear shirts that celebrated African patterns and colours. “The difference with the others is that wearing my shirts he never asked, ‘Does this suit me? I don’t look ridiculous? Shouldn’t I dress more like this or that head of state?’ “He was someone who ... lived how Ouedraogo threw in a couple more. “Later I received a handwritten letter from him that said, ‘The Africa of tomorrow belongs to the creators of richness’.” The pair met face-to-face in 1998, when then-president Mandela spent half an hour with him on the sidelines of an African summit. “Very often when you are received by heads of state, there is a barrier between you. But not with him,” Mr Ouedraogo said. He recalled how Mandela took him by the arm, tapped his head and said, ‘There is a lot going on in this head here’.” “He could have said, ‘Who is this guy, some designer or tailor?’ ... But he listened to me. He took me by the hand even though he had never met me. We went for a walk in the garden.” After that encounter, Mr Ouedraogo became known as Mandela’s tailor. His Pathe O shirts, which range in price from 15,000 to 120,000 CFA francs (US$31 to $250) are now sold in around a dozen African capitals, and Mr Ouedraogo readily admits he has Mandela to thank for being his brand ambassador. “Many people benefitted from his name, including us,” he said. The Burkina Faso-born entrepeneur said he would travel to South Africa this week to pay his final respects to Mandela, whose body is lying in state in Pretoria ahead of his funeral on December 15. He said he wanted to pass on his condolences to Mandela’s family. “He was like a father to me.” – AFP

ABIDJAN

WASHINGTON

‘Close it’ says US General who opened Guantanamo
THE general who opened the US military’s Guantanamo Bay camp in Cuba when its first detainees arrived in 2002 called on December 11 for the facility to be closed. “I believe it is time to close Guantanamo,” said retired Major General Michael Lehnert in an article published in US daily the Detroit Free Press, adding that the prison “should never have been opened”. The article comes as US lawmakers prepare a deal that eases restrictions on sending Guantanamo detainees home or to third countries but bars their transfer to the United States. But Maj Gen Lehnert, the first commander of the US detention centre, said the compromise measure between Democrats and Republicans “maintains an unwise and unnecessary ban on transferring detainees to the United States”. “There are a handful of detainees at Guantanamo who should be transferred to the US for prosecution or incarceration,” Maj Gen Lehnert said. The retired general maintained that the detention facility “squandered the goodwill of the world after we were attacked by our actions in Guantanamo”. He added that he was ordered to “construct the first 100 cells at Guantanamo within 96 hours” and that the first group of 20 prisoners arrived seven days after the order was given. When President Barack Obama took office nearly five years ago, closing the detention center was one of his first promises. But today,

Camp Justice at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. Photo: AFP

Pathe Ouedraogo, aka Pathe ‘O, Burkina Faso-born tailor for Nelson Mandela, stands in front of his workshop on December 11. Photo: AFP

he wanted to live. He was daring, he was not afraid to wear this, he was not embarrassed,” Mr Ouedraogo said. “He was not like the others.” He said his relationship with the Nobel Peace laureate began “in 1994 or 1995” when South African singer Miriam Makeba bought some of his shirts as a gift for Mandela, and Mr

162 men remain behind bars out of the 779 who passed through its doors. Of those left, most “are cleared for transfer, but stuck by politics”, Maj Gen Lehnert wrote. In the facility’s earliest days, Maj Gen Lehnert said, he realised that many detainees “should never have been sent in the first place”, and that “they had little intelligence value, and there was insufficient evidence linking them to war crimes”. “It is time to close Guantanamo. Our departure from Afghanistan is a perfect point in history to close the facility,” he said. The compromise is part of a larger defence bill. The House of Representatives and Senate are expected to vote on the matter before the end of December. – AFP

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CONAKRY

Muslim bloc issues call for recognition of Palestinian state
THE Organisation of Islamic Cooperation called on the international community to recognise the Palestinian Territories as a sovereign state “in the shortest possible time” as it closed its annual conference of foreign ministers on December 11. The ministers welcomed a United Nations decision in November 2012 to elevate the territories to the status of non-member observer state in a declaration adopted at the end of the three-day meeting in the Guinean capital Conakry. “We welcome the important recent decision by many countries to recognise the state of Palestine ... and urge states that have not yet done so to fulfil their responsibilities under the charter of the United Nations recognising the State of Palestine in the shortest possible time,” the statement said. The 57-member grouping reiterated its condemnation of “illegal” Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and “acts of violence and terrorism of Israeli settlers” against Palestinian civilians. It called for “the immediate cessation of violence” in Syria, wracked by conflict between forces loyal to the Ba’athist government of Bashar alAssad and rebels seeking to oust it, and the start of a transition toward a “pluralistic, democratic and civil” country. The world’s largest grouping of Muslim nations also underlined its commitment to working with the international community to combat terrorism and rejected “any attempt to link terrorism to Islam, a particular Islamic country, race, culture, religion or nationality”.

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A Palestinian man fishes as a rainbow shines after heavy rain poured in Gaza City on December 9. Photo: AFP

The ministers called for support to “eradicate the terrorist armed groups and drug traffickers” in Mali, which was upended by a coup and sweeping Islamist offensive before a French-led military

intervention in January. The 57-member OIC was founded in 1969 and describes itself on its website as the “collective voice of the Muslim world”. – AFP

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International World 41
SUVA

French defence minister visits strife-torn C Africa
FRENCH Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on December 13 arrived in the Central African Republic for talks with the interim leaders of the strife-torn nation, where Paris deployed troops last week, according to an aide. The visit comes on the heels of that by President Francois Hollande, who stopped in the country on December 10 after attending Nelson Mandela’s memorial in South Africa. Mr Hollande admitted his country was facing a “dangerous” but vital operation to restore security in its former colony, terrorised by sectarian violence between Muslims and Christians since a coup in March. Two elite French soldiers were killed on December 9, just days after Paris finished deploying 1600 troops in the resourcerich but impoverished country. Like Mr Hollande, Mr Le Drian will meet with interim president Michel Djotodia, the former leader of the now disbanded Seleka rebel group which captured the capital Bangui and ousted president Francois Bozize in March. Mr Djotodia became the first Muslim president of the majority Christian country, but while some Seleka members remained loyal to him, others started terrorising the population and government forces were powerless to stop them. Months of massacres, rapes and looting followed, with locals forming Christian vigilante groups in response. Paris has accused the former rebel leader of doing nothing to stop the sectarian violence. The French troops on the ground are supporting an African contingent that is due to grow from 2500 men to some 6000. Mr Le Drian will also meet the head of the French contingent in Bangui, General Francisco Soriano, before leaving for neighbouring Chad where he will meet with President Idriss Deby. Although the French military says most of the militias have been disarmed, the real challenge is to contain Christian anger against the Seleka rebels and the Muslim minority with whom they are associated. On a state visit to Brazil on December 13, Mr Hollande called for a permanent Euro­ pean fund to finance emergency interventions in crises such as that in the Central African Republic. – AFP

PARIS

Fiji domestic violence disables women daily
DOMESTIC violence rates in Fiji are more than twice the global average, with one woman a day suffering permanent disability after being assaulted by a partner, a report released on December 12 found. The report by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre described domestic violence rates as “alarming”, saying they shattered the Pacific nation’s image of itself as a laid-back island paradise. “Many people in Fiji believe that violence happens rarely, or that it is minor,” said the 327page report, partially funded by the Australian government. “These myths are exploded by the findings in this report, which describe a terrible reality for many women living with violence. “This includes severe and repeated attacks akin to torture ... humiliating emotional abuse and high levels of coercive control. The high proportion of women who have experienced very severe physical attacks is alarming.” The independent centre, working with Fiji’s bureau of statistics, used World Health Organization (WHO) methodology to provide a comprehensive picture of domestic violence in the nation of 900,000. It found that 64 percent of Fijian women had experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of their partner, compared to the WHO’s figure of 30pc globally. Some 44pc suffered severe physical attacks, while 15pc of women said they had been beaten while pregnant, one-third of whom were punched or kicked in the abdomen. The centre said the violence exacted a high toll, with statistics showing that every single day one woman suffered a permanent disability, 10 were beaten into unconsciousness, five had bone fractures and three had teeth broken. Centre coordinator Shamima Ali said traditions ran deep in Fiji and patriarchal attitudes were still dominant in many areas of society. But she said the issue of domestic violence was slowly being addressed. “It is taken a lot more seriously but there are still huge areas where improvement needs to occur,” she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “There is increased information, increased knowledge and increased concern around this issue over the years and more people are coming on board, so that’s a positive thing.” The report recommended a series of programs to address the causes of domestic violence at grassroots level, including helping women understand their rights. – AFP

An airliner takes off from the airport of Bangui near a camp for internally displaced persons on December 12. Photo: AFP

U
GE T

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GERS O FIN N

THE PULSE EDITOR: MANNY MAUNG manny.maung@gmail.com

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEmBER 16 - 22, 2013

IT

TURNING
MYANmAR’S FIRST TRANSGENDER BEAUTY CONTESTANT CROSSES BOUNDARIES AND BORDERS IN HER BID TO CREATE A mORE ACCEPTING WORLD
NYEIn EI EI HTWE
nyeineieihtwe@gmail.com

HEADS
T
ANYA Maung didn’t win any prizes at Miss International Queen 2013, an international transgender beauty contest, but she is proud to have been the first lady representing Myanmar at the competition, she told The Myanmar Times. Chosen to travel to the ninth edition of the contest, held November 1-13 in Pattaya City, Thailand, the 29-year-old didn’t bring home the coveted gemstone crown – nor the 300,000 baht (about US$9,350) and the chance for free surgery “for anything” at a famous plastic surgery clinic in Bangkok – all of which went to Marcela Ohio of Brazil. Nor did she bring home any of the other awards such as Miss Photogenic or Best Evening Gown. But while she enjoyed the moments of competing, she said, the true highlights of her experiences were the relationships she formed and the discussions she had with other contestants about the difficulties of gaining acceptance as transgender women. “I gained a lot of lovely friends and met beautiful girls from all around the world while competing, “ Tanya said. “We are keeping our friendships going on Facebook, sharing things and exchanging our views on life as well as on society. “They are really stronger women than normal people are, I think,” she said of the 24 other contestants from 16 countries. “We all become more friendly and close with each other after we knew each other’s stories.” What about backstabbing or conflict, as was rumoured to take place at the recent Miss Universe competition? Not in this contest, she said. “We supported each other, helped

YO

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the pulse 43

Tanya Maung represented Myanmar at the International Queen 2013 competition in Thailand Photo: Supplied

each other, and were all happy and proud no matter who won the competition. I felt the experience of competing was amazing and I have really good memories because we all were never jealous of each other.” For all her happy memories of her co-competitors, however, she said she would not compete again. Some decisions made were not fair, she said, and the event seemed too profit-driven, and the support from big business was the only way to win. “The qualities [required to win] were really not worked out. Only if you had an amazing figure and a big sponsor behind you could you win the competition,” she said. As this was Myanmar’s first year in the competition, Tanya said she arrived in Thailand

as an outsider, lacking the kind of professional training and coaching necessary to succeed in a high-profile international event. “I didn’t really get enough time to prepare myself well and had no big sponsors to help me get a perfect performance.” One company did help her secure a ninth place finish in one category, however. “On the last day, I got a sponsorship from Myanmar make-up artist Ko Mar and his student, for the Myanmar national costume event. I feel thankful for that.” She was also quick to give thanks to her Myanmar fans who cheered and offered their support. While some people still see her in negative ways, she said, overall her life has been changed for the better by her newfound celebrity.

‘I didn’t really get enough time to prepare myself well and had no big sponsors to help me get a perfect performance’

“I have some fans following me as their idol and I’m really grateful to them for their pride of me. People who recognise me from the TV program ask me to take pictures with them when they see me. I’m really glad to see people love me.” She now hopes her success will inspire others who are going through the difficulties of living in ways that oppose social expectations. Born in Hpa-an township, Karen State, she promised herself that she would always conduct herself as a real woman, even though it led to fights with her family, who always wanted her to live a boy’s life. In 2007 she moved to Thailand after graduating from Hpa-an University, in order to earn money for her family and learn new challenges and experiences.

She now works as a program officer at an NGO in Chiang Mai, helping Myanmar migrant workers who are struggling with issues such as education, healthcare and culture. So how does her Ms International Queen experience fit in with the rest of her work? For Tanya Maung, it’s all about finding ways to change minds – a responsibility she takes seriously. “I’m proud that I’ve made a platform for future generations of young transgender people,” she said, “to help them live their dreams their way and bring human rights to their futures. They can stand in society with the full confidence and honour of any human being. “To get those positives from society, though, they also need to show themselves to be a role model in their society.”

44 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEmBER 16 - 22, 2013

How social networking helps children in need

T

ZON PANN PWINt zonpann08@gmail.com HE sound of laboured breathing filled the little room. The little girl was sleeping, her head on her father’s chest. But threeyear-old Khin San Hlaing, a patient in Yangon Children’s Hospital, slept uneasily. Five months ago, she was diagnosed with leukaemia. The doctor told her parents, who lived in Bago Region, to take the child to Yangon for treatment. “Since we moved here in July, she’s received more than 80 blood transfusions. Her treatment is free, but I have to buy medicine and food. We’ve sold our house,

and now nothing is left. I couldn’t afford to keep up the treatment,” her worriedmother, Daw Than Than Sint, aged 30, told The Myanmar Times. She and her husband, a mason, borrowed K50,000 from their neighbours. When they found that their daughter needed lengthy medical treatment and the interest on a loan soared, they sold their land in Bago. As time passed, the disease advanced and the financial difficulties worsened. “I asked a nurse if I could take my daughter to my mother’s home in Bago, but she told me not to leave the hospital and asked me to a find a donor to pay to continue the treatment,” said Daw Than Than Sint. The nurse gave her the phone number of Daw Tin Ma Ma who

A young girl keeps a watchful eye on her younger brother Photo: Zarni Phyo

Sick children recieve their treatments. Photo: Zarni Phyo

has been soliciting funds for needy children receiving treatment at the haematology and oncology unit through her Facebook page, “Arji Sai” since 2012. “We had no money to eat. So I called the number,” she said. The following day, Daw Tin Ma Ma donated K100,000 for Khin San Hlaing, whose mother said “It’s a huge relief.” Daw Tin Ma Ma told The Myanmar Times “Last year, a friend asked me to help a haemophilia patient who needed surgery, but her parents didn’t have any money. I made a donation. Coincidently, I posted the patient’s picture on my Facebook page, sharing my sympathy for him. I found more donors out of the blue.” A steady stream of modest donations has enabled the child to receive full treatment since the surgery. So far, Daw Tim Ma Ma has helped three children in the haematology and oncology unit receive medical treatment. “They even pay for blood tests by instalments, let alone other medical expenses such as chemotherapy,” she said. “Many patients come from afar. They are barely able to buy food for themselves or their child.”

“It is not a laborious task but the rewards are great. Later, I learned how Facebook evokes sympathy from other users, my friends. Then I post pictures of children in the unit who need help and receive lots of donations,” she said. “It’s very fruitful work, and we can relieve suffering and the difficulties of the children and their parents,” she added. She will post patients’ photos only if the parents approve. Most

donations come from her friends working overseas, who send money, perhaps K20,000 or K50,000, sometimes by hand, or visit the child in hospital. “I help pay for medical expenses for the child, along with K5000 a day for the parents’ food,” Daw Tin Ma Ma said. “I’m thankful to the staff at the haematology and oncology unit for letting me help children in need.”

A mother waits next to her sleeping child. Photo: Zarni Phyo

IN PICTURES

The sculpture “Dying Gaul,” after it was unveiled at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC last week. Created in the first or second century AD, the Dying Gaul is one of the most renowned works from antiquity. This exhibition marks the first time it has left Italy since 1797, when Napoleonic forces took the sculpture to Paris, where it was displayed at the Louvre until its return to Rome in 1816. AFP PHOTO

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the pulse 45

Pulling art up by the roots
A Mandalay artist fuses traditional sculpting and painting into something new – and has been doing so, during evenings and weekends, for more than 30 years
Carved and painted root. Photo: Supplied

A

FTER retiring in 2012 from his post at Mandalay Cultural University, U Kan Htay put on the first-ever public display of his art in February of this year, as part of a Myanmar-India friendship culture show. Among the works on display was one of his first creations of what he calls “integrated art” – the merging of multiple disciplines to create new forms. And in a way, that has

described U Kan Htay’s own work since it all started, way back in 1982. When a palm tree from the compound at Magway University – where U Kan Htay was working as a biology teacher – was cut down, he began thinking about ways to turn the abandoned tree roots into art. Combining two bits of the roots, he then painted on it to create the creation he wanted. Like all his subsequent works, the results showed an artist struggling to

bring the flatcanvas skills of painting into the third dimension. “My main interest has been painting since my childhood. I wanted to draw in three dimensions by drawing on paper and canvas. I tried many ways to get 3D paintings. I cut paper and glued it on canvas. But it wasn’t good. I looked for many ways and materials. I also want to do things differently from others,”U Kan Htay said. The technical demands of merging multiple materials involves a great deal of trial and error. No matter how beautiful the result, he said, the artist also has to consider how to make it last. “I got many experiences in that time,” he said, reflecting on his early

attempts. “I was brainstorming how I would be able to protect my piece from sunlight, weather and people. “Most 3D arts use mud and water [as a plaster]. But you can’t combine that with certain materials like roots. The medium is not sticky enough. So I had to look for a medium with a great deal of stickiness. “The medium which I use now is so sticky – a material like glue and oil which lasts a long time. I called this medium oil plaster.” U Kan Htay said he has attempted to replicate 3D paintings from the Baganera which he read about in books, but the results didn’t satisfy him. “I think the integrated arts can give the modern style,” he said. For this lifelong science teacher – he graduated with a degree in Zoology – art has always been a passionate sideline.

“I made my art works during the weekend because I was a government employee. So, I collected my artwork gradually.” He only showed his work at the urging of the Ministry of Culture, and shies from admitting they are worthy of such prominent public display. But he’s found an audience. He’s now making SEA Games souvenirs, and with retirement ahead, who knows what will come next? “I think integrated art can be used in many different ways: for example, in furniture or home decoration. I want many people to know about it. But at present, I cannot produce much more, because it is just a little family business.” With such exposure, however, there’s no doubt his work will serve as the roots from which other artists will branch away.

The artist as a young man. Photo: Supplied

Intricate root system. Photo: Supplied

Painted vase. Photo: Supplied

www.mmtimes.com
MUSIC REVIEW: GANGSTER LIFE BY YONE LAY

the pulse 47

Hip-hop that should be stopped

T

DOuGLAS LONG dlong125@gmail.com HE first time I listened to the song “Last Chance” on Yone Lay’s album Gangster Life, I thought something was seriously amiss with my stereo system. The song starts out agreeably enough, with well-known singer Chan Chan’s pleasant voice lilting over a softly strummed guitar. After about half a minute, however, things go terribly awry. This is the point at which Yone Lay takes the microphone and starts rapping in a way that is shockingly at odds with the rhythm of the song. Chan Chan is singing pop, while Yone Lay delivers lethargic rhymes to an off-kilter beat that apparently only he can hear. It’s like being caught between two radios tuned to different stations – I wanted to turn off the hip-hop radio and let Chan Chan finish her song without the interference. This is unfortunate, because 99 times out of 100 I would pick hiphop over saccharine pop vocals. Except that some people just weren’t cut out for rapping. There’s more to the art form than simply spewing rhymes into a microphone and aping the “gangsta” trope, which, like “punk”, has been rendered virtually meaningless

through years of misappropriation by glee clubbers. Hip-hop requires timing, flow, versatility and a few other hard-todefine attributes that might best be collectively described as “soul”. The most talented rappers make it seem easy, but when it’s done poorly, it inspires a greater appreciation for those who have mastered the essential skills. This point is aptly illustrated in “Underground Life”, which is by far the most likeable song on Gangster Life. The six-minute track features a collection of eminent guest rappers, including Jauk Jack, Kyaw Htut

Yone Lay delivers lethargic rhymes to an off-kilter beat that apparently only he can hear

Yone Lay’s album art. Photo: Supplied

Swe, Satan, Player-K and Mi San`dy. Despite the song’s chintzy electro-orchestral backing music, the guest rappers spend the first five minutes demonstrating how Myanmar hip-hop is meant to be performed: It’s flowy, powerful and playful. Were the bass track to be deleted, you would still be able to sense the beat pounding through the rhythmic vocal delivery. Then, with a minute to go, Yone Lay takes over with his cotton-mouthed, beat-deaf style,

and the song instantly tanks. The listener can discern a crucial lack of conviction, and the effect is like dumping cold water on a merry campfire: sizzle, hiss, lights out. Yone Lay does acquit himself reasonably well on songs like “Just Two of Us Like Before”, in which he sings pop music accompanied by an acoustic guitar. But in the midst of what is ostensibly a hip-hip album, such tracks seem rather dull and out of place. You might not know it from

listening to Gangster Life, but Yone Lay is quite accomplished as a composer of songs for numerous Myanmar pop stars. This is where he first gained fame and where his true talents seem to lie. I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that Yone Lay give up recording his own music. He’s free to exercise his creativity in any way he chooses – just as I’m free to delete the Gangster Life mp3 files from my iPod as soon as I’m done writing this review.

48 the pulse tea break
Universal Crossword
Edited by Timothy E. Parker

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEmBER 16 - 22, 2013

SUDOKU PACIFIC

MARQUEE MISTAKES By Corey Bowers
ACROSS 1 Wax-coated cheese 5 How the naive may be led 11 Caps lock neighbor 14 One of the Jackson 5 15 “Entertaining Mr. ___” (Joe Orton play) 16 Color 17 Fix the marquee “TRY OTHER RAP” 19 The last word in movies? 20 “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” author Loos 21 Maya Angelou work 22 Sonic jets of yore 23 Native of Katmandu 25 Cowboy’s lasso 27 Fix the marquee “I SEE A FOUL ASH” 32 Little scamp 35 Member of the British nobility 36 Fourth of 12 37 Train segments 39 Sioux or Apache 42 Went down 43 Express unsubtly 45 Lollobrigida or Gershon 47 “Comprende?” 48 Fix the marquee “A STRANGER SEX” 52 Drive forward 53 Unruffle feathers 57 “Things that go ___ in the night” 59 Virile one 62 Ear-related 63 Shipper Onassis, informally 64 Fix the marquee “CRIMSON NETS” 66 Templeton in “Charlotte’s Web” 67 Fly a plane 68 “The Time Machine” race 69 Head of The Family Stone 70 Annoy 71 Performed a baseball maneuver DOWN 1 Patriot Allen 2 Keaton of Hollywood 3 Take ___ down memory lane ... 4 Like some enemies 5 Venomous viper 6 Hog food 7 Dorothy’s dog 8 They make the grade? 9 Hemoglobin deficiency 10 “___ out!” (ump’s call) 11 Dictionary kin 12 Polly, to Tom Sawyer 13 Hospital units 18 New Haven student, informally 22 Obeys an octagonal sign 24 “___ first you don’t succeed ...” 26 “Oh, there you are!” 28 Goof up 29 Set straight 30 Trig figure 31 Actress Sommer 32 “Law & Order: SVU” co-star 33 Angela Lansbury role 34 Closeness 38 ___ of approval 40 Full-size 41 Endings for “ethyl” and “butyl” 44 Mind reader’s letters 46 Like a raucous stadium crowd 49 Delete 50 Morissette of music 51 Boozers 54 Bird warble 55 1970s bombing locale 56 Charlton Heston title role 57 They’re not good to be behind 58 River to the Caspian 60 Aspiring atty.’s exam 61 Suffix for kitchen 64 “Treasure Island” prop 65 Always, poetically

DILBERT

BY SCOTT ADAMS

PEANUTS

BY CHARLES SCHULZ

CALVIN AND HOBBES

BY BILL WATTERSON

PUZZLE SOLUTIONS

Laugh all the way to the bank when you rent this space.
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the pulse food and drink 49

A half-dozen holiday refreshments, brewed to a tea

PHYO’S COOKING ADVENTURE

L

phyocooking@gmail.com

ET’S face it: Unless you’re celebrating from the top of Mount Hkakabo Razi, there’s not much chance of a white Christmas in Myanmar. And as cool as the evenings are getting in Yangon these days, pack a dozen friends into your place and you’re more likely to reach for the ice-cube tray than the hot cocoa or egg nog. At the same time, if you are having a party, you’ll want something different, something special, that you don’t serve all year round. And with alcohol supplies running short at the major supermarkets, what’s the consummate host to serve guests that will complement their seasonal noshing? Fear not: For the festive season, I have brewed up some special drinks with which to welcome your guests. Prepare these in advance and then bring them out for Christmas brunch or even dinner on New Year’s Eve. If you like sweetness, you can add sugar, syrup or fruit juice, but tea is already rich with antioxidants and herbs. Natural ice tea without sugar can be a regular part of a healthy lifestyle, during the holidays or all year.

Berry tea with mint (SERVES 4) 4 bags mixed berry tea (available in most supermarkets) 4 cups hot water 2 cups ice 2 cups berry juice (optional) 5-6 mint leaves Brew tea bags in the hot water for 5 minutes, until they’re well-infused and the tea is strong. Remove tea bags and let tea cool fully. When room temperature, add ice, berry juice (optional). When they are cool enough, in a separate container combine ice, berry juice and crushed mint leaves. Pour berry tea over them and keep sealed in fridge. Bring out when ready to serve. IceD Green tea with GinGer (SERVES 4) 4 bags green tea (Japanese is best) 4 cups hot water 1 piece fresh ginger (about 4cm by 3cm) 2 cups ice Wash fresh ginger well and slice thinly. Bruise with flat knife. Prepare green tea in hot water and let infuse for at least 5 minutes. Let cool. When tea is at room temperature, put ginger slices and ice in a container, then pour green tea over and keep sealed in fridge. Bring out when ready to serve. APPLe, cinnamOn anD basiL iceD tea (SERVES 4) 4 bags apple and cinnamon tea

hot water over and infuse for at least 30 minutes, letting cool to room temperature. Discard tea bags and add ice and crushed mints. Keep sealed in fridge and bring out when ready to serve. WatermeLOn sODa with basiL (SERVES 4) 500 grams watermelon 7-8 sprigs Italian or sweet basil 4 cups (1 litre) soda water Cut watermelon into cubes and discard seeds. Pick off basil leaves and discard stems. Add watermelon and basil leaves into container in layers. Pour in soda water and let infuse for 3 hours in fridge. Add ice before serving. apple into large cubes without peeling, and add to tea immediately to keep colour fresh. If you’ve used the apple, tea leaves and cinnamon stick method, remove them before pouring. If you want to reuse them, only 2 cups of hot water should be added. OranGe anD vaniLLa iceD tea (SERVES 4) 1 orange 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 3 tablespoons green tea leaves 4 cups hot water 2 cups ice 5-6 mint leaves 2 cups berry juice (optional) Slice orange into 1cm thickness without peeling. Add tea leaves into tea bags. Add orange, vanilla essence and tea bags into heat-proof jar. Pour Mint, Lime anD meLOn sODa (SERVES 4) ¼ rock melon 1 lime 7-8 mint leaves 4 cups (1 litre) soda water Slice lime thinly without peeling. Peel rock melon, cut into cubes and discard seeds. Add the rock melon, lime and mint into container in layers. Pour in soda water and let infuse for 3 hours in fridge. Add ice before serving. FOODy QUOTE “Food is a central activity of mankind and one of the single most significant trademarks of a culture.” – Mark Kurlansky, Choice Cuts NEXT WEEK Happy holidays!

Mixed Berry Tea. Photo: Phyo

tea

or 1 apple 1 cinnamon stick 3 tablespoons of Chinese or green 4 cups hot water 2 cups ice 5-6 leaves Italian basil 1 apple 1 cup apple juice (optional)

Wine Review
Aythaya Sauvignon Blanc – 2013

This bottle is most definitely better than Aythaya’s red wine. Damning with faint praise aside, this white wine is a bit too tangy and bit too sweet, but until the ministry allows foreign imports again, wine lovers looking for a fix should try it out.

Place the tea bags in hot water and let them infuse for at least 5 minutes. Alternatively, peel and dice apple roughly, then add apple bits and cinnamon stick into a heatproof jar and pour the hot water over, infusing for at least 30 minutes. Let tea cool to room temperature. Add ice, basil leaves and apple juice (optional) to a separate container. Pour the green tea over and keep sealed in fridge. Just before serving, chop another

W W HIte IN e

Enjoy the view and eat panini at Bar Boon
SANDWICHED between Zaw Gyi Guesthouse and Bogyoke Market is Bar Boon, a cafe and coffee house where a weary shopper can take a load off, do some people watching and enjoy delicious if overpriced food. First and foremost, Bar Boon is a lovely space that the owners have more than maximised. A wellappointed interior opens into a wide outdoor patio, which is set just far enough from the street to insulate one from the bustle and general chaos of Bogyoke Aung San Road. What’s more, the food really is something special. I enjoyed the turkey bacon sandwich, while my compatriots had chicken and avocado on baguette and a vegetable Panini, respectively. The ingredients are fresh, and the bread is hearty and toasted to perfection. For desert, we shared whopping slices of apple pie and carrot cake. While neither confection skipped on sugar or frosting, they managed to stay on the right side of rich, and were this reviewer’s favourite part of the meal. While the sandwiches are quite excellent, none of them are quite filling enough for a meal on their own, so we all ended up supplementing our lunch with cakes and simple toasted sandwiches. This

Score

6/10
K

Bar Boon
380 Bogyoke Aung San Rd (Parkson FMI Center, 1st Floor), Pabedan Township Food 9 Drink 9 Atmosphere 9 X-factor 8 Service 7 Value for money 6 Total Score:

9,500

W red IN e

Paris Wine (Special) – 2006

Does the actual Paris know about this? Somehow both sickly sweet and bitter, this wine reminded the author of sangria that had been left out in the sun. No matter how long the import ban lasts, this bottle should be avoided at all costs.

8/10

Score

2/10
K

Ham and Cheese Toastie next to vegetable baguette. Photo: Staff

4,500

would not be a big deal if the prices were reasonable, but this is where Bar Boon gets serious demerits. The prices for sandwiches are

just too high, ranging from K5000 to K7000. To enjoy a proper, filling meal we had to spend upwards of K50,000 for three of us. As stated

above, the food is quite excellent, but knowing how much equally excellent food you could get for the same price leaves a sour taste. The servers are perfectly friendly, but be prepared to wait a good while for your food if you come with more than two people. In the interest of ending on a positive note, they’ll say that the coffee is most definitely a cut above most Yangon cafes. The wait staff does not simply push buttons on a coffee machine: They are true baristas. So if you want a pleasant vantage point to watch the human zoo that is Yangon, go to Bar Boon. Just remember to bring a lot of cash.

50 the pulse socialite
Junction Square 14th anniversary Wynn’s birthday party

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16-22, 2013

San Toe Naing, Tun Ko Ko and Nan Myat Phyo Thin

U Aik Tun and Daw Sandar Tun

Nan Khin Zay Yar

Wynn

Staff members

San Oo

Thiri Lu and Jesse

Sony Gient Sales

TMW Staff members

Casabella year-end big sale

Ma Nandar and Daw Khin Mar Lar

Zoom and Zin Zin

Staff members

May Phyo Zaw

www.mmtimes.com
Italian food festival

the pulse socialite 51
Phyo

NYEIn EI EI HTWE
nyeineieihtwe23@gmail.com

Socialite had another fantastic week full of delightful, delicious and dazzling events around Yangon. On December 2, she attended the 7 Days in Myanmar photo exhibition and photography book launch featuring famous Myanmar photographers at the Chatrium Hotel. On December 6, she was at the Sony Gient sales at the TMW complex. On the following day, she attended the press launch of Shangri-La Hotel’s new project, Junction centers’ 14th anniversary at Junction Square, Italian food festival at Market Place and ended her busy day with the Christmas-Tree lighting ceremony at Traders Hotel. She also attended the Casabella year-end promotion on her weekends.

Cho Wutt Yee

Daw May Zin Soe Htet

City Mart staffs

Shangri-La new hotel project press

7 days in Myanmar photo exhibition

Phillip Couvaras

U Maung Kyay

Kieran Twomey

Kay Kuok

Guests

Su Myat, Pheobe and Snow

Guest

Traders Hotel’s Christmas Tree lighting ceremony

Staff member, Daw Thwe Thwe Kyi and U Myo Nyunt

Fatimah Wille, Jenny and U Soe Win

52 the pulse travel

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

DOMESTIC FLIGHT SCHEDULES
YANGON TO NAy PyI TAW Flight FMI A1 Y5 777 FMI A1 FMI B1 FMI A1 FMI C1 YH -SPL Days 1,2,3,4,5 1,2,3,4,6 6 1,2,3,4,5 7 1,2,3,4,5 1,4,6 Dep 7:30 7:45 8:00 11:30 15:30 16:30 18:00 Arr 8:30 8:25 9:00 12:30 16:30 17:30 19:10 MANDALAy TO YANGON Flight YJ 901 YH 910 Y5 233 YH 918 YJ 891 YH 910 6T 402 K7 223 NAy PyI TAW TO YANGON Flight FMI A2 FMI A2 FMI B2 FMI A2 Y5 778 FMI C2 YH -SPL Days 1,2,3,4,5 6 1,2,3,4,5 7 1,2,3,4,6 1,2,3,4,5 1,4,6 Dep 8:50 10:00 13:00 17:00 17:30 18:00 19:10 Arr 9:50 11:00 14:00 18:00 18:10 19:00 20:02 W9 201 W9 144 YH 918 Y5 132 YJ 001 K7 227 K7 627 YH 832 K7 845 6T 808 YANGON TO MANDALAy Flight YJ 901 YH 917 YJ 891 Y5 234 YH 909 YH 909 6T 401 K7 222 K7 626 K7 226 YH 917 YH 831 YH 909 YJ 001 W9 201 8M 6603 YH 737 K7 624 YJ 211 YJ 601 YH 737 YJ 761 YJ 201 YJ 751/W9 7751 YH 737 YH 729 W9 251 6T 807 YH 727 6T 807 K7 224 W9 129 YH 731 6T 501 W9 211 Days Daily 2,3,4,5,6,7 Daily Daily 1,2,3,4,5 7 Daily Daily 1,5 2,4 1 2,4,6 6 1,2,3,4,5 Daily 2,4,7 5 Daily 5,7 1 7 1,2,4,6 1,2,3,4 3,5,7 3 2,4,6 2,5 7 1 1 Daily Daily Daily Daily Daily Dep 6:00 6:00 6:10 6:15 6:15 6:15 6:20 6:30 6:45 6:45 7:00 7:00 7:00 7:30 7:30 9:00 10:15 10:30 10:30 10:30 10:30 11:00 11:00 11:00 11:00 11:00 11:15 11:30 12:00 12:00 14:30 15:00 15:00 15:30 15:30 Arr 7:25 8:20 8:15 7:30 7:55 8:35 8:25 8:40 8:10 8:10 9:20 8:40 8:40 9:20 8:55 10:10 12:25 11:55 11:55 11:55 12:40 12:55 12:25 12:55 13:10 14:00 12:40 12:55 15:35 13:25 16:35 16:55 17:10 17:30 16:55 YANGON TO NyAUNG U Flight YH 917 YJ 901 YJ 891 W9 141 YH 909 YH 909 6T 401 6T 351 K7 222 YH 917 W9 143 K7 224 W9 211 YH 731 6T 501 Days 2,3,4,5,6,7 Daily Daily Daily 6,7 1,2,3,4,5 Daily 1,2,3,4,6,7 Daily 1 Daily Daily Daily Daily Daily Dep 6:00 6:00 6:10 6:15 6:15 6:15 6:20 6:30 6:30 7:00 7:15 14:30 15:30 15:00 15:30 Arr 7:35 8:10 7:30 7:35 7:50 8:40 7:40 7:50 7:50 8:35 8:35 17:25 17:40 17:55 18:20 6T 808 YJ 602 YJ 202 YJ 212 YH 738 YJ 762 W9 120 YH 738 K7 225 W9 129 YH 738 W9 211 YH 732 K7 625 8M 6604 YH 728 YH 730 6T 502 YJ 752/W9 7752 Days Daily 1,2,3,4,5 Daily 2,3,4,5,6,7 Daily 7 Daily Daily Daily Daily 1 3,5,6,7 1,2,3,4,5 2,4 1,5 2,4,6 2,4,7 7 1 6 1,2,3,4 5,7 5 1,2,4,6 1,3,6 7 Daily Daily 3 Daily Daily Daily 2,4,7 1 2,4,6 Daily 3,5,7 Dep 7:40 7:55 8:10 8:20 8:30 8:35 8:45 8:55 9:10 9:20 9:20 9:30 9:50 10:35 10:55 11:30 12:50 13:15 13:45 15:10 15:30 15:30 16:35 16:35 16:30 16:40 16:50 17:10 17:10 17:10 17:10 17:10 17:20 17:30 17:45 17:50 17:50 Arr 9:45 10:00 9:25 10:15 10:25 10:00 10:45 11:00 11:05 10:45 11:15 10:30 10:45 12:00 12:20 12:55 16:00 15:15 15:45 16:35 16:55 17:35 17:45 18:00 17:55 18:05 19:00 18:35 18:35 19:15 19:15 18:35 18:30 18:55 19:10 19:55 19:15 Flight YH 917 YJ 891 W9 141 6T 401 K7 222 6T 351 YH 917 W9 201 K7 828 YH 737 YH 737 YH 505 YJ 751/W9 7751 YJ 761 YH 737 6T 807 W9 203 W9 119 W9 129 K7 826 YANGON TO MyITKyINA Flight YH 831 K7 844 K7 624 YJ 211 YJ 201 W9 251 Days 2,4,6 2,4,7 Daily 5,7 1,2,3,4 2,5 Dep 7:00 7:30 10:30 10:30 11:00 11:15 Arr 10:05 11:05 13:25 13:20 13:50 14:10 NyAUNG U TO YANGON Flight YH 917 YJ 891 YH 910 YH 910 W9 141 K7 222 YJ 901 YH 910 YH 917 W9 144 6T 351 K7 225 W9 211 YH 732 6T 502 Days 2,3,4,5,6,7 Daily 6 7 Daily Daily 1,2,3,4,5,6 1,2,3,4,5 1 Daily 5 Daily Daily Daily Daily Dep 7:35 7:45 7:50 7:50 7:50 8:05 8:25 8:40 8:35 8:50 10:50 17:45 17:55 17:55 18:35 Arr 10:15 10:25 9:10 10:00 10:40 11:00 9:45 10:00 11:15 10:10 13:55 19:00 19:15 19:15 19:55 Flight W9 141 6T 352 YH 918 YJ 891 6T 402 K7 223 W9 201 YH 918 YH 506 W9 204 K7 829 6T 808 6T 808 W9 120 YJ 762 YH 738 K7 224 YH 738 W9 129 Arr 12:55 16:55 17:35 16:55 18:35 19:00 Flight 6T 605 Arr 9:05 9:00 8:20 9:20 9:30 8:45 10:05 9:40 8:45 11:40 11:55 11:55 12:10 12:10 12:25 13:50 12:10 12:25 16:10 13:00 Flight K7 320 YH 633 MyEIK TO YANGON Days Daily 1,3,5,7 Dep 11:30 12:25 Arr 13:35 13:25 Day 1 = Monday 2 = Tuesday 3 = Wednesday 4 = Thursday 5 = Friday 6 = Saturday 7 = Sunday Flight K7 319 YH 633 YANGON TO MyEIK Days Daily 1,3,5,7 Dep 7:00 7:00 Arr 9:05 9:15 Flight YH 512 6T 606 K7 427 6T 612 SIT T WE TO yANGON Days 1,5 Daily Daily 4,6 Dep 12:05 13:35 14:05 16:15 Arr 13:55 15:00 15:25 17:40 6T 611 W9 309 YH 511 K7 426 YH 731 YH 738 YH 728 6T 501 K7 827 HEhO TO YANGON Days Daily Daily 2,3,4,5,6,7 Daily Daily Daily Daily 1 2,3,4,6,7 Daily 1,3,5 7 1 1,3,6 1,2,4,6 7 Daily 3 Daily Daily 5 1 Daily 2,6 Dep 8:35 9:00 9:05 9:15 9:35 9:45 9:55 10:05 11:55 12:25 13:50 14:05 14:35 15:45 15:50 15:55 16:00 16:25 16:25 16:25 16:35 16:45 16:55 17:25 Arr 10:40 11:10 10:15 10:25 10:45 11:00 11:05 11:15 14:00 13:35 15:05 15:15 15:45 17:55 18:00 18:05 19:00 18:35 18:35 19:15 17:45 18:55 19:55 18:40 ThANDWE TO YANGON Flight W9 141 6T 632 6T 605 6T 632 YH 512 YH 506 W9 307 W9 309 Days Daily 1,2,3,4,6,7 Dailys 5 1,5 2,3,4,6,7 2,4 1,3,5,6,7 Dep 9:50 10:15 12:25 13:00 13:05 13:10 14:05 14:05 Arr 10:40 11:10 15:00 13:55 13:55 14:00 14:55 14:55 YH 727 6T 807 K7 224 YH 731 6T 501 1 1 Daily Daily Daily 12:00 12:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 13:25 14:20 15:45 16:25 16:40 YANGON TO ThANDWE Flight W9 141 6T 351 6T 605 YH 505 W9307 W9 309 YH 511 Days Daily 1,2,3,4,6,7 Daily 2,3,4,6,7 2,4 1,3,5,6,7 1,5 Dep 6:15 6:30 11:15 10:30 11:30 11:30 10:30 Arr 9:35 10:00 12:10 13:10 13:50 13:50 13:05

Domestic Airlines
Air Bagan Ltd. (W9) Air KBZ (K7)
Tel : 513322, 513422, 504888, Fax : 515102 Tel: 372977~80, 533030~39 (Airport), Fax: 372983

MyITKyINA TO YANGON Flight YH 832 YJ 211 YJ 211 YJ 202 K7 625 W9 252 Days 2,4,6 7 5 1,2,3,4 Daily 2,5 Dep 10:05 13:35 13:35 14:05 15:40 16:05

Air Mandalay (6T)

Tel : (Head Office) 501520, 525488, Fax: 525937. Airport: 533222~3, 09-73152853. Fax: 533223.

Asian Wings (YJ)

Tel: 951 516654, 532253, 09-731-35991~3. Fax: 951 532333

YANGON TO SIT T WE Days Daily 4,6 1,3,5,6,7 1,5 Daily Dep 11:15 14:30 11:30 10:30 12:30 Arr 13:15 15:55 12:55 12:05 13:50

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)
Tel: 95 9 400446999, 95 9 400447999, Fax: 01 860 4051

YANGON TO HEhO Days 2,3,4,5,6,7 Daily Daily Daily Daily 1,2,3,4,6,7 1 Daily 1,3,5 5 7 2,3,4,6,7 3,5,7 1,2,4,6 3 7 Daily 1,3,6 Daily 2,6 Dep 6:00 6:10 6:15 6:20 6:30 6:30 7:00 7:30 7:30 10:15 10:30 10:30 11:00 11:00 11:00 11:30 11:00 11:15 15:00 11:45

Yangon Airways(YH)

Tel: (+95-1) 383 100, 383 107, 700 264, Fax: 652 533.

FMI Air Charter - Sales & Reservations

Tel: (95-1) 240363, 240373 / (+95-9) 421146545

Domestic
6T = Air Mandalay W9 = Air Bagan YJ = Asian Wings K7 = AIR KBZ YH = Yangon Airways FMI = FMI AIR Charter Y5 = Golden Myanmar Airlines

Subject to change without notice

www.mmtimes.com

the pulse travel 53

INteRNatioNal FLIGHT SCHEDULES
Flights PG 706 8M 335 TG 304 PG 702 TG 302 PG 708 8M 331 PG 704 Y5 237 TG 306

YANGON TO BANGKOK Days Dep Daily 7:15 Daily 8:40 Daily 9:50 Daily 10:30 Daily 14:55 Daily 15:20 Daily 16:30 Daily 18:20 Daily 18:05 Daily 19:45

Arr 9:30 10:25 11:45 12:25 16:50 17:15 18:15 20:15 19:50 21:40 Arr 9:45 10:20 14:40 19:25 22:50 Arr 5:00 12:25 18:25 14:40 14:45 16:20 21:15 19:35 21:35 00:10+1 Arr 15:30 12:50 16:30 20:15 23:10 Arr 21:55 Arr 13:15 15:50 22:15 Arr 8:50 8:05 Arr 16:15 17:20 Arr 18:35 18:00 17:35 Arr 16:10 Arr 21:30 Arr 17:10 Arr 11:15 11:15 Arr 12:30 Arr 8:50 07:45+1 Arr 05:35 Arr 06:45+1 Arr 10:45 Arr 10:20 Arr 20:45 Arr 11:45 21:45 16:40 Arr 15:15 Arr 17:20 Arr 22:45

Flights 8M 336 TG 303 PG 701 TG 301 PG 707 PG 703 TG 305 8M 332 PG 705 Y5 238

BANGKOK TO YANGON Days Dep Daily 11:55 Daily 8:00 Daily 8:50 Daily 13:00 Daily 13:40 Daily 16:45 Daily 17:50 Daily 19:20 Daily 20:00 Daily 21:10

Arr 12:40 8:45 9:40 13:45 14:30 17:35 18:45 20:05 21:15 21:55 Arr 7:15 8:00 12:20 17:05 20:25 Arr 9:20 10:25 10:40 10:40 14:50 14:30 15:45 16:30 17:05 18:50 20:50 23:35 Arr 13:15 Arr 8:00 11:15 15:00 17:30 18:25 Arr 10:30 16:35 15:50 Arr 9:55 10:35 Arr 22:15 23:40 Arr 11:30 13:15 13:55 Arr 18:10 Arr 18:10 Arr 13:25 Arr 06:29+1 6:29 Arr 14:30 Arr 14:55 Arr 22:30 23:40 Arr 17:15 Arr 23:45 Arr 18:30 Arr 8:45 18:45 13:25 Arr 12:20 Arr 13:50 Arr 19:15

International Airlines
Air Asia (FD)
Tel: 251 885, 251 886.

Air Bagan Ltd.(W9) Air China (CA) Air India

Tel : 513322, 513422, 504888, Fax : 515102

YANGON TO DON MUENG Flights Days Dep DD 4231 1,3,5,7 8:00 FD 2752 Daily 8:30 FD 2756 Daily 12:50 FD 2754 Daily 17:35 FD 2758 1,2,3,4 20:55 YANGON TO SINGAPORE Flights Days Dep MI 509/SQ 5019 1,2,6,7 0:25 8M 231 Daily 8:00 8M 233 5,6,7 14:00 Y5 233 Daily 10:10 SQ 997/MI 5871 Daily 10:25 3K 586 Daily 11:40 MI 517/SQ 5017 Daily 16:40 TR 2827 1,6,7 15:10 TR 2827 2,3,4,5 17:10 3K 588 2,3,5 19:30 YANGON TO KUALA LUMPUR Flights Days Dep 8M 501 1,2,3,5,6 11:30 AK 1427 Daily 8:30 MH 741 Daily 12:15 MH 743 Daily 16:00 AK 1421 Daily 18:50
Flights CA 906 Flights 8M 711 CZ 3056 CZ 3056

DON MUENG TO YANGON Flights Days Dep DD 4230 1,3,5,7 6:30 FD 2751 Daily 7:15 FD 2755 Daily 11:35 FD 2753 Daily 16:20 FD 2757 1,2,3,4 19:35 SINGAPORE TO YANGON Flights Days Dep SQ 998/MI 5872 Daily 7:55 8M 6231/3K 585 2,4,7 8:55 3K 585 Daily 9:10 8M 6231/3K 585 1,3,5,6 9:10 8M 232 Daily 13:25 TR 2826 1,6,7 13:10 MI 518/MI 5018 Daily 14:20 TR 2826 2,3,4,5 15:00 Y5 234 Daily 15:35 3K 587 2,3,5 17:20 8M 234 5,6,7 19:25 MI 520/SQ 5020 1,5,6,7 22:10
Flights CA 905

Japanese novelist Nakajima got his start in South Pacific

Tel : 666112, 655882.

Tel : 253597~98, 254758. Fax: 248175

Bangkok Airways (PG) Condor (DE)

Tel: 255122, 255 265, Fax: 255119

K

MAkIkO YANADA

Tel: + 95 1 -370836 up to 39 (ext : 810)

Dragonair (KA)

Tel: 95-1-255320, 255321, Fax : 255329

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)
Tel: 95 9 400446999, 95 9 400447999, Fax: 01 860 4051

BEIJING TO YANGON Days Dep 2,3,4,6,7 8:05

YANGON TO BEIJING Days Dep 2,3,4,6,7 14:15 YANGON TO GAUNGZHOU Days Dep 2,4,7 8:40 3,6 11:35 1,5 17:40

KAULA LUMPUR TO YANGON Flights Days Dep AK 1426 Daily 6:55 MH 740 Daily 10:05 MH742 Daily 13:50 8M 502 1,2,3,5,6 16:30 AK 1420 Daily 17:20
Flights CZ 3055 CZ 3055 8M 712 Flights CI 7915 BR 287

Malaysia Airlines (MH)

Tel : 387648, 241007 ext : 120, 121, 122 Fax : 241124

Myanmar Airways International(8M)
Tel : 255260, Fax: 255305

YANGON TO INCHEON Flights Days Dep 8M 7502 Daily 0:50 8M 7702 Daily 23:45
Flights CI 7916 QR 288

GUANGZHOU TO YANGON Days Dep 3,6 8:40 1,5 14:45 2,4,7 14:15 TAIPEI TO YANGON Days Dep 1,2,3,5,6 7:00 2,5,6 7:45

Silk Air(MI)

Tel: 255 287~9, Fax: 255 290

Thai Airways (TG)

Tel : 255491~6, Fax : 255223

YANGON TO TAIPEI Days Dep 1,2,3,5,6 10:50 2,5,6 11:35

Vietnam Airlines (VN)

Fax : 255086. Tel 255066/ 255088/ 255068.

YANGON TO KUNMING Flights Days Dep MU 2012 1,3 12:20 MU 2032 Daily 14:40 CA 906 2,3,4,6,7 14:15
Flights W9 9607 Flights VN 956

INCHEON TO YANGON Flights Days Dep 8M 7701 Daily 18:40 8M 7501 Daily 19:30
Flights MU 2011 CA 905 MU 2031 Flights W9 9608 Flights VN 957

Qatar Airways (Temporary Office)
Tel: 01-250388, (ext: 8142, 8210) Tel: 371867~68, Fax: 371869.

YANGON TO CHIANG MAI Days Dep 4,7 14:20 YANGON TO HANOI Days Dep 1,3,5,6,7 19:10

KUNMING TO YANGON Days Dep 1,3 8:20 2,3,4,6,7 13:00 Daily 13:30 CHIANG MAI TO YANGON Days Dep 4,7 17:20 HANOI TO YANGON Days Dep 1,3,5,6,7 16:35

Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG)

International
FD & AK = Air Asia TG = Thai Airways 8M = Myanmar Airways International Y5 = Golden Myanmar Airlines PG = Bangkok Airways MI = Silk Air VN = Vietnam Airline MH = Malaysia Airlines CZ = China Southern CI = China Airlines CA = Air China KA = Dragonair Y5 = Golden Myanmar Airlines IC = Indian Airlines Limited W9 = Air Bagan 3K = Jet Star AI = Air India QR = Qatar Airways KE = Korea Airlines NH = All Nippon Airways SQ = Singapore Airways DE = Condor Airlines MU=China Eastern Airlines BR = Eva Airlines DE = Condor AI = Air India

YANGON TO HO CHI MINH CITY Flights Days Dep VN 942 2,4,7 14:25
Flights QR 619 QR 919 Flights 8M 403 Flights 0Z 770 KE 472 Flights KA 251 Flights NH 914 Flights 8M 401 Flights 8M 601 Flights BG 061

YANGON TO DOHA Days Dep Daily 7:30 Daily 7:30 YANGON TO PHNOM PENH Days Dep 1,3,6 8:35 YANGON TO SEOUL Days Dep 4,7 0:50 Daily 23:35 YANGON TO HONG KONG Days Dep 1,2,4,6 01:10 YANGON TO TOKYO Days Dep Daily 22:10 YANGON TO SIEM REAP Days Dep 1,3,6 8:35 YANGON TO GAYA Days Dep 1,3,5,6 9:00 YANGON TO DHAKA Days Dep 1,4 19:30

HO CHI MINH CITY TO YANGON Flights Days Dep VN 943 2,4,7 11:40
Flights QR 618 QR 918 Flights 8M 602

DOHA TO YANGON Days Dep Daily 21:15 Daily 21:15 GAYA TO YANGON Days Dep 1,3,5,6 11:20

PHNOM PENH TO YANGON Flights Days Dep 8M 404 1,3,6 13:30
Flights KE 471 0Z 769 Flights NH 913 Flights KA 250 Flights BG 060

SEOUL TO YANGON Days Dep Daily 18:30 3,6 19:30 TOKYO TO YANGON Days Dep Daily 11:40 HONG KONG TO YANGON Days Dep 1,3,5,7 21:50 DHAKA TO YANGON Days Dep 1,4 16:15

MANDALAY TO BANGKOK Flights Days Dep TG 2982 2,4,6 9:30 TG 2984 5,7 19:35 PG 710 Daily 14:15 MANDALAY TO DON MUENG Flights Days Dep FD 2761 Daily 12:50
Flights MU 2030 Flights PG 722

BANGKOK TO MANDALAY Flights Days Dep TG 2981 2,4,6 7:30 TG 2983 5,7 17:30 PG 709 Daily 12:05 DON MUEANG TO MANDALAY Flights Days Dep FD 2760 Daily 10:55
Flights MU 2029 Flights PG 721

Subject to change without notice
Day 1 = Monday 2 = Tuesday 3 = Wednesday 4 = Thursday 5 = Friday 6 = Saturday 7 = Sunday

MANDALAY TO KUNMING Days Dep Daily 14:40 NAYPYIDAW TO BANGKOK Days Dep Daily 19:45

KUNMING TO MANDALAY Days Dep Daily 13:55 BANGKOK TO NAYPYIDAW Days Dep Daily 17:15

OROR, Palau — Palm trees line the streets under a broad blue sky in Palau, an island country in the South Pacific, which was briefly home to Japanese author Atsushi Nakajima. Nakajima was born in 1909 in Tokyo, the son of a Chinese classics teacher. After earning a degree in Japanese literature at the University of Tokyo, Nakajima taught Japanese and other subjects at a girls’ high school in Yokohama for eight years. Nakajima lived in Palau as an official of the South Pacific Mandate, a Japanese government agency. He was deeply fond of the people of Palau and depicted them positively in his work. After he returned from Palau, Nakajima wrote novels based on classical Chinese stories. In 1942, his work “Hikari to Kaze to Yume” (Light, wind and dreams) was nominated for the Akutagawa Prize, but he died in December that year. His novel “Sangetsuki” (The Moon over the Mountain) depicts a poet who turns into a tiger when he despairs that his life is not going the way he wanted. It has been used in many Japanese high school textbooks. The people of Palau retain many memories of Japan’s colonial rule. On the island of Koror, home to more than half of Palau’s total population of about 20,000 people, a group of elderly women played with hanafuda Japanese playing cards at a meeting hall. “We learned that at a school Japan built,” said Nina, 83, in Japanese, as she made a basket near the women playing hanafuda. Rechuld, a 33-year-old police academy student, said Japanese words such as “senkyo” (election) and “shidosha” (leader) are still used on Palau. Japan occupied Micronesia, which was then German territory, in 1914, the first year of World War I. In 1915, Japan set up schools to teach local children the Japanese language. In 1922, the Japanese government established the headquarters of the South Pacific Mandate, which had jurisdiction over all of Micronesia. The administration continued until Japan’s defeat in World War II. Nakajima arrived on the island in July 1941 to work as the colonial government’s official in charge of supervising Japanese language textbooks. He was unknown as a novelist at that time and took the job so he could write in a tropical climate, which would be better for his asthma. At that time, however, Japan was preparing for war against the United States, and began drafting local residents and constructing military facilities.

Portrait taken during Nakajima’s time on Palau. Photo: Washington Post

Nakajima complained to his wife in letters: “We’ve gradually become unable to give [the local people] enough food and housing” and “Making little changes in textbooks is meaningless at a time like this.” When he returned to Japan in March 1942, he devoted himself to writing, as if attempting to shake off the depression he felt in Palau. His health deteriorated, but during the nine months before his death, Nakajima wrote one masterpiece after another, including “Riryo” and “Deshi” (Apprentice), both of which depict classical Chinese characters. Nakajima also compiled an anthology of short stories called “Nantotan” (Stories of southern islands), which are stories based on the legends, people and cuisine of the Southern Pacific islands, including Palau. In one of his works, Nakajima wrote about the atmosphere of the island, saying, “Is the word ‘time’ in the vocabulary of this island?” After Nakajima’s death, Koror and other Palauan islands became battlefields in World War II. Amalei, a 78-year-old woman who experienced the air strikes, said in Japanese: “The war was a special circumstance. I don’t think badly of Japan.” Today, there is almost no one on the island who knows about Nakajima. Even Yutaka Gibbons, 69, whose mother is said to be the model for a character in Nakajima’s short story set on the island, asked in a surprised tone, “Was my mother really depicted in a novel?” I learned that Nakajima had told his wife he liked the people on the island. What would he think if he saw the islanders still had connections to Japanese language and culture even after the war? As he was a novelist who had collected many ideas for his future stories, he might have written a masterpiece infused with the warmth of the southern islands and the sorrows of people living there.

54 the pulse international

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

Quest for Quester: A Tokyo driving experience

dECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013
AQUARIUS | Jan 20 - Feb 18

WEEKLY PReDICTIONS
LeO | Jul 23 - Aug 22 Leaders work out their views in the real world of action. You should live up to all your standards. Like everything else, values and moral principles take practice. To improve yourself, you first need to accept yourself. Remember, leading your life may be complicated but it sure beats the alternative.

I

MyO LwIN myolwin286@gmail.com

T’S not often that reporters are asked to supply documentation of their blood type before conducting research for a story. You know – just in case something bad happens. But this is exactly what happened to me during a recent trip to Japan. I was among more than 20 journalists from throughout Asia – two of us from Myanmar – who were in Tokyo as guests of UD Trucks to test-drive their line of commercial vehicles. Admittedly, I was a bit scared about the whole thing: My driving experience was limited to small passenger cars in Yangon; I had never been behind the wheel of a big commercial truck before. Being asked to fill out a form with my blood type didn’t make me feel any calmer, but when the driving manager called for a volunteer to go first, I immediately raised my hand. I thought it would be better to get it over with rather than waiting nervously for my turn. The weather in Tokyo was cool, but an anxiety-induced sweat broke out on my skin as I climbed into the cab of the big orangey-brown truck. It was called the Quester, which I was told combined UD’s history of durability with “high technology” from Volvo, which bought the company in 2007. Among the Quester’s selling points is that it was designed for the Asian market and features high fuel efficiency and a manual transmission – which just added to the bad news, since I didn’t have much experience with manual shifting. Did I mention that the truck was huge? It had 10 wheels and an 11-litre, 390-horsepower engine, which was a bit bigger than my four-wheeled, 1.8-litre Toyota Corona. Oh well. I strapped myself in with the seatbelt and started the engine. UD’s driver development manager, Per Hansen, took me through some transmission exercises, which I found quite difficult. But ready or not, after a few minutes of practice I had to take the big step of releasing the handbrake. There was a loud hiss as the air brakes released their hold. I carefully pressed the accelerator, and off we went around the circular test track. The Australian Mr Hansen, was in the truck with me. As I drove, he delivered an incessant stream

Understand that broader responsibility comes with broader maturity. Resort to excuses only rarely and reluctantly. Accept the credit – and the blame – for all of your attitudes, emotions and decisions. In matters of ethics, always avoid complexity in favour of clear-cut answers. Be free from selfishness and open up your heart and mind to others willingly.

PISCeS | Feb 19 - March 20 Beware of pamphleteers lurking at the door with the cure for your perplexity. Don’t underestimate how tempting the appeal of simple truths can be, especially when your life is in disarray. You’d be trading in your questions for answers, but just when you think all is resolved, your questions will reappear more forcefully than ever. You’re better off sticking with your questions, quandaries and standards. Study moral philosophy.

VIRgO | Aug 23 - Sep 22 Accept the status quo, but put a personal emphasis on vision, value and motivation. Make time for introspection, but also know when you need to hit hard and change your toolkit. Know that every bit of life on earth is a part of divine life. Meeting evil with evil is a law of the animal world; meeting evil with good is the prerogative of man alone. Let your heart look at the beauty of truth.

ARIeS | Mar 21 - Apr 19 Learn more about conjugal love, a form of affection between marital partners based on tenderness, caring and sharing of experiences. Social institutions must have good rules to deal with an important societal concern. Don’t challenge another person’s ability to adapt to some physical, psychological or social event or experience. Challenge yourself instead.

LIBRA | Sep 23 - Oct 22 It’s hard to believe, but money isn’t everyone’s prime motivation. Clarify in your mind what you find attractive about money. Is money an instrumental good or has it become one of your intrinsic goods? Only in spirituality can an individual know himself fully. If you pause each hour to be certain, you will take better care of yourself.

TAURUS | Apr 20 - May 20
The author waits nervously for his test drive. Photo: Thurein Hlaing Win

SCORPIO | Oct 23 - Nov 21 The craft of your life is to inspire yourself to sensitively shape and guide your awareness toward creating more of what is possible and just. Carefully consider what you want to create. It might be some immediate need or perhaps it is something of such significance or value that it will outlast your lifetime. Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.

of instructions on how to shift gears, hold the steering wheel and check the rearview mirror. He taught me about the “sweet spot” – where the engine runs at 1000 to 1500rpm – which increases fuel efficiency by up to 30 percent. Each journalist had about 10 minutes to drive the Quester. By the end of my time I felt comfortable with steering and accelerating, but it wasn’t long enough to master the tricky manual transmission. I had a lot of help in this regard from Mr Hansen. To make me feel better, he pointed out that most drivers require about a week of training to drive the Quester in a fuel-efficient manner, including learning the “new technologies” that have been integrated into the system. After testing the Quester, we were driven to an area with a much bigger test track – it was like driving on an airport runway.

Once there, we tested UD’s Quon commercial truck, a version of the UD Trucks that has been designed for use in Europe. One of the main differences between the two trucks is that the Quon is equipped with automated mechanical transmission (AMT), which makes it much easier to drive but adds significantly to the cost of the vehicle. So Southeast Asia will soon see imports of the less expensive, tougher-to-drive Quester, which will be introduced first in Thailand and Malaysia. Pornthep Apichardthum, the general manager of UMG, which will import the Quester into the Myanmar market, said the truck will most likely be seen on the streets of Yangon early next year. Luckily, I’m not a commercial truck driver, so I’ll just stick with my trusty Toyota Corona.

A well-spent day brings happy sleep. Bring more enjoyment into your days and revitalise your love life and family relationships. Being at ease will renew your mind and body in the midst of your hectic schedule. Balance the competing demands of work and home life. Fire up your powers of imagination, and interrupt cycles of anger or argument. Acknowledge what you really feel and want.

GemINI | May 21 - June 20 Boost your spirit to bring out more of your best during difficult times. Become more compassionate and loving in your relationships with others, to create more genuine inner peace and happiness. As leadership consultant Eric Allenbaugh says, “All advances in life come through the power of choice.” Avoid or reverse emotional damage that erodes love, friendship and work relationships.

SAgITTARIUS | Nov 22 - Dec 21 Being used for a purpose you recognise as mighty is the true joy in life. Examine your resources, make specific plans and start implementing them. Once you have taken the first step, you’ll gain some direct knowledge about what is working and what isn’t. Evaluate the merits and weaknesses of each action you take, and don’t forget to value love.

PARIS

Migraine secret of Wagner’s opera
REPETITIVE migraines lie at the heart of Siegfried, the second part of Richard Wagner’s “Ring” trilogy of operas, German neurologists suggest. Both the action and the music of Siegfried reflect the rhythms and visual disturbance from migraines that used to haunt the composer, they say. Wagner, in his memoirs and private correspondence, confided he was almost crippled by migraines, suffering pounding headaches that were often accompanied by a shimmering, which doctors call an aura. “Wagner deeply interwove his migraine attacks and auras into his music and libretti,” the trio, led by Carl Goebel of the Kiel Headache and Pain Centre in northern Germany, report in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on Thursday. They analysed a pulsating piece of music in Act 1, scene 3 of Siegfried, when a character complains of “loathsome light ... flaring and flashing, glittering and whirring”. Wagner scored this passage for string instruments to play at double-fast time -- 16 demisemiquavers per bar. “This corresponds to a frequency of 16 herz at an assumed tempo of 120 beats per minute, close to the experimentally determined rate of flicker during a migraine aura,” the report said. – AFP

CANCeR | Jun 21 - Jul 22 People who are sensible about love are incapable of it. Know that love is the most celebrated of emotions. Look inside your heart first, otherwise your more intellectual forms of problem-solving may be an attempt to escape reality. Define yourself as capable by your willingness to embrace rather than avoid problems.

CAPRICORN | Dec 22 - Jan 19 The wind blows over the lake and stirs the surface of the water. Notice the visible effects of the invisible forces manifesting themselves. Optimal spiritual health may be considered as the ability to develop your spiritual nature to its fullest potential. One of the golden keys is building your momentum gradually, adding energy and force to each new result you want to create.

AUNG MYIN KYAW 4th Floor, 113, Thamain Bayan Road, Tarmwe township, Yangon. Tel: 09-731-35632, Email: williameaste@gmail.com

The Essentials
EMBASSIES Australia 88, Strand Road, Yangon. Tel : 251810, 251797, 251798. Bangladesh 11-B, Than Lwin Road, Yangon. Tel: 515275, 526144, email: bdootygn@ mptmail.net.mm Brazil 56, Pyay Road, 6th mile, Hlaing Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 507225, 507251. email: Administ. yangon@itamaraty.gov.br. Brunei 17, Kanbawza Avenue, Golden Velly (1), Bahan Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 566985, 503978. email: bruneiemb@ bruneiemb.com.mm Cambodia 25 (3B/4B), New University Avenue Road, Bahan Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 549609, 540964. email: RECYANGON @ mptmail.net.mm China 1, Pyidaungsu Yeiktha Road, Yangon. Tel: 221280, 221281. Danmark, No.7, Pyi Thu St, Pyay Rd, 7 Miles, Mayangone Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 01 – 9669520 - 17. Egypt 81, Pyidaungsu Yeiktha Road, Yangon. Tel: 222886, 222887, Egyptembassy86@ gmail.com France 102, Pyidaungsu Yeiktha Road, Yangon. Tel: 212178, 212520, email: ambaf rance. rangoun@ diplomatie.fr Germany 9, Bogyoke Aung San Museum Road, Bahan Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 548951, 548952, email: info@rangun. diplo.de India 545-547, Merchant St, Yangon. Tel: 391219, 388412, email: indiaembassy @ mptmail.net.mm Indonesia 100, Pyidaungsu Yeiktha Rd, Yangon. Tel: 254465, 254469, 229750, fax: 254468, email: kukygn @ indonesia.com.mm Israel 15, Khabaung Street, Hlaing Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 515115, fax: 515116, email: info@ yangon.mfa.gov.il Italy 3, Inya Myaing Road, Golden Valley, Yangon. Tel: 527100, 527101, fax: 514565, email: ambyang. mail@ esteri.it Japan 100, Natmauk Rd, Yangon. Tel: 549644-8, 540399, 540400, 540411, 545988, fax: 549643 Embassy of the State of Kuwait Chatrium Hotel, Rm: 416, 418, 420, 422, 40 Natmauk Rd, Tarmwe Tsp, Tel: 544500. North Korea 77C, Shin Saw Pu Rd, Sanchaung Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 512642, 510205 South Korea 97 University Avenue, Bahan Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 5271424, 515190, fax: 513286, email: myanmar@mofat. go.kr Lao A-1, Diplomatic Quarters, Tawwin Road, Dagon Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 222482, fax: 227446, email: Laoembcab@ mptmail. net.mm Malaysia 82, Pyidaungsu Yeiktha Road, Yangon. Tel: 220248, 220249, email: mwkyangon@ mptmail.net.mm Nepal 16, Natmauk Yeiktha, Yangon. Tel: 545880, 557168, fax: 549803, email: nepemb @mptmail.net.mm Norway, No.7, Pyi Thu St, Pyay Rd, 7 Miles, Mayangone Tsp,Yangon. Tel: 01 – 9669520 - 17 Fax – 01- 9669516 New Zealand No. 43/C, Inya Myaing Rd, Bahan Tsp, Yangon. Tel : 01-2305805 Netherlands Diplomatic Mission No. 43/C, Inya Myaing Rd, Bahan Tsp, Yangon. Tel : 01-2305805 Pakistan A-4, diplomatic Quarters, Pyay Rd, Yangon. Tel: 222881 (Chancery Exchange) Philippines 50, Sayasan Rd, Bahan Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 558149-151,Email: p.e. yangon@gmail.com Russian 38, Sagawa Rd, Yangon. Tel: 241955, 254161, Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia No.287/289, U Wisara Rd, Sanchaung. Tel : 01-536153, 516952. Serbia No. 114-A, Inya Rd, P.O.Box No. 943, Yangon. Tel: 515282, 515283, email: serbemb @ yangon.net.mm Singapore 238, Dhamazedi Road, Bahan Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 559001, email: singemb_ ygn@_ sgmfa. gov.sg Sri Lanka 34 Taw Win Road, Yangon. Tel: 222812, The Embassy of Switzerland No 11, Kabaung Lane, 5 ½ mile, Pyay Rd, Hlaing Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 534754, 512873, 507089. Fax: 534754, Ext: 110 Thailand 94 Pyay Rd, Dagon Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 226721, 226728, 226824 Turkish Embassy 19AB, Kan Yeik Thar St, Mayangone Tsp,Yangon. Tel : 662992, Fax : 661365 United Kingdom 80 Strand Rd, Yangon. Tel: 370867, 380322, 371852, 371853, 256438, United States of America 110, University Avenue, Kamayut Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 536509, 535756, Fax: 650306 Vietnam Bldg-72, Thanlwin Rd, Bahan Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 511305 UNITED NATIONS ILO Liaison 1-A, Kanbae (Thitsar Rd), Yankin Tsp, Yangon, Myanmar. Tel : 01-566538, 566539 IOM 12th Flr, Traders Hotel, 223, Tel: 252560 ext. 5002 UNAIDS 137/1, Thaw Wun Rd, Kamayut Tsp. Tel : 534498, 504832 UNDCP 11-A, Malikha St, Mayangone tsp. Tel: 666903, 664539. UNDP 6, Natmauk Rd, Bahan tel: 542910-19. fax: 292739. UNFPA 6, Natmauk Rd, Bahan tsp. tel: 546029. UNHCR 287, Pyay Rd, Sanchaung tsp. Tel: 524022, 524024. UNIAP Rm: 1202, 12 Fl, Traders Hotel. Tel: 254852, 254853. UNIC 6, Natmauk St., Bahan, tel: 52910~19 UNICEF 14~15 Flr, Traders Hotel. P.O. Box 1435, Kyauktada. Tel: 375527~32, Email: unicef.yangon@unicef. org, www.unicef.org/myanmar. UNODC 11-A, Malikha Rd., Ward 7, Mayangone. tel: 01-9666903, 9660556, 9660538, 9660398. email: fo.myanmar@unodc.org UNOPS Inya Lake Hotel, 3rd floor, 37, Kaba Aye Pagoda Rd, Mayangone Tsp. Tel: 951657281~7. Fax: 657279. UNRC 6, Natmauk Rd, P.O. Box 650, TMWE Tel: 542911~19, 292637 (Resident Coordinator), WFP 3rd-flr, Inya Lake Hotel, 37, Kabar Aye Pagoda Rd. Tel: 657011~6 (6-lines) Ext: 2000. WHO No. 2, Pyay Rd, 7 Mile, Mayangone Tsp, Tel : 6504056, 650416, 654386-90. ASEAN Coordinating Of. for the ASEAN Humanitarian Task Force, 79, Taw Win st, Dagon Tsp. Tel: 225258. FAO Myanma Agriculture Service Insein Rd, Insein. tel: 641672, 641673. fax: 641561.

General Listing
ACCOMMODATIONHOTELS
Hotel Yangon 91/93, 8th Mile Junction, Tel : 01-667708, 667688. Inya Lake Resort Hotel 37 Kabar Aye Pagoda Rd. tel: 662866. fax: 665537. Golden Hill Towers 24-26, Kabar Aye Pagoda Rd, Bahan Tsp. tel: 558556. ghtower@ mptmail.net.mm. Marina Residence 8, Kabar Aye Pagoda Rd, Mayangone Tsp. tel: 6506 51~4. fax: 650630.

YANGON No. 277, Bogyoke Aung San Road, Corner of 38th Street, Kyauktada Township, Yangon, Myanmar. Tel : (951) 391070, 391071. Reservation@391070 (Ext) 1910, 106. Fax : (951) 391375. Email : hotelasiaplaza@gmail.com

Asia Plaza Hotel
No. 205, Corner of Wadan Street & Min Ye Kyaw Swa Road, Lanmadaw Tsp, Yangon. Myanmar. Tel: (95-1) 212850 ~ 3, 229358 ~ 61, Fax: (95-1) 212854. info@myanmarpandahotel .com http://www. myanmarpandahotel.com ParkroYal Yangon, Myanmar 33, Alan Pya Pagoda Rd, Dagon tsp. tel: 250388. fax: 252478. email: enquiry.prygn@ parkroyalhotels.com parkroyalhotels. com.

Avenue 64 Hotel No. 64 (G), Kyitewine Pagoda Rd, Mayangone Tsp, Yangon. Tel : 09-8631392, 01 656913-9 Chatrium Hotel 40 Natmauk Rd, Tarmwe. tel: 544500. fax: 544400.

17, Kabar Aye Pagoda Rd, Yankin Tsp. Tel: 650933. Fax: 650960. Email : micprm@ myanmar.com.mmwww. myanmar micasahotel.com

ACCOMMODATIONHOTELS (Nay Pyi Taw)
(Nay Pyi Taw)

No.7A, Wingabar Road, Bahan Tsp, Yangon. Tel : (951) 546313, 430245. 09-731-77781~4. Fax : (01) 546313. www.cloverhotel.asia. info@cloverhotel.asia Clover Hotel City Center No. 217, 32nd Street (Upper Block), Pabedan Tsp, Yangon, Myanmar. Tel : 377720, Fax : 377722 www.clovercitycenter.asia Clover Hotel City Center Plus No. 229, 32nd Street (Upper Block), Pabedan Tsp, Yangon, Myanmar. Tel : 377975, Fax : 377974
www.clovercitycenterplus.asia

Royal White Elephant Hotel No-11, Kan Street, Hlaing Tsp. Yangon, Myanmar. (+95-1) 500822, 503986. www.rwehotel.com MGM Hotel No (160), Warden Street, Lanmadaw Tsp, Yangon, Myanmar. +95-1-212454~9. www. hotel-mgm.com Savoy Hotel 129, Damazedi Rd, Kamayut tsp. tel: 526289, 526298, Sedona Hotel Kabar Aye Pagoda Rd, Yankin. tel: 666900. Strand Hotel 92 Strand Rd. tel: 243377. fax: 289880. Summit Parkview Hotel 350, Ahlone Rd, Dagon Tsp. tel: 211888, 211966. Traders Hotel 223 Sule Pagoda Rd. tel: 242828. fax: 242838. Winner Inn 42, Than Lwin Rd, Bahan Tsp. Tel: 503734, 524387. email: reservation@winner innmyanmar.com Windsor Hotel No.31, Shin Saw Pu Street, Sanchaung. Yangon, Myanmar. Ph: 95-1-511216~8, www. hotelwindsoryangon.com Yuzana Hotel 130, Shwegondaing Rd, Bahan Tsp, tel : 01-549600 Yuzana Garden Hotel 44, Alanpya Pagoda Rd, Mingalar Taung Nyunt Tsp, tel : 01-248944

Reservation Office (Yangon) 123, Alanpya Pagoda Rd, Dagon Township Tel : 951- 255 819~838 Royal Kumudra Hotel, (Nay Pyi Taw) Tel : 067- 414 177, 067- 4141 88 E-Mail: reservation@ maxhotelsgroup.com

resorts

Confort Inn 4, Shweli Rd, Bet: Inya Rd & U Wisara Rd, Kamaryut, tel: 525781, 526872

Reservation Office (Yangon) 123, Alanpya Pagoda Rd, Dagon Township. Tel : 951-255 819-838 Hotel Max (Chaung Tha Beach) Tel : 042-423 46-9, 042-421 33. Email : maxhotelsreservation@ gmail.com

AIR CONDITION

For more information about these listings, Please Contact - classified@myanmartimes.com.mm

Emergency Numbers
Ambulance tel: 295133. Fire tel: 191, 252011, 252022. Police emergency tel: 199. Police headquarters tel: 282541, 284764. Red Cross tel:682600, 682368 Traffic Control Branch tel:298651 Department of Post & Telecommunication tel: 591384, 591387. Immigration tel: 286434. Ministry of Education tel:545500m 562390 Ministry of Sports tel: 370604, 370605 Ministry of Communications tel: 067-407037. Myanma Post & Telecommunication (MPT) tel: 067407007. Myanma Post & Tele-communication (Accountant Dept) tel: 254563, 370768. Ministry of Foreign Affairs tel: 067-412009, 067-412344. Ministry of Health tel: 067-411358-9. Yangon City Development Committee tel: 248112. HOSPITALS Central Women’s Hospital tel: 221013, 222811. Children Hospital tel: 221421, 222807 Ear, Nose & Throat Hospital tel: 543888. Naypyitaw Hospital (emergency) tel: 420096. Worker’s Hospital tel: 554444, 554455, 554811. Yangon Children Hospital tel: 222807, 222808, 222809. Yangon General Hospital (East) tel: 292835, 292836, 292837. Yangon General Hospital (New) tel: 384493, 384494, 384495, 379109. Yangon General Hospital (West) tel: 222860, 222861, 220416. Yangon General Hospital (YGH) tel: 256112, 256123, 281443, 256131. ELECTRICITY Power Station tel:414235 POST OFFICE General Post Office 39, Bo Aung Kyaw St. (near British Council Library). tel: 285499. INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Yangon International Airport tel: 662811. YANGON PORT Shipping (Coastal vessels) tel: 382722 RAILWAYS Railways information tel: 274027, 202175-8.

No. (356/366), Kyaikkasan Rd, Tamwe Township, Yangon, Myanmar. Ph: 542826, Fax: 545650 Email: reservation@ edenpalacehotel.com

M-22, Shwe Htee Housing, Thamine Station St., Near the Bayint Naung Point, Mayangone Tsp., Yangon Tel : 522763, 522744, 667557. Fax : (95-1) 652174 E-mail : grandpalace@ myanmar.com.mm

ACCOMMODATION Long Term

The First Air conditioning systems designed to keep you fresh all day Zeya & Associates Co., Ltd. No.437 (A), Pyay Road, Kamayut. P., O 11041 Yangon, Tel: +(95-1) 502016-18, Mandalay- Tel: 02-60933. Nay Pyi Taw- Tel: 067-420778, E-mail : sales.ac@freshaircon. com. URL: http://www. freshaircon.com

No. 12, Pho Sein Road, Tamwe Township, Yangon Tel : (95-1) 209299, 209300, 209343, 209345, 209346 Fax : (95-1) 209344 E-mail : greenhill@ myanmar.com.mm

Happy Homes
REAL ESTATE & PrOpErTY MANAGEmENT

Air Con Sales & Service No. 2/1, Than Thu Mar Rd, Thuwunna Junction. Tel : 09-4224-64130

Tel: 09-7349-4483, 09-4200-56994. E-mail: aahappyhomes@ gmail.com, http://www. happyhomesyangon.com

BARS
50th Street 9/13, 50th street-lower, Botataung Tsp. Tel-397160.

THE MYANMAR TIMES dECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013 CONSULTING co working space Engineering GAS COOKER & Cooker Hoods HEALTH SERVICES

Green Garden Beer Gallery Mini Zoo, Karaweik Oo-Yin Kabar.

Marina Residence, Yangon Ph: 650651~4, Ext: 109 Beauty Plan, Corner of 77th St & 31st St, Mandalay Ph: 02 72506

Myanmar Research | Consulting | Technology

Shwe Hinthar B 307, 6 1/2 Miles, Pyay Rd., Yangon. Tel: +95 (0)1 654 730 info@thuraswiss.com www.thuraswiss.com

No. (6), Lane 2 Botahtaung Pagoda St, Yangon. 01-9010003, 291897. info@venturaoffice.com, www.venturaoffice.com

One-stop Solution for Sub-station, M&E Work Design, Supply and Install (Hotel, High Rise Building Factory) 193/197, Shu Khin Thar Street, North Okkalapa Industrial Zone, Yangon. Tel: 951-691843~5, 9519690297, Fax: 951-691700 Email: supermega97@ gmail.com. www.supermega-engg.com

World’s leader in Kitchen Hoods & Hobs Same as Ariston Water Heater. Tel: 251033, 379671, 256622, 647813

98(A), Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, Bahan Township, Yangon. Tel: 553783, 549152, 09-732-16940, 09-730-56079. Fax: 542979 Email: asiapacific. myanmar@gmail.com.

Lobby Bar Parkroyal Yangon, Myanmar. 33, Alan Pya Phaya Road, Dagon Tsp. tel: 250388.

car rental
Lemon Day Spa No. 96 F, Inya Road, Kamaryut Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 514848, 09-732-08476. E.mail: lemondayspa.2011 @gmail.com
MYANMAR EXECUTIVE LIMOUSINE SERVICE

CONSTRUCTION

HOT LINE: 959 - 402 510 003 • First Class VIP Limousine Car Rental. • Professional English Speaking Drivers. • Full Insurance for your Safety and comfortable journey • Call us Now for your best choice www.mmels.com Zamil Steel No-5, Pyay Road, 7½ miles, Mayangone Tsp, Yangon. Tel: (95-1) 652502~04. Fax: (95-1) 650306. Email: zamilsteel@ zamilsteel.com.mm

FASHION & TAILOR

Strand Bar 92, Strand Rd, Yangon, Myanmar. tel: 243377.fax: 243393, sales@thestrand.com.mm www.ghmhotels.com

Yangon : A-3, Aung San Stadium (North East Wing), Mingalartaungnyunt Tsp. Tel : 245543, 09-73903736, 09-73037772. Mandalay : No.(4) 73rd St, Btw 30th & 31st St, Chan Aye Thar Zan Tsp. Tel : 096803505, 09-449004631.

Advertising
WE STARTED THE ADVERTISING INDUSTRY IN MYANMAR SINCE 1991

No. 52, Royal Yaw Min Gyi Condo, Room F, Yaw Min Gyi Rd, Dagon Township, Yangon, Myanmar. Tel: 09-425-307-717

courier Service
DTDC Courier and Cargo Service (Since 1991) Yangon. Tel : 01-374457 Mandalay. Tel : 09-43134095. www.DTDC.COM, dtdcyangon@gmail.com Door to Door Delivery!!!

Sein Shwe Tailor, 797 (003-A), Bogyoke Aung San Rd, MAC Tower 2, Lanmadaw Tsp, Yangon, Ph: 01-225310, 212943~4 Ext: 146, 147, E-mail: uthetlwin@gmail.com

Gems & Jewelleries

One Stop ENT Center No. (68), Tawwin Street, 9 Mile, Mayangone Tsp, Yangon, Myanmar. Tel : (951) 9 666141 Fax : (951) 9 666135 Email : info@witoriyahospital.com Website : www.witoriyahosptial.com

M A R K E T I N G & C O mm U N I C A T I O N S

A D V E R T I S I N G

SAIL Marketing & Communications Suite 403, Danathiha Center 790, Corner of Bogyoke Rd & Wadan Rd, Lanmadaw Township, Yangon, Myanmar. Tel: (951) 211870, 224820, 2301195. Email: admin@ advertising-myanmar.com www.advertising-myanmar. com

Spa Paragon Condo B#Rm-106, Shwe Hinthar Condo, Corner of Pyay Rd & Shwe Hinthar St, 6½Mile, Yangon. Tel: 01-507344 Ext: 112, 09-680-8488, 09-526-1642.

Car Rental Service No. 56, Bo Ywe St, Latha Tsp, Yangon. Tel : 01-246551, 375283, 09-2132778, 09-31119195. Gmail:nyanmyintthu1983@ gmail.com,

FITNESS CENTRE

Duty free

BOOK STORES

coffee machine

Balance Fitnesss No 64 (G), Kyitewine Pagoda Road, Mayangone Township. Yangon 01-656916, 09 8631392 Email - info@ balancefitnessyangon.com

Get the Best Pure Natural Gemstones and Jewellery No. 44, Inya Road, Yangon, Myanmar. Tel : 01-2305811, 2305812. email : info@bestjewels myanmar.com, Bestjewelsmyanmar.com

24 hours Cancer centre No. (68), Tawwin Street, 9 Mile, Mayangone Township, Yangon. Tel : (951) 9 666141 Fax : (951) 9 666135

BEAUTY & MASSAGE

Yangon La Source Beauty Spa 80-A, Inya Rd, Kamayut Tsp. Tel: 512380, 511252 Beauty Bar by La Source Room (1004), Sedona Hotel, Tel : 666 900 Ext : (7167) LS Salon Junction Square, 3rd Floor. Tel : 95-1-527242, Ext : 4001 Mandalay La Source Beauty Spa No. 13/13, Mya Sandar St, Chanaye Tharzan Tsp. Tel : 09-4440-24496. www.lasourcebeautyspa.com

• 150 Dhamazedi Rd., Bahan Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 536306, 537805. Email : yangon@ monument-books.com • 15(B), Departure Lounge, Yangon Int’l Airport. • #87/2, Crn of 26th & 27th St, 77th St,Chan Aye Thar Zan Tsp, Mandalay. Tel : (02) 24880. MYANMAR BOOK CENTRE Nandawun Compound, No. 55, Baho Road, Corner of Baho Road and Ahlone Road, (near Eugenia Restaurant), Ahlone Township. tel: 212 409, 221 271. 214708 fax: 524580. email: info@ myanmarbook.com

illy, Francis Francis, VBM, Brasilia, Rossi, De Longhi Nwe Ta Pin Trading Co., Ltd. Shop C, Building 459 B New University Avenue 01- 555-879, 09-4210-81705 nwetapintrading@gmail.com

Duty Free Shops Yangon International Airport, Arrival/Departure Tel: 533030 (Ext: 206/155) Office: 17, 2 street, Hlaing Yadanarmon Housing, Hlaing Township, Yangon. Tel: 500143, 500144, 500145.
nd

communication

ENTERTAINMENT

Life Fitness Bldg A1, Rm No. 001, Shwekabar Housing, Mindhamma Rd, Mayangone Tsp. Yangon. Ph: 01-656511, Fax: 01-656522, Hot line: 0973194684, natraysports@gmail.com

sales@manawmaya.com.mm www.manawmayagems.com

Ruby & Rare Gems of Myanamar No. 527, New University Ave., Bahan Tsp. Yangon.

24 hours Laboratory & X-ray No. (68), Tawwin Street, 9 Mile, Mayangone Tsp, Yangon, Myanmar. Tel : (951) 9 666141 Fax : (951) 9 666135

Tel: 549612, Fax : 545770.

International Calling Card No.004, Building (B), Ground Floor, Yuzana St, Highway Complex Housing, Kamayut Township, Yangon, Myanmar. Tel : 01-230-4379, 09-731-74871~2 Email : info@vmg.com. mm www.vmgtelecoms.com, www.ytalk.com.mm

Dance Club & Bar No.94, Ground Floor, Bogalay Zay Street, Botataung Tsp, Yangon.Tel: 392625, 09-500-3591 Email : danceclub. hola@gmail.com
(Except Sunday)

No. 20, Ground Floor, Pearl Street, Golden Valley Ward, Bahan Township, Yangon. Tel : 09-509 7057, 01220881, 549478 (Ext : 103) Email : realfitnessmyanmar @gmail.com
www.realfitnessmyanmar.com

FLORAL SERVICES

The Lady Gems & Jewellery No. 7, Inya Rd, Kamayut Tsp, Yangon, Myanmar. Tel : 01-2305800, 09-8315555 The Lady Gems & Silk Co operative Business Centre, Room No (32/41), New University Avenue Rd, Bahan Tsp, Yangon. Tel : 09-5200726 theladygems@gmail.com www.thelady-gems.com Your Most Reliable Jeweller

24 Hour International Medical Centre @ Victoria Hospital No. 68, Tawwin Rd, 9 Mile, Mayangon Township, Yangon, Myanmar Tel: + 951 651 238, + 959 495 85 955 Fax: + 959 651 398 24/7 on duty doctor: + 959 492 18 410 Website: www.leo.com.mm “ One Stop Solution for Quality Health Care “

Floral Service & Gift Shop No. 449, New University Avenue, Bahan Tsp. YGN. Tel: 541217, 559011, 09-860-2292. Market Place By City Mart Tel: 523840~43, 523845~46, Ext: 205. Junction Nay Pyi Taw Tel: 067-421617~18 422012~15, Ext: 235. Res: 067-414813, 09-49209039. Email : eternal@ mptmail.net.mm

The Natural Gems of Myanmar & Fine Jewellery. No. 30(A), Pyay Road, (7 mile), Mayangone Tsp, Yangon, Myanmar. Tel : 01-660397, 354398-9 E-mail : spgmes.myanmar @gmail.com

No. (68), Tawwin Street, 9 Mile, Mayangone Tsp, Yangon, Myanmar. Tel : (951) 9 666141 Fax : (951) 9 666135 Email : info@witoriyahospital.com Website : www.witoriyahosptial.com

Home Furnishing

GENERATORS

Floral Service & Gift Centre 102(A), Dhamazaydi Rd, Yangon.tel: 500142 Summit Parkview Hotel, tel: 211888, 211966 ext. 173 fax: 535376.email: sandy@ sandymyanmar.com.mm.

Foam spray Insulation

No. 589-592, Bo Aung Kyaw St, Yangon-Pathein highway Road. Hlaing Tharyar tsp. Tel: 951645178-182, 685199, Fax: 951-645211, 545278. e-mail: mkt-mti@ winstrategic.com.mm

22, Pyay Rd, 9 mile, Mayangone Tsp. tel: 660769, 664363.

GLASS

Bldg-D, Rm (G-12), Pearl Condo, Ground Flr, Kabaraye Pagoda Rd, Bahan Tsp. Tel: 557448. Ext 814, 09-730-98872.

Foam Spray Insulation No-410, Ground Fl,Lower Pazuntaung Rd, Pazun taung Tsp, Yangon.Telefax : 01-203743, 09-5007681. Hot Line-09-730-30825.

International Construction Material Co., S.B. Ltd. FURNITURE No. 60, Sint-Oh-Dan St, Lower Block, Latha Tsp, Yangon, Myanmar. Tel : 01-2410292, 243551, 09-431-83689, 09-448033905.

S.B. FURNITURE

No-001-002, Dagon Tower, Ground Flr, Cor of Kabaraye Pagoda Rd & Shwe Gon Dine Rd, Bahan Tsp. Tel: 544480, 09-730-98872.

dECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013 THE MYANMAR TIMES Office Furniture
Monsoon Restaurant & Bar 85/87, Thein Byu Road, Botahtaung Tsp. Tel: 295224, 09-501 5653. Pre School and Primary years (Ages 2 to 10) No. 695, Mahabandola Road, (Between 19th & Sint Oh Dan Street), Latha Township, Yangon. Tel :01-382213, 395816 www.imecedu.com

Water Heaters

European Quality & Designs Indoor/ Outdoor Furniture, Hotel Furniture & All kinds of woodworks No. 422, FJVC Centre, Ground Floor, Room No. 4, Strand Road, Botahtaung Tsp, Yangon, Myanmar. Tel: 01-202063-4, 09 509-1673 E-mail: contact@ smartdesignstrading.com www.royalbotania.com, www.alexander-rose.co.uk

Open Daily (9am to 6pm) No. 797, MAC Tower II, Rm -4, Ground Flr, Bogyoke Aung San Rd, Lamadaw Tsp, Yangon. Tel: (951) 212944 Ext: 303 sales.centuremyanmar@ gmail.com www.centure.in.th

Sai Khung Noung Real Estate Co., Ltd. Tel : 541501, 551197, 400781, 09-73176988 Email : saikhungnoung 1995@gmail.com. www.saikhungnoung.com

a drink from paradise... available on Earth @Yangon International Hotel, No.330, Ahlone Rd, Dagon Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 09-421040512

The Global leader in Water Heaters A/1, Aung San Stadium East Wing, Upper Pansodan Road. Tel: 01-256705, 399464, 394409, 647812.

For House-Seekers

Marine Communication & Navigation

with Expert Services In all kinds of Estate Fields yomaestatemm@gmail.com

Bld-A2, Gr-Fl, Shwe Gabar Housing, Mindama Rd, Mayangone Tsp, Yangon. email: eko-nr@ myanmar.com.mm Ph: 652391, 09-73108896

Tel : 09-332 87270 09-2541 26615 (Fees Free)

No.430(A), Corner of Dhamazedi Rd & Golden Valley Rd, Building(2) Market Place (City Mart), Bahan Tsp, Yangon. Tel : 01-523840(Ext-309), 09-73208079.

Ocean Center (North Point), Ground Floor, Tel : 09-731-83900 01-8600056

REMOVALISTS
Quality Chinese Dishes with Resonable Price @Marketplace by City Mart. Tel: 01-523840 Ext.109

Yangon Int’l School Fully Accredited K-12 International Curriculum with ESL support No.117,Thumingalar Housing, Thingangyun, Tel: 578171, 573149, 687701, 687702.

Made in Japan Same as Rinnai Gas Cooker and Cooker Hood Showroom Address

Water Heater

WATER PROOFING

Top Marine Show Room No-385, Ground Floor, Lower Pazundaung Road, Pazundaung Tsp, Yangon. Ph: 01-202782, 09-851-5597

Delicious Hong Kong Style Food Restaurant G-09, City Mart (Myay Ni Gone Center). Tel: 01-508467-70 Ext: 114

service office
International Construction Material Co., Ltd. No. 60, Sint-Oh-Dan St, Lower Block, Latha Tsp, Yangon, Myanmar. Tel : 01-2410292, 243551, 09-431-83689, 09-448033905.

MEDIA & ADVERTISING

Bldg-A2, G-Flr, Shwe Gabar Housing, Mindama Rd, Mayangone Tsp, Yangon. email: eko-nr@ myanmar.com.mm Ph: 652391, 09-73108896

LEGAL SERVICE
Media & Advertising All the way from Australia. Design for advertisement is not easy, reaching to target audience is even harder? We are equipped with great ideas and partners in Myanmar to create corporate logo, business photography, stationery design, mobile advertisement on public transport and billboard/ magazine ads. Talk to us: (01) 430-897, (0) 942-0004554. www.medialane. com.au U Min Sein, BSc, RA, CPA.,RL Advocate of the Supreme Court 83/14 Pansodan St, Yangon. tel: 253 273. uminsein@mptmail.net.mm

Legendary Myanmar Int’l Shipping & Logistics Co., Ltd. No-9, Rm (A-4), 3rd Flr, Kyaung St, Myaynigone, Sanchaung Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 516827, 523653, 516795. Mobile. 09-512-3049. Email: legandarymyr@ mptmail.net .mm www.LMSL-shipping.com

Executive Serviced Offices
www.hinthabusinesscentres.com

Tel : 01-4413410 The Emporia Restaurant Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake Yangon 40, Natmauk Road, Tamwe Tsp. Lobby Level, Tel: 544500 Ext 6294

Water solution

Heaven Pizza 38/40, Bo Yar Nyunt St. Yaw Min Gyi Quarter, Dagon Township. Tel: 09-855-1383

Easy access to CBD Fully furnished facility Company setup for $1,000 Office available from $360 only

Company Limited

Aekar

Water Treatement Solution Block (A), Room (G-12), Pearl Condo, Kabar Aye Pagoda Rd, Bahan Tsp. Hot Line : 09-4500-59000

PLEASURE CRUISES

Paint
World’s No.1 Paints & Coatings Company

Moby Dick Tours Co., Ltd. Islands Safari in the Mergui Archipelago 5 Days, 7 Days, 9 Days Trips Tel: 95 1 202063, 202064 E-mail: info@islandsafari mergui.com. Website: www. islandsafarimergui.com

Relocation Specialist Rm 504, M.M.G Tower, #44/56, Kannar Rd, Botahtaung Tsp. Tel: 250290, 252313. Mail : info@asiantigersmyanmar.com

World famous Kobe Beef Near Thuka Kabar Hospital on Pyay Rd, Marlar st, Hlaing Tsp. Tel: +95-1-535072

1. WASABI : No.20-B, Kaba Aye Pagoda Rd, Yankin Tsp,(Near MiCasa), Tel; 09-4250-20667, 09-503-9139 Myaynigone (City Mart) Yankin Center (City Mart) UnionBarAndGrill 42 Strand Road, Botahtaung, Yangon. Tel: 95 9420 180 214, 95 9420 101 854 www.unionyangon.com, info@unionyangon.com

Tel: + 95 1 374851 Email : info@jkmyanmar.com www.jkmyanmar.com (ENG) www.3ec.jp/mbic/ (JPN)

Water Treatment

Enchanting and Romantic, a Bliss on the Lake Crown Worldwide Movers Ltd 790, Rm 702, 7th Flr Danathiha Centre, Bogyoke Aung San Rd, Lanmadaw. Tel: 223288, 210 670, 227650. ext: 702. Fax: 229212. email: crown worldwide@mptmail.net.mm 62 D, U Tun Nyein Road, Mayangon Tsp, Yangon Tel. 01 665 516, 660976 Mob. 09-730-30755 operayangon@gmail.com www.operayangon.com

No. (6), Lane 2 Botahtaung Pagoda St, Yangon. 01-9010003, 291897. info@venturaoffice.com, www.venturaoffice.com

Commercial scale water treatment (Since 1997) Tel: 01-218437~38. H/P: 09-5161431, 09-43126571. 39-B, Thazin Lane, Ahlone.

WEB SERVICE

TRAVEL AGENTS
Web Services All the way from Australia. World-class websites, come with usability and responsiveness. Our works include website, web apps, e-commerce, forum, email campaign and online advertisement. Plus, we’re the authorised reseller for local and international domain names. So, put your worries aside and let us create the awesomeness you deserved online. (01) 430-897, (0) 942-0004554. www.medialane. com.au

Sole Distributor For the Union of Myanmar Since 1995 Myanmar Golden Rock International Co.,Ltd. #06-01, Bldg (8), Myanmar ICT Park, University Hlaing Campus, Hlaing Tsp, Yangon. Tel: 654810~17.

Road to Mandalay Myanmar Hotels & Cruises Ltd. Governor’s Residence 39C, Taw Win Rd, Dagon Tsp, Yangon. Tel: (951) 229860 fax: (951) 217361. email: RTMYGN@mptmail.net.mm www.orient-express.com

REAL ESTATE
Your Most Reliable & Friendly Real Estate Agency Tel : 09-7308848 01-242370, 394053

Schenker (Thai) Ltd. Yangon 59 A, U Lun Maung Street. 7 Mile Pyay Road, MYGN. tel: 667686, 666646.fax: 651250. email: sche nker@mptmail.net.mm.

22, Kaba Aye Pagoda Rd, Bahan Tsp. tel 541997. email: leplanteur@ mptmail.net.mm. http://leplanteur.net

No. 5, U Tun Nyein Street, Mayangone T/S, Yangon. Tel : 01-660 612, 011 22 1014, 09 50 89 441 Email : lalchimiste. restaurant@gmail.com

Asian Trails Tour Ltd 73 Pyay Rd, Dagon tsp. tel: 211212, 223262. fax: 211670. email: res@ asiantrails.com.mm Shan Yoma Tours Co.,Ltd www.exploremyanmar.com

SUPERMARKETS
G-01, City Mart (Myay Ni Gone Center). Tel: 01-508467-70 Ext: 106 Capital Hyper Mart 14(E), Min Nandar Road, Dawbon Tsp. Ph: 553136. City Mart (Aung San Branch) tel: 253022, 294765. City Mart (47th St Branch) tel: 200026, 298746. City Mart (Junction 8) tel: 650778. City Mart (FMI City Branch) tel: 682323. City Mart (Yankin Center Branch) tel: 400284. City Mart (Myaynigone Branch) tel: 510697. City Mart (Zawana Branch) tel:564532.

TOP MARINE PAINT No-410, Ground Floor, Lower Pazundaung Road, Pazundaung Tsp, Yangon. Ph: 09-851-5202 Real Estate Agent Agent fees is unnecessary Tel : 09 2050107, 09 448026156 robinsawnaing@gmail.com

Bo Sun Pat Tower, Bldg 608, Rm 6(B), Cor of Merchant Rd & Bo Sun Pat St, PBDN Tsp. Tel: 377263, 250582, 250032, 09-511-7876, 09-862-4563.

G-05, Marketplace by City Mart. Tel: 01-523840 Ext: 105

No. 372, Bogyoke Aung San Rd, Pabedan T/S, Yangon. Tel : 01-380 398, 01-256 355 (Ext : 3027) Email : zawgyihouse@ myanmar.com.mm

VISA & IMMIGRATION

RESTAURANTS

SCHOOLS

International Construction Material Co., Ltd. No. 60, Sint-Oh-Dan St, Lower Block, Latha Tsp, Yangon, Myanmar. Tel : 01-2410292, 243551, 09-431-83689, 09-448033905.

Real Estate Agency
Email : realwin2012@ gmail.com Tel : 09-732-02480, 09-501-8250

Good taste & resonable price @Thamada Hotel Tel: 01-243047, 243639-41 Ext: 32

Singapore Cuisine Super One Super Market, Kyaikkasan Branch, No. 65, Lay Daung Kan Rd, Man Aung Qtr, Tamwe Tsp, Yangon. Tel : 01-542371, 09-501-9128

Horizon Int’l School 25, Po Sein Road, Bahan Tsp, tel : 541085, 551795, 551796, 450396~7. fax : 543926, email : contact@horizonmyanmar. com, www.horizon.com

Get your Visa online for Business and Tourist No need to come to Embassy. #165. 35th Street, Kyauktada Tsp, Yangon. Tel: +951 381200, 204020 travel.evisa@gmail.com

HOW TO GET A FREE AD

FREE
General
Education
537-0230, 09-730-02705. “English Classes” For both young learners & adult, Good foundation in Grammar, Good foundation in English, General English-4 skills, Business English-4 skills, Vocabulary enrichment course. Intensive classes only & no home visit . Ba Yint Naung Tower – 1, Ground Floor, Room - C&D, Kamaryut Township, Yangon . Contact - Ph: 09-4500- 45 916, gmail: thewindyhills@gmail. com. FOR PRIMARY Student : English, Maths, Myanmar, Geography, History, Science, Social, English Language. If you need to coach your child. Please do contact at Teacher Caroline : caroline.zita@gamil. com WANT TO LEARN English? Learn English with native speaker! -4 skills, Business English, IELTS graduation, IELTS foundation, Custom Program. We are going to open our new intake at 2th of December and offer 20,000 kyats Discount. Contact our Friendly Customer Service Officers for complete information. Ph: 09-73162586, 09-4211-19895, 01-230-5699, 01-2305822. Email: info@ edulinkaustralia.com . Add : Bldg 6, Junction Square, Kamaryut, Yangon. HOME Tution & Guide : For pre - KG, Primary & secondary level. Specialized in Maths & Biology. Tr. Daw Khin Swe Win (B.E.H.S Thuwunna) Rtd. Ph: 09730-99679, Teaching English : Englishforyounglearners and adults. English for oversea travel, study, workplace or social purpose. Business English, Basic English, Everyday English, Communicative English. Taught by experienced and qualified teacher. Taught in abroad for a few years. Effective lessons, International Learning materials, Refresh, develop and practise English. Ms Si Si - Ph: 09-4207-85157

By FAX : 01-254158 By EmAIl : classified@myanmartimes.com.mm, advertising@myanmartimes.com.mm By MAIl : 379/383, Bo Aung Kyaw St, Kyauktada Township, Yangon.

HOW TO GET MORE BUSINESS FROM AS LITTLE AS K.5,000.
Buy spaCE ON THESE PAGES CAll: Khin Mon Mon Yi - 01-392676, 392928

Property
Center) Accredited by IMC Bangkok (Since 1991). Our Montessori curriculum includes: Practical Life Exercises, Sensorial Training, Language Development, Mathematics, Cultural Studies, Botany and Zoology, History, Creative Art, Music and Movement, Cooking, Physical, Development, Social & Emotional Development. Learning through play. 55(B), Po Sein Rd, Bahan, Yangon, Tel: 546097, 546761. Email: imm. myn@gmail.com English for Young learners : Build confidence in commu nicating in English. Build strong foundation in English for further education. Introducing reading with variety of books. Using Int'l syllabuses such as Oxford, Collins & Cambridge ,etc. Lesson will be conducted in English. Taught by qualified & internationally experience teacher. English for Adults Speak fluently in various situations. Improve your pronunciation and increase your vocabulary. Communicate effectively in everyday situations. English for social, study, overseas travel and work purposes. Teacher Yamin - Ph:291679, 09250-136695 myanmar for Foreigners. Ph: 092501-50791. english Grammar for all classes. Ph: 09-541384 2013. Complete date 29th December, 2013 , Sat: & Sun: (3-weeks) Time - From 02:00 pm to 05:00 pm , total 6hrs. Address : Ba Yint Naung Tower -1 , Ground Flr, Rm C&D, Kamaryut Yangon. Contacts : 09 4500 45916 emails : thewindyhills@gmail. com , maytwonine.tg@ gmail.com

For IGCSE (Edexcel & Campridge) & Secondary level Regular tuition classes Home tuition Exam preparation classes All subjects available Contact: 09-508-8683. Teachers who have got Teaching experience in Singapore, Intl School (primary & seconday levels) AEIS, PSLE, GCSE, SAT , IELTS, TOEFL, English-Myamar Speaking Class for company , Sayar Bryan (ME) 09-4200-7 0692 "Scholar Teaching Organization" founded with ME, BE and Master Degree holder with 12 years experience in teaching field.Role & Responsibility: Making the students develop problem solving skills, critical thinking skills and I.Q and E.Q enriching skills, Int'l School (ILBC, Total, MISY, ISY, PISM, Horizon, ISM, network, MIS, MLA, ES4E, DSY, IISY, RV). All grades, All Subjects Singapore MOE Exams (AEIS, S-AEIS exam , IGCSE, IELTS, TOFEL. Tr.Daniel Caulin : 09-2150-75 Tr.Bryan :094200-70692. Special IGCSE for Scholarships, English, Physics, Chemistry, Math, IELTS; SAT 1 & 2; Teacher Solomon + 3 experts. Ph:09-541-7781. Wisdom Management Centre General Psychology Program. Level: Certificate Program Outlines (1). Introduction & History of Psychology (2). Biopsychology & the Foundations of Neuroscience (3). States of Consciousness (4). Learning (5).Emotion & Motivation (6). Psychological Develop ment (7). Personality (8). Testing and Individual Differences. Duration : 12-Week. Day : Friday, Saturday (6:30 – 8:00 PM). Starting Date : December 13, 2013. Fees: New Participant: 95,000 Ks. Regular Participant : 85,000 Ks. Add : 8, 6th Flr (Right), Chan Thar St, Sanchaung. (Near Shan Lan Bus-Stop). Ph: 09-

Expert Services
English Corresponding Service, Email: Reading and Replying. Fax : Reading and Replying. Letter writing for companies. Albert Than - 09-4310-5909. Real Estate : We have Lands for sale suitable for making Industrial buildings in large area. Buyers can Contact Us on 09-4500-59037. (There is no pay for Agents & Third party ... Warmly welcome the buyers ) Aung Professional Translation Professional Translation from Myanmar to English & English to Myanmar. For legal Translation, Technological , Diplomatic, Contract, Advertising, Movie, Literature, etc. With Various Services on paper, electronic file, recording & other relevant matters. both regular and express with expert service. No139, 2nd Flr, Bargayar Rd, Sanchaung, Yangon. Ph: 09-732-11907,aung. translation@gmail.com

99% New Samsung Series 5 Ultra Book Intel Core i5 Ram 8GB H.D.D + SSD Display 13.3 1 Year 6 Month International Warranty Price : 580000. Ph : 09501-6694

Rent/ Sale
KAMAYUT , Innya Myaing Rd, 80' x 80' land, 2RC, 4 MBR, Fully furnished, New (7) Aircons, Generator, Lawn, Ph Line, US$ 6500 per month. (2) Innya Rd, 80' x 90' land, 2RC, 4 Master bedroom, Ph Line, US$ 6000 per month. Ph: 09-507-4241 PABEDAN, New Condo, Downtown Near Sule Pagoda, 3000 Sqft, 3 MBR, 1 Single bedroom 5 Aircons, Bathtub, Teak floor, nice view, US$ 3500 per month. Ph: 09-507-4241. THINGANGYUN, On Thu Min Ga La Main Rd, NearYangon International School (YIS), ILBC Apartment - First Flr (1,200 Sqft) One Master Bed Room attached bath room & toilet, Two Single Rooms Extra Bath Room & Toilet, Kitchen Room,Dining Room, Sitting Room Near KBZ Bank, City Mart, Market, Schools, Circular Train Station car parking space, Opposite of YIS Teachers' apartments Nice, Peace Location: Ph-09-5148138, 01573881. Bahan : A European Style fully furnished apartment at Pearl Condominium, 12th flr, 1700 sqft. Most modern interior decoration. Fully Air conditioned. Best for foreigners. Rent expected USD 2500 per month. Can also sell for USD 3,50,000. Call owner (English speaking 09508-2244) or (Myanmar speaking 09-735-67890)

General
if you are thinking to give a book-gift to your loved ones. Meiji Soe's "Culture & Beyond Myanmar" is a unique of its king revealing Myanmar Culture, Beliefs and Superstitions in sector by sector together with photos. Available at Book Stores & MCM Ltd. Ph: 253642, 3922928, 392910. Email: distmgr@ myanmartimes.com.mm SHWE KYIN Slipper shop, Yangon. Ph: 01240966 ext 333, 09515-7156.

Training
Decent Myanmar Training School Personal Management & Business Management Trainings Basic English Grammar IELTS preparation English for Specific Purpose-ESP. (1) Spoken English (2) Business Writing (3) Business English (4) English for Marketing (5) English for HRM (6) English for Media (7) English for IT (8) English for Law (9) English for Marine Engineering (10) English for Medicine 29/ B, Rm 7, Myay Nu St, Myaynigone. Ph:01-512467, 09-722-32047.

Language
WITHIN 24 hours can make you confidient in Myanmar Language speaking and scripts! Teacher Phyu Phyu Khin : 09-4930-8926, phyuporcupine@gmail. com, 56 I, Thiri Marlar Lane, 7.5 mile, Pyay Rd, Yangon. English for Adults &Young Learners 100 % face to face classroom based lessons, Small classroom sized, limited seats, Variety of learning resources Experienced, internationally qualified teacher who get the best out of you, whatever your level. Offer courses that build your confidence for practical situations and improve important areas such as Speaking and Listening in English. English for young learners : Teacher Yamin - Ph: (01) 291679, 09250-136695. FOR FOREIGNERS Want to learn Myanmar speaking at your home? Contact : 09-517-9125, 09-861-1052 give your child the best possible start to life at International Montessori Myanmar (English Education

Travel
New November Travel & Tour - Our Services: Package Tours/ Fit & Group Tours; Special Tours / Incentive Tours, Business Tours, Business Matching & Meeting, Seminar - Exhibition Service, Guide Services / Hotel Reservation, Car Rental Service / Boat/ Cruise Tickets. "Yours Satisfaction is our reward" Ph-09-49277415, 01-378531, 094480-01 612. Email : new.november2012@ gmail.com, www. newnovembertravel. com Yangon Office :260, Ground Flr, 40th St, 9 Qtr, Kyauktadar,Yangon. Virgin Land Tours - Visa Services : Worldwide Air Ticketing, Worldwide Hotel Reservation, All Kind Transportation Rental, Inbound & Outbound Tour Operator, Tour Guide Services. Ph. 01-861-0252, 09-5123793, 09-520-2643. BELTA CAR Rental Rate with Professional English Speaking Tour Car Driver*600000 Ks/ month (exclude fuel OCTANE) contact: Mr.Sonny: 09-4200-48040 & Ms. MyaMyaAung (Tourist Guide): 09-4015-43732 NYAN MYINT THU Car Rental Service : Ko Nyan Myint Win Kyi (MD) - 56, Bo Ywe St, Latha, Yangon, Myanmar. Ph : 01-246551, 01-375284. ph:09-2132778. email: nyanmyintthu1983@ gmail.com, nmt@nyan myintthucarrental. com, colwinkyi@ gmail. com. Web:www. nyanmyintthucarrental. com

For Sale
MISUBISHI Canda 10' (hydrolic door) 2007 Engine Power 4900CC Pw, Ac, Ps front butterfly, Lay type 3 Tan, 1 G (190 Lakhs, Pls contact : Ma Thanzin : 09-731-01896 MISUBISHI Canntar box 10' (2006) Engine power 3000 CC, Pw, Ac, Ps front butterfly, Lay type 2 Tan, 1 G,Price :195 Lakhs, Pls contact : Ma Thanzin : 09-731-01896 MACBOOK Pro to sell (99% good condition) 13" Intel Core 2 Duo Ram 4GB H.D.D 750GB Mac OS 10.8.5 + Window. Price: 650,000 MMK. For personal user only to contact, Ph: 09-423716686 Macbook Pro 13" Retina Display Intel Core i5 Ram 8GB S.S.D 128GB Mac OS 10.9 Price : 1380000. Ph : 09-4200-50651

Public Notice
HR Module -1, Recruitment & Selection Certificate Course Trainer (1) Daw Soe Soe Kyi , HR Practitioner MPA , B.Sc (Chemistry), Executive Diploma in Human Resources Management Trainer (2) Daw Swe Swe Aung, HR Practitioner B.Agr. Sc Executive Diploma in Human Resources Management Fees Ks120,000. Schedule,Start date : - 14th December,

HousingforRent
MYA YA MON Water Front Villa, 3 storey building with full facilities. Ph: 01-241756, 370334, 09-510-3207. T hingangyun , Kyipwaryay (North) Drive 25 minutes to Down Town, 40' x 60', 2 RC, 3 MBR, 2 SR, 3 Aircons, 1 Ph. US$ (1000) per 1 Month. Only 1 year contract. Contact :09-508-0880. m2k20066@gmail.com HLAING THAR YAR, FMI City, 80' x 60', 2 Story building, 2 living room, 4 MBR, 2 SR, with Ph, Aircon, Hot, cool water, nice to live. Ph : 09-73181377. (1). Near Bogyoke Market, 2500 sqft, 2 MBR, 1 SR , fully furnish, 3000 USD. (2).Near Park Royal hotel, 1250 Sqft, 2 MBR, 1 SR, fully furnish, 2500 USD. (3). Near Park Royal hotel, 2500 Sqft, 3 MBR, fully furnish, 4000 USD. Ph: 09-4921-4276. (1) THUWUNNA, Duplex for Sale, 2 storeys building, 40 x 70 ft, Thuwunna VIP-1, Main

Rd (2) North Oakklapa, Main Rd (Wai Pon La Rd) Near Medical School Shop House, 1200 Sqft, Hall type, . (3) Yankin, Shwe Ohn Pin Housing, 900 Sqft. 3 rooms, fully furnished, Near Sedona Hotel. Ph:09-732-41848, 09-8601-042. BAHAN, Golden velly, (1) near ISY school, 2RC, 2400 Sqft, 2 MBR, 2 SR, fully furnish, 4500 USD (2).near City Mark, 2 RC, (5600 Sqft) , 6 MBR, fully furnish (10000 USD) (3). 3 RC, 5000 Sqft, 3 MBR, good for office, 4500 USD. Ph: Ph: 09-4921-4276. (1)Kyee Myin Dine, Pan Hlaing housing, Pan Hlaing St, first flr, 25' x 37', 2BR, 3 Aircon, 1Ph, 1heater, pressure pump, 2 exhaust fans, highly decoration, 750 Lakhs, Negotiable, (2)Pazun Daung, Mahabandoola Rd, 8th flr, 25'x60', 3BR, 1 Aircon, 800 Lakhs, Negotiable, Ph-09-401604409. CENTRAL CITY Residence near Park Royal, marble/ hardwood premium fittings, modern design. 4 rooms 3 bathroom (2 master w/ attached bath) 1955sqft $4850/month. jasonwongjp@gmail. com, 09-4211-02223. PRIME OFFICE, Pansodan Rd, 2500 sqft, office layout w/ boardroom and manager's office. Clean open design, foreign quality fittings. Full building generator. $ 6 2 5 0 / m o n t h . jasonwongjp@gmail. com, 09-4211-02223. Condo (Pyin Nya Waddy) 1 MB, 2 Single Rooms, 1 Single room with bath. Fully furnished, Available to move in 1st week of January' 2014. Lift, Satellite, Internet. Ph : 09-732-41848, 09-5079048, 09-8601042 Pansodan Business Tower Rd, 2500sqft, building generator, office layout w/ boardroom and manager's office. Modern, open design, imported fittings. $6250/ month. jasonwongjp@ gmail.com, 09-421102223

HousingforSale
Land & Building for Sales by owner:- 40' x 60' area land & Wood Building Water, Electricity OK & ready for staying No.294, South Dagon18(B) Aung Min Ga La St (Concrete Rd) Ph:01 573881, 09-514-8138 We have Lands for sale suitable for making Industrial buildings in large area. Buyers can Contact Us on 09-450059037. (There is no pay for Agents & Third party ... Warmly welcome the buyers )

THE MYANMAR TIMES dECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

FREE
Employment
Assistant 1 post in Yangon : Proven experience in the field or humanitarian areas of humanitarian aid, with other non-government organisations: experience working with authorities at anationalandinternational level. English & Myanmar required. French is an asset. Preferably a medical or paramedical qualification & universitylevel studies. Pls submit application (motivation letter, updated CV & copy of prefessional diplomas) to : HR Manager, MSFCH, Switzerland, No.101, Dhamazedi Rd, Kamayut, Yangon, Ph: 502509, 503548, E-mail: msfchrangoon-web@geneva. msf.org solidarites Int'l is seeking Administrative Manager 1 post in Bhamo, Kachin State: University level or equivalent in Accounting/ M a n a g e m e n t / Administration. 3 years experience in a similar position with NGOs. Excellent knowledge of Word, Excel, PowerPoint presentation. Fluent in English and Myanmar. Pls submit application (CV, cover letter, references) by email : recruitment@ solidarites-myanmar.org myanmar Red Cross Society is seeking (1) Emergency Operation Center (EOC) Officer 1 post in Nay Pyi Taw : 2 years of relevant experience in Disaster Management. Proficiency withMicrosoft Office applications. Proficiency with GIS (geographic information systems)helpful. Good communication & IT knowledge skills. (2) Monitoring & Reporting Officer 1 post in Nay Pyi Taw : 3 years relevant experience in monitoring and reporting field. Effective English language skills & computer knowledge. Red Cross Volunteers are preferable. Pls send application letter, CV & related documents to Myanmar Red Cross Society Head Office, Yazathingaha Rd, Dekkhinathiri, Nay Pyi Taw. Or mrcshrrecruitment@ gmail.com

UN Positions
UNICEF Myanmar is seeking Fixed-term Appointment Health Officer - UCI (NOB), based in Yangon : University degree in Social Sciences, Public Health or other relevant disciplines, preferably MBBS; MPH/MBA or equivalent would be an asset. 2 years experience in Public Health programme design, administration & monitoring & evaluation or related field; Analy tical & conceptual ability; documentation & communication skills; Planning & monitoring skills & ability to organize work & projects; Skill in computer applications; Fluency in English and Myanmar. Working knowledge of another UN language is an asset. Pls send application with updated CV or Personal History form, educational credentials and references to jobs. yangon@unicef.org by 24 December 2013. unesco Myanmar Project Office is seeking Administrative Assistant: University degree at Bachelor or higher level in public of business administration or a related field. Excellent in English. 5 years experience in handling administrative & secretarial tasks. Computer literacy. Excellent typing skills in Myanmar language. Pls submit a cover letter (referencing the job Announcement No. JA3613) accompanied by full resume stating details of educational qualifications & working experience, present income, home & office telephone numbers. Email:kk.lwin@ unesco.org; with copy to: adm.bgk@unesco. org, UNESCO Yangon Project Office, UN Bldg 6, Natmauk Rd, Tamwe, Yangon, UNICEF Myanmar is seeking Fixed-term Appointment Education Specialist (NO-C), based in Yangon : Advanced University degree in one or more of the disciplines relevant in the following areas: Primary Education or a Social Sciences fields relevant to int'l development assistance. 5 years experience at national & international levels in field programmes relevant to Education programmes. Fluency in English & Myanmar. Working know ledge of another UN language is an asset. Pls send application with updated CV or Personal History form, educational credentials and references to jobs. yangon@unicef.org by 17 December 2013.

Ingo Positions
myanmar Red Cross Society is seeking Programme Coordinator (Commu nity Based Program for Malaria Prevention Program) 1 post in Nay Pyi Taw: M.B.,B.S with valid SAMA or equivalent medical degree from Medical university recognized by Government or Myanmar. Master/ Diploma degree in Public Health will be the priority. 3 years experiences in Community Based Malaria Prevention Program. Effective English language skills & computer knowledge. Red Cross volunteers are preferable. Pls send application letter, CV & relateddocumentstoHead Office, Yazathingaha Rd, Dekkhinathiri,NayPyiTaw. Or mrcshrrecruitment@ gmail.com, Closing date : 18.12.2013. world Vision Int'l - Myanmar is seeking Customer Services

Coordinator in Launglon Tsp - Costal Zone: University degree. 2 years experience in the field of customer services in commercial/ public institutions/ INGO. Strong Communication skills in English and Myanmar. Pls submit resume (clearly identify the post you apply) by post to HR Department, World Vision Int'l - Myanmar or in person to application drop-box at No (18), Shin Saw Pu Rd, Ahlone, Sanchaung PO or send to myajobapps@wvi.org Closing date : December 11, 2013. world Vision Int'l Myanmar is seeking(1) Community Develop ment Facilitator in Hpa-An, Kayin State: University degree. Working experience in community develop ment. (2)Zonal Monitor ing Coordinator (ReOpen) in Mawlamyine: University degree, Social science or computer studies is preferable. 3 years of progressive experience in program/ project monitoring and suverying. For 1 & 2 :Competent in use of Microsoft Office. Good command of Myanmar & English & report writing skill in English is essential. Pls submit resume (clearly identify the post you apply) by post to HR Department, World Vision Int'l - Myanmar or in person to application drop-box at 18, Shin Saw Pu Rd, Ahlone, Sanchaung PO or send to myajobapps@wvi.org Closing date : December 18, 2013. solidarites Int'l is seeking (1)HR Officer 1 post in Yangon :1 year experience in INGO or private organization. University Degree or Diploma (preferably in management field). Fluent in English, Myanmar. Good writing & communication skills. Flexible, reactive, trustful and calm under pressure. Knowledge of MS Office. (2)Fleet Officer - 1 post in Sittwe: Strong experience in current Position. Ability to understand of speaking and writing in English and Myanmar. Good writing & communication skills. (3) Water Analysis Officer 1 post in Sittwe: 1 year experience. Strong IT skills. Experience in NGO is best. Fluent English. (4) Water Facility Construction Supervisor - 2 posts in Monywa: Civil Engineer Degree, 2 years or professional experience in Civil Engineering. Experience in team supervision. Basic English level. Pls submit application (CV, cover letter, references) to the attention of: HR Department Solidarites Int'l/ Or drop application on an envelope at Solidarites Int'l office - 44-A, Tharyarwaddy Lane, Bahan, Yangon or per email: hr.recruitment. mm@gmail.com, Closing date: 20.12.2013. world Vision Int'l - Myanmar is seeking Community Development Facilitator (CMCB Project) in Thayetchaung - Coastal Zone: University Degree. Working experience in community development. Compe tent in used of Microsoft Word, Excel & Power Point. Good command of Myanmar and English. Pls submit resume (clearly identify the post you apply) by post to HR Department, World Vision Int'l - Myanmar or in person to application drop-box at (18), Shin Saw Pu Rd; Ahlone, Sanchaung PO or send to myajobapps@wvi.org Closing date : December 16, 2013 medecins Sans Frontieres Switzerland (MSFCH) is looking for Head of Mission

Local Positions
Centure Myanmar, a leading office furniture provider in Myanmar, is seeking - Sales manager (1 post) - Sales Executive (2 posts) - Marketing Executive (1 post) Showroom manager (1 post) - Showroom Sales (2 posts) - Sales Trainee (2 posts) - Secretary/ Assistance (1 post) Driver (2 posts). We offer a young and international working atmosphere and search for competent and dedicated employees to grow with our expanding business. Be part of the team and send your application letter and CV to mailhrdepartment@ gmail.com (1)MOTORS.COM .MM, Myanmar’s leading online vehicle marketplace is looking for a Sales Manager (2)HOUSE. COM.MM, Myanmar's biggest online Real Estate platform is looking for a Sales Manager. Responsibilities : fully responsible for the entire sales process, conducting sales meetings, training, planning & after-sales: Fully fluent in English & Myanmar; Over 5 years experience in sales; experience in automotive industry preferred; knowledge of Excel, Word & Power Point; Contact : 01-2305627, thaeei. phyu@work.com.mm ROCKET INTERNET Myanmar Classifieds, part of the world's, leading online venture builder Rocket Internet is looking for an HR manager : You will be in charge of defining, structuring & developing continuously appropriate recruiting channels & processes: Fully fluent in English & Myanmar; Over 5 years experience in HR Management field; experience in creating contracts, payroll process, social security taxes; handbook creating; Contact: 01-2305627, thaeei.phyu@work.com. mm A ccountants , General Clerks,

Marketing & Sales Persons (M/F) - Age above 30 years - Urgent Need US$ 1,000/e Accommodation, Food, Transport Yearly bonus, Local Allowances, Festival allowances, To work in Nigeria, Lagos. 25 Myanmar are working there. No agent fees, Air Ticket Free, During Vacation with pay CPA or ACCA or M.Ba or B.Com or D.Ma or LCCI or any Accounting Academic. Good for English speaking, Computer skill & MYOB. Ph : 01-573881, 09-514-8138 MYANMAR POLESTAR Travels & Tours, Yangon, is urgently looking for a Director of Marketing & Sales to be in charge of the European market. Required 3 to 5 years experience in the hospitality or tour operations, great communication & organizational skills. Competent salary package will be offered according to experience and skills. Pls submit CV and cover letter to dom@ myanmarpolestar.com SAIL Group of Companies Ltd is servicing international clients in media planning and creative production for advertising . We need candidates for the following positions: graphic designer, media planner, video editor, accountant. Please send resume to the following advertising. myanmar@gmail.com. 790, Bogyoke Rd and Wadan Rd Junction, Suite 603, Danathiha Center, Lanmadaw, Yangon. Ph:211870, 224820 We are seeking (1). Senior Accountant - F 1 Post : must be draw Final Account in Microsoft Excel. (2). Mechanical Engineer - M 1 Post :must be BE or AGTI (Mechanical) or equivalent. (3).Electrical Engineer - M 1 Post : must be BE or AGTI (Electrical) or equivalent. (4). Sale and Marketing Staff - M/ F 1 Post :must be familar with electrical goods marketing. (5). Receptionist - F 1 Post.

All position must be able to communication in English, able to use Computer Microsoft Office & working experience at least 5 years. Pls submit CV with the recent photo copy of NRC, Labor card and qualification certificates to the Managing Director of Myat Kan Moe Enterprise Ltd: (002), Bldg (A-8), Ground Flr, Mindama Rd, Shwe Gabar Housing, Mayangone, Yangon, Ph:663656, 09-73194828. Email: gei.ygn3@ gmail.com Closing date : 10 Jan 2014. Smart Choice Co.,Ltd is seeking : For Business Development Department, (1) Secretary - M/F 1 post, (2)Manager - M/F 1 post. For IT Department : (1) Manager- M 1 post, (2) Assistant For Procurement Department : (1)Deputy Manager - M / F 2 posts. (2)Assistant ManagerM/F 2 posts. Export & Import Department: (1) Manager - M 2 posts. (2) Assistant Manager - M 2 posts. For Administration Department: (1) Receptionist - F 2 posts. For EP Department :(1)Asst: Engineer - M 5 Post :B.E [EP], A.G.T.I [EP], B.Tech [EP], Age 35 ~ 40. Above 5 years of experiences. Computer literate. (2) Sub Asst: Engineer - M 5 posts (3)Junior Engineer - M 5 posts (4)Technician - M 5 posts. For Civil Department : (1)Asst: Engineer - M 5 posts (2) Sub Assistant Engineer - M 5 posts (3) Junior Engineer - M 5 posts. (4) Site Supervisor - M 5 posts. (5)Tower - M 15 posts . For Administration Department: (1)Driver

(For Crane Care) & (Office Car) No.47, Myaung Mya St, Sanchaung, Yangon. Ph: 01 536078, 09-250311027. Parkway Cancer Centre isseeking MedicalDoctor Female 1 post : M.B,B.S Graduate with SA MA registration, 2 years experienceinmedicalfield, Good communication in English, Must be able to use computer, internet and Microsoft application with excellent skills, We welcome the candidates who are trust worthy, selfmotivated with positive working attitude. Pls submit: CV with relevant certificates, documents, recommendation letter attach and documents, and expected salary to Rm(G-07), Ground Flr, Diamond Center, Pyay Rd, Kamayut. Tel : 532 438, 532 447, 09 513 6584, Email : yangon@ canhope.org KELVIN CHIA Yangon Ltd is a foreign legal consultancy firm. We invite motivated and committed individuals to join us as: Administrative Executive : Good written & spoken communication skills in English. Mature & capable of supervising & directing subordinates. Must be well-organized, meticulous, have initiative & execute instructions promptly. Some accounting back ground & experience preferred. Interested applicants are invited to send their full resume stating their current and expected salaries, together with a recent photograph to chw@kcyangon.com. We regret that only shortlisted candidates will be notified. MiTA Myanmar @ ISBC Company is urgently

looking for Myanmar nationals for the following positions: (1). Maintenance Engineer (2 positions) - Packaging Industry (2). Sales Engineer (2 positions) – Packaging Industry. Work Location: Yangon, Myanmar; Training in Bangkok, Thailand. To know more about above positions & other vacant positions and sending CV, please visit: https:// mitaservices.com.sg/ jobs-career/myanmar/ Savoy Hotel, Yangon is urgently looking for (1) Bar Supervisor - 2 ~ 3 years experience, good English and good personality (2) Storekeeper - minimum 1 ~ 2 years experience, LCCI (Level II) (3) Driver - minimum 3 years experience (4) Security - minimum 2 years experience. Application letter by email to savoy. hra@gmail.com or 129, Dhammazedi Rd, Yangon. Tel: (95-1) 526298, 526289. Please mention the desire position on the application letter. Urgent Need Accountants, General Clerks, Marketing & Sales Persons (M/F)Age above 30 years US$ 1,000/Month, Free Accomodation, Food, Transport Yearly Bonus, Local Allowances, Festival Allowances. To work in Nigeria, Lagos. 25 Myanmar are working there No agent fees, Air Ticket Free, During Vacation with pay CPA or ACCA or M.Ba or B.Com or D.Ma or LCCI or any Accounting Academic. Good for English Speaking, Computer Skill & MYOB. Ph :01-573881, 09-514-8138.

Recruit! Local Correspondent in Yangon
• • • Good skills of English and Computer Experience as a journalist at least 2 or 3 years Basic Salary 800 US$ (Trial period 700 US$) + Transportation expense + Telephone Bill & Internet Bill + Daily allowence (in case of duty-trip) Mainichi is a Japanese Daily Newspapers Takayuki KASUGA Bureau Chief, Asia General Bureau If you are interested, please send your CV to the following kasuga-t@mainichi.co.jp
Buhler Asia Private Ltd. (Myanmar Branch) is now looking for an energetic and high caliber person for the following position : General Manager (Myanmar National to be stationed in Yangon). Male or Female with the age range of 40 to 50 year-old. Responsibilities: • Establish business contacts in Flour, Rice, & Feed Milling industries. • Responsible formarket strategies and develop business in compliance with Buhler’s South East Asia strategies. • Ensure to fulfill short and long term objectives including budget goals. • Coordinate and capture activities associated with all business units and provide inputs. • Pursuit projects through tenders and assist sales managers ensuring pre-qualify for tender documentation. • Communicate local and overseas cooperation partners in view of joint submission for tender complement. • Develop/organize team work and lay down back up motivation plan along with company ethics and policies. • Able for frequent travels domestic and overseas. Qualifications: • Bachelor or master Degree in Economics or Marketing or Engineering. • Knowledge in rice business would be an advantage. • Able to communicate with senior management and organizations in Myanmar. • Have strong will and achievement driven mentality. • Good interpersonal skills with self-motivation. • Keen to learn and problem solving ability. • Good command of both writing and speaking English. • Competence in computer utility and office management. Buhler is a Switzerland-based company established over 150 years ago. Presently we are active in more than 140 countries giving solutions for flour mills, feed mills, rice mills, storage-&-dryers, die casting and other high-tech products. Interested persons are welcomed and will be offered attractive package of salary. Closing date for application is 31st December, 2013. Expected date to start duty: January, 2014. Please submit application to buhler.myanmar@gmail.com

60 Sport

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

F
Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

Images of the Games
OR the first time in 44 years Myanmar is playing host to the Southeast Asian Games. Over 18 days the athletes from 11 nations will descend on Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon, Mandalay and Ngwe Saung beach, competing in 33 sports hopes of taking home a gold. With a spectacular opening ceremony on December 12 and Myanmar atop the medal count, it is tough to imagine the Games getting off to a better start for the host nation.

Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

Photo: Lwin Ko Taik

Photo: Boothee

Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing Photo: Lwin Ko Taik

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Sport 61

A 1969 SEA Games champ looks back

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TIm MCLAUgHlIN timothy.mclaughlin3@gmail.com

ORTY-FOUR years ago was the last time Myanmar hosted the Southeast Asian Games. Then called the Southeast Asian Peninsular Games – the name would be changed in 1977 after the addition of the nonpeninsular nations Brunei, the Philippines and Indonesia – athletes from six nations marched though Yangon’s Bogyoke Aung San Stadium during

the opening ceremony in December 1969. Under the blue and red flag of Burma, U Aye Lwin competed in the host nation’s volleyball team against teams from Laos, Thailand, South Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia in what was just the fifth edition of the Games. “I was full of joy,” said U Aye Lwin, sitting in his downtown Yangon home, the various competition medals he collected during his career with the national team spread out on his living room table. The largest is the gold

U Aye Lwin poses with the medals he won as a member of the Myanmar national volleyball team. Photo: Boothee

medal that he won for Myanmar at the 1969 games – one of 57 that the nation captured that year. U Aye Lwin rose through the volleyball ranks as a secondary student after his family relocated to the outskirts of Yangon. In the then-capital he found more people playing volleyball than badminton, which had been his first sporting love, and made the switch. After winning youth and township titles, he was tapped to join the national team in 1968. Like his teammates, U Aye Lwin was not a professional player, and was in his second year at Rangoon University. This amateur status, he said, drove athletes to play out of passion rather than the prospect of financial reward. “I don’t think the mindset of the players today is the same. There are lots of enticements in terms of money,” he said. “[In 1969] there was a feeling of attachment to this game. We loved this game. We were crazy about it.” Despite other commitments, like education, and jobs outside their respective sports, Myanmar’s teams at the games were strong. “Myanmar was quite outstanding compared to our neighbours,” he said. Unlike this year, where Myanmar has sent hundreds of athletes abroad for training, it was competitors from other countries who came to Yangon seeking ways to improve. The country’s football team was

U Aye Lwin displays on December 11 the gold medal he won as a member of the Myanmar national volleyball team at the 1969 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games. Photo: Boothee

particularly dominant. In 1968 they finished second in the Asian Cup. After sharing the SEA Games title with Thailand following a 2-2 draw in 1965, Myanmar were champions in 1967, 1969, 1971 and 1973. With the high expectations came pressure. Under General Ne Win’s Burmese Way to Socialism, state-sponsored sports teams were not spared from the military chain-of-command system. Military officials connected with the sport desperately wanted the team to win, to both save face and impress their superiors. “They used to interfere, these generals. They used to breathe down our neck. They wanted us to win,” said U Aye Lwin. But as the country’s economy began to stagnate under General Ne Win, the state sport program suffered. Third place in the 1977 SEA Games was the best the once-powerful football squad could muster before a steady

decline. It was not until 1993 that they would see the podium again, picking up silver at the SEA Games in Singapore. Attendance at sporting events also declined dramatically. U Aye Lwin attributes this to people spending more time trying to make ends meet. Minor events like inter-township sporting matches that used to draw lively crowds went almost unnoticed. National teams struggled to fill stadiums. The SEA Games’ return, he said, has helped to breathe an air of life back into Myanmar’s sports fans. “Now I can feel the excitement. The mood has come back,” he said on December 11, the day of the opening ceremony. “I was here [at home] and I heard screaming and I thought something must have happened,” U Aye Lwin said laughing, “Myanmar had made one [football] goal. The entire neighborhood – elderly, children – were shouting.”

62 Sport

THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

A ‘bluffer’s guide’ to the 27 Southeast Asian Games
27 TH SeA GAmeS MyanMaR 2013

th

SEA GAmeS
Where does it originate? In 1959 Bangkok had the honour of hosting the inaugural Southeast Asian Peninsula Games. The title of father to the Games is usually credited to Luang Sukhumnaipradit, then vice president of the Thailand Olympic Committee. He and representatives of Laos, Cambodia and Burma, Malayasia and South Vietnam agreed to the concept while meeting in Tokyo for the continent-wide Asian Games of 1958. The afore mentioned countries were then joined by Singapore in sending over 500 athletes and officials to participate in competitions across 12 sports. Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines were admitted to the tournament in 1977, necessitating a change of name for the organisation to the Southeast

Matt RoEBUcK
matt.d.roebuck@googlemail.com

This week our ‘bluffers guide’ uses a wider lens, pulling back from the individual games that form SEA Games competition and looking at the event and regional games as a whole.

Asian Games Federation or SEAGF. The current line-up of competitors was completed when in 2003, Timor Leste was welcomed to the 22nd SEA Games. What’s it all about? The founder of the modern Olympic

movement, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, a French educationist, saw the sport as an opportunity to exercise what he would term a ‘positive nationalism’. Games were to create a space in which a community, a people or a nation could celebrate and share what its successes, whilst learning from others and their talents. Such a concept dictates that sport should act as a common ground on which people from all over the world conform to a set of universal rules, thus sharing in their common identities as sportspeople before moving on to more serious topics. The proposed rationale behind the SEA Games was that a regional sports event would help promote understanding and foster positive relations among countries in the Southeast Asian region. As sporting mega-events and the global sports scene as a whole have developed, sport has become an international tool of soft power’ A nation’s soft power strategy refers to its means

to wield influence over others on the international scene without resorting to military-industrial might. Sports increasing contribution to this scene was recently recognised by its inclusion in the leading global soft power survey and ranking list conducted by the Monocle. Myanmar’s hosting of the SEA Games this year has also been described as a “coming out” party that will launch the nation back onto the regional and international political scene as it takes the 2014 ASEAN chair. How do you play? Unlike the Olympic Games there is no official limit or dictation as to the shape of the event’s calendar. Beyond the core list of those 12 sports held at the inaugural event in 1959, every Games program is decided by host nation on the basis of approval by the Southeast Asian Games Federation. The 2013 Games will include 33 sports, a sizeable number; however, 43 sports featured at the 24th edition. A number of sports that are International Olympic Committee affiliated but do not feature in the Olympic Games themselves can be seen at the SEA Games such as wushu, karate and fin swimming. In addition to the IOC recognised events, there are also those that give this contest a truly Southeast Asian flavor, sepak takraw was the first of these to be introduced back in 1965, since then pencak silat, arnis, muay, vovinam and most recently chinlone have also featured on the program. Sepak takraw has even gone on to feature in the continental Asian Games since 1990. How do you win? The leeway provided by allowing a host country to pick and choose sports has led to great controversy and accusations of gerrymandering the medal count. The inclusion of chinlone in these 27th Games was a particularly controversial decision but this was by no means an isolated incident. In the 2001 Games, hosts Malaysia introduced amongst other sports, two Commonwealth sports, netball and lawn bowls. In 2003, Vietnam introduced fin swimming, shuttlecock and wushu moving them from persistent mid-table obscurity to leading the medal table. U Myat Thura Soe, international relations secretary at the Myanmar Olympic Committee, has suggested that in this sense Vietnam is Myanmar’s role models. “We think of the example of Vietnam … in 2001, Myanmar and Vietnam were almost the same level, but now they have progressed way ahead of us,” U Myat Thura Soe has been quoted as saying. Increasing the number of medals available within a sport is also an effective way to tilt the table in your favour. At the 2007 Thai Games, new categories of sepak takraw were introduced alongside a new rubber-coated ball rather than the traditional rattan sphere. Thailand then took gold in all competitions, a task made all the easier when main rivals Malaysia withdrew their team only days before the competition in protest at this sudden rule change. The 2013 SEA Games will see 17 gold medals available in the Traditional Boat Race events. Myanmar dominated this event back in 2011, securing nine of the ten gold medals available in what was already an event swollen to a size beyond recognition from previous games. Further events have had to compromise, for instance no country can enter all of the available contests within the chinlone and sepak takraw events, thereby ensuring at least a little variety on top of the podium.

What should you be saying? Green, Clean and Friendship – the motto of the 27th SEA Games Where is it played? As the name suggests the Southeast Asian Games now includes all ASEAN countries. After Laos took the hosting duties in 2009, all nations but Cambodia and Timor Leste have held the event. Cambodia cancelled their one designated event back in 1963 but have now decided they wish to make 2021 or 2023 their turn. The intervening games are penciled in for Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021 respectively. How many medals are available? In all, 1557 medals will be awarded across the 35 sports: 460 gold, 460 silver and 637 bronze. Athletics will award the most gold medals of any single sport with 46 titles up for grabs. What’s the betting? At the Olympics, though the international media is quick to provide such a summary, the theory is that all competitors compete as individuals and the games have no official medal table. In regional games there are no such qualms. Thailand and Indonesia dominate medal tables at the SEA Games. Thailand have topped the chart 11 times, while the Indonesians have vanquished all comers on 10 occasions since they joined the competition. As already alluded to, host nations have a knack of coming out top at the SEA Games and the Philippines. Malaysia and Vietnam have all achieved this on one occasion. As with all similar sporting competitions there is often a lot of truth behind the belief in homefield advantage, influenced by increased investment, motivation, fan-power or gamesmanship. In Myanmar’s two previous hostings of the Games, they finished on top of the medal table by a significant distance, with a medal ratio of nearly 2:1 medals compared to their nearest rivals in 1969. This year an ambitious target of 100 medals has been set by the host nation. Where will it all happen? The majority of the 2013 events will be held at the Wunna Theidki Sports Complex built in the capital Nay Pyi Taw. A handful of events are also to be hosted in Yangon, with Mandalay hosting the Women’s Football and Ngwe Saung taking on responsibility for the sailing regatta. The opening ceremony was held on December 11 the Games conclude on December 22. A number of events began before the opening ceremony, which is not unusual for multi-sports events, the same often occurring for the football events in the Olympics. It is however unusual for an entire competition to be complete and medals to have been already awarded as was the case with wushu, chinlone and the waterpolo events. Did you know? You may have spotted Shwe Yoe and Ma Moe, the Golden Owls and mascots of the 27th SEA Games in an embrace with a number of other cartoon characters. This motley crew of varying design are the mascots of previous games. They include Champa and Champi; two white elephants in traditional Lao dress, Modo and Modi; a pair of Komodo dragons from the 26th Games in Indonesia and Si Tumas and a golden squirrel from Kuala Lumpur.
Matt Roebuck is a sports writer and sports development consultant based in Yangon. He is the author of the book The Other Olympics, published in 2012.

www.mmtimes.com

Sport 63

Sport
64 THE MYANMAR TIMES DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2013

SPORT EDITOR: Tim McLaughlin | timothy.mclaughlin3@gmail.com

The 27th SEA Games in pictures
SPORT 60

Hoping for the Midas touch
Myanmar targets 100 gold medals at SEA Games

NAY PYI TAW

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YANMAR set its sights on the ambitious target of 100 gold medals at the Southeast Asian Games on December 12 after stunning guests with a lavish opening ceremony. The sports ministry’s deputy director-general Onh Myint Oo said the hosts, who have not topped the SEA Games medals table since the 1960s, had high hopes given the home field advantage. “We are targeting 100 gold medals and hopefully more,” he told AFP. Myanmar won just 16 gold medals at the Games’ last edition in 2011, meaning they are aiming for more than a six-fold increase. The impoverished country now emerging from decades of military rule has not finished top of the medals table since last hosting the regional tournament in 1969. But Myanmar, backed heavily by Chinese money, put on an impressive spectacle in Wednesday’s opening ceremony, whose scale and quality took some observers by surprise. “People are happy across the country. They had tears in their eyes. It was the best opening ceremony at any SEA Games,” said Onh Myint Oo, one of the ceremony’s key organisers. “We are grateful to the Chinese for their help with the opening ceremony,” he added. China has provided nearly US$33 million in technical assistance for the Games, including the opening and closing ceremonies. The opening ceremony took place at the purpose-built, 30,000-seat Wunna Theikdi stadium, one of several new venues in the country’s capital Nay Pyi Taw. However Myanmar will face stiff competition, not least from 2011 hosts and table-toppers Indonesia, who are aiming to accrue nearly 150 gold medals.

Performers and athletes sand in formation during the opening ceremony of the 27th Southeast Asian Games in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: Lwin Ko Taik

Indonesia finished with 182 golds two years ago but the chairman of Prima, the body in charge of preparing the country’s athletes, said funding cuts have since taken their toll. “After a thorough discussion with

the national sports federations, we think getting 115 to 147 gold medals is a reasonable target,” Surya Dharma said. “Prima is confident the athletes can manage that number. We could have achieved higher if the government pro-

vided more support for the preparation.” He added, “We’re dealing with a budget shortage, so we’re relying on 23 sports to yield medals. “Due to the reduced funding, we were unable to ensure that athletes

got the training and match practice they needed ahead of the Games.” Initial competition started on December 1 but most events got under way on December 12 following the opening ceremony. – AFP