ISSUE 714 | JANUARY 27 - FEBRUARY 2, 2014

Census prep gets thumbs up
BRIDGET DI CERTO bridget.dicerto@gmail.com MYANMAR’S preparations for the 2014 census were given the seal of approval by a team of international experts last week. A panel from the International Technical Advisory Board (ITAB) said at a press conference on January 24 that they had found preparations for the nationwide survey to be in compliance with international standards. “ITAB have found that [the Department of Planning] have done a good job and that now the rest is up to the people of Myanmar,” ITAB co-chair Paul Cheung said. Technical consultant Fredrick Okwayo said almost three years of planning had gone into preparing the census, developing questions and mapping the country for data collection. On the issue of ethnicity and its coding, the ITAB confirmed that the census invites respondents to self-identify, in line with international standards. “A successful census is a significant challenge that requires strong logistical planning, government leadership and the positive support throughout the country,” said ITAB co-chair Dr Werner Haug. “The world’s eyes are certainly on Myanmar at this time. The international community is very keen to see a successful census in Myanmar and for Myanmar to have the statistical information needed to provide the basis for policy making, government administration and community discussion in this time of reform.” CENSUS SPECIAL NEWS 10-12



They’re off and racing
Kenyan distance runner Joseph Kariuki made it back-to-back wins in the Yoma Yangon International Marathon on January 29, seeing off hundreds of competitors – and more than a few errant vehicles – to finish in a time of 2 hours, 35 minutes and 49 seconds.

Military moves to curb illegal Myawaddy trade
Report in The Myanmar Times prompts local commanders to order extra patrols in a bid to clamp down on illegal trade on the Thai border, where there are up to 17 unofficial crossings. BUSINESS 22

Speaker backs Suu Kyi
Thura U Shwe Mann says he would participate in four-way talks proposed by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Fears for Bagan temples
Officials have expressed concern over the growing number of new hotel projects in the Bagan area.


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online editor Kayleigh Long | kayleighelong@gmail.com

THE INSIDER: The local lowdown & best of the web
Star wars
The decision to replace two MPs in the Pyidaungsu hluttaw and install two female military representatives earlier in January could carry some serious astrological implications, according to celebrated Myanmar astrologer Sa Zar Ni Bo. Speaking with Myanmar Tandawsint Daily on January 14, Sa Zar Ni Bo said the two women’s names would tend to indicate that they were born on a Tuesday – the same day as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Tuesday-born people fall under the sign of the lion, and typically display leadership characteristics. In Myanmar it is a widespread belief that Tuesday-born people have a “sharp tongue”. He said that the arrival of these two Tuesday women in the parliament could be interpreted as an “astrological attack” on Daw Suu. However, Lt. Colonel Soe Soe Myint and Lt. Colonel San Thida Khin may find themselves in a spot of trouble, having less natural power than The Lady. Whenever attacking someone astrologically, the attacker must always have higher natural power than their target – or else it can backfire and the attacker will lose or suffer, Sa Zar Ni Bo explained. Astrologically, he said, this means that the women are being sacrificed to wipe out a “big-figure-Tuesday-born,” but in doing so they were more likely to face ill fortune than the NLD leader “sooner or later”.

What lies beneath

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

A local fisherman made a surprising haul from the Hlaing River last week, dragging up a North American alligator gar. The prehistoric-looking 2’9” beast was sold at market to Nyi Min Htut, who took it home before deciding that the scales on the fish were unusually tough. He sought a professional opinion. “I brought the fish to the Fisheries Enterprise because I have never seen a fish like this before,” Nyi Min Htut told Eleven Media. General Secretary of Myanmar Fisheries Federation Win Kyaing set about inspecting the creature from the deep, and “correctly identified the fish because of the dual row of large teeth in the upper jaw which, along with the elongated snout, resemble an alligator,” Eleven reported. The Ministry’s Win Kyaing expressed concern at the potential impact the alligator gar could be having on native fish populations. While hailing from North America, alligator gars have been spotted as far afield as Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Turkmenistan. They are reportedly popular as trophy fish, as well as being considered quite the addition to Japanese private aquariums. The largest alligator gar on record was caught in the Mississippi River in 2011, weighing in at some 148kg and measuring over 2.5m in length.

Pope 2.0

The cover of a 70s audio story tape, Common World, by composer Naing Linn, with Htun Wai, Hla Min Htet and Myo Aung.

Pope Francis delivered his first World Communication Day message last week, using the occasion to wax lyrical about the internet. “This is something truly good, a gift from God,” he gushed. The 77-year-old is an avid Twitter user, whose account has garnered some four million (online) followers. The pontiff described the “digital highway” as a street “teeming with people who are often hurting: men and women looking for salvation or hope.” In what sounds more like a ringing endorsement for Craigslist than an address by the head of the Catholic Church, he went on to urge people not to isolate themselves from society by seeking salvation online. “It is not enough to be passersby on the digital highways … Connections need to grow into true encounters,” he said.

Thin Zar Nwe Win for NOW! magazine. Photo: Pyae Han ( ColorMax)



Next week: Spitfires.


NEWS EDITOR: Thomas Kean | tdkean@gmail.com

News 3

Pressure grows for Rakhine investigation
TIM MCLAUGHLIN timothy.mclaughlin3@gmail.com THE United Nations last week joined a growing chorus of international groups calling for a transparent investigation into recent violence in Rakhine State, after several sources reported that about 40 Rohingya Muslims were killed in clashes earlier this month. The government denies that any significant violence took place in Maungdaw township’s Du Chee Yar Tan and insists that the only casualty was a police officer, who remains missing. Its detailed account of events in state media has failed to placate the international community, however. Valerie Amos, the United Nations undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordination, said in a statement on January 23 that she was “deeply concerned about reports of alarming levels of violence”. She urged the government “to immediately launch an impartial investigation into these events and to respect the rights of those arrested and detained in connection with this incident”. UN high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay issued a similar call the same day. “I deplore the loss of life in Du Chee Yar Tan and call on the authorities to carry out a full, prompt and impartial investigation and ensure that victims and their families receive justice,” Ms Pillay said. Earlier in the week officials from two UN agencies toured the region to investigate allegations that security forces and local residents attacked Rohingya residents in retribution for the suspected death of a police officer, Sergeant Aung Kyaw Thein, on January 14. Sgt Aung Kyaw Thein’s body has not been recovered. Reports of the incident were first detailed by the NGO Arakan Project and reported by the Associated Press. While the exact number of deaths still remains unclear, the UN and
KNU chairman General Mutu Say Poe (right) shakes hands with an ethnic leader at last week’s talks. Photo: Wa Lone

Ethnic meeting enters sixth day
Talks run three days overtime as leaders consider proposed changes to draft ceasefire
The new draft came about following several informal meetings between both sides in Chiang Mai. It removes references to the future of the Tatmadaw and ethnic armies, which both sides have agreed to discuss during the political dialogue stage. Ethnic groups also examined proposed changes to the draft ceasefire they wrote at the Laiza talks in October and November 2013. “[We] made adjustments to the Laiza agreement [based on followup meetings with the government] so we have to seek approval from all ethnic groups for the sections that have changed,” said Colonel Khun Okker from the United Nationalities Federal Council, an umbrella organisation for around a dozen armed groups. Seventeen groups attended the meeting, including the Kachin Independence Organisation, Restoration Council of the Shan State, Shan State Progress Party and New Mon State Party. The only notable absentees were the United Wa State Army and National Democratic Alliance Army, which is based at Mongla in eastern Shan State. The All Burma Students’ Democratic Front, the Peace-talk Creation Group and the Nippon Foundation, a Japanese NGO, also attended as observers. In a speech to open the meeting, KNU chairman General Mutu Say Poe urged ethnic leaders not to miss the current opportunity to end decades of conflict. “I would like to urge everyone to grab this opportunity to implement [peace] without delay,” he said. He said he expected the peace process to move forward quickly once a nationwide ceasefire is signed. “At this conference, we will discuss how to avoid conflicts between armed groups ... and what mechanism we should use to build peace, and then how can we reach a common agreement between ourselves for authentic peace.” But Comrade Than Ke, chairman of the ABSDF, emphasised that the government also had its own role to play. “Peace can’t be the responsibility of only one side,” he said. “The government can’t make one-sided decisions and the ethnic groups also can’t do it alone. We urgently need all groups to work together.”


A MEETING of armed ethnic groups at the Karen National Union’s headquarters in Hlaingbwe township continued for a sixth day on January 25, with leaders apparently unable to agree on how to proceed with the government’s proposed nationwide ceasefire agreement. The conference, at Law Khee Lar in the Karen National Liberation Army’s Brigade 7 area, opened on January 20 and was expected to run for three days. Talks focused on the draft ceasefire that will be discussed at the next peace meeting with the government, which, already twice delayed, is scheduled for Hpa-an in late February. The framework and timeline for political dialogue, which is expected to begin after the nationwide ceasefire is signed, was also a topic of lengthy discussions. The groups considered a new draft ceasefire proposed by the government peace team – with input from the military, parliament and President’s Office – following disagreements at the Myitkyina talks in November.

‘I would like to urge everyone to grab this opportunity ... without delay.’
General Mutu Say Poe Karen National Union chairman

Thailand-based group Fortify Rights reported the number to be about 40, a figure the government denies. U Ye Htut, deputy information minister and government spokesperson, called the reports “wholly and totally wrong”, while state media singled out reports from AP and Irrawaddy, labelling them “groundless”. The New Light of Myanmar reported on January 23 that a police patrol searching for Sgt Aung Kyaw Thein was attacked after it approached a shop where about 20 Rohingya men – referred to in the report as “Bengalis” – were sitting on the night of January 13. The group soon grew into a 100-strong mob, the government says, which forced the police to retreat. Police returned later with “members of a local battalion” to find about 500 had now gathered in the village. They fired warning shots to disperse the crowd, the report said. Police are looking for 19 suspects, some of them members of the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO), a Bangladesh-based armed group. Of the 19, the report said, 11 had fled to an unnamed “neighbouring country” where they were attempting to win awards from the RSO for attacking members of the Myanmar Police Force. The report made no mention of civilian deaths or mass arrests of Rohingya males. As reports began to emerge from the area, the United States and United Kingdom issued a joint statement on January 17 calling for a probe into the violence. British Foreign Secretary William Hague took to social media site Twitter on January 23 to say that he was “sickened” by the reports and that the UK “will press for action”. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, meanwhile, called on the government to “respect human rights and fundamental freedoms” and urged Myanmar politicians “exercise their influence for the sake of peace, tolerance and community reconciliation” MORE ON NEWS 4

4 News
CONTINUED FROM NEWS 3 Secretary general Iyad Ameen Madani said the violence violated the “basic rights of the Rohingya Muslims to be protected as citizens and as a minority by their own government”. Fortify Rights and Human Rights Watch joined the international community in calling for a thorough investigation into the alleged massacre. “The government should end the mass arrests of Muslim men and boys and ensure due process rights for all those detained in areas surrounding the site of recent mass killings of Rohingya,” Fortify Rights said in a release. “Unfettered access to the area should be granted to humanitarian organisations, independent observers, and national and international media.” Human Rights Watch echoed these calls. “The denial of access to the area by the authorities is the root cause of the uncertainty over deaths and civilian displacement,” said David Mathieson, the group’s Myanmar researcher. “We know something very bad has happened and continues to happen. The government needs to provide immediate access to humanitarian agencies, the media and independent investigators to establish the facts.”


Speaker backs talks on changes to constitution
Thura U Shwe Mann says he supports Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s invitation for four-way talks


A waiter carries drinks at Yangon restaurant Le Planteur. Photo: Staff

Yangon’s Le Planteur sets new course as businessman Serge Pun buys in
THOMAS KEAN tdkean@gmail.com TYCOON Serge Pun has bought into one of Yangon’s most respected eateries, French restaurant Le Planteur. Mr Pun, who is chairman of Serge Pun & Associates and First Myanmar Investment, recently agreed a joint venture deal with the restaurant’s founder, Swiss French chef Boris Granges. Mr Granges established Le Planteur in 1997, moving it to its current premises – a colonial-era mansion on more than 1 acre of land - in 2006. He stepped back from the business in 2011, allowing Michelin-starred chef Felix Eppisser and his wife Lucia to take over just as the tourism boom began to get into full swing. Mr Granges, who is also involved in the Viewpoint restaurant at Inle Lake, said he will play a more significant role in the business moving forward. “Serge Pun and I are joining resources and skills to upgrade the current restaurant with [the] objective to develop the most amazing and unique concept in town,” he said. “I will remain fully involved in the new venture as well as taking the lead on the culinary direction of what our new concept will offer.” Le Planteur is widely considered one of the best fine dining restaurants in Yangon. After opening its doors it quickly developed a following among both expatriates and well-heeled Myanmar. This popularity purportedly helped the restaurant’s owners stave off the threat of closure in 2008, when another party attempted to take over the business. While never confirmed, it is believed that an appeal on the restaurant’s behalf to Senior General Than Shwe saved Le Planteur from an impending forced sale.­­

PYIDAUNGSU Hluttaw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann has backed Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s call for four-way talks on the 2008 constitution. The government has already rejected the proposal, which would bring together the National League for Democracy leader, U Shwe Mann, President U Thein Sein and Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, on the grounds it would undermine the process underway in parliament. But Thura U Shwe Mann said on January 23 that he supported the idea. “I welcome any meeting that can contribute to the development of our country,” the speaker said. “I’ve already told her that I welcome and support it ... If she tries again I will accept the proposal.” However, he said he would not intervene to push President U Thein Sein and Senior General Min Aung Hlaing to participate as they “have the right to decide freely”. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has vowed to continue her push for the meeting, which she first proposed in November. She told reporters on January 13 that she will “never give up. I will continue working on this.” Among her chief concerns is the eligibility criteria for the presidency, contained in section 59(f ) which currently bars her from the top job because her sons are British citizens. Under proposed changes submitted by the Union Solidarity and Development Party to the parliamentary review committee, the criteria would change slightly but the NLD leader would remain ineligible. Thura U Shwe Mann said he was not opposed to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi becoming president but the

eligibility criteria is not the only focus of the parliamentary review, which is scheduled for completion by the end of January. “I will welcome whoever becomes president. I will also welcome Daw Aung San Suu Kyi if she becomes president,” he said. “But we don’t pay particular attention to 59(f ) when we discuss changing the constitution. We are mostly taking into account the sections that do not meet the needs of ethnic groups, such as national reconciliation, self-administration and equality. “I can’t say what will happen in the hluttaw. We will work according to the desire of the majority

‘If [Daw Aung San Suu Kyi] tries again I will support the proposal.’
Thura U Shwe Mann Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker

and according to the law.” He said USDP is willing to cooperate with the NLD and all other parties in the interests of the country but the party will fight hard for victory in the 2015 election. The speaker also said he is happier with his role in parliament than as a military official. At the time of the dissolution of the State Peace and Development Council in March 2011 he was the third-highest ranking general in the military, behind only then-Senior General Than Shwe and Vice Senior General Maung Aye. “I worked for freedom and justice under the previous government but there were limitations,” he said. “Now I can freely decide [how to act].”

6 News


Analysts predict tumultuous 2014
Country’s leading political commentators say the government will face numerous challenges maintaining momentum behind reforms


SOME of the country’s leading political analysts have released a rather bleak prognosis for 2014, arguing that only large doses of optimism and patience will stop the government’s reform program falling apart in the face of numerous unresolved problems. They pointed to widespread poverty, anger over land grabbing and rural indebtedness, poisonous religious and racial issues, disputes over the constitution and growing political tension as the 2015 election approaches as potential stumbling blocks for the government. These factors, combined with what they described as the country’s “immature democratic mindset”, have already created a tense situation that threatens to boil over at any moment. “2014 will be a period of serious tension,” said Moe Thee Zon, a former chairman of All Burma Students’ Democratic Front who recently returned from political exile. “We have, in politics, the 2008 [constitution] issue, ceasefires with ethnic armed forces that now appear to be at a stalemate, and issues such as how to manage power sharing and resource sharing demands,” he said. “And it looks as though there will be no quick solution to the economic problems … Another [problematic] issue is land grabbing. The unemployment rate is also 37 percent. When combined these conditions do not bode well for [stability in 2014].” Moe Thee Zon was one of a number of political analysts and formerly exiled politicians who discussed the country’s political developments and challenges for 2014 at a seminar in Yangon on January 10. Organised by the Former Political Prisoner group, it drew about 600 people to Bahan’s Royal Rose Restaurant. U Ye Naing Aung, a former secretary general of Democratic Party for a New Society, said that the government needed to show a stronger commitment to reform to keep the trajectory on track. “I think in some ways the government’s political will and commitment to reform is still unclear,” the former political prisoner said. “For example, the political will

A participant speaks at a meeting of Rakhine people in Yangon in September. The religious conflict in Rakhine State will remain a hot political issue in 2014. Photo: Boothee

in implementing measures for the development of small- and mediumsized enterprises is not strong enough. Then, compare it with the effort that went into hosting the Southeast Asian Games.” Given the lack of strong institutions, much continues to depend on political leadership and the country’s decision makers maintaining cooperative relationships. “Democratic institutions are still just in their early stages,” said analyst U Kyaw Win, who shot to prominence around the 2010 election. “In a situation like Myanmar’s, strong institutions are critical … but developing institutions takes time so until that can be achieved, we will have to rely on leadership instead. In particular, farsighted leadership is critically important.” But with the challenges come opportunities to show visionary leadership. Progress toward ending the country’s civil wars and resolving constitutional dispute through political dialogue could solidify support for the reform process. “The best chance to draw trust is the 2008 constitution issue,” U Ye

Naing Aung said. “If we can adhere to a common agreement between all political forces on the constitution, optimism about the reform process moving beyond 2015 will increase – not only here but also internationally.” In July, parliament formed a 109-member committee to review the constitution. The committee has received more than 28,000 submissions, and more than 300,000

‘There’s a strong chance that the amendments [to the constitution] will not be the ones that the majority of people want.’
U Kyaw Win Political commentator

suggestions in total, and is sorting them so they can be put to parliament. At the same time, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is pushing for four-way talks with President U Thein Sein, Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann. Missing from this picture are ethnic groups, including non-state armies, who will also have to be brought into the conversation on the country’s future. The government has said it plans to hold a conference of all armed and unarmed political forces, in the spirit of the 1947 Pinlon conference, but getting all these actors to find common ground will be a tricky task. “One thing for sure is that [the 2008 constitution] will be amended by the existing parliament. It will definitely happen,” said U Kyaw Win. “But there’s a strong chance that the amendments they make will not be the ones that the majority of people want and agree are needed.” He stressed the importance of a political pact between the reformers on the government side and moderates from the opposition.

“The reformers from the old government should be able to control their former colleagues [who are] hardliners,” he said. “Similarly, the moderates from the opposition can control those holding radical views … a peaceful and smooth transitional mechanism could be developed through a political pact along these lines. Without it, there will be much instability.” He also cautioned that those who expect all problematic sections of the constitution to be addressed through the current parliamentary review are likely to be disappointed. Likening the situation to using shock therapy on an ill patient, U Kyaw Win said he believed that if the changes are too sudden then Myanmar society will be unable to cope. “Everybody knows that the [2008] constitution has many bad points but if we are to be practical we will recognise they can’t all be changed at once. “The people in power usually make the decisions on strategy and tactics. Those who have no power have to respond according to the decision of the authorities … [but] we will gather our strength in parliament for that.”


News 7

Tension rises over land disputes
Hluttaw representatives say the government is dealing with just a fraction of the disputes they investigated
EI EI TOE LWIN eieitoelwin@gmail.com MPs have accused the government of fudging the figures to create the impression that the country’s widespread land disputes are rapidly being resolved. After establishing an investigation commission in 2012, the parliament sent three reports on land disputes to the government between August and November. The government then set up a committee, headed by Vice President U Nyan Tun, and set a one-year deadline to resolve the thousands of land ownership-related complaints submitted to the parliament. Speaking to Pyidaungsu Hluttaw on January 21, Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation U Ohn Than said between October 26 and December 25 the government had resolved 418 of 745 cases. Of the 565 disputes involving the military, 332 have already been resolved, he said. In the Nay Pyi Taw Council area, meanwhile, 93 percent of the 111 submitted complaints have been the deputy minister’s presentation was “too general”. “There is a big gap between what the deputy minister said and the real condition,” said U Tin Maung Oo from Shwe Pyi Thar. “The farmers want proper compensation for the seized lands or, in casese where the land was not used, for it to be returned. But in some cases squatters have now taken over that unused land. “I consoled them by saying that the government will pay compensation from the [2014-15] budget … but the compensation budget for the Ministry of the Defence is only for land taken now, not old cases.” Among those who called for government action was Amyotha Hluttaw representative U Khin Shwe, whose company, Zaykabar, is involved in a dispute with farmers on the fringes of Yangon. “In our case, the land for the project was granted by the former government. The confiscation was done by the Ministry of Construction and Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development. These government departments are the ones who should resolve the dispute,” he said. “Because of these problems, we won’t be able to attract foreign investment.” Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann urged the government to cooperate more closely with the MPs and to act on the concerns they raised during the discussion. – Translation by Thiri Min Htun

Judge rejects call for review of cases
THE judiciary cannot take sides in the land disputes between farmers and private companies, Supreme Court Judge U Myint Aung has told the Pyithu Hluttaw, after a senior Union Solidarity and Development Party said most of the cases against farmers are “unfair”. Pyithu Hluttaw MP for South Okkalapa U Aung Thein Linn criticised the judicial system on January 22, saying it was being used by private companies to stifle dissent over illegal land acquisitions. But U Myint Aung said courts have to stick “to the letter of the law” in all cases and could not review charges against farmers. He noted that the judiciary is trying to speed up trials to reduce the burden on defendants. Hundreds of farmers who have sought to take back their land from private companies are facing prison terms on charges of mischief and trespassing, while some have even been jailed. U Aung Thein Linn told The Myanmar Times that when cases come to trial, farmers have to appear in court dozens of times, placing a significant financial burden on them. “The [companies] are using the legal system to suppress farmers so they are afraid to submit complaints in the future,” the former Yangon mayor said. “It is unfair. Most farmers are poor and having to face trial imposes many more hardships.” – Ei Ei Toe Lwin

A farmer protests the confiscation of land in Yangon’s East Dagon township in June 2013. Photo: Zarni Phyo

Number of land owership complaints the hluttaw sent to the government for resolution


addressed, he said. But MPs said the government’s figures did not bear any resemblance to the situation on the ground. “What do you mean the ‘111 complaints in the Nay Pyi Taw Council area’?” asked Daw Sandar Min, the Pyithu Hluttaw representative for Zabuthiri, one of eight Nay Pyi Taw townships. “There are more than 100 land seizures in my township alone that have not been settled yet.” “I oppose the [statement] that there are only seven cases left to settle in Nay Pyi Taw because it just doesn’t make sense based on what I

have seen,” she said. Daw Sandar Min was one of 11 MPs who discussed the deputy minister’s presentation. Representatives from Yangon, Sagaing, Ayeyarwady and Tanintharyi regions, and Kachin, Kayin, Kayah and Rakhine states, all complained that the number of land disputes mentioned in U Ohn Than’s presentation was less than the figure they submitted to the government. Chairman U Tin Htut said the commission sent 5858 complaints to the president and the government has not explained why it is only trying to resolve 745 complaints, adding that

8 News
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Labourers put in place sections of the Shwegonedaing flyover in Yangon’s Bahan township in August 2013. Photo: Thiri

Time for patience, persistence
The government should be careful not to let anxiety over the pace of reforms trump the need for careful planning


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WHEN President U Thein Sein’s government came to office in March 2011 it set a brisk pace implementing reforms. The political landscape changed completely in a year; “freedom from fear” was no longer a slogan. Observers were also stunned by the scope and speed of economic reforms. The government began the reform process by allowing more imports of used vehicles and then unified the foreign exchange rates, revamped investment laws, increased the budget allocations for education and health, placed some fiscal discipline on state economic enterprises and began liberalising the telecoms sector. Today, however, the initial euphoria seems to have given way to a vague feeling that these courageous steps are not paying off. Policymakers and Myanmar citizens had wanted to see a surge in private investment in new factories and services, creating many well-paying jobs. This has not happened. The sudden influx of late-model cars, which initially lifted the spirits of Yangon residents as a symbol of change, has become a source of congestion and annoyance. Did something go wrong? I do not think so. Given where Myanmar started in its reform process, it is not surprising that the sweeping reforms have not led to an instant rush of private investment. After decades of restrictive economic policies, Myanmar cannot regain the full confidence of investors overnight. It takes time to overcome other key constraints, especially infrastructure

deficiencies and the shortage of welleducated and skilled workers. Examples of growth success, like Japan and South Korea, did not start so quickly either. In Japan, the miracle growth began only in the mid1950s. The destruction of infrastructure and factories was so extensive during World War II that it took a decade to put the conditions in place for the economy to take off, even with a good policy framework. After fighting in the Korean War ended in 1953, South Korea faced a similar challenge. It was only in 1966 that South Korea first recorded a double-digit GDP growth rate. In their leaner years, however, both Japan and South Korea persisted with the long-term strategy to improve physical and institutional infrastructure and upgrade education; they were rewarded in time. One hopes that Myanmar’s initial handicap is less serious, and hence vigorous growth will start sooner. Still, Myanmar’s leaders must be feeling anxious about this situation. Their desire to see faster change, however, could lead to an impulse to make hasty decisions or deviate from the reform course. Where possible, they should accelerate reform measures. But it would be a mistake to compromise the core reform principles or skip careful planning just to achieve quick results. Two examples may illustrate this point. The first is the new flyovers in Yangon. Everyone appreciates the authorities’ efforts to rapidly ease traffic congestion. Nevertheless, many now realise that the flyovers may not have been the best solution. The real solution to meet the expanding transport needs in Yangon is an efficient mass transit system, and technical and financial resources should be concentrated on designing and building it.

In the meantime, driver training - focusing on, for example, compliance with traffic rules and good driving manners – and more effective traffic controls could significantly mitigate the problems. Building permanent structures like flyovers is risky when it is done without first developing a master road plan for the whole city. The second example comes from the electricity sector. The government seems to rely heavily on the private sector providing solutions to many problems, from power generation to distribution. For a government faced with huge fiscal gaps, this seems like an attractive option. It may also help

At this critical time, when the country’s long-term direction is being reset, the price of making poor policy choices can be particularly high.

bring quick results. The private sector, however, will tend to cherry-pick commercially attractive projects, such as higher-income urban areas or promising industrial parks. There is a risk that services to rural areas and poor households will be neglected. It is essential that the government first develops sector policies and an overall investment plan to ensure both economic growth and equitable access to electricity. This will enable the government to identify areas for

private sector involvement more rationally. Such a careful approach may seem slow at first but will promise more people-centred and sustained growth over time. It might also avoid protests of the kind we have seen recently against the electric tariff hikes, because the government would have a coherent explanation for the rate increases. At this critical time, when the country’s long-term direction is being reset, the price of making poor policy choices can be particularly high. It can stall the reform momentum after a temporary burst; it can also set a country on the wrong trajectory for many years to come. Consider, for example, an electricity sector investment program that neglects rural areas. That would be a tragedy. When I speak with Myanmar colleagues and friends, I can’t help but feel that they are profoundly forwardlooking. They are willing to make sacrifices today to ensure a better future tomorrow. Having seen several historic opportunities for transformation slip away in the past, they are determined not to waste this one. What they need is not quick results at the expense of poor development prospects in the longer term; they need a clear explanation from their leaders that the right reform choices are being made. We should all be confident that if Myanmar keeps at the reform process, the economy will thrive, perhaps slowly at first but with growing momentum later. I believe it is possible for Myanmar to replicate the successes of Japan and South Korea. Now is the time for both patience and persistence.
Mr Tanaka is the head of the Japan International Cooperation Agency office in Myanmar.


Nay Pyi Taw slides into the hot seat
That criticism will only get louder and louder, particularly when concurrent sectarian violence occurs, as it did in Du Char Yar Tan in northern Rakhine State last week. Indonesia and Malaysia will insist that anti-Muslim killings, and the Rohingya issue in general, are not only discussed, but are also explicitly referenced in the final communiqué. The leadership in Naypyidaw will have to agree – or suffer the same fate as Cambodia did two years ago. And as if that were not enough, there is another issue that may also plague Nay Pyi Taw’s year as ASEAN chair. It is the decision taken in Jakarta last month by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to raise the subject of spying at this year’s leadership summit. Yudhoyono, widely known by his initials SBY, said, “We are calling on ASEAN countries to be united in rejecting espionage. I believe mutual trust and respect are important in international relations.” The disclosure by former United States intelligence contractor Edward Snowden that Australian agents, working with their American colleagues, tapped his mobile phone stunned the Indonesian leader. He promptly recalled his country’s ambassador from Canberra, suspended

joint military exercises, froze trade talks and immigration cooperation, and even limited imports of Australian beef. Malaysian PM Najib was also far from amused when Snowden revealed that his telecommunications had been intercepted by Singapore agents, again working in tandem with their Washington cohorts. Consequently, SBY and Najib want, and need, to kick back a little, if only to deflect perceptions they are weak and vacillating leaders. They will not cut Myanmar any slack when they demand that this issue is tabled in ASEAN forums, and a conclusion reached and made public. That conclusion, which will likely chastise Australia, Singapore and the US for spying on friendly ASEAN neighbours, will not be easy for Nay Pyi Taw to finesse as it seeks warmer ties with Washington and the West. Indeed, it will be especially difficult if the US tries to pre-empt such criticism by intimating that perhaps the plight of the Rohingyas is, after all, not just a domestic matter but an international tragedy requiring outside intervention. That would really put Nay Pyi Taw on the spot. In fact, it is already becoming clear that unless the foreign ministry gets its act together rather better than it did last week, Myanmar is going to find the chair a very hot seat this year.

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MYANMAR, as this year’s chair of ASEAN, has insisted that it will not allow the tragedy of the Rohingya people to be discussed at the group’s 2014 summit meetings. It is a naive and silly attitude, and given the trans-border context and the violent anti-Islamic dimensions of the problem, it is doomed to failure. Muslim-majority nations like Indonesia and Malaysia will not remain silent as their brothers and sisters are slaughtered in pogroms that the Myanmar government seems unable or unwilling to stop. Indeed, the issue could precipitate a crisis of the sort that occurred two years ago when the then-chair of the association, Cambodia, tried to put the lid on any reference to another similarly sensitive matter. Back then, under pressure from its principal benefactor China, Cambodia

Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa (centre) talks with Vietnam’s Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (left) and ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting in Bagan on January 16. Photo: AFP

refused to include any mention of the sovereignty conflicts in the South China Sea between ASEAN claimants and Beijing The decision infuriated the Philippines and Vietnam, who are locked in acrimonious disputes with China over island chains that lie amid lucrative fishing grounds, major oil and gas deposits, and strategic sea lanes. As a result, for the first time in 45

years, no communiqué was issued at the end of an ASEAN summit, and the debacle drew headlines like “Cambodia: The wrecker of ASEAN unity”. If Myanmar is not careful, it will soon be getting similar treatment. That was abundantly clear from the way press coverage of last week’s summit in Bagan focused heavily on criticism of the decision to block discussion of the Rohingya question.

Why take a census?
BRIDGET DI CERTO bridget.dicerto@gmail.com IT has been more than 30 years since Myanmar last counted its population in a nationwide census, a stark departure from United Nations guidelines to conduct the survey every 10 years, a technical advisor from the UN said last week. So why take a census? “The main purpose the UN recommends this is in line with a saying, ‘If you can’t measure something, then you can’t fix it’,” said Fredrick Okwayo, technical advisor at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which is helping the government plan and conduct the census in March and April. “The purpose of the census is to give the country the actual population and characteristics of that population,” Mr Okwayo said. “It is only by knowing the number of people in a country and their various characteristics like educational retainment … that you can come up with correct policies that benefit the entire population.” The census has proven somewhat controversial among some ethnic groups and rights activists who fear the survey will be used as a weapon to curb minority rights or steer the 2015 election. “A census has not been done for the past 30 years, and almost everybody who is less than 30 years old does not know what a census is,” Mr Okwayo said, adding that it was important to debunk common misconceptions about the survey. “The main purpose of the census is to count everybody and collect all this information so we have a database. Once we have a database we can analyse it to identify areas of need and make sure policies are being made based on hard evidence.” The second misconception was that the census would serve as a mechanism to gather personal data. “The government has a household registration system, which is unique to Myanmar, but every country has something similar. There is a difference between household registration and a census,” Mr Okwayo said. “This misconception is that the census will be looking for the names on the household registration form, but it will not.” The census questionnaire begins by asking every dwelling or institution the names and particulars of people who spent the night of March 29 at that residence. “These are not necessarily the same names that appear on the household registration list. When the census gatherer comes to your house they ask, ‘What is your name?’ But people have many names, and the census is not keen even to get the right spelling of your name,” Mr Okwayo said. Personal details are protected under the Census Law passed in July 2013. The law places blanket confidentiality over personal data collected during the census and further dictates that none of the information can be used for any purpose other than statistical aggregation. “When we started planning for the census, there was the idea that information we collected from the census would be used by the Electoral Commission to conduct voter registration so they could use the names to create that list,” Mr Okwayo said, adding that this plan was quickly quashed. However, he said that when the aggregated results of the census are released in March 2015, the commission can use the data to determine the number of voting centres to establish based on the population of each town. Regarding the concerns of some minority groups about issues concerning citizenship and ethnicity, Mr Okwayo said the UNFPA has looked at censuses of Myanmar conducted in 1973 and 1983. “We have made it so that those groups whose ethnic identity is not on the list of 135 [ethnicities], there is a special mark and the numerators have been instructed to write the name of that ethnicity,” he said. “So if there is a big ethnic group that is originally not there in the 135, then this is an opportunity for them to be added. But that can only be done if such a group is accurately reflected on the census.” The census questionnaire’s 41 questions are geared toward gathering data on education attainment, disability prevalence, mortality rates, migration patterns and variances in housing quality across the country. Among the aims of the census will be collating the level of education attained by people throughout the country and categorising them according to age group. MORE ON NEWS 12

Nationwide co to close infor

‘Once we have a database we can analyse it to identify areas of need and make sure policies are being made based on hard evidence.’
Fredrick Okwayo United Nations Population Fund

Officials conduct a pilot census in Mandalay in April 2013. Photo: Supplied

MYANMAR will conduct a nationwide population and housing census from March 29 to April 10, the first such survey to be done in the country for 30 years. The census questionnaire consists of 41 questions, starting with asking every household and institution to list the names of everyone who spent the night of March 29. The count will include everyone – Myanmar nationals and foreigners included – regardless of whether they stayed in a house, hospital, monastery, hotel or elsewhere. U Myint Kyaing, the director general of the Department of Population under the Ministry of Immigration and Population, told The Myanmar Times that the main purpose of the census was to “provide accurate and timely information that is crucial to government policymaking, planning and administration”. “Our department can provide a population number every five years based on birth and death rates from annual reports, but this is not very accurate. So now we have an information gap,” he said. According to government estimates, Myanmar’s current population is from 50-60 million. Each household in the country – numbering more than 12 million – will be visited during the 12-day census period. The questionnaire includes questions about gender, age, education, occupation, religion, ethnicity, disabilities, births, deaths, housing, electricity supplies and access to water, said U Win Myint, the national program officer (monitoring and evaluation) at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The UNFPA is providing technical assistance to the government, including help with drafting the questionnaire based on advice from an international technical advisory board. Although some ethnic leaders are asking for changes to be made to the questionnaire, U Win Myint said,

A woman holds her child in Twante in Yangon draft sound policies for the development of

“We have no authority to change the questions. We drafted these questions based on international standards and on the 1973 and 1983 censuses in Myanmar.” The first modern census was taken in 1891 during the British colonial period and was repeated every 10 years until 1941. Under U Ne Win, counts were conducted in 1973 and 1983, with the latter coming up with a population figure of about 35.4 million. For this year’s census, the UNFPA

count aims mation gap

Minorities want survey delayed
BILL O’TOOLE name@myanmartimes.com.mm THOUGH Myanmar’s nationwide census does not start until the end of March, minority groups are already questioning the government’s methodology and calling for the massive undertaking to be delayed. “The timing is not right … We have to think from a ‘do no harm’ point of view, and the census could cause a lot of harm,” said Daw Khon Ja, a program coordinator with the Kachin Peace Network. Daw Khon Ja, like many activists, is concerned that the census will be used as a tool to divide ethnic groups. Already, she says, it has become a point of contention among the dozens of tribes that make up the people collectively known as the Kachin. “At present only six tribes have been given representation [in the census],” she said. “People feel like they’re being forced to become part of a completely different tribe.” She described such categorisation as a clear attempt to attack “the spirit of revolution” that has powered the armed rebels of her state, adding that the census was “a whole new front in the war”. Salai Bawi Thang, a spokesperson for the Chin Human Rights Organisation, criticised the government for not doing enough to educate the residents of rural areas on the census process, making the whole enterprise ripe for mismanagement and abuse. “There is no public consultation, and Chin people do not get any reliable information.  As the result, many Chin are confused and worried that we will be more divided,” he said. Salai Bawi Thang also questioned the expertise of those in charge of conducting the census in his state. Following a meeting with immigration officials, he noted, “There were spelling mistakes in some of the [sub-group] names. For example, ‹Khumi› was written as ‹Khami›.” Like Khon Ja, Salai Bawi Thang is calling for the whole process to be put on hold until the government and ethnic groups can agree on a better framework. On the other hand, U Shwe Maung, a Union Solidarity and Development Party representative from Buthidaung in Rakhine State who identifies as Rohingya, sounded a note of cautious optimism about the census process, assuming it is done according to the law. The issue is especially pressing in Rakhine State, where the citizenship of the region’s Rohingya minority remains a source of fierce and often violent contention. Early attempts by census workers to document the Muslim communities there erupted into violence several times in the past year, as Rohingya people resent attempts to label them as “Bengalis”. “As far as my knowledge, everyone has rights to their own ethnic name. Census law has nothing to do with citizenship. According to law, they can talk and write freely,” U Shwe Maung said. He said the key to avoiding more violence was to consult with the local population and to use familiar members of the community to conduct the census. He said he has already submitted the names of more than 700 Muslim volunteers who want to see the census conducted in an “honest way”. Though he said he is “very concerned” about the potential for harm, he added that as long as the government concentrates only on collecting data, and not on citizenship and electoral rights, there should be no problem. “Citizenship and voting rights are separate issues” and should not be related to the census, he said. However, Daw Khon Ja remains staunchly opposed to the census in its current form. “We need to postpone the census and start the whole process over … [The government] is not just interested in data; they want to destroy the solidarity of the citizens.”


Collecting data for The Man
Region. Myanmar’s 2014 census aims to collect data that will help the government the country. Photo: Chris Davy

Estimated cost of the 2014 census



is providing assistance in mapping households, training interviewers, setting up data processing systems and disseminating the results. “We are preparing the best situation for the 2014 census. We held a pilot project one year ahead of the actual census, during which interviewers fanned out across 20 selected

townships across the country,” U Win Myint said. The census will require an estimated 100,000 interviewers, while 20,000 secondary teachers will supervise the work of the interviewers. Data will be collected using 15 million questionnaires. The total cost of the census is estimated at US$58.6 million, with the government providing $15 million, the UNFPA $5 million and other international donors the remaining $38.6 million. “The financial support is in place now,” U Win Myint said According to the Myanmar Census Project Plan, an advance report will be issued six months after the survey is conducted, and the final report will be published in the first quarter of 2015.



IN 1990 I spent six months living in the small city of Gainesville in north-central Florida. As a 22-year-old college dropout who harboured a robust dedication to slackerdom, I wasn’t keen on squandering my days on fulltime work, especially for the paltry minimum wage at the time of US$3.80 an hour. For a couple of months I earned money working for a libertarian farmer who lived just outside the city – he needed help skinning goats and moving rocks from one part of his property to another. Then I heard that the US Census Bureau was hiring temporary enumerators to go door to door collecting population data. The hours were flexible, and the pay was $6 an hour.

After the short training program, I was assigned an underserved AfricanAmerican neighbourhood near downtown. For the next six weeks I woke up each morning, slung my official Census Bureau bag over my shoulder and made the rounds on my bicycle. One of the first houses on my list was owned by a 40-something bachelor. When I visited, he was enjoying a front-yard cookout with some friends. The homeowner laughed when I tried to explain, as per my official government training, that the census would help community leaders decide on the allocation of services and infrastructure projects, and would also determine the number of seats in the US

He agreed to answer my questions on the condition that I pile a plate with pork ribs and help myself to a beer from the cooler.

House of Representatives “so your voice is heard where it counts the most”. Pointing his barbecue-glazed spatula at the road in front of the house, he said, “I’ve spent my life paying taxes and answering the census, and that road hasn’t been paved since I was a kid.” The road, a main thoroughfare through the neighbourhood, looked like bomb-cratered highway to hell. Despite his resistance, the man was not belligerent: His point made, he agreed to answer my questions on the condition that I pile a Styrofoam plate with pork ribs and help myself to a beer from the cooler. (This probably went against some federal policy or another, but I was willing to do whatever it took to get the job done. Never let it be said that haven’t made sacrifices for the good of my country.) This encounter was just one example of the way in which my census work became an extended case study in attitudes toward the government among the disenfranchised. In a related manner, as a federal employee I also became a sounding board for various societal and personal concerns among the populace. MORE ON NEWS 12

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CONTINUED FROM NEWS 11 There was the grandmother who complained about crime as she sat on her sofa with a long-barreled shotgun with easy reach of her bony hands. There were many lonely people who didn’t seem to be getting much support from anyone, like the elderly man whose breath smelled of alcohol at 10am and who wouldn’t let me leave until I picked the image of his younger self from his fading army photos. And nearly every day I was flagged down by young African-American men who wanted to know if there were still jobs available with the Census Bureau because there just wasn’t any steady work to found in their neighbourhood. What I didn’t run into were any conspiracy theorists who thought the data would be used for nefarious purposes. The greatest resistance I faced came from a small crew of dropouts who lived in a compound behind a high wooden wall. It took a fair bit of snooping before I finally found a gate leading into the property. On the other side was a dirt parking lot bordered by trees, and the only vehicle in evidence was a beat-up Volkswagen microbus. The only person I saw was a little girl, maybe 10 years old, who was standing among the trees, watching me. She had blonde, stringy hair and was wearing a cotton peasant dress. I asked if her parents were around. The girl stared silently for a second or two, then turned and trotted barefoot down a dirt path leading into the forest. I followed. She led me to a woodworking shop where a white guy with dreadlocks was handcrafting a percussion instrument destined someday to find its way into a Deadhead drum circle. I explained why I was there. Without a word, he led me back to the microbus in the parking lot and pointed to a sticker affixed to the bumper: “Don’t Stand Up and Be Counted: Boycott the 1990 Census.” It was a bold statement, but he and his anarcho-hippie cohorts were too easygoing to resist the charms of the Census Man. They eventually abandoned their carefree hostility and answered my questions, even inviting me to leave my bike at their commune the next time I came to the neighbourhood to collect information. (I imagine they’re all high-powered brokers on Wall Street by now.) In retrospect, working for the US Census Bureau wasn’t the worst job I’ve ever had. As an American who grew up in a town with a population of fewer than 6000 people, more than 90 percent of whom were white, I found that knocking on the doors of strangers in a marginalised neighbourhood brought me into contact with people I otherwise never would have met. It opened my eyes to the brilliant, sometimes heartbreaking diversity of the world, and I’ve never stopped exploring it since. Read about travel and culture in Myanmar and elsewhere at Douglas Long’s blog Late for Nowhere (latefornowhere.wordpress.com/).


The school bus bringi
The Myanmar Mobile Education Project, or myME, takes the classroom to Yangon’s
FIONA MACGREGOR newsroom@mmtimes.com WITH a rev and a jolt the small green bus – unremarkable except for the pictures of smiling children on its sides – sets off into Yangon’s rush-hour traffic. The vehicle belongs to the Myanmar Mobile Education Project, or myME, and as it makes its way through the busy streets towards a large teashop in the city centre, 60 or so excited boys and young men are already gathering at the tables. They have been waiting on all day, preparing themselves for its arrival. Among them is 13-year-old Ko Thet Myo Thet. Earlier this month he was sent by his parents from his home village in the Ayeyarwady delta to work in a Yangon teashop because they could no longer afford to send him to school. He is a solidly built boy but his round-face, streaked with thanaka, cannot hide his nervousness at being in such new surroundings. His words are halting and even when he laughs he looks as if he could start crying at any moment. “I’d finished fifth grade when I had to leave school to come here,” he eventually says. “I was so sad when I had to leave school. I wanted to become a nurse when I grew up.” Ko Thet Myo Thet is waiting for the bus to arrive so he can continue his interrupted education. The vehicle is a mobile classroom, part of a new initiative aimed at bringing the school to young teashop workers who miss out on education because poverty has forced them into the workforce at a young age. “I don’t know the words to describe the feeling inside me when I found out I was going to be able to start studying again,” he says, explaining how his eyes filled with tears when he was asked if he wanted to continue his education with myME. Sitting aboard the bus, at the specially constructed wooden tables and benches where the students attend classes, are project founder and director Tim Aye Hardy, its full-time teacher, Daw Margaret Kim, and a volunteer assistant teacher, Ma Win Kyu Kyu. Mr Aye Hardy, a former 88 Generation student and human rights activist who left Myanmar in 1989, was living in New York last year when he came up with the idea of offering teashop

CONTINUED FROM NEWS 10 “Education is a key indicator in the UN’s Millennium Development Goals,” Mr Okwayo said. “It is important to know where the country is and if there are people who have never been to school.” The census will also examine migration patterns in the country with the goal of building positive policies to prevent overcrowding in cities. “In a country like Myanmar, which is predominantly agricultural, there is a lot of migration,” he said. “To get the stream of movement in the country helps [generate] policies. For example, if people are moving mostly for employment purposes, then there should be satellite cities to curb migration.” The census will also look at the

types of houses people live in, the materials used to build houses, and whether there is access to safe drinking water, electricity and latrines. “The environment in which a household stays has a lot of impact on the mortality rate, especially for children,” Mr Okwayo said. “We want to look at this correlation to mortality rates so the government and other development partners can come up with the right policies.” He added that the preparation and implementation of the census might even provide a useful roadmap for the process of forging peace between the government and armed ethnic groups. “If Wa leaders and government leaders can come together to discuss the census, why can’t they come together for other political issues, like sharing of resources?”

A child sits in the first myMe classroom bus on January 18. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

children in his homeland the chance to study by bringing the school to them with specially converted buses. Together with a group of friends in the US, he started fundraising and returned to Myanmar in November to conduct a pilot project and get the

‘We’d aimed for a total of about 60 pupils for this pilot stage, but that’s already doubled to around 120.’
Tim Aye Hardy myME founder and director

first myME classroom bus on the road. If the vehicle is the epitome of innovative design – the door to the driver’s compartment also serves as a white-board, the tables and benches can be easily folded away for less formal sessions and cutely patterned curtains, tinted glass and an insulated roof prevent the vehicle from overheating – but the sentiment the project best embodies is hope. myMe was officially launched in Yangon on January 18, four weeks after classes began. So many young people had already signed up for the thrice-weekly sessions in maths, Myanmar and English that the main classes are now taking place in the teashops themselves after they close at 5.30pm. The bus classroom, parked outside, is used for teaching those still learning the most basic aspects of literacy and numeracy. “We’d aimed for a total of about 60


News 13

ing education for all
young teashop waiters – and could even offer a pathway back into formal education
their will by relatives, or tricked by “brokers” into working in cities far from their homes. Once they start in the teashop business, many never find their way back home. “A lot of the employers lock the children in at night. In other cases brokers move the young people from place to place, making a profit each time. Many of the children I spoke to had no idea how to get back to their families, even if they had the freedom to do so,” says Mr Aye Hardy. The government is slowly moving to address the issue. On December 18, it finally ratified the international Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, which commits it to preventing children being forced into slave-like conditions and dangerous or damaging work. But with many families struggling to get by and the practice of child labour so widespread, Mr Aye Hardy believes the immediate priority should be to ensure that those who do end up working in teashops and similar environments are treated well and given the opportunity to access education. He says he was lucky to have found for the pilot project a teashop owner who already believed it was important for his young workers to receive an education and has been striving to give them the best working conditions he can. But he knows as the initiative expands others will take more convincing. “It is not possible to end child labour overnight. There needs to be a cultural shift and change in attitude,” says Mr Aye Hardy. “Most people think it’s okay for the children to work and they are praised for what they are doing for their parents. A lot of employers do treat the children badly, beating them and shouting at them and paying them very little to work 16-hour days, but many people who use child workers think they are doing something good by providing young people from very poor backgrounds with food and shelter. “That’s why it’s so important in this project that we bring the teashop owners and parents on board so they can see that it is a positive thing for the children and actually for their businesses too if the young people receive an education.” Ultimately, he hopes myME can help those who want to return to school get back into the formal system. “If they don’t want to, we will help them with life skills,” he said. “This is a long-term commitment.”

Bamboo lovers unite to save nation’s forests
AYE SAPAY PHYU ayephyu2006@gmail.com BAMBOO, a rich resource for the country, could soon be history if action is not taken to preserve it, a conservationist has warned. Daw Devi Thant Cin, manager of Myanmar Green Network, said the quality of bamboo forests was being degraded. Speaking in Yangon on January 14, Daw Devi Thant Cin said she wanted to form an association for “bamboo lovers” to tackle the issue. “The association would raise public awareness of the importance of bamboo and support the development of the livelihood of village communities by sharing sustainable ways to get more income from bamboo,” she said. She said that amid deforestation of bamboo and degradation of its quality, bamboo seeds are being collected at K6000 a pyi (about 2 kilograms) in Yea Ngan village in Shan State for export. “People never grow bamboo, but it is always being cut down. If we don’t take action, the next generation could see bamboo only in history books.” Dr San Win, pro-rector of the University of Forestry, said bamboo could be used to promote sustainable rural development activities. “Bamboo-based socioeconomic development has the advantages of quick returns, biodegradability, and fewer restrictions than timber,” he said. He added that although Myanmar has the third-largest bamboo reserves globally, after China and India, its income from bamboo is minimal. Myanmar has 17,385 hectares of commercialgrade bamboo forest, according to the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry. “Total income from forestry products in Myanmar is about US$500$600 million, including teak sales of $300 million. But according to 2011 data from the China Bamboo Research Centre, China receives $1.748 billion, Indonesia more than $400 million, and Vietnam more than $200 million. Myanmar received less than $2 million from bamboo products,” he said, adding that the data was from 2010. U Aung Soe, assistant research officer at the Forestry Department, said the production of value-added quality bamboo products should be promoted to raise income. “Most bamboo that can produce quality products ends up as chopsticks. There is a lack of knowledge and skill to make quality products here,” he said. Dr San Win said bamboo could be used to make various household appliances, food and clothing but is also valuable in environmental conservation. “Bamboo is a key player in maintaining fresh water. It is also the best bio-fertiliser for teak.”

pupils for this pilot stage, but that’s already doubled to around 120,” says Mr Aye Hardy. While most of the students are teenagers, this is not always the case. Ko Aye Ko, a 22-year-old bus driver who left school when he was 10, is enrolled in the English classes. Ko Aung Ko Oo, 24, is in the Myanmar class and appreciating the chance to make up for some of the education he missed out on having been sent to work as child. A heavy set man with large, broad features, he appears out of scale to the small desks and benches in the bus as he practises writing numbers in Myanmar. But he is grateful to be there – and glad his younger colleagues will not have to reach adulthood unable to read or write, as he did. “I left school when I was about seven or eight years old and was 14 when I came to Yangon to work. I’ve run into challenges, of course, because I couldn’t read and write. I worried that I wouldn’t know when people were taking advantage of me. I never even dreamed that I’d be able to come back to school,” he said. Over in the teashop, Daw Margaret Kim and another volunteer teaching assistant are giving lessons in geometry and rounding up numbers. The concentration of the students is palpable. Despite there being more than 50 in the class, and two different grades taking place simultaneously, everyone pays attention to their own work or helps fellow students. “I have been so impressed by how enthusiastic and keen to learn they all are,” Margaret says. The thousands of youngsters, mainly boys, who work from early morning to late at night in the country’s popular teashops for as little as US$10 or $20 a month, which is generally sent back to their families, are perhaps the most visible illustration of Myanmar’s child-labour problems. Unlike Ko Aung Ko Oo, most never get the chance to make up for what they missed out on in their childhood. The children reach the teashops in different ways. Some are already out of school because of poverty and are keen to seek a life in the city and be able to earn money to send home to their families. Others are forced against

14 News


Historic monasteries in dire state
KYAY MOHN WIN kyaymonewin@gmail.com LACK of maintenance has left many historically significant wooden and brick monasteries in Mandalay and nearby Amarapura in a poor state, a well-known architect says. “Myanmar mainly renovates pagodas. Few people want to repair monasteries built with wood and bricks,” said Tampawaddy U Win Maung, an architect and archaeologist who specialises in Myanmar history. U Win Maung said that while some wooden monasteries, such as Shwe In Bin Kaung and Shwenandaw, are being maintained by the government, Thingaza monastery, near 35th street, is in dire need of attention. Thingaza monastery is listed among the buildings being maintained by the Department of Archaeology but no attempt has yet been made to renovate it, he said. Monks are living in the building despite its poor condition and lack of maintenance. “It was built two years after Mandalay palace was established,” U Win Maung said. “It is the work of the early Mandalay era. It needs to be repaired because it is the only building left from that period.” A number of brick buildings in Amarapura are also in need of repair, he said. In the past, Myanmar did not have the expertise to properly restore and repair such buildings, U Win Maung

Officials give loggers an easy ride in Sagaing
HLAING KYAW SOE hlaingkyawsoe85@gmail.com ILLEGAL logging is increasing in Sagaing Region, but the government is doing nothing to stop it, local residents complain. They say about 50 illegal sawmills have been set up in the forest, and logging trucks are damaging crops in fields. The logging is concentrated in Kawlin, Wuntho and Pinlebu townships in Katha district, say Kawlin residents, and the loggers are so confident that they have even taken to using the train to transport the timber: The timber is transported from Pinlebu to Kawlin, Wuntho and finally to Kanbalu township’s Koe Taung Lone train station in Shwebo district. “Illegal logging has been increasing because of official inaction. Fifty to 100 tonnes of logs are being cut every day in the forests of Sagaing Region,” said Ko Phoe Zaw, a resident of Kawlin. “They are carrying the sawn timber out by truck as if they were legal traders,” he said. He said the logging is being conducted in Pinlebu township’s Poukkaing, Theinzin, Gha Pwei Thalin, Gway Joe, Kyat Ta Ba, Kyautada and Myoma villages. Another resident, U Hla Htut, said there were about 50 illegal saw mills in the forest and many crop fields were being ruined by logging trucks, with no official action being taken. “On the contrary, those who complain to officials about the damage done to their crops are being threatened. In the forests, there are no roads for trucks to carry logs, so they drive over sesame fields,” he said. The illegal log transportations are mostly seen in Pinlebu, where nearly 15 trucks pass through daily, carrying about 10 tonnes of sawn timber per truck, said Ko Phoe Zaw. Nearly 100 tonnes of sawn timber is being produced each day in illegal saw mills in the forests, he added. He said there is also a depletion of small trees in Kawlin because of brick baking. “There are about seven brick baking workshops in Kawlin. They cut down as many small trees as they can. Recently, we have heard that illegal drugs are being brought with the log trucks,” he said. “We call on the forestry department to take action as soon as possible. We have also submitted a complaint to the president.” – Translation by Zar Zar Soe

‘[Thingaza monastery] needs to be repaired as it is the only building left from [the early Mandalay] era.’
Tampawaddy U Win Maung Mandalay-based architect

Thingaza Monastery near Mandalay’s 35th Street. Photo: Kyay Mohn Win

said, but help could soon be on the way. Experts in Mandalay are expecting to get technical assistance from a Japanese university, Kyoto Institute of Technology, which has offered its services to reverse the destructive trend and preserve the city’s historical heritage. The institute is partnering with the Mandalay Architectural Association and signed a memorandum of understanding with a state-run technical institute in Yangon earlier this year. Ko Zaw Min Tun helped organise a conference that brought experts from the Japanese university to Myanmar in July. He said he hopes the Japanese experts can help improve the skills of Myanmar archaeologists and architects. “[The Japanese experts] know exactly how to conserve old buildings so that they are not damaged in the process,” said Ko Zaw Min Tun. “They never allow building – they want to leave it according to the real situation.” – Translation by Thiri Min Htun


News 15

Defence attaché, naval vessel arrive

AUSTRALIA has re-established its resident defence attaché in Yangon, a position that has been vacant since 1979. Royal Australian Navy Captain Jon Dudley took up the post on January 20. Captain Dudley previously served as defence attaché to Thailand and naval attaché to Indonesia. Captain Dudley’s appointment coincides with the arrival of the warship HMAS Childers, which docked in Yangon on January 20 for a fourday goodwill visit. The visit of HMAS Childers and Cap Dudley’s arrival “signify our modest but growing defence engagement following political and economic reforms initiated by the government of Myanmar in 2011”, Australia’s acting Minister for Defence Senator George Brandis said in a statement. “Australia’s engagement with the Myanmar military, including this

Australia looks for ‘new opportunities’ to broaden ties
THOMAS KEAN tdkean@gmail.com AUSTRALIA is eyeing “new opportunities” to broaden its ties with Myanmar in the coming year, the country’s ambassador said in an address to mark Australia Day last week. Speaking at a diplomatic reception on January 23, ambassador Bronte Moules said the role of Australia’s embassy in Yangon has expanded significantly in response to reforms in Myanmar. New developments include the opening of a trade office, the continued expansion of Australia’s aid program and introduction of a volunteers program for Australian experts. “Over the past year we have enjoyed a large number of successful high-level visits between Australia and Myanmar, and an increase in contact between the people of our two countries, including through business, education and tourism,” she said. Just days earlier, Australia reestablished its resident defence attaché post, which has been vacant since 1979, while the HMAS Childers began a four-day call at Yangon port on January 20. She said 2014 would be a “particularly important year” for both Myanmar and Australia, with both countries taking on expanded roles in international groupings. As ASEAN chair, Myanmar representatives will be invited to Australia to attend meetings of the G20, of which Australia will be the chair this year. Australia will also expand its scholarship program for Myanmar students to around 100 places, while the number of Australian experts being placed in fields ranging from emergency medicine to English language training to heritage conservation will increase from 20 to 30. “We hope in 2014 that further progress will be made towards realising Myanmar’s enormous potential, for the benefit of the people of the country, and for the peace and prosperity of the region,” Ms Moules said. “We hope also that this progress will give rise to a continued broadening and strengthening of the friendship between our two countries.”

HMAS Childers. Photo: Supplied

Year Australia withdrew its defence attaché from the embassy in Yangon

visit, allows the Australian Defence Force to reinforce the role of a professional defence force in a modern democracy.” The HMAS Childers is the first Australian warship to visit Myanmar since the HMAS Quiberon in 1959, according to the Australian government. It is stopping en route to the Exercise Milan 2014 naval exercise hosted by the Indian Navy.

The Australian ship is far from the first foreign naval vessel to dock in Yangon in recent times. Russian ships docked at Thilawa for a five-day visit in mid-November, while three vessels from the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force Training Squadron visited in late September. Ships from India and China also stopped in Yangon during the year.

16 News IN BRIEF
World Wetlands Day to be marked at Moeyingyi
World Wetlands Day will this year be celebrated in Moeyingyi Wildlife Sanctuary, Bago Region, on February 2, the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry has announced. The event will be held worldwide in observance of the campaign to conserve wetlands launched by the 1971 Ramsar Convention, an international conservation agreement. This year’s theme will be wetlands and agriculture, and will highlight how wetlands can support agricultural practices. Myanmar has 18 wetland sites, including Indawgyi, Inle and Moeyingyi. – Aye Sapay Phyu
An ethnic Chin man smokes a pipe in Chin State. Photo: Wa Lone


Labour groups fret over HK protests
KYAW PHONE KYAW newsroom@mmtimes.com LABOUR organisations in Myanmar have expressed concern over plans to send Myanmar workers to Hong Kong, citing recent unrest in the Chinese Special Administrative Region related to the alleged abuse of a foreign maid. Hong Kong labour agencies visited Myanmar earlier this month to build links with local recruiters and meet government agencies. They hope workers from Myanmar can replace the dwindling numbers arriving from the Philippines and Indonesia, which currently supply almost all of the country’s 320,000 domestic workers. In recent days, however, the city has been rocked by protests calling for justice for a young Indonesian maid who was badly beaten by her employer. A 44-year-old woman suspected of beating the Indonesian maid was arrested trying to board a flight to Thailand on January 20. Labour activists said they were concerned that Myanmar workers heading to Hong Kong would be vulnerable to similar abuses. “We need to ensure that agencies that put workers into jobs where they face abusive conditions are seriously punished. This is the only way to protect the rights of Myanmar workers,” said Ko Chit Oo Mg, a liaison officer at the Labour Rights Clinic. “The governments of Myanmar and Hong Kong also need to negotiate ways to ensure the safety of Myanmar workers. Also, the workers should be taught how they can inform the authorities if they are abused,” he said. “Our local laws can’t protect Myanmar workers and it is also difficult to protect them under Hong Kong rules … The Myanmar government should create a safe environment for its workers.” Migrant Rights Network director Ko Sein Htay said domestic workers from Myanmar will face many difficulties in Hong Kong because they are from rural areas and have limited language skills. Myanmar workers should have the chance to connect with established trade unions in Hong Kong, such as those for workers from Thailand or the Philippines, he said. Daw Khin Nwe Oo from the Department of Labour confirmed that “many” Hong Kong labour agencies have visited Myanmar recently to recruit domestic workers. No workers have been sent to Hong Kong yet, however.

Russian sailor fined after long night on the booze

A Russian officer from a visiting ship has been fined K100,000 for illegally staying in a Yangon hotel after a night of heavy drinking. Filonov Drytry, from the MR Lange Land, which docked at Bo Aung Kyaw Port on January 18, was convicted on January 23 for breaking section 4(b) of the Immigration Act. He had been reported missing by his ship on January 21 after failing to return from a visit to downtown Yangon. Police found him the following morning on Bo Aung Kyaw Road as he was returning from MGM Hotel, which he had booked into after a long drinking session. The judge gave him the choice of a fine or one year in jail. He paid the fine and left Myanmar on January 23.

Chin rights group issues damning report

Weapons stolen from tank regiment in Hmawbi

Guns and ammunition have been stolen from a tank regiment in Hmawbi, police say. Two MA guns, 500 9mm bullets and five MA13 bullets were found to be missing on January 21. Sergeant Thein Aye discovered the locks to the arsenal had been cut about 7am that morning, police said. The thieves also destroyed two doors, one made of steel and the other wood, in their efforts to get to the weapons cache. – Toe Wai Aung, translation by Thiri Min Htun

DISCRIMINATION against the Chin ethnic group remained prevalent nationwide last year, the Chin Human Rights Organization said in its annual report last week. The organisation’s research found Chin pastors, missionaries and Christian families still face various forms of persecution and discrimination, including eviction from their villages, bans on holding worship services and assaults, said spokesperson Salai Bawi Thang. “At the moment, it is very difficult to say it is getting better as new incidents where Christians are discriminated or physically attacked based on religion still happen,” he said. The report documents a wide variety of what it calls “religious-based persecution” in 2013. Incidents range from the relatively subtle, such as local governments forcing employees to work through traditional Christian holidays, to more overt acts, such as denying Christian groups access to land and funding from the state. In both the report and an interview with The Myanmar Times, CHRO singled out the Na Ta La

school system as a direct attack on Chin culture. The Na Ta La system, which is an acronym that roughly translates to “Border Areas National Races Youth Development Training Schools”, is touted by the government as a means of educating children in the poorest local communities. However, CHRO, as well as many other human rights observers, describe the schools as a covert means of promoting Buddhism and proBamar ideology among minority children, especially Chin children. “There are almost 800 Chin Na Ta La students in Chin State alone ... Across Burma, there are 29 Na Ta La schools and one-third of Na Ta La students are Chin. The number clearly indicates that Chin children are specifically targeted for recruit-

‘New incidents where Christians are discriminated or physically attacked based on religion still happen.’
Salai Bawi Thang Chin Human Rights Organization

ment to the schools,” the report said. While the report mainly focuses on religious issues, Salai Bawi Thang said the lack of religious freedom has had much broader consequences for the Chin people. “Discrimination against Chin Christians based on religion has serious impacts on economic and political rights as well,” he said, “including widespread forced portering, forced labour and land confiscation – and the results of over 60 years of the neglect have directly contributed to poverty in Chin State.” The spokesman also pointed out that while Chin Christians account for about 90 percent of Chin State’s population, only about 14pc of department heads at the state level are Christian, and only 25pc at township level. “Community-based organisations and churches are led by Chin leaders and pastors. However, discrimination against Chin Christians to get promoted to higher positions in the military, state government structures and administrative procedures still exists,” he said. “We urge the government to put an immediate and unconditional end to discrimination and violation based on religion and ethnicity, and to make real, tangible progress on protecting that right in 2014.” The Chin State Chief Minister’s Office could not be reached for comment.


News 19

Car rental firms hit by fraudsters
TOE WAI AUNG newsroom@mmtimes.com BUYER beware: That’s the warning from police and car hire firms following a spate of cases in which fraudsters rented cars and then resold or pawned them using fake registration documents. One alleged offender is thought to have sold up to 48 cars this way, selling them for around K10 million (US$10,200) each. Police have arrested two women as part of an operation designed to tackle the fake sales but believe the masterminds are still at large. The first reports of the sales began to emerge in January. Ko Thiha, who runs a car rental business in Yangon, said he lost eight vehicles, including a Toyota Mark II and several Honda Fit and Suzuki Swift cars. of my vehicles were resold to other people … the police ordered them to sell the cars back to me at less than what they had paid for them.” While five have been recovered, they are now being held as evidence by police. Police are investigating who is behind the car rental scam but have refused to reveal how many cars are involved and the number of cases that have been resolved. Two women have been arrested so far, Yangon police confirmed last week. Broker Ko Oo said fake registration documents can be purchased for about K600,000 to K700,000. The quality is so high that only police and Road Transport Administration Department staff can tell the difference between real and fake. Another car broker, U Min Nyunt, 45, said the household registration documents provided to car owners by the person renting the vehicle were also fake. “The method used to cheat the different car rental companies has mostly been the same,” he said. He said the pawn shops that accept vehicles as collateral for loans are mostly financed by the relatives of senior military officials. Military officials are also active as car brokers, Ko Thiha said. “When Bahan township police station was investigating my case I found that they had two ownership books; one was fake,” he said. “A captain from the military who [brokered the rental deal with the criminals] took the fake vehicle registration book and said he would handle the case. He left my car at the police station and he also gave K8 million to the person who bought it from the cheater because he didn’t want his reputation to be damaged.” – Translation by Thiri Min Htun

An illegally parked car on Kyauktada township’s Bo Aung Kyaw Street is towed by traffic police on January 14. Photo: Ko Taik

Police tow almost 700 cars within a month
TOE WAI AUNG newsroom@mmtimes.com POLICE have taken action against the owners of more than 3000 illegally parked cars in downtown Yangon under a program to ease congestion on the city’s streets. The total includes almost 700 cars that were towed away by police because of parking violations. The traffic police force is urging those who have broken the rules to ensure they pay any related fines within four months or face having their driver’s licence revoked. The police force said in a statement last week it would notify the Road Transport Administration Department if car owners do not pay the fines, which range from K25,000 to K100,000.

Estimated cost of buying fake car registration documents



Getting them back has proven extremely difficult. “When I heard my vehicles had been sold or pawned, I met the new owners,” he said. “I found that the fraudster had pawned four of them to one person, but that person then asked me to pay K10 million – much more than the K4 million he paid for them – so we had to negotiate. “Eventually, I informed the police and they took the registration details but in the meantime a number

Cars towed and tickets issued for parking violations in downtown Yangon from November 11 to December 14


From November 11 to December 14, 3056 cars were found to have been parked illegally. Of these, 683 were towed away and parking offence notices were issued to the owners of the remaining 2373. “When we find an illegally parked vehicle, we announce the number of the vehicle [with a loudspeaker]. If the motorist doesn’t come and move it, we lock it,” a spokesperson said. “If the motorist arrives after we have locked it, we give them a parking offence notice. If the owner of the vehicle doesn’t turn up, we tow it to a car yard near Shin Saw Pu Road.” – Translation by Thiri Min Htun

20 News


Govt pushes hluttaw on money laundering law
Myanmar could face sanctions unless law is passed before February meeting in Paris
EI EI TOE LWIN eieitoelwin@gmail.com INTERNATIONAL financial sanctions will be imposed on Myanmar unless it passes a law against money laundering, parliament has been warned. Action against the country could be instituted as early as next month. Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Brigadier General Kyaw Zan Myint told the Pyithu Hluttaw on January 22 that action should be taken before the next meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), to be held in Paris in February. The hluttaw is considering a draft law against laundering that was submitted by the home affairs ministry to amend the 2002 Control of Money Laundering Law. The amendment would incorporate the suggestions from the FATF, the provisions of UN conventions on money laundering and terrorism financing, and the suggestions of legal experts from the International Monetary Fund and other local and foreign institutes. FATF was formed in 1989 after the G-7 Summit to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and its recommendations are compulsory on all countries. It maintains a list of Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories (NCCT), and it takes counter measures against countries that do not improve their anti-laundering systems. Myanmar has been on the list since 2001, and was subjected to counter-measures in 2003, being placed under US financial sanctions. “At the FATF meeting from February 10 to 14 they will discuss Myanmar’s progress again. If they see no improvement, Myanmar will face counter-measures. They want Myanmar to enact promptly the Anti-Terrorism Law and Anti-Money Laundering Law,” Brig Gen Kyaw Zan Myint said, adding that international sanctions would damage the economy at a time when Myanmar is seeking foreign investment. President U Thein Sein has also appealed to hluttaw to act. “We will implement it as quickly as we can, although we cannot finish it by the date set by the president,” Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann responded. “We must ensure the law contains no flaws.” MPs are expected to make their views known on the anti-laundering draft by January 28. FATF has issued a statement recognising the progress already made by Myanmar but also calling for specific extra steps. These include criminalising terrorist financing; establishing and implementing procedures to identify and freeze terrorist assets; further strengthening the extradition framework in relation to terrorist financing; ensuring a fully operational and effectively functioning Financial Intelligence Unit; enhancing financial transparency; and strengthening customer due diligence measures. – Translation by Thiri Min Htun
Chinese nationals released from Mandalay prison under an amnesty are handed over to Chinese immigration officials. Photo: Supplied

Foreign prisoners freed from Mandalay, Sagaing
KHIN SU WAI jasminekhin@gmail.com FORTY-SIX foreign prisoners, mostly from China, were freed from Mandalay’s Oboe Prison in an amnesty earlier this month, according to immigration officials. A “Bengali” from Maungdaw township in northern Rakhine State and an Australian were also among those released on January 5 following a presidential amnesty. “They were returned to their countries by immigration officials. They were imprisoned for various offences,” said U Thaung Zaw, the head of the Immigration and National Registration Department of Mandalay Region. Chinese prisoners were also released from Sagaing Prison and repatriated to China, he said. About 50 foreign prisoners are still being held in Oboe prison. – Translation by Zar Zar Soe

Mogok gold thieves kill one during robbery
SI THU LWIN sithulwin.mmtimes@gmail.com ONE person has been shot and killed and another injured during robberies at two gold shops in Mogok, a town famous for its ruby mines. A group of six people robbed the Nagar and Million gold shops, which are both in Aung Chan Thar Market, at about 2pm on January 21, a spokesperson at Mogok’s Ashaypyin police station said. “They were wearing masks and came on three motorcycles. One person was killed and another injured. The deceased is from a glass shop near Million, and the owner of Million was also shot in the thigh,” the officer said. Nagar lost about 4 viss (6.4 kilograms) of gold (worth about US$285,000 at international prices) but it was not immediately clear how much had been taken from Million. “It was all over in just 15 minutes. The head of the police station has now gone there to check both shops and post security,” the spokesperson added. – Translation by Thiri Min Htun

Man throws stones at NLD office
A man has been charged for throwing stones at the National League for Democracy’s office in Mingalar Taung Nyunt and threatening party officials. The incident occurred on November 8, 2013, but the alleged offender was only charged on January 18. The man, 33, allegedly swore at and threatened officials from the office’s information department. He then threw stones at the signboard at the party’s office. He will face three charges, including one of criminal intimidation.

Two mean arrested at airport on suspicion of using fake passports

Handset shop in Tarmwe robbed

Two Myanmar men have been arrested at Yangon International Airport on suspicion of using fake passports. Both arrived from Malaysia on January 18. A 27-year-old man from Sagaing Region’s Kalay township and a man, 30, from Bago Region’s Gyobingauk township, were arrested. They are being held at a police station in Mingalardon on immigration offences. – Toe Wai Aung, translation by Thiri Min Htun

A quick-witted thief has robbed a phone shop in Tarmwe of handsets, cash and top-up cards. The offender apparently saw the cash register open and made off with K778,000 in cash, top-up cards worth K445,000 and 14 handsets valued at around K1.4 million.

Kyaukse officials reject 88 Generation protest application

Forestry raid finds teak stash

The head of the Forestry Department in Taikkyi has uncovered hundreds of illegally harvested teak boards. Acting on a tip-off, local officials searched a house in Taikkyi’s Oappone village on January 18. They found 38 pieces of teak inside the compound and another 265 within 200 metres of the house. The owner ran away when he saw officials approaching and has been charged under section 43(a) of the Forestry Act for illegal teak possession.

An 88 Generation member from Kyaukse in Mandalay Region has had his application to stage a peaceful protest rejected by local officials. U Ko Ko Lwin had asked for permission to stage a demonstration calling for a clean judiciary, abolition of undemocratic laws and a quick resolution to land disputes. In his application he said about 500 people would march from Aung Chan Thar Ward’s football field to the municipal garden at the corner of Court Road, starting from 1pm on January 27. But township officials denied the application following a meeting of the township management committee on January 17. – Than Naing Soe, translation by Zar Zar Soe


News 21

Not local enough, Mandalay police tell Sagaing protester
THAN NAING SOE thennaingsoe@gmail.com POLICE in Mandalay have denied yet another request made for a peaceful protest in the region – this time on the grounds that the issue is not relevant to the local community. Daw Khin Shan from Kanbalu township applied to stage a 10-minute solo demonstration in Mandalay’s Maha Aung Myay township over a land dispute. She told The Myanmar Times that she has tried unsuccessfully to resolve her issue in her township and hoped she could gain attention by demonstrating in Mandalay. “I have petitioned all levels of [government over my] 5.04 acres of inherited farmland,” Daw Khin Shan said. “The township land management committee transferred my case to the head of township Settlements and Land Records Department but it hasn’t been solved. The village land management committee has also seized my land. “If I protest in my village, senior officials won’t know about it. That’s why I’d like to protest in Mandalay. Then the … public will know my case with the help of the media.” Officials rejected the protest on the grounds that her grievance does “not concern Maha Aung Myay township”, adding that the dispute can be handled by the relevant government bodies. But former 88 Generation student leader U Nyi Nyi Kyaw said this was “unacceptable”. “People have the right to protest anywhere in their country,” he said. “Daw Khin Shan just wants to tell people about the fact that lower ranking officials failed to properly implement the instructions of their superiors.” U Nyi Nyi Kyaw said only a handful of applications to stage protests have been approved by township officials in Mandalay Region. A spokesperson from the Mandalay Region Police Force said on January 17 that two protests had been allowed and three rejected in Mandalay Region since the start of the year. ‘’The police reject the application if the demonstration affects security, concerns religion or is deemed to be about a case that can be resolved according to the legal procedure,” Major Khin Aung said. – Translation by Thiri Min Htun

Former civil servants protest decision to return plot of land
PHYO WAI KYAW SI THU LWIN RETIRED staff from the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation in Mandalay are contesting a recent government decision to return a prime piece of ministry-owned land to three men who claim to be the rightful owners. At a press conference on January 14, the officials said the trio’s claim - concerning 7.9 acres along Theikpan Road, the main road connecting Myothit ward in Maha Aung Myay township and the city’s downtown area – is based on cancelled grants that should never have been issued in the first place. “We have called for another check because we want the best for our former department,” said U Aung Kyin, a former manager of Myanma Agriculture Service in Mandalay Region who retired in 2008. “We have no intention of causing someone to suffer.” Land records show the area was government owned from 1907. In 1994, however, the then-minister for agriculture and irrigation, Major General Myint Aung, ordered the formation of the Agriculture Supervisory Committee, which then oversaw the sale of the land. When the minister was fired in 1998, the deputy minister, Major General Khin Maung, called the buyers - U Kyaw Wai, U Aik Saik and U San Wai Chin – and told them the grants in their hands were illegal, and cancelled

Myanmar airlines to add routes
ROSIE newsroom@mmtimes.com THE local aviation industry continues to grow as Myanmar-based airlines make plans to expand flight itineraries and buy new aircraft in the coming year. Myanmar Airways International will start offering both domestic and international charter flights in 2014, said Daw Aye Mra Tha, marketing and public relations officer at MAI. “We plan to offer charter flights to Japan and South Korea this year, depending on demand from passengers,” she said. “We will also offer charter flights serving Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw,” the only domestic airports with runways big enough to accommodate MAI’s large aircraft. Domestic airline Myanma Airways, which saw a 35 percent increase in passengers in 2013, will also add new destinations and more charters, and buy new aircraft for its fleet. Golden Myanmar Airlines – which currently flies to Yangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw, Bangkok and Singapore – will also expand its routes, adding Myitkyina in Kachin State as a destination and later flying to airports in nine more states and regions.

Agriculture ministry officials in Mandalay are contesting the decision to return a ministry-owned plot of land on this stretch of Theikpan Road, between 67th and 68th streets, to those who say they are its rightful owners. Photo: Phyo Wai Kyaw

them without compensation. U Kyaw Wai sued U Aung Kyin in 2006 for the return of the lands but

‘We have called for another check because we want the best for our former department.’
U Aung Kyin Former Myanma Agriculture Service manager for Mandalay Region

a Mandalay Region court dismissed the litigation on February 28, 2008. A further appeal to the high court was unsuccessful, the retired Myanma Agriculture Service officials said. But on December 3, 2013, the President’s Office ordered Mandalay Region’s Department of Agriculture to “give back the 10 plots in accordance with procedure” following a survey of the area. The retired officials have sent the case to a number of government bodies, including the president, since the decision was announced. At first they lobbied anonymously, without disclosing names, but now they are going public. They have also submitted it to the parliament’s land dispute

investigation commission. “The deputy minister for agriculture and irrigation and the director general of the Department of Agriculture now know the real situation,” said U Aung Kyin. “But we don’t know yet how senior officials will decide because we are not in direct communication with them.” The three men who bought the land could not be reached for comment last week. – Translation by Thiri Min Htun


IMF raises GDP outlook to 7.5%
Risks loom though as inflation concerns remain
PHILIP HEIJmANS pheijmans13@gmail.com THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised Myanmar’s economic growth forecast to 7.5 percent for the 2013-14 fiscal year, up from 6.75pc, due to continued economic reform that includes the loosening of restrictions in the private sector, the Fund has announced. Despite the country’s encouraging macroeconomic situation, the IMF once again warned that gains would be hindered by high inflation if steps are not taken to deal with the issue. According to a January 21 statement, Myanmar has benefitted from adopting a floating exchange rate and removing exchange restrictions; establishing an autonomous central bank; and significantly increasing spending on health and education. “Financial sector modernisation will require sustained reform efforts over several years,” the statement reads. “The banking sector is growing and modernising rapidly and will require updated regulations and improved supervision capacity,” it continued. “Foreign bank participation can play a useful role in accelerating financial sector development, but a gradual process is needed to minimise risks and to limit additional strain on supervisory resources.” It also said that Myanmar would likely achieve reduced credit in the private sector from current high levels to around 30pc by April. At the same time, the fiscal deficit is expected to match the budget target of 5pc of GDP, while falling to 4.5pc in the next fiscal year on one-off revenues from the issuance of telecommunications licences. MORE ON BUSINESS 24

Armed groups behind illegal M

Illegal cross-border trade with Thailand is flourishing with the support of local ethnic armed groups though

A LACK of government influence in the Myawaddy area has resulted in rampant illegal smuggling across the Thai border by several ethnic armed groups, officials said. Myawaddy, in Kayin State, is the second-largest legal trading zone for Myanmar, after the Muse-Shwe Liarea along the China border. Although closed from 2010 to 2011 due to instability following a car bomb explosion that killed two people, the Myawaddy area has since returned to normal. But continued conflict with ethnic groups in the area has resulted in much of the cross-border commerce being done over 17 illegal border crossings along the Moei River to Mae Sot, Thailand, according to sources. Such activities are being helped by some of the 33 ethnic armed groups in the area, which include the Karen National Union (KNU) and its armed wing, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), officials said. A director in the Ministry of Commerce working at the Myawaddy trading zone, who asked to remain anonymous as he is not authorised to speak to the press, said that these groups have been equated to “armed groups for business” as thousands of tonnes of rubber, raw materials, low-quality food and consumer products flow over the border.

Military officials check one of several borders in the Myawaddy area used to illegally smuggle goods to and from Thailand. Photo: Khin Zaw Oo

‘Nobody can do anything to them as they have guns.’
Ministry of Commerce official

Even though such transactions are untaxed and uncontrolled, he said, the military is “unlikely” to crack down as it could jeopardise ongoing peace talks with the groups that heavily influence the area. “We heard that the military is going to interfere [with illegal cross-border trade] but they still have many weak points in controlling the area.” While the government occasionally threatens to evict squatters, nobody obeys if the area is under the influence of these groups, he said. “They [armed groups] shoot guns into crowded ar-

eas and hold gambling parties, but the military does not interfere.” With the military focus on areas where ethnic conflicts can occur at any time, such as Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships in northern Rakhine State, the economic result for Myawaddy has been anarchic. “It decreases legal competition. In the long run, sovereignty will likely become lost in the area,” he said. The problem is not just limited to smuggling over land as fuel pipes are illegally passed through the river, said a director from the Ministry of Com-

merce who works in the Myawaddy Trading Zone. In the first three-quarters of the 2013-2014 fiscal year, bilateral trade with Thailand was nearly US$480 million, while exports accounted for about $160 million, according to government data. Officials maintain, however, that the actual figure is several hundred million dollars higher when accounting for illegal trade. “That shows there is a lot of illegal trade occurring,” an official in the Illegal Trade Prevention Committee said. Following a report in The Myan-

BUSINESS EDiTOR: Philip Heijmans | pheijmans13@gmail.com


World Economic Forum coverage

Old Bagan threatened by new developments

Exchange Rates (January 24 close)
Euro Malaysia Ringitt Singapore Dollar Thai Baht US Dollar

K1333 K280 K765 K28.91 K980

K1348 K300 K773 K30.41 K984

yawaddy trade
the ministry’s mobile team uncovered 850 instances of smuggling of consumer goods and raw materials worth K1.3 billion on the Myawaddy-Yangon highway. The most popular illegally traded items are foodstuffs, frozen meats, construction materials, consumer products, beverages, and even small vehicles such as cars and motorcycles, the committee said. One Myawaddy resident said illegal trading occurs at the unofficial routes around the Moei River every day. “Even though we cooperated with the media and published these issues online, they didn’t stop,” he said. “The government should tighten the restrictions.” But the Ministry of Commerce official said the government would not investigate offences without military support. “Nobody can do anything to them as they have guns,” he said. He said that even when trade happens through the legal channels, armed groups are commonly commissioned by traders to step in and ‘convince’ border officials to accept lesser taxes, though the official denied they do so through bribes. “That does not mean the customs officials take bribes or use different policies for different traders,” he said. “It might be that the group didn’t list all the goods they carried.” U Shwe Lin, who independently mediates between traders and armed groups, said such arrangements eased trade in situations where the government does not allow certain products to be brought in, such as certain used machinery. “When we cannot pay duty on some products, this is only method we have,” he said. According to the Ministry of Commerce, Myanmar’s trade with Thailand is carried on by sea and across three border points, with the Myawaddy zone making up about 80pc of total border trade volume between the two countries.

h government forces promise to montior the situation

Japan, Myanmar partner to offer new loan program to SMEs
Banking officials push regional agenda to promote SMEs with new K20 billion aid program



mar Times last week regarding the illicit border trade, military officers from several of the government’s armed forces began investigating illegal passages along Moei River and on January 22 ordered the barring of illegal imports, military officials connected to the investigation said. “[The government] ordered that officials and other armed groups guard the border crossings to ban traders from using these gates and only let them to cross the bridge linking Myanmar and Thailand,” he said. Between November 2011 and 2012,

LOCAL small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are set to receive access to loans worth K20 billion through a new program to be offered by the Central Bank and Small and Medium Industrial Development Bank (SMIDB) this year, an official said. The program, which is geared at fulfilling a joint mandate by ASEAN to bolster SMEs, comes as an attempt to bring the countries estimated 120,000 to the forefront of business development in Myanmar, U Win Maung, deputy general manager, Central Department of Small and Medium Enterprises Development told The Myanmar Times. “We want the program to comply with international norms for lending,” he said, adding that the amount could possibly go beyond K20 billion when the program is signed off sometime this year. Small businesses currently depend on loans from SMIDB, which offers an interest rate of 8.5 percent, markedly lower than the 13pc offered by the banks. However, not everybody has access to loans as the SMIDB only offers loans to those in the manufacturing sector, leaving the majority of SMEs without access to funding.

A small business owner packages goods at her shopfront in Yangon. Photo: Staff

Interest rate of new loans to be offered to SMEs by several domestic banks this year

SMEs also suffer from banking restrictions on collateral, which must be immovable, while industrialists can only borrow up to 40pc of its value. Low savings rates prevent SMIDB from offering more loans, while it borrows capital from state-owned banks at slim profit margin of about 8pc, according to a source in the bank industry who asked to not be quoted as he is not authorised to speak to the press. But help is on the way. In addition to the K20 billion loan, several domestic banks, including Cooperative Bank, SMIDB, Myanmar Agricultural Development Bank, are slated to begin offering loans to SMEs for as little as 7.5pc interest, said Myanmar Industries Association (MIA) chair U Zaw Min Win. He said that the initiative comes with the assistance of the Japanese government with the goal of launching the service in the next 6 months. “They [the Japanese government]

are identifying industries here that could export to Japan, so developing industries such as food processing and electronic products could be of benefit to them,” he said. Last year, Cambodia-based microfinance institution ACLEDA MFI Myanmar Company Ltd announced that is planning to provide K8 billion to SMEs through a new loan program, while the European Investment Bank (EIB) plans to funnel another €30-€100 million (US$40-$134 million) per year to SMEs through loans to local banks. In an effort to consolidate efforts to develop SMEs, the Central Department of Small and Medium Enterprises Development will open offices in all states and regions throughout the country this year, said U Win Maung. A Central Bank official said the Myanmar savings ratio was about 17pc of GDP, or about K54 trillion, while only K6 billion was available for loans, far less than the three quarters of the savings rate customarily allowed.

NOTICE is hereby given that L’OREAL a company organized under the laws of France and having its principal office at 14, rue Royale, F-75008 PARIS, France is the owner and sole proprietor of the following trademark:-

(Reg: Nos. IV/5270/2010 & IV/8315/2013) in respect of :- “Perfume, toilet water; gels, salts for the bath and the shower; toilet soaps; body deodorants; cosmetics namely creams, milks, lotions, gels and powders for the face, the body and the hands; sun care preparations; make-up preparations; shampoos; gels, sprays, mousses and balms for the hair styling and hair care; hair lacquers; hair colouring and hair decolorant preparations; permanent waving and curling preparations; essential oils for personal use; dentifrices. Hairdressing salons and beauty parlors.” – Class: 3 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 L’OREAL P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416


Dated: 27th January, 2014

24 Business The Fine Print
Legal & tax insight


Back to basics: what it takes to finance a firm
SEBASTIAN PAWLITA sebastian@pwplegal.com HNIN YU mAY hnin@pwplegal.com GENERALLY speaking, there are two ways for shareholders to finance a company: by injecting equity capital or providing a loan. The difference between equity and a shareholder loan becomes clear if the company becomes insolvent. Shareholders have no right to demand repayment of their equity, but may demand repayment of the loan. In other words, equity is used to satisfy creditors, with any leftovers going to the shareholders. With regard to loans, in contrast, shareholders are in an ideal situation, treated like any other creditor. Company assets must be used to repay the loan, and shareholders are not reduced to waiting for leftovers. If the company has nothing left, of course, both creditors and shareholders go empty-handed. Another difference between equity capital and a shareholder loan is that a company can repay equity only if either the registered capital of the company is reduced or the company is wound up. If the company operates under an investment permit from the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC), MIC approval is required in both scenarios. In contrast, a loan can be repaid after the end of the term stipulated in the loan agreement between the shareholder and the company. This means in practice that the shareholder can schedule the repayment of the loan to a time of his convenience by wording the loan agreement accordingly. A company operating under an MIC permit has to obtain MIC approval before signing the loan agreement if the funding comes from abroad. The MIC requires the company to obtain approval from the Central Bank, the opinion of the Union Attorney General’s Office, and recommendations from the Foreign Economic Relations Department of the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development and the ministry in charge of the sector in which the company is operating. Without MIC approval, the company can neither pay interest on the loan nor repay the principal on a foreign loan – the company’s bank will simply refuse to transfer the money. Companies that do not operate under an MIC permit have to obtain approval from the Central Bank before taking up a loan from abroad. Taxation of equity and loans is different. Having equity in the company gives a shareholder the right to receive dividends, which do not attract withholding tax in Myanmar. Furthermore, dividend income is often privileged tax-wise in the home jurisdiction of the shareholder, meaning that the income tax burden of the shareholder is often not influenced too much by the receipt of dividends. The company cannot deduct dividend payments as business expenses. In contrast, there is a withholding tax of 15 percent on interest paid by the company to a non-resident shareholder on account of a shareholder loan. There are usually no tax privileges on interest income in the home jurisdiction of the shareholder. However, the company can deduct interest payments as business expenses.
Sebastian and Hnin are consultants with Polastri Wint & Partners Legal & Tax Advisors.

A three-wheeled motor vehicle is seen being driven through the streets of Mandalay. Photo: Phyo Wai Kyaw

Car buyers look to cash in on old three-wheelers
TOE WAI AUNG linnhtet.lt@gmail.com INTEREST in acquiring mid 20th century, three-wheeled vehicles has surged on speculation that the government is intending to allow owners to trade them in for new cars, dealers said. Speculation arose from postings in the state-run media requesting three-wheeled car owners to submit information for a list the government is compiling of vehicles in Mandalay. It is expected that those vehicles would then be eligible to be traded for newer vehicles, said car dealer Ko Tun Aung Soe. “In some townships, officials are listing the numbers of three-wheel vehicles. So some investors go to these townships to buy those vehicles for the old car substitution plan,” he said. Several dealers said that prices for the dated vehicles has increased 25 percent in the past two months to K2.5 million. The three-wheelers are a common sight in Mandalay, Bago and Mawlamyine, after being introduced to the market some 50 years ago. The government report prompted one Mandalay investor to snap up about 25 of them, Ko Tun Aung Soe said. In October 2011, the government introduced a scheme to substitute new imported models for the country’s antiquated cars. Cars are listed by the first letter of the number plate, leading investors to speculate on which category of vehicles might come up for substitution next. Ko Tun Aung Soe said that some punters had bought up vehicles bearing plates starting with “1 ka” because they believe that letter will be next on the list for substitution, after the current batch of vehicles with “ah” plates.  – Translation by Thiri Min Htun

New domestic airlines to launch
ZAW WIN THAN zawwinthan@gmail.com COMPETITION among domestic airlines is set to grow as three new companies prepare to launch or expand their flight schedules, officials said. “Two airlines, Apex and FMI, will operate out of Nay Pyi Taw. Apex is new, and FMI currently runs scheduled flights only between Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw and charter flight services to other destinations,” said U Win Swe Tun, deputy director general of the Department of Civil Aviation. He said that in addition, a third new domestic airline, Mann Yadanarpon Airlines, planned to operate scheduled services out of Mandalay and Yangon Airports within the next two months. “These new airlines have received approval from Myanmar Investment Commission [MIC], but we haven’t yet issued Air Operation Certificates (AOC),” said U Win Swe Tun. The number of passengers flying domestic airlines grew by 16 percent in 2012, while passenger traffic rose by just 5pc last year, according to data released by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA). That is compared to 31pc growth among international travellers flying to and from Myanmar. According to the same data, there were 2.4 million domestic passengers in the first eight months of 2013, with an average of 33.9 passengers per flight. A current lack demand for domestic flights is resulting in airlines having to cancel flights and move passengers to another flight or carrier, officials said. On the main routes, competing airlines offer similar schedules, making it easy to consolidate passengers. “I think launching new airlines is good for the industry as it creates more options. But these airlines should ensure reliable schedule and better reservation systems,” said Ko Lynn Zaw Wai Mang, an executive director of Unique Asia Travels and Tours.

Withholding tax on interest paid by the company to a non-resident shareholder on account of a shareholder loan


The Net-a-Porter Group Limited, a company incorporated in England, of 1 The Village Offices, Westfield, Ariel Way, London W12 7GF, is the Owner of the following Trade Mark:Reg. No. 12014/2013 in respect of “Class 35: Retail services relating to clothing, headgear and footwear, jewellery, watches, fashion accessories, textiles, cosmetics, non-medicated toilet preparations, eye wear, carrying cases, leather goods, handbags and all manner of bags; the bringing together for the benefit of others of clothing, headgear and footwear, jewellery, watches, fashion accessories, textiles, cosmetics, non-medicated toilet preparations, eye wear, carrying cases, leather goods, handbags and all manner of bags enabling customers to conveniently view and purchase those goods; the provision of retail services via a mail order catalogue in relation to clothing, headgear and footwear, jewellery, watches, fashion accessories, textiles, cosmetics, non-medicated toilet preparations, eye wear, carrying cases, leather goods, handbags and all manner of bags; the provision of on-line retail services from an internet website in relation to clothing, headgear and footwear, jewellery, watches, fashion accessories, textiles, cosmetics, non-medicated toilet preparations, eye wear, carrying cases, leather goods, handbags and all manner of bags; the provision of retail services via a television channel in relation to clothing, headgear and


footwear, jewellery, watches, fashion accessories, textiles, cosmetics, non-medicated toilet preparations, eye wear, carrying cases, leather goods, handbags and all manner of bags; the provision of retail services via a telephone or mobile phone, portable Internet-enabled device, or other telecommunications device in relation to clothing, headgear and footwear, jewellery, watches, fashion accessories, textiles, cosmetics, non-medicated toilet preparations, eye wear, carrying cases, leather goods, handbags and all manner of bags; the provision of retail services by way of direct marketing in connection with clothing, headgear and footwear, jewellery, watches, fashion accessories, textiles, cosmetics, non-medicated toilet preparations, eye wear, carrying cases, leather goods, handbags and all manner of bags; the provision of information and advice in relation to retail services; business management consultancy; provision of advice and assistance in the selection of goods; promotion services through provision of sponsored links to third party websites; advertising and business services; advertising for others”. 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 The Net-a-Porter Group Limited P.O. Box 60, Yangon E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm Dated: 27 January 2014

cONTINUED FROm BUSINESS 22 This would result in 7.75pc GDP growth for the 2014-15 fiscal year, the IMF predicts. In order to sustain growth, the IMF suggests the government begins to monetise the deficit in order to allay inflationary pressures. The international finance institution expects inflation to reach 6pc by the end of this fiscal year, 0.5pc over safe grounding, while the figure will likely continue to grow next year. But challenges remain. “Risks to the outlook arise largely from limited macroeconomic management capacity and narrow cushions. Inflation remains elevated and there are pressures from rapid money and credit growth, kyat depreciation and possible electricity price hikes,” the IMF statement said, adding that international reserves remain low and are vulnerable to shocks. Tax revenues, meanwhile, remain low even though they are growing quickly, the Fund observed. “To enable increased spending [tax revenues] should be boosted though broadening the tax base and improving compliance,” the IMF said.


Business 25

Myanmar investing: Do well by doing right
STANLEY WEISS TIM HEINEMANN FOR a country that was frozen in time for half a century by a repressive military junta, it is ironic that the government of Myanmar says change is not coming fast enough. But last November, officials accused the owners of a multibillion-dollar industrial project in Dawei of failing to attract foreign investors in a timely fashion. Myanmar appealed to government officials and private investors in Japan to help restart the project. A local human rights group, the Dawei Development Association, warned Japanese investors that they risked becoming complicit in harming half a million minority residents in the area. Dawei is far from an isolated case. The Karen Human Rights Group documented thousands of instances of “abuse, destruction of property, pollution, theft, and confiscation of land” between 2011 and 2012. In northwestern Myanmar, local activists and farmers have documented the illegal seizure of more than 7800 acres from ethnic minorities to allow for the expansion of the Chinese-financed copper mine at Letpadaung. In the West, it has become common to view the newly democratic Myanmar as Asia’s next rising star. With 60 million potential consumers, a generous new foreign investment law that allows international firms up to 100 percent ownership of projects they fund in Myanmar, a five-year tax holiday, and 50year land leases, companies from CocaCola to Chevron and General Electric are rushing to get a piece of the action. But the country is also home to the world’s longest ongoing civil war, which has raged between the Burmandominated government and many of Myanmar’s 135 distinct ethnic groups since 1948. The problem for investors is that the vast majority of Myanmar’s most desirable natural resources are located in the ethnic-minority-dominated borderlands that surround the country like a horseshoe. Limited Democracy Myanmar’s central core lies along the long, flat Ayeyarwady Valley, home to the Burman majority that makes up an estimated 69 percent of the population. To the east are the Shan Hills, the domain of the Buddhist Shan people. To the north and northwest are rugged mountains extending to the Himalayas and dominated by ethnic groups such as the Chin and Kachin, who are both Christian. To the west, on the border with Bangladesh, live the Muslim Rohingya – perhaps Myanmar’s most persecuted minority. Last October, a Buddhist anti-Muslim mob killed five Rohingya in the western state of Rakhine, including a 94-year-old grandmother who was paralysed from the waist down. A few weeks later, government soldiers gangraped a 15-year-old Kachin girl. A week after that, the Myanmar army attacked a village and forced 2000 to flee, joining the half a million refugees in Myanmar and across the border in Thailand. In response, Western investors could attempt to operate only in major cities and steer clear of the resourcerich ethnic areas. In fact, many US companies reportedly remain cautious about making major investments in Myanmar’s rural areas, fearful of poor infrastructure and “political instability.” Fruits of Freedom There have been encouraging signs of progress. Last November, the government and representatives of 18 rebel groups met for historic cease-fire talks that established a measure of goodwill and set up a renewed round of negotiations for this spring. One British diplomat told us that “everyone knows what the answer is – federalism.” Whereas some minority groups such as the Kachin still want outright independence, most hope for a system like Switzerland, where ethnic cantons have autonomy within a federal structure. Still, countries from South Korea to Ghana have managed to transition successfully from military dictatorship to democracy. Last year, for instance, Chinese investors appealed to Beijing to help arrange negotiation between Myanmar’s leaders and the Kachin Independence Organisation in support of a Chineseowned pipeline expected to carry natural gas from Kachin State back to China. Mitsubishi, for instance, could review the existing environmental and social impact studies conducted at Dawei and insist on globally accepted standards before construction begins. Additionally, Western business leaders – perhaps together with the US Chamber of Commerce and other business associations – can take a page from the European governments and NGOs that taught capitalism to citizens of the former Soviet Union after the Berlin Wall fell and help develop ethnic minorities’ business savvy, educating them to compete in a globalised, freemarket economy. “We know that one of the biggest incentives to find peace with ethnics is to get more foreign investment in,” David Tharckabaw, the Karen National Union’s foreign minister, has said. But, he continues, “We have to make sure that proper consultation is done with the civilians and everything is done in a sustainable manner which benefits the ethnic civilians, not just the government and foreign investors.” Stanley Weiss is a global mining executive and the founder of Business Executives for National Security, in Washington, DC Tim Heinemann is a retired Special Forces officer and a mobile training team leader at the US Department of Defense for counterterrorism professional development of US allies around the world.

‘The problem for investors is that the vast majority of Myanmar’s most desirable natural resources are located in the ethnicminority-dominated borderlands that surround the country like a horseshoe.’

Razed market reopens
MYAT NYEIN AYE myatnyeinaye11092@gmail.com A NEW local shopping centre has opened at the site of the former Thingangyun market in Yangon more than four years after being burnt to the ground. Stallholders occupy two floors of the new five-storey AKK Shopping Mall on Lay Daunt Kaung Street, Thingangyun township, after the building opened its doors for the first time on January 21. The mall will offer a supermarket, food counter, fashion and jewellery outlets and a fitness and health centre.

Shops in the new AKK Shopping Mall site of the former Thingangyun mall


“We signed a contract with YCDC to give the ground and third floors to the former Thingangyun market at no cost to them,” said U Thwin Min Htun, director of the development firm that contructed the mall, Aung Kung Kyaw Group. The AKK shopping mall consists of more than 150 shops and contains 4700 square feet (436 square metres) of space on each floor, while the Thingangyun market will have more than 700 shops. The official opening ceremony will take place in the last week of February, said Daw Su Htet Theint Kyaw, managing director of the company.

Bankers spar over health of markets following crisis
Remain uncertain over recent action to pump trillions into the world financial system
Swiss President Didier Burkhalter delivers a speech during the opening session at the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 22. Photo: AFP



HEAVYWEIGHTS in the banking world last week debated whether the financial crisis had turned a real corner, or whether the demons of the past could fast return. “Markets are safer,” said Douglas Flint, chief executive of Anglo-Asian banking giant HSBC, sitting at a roundtable debate at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “It would be extraordinary and a shocking indictment if after six year of a crisis the system wasn’t better than it was before the crisis,” he said. To Flint, much had been done since the terrifying days of the Lehman Brothers bank collapse in 2008. He said banks today spent more time on regulatory matters than ever before and the industry showed more self regulation than any other, save perhaps the nuclear sector. “Regulatory matters, oversight, probably takes minimum of 50 percent of board time and more likely two-thirds of board time,” he said. But Paul Singer, head of investment firm

Elliott Management was far more doubtful on the progress made since the crisis and feared that measures taken, especially by central banks, may have created as yet unknown threats.

‘It would be extraordinary and a shocking indictment if after six year of a crisis the system wasn’t better than it was before the crisis.’
Douglas Flint chief executive at HSBC

In the past few years, central banks, led by the US Federal Reserve, have pumped unprecedented sums of cash into the world financial system without having any real understanding of how the policy could play out in the long term, he said. “There is no telling whether the unwinding of that policy will be moderately disruptive, not disruptive at all” or bring a “cascade” of “intense and brutal changes in the prices of stocks and bonds,” he said. Overall economic talk in Davos has shown consensus that recovery in the world economy is underway, but scars of the crisis still remain, especially doubts about the ability of governments to come to the rescue once again. Singer argued that it was global governments who “called a halt” to the crisis by bailing out the financial system. Hit by high debt partly brought on by the rescues, the governments this time around “may or may not” be in a position to save the world once again, he warned. – AFP

Business Development manager Marketing manager Sales and distribution manager Brand manager Logistic officer Medical doctor Project manager Sales engineer Site engineer Chief Accountant Accountant HR Manager HR Executive Legal executive Secretary Passenger service agent ( airline) Receptionist Customer service

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Myanmar is inviting qualified candidates to apply for the following positions:

Sr. 1. 2. 3.

Title and level Data Quality Assurance Assistant (LICA-3) Equity and Social Inclusion Analyst (LICA-5) Public Health Analyst (ATM/MNCH), Multiple positions (LICA-6)

Duty Station Yangon Yangon Yangon

Position National National National

Deadline 31 Jan 14 04 Feb 14 06 Feb 14

The benefit package for the above positions includes an attractive remuneration, 30 days annual leave and 10 holidays per year, medical insurance, learning and development opportunities and a challenging work environment with 250 national and international colleagues. All applications must be made through the UNOPS E-recruitment System. Please go to https://gprs.unops.org and click on the post that you are interested in applying for. If you do not have access to the internet, please contact UNOPS directly on the numbers below.

No. 851/853 (A/B), 3rd Floor, Room (7/8), Bogyoke Aung San Road, Lanmadaw Township, Yangon, Myanmar. Tel: (951) 229 437, 09 49 227 773, 09 730 94007 Email: esearch@yangon.net.mm, esearch.myanmar@gmail.com www.esearchmyanmar.com www.facebook.com/esearchmyanmar

For any quires please do not hesitate to contact UNOPS at 95 1 657 281-7 Ext: 149


Japan tells world to stand up to China
JAPAN told the world it must stand up to an increasingly assertive China or risk a regional conflict with catastrophic economic consequences at the World Economic Forum on January 22. In a landmark speech, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued what amounted to an appeal for international support in a potentially explosive dispute with its superpower neighbour over islands in the East China Sea. “We must restrain military expansion in Asia ... which otherwise could go unchecked,” Mr Abe told the annual meeting of global business and political leaders, which Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is due to attend on January 24. “If peace and stability were shaken in Asia, the knock-on effect for the entire world would be enormous,” Abe added. “The dividend of growth in Asia must not be wasted on military expansion.” Although Mr Abe did not explicitly mention China, his speech had been flagged up in advance by Japanese officials as an alarm call to an influential audience over what Tokyo sees as bullying by Beijing. The dispute over the uninhabited but potentially mineral-rich islands is being played out against a backdrop of Japanese fears that China is seeking to exert control over lifeline shipping lanes around its vast coastline and that the United States’ commitment to guarantee Japan’s security is waning. Tensions over the islands, which Japan calls Senkaku and China refers to as the Diaoyus, have come perilously close to boiling over into armed clashes on several occasions in recent years. They resurfaced last month when Mr Abe visited the Yasukuni shrine, a memorial to Japan’s war dead which is controversial because a handful of convicted war criminals are among those commemorated. China and South Korea seized on the visit as fresh evidence of Japan’s perceived failure to sincerely repent for its 20th-century record of military aggression, and the visit has also been criticised as unhelpful by Britain and the United States. – AFP

Rouhani takes spotlight at forum
IRAN last week stepped up its efforts to woo investors and normalise its relations with the West with an offer to help create a new multilateral body tasked with stabilising global energy supplies. President Hassan Rouhani told the World Economic Forum in Davos that Tehran was ready to put some of its extensive oil and gas reserves at the disposal of the proposed new body in an initiative designed to underline his government’s desire for a new relationship with the West following the partial easing of crippling sanctions under an interim deal on Iran’s nuclear capacity. Mr Rouhani told the annual gathering of business and political leaders from across the world that energy provided an important link between economic and security interests. “The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to engage in constructive cooperation in promoting global energy security by relying on its vast energy resources in a framework of mutual interest,” Mr Rouhani said. “We are prepared to engage in a serious process to establish a reliable institution for this long-term partnership.” Iran’s oil exports are currently running at around half the level they were at before the UN sanctions were applied in 2006 over Tehran’s suspected attempts to develop nuclear weapons. An agreement to partially ease the sanctions took effect this week in line with an interim accord on Iran’s nuclear capacity agreed between Tehran and major world powers in November. The interim agreement is intended to pave the way for a fuller accord and a further lifting of sanctions and Iran is already seek-


President Hassan Rouhani, left, sits next to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 22. Photo: AFP

Business and political elite in attendance at last week’s World Economic Forum


ing to persuade oil majors to start planning for a large-scale resumption of investment in the country. Mr Rouhani has had a string of private meetings with senior oil executives here and also met with Mark Rutte, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, which is home to Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell. In his speech, Mr Rouhani described the nuclear accord, which limits his country’s ability to enrich uranium and provides for inspections of its facilities, as marking the start of a new phase in relations with the United States. He also said Iran was moving quickly to normalise its relations with neighbouring and European states. But he reiterated Tehran’s

stance that it will never give up its right to join some 40 other countries in acquiring the capacity to generate nuclear power and use nuclear technology for other peaceful ends. “We have never sought anything other than peaceful use of nuclear technology and we will not accept obstacles being put in the way of our scientific progress,” he said. In an apparent reference to Israel, Mr Rouhani said he saw the major impediment to a full nuclear accord as “a lack of serious will by other parties or pressure influenced by others.” “It is a long, winding and difficult road but if we stay serious and have enough will, we can push through and it will benefit Iran,

the West and the whole world.” Israel believes Iran remains dangerously close to the capacity to build a nuclear missile which would threaten the Jewish state’s existence. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also in Davos, on January 23 denounced Mr Rouhani’s latest charm offensive as a typical piece of deception. “Rouhani has admitted that a decade ago, he deceived the West in order to advance the Iranian nuclear programme,” Netanyahu said. “He is doing this today as well. “The goal of the ayatollahs’ regime, which is hiding behind Rouhani’s smiles, is to ease sanctions without conceding on their programme to produce nuclear weapons.” – AFP


New projects infringing on Old Bagan

BUSINESS EDiTOR: Philip Heijmans | pheijmans13@gmail.com

GOVERNMENT officials are worried that an increased number of development projects in and around the Old Bagan may soon begin to impact the home to hundreds of iconic temples. Land prices in Bagan began climbing on renewed tourism interest in Bagan following the instalment of a quasi-civilian government three years ago. With the number of visitors to Myanmar doubling in each of the last two years, now to more than 3 million people, land owners in Bagan are selling to developers within in the “controlled zone”, said U Naing Win, director of Archaeology, National Museum and Libraries Department of Ministry of Culture. “This is caused by the rise in property prices,” he said, adding that resi-

dents would relocate to the outskirts of the city, overcrowding the area. “A few people are just living there in small huts, growing crops. We have to control this now. We don’t even allow hotels to be built around the Bagan cultural zones,” said U Naing Win. “Increased demand for hotel rooms is good for tourism, but bad for the local property market. I think that’s what led to the encroachment,” said U Naing Win. According to police officials, the number of hotels in Old Bagan reached 77 last year, in increase of just 2 from 2012, but said there are at least seven development projects ongoing. “Some new hotels are building in Naung Oo and the Watt Gyi Inn area after the minister of the culture gave the permit that can build three-storey buildings there,” the official said, requesting anonymity. “In New Bagan, existing hotels are expanding by building an additional 20 to 40 rooms, while others are changing the name,” he said. According to the police official,

An aerial view the Aureum Palace Hotel within the Old Bagan area. Photo: Nyan Lynn Aung

the price for land situated in old Bagan has grown from K20 million per 4800 square feet (445 square metres) five years ago to about K300 million now. A similar plot near Lawka Nandar Pagoda and Thiri Pyitsaya region, meanwhile, could sell for about K500 million.

Old Bagan was one of 46 sites designated in 1998 as a monument zone, ancient zone or protected zone by the Protection and Preservation of Cultural Heritage Regions law. After New Bagan was established in the 1990s, residents of Old Bagan were forced to relocate there.

New hotels were allowed only in New Bagan. But NLD member U Khin Maung Nyo said people who sold their land were not encroaching on the protected zones. “They are just resettling around New Bagan, not Old Bagan,” he said.

Quito China planning to partner with Ecuador to fund brand new megarefinery worth $10 billion

Mandalay realtors to petition transaction tax on properties

China will finance most of the costs associated with building a US$10 billion refinery in Ecuador, and become a partner in the megaproject, President Rafael Correa said last week. “That is just about a done deal. It is tremendous news for the nation,” Correa told foreign reporters. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is due to fund 70 percent of the refinery and state oil giant China National Petroleum Corp is set to partner in the deal with Petroecuador and Venezuela’s PDVSA. Deputy minister for strategic industries Augusto Espin said the deal is due to be completed in late March. “We have the paperwork quite far along, and we are working on the documents to have CNPC in on the Refinery of the Pacific,” Espin added, referring to the facility already under construction in Manabi. It is expected to open in 2017. “We developing countries of course need financing, and China is the world’s leading financier, even to the United States,” added Correa, a leftist economist by training. Petroecuador currently has a 51pc stake in the refinery, with 49pc held by PDVSA. – AFP

A view of Mandalay’s skyline. Photo: Si Thu Lwin

PHYO WAI KYAW pwkyaw@gmail.com HLAING KYAW SOE hlaingkyawsoe85@gmail.com REAL estate brokers in Mandalay said they are preparing to petition authorities to cut a 37 percent property transaction tax imposed in 2012 following a public invitation by the government for realtors to become more active in policymaking. “We have to submit proposals by February 11 relating to property fixed standard prices. We will also suggest reducing the 37 percent property transaction tax,” said U Wunna Soe of Phoe La Min real estate agency in Mandalay, during a meeting of bro-

kers called to establish the Mandalay Region Real Estate Brokers’ Association on January 23. The region’s deputy finance minister, Dr Linn Aung, met with brokers’ representatives on January 18 to discuss tax-related difficulties and asked for their suggestions. In August 2012, the government restored the top rate of 37pc for highend property transactions, replacing a rate of 15pc. The move was criticised as a drag on the property market and has resulted in a slew of illicit property transactions. Some Mandalay-based brokers have said that they would prefer to not join the government-backed Myanmar Real Estate Services Asso-

ciation (MRESA) in favour of an independent association. “We wrote to the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development in December, and hope to get permission soon. We want to stand on our own, to work effectively for our members,” said freelance broker U Winn Sann. The fixed prices for Mandalay properties are set by the regional Department of Revenue, based on the size of the plot. Some brokers have said they are out of sync with actual values. “In Yangon, the price and the tax payable are calculated on the squarefoot area of the plot. But in Mandalay, the calculation is based on the acreage,” said U Wunna Soe.

QUote of the WeeK


“A few people are just living there in small huts, growing crops. We have to control this now.” — U Naing Win, director of Archaeology, National
Museum and Libraries Department of Ministry of Culture

Vietnam drug smugglers get death penalty

Property prices in Yangon’s South Okkalapa township a rip off, say agents
TIn YaDanaR TUn

THE price of apartments in South Okkalapa township are being driven up by artificial price manipulation from constructor-landowner partnerships, industry players said last week. The practice of razing existing residential dwellings and replacing them with five storey condo apartments in a constructor-landowner partnership has taken off in the township, but industry players saw the township is becoming increasingly expensive compared to similar neighbouring townships. “We build apartments on a plot of 1200 square feet. Much of the land we build on is owned by 60-year grant,” said U Ye Naing. At the point of sale, ground-floor apartments can cost up to K10 million more than higher floors. In a contractor-landowner project for a five storey condo, the landowner gets the second and third floor of the building and the developer gives to the landowner between K1 million to K5 million, plus the cost of relocating for the construction period. The developer gets the other

apartments. If the apartment is built on 2400 square feet, the landowner and the developer get equal numbers of apartments. Developers are often waiting until after construction is completed to sell the apartments, Ma Lat, a real estate agent in the township told The Myanmar Times. “The apartment price before and after construction is different by about K8 million. Some developers don’t sell the apartments when construction starts and sell the apartments later once they have decorated it themselves,” she said. The soaring prices in the township were an oddity among neighbouring townships, U Yan Aung, another real estate agent in the area said. “If South Okkalapa township is compared with North Dagon, South

Buildings under construction in South Okkalapa township. Photo: Auntg Htay Hlaing

Difference in price for ground floor apartments in South Okkalapa township, compared to other floors.



Dagon and Shwe Pyi Thar townships established after 1988, its land price is very high and its development is not very good,” he said. Long-term resident Daw Tin Tin Win said she had noticed a sharp in-

crease in the land prices in the last two years. “The property price is high obviously in South Okkalapa since 2012. The price of land that used to be K10 million has increased to over K100

million when the constructor-landowner developments began. Later, more contract buildings were built and the apartment price is high although land price is stable” Daw Tin Tin Win said.


Japanese PM to announce $2b loan to India: new report
PRIME Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan was expected to announce low-interest loans to India worth US$2.0 billion during a visit to his counterpart Manmohan Singh this weekend, a report said last week. Tokyo will provide yen loans totalling about 210 billion yen for construction of subway lines and energy-conservation projects, the Nikkei economic daily said. Japanese companies are involved in projects to expand New Delhi’s subway system but competition for infrastructure works in India has intensified, the daily noted, particularly with South Korean and European firms. Mr Abe hopes to support Japanese corporations by creating an environment that makes it easier for them to win orders, the paper said. Some 60 billion yen ($579 million) of the 210 billion yen that Japan provides will go toward energy-conserva-


Amount of new Japanese loan to India that will go toward energy-conservation projects


tion projects, including the development of solar power plants and wind farms through an Indian governmentbacked company handling renewable energy projects, the Nikkei said. Japan’s foreign ministry said the two countries were discussing economic cooperation but nothing has been formally decided yet. Mr Abe, accompanied by a Japanese business delegation, was expected to begin a three-day visit to India last week. Since coming to power in December 2012 Mr Abe has travelled the globe extensively, partly in his role as salesman-in-chief for Japan Inc, but also as he looks to forge and reinforce relationships as a counterweight to the rise of China. – AFP

Living in comfort
IDEAL for a quiet family residence in Yankin township, this week’s house has four large bedrooms and plenty of space, including a staff room. The 2000 sq ft, two-storey house, with garage, stands in its own 5980 sq ft compound. The garden is restfully green. The spacious reception rooms are tastefully decorated, and the kitchen and dining rooms are divided by a partition. Seven air conditioners and a land-line phone connection are provided. – Ei The The Naing Location : Phyunt Phyoe Aung Housing, Yankin Township. Price Contact Phone : US$6000 : Estate Myanmar : 09 43118787, (per month)

09 73114860

30 Business Property


Curitiba World Cup venue at risk of being axed, FIFA says
CURITIBA risks being dropped as a venue for this year’s World Cup finals if work on the stadium there fails to make significant progress, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said last week. “We cannot organise a match without a stadium, this has reached a critical point,” said Valcke. Valcke, who has not held back from making critical remarks about preparations in the host nation during the lead-up to the finals, said he hoped rapid progress would be made so that Curitiba would not miss out on hosting matches. Curitiba is set to host four group matches, including the meeting of holders Spain and Australia. “What is there to say?” said Valcke, speaking after paying a visit to the stadium. “It is a delicate question. But let us be frank and direct about it. “As you must know the present situation at the stadium is not to our liking. “Not only is it very behind in its construction, but it has failed to meet any of the deadlines set by FIFA. “It is not that we want the stadium to be ready by February 18, but simply that we want to see progress made [by the time of the next FIFA evaluation visit]. “A lot of people want to come here, the World Cup holders have to play here,” said Valcke, who was roundly criticised by the Brazilians after last year indelicately suggesting the country needed a “kick up the backside.” “We hope, therefore, that the con-



Cubans now able to freely rent homes, commercial space
FOR the first time in half a century, Cubans are being allowed to rent homes and commercial properties under a decision announced by the government last week. The measure allows “Cuban individuals residing in Cuba” to use “real estate leasing services offered by authorized real estate entities,” according to the resolution in the Communist-run nation’s Official Gazette. It also stipulates that Cubans cannot rent properties for use as “international schools, news agencies and NGOs.” Newspaper Juventud Rebelde noted that leased property could be used for “housing, offices, shops and warehouses.” Until now, only institutions or foreign residents could rent property from real estate agencies in Cuba which are either state-owned or mixed capital ventures. “This is great. Up until now there were people who had the money, but could not rent through a real estate agency,” said Grisel Espinosa, 43, who sells T-shirts in the main handicraft fair in Old Havana. Trinket seller Illinois Borges, 38, said he liked the idea “that if you make a good deal, you can rent a space, even if it’s small.” The rule is the latest in a series of reforms by the government of President Raul Castro that is very slowly opening the island’s communist economy to limited private enterprise. With thousands more workers privately employed, the new measure gives Cubans broader alternatives to state-provided housing and commercial space. With a population of 11.1 million, Cuba now has some 445,000 private or “self-employed” workers, largely clustered in the service industries, creating a growing demand for commercial property. Newspaper Juventud Rebelde said that the move marked “new impetus and support for self-employment and other forms of non-state management,” by President Raul Castro in his drive to “update” the country’s exhausted Soviet-style economic model. The resolution fixed the rate per square metre of housing at five convertible pesos (US$5) and between seven and 10 CUCs for office premises, shops or warehouses. Such fees are prohibitive to most Cubans, in a country where the average wage is under $20 per month. Another rule stipulates rates for services such as electricity, water and parking to be paid by tenants. But the change could also be aimed at making it easier for Cubans who left the country and return – something which did not happen before travel reforms last year – to rent pricey apartments, if they can afford them, as well as business space. Cuba’s real estate business began a timid reemergence in the 1990s under limited economic reforms introduced by president Fidel Castro after the fall of the Soviet Union. Real estate agencies, of which there are a handful on the communist island today, had disappeared after the Cuban Revolution ended in 1959, and only began to reappear in the 1990s. In late 2011, Raul Castro authoried private sales of houses, which had also been banned for decades. – AFP

An aerial picture of the Arena de Baixada stadium – under construction – in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil, on December 14. Photo: AFP

versations we have had with the State Government and the Curitiba city council will produce the desired results, which will not see the city excluded from the Cup.” It is estimated that the stadium in Curitiba is 90 percent completed but, like many of the other 11 venues, it has been beset by problems. Back in December work at the stadium was temporarily halted when workers walked off the site in protest at not receiving backpay. As well as fatal accidents at three stadiums – Sao Paulo, Brasilia and

Manaus – there has been widespread concern at Brazil’s ability to overcome logistical issues, including a poor transport network and sky-high hotel prices. All 12 venues were supposed to meet a FIFA completion deadline of December 31, but world football’s governing body was forced to drop the date last month after a slew of delays. On January 21, Brazil’s aviation authority revealed that Fortaleza airport in the north of the country is delaying major renovations until after the World Cup, opting for plan B – an improvised tent terminal. – AFP

‘Up until now there were people who had the money, but could not rent through a real estate agency.’
Grisel Espinosa Old Havana resident


Science & Technology 31

Studio debuts Myanmar chess app

Did China’s censors crash the internet?
STEVEN MUFSON JIA LYNN YANG A MYSTERIOUS glitch in China led to one of the biggest-ever Internet blackouts on Tuesday, forcing massive volumes of Chinese Web traffic to U.S. servers belonging to a firm with a long history of protesting the government in Beijing and evading its censors. The disruption, which crippled service for most of China’s roughly 600 million Internet users, began around 3 p.m. in Beijing (2 a.m. EST) and lasted as long as eight hours, according to Compuware, a Detroitbased firm that monitors Web performance. The official China Internet Network Information Center said the disruption was probably the result of a hacking attack, but Internet experts said that the cause appears to have been a flawed effort by Chinese Web censors — part of what is known as the Great Firewall of China — to block sites the government deems subversive. But instead of censoring, the government appears to have momentarily shut down much of the country’s access to the Internet by mistakenly directing all of that Web traffic to servers controlled by Dynamic Internet Technology, a U.S. software company founded by anti-censorship activist Bill Xia. Xia said in an email that the disruption, which crashed his servers, was caused by China’s “hijacking system,” which is “part of China’s Great Firewall.” Xia, who moved to the United States from China in the late 1990s, sells software and services to Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, the U.S.-based organization Human Rights in China and Epoch Times, a newspaper published by the Falun Gong religious group. This incident “both communicates the fragility of the Chinese Internet but it also reminds us how robust and resilient their censorship has been,” said James Mulvenon, director of Defense Group’s center for intelligence research and analysis. The Great Firewall works in myriad ways to control what Chinese Internet users can see online, from obstructing searches on sensitive topics such as the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests to blocking entire websites, such as social media sites Facebook and Twitter. The Chinese government blocks sites by exploiting a weakness in the infrastructure of the Internet. Let’s say a user is trying to reach a site by entering the domain name — for instance, Facebook.com — into a browser. Ordinarily, that request gets sent to what’s known as a DNS server, which matches the domain name to an IP address, a series of digits that computers can use to identify each other. Internet experts say China’s Great Firewall works by redirecting traffic to erroneous or fake IP addresses. But in the case of Tuesday’s glitch, something seemed to go wrong. A massive amount of traffic was diverted to, an IP address affiliated with Xia’s Dynamic Internet Technology, a group whose work is routinely censored by the Chinese government. “The rule was supposed to be, ‘Block everything going to this IP address,’ “ said Nicholas Weaver, a researcher at the International Computer Science Institute, which is affiliated with the University of California at Berkeley. “Instead, they screwed up and probably wrote the rule as ‘Block everything by referring to this IP address.’” Heiko Specht, who helps track website performance for Compuware, was sitting at his desk in Munich when a customer alerted him to some problems in China. Specht ran some tests — and saw that at least 80 percent of the common Web domains in China were not working. “I almost fell from my chair,” he said. Specht said that with sites such as PayPal down, it was impossible for many companies to conduct business. He estimates that between half and two-thirds of all active Internet users during this time were affected. China has the largest population of people online in the world, according to a report by the China Internet Network Information Center. Under President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government has continued to clamp down on freedom of expression, both among intellectuals demanding political reform and among international news organizations reporting on allegations of corruption among the country’s leaders. This week the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists issued a report detailing offshore tax havens used by relatives of the country’s top leaders, including Xi’s brother-in-law, and some of China’s wealthiest citizens. Individuals in China and organizations outside the country have deployed a variety of strategies to circumvent the Chinese filters and censors. One free program called Freegate is produced by Xia’s firm. Once past the firewall, users in China can visit any blocked site. “It’s just more of the cat-andmouse game with the Chinese Internet,” said Mulvenon, the Defense Group director. Xia rarely gives interviews. He is a practitioner of Falun Gong, which the Chinese government has been trying to stamp out for more than a decade. Internet experts said the blackout this week should serve as a warning that efforts to weed out unwanted content can lead to a system-wide breakdown. “The Great Firewall relies on humans to administer it,” said Jason Ng, author of the book “Blocked on Weibo.” “It might be a wake-up call to certain people who are in charge of this sort of thing.” – Washington Post

A smart phone user enjoys a game of digital chess. Photo: Ko Taik

AUNG KYAW NYUNT zeezee383@gmail.com COMING soon to an Android handset near you: Myanmar traditional chess, or Sittuyin. Developed by Total Game Play Studio, the game has been available to Myanmar players since January 20, said Ko Myint Kyaw Thu, the studio’s chief technology officer. “This game was designed to provide good performance for gamers,” he said, adding that it will soon be adapted for the Mac platform and personal computers. “The method of this game is the same as Age of Empires. The militaries you use are those of Myanmar and Thailand,” he said. “Famous characters are also included in the game for players to select.” He added that bonus games include draughts and carom. “We put a lot of time into this game because it’s a traditional game and

we wanted to ensure the best performance. But we were still able to meet our deadline for release,” he added. The game can be downloaded for free at Google Play Store. Gamers have the option of playing online against others or taking on the computer in artificial intelligence mode but Ko Myint Kyaw Thu warned that the difficulty level has been set high. “Myanmar traditional chess is not the same as chess. The opponents can immediately strike each other as soon as play begins, and the value of each piece is high.” Total Game Play Studio Company, in cooperation with Zwenexsys Company, recently released another traditional game for Android phones – Chinlone. The game was released on October 25 in Android format, with an iOS version put out in November 2013. Total Game Play Studio is now busy working on a game that will allow the player to pilot a trishaw through traffic.



WORLD EDITOR: Bridget Di Certo | bridget.dicerto@gmail.com

China, Japan open German front in diplomatic war
ONE hundred years after the outbreak of World War I, China and Japan are ripping selected pages from Germany’s history – including the Nazi period – as they seek to demonise each other in their modern-day diplomatic battles. Beijing’s state-controlled media have compared Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Adolf Hitler, using shrill rhetoric that analysts say exploits Tokyo’s mixed messages about its past aggression in China and elsewhere. At the same time, they urge him to emulate Germany’s post-war contrition for the evils of Nazism. Mr Abe, for his part, has raised the spectre of 1914, saying at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland that relations between Japan and China resemble those of Britain and Germany as they stumbled towards war. Tokyo and Beijing are locked in an increasingly acrimonious row over small, uninhabited islands in the East China Sea that Japan controls but China regards as its territory, with their militaries warily eyeing each other. Commentators have likened China, a rising power, to Germany in the early 20th century and portrayed the islands as Sarajevo, site of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that triggered the Great War. In Davos, Mr Abe pointed out that war broke out in 1914 despite strong economic relations between Germany and Britain. “I think we are in a similar situation. We don’t want an inadvertent conflict arising between these two countries,” he told reporters. China’s foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang roundly rejected the simile on January 23. “Actually in history China was already a major country in the Tang and Song dynasties (from the seventh to the 13th centuries), so there is no so-called ‘China is becoming a major country’,” he said. “There is no need to make an issue of the Britain-Germany relationship.” Chinese officials have lashed out at Mr Abe since his December 26 visit to the hugely controversial Yasukuni shrine, which honours 2.5 million Japanese war dead including 14 senior war criminals described by Qin as “the Nazis of the East” . The shrine is seen in China and South Korea as a symbol of Japan’s 20th century military and colonial aggression which saw the country occupy a large swathe of East Asia, often to brutal effect on civilians and prisoners of war. In what analysts see as crude propaganda, the overseas edition of the Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily headlined an article “Hitler’s DNA in Abe” , illustrated with a mock-up of Japan’s leader gazing up at the Fuhrer. The Global Times tabloid, in its English edition, this week carried a cartoon of Japan’s national flag with the sun symbol in the centre dripping blood and a swastika imposed. “You could say it’s propaganda,” Torsten Weber, an expert in modern East Asian history at the German Institute for Japanese Studies in Tokyo, told AFP. “It is a way to distort history and it’s also a way to distract attention from more pressing problems that, for example, China faces.” Chinese media have also tried to compare Mr Abe unfavourably with how Germany faced up to Nazi atrocities. The official Xinhua news agency urged him to follow the example of West German chancellor Willy Brandt, who fell to his knees at a monument to victims of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – a brutally crushed 1943 revolt by Jews in the Polish capital facing deportation to the Nazi death camps. But Robert Dujarric, director of the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies at Temple University Japan in Tokyo, said Beijing had ulterior motives. Mr Abe’s course of action “makes Japan look bad, damages ties between Tokyo and Washington, makes Koreans anti-Japanese and therefore serves Chinese interests” , he said. – AFP


People commute through floodwaters in one of Jakarta’s business district fled their homes in the capital due to flooding that has left five dead, offic through waist-deep water to reach safer ground. Photo: AFP


Thailand awaits crunch court ruling on election
THAILAND’S embattled government faced a key court ruling last week on whether it can go ahead with a fiercely disputed election despite threats by opposition protesters to block the vote. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is under intense pressure to step down after nearly three months of street rallies aimed at ousting her elected government and installing an unelected “people’s council”. The kingdom has been periodically rocked by political bloodshed since her older brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was overthrown by royalist generals in a coup more than seven years ago. The main opposition party is boycotting the February 2 election while protesters have vowed to disrupt voting, saying reforms are needed to tackle corruption and vote-buying before polls are held in around a year to 18 months. Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban threatened on Thursday to “close every route” to polling stations, saying the election would not be allowed to take place. Some constituencies have no candidates because demonstrators blocked registrations, so even if Ms Yingluck’s party wins it may not have enough MPs to appoint a government. The Constitutional Court is due to consider a plea from the Election Commission to postpone the polls, a move that could leave the kingdom in protracted political limbo. The judges have also been asked to rule on whether the power to delay the election lies with the commission or the government, which has insisted that the vote should proceed. The same court dealt a major setback to the government in November when it ruled that a ruling party bid to make the upper house of parliament fully elected was in breach of the constitution. Dozens of Ms Yingluck’s MPs face a possible five-year ban from politics over that failed bill. “The status of the Constitutional Court is very controversial,” said Sunai Phasuk, a senior researcher with New York-based Human Rights Watch. “It is a product of a coup in 2006 and acts mainly as a tribunal not a court of justice per se,” he said, noting that the government had been “badly crippled” by its rulings. The demonstrators have staged a self-styled “shutdown” of Bangkok since January 13, erecting roadblocks and rally stages at several main intersections including in the main hotel and shopping districts, although attendance has gradually fallen since last week. Nine people have been killed and hundreds injured in grenade attacks, drive-by shootings and street clashes since the protests began at the end of October. The government on January 21 declared a 60-day state of emergency in Bangkok and surrounding areas to deal with the unrest. The decree gives the authorities the power to ban public gatherings of more than five people, prohibit protesters using certain routes and forbid media spreading misinformation. But the government has not yet used any of those measures, and has ruled out using force to end the rallies. When a state of emergency was last imposed in 2010 during proThaksin protests, the previous government cracked down with armoured vehicles and soldiers firing live rounds. More than 90 people were killed and nearly 1900 injured. The military, traditionally a staunch supporter of the antiThaksin establishment, has said it wants to remain neutral during the current standoff, although the army chief has refused to rule out another coup to seize power from Ms Yingluck. The political dispute comes at a time of disquiet among many Thais about the health of 86-yearold King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and Sunai Phasuk who will be in power to oversee the Human Rights Watch transition when his more than sixdecade reign eventually comes to an end. – AFP

This photo dated September 16, 2012 shows Chinese protesters marching pass the Japanese embassy. Photo: AFP

‘It is a product of a coup in 2006 and acts mainly as a tribunal, not a court.’


Malaysians protest Australian rare earth processing plant
worLD 34

Australian PM unrepentent on people smuggling
worLD 37

Remembering Auschwitz: a letter by UN Sec-Gen
WorLD 40

UN bids to bring Syria warring sides together
UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi met Syria’s warring sides behind closed doors on January 23 to lay the groundwork for direct talks after the first day of a peace conference ended in bitter exchanges. Mr Brahimi met separately with delegations from Syria’s opposition and then President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Geneva before full talks are due to resume on Friday. It was unclear after the meetings whether the two sides would agree to hold face-to-face talks or if mediators would shuttle between them. After meeting with Mr Brahimi, opposition chief Ahmad Jarba said the regime had become a “political corpse”. “The world is now sure that Assad cannot stay and will not stay,” he said. A senior US State Department official said Mr Brahimi was due to meet with both sides again on January 24 morning with the goal of having them in the same room by the afternoon. “He hopes to have them at the table tomorrow and we’ll see what happens,” the official said. “We knew this would not be an easy process.” “We know this is going to take some time, and if it takes an extra day, it takes an extra day,” the official added. The UN-sponsored conference – the biggest diplomatic effort yet to resolve Syria’s devastating civil war – opened in the Swiss town of Montreux on January 22 with heated disagreements among the two sides and world powers. Expectations are low for a breakthrough at the conference, which officials have said could last up to 10 days, but diplomats believe that simply bringing the two sides together for the first time is a mark of some progress and could be an important first step. “We’ve begun the process, getting the parties in the same room is significant, having them in Geneva is significant,” the US official said. With no one appearing ready for serious concessions, mediators will be looking for short-term deals to keep the process moving forward. They could include localised ceasefires, freer humanitarian aid access or prisoner exchanges. Mr Brahimi said he “had indications” from both sides that they were willing to discuss these issues. Hadi Al-Bahra, a member of the opposition National Coalition’s delegation, told AFP the opposition felt it had benefited from the regime’s aggressive tone at the start of the conference on January 22. “We have heard very positive feedback from inside Syria and it is the first time we’ve felt so much support from Syrians for the Coalition,” Mr Bahra said. In a vehement attack during his opening speech that went long beyond his allotted time, Foreign Minister Walid Muallem accused the opposition of being “traitors” and agents of foreign governments. The regime delegation behaved “like the mafia, with a style very far from diplomacy,” Mr Bahra said. Syrian state media slammed the Montreux conference, with the Tishreen daily charging that most of the speeches from the more than 40 nations and international bodies present had lobbed “dishonest accusations ... at the Syrian government”. – AFP


tss on January 22, 2014. More than 30,000 Indonesians have cials said, with people using rubber dinghies and wading


Ukraine talks fail to end deadlock, uneasy truce holds
CRUNCH talks between the opposition and President Viktor Yanukovych failed on January 23 to end Ukraine’s crisis but an uneasy truce held after five days of deadly clashes between protesters and security forces. Ukraine’s three main opposition leaders held several hours of talks with Mr Yanukovych but the relatively minor concessions offered by the president were greeted with derision by tens of thousands of protesters on Independence Square in Kiev. In a development likely to severely alarm the embattled Mr Yanukovych, angry protesters in half a dozen regions in the nationalist west of Ukraine seized control of regional adminstration buildings. This week’s clashes, which came after two months of protests over Mr Yanukovych’s failure to sign an integration deal with the European Union under Russia pressure, have turned parts of Kiev into a battle zone and left five activists dead. After four hours of talks with Mr Yanukovych the leader of the opposition Fatherland party, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, said there is a “high” chance of finding a solution to end the bloodshed. But world boxing champion and UDAR (Punch) party leader Vitali Klitschko later said the president appeared to be turning a deaf ear to the opposition’s key demand of the resignation of the government. “I feel how tense the atmosphere is. I feel how great the hopes are. It (the outcome of the talks) is going to disappoint you,” he said. The leader of the nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) party Oleg Tyagnybok specified that the authorities had vowed to release activists arrested during the protests. He also said there was a proposal to create a buffer zone between protesters and security forces that would leave the main protest camp on Independence Square untouched by police. Both these statements were confirmed by the general prosecutor’s office and the interior ministry. But when Mr Tyagnybok asked for a show of hands about whether the talks should continue, the answer was clearly negative. It is not clear when the talks will resume. Parliament speaker Volodymyr Rybak said parliament would meet on January 28 to discuss the protesters’ demands for the government’s resignation and the annulment of a controversial anti-protest law at a session expected on that day, the presidency said in a statement. Mr Klitschko had earlier brokered a truce in the violence between protesters and police and the ceasefire appeared to be holding into the night. At the epicentre of the clashes on Grushevsky Street both protesters and security forces remained quietly behind their battle lines next to the stadium of the legendary Dynamo Kiev football club. But neither side showed any readiness to pull back, an AFP correspondent said. “Every 10 metres there is Ukrainian territory that we have to defend and for which we will fight to the end,” said one radical protester on the front line, who asked not to be named. Both Mr Klitschko and Mr Tyagnybok, wielding loudhailers, visited the frontline barricades after their talks in a bid to persuade the protesters to continue to hold the ceasefire. Protesters after the talks also began further expanding their protest camp based on Independence Square advancing barricades up a street ever closer to Bankovaya Street where the presidential administration is located. – AFP

A Ukrainian protester wearing a gas mask stands amid burnt tyres and garbage following clashes between pro-EU demonstrators and riot police in Kiev on January 23. Photo: AFP

‘I feel how tense the atmosphere is. I feel how great the hopes are. It is going to disappoint you.’
Vitali Klitschko UDAR Party leader

HISAMITSU PHARMACEUTICAL CO., INC., a Japanese corporation of 408, Tashiro Daikancho, Tosu, Saga, Japan, is the Owner of the following Trade Mark:-

Reg. No. 1800/1998 in respect of “Pharmaceutical, veterinary and sanitary preparations; dietetic substances adapted for medical use, food for babies; plasters, materials for dressings; material for stopping teeth, dental wax; disinfectants; preparations for destroying vermin; fungicides; herbicides”. 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 HISAMITSU PHARMACEUTICAL CO., INC. P. O. Box 60, Yangon E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm Dated: 27 January 2014


34 World International


British expat’s ‘poor people’ remark sparks outrage in Singapore
A PORSCHE-DRIVING British wealth manager in Singapore who referred to public transport commuters as “poor people” has apologised after his Facebook posts sparked an online furore. Anton Casey, a 39-year-old who is married to a former Singapore beauty queen, had also referred to washing “the stench of public transport off me” in one of his posts on the social network. Furious Internet users lashed out at Mr Casey, a Singapore permanent resident, with many subjecting him and his family to verbal abuse. Singapore has one of the world’s highest per capita incomes, with official data showing it stood at Sg$65,048 (US $50,890) in 2012. The city-state also boasts one of Asia’s most modern public transport systems, with its 150-kilometre (93-mile) metro network carrying about two million people daily. “I would like to extend a sincere apology to the people of Singapore ... for my poor judgement,” Mr Casey said in a statement. “I have the highest respect and regard for Singapore and the good people of Singapore; this is my home,” he said. One of Mr Casey’s posts showed a picture of a boy, apparently his fiveyear-old son, sitting inside a metro train with a caption above the photo saying: “Daddy, where is your car & who are all these poor people?” Another showed a waving boy sitting inside a silver convertible Porsche, with a caption saying: “Ahhhhhhhh reunited with my baby. Normal service can resume, once I have washed the stench of public transport off me.” As the Facebook posts went viral online, a YouTube video of Mr Casey emerged on various websites in which he appeared to be taunting his critics. But Mr Casey in his statement denied that the video was made in response to the online furore, saying it was an old video that had been “misused” by “unknown sources”. Mr Casey also said his Facebook page had been “breached” and his family had “suffered extreme emotional and verbal abuse online”. Police were investigating death threats received by his family, he added. “This guy is rich materially but poor spiritually,” one furious Internet user wrote about Mr Casey. “Why oh why do you think you are so much better than others just because you happen to have cash ... Shame on you mate, shame!” said another user. Mr Casey’s employer, Crossinvest (Asia) Pte Ltd, said it does not condone his comments which “were made in poor taste”. “We are currently investigating the comments made by our employee and will take appropriate action once we are in possession of all the facts,” it said in a statement. – AFP

Malaysians protest rare earth plant
AN environmentalist group on January 22 protested outside an Australia Day function in Malaysia against a rare earth plant which it claims is producing dangerous radioactive waste, while opposition parliamentarians boycotted the event. Australian miner Lynas Corp started processing rare earths at a plant in the eastern state of Pahang in late 2012, after a delay of more than a year due to strong opposition. Lynas hopes the $800 million plant can help break the Chinese stranglehold on the market for rare earths used in everything from missiles to mobile phones. About two dozen activists from NGO coalition Himpunan Hijau gathered outside the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in the heart of the capital, where the Australian High Commission was holding a function with sponsorship from Lynas to celebrate Australia Day. Shouting “Stop Lynas!”, the activists entered the centre but security stopped them outside the ballroom where the function was taking place. Senior opposition politician Tian Chua said he and other opposition members of parliament were boycotting the function after

Anti Lynas activists are stopped by security guards as they protest against the Australian rare earth plant during an Australia Day celebration event hosted by the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur on January 22. Photo: AFP

they found out Lynas was one of the sponsors. “We have already stated that Lynas is an unwelcome investment,” he told AFP. “It’s against our principles.” Protesters staged several large rallies before the plant opened, saying they feared radioactive waste from it could harm residents and the environment.

Himpunan Hijau has also collected more than one million signatures to shut it down. Efforts to block the plant’s operation permanently through a court order have so far failed. The Australian miner has insisted the plant is safe, saying any radioactive waste would be lowlevel and safely disposed of. – AFP


Kidnapped S. Korean freed
A SOUTH Korean trade official who was kidnapped in Libya has been freed three days after he was taken hostage by armed men, the Libyan and South Korean foreign ministries said on January 22. Han Seok-Woo, the head of the Libya unit of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), was freed Wednesday and was in good health, they said. Libya’s deputy foreign minister, Abdelrazak al-Gridi, told the Lana news agency that Libyan security forces freed him. Seoul’s foreign ministry confirmed the release, saying the four gunmen who had kidnapped him on January 19 were arrested by the Libyan authorities. “It is believed that they are members of a minor armed rebel group,” the ministry said, adding Mr Han had been handed over to the South Korean embassy. “We hold in high regard the active efforts by the Libyan government to help rescue Han in close coordination with our government,” it said in a statement. Mr Gridi did not elaborate on the circumstances surrounding Han’s release.Mr Han was kidnapped in the capital Tripoli on his way home after work on January 19. The abduction took place amid ongoing instability following the ouster and death of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. Mr Han was taken by four unidentified gunmen who dragged him out of his car, shoved him into their own vehicle and drove away, while leaving his Iraqi driver behind. Mr Han has worked in the KOTRA office in Tripoli since 2012, Mr Yonhap said, citing Seoul officials. – AFP


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Kabushiki Kaisha Kaminomoto Hompo (also trading as Kaminomoto Co., Ltd.), a company organized and existing under the laws of Japan, of 3-25, 3-chome, Kumochibashidori, Chuo-ku, Kobeshi, Hyogo-ken, Japan, is the Owner of the following Trade Marks:-

Death penalty to 30 drug smugglers: judge
VIETNAM last week sentenced 30 drug smugglers to death in the communist country’s largest ever narcotics case, involving scores of defendants and nearly two tons of heroin, a judge said. The 30 men and women, all Vietnamese, were found guilty of drug trafficking and given the death penalty while a further 59 defendants were handed sentences ranging up to life in prison, presiding judge Ngo Duc told AFP. “This was Vietnam’s largest ever trial in terms of defendants, the number of death penalties given out and the amount of heroin involved,” Duc told AFP after the verdict was read out in the northern province of Quang Ninh -- which borders China. “Because of the large number of defendants and the seriousness of the case, the trial was held at the prison,” Judge Duc added after the 17-day trial. Investigators said the defendants belonged to four international smuggling rings responsible for trafficking heroin and other drugs from neighbouring Laos into Vietnam and China since 2006. “All the defendants are Vietnamese and most of them came from Vietnam’s northwestern provinces,” court clerk Nguyen Trung Hieu told AFP. Vietnam’s remote northwestern region, which borders both China and Laos, is poor and populated by a patchwork of ethnic minority groups. There have been previous smuggling cases in the area, which is far from the control of Hanoi. According to a list of the defendants’ names seen by AFP, some of the 89 people were from ethnic minority groups but court officials could not confirm their status. One of the leaders of the four smuggling rings broken up by the police remains at large, state media reported. Police disrupted the rings in August 2013, making mass arrests and seizing large quantities of illegal drugs.

Reg. No. 13889/2013

Reg. No. 13890/2013 in respect of “Int’l Class 3: Bleaching preparations and other substances for laundry use; cleaning, polishing, scouring and abrasive preparations; soaps; shampoos; hair rinses; hair conditioners; hair lotions; hair tonics; hair bleaches; hair colorants; hair dyes; non-medicated preparations for the care of skin, hair and scalp; hair care agents; hair care preparations; perfumery; essential oils; cosmetics; dentifrices”. 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 Kabushiki Kaisha Kaminomoto Hompo P. O. Box 60, Yangon E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm Dated: 27 January 2014

Defendants, all drugs smugglers, flanked by police attend a two-week long trial held by a local People’s Court inside a jail in the Northeastern province of Quang Ninh on January 20. Photo: AFP

They also confiscated 20 luxury cars and dozens of guns and other weapons during the raid, state media reported. Communist Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest anti-drug laws. Anyone found guilty of possessing more than 600 grams (21 ounces) of heroin, or more than 20 kilograms of opium, can face the death penalty. Convictions and sentences are usually revealed only by local media, which is strictly under state control. The “Golden Triangle” region covering part of Laos, Thailand and Myanmar was formerly one of the world’s top producers of opium and heroin but has been overtaken by Afghanistan. After a two-year hiatus in carrying out capital punishment due to problems procuring chemicals for lethal injections, Vietnamexecuted its first prisoner by the method last August. The country currently now has more than 700 prisoners on death row, according to media reports and an AFP tally.

Many have been sentenced for drug offences including dozens of foreigners -- although it has been decades since a foreign citizen was executed. Although Vietnam does not release statistics on executions, rights group Amnesty International recorded 86 new death sentences in 2012 while it said five executions were carried out the previous year. Amnesty said it was “dismayed” to learn about the sentences, which come on top of recent death sentences handed out in high-profile corruption and embezzlement cases. “Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases, without exception,” Rupert Abbott, its researcher on Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, told AFP. “Rather than continuing to hand down death sentences, theVietnamese authorities should be moving towards abolition, in line with the global trend,” he added. Due to problems with both procuring and producing domestically the chemicals required for lethal injections, some lawmakers have called for a return to executions by firing squad. – AFP

Marriott Worldwide Corporation, a company incorporated in Maryland, U.S.A., of 10400, Fernwood Road, Bethesda, Maryland 20817, U.S.A., is the Owner of the following Trade Marks:-

Reg. No. 8843/2013

Reg. No. 8844/2013 Reg. No. 8845/2013 in respect of “ Int’l Class 35: Franchise services, namely, offering business management assistance in the establishment and operation of hotels, restaurants, bars, spas, recreational and fitness facilities, and retail stores; business management services, namely, management and operation of hotels, restaurants, bars, spas, recreational and fitness facilities, and retail stores for others; business centre services, namely rental of office machines and equipment, photocopying, word-processing and typing services; business management consultation services; providing facilities for the use of office equipment and machinery; business administration services; business meeting planning services. Int’l Class 41: Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities; health club services, namely providing instruction and consultation in the field of physical exercise; rental of exercise equipment; providing fitness and exercise facilities; golf club, golf course and golf instruction services; education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities; education and entertainment, namely arranging conferences, organization of exhibitions for cultural or educational purposes; providing facilities for recreation activities; providing facilities and services for swimming pools and water sports; providing tennis facilities, rental of tennis courts and tennis instruction; casino and gaming service; night clubs. Int’l Class 43: Hotel services; restaurant, catering, bar and lounge services; resort and lodging services; provision of general purpose facilities for meetings, conferences and exhibitions; provision of banquet and social function facilities for special occasions; and reservation services for hotel accommodations. Int’l Class 44: spa services, namely, providing facial, hair, skin and body treatments, manicure and pedicure services, massage services, body waxing services and beauty salon 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 Marriott Worldwide Corporation P.O. Box 60, Yangon E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm Dated: 27 January 2014

NOTICE is hereby given that Tsurumi Manufacturing Co., Ltd., a company organized under the laws of Japan and having its principal office at 16-40, Tsurumi 4-Chome, Tsurumi-ku, Osakashi, Osaka, 538-8585, Japan is the Owner and Sole Proprietor of the following trademark: -

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Photo: AFP

(Reg: Nos. IV/7063/2010 & IV/10014/2013) in respect of : - “Pneumatic or hydraulic machines and instruments, namely, pumps, vacuum pumps, blowers, and compressors; and chemical processing machines and apparatus, namely, presses, agitating machines, mixing or blending machines, granulating machines, reaction vessels, partial condensers, separating machines, dissolving machines, and filtering machines, all for chemical processing” Class: 7 “General civil engineering works; plumbing; machinery installation; electric works; pump repair and maintenance; repair or maintenance of chemical processing machines and apparatus” Class: 37 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 Tsurumi Manufacturing Co., Ltd., P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416 Dated: 27th January, 2014

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (centre) visiting the revolutionary battle site at Mt. Madu in South Pyongan province.

N Korea pushes South on military drills
NORTH Korea on January 24 urged a sceptical South Korea to respond to a recent series of trust-building gestures and again called on Seoul to cancel upcoming military drills with the United States. The latest apparent olive branch came in the form of an “open letter” sent to the South Korean authorities by the North’s top military body on the direct orders of leader Kim Jong-Un in an effort to promote “reconciliation and unity”. Carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency, the letter followed up on a series of confidence-building proposals that South Korea has already dismissed as a “deceptive” propaganda exercise. “What is important for paving a wide avenue for mending North-South relations is to make a bold decision to stop all hostile military acts, the biggest hurdle stoking distrust and confrontation,” the letter from the National Defence Commission (NDC) said. A week earlier, the NDC had sent several proposals, urging South Korea to cancel the joint exercises with the United States and offering a mutual moratorium on mud-slinging by the two rivals. Seoul not only dismissed the overtures, but warned that Pyongyang may well be laying the ground for a military confrontation. “Regretfully, the South Korean authorities still remain unchanged in their improper attitude and negative stand,” the NDC letter said. The South “should not thoughtlessly doubt, misinterpret and rashly reject our sincere, important proposal,” it added. South Korea’s Unification Ministry said it would respond to the letter later on January 24, while Defence Ministry spokesman Wi Yong-Seop warned of the “enemy’s hidden motive”. Temperatures on the Korean peninsula traditionally rise ahead of the annual South Korean-US drills, which Pyongyang routinely condemns as a rehearsal for invasion. Last year they coincided with an unusually sharp and protracted surge in tensions, which saw the North threatening pre-emptive nuclear strikes, and nuclear-capable US stealth bombers flying practice runs on the peninsula. In its letter, the NDC stressed that its opposition lay solely in the participation of US forces in the exercises. North Korea “did not urge the South Korean authorities to stop ordinary military drills,” it said. “It urged them to halt drills for a war of aggression to be staged against their compatriots in collusion with outside forces.” The NDC said it had also taken the “unilateral” step of halting all crossborder “slandering”, despite the South’s dismissive response to its proposal a week ago. The South’s Unification Ministry had scoffed at the idea, arguing that the only “slander” was propagated by Pyongyang’s propaganda machine. Many analysts have voiced scepticism over the North’s recent charm offensive, noting its past proclivity for offering conciliatory gestures prior to an act of provocation. The trust-building gestures are bogus, the analysts say, because they are founded on the un-realisable demand that President Park Geun-Hye’s conservative administration call off the joint military drills set to begin late February. “The North Koreans know full well that demand would be completely unacceptable, even to a more left-leaning, pro-engagement administration in Seoul,” said Andrei Lankov, a North Korea scholar at Seoul’s Kookmin University. Kim Yong-Hyun, a North Korean expert at Seoul’s Dongguk University, said the North was pre-emptively seeking to shift the blame for any future confrontation by making South Korea appear intransigent. “It wants the world to believe that the South is avoiding dialogue while the North is seeking to improve relations,” Mr Kim said. President Park says she is willing to hold a summit with Kim Jong-Un under the right conditions, but insists that a substantive dialogue can only begin when North Korea shows a tangible commitment to abandoning its nuclear weapons program. The NDC letter underlined the North’s desire for denuclearisation, but argued that the real obstacle was South Korea. “Before finding fault with the precious nuclear force for self-defence to which (North Korea) has access, they should make a bold decision to stop their dangerous acts of introducing outsiders’ nukes,” it said, referring again to the military exercises. Under its defence agreement with Washington, South Korea is protected by the US nuclear umbrella and the United States would assume overall operational command of joint US and South Korean forces if a full-scale conflict with the North broke out. President Park has ordered the South Korean military to maintain an “airtight” defence posture in expectation of a possible act of aggression from the North. – AFP

NOTICE is hereby given that Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Development Corporation a company organized under the laws of Republic of Korea and having its principal office at 1717-35, Namjo-ro, Jocheon-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, Republic of Korea is the owner and sole proprietor of the following trademarks:-

(Reg: No. IV/13642/2013)

(Reg: No. IV/13643/2013) The above two trademarks are in respect of :- “Aerated water; Preparations for making aerated water; Milk of Almonds [beverage]; Non-alcoholic aperitifs; Beer; Beer wort; Non-alcoholic beverages; Preparations for making beverages; Non-alcoholic cider; Non-alcoholic cocktails; Pastilles for effervescing beverage; Powders for effervescing beverage; Essences for making beverage; Non-alcoholic fruit extracts; Non-alcoholic fruit juice beverages; Fruit juices; Non-alcoholic fruit necta; Ginger ale; Ginger beer; Unfermented Grape must; Nonalcoholic Honey-based beverages; Extracts of hops for making beer; Isotonic beverages; Kvass [non-alcoholic beverages]; Lemonades; Preparations for making liqueurs; Lithia water; Malt beer; Malt wort; Peanut milk [soft drink]; Milk of almonds [beverage]; Preparations for making mineral water; Mineral water [beverage]; Must; Orgeat; Sarsaparilla [soft drink]; Seltzer water; Sherbets [beverages]; Soda water; Orange juice beverage; Mandarin Orange juices; Syrups for beverages; Syrups for lemonade; Table waters; Tomato juice [beverages]; Vegetable juices [beverages]; Waters [beverages]; Whey beverages” Class: 32 “Retail and wholesale store services in the field of waters [beverage]; Retail and wholesale store services in the field of beverages; Retail and wholesale store services in the field of citrus fruit juices [beverages]; Sales promotion for others in the field of selling and purchasing waters [beverages]; Sales promotion for others in the field of selling and purchasing waters [beverages] by Internet; Sales promotion for others in the field of selling and purchasing beverages; Sales promotion for others in the field of selling and purchasing beer; Sales promotion for others in the field of selling and purchasing mineral water; Sales promotion for others in the field of selling and purchasing extracts of citrus fruit; Sales promotion for others in the field of selling and purchasing cooked foods; Import and export agency; Sales arranging of waters [beverages]; Sales arranging of beverages; Sales promotion for others in the field of selling and purchasing cooked foods; Demonstration of goods; Business management of hotels; Advertising agencies” Class: 35 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 Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Development Corporation P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416 Dated: 27th January, 2014


Self-styled Polynesian ‘king’ convicted for issuing fake money
A SELF-STYLED “king” who claims to rule over an unrecognised “republic” in French Polynesia was convicted by a Tahiti court on January 22 for issuing fake money. Athanase Teiri, a 59-year-old retired civil servant who describes himself as “Tanginui Hoe” (Tanguini the 1st), monarch of the fictitious “Pakumotu Republic”, was not in the courtroom in Papeete to hear the verdict or the sixmonth sentence handed down to him. But several of his “ministers” attended in the public gallery. Mr Teiri was convicted after one of his daughters printed off “Patus” – bits of paper meant to be the currency of Pakumotu. When some of Teiri’s “subjects” tried to use them as payment in shops, he ran afoul of French laws governing money and its use. Through his spokesman, he rejected the jurisdiction of the court. “Since June 2, 2010, the king has declared this country to be independent. France no longer has authority. A state cannot judge another state,” the spokesman said. Mr Teiri’s supporters affirmed they would continue to print their own money. That could cause some confusion in French Polynesia, where new banknotes – legal tender – were introduced this week. Authorities on the archipelago, which is a dependent territory of France, have become increasingly irritated with the “Pakumotu Republic” and its followers, especially after they tried to occupy public land. But Mr Teiri has brazenly forged on, even issuing so-called “arrest warrants” against various officials. The “republic”’s would be “defence minister” told AFP that the Pakumotu followers want to act freely on “their territory.” – AFP


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Maldives rejects military pact with US
THE Maldives has decided not to take part in a proposed military cooperation pact with the United States over fears that it could upset the regional power India, senior officials said on January 22. Speaking on a visit to Sri Lanka, the atoll nation’s new President Abdulla Yameen said he did not want to proceed with the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that would have given the US a foothold in his archipelago located across the main east-west sea route. “There have been discussions before ... we are not going to pursue it,” he told reporters in Colombo during his second overseas visit since winning elections two months ago. The US had confirmed early last year discussions on the accord, but had said it had no intention of setting up any bases in the Maldives. Although the president gave no reason for the decision, Mohamed Shareef, a minister in Mr Yameen’s office, said it had been made over fears that the pact would upset its neighbours, including India. “We have told them that we can’t do it because both India and Sri Lanka are also not happy with it,” said Mr Shareef, without giving further details. Mr Shareef said the proposed SOFA would have given the US military access to two atolls in the nation of 1192 tiny coral islands scattered some 800 kilometres (500 miles) across the equator. He noted that the US military already had a considerable presence in Diego Garcia, a British territory, about 700 kilometres (437 miles) south of the Maldivian archipelago. India is the regional super power and is highly sensitive to outside presence in the Indian Ocean area. It has also been recently involved in a diplomatic bust-up with the US over the treatment of one of its diplomats in New York. Mr Yameen’s first foreign visit after his election was to New Delhi. On his visit to Colombo, the president also said he was keen to resolve an ongoing commercial dispute with an Indian infrastructure company, GMR, which was kicked out of managing the Male airport in December 2012. “We want to discuss with GMR and settle the issue outside arbitration,” Mr Yameen said referring to an ongoing case in Singapore where GMR is demanding millions of dollars in compensation after being evicted from the $500-million investment. Mr Yameen said he was also keen to expand the current airport to cater to increasing tourist traffic to the country which is an upmarket destination for well-healed holiday makers and honeymooners. The country of 330,000 Sunni Muslims attracted some 1.2 million tourists last year, officials said. – AFP

Stopping boats about sovereignty: Australia
PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has declared Australia will pursue the crackdown on boats carrying asylum-seekers into its waters, saying Indonesia should understand it is a matter of sovereignty. Jakarta has reacted furiously to repeated incursions by Australian vessels into Indonesian waters, reportedly while attempting to turn back boats carrying would-be refugees, despite an official apology from Canberra. Speaking from Switzerland on January 21, Abbott said the relationship with Indonesia was, broadly speaking, his country’s most important single one and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was “a very good friend of Australia”. “All of that said, for us, stopping the boats is a matter of sovereignty and President Yudhoyono of all people ought to understand, does understand, just how seriously countries take their sovereignty,” he told reporters in Davos. “So we will continue to do what we are entitled to do to secure our borders.” After winning elections in September, Abbott’s conservative government launched Operation Sovereign Borders which aims to stop people-smugglers, who often operate out ofIndonesia, from suggested the warships might have known they strayed into foreign waters, a suggestion backed Wednesday by a retired Indonesian general. “I studied in Australia -- in the military academy. The Australian navy doesn’t have wooden boats, they have warships equipped with modern technology,” Tubagus Hasanuddin told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “They should have known which part of the water isIndonesia and which is not.” The Australian navy has also been accused of mistreating asylum-seekers onboard a vessel which was pushed back toIndonesia, with the ABC saying they claimed to have been beaten and burnt. The government has denied the claims, but the ABC reported that Indonesian police had said 10 asylum-seekers required medical treatment, including seven who had burns on their hands from holding onto a hot pipe on their ship’s engine. The incursions have come as ties between the nations have been strained by a spying row triggered by reports that Australian spies tried to tap the phones of Yudhoyono, his wife and several top officials in 2009. – AFP

Marty Natalegawa, minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, speaks during peace talks of the so-called Geneva II conference in Montreux on January 22. Photo: AFP

bringing asylum-seekers to Australia by sea. Arrival numbers have since dropped dramatically, but the policy which includes turning back boats when it is safe to do so has been received coolly by Jakarta and criticised by refugee advocates. Australia says the incursions were inadvertent but reports have

Gold Pens (Thailand) Co., Ltd., a company incorporated in Thailand and having its registered office at 59/2 Moo 1 Pinklao – Nakhornchaisri Rd., Nakhornchaisri, Nakhornpathom 73120, Thailand is the owner and proprietor of the following Trademark:

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Reg. No. 4/9928/2013: Reg. Date 10 September 2013 In respect of “Black pencils; Colored pencils; refill pencil leads; wax crayons; watercolors; ball pens; oil pastel; poster colours; colouring pens” in Class 16. Fraudulent or unauthorised use or actual or colourable imitation of the Mark shall be dealt with according to law. U Than Maung, Advocate For Gold Pens (Thailand) Co., Ltd., C/o Kelvin Chia Yangon Ltd., #1505, 15th Floor Sakura Tower, Yangon, The Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Dated 27 January 2014 utm@kcyangon.com

NOTICE is hereby given that Double Eagle Brands N.V. of Kaya W.F.G. Mensing 32, WILLEMSTAD, CURACAO, Netherlands Antilles is the Owner and Sole Proprietor of the following trademark:-

Cambodian people pray during the 10th anniversary of the death of labour leader Chea Vichea, in Phnom Penh on January 22. Photo: AFP

(Reg: No. IV/2492/2010) in respect of goods in Class 33: “Alcoholic beverages (except beers).” Any fraudulent imitation or unauthorized use of the said trademark will be dealt with according to law. U THAN WIN, B.Com, B.L. for Double Eagle Brands N.V. By its Attorneys Ageless P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416

Cambodian unionists mark leader’s murder
CAMBODIAN trade unionists on January 22 marked the 10th anniversary of the death of a prominent labour leader, defying a government ban on rallies following a deadly crackdown on garment workers earlier this month. Chea Vichea, a vocal critic of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government, was gunned down in 2004 in broad daylight at a newsstand in the capital Phnom Penh – a killing decried by activists as an attempt to silence his union. Campaigners say his murder is a symbol of the kingdom’s culture of impunity for powerful interest groups determined to muzzle dissent. More than 100 unionists and workers marched, many holding lotus flowers, to a park where a statue of Chea Vichea stands just metres away from the spot where he was killed. Despite the government ban, the march was not disturbed by authorities. “We want to send a message finally to the Cambodian government to stop spilling the blood of the people, including unionists,” Chea Mony, the victim’s brother and president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia(FTU), said after a brief ceremony. He also called on authorities to bring Chea Vichea’s killers to justice. Chea Vichea founded the FTU along with opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who joined last week’s march. “Now Cambodian soil is stained with blood of workers, those who protect workers and unionists,” Mr Rainsy said. “It is cruel and totally unjust.” Earlier this month police opened fire on striking garment factory employees demanding a minimum wage of US$160 a month for their work in an industry which supplies brands including Gap, Nike and H&M, killing at least four civilians. Union members are planning a large demonstration on Sunday to demand the release of 23 people arrested during the crackdown. On January 21, police broke up a rally in the capital and briefly detained 11 activists who were calling for international assistance to secure the release of protesters. Hun Sen faces mounting criticism by rights groups of his government’s suppression of street protests seeking to challenge his nearly three-decade rule following alleged vote-rigging in elections last July. – AFP

Dated: 27th January, 2014

Pokka Sapporo Food & Beverage Ltd., a Japanese corporation, of 2-29, Sakae 4-chome, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Japan, is the Owner of the following Trade Mark:-

Reg. No. 1500/2000 in respect of “Coffee, tea, fruit drink, aerated waters and other non-alcoholic drinks”. 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 Pokka Sapporo Food & Beverage Ltd. P. O. Box 60, Yangon E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm Dated: 27 January 2014


Endangered Indian snow leopards to be tracked by GPS
SIX snow leopards in the icy Indian state of Himachal Pradesh will be fitted with satellite-linked collars in a project aimed at deepening understanding of the endangered mountain cat, wildlife officials said last week. The US$40,450 project will help the state wildlife department study the movement of the snow leopards in the Himalayas where climate change and human settlements are affecting their habitat. “Half a dozen snow leopards will be tagged by GPS collars and the behaviour of these elusive cats will be observed,” said Vivek Mohan, a senior state wildlife department official. The Indian northern belt is home to as many as 700 of the world’s 7000 snow leopards, whose natural mountain habitat is fast depleting, according to the conservationist group WWF. Snow leopards are found across 12 central and South Asian countries, including India, China and Pakistan. As a result, the wild cats are often left without prey, poached by hunters for their luxuriant spotted coats and killed by livestock owners who see the leopards as a threat to their animals. Snow leopard bones and body parts are prized by smugglers who sell them

Merck KGaA, (a Corporation with general partners), of Darmstadt, Germany, is the Owner of the following Trade Mark:-

Reg. No. 13865/2013 in respect of “Class 05: Pharmaceutical products; dietetic products for children and invalids, dietetic additives; fish oils and derivatives thereof for use as dietary supplements and for pharmaceutical and medical purposes. Class 29: Edible oils and fats; food preparations containing oils and fats”. 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 Merck KGaA P. O. Box 60, Yangon. Email: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm Dated: 27 January 2014


Snow leopard, Nita, prowls at the Conservation Breeding Centre in the Himalayan Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park in Darjeeling. Photo: AFP

for use in traditional Chinese medicine. A research centre will also be set up by the state near the Tibet-bordering Spiti Valley – considered an important habitat for the mountain cats. It is estimated that there are less than 30 snow leopards left in Himachal Pradesh. The WWF launched a fund-raising campaign earlier this month to build awareness through online media and

improve conservation projects like camera traps and predator-safe pens for livestock. In rare sightings, two snow leopards were caught on cameras late last year in northern Uttarakhand state, springing hope in wildlife conservationists. Wildlife experts in Nepal have been tracking a rare snow leopard since last December using a similar collar with a GPS tracking system. – AFP

The Siam Cement Public Company Limited, a company incorporated in Thailand, of 1 Siam Cement Road, Bangsue Subdistrict, Bangsue District, Bangkok, Thailand, is the Owner of the following Trade Mark:-

40 World International


Reg. No. 12016/2013 in respect of “Class 35: Managing sale business in retail store, Distribute building material products”. 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 The Siam Cement Public Company Limited P. O. Box 60, Yangon E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm Dated: 27 January 2014

NOTICE is hereby given that Japan Tobacco Inc. a company organized under the laws of Japan and having its principal office at 2-2-1 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan is the owner and sole proprietor of the following trademark:-

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon observes a display of Auschwitz concentration camp victim’s shoes. Photo:UN/Pool

(Reg: No. IV/13639/2013) in respect of :- “Tobacco, whether manufactured or unmanufactured; smoking tobacco, pipe tobacco, hand rolling tobacco, chewing tobacco, snus tobacco; cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos; substances for smoking sold separately or blended with tobacco, none being for medicinal or curative purposes; snuff; smokers’ articles included in Class 34; cigarette papers, cigarette tubes and matches.” Class: 34 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 Japan Tobacco Inc P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416 Dated: 27th January, 2014

Looking back, looking forward on Auschwitz
Ban Ki-moon Secretary General United Nations This year’s observance of the International Remembrance Day on January 27th – the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp – falls at a time when there are reminders all around us of the dangers of forgetting. This year marks two decades since the genocide in Rwanda. Conflicts in Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic have taken on dangerous communal dimensions. Bigotry still courses through our societies and our politics. The world can and must do more to eliminate the poison that led to the camps. I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau last November. A chill wind was blowing that day; the ground was rocky underfoot. But I had an overcoat and sturdy shoes; my thoughts went to those who had had neither: the Jews and other prisoners who once populated the camp. I thought of those captives standing naked for hours in icy weather, torn from their families and shorn of their hair as they were readied for the gas chambers. I thought of those who were kept alive only to be worked to death. Above all, I reflected on how unfathomable the Holocaust remains even today. The cruelty was so profound; the scale so large; the Nazi worldview so warped and extreme; the killing so organized and calculated nature. The barracks at Birkenau seemed to stretch to the horizon in every direction – a vast factory of death. The “Book of Names” identifying millions of Jewish victims filled a room yet contained just a fraction of the toll, which also encompassed Poles, Roma, Sinti, Soviet prisoners of war, dissidents, homosexuals, people with disabilities and others. I was especially moved by a video showing European Jewish life in the 1930s – scenes of family meals and visits to the beach, musical and theatre performances, weddings and other rituals, all savagely extinguished through systematic murder unique in human history. Marian Turski, a Polish Jew who survived Auschwitz and is today the Vice-President of the International Auschwitz Committee, walked me through the infamous “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate – this time in freedom. Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, a survivor of Buchenwald and now the Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, stood with me on the ramp where the transport trains unloaded their human cargo, and recounted the traumatic moment when the swift flick of an SS commander’s index finger meant the difference between life and death. I grieve for those who died in the camps, and I am awed by those who lived – who bear sorrowful memories yet have shown the strength of the human spirit. I was also accompanied by students from the International Youth Meeting Centre in Oswiecim, who work to build bridges among people and nations. L’dor v’dor, Marian Turski said to me - Hebrew for “from generation to generation”, the passing on of wisdom. It is for this reason that Auschwitz-Birkenau is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. We cannot build the future without remembering the past; what happened once can recur. Combatting hatred is among the cardinal missions of The United Nations. Our human rights mechanisms work to protect people. Our special courts and tribunals strive to combat impunity, deliver justice and deter violations. UN special advisers on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect scan the world for the precursors of atrocity crimes. The Alliance of Civilizations initiative seeks to counter manifestations of hatred, from anti-Semitism and Islamophobia to ultra-nationalism and bias against minorities. Our new “Rights Up Front” effort seeks to strengthen early action to prevent grave abuses of human rights. For almost a decade, the “United Nations and the Holocaust Outreach Programme” has been working with teachers and students on all continents to to promote tolerance and universal values. The programme’s newest educational package, produced in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, will help to introduce Holocaust studies into classrooms in countries ranging from Brazil and Nigeria to Russia and Japan. At this year’s remembrance ceremony at UN Headquarters, the featured speaker will be Steven Spielberg, whose Shoah Institute for Visual History and Education was a landmark in preserving survivor testimony. A few steps from the crematorium at Auschwitz, I took a moment to myself for reflection. I touched a barbed wire fence – no longer electrified but still sharp and intimidating. I felt overwhelmed by the enormity of what had happened within, and humbled by the courage and sacrifice of the soldiers and leaders of many nations who defeated the Nazi menace. My hope is that our generation, and those to come, will summon that same sense of collective purpose to prevent such horror from happening again anywhere, to anyone or any group, and build a world of equality for all.

NOTICE is hereby given that Aspen Global Incorporated a company organized under the laws of Mauritius and having its principal office at C/o Kross Border Trust Services Limited, ST Louis Business Centre, Cnr Desroches & St Louis Streets, Port Louis, Mauritius is the owner and sole proprietor of the following trademark:-

(Reg: No. IV/11136/2013) in respect of:- “Pharmaceutical, veterinary and sanitary preparations; dietetic substances adapted for medical use, food for babies; plasters, materials for dressings; material for stopping teeth, dental wax, disinfectants; preparations for destroying vermin; fungicides, herbicides.”

(Reg: No. IV/11137/2013) in respect of:- “Over the counter medicines.” 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 Aspen Global Incorporated P.O. Box No. 26, Yangon. Phone: 372416

Dated: 27th January, 2014

Ban Ki-moon walks along the execution railway at Birkenau. Photo: UN/Pool


International World 41

EU warns Israel, Palestinians of ‘price to pay’ if talks fail
This picture taken on May 22, 2013 shows Muslim religious leaders from across the globe walk through the gate that reads “Work sets you free” (Arbeit macht frei) at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. Photo: AFP

Arabic, Farsi online Holocaust site opens
THE Auschwitz museum at the site of the former Nazi German death camp in southern Poland said last week it had launched online Holocaust awareness programs in Arabic and Farsi. “We want to address groups of people who often have little knowledge of this subject or who even advocate revisionist views,” museum spokesperson Pawel Sawicki told AFP. He said the online program was particularly needed as “few people from Arab countries visit” the museum located on the grounds of the World War II-era Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. After taking over Poland in 1939, Nazi Germany set up the infamous camp in a former Polish army barracks in the city of Oswiecim, or Auschwitz in German. It has become an enduring symbol of the Nazis’ genocide against European Jews. One million were killed there from 1940 to 1945. More than 100,000 others including non-Jewish Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war and anti-Nazi partisans also died at the camp. The Auschwitz museum has offered Holocaust education online in Polish and English since 2010. In addition to the programmes in Arabic and Iranian language Farsi, the museum also launched the same online service in Spanish and Portuguese last week. – AFP

A TOP European Union official warned on January 22 that both Israel and the Palestinians would have a “price to pay” if US-led peace talks collapse. Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, the EU’s ambassador to Israel, also rebuffed charges by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Europe was showing a pro-Palestinian bias. And he warned that persistent Israeli construction on land seized during the 1967 Six Day War was fuelling private European moves to boycott products and services linked to the settlements. “It is obvious, and we have made it clear to the parties, that there will be a price to pay if these negotiations falter,” he said. US Secretary of State John Kerry coaxed the two sides back to the negotiating table in July with the aim of securing an agreement within nine months. But the talks have shown very little visible progress, overshadowed by disagreements on security and a flurry of settlement announcements. Since January 1, Israel has pushed ahead with plans for another 2,791 new settler homes in the West Bank, including annexed east Jerusalem, sparking a wave of international condemnation. By continuing to build up the settlements at the expense of a peace agree-

ment, Israel was likely to find itself more and more shunned by the European public, the envoy warned. “If Israel were to go down the road of continued settlement expansion and were there not to be any result of the current talks, I’m afraid that what will transpire is a situation in which Israel will find itself increasingly isolated,” he said. “Not necessarily because of any decisions taken at a governmental level but because of decisions taken by a myriad of private, economic actors, be it companies, pension funds or consumers, who will be choosing other products on the supermarket shelves.” Mr Faaborg-Andersen said moves within Europe to require separate labelling for goods manufactured in the settlements were gathering pace every time Israel announced a new round of construction. “I think it is gaining momentum every time there is a settlement announcement here, and that’s one of the reasons why these are very counterproductive, both for the negotiations but also because they don’t play in a good way with the public and also the political class in Europe.” So far, such initiatives are in place in Britain and Denmark, and Sweden, Finland and the Benelux countries are looking into it, he said. – AFP








SEA Games boxing gold medalist Ma Nwe Ni Oo’s gentle nature belies her wisdom and true grit


Ma Nwe Ni

Float like a butte


HAD never ever been happy like that before in my life,” the young woman said in tears to the TV announcer after winning gold in the boxing finals of the 27th Southeast Asian Games, held in Myanmar in December. The last time the country hosted the games was 44 years ago, the largest time interval any of the participating countries has endured. It was also the first time in 50 years that Myanmar won a gold medal in boxing. The moment was overwhelming. Her name is Ma Nwe Ni Oo. She has a round face and her fresh eyes give away her young age, just 20 years. On the TV screen during the games she appeared a rough and tough tomboy, much like her competitors. Off it, her gentle femininity surprises. She speaks softly, and to the interview she wore a delicate blouse with tight blue jeans. Yet as she tells the story of how she came to the SEA Games podium, it’s clear that years of hardship, training and a remarkable ability to control her mind have brought her to where she is.

In Myanmar, many children drop out of middle school each year as part of the effects of the country’s underdeveloped politics and economy. She was one of them, but it took nothing from her drive to achieve her goals once a life-changing love of boxing entered her life. The oldest daughter in her family, she has five brothers and sisters. She was born in Phyuu, a town in Taungoo district, Bago region, with a population just over 40,000. She was only in fifth grade when she left school to help support her family. Her father, Aung Thet Oo, earned a modest income as a kitchen helper at a local tea shop. “Our family is so large that my parents couldn’t support our education,” she said. She quit school to work at the tea shop, too, as a cleaner. She was 10 years old. It was also through her father that she became introduced to boxing. He is an amateur boxing player who always played in local sports competitions and funfairs in the township. Ma Nwe Ni Oo decided she wanted to be a boxer when she watched her father compete. “I admire my father, but my parents and all of my family asked me not to play, since I’m a girl,” she said. “They think it’s not a suitable game for a woman, since girls in Myanmar culture should stay in the home and not fight.” She thought she might never have the chance to play – until an incident

convinced her parents to allow her to try. One of her friends, who had been taking free boxing lessons in the town, hit her in the lip, causing it to bleed. “I was so angry, I went and attended the free boxing training although all of my family tried to stop me from seeking revenge on her. I’m crazy when I box. I always wanted to do it,” she said, laughing at how she got her start in the sport. After that, she started training regularly at the local boxing class, run by old boxers from the town. She learned the rules of the game and how to move her feet from U Thant Zin Oo, an amateur from Phyuu, who remains one of her coaches to this day. She studied whenever she had free time from work, she said. The training room wasn’t a gym but just an open field, where sandbags had been strung up in the trees for punching bags. She started learning in 2009 and her first experience in a competition was during local Independence Day celebrations. She had about 20 days to train for it, but she won and went home with K4000 (about US$5) as a prize. From the township competitions she graduated to regional fights. There are 14 regions in Myanmar from which national competitors may be drawn. In 2010, after a regional competition, the Myanmar Boxing Federation Sport Training Clubs & Association selected her to train for the 2013 SEA Games.

The selection came as a surprise. “I did not expect to compete, because there were six girls they could choose from and they would select only four to compete,” she said. Ma Nwe Ni Oo said that life had been difficult up to the point when the Myanmar Boxing Federation selected her. The owner of the tea shop fired her and her father because they were absent from work too many times. They always skipped out when there was a boxing competition in Phyuu, she said.

Together her family lived in a wood house. Ma Nwe Ni Oo’s bedroom was also the living room. Her mother plucked mangoes and tamarinds from the trees in front of their housing compound and sold them in the local marketplace to support the whole family. Ma Nwe Ni Oo sometimes contributed money that she won at boxing competitions, but it was never enough to support her family. “We faced hard times when my father and I had no job. But I never

“My family asked me not to play. In Myanmar culture, a girl should stay in the home and not fight.”
Ma Nwe Ni Oo


the pulse 43

Beauty contest benefits HIV patients, asserts LGBT rights
NYEiN Ei Ei HTWE nyeineieihtwe23@gmail.com THE hall sparkled with Western-style decorations, matching the smartly dressed guests who also wore glittering smiles. This was the Miss Beauty Concert 2014, a benefit for HIV-affected people held at Oriental House Restaurant in Mandalay on January 17. In attendence were make-up artists, designers, doctors and local LGBT rights leaders. Though it was not the first time the concert was held in Mandalay, a buzz surrounded the event since it followed on a year of numerous infamous and violent incidents wherein gay people were arrested and harassed by local police. Aung Myo Min, director of the rights organization Equality Myanmar, said that holding the concerts for gays can help lessen the discrimination of the LGBT community, but that activists needed to think about protection and fairness for gays in all parts of the country. “The more such concerts are hosted, the more people will see LGBT people and have a chance to accept their identity. But we can’t focus hold events that focus on one group. We have to think for all gays,” Aung Myo Min said. In 2013, Mandalay was the worst city in Myanmar for discrimination of gays. Still, the concert wasn’t meant to challenge the government, he continued. “We just want to show the ability of our gay people, but without challenging the law. We want gays to be recognized and gays want also to work for the benefit of the peole. A focus only on their beauty is not enough,” Aung Myo Min said. Participants in the concert said they support gay right, and they want to be valued by other people. They also stressed that they need dignity in their daily lives. Eaint Lay, representative for LGBT Rights of Myanmar in ASEAN from 2010 to 2012 and a winner of many gay beauty pageants, also said such events contributed to a positive image of the community. “These events don’t show just the beauty of gays but also that they can stand in front of people like other men and women. The concerts are also tests of general knowledge and their skills as members of society,” said Eaint Lay, who won the crowns of Best Activist, Miss Popular and Miss Human Rights in 2013 pageants in Mandalay. He said also said that all gays need to work together. “As our town faced more cases of discrimination and more rights events have been held, more gays are coming out to support.” Though Eaint Lay asked the attendees of the event to stay peaceful, noisy crowds threatened to turn the scene ugly. In the end, though, the wellprepared costumes of each contestant made for an attractive and interesting event. Famous fashion designer Ko Myo Min Soe praised the event as a sign of progress. “Some people are still concerned about gay arrests in Mandalay, but we can say it is more open for gays now by seeing that such concerts are permitted. There should be more events that involve gays from all fields – make-up artists, designers, and nat (spirit players),” Ko Myo Min Soe said. Soe, a former Miss of 2013’s Red Ribbon Contest said events like this can build unity and confidence among the gay community, but they’ll never see success if other organizations don’t help them. “Mandalay is a district comparable to Yangon, but now gays here, through the help of the media, are seen more as a normal part of society, and they can ask for their rights. But if there is no standard, no regulations, we can’t think of doing this,” Soe said. Mummy King provided the flowers for the ceremonies and organized the Miss Beauty Concert 2014 to help HIV patients in Mandalay. In total, the event gathered K2 million. “I hope this concert is not just for beauty but brings for a discussion of health and prevention,” Mummy King said. Contestant Myat Moe Theint won the Miss title, and Ju Juu San and Nang Htet Htet Moon were runners up. The prizes were K3, K2 and K1 lakh and round-trip air tickets to Bangkok.

i Oo displays the gold medal she won in boxing at the 2013 SEA Games. Photo: Boo Thee

thought of giving up boxing,” she said. “I couldn’t eat for a whole day when my parents asked me not to play.” Her father sympathized with her passion. He loves boxing, he said, but he can’t play professionally because he’s had no time to study, since his focus has been on being the breadwinner for his family. “At first, I worried she would get injured,” Aung Thet Oo said. “But when I saw how eager she was to play, I had to let her try. I believed she would be good.” In preparation for the SEA Games, she practiced for about seven hours each day and four hours when the weather was hot. As the date of the games approached, her weight was 55 kilos. The boxing federation had prepared her to compete in the 54 kilo category. So, she ran around Thuwana Field in the early mornings in a final attempt to reduce her weight. It wasn’t down, though, so she had to compete in the featherweight category. The competition put her up against fighters from the Philippines and Indonesia, and she competed with Filipino boxer Nesthey Petecio in the final round. She’d never taken so many injuries than in that fight, Ma Nwe Ni Oo said. “I was so excited. It was the first time I’d ever competed with a foreigner. In the match, my hands were just shaking looking at the audiences who were there to cheer me on.” It was the hardest fight of her life. On TV, the audience could see Petecio taunt and tease her in the ring. But she stayed in control and fought well. So she was disappointed after the medals had been awarded to hear that rumours were saying she’d won the gold medal only because Myanmar was hosting the games. “Actually I don’t think that’s true,” she said. “I think the people who said that don’t understand the game rules. Yes, I was hit many times in the final match. My eyes and cheek bones got injured. Most of my punches were jabs. Most of her punches were crosses. It’s a point competition. And winning depends on points.” But she knew she couldn’t do anything about the naysaying and has accepted it as part of winning. The gold medal also came with a K40 million (US$40,000) cash prize. She went home to Phyuu and gifted all the money to her family. They don’t know yet how they will spend it. “Winning that money changed my life. I’m so happy because I can support my family well and not worry,” she said. In the months ahead she will start training for the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore. For now, though, she’s back in Yangon. Ma Nwe Ni Oo is taking a well-deserved rest, living life like a 20-year-old girl.

Contestants in the Miss Beauty Concert in Mandalay, on January 17. Photo: Si Thu Lwin

44 the pulse
What’s On!
ART January 25-February 2 10am-6pm “Last Compositions” artwork of Melissa Finkenbiner, Pansodan Scene, 2nd floor, 144 Pansodan Street, Yangon January 25-27 9am-6pm “7 Tastes” Gallery 65, 65 Yaw Min Gyi Street, Yangon January 20-February 28 19th-century rare photography of Myanmar, Yangon Heritage Trust, first floor, 22-24 Pansodan Street, Yangon January 27-February 4 “Dream 54” 13th anniversary show, Mandalay Hill Art Gallery, Mandalay FILM Nay Pyi Taw Cinema Lone Survivor 2D. Based on a true story, four Navy SEALs are ambushed by al-Qaeda operatives in the mountains of Afghanistan, isolated from help and forced to fight their way out. Directed by Peter Berg Rinsch. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch and Emile Hirsch. Top Royal Cinema Lone Survivor 2D Mingalar 2 Cinema The Legend of Hercules 3D.


A lifetime of puppet theatre
Author and performer Ye Dway seeks to inspire a new generation of marionette audiences
Painting by Hla Htun Aung, on show at Gallery 65. Photo: AFP

Shae Shaung Cinema The Legend of Hercules 3D Junction square Cineplex Police Story. Tarzan. MUSIC January 31 7pm PBD Hood 9th Anniversary Show, Flamingo Bar, Yangon International Hotel THEATRE February 1-2 6:30pm “Two From Galilee”, National Theatre. Directed by Richard Montez (US). Performed in Burmese by Chin amateur actors. Tickets K5000-K10,000 at Man Thiri music studio. Proceeds go to refugees at Hote Laing High School, Chin state.

BOOKS January 27 & 28 Book fair, Myanmar Event Park Hotel, Shin Saw Pu Road. Organized by Reader Channel MRTV-4. MISC January 29 7-9pm Chinese New Year gala dinner, Chatrium Hotel, Yangon January 29 9-11:30pm Black Party mixed gay event, Flamingo Bar, Yangon International Hotel January 29 7-10:30pm Pub quiz and trivia night, Cuba, 66 Yae Kyaw Street, Yangon

NANDAr AuNG nandaraung.mcm@gmail.com WHEN Myanmar marionette artists want to express praise for a performance, they will say that their fellow player was “possessed by the Lamaing spirit”. The Lamaing is the patron of the theatre in Buddhism, the spirit who could fill an artist with inspiration. This is one of the fascinating facts found in Marionettes of Myanmar (Sarpay Beikman, K6000), a history by Ye Dway, an art writer and one of the finest puppet performers in the nation, who is on a mission to save the art from extinction. The book was awarded First Prize in 2011 by the Sarpay Beikman Institute of Literature, and the author is one of dozens of writers set to attend the Irrawaddy Literary

Festival next month in Mandalay. Several books have been written about Myanmar puppetry and drama in the Burmese language. There are also three famous English-language books: Burmese Puppets, by Noel F. Singer; The Illusion of Life: Burmese Marionettes, by Ma Thanegi; and Burmese Puppetry, by Axel Burns. The thesis of this of this 78-yearold puppeteer with a pair of thick reading glasses, however, is somewhat different. He’s drawn attention to the unique aspects of Myanmar puppetry compared with Indian and Thai traditions. “The movement of Myanmar marionettes is different. They move in circles, whereas other theatres move in perpendicular fashion. Most of the people think that Myanmar marionettes imitate Indian and Thai practices. I’ve tried to describe the difference,” said Ye Dway. In the beginning, puppets had a religious purpose before they became used for entertainment, and it is generally believed they originated in China and India in the Orient and Greece and Italy in the West. But in Myanmar, according to Ye Dway, string puppets were born during the Konbaung dynasty, in the era of King Hsinbhyushin (1763-1776). From then on, improv theatre grew in popularity. It wasn’t until the 1920s that the theatre started to decline, partly because of the arrival of foreign cinema as an alternative entertainment. When he was 27, in 1963, Ye Dway learned the art of puppet manipulation from an old puppeteer, Aung Twin, at Tharyarwady. Two years later he attended a three-month modern puppetry training course in Myanmar conducted by two female puppeteers from Czechoslovakia, Eva Boctic Kova and Jana Havlikova. With that training, Ye Dway formed a puppet troupe called Dagon Aung, founded with K1 million and at least 35 players. Between 1965 and 1947, they performed in Upper Myanmar to great acclaim. Today it’s more difficult to form such a troupe, he said. The theatre is expensive to put on, and groups tend to fall apart when the going gets tough. “Now the Myanmar puppet performance situation is almost lost,” he said. “Young people aren’t interested in manipulating puppets and they don’t get to see performances.” The market for the puppet dolls, however, is still good in Yangon and Mandalay. The puppets are collected for dollhouse displays rather than for the stage. The book is full of high-quality illustrations of puppets, costumes and performances. In addition it includes instructions on how to make puppets and costumes and how to build a troupe. Ye Dway documents in detail the four different types of puppet: shadow, glove, rod and string. All can be found across Southeast Asia, but it was only the string puppet that developed in Myanmar to the point of becoming a well-known symbol of cultural heritage. Marionettes of Myanmar is a precious book. Especially for someone who would write their thesis on the subject, or amateur historians, it’s not to be missed.

46 the pulse


Trials of a blonde in SEA
A Scottish woman’s misadventure through hair salons from Bangkok to Yangon
FioNA MAcGrEGor “DAMAGED,” declared the Yangon salon manager dismissively as she prodded the giant, knotted dreadlock her employee had just created from my once lustrous(ish) locks. It took all my restraint not to retort, “Well if it wasn’t before, it is now!” I’d gone in for a relaxing wash and head massage, but yet another visit to a hairdresser in South East Asia had turned out to be a feat of hope over traumatic coiffure experience. And I am not alone in such misfortune. Google “decent hairdresser, expat” and the name of a South East Asian city of your choosing and a litany of salon horror stories will appear – from hideous colour disasters to bleach-induced baldness. An Australian friend living in Vietnam once swore to me that local hairdressers do it on purpose. While many of us mousey Westerners envy our Asian stylists’ glossy jet tresses, she claimed, they in turn are jealous of our fair hair and do terrible things to us out of covetousness. At the time I found it an outrageous accusation. I have never met with anything other than positive intent from those to whom I’ve entrusted my (formerly) crowning glory. It’s just it has always gone wrong. Always. I have grown to understand, if not share, my friend’s paranoia. Of course it could all be avoided if didn’t succumb to vanity and the common delusion that “life would be so much better if only I had nicer hair”. But, as with many costly chemical dependencies, highlights are an easy habit to fall into. Which is why, I presume, Yangonexpat.com regularly features desperate pleas from women seeking the services of a reliable hairdresser to provide their fix of blonde. Doubtless these other expats also started off with a hopeful, let’s-trysomething-a-bit-different attitude to colour experimentation –probably after a particularly traumatic breakup. But it’s a quick and disgraceful descent. Before you know it, you’ve got an addiction that, if given-up, would require a year-long stint in re-growth rehab before you felt confident enough to go out in public. Once you dabble in the light side, it’s hard to go back. My own battle with being blonde in Asia began in Bangkok and an illadvised trip to a salon down a back alley of Khao San Road. A couple hours later, I walked into the street filled with drunken crowds with hair a colour that in nature is only ever found on Scandinavian toddlers and a certain rare and much-sought-after breed of Alpaca. There were warning signs. The hairdresser was using peroxide at a strength that elsewhere would have legally required a poison symbol on the bottle: I watched my colour drain away in seconds, fairly sure I could hear the fizz and sizzle of a highschool chemistry experiment gone horribly wrong. On holiday a few weeks later, my rueful, long-standing hairdresser in Scotland managed to restore my locks to a somewhat less startling shade, but the damage was done. I wasn’t long back in Asia and enroute to Myanmar, however, before the compulsion to get the colour “touched up” overtook me again. Ignorant as to what Yangon would have to offer in the way of hairstylists, I convinced myself that I would find someone with a degree of experience in European hairdressing. I tracked down a salon that promised just that. It even had a Facebook page with lots of posts from grateful clients. Alas, my hope was misplaced. It’s not that I have anything against orange hair in principle: far from it. I once met Vivienne Westwood at a party, and the dayglow halo of her Elizabethianinspired barnet remains singed upon

I walked into the Khao San Road with hair a colour that in nature is only ever found on a certain rare breed of Alpaca.

Elsewhere the bottle would’ve legally required a poison symbol. I watched my colour drain away in seconds.
my memory as the kind of shameless septuagenarian style to which one day I may aspire. But when you’re paying London prices in SEA, it is surely not too much to hope that when one asks for blonde, one gets blonde. Not tangerine. The hairdresser tried to make it better. But by the time I left the salon, six hours later and US$140 poorer, my roots were still citrus and the ends still (NOW) purple. The progression of time and hair growth cannot be halted. I found myself making a commitment to Myanmar and wanted to seek out a

local hairdresser to prove my fidelity. All long-term Yangon expats’ advice told me not to do so. “Oh, I only ever go to Hong Kong to get mine done,” responded one businesswoman with glossy highlights. It was clear her grooming budget vastly exceeded that of any freelance writer. I found a plethora of salons in my neighbourhood, but I could find none that looked capable of proving the cynics wrong. Foreign investors might be pouring into the country with indecent haste, but purveyors of hair dye designed for European tresses have yet to notice there’s a gap in the market. Still, I thought I’d try “just a little trim” in one of the more modern-looking salons. Cheerfully, the stylist snipped my fringe at an angle reminiscent of the time my 8-year-old sister cut her own hair with the playroom scissors. I decided to delay colour until my next trip out of Myanmar. Perhaps Malaysia’s hairdressers would prove more adaptive to my styling needs. They told me the dye was organic and gave me an Ipad to play with as they practiced their alchemic artistry. I fell for it to such a degree that I left a massive tip. It was only in the cold light of the next morning that I discovered a near miraculous metamorphosis of my ravaged locks. Fading lilac with auburn roots had been transformed
Continued to page 47


the pulse 47

Fine art rental service opens for business
ZoN PANN PWiNT zonpann08@gmail.com


MOUNTAIN of more than 1500 art treasures have been gathering dust for many years an apartment of Pansodan Gallery owner and artist Aung Soe Min. Now you can take some home or to the office with you, on loan. “Three years ago, I was thinking about how the collection could be made available for viewing. My idea was to put them up for hire. The paintings will get proper preservation, and people can look at the early works of deceased painters,” Aung Soe Min said. Currently, the paintings are stored on shelves but not in excellent condition. The masterworks of

painter Ngwe Gaing are losing their charm, while rare pencil sketches by artist Ba Nyan are unlikely to hold viewers spellbound. The dust lays thick on works by 20th-century masters such as Ngwe Gaing, Ba Kyi, Ba Nyan, Maung Saung, San Pe and Ba Yin Galay, as well as canvasses by emerging artists such as Shwe Soe Han. Until now, the paintings have hardly seen the light of day. The germ of Aung Soe Min’s idea came from remarking the austere simplicity of the buildings and offices in Yangon, which tend to lack art displays. “I find nothing of any artistic merit on the walls of company, nongovernment or government offices. They are completely lacking of any artwork,” said Aung Soe Min, who launched the first art rental service

on January 12 at Pansodan Scene Gallery, where part of his collection is displayed. “Embassy and hotel rooms are decorated with photographs and devoid of paintings. The rental service is a real possibility for them if they don’t have a policy to buy artworks,” he added. About 1000 original artworks by 20th-century artists and more than 500 paintings by contemporary artists are up for hire. Rent is fixed at two to five percent of the actual cost of the original painting per month and the length of the rental is unlimited. “Art lovers will have the option to try out a painting. They might waver in their determination to buy a piece during a short visit to the gallery,” Aung Soe Min said. “It’s difficult to make a quick decision. When it hangs in their house, perhaps the painting isn’t as charming as it seemed in the gallery.”

Artwork by Mya Aye. Photo: Pansodan

Artwork by Shwe Soe Han. Photo: Pansodan

Continued from page 46

into a patchwork pattern of brunette and blonde. What Dylan once satirised in his commentary on female vanity was now manifest upon my head. I had no need for a Leopard Skin Hat (Pillbox or otherwise). My hair had become a feline-esque mottle of brown and flaxen patches that would be the envy of any creature on the plains of Africa. Whatever it was, it was not Blonde on Blonde. I returned to Myanmar shameheaded. What is undoubtedly a camouflage asset on the Savannah is less than desirable on the increasingly sophisticated streets of Yangon. Worse, the effects of so much heavy-handed peroxide application had started to take their toll. Gossamer strands now wafted about my apartment in the air-conditioned breeze before merging into hirsute dust bunnies, a worrisome forerunner of selfinduced, incipient baldness. Then one day salvation seemed within grasp. A discussion on Yangonexpat.com suggested there was a new salon in town that could do a good job of colouring European hair. I had little to lose. I booked an appointment. To be fair to the staff, they spent more than half an hour ascertaining the best way to

achieve the shade I wanted. But while the Myanmar colourist managed to avoid recreating any of the previous multi-hued outrages, she could not achieve an all-over, even tone. Perhaps, given the condition of my hair by then, it would have been beyond anyone. And so this story does not have a happy ending. I cannot provide a map to where you can find the holy grail of perfect highlights in South East Asia. Nor can I offer a solution to the mystery of why European hair proves so confounding to hairdressers on this side of the globe, where cutting-edge styles can be seen in all the big cities and there’s no shortage of local talent. A quick poll of my Asian friends living abroad suggested they do not find the same problem in reverse, although the number of salons in Western cities that specialise in Afro-Caribbean hairstyles indicates that ethnic diversity poses challenges for hairdressers the world over. But I have learned my lesson. From now on I’m taking my hair into my own hands. It’s DIY dye jobs for me. At least until the day some enterprising Myanmar hairdresser realises that where there are blondes there’s brass to be made and opens a special salon…

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



AAA CLASSICS By Richard Auer
ACROSS 1 “And others” abbreviation 5 Singer LaBelle 10 Play-___ (tiebreakers) 14 Tibetan holy man 15 Type of committee 16 Red’s Kadiddlehopper 17 Spill a secret 18 Military blockade 19 Gallery near the Thames 20 Dickens classic 23 Bid the bed adieu 24 Stave off 25 Crown 28 Garage band offering 30 “Go back!” on a computer 31 Activist’s passion 33 Poor grade 36 Hemingway classic 40 DeLuise of film 41 Macho 42 Drainage pump 43 Cooped up 44 Dishearten thoroughly 46 Animal on Wyoming’s flag 49 Hardly swanky 51 Classic case for Sherlock 57 Autocrat of yore 58 Speak bombastically 59 Speck 60 Dry, as tobacco leaves 61 Bridge authority 62 “Green Gables” girl 63 They’re home on the range 64 Immobile, as a gas 65 “Hud” Oscar-winner Patricia DOWN 1 Napoleon’s place of exile 2 Pool shooter’s powder 3 Asian maid 4 Type of retriever 5 Footnote word in Latin 6 Mine entries 7 Motif 8 Roman get-up 9 Boardwalk refreshments 10 6 x 9 in. book 11 Motorist’s gun 12 Disagreeable stench 13 Small, silvery fish 21 Anger 22 Minor role for a major star 25 Pair 26 Compressed data 27 One of TV’s Cartwrights 28 How some things are noted 29 NYC clock setting 31 Gum-machine input, once 32 It’s this or nothing 33 Beat it! 34 Mrs. Peel on “The Avengers” 35 Observe in the distance 37 Make corrections (var.) 38 Not exactly ruddy 39 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 52 53 54 55 56 Babylonian’s neighbor Allowed to flow Adequate, as a living She’s “sweet as apple cider” Cookie amount Disputed matter Brenda of comics You may do a roll on it “Poly” attachment Meditation master, say Multivitamin supplement Sans accomplices Italian kin of Mount St. Helens 1.3-ounce Asian weight








Laugh all the way to the bank when you rent this space.
The tea break page is being re-formatted in readiness for our move to a daily cycle. It may look something like this in the future. Our market research shows that a page like this attracts a large number of readers, who loyally read it every day. Ring Marketing Department to book this space permanently and laugh all the way to the bank with the extra business coming in your door.

Telephone us now on +951 392 928


the pulse food and drink 49

Egg curry for breakfast
Two unusual brunch dishes to add to your Sunday morning recipes




’VE received suggestions and requests from family, friends and readers of this column for dishes they’d like to know how to cook. There’s also been a lot of requests for tips on where to buy certain ingredients and fresh local produce. So, I’ve been chasing a lot of new products and making many experiments in my little kitchen. Among the requests I received, some came from Ross “the boss” at The Myanmar Times. He’s looking for recipes to pass on to his cook at home. What a great idea! On his list is something that’s easy to prepare for a late Sunday morning breakfast. It has to be spicy, fresh and healthy. My Aussie family loves to eat bacon and eggs with poached eggs on the weekend, so I was inspired to try shakshuka, which is an egg and tomato curry of North African origin, where it’s typically eaten for breakfast. Although the word “curry” might suggest a laborious task for a Sunday morning, the dish is quite simple, and its spices and chilli should help you get rid of any hangover from a Saturday night spent partying. I’ve provided a recipe for a classic shakshuka, as well as a reciped adapted for Myanmar tastes. My family loves egg curry, but my husband always wants his yolks

runny or soft. So I made his poached eggs in Myanmar gravy. Problem solved. ShaKshUKa SERvES 2 1 red capsicum or bell pepper 1 big red chilli (optional) 2 tbsp olive oil 500g tomatoes 1 tbsp tomato paste 1 tsp roasted cumin powder ½ tsp turmeric powder 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp sugar 4 eggs 3 cloves garlic, crushed To blanch tomatoes, slit the tops in cross shape. Cover with water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. When their skins start to burst, drain and cool. Take off all the skins and chop, discarding seeds. Cut peppers into halves and remove seeds. Press flat and grill. Keep the skins toward the fire so that the pepper itself doesn’t burn. When they become soft and tender, remove from fire and cool. Peel and discard skins and chop. This can be done a day ahead. Soaked in oil, peppers will last up to 6 days in the fridge. Use a non-stick frying pan that fits four eggs. Add oil to the pan and

500g tomatoes 1 tbsp tomato paste 1 tsp roasted cumin powder ½ tsp turmeric powder 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp chilli powder 1 tsp masala (Kalarlay Brand) 4 eggs 3 cloves garlic, crushed handful of coriander Blanch and chop tomatoes as per instructions for shakshuka. Discard seeds. Use a non-stick frying pan that fits four eggs. Add oil to pan and heat on medium. Saute onions until translucent. Add spices and garlic and fry for one minute. Add tomato paste and fry for one minute. Add chopped tomatoes and fry until the onions are golden. Add ½ cup water to pan and simmer 15 minutes. When gravy is thickened, make four holes in it and crack an egg into each space. Cover the pan. When egg whites are semi-opaque, remove from heat and serve. Garnish with corianders and serve with rice. FOODIE QUOTE “The best poet is the man who delivers our daily bread: the local baker… ” -Pablo Neruda

Shakshuka. Photo: Phyo

saute tomato paste one minute. Add spices and garlic. When the aroma comes out, add tomatoes and fry for three minutes. Add peppers. Cover pan and turn the heat down. Simmer 15 minutes. When tomatoes and peppers are soft and thick, make four holes in the sauce. Crack an egg into each space. Cover the pan again. On low-medium heat, cook until eggs are done to your

liking. Serve immediately. Garnish with salt and pepper. Serve with sourdough bread or baquette. Myanmar styLe pOacheD-eGG cUrry SERvES 2 3 onions, finely diced 4 tbsp vegetable oil

For a very big appetite, a buffet not to be missed
BriDGET Di CErTo bridget.dicerto@gmail.com The Park Royal’s newly renovated and reopened Spice Brasserie is aiming high with its buffet dinner, and judging by the packed restaurant on a Tuesday night, they are succeeding. The buffet dinner is offered every night, with a rotating schedule of theme nights including seafood, roasts and Indian food. We visited on the night featuring Myanmar cuisine. At US$38 for dinner, including a glass of wine, beer or soft drink, the buffet offers an upscale destination that’s perfect for out-of-town visitors wanting to experience Myanmar cuisine – without the gallon of MSG or oil common to the cooking techniques of streetside vendors. The modern layout of the restaurant comprises group and private tables. The buffet itself is an elaborate assembly of three islands boasting salads, dessert and hot foods, a dim sum cart, a la carte sushi and sashimi and a BBQ and wok-fry station. The Myanmar cuisine on offer when we visited included an extensive selection of ethnic salads and national staples such as tomato and peanut, pennywort and eggplant salad. An array of South Indian and Myanmar curries and a DIY soup station also featured in the buffet, which was coordinated by internationally trained chefs, both local and foreigner. Most of the meat and some of the produce is sourced internationally, with fresh deliveries of seafood made daily. The quality of the imported meat and seafood at the BBQ and wok-fry station is a draw card for carnivores. Juicy lamb, succulent squid and tender steak are among the smorgasbord of fresh protein diners can select for BBQ by the chefs. The Italian chardonnay and montepulciano house wines are soft, non-offensive choices that pair well with most of the buffet dishes. Sweet-tooths may be a little disappointed with the dessert bar, which offered mainly local Indianorigin desserts. But a fantastic macaroon selection and an expansive cheese board help make up for this. “Foodies” will appreciate the variety of desserts and the menu planner’s courage to move away from the standard chocolate cake and icecream.

Spice Brasserie
Park Royal Hotel, 33 Alan Pya Pagoda St, Yangon Food 8 Beverage 8 Service 9 X-factor 8 Value for money 8 Total Score:



Wine This Week
2005 Unoaked Chardonnay, Australia
The colour and consistency – a deep shade of yellow, almost gold, and syrupy – are the most remarkable aspects of this unusual wine. When a chardonnay is unoaked, it’s generally the case that the wine will be crisp, and the varietal characteristics of the grape – lemon and green apple – will stand out because it doesn’t get the creaminess that comes from fermentation in oak barrels. It’s the naked grape. That all seems half true here. The tongue-tingling lemon notes are hard to miss, and the taste is fruit forward. Crisp, however, it’s not. The wine smells and tastes sweet, and there’s an underlying musky note of mushroom that lingers in the mouth. Depending on your tastes, this may or may not be appealing. You could do much worse by far than this bottle, and paired with grilled fish it might even be the right thing. But at roughly US$17, it’s far from a top pick.

Four Emus


Buffet staff at Spice Brasserie. Photo: Boothee

50 the pulse socialite
Myanmore prize-giving ceremony


Alter: Space opening ceremony

Andreas Sigurdsson and Lucia Eppisser

Grace & Michelle


Lwin Maung Maung

“Six” photography exhibition

Magic On

Min Zay Ya Oo and Matt Grace

Lin San Oo and May Sandy

Sunil Verma

Jagdeep Singh

Make-up store

Australian Food Fair

Lin Lin and friends

Ko Shwe Moe Thar, Chef Jason Chaimers and Chef Oliver

Daw Chaw Myint Daw Tin Tin Aye

Dave Junker, Bronte Moules and Mr Rajesh

Konidin lucky draw

Htoo Htoo and Ye Ye Aung

Stephanie Liu

Power Tree POS lucky draw

Aussie Coffee Products

the pulse socialite 51


Myanmar Int’l Fashion Week

Mingalabar! fans of Socialite. The weather got cooler this week and Socialite has been enjoying these beautiful days. She attended the Konidin Lucky Draw event on Monday and on Tuesday, she enjoyed the Australian Food Fair at Trader’s Hotel. She sat in on a press conference for Myanmar International Fashion Week on Wednesday before joyfully attending the Magic On event and opening of a new Sweety Home outlet on Thursday. As she loves to be a social butterfly, the more events, the happier she becomes. She dropped by the Lucky Draw event organised by the Power Tree UPS on Friday and visited the Bed Talk furniture fair and opening of a new make-up store the same day. There were five events on Saturday: Aussie Coffee opened for business, as did Skeyndor Clinic, Myanmar Deitta opened the “Six” photography exhibition, Myanmore.com hosted a prizegiving ceremony, and formerz Myanmar Times photographer Ko Lwin Maung opened Alter: Space art gallery and photo studio. Sunday she relaxed at home.

John Lwin David Thaung Chit Malikha Soe Htike Aung Mr Tang

Thaw Thaw and May Oo Maung


Bed Talk furniture fair

Skeyndor Clinic opening

U Hla and U Saw Hlaing

Ma Htar

Ko Min Thaw Tun, Ma May Myat Kyaw and Ma Zin Zin

Daw Sandar Myint

Nathaya Thanalee and Ma Moe Moe Khine

52 the pulse travel


YANGON TO NAy PyI TAW Flight FMI A1 Y5 777 FMI A1 FMI B1 FMI A1 FMI C1 Days 1,2,3,4,5 1,2,3,4,6 6 1,2,3,4,5 7 1,2,3,4,5 Dep 7:30 7:45 8:00 11:30 15:30 16:30 Arr 8:30 8:25 9:00 12:30 16:30 17:30 YJ 891 6T 402 K7 223 YH 918 W9 201 W9 144 Y5 132 K7 227 K7 627 NAy PyI TAW TO YANGON Flight FMI A2 FMI A2 FMI B2 FMI A2 Y5 778 FMI C2 Days 1,2,3,4,5 6 1,2,3,4,5 7 1,2,3,4,6 1,2,3,4,5 Dep 8:50 10:00 13:00 17:00 17:30 18:00 Arr 9:50 11:00 14:00 18:00 18:10 19:00 YJ 201 YH 834 YH 832 K7 845 6T 808 6T 808 YH 730 YJ 212 YJ 202 YANGON TO MANDALAy Flight YH 917 YH 917 YJ 891 YJ 901 Y5 234 YH 909 6T 401 K7 222 K7 626 K7 226 YH 833 YH 831 W9 201 8M 6603 YJ 201 K7 624 YJ 751/W9 7751 YJ 761 YJ 602/W9 7602 YJ 761 YJ 211 YJ 201 YH 737 YH 729 YH 729 YH 737 YH 727 YH 729 W9 251 6T 807 6T 807 K7 224 W9 129 YH 731 6T 501 W9 211 Days 2,5,7 1,3,4,6 Daily 2,3,4,5,6,7 Daily 1,3,4,6 Daily Daily 1,5 2,4 2 4,6 Daily 2,4,7 1 Daily 3,4,5,7 2,7 6 1,4,6 4,5,7 2,3,4 3 6 4 5,7 1 2 2,5 7 1 Daily Daily Daily Daily Daily Dep 6:00 6:10 6:00 6:10 6:15 6:00 6:20 6:30 6:45 6:45 7:00 7:00 7:30 9:00 9:30 10:30 10:30 10:30 10:30 10:45 11:00 11:00 11:15 11:15 11:30 11:30 11:15 11:30 11:15 11:30 12:00 14:30 15:00 15:00 15:30 15:30 Arr 7:40 8:30 8:05 7:35 7:30 7:40 8:25 8:40 8:10 8:10 8:40 8:40 8:55 10:10 10:55 11:55 12:25 12:25 12:35 12:40 12:25 12:25 13:25 14:15 13:10 13:40 13:25 14:30 12:40 12:55 13:25 16:35 16:55 17:10 17:30 16:55 YANGON TO NyAUNG U Flight YH 917 YH 909 YJ 891 YJ 901 YJ 901 W9 141 YH 909 YH 917 6T 401 6T 351 K7 222 YH 909 W9 143 YJ 601/W9 7601 K7 224 W9 211 YH 731 MANDALAy TO YANGON Flight YJ 901 YH 910 Y5 233 YH 918 Days 2,3,4,6,7 1,3,4,6 Daily 1,3,4,6 Dep 7:50 7:40 8:10 8:30 Arr 9:55 9:45 9:25 10:45 NyAUNG U TO YANGON Flight YH 918 YH 918 Days 1,3,4,6 2,5,7 Dep 7:45 8:25 Arr 10:45 11:05 6T 501 Days 1,3,4,6 1,3,4,6 Daily 1 2,3,4,5,6,7 Daily 2,5 2,5,7 Daily 1,2,3,4,6,7 Daily 7 Daily 6 Daily Daily Daily Daily Dep 6:00 6:00 6:00 6:00 6:10 6:15 6:10 6:00 6:20 6:30 6:30 6:40 7:15 10:30 14:30 15:30 15:00 15:30 Arr 8:25 8:25 7:20 7:20 8:20 7:35 7:45 8:25 7:40 7:50 7:50 8:15 8:35 11:50 17:25 17:40 17:55 18:20 YJ 212 YJ 762 YH 727 YJ 762 W9 120 K7 225 YJ 752/W9 7752 W9 129 YH 738 YH 732 W9 211 K7 625 8M 6604 YH 738 6T 502 YH 730 YJ 752/W9 7752 YJ 602/W9 7602 YH 730 Daily Daily Daily 2,5,7 Daily Daily 3,5,6,7 2,4 1,5 1 2 4,6 2,4,7 7 1 2 7 2,3,4 5,7 2,4,6 1 1,4,6 1,3,6 Daily 7 Daily 3 Daily Daily Daily 2,4,7 3 Daily 4 4,3,5 6 6 8:20 8:45 8:55 9:10 9:10 9:20 9:30 10:35 10:55 11:10 11:30 11:50 12:50 13:15 13:45 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:00 16:05 16:15 16:20 16:30 16:50 17:00 17:10 17:05 17:10 17:10 17:10 17:20 17:25 17:50 17:50 17:20 17:30 18:00 10:15 10:45 11:00 11:05 11:05 10:45 10:30 12:00 12:20 12:35 12:55 13:15 16:00 15:15 15:45 19:25 16:25 16:55 17:55 17:30 18:10 17:45 17:55 19:00 18:25 18:35 19:00 19:15 19:15 18:35 18:30 18:50 19:55 19:15 18:45 18:55 19:25 Flight YH 909 YH 917 YJ 891 YH 909 YH 917 W9 141 6T 401 YH 909 K7 222 6T 351 W9 201 K7 828 YH 505 YJ 751/W9 7751 YJ 761 YJ 761 YH 737 YH 505 W9 203 YH 737 W9 119 YH 727 6T 807 K7 826 6T 807 K7 224 YANGON TO HEhO Days 1,3,4,6 2,5,7 Daily 2,5 1,3,4,6 Daily Daily 7 Daily 1,2,3,4,6,7 Daily 1,3,5 2,3,4,6 4,3,5,7 2 1,6 3 7 Daily 5,7 1,3,6 1 7 2,6 1 Daily Dep 6:00 6:00 6:00 6:10 6:10 6:15 6:20 6:40 6:30 6:30 7:30 7:30 10:30 10:30 10:30 10:45 11:15 11:00 11:00 11:30 11:15 11:15 11:30 11:45 12:00 14:30 Arr 8:25 9:55 8:50 8:40 9:35 8:20 9:20 9:15 9:30 8:45 9:40 8:45 11:55 11:40 11:40 11:55 12:40 12:25 12:10 12:55 12:25 12:40 13:50 13:00 14:20 15:45 Flight K7 320 YH 634 MyEIK TO YANGON Days Daily 1,3,5,7 Dep 11:30 11:25 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 YH 511 6T 606 K7 427 6T 612 SIT T WE TO yANGON Days 1 5 Daily Daily 4,6 Dep 12:05 13:05 13:35 14:05 16:15 Arr 13:55 14:55 15:00 15:25 17:40 Flight YH 511 6T 605 YH 511 W9 309 K7 426 6T 611 YANGON TO SIT T WE Days 5 Daily 1 1,3,5,6,7 Daily 4,6 Dep 11:30 11:15 10:30 11:30 12:30 14:30 Arr 13:05 13:15 12:05 12:55 13:50 15:55 MyITKyINA TO YANGON Flight YH 834 YH 832 YJ 211 YJ 202 K7 625 W9 252 Days 2 4,6 5 1,2,3 Daily 2,5 Dep 10:05 10:15 14:05 14:05 15:40 16:05 Arr 12:55 13:15 17:55 16:55 18:35 19:00 YANGON TO MyITKyINA Flight YH 833 YH 831 K7 844 K7 624 YJ 211 YJ 201 W9 251 Days 2 4,6 2,4,7 Daily 5 1,2,3 2,5 Dep 7:00 7:00 7:30 10:30 11:00 11:00 11:15 Arr 10:05 10:15 11:05 13:25 13:50 13:50 14:10 YJ 891 YJ 901 W9 141 K7 222 YJ 901 YJ 901 YH 910 YH 910 W9 144 YH 910 6T 351 K7 225 W9 211 YH 732 6T 502 Daily 1 Daily Daily 4 2,3,5,6,7 7 1,3,4,6 Daily 2,5 5 Daily Daily Daily Daily 7:35 7:35 7:50 8:05 8:35 8:35 8:15 8:25 8:50 9:35 10:50 17:45 17:55 17:55 18:35 10:15 8:55 10:40 11:00 9:55 9:55 10:20 9:45 10:10 10:55 13:55 19:00 19:15 19:15 19:55 Flight W9 141 YH 910 6T 352 YJ 891 YH 910 YH 918 6T 402 K7 223 YH 918 W9 201 YH 505 W9 204 YH 505 K7 829 6T 808 6T 808 W9 120 YH 728 YJ 762 YJ 762 YJ 212 K7 224 YJ 752/W9 7752 YH 738 W9 129 YH 731 YH 738 6T 501 K7 827 YH 738 HEhO TO YANGON Days Daily 2,5 Daily Daily 7 1,3,4,6 Daily Daily 2,5,7 Daily 2,3,4,6 Daily 7 1,3,5 7 1 1,3,6 1 2 1,6 4 Daily 7 3 Daily Daily 7 Daily 2,6 5 Dep 8:35 8:40 9:00 9:05 9:15 9:35 9:35 9:45 9:55 9:55 11:55 12:25 12:25 13:50 14:05 14:35 15:45 17:00 15:20 15:35 15:45 16:00 16:15 16:40 16:25 16:25 16:55 16:55 17:25 17:50 Arr 10:40 10:55 11:10 10:15 10:20 10:45 10:45 11:00 11:05 11:05 14:00 13:35 14:30 15:05 15:15 15:45 17:55 18:10 17:30 17:45 16:55 19:00 18:25 18:50 18:35 19:15 19:05 19:55 18:40 19:00 ThANDWE TO YANGON Flight W9 141 6T 632 6T 605 6T 632 YH 512 YH 512 YH 506 YH 506 W9 307 W9 309 Days Daily 1,2,3,4,6,7 Dailys 5 5 1 2,3,4,6 7 2,4 1,3,5,6,7 Dep 9:50 10:15 12:25 13:00 14:05 13:05 13:10 13:40 14:05 14:05 Arr 10:40 11:10 15:00 13:55 14:55 13:55 14:00 14:30 14:55 14:55 W9 129 YH 731 6T 501 Daily Daily Daily 15:00 15:00 15:30 16:10 16:25 16:40 YANGON TO ThANDWE Flight W9 141 6T 351 6T 605 YH 511 YH 505 YH 511 W9307 W9 309 YH 505 Days Daily 1,2,3,4,6,7 Daily 5 2,3,4,6 1 2,4 1,3,5,6,7 7 Dep 6:15 6:30 11:15 11:30 10:30 10:30 11:30 11:30 11:00 Arr 9:35 10:00 12:10 14:05 13:10 13:05 13:50 13:50 13:40

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

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

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

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

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


the pulse travel 53

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 YANGON TO DON MUENG Days Dep 1,3,5,7 8:00 Daily 8:30 Daily 12:50 Daily 17:35 1,2,3,4 20:55

Arr 9:30 10:25 11:45 12:25 16:50 17:15 18:15 20:15 19:50 21:40

MANDALAY TO DON MUENG Flights Days Dep FD 2761 Daily 12:50 MANDALAY TO KUNMING Days Dep Daily 14:40

Arr 15:15

Flights TG 2981 TG 2983 PG 709

BANGKOK TO MANDALAY Days Dep 1,2,4,6 7:45 3,5 17:30 Daily 12:05

Arr 9:00 18:45 13:25 Arr 12:20 Arr 13:50 Arr 19:15

Flights MU 2030

Arr 17:20

NAYPYIDAW TO BANGKOK Flights Days Dep PG 722 1,2,3,4,5 19:45 BANGKOK TO YANGON Flights Days Dep 8M 336 Daily 11:55 TG 303 Daily 8:00 PG 701 Daily 8:50 TG 301 Daily 13:00 PG 707 Daily 13:40 PG 703 Daily 16:45 TG 305 Daily 17:50 8M 332 Daily 19:20 PG 705 Daily 20:00 Y5 238 Daily 21:10 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 3K 585 Daily 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 BEIJING TO YANGON Days Dep 2,3,4,6,7 8:05

DON MUEANG TO MANDALAY Flights Days Dep FD 2760 Daily 10:55
Flights MU 2029 Flights PG 721

Arr 22:45

KUNMING TO MANDALAY Days Dep Daily 13:55 BANGKOK TO NAYPYIDAW Days Dep 1,2,3,4,5 17:15

Flights DD 4231 FD 2752 FD 2756 FD 2754 FD 2758

Arr 9:45 10:20 14:40 19:25 22:50

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 1,3,5,6 8:55 AK 1427 Daily 8:30 MH 741 Daily 12:15 MH 743 Daily 16:00 AK 1421 Daily 19:05 YANGON TO BEIJING Days Dep 2,3,4,6,7 14:15

Arr 5:00 12:25 18:25 14:40 14:45 16:20 21:15 19:35 21:35 00:10+1

Arr 12:40 8:45 9:40 13:45 14:30 17:35 18:45 20:05 21:15 21:55

International Airlines
Air Asia (FD)
Visitors pray before a statue of Bao Zheng at the Memorial Temple of Lord Bao in Kaifeng. Photo: Yomiuri Shimbun
Tel: 251 885, 251 886.

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

Arr 7:15 8:00 12:20 17:05 20:25

Tel : 513322, 513422, 504888, Fax : 515102

Tel : 666112, 655882.

Tel : 253597~98, 254758. Fax: 248175

Arr 12:55 12:50 16:30 20:15 23:20

Flights CA 906

Arr 21:55

Arr 9:20 10:40 14:50 14:30 15:45 16:30 17:05 18:50 20:50 23:35

Bangkok Airways (PG) Condor (DE)

Tel: 255122, 255 265, Fax: 255119

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

A trip through time: Bao Zheng in Kaifeng

Dragonair (KA)

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

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

YANGON TO GAUNGZHOU Flights Days Dep 8M 711 2,4,7 8:40 CZ 3056 3,6 11:35 CZ 3056 1,5 17:40 YANGON TO TAIPEI Days Dep 1,2,3,5,6 10:50

Arr 13:15 15:50 22:05

Flights CA 905

Arr 13:15

Malaysia Airlines (MH)

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


KaZUHikO MakiTa

Flights CI 7916

Arr 16:15

KAULA LUMPUR TO YANGON Flights Days Dep AK 1426 Daily 6:55 MH 740 Daily 10:05 MH742 Daily 13:50 8M 502 1,3,5,6 14:00 AK 1420 Daily 17:20 GUANGZHOU TO YANGON Flights Days Dep CZ 3055 3,6 8:35 CZ 3055 1,5 14:40 8M 712 2,4,7 14:15 TAIPEI TO YANGON Days Dep 1,2,3,5,6 7:00 KUNMING TO YANGON Days Dep 1,3 8:25 2,3,4,6,7 13:00 Daily 13:30

Arr 8:00 11:15 15:00 15:00 18:25

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

Silk Air(MI)

Tel: 255 287~9, Fax: 255 290

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 YANGON TO CHIANG MAI Flights Days Dep W9 9607 4,7 14:30 YANGON TO HANOI Days Dep 1,3,5,6,7 19:10

Thai Airways (TG)

Arr 18:20 18:00 17:35

Tel : 255491~6, Fax : 255223
Arr 10:35 16:40 15:50

Vietnam Airlines (VN)

Fax : 255086. Tel 255066/ 255088/ 255068.

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

AIFENG, in Henan Province, is one of the oldest cities in China. During the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), the city population exceeded 1 million, and it prospered as both the capital and the world’s largest city at the time. Bao Zheng, who was governor of Kaifeng during China’s Northern Song Dynasty in the 11th century, has held lasting appeal among Chinese people as an incorruptible hero who championed political justice. At the edge of Bao Gong Lake in the old part of the city, the Memorial Temple of Lord Bao enshrines Bao Zheng, also known as Bao Gong. Although the temple was

Arr 16:20

Flights CI 7915

Arr 9:55

Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG)

Flights VN 956

Arr 21:30

YANGON TO HO CHI MINH CITY Flights Days Dep VN 942 2,4,7 14:25 YANGON TO DOHA Days Dep Daily 7:30

Arr 17:10

Flights MU 2011 CA 905 MU 2031

Arr 11:40 13:15 14:00

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 BG = Biman Bangladesh Airlines

Flights QR 919

Arr 11:15

CHIANG MAI TO YANGON Flights Days Dep W9 9608 4,7 17:20 HANOI TO YANGON Days Dep 1,3,5,6,7 16:35

Arr 18:10

YANGON TO PHNOM PENH Flights Days Dep 8M 403 1,3,6 8:35 YANGON TO SEOUL Days Dep 4,7 0:50 Daily 23:35

Arr 12:30

Flights VN 957

Arr 18:10

“Bao was deified as an ideal public official in the people’s imagination.”
Yu Xiaoman Associate professor, Henan University
constructed in 1987, it was modeled after the architectural style of the Song Dynasty and provides a solemn atmosphere. Visitors walk through a garden to the main hall, where a bronze statue of a seated Bao stands nearly three metres (about 9 feet) tall. The formally attired governor sits squarely with a steadfast stare as if to say Bao will not overlook injustice. A wooden panel emblazoned with four Chinese characters hangs above the statue. It reads “Zhengda-guang-ming”, meaning “just and honorable”. Many visitors put their hands together or kneel in prayer in front of the statue. A 36-year-old man from Heilongjiang Province, gazing at the statue, said, “I’ve admired Bao as a fair official since I was a child.” A governor at the time would be responsible for duties performed by judges today. The popular image of Bao among Chinese people is that of an ally of the common man, who

Flights 0Z 770 KE 472

Arr 8:50 07:45+1

HO CHI MINH CITY TO YANGON Flights Days Dep VN 943 2,4,7 11:40 DOHA TO YANGON Days Dep Daily 21:15 GAYA TO YANGON Days Dep 1,3,5,6 11:20 PHNOM PENH TO YANGON Days Dep 1,3,6 13:30 SEOUL TO YANGON Days Dep Daily 18:30 3,6 19:30 TOKYO TO YANGON Days Dep Daily 11:45

Arr 13:25

YANGON TO HONG KONG Flights Days Dep KA 251 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

Flights QR 918

Arr 06:29+1

Arr 05:35

Flights 8M 602

Arr 14:30

Flights NH 914

Arr 06:45+1

Flights 8M 404

Arr 14:55

Flights 8M 401

Arr 10:45

Flights 8M 601

Arr 10:20

Flights KE 471 0Z 769

Arr 22:30 23:40

Flights BG 061

Arr 20:45

Flights NH 913

Arr 17:15

MANDALAY TO BANGKOK Flights Days Dep TG 2982 1,2,4,6 9:50 TG 2984 3,5 19:35 PG 710 Daily 14:15

Arr 12:00 21:45 16:40

HONG KONG TO YANGON Flights Days Dep KA 250 1,3,5,7 21:50 DHAKA TO YANGON Days Dep 1,4 16:15

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

Arr 23:45

Flights BG 060

Arr 18:30

stood against cruel bureaucrats in deciding one difficult case after another. This image owes a lot to the influence of repeatedly broadcast TV dramas about Bao, which were drawn from theatrical plays and novels produced after the governor’s time. Some are even moving to incorporate Bao’s spirit into current judicial education. However, Yu Xiaoman, an associate professor at Henan University, cautions that the historical figure Bao does not necessarily accord with the Bao of TV dramas. Bao was excellent in his studies and passed the difficult examination for government service to become a bureaucrat in his 20s, going on to become an elite official and climbing rapidly through the ranks. According to Yu, although Bao was no doubt a man of integrity, there are no historical materials that attest to Bao being the heroic champion of justice that TV drama viewers know. “Bao was deified as an ideal public official in the people’s imagination during the Yuan Dynasty, a time when people’s lives were thrown into chaos by a rapidly changing society,” Yu said. In the Memorial Temple of Lord Bao, there is a stone monument on which names of previous governors of Kaifeng are inscribed. Where Bao’s name should be, the text is indented and nearly impossible to make out. “This part was worn away by the many people who have touched Bao’s name to follow his example,” said Zhou Xiaoqing, 20, a guide at the temple. Bao’s deep-seated popularity may reflect popular dissatisfaction with corruption among bureaucrats and a nontransparent judiciary. Sun Xiuhua, 76, who claims to pay respect at Bao’s statue every day without fail, proudly said Bao, who was free from corruption, was the people’s pride in Kaifeng. My guide Zhou shared one small piece of Bao’s legend. It is said that Bao installed a gate at the rear of one public office to allow people to pass through freely and convey their problems to Bao directly. According to Zhou, entering from a back gate demonstrated open communication between the public and private sectors. “It is ironic that entering through the back gate has come to suggest backdoor admissions to schools or using connections to get a job,” Zhou said. The sad smile he offered with this explanation brought to mind the stern eyes of Bao looking down on temple visitors. – The Yomiuri Shimbun

54 the pulse
Living well in Myanmar


JANUARY 27 - fEBRUARY 2, 2014
AQUaRiUS | Jan 20 - Feb 18 Use the problems of daily life as a means to build your personal power and enhance the quality of your social, family and workplace relationships. Learn to see when something is of value or when a situation can be used advantageously. You can enjoy taking chances and thrive on the excitement of challenge and uncertainty. Show your love of art and its power to communicate.

LeO | Jul 23 - Aug 22 You will face a financial problem and you will be under stress. You should try to communicate with old contacts and take responsibility for a new social project. Your life will become easy and comfortable after some emotional risk. Your love life is not peaceful and not easy to change, which requires mutual understanding.

PiSCeS | Feb 19 - March 20 Progress can only come about through change. A change will occur over a period of time and usually out of choice. As you begin your new profession, consider training options and develop other skills and interests. Using leisure time effectively is a sure way to enhance your quality of life. Know that jealous feelings could cause you to lose perspective.

ViRgO | Aug 23 - Sep 22 Forget your mistakes but remember what they taught you, and you will become better tomorrow. Find the secret of your success in a daily agenda. Know that the best time to plant a tree is twenty-five years ago and the second-best time is today. Understand yourself essentially as an erotic creature, and it won’t be difficult to imagine your life as a love story in process.

Shopping for powdered coffee and 3-in-1 mix. Photo: Boo Thee

Coffee benefits may not extend to 3-in-1

ARieS | Mar 21 - Apr 19 The quality of your life will come down to the quality of your contribution. Be brave and set no limits on the workings of your imagination. Wipe out every thought of not achieving your objectives, whether they are material or spiritual. Forge your character with enthusiasm and high inspiration through the steel of discipline. Love exists in a zone so different from ordinary time that it is said to be “eternal”.

LiBRa | Sep 23 - Oct 22 Most training and education doesn’t last. You must seek to be a lifelong learner. The golden key of your life is to manage your fear by doing the very thing that frightens you. Believe that a precious treasure can live behind every wall of fear. Whatever is fluid, soft and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. Your harmonious nature is sure to win love.



OCTORS, public health officials and consumers have long wondered about the health risks of coffee. Because coffee is a stimulant, a natural assumption is that drinking too much of it will speed up the body’s metabolic system to the point of causing damage. Interestingly, research hasn’t really supported this concern and may in fact suggest the opposite. A recent New England Journal of Medicine article looked at 400,000 people aged 50 to 70 and found that the more coffee people drank, the longer they tended to live. Because of the design of the study we can’t tell if the reduced risk of death is specifically because of the coffee, or whether there are other things about the lifestyle of coffee drinkers that are actually conferring the benefit. The findings correspond with the general trend of coffee research. Low to moderate consumption (up to 3 cups per day) is associated with decreased risk for heart attack, reduced incidence of Parkinson disease and a small, protective effect against Alzheimer disease, depression and diabetes. Although the data is inconclusive and sometimes conflicting, coffee drinking may also be associated with decreased risk of breast, mouth/throat, liver and prostate cancer. In any case, coffee has never been shown to cause any type of cancer. It’s unclear why coffee seems to confer a health benefit. We know coffee contains antioxidants. Also blood tests of people who have just had coffee show reduced levels of inflammation and better insulin sensitivity. However, the specifics of where and how the molecules in coffee do good things remain unknown So is there any reason to believe that the people of Myanmar are benefiting from all the coffee and

tea that is consumed at streetside shops? Perhaps, but a large proportion of coffee consumed in Myanmar comes from adding hot water to 3-in-1 powder packets that contain coffee, sugar and nondairy creamer. While I’m unaware of any health studies that have evaluated the long-term prognosis for people that drink heavy amounts of 3-in1, the product is concerning for several reasons. The proportionally high sugar content in the combo packets may negate some of the benefit of coffee by causing rapid spikes in blood sugar. At the same time, nondairy creamers often contain trans-fatty acids, which allow them to be stable at high temperatures but are known to be dangerous for heart health. In fact, food regulatory agencies in developed countries are currently forcing companies to remove trans-fats from food products. Finally, sugar and nondairy creamer may reduce the antioxidant concentrations of a cup of coffee.

The high sugar and transfats content of combo packets may negate some benefits of coffee by causing rapid spikes in blood sugar and endangering heart health.

Even without added fake milk and sugar, drinking coffee comes with some risks. We all know that, in addition to alertness, caffeine can cause anxiety, nervousness, insomnia and irritability. People who drink coffee are more likely to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes. Heavy caffeine intake is known to cause palpitations (a rapid heart beat) in susceptible individuals, although as mentioned there is no known increased risk of heart disease. There is a caffeine withdrawal syndrome that occurs in approximately 50 percent of people who suddenly quit a coffee habit. Typically caffeine withdrawal manifests as headache, fatigue, drowsiness, depressed mood and difficulty concentrating. Also, regular caffeine consumption increases the chance of suffering from migraine headaches (paradoxically, a dose of caffeine delivered in a drink or in a pill can be a moderately effective treatment for a headache). All of the evidence for the benefit of coffee comes from observational studies, meaning scientists ask people questions about their behavior and then try to correlate that with health status. This differs from ‘gold standard’ randomised control trials, in which half the people would be given coffee and the other half would be given fake coffee. Therefore doctors have not reached the point of actively recommending coffee for patients. Nevertheless, it does appear that coffee is good for you. Unfortunately the additional ingredients in 3-in-1 are certainly not beneficial and may be harmful. As with many of the public health challenges we face in Myanmar, a strong regulatory agency and consumer awareness will be important in allowing people to safely realise the benefits of coffee.
Christoph Gelsdorf is an American Board of Family Medicine physician who has a health clinic in Yangon (www. gelsdorfMD.com). He is a member of the GP Society of the Myanmar Medical Association. Reader inquiries are welcomed.

TaURUS | Apr 20 - May 20 Great men see that the spirit is stronger than material forces. Thoughts rule the world. Always verify your intuitive impressions before acting on them. Learn to balance your intuitive, logical and emotional processes. Create pleasure and a state of love to find your inner soul and give yourself permission to accept yourself. Know that a picture is worth more than a thousand words.

SCORPiO | Oct 23 - Nov 21 The words you use determine the way you feel, and the language you choose shapes the way you perceive reality. Start to turn your mental wounds into wisdom. Remember that a mistake is only a mistake if you make it twice. The things that irritate, annoy and anger you are entry points into your evolution. They are gifts of growth. Learn more about the value of love and the feelings of the heart.

Gemini | May 21 - June 20 You will come up against social challenges and hurdles. Your travel experience will serve to strengthen your personality and to broaden your mind. Know that the death of dogma is the birth of reality, and experience never errs but your judgment may. Little hints will appear to confirm your progress toward success. The beauty of your personality should be focused before pursuing emotional desire.

SagiTTaRiUS | Nov 22 - Dec 21 One of the deepest needs of a human being is the need to belong. Become passionately interested in other people and get respect by giving your simple respect. Inspire yourself to see the world through a new set of perspectives and step out of the ordinary and into the realm of something special. Fill your days with music, which can introduce you to new ideas. Innovate in the way you run your life.

CanCeR | Jun 21 - Jul 22 To understand everything is to hate nothing and to develop your interests. Hatred comes from dislike and contempt from vanity, and neither suffering is quite within our control. Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty to get in touch with the joy of giving without expecting anything in return. Make the most of your conscience.

CaPRiCORn | Dec 22 - Jan 19 People want to go to work each day with pride in their hearts. You should stand for social responsibility as well as remarkable profitability. Learn what you need to do to get the best. Vision is not enough, because it must be combined with venture. You need systems in your days to ensure consistency of results, order and superb outcomes. Open your mind when seeking love.

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, 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, Tel : 01-566538, 566539 IOM 318 (A) Ahlone Rd, Dagon Tsp, Yangon.Tel – 01-210588, 09 73236679, 0973236680, Email- iomyangon@iom.int 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, unicef.yangon@unicef. org, 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 5 Kan Baw Za St, Shwe Taung Kyar, (Golden Valley), Bahan Tsp. Tel : 2305971~6 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.

General Listing
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

(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

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

Eden Hotels & Resorts 23/25, Kabar Aye Pagoda Rd, Golden Valley Ward No. 2, Bahan Tsp. Tel: 01-8603204~7 Fax : 01-8603328 Email : info@edenhotelsand resorts.com

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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




Gems & Jewelleries


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

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

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

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

car rental

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

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

• • •


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

HOT LINE: 09 - 402 510 003 01-646 330 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

Duty free

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

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. Dent Myanmar Condo C, Rm 001, Tatkatho Yeikmon Housing, New University Avenue Rd, Bahan. Ph: 09-8615162.

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

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

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

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

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

Tel: 549612, Fax : 545770.

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

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


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

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

coffee machine

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

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

California Skin Spa NO 32.B, Inya Myaing Road, Yangon. (Off University Road) Tel : 01-535097, 01-501295. Open Daily : (10 AM - 8 PM) california-skinspa.com californiaskinspaygn2013 @gmail.com

co working space

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

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 “ Myittar Oo Eye Hospital 499, Pyay Rd, Kamayut Tsp. Ph: 09-527381.


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 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.

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

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


Foam spray Insulation
Sole Distributor of Red Ginseng from Korea Ginseng Corporation

No.(68), Tawwin Street, 9 Mile, Mayangone Township, Yangon, Myanmar. Hunt line: +95 1 9666 141, Booking Extension: 7080, 7084, Fax: +95 1 9666 135 E-mail: info@ witoriyahospital.com Website: www. victoriahospitalmyanmar. com, Facebook: https:// www.facebook.com/ WitoriyaGeneralHospital Vibhavadi Hospital Bangkok, Thailand (Myanmar Branch Office) : 214(A-2) Waizayantar Rd, Thingangyun Tsp. Ph: 09-8625086.

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

Tel: 01-374851, 394360 Stores:Coreana @ Junction Square / Mawtin, UNIQHAN @U Wisara Rd; MBICenter. No.16, 87th st.

Home Furnishing


GAS COOKER & Cooker Hoods

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

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.


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

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.

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


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

THE MYANMAR TIMES jANUARY 27 - fEBRUARY 2, 2014 Office Furniture
Monsoon Restaurant & Bar 85/87, Thein Byu Road, Botahtaung Tsp. Tel: 295224, 09-501 5653.

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

Real Estate Agent Agent fees is unnecessary Tel : 09 2050107, 09 448026156 robinsawnaing@gmail.com

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

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

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

service office
For House-Seekers
with Expert Services In all kinds of Estate Fields yomaestatemm@gmail.com

Marine Communication & Navigation

Furniture Showroom Blk-90, BB2/A, No.2 High Way Road, Mya Ya Mon Housing, 26 Quarter, South Dagon Tsp, Yangon. Tel : 09-2500-68186 09-4500-41804 Email : sale.desmark@ gmail.com.

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 Executive Serviced Offices

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

Water Heater


Tel : 01-4413410 Delicious Hong Kong Style Food Restaurant G-09, City Mart (Myay Ni Gone Center). Tel: 01-508467-70 Ext: 114

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


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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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 solution

Company Limited


Swiss Business Office Center

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

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

No. 36-38 (A), Ground Flr, Grand Myay Nu Condo, Myay Nu St, Sanchaung Tsp, Yangon. Tel: +95 (01) 230 60 67~71, Tel: +95 (0) 9 250 294 669 Email: sales@sbocyangon.com www.sboc-yangon.com

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

Water Treatment

U Min Sein, BSc, RA, CPA.,RL Advocate of the Supreme Court 83/14 Pansodan St, Yangon. tel: 253 273. uminsein@mptmail.net.mm Enchanting and Romantic, a Bliss on the Lake 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. 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 No. (6), Lane 2 Botahtaung Pagoda St, Yangon. 01-9010003, 291897. info@venturaoffice.com, www.venturaoffice.com

World’s No.1 Paints & Coatings Company


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

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



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.

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

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. 372, Bogyoke Aung San Rd, Pabedan T/S, Yangon. Tel : 01-380 398, 01-256 355 (Ext : 3027) Email : zawgyihouse@ myanmar.com.mm

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

G-01, City Mart (Myay Ni Gone Center). Tel: 01-508467-70 Ext: 106

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 Capital Hyper Mart 14(E), Min Nandar Road, Dawbon Tsp. Ph: 553136. City Mart (Aung San) 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) 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

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

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.

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



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

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.

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

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

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

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


UN Positions
Rd, Dagon Tsp, Yangon. Email: hryangon@iom. int, Closing date : 27 January 2014. the Int'l Organization for Migration (IOM) office in Yangon is seeking Security Guard 1 post in Thaton Tsp, Mon State. Interested Organization for Migration (Thaton Sub Office), 9/A, Min Rd (Min Lan), Lake Inn Ward, Thaton Township

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.

BUY spAcE ON THESE PAGES Call: Khin Mon Mon Yi - 01-392676, 392928

‘DCA Program Officer – application’. Contract Duration: 2 years with possibility of extension (three months probation period) Closing Date: 31stJanuary 2014 (2) Corporate Affairs Executive/Assistant As a corporate affairs executive/assistant, you will be involved with business development, networking, market research & liaison work. Applicants should be proficient in English, energetic & self-motivated. All nationalities are welcome (Myanmar, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, etc). Pls email to kk@ kcyangon.com jade Royal Hotel, Nay Pyi Taw is currently seeking: (1) Chief Accountant 1 post: B.Com (CPA, LCCI Level 3. 5 years of relevant experiences in hotel industry. (2) Senior Accountant 1 post : B.Com or LCCI Level 3, MYOB. 2 years experiences. (3) Sales Manager - 1 post : University graduate. 5 years experiences in hotel industry. Very Good communication skills in English & Myanmar. Computer literate. (4) Sales Executive - 1 post : University graduate, 2 years experience in hotel industry. Very good communication skill in English & Myanmar. Computer literate. Pls submit application letter, CV or resume together with a recent passport photo, copies of testimonials, educational certificates, police clearance form & NRC card to No.4, Lawkanat Housing Complex, Parami Rd, Hlaing before on January 31, 2014. Elite Int'l School is seeking (1). English Teachers (Foreigner) (2). English Teachers (Local ) (3). Subject Teachers (Secondary & Primary Levels) (4). Music Teachers (5). Drawing Teachers Should you be interested send your detailed CV to 27, Bayintnaung Main Rd, Hlaing, Yangon. Ph: 01-531117 Email:elitein ternationalschool09 @ gmail.com Typist : High school graduate, Good key board skills & a decent command of the English (spelling, grammar & punctuation) to produce high quality documents, Efficient & pay attention to detail, Can use computer software packages, including Word, Excel & Power Point, Are a good communicator, Produce neat and well-presented work, Are discreet – much of the information you will be dealing with will be confidential. Ph: 134 A, Than Lwin Rd, Golden Valley Ward 1, Bahan, (BOX 729 GPO) Yangon. Ph: 526 180.

the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime (UNODC) is seeking for Myanmar nationals: National Project Coordinator (SC-9) XSPK26 Project - 1 Post in Loilen/ Pinlon, Southern Shan State - Master's Degree or advance university degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Economics, Political Sciences, Social Sciences or related field, 5 years of relevant experience in the management of integrated rural development projects such as food security, livelihood, health. Fluency in English: Knowledge of a local working language of the duty station is an asset. Candidates should clearly indicate the post title in their application. Application must include a cover letter, current CV, copies of relevant academic qualification certificates, & recent passport photo to UNODC, 11A, Maylikha Rd, Ward-7, Mayangone, Yangon, (or) C/O UNDP, POBox (650), Yangon, Myanmar. Deadline have been extended to 31 January 2014. the Int'l Organization for Migration (IOM) office in Yangon is seeking (1) Human Resources & Administrative Asst: 1 post in Yangon. (2) Project Asst: [Accountability, Equity & Inclusion (AEI)] 1 post in Yangon. (3) Medical Logistician 1 post in Myawaddy, Kayin State. (4) Microscopist Malaria 1 post in Bilin, Mon State. Pls submit an application letter and an updated CV with a maximum length of 3 pages including names and contact details of 3 referees (copies of certificates and further documents are not required at this stage) to Int'l Organization for Migration (IOM), Mission in Myanmar - Yangon Office, 318-A, Ahlone

Ingo Positions
BridgeAsia Japan (BAJ) is seeking Accountant 1 post in Yangon: Degree in business or Accountancy diploma. 4 years experience. Experience in UN/ INGO organization is an asset. High proficiency in English & Myanmar. Computer knowledge related to work. All interested and qualified persons are requested to submit the application with updated CV and passport photo to Administrative Unit, Bridge Asia Japan, Yangon Office, No(9), U Lu Ni St, Kyee Myin Daing Tsp, Yangon. Ph: 2301242, 09732-49618, Email: bajyangon@myanmar. com.mm, bajyangon@ gmail.com Closing date : 31 January, 2014. norwegian Refugee Council is seeking Logistics Assistant in Yangon: Degree or Diploma in related field and/or related training course. Prior work experience in logistics & procurement. Computer literate with strong MS office. Good communication in both Myanmar & English. Pls submit CV, including application letter & contact detail of 2 referees (No other supporting documents are required for this stage), to adminhr@ myanmar.nrc.no with cc to ssc@myanmar.nrc. no mail to: HR Officer, NRC, 68, Than Lwin Rd, Bahan, Yangon. closing date : 2nd February 2014 world Vision Int'l Myanmar is seeking (1) Community Develop ment Facilitator in

Myeik, Tanintharyi Region: University Degree. Working experience in community development. Compe tent in used of Microsoft Word, Excel & Power Point. Good command of Myanmar & English. (2) Program Finance Coordinator (ReOpen) in Tachileik, Shan (East) State: Bachelor University Degree in Acocunting/ Finance or related subject. 3 years experience in the field of finance in commercial or public institutions. Good knowledge of computerize accounting as well as Microsoft Word and Excel. Ability to communicate in English & Myanmar effectively. 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 myajobaps@wvi.org Closing date January 29, 2014. myanmar Red Cross Society is seeking Water and Sanitation Officer 1 post in MRCS-Nay Pyi Taw and frequently travel to program areas: Myanmar National. University Degree in Water & Sanitation, Civil Engineering or related field. 3 years of experience in related community based water & sanitation project. Effective computer knowledge (MS Office, Internet). 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. cesvi is seeking(1) Junior Field Logistic Officer, 1 post based in Bhamo - Kachin State : Minumum 10th Standard or Diploma (preferably in Computers, Logistics, Public Administration, Business Administration,

Accountancy or related area). Previous sound experience in Logistics with INGO (preferably 2 years). Excellent Computer skills (MS Office). Fluency in English with aptitude in reporting are mandatory. (2)Pharmacist, 1 post based in Bhamo Kachin State: University degree in Pharmacy or Nurse. 1 year experience as Pharmacist or 2 years experience as nurse. Fluency in English & Myanmar, Kachin language is an asset. Basic computer skills (Windows office package, especially Excel & Access). Closing st date : 31 January 2014. CV & Cover letter only to : cesviapplication@gmail. com or hard copies to be sent to Cesvi Country Office - 111-A, University Avenue, Kamaryut, Yangon. field Monitoring & Evaluation Officer, 1 post based in Bhamo - Kachin State: Experience in database management and data analysis. Experience in development & health programs is an asset. Fluency in English & Myanmar. Strong computer skills (Windows office package, especially Excel & Access). : st 31 January 2014. CV & Cover Letter only to be sent to: cesviapplication@gmail. com or hard copies to be sent to Cesvi Country Office - 111-A, University Avenue, Kamayut, Yangon. DanChurchAid (DCA) is looking for Program Officers in Yangon, with frequent travel to the field. A detailed Job Description is available on request from Ms. Hlaing Phyu Min, Admin & HR Assistant, hpmi@ dca.dk. The benefit package for the position includes competitive remuneration (the salary range is 756.000 –1.424.430 Kyats/ monthly), annual bonus, severance pay, 1.25days per month for annual leave, 15 official holidays per year, personal accident/ medical insurance, learning & development opportunities (including visits to DCA HQ in Copenhagen & to DCA Regional Offices in the region of South Asia & South East Asia) & a challenging & stimulating working environment. Pls submit CV, application letter & contact details of 2 referees with any other relevant documentation to HR Unit by email hpmi@ dca.dk & adj@dca.dk Pls quote reference:

CLASSIC STRAND condo. Brand new 3 bed 2 bath. $3250/month. Marble/hardwood fitting, modern layout. Near strand hotel/union bar. jasonwongjp@gmail. com, 09-4211-02223. 6 Bed, 4 bath duplex. 3900 sqft, can be used as residence, office or both. bar. jasonwongjp@ gmail.com, 09-421102223. BAHAN , (1)Golden Velly 2RC, 5700sqft, 2MBR, 2SR .US 4500 (2) Golden velly , near Pearl condo,2RC , 70 x 90, 2MBR, 2SR. US6500 (3) Yankin, Parami St, 2RC, 80 x 60, 4MBR, Fully furnish. US 5500 (4) Parami St, 2RC, 40 x 60, 4MBR,1SR, Fully furnish, US 7000, (5) Moekung Rd, 25 x 80, Hall, US6000. Ph: 0949214276. BAHAN , (1)New University Avenue Rd, New Condo, 1500 sqft, f.f US$ 3500 (2)Shwe Taung Gyar Rd, 60' x 60, 2 RC storey, f.f US$ 3500 (3)New University Ave Rd, 2 Flr, 44' x 55' , 3 MBR, Ph, f.f 25 Lakhs Maureen : 09-518-8320. B/Okkalar, (1)Thit Sar Rd, RC 3 storey house, US$ 3000 (2)Kamayut, Sanyeiknyein Rd, RC 2 storey house, 35 Lakhs Maureen : 09-518-8320. BAHAN, (1). Golden valley, 2 RC,6000 Sqft, 1 MR, 2 SR, 300o USD. (2).Golden valley, 3 RC, 3375 Sqft, good for office, 9 Bed room, 6500 USD. (3).Golden valley, 2 RC, 4500 Sqft, 2 MR, 2 SR, 4000 USD. (4).Golden valley, 2 RC, 5300 Sqft, 4 MR, 2 SR,10,000 USD. (5).University Avenue Rd, 1500 Sqft, 1 MBR, 2 SR, fully furnish 2500 USD. (6).Inya Rd, 3 RC, 8000 Sqft, 4 MR,good for residence & office,12000 USD. Ph: 09-4931-4276. (condo For Rent in University Avenue St), 1MBR, 2SBR, 4AC, Full Fun:, 1350sq, 16 Lakhs, Call-01-569448, 09-43200669. 9 mile condo Mayangone, (1350 sqft), M2, S1, A/C4, Ph 1, fully furniture - 16 Lakhs, Contact: 09-432-00669. war Dan St, Lanmadaw, (25x50), RC 3½, S3, Ph, AC 3, 65 Ls, Ph: 569448. MYANGONE,MiniCondo, 2nd flr, 3 bed room, 1 big living room, 1 Dinning room and Kitchen, 3 verandas Full furnished, 2 bath rooms, 3 aircons. Internet, 50'x40', Quiet, 8½ mile, Pyay Rd, A-One Compound. Contact Ko Thant Zin: 09-73069754, 653005. Mayangone, 8th Mile, Primrose Condo 3F 1MBR, 2SBR, Living Room, 1 Maid Room, Fully Furnish, Own Car Parking, Two Elevator, Security Card System, Contact: 09-511-1485. MAYANGONE, 4th Flr, Thiri Avenue, Taw Win St, 1500 Sqft, Fully furnish, Yearly Contract. Please contact to owner direct Ph: 200581, 09500-0621 MAYANGONE, 7 mile, Pyay Rd, Si Daw Gyi Condo, 3225 sqft, second flr, 3 MBR with aircons , hot water and fully furnished. Kitchen, maid room, 1524 sqft office layout. New building with lift & 2 private car parking

Local Positions
Savoy Hotel , Yangon is urgently looking for (1) Human Resources Assistant 1 ~ 2 years experience, good English & good personality (2) Guest Relation Manager - 3 ~ 4 years experience, very good English, good personality (3) Bar Supervisor - 2 ~ 3 years experience, good English and good personality (4) Driver 3 years experience (5) Security - M 2 post, 2 years experience (Casual) (6) Door Girl - F 2 post, good personality (Casual) Application letter by email to generalmanager@ savoyhotel-yangon.com or 129, Dhammazedi Rd, Yangon. Tel: 526298, 526289. Pls mention the desire position on the application letter. We are seeking 3 vacancies of the florist for my floral service & gift shop. Female florists urgently required. Please contact : 09-518-5155. Export & Import : (1) Customer Service Manger - F 1 post (2) Export & Import Staff - M/F 3 posts (3) Sales & Marketing M/F 2 posts (4)Custom Clearance M/F- 3 posts (5)Operation (packer)-M 5 posts (6) Senior Accountant -F 1 post (7)Cashier - F 1 post. Travel & Tour : (1).Tour Operation Manager - M/F 1 post (2) Operation Staff - M/F 3 post (3) HR Manager - F 1 post Requirement for Qualification, skill & experiences are as per our conversation. Legendary Myanmar: No,9 A-4 3 Flr Kyaung Lane Myaeni Gone, Ph:01-823653,516-795, 503467 hr. legendary myanmar@gmail.com KELVIN CHIA Yangon Ltd is a foreign legal consultancy firm. We invite motivated and committed individuals to join us as (1) Lawyers who will work on a variety of corporate & commercial matters & transactions in Myanmar. If you are a Myanmarqualified lawyer with strong English language skills, you are invited to apply to join our Myanmar practice group. Myanmar nationals admitted to int’l bars are also welcome to apply. Training will be provided. Applicants may email to klm@kcyangon.com.

slot. Suitable for office with residential., $6500 /month can also sell for $8, 80,000. English speaking 09-512-9655, Myanmar speaking 09732-35432. wincenter. win@gmail.com. (No Brokers Please). (1).Condo with nice view 1500 Sqft, 1MBR, 2 Single bedroom, Ph, 24 Hour electricity, SemiFurnished, Wooden floor, 4 Airconditioners, Newly Renovated, US$ 3000 per month, Ph: 094253-11320 BAHAN, (1)ThanLwin Rd, 70'x90', 3RC, 4 MBR, New and Nice, Garden, Fully Furnished, Fully Airconditioners US$ 6500 per month, (2) Inya Myaing St, Golden Valley, 0.7 Acre land, Big Garden, Ph, 3 MBR, Newly Renovated, 6 Airconditioners, Swimming pool, Price (Negotiate), Ph:094253-11320 MYA YA MON Water Front Villa, 3 storey building with full facilities. Ph: 01-241756, 370334, 09-510-3207.

Office space, 8000 sqft for sale in MICT park. Large international conglomerates are tenants. 18% yield. Please contact for details. jasonwongjp@ gmail.com Classic strand Condominium, 2200 sqft commercial/ residence for sale. 3rd floor, wide open space. 14 ft ceilings. Gym, cafe, facilities. Prime downtown location, close to strand hotel/union bar. jasonwongjp@gmail. com 6 Bed, 4 bath duplex. 3900 sqft, can be used as residence, office or both. $550k USD, negotiable. On Thein Phyu St, very near Monsoon restaurant and around corner of union bar. jasonwongjp@gmail. com Office space, 8000 sqft for sale in MICT park. Easy to rent out to large international conglomerates,18% yield. Pls contact us for details. jasonwongjp@ gmail.com Classic strand Condominium, 2200 sqft commercial/ residence for sale. 3rd floor, wide open space. 14 ft ceilings. Gym, cafe, facilities. Prime downtown location, close to strand hotel/union bar. jasonwongjp@gmail. com 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

Want to Rent
Apartment/House - Wanted Couple from Singapore seeks a clean and comfortable house or apartment in quiet neighbourhood not more than 9 miles from city - for long term stay (minimum 1 year) commencing January/ February 2014. Rental USD 2,500 per month. Email to yadana@ victorymyanmar.com or call 094-5005-3669

60 Sport



Bryant says he doesn’t deserve All-Star nod
OBE Bryant, sidelined by injury for all but six games this season, gained a 16th NBA All-Star nod in fan voting, but indicated on January 24 he’d rather skip the mid-season exhibition. “With all due respect to the fans that voted me in, I certainly appreciate that, they know how much I appreciate that, but you’ve got to do the right thing as well,” Bryant said shortly before watching his Lakers fall 109-102 to the Miami Heat. “My fans know you got to reward these young guys for the work that they’ve been putting in,” Bryant added in comments reported by the Los Angeles Times. The NBA had announced the results of worldwide fan voting for the All-Star starters on Thursday afternoon. Bryant was in, even though the Los Angeles Lakers superstar made a belated season debut after recovering from a torn Achilles tendon and played just half a dozen games before a broken bone in his knee put him out of action again. Bryant’s 16 All-Star selections trail only the 19 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar garnered in a Hall of Fame career. But the 35-year-old said younger, healthier players should get a chance to show their stuff in the All-Star extravaganza in New Orleans on February 16. “They’ve been playing all season. They deserve to be in there,” he said. Bryant finished second among Western Conference guards in the balloting, behind Golden State’s Stephen Curry. Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant topped the West in votes and is joined in the frontcourt by the


Vanessa Mae to swap violin for skis in Sochi
VIOLINIST Vanessa Mae has officially qualified to ski for Thailand at the Winter Olympics and will lead the sun-soaked kingdom’s biggest-ever team to Sochi’s snowy slopes, an official said on January 21. The 35-year-old former child prodigy, whose father is Thai, is one of two competitors who will represent the Southeast Asian nation in Russia next month – both on skis. “We just received official notification that two Thais qualified including Mae,” a member of the Olympic Committee of Thailand, who did not want to named, told AFP. “We are very excited. Although there is little chance of winning, the Thai flag will be flown there,” he said, noting that it will be only the third time for Thailand to compete at the winter games. Mae, born in Singapore to Thai and Chinese parents, grew up in London where she become renowned for what she has described as her “techno-acoustic fusion”. Because Thailand has no skiers ranked in the world top 500, it is allowed to send one man and one woman for the slalom and giant slalom events if they have an average of no more than 140 points over five internationally recognised races. A stronger performance earns fewer points. Mae, a British citizen who has been training in Zermatt in Switzerland for several years, qualified after competing in Slovenia over the weekend under her father’s surname Vanakorn. Ana Jelusic of the International Ski Federation, said Mae “ticks all the boxes”. “According to the qualification system which we have, which requires her to start at least five slalom or giant slalom races, she has done so. It also requires her to come below a certain number of FIS points, which in this case is 140. She has done so.” Mae began skiing at the age of four, around the same time as she began playing the piano, before taking up the violin at five, she told the Daily Telegraph in an interview in 2010. “And I’m lucky that having begun my musical career so young, it’s rather wonderful that I can now focus on my hobby,” she said. Music would “always be my greatest passion”, she added. “But now I am no longer recording an album a year as I did in my teens. To be honest, that became a treadmill. The endless touring, the promotions. By the time I got to 20, I was no longer enjoying it.” News of her qualification was met with a muted response in tropical Thailand, where winter sports have traditionally been a luxury enjoyed only by the jet-setting elite. “I’ve listened to her music for a long time. Now I will watch her playing sport,” said one of the few comments posted on local online discussion sites. Until now the only Thai to ski at the Winter Olympics was academic Prawat Nagvajara, who competed in Salt Lake City in 2002 and at Pragelato in Italy in 2006. The kingdom’s Olympic Committee said the other Thai competitor in Sochi will be Kanes Sucharitakul, 21, who lives in France. Thailand is not the only sundrenched nation sending athletes to Sochi’s icy slopes – Jamaica’s bobsleigh team have been given the nod to compete at what will be their third Winter Games. – AFP


Kobe Bryant watches from the bench as his teammates take on the Chicago Bulls on January 20 in Chicago. Photo: AFP

Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin and Minnesota’s Kevin Love. Love overtook Houston’s Dwight Howard in the last week of voting. Durant fell shy of overcoming Miami Heat star LeBron James as the top overall vote-getter. James, earning his 10th All-Star nod,

will be joined in the Eastern Conference starting lineup with his Heat teammate Dwyane Wade, who is also slated to make a 10th All-Star appearance. Indiana’s Paul George, New York’s Carmelo Anthony and Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving, complete the Eastern Conference starting lineup. – AFP


Sport 61


Yankees sign Tanaka to seven-year deal
TAR Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka on January 23 vowed to help bring the world championship to the New York Yankees after striking a seven-year Major League Baseball deal worth US$155 million with the US club. “I’m relieved that it’s done,” Tanaka, 25, who went unbeaten last season, told his first news conference since he signed the major leagues’ highest contract for an Asian-born player on Wednesday. The right-hander went 24-0 with a 1.27 earned-run average and 183 strikeouts with only 32 walks in 212 inning for the Japan Series champion Rakuten Eagles. The Yankees spent another $20 million in a posting fee to the Sendai-based Eagles to obtain Tanaka, who was sought by several US clubs and considered by most teams to be the best pitcher available. Asked about his objectives this season, Tanaka told reporters: “The world number one. I will go there to be a force to gain the world number one. I hope to con-


Thai Open postponed after govt imposes emergency
THE Thailand Open, one of the region’s most revered golf tournaments, has been postponed after a 60-day state of emergency was imposed in Bangkok this week, organisers said last week. The US$1 million tournament, scheduled to be held from March 13 to 16, will now take place at an unannounced date later this year. Thailand on January 21 declared the state of emergency in Bangkok and surrounding areas to tackle mass protests aimed at overthrowing the government. The move followed weeks of mass demonstrations that have paralysed parts of the capital and sparked several bouts of deadly violence, including grenade attacks and shootings. “We want to ensure the environment is stable in order to stage our world class tournament and national Open,” Thailand Golf Association president Rungsrid Luxsitanonda said in a statement. “There are just six weeks to go before the tournament so it would be unwise to proceed with the current date.” Thai anti-government protesters have been fighting street battles with police as political violence returns to Bangkok, three years after dozens died in a crackdown on mass rallies. Demonstrators have staged a selfstyled “shutdown” of the capital since January 13, erecting roadblocks and rally stages at several main intersections. “It was unanimously agreed by all relevant parties to postpone the championship. This is in the best interests of the players, spectators, sponsors,” said Patrick Feizal Joyce, a vice president at the event promoter World Sport Group. “We will work ... to determine a new date in 2014.” – AFP

Japanese professional baseball pitcher Masahiro Tanaka of the Rakuten Eagles speaks before press at the Rakuten stadium in Sendai, Japan on January 23. Photo: AFP

tribute to the team’s victory.” Tanaka, who reportedly has an opt-out clause after four years in the contract, spent seven seasons with Rakuten. He debuted at age 18 and went 99-35 with a 2.30 earned-run average in 175 games while striking out 1,238 batters over 1315 innings. His deal ranks as the fifth-highest

for a pitcher in Major League Baseball history, trailing the seven-year deals for Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers at $215 million, Detroit’s Justin Verlander at $180 million, Seattle’s Felix Hernandez at $175 million and his new Yankee teammate, C.C. Sabathia, at $161 million. – AFP

‘It was unanimously agreed by all relevant parties to postpone the championship. This is in the best interests of the players, spectators, sponsors’
Patrick Feizal Joyce Wolrd Sport Group


Fan dials 999 for Fergie after United lose again
POLICE have revealed a drunk Manchester United fan was so upset by the club’s latest setback he dialled Britain’s national emergency number and demanded to speak to former manager Alex Ferguson. Greater Manchester Police said they received the 999 call from a man in Crumpsall, north Manchester, at 10.30pm on January 22, shortly after United had sensationally lost a League Cup semi-final to visitors Sunderland on penalties at Old Trafford. Clearly, it was all too much for one fan, although a GMP statement on January 24 suggested he’d be better off calling Old Trafford if he wanted to speak to Ferguson. “Last night, at approximately 10.30pm a man from the Crumpsall area of north Manchester rang 999 in a drunken state demanding to speak to Sir Alex Ferguson about last night’s result,” the force’s statement said. “Obviously, it can be a sad and depressing moment when your football team loses a game, however can we all please remember that 999 is to be used for emergencies only. “For any other police related enquiries that are not an emergency, you can ring 101.” “If you would like to speak to Sir Alex about recent football results we here at GMP Manchester North can only suggest you try ringing Manchester United FC directly as you will probably (not definitely) have a much better chance of getting through to him there rather than ringing the police.” Wednesday’s defeat added to English champions United’s woes in their first season since legendary manager Ferguson retired in May. Already out of the FA Cup, they are also a huge 14 points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal under Ferguson’s successor, David Moyes. – AFP

62 Sport


Warne to coach Aussie T20 spinners
BOWLING great Shane Warne was January 23 named as spin coach ahead of Australia’s World Twenty20 campaign starting in Bangladesh in March. Cricket Australia said the 44-year-old would support head coach Darren Lehmann as a consultant, providing specialist training for the squad’s spinners. The Australia T20 squad begins a three-match series against South Africa on March 9, before heading to compete in Bangladesh. “We believe our national teams can really benefit from more specific skill-based coaching as and when it is needed,” Lehmann said. “This will mean that from time to time we will enlist the support of experts in their craft to work with our players and share their experiences.” Lehmann said spin bowling would be crucial to eighth-ranked Australia’s chances in Dhaka. “There’s no better person than Shane to help guide the spinners we select in that squad. “He was a gifted cricketer and remains passionate about spin bowling and seeing our players be the best that they can be. We’re thrilled to have him on board,” said Lehmann. Added Warne, who retired in 2007 with a then world-record 708 Test wickets: “I’m excited to be working with Australia’s spinners in South Africa.” “I’m looking forward to helping them with some intense bowling preparation ahead of the World Twenty20, where we’ll specifically work on tactics and mindset.” – AFP



Neymar case brings down unpopular Rosell
during his time in charge. However, many felt he was willing to sell the club’s soul in his quest to balance the books. Under Rosell’s tutelage Barcelona finally succumbed to becoming world football’s last major power to have a commercial sponsor on their shirts. A bumper deal signed with Qatar Sports Investment in 2010 for 171 million euros firstly saw The Qatar Foundation replace UNICEF on the famous blaugrana shirt before Qatar Airways took over the sponsorship this season. Rosell’s marketing background also helped him seal another major sponsorship deal with Intel last month. However, by prioritising the club’s finances, Rosell made some unpopular decisions within the dressing room and the club’s fanbase. In particular, the decision to not renew the playing contract of Eric Abidal last summer months after he had returned to action from a liver transplant was seen as lacking the warmth with which Laporta had previously built up strong relations with the club’s stars. That trend followed last month when in an uncharacteristic outburst, Lionel Messi slammed Rosell’s economic vice-president Javier Faus a being a man “who knows nothing about football” and who “treats Barcelona like a business, which it is not.” The more popular and charismatic Laporta, who is expected to launch a bid to return as president in 2016, also joined in the cries for Rosell to explain himself to the club’s fans on January 22. And with his credibility amongst the club’s members at an all-time low, it seemed only a matter of time before Rosell finally fell on his sword. – AFP



The Olympic Spirit: Sjinkie Knegt (R) of the Netherlands’ team gestures to Victor An (L) of Russia, after Russia won the men’s 5000m relay final race of the ISU European Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Dresden, Germany, on January 19 Photo: AFP

ANDRO Rosell’s threeand-a-half year term in charge of Barcelona came to an end on January 23 as he submitted his resignation as the club’s president. The 49-year-old had come under increasing pressure in recent weeks as he faces legal action, launched by one of the club’s own members, over his role in the signing of Brazilian star Neymar last year. Rosell has routinely insisted that the 21-year-old cost the club 57.1 million euros (US$77 million), but refused to divulge how much money each of the parties to the deal received on confidentiality grounds. That led Jordi Cases to launch the case against Rosell last month for not informing the club’s members as to where the money for the transfer had gone. The capture of Neymar was a significant political coup for Rosell. A former Nike executive in Brazil, Rosell played a key role in bringing two-time World Player of the Year Ronaldinho to the club in 2003 in his role on the board of previous president Joan Laporta. His relationship with Laporta soon broke down, though, as he left along with incoming president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who was then in charge of basketball operations at the club, following irreconcilable disagreements with Laporta in 2005. He returned to the club in 2010, succeeding Laporta by winning by the presidential elections by greatest margin in the club’s history with 65.5 percent of the vote. Given his business links in Brazil, Neymar was the perfect marquee signing for Rosell and he made a move as early as November 2011 to ensure the former Santos

Barcelona club president Sandro Rosell sits at a press conference at club offices on January 23. Photo: AFP

man would end up in Catalonia by agreeing a deal with a business owned by Neymar and his father called N&N to bring the player to Barcelona when his contract expired in 2014. However, as La Liga rivals Real Madrid circled around Neymar last summer, Rosell’s desperation not to be outdone by Real president Florentino Perez may have significantly increased the outlay made by the club. According to the court resolution released on Wednesday, Barca paid 40 million euros to N&N for breaking the previous agreement to complete the player’s signing in 2014 and bringing it forward by a year. That deal flew in the face of Rosell’s previous economic handling of the Spanish champions. Once elected he quickly set about reducing the club’s huge debt left behind by Laporta’s reign. A feat he impressively managed, reducing the debt by 100 million euros, whilst maintaining a more than competitive side on the field which won six trophies


Sport 63

Kariuki champ again at marathon


DOUglaS LOng dlong125@gmail.com Kyaw Zin Hlaing kyawzinhlaing91@gmail.com

ENYAN distance runner Joseph Gitau Kariuki strode his way to victory for the second consecutive year at the Yoma Yangon International Marathon on January 29, crossing the finish line at Thuwunna Indoor Stadium with a time of 2 hours, 35 minutes and 49 seconds. Second place in the 42-kilometre race was snatched by Myanmar runner Wai Lin Htun, who finished 3 minutes and 7 seconds behind Kariuki. Another local competitor, Soe Naing, finished third in 2 hours, 56 minutes and 6 seconds. Kariuki and Wai Lin Htun had distanced themselves from all the other runners by kilometre 24. As the duo forged ahead, the small knots of fans along the course cheered loudly for Wai Lin Htun, who was easily identifiable as a local favourite by virtue of the word “Myanmar” emblazoned across his shirt. But it was clear that Kariuki was holding back and biding his time, expending excess energy waving at the crowd, calling stray dogs and even, on one or two occasions, playfully jumping after pigeons that flew too close. The crafty Kenyan finally made his move with 5km to go, unleashing a sharp acceleration that left Wai Lin Htun sputtering in his wake. The biggest impediment to Kariuki’s victory occurred about 1km before the finish, when a breakdown in traffic management forced the runner to

weave through cars that had backed up on the bridge leading to Thuwunna Indoor Stadium. At one point Kariuki slowed to a crawl and appeared uncertain as to whether he was still on the proper course. But he quickly took to the sidewalk and found his way to the finish line. Before this year’s event, Kariuki – who last year won two marathons in Southeast Asia and placed second in another – told The Myanmar Times that the Yangon race was his “favourite marathon to date”. “They treat a champion like a champion, and I am humbled by that. I also like the course, the security and the wellmannered fans on the streets.” Kariuki’s only complaint was the first prize of US$2500, which he said was small for a marathon. The podium in the women’s 42km event was dominated by Myanmar runners, led by Myint Myint Aye with a time of 3 hours, 1 minute and 13 seconds. Nilar San came in just 42 seconds later, while third place finisher Thidar Cho finished 9 minutes and 55 seconds behind the winner. The Yoma Yangon International Marathon also included a 21km halfmarathon category: Kenyan Paul Kimani Wambui won the men’s race (1:07:28), while the women’s field was led by Mary Wangui Kiguru (1:25:31), also from Kenya. Myanmar runner Phyu War Thet, who nabbed a gold medal in the women’s 5000-metre race at last month’s Southeast Asian Games, came second in the 21km event with a time of 1 hour, 26 minutes and 22 seconds.

“I’m happy with second place because I didn’t have enough time to train for this race. I rested after the SEA Games, so I wasn’t at my best level here. Had I been at my peak condition, I could have beaten [Mary Wangui Kiguru],” Phyu War Thet said. “Holding this race every year is a good idea because it will help develop a new generation of marathon runners.” Adrian Mok, managing director of Singapore-based sports event organiser Hivelocity, said he was pleased to see a “tremendous jump” in the number of people signing up for the race, from 1000 in 2013 to nearly 3000 this year. “This is a clear sign to us that the people of Yangon and Myanmar are getting increasingly passionate about running,” he said. He said one of the main challenges of planning the race in Yangon was organising the route and the road closures. “We had to spend a great amount of time to craft out the best running route without compromising on the safety of our runners. The Yangon City Development Committee, Traffic Police and our counterparts from Yoma Strategic Holdings were particularly helpful in getting the necessary road closures for us,” he said. “However, due to the limitations in the current infrastructure and resources from the traffic police within certain areas, we could only reduce disruptions to our race routes.” Mok added that Hivelocity was committed to improving the race in the future and pushing the marathon to “greater heights”, an effort that would benefit Myanmar.

Runners take part in the Yoma Yangon International Marathon on January 19. Photo: Boothee


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

Champ returns to take crown again at Yangon marathon

Paragames impress vistors
International delegates praise Myanmar as host of the 7th ASEAN paragames


BRiDgeT Di CeRTO bridget.dicerto@gmail.com

MPRESSING athletes and technical advisors alike, the 7th ASEAN Paragames drew to an explosive close on Monday night, with fireworks and fanfare saluting the achievements of the nearly 2000 athletes that participated. Held in Nay Pyi Taw’s newly inaugurated Wunna Theidki athletics stadium, the glow-stick touting audience were regaled by three hours of choreographed performances featuring traditional Myanmar instruments and ethnic dancers. The 900-plus medal winners of the 12 competition categories in the paragames paraded to ecstatic applause around the stadium. “Facility-wise, this [sports complex] is fantastic. World class,” Malaysian technical delegate Irene Chang told The Myanmar Times on the sidelines of the sitting volleyball final between the women’s Myanmar and Indonesia teams. “Myanmar has all the equipment required, all the facilities and logistics that can be used to run international events. “The only thing they need is to train and educate the local people here about how to organise these sports. They are lacking in technical ability. The people here involved in the paragames are very, very new [to it],” said Ms Chang, who also serves as the deputy secretary-general of the Asia Oceania Committee Volleyball for Disabled (AOCVD).

Swimmers dive from the starting blocks at the ASEAN paragames in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: Pyae Thet Phyo

Ms Chang is a champion of high standards: She compiles and publishes a 10-page daily bulletin for the sitting volleyball teams competing in Nay Pyi Taw. Not only is she proud of her international standards, she is quick to point out Southeast Asia’s role in creating them. “The president [of AOCVD] used to be an Australian and there was no development in Asia, but when the presidency came to Malaysia we saw so much development.” In Myanmar, the disabled have long been a forgotten agenda for a government that gives population figures for the group at anywhere between 2 and 10 percent. In neighbouring Thailand that figure is 2.9pc. In Cambodia it is 4pc and in Laos, the WHO puts the figure at 10pc. The relatively high population of disabled people is a similar theme repeated across a region of 11 nations plagued by legacies of war, civil unrest and under-developed medical infrastructure, not always accessible to people living in the region’s remote and isolated areas. Because of this state of affairs Ms Chang, and many other technical delegates at the paragames, will stress the importance the games has, not just for the athletes competing, but for all disabled people. “Wherever there is a paragames it leaves a great impact on the government and on the public in general,” she said. “For example, when they did the Beijing paragrames in 2008, it left a real impact in Beijing, and people started to become more aware of their power to empathise and sympathise with disabled people in their community.” The tremendous impact hosting the paragames has on the host country’s relationship with its disabled population is not reflected in the funding and prominence disabled teams receive, Ms Chang said. “A lot of countries, they don’t have the budget to send teams to the paragames. Often, unless they are prospective gold medalists, they will not send anyone,” she said. A lack of

Athletes from Myanmar and the Philippines compete in wheelchair basketball at the ASEAN paragames in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: Philip Heijmans

initial government funding means a lack of promotion and awareness and ultimately a lack of sponsors – something that greatly hurt the sports, Thai power-lifting team manager Sakhorn Somsoon said. “Every country is the same. People don’t really understand the paragames because, for example in my country, the sponsorship is very low and so the promotion is very little.” But, she said, over the past decade that she has served as team manager for the Thai men and women powerlifters, recognition for the paragames was improving. At the powerlifting meet, Indonesia smashed the previous game record of a 180kg lift in the 80-88kg setting a new mark of 191kg. A small, but ecstatic, crowd cheered on the victory that was televised live on Myanmar national cable television.

“We have very hard work in this competition,” Ms Somsoon said of paragames powerlifting. “Powerlifting comes from here,” she said, touching her chest to point to her heart. “If you don’t love it, you don’t want to do it. It’s not just training. You will see in every team if there is someone who is new you can see if they have it in their heart.” Like other nations’ delegates, Ms Somsoon applauded the Nay Pyi Taw complex, constructed by local conglomerate Max Myanmar for an unspecified sum of money. “The number one [paragames] facilities are in Malaysia – I can say these are close. It is very good for a first time organising the games,” the veteran Thai trainer said. “They still need more training,” she said of both the athletes and referees. “I can see by the way they lift they

know how to carry the weight, but they don’t understand about the technique. For a first time effort it is okay.” The ASEAN Paragames is modeled after the Paralympics. Athletes in the games are disabled with mobility disabilities, visual disabilities, amputations or cerebal palsy. In Myanmar’s first time hosting the games, athletes competed in all 12 sports. Boy M Arbah, a star sitting volleyballer from Thailand, said he and his team were impressed with the Myanmar facilities. While most of his team, which faced the host in the final, were veterans, he said new members quickly came to love the atmosphere of competing. “Come on, take our photo,” he called as the team – like old hand celebrities – quickly posed in formation for the press.