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HEARTBEAT OF THE NATION

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DAILY EDITION

ISSUE 46 | WEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 2015

PAGE

PHOTO: WA LONE

Kabyar Wa:
Myanmars
next beach
hotspot?
An idyllic and
untouched
13-kilometre
stretch of sand
in southern Mon
State is at the
centre of a giant
development
proposal but
some are warning
the government
not to move too
fast on the project,
amid confusion
over the terms of
the agreement and
land ownership.
A wooden boat rests on the sand at Kabyar Wa, a beach 25 kilometres south of Ye in southern Mon State.

Thousands stranded
off Rakhine coast: UN
Five boats thought to be carrying about 2000 people are stuck in Rakhine waters in urgent
need of help, the UN says, with reports of food shortages, dehydration and violence. NEWS 3

NEWS 4

Govt, ethnic groups


wrangle over ceasefire
NCCT plans to meet in Chiang Mai
on May 25 to discuss governments
proposal for a two-step process.
BUSINESS 9

Importers express anger


at car parking regulations
New rules on parking are forcing car
importers to pay K700,000 to brokers
for government recommendation letters.

TRADEMARK CAUTIONARY NOTICE

2 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 20, 2015

JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, a company organized


under the laws of Japan and having its principal office at 6-3,
Otemachi 2-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan is the owner and
sole proprietor of the following Trademarks :-

Myanmar Registration Numbers. 4/3226/2001 & 4/6594/2011

ENEOS
Myanmar Registration Numbers. 4/3227/2001 & 4/6594/2011
Used in respect of : Industrial Oils, inedible oils and fats, fuels, lubricants, waxes.
(International Class 4)
Services for repair and maintenance of machines and apparatus
for gasoline station, services for repair and maintenance of
automobiles and motorcycles, services for refueling of oils and
fuels to automobiles and motorcycles, services for cleaning and
washing of automobiles and motorcycles, services for repair of
tires for automobiles and motorcycles. (International Class 37)
Any unauthorized use, imitation, infringements or fraudulent
intentions of the above marks will be dealt with according to law.
Tin Ohnmar Tun, Tin Thiri Aung & The Law Chambers
Ph: 0973150632
Email:law_chambers@seasiren.com.mm
(For. Domnern Somgiat & Boonma,
Attorneys at Law, Thailand)
Dated. 20th May, 2015

TRADEMARK CAUTIONARY NOTICE


KRAFT FOODS BELGIUM INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY,
a company organized under the laws of BELGIUM carrying
on business as manufacturer and having its principal office at
Brusselsesteenweg 450, 1500 Halle Belgium is the owner and
sole proprietor of the following Trademarks:-

PRINCE
Myanmar Registration Numbers.
4/2825/2008, 4/7554/2011, 4/11907/2011 & 4/15916/2014

Myanmar Registration Numbers.


4/2822/2008, 4/7554/2011, 4/11908/2011 & 4/15917/2014

TUC
Myanmar Registration Numbers.
4/5280/2008, 4/7554/2011, 4/11910/2011 & 4/15918/2014
The trade marks are used in respect of goods in International
Class 30.
Any unauthorized use, imitation, infringements or fraudulent
intentions of the above marks will be dealt with according to law.
(For. Patrick Mirandah Co.(S) Pte Ltd, Singapore)
Ph:0973150632
Email:law_chambers@seasiren.com.mm
Dated. 20th May, 2015

Mandalay residents protest on May 15 against their forced eviction to make way for a parking lot. Photo: Si Thu Lwin

Families fight university land grab


SI THU LWIN
sithulwin.mmtimes@gmail.com
RESIDENTS arrested and detained
for resisting attempts to evict them
from their homes have accused Mandalays Yatanarpon University of
tyranny directed against women.
On May 15, family members staged
a demonstration in front of the university in protest against the universitys decision to fence off land they
say they own.
The dispute concerns No 74/75,
plot No 591, on Obo Ground, in front
of the university in Mandalays Amarapura township. The university
has begun fencing off the land to
turn it into a car park.
They have given no reason for
confiscating the land, said Daw
Khin Ohn, one of the sisters who
claim ownership of the plot. Do

they think they can bully us because


we are women? This is the second
time they have tried to confiscate the
land by force. We have all the necessary documents proving our ownership of this land. They are just taking
the land by force without negotiating
a price. If they refuse to negotiate,
we will take action against them under the law. Everybody, including the
Settlements and Land Records Department, knows we own the land.
The family has also appealed for
help to Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann.
Notice to quit was served in a letter dated May 8, signed by university
rector U Khin Maung Oo. When the
residents refused to move, the police
came on May 11 and arrested them.
Another resident, Daw Mya Koon,
a family member whose land was
also confiscated, said police dragged

us to the car like animals.


They dragged my daughter, who
is four months pregnant and who is
now in pain. This is tyranny. They
didnt take us to Amarapura Police
Station but to Myitnge Seik Police
Station. We were not allowed to see
anyone and they kept us in chains.
What did we do wrong? We are not
the ones who have committed a
crime. All we want is our land back.
The land is intended as a university parking lot under various documents of the Mandalay City Development Committee and the Mandalay
Region Government, which appear
to serve as authority to require the
removal of the residents.
The Myanmar Times had received
no comment from U Khin Maung Oo
at the time of going to press.
Translation by Emoon and
Kyawt Darly Lin

Handful of payouts after


Rakhine ferry sinking
SHWEGU
THITSAR
khaingsabainyein@gmail.com

INSURANCE officials are appealing


to the families of the victims of the
Aung Takon 3 ferry disaster to come
forward to claim compensation. Staterun Myanma Insurance says families
that can produce a death certificate
and documents proving that the insured deceased was a family member
will be paid.
So far, third-party liability insurance has been paid out in the case of
only nine of the victims, said U Aye
Min Thein, managing director of Myanma Insurance, on May 18.
The official death toll from the
March 13 disaster off the coast of Rakhine State is 72. But eyewitnesses
say the number aboard was far higher

than the capacity of the ferry, and the


real tally is likely to be much larger.
In the absence of any further recovery
effort, however, the number of dead
will never be established for sure.
So far, despite uproar in both the
Rakhine State parliament and the
Amyotha Hluttaw, no official inquiry
has been published that sets out all
the facts of the sinking, and no arrests
have been made despite allegations

We are inviting the


families of other
victims to make a
claim. We are trying
to contact them.
U Aye Min Thein
Myanma Insurance

of overcrowding and drunkenness


among the crew.
U Aye Min Thein said he expected
claims from at least 20 more families
of victims whose bodies had been
recovered.
More than 30 bodies have been
claimed. We have already paid compensation in respect of nine bodies, and we are inviting the families of the other victims to make a
claim. We are trying to contact them
through local residents, he said.
He added that neither the ship
nor most of the passengers had been
insured.
Claimants with the necessary documentation could present it at the insurers office in the Rakhine capital
Sittwe, he said.
As soon as the documents reach
us, we will send back the cheque. We
need a death certificate and documents showing that the deceased was
a family member of the claimant.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

www.mmtimes.com

NEWS EDITOR: Thomas Kean | tdkean@gmail.com

News 3

Dept
warns
of heavy
rain to
May 25
AYE SAPAY PHYU
ayephyu2006@gmail.com

IN PICTURES
PHOTO: AFP

A rescued Bangladeshi migrant recovers with a broken leg at a hospital in Langsa in Aceh
province yesterday. The migrants, mostly Rohingya from Myanmar and Bangladesh, were
rescued by Indonesian fishermen off Langsa on May 15.

UN urges rescue of 2000


people stranded off Rakhine
GUY DINMORE

LAIGNEE BARRON

SOME 2000 men, women and children


are believed to be stranded on human
traffickers boats off Myanmars Rakhine State coast and are in urgent need
of help, the UN Refugee Agency said
yesterday as it appealed to the government to intervene.
The UNHCR said several hundred
people had managed to get off the
boats by paying K200,000 to K300,000
(US$200-300) each to the smugglers.
At least five boats had been at sea for
more than 40 days.
Their reports of food shortages,
dehydration and violence on board
are causing great concern, Vivian Tan,
UNHCR spokesperson in Bangkok, told
The Myanmar Times.
She said those on board were believed to be from Rakhine State and
also from Bangladesh.
Unverified reports suggest that the
boats have been moving in and out of
Myanmar territorial and international
waters. They have at times been sighted
from the shores of Maungdaw, Rakhine
State, she said.
UNHCR is urging that stranded
passengers should be disembarked immediately with a focus on saving lives.
They should receive urgent medical
care, assistance, and protection upon
disembarkation, and should not be
punished for irregular departure.
Diplomats following the case said
they hoped that statements made by
Minister for Information U Ye Htut on
May 18 pledging cooperation with international partners in combating human trafficking would be followed up

by concrete action to save those caught


at sea.
Aid workers are anxious that Myanmar does not follow the example of
Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia and
push boats back to sea, although they
also conceded it was not clear that all
those on board would be willing to return to their places of origin.
Those on board include Rohingya
Muslims from Rakhine State where
about 140,000 mostly stateless people
have been living in what the UN has
called abysmal conditions in camps
since sectarian violence involving the
Buddhist majority erupted in 2012.

Reports of
food shortages,
dehydration and
violence on board
are causing great
concern.
Vivian Tan
UN Refugee Agency

The economic migrants, refugees


and others stuck off the MyanmarBangladesh coasts had been intending
to make the perilous journey to Thailand, and possibly on to Malaysia, but
became marooned close to their starting points after Thailand launched a
crackdown on traffickers.
Chris Lewa, executive director of
the NGO Arakan Project, said that since
the crackdown thousands had been unable to complete the voyage and were
instead held in offshore camps.

She said traffickers unable to leave


the Bay of Bengal began charging passengers K200,000 to disembark in
Maungdaw and in Bangladesh, sending
them back to where they started.
Simultaneous to the push-backs of
boats by Thai, Indonesia and Malaysian
patrols this month, fresh clampdowns
occurring further north in the Bay of
Bengal have left the migrant-laden
boats unable to turn back and unable to press on through the well-worn
trafficking route.
Recently, because of problems
disembarking we have heard of boats
throwing people overboard and leaving fishermen to come find them, Ms
Lewa said.
The Bangladesh coastguard has
announced patrols to find abandoned
passengers before they drown, according to local media.
Ms Lewa also said she has lost contact with the boats abandoned by their
smugglers nearer to the Thai camps
they initially set out for.
We were hoping that the media attention would stop the push-backs and
create pressure to allow people to land
... Its just a terrible situation. Weve lost
all contact with the boats that were off
of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
We can only hope they are not dead at
sea.
Focusing on the immediate problem
of push-backs, a joint statement yesterday by three senior UN officials and the
International Organization for Migration (IOM) strongly urged the leaders
of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand to
protect migrants and refugees stranded
on vessels, to allow them to land for
screening and to give priority to saving
lives, protecting rights, and respecting
human dignity.
Mentioning Rohingya who the
Myanmar government insists on calling Bengali and other refugees and

migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh, the statement said that in Southeast Asia more than 88,000 people had
made the dangerous voyage by sea
since 2014, including 25,000 who arrived in the first quarter of this year
alone.
Nearly 1000 are believed to have
perished at sea due to the precarious
conditions of the voyage, and an equal
number because of mistreatment and
privation at the hands of traffickers and
abusive smugglers, the statement said.
In the Bay of Bengal, migrants and
refugees are fed only white rice and are
subjected to violence, including sexual
violence. Women are raped. Children
are separated from their families and
abused. Men are beaten and thrown
overboard.
The statement urged states in the
region to allow passengers to disembark safely. A UN spokesperson said
this also referred to Myanmar.

UNSTABLE conditions in the


Bay of Bengal and the advancing
southwest monsoon will bring
severe weather to coastal areas, including Rakhine State, over
the next week, meteorologists
said yesterday.
The Department of Meteorology and Hydrology issued a
heavy rainfall notification on
the evening of May 18, warning
that Rakhine State and Magwe
Region should expect heavy
rainfall over the 48 hours to
May 20. It also warned of the
threat of thundershowers in
Ayeyarwady, Bago, Mandalay,
Magwe and Yangon regions, as
well as Rakhine State, over the
same period.
At 4:30pm yesterday the
department said the unstable
conditions in the Bay of Bengal
had developed into a low-pressure area.
New 24-hour rainfall records for May were measured
at Nawnghkio in Shan State,
Mandalay and Pyin Oo Lwin
in Mandalay Region, and Sagaing in Sagaing Region on May
19. The highest rainfall was in
Pyin Oo Lwin, where 6.65 inches (169 millimetres) fell, more
than doubling the old record of
3.11 inches (79mm) set in 2009.
Department director U
Kyaw Lwin Oo said the unstable weather conditions would
support the monsoon on its
journey to northern Myanmar
but would also bring severe
weather to the Rakhine and
delta coastal areas, including
isolated heavy rain and widespread monsoon rain through
to May 25.
About 8 to 10 inches of rain
is forecast [to fall in Rakhine
and delta areas] over the seven
days from May 18 to 25, he
said.
The unstable air conditions currently near the Rakhine coast are expected to move
northeast and bring heavy rain
to lower Sagaing, Magwe and
Mandalay on May 20 and 21.
The department also announced that the monsoon had
advanced into southern Myanmar on May 16 and is expected
to reach delta areas, including
Yangon, between May 21 and
26.

JOB VACANCY
Humanitarian Programme Officer
Salary range 745.000 1.404.000 Kyats per month
(Depending on skills and experiences)
DanChurchAid (DCA) is an international development and humanitarian
organization working in more than 20 countries. Currently DCA Myanmar is
seeking to recruit Humanitarian Programme Officerbased in Yangon with
extensive travel to field. This position will steer preparedness, risk reduction
and humanitarian response work. Myanmar National with a minimum of 5 years
experience in humanitarian within an NGO/ INGO, UN, embassies are preferred
for the position. A detailed Job Description is available on request from Ms.
Hlaing Phyu Min, hpmi@dca.dk.The applicants should submit application with
a motivation letter (why are you qualified for this position),CV and contact details
of two referees to HR Unit by email to hpmi@dca.dk and mkum@dca.dk
not later than 29th May 2015. Please quote reference: DCA Humanitarian
Programme Officer application. (Please note that only shortlisted candidates
will be contacted for interviews.)

4 News
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Tony Child
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Editor MTM Sann Oo
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Regional Affairs Correspondent Roger Mitton
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Sub-Editors Peter Swarbrick, Laignee Barron

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 20, 2015

Philippines refuge offer in doubt


LAIGNEE BARRON
laignee@gmail.com
OFFICIALS in the Philippines
were unable yesterday to confirm a
widely reported offer by their government to accept thousands of
people trapped aboard abandoned
smugglers boats in the Andaman
Sea.
We have no information on
these concerns, said Zandro Sison,
special assistant to the secretary in
the Presidential Communications
Office.
The international and local media reports stating that the Philippines would accommodate the
Bangladeshi and Rakhine State
passengers who have not been able
to disembark all quote the same
statement issued on May 18 by
Herminio Coloma Jr, a spokesperson for President Benigno Aquino.
Mr Colomas statement was
released in response to an earlier

article that he said falsely suggested the Philippines supported the


push back policies employed by
Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia
to stop the boats from landing.
When contacted about claims
in AFP and the Guardian that
the Philippines has become the
first nation to offer a safe haven
for the migrants, the presidents
office provided Mr Colomas
full statement for purposes of
clarification. The statement makes
no mention of either the Andaman
Sea or any plans to assist forsaken
migrants.
What was cited in the Philippine Daily Inquirer report [on
May 18] was a mere restatement of
applicable provisions of our existing laws, Mr Coloma said.
The Philippines, as a state party to relevant instruments, such as
the 1951 Convention Relating to
the Status of Refugees, concretely
manifested its solidarity with the

United Nations in providing succor and relief to persons involuntarily displaced from their homelands as a consequence of political
conflict.
The Philippines Department
of Foreign Affairs told Philippines
media yesterday that the nation
must balance commitments to the
1951 convention with our interests, economic[s] and security.
The department also confirmed
that should the boats reach the
Philippines shore they would not
be pushed back out to sea.
The UN Refugee Agency said
the statement has not altered
the primary concern: saving the
thousands still stuck on what are
feared to become floating coffins.
Currently the focus is still very
much on having coastal states assume their moral and legal responsibility to rescue people in distress
at sea, said Vivian Tan, spokesperson for the UNHCR in Bangkok.

Chief Sub Editor MTM Aye Sapay Phyu


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U Aung Min speaks at a meeting with armed ethnic groups in Yangon in December 2014. Photo: Wa Lone

Ethnic groups to meet


over ceasefire proposal
EI EI TOE
LWIN
eieitoelwin@gmail.com

MYANMARS armed ethnic groups


are to meet next week in Chiang
Mai to consider the governments
offer of a nationwide ceasefire
pact that would exclude three
factions fighting in the Kokang
region but with a promise of bilateral talks once they halt military
operations.
The governments proposal was
reiterated by chief negotiator and
minister U Aung Min in talks with
political parties in Yangon on May
18. The Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), representing 16 armed groups, including the
three in question, has publicly rejected the offer, although there are
signs that some would be open to
a two-step process.
U Aung Min said he believed
a nationwide ceasefire agreement
could be signed in June despite a
general sense that a conference of
ethnic leaders hosted by the United Wa State Army in its Pangkham
stronghold this month had been a
setback for the peace process.
The minister stressed the need
to sign a comprehensive ceasefire
and move on to a broad political

dialogue before the run-up to parliamentary elections in November.


But negotiating ceasefires in Kokang, where fighting since February has sent tens of thousands of
civilians fleeing to China, would
take too much time, he said.
However, in what appeared to
be a shift in the governments position after months of refusing to
recognise or negotiate with the
ethnic Chinese rebels of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance
Army (MNDAA), U Aung Min said
the government could start bilateral talks with that faction and its
two allies, the Taang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and the Arakan Army, once they stop fighting.
They started fighting, so they
must stop fighting first. And then
we can start bilateral talks. We
never close the door on them, he
told the meeting of political parties, which was also attended by
President U Thein Sein.
Naing Han Thar, leader of the
NCCT, told The Myanmar Times
yesterday that the group had to
stay united. He said the NCCT did
not believe U Aung Mins pledge of
bilateral talks with the Kokang militia. Signing the ceasefire accord
in June under such conditions was
impossible, he said.
The NCCT plans to meet in
Chiang Mai from May 25 to 26 to
discuss holding a summit of ethnic
armed groups, possibly in early

June in Law Khee Lar, the headquarters of the Karen National Union (KNU), which is seen as closer
to the government than other
groups. That summit would aim
to decide whether to endorse, reject or amend the draft nationwide
ceasefire agreement signed by government representatives and the
NCCT in Yangon on March 31.
Padoh Saw Kwe Htoo Win, general secretary of the KNU and an
NCCT member, yesterday appeared
open to a two-stage ceasefire.
He told The Myanmar Times
the KNU had decided its position. We should consider shall
we sign the nationwide ceasefire
agreement with NCCT members
and then we try so that other
groups join? We have to discuss
the issue at the summit meeting.
The KNU is ready to accept the result from the summit, he said.
A source close to the MNDAA,
which is fighting a rear-guard action on the border with China,
said the group was ready to join
a nationwide ceasefire pact if the
government accepted them as an
ethnic armed group in Kokang. He
said the group would attend the
Chiang Mai talks.
Mai Aike Kyaw, spokesperson of
the TNLA, said the group wanted
to stop fighting and sign a ceasefire
but that the Tatmadaw was continuing to launch offensives.
-Additional reporting by Ye Mon

KO LIPE, THAILAND

Fears as
stricken
vessel
disappears
from radar
FIONA MACGREGOR
fionamacgregor@hotmail.co.uk
CONCERNS are growing for those on
board a boat carrying suspected Rohingya refugees that has been missing
for three days after it was pushed out
of Thai waters near the southern island of Ko Lipe on May 16.
Thai Navy authorities told The Myanmar Times yesterday that they had
lost contact with the boat on the evening of May 16 and had no knowledge
of its current position.
It is far, far away and out of our
radar reach. We have lost contact with
it, Thai Navy Lieutenant Commander
Weerapong Naksparit said.
Malaysian maritime authorities declined to comment when asked whether they had information regarding the
boats current position. However, they
are not thought to have provided those
on board with supplies during earlier
contacts, and it is unclear what supplies the passengers have left.
Indonesian authorities also declined to say whether they had information regarding the boats
whereabouts.
The boat, which is flying a flag proclaiming those on board to be Myanmar Rohingya, has been pushed back
and forth between Thai and Malaysian waters in what the International
Organization for Migration has condemned as a life-threatening game of
maritime ping-pong.
The lost boat is last known to have
been seen on May 16 between Ko Lipe
and Langkawi. At around 12.30pm The
Myanmar Times witnessed the Thai
navy towing it back out to sea the
second time it had done so in three
days after mending its engine and
providing food and water. The Thai
navy chiefs said it had then been intercepted by Malaysian authorities.
Meanwhile, it was reported yesterday that another boat though to be
carrying refugees and migrants had
been spotted off the coast of Phuket,
north of Ko Lipe, heading south.
According to the UN an estimated
8000 people, from both Myanmar and
Bangladesh, are adrift in the ocean after a clampdown on traffickers in Thailand closed usual smuggling routes.
Fears were also growing for those
stuck at sea, many of whom are believed to have been adrift for months,
after forecasters issued warnings today that heavy rain is due to hit the
Andaman Sea in coming days, creating
high wind and waves.
Chris Lewa of The Arakan Project,
a rights group which monitors boat
crossings, described the situation as
very worrying.
She told reporters that her team
had managed to make phone contact
with those on the missing boat but
had heard nothing more from them
since the evening of May 16.
They had told us that the men were
taking all the food and the women
could not get the food. They were only
getting little bits left over, she said.
Her comments echoed concerns expressed by Thai navy officers, who told
The Myanmar Times on May 16 that
they had tried to make sure women
and children received a fair share of the
rations they gave to the boat that day.
Thai Navy officers who spoke to The
Myanmar Times on May 16 said those
on board the boat off Ko Lipe were hungry and sleep-deprived. The Myanmar
Times saw distressed people, including
many women and children, crying and
making pleading gestures as the vessel
was towed back out to sea.

6 News

School
exam
results
to go
online
PYAE THET PHYO
pyaethetphyo87@gmail.com
SCENES of students celebrating or commiserating as they
jostle to read their matriculation results on the school notice
board at midnight could be a
thing of the past. This year, the
results will be released on the internet and in the print media simultaneously, parliament heard
yesterday.
The exam results will be announced simultaneously in the
print media and on the official
website of the Ministry of Education on a date to be specified.
We have no plans to release the
result earlier than that date,
Deputy education minister U
Thant Shin told the Amyotha
Hluttaw.
The deputy minister was responding to a question from representative U Phone Myint Aung
on whether there was a plan to
change the method of announcing the matriculation exam
results.
The date of the release of
the results is fixed by the heads
of township education departments, who then inform township administrators to prepare
the necessary security measures, the deputy minister said.
U Phone Myint Aung said the
method of releasing the results
to the print media could result
in delays, while an announcement over the internet could go
straight to the public.
Generally,
matriculation
exam results come out in June,
and at midnight. Students and
their parents have to go to their
respective schools to see their
results, which causes a certain
amount of jostling. It also annoys teachers, who manage the
printed results. If the Ministry of
Education were to announce the
results in advance on its website
those problems would be resolved, he said.
The government should announce the results over the internet, he told reporters.
Nowadays most people use
the internet and many young
people are on social media. So I
suggested changing the method
of announcement. But I am satisfied with the ministers reply,
said U Phone Myint Aung.
Translation by Zar Zar Soe

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 20, 2015

YE, MON STATE

Untouched Kabyar Wa beach


faces an uncertain future
Government has awarded 13km of beach to a private firm, but not all are convinced it is the best way forward

WA LONE
walone14@gmail.com

THE salty, humid breeze off the Andaman Sea soughs through the sparse
pine trees on the edge of the shore
and rolls as far as the clumps of areca
palm farms along the ridgeline. The
early May sun is high in the cloudless sky, and the waves are placid and
slow.
Kabyar Wa, arguably one of the
most beautiful beaches in Myanmar,
just 25 kilometres from Ye in southern Mon State, is untouched by any
hint of development. For its 13km
(8-mile) length it boasts almost 100
metres of golden sand at low tide, but
there are no hotels, no guesthouses.
Restaurants housed in small bamboo huts lay out rickety plastic tables
and chairs, for the two months a year
that they are open. There is no public
transport.
There are the first signs of investment, though: bamboo fences marking out plots on either side of the
ochre road leading to the beach.
The residents of Kabyar Wa village, about 400 households, subsist
on fishing and farming on the hillside. Almost all the young people
go across the border to Thailand as
undocumented immigrant workers.
Things are starting to change,
said U Aung San, the village chief. It
started in 2012, when the government
and the local armed group, the New
Mon State Party, signed a ceasefire
accord.
Now a developer wants to build a
US$12 million beach resort. Yangonbased Myanmar Aurum managing director U Htay Thwin told The Myanmar Times the company already had
permission from the state government to develop nearly 20 hectares
(50 acres) of virgin land at the beach.
We will start working on infrastructure later this year, he said. The
implementation of zones 1 and 2 will
be complete within two years, he said.
The company has plans for four zones
located by the four villages along the
13 km of beach.
Local and international tourists
are showing interest, just as land
prices rise. Ko Aung Yin Oo, 47, a resident of Ka Nyar Wa village, said the
price of a typical 2400-square-foot
plot in the area had risen tenfold,
from K300,000 to K3 million.
The residents hope the project will
bring economic development to the
region and improve its infrastructure.

A Kabyar Wa resident walks along the beach earlier this month. Photo: Wa Lone

But critics point to the example of


Ngwe Saung and Chaungtha beaches
in Ayeyarwady Region, where the
former military government grabbed
land from the residents, paying low
compensation and handing out jobs
and contracts to the generals cronies.
Economist U Hla Maung said
big projects must be conducted in a
transparent manner, and particularly
that their finances and relations with
the government and major contractors are known. Such projects should

It's important to
avoid a situation
where cronies are
sharing out the
spoils thanks
to a monopoly.
U Hla Maung
Economist

favour local residents when it comes


to job opportunities, he said.
Its important to avoid a situation
where cronies are sharing out the
spoils thanks to their monopoly, he
said.
U Kyaw Thu, a program specialist
with UN-HABITAT, said consultation
with local groups was important because the government still lacks the
capacity to properly implement the
findings of environmental and social
impact assessments.
The final decision has been made
by the regional government but for
such a large project they should work
together with civil society and INGOs
who are experts on environmental
and social impact analysis, he said.
Some Ye residents have accused
senior state government officials of
having shares in Aurum.
If you dont have close relations
with government officials, its impossible to do business in Ye, said one
environmental and political activist
from the town.
U Htay Thwin of Aurum refused to
disclose names of shareholders, but
said the Mon State chief minister, U

Ohn Myint, was not involved.


I got permission from the government because Ive been involved [in
this project] for a very long time, and
Im from Ye, he said.
He said he had promised local
residents that he would launch a regional development program on the
20 hectares of land for which he has
received government permission. At
an estimated cost of K1 billion, he
will construction school buildings, a
hospital, healthcare centres, a fire brigade, a research centre, better roads
and a crematorium.
Saw Myat Sandar Win Maw, 33,
the owner of a seafood restaurant
near the beach, said she welcomed
the prospect of more visitors to the
beach.
We cant afford to improve our
region, but the company could do it, I
think, she said.
Resident U Thaung Win, 55, a fisherman, said he had bought a plot in
the village 18 years ago for a very low
price.
But I never had any documents,
he said. Id better check my ownership status.

Official blasts narrow-minded opponents of crematorium


AUNG KYAW MIN
aungkyawmin.mcm@gmail.com
A TOWNSHIP official in rural Sagaing
Region has lashed out at local critics
of a new crematorium as narrowminded bigots after they voiced fears
about the smells that would emanate
from the building. Many villagers, represented by local sayadaw U Nandobhasa, have already complained to the
Union government.
Even the promise of free cremation
seems not to have mollified the angry
residents.
The structure is being built at
Zeegone village in Kanbalu township, Sagaing Region. U Nandobhasa

told The Myanmar Times on May 15


that construction of the crematorium
began in early April, without formal
permission. The site is close to houses,
schools and a monastery, and nearby
residents have demanded a halt to the
project because of the smell, he said.
Opposition has been strong from
the day the project was announced,
particularly from nearby residents,
who are concerned about the smell.
Despite this, theyve built it so
fast that now its nearly finished, he
said. Villagers near the cemetery
first complained at the township level.
Last month they wrote to the Shwebo
district level, the regional level and
the chief minister. But they still kept

building. So now weve sent our complaints to the Union government.


A petition signed by more than 200
of the 12,000 villagers has been sent to
the General Administration Department, the development committee,
and the Department of Health offices
at the township, district and region
levels to demand the crematorium be
relocated, he said.
Some residents are against the
project while some turn a blind eye
to it. Villagers near the crematorium dont like it because it will be
right across the street. Why are they
building it so fast? They should have
consulted the residents first, said U
Nandobhasa.

But U Kyi Aung, head of Zeegone


village administration office, said the
crematorium was sorely needed.
Our village is crowded, and the
cemetery is running out of space. The
people objecting to the crematorium
are narrow-minded bigots. Weve explained about this to everybody. Its
not easy to relocate the crematorium
because its hard to find a cemetery
plot. We didnt have planning permission at first, but we do now. Civil society has helped us build the crematorium, which is now more than 80
percent complete. All we need is the
peoples unanimous desire to run it,
he said.
He added that farmland between

Zeegone village cemetery and the


Muslim cemetery had been acquired
for K2 million to extend the old cemetery. Residents would not even have
to pay for the cost of cremation thanks
to the Parami Thukha Free Funeral
Service, he said.
The chimney of the K20 million
crematorium will be about 22 metres
(70 feet) high. The funds have been
mainly provided by former Kanbalu
residents now based in Yangon, including U Kyaw Nyunt, chair of the
Yangon-based Kanbalu Township Association, who donated K5.5 million.
The Kanbalu Township Association
itself also contributed K1.5 million.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

News 7

www.mmtimes.com

Views

Coalition government: just a fantasy?

URING his recent visit to


the United States, Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker
Thura U Shwe Mann said
at a meeting in Washington
that it would be possible to form a coalition government. National League
for Democracy chair Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi was later quoted as saying
she welcomed his cooperation.
On the feasibility of forming a coalition government, Thura U Shaw Mann,
who leads the Union Solidarity and
Development Party, said, NLD chair
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and I are good
friends as well as good competitors. Regarding the case of forming a coalition
government, I am ready today, tomorrow and in the future to cooperate with
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for the sake of
the country and people.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi responded,
This kind of co-operative spirit is
good. We welcome it.
But is it even possible to form a
coalition government? Close examination of the 2008 constitution is
required to answer the question.
According to the Constitution, the
government in Myanmar is ruled by
two senior officials: the commanderin-chief and the president.
The commander-in-chief controls
at least five of the 11 seats on the powerful National Defence and Security
Council. However, if a military officer
is appointed president, vice president,
foreign minister or speaker of one of
the parliaments he would control a
majority on the council.
The president has many powers
too, though. The president can assign
ministers and deputy ministers, chief
ministers for the states and regions,
attorney and auditor generals, the
head of Nay Pyi Taw Council, the chief
justice of the Union Supreme Court,
the chair of the Union Election Commission, the chair of the Constitutional Tribunal and many more. The
presidents mandate is huge.
The president is elected by parliament, not directly by the people.
Three candidates are selected: one
each by elected representatives in the
Pyithu Hluttaw, elected representatives in the Amyotha Hluttaw and
the military MPs. The vice president
proposed by the military representatives will already have been elected by
the commander-in-chief.
The process of selecting the vice
president among the elected MPs is
straightforward. A member of parlia-

winning candidate also have little


control over the new president, and
have few avenues for removing them.
In most countries where parliament selects a head of government,
parties have to compromise with each
other if they do not control more than
50pc of seats. If an elected prime minister and party break their promise,
MPs from other political parties that
supported the prime minister can
seek to remove him or her by putting
forward a motion of no confidence.

It is difficult to
share power
between political
parties through
compromise
and cooperation
under the 2008
constitution.

Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann talks to reporters in Nay Pyi Taw on February 11. Photo: AFP

ment nominates an individual, and


then another member of parliament
seconds the proposal. If that occurs,
the candidate is listed. When all
nominees are announced, there is
a vote. The winner is the candidate
with the highest number of votes;
there is no requirement to get above a
certain threshold.
Based on the results of the 2012
by-election, the NLD would gain a
majority in both the Pyithu Hluttaw
and Amyotha Hluttaw, after Novembers election. The USDP and ethnic
minorities would be somewhere
further behind. If the NLD secures
a majority in either of the houses in
the 2015 election, it would certainly
choose have the power to choose

SITHU AUNG
MYINT

newsroom@mmtimes.com

candidates for the vice presidency.


It could elect to give up one of those
slots if it chose.
However, if the result is in some
way in doubt for example, if no
party has a majority it will com-

plicate the process. It would make it


difficult for political parties to compromise with each other in selecting
a vice president because voting is by
secret ballot. There would have to be
an agreement reached beforehand.
The process of selecting the
president is the same as for the vice
presidents. There will be three candidates, including one selected by the
military. The one who get the highest
number of votes from all representatives, both elected and military, will
become president. The winner does
not require votes from more than 50
percent of MPs. Again, it is difficult to
compromise because of secret voting.
No one can know who will vote for
whom. Those who vote for the

But under Myanmars current


constitution, the president cant be
easily removed. It requires 75pc support from MPs in both the Pyithu
Hluttaw and the Amyotha Hluttaw. Of
course, the military controls 25pc in
each house, so it effectively requires
military support too. This means that
even if a president who took power
through a compromise between political parties breaks his or promises, the
political parties and MPs who voted
for the president have little power.
Most of the power is in the hands of
the president.
It is difficult to share power
between political parties through
compromise and cooperation under
the 2008 constitution. These factors
are likely to stymie any prospect of
a coalition government between the
NLD and the USDP. Even if Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi and Thura U Shwe
Mann reach an agreement, they
would likely face strong opposition by
other party members.
As a result, any statements about
forming a coalition government
under the current constitution should
not be taken seriously.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

8 THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 20, 2015

Business

SMALL BUSINESS

MAWLAMYINE

Clampdown catches
Mon betel traders
NAW SAY PHAW WAA
nawsayphawwaa@gmail.com
BETEL nut wholesalers in Mon
States Ye township said a number
of government departments are
checking their bonafides with a
crackdown on illegal imports from
Thailand.
Authorities at checkpoints entering Bago Region cannot tell
our betel nuts and Thailands nuts
apart, so they are stopping our
trucks and delaying our trade, said
wholesaler U Aung Than Naing.
Wholesalers are being asked to
show a number of documents from
bodies such as the Township General Administrative Department, the
agricultural ministry, the Internal
Revenue Department and the Ward
General Administrative Department, to prove the betel is locally
produced and not imported.
Even when we show these documents, they keep asking us to show
other documents. It is delaying our
trade, said Aung Than Naing.
The authorities at the checkpoints say some betel traders are
importing from Thailand without
paying tax so they should seize
those nuts.

Ko Win Thein said the move


represents a departure from previous policies allowing free internal
shipment of betel. He added traders have not received official notices
from government departments that
they must obtain additional documents, but rather it is the checkpoints that are demanding them.
We are so disappointed that we
need also these documents before
we can distribute nuts, he said. I
will keep going with my business
at the moment because we can get
these documents at a township
level, but if we are told to go to the
state level, I will stop my business.
Wholesalers said they are not
sure why betel nut imported from
Thailand is not simply checked at
the border, rather than internally.
The can check imports when
they enter there is no need to have
to show documents at the gate to
Bago Region when shipping betel
nuts to Yangon, said Ko Aung Than
Naing. Its simply causing delays.
There are a number of producers
clustered in Mon States Ye, Thanbyuzayat, Mudon and Mawlamyine
townships, and Kayin States Kyain
Seikgyi township.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

Inflation pushed up
by range of factors
INFLATIONARY pressure is coming
from several directions this year, pushing up prices for a range of local goods,
according to experts.
Myanmars rising inflation depends
on a number of factors, including parliamentary spending for the election,
increased spending on health and education, and wage increases caused by
policy change, said Asian Development
Bank deputy country director Peter
Brimble at a press conference on May
15 for the signing of an agreement between the government and ADB.
The government, with the technical
assistance of development institutions,
can address some of the concerns leading to rising prices. And to be honest, I
hope the government and Central Bank
will take action on the inflationary
events, said Mr Brimble.
The ADB forecast inflation to hit 8.4
percent this fiscal year, before dropping
to 6.6pc in the 2016 year, in its Asian
Development Outlook 2015 report.
It said higher fiscal spending and
expected higher wages will add to domestic demand, increasing inflation in
2015 fiscal year, before easing.
Inflation had picked up toward the
end of 2014 fiscal year, partly due to rising food prices and higher import prices, stemming from depreciation of the
kyat, though it had hit 5.9pc that year.
Deputy finance minister U Maung
Maung Thein said that local market
practices do not always follow macroeconomic principles, pointing to local
fuel prices not declining as much as
the world price drop would indicate is
necessary.
The Ministry of Finance takes care

to avoid inflation when calculating


wage increases and raising budget
spending on social areas to protect
against inflation, he said. U Maung
Maung Thein added that some speculators raise commodity prices as soon as
they hear about increases in inflation.
Not only the government is important in tackling inflation, but consumers also have responsibility to relieve inflationary pressure, he said at the press
conference.
Myanmar Oriental Bank chair U
Mya Than said there are various causes
for inflation. He said that the Myanmar
kyat is weak not only against the US
dollar, but also against other currencies, such as the Singapore dollar and
the euro. This is the time for the government and experts to reconsider the
entire macroeconomic system, he said.
The kyat has lost about 10pc of its
strength against the US dollar in the
last year, according to the official Central Bank of Myanmar exchange rate.
It said $1 traded at K1082 yesterday,
compared to K968 for the same period
last year.
Myanmar inflation figures (FY)

%
10
8
6
4
2
0

20
10
20
11
20
12
20
13
20
14
20
15
20
16

AYE THIDAR KYAW


ayethidarkyaw@gmail.com

Sources:
International Monetary Fund; ADB estimates.

Betel vendors shrug


off tobacco trouble
MYAT
NOE OO
myatnoe.mcm@gmail.com

LOCAL businesspeople said they are


unconcerned about the future of betel nut chewing even as health advocacy groups push for lower tobacco
use worldwide.
Betel quid sold locally is a mixture of betel and ingredients such as
lime and tobacco, though imported
finished products from India are
common. Venders say they are not
worried about the future of the betel
business, claiming interest in their
products is stronger than ever.
Betel shops are a common sight
on what seems like every road in every village and city across the country.
Most retailers are small-scale shops
specifically for betel, though sometimes also vend other products like
cigarettes and snacks.
Location is crucial for a successful shop, according to Ko Min Min,
proprietor of a South Okkalapa shop.
Our shop is open near a bus stop.
Bus drivers and other bus workers
are our main customers, he said.
Ma Aye Aye Naing, a vender in
Tarmwe township, said she has not
noticed any decrease in customers
despite furtive attempts to prevent
tobacco use. Rather, her biggest headache is rising costs of inputs, she said.
If people stopped chewing betel,
future business would decline not
only for me but for a lot of shops. But
I dont think people are giving this
up, she said. If people were giving

A woman sells betel quid in Dala township. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

up betel, shops wouldnt be opening,


and would already be shutting.
A number of world organisations
held a high-profile anti-tobacco conference in Abu Dhabi earlier this
year. It aimed to take steps to reduce
consumption of tobacco, which it
said is a leading cause of death and
disease worldwide.
Attendees called for wider implementation of World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for cutting
smoking rates and reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases.
The conference declared all
tobacco products harmful, saying they pose an especially heavy
burden on low- and middle-income countries and should be denormalised worldwide.
Tobacco is often a main ingredient of betel quid, though local businesses say so far there has been no

flight from betel.


Some shops are the main sources
of income for their owners family.
Ko Thet Paing, a betel seller in
Hlaing Tharyar township, said he
has had to bring on more staff as his
business grew. His stall is his familys
main source of income.
Some shops operate in the street
as a family business. They are not
only selling betel but also snacks and
juice, he said. Shops near bus stops
usually only focus on chewing betel,
though.
Betel farmer U Thein Nain said
chewing has not become popular recently, but has long been a trend in
Myanmar culture. If people didnt
chew betel, we would have to change
what we farm, he said. But Myanmar people are continuing to buy it.
We have chewed betel nut since the
time of the kings.

Infrastructure development comes


with foreign support: U Zaw Oo
AYE THIDAR KYAW
ayethidarkyaw@gmail.com
FOREIGN-BACKED projects will
assist in rapidly develop the infrastructure sector in Myanmar,
according to the Economic and
Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2015 by UN Economic and
Social Commission for Asia and
the Pacific.
Presidential economic adviser
U Zaw Oo said the Union governments strategy for infrastructure
development which will result
in special economic zones and
tourism and energy projects has
tied up with other countries in
the region.
Speaking at the surveys launch
in Yangon on May 18, U Zaw Oo
also said the public that progress
has been made, despite a lack of
evidence in some sectors.
The governments cooperation with the United Nations has
led to achievements, even though
we cannot show our implementation in some infrastructure areas
such as the electricity sector yet,
he said.

He added that power projects


enabling the spread of electricity
have been slow to develop in part
because there have been delays
setting policies.
These projects could come on
the backs of foreign investors,
whose financial support across
energy, tourism, and manufacturing sectors, as well as for SEZs,
could address issues around rising inflation and exchange rate
appreciation in Myanmar.
U Zaw Oo said the Myanmar
Investment Commission has permitted about $38 billion in spending for the energy sector, and that
about 4 million tourists will visit
the country this year.

Efforts to expand
the production
base should be
accelerating.
UNESCAP report

The survey said economic reform is important in Myanmar


and that efforts should be made
to speed up the expansion of its
production base.
The survey also said low-wage
manufacturing as well as agriculture held tremendous potential.
U Zaw Oo said he hoped an
official minimum wage for the
country, nearing solution through
private discussions with stakeholders, would be enacted by parliament and the Ministry of Labour as soon as possible.
The survey predicts economic
growth at 8.3pc for fiscal year
2015-16 and 8.2pc for 2016-17.
Performance this year for Myanmars economy could hinge on
important political events, including the planned constitutional referendum and the national
elections, it said.
Continued momentum in economic reforms will also be important. In particular, efforts to expand the production base should
be accelerating in the light of the
downward volatility in the global
economy, the report added.

BUSINESS EDITOR: Jeremy Mullins | jeremymullins7@gmail.com

Japan plans $100b


infrastructure rollout
in Asia

Greek loan talks enter


final stage as funds
and patience run thin

BUSINESS 10

BUSINESS 12

Exchange Rates (May 19 close)


Currency
Euro
Malaysia Ringitt
Singapore Dollar
Thai Baht
US Dollar

Buying
K1214
K302
K809
K32.5
K1089

Selling
K1234
K312
K821
K34
K1091

Importers angry with parking rule


AYE
NYEIN
WIN
ayenyeinwin.mcm@gmail.com

THE government is not doing enough


to provide car parking, even as it demands proof of a parking spot for
each new vehicle import, according
to car importers.
In a bid to cut down on overcrowded streets, Yangon Region has
required that importers have written
proof of a parking spot from their
local township administration office
since the beginning of the year. Importers have been vocal in their opposition to the policy, saying it severely
affects their business.
Some say importers must wait
from two weeks to a month to receive
the recommendation letter for the
township office. When the policy was
initially put in place, some townships
were slow to set up systems to process the requests, but now brokers say
some townships require payments to
receive the recommendation letters.
We now need to pay between
K700,000 and K800,000 for a recommendation letter but if importers
have bought the letters, they cant use
their name for imports, saod Ko Min
Min Maung, managing director of
Wun Yan Kha car sales centre.

The letters are


getting expensive,
but the government
does not receive the
money.
Ko Htut Hthaik
District Trading

Authorities hoped to slow traffic congestion through a policy requiring vehicle importers to show proof of parking. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

We have heard that there is injustice in the township administrative


offices and corruption is growing, he
said. The policy is a little deviated. I
dont think its the best way to reduce
traffic jams.
Importers say one of the biggest
frustrations is that these payments
are kept by the local officials and brokers, and do not reach government
coffers.
Distinct Trading managing director Ko Htut Hthaik said it is difficult

to make deals when importers are


not sure when their letters will be approved.
Even when we buy the letter, it
is not convenient because we dont
know when we will receive it, he
said. The letters are getting expensive, but the government does not receive the money.
Ko Htut Hthaik said he would prefer to see a standard fee of K1 million
or so on imported vehicles, with the
funds specifically earmarked to build

car parking spaces, rather than the


current system.
U Aye Tun, a senior member of the
new car distribution association, said
the policy has not been effective for
everybody.
Instead of reducing traffic jams,
other corruption will develop, he
said. To build parking is the governments task, and they should use their
budget to do this. It is not the concern of importers.
U Aye Tun said a better method of

solving parking problems would be to


build multi-storey car parking buildings through taxes collected on cars
that are applying for Yangon licence
plates.
Car importers say so far the government has said it intends to continue with the policy for the longterm.
Ministry of Commerce and
township administration officials
did not return request for comment
yesterday.

How currency exchanges deal with rules or dodge them


MYAT
NYEIN
AYE
myatnyeinaye11092@gmail.com

ITS not exactly the return of the


black market more of a brownout market, perhaps. But as the US
dollar continues its rise against the
kyat, evidence is growing that some
money changers are profiting from
the spread between the reference
rate set by the Central Bank and
what customers are willing to pay.
The Central Bank of Myanmar
has decreed that licensed exchanges,
such as banks or money changers,
must offer prices within 0.8 percent
of its official daily reference rate. It
is technically illegal to exchange kyat
for dollars, or vice versa, outside this
band but it happens anyway.
The two rates the Central Banks
and the markets have diverged
since the dollar started to rise at the
beginning of this year. Yesterday, the
Central Banks reference rate was
K1082 to the dollar, against a market
rate in the low K1100s, though both

TIN
YADANAR
HTUN
yadanar.mcm@gmail.com

started 2015 at about the same level,


K1025 per dollar.
The difference in the two rates
seemingly opens the door to arbitrage,

KYAT

1082

Central Bank of Myanmars official


exchange rate per dollar though the
black market rate is often higher

making money from buying dollars


at the Central Bank rate and selling
at the market rate. To do so, some

exchanges appear to be turning a


discreet blind eye to Central Bank instructions. Myanmar Times reporters
visited a number of Yangon banks and
currency exchanges to see first-hand
how rigorously they are applying the
rules.
One major banks downtown
branch offered a set of exchange
rates within the Central Banks official band though they had mysteriously few dollars to sell.
We dont have US$100 or $50
notes to sell we only have smaller
change like $20, $10 or $5 at the
moment, said a bank official. We
dont have any dollars to sell, because nobody is selling dollars to
us. If nobody sells dollars to us,
we cant sell them to anybody else.
Were not sure if well sell dollars
tomorrow, or in the next few days
after that, he said.
A similar ambiguity in compliance had led an exchange house on
Bogyoke Aung San Road in downtown Yangon to shut off its electronic
signboard displaying rates. A woman
supervising workers there said her
business could not follow Central
Bank rules. If customers want to
buy or sell, we do it at our price. We

dont sell dollars to everybody.


The woman said that even with
the recent uptick in the value of the
dollar, few customers want to sell
their greenbacks. Many may be waiting for even higher returns.

We dont have
any dollars to sell,
because nobody is
selling dollars to
us. If nobody sells
dollars to us, we
cant sell to anybody
else.
Bank official

Customers hoping to take advantage of the spread dont have it easy,


nonetheless.
Further downtown on Pansodan

Road our reporters found more


money changers, but less clarity.
One establishment on Sule Pagoda Road had taken down its signboard displaying rates, which had
been up the day before. Still, it was
open for business if you were willing to buy a dollar for K1130, far outside the Central Bank rate.
The price has been falling over
the past three days. We cant guess
whether it will keep dropping, said
the clerk. Its up to you if you want
to risk waiting.
The selective power cut affecting
only money changers rate displays
seemed to be widespread. At 35th
Street and the corner of Anawrahta
Road, there were others that continued to do business, but were shy
about announcing the cost.
How many dollars do you want?
$1000, maybe $2000? said the owner of an exchange that doubled as an
electronics shop.
She said it was hard to predict the
dollar market, but as long as there
are more buyers than sellers, the
price of dollars will likely continue
to rise, and money changers will
respond accordingly, whatever the
Central Bank thinks.

10 International Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 20, 2015

JAKARTA

IN PICTURES

An Afghan man counts


cash at a money market
in Kabul on May 19. The
last decade has brought
huge economic growth
GDP has risen from
US$2.5 billion in 2001 to
more than $20 billion,
according to the World
Bank but the economy
has stalled in the last two
years, hit by a disputed
presidential election and
the end of NATOs combat
mission. Photo: AFP

Indonesian rates stay


steady as economy
begins to slow down
INDONESIAS central bank held its
key interest rate steady yesterday
for the third consecutive month despite slowing growth in Southeast
Asias biggest economy.
Bank Indonesias board of governors kept the rate at 7.50 percent, in
line with most economists.
The decision is in line with the
tight-biased monetary policy stance
to maintain the inflation to fall
within the 3 to 5pc target range,
central bank governor Agus Martowardojo told reporters.
But a few economists had expected the central bank to cut the
rate by 25 basis points to boost
slowing growth, which sagged to
only 4.7pc in the first quarter, the
slowest in six years.
The full year growth for 2014
came in at 5pc.

TOKYO

NEW YORK

Union
fight
opens
new
front
JOSE Quijano, a McDonalds franchisee in Puerto Rico, said the
burger chains corporate office is
destroying our livelihoods. Jas
Dhillon, a 7-Eleven store owner in
Los Angeles, charged his parent
company with forcing old franchisees under so the chain can resell the stores at a profit.
Those are old accusations, but
they got a louder airing on a conference call hosted by the Service
Employees International Union,
which has been fighting for raises
for franchise workers.
The conference call announced
that the union has filed a petition
with the Federal Trade Commission challenging the agency to
investigate the franchise industry to determine the existence and
extent of abusive and predatory
practices by franchisors toward
franchisees.
That made it the latest salvo in
the SEIUs offensive against franchisor businesses, in which it has
lent support to pro-franchisee legislation and highlighted the high
failure rate of government-backed
franchise loans.
Most franchise industry rules
are written at the state level,
where the intensity of regulation
varies greatly. The FTCs oversight
is mostly confined to requiring
franchises to file disclosure documents that help would-be franchisees decide whether to buy into
a system. The SEIUs petition is in
part an entreaty to Washington to
take a greater role in regulating
the industry.
To that end, the union asked
the commission to document the

The main obstacle to an immediate rate cut is the high rate of inflation, which at 6.4pc year on year
in April, is currently well above the
central banks target, economist
Gareth Leather of Capital Economics said.
The bank added that it will soon
make it easier to borrow money
to make down payments on property and vehicles, in a bid to fuel
growth.
The bank cut the rate by 25
basis points in February to boost
growth, which slipped to a fiveyear low in 2014, and after inflation
slowed on the back of falling fuel
prices.
However, the cut led to steep
falls in the rupiah against the dollar, prompting the bank to pause.
AFP

Japan
plans
huge Asia
spend

Customers buy meals at a McDonalds restaurant in Tokyo. Photo: AFP

extent of abusive franchisor practices and recommend ways to


curb these practices in the future.
The petition probably means more
coming from the union than it
would from an individual storeowner. The SEIU has more than
2 million members, ties to the
White House, and traction from
its work advocating for higher
fast-food wages.
Its not uncommon for us to
get petitions from any number of
sources on any number of topics,
said Frank Dorman, a spokesperson for the FTC. Theyre all taken
seriously.
The petition focuses on two
main points: Franchisors are not
required to share much financial information with prospective
franchisees, and once a franchisee
buys into a system, she has little
power in her relationship with
the corporate franchise system.
The SEIUs research into 14 major
franchise chains, including Burger
King, Great Clips and Dunkin Donuts, found that each franchisor
reserved the right to terminate a
store owners franchise license for
any violation of the systems operating manual.
All 14 chains also reserved
the right to change the operating

manual unilaterally.
Franchisees have made such
claims in the past. Mr Quijano was
criticising McDonalds 2007 decision to sell Puerto Rico franchising rights to an Argentine company called Arcos Dorados, echoing
an FTC complaint brought by Puerto Rico franchisees in 2014. Mr
Dhillon has sued 7-Eleven, which
has denied his claims in the past.
The petition is driven by a unionfinanced campaign that has targeted the McDonalds brand, said
McDonalds spokesperson Lisa
McComb in an emailed statement.
Its ironic that this organisation, that has spent more than
US$80 million during the past
two years to disrupt operations

Workers making
higher wages
shouldnt come
from the pockets of
francisees.
Scott Courtney
Union official

of these same businessmen and


women, is now appealing to them
for an alliance, she said, alluding
to SEIU-organized protests.
How far is the union willing
to go for store owners? Union official Scott Courtney said corporate franchisors are abusive and
predatory toward franchisees.
Workers making higher wages
shouldnt come from the pockets
of franchisees, he said, adding
that franchisors are the ones with
the money and power to change
the system.
But the interests of franchisees
and their employees align only
so far. Franchisees may say they
would pay higher wages if franchisors loosened the reins on
profit margins, but thats different
from wanting to employ organised
workers.
Likewise, asking the FTC to investigate franchisors control over
franchisee operations is different
from the SEIU wanting truly independent store owners. Ultimately,
its a lot more efficient to organise
a franchise workforce employed
by a handful of enormous companies than to advocate for workers
employed by thousands of independent franchisees.
Bloomberg

JAPAN will announce a US$100 billion plan to invest in roads, bridges,


railways and other building projects in Asia, a report said yesterday, weeks after China outlined its
vision for a new infrastructure development bank in the region.
In the latest twist of a tussle
for influence in the fast-growing
region, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
is set to unveil the five-year publicprivate partnership this week, Jiji
Press reported.
The sum is in line with the expected $100 billion capital of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)
that Beijing and more than 50 founding member states are establishing.
The envisioned assistance is
aimed at demonstrating Japans
stance to contribute to building up
high-quality infrastructure in Asia
through human resource development and technological transfers
and showing the difference from
the AIIB, so that Japan can keep a
high profile in the region, Jiji said,
without naming its sources.
The report comes after Japans
Finance Minister Taro Aso said earlier this month at an event hosted
by the Asian Development Bank
(ADB), a long-established body in
which Tokyo plays a key role, that
Japan was drafting a plan to boost
investment in Asian infrastructure.
Japan and the United States
were the biggest standouts earlier
this year when Beijing began courting members for the AIIB.
Washington led a high-profile,
and ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to dissuade allies from taking part in the project, which critics
say will not demand the same goodgovernance and environmental
standards imposed by other international bodies, such as the ADB.
But supporters say fears over
undue Chinese influence are overblown, and that the participation by
more than 50 countries, including
ones as diverse as Britain and Iran,
will dilute Beijings power.
AFP

International Business 11

www.mmtimes.com
ULAN BATOR

Rio Tinto ends its


Mongolia impasse
with agreement

IN PICTURES

An Indian scavenger known as a nyara pans for precious metals


from drains that run from the gold and silversmith shops in a
market in Amritsar yesterday. A nyaras daily earnings can vary
greatly, from 300 rupees (US$5) to 5,000 ($80). Photo: AFP

SYDNEY

BHP Billiton pushes


back at iron inquiry
THE head of global miner BHP Billiton
yesterday warned an inquiry into the
iron ore industry in Australia would
send a terrible signal about the nations competitiveness and turn off key
buyer China.
The government is considering a
parliamentary probe amid claims mining giants BHP and Rio Tinto have
been flooding the market, driving down
prices, to wipe out smaller competitors.
BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said this was absolutely not
the case and warned an inquiry could
backfire on Australia, which earns billions of dollars from the steel-making
commodity the nations largest export.
This is a ridiculous waste of taxpayers money on providing a basic economics course on supply and demand,
he told ABC radio. Its red tape, pure
and simple.
Calls for an inquiry came to a head
this week with Andrew Forrest, chief
executive of Fortescue Metals, another
Australian iron ore producer, spearheading the charge, backed by independent Senator Nick Xenophon.
Mr Forrest alleges BHP and Rio have
deliberately flooded the market, leading
to smaller mining companies, which
have higher production costs, battling

to survive the challenging conditions.


Prime Minister Tony Abbott has indicated he is leaning toward an inquiry
but Mr Mackenzie said he should seriously consider the signal it would send,
with the government potentially being
seen as regulating the market.
He added that it would be an amazing gift to our major competitor Brazil,
suggesting an inquiry would drive customers away from Australia.
It sends a terrible signal to our customers and flies in the face of commitments weve made at the highest levels
in places like China, Japan and Korea

This is a ridiculous
waste of taxpayers
money on providing
a basic economic
course on supply
and demand.
Andrew Mackenzie
BHP Billiton chief executive

that they can turn to us for a secure


supply at fair prices, he said.
Mr Mackenzie said the Chinese were
already serious investors in Brazil.
And Im certain when they see
some of these things happening they
will be only more concerned to increase
their investments in Brazil so they can
stimulate an alternative and competitive supply to Australia.
So this inquiry is very bad for Australias competitiveness, he added.
Rios head of iron ore Andrew Harding has also denied the company is manipulating the market.
Treasurer Joe Hockey yesterday said
the government would discuss the call
for an inquiry with the Labor opposition and other stakeholders as part of
a carefully thought-through, methodical process.
The price of ore has dived by 60 percent over the past 12 months to reach
a decade-low of US$47.08 per tonne in
early April, badly hurting Australian
government revenue.
Budget figures last week showed
that Australias forecast tax receipts will
be cut by A$52 billion ($41.6 billion)
over the four years to 2017-18, largely
driven by the plunging iron ore price.
AFP

ANGLO-AUSTRALIAN mining giant Rio Tinto and Mongolia agreed


a multi-billion-dollar expansion of a
vast copper and gold mine, officials
said yesterday, ending a two-year
dispute as Ulan Bator seeks to restore its foreign investor appeal.
The deal on the underground
second phase of the Oyu Tolgoi
project, estimated to cost US$5.4
billion, comes with Mongolia looking to boost its flagging economic
growth after foreign direct investment plummeted by three quarters
last year.
Mongolia is back to business,
said Prime Minister Chimediin Saikhanbileg, according to a statement
released by Rio Tinto late on May 18.
Unlocking Oyu Tolgois underground mine will have a significant
impact on the Mongolian economy,
which will benefit Mongolian citizens for generations to come, he
added. Our joint agreement clearly
positions Mongolia as an attractive
country for investment.
Mongolias vast reserves of underground resources are estimated to be
worth more than US$1 trillion and
it enjoyed world-leading economic
growth in recent years peaking at
17.5 percent in 2011 on the back of
a minerals boom exemplified by Oyu
Tolgoi.
But efforts to extract the wealth
have stumbled in the face of internal
fighting over how much control and
profit foreign companies should be
allowed.
Oyu Tolgoi is a multi-billiondollar deposit and when it is in full
production it is expected to provide
as much as one-third of Ulan Bators
annual revenues.
The government and Oyu Tolgois
shareholders have been locked in negotiations since 2013 on the second

phase of the mine, with Ulan Bator


alleging unpaid taxes and looking to
renegotiate the ownership terms.
Rio subsidiary Turquoise Hill last
year priced the underground expansion at $5.4 billion. It will unlock
80pc of Oyu Tolgois value.
The statement said the two sides
agreed on a financing plan for the
next phase which addresses the key
outstanding shareholder issues and
sets out an agreed basis for the funding of the project.
This is an extremely positive
development for Mongolia and all
those involved with Oyu Tolgoi,
Batsukh Galsan, chair of the mines
operating company Oyu Tolgoi LLC,
said in a separate statement released yesterday.

BILLION US$

5.4

Estimated cost of the second phase


of the Oyu Tolgoi project, which was
agreed to yesterday

Turquoise Hill owns 66pc of the


firm, with the Mongolian government holding 34pc.
Rio Tinto added it has already
ploughed $6 billion into the mine,
with $1.3 billion paid in taxes, fees
and other payments.
In 2014 foreign direct investment
into the landlocked country plummeted 74pc, Mongolian central bank
data shows. AFP

TRADEMARK CAUTIONARY NOTICE


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR LIMITED, a company organized
under the laws of The United Kingdom carrying on business and
having its principal office at Bill Nicholson Way, 748 High Road,
Tottenham, London N17 OAP is the owner and sole proprietor of
the following Trademarks : -

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
Myanmar Registration Number. 4/6428/2014

SINGAPORE

AIIB founders to gather in Singapore


PROSPECTIVE founding members
of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will
hold a three-day meeting in Singapore this week to discuss policies,
the city-states finance ministry said
yesterday.
The fifth chief negotiators meeting on establishing the AIIB will
begin on today and involve its 57
prospective founding members, the
ministry said in a statement.
It will be co-chaired by Shi Yaobin, Chinas vice minister of finance,
and Yee Ping Yi, deputy secretary of
Singapores finance ministry.

The meeting will discuss the


draft articles of agreement and
operational policies for the AIIB,
it said, without providing further
details.
Japan and the United States were
the biggest standouts earlier this
year when China began courting
members for the AIIB, which some
analysts see as a vehicle to expand its
economic influence.
Washington led a high-profile,
and ultimately unsuccessful, attempt
to dissuade allies like Britain and
Germany from taking part.
US President Barack Obama and

Japans Prime Minister Shinzo Abe


said last month they did not oppose
the bank, but stressed it needs high
standards and transparency.
Critics have said the bank will not
demand the same governance and
environmental standards imposed
by other international bodies, such
as the US-based International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and the
Japan-led Asian Development Bank.
But supporters say fears of undue
Chinese influence are overblown,
and participation by more than 50
countries will dilute Beijings power.
AFP

Myanmar Registration
Number. 4/6429/2014

Myanmar Registration
Number. 4/6430/2014

The above marks are used in respect of Goods and Services in


Classes 9, 25, 35, 36, 38, and 41 under International Classification
of Goods and Services.
Any unauthorised use, imitation, infringements or fraudulent
intentions of the above marks will be dealt with according to law.
Tin Ohnmar Tun, Tin Thiri Aung & The Law Chambers
Ph:0973150632
Email:law_chambers@seasiren.com.mm
(For. Ella Cheong (Hong Kong) Limited)
Dated: 20th May, 2015

12 International Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 20, 2015

ATHENS

ISLAMABAD

Pakistans
degrees
under
scrutiny

Final stretch for


Greek loan talks

A man walks next to an abandoned factory in Thessaloniki on May 14. Photo: AFP

GREECE entered the final stretch


of tortuous talks with its international creditors on a bankruptcysaving loan deal, with the government calling for a breakthrough by
the end of the month.
A deal is required immediately.
This is why we are talking about
the end of May, to resolve these
critical liquidity issues, government spokesperson Gabriel Sakellaridis told reporters.
Greeces new radical Syriza-led
government and its EU-IMF creditors have been stuck in a deadlock
for four months over the reforms
needed to release a final 7.2 billion
euros (US$8.2 billion) in bailout
funds.
European economic affairs chief
Pierre Moscovici lamented that the
Greek anti-austerity government
seemed more interested in ditching
promised reforms than in making
proposals of its own.
They are more eager to say
what they dont want to keep in
the program than to propose alternatives, Mr Moscovici told a
news conference in Berlin, while
insisting that some progress
had been made in some areas in
recent days.
Later on May 18, To Vima daily
reported a European Commission
proposal to break the deadlock.
It offered to give Athens next
month a combined 3.7 billion euros
in EU and ECB funds from the ongoing bailout in return for legislation

on fiscal measures worth 5.0 billion


euros, To Vima said.
Both the Greek government and
the European Commission could
not confirm the reported proposal.
We are not aware of such a
proposal. We continue to work
toward a comprehensive deal,
together with the ECB and the
IMF, as well as the Eurogroup.
Progress is being made, albeit at
a slow pace, Commission spokesperson Annika Breidthardt said in
Brussels.

Greek finance minister Yanis


Varoufakis. Photo: AFP

Mr Moscovici insisted that the


only scenario we consider at the
Commission is a strong Greece in
the eurozone.
He added, Nobody is working
on others. We all consider that its
possible to reach an agreement.

Athens objects to further wage


and pension cuts in an economy
sapped by a six-year recession,
but has offered to make a number
of privatisations and step up tax
collection.
The delay has led to concerns
Athens is running critically short
of cash and may soon end up defaulting, which could set off a
messy exit from the euro.
The country faces a hefty repayment schedule to the International
Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank in the coming
months, and also needs to continue
paying salaries and pensions.
I think we are very close to an
agreement, Finance Minister Yanis
Varoufakis said on Greek television
late on May 18, pointing to maybe
in a week.
A break with creditors is not
in our plans nor a change of currency, he said.
At the same time, Mr Varoufakis said, Pensions and salaries
were sacred ... an absolute priority and that he would prefer a
default with the IMF rather than
on salaries.
Over the weekend, Greek newspapers reported that the country
came close to not making a 750
million euro debt repayment to the
International Monetary Fund last
week.
Creditors had been warned in
writing of the risk, Mr Varoufakis
confirmed, expressing confidence

Greece would not arrive at the point


of being unable to pay the IMF.
He also criticised creditors of
bringing nothing new to the discussions, unlike Greece.
Around 1.5 billion euros are now
due to the IMF in June, and then
more than 6 billion euros must be
paid to the European Central Bank
in July and August.
This year is Greeces toughest
in terms of bond maturities until
2030, Mr Sakellaridis said.
German economy minister Zigmar Gabriel over the weekend floated the idea of a third bailout package if reforms are implemented.
The country is on the tail end of
back-to-back bailouts totalling 240
billion euros, and the prospect of
another lifeline remains controversial for many eurozone partners.
However, as Greece remains
unable to borrow on the markets,
another bailout seems inevitable,
Greek daily Naftemboriki said on
May 18.
By the end of December, the
state must repay 12.55 billion euros
in [principal] debt and 2.95 billion
in interest, and therefore the 7.2
billion euros left in its current bailout does not suffice.
Another 1.5 to 1.6 billion must
be paid in salaries and pensions
each month, plus 8.2 billion in
state support must be given to pension funds between June and December, it said.
AFP

PAKISTAN will investigate a firm


accused by the New York Times of
earning tens of millions of dollars by
running a global fake degree empire,
officials said yesterday.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar
Ali Khan has directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to probe if
the said company is involved in any
such illegal work which can tarnish
the good image of the country in the
world, a ministry statement said.
According to the Times article published on May 18, the Karachi-based
company called Axact set up an elaborate network of hundreds of websites
for fake universities with names like
Columbiana and Barkley, complete
with paid actors who appeared as faculty members and students on promotional videos.
The report, which quoted former
employees and analysed more than
370 websites of fake universities, accreditation bodies and other purported institutions, sparked a wave of
criticism on social media even as the
company denied wrongdoing.
Axacts media venture named Bol is
set to launch a news channel, featuring leading TV anchors and journalists lured from previous employers by
high salaries, heightening interest in
the story.
The New York Times article cited
clients from the US, Britain and the
United Arab Emirates who had paid
sums ranging from thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars for their
degrees with some believing the
universities were real and they would
soon receive coursework.
The university websites mainly
route their traffic through servers run
by companies registered in Cyprus
and Latvia, and employees would
plant fictitious reports about Axact
universities on CNN iReport, a website
for citizen journalism.
Axact and its CEO, Shoaib Ahmad
Shaikh, did not respond to requests
for comment.
But a message on its website declared the story baseless, substandard, maligning, defamatory, and based
on false accusations and added it
would sue the New York Times.
The message did not directly address the allegations but accused domestic media rivals of colluding with
the US newspaper to plant a slanderous story in order to harm its business
interests.
According to an FIA official who
did not wish to be named, the allegations raised by the newspaper would
be a crime. AFP

LONDON

UK inflation turns negative for first time in 50 years


BRITAINS annual inflation rate
sank into negative territory last
month for the first time in more
than half a century, official data
showed yesterday.
The rate hit minus 0.1 percent in
April, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement,
risking a period of deflation for
Britains economy.
Prices were pushed into negative territory on the back of falling
transport services notably air and
sea fares and the earlier timing
of Easter.
That was the lowest rate since
the data series began in 1996 and

comes after two previous months of


zero inflation.
The ONS added that it was the
first time that inflation has turned
negative since 1960, citing comparable historic estimates.
An experimental data series created by the ONS indicated that CPI
was last negative in March 1960,
when it stood at minus 0.6pc.
The Consumer Prices Index
(CPI) fell by 0.1pc in the year to
April compared to no change in
the 12 months to March, the ONS
added.
George Osborne, finance minister in the British Conservative

government which won the general election earlier this month, described the data as good news for
families.
Today we see good news for
family budgets with prices lower
than they were a year ago, Mr Osborne said.
As the governor of the Bank of
England said only last week, we
should not mistake this for damaging deflation.
Instead we should welcome the
positive effects that lower food and
energy prices bring for households
at a time when wages are rising
strongly, unemployment is falling

British Finance Minister George


Osborne poses. Photo: AFP

and the economy is growing.


Deflation a sustained period of
falling prices can be good for consumers because it means that their
wages go further.
However, deflation can also trigger a vicious spiral in which companies and households delay their investments and purchases. In turn,
that can throttle demand and spark
hefty job cuts.
Mr Osborne added, We have
to remain vigilant to deflationary risks and our system is well
equipped to deal with them should
they arise.
AFP

14 THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 20, 2015

15

World
JUBA

WORLD EDITOR: Kayleigh Long

170 bikers charged


after Texas shootout
leaves nine dead

Euthanasia debate
revived as 42-year
coma victim dies

WORLD 17

WORLD 18

BAGHDAD

BUJUMBURA

650,000 at risk as army


advances on rebel base
SOUTH Sudans army is advancing on
a key rebel enclave, a spokesperson
said yesterday, as UN and aid agencies
warned fighting had cut hundreds of
thousands of civilians off from lifesaving aid.
The government assault that began
in late April is one of the heaviest offensives in the 17-month-long civil war
and has cut off over 650,000 from aid,
with gunmen raping women and girls,
torching towns, and looting relief supplies, according to the UN and aid
agencies.
Government forces have been pushing south from the government-held
town of Bentiu, capital of Unity state,
toward the opposition zone around the
town of Leer. We have pursued the
rebels from around Bentiu up to Leer,
South Sudan army spokesperson Philip
Aguer said.
It was not clear if fighting had
reached the town itself, but the UN
warned of its devastating impact in
both Unity and Upper Nile, where rebels attacked the state capital Malakal
on May 15.
UN agencies and their partners
are working to address the immense
humanitarian consequences of the violence, which has resulted in more than
650,000 civilians being left without
life-saving aid, UN aid chief in South
Sudan Toby Lanzer said.
Fighting broke out in December
2013 when President Salva Kiir accused
his former deputy Riek Machar of attempting a coup, setting off a cycle of
retaliatory killings across the country.
Military operations in Unity and
Upper Nile states over the past three
days in particular have again devastated countless lives, Mr Lanzer said.
Eyewitness accounts report tar-

Coup followed by ministerial shakeup

geted rape and killing of civilians, including children. The offensive in Unity
has left thousands of homes burnt and
Leer hospital is again under threat of
destruction, he added.
The UN childrens agency said girls
as young as seven had been raped or
killed, boys as young as 10 had been
killed, and others had been mutilated
or abducted by armed groups aligned
with the army.
The International Committee of the
Red Cross (ICRC), forced to pull out of
Leer, said it was deeply worried for the
fate of those left without food or healthcare, as the fighting comes closer.
We fear that the situation of some
100,000 people in Leer, who are now
hiding in unimaginably difficult conditions, will worsen day by day, said
ICRC chief in South Sudan Franz
Rauchenstein.
The army said it was still battling
for control of Malakal, gateway to the
countrys last remaining major oil
fields, after a pro-government general
there swapped sides to join the rebels,
taking his tribal militia with him.
Officials said the attack began just
before darkness on May 15, with rebels
crossing the White Nile river on boats
aided by militia commander Johnson
Olony.
Fighting is ongoing, Mr Aguer
said. Olony has finally declared himself as part of Riek Machars force.
Olony spokesperson Nyagwal Ajak
Denk said the force an ethnic Shilluk
militia accused of abducting children
was in full control of Malakal town.
Rebel spokesperson Mabior Garang
confirmed that Mr Olony was now an
ally, saying their interests currently
coincide, although he had not formally
joined with Mr Machars troops. AFP
An Iraqi fighter of the Shiite militia Asaib Ahl al-Haq (The League of the Righteous) stands guard outside the militias headquarters on May 18 in the Iraqi mainly Shiite southern city of Basra. Photo: AFP

SYDNEY

Nauru abuse claims aired


ASYLUM seekers are living in mouldy
tents with little privacy on the Pacific
island of Nauru, with women and children at risk of sexual assault, according to submissions to an Australian
inquiry.
The Senate inquiry, which held its
first public hearing yesterday, is looking into allegations about conditions
for would-be refugees on Nauru.
Australia refuses to accept asylum
seekers arriving by boat, instead sending them to camps on Nauru and Papua New Guinea for resettlement.
In one submission to the hearing,
a doctor who assessed children on the
island said living conditions were unsafe and put vulnerable women and
children at considerable risk.
Guards were able to enter tents
unannounced any time while one
woman told the doctor she had been
raped when she went to the toilet up
to 120 metres away from some tents
at night.
She told me that since the rape,
one guard had offered her extra shower
time in return for sexual favours, David Isaacs, the doctor, wrote in his submission, adding that a different guard
had offered the woman marijuana in
return for sex.
The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
said it had extensive dealings with people transferred to Australia from Nauru
for medical treatment and many were
traumatised.

Parents tell us that their children


are incontinent ... The children have
nightmares and refuse to sleep alone,
its submission said.
Yet another submission, from the
Immigration Advice and Rights Centre,
revealed that a boy had begun to selfharm and talk about suicide and his
mother believed he had been sexually
assaulted.
The government has accepted all
recommendations from a recent report
into allegations at the centre, and has
stressed it will not tolerate the abuse of
asylum seekers.
The hearing in Canberra was
prompted by the report, which found
that many detainees were anxious
about their personal safety and that
assaults among asylum seekers were
under-reported.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the government was doing
everything it could to help Nauru and
Papua New Guinea to run good centres.
In the end it is the responsibility of
the governments of Nauru and PNG to
maintain order in these centres, to ensure that the ordinary law of the land
is upheld, to ensure that basic human
decency applies here as it should apply
everywhere, he said.
UNHCR last year slammed the facilities on PNG and Nauru, saying they
failed to meet international standards
and amounted to arbitrary detention.
AFP

After Ramadi falls to Islamic State,


Shiite militias prepare to do battle
SHIITE militias converged on
Ramadi yesterday to try to recapture it from jihadists who dealt the
Iraqi government a stinging blow by
overrunning the city in a deadly
three-day blitz.
The loss of the capital of Iraqs
largest province was Baghdads
worst military setback since it
started clawing back territory from
the Islamic State (IS) group late last
year.
Washington, which had made
Anbar of which Ramadi is the
capital a cornerstone of its
assistance to Baghdad against IS,
admitted to a setback to the US
strategy to defeat the jihadists.
This has raised fresh doubts
about the competence of its Iraqi
partners.
The Iraqi troops trying to defend
Ramadi had been battling the jihadists for nearly a year and a half without sufficient reinforcements and
help from Baghdad, said Michael
Knights, a fellow at the Washington
Institute think tank.
If you leave a unit in an area
and dont reinforce it, you dont give
them the sense they matter, then

eventually if theyre hit hard enough,


theyre going to crack, Mr Knights
told AFP.
The Iraqi and US governments
efforts at arming and training Iraqi
army and Sunni tribesmen moved
very slowly.
Sixteen months of underinsuring Ramadi eventually allowed ISIS
to land a knockout blow, Mr Knights
said.
Secretary of State John Kerry
said he was absolutely confident that IS would be forced out
of Ramadi in the days ahead.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had
been reluctant to deploy Shiite militias to Anbar province for fear of
alienating its overwhelmingly Sunni
Arab population.
He favoured developing locally
recruited forces, with support from
the United States.
But militia commanders said
Monday Ramadis fall had shown
the government could not do without the Popular Mobilisation units
(Hashed al-Shaabi).
Badr militia chief Hadi al-Ameri,
a senior figure in the Hashed who
has been critical of the governments

policies in Anbar, went to Habbaniyah, near Ramadi, on May 18 to discuss operations.


With the huge numbers and battle experience of the paramilitary
groups, a counter-offensive was expected to start soon, before IS has
time to build up its defences.
Mr Abadi ordered the setting up
of new defence lines in Ramadi, to
reorganise and deploy the fighting
troops to face the jihadists, his office said after he met Irans visiting
defence minister, Hossein Dehghan.
Various
militias
announced
they had units already in Anbar

Sixteen months
of underinsuring
Ramadi eventually
allowed IS to land
a knockout blow.
Michael Knights
Washington Institute fellow

including around Fallujah and


Habbaniyah ready to close in on
Ramadi.
A spokesman for Ketaeb Hezbollah, a leading Shiite paramilitary
group, said it had units ready to join
the Ramadi front from three directions.
Tomorrow, God willing, these
reinforcements will continue towards Anbar and Ramadi and the
start of operations to cleanse the areas recently captured by Daesh will
be announced, Jaafar al-Husseini
told AFP, using an Arabic acronym
for IS.
Asaib Ahl al-Haq, a group routinely accused of abuses, said it had
more than 3,000 fighters waiting for
a green light.
The fall of Ramadi, some 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of Baghdad,
came when beleaguered security
forces pulled out of their last bases
on Sunday.
The jihadists used waves of
suicide bomb attacks involving
cars, trucks and bulldozers to
thrust into government-controlled
neighbourhoods on May 14 and 15.
The black IS flag was soon flying

over the provincial headquarters


and, with reinforcements slow to
come, thousands of families fled.
Anbar officials said at least 500
people died in three days.
Tensions between Tehran and
Washington, Baghdads two main
foreign partners, also played out
during the battle for executed
dictator
Saddam
Husseins
hometown of Tikrit, which the
government took back last month.
Hashed involvement was key in
the recapture of Tikrit, but analysts
had always warned Anbar would be
a bigger task.
Right now were dealing with
the Sunni heartland... where the
Sunni community has not completely rejected IS, Ayham Kamel,
director for the Middle East and
North Africa at the Eurasia Group,
said. It is not necessarily approval
of IS, it could be fear or hedging, but
they are not rising against IS.
IS on May 18 released a video of celebrations in Mosul,
Iraqs second city and whose
liberation from the jihadists now
looks an ever more distant prospect.
AFP

BURUNDIS president sacked his defence and foreign ministers on May 18


after a failed coup bid, as hundreds of
protesters defied warnings to end demonstrations and resumed weeks of antigovernment street marches.
Protesters opposed to President
Pierre Nkurunzizas bid for a third
term in power gathered in several
parts of the capital Bujumbura, singing
songs and blowing whistles, each time
chased away by soldiers shooting in the
air, then regrouping elsewhere.
It was courageous to protest today
after all the threats that demonstrators have received from the authorities
... and the presence of many heavily
armed soldiers, who have not stopped
firing live rounds but fortunately
into the air and not at demonstrators,
said Pacifique Nininahazwe, a protest
leader.
Mr Nkurunziza meanwhile named
Emmanuel Ntahonvukiye, a civilian,
as his new defence minister, and Alain
Aime Nyamitwe as foreign minister, as
well as replacing the trade minister.
Tensions also surfaced within the
army as well as in government.
Five days since the coup attempt led
by a top general which saw soldiers
battling each other on the streets
troops have largely replaced the police
to stem the protests.
One soldier shouted at protesters to
leave the streets, warning that they
were not just going to fire water cannon, but guns. as well. We are firing
water, we are firing bullets, he shouted.
Before the coup attempt the army
was seen by many protesters as being
more neutral than the police often
standing between demonstrators and
the police and some soldiers were unhappy at the forces role.
At least 20 people died in several
weeks of street battles with security
forces before the demonstrations ended when generals launched a failed
coup attempt last week.
Mr Nininahazwe called for a peaceful march, saying that protesters had
conquered fear and that the numbers

Protesters raise their hands behind a barricade during a demonstration in the


Musaga neighborhood of Bujumbura, Burundi on May 18. Photo: AFP

would grow in size in coming days.


When the army fired shots into the
air, protesters reacted by lying down on
the ground, raising their hands in the
air and singing the national anthem.
Bujumbura mayor Juma Saidi,
speaking on state television on May 1
warned, Demonstrators will be considered as part of the coup, and security forces have been ordered to treat
them as such.
A 12-nation regional bloc, the International Conference on the Great
Lakes Region, meanwhile said it would
send a delegation of heads of state and
government to Burundi as soon as possible to help resolve the crisis and allow
for the return of those who have fled
the country.
More than 100,000 people have fled
to neighbouring nations since political
violence that culminated in last weeks
foiled coup attempt erupted in April,
according to the UN.
Meeting at a summit in Angola, the
regional bloc said the delegation would
include members from South Africa,
Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, Angolan
news agency Angop reported. South
Africa has an observer status with the
organisation.
Mr Nkurunziza has been accused
of launching a campaign of repression

against opponents and trying to silence


independent media since coup leaders
admitted defeat on May 15 after fierce
fighting with loyalist troops.
Opposition and rights groups insist
that Mr Nkurunzizas bid for a third
five-year term is against the constitution and the terms of the peace deal
that brought an end to the countrys
civil war in 2006.
The president has also been accused
of intimidating opponents and failing
to lift the fortunes of small landlocked
Burundi, one of the poorest countries
on the planet.
Mr Nkurunziza, a former rebel
leader and born-again Christian who
believes he has divine backing to lead
the country, argues his first term did
not count as he was elected by parliament, not directly by the people.
There are fears Burundi could slide
into a cycle of vicious reprisals against
anyone linked to the coup.
We are afraid. We wait at home
without knowing what will happen,
said one resident, fearing attacks by
the Imbonerakure, the youth wing of
the ruling party.
If they want to kill us, who will talk
about that? he added, pointing out
that key independent radio stations
were closed. AFP

BOGOTA

62 dead after Colombia landslide


A MASSIVE landslide tore through a
ravine in northwest Colombia on May
18 before dawn, killing 62 people and
injuring 40, authorities said.
Most residents were sleeping when
the landslide hit the municipality of
Salgar around 3am, burying a large
area in mud and debris.
The rush of mud and water tore
down everything in its path, Salgar
Mayor Olga Osorio told journalists.
The small town of Santa Margarita
was practically wiped off the map,
she said.
Santa Margarita, the worst affected, is one of four towns that make up
Salgar, a municipality of 17,000 people
in the department of Antioquia.
It was cut off from the rest of the
area because of damage to an access
road and a bridge, local media said.
President Juan Manuel Santos flew
over the affected area and met with local officials, his office said.
Those affected will receive all our
support, he wrote on Twitter.
Ex-president turned opposition
leader Alvaro Uribe also visited the
area, which is near where he grew up.
I met a woman who was holding her three-day-old grandson. His

parents are lost, he told RCN radio.


Its very painful what we saw.
The area was left without drinking
water or gas.
Authorities said rescue workers
were having difficulty accessing the
zone.
Extra emergency teams, rescue
dogs and humanitarian aid have been
sent, said Red Cross spokesperson Ana

Carolina Gutierrez.
The area had been hit by several
days of heavy rain.
Colombias tropical climate and
mountainous landscapes make it
prone to landslides.
In 2010-2011, heavy rains caused
flooding and landslides that killed
1374 people and destroyed more than
100,000 homes. AFP

A man stands at the door of his house after a landslide in Salgar municipality,
Antioquia department, Colombia on May 18. Photo: AFP

16 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 20, 2015

BENGHAZI

Benghazi divided as fighting rages on


ONE year after Khalifa Haftar
launched an offensive against
Islamist militias in Libyas second
city Benghazi, the capital of the 2011
revolution is reeling from near daily
fighting and shortages.
Last May, the controversial officer
launched Operation Dignity, but
has so far failed to take the whole city
even after being sworn in on March
9 as the conflict-ridden countrys new
army chief.
Benghazi remains divided, scarred
and struggling to survive after a year
of fierce clashes that have killed more
than 1700 people, according to the
Libya Body Count website, and displaced thousands.
Benghazi is a devastated city,
said journalist and activist Nadine
al-Sharif.
Residents have to cope with a
breakdown in security, with even
schools being shelled. Theres also a
high cost of living, fuel shortages and
a lack of basic goods, she said.
Mr Haftars forces, who include
police, troops and some militias who
enjoy backing from the internationally recognised government, rule over
most of the city apart from some areas in the centre and south.
They patrol the streets of east
Benghazi, the only area where people
stay out late, go out to restaurants
and shops.
But in the central districts of Sabri
and Lithi or in Hawari in the south,
fighting is a near daily occurence.
In those areas, where neighbourhoods lie in ruins, rival forces have
carved out their strongholds.
Mr Haftars men control checkpoints, with sometimes only a street
or a building separating them from
rival fighters.
Once former insurgents who took

up arms in the 2011 NATO-backed


uprising that toppled dictator
Moamer Kadhafi, these fighters have
banded into powerful and heavily
armed militias.
The largest anti-Haftar group
in Benghazi is the Shura Council of
Revolutionary Forces allied to the
Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) militia alliance that seized the capital Tripoli
last summer.
The radical Ansar al-Sharia group
classified by Washington as a
terrorist
organisation
and
suspected of involvement in the 2012
attack on the US consulate in Benghazi has a presence there.
The Islamic State group is also active in the city, where it has claimed
attacks on army checkpoints, feeding
on the lawlessness that has gripped
Libya since the 2011 revolt.
The chaos has been further compounded by political divisions, with
rival governments and parliaments
vying for power.
The hardships of life in Benghazi became more stark last summer when Fajr Libya overran the
capital and set up a rival parliament and government to the official
administration.
It has been plagued by indiscriminate shelling of residential areas,
suicide bombings, abductions and
murders that target journalists and
activists.
Attacks last week killed dozens of
people, including eight children.
Schools and hospitals are not
spared the violence, residents and
medics say.
Everything here gets shelled,
said Akilah Barassi, head of services at the Benghazi Medical Center which he said is hit regularly
every week and suffers from major

Burnt-out cars separate the residential area of Al-Keesh (Kish) from the front line, west of the eastern Libyan city of
Benghazi, on May 17. Photo: AFP

shortages of medicine.
Schools that have not been
destroyed
in
Benghazi
have
been
turned
into
temporary
accommodation for the thousands of
people displaced by fighting.
Shopkeeper Ayub al-Arfi says no
one is safe.
It is tough. Everyone in this city
faces death by shelling. The war never stops, he said.
Mr Arfi blamed the authorities

for turning a blind eye to the suffering of the people in Benghazi, which
many fear is far from over for as long
as Libyas political divisions are not
solved.
The solution for Benghazi lies in
the establishment of a national unity
government. Otherwise the war will
continue, said activist Othman Bin
Sassi.
At the weekend, Mr Haftar and
Fajr Libya marked one year since the

battle for Benghazi began, with each


vowing victory over the other.
Mr Haftar pledged to pursue his
military campaign until all Libyan
cities are liberated of terrorists, in a
reference to Islamist militias.
Fajr Libya promised to back its
supporters in Benghazi in their battle against Mr Haftars forces, saying:
We will never abandon you and will
exert all our efforts to support you.
AFP

ANKARA

SYDNEY

Bomb attacks on pro-Kurdish party


raise tensions ahead of elections

Australia takes tough


line on jihadi returnees

TWIN bomb attacks on May 18 hit


the regional headquarters of Turkeys main pro-Kurdish party in
two cities, injuring more than half
a dozen people and escalating tensions ahead of June 7 legislative
elections.
Six people were injured in the
blast at the office of the Peoples
Democratic Party (HDP) in the
southern city of Adana caused by a
suspect parcel, three of them seriously, a party official told AFP.
A bouquet of flowers sent to the
partys office in the nearby city of
Mersin also exploded, the official
said. Video footage showed several
people with bloodied faces.
The government immediately
condemned the bombings, with
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
pledging to bring the perpetrators
to justice.
I strongly condemn this attack,
Mr Davutoglu told a rally in the city
of Karaman in central Turkey.
Mr Davutoglu said he gave a
clear instruction for a full-scale investigation. But he warned against
any smear campaign to discredit his
ruling party after some HDP figures
blamed the government for the attacks. We have stood against violence since the very beginning. God
willing, we will march into June 7 in
peace, he said.
But in a public rally in the Black
Sea city of Samsun, President Recep
Tayyip Erdogan lambasted the HDP
for its links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has
waged an armed insurgency in the
southeast for Kurdish autonomy.

AUSTRALIA announced yesterday it


has ruled out leniency for returning
jihadists, following reports that three
of its nationals suspected of fighting
with Islamic State were in secret negotiations with Canberra to come home.
The Australian newspaper said the
three had approached authorities via
intermediaries or family members,
but that the talks were stalled over
what punishment they would face
and fears of the risk they might pose
if they were reissued passports and allowed to return.
The conservative government has
taken a tough line on tackling radicalised citizens, with more than 100 leaving the country for Iraq and Syria to
fight with the Islamic State group.
Canberra late last year passed a
law criminalising travel to terror hotspots without good reason, with those
charged facing up to 10 years in jail.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said
the full force of the law would apply
to anyone who returns, even if they
claim to have reformed.
If you go abroad to break Australian law, if you go abroad to kill innocent people in the name of misguided
fundamentalism and extremism, if
you go abroad to become an Islamist
killer, well, we are hardly going to welcome you back into this country.
Again, I repeat, if you go abroad
to join a terrorist group and you seek
to come back to Australia, you will be
arrested, you will be prosecuted and
jailed, he added.
The Australian people expect
their country to be safe and someone
who has been a terrorist abroad could

He urged voters to steer clear of


the party in the polls.
I am appealing to all of Turkey:
Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Circassians,
Abkhazians whoever comes to
mind will 78 million of you give
the right response to the political
organisation that is guided by a terrorist group? he said.
Hundreds of HDP supporters,
chanting slogans like No to Fascism!, meanwhile marched down
Istanbuls central Istiklal Street late
on May 18 in solidarity with the
HDP after the attacks, an AFP photographer reported.
In defiance of the attacks, the
HDPs co-chair Selahattin Demirtas went ahead with a planned rally
in Mersin on the evening of May
18, launching stinging broadsides
against Mr Erdogan, whom he accuses of supporting Islamic State
(IS) jihadists.
The president of the country
calls the HDP a terrorist organisation but doesnt say a word to IS,
Mr Demirtas said.
Those who cooperate with a
rapist gang cannot give us democracy lessons. The attacks were the
latest in a string of violence against
HDP targets in the run-up to an increasingly tense election.
In April, unidentified assailants
opened fire on the HDP headquarters in the capital Ankara, with no
casualties. The government condemned that attack as a blow to
Turkeys democracy and stability.
The HDP is seeking in the election to clear the 10 percent quota to
take seats in the parliament.

Its success could dent the ruling


AKP partys plans to reach a thumping majority in the 550-seat parliament in order to change the constitution and create a presidential system.
Mr Demirtas told Mr Erdogan
after the attacks, We received your
message. We still will not make you
president.
Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin
Akdogan said this month it would
be super if the pro-Kurdish HDP
failed to clear the 10pc threshold.
Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat, a former AKP politician and currently
the HDPs candidate for Mersin, put
the blame on the government for
the latest blasts.
The prospect of the HDP clearing the threshold on the horizon
scares some [people]. The government which rules the state must
be behind all this, he said in comments published in Turkish media.
Seventy-three
attacks
have
targeted HDP offices throughout
Turkey since April, according to a
party report sent to AFP.
Mr Erdogan, who has dominated
Turkey for over a decade as premier
and now president, has appealed
to his supporters to help elect 400
AKP lawmakers in Junes vote, giving him the backing to rewrite the
constitution and assume full executive powers himself.
The HDP lodged an unsuccessful
complaint to Turkeys higher electoral body accusing Mr Erdogan of
violating constitutional neutrality
with public speeches in favour of
the AKP party he co-founded.
AFP

very easily become a terrorist here in


Australia.
Australia raised its threat level to
high last September and has since carried out a series of counter-terrorism
raids, with several alleged plots foiled
this year.
Rob Stary, a lawyer representing one of the three Australian men,
told Fairfax radio that his client, an
Australian-born convert to Islam, was
prepared to face the full force of the
law and wanted to use his experience
to discourage would-be jihadists from
joining the terror group.
Mr Stary said if he were capable
of rehabilitation, then we should utilise him. We should at least engage in
the discussion. But the shutters have
been put up by the [Australian Federal
Police]. AFP

If you go abroad
to join a terrorist
group and you seek
to come back to
Australia, you will
be arrested, you will
be prosecuted and
jailed.
Tony Abbott
Prime minister of Australia

World 17

www.mmtimes.com
SANAA

Peace talks
in doubt after
strikes resume
THE Saudi-led coalition bombing
Yemen on May 18 blamed ceasefire
violations by rebels for the resumption of air strikes against them.
They did not respect the humanitarian pause. Thats why we do what
is necessary to be done, Brigadier
General Ahmed al-Assiri told AFP.
There is an operation in process.
The Arab-dominated coalition
resumed bombing an hour after the
five-day truce ended at 8pm GMT on
May 17.
The pause was proposed by
Saudi Arabia to allow urgently needed humanitarian aid into Yemen after
more than six weeks of bombing, and
battles between pro-government and
Huthi rebel forces on the ground.
These militia did not stop their
fighting. They continued to attack
borders, to attack cities in Yemen,
Brig Gen Assiri said, adding there was
a very big change on the ground
during the pause.
He accused the Iran-backed rebels of moving missiles with a range
of about 70 kilometres (43 miles) toward the border with Saudi Arabia,
said there was shelling every day of

the Saudi boundary zone and alleged


the rebels hijacked food and fuel
aid in Yemen.
The coalition has been bombing
the Shiite Huthi rebels since late
March, in an attempt to stop their
advance after they seized the capital
Sanaa and swept across many other
regions.
Analysts say the air strikes have
failed to push back the Huthis.
Asked about the possibility of
another truce, Brig Gen Assiri said,
When we talk about ceasefire it should
be a negotiation between two parties,
but those militia, since [UN Security Council Resolution] 2216, reject
everything.
The resolution passed in April imposed an arms embargo on the rebels
and demanded that they relinquish
seized territory.
A Western diplomatic source said
that if the rebels were, as alleged,
moving heavy weapons toward the
border during the truce, they may
have hoped to disrupt a political
conference which ended yesterday in
Riyadh.
The rebels have boycotted the

Young Yemeni supporters of the Shiite Huthi movement hold weapons during a march in the capital Sanaa to protest the
Saudi-led military operations against positions held by them and their allies, on May 18. Photo: AFP

conference which other parties are


attending to discuss Yemens political
future.
The diplomatic source said the
Saudis can have no real interest
in further prolonging the military
campaign as they face intense international pressure for a political
solution.
Brig Gen Assiri said political
moves such as the Riyadh conference
are working in tandem with military

action until the Yemeni government


could be able to run the country.
President Abedrabbo Mansour
Hadi fled the Huthis advance toward
Aden for Riyadh in late March.
A peace conference for Yemen
expected to be held next week in
Geneva was put on hold on May
18 as fighting resumed in the Arab
country.
UN Secretary-General Ban Kimoon was expected to announce the

conference to re-launch talks between


all parties to the Yemen conflict.
But UN spokesperson Farhan Haq
said part of the problem is that the
fighting has once more resumed.
We want the fighting decisively
stopped and then we can get about
to organise and invite people to the
conference.
Until that happens, some of that
remains a bit hypothetical, he said.
AFP

WASHINGTON

BANGKOK

170 charged after US


biker gang shootout

Yingluck Shinawatras trial begins

SOME 170 rival motorcycle gang members whose deadly brawl at a Texas
restaurant claimed nine lives have
been charged with murder, and could
face the death penalty if convicted, police said on May 18.
Officials in the central Texas town
of Waco said they were still processing the unusually large number of
suspects after the May 17 melee, which
started in the restroom of the Twin
Peaks Sports Bar and Grill and eventually spilled into an outdoor patio area
and onto the restaurant parking lot.
Officials said as many as five gangs
fought each other with knives, chains
and guns in front of terrified patrons.
We had wounded inside. We had
people stabbed. We had people shot
and we had people beat, said Sergeant Patrick Swanton, a Waco police
spokesperson, at a press conference.
Authorities revised downward
somewhat an earlier figure for the
number of suspects taken into custody, which earlier on May 18 was put
at 192.
We took over 170 individuals to
our convention centre where they
were detained and the investigation
continued there, said Mr Swanton.
Those arrested, Mr Swanton said,
face a number of counts, including
capital murder.
Its capital murder because of the
number of victims that were killed in
one episode here, he said.
Police had been bracing for trouble
after learning that the bikers planned
to meet at the Twin Peaks.
Mr Swanton said police had made
their concerns known beforehand to
Twin Peaks, but the bar part of a socalled breastaurant chain known for
its scantily clad waitresses had not
been cooperative.
Mr Swanton said police had
dispatched a contingent of some
18 officers, as well as other law
enforcement officials, to be present at

the restaurant.
They were not far away when the
violence erupted between the warring
bikers, but were not able to intervene
before a bathroom fist fight spun out
of control.
When officers attempted to restore
order, Mr Swanton said they become
targets of the violence.
Our officers took fire and responded appropriately, returning fire. The
number of shots, who shot who and all
of that, will be part of our investigative
process, the spokesperson said.
Numerous law enforcement agencies in the region responded to urgent
calls for back-up.
Authorities said nine gang members were killed in the mayhem, and
local news outlets reported that as
many as 18 people were wounded
most from gunshots and stabbings
in the deadliest standoff in recent
memory in the region.
Police said they also collected more
than 100 weapons from the chaotic
and bloody scene and were still booking the suspects midday on May 18.
The Twin Peaks is located in a popular Waco shopping and dining centre
known as the Central Texas Marketplace.
Among those arrested were bikers
wearing the insignias of the Cossacks,
the Scimitars and the Bandidos.
Biker clubs sprang out of an American counterculture movement in the
second half of the 20th century, and
some now have global affiliations.
But many group chapters which
elect their own leaders and have their
own by-laws, symbols and initiation
rules have become involved in organised crime.
In the US they are particularly associated with gun-running and drugtrafficking and some biker clubs or
their chapters have been formally designated as organised crime groups by
the FBI. AFP

THAILANDS ousted prime minister


Yingluck Shinawatra insisted on her
innocence yesterday at the start of
a trial that could see her jailed for a
decade, part of what observers say is
a vendetta against her family.
It is the latest legal move against
Ms Yingluck sister of fugitive billionaire ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra whose administration was
toppled in a coup nearly a year ago.
A guilty conviction could deliver
a blow to the political dominance of
her family, but it also risks stirring up
their grassroots Red Shirt supporters who have remained largely inactive since the military took over.
Around 50 supporters gathered
outside Thailands Supreme Court on
the northern outskirts of Bangkok including more than a dozen members
of Ms Yinglucks Pheu Thai Party, a
highly unusual sight in a country
where political gatherings of more
than five people remain banned by
the junta.
Many burst into applause when
her convoy pulled up outside the
courthouse for the trial, which is expected to last months.
I am confident that I am innocent and I hope the court will give
me justice and allow everything to
proceed in accordance with the law,
Ms Yingluck told reporters.
The ousted premier is accused
of criminal negligence over a populist rice subsidy scheme, which paid
farmers in the rural Shinawatra
heartland twice the market rate for
their crop.
She is not accused of personal
corruption but of failing to prevent
alleged graft within the program,
which cost Thailand billions of dollars and galvanised protests against
her elected government prior to last
Mays coup. The charge carries up to
10 years in jail.
The court granted bail on condition that she not leave Thailand without written permission, and the next
hearing was scheduled for July 21.

Thailands
military-appointed
parliament impeached Ms Yingluck
in January over the scheme, a move
which banned her from politics for
five years.
I believe a hawkish faction in
the old powers ... wants to punish
the Shinawatras as much as they
can, said Chulalongkorn University Thai politics expert Puangthong
Pawakapan.
But keeping her in prison will
definitely anger the Red Shirts even
more, she added.
Other analysts say the threat of
jail may be used to discourage the
Shinawatras from re-engaging in
politics.
Ms Yingluck herself has said the
rice scheme lifted the quality of life
for rice farmers in the poor northeast of a country where subsidies to
farmers have long been a cornerstone
of Thai politics.
The army takeover last year was
the latest twist in a decade of political turbulence that broadly pits a
Bangkok-based elite, backed by parts

of the military and judiciary, against


poor urban and rural voters, particularly in the countrys north.
Mr Thaksin was toppled by a previous coup in 2006 and now lives in
self-exile to avoid jail on a corruption
charge.
The Shinawatras, or parties allied
to them, have won every Thai election since 2001.
But their opponents accuse them
of cronyism, corruption and financially ruinous populist policies.
As a result, the Shinawatra family
have faced two coups and the removal
of three of their premiers by the Thai
courts, while several deadly rounds
of protest have rocked Bangkok and
weighed on the Thai economy.
Former prime minister Somchai
Wongsawat, brother-in-law to Yingluck and Mr Thaksin, is also facing
criminal charges over a crackdown
against anti-Shinawatra protesters in
2008.
Divisive former premier Mr Thaksin yesterday said the rule of law
was key to democracy. AFP

Thailands former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra greets the media as she
arrives at the Supreme Court in Bangkok on May 19. Photo: AFP

18 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 20, 2015

NEW DELHI

Nurse dies after 42 years in a coma


A NURSE died on May 18 after 42
years in a coma following a brutal
rape, in a case that led India to ease
some restrictions on euthanasia.
Aruna Shanbaug suffered brain
damage and had been in a vegetative state in a Mumbai hospital since
being strangled with a dog chain
and sexually assaulted by a hospital
worker in 1973.
The 66-year-old Ms Shanbaug
had suffered a bout of pneumonia in
recent days and was on a ventilator,
officials at King Edward Hospital in
Mumbai told the Press Trust of India
news agency.
Ms Shanbaug was attacked by
a ward boy in the basement of the
hospital where she was discovered 11

Her actual death


happened in 1973
[the date of the
attack]. Now what
has happened is her
legal death.
Pinki Virani
Journalist and friend

Indian nurses and hospital staff gather to pay their respect near the body of nurse Aruna Shanbaug at a hospital in
Mumbai on May 18. Photo: AFP

hours later, blind and suffering from


a severe brain stem injury.
Left bedridden, she spent more
than four decades being cared for by

a team of doctors and nurses at the


hospital.
Her attacker was freed after a
seven-year jail sentence.

Her actual death happened in


1973 [the date of the attack]. Now
what has happened is her legal
death, her friend and journalist

Pinki Virani told Zee News TV channel.


Our Aruna has given our country
a big thing in the form of a law on
passive euthanasia, Ms Virani said.
Ms Shanbaugs plight became a
focal point of debate on euthanasia
in India after Ms Virani appealed to
Indias top court in 1999 to allow her
to die with dignity.
Indian laws do not permit euthanasia or self-starvation to the point
of death.
But in 2011 the Supreme Court
decided that life support could be
legally removed for some terminally
ill patients in a landmark ruling that
allowed passive euthanasia for the
first time.
The court said withdrawing life
support could be allowed in exceptional circumstances, provided the
request was from family and supervised by doctors and the courts.
The supervision was required to
prevent unscrupulous family members attempting to kill off wealthy
relatives, the Supreme Court had
said.
The court however rejected Ms
Viranis request to stop Ms Shanbaug being force-fed on the grounds
that she was not legally eligible to
make the demand on Ms Shanbaugs
behalf.
AFP

PHNOM PENH

BaNgkOk

Doubts sown over pesticide use

Police probe military


ties to trafficking rings

BEFORE fields on Cambodias largest corn, cassava, rubber and tobacco


plantations are sown with seeds, the
soil is first sprayed with glyphosate,
the worlds leading herbicide.
Glyphosate commonly sold as
Roundup is largely marketed as a
safe weed whacker, but recent data
from the World Health Organization
(WHO) indicates the herbicide is in
fact a likely carcinogen, despite having inhabited the Kingdoms list of
approved chemicals for more than
a decade and having even been promoted to Cambodian farmers by USAID.
In March, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a
branch of the WHO, released data
that linked glyphosate, along with
four other common insecticides, to
non-Hodgkins lymphoma, as well as
chromosomal and DNA damage in
human cells.
While 116 chemical pesticides
were banned in Cambodia in 2009
albeit with minimal enforcement,
agriculture experts say glyphosate has been on the safe list since
2003. Today, glyphosate is legal and
easily accessible to Cambodians by
way of local markets, and available
for import from Thailand, China and
Vietnam, home to two offices of agribusiness giant Monsanto, maker of
Roundup.
However, agricultural or
ganisations throughout Cambodia say the
Kingdoms farmers are often overly
exposed and intentionally left uninformed about the potential dangers
of glyphosate. Due to limited funds
and knowledge, protective gear can
be minimal for farmers handling toxic chemicals, and more often than not
the risks are overlooked by those who
rely on their crops for their meagre
livelihoods.
Some companies, they dont tell
the worker about the poisoning, and
[farmers] dont know to wear personal protection equipment. They
wear only short pants. They dont use
masks or anything, said Keam Makarady, the health and environment
program director for the Cambodian

Centre for Study and Development in


Agriculture (CEDAC).
He added that he has seen
workers on sugar cane plantations
playfully spray each other with the
herbicide.
They say it is like drinking water because [they are told] its not
harmful, he said, adding that some
companies use their money to ...
lobby the government, saying it is not
harmful.
Mr Makarady said that most
plantations in Cambodia utilise
glyphosate. Chemical poisoning, he
added, is so common that many farmers visit the doctor on a weekly basis
or hire others to do the work to avoid
exposure. A 2011 report by Danish
researchers found that nearly 90 per
cent of Cambodian farmers surveyed
on 100 farms displayed symptoms of
insecticide and herbicide exposure.
Some farmers actually know
that the impacts of the chemicals are
very, very bad ... but they have no
choice, said Say Jeudi of the Coalition of Cambodia Farmers Community (CCFC).
Mr Jeudi said that many farmers choose chemical options, often
mixing a combination of strong herbicides, because they believe it will
help them yield a larger crop and stay
competitive in a market already dominated by larger plantations.
People in the rural areas only calculate for their daily livelihood, he
said. They dont think beyond the
immediate result.
Earlier this month, Greenpeace
released a report on pesticides that
found farmers and rural inhabitants
are the most at risk for chemical exposure, including to glyphosate. The
report found that traces of pesticides,
even those long suspended, still existed in hair follicles and could be transmitted through breast milk, leading
to developmental impairment in children. Glyphosate is one of the most
widespread chemicals, the report
says, with a presence in more than
740 products used for forestry, urban
life and home use, including gardening.

The recent reports on the herbicide have sparked an international


furore. On May 15, Colombia suspended the use of the glyphosate
after decades of using it to fumigate
illegal coca crops and curb drug trafficking. The move followed years of
local reports of skin ailments and
developmental disabilities in children. Yesterday morning, the International Society of Doctors for the
Environment petitioned the European Unions parliament to ban the
chemical entirely, and a German
chain store has already pledged to
remove glyphosate products from its
stores by September.
Cambodian
government
officials, however, remain sceptical
that glyphosate is a danger to the
population.
We have not banned the use of
glyphosate, said Hean Vanhan, deputy director of the Agriculture Department at the Ministry of Agriculture.
I accept the world is discussing its
danger, but it is only dangerous if we
use it in the wrong way.
Lor Rasmey, spokesperson for the
ministry, also said yesterday he believed the herbicide to be of only minimal danger, explaining, In France,
they still use it.
The argument mirrors that commonly used in the US, where as recently as 2010, glyphosate was referred to as a miracle chemical for
farmers, according to the New York
Times.
This language was also parroted
in a bulletin for Cambodian farmers distributed by USAID in 2011,
which states the very low toxicity of
glyphosate and recommends it as an
effective farming tool.
When asked if the agency would
reconsider its endorsement, a spokesperson yesterday referred to comments made by Deputy Secretary of
State Antony Blinken on the situation
in Colombia, who told El Tiempo: I
can tell you that glyphosate is used in
all states of my country, and believe
me, wed have taken action if there
was something wrong.
Phnom Penh Post

POLICE investigating human trafficking rings smuggling boat people into


southern Thailand believe a major general was involved.
The army says none of its officers
are linked to the illegal activities.
Evidence showing this unnamed
military officials possible involvement
in Rohingya trafficking was found
during a raid at a suspects home in
Ranongs Muang district on May 13, a
security source revealed on May 18.
The evidence included four receipts
for money transfers to a bank account
belonging to the major general and a
document with the bank account and
the major generals name written on it,
the same source said.
The trafficking of Rohingya and illegal migrant workers, from Ranong
down to the southern border, has long
been a very lucrative business because
handsome bribes were paid to people
in uniform, the source said.
From Ranong down to Padang
Besar [in the Sadao border district of
Songkhla province], there are normally
many police and military checkpoints,
but the traffickers can always get the
migrants through these checkpoints.
Do you ever wonder why? said the
source.
In this case, although police found
evidence to prove the major generals
involvement in trafficking, no one
dares do anything with this suspect. Of
course, you know who is in power. So,
who wouldnt be afraid?
The army last month transferred
several military officials away from
trafficking areas, though their suspected involvement in trafficking had not
yet been proven.
An informed source, meanwhile,
said the major general in question had
already been promoted to lieutenant
general in last months reshuffle.
Army spokesperson Winthai Suvaree said if police have evidence to prove
involvement in trafficking, they can ask
to detain the suspect for questioning.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha
responded sharply to questions about

the suspect, saying he had not received


any report on this particular case.
Who is he? What is his name? Tell
me. They [the army] have not reported
to me. The army chief has already told
those who were implicated in [the trafficking] that they would be investigated, he said.
Asked about his recent telephone
conversations with UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, Gen Prayut said Mr
Ban told him he wanted Thailand to
bring the Rohingya matter before other
ASEAN members to discuss solutions.
The premier also told Mr Ban that
he agreed with him on every proposal
made, but he wanted the UN to understand that Thailand has its own laws to
follow, too, in dealing with Rohingya
trafficking.
Asked if Myanmar had responded
to the meeting invitation, Gen Prayut
said as Myanmar had not turned down
the invitation, it was apparent that the
country agreed in principle to attend
the meeting.
Foreign Minister Tanasak Patimapragorn, meanwhile, plans to visit
Malaysia today and meet his counterpart for discussions on the Rohingya
matter, Foreign Ministry spokesperson
Sek Wannamethee said.
In another development, Pajjuban
Angchotiphan, known as Ko Tong, an
ex-president of Satuns provincial administration organisation who is a key
suspect in Rohingya trafficking in the
South, turned himself in to police and
denied the accusations against him.
National police chief Somyot
Pumpunmuang said arrest warrants
were now out for three more suspects.
The suspects are Pol Lt Col Chan Uthong, a senior police official with Khian Sa police station in Surat Thani; Pol
Lt Narathorn Samphan, a deputy chief
police investigator with Ranongs provincial police; and Thasanee Angchotiphan, Mr Pajjubans wife.
Of the 65 suspects wanted by police
in connection with Rohingya smuggling, 30 have been detained.
Bangkok Post

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 20, 2015

the pulse 21

www.mmtimes.com

Pubs toast new


hope as craft
beer scene brews

it

ge
t

yo

gers o
n
i
f
n

DEPUTy PUlsE EDiTor: ToM BarToN tom.a.barton@gmail.com

RITAINS traditional pubs are hoping a new


law will galvanise the countrys budding beer
renaissance and save them from a steep crisis that
is forcing dozens of premises to close every week.
Cut-price competition from supermarkets, the
smoking ban and healthier drinking habits have all fuelled
the decline of an institution as traditionally British as
football and fish-and-chips.
Pubs are currently under threat as never before,
the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), a pressure group,
bemoaned in a statement earlier this year, revealing that 29
pubs were being forced to close every week.
Although many town centres remain hotbeds of rowdy
drinkers come Friday and Saturday nights, official figures
show that alcohol consumption has fallen around 18 percent
since 2004 and that binge-drinking has declined more than
30pc among young people.
But pubs trying to adapt to changing habits, including
the popularity of craft beers from drinkers who now
prefer the quality of their tipple to quantity, face a major
stumbling block.
Around half them are currently tied to Pub Companies
a version of a centuries-old system dominated by the
biggest brewer companies that has historically dictated
which beers pubs can sell.
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer &
Pub Association that represents the giant PubCos, said that
the tied system helps provide a low-cost way to own a pub
and keep prices low.
But campaigners have dismissed these claims, and
scored a historic victory in the final days of the last
parliament when a law was passed to end the tie system
once and for all.
Campaigner Simon Clarke, co-landlord of The Eagle Ale
House in south London, said the law change would widen
the choice and cut costs for publicans no longer forced to
buy through the PubCos.

Founders Matthew Denham (left) and Wilf Horsfall pose for photographs at the UBrew premises in South London.

UBrew co-founder Wilf Horsfall (left) looks on as Nicholas Fletcher demonstrates the brewing process. Photos: AFP/Leon Neal

UBrew founders Wilf Horsfall (left) and Matthew Denham.

He praised campaigners who fought a seven-year battle


against the lobbying power of the pub industry.
This is largely due to the ... strength of people who have
lost their pubs and stayed with it. They begrudge whats
happened to them and could have walked away, but they
stuck with it, he said.
Small-scale brewers have already been capitalising on
the shifting tastes, with applications to start breweries
tripling in the past five years.
Fresh-faced young entrepreneurs are now snapping
up disused railway arches in the hip London district of
Bermondsey, turning them into state-of-the-art factories full
of gleaming vats, valves and pipes.
A recent addition to the Bermondsey Beer Mile is
UBrew, which offers all levels of brewers the chance to make
their own beer using shared equipment.
Co-founder Wilf Horsfall said UBrew was tapping into
the demand for well-crafted beer using local ingredients
wherever possible.
Twenty years ago London had a terrible reputation for
food, whereas now we are one of the most exciting places to eat
in Europe and I think thats happening with beer too, he said.
Generally speaking people are drinking for pleasure
much more than inebriation. The alcohol content is part of
the enjoyment of it, but its not the be-all and end-all.
We are watching the wine-ification of beer. In the same
way that people for a long time have talked about grape
varieties and regional differences, thats now happening
with beer.
Beer writer and CAMRA member Roger Protz said that
the movement was partly a reaction against multinational
brewers.
For too long people have been drinking industrial beers
brewed by global brewers, which are brewed only for profit,
he explained over a pint.
People are now looking for one thing and one thing
alone and that is taste. AFP

Basic brewing instructions are displayed on the wall at UBrew during a beer-brewing demonstration.

22 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 20, 2015

CANNES

Filmmakers look to Twitter,


Facebook for stars

OOkINg for a tattooed


demon to be killed by an
undercover virgin in your
S&M club? Well, as any good
horror film producer knows,
the best place to look these days is on
Facebook and Twitter.
The Z-list purveyors of schlock at
Cannes Film Festival, hawking such
memorable titles as Jurassic Prey and
Sky Sharks, say social media plays
an increasingly crucial role in casting
actors.
When Ted
Chalmers, president
of Tom Cat Films,
happened across
the Facebook
page of tattoo
model

Rachelle Nicole Hoffman, he knew


she would be perfect for his new film
Angel of Darkness that he was filming
in Arizona.
Hoffman already had 200,000
followers on Facebook, thanks to her
distinctive body art.
All her tattoos have zombie films
on them, so it was a dream come true
for her to be in the film, Chalmers
explained, at his stand in the Cannes
marketplace.
And for us, her existing fan base
is a great help. She can blast the film
out to her fans, she helped generate
financing and shell help promote
when it comes out, he added.
Hoffman ended up playing a tattoo
artist who gets possessed by a demon
in an S&M club.
As everyone knows, demons
can only be killed by virgins, said
Chalmers. So she ends up being
killed by an undercover reporter ... or
something like that.
The biggest stars do not
necessarily have the biggest
followings on social media.
Top of the pile is
currently Vin Diesel
from The Fast and the
Furious, who has
92 million fans
on Facebook,
eclipsing
bigger
names
Model
such as
Rachelle
Tom

Nicole Hoffman
was cast in an upcoming
horror movie after the director
spotted her on Facebook. Photo:
Rachelle Nicole Hoffman/Facebook

Cruise (8.9 million) or Leonardo


DiCaprio (12 million).
Those who are good are those
who value their connection with their
fans, Oliver Luckett, a social media
expert, told Hollywood website The
Wrap recently.
Using social media to pick out
actors has become a trend at every
level of the industry.
Mockbuster producer David
Rimawi, whose company The Asylum
is responsible for the now-legendary
Sharknado series, says they are often
looking for actors with an existing
fan base.
Ill get names for actors, and one
thing we have to do these days is
jump on Twitter and see how many
followers they have. Thats become
part of who gets cast, said Rimawi.
His own films tend to fish slightly
further downstream for actors,
compared with the 2 or 3 million
Twitter fans desired by major TV and
film studios.
But he has turned to actors such as
Casper Van Dien (of Starship Troopers
fame) whose 100,000 followers will
help promote Avengers Grimm, which
bears a certain resemblance to The
Avengers blockbusters.
Tara Reid, with half-a-million
followers, has been a prize asset for
Sharknado 2: The Second One and
Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!
In the past, producers tended to
look primarily at IMDB Pro, a website
that ranks actors based on how often
their profile is viewed.
IMDB Pro is a very powerful
site for Hollywood ... but thats sort
of taken a back seat to Twitter. If its

Sharknado was part of a legendary legacy of intentionally terrible films.


Photo: The Asylum

something for television, tweeting


live will drive people and it becomes
much more important, said Rimawi.
When Sharknado aired on TV
station SyFy in 2013, it generated
318,000 tweets during its broadcast
and became the most-watched movie
in the channels history, according to
stats agency Nielsen.
Social media is ultimately just a

new way of demonstrating your clout


as an actor, said Chalmers at the Tom
Cat Films stand.
And humans dont quite
match up to the allure of an angry
Tyrannosaurus Rex, he added,
proudly tapping the poster for
Jurassic Prey.
The bottom line is that anything
with a dinosaur is going to sell. AFP

BEIJING

Breaking Bad in
China: Chemistry
professor in
meth gang
A FORMER chemistry professor has
been identified by Chinese police
as part of a gang which cooked up
synthetic drugs for sale nationwide,
media reported May 19.
The 50-year-old former academic
surnamed Lu had a set of recipes
for producing methcathinone, a
drug similar to methamphetamine,
which he provided to dealers, China
Business News (CBN) reported.
Lu worked as a professor of
chemistry at a university in Xian,
the capital of the northern province
of Shaanxi, before teaming up with a
drug manufacturer surnamed Chen in
2013, CBN cited police as saying.
It was not clear whether Lu
had been held but his alleged
activities echo those of the fictional
former professor Walter White,
who sold crystal meth, a form of
methamphetamine, in the hit US TV
show Breaking Bad.
Police detained Chen and six other
people after finding 128 kilograms of
methcathinone at a manufacturing
facility in Shaanxi, along with 2000kg
of ingredients for the drug, last May,
the report added.
Chinese state media last week
cited the government as saying the
country has 14 million drug users,
about 1 percent of the population,
and their numbers had increased by
an annual average of 36pc in recent
years. AFP

IN PICTURES
Photo:
China Out/AFP

A raindrop-covered damselfly rests on a flower at a garden in Qingdao, east Chinas Shandong province.

the pulse 23

www.mmtimes.com

If you could print out the


whole internet, how many
pages would it be?
Caitlin DeWey

e all understand,
courtesy of our daily
contributions to
social media and our
search struggles with
Google, that the internet is huge
and only growing more huge. More
than 3 billion people are now online.
By the end of 2016, internet traffic
could eclipse one zettabyte a year.
But who the heck knows what a
zettabyte is?! (Its 1 trillion gigabytes,
for the record.) I want to size the
internet in concrete, physical terms:
like, if I printed the whole thing out,
Id have how many pieces of paper?
This isnt a novel question,
incidentally: Artists and
mathematicians alike have tried to
answer it before. Two years ago, the
poet Kenneth Goldsmith invited
interested strangers to print Web
pages out and mail them to his
Printing the Internet show in Mexico.
In March, meanwhile, two students at
the University of Leicester published
a journal paper that sought to
estimate how much of the Amazon
wed have to fell in order to print the
Web.

That paper was largely


hypothetical more a thought
experiment than anything else.
(Among other things, it makes use of
a lot of assumptions in the course of
its math.) I emailed co-author George
Harwood, however, to ask how the
page-length of the internet could be
computed more concretely.
It would involve lots of menial
labour. And, of course, a spreadsheet.
In 2007, as part of his masters
thesis at Tilburg University, the Dutch
Web consultant Maurice de Kunder
developed a statistical method for
tracking the number of pages indexed
by major search engines. The math
and technology behind this tool are
pretty complicated his thesis ran
68 pages, in Dutch but eight years
later, its still constantly updating the
number of pages in Google and Bing
search.
A couple caveats here: even this
figure is an estimate, and it doesnt
capture anything outside the reach of
search engines. But for our purposes,
de Kunder said, we can assume there
are roughly 47 billion pages on the
indexed, searchable Web.
Meanwhile, to find how many
printed pages each of those 47

billion would be, I needed to visit a


representative sample of websites
and try to print out each. To arrive at
a fair average one with a 5 percent
margin of error, and a 95pc certainty
Id have to test 385 random sites,
as chosen by the so-called Random
Website Machine (http://www.
whatsmyip.org/random-websitemachine/).
This is a fun game you can play at
home, if you have absolutely nothing
else to do: Click the random website
button; hit CTRL+A and CTRL+P;
and record the resulting pages
number in a separate spreadsheet.
There was the site for a Taiwanese
Little League (two pages); online
stores selling Orthodox icons and
horses hoof grease (1); the homepage
for the Czech national lacrosse league
(4). I learned that West Virginia only
has one business newspaper, and that
Bulgarias constitution was adopted
in 1991. Also that, in 2000, the BBC
called Britney Spears a teenage pop
phenomenon.
A few of these sites would,
of course, take up many printed
pages: say, Wikipedia articles or the
homepages of chatty personal blogs.
But the vast, mundane majority of

Answer: its a lot. Photo: Shutterstock

the websites I visited the pages


of Polish municipal governments,
say, or a recipe for cattle drive
chili only took up one or two.
(We forget that our modern internet
sits atop strata of Geocities pages
and long-forgotten forums and sites
for dentists offices in, who knows,
Kalamazoo.)
The average site came out to 6.5
printed pages slightly longer than
the Wikipedia page on Lithuanias
performance at the 1992 Olympics.
In other words, theres a 95pc chance
that the average length of all Web
pages in the world is somewhere
between 6.2 and 6.8 printed pages.
The number of pages it would take
to print the Internet? 305.5 billion.
From here, of course, the
experiment gets pretty easy.
Multiplying 47 billion by 6.5
gives you 305,500,000,000 pages,
approximately. This is, to be clear,
just an estimate: Theres some room

for error in my page-length average,


and the internets changing all the
time. But its still difficult to even
contemplate how much material that
comes out to: Its like 212 million
copies of Leo Tolstoys War and
Peace.
Were dealing with abstraction,
and we have no idea what this is,
that internet-printing poet Kenneth
Goldsmith told my colleague Dan Zak
in 2013. We need new metrics for
infinity.
even Goldsmiths metrics
failed, however and failed rather
spectacularly. While he and his
gallery would later brag that the show
collected 10 tonnes (three whales!) of
printed papers, thats just a speck in
the huge, abstract internet sea.
Assuming were not getting fancy,
and just printing on normal copy
paper, those pages add up to 122
million tonnes, or ... a lot of whales.
Seriously. The Washington Post

24 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 20, 2015

DOMESTIC FLIGHT SCHEDULES


Yangon to MandalaY

MandalaY to Yangon

Yangon to HeHo

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Y5 775

Daily

6:00

7:10

Y5 233

Daily

7:50

9:00

W9 515

6:00

7:25

W9 201

Daily

8:40

10:35

YH 917

Daily

6:10

8:30

YJ 761

8:40

10:35

YJ 891

7:00

8:25

7Y 132

2,4,6,7

8:50

10:45

7Y 131

2,4,6,7

6:30

8:35

K7 223

1,3,5

8:55

11:00

K7 222

1,3,5

6:30

8:40

YH 918

Daily

9:15

10:25

6T 805

2,4,6

6:30

7:40

6T 806

2,4,6

10:30

11:40

YJ 201

1,2,4

7:00

8:55

YJ 202

11:30

12:55

YJ 201

7:00

8:25

YJ 202

1,2,4

12:00

13:25

W9 201

Daily

7:00

8:25

YJ 761

1,2,4

13:10

17:00

W9201

7:00

8:25

YJ 212

15:00

16:55

8M 6603

9:00

10:10

YJ 212

15:00

16:25

YJ 601

11:00

12:25

YJ 602

15:40

17:35

YJ 761

1,2,4

11:00

12:55

7Y 242

1,3,5

16:40

18:45

Flight
YH 917
YJ 891
7Y 131
K7 222
7Y 131
YJ 891
Y5 649
YJ 751
YJ 761
YJ 233
K7 224
7Y 241
W9 129

Days
Daily
3
2,4,6,7
1,3,5
Daily
5
Daily
3,5,7
1,2,4
6
2,4,6,7
1,3,5
1,3,6

Dep
6:10
6:20
6:30
6:30
7:15
7:00
10:30
11:00
11:00
11:00
14:30
14:30
15:30

HeHo to Yangon
Arr
9:15
10:35
9:20
9:30
10:05
9:10
12:45
12:10
12:10
12:10
15:45
15:40
16:40

Flight
YJ 891
YH 918
W9 201
7Y 132
K7 223
YJ 762
7Y 242
K7 225
YJ 602
W9 129

YJ 211

5,7

11:00

12:25

YJ 234

16:50

18:15

YH 729

2,4,6

11:00

14:00

K7 225

2,4,6,7

16:50

19:00

Y5 325

1,5

Dep
9:25
9:15
9:25
9:35
9:45
15:50
15:55
16:00
16:25
16:55

Arr
10:35
10:25
10:35
10:45
11:00
17:00
18:45
19:00
17:35
19:10

MYeik to Yangon

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

6:45

8:15

6T 706

1,3,5

8:25

9:35

YH 737

3,5

11:00

13:10

YH 728

17:00

18:25

K7 319

1,3,5,7

7:00

9:05

Y5 326

1,5

8:35

10:05

11:30

13:40

W9 152/W97152

17:05

18:30

YH 737

11:30

13:40

Y5 776

Daily

17:10

18:20

6T 705

1,3,5

7:00

8:10

7Y 532

2,4,6

15:35

17:40

7Y 531

2,4,6

11:15

13:20

K7 320

1,3,5,7

11:30

13:35

Y5 325

15:30

17:00

Y5 326

17:15

18:45

SO 201

Daily

8:20

10:40

SO 202

Daily

13:20

15:40

W9 251

2,5

11:30

12:55

W9 211

17:10

19:15

13:00

16:45

YH 738

3,5

17:10

18:35

7Y 241

1,3,5

14:30

16:25

8M 6604

17:20

18:30

K7 224

2,4,6,7

14:30

16:35

8M 903

1,2,4,5,7

17:20

18:30

Y5 234

Daily

15:20

16:30

YH 738

17:40

19:05

W9 211

15:30

16:55

YH 730

2,4,6

17:45

19:10

W9 252

2,5

18:15

19:40

Yangon to sittwe

sittwe to Yangon

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

K7 422

2,4,6

8:00

9:55

K7 423

2,4,6

10:10

11:30

Yangon to naY pYi taw

naY pYi taw to Yangon

7Y 413

1,3,5,7

10:30

12:20

7Y 414

1,3,5,7

12:35

13:55

W9 309

1,3,6

11:30

12:55

W9 309

1,3,6

13:10

14:55

Flight
YJ 201
YJ 201
ND 910
ND 105
ND 107
ND 109
ND 9109
ND 111
SO 102

Flight
SO 101
YJ 201
ND 9102
ND 104
ND 106
YJ 202
ND 108
YJ 212
ND 110
ND 9110

6T 611

Daily

11:45

12:55

6T 612

Daily

13:15

14:20

Arr

Flight

Days

Days
1,2
4
1,2,3,4,5
1,2,3,4,5
6
1,2,3,4,5
1,2,3,4,5
7
Daily

Dep
7:00
7:00
7:15
10:45
11:25
14:55
17:00
18:25
18:00

Arr
7:55
10:20
8:15
11:40
12:20
15:40
18:00
19:20
19:00

Yangon to nYaung u
Flight
YH 917
YJ 891
K7 222
7Y 131
K7 224
7Y 241
W9 129
W9 211
W9 129

Days
Daily
3
1,3,5
2,4,6,7
2,4,6,7
1,3,5
1,3,6
4
1

Dep
6:10
6:20
6:30
6:30
14:30
14:30
15:30
15:30
15:30

Days
2,4,6
1,3.5
3
1,2,4
6
2,5

Dep
6:30
7:00
7:00
7:00
11:00
11:30

Dep
7:00
8:10
8:35
9:20
10:00
10:35
13:30
16:00
17:00
18:20

Arr
8:00
13:25
9:35
10:15
10:55
13:25
14:25
16:55
17:55
19:20

Arr
7:45
7:40
7:50
7:50
17:25
17:10
17:35
17:40
17:35

Arr
8:55
9:40
9:50
10:20
15:10
14:25

Flight
YH 918
YJ 891
7Y 132
K7 223
K7 225
W9 129
7Y 242

Days
Daily
3
2,4,6,7
1,3,5
2,4,6,7
1,3,6
1,3,5

Dep
7:45
7:55
8:05
8:05
17:40
17:50
17:25

Arr
10:25
10:35
10:45
11:00
19:00
19:10
18:45

MYitkYina to Yangon
Flight
6T 806
YJ 202
YJ 202
YH 827
YJ 234
W9 252

Days
2,4,6
3
1,2,4
1,3,5
6
2,5

Dep
9:10
10:05
10:35
11:30
15:25
16:45

Yangon to tHandwe
Dep

tHandwe to Yangon

Flight

Days

K7 422

2,4,6

8:00

8:55

K7 422

2,4,6

9:10

11:30

7Y 413

1,3,5

10:30

11:20

7Y 413

1,3,5

11:35

13:55

W9 309

1,3,6

11:30

13:50

7Y 413

12:05

14:20

7Y 413

11:00

11:50

W9 309

1,3,6

14:05

14:55

Y5 421

1,3,4,6

15:45

16:40

Y5 422

1,3,4,6

16:55

17:50

Yangon to dawei

nYaung u to Yangon

Yangon to MYitkYina
Flight
6T 805
YH 826
YJ 201
YJ 201
YJ 233
W9 251

Days
Daily
1,2
1,2,3,4,5
1,2,3,4,5
6
4
1,2,3,4,5
5
7
1,2,3,4,5

Arr
11:40
12:55
13:25
13:55
18:15
19:40

Air Bagan (W9)


Tel: 513322, 513422, 504888. Fax: 515102

Air KBZ (K7)


Tel: 372977~80, 533030~39 (airport), 373766
(hotline). Fax: 372983

Asian Wings (YJ)


Tel: 515261~264, 512140, 512473, 512640
Fax: 532333, 516654

Tel: 09400446999, 09400447999


Fax: 8604051

YH 727

YJ 151/W9 7151

Domestic Airlines

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)

Yangon to MYeik
Flight

Days
3,5
Daily
Daily
2,4,6,7
1,3,5
1,2,4
1,3,5
2,4,6,7
6
1,3,6

Dep

Arr

Mann Yadanarpon Airlines (7Y)


Tel: 656969
Fax: 656998, 651020

Yangon Airways (YH)


Tel: 383100, 383107, 700264
Fax: 652 533

FMI Air Charter


Tel: 240363, 240373, 09421146545

APEX Airlines (SO)


Tel:95(1) 533300 ~ 311
Fax : 95 (1) 533312

Air Mandalay (6T)


Tel: (+95-1) 501520, 525488,
Fax: (+95-1) 532275

Airline Codes
SO = APEX Airlines
7Y = Mann Yadanarpon Airlines
K7 = Air KBZ
W9 = Air Bagan
Y5 = Golden Myanmar Airlines

dawei to Yangon

YH = Yangon Airways

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

K7 319

1,3,5,7

7:00

8:10

YH 634

2,4,6

12:15

13:25

YJ = Asian Wings

YH 633

2,4,6

7:00

8:25

K7 320

1,3,5,7

12:25

13:35

6T = AirMandalay

SO 201

Daily

8:20

9:40

6T 708

3,5,7

14:15

15:15

6T 707

3,5,7

10:30

11:30

SO 202

Daily

14:20

15:40

FMI = FMI Air Charter

7Y 531

2,4,6

11:15

12:20

7Y 532

2,4,6

16:35

17:40

Flight

Yangon to lasHio

lasHio to Yangon

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

YH 729

2,4,6

11:00

13:00

YJ 752

3,5,7

16:10

17:55

YJ 751

3,5,7

11:00

13:15

YH 730

2,4,6

16:45

19:10

Yangon to putao

Days

putao to Yangon

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YH 826

1,3,5

7:00

10:35

YH 634

10:35

13:55

YH 633

7:00

10:35

YH 827

1,3,5

10:35

13:55

W9 251

2,5

11:30

15:25

W9 252

2,5

15:45

19:40

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

the pulse 25

www.mmtimes.com

InternAtIonAl FlIGHt SCHeDUleS


Flights

YANGON TO BANGKOK
Days

Dep

Arr

PG 706
Daily
6:15
8M 335
Daily
7:40
TG 304
Daily
9:50
PG 702
Daily
10:30
TG 302
Daily
15:00
PG 708
Daily
15:15
8M 331
Daily
16:30
PG 704
Daily
18:20
Y5 237
Daily
19:00
TG 306
Daily
19:45
YANGON TO DON MUEANG

8:30
9:25
11:45
12:25
16:55
17:10
18:15
20:15
20:50
21:40

DD 4231
Daily
8:00
FD 252
Daily
8:30
FD 254
Daily
17:30
DD 4239
Daily
21:00
YANGON TO SINGAPORE

9:50
10:15
19:05
22:45

8M 231
Daily
8:25
Y5 2233
Daily
9:45
TR 2823
Daily
9:45
SQ 997
Daily
10:35
3K 582
Daily
11:15
MI 533
2,4,6
13:45
MI 519
Daily
17:30
3K 584
2,3,5
19:15
YANGON TO KUALA LUMPUR

12:50
14:15
14:25
15:10
15:45
20:50
22:05
23:45

8M 501
AK 505
MH 741
8M 9506
8M 9508
MH 743
AK 503

11:50
12:50
16:30
16:30
20:05
20:05
23:45

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

1,2,3,5,6
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

7:50
8:30
12:15
12:15
15:45
15:45
19:30

YANGON TO BEIJING

Flights

Days

Dep

Days

Dep

Arr

Flights

BANGKOK TO YANGON
Days

Dep

Arr

TG 303
Daily
7:55
PG 701
Daily
8:50
Y5 238
Daily
21:30
8M 336
Daily
10:40
TG 301
Daily
13:05
PG 707
Daily
13:40
PG 703
Daily
16:45
TG 305
Daily
17:50
8M 332
Daily
19:15
PG 705
Daily
20:15
DON MUEANG TO YANGON

8:50
9:40
22:20
11:25
14:00
14:30
17:35
18:45
20:00
21:30

DD 4230
Daily
6:20
FD 251
Daily
7:15
FD 253
Daily
16:20
DD 4238
Daily
19:30
SINGAPORE TO YANGON

7:05
8:00
17:00
20:15

TR 2822
Daily
7:20
Y5 2234
Daily
7:20
SQ 998
Daily
7:55
3K 581
Daily
8:55
MI 533
2,4,6
11:35
8M 232
Daily
13:50
MI 518
Daily
15:15
3K 583
2,3,5
17:05
KUALA LUMPUR TO YANGON

8:45
8:50
9:20
10:25
15:00
15:15
16:40
18:35

AK 504
8M 9505
MH 740
8M 502
8M 9507
MH 742
AK 502
AI 227

8:00
11:15
11:15
13:50
14:50
14:50
19:00
13:20

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Flights

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Daily
6:55
Daily
10:05
Daily
10:05
1,2,3,5,6
12:50
Daily
13:40
Daily
13:40
Daily
17:50
1
10:35
BEIJING TO YANGON
Days

Dep

Days

Dep

Arr

CA 906
3,5,7
23:50 05:50+1
YANGON TO GUANGZHOU

CA 905
3,5,7
19:30
GUANGZHOU TO YANGON

22:50

8M 711
CZ 3056
CZ 3056

CZ 3055
CZ 3055
8M 712

3,6
8:40
1,5
14:40
2,4,7
14:15
TAIPEI TO YANGON

10:25
16:30
15:50

1,2,3,5,6
7:00
KUNMING TO YANGON

9:55

Flights

Flights

CI 7916
Flights

Arr

2,4,7
8:40
3,6
11:25
1,5
17:30
YANGON TO TAIPEI

13:15
16:15
22:15

1,2,3,5,6
10:50
YANGON TO KUNMING

16:15

Days

CA 416
MU 2012
MU 2032
Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Daily
12:15
3
12:40
1,2,4,5,6,7 15:20
YANGON TO HANOI

15:55
18:45
18:40

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

Flights

Flights

CI 7915
Flights

Days

MU 2011
CA 415
MU 2031
Flights

Days

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

3
8:25
Daily
10:45
1,2,4,5,6,7 13:55
HANOI TO YANGON

11:50
11:15
14:30

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

International Airlines
All Nippon Airways (NH)
Tel: 255412, 413

Air Asia (FD)

Tel: 09254049991~3

Air Bagan Ltd.(W9)

Tel: 513322, 513422, 504888. Fax: 515102

Air China (CA)

Tel: 666112, 655882

Air India

Tel: 253597~98, 254758, 253601. Fax 248175

Bangkok Airways (PG)

Tel: 255122, 255265. Fax: 255119

Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG)


Tel: 371867~68. Fax: 371869

Condor (DE)

Tel: 370836~39 (ext: 303)

Dragonair (KA)

Tel: 255323 (ext: 107), 09-401539206

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)


Tel: 09400446999, 09400447999
Fax: 8604051

Malaysia Airlines (MH)

Tel: 387648, 241007 (ext: 120, 121, 122)


Fax: 241124

Myanmar Airways International (8M)


Tel: 255260. Fax: 255305

Nok Airline (DD)

Tel: 255050, 255021. Fax: 255051

Qatar Airways (QR)

Tel: 379845, 379843, 379831. Fax: 379730

VN 956
1,3,5,6,7
19:10
21:30
YANGON TO HO CHI MINH CITY

VN 957
1,3,5,6,7
16:50
18:10
HO CHI MINH CITY TO YANGON

Singapore Airlines (SQ) / Silk Air (MI)

VN 942

Flights

Flights

AI 701
QR 919
Flights

Flights

2,4,7
14:25
YANGON TO DOHA

17:15

VN 943

1,5
14:05
1,4,6
8:00
YANGON TO SEOUL

Arr

19:50
11:10

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

AI 401
QR 918
Flights

2,4,7
11:50
DOHA TO YANGON

13:25

Thai Airways (TG)

1,5
7:00
3,5,7
20:40
SEOUL TO YANGON

Arr

13:20
06:25+1

Tiger Airline (TR)

Days

Dep

0Z 770
4,7
0:35
9:10
KE 472
Daily
23:30 07:50+1
YANGON TO HONG KONG

KE 471
Daily
18:45
0Z 769
3,6
19:50
HONG KONG TO YANGON

KA 251
KA 251

5:55
5:45

KA 252
KA 250

Arr

Flights

Flights

Days

5
1,2,3,4,6,7

Arr

YANGON TO TOKYO

Flights

Days

NH 814

Daily

Dep

21:45

Days

BG 061
BG 061

1,6
4

NH 813

Arr

Flights

Dep

15:35
13:45

YANGON TO INCHEON
Days

Dep

17:00
15:10
Arr

KE 472
Daily
23:30 07:50+1
8M 7702
Daily
23:30 07:50+1
8M 7502
4,7
00:35
09:10
W9 607
4,7
14:20
16:10
PG 724
1,3,5,6
13:10
15:05
YANGON TO CHIANG MAI
Flights

Days

Y5 251
7Y 305

2,4,6
1,5
Days

8M 601
AI 236

Days

AI 236
AI 701

2
1,5

Dep

13:10
14:05

YANGON TO KOLKATA
Days

AI 228
Flights

Dep

3,5,6
7:00
2
13:10
YANGON TO DELHI

Flights

Flights

Dep

6:15
11:00

YANGON TO GAYA

Flights

1,5

Dep

14:05

YANGON TO MUMBAI

AI 773

Days

1,5

Dep

14:05

MANDALAY TO BANGKOK

Flights

PG 710

Days

Daily

Dep

14:05

MANDALAY TO SINGAPORE

Flights

MI 533
Y5 2233

Days

2,6
1,2,4,5,6

Dep

15:55
7:50

MANDALAY TO DON MUEANG

Flights

FD 245

Days

Daily

Dep

12:45

MANDALAY TO KUNMING

Flights

MU 2030

Days

Daily

Dep

13:50

NAY PYI TAW TO BANGKOK

Flights

PG 722
PG 722
PG 722

Days

3
1,2,3,4,5
1,2,3,4,5

Dep

20:15
19:30
20:15

Flights

06:50+1

YANGON TO DHAKA

Flights

Flights

Dep

1:30
1:10

Arr

Flights

Arr

Flights

8:20
15:05

AI 235
8M 602

Arr

Flights

Flights

AI 227

Arr

Flights

22:35

AI 675

Arr

Flights

Arr

23:15
22:30
23:15

Days

1,6
4

Dep

12:30
10:40

INCHEON TO YANGON
Days

Days

2,4,6
1,5

Dep

Dep

9:25
13:45

GAYA TO YANGON
Days

Dep

2
9:20
3,5,6
9:20
DELHI TO YANGON
Days

2
1,5

Dep

9:20
7:00

KOLKATA TO YANGON
Days

1,5

Dep

10:35

MUMBAI TO YANGON

Flights

Flights

Arr

11:00

Days

1,5

Dep

6:10

Days

Daily

Dep

12:00

SINGAPORE TO MANDALAY

Arr

16:40

Dep

DHAKA TO YANGON

PG 709
Y5 2234
MI 533

Arr

Daily

Days

Daily
2,6

Dep

7:20
11:35

DON MUEANG TO MANDALAY

FD 244

Days

Daily

Dep

10:50

KUNMING TO MANDALAY

Flights

MU 2029

Days

Daily

Dep

13:00

BANGKOK TO NAY PYI TAW

Flights

PG 721
PG 721
PG 721

Days

1,2,3,4,5
3
1,2,3,4,5

Dep

17:00
18:25
17:45

Arr

00:30+1
23:30

BANGKOK TO MANDALAY

20:50
14:15
15:00

Days

AI 235
AI 401

15:05

16:30

Dep

22:50
21:45

TOKYO TO YANGON

Flights

Y5 252
7Y 306

Arr

4
1,2,3,5,6,7

Arr

22:25
23:25

KE 471
Daily
18:45
8M 7701
Daily
18:45
8M 7501
3,6
19:50
W9 608
4,7
17:20
PG 723
1,3,5,6
11:05
CHIANG MAI TO YANGON

8:05
12:50

16:30
19:50

Days

BG 060
BG 060

Tel: 255287~9. Fax: 255290

Arr

15:40

Tel: 255491~6. Fax: 255223


Tel: 371383, 370836~39 (ext: 303)

Vietnam Airlines (VN)

Tel: 255066, 255088, 255068. Fax: 255086

Airline Codes
3K = Jet Star
8M = Myanmar Airways International
AK = Air Asia

Arr

14:55
13:05
Arr

22:25
22:25
23:25
18:10
12:00
Arr

10:15
14:35
Arr

12:0
12:30

BG = Biman Bangladesh Airlines


CA = Air China
CI = China Airlines
CZ = China Southern
DD = Nok Airline
FD = Air Asia
KA = Dragonair
KE = Korea Airlines
MH = Malaysia Airlines
MI = Silk Air

Arr

12:20
13:20
Arr

13:20

MU = China Eastern Airlines


NH = All Nippon Airways
PG = Bangkok Airways
QR = Qatar Airways

Arr

13:20
Arr

13:20
Arr

16:30
15:00
Arr

12:15
Arr

12:50
Arr

19:00
19:35
19:45

SQ = Singapore Airways
TG = Thai Airways
TR = Tiger Airline
VN = Vietnam Airline
AI = Air India
Y5 = Golden Myanmar Airlines

Subject to change
without notice
Day
1 = Monday
2 = Tuesday
3 = Wednesday

4
5
6
7

=
=
=
=

Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

26 Sport

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 20, 2015

WORLD
Football

Qatar arrests BBC


journalist while on
government press trip

IN pICtUrES

Photo: AFP

Artem Silchenko of Russia diving from


the 27.5 metre platform on the Saint
Nicolas Tower during the second stop of
the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series at La
Rochelle, France. Gary Hunt of the UK won
the event, with fellow Briton Blake Aldridge
placing second and Orlando Duque of
Colombia third.

BBC journalist invited


to Qatar to examine
the living conditions of
workers building infrastructure for the 2022
football World Cup was detained for
more than 24 hours, the broadcaster
reported on may 18.
mark Lobel, a BBC business correspondent based in Dubai, said he
and three colleagues were arrested
in the capital Doha as they tried to
film a group of Nepalese labourers
earlier this month.
Lobel said they spent two nights
in prison and he was then prevented
from leaving the country for almost
a week.
No charges were laid against the
BBC crew but their equipment and
belongings were confiscated and
have not yet been returned.
Lobel wrote on the BBC News website that the arrest was dramatic.
Suddenly, eight white cars surrounded our vehicle and directed us
on to a side road at speed, he said.
A dozen security officers frisked
us in the street, shouting at us when
we tried to talk. they took away
our equipment and hard drives and
drove us to their headquarters.
Later, in the citys main police
station, the cameraman, translator,
driver and I were interrogated separately by intelligence officers. the
questioning was hostile.
It is the second time in weeks that
Qatari authorities have detained
journalists attempting to report on
the living conditions of the Gulf

ExtrEmE SportS

Ban seen as possible factor in


famous BASE jumpers death
ExtrEmE athletes mourned the loss
of a celebrated BASE jumper on may 18
and wondered if a ban on the sport in
US national parks led him to take a major risk that contributed to his death.
Dean Potter, 43 and fellow BASE
jumper Graham Hunt, 29, were killed
may 16 during a wingsuit jump made
at sunset from taft Point in Californias
Yosemite National Park.
National Park Service rangers found
their bodies and unopened parachutes on may 17 at mid-day following a helicopter search of the area.
they had apparently hit a rocky outcrop while flying through a narrow gap
in the rugged mountain terrain sometime around dusk, according to US media reports.
the 22-year Yosemite resident was
one of the most famous free climbers,
highliners and BASE jumpers of his
generation, and a winner of National
Geographics Adventurer of the Year
honour.
On his official Facebook page
where he described himself as artist,
adventurer, athlete extreme sports
enthusiasts from around the world
posted tributes to his fearlessness and
courage.
He was a great guy, the kindest,
gentlest person Ive ever known, Florida-based wingsuit designer tom Uragallo told AFP. Its a total shock.
Yosemite has been a focal point of

BASE jumping since 1978 when jumps


off El Capitan helped raised the public
profile of the sport.
But because it now is banned by the
National Park Service, practitioners risk
leaping at dusk to avoid taser-carrying
park rangers who might arrest them
and seize their gear, Uragallo said.
Its the biggest problem, he said.
When I do something as extreme [as
BASE jumping], I dont want to jump
in the dark.
National Park Service headquarters
in Washington did not respond to an
email request for comment.
BASE jumping is already one of the
most dangerous of all sports, with 250
recorded fatalities as of February, the
HealthresearchFunding.org blog says.
that figure does not break down
BASE jumps using wingsuits or conventional parachutes. those using
wingsuits typically carry at least one
backup parachute in case of emergency.
According to a 1995-2005 study in
Norway, the odds of dying while BASE
jumping is one in 2317 jumps, compared to one in about 100,000 jumps
for skydiving, adds the British health
care blog Bandolier Journal.
Uragallo, with more than 1,000
wingsuit flights under his belt, personally jumped taft Point the last time
he saw Potter, in the summer of 2014,
shortly after sunset, and he likened it
to jumping into an abyss.

Youre jumping into a crack and


then youve got to turn left out of this
crack, and then you have to fly out and
then you go fly around the rocks its a
very complicated dive, he said.
And to do it in the dark? ... I did
a terrible job because I was nervous as
hell, jumping in the dark.
California-based skydiver and wingsuit flyer taya Weiss, with 5500 jumps
to her name, said Potter campaigned
vigorously against the Yosemite ban.
When she learned of his death, she
said the hour at which Potter jumped at
taft Point was one of the first questions
to cross her mind.
She agreed that US restrictions on
BASE jumping compared to more lenient policies in Europe represented
an unneccessary extra layer of risk.
the ban on BASE jumping in Yosemite is never going to make it safer,
and its also not going to make it go
away, she told AFP.
Weiss added, Dean was not only a
pioneer and very well known. He was
just a nice, down-to-earth, very relatable person and he inspired a lot of
people.
While saddened by his death, and
that of a close skydiving friend last
month, Weiss is still forging ahead with
ambitious plans for a record-setting
formation leap by 100 wingsuit flyers
over southern California later this year.
AFP

emirates large migrant workforce.


In march, a German television
reporter and colleagues were held
while filming in an area of Doha
where many labourers live.
the arrests have come as Qatar is
engaged in a public relations drive to
try to counter international criticism
of its treatment of migrant workers.
After their release the BBC crew
were allowed to join the official
press tour, organised by a Londonbased public relations company,
Portland Communications.
Government
Communications
Office chief Saif Al-thani accused
Lobel of breaking Qatari laws and
making himself the story.
thani said that without waiting
for the governments scheduled tour,
the BBC crew had tried to break into
a workers camp at night.
In doing so, they trespassed on
private property, which is against
the law in Qatar just as it is in most
countries, he said in a statement.
By trespassing on private property and running afoul of Qatari
laws, the BBC reporter made himself
the story. We sincerely hope that this
was not his intention.
In response, the BBC said in a
statement: We are pleased that the
BBC team has been released but
we deplore the fact that they were
detained in the first place.
their presence in Qatar was no
secret and they were engaged in a
perfectly proper piece of journalism.
the Qatari authorities have
made a series of conflicting allega-

tions to justify the detention, all of


which the team rejects.
the organisation added that it
was pressing the Qatari authorities
for a full explanation and for the return of the confiscated equipment.
Human rights Watchs Gulf researcher, Nicholas mcGeehan, wrote
on twitter that Qatars arrest of the
BBC team was jaw-droppingly awful Pr.
the Qatari government has said
in recent weeks that it is improving
conditions for migrant labourers.
It has introduced a wage protection system to ensure workers get
paid on time and is building several
new residential neighbourhoods to
improve living conditions.
It has also said it is soon likely to
end the controversial kafala system,
under which foreign workers must
have a Qatari sponsor, which critics
have likened to modern-day slavery.
Campaign group New FIFA Now
said may 18 that it has sent letters to
eight of world governing body FIFAs
sponsors Adidas, Gazprom, Hyundai, Kia, mcDonalds, Budweiser,
Coca-Cola and Visa urging them to
speak out about working conditions
in Qatar.
FIFA has blood on its hands,
as do these sponsors, for as long as
they turn a blind eye to whats going
on there, British member of parliament Damian Collins, who is backing the campaign, said in London.
If mcDonalds beef cattle lived in
those conditions, you wouldnt buy
their burgers. AFP

baSEball

Cuban TV shows first Major


League game with deserter
KENDrYS morales of the Kansas City
royals may rather forget last weeks
loss to the texas rangers, but the
game will now be seared into baseball
fans memories in his native Cuba.
On may 17, the royalss 5-2 loss to
the rangers became the first major
League Baseball game featuring a Cuban player to be broadcast on television on the island, in a further sign
of warming ties between Washington
and Havana.
Baseball-loving Cubas state-run tV
network has broadcast major League
games since 2013.
But the replay of the royals-rangers game which was played on may
13 is the first time a game featuring
a so-called deserter has been shown
on Cuban tV.
the commentators on Cubas International Baseball program refrained from mentioning moraless
past as a player for Havana club Industriales and the Cuban national team.
the designated hitter, who has also
played first base, left Cuba on a raft a
decade ago to chase his dreams in the
US big leagues.
He is still an idol in Cuba, where
baseball fans remember him as a
switch-hitting phenom who lit up the
national team with his power batting.
morales, 31, delivered a solid performance in the may 13 game, batting in
center fielder Lorenzo Cain in the seventh inning and then scoring himself off
a double by catcher Salvador Perez.

But the rangers nevertheless upset


the royals, who are in first place in the
American League Central.
Some 20 Cuban-born players are
currently active in the major Leagues,
including stars Yasiel Puig, Jose Abreu,
Alexei ramirez, Aroldis Chapman and
Yoenis Cespedes.
Since December 17, when US President Barack Obama and Cubas raul
Castro announced a historic thaw after more than five decades of enmity,
both US teams and Cuban players
have been hoping the islands baseball talent will finally be able to join
the major Leagues without fleeing
illegally.
But while Obama has relaxed certain restrictions on travel to and from
the island, the trade and financial embargo the US has imposed since 1962
still means Cuban baseball players
cannot play in the United States without defecting.
Cubas national baseball commissioner, Heriberto Suarez, said last
week that the game is being lacerated on the island by defections and
attempted defections about 60 last
season.
Castros government began allowing athletes to sign with foreign
teams in 2013, for the first time
since 1961, two years after the Cuban
revolution.
About a dozen baseball players
have signed with teams in mexico, Japan and Canada. AFP

Sport 27

www.mmtimes.com
ASIA

COMBAT SPOrTS

Mixed martial arts goes


mainstream in Asia

he explosive growth of mixed martial arts (MMA) in Asia is putting


the squeeze on boxing as it attracts
millions of young fans and sells out
venues across the region.
Just a few years ago, cage fighting was seen
as a niche and grisly pursuit, but it is moving
into the mainstream with major TV and sponsorship deals and a planned US$1 billion IPO
for Asias main player.
Gyms are mushrooming across Asia and
fights have been held in dozens of major cities
across the region.
MMA has also taken hold in the Americas
and europe but it has a particular appeal in
Asia, which is the birthplace of the martial arts
but lacks homegrown sports heroes.
Its success is cutting into the fanbase of
other combat sports, notably boxing, which is
making a belated push for the Asian market
with several big fights in Macau.
even Manny Pacquiao, Asias best-known
boxer who lost this months Fight of the Century to Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas, is a
fan and investor in One Championship.
The growth of the Singapore-based company, the most prominent of several Asian MMA
organisations, is testament to the sports rapid
expansion in the region.
In just three-and-a-half years, One Championship renamed from One Fighting Championship has grown to 24 events this year, including 10 in China.
Sponsors include LOreal and Sony, and a
tie-up with Disney means One Championship
promotes films such as Avengers: Age of Ultron
and the forthcoming Star Wars.
CeO Victor Cui said by the end of 2017 the
company aimed to hold one event a week, and
that it planned a billion-dollar share listing in
three years time.
Compared to MMA, boxing attracts only
the boxing fans whereas MMA is across all the
martial arts, he told AFP at a large MMA gym
in downtown Singapore.
The appeal base across Asia is quite different, because every Asian country has some
form of martial art that they already do ...
whereas boxing is not as heavily rooted in every country.
In MMA fights, competitors can use a variety of martial arts to knock out their opponent
or force a submission or stoppage, as well as
accumulating points on the three judges scorecards, making the action varied and sometimes
vicious.
While opinions vary about the sports merits, it is attracting a large and young Asian

More people across Asia are turning to mixed martial arts training as a way to keep fit. Photo: AFP

fanbase, often male, fuelled by its prevalence


on TV and social media.
Theres a misconception that its bloody,
that its brutal, but theres a lot of respect that
goes on out of the cage, said Matt eaton, editor
and publisher of the hong Kong-based Rough
magazine and website.
Theyre martial artists. They have a lot of
respect for each other.
he added, Boxing has done itself a bit of
a disservice by remaining relatively old school.
People still like the spectacle of boxing ... but
what MMA has got going for it is that its a
relatively new sport. Its almost a native of this
whole digital world.
Boxings schism with the martial arts widened this month when the International Boxing Association (AIBA) decided to pull out of
the 2017 World Combat Games, preferring to
maintain its noble image.
AIBA officials were not available to comment for this story when approached by AFP.
But One Championships Cui said boxing faced
a bit of a challenge to reach prominence in
Asia.
The conversation we had with Manny
[about investing] was, only Manny could fill
out a 20,000-seater stadium in the Philippines.

Theres no other boxer who could do that, Cui


said.
heres our sport One Championship. We
dont have our Manny Pacquiao yet, but were
filling 20,000-seat stadiums.
A key element to the growth is the fitness
boom and the trend toward more challenging
and varied workouts than the traditional approach of lifting weights at a gym.
During AFPs visit to the evolve gym in
Singapore, dozens of people were using their
lunch break to punch, kick and grapple their
way into shape.
Its just so stimulating, so challenging ... I
just wanted do something different with my
life, said Singapore zoo keeper Rachel Yeo, 27.
This place makes me feel alive.
Boxings cause was not helped by the disappointing Fight of the Century, when Mayweather skilfully picked off Pacquiao while
keeping largely out of range.
hard to watch sober, was the verdict of
Singaporean cage fighter Stephen Langdown,
22, who said it compared poorly with the spectacle of MMA.
Nobodys interested in seeing people run
around for 12 rounds, pit-pat, pit-pat. Its just
not good TV. AFP

CriCkeT

Zimbabwe brings
international
cricket back to
Pakistan
The Zimbabwe cricket team landed in Pakistan in the early hours yesterday, becoming the
first Test-playing nation to visit the militancywracked South Asian country in six years.
Zimbabwe are set to play two T20s and three
ODIs in a mini-series under high security involving 6000 police and constant surveillance by
commandos and helicopters.
The tour is a first by a full ICC member since
Sri Lanka visited in 2009, when their team bus
was attacked by RPG and machine-gun wielding
militants, with eight people six police and two
civilians killed and seven players wounded.
Forced to host home games in neutral venues like the United Arab emirates, the Pakistan
Cricket Board estimates it has lost US$120 million in TV rights and extra overheads.
even hosting Zimbabwe will cost PCB more
than $1 million, half of which is for the visitors
fees and expenses. Not much of the outlay will
be recouped by sponsorships and gate proceeds.
An incident-free series is seen as crucial to
Pakistans hopes of ending its sporting isolation.
But risks remain high and the massacre of 45
minority Shiites in an attack on a bus in Karachi
last week nearly prompted Zimbabwe to pull out
at the last minute.
While the March 2009 attack on the Sri Lankans forced the long hiatus, it wasnt the first
time a cricket team had been caught up in Pakistans militant violence.
In 2002, 14 people died in a suicide blast
outside a Karachi hotel as New Zealand and
Pakistan prepared to leave for the second Test,
prompting the tour to be abandoned.
The PCB now says it has foolproof security
involving thousands of police to protect Zimbabwe as they shuttle between their five-star hotel
and Lahores Gaddafi Stadium.
The area around the venue will be cordoned
off, with various security checkpoints for fans,
and paramilitaries will watch the area around
the clock with constant surveillance from rooftops and helicopters.
The players will not be allowed to leave their
hotel without security and their movements will
be restricted within the stadium.
It is our first step toward the goal of reviving
international cricket and we will leave nothing
to chance to make this tour safe and successful,
said PCB chair Shaharyar Khan.
For players like Umar Akmal, Azhar Ali and
Asad Shafiq all of whom have played more than
50 internationals it will be their first chance to
represent Pakistan at home.
Tickets are not yet sold out, given the
uncertainty surrounding whether the tour would
go ahead, but officials are reporting a surge in
demand. AFP

OlyMPiCS

Tokyo boss accuses govt of behaving like Imperial Army


TOKYO citys top official has compared the government to the Japanese
Imperial Army during World War II
after being asked to pay over US$400
million toward the cost of the 2020
Olympic stadium, local media reported May 18.
Sports Minister hakubun Shimomura also proposed further scaling
back plans for the showpiece venue,
including scrapping the retractable
roof, in a bid to control escalating
costs.
But his decision to lobby Tokyo for
almost 30 percent of the estimated
total construction bill of $1.4 billion
for the new National Stadium enraged
Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe, who
blasted the government as irresponsible for making the demand.
The figure being mentioned is
around 50 billion yen [$418 million],
Masuzoe was quoted as saying by the
Nikkan Sports daily. Up until now
there has been absolutely no communication about this. It is irresponsible
because we have to think of the taxpayers.

An artists rendering shows the modified design for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium Photo: Facebook/Zaha Hadid Architects

Masuzoe added, Its irresponsible


to keep repeating we can build it.
But thats just like the Japanese Imperial Army during the war saying were
winning, were winning when in fact
we were losing.

Shimomura wants to wait until


after the Olympics to add a retractable
roof and also called for around 30,000
of the stadiums 80,000 seats to be
temporary ones to reduce the financial burden and speed up construc-

tion so that it is ready in time for the


2019 rugby World Cup, to be hosted by
Japan.
We have been in talks with the
contractors, said Shimomura.We
hope to present a precise budget and

plan by the end of the month. We


would like Tokyo to contribute to the
costs of building the stadium.
Masuzoe was left fuming after his
meeting with the minister, reiterating
his stance that Tokyo should not be
asked to pay for a national stadium,
raising the issue of ownership if both
sides failed to reach an agreement.
We obviously cant just not build
an Olympic stadium because the government cant [finance it], he said. If
the country cant then we have to examine the possibility of building it as
a municipal stadium.
The 2020 Olympic stadium has
faced two years of widespread criticism, with prominent Japanese
architects launching scathing attacks on Iraqi-British architect Zaha
hadids futuristic designs, and the
budget was subsequently slashed by
40 percent.
The iconic National Stadium, built
for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, was recently demolished and construction
on the new venue is scheduled to begin in October. AFP

Sport
28 THE MYANMAR TIMES May 20, 2015

SPORT EDITOR: Matt Roebuck | matt.d.roebuck@gmail.com

Mixed Martial Arts fights


for its place in Asia
SPORT 27

See Games as you want to


Southeast Asian Games app allows control of a multi-camera viewing experience
MaTT ROebuck
matt.d.roebuck@gmail.com

OLLOWERS of next months


Southeast Asian Games in
Singapore will be able to create their own viewing experience, thanks to the launch
of the 28th SEA Games TV mobile application on May 25.
The second screen app, developed on behalf of the Singapore
Southeast Asian Games Organising
Committee (SINGSOC), is said by
the organisation to be the first interactive multi-camera coverage app
developed for any multi-sport competition.
Viewers will be able to use up to 16
cameras, showcasing at any time up
to eight different sports on the app,
which can be downloaded free for
Android and iOS platforms. Instant
replays will also be available as the action proceeds at the Jalan Besar Stadium, National Stadium, OCBC Arena,
OCBC Aquatic Centre, and Singapore
Indoor Stadium.
Making the Games accessible to
as many people as possible has always
been a priority for SINGSOC, said Lim
Teck Yin, SINGSOCs executive chair
in a press release.
Tremendous effort has gone into
making sure that the 28th SEA Games
in Singapore can achieve this by
charting new ground to deliver and
enhance fan experiences through its
digital offerings.
The growth in our social fan-

base and digital traffic has been very


encouraging. We want to keep fans updated and excited about the Games, no
matter where they live.
That social fanbase spanning
Southeast Asia will also be able to
follow more than 600 hours of live
and replayed sporting competition
via the SEA Games YouTube channel.
Coverage will begin with the start
of the football competition on May
29, to be followed by the other teamsports opening salvos before the
opening ceremony on June 5. The
Games conclude on with the closing
ceremony June 16.
Additional content will come
from the SEA Games Social Wall on
SEAGames2015.com, where more than
100 volunteers will report across all
venues, providing a personal account
of the Games through the eyes of everyday Singaporeans.
Harban J Singh, a spokesperson for
SINGSOCs digital team, spoke about
the level of work involved in bringing
this innovation to the Games.
In the past three years, more than
500 people have been involved in developing and fine-tuning all the different aspects of this remarkable digital
experience. Now, it is for our people
in Singapore and Southeast Asia to
experience and celebrate the extraordinary, he said.
Also available for download from
May 25 will be the SEA Games Results
app designed to keep fans apprised
of schedules, medallists and record
breakers throughout the Games.

The 28th SEA Games TV mobile app with multi-camera angles will be available for download from May 25. Photo: SINGSOC

SEA GAMES SHORTS


SingaPORe

An infographic released by SINGSOC demonstrates the various means of


enjoying the 28th SEA Games. Photo: SINGSOC

Dragon Boat racing


Singapores Myanmar-born national
coach Naing Naing Htoo, or 992
as he is nicknamed by the 28th
Southeast Asian Games host
dragonboaters, told Today that he
hopes to see the city-state take at
least two gold medals from the
eight events that are expected to be
dominated by Myanmar.
Naing Naing Htoo, a former
assistant coach of Myanmars
paddling team, relocated last July
and was set the target of improving
Singapores results.
In Myanmar, kids start paddling
since they were about six years old,
and thus they became naturally good
at that, he told Today.
There are hundreds of
national rowers, canoeists and
dragonboaters who train full-time
and live together in six or seven
flats. It can be a challenge training
the Singapore team because they
are part-time, and have work and
school distractions. But I see a lot of
potential in them, and with regular
attendances and hard work, they
can excel too, he added.
In preparation for Junes SEA
Games, Singapores national squad
have taken eight-month sabbaticals
from work and studies to train as fulltime athletes.
And their coach says results in
training are looking promising,
suggesting that the times clocked
by the 10-crew 500m races for both

the mens and womens teams are


within 0.05 seconds of the times the
Myanmar teams are clocking during
their training sessions.
992 has the winning formula,
so we listen very closely to his
instructions, said Singapore national
dragonboater Shawn Tan.
We have made several changes
to how we used to paddle. We also
upped our endurance and learnt
how to go all out for every stroke. He
also made some of us lose 5 - 10kg
because a lighter boat means less
effort.
The national dragonboaters
also want to give a strong showing
in home waters in tribute to five
national dragonboaters who died
after one of their boats overturned in
Cambodias Tonle Sap river in 2007.
Since that mishap, we have
always paddled in remembrance
of them, Singapore national team
manager Derick Tan told Today.
Pencak Silat
Singapores Pencak Silat team is
putting its faith in youth in order to
rekindle past glories in the nations
sport and deliver three gold medals
this June, reports the Straits Times.
Sheik Alauddin told the local media
he backs Nur Alfian, 18, Muhammad
Iqbal, 21, and world champion Sheik
Farhan, 17, to deliver that success.
These young athletes have nothing
to lose. The pressure is there but they
just have to enjoy and compete in
front of the home crowd. Hopefully
we will be able to clinch more than

three golds from the Games with the


potential in the team, said Sheik.

PhiliPPineS
VolleyBall
The Philippines womens volleyball
team have set a third-place finish
as their target for this years games,
according to Larong Volleyball as
Pilipinas president Joey Romasanta
reported in the Philippine Daily
Inquirer.
Romasanta identified Thailand,
a strong competitor on the world
stage, as gold medal favourites with
everyone else playing for a podium
finish, including the Myanmar women
who have already confirmed to The
Myanmar Times their ambitions for
bronze.
The Philippines, who have not
entered a side in womens volleyball
for 10 years, are drawn in Group A
alongside Vietnam, Indonesia and
Malaysia. They will not face Group
Bs Myanmar, Thailand or hosts
Singapore until the knockout stages.
We cant complain because in the
Asian U23, we were grouped with Iran
and Kazakhstan, said Romasanta.
The Philippines final line-up is
yet to be confirmed after key players
commitments have restricted them to
only joining the practice squad last
weekend.
But the Philippines volleyball chief
said the final selection will be based
primarily on a players commitment
to the team. Matt Roebuck