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HEARTBEAT OF THE NATION

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DAILY EDITION

ISSUE 66 | WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17, 2015


NEWS 3

MPs prepare for debate on


section 436 amendments
Representatives given until tomorrow
afternoon to register for debate on
proposed changes to section 436 of
constitution, as Bill Committee warns
of the need for a transparent vote.
NEWS 6

Controversial primate
research program ends
A primate fossil research program
that the military government co-opted
seemingly to enhance its legitimacy
has concluded after 10 years, but
leaves a legacy of memorable and
scientifically inaccurate statements.

BUSINESS 8

Pun Hlaing Siloam to


bring treatment home
A new joint venture between FMI
and Indonesias Lippo Group aims to
bring an end to Myanmars medical
exodus by offering top-quality
treatment in Yangon.
BUSINESS 9

IN PICTURES

PHOTO: AUNG MYIN YE ZAW

Members of the Myanmar Monks Organisation and the Myanmar National Youth Network
protest in Yangon yesterday over the alleged rape of a Myanmar woman in Thailand on
June 3. The groups have called on the Thai junta to take action over the attack, which
occurred as the woman, 19, was returning home from her job at a fish processing plant.

Exchange rate crackdown


leaves traders worries
The arrest of businesspeople in
Pabedan township for buying and
selling the dollar outside official rates
has prompted many exchange centres
to cut back on trading.

Speaker wades into kyat crisis


Thura U Shwe Mann requests responses from Central Bank and Union government over their handling of the foreign
currency crisis that has seen importers struggling to obtain dollars, as talks continue in Nay Pyi Taw. NEWS 3

2 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 17, 2015

Journalist calls
for release of
Palaung driver
WA LONE
walone14@gmail.com

A man wearing a face mask walks past signage at Severance Hospital in Seoul yesterday. Photo: AFP

Migrants in S Korea afraid


after deadly MERS outbreak
MRATT KYAW THU
mrattkthu@gmail.com
MYANMAR migrant workers in
South Korea fear they could be exposed to the deadly Middle East
Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) that
is ravaging the country. They say
the Myanmar embassy in Seoul has
issued no warnings or advice, and
their Korean employers brush aside
their fears.
As of June 15, 16 people in South
Korea had died of the disease, with
another 150 known to be affected, of
whom 120 were receiving treatment.
The World Health Organization has
described the outbreak in South Korea as large and complex.
Ko Moe Myint Aung, who works
in an electronics factory in Seoul,
told The Myanmar Times yesterday
that Myanmar workers are afraid.
We dont know whats going on
and we dont want to go to work
because our bosses dont care. They
laugh at us for wearing face-masks,
he said.

Workers say the Myanmar embassy in Seoul should urge the government and South Korean employers to ensure the safety of Myanmar
workers.
Most Myanmar workers in South
Korea are unskilled labourers.
Ko Nay Linn, a construction
worker in Daegu, said, As a driver,
I have to work with Koreans every day. The bosses allow Korean

The bosses allow


Korean workers
time off ... but
Myanmar workers
didnt get a
single day off.
Ko Nay Linn
Construction worker

workers time off because of the outbreak, but Myanmar workers didnt
get a single day off.
So far, all the patients infected
with MERS have been South Korean
citizens, according to CNN, which
quoted Samsung Medical Centre
as saying they counted many of the
nations MERS cases among its patients and visitors.
We rely on Myanmar community organisations here. Weve arranged to contact each other if anything happens, said Ko Kyaw Swar,
who works in Seoul.
Myanmar migrants are working
in South Korea legally in accordance
with a contract reached between the
two governments, rather than private agencies. But workers say there
are no provisions for dealing with
diseases.
The Myanmar government is responsible for this, because there are
no employment agencies involved,
said U Kyaw Htin Kyaw, general secretary of the Myanmar Overseas Employment Agencies Federation.

A PALAUNG man arrested in northern Shan States Muse township in late


April has appeared in court to face
drug- and arms-related offences, as a
foreign journalist who was briefly detained with him disputed the version
of events put forward by police.
Mai Nyi Aye was detained, together
with two foreign journalists, by the
Pansay Militia at a checkpoint on the
Namkham to Nam Phatka Highway on
April 28. Militia members then transported the trio to their camp, and then
to the Muse police station in three
separate vehicles.
The journalists, who had hired
Mai Nyi Aye as their driver, were released the following day. However,
Mai Nyi Aye, 26, was accused of carrying 40 WY methamphetamines tablets and 22 7.62-millimetre bullets in
the car and has not been released. On
June 11 and 12 he appeared in court
to face the allegations, according to
Muse police.
In an open letter, video journalist
Christian Veits expressed concern at
the charges and said he had not seen
any sort of weapon, ammunition or
drug in the vehicle they were travelling in. The contraband was also not
mentioned while members of the
Pansay militia checked their vehicle or
took them to Muse.
It was only much later, during
interrogation at the police station in
Muse, that we were confronted with
and first saw those items. I felt as if
the items might have been used as a
way to put pressure on us during interrogation, Mr Viets said.
We are seriously concerned about

[Mai Nyi Ayes] wellbeing and hope


that this case can be resolved quickly.
Attention is now turning to the role
of the government-affiliated Pansay
militia, which has long been accused
of drug trafficking. Its leader, U Kyaw
Myint, is a member of the Shan State
parliament.
Mai Eik Kyaw, an information officer from the ethnic Palaung Taang
National Liberation Army, which has
regularly clashed with Pansay forces in
northern Shan State, accused the militia of setting a trap for Mai Nyi Aye by
planting the drugs and ammunition in
the car.
They arrested them even [though]
they havent found anything, and then
they can make a trap when they [take
him] to the police station, he said. It
was cheating.
Muse township police chief Police
Captain Mya Sein said it was impossible to say how the drugs or ammunition came to be in the vehicle.
We found the drugs and bullets
in their car, but we cant say for sure
what happened before they arrived
to the police [station], he said.
A source in Muse with close ties to
police said the authorities have ceded
law-enforcement powers to militia
groups and pro-government organisations in the area, particularly on issues
related to mining and illicit drugs.
Under the law [a militia] cannot
arrest a man who [they suspect of carrying] drugs or [having relations with]
rebel organisations, said the source,
who asked not to be named. [The
Pansay militia] are not police, but they
did this because they have deals with
local authorities.
The checkpoint where the trio was
detained is close to contested areas of
northern Shan State where the Tatmadaw and the TNLA have regularly
engaged in clashes in recent years.
Additional reporting by
Kayleigh Long

www.mmtimes.com

NEWS EDITOR: Thomas Kean | tdkean@gmail.com

Speaker seeks answers from


govt, Central Bank on currency
Thura U Shwe Mann also turns to Facebook to engage with the public on plummeting local currency

HTOO THANT

KYAW PHONE KYAW

PYIDAUNGSU Hluttaw Speaker


Thura U Shwe Mann has stepped
into the crisis surrounding the falling value of the kyat and problems
facing importers by asking for explanations from the Union government and the Central Bank. He has
also fuelled a debate on Facebook.
U Win Oo, a member of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw planning and financial development committee,
told The Myanmar Times yesterday that Thura U Shwe Mann had
called for action in the foreign currency market when he met with
officials from the Central Bank on
June 11.
The Central Bank of Myanmar,
whose independence was established by law two years ago, has the
means to rein in the market, the
Union Solidarity and Development
Party MP said, adding, The Central
Bank can sell its reserves of dollars
when the dollar rises on the market and it can buy dollars when the
price decreases.
U Win Oo said the government
was holding talks with the business
community, which is struggling to
source dollars at the rate established by the Central Bank, and
would later explain its actions to
parliament. The hluttaw Speaker
said this last week when he met
with the Central Bank. The hluttaw
wont push for this case, he said.
U Win Myint, an MP and secretary of the Myanmar Petroleum
Traders Association, said the government had responded to parliaments concerns on the issue.
The hluttaw met with officials
concerned and urged the government to do what was needed. Currently the Central Bank is doing its
best. The solution has been found.

A customer sells US dollars at a licensed money changer in Yangon


yesterday. Photo: Aung Myin Ye Zaw

If the hluttaw gets involved with


everyone stating his own opinion
then there will be misunderstandings, said the USDP member.
U Win Myint said he held talks
with Central Bank officials yesterday morning on the exchange
rate. As a result importers of fuel
oil, palm oil and other goods could
buy US dollars as needed through
the banking system and not on the

outside market, he said.


Businesses would have to buy
dollars through the Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank, Myanmar Apex
Bank and other private banks, he
said. He said the government and
entrepreneurs had held talks for
some days but that misunderstandings over the function of
the Central Bank had delayed an
outcome.

National League for Democracy


representative Daw Sandar Min
said she expected parliament to
hold a debate on the governments
response to the currency issue.
Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann,
who is chair of the USDP and a
possible contender for the presidency, has also taken to Facebook
to discuss the hottest topic of the
day.
Yesterday he posted on his page,
There are so many useful comments on my [June 10] post about
the meeting with government officials on the rise of the US dollar
exchange rate. The Speaker said he
would relay comments by Ko Zay
Yar, a Facebook user, to the relevant
authorities.
Ko Zay Yar had said that Myanmar workers abroad transferred
money into Myanmar through illegal channels, and that rich men
were monopolising this transfer
market. If the authorities controlled this illegal foreign exchange
market then the dollar rate would
fall, he wrote.
Thura U Shwe Mann launched
into Facebook on February 9, emulating other senior officials and
MPs who have become popular on
social media.
The speaker asked his staff to
analyse comments on his June
10 post about the currency crisis,
which garnered 750 comments and
7700 likes.
The speaker said yesterday he
had advised and discussed with
officials. We, the hluttaw, and people will have to watch how the authorities take action, he said.
Comments on the Speakers
post also included complaints
about land seizures, the currency
black market and criticism of the
government.
His Facebook page has 83,000
likes. U Ye Htut, the information
minister who has been nicknamed
minister for Facebook, has more
than 207,000 likes.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

CONSTITUTION

Bill committee issues warning on


constitutional amendment voting
Current electronic voting system may cause doubts over the result of decision on
constitutional amendment bills, committee warns as debate looms on section 436
THE Joint Bill Committee has urged
transparency when voting on constitutional amendments, warning that using the current electronic system may
cause doubts over the result.
The committee made the call yesterday when submitting its report on
proposed changes to section 436 of the
constitution, which were submitted to
parliament on June 10 together with
amendments to 32 other sections of the
charter.
The committee did not recommend
how MPs should vote on the proposed
change to 436, which would remove
the militarys automatic veto on constitutional change by reducing the threshold for amendments to 70 percent of
MPs, from 75pc.
But it said the vote was sufficiently
important as to merit careful consideration on how it should take place.
Both the public and the international community will eagerly
monitor parliaments decision on the

constitutional amendment bill, said U


Nanda Kyaw Swar, who leads the committee and is also deputy speaker of the
Pyi-daungsu Hluttaw.
The recommendation comes just
months after a photo was published
showing a military MP voting for an
absent colleague, in violation of parliament rules.
Last year, it also emerged that the

Both the public and


the international
community will ...
monitor parliaments
decision.
U Nanda Kyaw Swar
Joint Bill Committee chair

Speaker had access to voting records,


despite the electronic system being described as secret voting.
MPs who want to debate the proposed change to 436 were instructed to
register with the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw
Office by 2pm tomorrow, suggesting
the discussion will take place within
the next week. MPs will only be allowed
to speak on the proposed amendments,
and will be given a limited amount of
time, the committee said.
Even if the amendments are passed,
they will still require approval at a nationwide referendum by at least 50pc of
eligible voters. This could prove a difficult hurdle, depending on the size of
the turnout.
U Nanda Kyaw Swar said that if approved the changes would come into
effect when the first session of parliament is convened following this years
general election. That is expected to
happen in late January 2016.
Translation by Zar Zar Soe

News 3

CSOs form
alliance for
monitoring,
education
LUN MIN MANG
lunmin.lm@gmail.com
FOURTEEN civil society organisations
say they have formed a nationwide alliance with the aim of promoting voter
education ahead of the November elections, monitoring parliament and recruiting tens of thousands of observers
for polling day.
The problem with residents is that
they dont really understand the impact
of voting. This is the case in big cities
around the country, even Yangon, U
Thant Sin told a press conference yesterday to launch Voter Education Partners.
U Thant Sin was formerly program
director at the New Myanmar Foundation, a voter education group which observed the 2010 elections. He stepped
down to become a founding member
and executive director at VEP.
Although the Union Election Commission (UEC) is engaged in voter education, U Thant Sin said its activities
were not broad enough.
To be honest, UECs voter education programs are narrowly focused.
Their programs tell voters just to check
their names on the voter lists being
displayed. But they dont explain why
it is important to vote and to be on the
lists, he said.
The UEC is rolling out voter registration lists across the country for the
public to check their names and data
are entered correctly. In the latest
phase in 14 Yangon townships, some
87,000 people out of 1.8 million registered voters made formal objections.
U Thant Sin stressed the important role civil society organisations had
played in monitoring elections during
the transition to democracy in countries
such as the Philippines and Indonesia.
The emergence of more observers
is very important for our countrys democratisation, he said.
There are about 80,000 wards and
villages around the country. Counting
one observer per ward, about 80,000
observers are needed. We will try to
set up training processes for at least
50,000 observers for this years general
election, U Thant Sin said.

4 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 17, 2015

Chief Executive Officer


Tony Child
tonychild.mcm@gmail.com
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Tai Yi workers stage a sit-in in front of the companys shoe factory in Hlaing Tharyar township yesterday. Photo: Supplied

Strike called off at shoe factory


Workers end two-day protest over the sacking of officials from Tai Yi union but are considering further action
NYAN LYNN AUNG
29.nyanlynnaung@gmail.com
IN the latest phase of a long-running
industrial dispute, hundreds of workers at the Tai Yi footwear factory
staged a two-day sit-in outside the
plant in Hlaing Tharyar township on
June 15 and 16. The workers are protesting against the dismissal of two
activists from the factorys union.
Though the sit-in ended with the
onset of rainy weather, the union has
plans for further action, including the
possibility of a sit-in on the factory
floor.
We have to think of the long-term
health of our members. Our action will
continue inside the factory, said Ma
Nwet Yi Win, one of the fired workers.
We decided the workers should
enter the factory, but they will not be
working, she added.
Ma Nwet Yi Win and Ma Moe Wai
were dismissed by the factory manager on May 29 for being absent for three
days without approval.

Ma Moe Wai said she had taken


medical leave from May 26 to 28, for
which she had produced a prescription
from the social welfare department
clinic. She also says she tried to call
the factory but could not get through,
and the manager had visited her at the
clinic while she was sick with a fever.
Theyre not firing me because I
was absent without leave, but because
I am active in the union, she said,
adding that workers are entitled to six

Theyre not firing me


because I was absent
without leave, but
because I am active
in the union.
Ma Moe Wai
Fired Tai Yi labour leader

days emergency leave.


I have not received any compensation. We are not protected by the law,
she said.
Ma Nwet Yi Win, who was dismissed at the same time for the same
reason, said the union committee
had tried to negotiate with the factory owner, who refused to rehire the
workers. The union therefore decided
to take action.
The owner refused to rehire us,
so the union decided on the sit-in until they do so, said Ma Nwet Yi Win
yesterday.
Contacted by The Myanmar Times,
manager Ma Aye Mi Hlaing declined
to comment yesterday.
However, the factory workers said
the management had complained
to the industrial tribunal that the
sit-in was affecting production. Tribunal member U Ye Naing Win said
the council had not received such a
complaint.
The Hlaing Tharyar and Shwe Pyi
Thar industrial zones in Yangon have

a troubled history of labour disputes,


primarily because factory owners are
unable or unwilling to raise the workers low wages. In March, more than
5500 workers from Tai Yi shoe factory as well as Costec, Ford Glory, ELand Myanmar and Red Stone garment factories demonstrated to
support their demand for higher pay.
According to a government statement,
workers from four of the factories
reached a compromise with employers
and most returned to work. However,
hundreds lost their jobs. The dispute
at Tai Yi goes back to 2012.
On May 17, the National Unity Party
held a labour rights forum in Yangons
Shwe Pyi Thar Industrial Zone on
May 17 where members pledged their
solidarity and support for the workers
cause and demanded better protection
of their rights.
We will support them if they ask
us, said Ma Myo Myo Aye, executive
member of the National Unity Party.
The party believes in protecting
workers rights.

New border crossing with Thailand


to give Kayah State tourism a boost
EI EI THU
91.eieithu@gmail.com
A NEW border crossing between
Kayah State and Thailand is expected
to open later this year, a move that Myanmar hopes will help boost tourism
and regional development in the remote state, U Nyunt Aung, the deputy
director of Ministry of Commerce, told
The Myanmar Times yesterday.
We sent a request to Thailand via
the Thai ambassador on May 21. We
are ready to open the border gate as
soon as we receive a reply from them,
U Nyunt Aung said.
The new crossing would connect
Myanmars Mese with Thailands Mae
Hong Son province, U Nyunt Aung
said, adding that a bridge has already
been built across the Thanlwin River

60 kilometres (37 miles) from the border on the Myanmar side.


U Nyunt Aung said plans to open
the new crossing were made in response to requests from the people
of Kayah State for help in developing their home region. Officials in
Thailands Mae Hong Son province
had also suggested that the border be
opened to facilitate trade between the
two countries.
Transportation is getting better,
so the new border gate will be able
to handle trade to and from Kayah
State, Shan State and Mandalay, he
said.
U Maung Maung Than, the director general of the Ministry of Immigration, said he did not know when
the new gate would open, but added
that when it does Myanmar will issue

seven-day visas and border passes at


the crossing.
Kayah States limited tourism infrastructure just eight hotels with a
total of 175 rooms, according to figures
from the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism is already feeling the strain of
the small number of visitors to the
area, said U Myint Htwe, director of
Ministry of Hotel and Tourism.
The situation for Kayah State is
difficult, but we are preparing by offering tour guide and hospitality training to local people to raise their awareness about tourism, he said. We are
also negotiating with travel companies
to create itineraries for Kayah State
based on adventure trips and crosscountry travel.
U Aung Zaw Moe, secretary of
Kayah State government, told The

Myanmar Times that he welcomed


such developments because they will
create many job opportunities for local residents. Kayah State is not yet
ready yet for booming tourism, but
we can handle visitors to some extent.
It will benefit our people.
U Phyo Wai Yar Zar, chair of the
Myanmar Tourism Marketing Committee, said Kayah can benefit from
cross-border visitors from Thailand
as well as from tourists arriving from
farther afield.
All business sectors concerned
with tourism will develop if more
visitors come to Kayah State, he said.
Myanmar National Airlines already
flies to Loikaw, and Air KBZ is planning to add Loikaw flights as well. The
more business we get, the more opportunities the local people will have.

6 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 17, 2015

Science or politics?
Research program
into primate fossils
brought to an end
PYAE THET PHYO

THOMAS KEAN

THE government has called time


on a controversial primate remains
research program that once prompted
a government minister to declare that
Myanmar was the origin of the world.
The 10-year collaboration between
researchers from the Ministry of
Culture, the Ministry of Education
and foreign experts on primate fossils
was initiated in 2005 and concluded
in March, Minister for Culture U Aye
Myint Kyu told the Amyotha Hluttaw
on June 9.
The program sought to uncover
evidence to support the Out of Asia
theory, whereby the early ancestors
of modern humans arose in Asia and
migrated to Africa, rather than the
other way around. Out of Africa
remains the preferred theory among
paleontologists.
The research resulted in the discovery of four molar teeth over a six-year
period in upper Myanmar that led to
the naming of a new anthropoid fossil,
Afrasia djijidae, according to research
published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2012.
The teeth the first of which was
found near Nyaungpinle village in
Magwes Myaing township appear
to be similar but more primitive than
those found in Libya dating to 38
million years ago, suggesting that the
Asian group migrated to Africa.

The world has


acknowledged that
Myanmar is the
origin of the world.
U Kyaw Hsan
Former minister for culture

Africa is the place of origin of man,


and Asia is the place of origins of our
far ancestors, researcher Jean-Jacques
Jaeger, a paleontologist at the University of Poitiers in France, was quoted
as saying in June 2012.
In 2005, Mr Jaeger led the first dig
under the program, working alongside
three other foreign experts and staff
from the culture and education ministries in Myaing township. Later, foreign experts from France, the United
States, Thailand and Japan continued
the search for more remains in other
parts of Magwe and Sagaing regions
and Shan State, including in the area
around the Thitchauk coal mine in
Kalewa township.
U Aye Myint Kyu told parliament
last week that a dig was conducted
from January 1 to February 3 this year
in the Pondaung area of Magwe and
Sagaing regions, while from February
9 to March 15 a team led by Masanaru
Takai of the University of Tokyo, Japan,
undertook studies in the Chaungthar
and Kanbalu areas of Sagaing Region.
While some of the findings have
helped to improve understanding
of early primates and have been
published in respected international
publications, the research was at times
seized upon by the military government for political reasons.
The reasons for this were rarely,
if ever, coherently elucidated, but

national prestige and building the


legitimacy of the modern, militaryrun state, which had recently been
renamed Myanmar, appeared to be the
primary concerns.
Finding evidence of longstanding
continuity and habitation in Myanmar
was important for the latter, but resulted in modern concepts of ethnicity and
nationality being inaccurately ascribed
to 40-million-year-old primates that
were the size of chipmunks. As some
have noted, the primates were far from
anything we think of as human as
recently as 5 or 6 million years ago,
humans and chimpanzees had not yet
diverged.
The first primate remains were
found at Pondaung in 1978 but according to Gustaaf Houtman, author
of Mental Culture in Burmese Crisis
Politics: Aung San Suu Kyi and the
National League for Democracy, the
archaeologists who discovered the
remains were arrested when they tried
to share their find with international
researchers.
In the late 1990s, U Khin Nyunt,
then Secretary-1 of the State Peace
and Development Council, learned of
the fossils and initiated a program to
continue the research, ordering the
militarys Office of Strategic Studies to
assist civilian experts. More tooth and
jaw fossils were found and by 1999
state media was declaring that the discoveries clearly indicate the existence
of Myanmar culture and traditions
since time immemorial.
Mr Houtman quotes U Khin Nyunt
as making the claim that the research
showed the Myanmar people are no
visitors who came from faraway land
and settled here. Life began here in
this Myanmar environment of land, air
and water. Their roots are here.
The program continued after U
Khin Nyunts purge, however. In July
2011, Minister for Culture U Kyaw
Hsan told a forum of researchers that
the anthropoid primate fossils found
at Pondaung had been dated to 40 million years, earlier than those found in
Africa. Thus, the world has acknowledged that Myanmar is the origin of
the world, he said.
These findings have enhanced
the national prestige of Myanmar
people, proving the origin of Myanmar originated in Pontaung-Ponnya,
lived through the Stone Age, Bronze
Age, Iron Age and City States Age and
King Anawratha established the First
Myanmar Empire in Bagan in 1044
AD, he added.
This boast fails to acknowledge the
massive 37-million-year gap between
the fossils and the start of the Stone
Age, a period that began about 3.4 million years ago.
Even more confusingly, a forum
was held in Yangon in July 2010 to
discuss the proposal that the primate
fossils show that Myanmar is the
origin of Myanmar perhaps as a
counterpoint to the widely accepted
view among anthropologists that the
ethnic Bamar migrated to Myanmar
from the Tibetan plateau.
In more recent years less has been
heard about the primate research
project, although the cooperation
continued with foreign experts.
But in a sign, perhaps, that old
habits die hard, the current minister
for culture, U Aye Myint Kyu, a former
military officer, spoke of human
remains when discussing the primate
fossils in parliament last week.
The Ministry of Culture, he
told MPs, has no plan to continue
researching the discovery of fossilised
human remains dated to about 40 million years ago.

UEC warns unofficial political groups


PYAE THET PHYO
pyaethetphyo87@gmail.com
TWO political groups in Rakhine
State have been warned not to use
confusing names, an official of the
Union Election Commission informed parliament yesterday. U
Myint Naing, a UEC member, said
the parties had been told not to use
the offending names on their noticeboards. Neither is registered with
the UEC under the electoral law.
The parties concerned go by the
names the Rakhine Ethnic Peoples

USDP and the Chin Ethnic Peoples


Union Solidarity and Development
Party, he told Amyotha Hluttaw.
In the May 20 warning notice, the
UEC said it did not permit parties to
identify themselves by names that
were not registered under section 9
of the Political Parties Registration
Law. The name of a party registered with the UEC must appear on
the signboard, and no unregistered
name may be used, he said.
U Ohn Tin, Rakhine National
Party MP for No 10 constituency in
Rakhine State, had complained about

the two parties names after meeting


with voters in Manaung township in
April. A subsequent UEC inspection
found that the names were also in use
in Ann township, Rakhine State, and
in villages inhabited by Chin people,
he told the hluttaw.
We also received reports that
unregistered party names had appeared on signboards in villages in
Kyaukpyu and Myebon townships.
The use of unregistered names could
confuse voters ability to decide
which party to support, he said.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

Mogok residents speak out about the arrest of U Eindaka (not shown) at a press conference on June 15. Photo: Si Thu Lwin

Activists push for


release of sayadaw
Monk arrested for illegal mining following dispute over site in central Mogok
SI THU LWIN
sithulwin.mmtimes@gmail.com
A COMMUNITY has come out in
support of a popular religious leader
accused of illegal mining. The dispute pits U Eindaka, the abbot of
Yay Pu Monastery in Mogok, Mandalay Region, against powerful gem
traders whom he has antagonised in
the past.
Residents are collecting signatures for a petition and say they are
organising a protest against the June
9 arrest of the monk, who has also
been defrocked and is in jail. Organisers say they will get signatures
from the entire town before sending the petition to the Ministries of
Home Affairs and Religious Affairs.
U Eindaka, also known as Yay Pu
Sayadaw, formerly resided in Mandalays Masoeyein Monastery. He
was one of the leaders of a demonstration that took place in Mogok as
part of the 2007 unrest, and he also
took a major role in protests against
the construction of the headquarters
of the Gem Traders Association on
the shores of the towns iconic lake.
The Gem Traders Association has
filed a lawsuit against U Eindaka under section 41(a) and (b) of the Gems
Law in connection with his efforts
to build a new pagoda. The work involved bringing together relics and
holy objects from 11 old pagodas in

the Yay Pu Monastery compound


that had been demolished. According to his followers, the allegation
says that the work entailed in sieving the earth and rubble from the
demolished buildings was illegal
mining.
The demolition was reportedly
approved by the township Sangha
Nayaka Committee, though an objection from the family of one of the
pagodas donors was settled through
negotiation.

It looks like this


allegation was
motivated by
personal hatred.
U Sein Myint
Mogok resident

The objection was withdrawn


after Sayadaw gave the family a thorough explanation. All the demolition
work was carried out transparently.
The soil in the monastery compound
is not the kind that produces gemstones, Ko Soe Htay, a Mogok-based
member of the 88 Generation Peace
and Open Society, told a June 15

press conference in Mandalay.


The sayadaw was arrested and
defrocked even after the monks of
the township Sangha Nayaka Committee attested that he had done no
wrong. All Mogok residents have
demanded his release as quickly as
possible. Both the residents of Yay
Pu ward and the entire town support
what Sayadaw has done, he said.
The petition contains recommendations from five venerable monks,
including Sayadaw U Takekha, a
member of the Central Working
Committee of the Sangha in Mandalay, and 700 signatures from Yay Pu
ward residents.
[Yay Pu] Sayadaw was forced to
disrobe before the case came to court.
This is quite unacceptable behaviour
in Buddhism. They would need to
prove their allegation that the sayadaw was carrying out illegal mining.
The sayadaw doesnt engage in business like laypeople, but worked for
the good of the town, U Sein Myint,
a legal observer from Mogok, told The
Myanmar Times, adding, It looks
like this allegation was motivated by
personal hatred.
An official from the gem association declined to comment yesterday,
saying she would pass questions to
the groups director. The association
did not respond to the questions by
deadline.
Translation by Zar Zar Soe

News 7

www.mmtimes.com

Views

Who benefits from the currency crisis?


SITHU AUNG
MYINT

newsroom@mmtimes.com

YANMARS kyat has been


sharply losing value of
late against foreign currencies. The market price
to buy US$1 was about
K1180 yesterday, above the official
rate of K1105.
Similarly, the kyat-to-Thai-baht
rate was K34.16 on the Myanmar-Thai
border last week. These rates are the
lowest we have seen in at least four or
five years.
Along with the sharp decline in
the value of the kyat, the price of
commodities has also increased. The
main groups affected by this are middle and working classes. Those who
have saved money at home or in the
bank are also affected, because the
value declines with inflation.
Civil servants whose salaries were
increased on April 1 will also not be
pleased. The higher prices for commodities will have eaten into most
of their increase, barely two months
since the pay rises kicked in.
Not all are worse off, however.
Some people have been able to profit
from the decline of the kyats value.
But who are they, and how did they
profit?
Together with the decrease in
value of the kyat, there has been a
massive expansion in black-market
currency trading.
One of the biggest changes in
the financial sector under President
U Thein Seins government was the
granting of permission to private
banks and licensed money changers to sell foreign currencies at the
market rate.
People are now allowed to openly
buy, sell and use dollars and other foreign currencies, and money changers
have appeared all over the country to
service demand.
While private banks and money
changers can legally trade foreign
currencies, they are constricted in
the rates they can offer. Each day,

Employees handle bank notes at the Central Bank of Myanmar in Yangon in July 2012. Photo: AFP

the Central Bank sets a reference


rate. The rate is based on an auction
of foreign currency to private banks
and money changers. They then are
required to sell this currency, and
other reserves that they wish to trade,
within a narrow band 0.8 percent
of the reference rate.
However, the Central Banks reference rate has failed to keep up with
the decline in value of the kyat, which
has been driven by high demand
for, and low supply of, US dollars.
The Central Bank does not have the
reserves to sell as many dollars as the
banks and money changers are seeking through its daily auction system.
As a consequence, Myanmar
citizens and foreigners are unable
to buy dollars at private banks and
money changers. Of course, they are
available on the underground market
at a much higher rate than the official
peg set by the Central Bank.
Private banks and money changers
are still happy to buy dollars from
customers at the official rate. But

if you ask to buy dollars, they will


refuse and say they dont have any
because the Central Bank wont sell
dollars to them.
However, the Central Bank is in
fact still selling dollars to private
banks and exchange counters at
its reference rate through the daily
auctions. It uses a quota system.

Private banks and


money changers
are still happy to
buy dollars from
customers at the
official rate. But if you
ask to buy dollars,
they will refuse.

The Central Bank doesnt publicly


announce how many dollars it sells
to each bank, but it is certain that
private banks are able to buy some
dollars at the reference rate.
So what have private banks done
their quota of dollars? Of course,
they should resell their quota to the
public within the narrow band of the
Central Banks reference rate. But, as
we know, they have not. They might
keep them, or sell them on the black
market. Because there is no system to
check how much each bank bought
and then sold, there is no accountability. But they can profit significantly on
every dollar bought from the Central
Bank.
For example, a private bank that
bought US$100,000 from the Central
Bank for K1105 per dollar could make
a net profit of K900,000 if it sold it all
at K1114, within the legal bounds. But
if it sold it at the black market rate of
K1180, it could make a profit of K7.5
million. For that reason some private
bankers who can buy dollars at the

reference exchange rate from the


Central Bank are taking advantage of
this crisis.
To stabilise the value of the kyat,
the government should either reduce
its budget deficit and control the issuing of paper money, or sell its foreign
currency reserves to meet market
demand. The Central Bank is clearly
not in a position to do either. Instead,
it has been forced to issue a set of
directives that cap daily allowances
for dollar withdrawals and mandate
government payments are conducted
in kyat. However, they havent had
much effect.
The Central Bank cannot effectively resolve this crisis because it does
not have the necessary authority to do
so. Only the government can take the
necessary steps, including reducing
the states use of dollars, stopping
the losses at state-owned enterprises,
controlling the issuing of new currency and selling the states foreign
currency reserves. Translation by
Thiri Min Htun and Zar Zar Soe

8 THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 17, 2015

Business
Malaysian
firm to
construct
Yangon
office tower
CLARE HAMMOND
clarehammo@gmail.com

A patient walks past the reception window at the newly renamed Pun Hlaing Siloam Hospitals in Yangon. Photo: Zarni Phyo

Pun Hlaing Siloam Hospitals


aim to bring treatment home
SHWE
YEE SAW
MYINT
poepwintphyu2011@gmail.com

PUN Hlaing Siloam Hospitals is


positioning itself to reverse the outflow of patients going abroad for
medical treatment.
The hospitals chief executive Dr
Gershu Paul said the total healthcare spend in Myanmar is about
2 percent of GDP, or about US$1.2
billion. Yet another $600 million
is likely spent by Myanmar people
travelling overseas to Singapore or
Thailand to receive treatment.
The newly-formed Pun Hlaing
Siloam Hospitals aims to reverse
this trend. The joint venture is
60 percent owned by Serge Punchaired First Myanmar Investments
and 40pc by Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group, which is also the

larger operator of Indonesian hospitals under the Siloam brand.


Im hoping by offering on-duty
[service], offering international
class, offering these modern facilities, we can gain peoples trust, he
said in an interview. Number one
is we need people to trust that they
will get good care.
Every time someone goes out
of the country [for treatment], the
country is losing money. Why lose
that, when you can get the same
quality of care here?
Mr Paul said the challenge for
Pun Hlaing Siloam is to convince
people they can get quality treatment closer to home. A trip to Bangkok may take four or five hours,
severely complicating some cases,
but Pun Hlaing Siloam is closer to
home.
Not many people think of
that, he said. Culturally, they
dont trust our system, so they all
go to Bangkok.
The Siloam hospitals in Indonesia

The Cardiac Catheterisation room in Pun Hlaing Siloam Hospitals.


Photo: Supplied/ Pun Hlaing Siloam Hospitals

have experimented with a few different measures to make the hospitals


more efficient, able to target different market segments.
We really wanted to get that
model right, so we tested it, said Mr
Paul. He added the lessons learned
in Indonesia are being applied to
Myanmar.
It had looked at ways of improving how hospitals run. In one area,
infrastructure management, it now
offers different room quality at
Pun Hlaing Siloam Hospitals, ranging from several hundred dollars
to K10,000 a night, depending on
room configuration.
It has also improved case management, where its doctors focus
on providing the tests that patients
need rather than the whole range.
Lets say if someone comes in
with dengue fever, they could be
very scared and want all the tests,
MRIs, everything but actually,
[according to] case management,
you only need to do two tests, he
said. If patients want to pay for extra tests, they can, but otherwise
the hospital will focus on what is
needed.
Another initiative is downtime
operational service delivery, where
the hospital takes advantage of
the 8pm to 8am off-peak hours to
schedule non-time sensitive procedures. The hospital runs 24-7 and
still has electricity running, staff at
work and everything else needed to
run operations. Still, patients will
be able to access the immediate care
they need, he added.
These structural changes come
as the healthcare market is set to
substantially grow.
Mr Paul said he reckons domestic health care spending will increase rapidly while it may now be
about $1 or $1.5 billion, in five years
it will be $4 billion, and in the next

10 years could be $6 to $8 billion.


The joint venture now target up
to 20 hospitals across the country
over 10 years, with the first 12 arriving in the next 3 to 5 years. Pun Hlaing Siloam Hospitals aims to grow
into a $2 billion enterprise with
$400 million in annual revenue
supported by over 12,000 healthcare
experts, treating over 4 million patients annually.
Doctors have recently been in
short supply in Myanmar, with
many moving abroad to take advantage of higher salaries. Mr Paul said
of the 20 specialists at Pun Hlaing
Siloam, a total of 18 are repatriate
Myanmar doctors wanting to return, with only two expatriates.
Mr Paul said that in the 1970s,
Myanmar doctors were particularly
well regarded in Indonesia, with its
medical schools seen as the top in
Asia.
Pun Hlaing Siloams core team
is full-time staff, unlike at other
private sector Myanmar hospitals
where the doctors moonlight, with
day jobs at public hospitals.
Mr Paul said there is a human
resources challenge.
Not only Yangon or Myanmar
but the whole of Asia has a human
resource challenge, he said. But
what we are doing is changing that,
disrupting that.
Experts say that there is a range
of options for private hospitals, both
good and bad, and there should be
strong regulation controlling them.
Retired medical superintended
Dr Ba Shwe said private hospitals
are popular, but there needs to be
a push toward flexible costs and accreditation in the industry.
Nowadays, private hospitals are
booming in the country, but most of
them cannot support modern facilities, and the government urgently
needs to control them.

MALAYSIAS Naim Indah City Development has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU)
with Myanmar firm United Pacific
Development Company to build a
32-storey office tower on Pyay Road
in Yangon.
Indah City Development Company is a subsidiary of Kuala Lumpurlisted company Naim Indah Corporation, which is primarily involved
in property investment and timber
extraction in Malaysia.
The two firms will set up a joint
venture company under the 2012
Foreign Investment Law, according
to a June 15 notice on Bursa Malaysia, the countrys stock exchange.
The joint venture will be 51 percent owned by the foreign partner
and United Pacific will hold a 49pc
stake.
The land plot on Pyay Road is
owned by U Hla Myint Shwe and
Daw Aye Myat Mon, according to
the stock exchange announcement
yesterday.
Land prices along Pyay Road are
the most expensive in Yangon, according to October 2014 appraised
land values published by the Internal Revenue Department.
The tax authority publishes updated figures annually. Land on
Pyay Road is worth an average of
K400,000 per square foot, but in
reality often sells for much more.
United Pacific Development
Company was formed in 2012 and
is jointly owned by U Hla Myint
Shwe and Daw Aye Myat Mon, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration
(DICA).
The company is involved in manufacturing, distribution, construction, hotels and services. Neither of
the owners was available for comment by press time yesterday.
The MoU will be valid for three
months from 13 June, according to
the stock exchange note. After this,
the parties shall negotiate in good
faith and use their best endeavours
to enter into definitive agreements,
it said.
By the end of 2014, total office
supply in Yangon was only 107,000
square metres (1.15 million square
feet) of net usable space, according
to Colliers research.
In 2015, new supply coming
online is estimated to reach over
60,000 sq m more than twice
that of 2014, according to Colliers
research.
This accounts for 12 new office
buildings due to open during the
current year.
New office buildings include
Financial Centre by Shwe Taung
Development, Strand Square by
Flying Tiger Engineering, Vantage
Tower by Myint & Associates, The
Office @ Novotel Yangon Max by
Max Myanmar, and Uniteam Office
Tower by Uniteam Marine, according to Colliers.

BUSINESS EDITOR: Jeremy Mullins | jeremymullins7@gmail.com

Taking a look at the best


developers in the country
ahead of awards

China has four million


millionaire households,
second-most worldwide

BUSINESS 10

BUSINESS 13

Exchange Rates (June 16 close)


Currency
Euro
Malaysia Ringitt
Singapore Dollar
Thai Baht
US Dollar

Buying

Selling

K1236
K295
K819
K33
K1112

K1256
K306
K828
K35
K1114

Crackdown frightens money changers


The arrest of several Pabedan township businesspeople has kept foreign exchange counters inside the legal band for trading even though the
market price is quite different and the band had previously been ignored by most smaller traders

AYE
THIDAR
KYAW
ayethidarkyaw@gmail.com

NEWS of the arrests of unlicensed


US dollar traders and speculators has
resulted in a significant slowdown of
black-market money changing operations across Yangon this week, sources said.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Kyaw
Htut, head of the western district
police, said that the Bureau of Special Investigation (BSI) arrested five
businesspeople on June 11 from Shwe
Bon Thar Street in Yangons Pabedan
township, which is home to a number
of gems, gold and money traders.
The arrested people had bought
substantial amounts of currency
since March, said Police Lt Col Kyaw
Htut.
I dont have information on the
process of their release, but BSI is
keeping an eye on them, and will definitely take action next time, he said.
The BSI arrested them under section 5(h) of the Emergency Provisions
Act but they were released again that
same evening.
Section 5(h) prohibits attempts
to make the public lose trust in the
states economy, government loans,
government securities, coins and
legal tenders distributed wholly or
partly in the country or to hamper
operational or economic success carried out by the government in order
to implement the restoration of law
and order successfully.
Money lenders have largely ceased
selling dollars in the wake of the arrests, though many still sell kyat, or
trade with familiar customers.
U Naing, an unlicensed money
changer who operates on a crowded
road in Yangons downtown area,
said that he is only selling currency
to customers who have called ahead
by phone, despite the fact that he has
an adequate supply.
We need to be cautious and stay
away from the investigators since the
events of last week, he said.

TOE
WAI
AUNG
linnhtet.lt@gmail.com

Some businesses are facing difficulties trading the US dollar as


they cannot contact unofficial money changers. Many businesses rely
on the black market to fill the gaps
when they cannot obtain as much
foreign currency as they need from
banks and official counters, sources
said.
Some are willing to exchange kyat
for US dollars at the unofficial rate
in order to make payments, while
others are forced to postpone payments as they dont have enough
US dollars, said a manager of a

joint-venture company in Kyauktada


township.
She said they have problems
when clients try to pay them in small
denominations of US dollars, including $20 and $50 notes, as most people are only accepting $100 notes.
The central banks reference rate
isnt working at the moment, and
there are rumours that some official
money changers are trading under
the counter, but nobody can prove
this year, she said.
In theory, the Central Bank of Myanmar operates a managed float, in
which the rate is supposed to reflect
the market rate. However, over the
past few months, the reference rate
has departed from the unofficial rate.
Recently, the gap has widened significantly last week the unofficial rate
reached a high of K1280 to the US
dollar, compared to the official rate

of K1105, which has remained fixed


since June 5, despite major volatility
in the unofficial market.
The Central Bank began intervening last week, pushing the unofficial rate to around K1185 yesterday.
However, it is illegal to trade outside
a band of plus or minus 0.8pc of the
official rate, which yesterday was
K1105, meaning K1114 was the legal
upper limit for foreign exchange.
Traders had been routinely flouting this limit until last weeks arrests.
According to the 2012 Foreign
Exchange Management Law, money
changers without a licence are prohibited from doing business. Licensed money changers may be fined
or have their licence revoked if they
exchange money at an illegal rate,
according to the law.
The central bank has allowed nonbank money changers to trade foreign

exchange since late 2012. Around 17


commercial banks and hundreds of
private money changers are permitted to exchange currencies.
While money changers must
trade within a band of 0.8pc above
or below the central bank reference
rate, other reference rates such as
the government rate, the foreign
exchange certificates rate and the
export earnings rate were declared
invalid in 2012. Instead, a managed
exchange rate policy was introduced
in 2013, in which the market rate is
determined through daily central
bank auctions.
At first, this was successful in reducing use of the black market, but
speculation has been increasing.
Bank sources said that exporters were not selling their US dollar income, as the official rates are
unattractive.

Customers buy and sell kyat inside the Central Banks approved band yesterday. Photo: Aung Myin

Government approves plan for health insurance


SHWEGU THITSAR
newsroom@mmtimes.com
DEPUTY finance minister Dr Maung
Maung Thein has unveiled plans for
health insurance beginning on July 1.
The annual premiums will be set
at K50,000 from all private insurance
companies and Myanma Insurance,
with people able to purchase up to five
units each at K50,000 a unit. People
between six and 65 will be eligible.
People can buy health insurance
at Myanma Insurance or at private
companies, he said. We will allow
them to buy the insurance after making them read about the benefits of
buying insurance as well as the cases
not covered by the insurance.
Dr Maung Maung Thein added
that not all applications for health insurance will be accepted.
The plans also lay out compensation. For each separate unit of insur-

ance purchased, K15,000 will be paid


a day for the cost of medical treatment. When a patient is in hospital,
this amount will be paid for up to a
month. If the insured patient dies,
K1 million will be paid as compensation with the plan.
Myanma Insurance managing director U Aye Min Thein said that if a
person purchases five units of insurance, they can receive coverage for up
to 150 days, or five times the 30-day
period of hospitilisation.
People can buy health insurance
from us or from private insurers starting on July 1, he said. As there are
12 insurance companies, there is no
monopoly.
It will also be possible to buy the
insurance through agents. Authorised
agents receive a 10 percent commission from insurers, so buyers do not
need to pay any separate fee other
than the premium.

The current setup is to be a trial for


one year. The annual premium is currently set at K50,000 a unit, but will
be fixed in a years time, with more
variation likely introduced.
The plan to put together health insurance has been some time in coming. It had included consultations officials from Myanma Insurance, the the
Ministry of Health, Myanmar Medical
Association, and private and foreign
insurance professionals.
Dr Maung Maung Thein said it is
also important that people are honest when they fill out the insurance
paperwork.
U Aye Min Thein said there are 17
specific incidents in which insurance
money will not be paid out, including
health issues rising from pregnancy,
mental health, dental care apart from
accidents, surgery for eye damage,
hearing aids and insurance after committing a crime.

Other events such as death due to


war or to an existing case of HIV/AIDS
will also not receive compensation.
Insurance buyers will also not be
able to take back their premiums they
have already paid if they decide to
cancel their insurance.
Dr Maung Maung Thein said no
country to date has 100pc success with
their health insurance systems.
He also said that expenditure on

As there are
12 insurance
companies, there is
no monopoly.
U Aye Min Thein
Myanma Insurance

health does not necessarily lead to


a better system. The United States
spends 17.4pc of its GDP on healthcare, but its system is surpassed by
others.
Britains [health insurance] is
more successful than the USA though
it spends less than America, he said.
Britains [health] insurance sectors
stands at the top of the worlds list.
Even in the US, where its health insurance system has been practised for a
century, it hasnt made good progress
though President Obama has focused on it.
Myanmar had previously planned
health insurance, but the service
faced delays, said Dr Maung Maung
Thein. He added there are other
forms of compensation medical treatment, including from the social security board under the Ministry of
Labour.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

Shortlist
for the
Myanmar
Property
Awards 2015

Condos and office for OEPG


OEPG office (photo below) nominated for: Best Office
Development and Best Office Architectural Design
May Inya (photo left) nominated for:
Best Residential Architectural Design

Best Developer
Green Vision
Naing Group
SPA Myanmar
Best Condo Development
Diamond Inya
Star City
The Gems
The Illustra
The Infinity
Best Office Development
OEPG Office
Parkside One
Vantage Tower
Best Hotel Development
Kempinski (NPT)
Ngwe Saung Yacht Club
Rose Garden Hotel
Best Serviced Apartment
Inya Myaing Serviced Residence
Residence at 26
The Shangri-La Residence
Best Serviced Office Development
Hinthar Office
Keier Group
My Yangon Office
Best Renovated Property
Inya Myaing Serviced Residence
Parkside One
Rangoon Tea House
The Strand Mansion
Union Bar
Best Residential Architectural
Design
Diamond Inya
Infinity
May Inya
The Gems
The Illustra
Best Residential Interior Design
Diamond Inya
Infinity
Star City - Galaxy Condo
The Illustra
The Shangri-La Residence
Best Office Architectural Design
OEPG Office
Parkside One
ShweGone Emotion Tower
Vantage Tower
Best Hotel Architectural Design
Kempinski (NPT)
Ngwe Saung Yacht Club
Rose Garden Hotel
Best Hotel Interior Design
Kempinski (NPT)
Ngwe Saung Yacht Club
Rose Garden Hotel
Best Landscape Architecture
Design
Golden City
Kempinski (NPT)
Star City
Yacht Club

Keier Group takes early


start with office project

OCEAN Emerald Pearl Group (OEPG)


prides itself in the high level of materials that went into its office and
residential project.
The firm has founded by U Min
Naings family, and has extensive experience in real estate as well as other
businesses such as automotive and
fire alarm products.
Its OEPG office was completed
in 2013 on Kabar Aye Pagoda Road,
and was completed using the highest-quality construction materials,
including a high-end water treatment system and underground water reservoir.
The office building also includes
an on-site cafe, three state-of-theart conference rooms, and copy and
fax rooms. In addition, friendly,
knowledgeable staff is on-site to
support clients long and short-term
business needs, the company said

in a statement.
The companys tower management office can also arrange interior
decorations, it said.
OEPG also began developing May
Inya Lake condo two months ago.
Also located on Kabar Aye Pagoda
Road, the condos apartments are between 1113 and 6000 square feet. The
project will have a rooftop infinity
pool, where guests can take in views
of nearby Inya Lake, with Shwedagon
Pagoda in the distance.
May Inya will come with a number of other amenities, including
automatic lighting and an advanced
security system, while maintaining a
quality design in pleasant surroundings. The design team is an international mix from a number of countries including Columbia, Bolivia, the
US and Myanmar.
Ko Ko Aung

Nominated for: Best Serviced Office Development


FOUNDED in 2012 by three young individuals keen on business with a common passion for Myanmar, Keier Group
has transformed a downtown building
into a modern working environment.
Supported by architect U Maw Lin,
the project was finished in 2013 the
next step for its founders is to roll out
serviced apartments by 2016.
The current Keier Business Centre
aims to provide professional, highquality serviced offices in Yangon. Its
founders said the views are exceptional, looking out over downtown Yangon
including Sule and Shwedagon Pagoda

and Mahabandoola Park from the


front, and Botahtaung jetty from the
back. It provides for a quiet, conducive
working environment, while still allowing one to enjoy being in the hustle and
bustle of a city that is in the midst of
undergoing its biggest transformation
in decades.
Though a small set-up, the founders
say they are constantly looking to grow
its suite of services to be a complete
one-stop shop for clients. They have
also set their sights on expansion, not
only in Yangon but also further afield.
Ko Ko Aung

Infinity commands
the high-rise view

Naing Groups boasts


over 20 years in field

Nominated for: Best Residential Interior Design,


Best Residential Architectural Design, Best Condo
Development

Nominated for: Best Developer

THE 28-storey Infinity high-end residential condo on freehold land in Kabar


Aye Pagoda Road will command views
of both Inya and Kandawgyi lakes, according to its developers.
It is built by KHG Development,
the property arm of KHG Holdings, a
Myanmar-Singapore entity founded in
1990. The company has worked in Myanmar and Singapore as well as Cambodia and Southern China.
KHG Holdings is proud to now go
into the development of luxury real
estate projects and to continue to fulfill its principles of generating value,
growth and prosperity to all its stakeholders, a spokesperson said.
Though its Infinity project is
in Yangon, it aims for its developments to be on a par with Singapore through thoughtful planning

design and construction.


Besides selecting quality locations,
KHG believes strong planning, designing and creating buildings that engender a sense of belonging to its buildings.
The firm has also selected architect
firm ONG&ONG. Myat Nyein Aye

NAING Group was founded in 1991,


but has become one of the countrys
best known builders.
Its completed projects are seen
throughout the city, bringing home
just how many buildings it had
completed. Company officials said
it has put up over 200 buildings,
including 30 high-grade condos in
Yangon, and officially achieved developer status in 2003.
Besides construction and real estate, the firm is also active in trading, hotels and tourism, manufacturing and services.
Naing Group of Companies has
traversed a successful long march,
overcoming many difficulties and
obstacles, and today its consistent
growth and development has been
recognised throughout Myanmar,
it said in a statement. The firm also
has many subsidiary companies in
Myanmar, Singapore and China.
Naing Group is giving life to a
new view for the community and
the national economy by building
on accomplishments of the past
and incorporating arts, culture
and traditions of Myanmar into its
work, it claimed.
Naing Group Capital has a number of ongoing projects, including
17-storey Kan Baw Za tower on the
corner of Pyay and Santhiri roads
in Sanchaung township, the Naing Group Office Towers 1 and 2
in Kyauktada township, 20-storey
East Race Course Condo in Tarmwe

township, Golden Valley Villages


Cluster Housing in Bahan township
and Blossom Garden 7-storey building on Yaw Min Gyi Street in Dagon
township.
Myat Nyein Aye

All photos on page are supplied.

International Business 11

www.mmtimes.com
SINGAPORE

Original sin returns to Southeast Asia


THE last time Southeast Asia mixed
a heady cocktail of foreign borrowing with weakening currencies the
hangover was a financial crisis.
Now, Indonesia and Malaysia are
at risk of repeating the mistakes
that led to the 1997-98 meltdown.
After the crisis, economists Barry
Eichengreen and Ricardo Hausmann
coined the term original sin to describe the difficulties encountered by
developing nations borrowing overseas. This year, Indonesian and Malaysian governments and companies
have sold more foreign-currency
debt than they did in the whole of
2014 as a global bond rout pushes up
yields and their currencies weaken.
There are worrying signs that
original sin is returning, said Hak
Bin Chua, head of emerging Asia
economics at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Singapore. Governments are forced to opt for more
foreign-currency debt financing, as
local bond yields surge and foreign
appetite diminishes.
Indonesias rupiah fell to its lowest
level since 1998 last week and Malaysias ringgit dropped to within 1 percent of a dollar peg installed that year
to stem a currency collapse. As the
dollar gains and the Federal Reserve
prepares to raise interest rates, it will
become costlier for Asian borrowers

Nature
fund takes
in more
gas money
AUNG SHIN
koshumgtha@gmail.com
THE yearly fund generated for the
Tanintharyi Natural Resource Project by three offshore gas projects,
Yadana, Yetagun and Zawtika has
totalled US$576,829, Ministry of
Energy officials said at a press conference last week.
The partners of Myanma Oil and
Gas Enterprise in the three fields
are to contribute $150,000 each
on an annual basis to the resource
project.
The yearly fund of the three
offshore projects is $450,000, but
they will fund more than that this
financial year to help the project
develop, said a ministry official.
French energy giant Total, Malaysias state-owned Petronas and
Thailands PTTEP are operating
Yadana, Yetagun and Zawtika projects respectively. The three companies are contributing funds to
Tanintharyi Natural Resource Project as part of their corporate social
responsibility programs.
The project aims to help preserve 420,077 acres of land in Tanintharyi Regions Yayphyu township. Founded in 2005, the project
helps to preserve the existence of
the areas biodiversity, with logging
restricted in the area by law, the official said.
Yadana, Yetagun and Zawtika
are three of the four producing offshore gas sites in Myanmar waters.
The fourth is Shwe Gas, which is located offshore Rakhine basin.
Myanmar has also recently concluded production sharing contracts with most onshore and offshore winners from the 2013 round
of bidding. Their next step is to
conduct social and environmental
impacty assessments.

to service foreign-currency debt, Mr


Eichengreen said.
I doubt that the ultimate consequence will be another Asian financial crisis, but it will mean rougher
sledding for the principal emerging
markets, said Mr Eichengreen, a
professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
Indonesia has sold US$6 billion
of foreign-currency bonds in 2015,
compared with $6.8 billion in 2014,
Finance Ministry data shows, and
still plans to offer euro and yen notes
before year-end. Malaysia has issued
$1.5 billion of the debt this year after no sales in 2014. Companies from
the two nations have sold $11 billion
of global securities this year, more
than the $10 billion 2014 total, data
compiled by Bloomberg shows.
Foreign currency borrowing accounted for 34.3 percent of Malaysias gross domestic product on
March 31, compared with 60pc at the
end of 1998, the central bank said via
email. It said the governments share
was 1.5pc of GDP.
The current landscape of Malaysias external position is different from the situation leading to
the Asian financial crisis, Bank
Negara Malaysia said. With the
advancement of the domestic capital market, Malaysian companies

have been able to tap into domestic


sources of funding.
An index of original sin compiled by Bank of America that
measures the proportion of foreigncurrency sovereign and corporate
bonds shows Indonesia has risen to
0.67, the highest in more than a decade. Malaysias reached 0.37, from
an average of 0.1 in 2009 to 2014.
Too much foreign debt can fuel currency and capital-market volatility,
hurt ratings, and restrict monetary
policy flexibility, according to Bank
of America.
What could be very detrimental
for these countries is not so much
the Fed hike, which has been very
well telegraphed, but rather the
timing and the expectations of the
overall tightening cycle, said JeanCharles Sambor, the Asia Pacific director of the Institute of International Finance in Singapore. If markets
start repricing this, it would be very
negative and impact Indonesia and
Malaysia first.
Warning signs are emerging. The
cost to insure five-year Indonesian
government debt against default
rose to a five-month high of 180 last
week, while that for Malaysian notes
jumped 23 points to 133 in the last
three weeks. The yields on Indonesian and Malaysian local-currency

10-year paper reached the highest in


15 and five months, respectively, last
week.
The two countries local debt
markets are susceptible to shocks
given they have the highest proportion of offshore ownership in Southeast Asia: 38pc in Indonesia and
32pc in Malaysia. Bank Negaras response said that this has contributed
to a higher external debt position.
Indonesia isnt selling too many
foreign-currency bonds, according to Finance Minister Bambang
Brodjonegoro.
If we sell in different currencies,
that spreads out our risk and makes
our local market less vulnerable to
flow reversals, he said in a June 11
interview in Jakarta. What would

I doubt that
the ultimate
consequence will
be another Asian
financial crisis.
Barry Eichengreen
Economist

be risky is if we sell too many rupiah


bonds.
Standard & Poors raised its outlook on Indonesias BB+ credit rating, one level below investment
grade, to positive from stable last
month, citing improved external resilience. Fitch Ratings said in March
that it saw more than a 50pc chance
Malaysia would lose its A- ranking,
four levels above junk, as a stateowned investment company struggled to meet debt obligations.
Unlike the 1997-1998 Asia financial crisis governments in the
region are now better prepared,
having introduced free-floating exchange rates and building up forex
reserves, although as the Fed taper
tantrum showed, funds can still
flow quickly out of Asia, punishing
local currencies.
Since May of that year, when
then-Fed chair Ben Bernanke signalled he was preparing to wind
down bond purchases, the rupiah
and the ringgit have plunged 26pc
and 17pc, respectively, the worst performers in emerging Asia.
Quantitative easing may have
fed the illusion that original sin was
dead and gone, said Bank of Americas Mr Chua. But the start of Fed
rate hikes has clearly resurrected the
issue once again. Bloomberg

12 International Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 16, 2015

BANGKOK

Thai rice glut shrinks as El Nio arrives


A RICE glut that sent prices slumping more than a year ago is shrinking, just as El Nio arrives to parch
paddies across Asia.
Global inventories were already
heading for an eight-year low, including stockpiles so spoiled that
top exporter Thailand may sell
most for industrial use.
Now, the first dry-weather pattern since 2010 is threatening crops
in the Philippines, Indonesia and
India. At a time when world food
costs are the lowest in more than
five years, rice may surge more
than 40 percent if monsoon-season
rains falter, said Jack Scoville at
Price Futures Group in Chicago.
The bigger risk is yet to come,
said Fred Neumann, co-head of
Asian economics research at HSBC
Holdings Plc.
El Nio is causing havoc in the
market for rice, the food staple for
half the worlds population. The
Philippines, once the biggest buyer,
will have to import more to address
weather-related disruptions to food
supply, the International Monetary
Fund said.
In Indonesia, imports are needed to curb domestic price increases,
the United Nations said. Smaller
crops in India, the second-largest
exporter, will send shipments tumbling 17pc to a five-year low, the
US Department of Agriculture estimates.
After almost a decade of surplus
that sent rice futures tumbling to
an eight-year low last month, global demand will reach a record 489
million tonnes in 2015-16, exceeding production for a third straight

year, the USDA said June 10. The


agency estimates inventories will
drop to 91.4 million tonnes, the
smallest since 2008, when tight
supply sent prices to record highs
and food riots erupted in Africa and
the Middle East.
While a repeat of 2008 is unlikely, rice will get a lot more expensive, Hong Kong-based Mr Neumann said. Indonesia has already
seen food inflation accelerate to
7.9pc, and the USDA predicted Indian prices will rise with a smaller
harvest of the winter crop.
In the US, the fifth-largest exporter, rice will rebound to US$14
per 100 pounds (45.4 kilograms) on
the Chicago Board of Trade, from
$9.795 on June 16, Mr Scoville said.

PERCENT

40

Possible surge in rice prices if


monsoon-season rains falter, according
to Chicago analyst Jack Scoville

The warming waters of the equatorial Pacific change the atmosphere


above the ocean to create the El Nio
pattern, which may last through
January and beyond, the US Climate
Prediction Center said June 11. While
every El Nio is different, it has been

Rice grain stored in a warehouse at Wat Bot in Phitsanulok, Thailand, is found


to have decomposed into a powder, public auditors said. Dead rats and pigeons
were also found on the site. Photo: Bangkok Post

known to cause droughts in Asia, excessive rain in South America and


wetter summers in North America.
The impact is not just on rice.
India said the pattern may crimp
the monsoon season that starts this
month, potentially hurting food

output. Australia, the fifth-largest


wheat exporter, cut its forecast for
this years crop on June 10, citing
drier weather.
In the 30 days through June 14,
rainfall was at least 40pc below
normal in rice-growing areas of

Thailand and the Philippines, and


down 15pc in Indonesia, according
to Speedwell Weather in Charleston, South Carolina.
Rice prices have been mired in a
bear market after Thailand amassed
a record 17.8 million tonnes, as former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra sought to support growers.
A military government took power
last year and pledged to unload the
stockpiles.
But much of the inventory has
been stored in warehouses without
temperature controls and exposed
to rain and pests, like the rice weevil. About 3 to 4 million tonnes are
suitable for human consumption,
said Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice
Exporters Association.
The military government will
decide in a month whether to sell
13 million tonnes for industrial
uses like livestock feed or to make
ethanol, Duangporn Rodphaya, director-general at the Department of
Foreign Trade, said on June 5.
With less inventory for human
consumption, the price of 5pc broken white rice, the Thai benchmark, will jump by more than onethird to $500 a tonne from $373
now, said Mamadou Ciss, president
of Alliance Commodities (Suisse)
SA in Geneva.
Tainted Thai inventories and
the prospect of smaller crops from
El Nio will be a double whammy,
said Mr Ciss, who has been trading the staple grain since 1984. It
will solve the oversupply situation
worldwide.
Bangkok Post

TOKYO

TRADEMARK CAUTIONARY NOTICE


Socit des Produits Nestl S.A., a company organized under
the laws of Switzerland and having its principal office at 1800
Vevey, Switzerland is the owner and sole proprietor of the following Trademark:-

Myanmar R egistration N umber. 4/ 4964/2015


Used in respect of :Coffee, coffee extracts, coffee-based preparations and beverages; iced coffee; coffee substitutes, extracts of coffee substitutes,
preparations and beverages based on coffee substitutes; chicory
(coffee substitute); tea, tea extracts, tea-based preparations and
beverages; iced tea; malt-based preparations for human consumptions; cocoa and cocoa-based preparations and beverages;
chocolate, chocolate products, chocolate-based preparations and
beverages; confectionery, sweets, candies; sugar confectionery;
sugar; chewing gum; natural sweeteners; bakery products, bread,
yeast, pastry; biscuits, cakes, cookies, wafers, toffees, puddings;
ice cream, water ices, sherbets, frozen confections, frozen cakes,
soft ices, frozen yoghurts; binding agents for making ice cream
and/or water ices and/or sherbets and/or frozen confections and/
or frozen cakes and/or soft ices and/or frozen yoghurts; breakfast
cereals, muesli, corn flakes, cereal bars, ready-to-eat cereals; cereal preparations.
Any unauthorized use, imitation, infringements or fraudulent intentions of the above mark 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. 17th June, 2015

Toyota wins approval for firms


controversial share sale
TOYOTA won approval yesterday for
a controversial new share sale that
it defended as a way to lure stable,
long-term investors, overcoming stiff
opposition from some institutional
shareholders overseas.
The worlds biggest automaker
said 75 percent of shareholders voted in favour of the plan that would
see it sell up to 50 million of the new
shares, which must be held for five
years and will not be publicly traded.
Largely restricted to Japanese investors, the new Model AA shares
carry voting rights and will be priced
at a 20pc premium on Toyotas common shares, which closed at 8395
yen (US$68) in Tokyo.
Dividends paid on the new shares
would rise from 0.5pc to 2.5pc by the
end of the five-year holding period
when investors could convert them

to common shares or Toyota would


repurchase them, it said.
Later yesterday, the company said
it would buy back as much as 600
billion yen ($4.9 billion) in stock to
guard against dilution from the new
share issue.
Toyota, which booked a record
$18 billion profit in its latest fiscal
year, said the share structure would
lure longer-term investors and help it
fund expensive research work, particularly on next-generation technology
such as fuel cell cars. The vote comes
weeks after Japan formally adopted a
corporate governance code that was
hailed as ushering in a new era of
transparency for investors.
US-based advisory Institutional
Shareholder Services said the new
shares would reduce investors influence over management decisions.

It is difficult to escape the impression that the company wants to


increase stable and silent investors
by replacing common shareholders with Model AA shareholders, it
added.
The California State Teachers
Retirement System, which announced it would vote against the
plan, said it was not in the best interests of all Toyota common stock
shareowners particularly foreign
shareowners.
We do not believe that the creation of a dual class of common stock
aligns with the one share, one vote
principle, it said.
Toyotas Model AA Class Shares
would be unlisted and offered only
in Japan, thus hindering investors
outside of Japan from participating.
AFP

NEW YORK

Gap announces large store closure


GAP announced on June 15 it will close
175 namesake stores in North America
and eliminate 250 headquarters jobs
as it responds to lower in-store sales
with the rise of online shopping.
The youth-oriented apparel retailer said the majority of store closures
would take place this year. After the
closures, Gap will have about 500 specialty stores in North America and 300
outlet stores.
Gap Inc chief executive Art Peck,
who was promoted in February after
leading Gaps growth, innovation and

digital business, said a smaller modicum of physical stores was needed


given shifting customer tastes.
Customers are rapidly changing
how they shop today, and these moves
will help get Gap back to where we
know it deserves to be in the eyes of
consumer, Mr Peck said.
A company news release did not
say how many store jobs would be affected by the closures, in addition to
those in the companys San Francisco
headquarters.
These decisions are very difficult,

knowing they will affect a number of


our valued employees, but we are confident they are necessary to help create
a winning future for our employees,
our customers and our shareholders,
said Jeff Kirwin, global president for
the Gap brand.
Gap expects a one-time charge associated with severance pay, inventory
write-offs and lease cancellations of
US$140 to $160 million. Annual savings of $25 million are expected to begin in 2016.
AFP

International Business 13

www.mmtimes.com
BEIJING

China claims
4 million
millionaires

IN PICTURES

PHOTO: AFP

Workers arrange baskets full of different kinds of fish


for customers at the Kota Kinabalu central fish market
in the Malaysian Borneo state of Sabah yesterday. Kota
Kinabalu fish market is blessed with plenty of freshly
caught seafood from the South China Sea.

SYDNEY

Berkshire Hathaway
buys into Oz insurer
WARREN Buffetts Berkshire Hathaway will pay A$500 million (US$380
million) for a stake in Sydney-based
Insurance Australia Group (IAG) as
it seeks to expand in Asia, the companies said yesterday,
Under a 10-year strategic relationship, Berkshire will receive 20
percent of IAGs gross written premium and pay 20pc of its claims.
Berkshire will also take a 3.7pc
stake in the group as the Australian
firm pushes into Asia.
The news sent shares in IAG
soaring 5.03pc in afternoon trade
to $5.85.
Our strategic partnership with
IAG will help fast-track our entry into this region, and provides
us with opportunities to leverage
IAGs extensive capabilities while
also making our expertise available
to IAG, Mr Buffett said in a statement yesterday.
IAG chair Brian Schwartz said
the company was delighted to welcome Berkshire Hathaway as a strategic partner and shareholder.
We believe the partnership is
an endorsement of our strategy, the
strong franchises we have created
in the Asia Pacific region, and an
acknowledgement of the complementary capabilities we can bring
for our customers, he said.
IAG and Berkshire Hathaway
have had a reinsurance relationship since 2000, and Mr Buffett

said he expected the partnership to


be long-lasting.
Even though this contract runs
for 10 years I expect for decades
and decades and decades to come
that both companies will benefit
in many ways that we cant even,
perhaps, visualise now, Mr Buffett
said in a video message.

PERCENT

5.03

Growth in the price of Insurance


Australia Groups shares following
reports that Mr Buffett was buying in

IAG has joint ventures and


stakes in insurers across Asia, including in China, Vietnam, India,
Malaysia and Thailand.
Under the deal, which will free
up as much as A$700 million in
capital for IAG over the next five
years, the Australian company has
the option to place a further 5pc
with Berkshire Hathaway within
24 months.
AFP

CHINA had 4 million millionaire


households in 2014, the secondhighest in the world after the
United States, as the countrys
stock market boom boosted private wealth, an independent survey
showed yesterday.
One million new millionaires
were created in the country last
year, the highest increase among
all nations, US-based research firm
Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
said in a report.
The United States had 7 million
millionaire households last year, the
most in the world. Japan took third
place with 1 million, according to
the report.
Growth in private wealth in
China was driven mainly by investments in local equities, it said.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index finished 2014 as the
best performer in Asia after soaring
more than 50 percent.
Strong market performance
across the entire [Asia-Pacific excluding Japan] region thanks to
solid domestic demand significantly increased the value of existing assets ... compared with the
increase stemming from newly created wealth, the report said.
The rise in the value of existing assets accounted for 76 percent
of the regions growth in private
wealth, it added.
China had 1037 households with
more than US$100 million in net
worth, around one-fifth of the United
States 5201 but the second-largest in

Strong market
performance
... significantly
increased the value
of existing assets.
Boston Consulting report

the world, the report said.


Forbes said in an April report
that mainland China was estimated
to have a record 400 billionaires
and billionaire families thanks to a
rally in stock prices.
A yawning income gap has become a rising concern in the worlds
most populous country, where the
official Gini coefficient stood at
0.469 last year.
The figure is a commonly used
measure of income inequality, with
0 representing perfect equality and
1 total inequality. Some academics
view 0.40 as a warning signal.
Analysts say that official corruption connected with government
control of the economy, the state
monopoly of some industries and a
lack of social security for migrant
workers are among reasons for the
countrys income imbalance, according to a report earlier this year by
the Peoples Daily, the ruling Communist Party mouthpiece.
AFP

U.S. Soybean Export Council Southeast Asian Regional Office (USSEC SEA) Seeking
Applicants for a Full Time Aquaculture Technical Manager Position in Myanmar
Are you a professional in the Myanmar aquaculture industry and looking for an exciting and challenging new position? The
USSEC SEA Regional Office is seeking applicants for the position of USSEC Myanmar Technical Manager Aquaculture
(USSEC MM TM). Our aquaculture program has been in existence since 1985 and specifically growing in SEA since
2002 - and we are now expanding our professional staff in the SEA region. We are seeking someone who is wellconnected, self-motivated, and looking to continue to develop our national program for the USSEC in Myanmar. This
position will require an independent work approach, significant domestic and international travel, and will expose the
successful candidate to international experts, training and experiences. The USSEC SEA Office has an established,
long-term program and a strong team of experts that work to promote a profitable, sustainable, soy-optimized, feed-based
aquaculture industry in SEA.
We are seeking a person who is innovative, proactive, flexible and committed to helping the USSEC to develop a long
term program in Myanmar and region-wide.
The USSEC is a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable, feed-based aquaculture production approaches
through knowledge transfer, on-site trainings, seminars, workshops, conferences, industry tours and demonstrations.
The specific goal of the USSEC aquaculture program is to promote the use of soy, and specifically U.S. soy products,
in aquaculture feeds. However, as all aspects of aquaculture are interlinked, the work will include a broad variety of
responsibilities and knowledge, from broodstock and hatchery operations, to feedmill and production operation and even
up to the processing and marketing side of seafood.
Minimum applicant requirements:
Myanmar national with established aquaculture industry experience. Technical skills in the hatchery, feed, production
and health management aspects are desired, particularly for freshwater and marine fish. Undergraduate students and
non-Myanmar citizens should not apply.
Based in or near Yangon with a current passport and consistent good access to the internet. Drivers license is
appreciated but not needed.
Must have a desire to travel extensively domestically and internationally for training and work assignments and be
physically able to maintain an aggressive travel schedule and to conduct technical servicing in remote locations under
challenging conditions
Good English language ability (speaking/reading/writing). Ability to speak several national dialects is an advantage.
Ability to follow required accounting and administrative tasks. Contractors working for USSEC are expected to work on
a reimbursement model for project activities, therefore it is critical that accounting and administration be done quickly
and accurately (training will be provided by our Singapore office).
Ability to work largely independently with remote supervision by the USSEC SEA Technical Director Aquaculture
(USSEC SEA TD). Will also work on team activities with regional aquaculture staff.
The USSEC MM TM will be trained extensively and will be specifically expected to work with the Myanmar aquaculture
industry to identify where the USSEC can be most effective in promoting good aquaculture practices, feed-based systems
and use of U.S. soy. It is expected that the successful candidate will be hired on probationary basis during training until
October 31, 2015 after which a one year contract will be offered. An attractive/competitive compensation package will be
offered to the successful finalist.
Please send a brief introduction letter detailing experience that matches the requirements above, a current CV and two
English speaking references to Ms. May Myat Noe Lwin- Myanmar Aquaculture Local Technical Support
(noenoeinbk@gmail.com) with the words USSEC MM TM 2015 in the subject line. Applications that do not follow this
format and submit all required documents will not be considered - following this format is part of the application process.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, target start date is by or before June 30, 2015 if the appropriate
candidate is identified. USSEC plans to conduct in-country interviews on June 24, 2015 in Yangon.

14 THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 17, 2015

World

15

WORLD EDITOR: Kayleigh Long

Yemen drone strike takes


out senior al-Qaeda
figure, says AQAP

Bangladesh upholds
war crimes death
penalty for Mujahid

WORLD 17

WORLD 16

SULTAN KUDARAT

BANGKOK

PHNOM PENH

Walmart hit with worker abuse claims

Lese majeste debate canned by junta


THAILANDS junta has banned a
journalists association from holding
a debate on controversial lese majeste
laws, organisers said on June 15, another blow for free speech in the military-ruled nation.
The Foreign Correspondents Club
of Thailand (FCCT) had planned to
host a panel discussion on the royal
defamation law this evening.
Under section 112 of Thailands
criminal code anyone convicted of insulting the king, queen, heir or regent
faces up to 15 years in prison on each
count one of the worlds strictest
such laws.
Recent cases include a 58-year-old

man sentenced to 25 years in prison


for the content of five Facebook posts,
a bookseller jailed for an alleged offence back in 2006 and a mentally ill
65-year-old woman jailed last month
for allegedly insulting a portrait of
King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
In a statement the FCCT said police
had informed it that soldiers would
blockade the building housing the club
if the event went ahead.
The FCCT has now been told that
if the event goes ahead, the military
will come and seal off access to the
Maneeya Centre, where the club is located, it said.
The statement said police had

Thai well-wishers hold up photographs of King Bhumibol Adulyadej as they wait for
his departure at the Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand on May 10. Photo: EPA

conveyed the message on behalf of the


National Council for the Restoration
of Peace and Order, the official title of
Thailands junta.
Calls to a junta spokesperson by
AFP went unanswered.
The move comes less than two
weeks after the military forbade a
group of lawyers from holding a discussion at the FCCT exploring rights
abuses under the military rulers.
Lese majeste prosecutions have
surged since former army chief Prayut
Chan-o-cha seized power in May 2014.
According to iLaw, a local rights
group that monitors such cases, royal
defamation proceedings were underway for just two people before the
coup. Now that number is at least 46.
Critics of the law say it is used as
a weapon against political enemies
of the royalist elite and their military
allies.
Thailands ultra-royalist generals
have long used their self-appointed
position as defenders of the monarchy
to justify coups and political interventions in the countrys often turbulent
politics.
But reporting lese majeste cases
is fraught with difficulty and media
must heavily self-censor. Even repeating details of the charges could mean
breaking the law. We believe the law
is a legitimate subject for discussion,
not only for Thais, but also for foreigners who live or invest in Thailand, the
FCCT said.
Our discussion would, we believe,
have been constructive.
AFP

MANILA

Sin tax knocks smoking rates


A SIN tax on cigarettes has sharply cut
smoking in the Philippines while also
boosting government revenues, the internal revenue chief said on June 15.
The number of cigarette packs put
on store shelves by retailers fell by
nearly a third between 2012 and 2014,
said revenue chief Kim Henares.
The government raised excise taxes on tobacco and liquor products in
2012 to raise revenues and discourage
smoking, which kills nearly 88,000
Filipinos each year according to World
Health Organization data.
We exceeded the targets, Ms
Henares told AFP.
The government agencys data
showed 5.764 million packs were withdrawn from storage and placed on retail shelves in 2012, compared to 4.869
billion packs in 2013.
By 2014 the figure was down to
3.917 billion packs, said Ms Henares.
Taxes are levied on the number of
packs placed on store shelves rather
than the number subsequently sold.
Proceeds from the taxes on cigarettes rose to 74.328 billion pesos
(US$1.69 billion) last year from 32.16
billion pesos in 2012, the agency said.
Under the law, a portion of the revenues from sin taxes are allotted to
finance government health programs
including anti-smoking campaigns.
A Department of Health survey in
2009 found that more than 28 percent
of the countrys adult population were
smokers.
The government first asked parliament to raise taxes on sin products
as early as 1997, but a strong lobby by
tobacco manufacturers delayed this for
years. AFP

Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebel group chair Murad Ebrahim handles a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launcher during a firearms decommissioning ceremony
in Sultan Kudarat on June 16. Photo: AFP

MILF tempts Aquino with arms

A Filipino advocate holds a placard during an anti-smoking protest rally in front


of World Trade Center where ProTobEx Asia, a tobacco merchandise industry
trade show, is held in south Manila in March 2013. Photo: EPA

THE
Philippines
largest
rebel group retired nearly 150
guerrillas and handed over 75
firearms for decommissioning
yesterday to encourage parliament to pass a proposed law giving minority Muslims self-rule.
President Benigno Aquino
visited the headquarters of the
Moro Islamic Liberation Front
(MILF) to witness the weapons
handover, the first concrete action by the organisation to abandon a decades-old rebellion that
has claimed more than 100,000
lives.
Mr Aquino and senior MILF
leaders both said the largely
symbolic activity was intended to
spur parliament to pass a delayed
proposed law giving Muslims
self-rule in the Catholic nations
south under the terms of a 2014
peace treaty.
This is one of the most
difficult decisions we have made
so far in more than 40 years of
struggle, chief MILF peace negotiator Mohaqher Iqbal said in

a speech.
We want to show the world
that the MILF will always comply with its obligations set forth
in the signed agreement, Mr
Iqbal added.
Mr Aquino, who ends his
six-year term in a years time,

We want to show
the world that the
MILF will always
comply with its
obligations set
forth in the signed
agreement.
Mohaqher Iqbal
Chief MILF peace negotiator

wants the Muslim self-rule bill


to be passed soon, fearing that
his successor may not pursue the
peace initiative.
Let us show them that we are
worthy of their trust, Mr Aquino
said in his speech.
Parliament failed to pass the
bill before it went into recess last
week amid a public outcry over the
killing of 44 police commandos
by MILF rebels and other armed
groups on the southern island of
Mindanao in January.
The police officers were ambushed after they passed through
MILF-influenced areas following a
raid that killed Zulkifli bin Hir, a
Malaysian militant and one of the
most-wanted terrorists sought
by the United States.
Work on the Muslim self-rule
bill is expected to continue when
parliament resumes on July 27, but
congressional leaders have said
it is unlikely to be passed before
October.
The
75
MILF
firearms,
including 24 weapons such as

mortars and machine guns, were


handed over to an independent
decommissioning body headed by
Turkey and also comprising members from Norway and Brunei.
The haul is believed by Filipino police to comprise just a
tiny fraction of the arsenal of the
10,000-member MILF.
Under the peace deal, 30
percent of MILF combatants
and weapons will be decommissioned once parliament passes the
Muslim self-rule law.
The weapons will be stored in
a secure area controlled by the
decommissioning body.
Another
35pc
will
follow after the law is ratified in a
regional plebiscite, while the remainder will be handed over once
the regional government is established and its leaders elected in
May next year.
The 145 guerrillas retired
yesterday will return to civilian
life and receive assistance from
the government, peace negotiators
said. AFP

CAMBODIAN workers producing garments for global retail giant Walmart


say they are subjected to a slew of
workplace abuses ranging from forced
labour to sexual harassment.
Employees at numerous Walmart
supplier factories across the country have made the allegations, which
were compiled in a recent study exposing the brands heinous abuses
in three of the major countries in its
Asian supply chain Cambodia, India
and Indonesia.
The study into Walmart, which was
published by workers rights groups
Jobs with Justice Education Fund and
Asia Floor Wage Alliance, accuses the
mega-brand of using its large and
complex supply infrastructure [to]
conceal the exploitation.
It states that the brand, which
Forbes lists as the worlds largest retailer, fails to take any responsibility
for abuses in its supply chain, where
in Cambodia alone it is estimated
to indirectly employ 45,000 people
through its supplier factories.
Leaked export records obtained
from a source in the transportation
industry show that more than 13,500
tonnes of Walmart garments and
footwear were exported from Sihanoukville Autonomous Port last year to
countries including the US, Canada,
France, Germany and the UK.
But despite its investment in
Cambodia giving the brand huge
leverage to improve working conditions, Walmart remains right on the
bottom when it comes to protecting
workers rights, according to Joel Preston, a consultant with the Community
Legal Education Centre, which authored the Cambodia section of the
report.
Weve seen some steps from other
brands to try and remedy abuses
but Walmarts commitment to labour
rights in Cambodian factories is next
to zero, he said.
Varying complaints from workers
suggest exploitation at Walmart supplier factories is extensive.
In all of the 14 factories included in
the study, workers told the CLEC that
they were being subjected to forced
labour of at least one form.
While an average working week
in a Cambodian garment factory is
advertised as eight hours per day, six
days per week, 86 percent of those
who participated in the study reported that their typical workday was 10

to 14 hours and that they did not have


the option to leave the factory prior to
overtime hours beginning.
For many of the workers, the overtime itself was not voluntary.
Many factories refuse to give permission to workers to leave before
overtime hours are over, while other
workers reported fear that their contract would not be renewed if they argued, the study says.
Forced labour also extends to
weekends, national holidays and even
to times when workers fall ill, which
is particularly problematic in the
March to November hot season, as it
overlaps with the industrys 10-month
peak-production period.
At this time, mass fainting episodes regularly occur as a direct result
of overexertion without proper nutrition, it says.
Twenty-nine-year-old Kim Sokheng,
a worker at Ghim Li (Cambodia),
which the report identifies as a supplier of womens apparel to the retail giant, said in an interview this week that
she was often unable to take sick leave.
They [the factory] need us to take
sick leave in advance, but how can
we know which day we are sick? she
asked. The company should stop cutting wages when the workers are ill.
But, Ms Sokheng said, a strong union presence in the factory made her
confident to protest against such injustices, which she said she was hopeful Walmart would address.
Her optimism, however, is not
shared by everyone. Respondents at
all 14 factories included in the study
reported instances of union busting by
factory owners.
Five of the factories did not allow
unionisation at all, while four had unions established and run by the employers, and two had pro-government
unions.
In at least one case, workers reported that management specifically
blocked efforts to create a union or go
on strike.
Factory worker Soth Kunthea said
in an interview that she was sacked
along with about 2,000 of her co-workers last year from a Walmart supplier,
Taiwanese-owned Juhui Footwear, after protesting against poor working
conditions.
After a mass walkout of about 5000
factory staff in September 2014, the
firm allowed 3000 to return to work,
but not before violent clashes with

police left dozens injured.


Ms Kunthea said workers were only
allowed to go to the toilet four times
a day, and were often forced to work
on weekends and public holidays. She
claimed the factory hid such abuses
from Walmart, ordering workers not to
report them to the brand.
In nearly every factory included in
the study, workers voiced serious concerns about their access to clean drinking water and sanitary toilet facilities
and about overheating.
Other alleged abuses and exploitative practices included the unlawful use
of fixed-duration contracts, insufficient
medical facilities and sexual harassment by line leaders and supervisors.
At one supplier factory, workers reported that tolerating the harassment
made work easier and allowed them
greater opportunities to earn benefits.
Factories contacted for this story
denied the allegations, insisting that
they complied with Cambodias Labour
Law.
We always respect the law and
avoid anything that would affect
workers rights, said Chan Davuth,
administrative manager at the Cambo
Handsome factory, adding, We often
analyse the problems of the workers.
Walmart, meanwhile, declined to
respond to specific questions about the
report but said it was committed to its
Cambodian workers.
Walmart is part of the International Labour Organization Better
Factories Cambodia program, which
covers all apparel and footwear factories in Cambodia, the brand said.
In addition, we actively engage with
other brands, NGOs and the Cambodian government to support better
transparency and dialogue among
stakeholders.
However, the study argues that
Walmart is in fact notorious for being
the most difficult large brand to communicate with.
Whereas other large brands, even
those who have received negative attention in recent years, have representatives on the ground in Asian
countries, Walmart remains one of the
few large brands that do not provide
local representation for compliance issues, it says.
Mr Preston of the CLEC said problems in the supply chain could be directly attributed to Walmart. Its their
absolute failure to monitor and to
engage. AFP

PHNOM PENH

Homeless crackdown in Cambodia


IN the first major Phnom Penh street
sweep of 2015, 80 people in Daun
Penh district were rounded up by
force in the early hours of June 15,
with many sent on to the citys notorious Prey Speu Social Affairs Centre.
Daun Penh district governor Kouch
Chamroeun said mixed security forces
rounded up the group, which included
49 homeless people, 19 sex workers
and 12 drug users.
Mr Chamroeun said the roundup
was part of an effort to prepare public order for a major event in the city.
While he did not comment further,
former Senate President Chea Sims
funeral and the Queen Mothers birthday are both upcoming events.
Sos Vat, a 40-year-old homeless
man who stays next to the Royal Palace, said he narrowly avoided arrest.
While I was sleeping at the park,

my son told me that there are many


guards coming, he said.
I brought my son to run away. I
was scared because I dont want to go
to Prey Speu again, he said, explaining that he was sent to the facility after being arrested last year.
Son Sophal, director of Phnom
Penhs Social Affairs Department, said
he was contacting NGOs to offer shelter and education for the group.
But Pour un Sourire dEnfant
(PSE), one of two NGOs partnered
with the citys efforts, said it had heard
no reports of recent street sweeps.
Last year, November 2014, was our
last time to welcome children from
streets, said PSEs deputy program director Ouk Sovan.
The other NGO, Mith Samlanh,
could not be reached for comment.
A member of staff at Prey Speu,

who spoke on condition of anonymity, said two trucks arrived at the facility early on June 15 with more than
55 people on board. A lot homeless
people [arrived today]. Now they are
in Prey Speu, he said. They havent
escaped yet most of them are staying
in a room together.
Over the past year, hundreds of
people have been sent to the facility
after being rounded up as part of the
citys efforts to clean the streets.
Since it opened in 2004, numerous
allegations of abuse, rape and even
murder have emerged from the centre.
In December, The Phnom Penh Post
reporters witnessed a resident at the
centre being beaten by a member of
staff, while, days earlier a man who
had been detained there for weeks
died after allegedly being denied medical treatment. Phnom Penh Post

16 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 17, 2015

DHAKA

Court upholds Mujahid war crimes penalty


BANGLADESHS highest court has
upheld the death sentence against
the second-highest ranked Islamist leader for war crimes during the
countrys battle for independence,
paving the way for his hanging.
In a brief ruling, Chief Justice SK
Sinha dismissed Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahids appeal against his
sentence, an AFP correspondent at
the Supreme Court said.
The death penalty handed down
to him has been upheld, prosecutor Soumya Reza told AFP, adding
Mr Mujahid could be hanged within
months.
Mr Mujahid, general secretary of
Bangladeshs largest Islamist party,
Jamaat-e-Islami, was found guilty in
2013 of five charges including murder and torture, a ruling that sparked
deadly nationwide protests by his
supporters.
The 67-year-old leader now faces
the gallows for his role in Bangladeshs war of independence in 1971
unless the case is reviewed again by
the same court or he is granted clemency by the countrys president.
In the past, the Supreme Court has
swiftly dismissed such reviews of two

other senior Jamaat officials, leading


to their execution, the latest in April
this year. They also declined to seek
clemency from the president.
Mr Mujahid was found guilty of
being the chief commander of Al
Badr, a notorious pro-Pakistani militia that carried out the extermination of intellectuals including top
Bangladeshi writers, journalists and
professors toward the end of the war
against Pakistan.
When it became clear that Pakistan was losing the war, dozens of intellectuals were abducted from their
homes and murdered in December
1971 in the most gruesome chapter of
the nine-month conflict.
Their bodies were found blindfolded with their hands tied and
dumped in a marsh on the outskirts
of the capital.
Mr Mujahids lawyers claimed that
his name was not in the list of Al Badr
commanders or activists that was
published by the post-independence
government.
Well seek a review of the Supreme Court judgement, defence
lawyer Shishir Manir said.
AFP

Bangladeshi secular activists celebrate after a review petition relating to the Jamaat-e-Islami secretary Ali Ahsan
Mohammad Mujahids appeal against his sentence was dismissed by the Supreme Court in Dhaka on June 16. Photo: AFP

MANILA

WASHINGTON

HANOI

South China Sea case


headed for The Hague

US-China talks set


for next week

Vietnam
alleges clash

THE US is set to kick off a strategic and economic dialogue with


China next week, as a way of addressing the numerous outstanding disputes between the two
powers.
Secretary of State John Kerry
and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew
are scheduled to receive State
Councillor Yang Jiechi, a top foreign policy official, and Vice Premier Wang Yang on June 23 and
24, the State Department said on
June 15.
The meeting will be the seventh
session of the US-China Strategic
and Economic Dialogue, and features the same four officials that
met last year in Beijing.
The two nations are friendly on
many fronts, but also have clashed
on the international scene, most
recently during the South China
Sea dispute.
The State Department said
only that the session will address

A VIETNAMESE fishing crew said


they were attacked by a Chinese vessel
using water cannon in disputed waters
near the flashpoint Paracel Islands,
Vietnams state media reported on June
16.
The
wooden
Vietnamese
fishing boat from central Quang Ngai
province was near the Paracels
known as Hoang Sa in Vietnamese on
June 7 when it was attacked by a redand-white painted Chinese vessel, the
Lao Dong newspaper said.
The crew signalled to the [Chinese]
boat not to use water cannon as they
feared their boat would sink, but they
fired the water directly at them, the
report said.
One of the 13-man crew was
knocked over and broke his leg during
the altercation, the report said, quoting
the crew.
Vietnams Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to a
request for comment. AFP

THE Philippines will argue its case


against Chinas claim over most of
the disputed South China Sea at The
Hague next month.
The Netherlands-based UN court
is scheduled to conduct a hearing
from July 7 on a case lodged by the
Philippines in 2013 which China has
spurned, foreign department spokesperson Charles Jose said.
Right now we are preparing for
the oral arguments in The Hague on
July 7 to 13. Our team from Manila
and from the United States will be
flying there, Mr Jose told reporters
in the Philippine capital on June 15.
Philippine officials and diplomats, assisted by US lawyers, will
represent the country in the proceedings, Mr Jose said.
The waters are a crucial sea
lane and rich fishing ground also
believed to hold large mineral
resources.
The Philippines asked the UN
tribunal in January 2013 to declare
Chinas claim invalid and against

international law.
Manila says some of the areas
claimed by its powerful Asian neighbour encroach on the formers exclusive economic zone as defined by a
1982 UN convention on the law of
the sea, which both countries have
ratified.
Recently the Philippines has accused China of taking more aggressive measures to press its claim.
These include reclaiming land
to turn previously submerged islets
into artificial islands capable of hosting military installations.
This has alarmed foreign governments including the United States
and Japan, raising fears it could
eventually impede freedom of navigation and commerce.
The Philippines says next months
hearings will be crucial to the fivemember tribunals decision on
whether Manilas complaint has
legal merit as well as whether the
court has jurisdiction over the case.
AFP

challenges and opportunities


that both countries face in areas
of immediate and long-term economic and strategic interest.
Beijing has shown it has serious ambitions in the South China
Sea where China is squaring off
against US-supported countries
for the hydrocarbon rich area.
Tensions have also flared over
numerous cyberattacks against
US government agencies with Chinese suspects. In May 2014 five
Chinese military members were
indicted in the US for hacking,
causing diplomatic tensions.
The US also considers Chinas
yuan currency undervalued and it
has a large trade deficit with Beijing.
The two countries that are
often rivals recently reached
cooperative
agreements
on
climate change and another over
negotiations with Iran on its
nuclear program. AFP

World 17

www.mmtimes.com
WASHINGTON/SANAA

JOHANNESBURG

Drone strike kills alQaeda 2-I-C, says AQAP


US officials are reportedly working
to confirm claims that al-Qaedas top
leader in Yemen was killed in a CIA
drone strike last week, as the countrys
warring factions prepare for a second
day of peace talks in Geneva.
The death by US drone strike of
al-Qaeda in Yemen leader Nasir alWuhayshi, number two in the global jihadist organisation, was confirmed by
the organisation in a video statement
posted online.
Mr Wuhayshi was killed in a US
drone attack that targeted him along
with two other mujahedeen, said the
statement posted online by al-Qaedas
Al-Malahem media arm and dated
June 15.
Nasir al-Wuhayshis group, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, is behind
several plots against the United States,
including an attempt to blow up a US
commercial airliner on Christmas Day
2009, as well as the deadly attack on
French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris earlier this year.
US officials told The Washington
Post they were reviewing intelligence
linked to a June 9 drone strike that
targeted Mr Wuhayshi, who was also
named al-Qaedas number two, and
other AQAP operatives.
We are looking to confirm his
death, a US intelligence official told
the newspaper.
A local Yemeni official told AFP yesterday that Mr Wuhayshi is believed
to have been killed in the raid in alQaeda-held Mukalla, in southeastern
Yemen, and that his body could be kept
in a local morgue amid tight secrecy
imposed by the militants.
There are currently four bodies
belonging to Al-Qaeda members. One
of them is believed to be Wuhayshis,
the local official told AFP, requesting
anonymity.
Yemen has been wracked by conflict between Iran-backed Shiite rebels
and exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadis internationally recognised
government.
Global powers are keen for a speedy
resolution of the conflict, fearing the
growing power of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemeni branch of
the jihadist network that has taken advantage of the chaos to seize territory.
Meanwhile the UN has described
the countrys humanitarian crisis as
catastrophic, with 80 percent of the
population 20 million people in
need of aid.
High-stakes talks were due to continue in Geneva yesterday to try to end
the bloody conflict.
We do not have a moment to lose,
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
said on the first day of talks on June
15, adding that the fighting was giving
strength to some of the worlds most
ruthless terrorist groups.
Mr Ban said the violence had killed
more than 2600 people, half of them
civilians.
Today, Yemens very existence
hangs in the balance, Mr Ban said.

While parties bicker, Yemen burns...


The ticking clock is not a timepiece, it
is a time bomb.
He called for a fresh two-week humanitarian pause to get crucial supplies through, noting that Ramadan
begins this week.
But analysts said any chance of success at the first talks between the warring factions since Mr Hadi fled Sanaa
was very unlikely.
Yemen expert Laurent Bonnefoy
added, Indeed, each side appears to
be inflexible, disinclined toward compromise.
Pre-dawn air strikes meanwhile targeted Huthi rebel positions in the main
southern port city of Aden and continued throughout Monday, residents
said, as fighting raged on between rebel
forces and pro-government fighters.
Rebels fired Katyusha rockets at
a residential part of Adens Mansura
district, said Ali al-Ahmedi, spokesman
of the pro-government Popular Resistance a coalition of pro-government
fighters, Sunni tribes and southern
separatists.
Medics at a nearby hospital said
that three members of the same family were killed and four others were
wounded in the attack.
AFP could not immediately verify
the toll given by Popular Resistance
sources of 20 rebels and seven pro-government fighters killed in Aden.
The rebels, supported by military
units loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah
Saleh, have seized control of large parts
of the country including the capital
Sanaa, forcing Mr Hadi to flee to Saudi
Arabia in February.
Fearing an Iran-friendly regime on
its southern border, Saudi Arabia has
been leading a campaign of air strikes
against the rebels since March 26 but
has so far failed to rout them from territory they have seized.
Yemen Foreign Minister Riad Yassin
said the prospects for a breakthrough
at the talks in Geneva were poor.
Im not very optimistic, Mr Yassin
told AFP, adding that the rebels never
respect any treaty.
Yassin likened the rebels to the Islamic State group or Nigerias Boko
Haram and accused them of sending
more representatives and advisors to
the Geneva talks than had been agreed.
They want to come here to make
chaos, he said.
The talks began without the presence of the rebel delegation after their
UN plane was temporarily delayed in
Djibouti.
The UN had worked to get the rebel
group to Geneva on time but there are
issues involving international aviation
that are beyond the control of the UN,
spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.
The government delegation led by
the foreign minister reiterated its demands on the night of June 14, including that any ceasefire must see the militias withdraw from all territory they
have conquered.
AFP

Al-Qaeda in Yemen
Dec 1992
AQAP*
First known Al-Qaeda attack, Aden
(Sunnis)
Oct 2000
Suicide attack on the USS Cole
in Aden 17 soldiers killed
Oct 2002
Boat bomb damages French-owned
Red
tanker Limburg. 1 sailor killed
Sea
Jan 2009
Saudi and Yemeni Al-Qaeda
branches merge, creating AQAP
Dec 2009
Claims responsibility for an attempt
to explode a bomb on a US airliner
Nov 2010
Plot to send parcel bombs to the US

Huthi rebels
(Shiites)
SAUDI
ARABIA

*Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

100 km

OMAN

YEMEN
SANAA

Gulf of Aden
Aden

May-June 2012
Army offensive
More than 560 militants killed
Dec 2013
AQAP
Assault on the defence
Leader
ministry in Sanaa.
Nasir al-Wuhayshi
56 people killed
Yemeni
Age: about 35
Formerly close to Osama Bin Laden
Source: Stratfor

Zones of influence
Independence
movements

March 2014
Announces that a "war
against the crusaders"
would continue around
the world

January 14, 2015


Claims
responsibility
for the attack on
satirical French
magazine
Charlie Hebdo

Bashir eludes capture


SUDANESE President Omar al-Bashir flew out of South Africa on June
15, defying a court order for him to
stay as judges weighed up whether
he should be arrested for alleged war
crimes and genocide.
The International Criminal Court
(ICC) said it was disappointed at
South Africas failure to heed its calls
to detain Mr Bashir on long-standing
warrants over the Darfur conflict.
As his plane took off on the final
day of an African Union leaders summit in Johannesburg, the local high
court was still hearing arguments
over an urgent application to force
the authorities to detain him.
Our position has always been
that South Africas obligation is clear
and unequivocal. It had an obligation
to arrest him, the ICCs chief deputy
prosecutor James Stewart told AFP.
After Mr Bashir had departed,
South African judge Dunstan Mlambo also issued a harsh rebuke of the
government for ignoring the June 14
court order, requiring the authorities
to keep him grounded.
The conduct of the respondents
to the extent that they have failed
to take steps to arrest and detain [Mr
Bashir] is inconsistent with the
constitution of the Republic of South
Africa, Mr Mlambo said.
Mr Bashirs hurried departure
from Waterkloof military airport
outside Pretoria sparked anger from
rights groups.
When he took off from South
Africa today, he took with him the
hopes of thousands of victims of
grave crimes in Darfur who wish
at last to see justice done, Human
Rights Watch said in a statement.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is welcomed by supporters as he arrives


in Khartoum from Johannesburg on June 15. Photo: AFP

By allowing this shameful flight,


the South African government has
disregarded not only its international
legal obligations, but its own courts.
South Africa is a signatory of The
Hague-based ICC, which has often
been criticised for only targeting African leaders.
Dressed in his traditional white
robes, a smiling Mr Bashir waved
his cane in the air as he stepped off
the plane after landing back in Khartoum and then drove around in an
open-topped car surrounded by a
crowd of supporters.
Sudanese officials in Johannesburg earlier shrugged off the court
case and said the South African government had given them assurances
about Mr Bashirs trip.
At the summit, Mr Bashir had
posed for a group photograph on
along with South African President
Jacob Zuma and Zimbabwes President Robert Mugabe, who is the

current chair of the 54-member


group.
This is not the headquarters of
the ICC anyway and we dont want it
in this region at all, said Mr Mugabe.
There is the view that we should
distance ourselves from the ICC, but
unfortunately the treaty that set it up
was signed not by the AU, but by individual countries, he added.
The ICC indictments relate to
the western Sudanese region of
Darfur, which erupted into conflict
in 2003 when black insurgents rose
up against Mr Bashirs Arab-dominated government, complaining of
marginalisation.
The ICC had called on South Africa to spare no effort in ensuring
the execution of the arrest warrants
against Mr Bashir.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the
arrest warrant was a matter I take
extremely seriously and the authority
of the ICC must be respected. AFP

World 19

www.mmtimes.com
SEATTLE

WASHINGTON

Greenwald rebuts data breach claim

Kayakers attempt to block the departure of the Shell Oil Polar Pioneer rig platform
as it is moved from Elliott Bay in Seattle, Washington, on June 15. Photo: AFP

Protest over
Arctic drill
GREENPEACE activists paddling in
kayaks formed a blockade on June 15
to keep a mammoth Shell oil rig from
departing from Seattle on a mission
to drill in the Arctic.
Dozens of boats assembled in an
arc around the towering yellow and
while Polar Pioneer before dawn as
tug boats were preparing to embark
on the slow journey north to waters off Alaska, said John Hocevar, a
Greenpeace activist who was also one
of the kayakers.
Protesters shouted Shell, no!,
banged their oars on the sides of their
boats and paddled around to play catand-mouse with police speedboats
that started making arrests a few
hours after the water-borne protest
began.
We are difficult to deal with, Mr
Hocevar, Greenpeaces national director for Oceans, told AFP. As he spoke
by phone, the shouts of protesters on
the water could be heard.
Mr Hocevar said he had a police
boat just a few feet away from him
and he expected to be arrested shortly, although he said the atmosphere
was calm and violence-free.
It was the latest chapter in a ongoing battle between environmentalists
and Royal Dutch Shell over the latters plan to station the 38,000-tonne
rig in a body of water called the

Chukchi Sea to drill this summer.


Environmentalists say it is one
of the worlds most ecologically sensitive regions. They oppose drilling
there for a variety of reasons, saying
among other things a spill would be
particularly catastrophic because of
the lack of capacity to deal with such
a messy scenario.
This is not an acceptable risk, Mr
Hocevar said.
A first attempt by Shell to carry
out exploratory drilling in the Arctic in 2012 was plagued with problems. Among other mishaps, one rig
slipped its tug line and ended up
grounded on an uninhabited Alaska
island during a winter storm.
The kayakers out on June 15
brought provisions to try to stay out
as long as they could.
Every minute they are out there is
another minute for President Obama
to reconsider, said Travis Nichols,
Greenpeaces director for Arctic
issues.
Mr Obama last month approved
Shells plan to drill in the Arctic this
summer and has said that, while the
United States needs to wean itself
from fossil fuels, there has be a transition period and so long as it can be
done safely, US production of oil and
natural gas is important.
AFP

TRADE MARK CAUTION


The Siam Cement Public Company Limited, a company duly
organized and existing under the laws of Thailand, of 1 Siam
Cement Road, Bangsue Sub-district, Bangsue District, Bangkok,
Thailand, is the Owner of the following Trade Mark:-

Reg. No. 5589/2015


in respect of Class 36: Trading houses, lands, and properties,
Developing land for construction, Allocating housing and land.
Class 44: Landscape decoration, Exterior decoration for area
around building or residence, Landscape gardening, Landscape
design for lawn.
Fraudulent imitation or unauthorised use of the said Trade Mark
will be dealt with according to law.
Win Mu Tin, M.A., H.G.P., D.B.L
for The Siam Cement Public Company Limited
P. O. Box 60, Yangon
E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm
Dated: 17 June 2015

THE journalist who published the first


reports from Edward Snowdens leaked
documents has offered a detailed rebuttal to allegations that Russian and
Chinese spies accessed the former intelligence contractors files.
Glenn Greenwald, writing on online news website The Intercept, said
the reports by The Sunday Times and
BBC were based on the false premise
that Snowden kept possession of the
files he took from the US National Security Agency.
Mr Greenwald, part of a team of
journalists who met Mr Snowden in
Hong Kong before publishing the
explosive articles about vast surveillance programs, said Mr Snowden
had kept no files with him when he
travelled to Moscow.
Snowden has said unequivocally
that when he left Hong Kong, he
took no files with him, having given
them to the journalists with whom
he worked, and then destroying his
copy precisely so that it wouldnt be

vulnerable, Mr Greenwald said.


How, then, could Russia have
obtained Snowdens files as the story
claims... if he did not even have physical possession of them? The only way
this smear works is if they claim
Snowden lied, and that he did in fact
have files with him after he left Hong
Kong.
The Times also reported that Mr
Greenwalds partner, David Miranda,
had some 58,000 intelligence documents when he was detained at Londons Heathrow Airport after visiting
Snowden in Moscow.
But Mr Greenwald claimed this
was an utter lie and that as of the
time he was detained in Heathrow,
David had never been to Moscow and
had never met Snowden.
The American journalist said The
Sunday Times had quietly deleted
from its online report the claim that
Miranda had met with Snowden in
Moscow before being detained, and
had mindlessly repeated a claim

that Snowden downloaded 1.7 million


documents when there is no evidence
to support the number.
The NSA has repeatedly said that
it has no idea how many documents
Snowden downloaded and has no
way to find out, Mr Greenwald wrote.
As the NSA itself admits, the 1.7
million number is not the number
the NSA claims Snowden downloaded they admit they dont and cant
know that number but merely the
amount of documents he interacted
with in his years of working at NSA.
Mr Snowden, who has been granted asylum in Russia, is being sought
by Washington.
The Times reports said Britain has
been forced to remove some of its
spies after Russia and China accessed
the raft of top-secret documents.
The Sunday Times said government sources claim the documents
reveal US and British intelligence
techniques, leading to fears that their
spies could be identified. AFP

THE MYANMAR TIMES June 17, 2015

the pulse 21

www.mmtimes.com

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i
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DePuTY Pulse eDiTor: ToM BArTon tom.a.barton@gmail.com

Life on the Tai mountain

Ei Ei ToE Lwin

AKING a break from renewed clashes in Shan State,


a group of rebels in full combat fatigues chat away
as they line up to have their holiday snaps taken in
a photo booth decked out with plastic flowers and
a big red heart. One by one their pictures emerge
from a printer after a quick Photoshop, drawing big smiles and
payment of 100 baht (about US$3).
This is the only time in the year when they feel this kind of
freedom and happiness, says Sai Sao, with little time to wait
before his next military assignment. I have to go on duty for
a guest reception. Many more people come here to celebrate
this year, so we are very busy making arrangements for all the
guests.
From the mountaintop, lines of booths and stalls selling
foods, souvenirs and clothes can be seen snaking along paths
leading to the village of Loi Tai Leng. Thousands of people are
out snacking and shopping. It is a rare sight, with such crowds
coming together only for special events as with the celebration
of Shan National Day on February 7.
Loi Tai Leng meaning Tai mountain lies on Myanmars
eastern border, across from Mae Hong Son in Thailand, and
is the headquarters of the Restoration Council of Shan State
(RCSS), the political wing of the Shan State Army-South. The
rebel armys base camp lies a few miles away. The area is rich in
timber, opium and gemstones.
Being so close to the border, life among the scattered houses
that make up Loi Tai Leng is heavily influenced by its Thai
neighbours. Clocks are set to Thai time, 30 minutes ahead of
the rest of Myanmar; most people speak Thai as well as Shan;
Thai products are sold in the market and shops, with payments
accepted only in Thai baht; and images of Thailands king hang
in homes and stores. While it is often dangerous for residents to
return to their former hometowns in Shan State, they can easily
enter Thai territory.
Looking across the dense forest, I ask a Shan soldier which
part lies on the Myanmar side. He does not speak Myanmar
fluently and is confused by the question. On understanding, he
replies bluntly, Not part of Myanmar; it is Shan State.
Lieutenant General Yawd Serk formed the Shan State ArmySouth after refusing to surrender with drug lord Khun Sa to the
Myanmar government in 1996. He recruited some 1000 fighters
and chose his headquarters in this geographically strategic area
surrounded by mountain ridges in 2000. From its stronghold,
the Shan State Army-South has mounted tough resistance
against the Tatmadaw. The group was one of just a handful that
never signed a ceasefire agreement with the military regime that
ruled Myanmar until 2011.
You can write anything about what you see around the villages,
but dont write how to get here, because of security, ordered
Lieutenant Colonel Yawd Maung, head of the RCSS foreign affairs
department. A former monk, he took up arms after his village was
destroyed and his grandfather killed by government forces.
Loi Tai Leng has the air of a small town, with a monastery,
school, clinic and even a museum of Shan history, including
a section on the production of and traditions surrounding

Photos: Kaung Htet

opium. The RCSS says it is trying to eradicate narcotics with


UN assistance but complains of a lack of cooperation from the
Myanmar government. Its more than 1000 inhabitants feel
proud of their de facto independence and the yellow, green and
red of Shan State flags flutter from mountain ridges.
At school, students take lessons in Shan, Thai and Myanmar,
while also studying English, maths and science using a mix of
Thai and Myanmar official curricula.
Nan Hmwe, 29, from Langkho township, came to Loi Tai
Leng last year to teach Myanmar language. With a degree from
Lashio University and having studied in government schools, she
speaks Myanmar fluently.
Most of the students come from towns under government
control because their parents cannot to send them to state schools.
At Loi Tai Leng, education is free and pupils live in dormitories.
They dont even need to buy books or pencils, Nan Hmwe says.
Many pupils dream of studying abroad. Sai Lin, 14, comes
from Muse, more than three days away, and is learning English.
My parents are very poor and could not afford to send me to
school, so I came here last year to study languages, he says.
Now I have plans to study in Thailand.
Loi Tai Leng also provides free medical treatment at its clinic,
which, supported by NGOs and foreign doctors, has about 40
beds. Most funding and assistance came from New Zealand,
and other NGOs help us as much as they can. Because of this
patients dont need to pay for anything, says Paw Shar Gay, the
head of the clinic.
Three patients at the clinic are soldiers wounded in recent
clashes evidence of how a ceasefire signed by the RCSS and the
government in 2011 remains an agreement on paper only. One
had lost a leg from a landmine.
RCSS celebrates Shan National Day on February 7 to
commemorate the declaration of a unified Shan State in 1947.
The unification occurred just five days before the signing of
the Panglong Agreement negotiated between Bogyoke Aung
San and ethnic leaders. While the agreement was to have given
ethnic groups significant autonomy, they say it has never been
honoured in practice.
This years ceremony at Loi Tai Leng drew thousands of
people from both sides of the border, including other ethnic
leaders Kayin, Mon and Kayah as well as journalists and
foreigners. The three-hour event featured a military parade and
traditional dance in local costume. Child novice monks played
with toy guns as their elders in red robes blessed the rebel
fighters with a sprinkling of water.
It took Nan Khan Lu five days to make the journey from
northern Shan States Kutkai township, a trip that cost her
K200,000 (about $200). I was a bit worried because its a
conflict area, but the festival was really exciting, the 21-year-old
university graduate said. Ill try to come again next year.
As the evening sky darkens the mountain winds turn icy cold,
but still no one wants to stay inside. Excited crowds in colourful
Shan clothing head for the concert and a night of singing,
dancing and heavy drinking of locally made spirits. Soldiers are
still waiting for their turn in the photo booth with the big red
heart. For those on the front line, only genuine peace can ensure
they will return next year.

22 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES June 17, 2015

TOKYO

Giant tortoise
walks Tokyos
streets slowly

HUGe reptile is on the


prowl through Tokyos
streets but unlike
Godzilla, who stomped
across Japans capital in a
blaze of destructive energy, Bon-chan
the giant tortoise isnt doing anything
very quickly.
The 1-metre-long (3-foot) African
spurred tortoise, which tips the scales
at 70 kilograms (150 pounds), is a
regular sight on the streets of Tokyos
Tsukishima district, as he and owner

Hisao Mitani take their snail-paced


daily walk.
My wife just fell in love with him
when she saw him at a pet shop, so
she brought him home, said Mitani,
who runs a funeral home.
That was 20 years ago, when Bonchan was small enough to fit into the
palm of your hand.
I sort of knew he would become
a good-size tortoise but did not think
he would be this big.
And like Godzilla, Bon-chan can
also stop traffic though generally it
is so motorists can take a look at him,
rather than because he has crushed
their vehicles.
While his fictional forerunner fed
in some incarnations on nuclear
power plants, Bon-chan prefers
cabbage and carrots, gently taking
them out of the hands of children
who rush to greet him.
The tortoise lives in a pen at Mitanis
funeral home, where he greets callers.

Bon-chan, a 19-year-old male African spurred tortoise weighing about 70 kilograms (154 pounds), walks with his owner
Hisao Mitani on a street in the town of Tsukishima in Tokyo. Photo: AFP/Kazuhiro Nogi

some people may say its absurd


to keep such a big tortoise at the
entrance of a funeral service. But even
in their time of sadness, people smile
when they see him, so I dont think
its a bad idea to have him, said the
undertaker.
Bon-chans size and the fact that

Mitani dresses him in a frilly coat


during the chillier months have
made him quite a celebrity in the
neighbourhood.
Tortoises are symbols of longevity
in Japan, where local myth says they
can live for 10,000 years.
That has rubbed off on his owner,

who is known in the area as kame


sennin (immortal tortoise man),
although Mitani cheerfully admits
hes not likely to be here for eternity.
I hear this kind of reptile lives for
about 80 years, so its certain that I
will go before him, said the 62-yearold. AFP

LOS ANGELES

CEO and president of Sony Computer Entertainment Andrew House introduces


the PS4 virtual reality Project Morpheus during the Sony E3 press conference.
Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP

Console kings battle with grand


games and virtual worlds
Console kings Microsoft and
sony battled for players hearts with
blockbuster games and the lure
of virtual worlds as the electronic
entertainment expo began begin in
los Angeles yesterday.
The companies behind Xbox one
and Playstation 4 (Ps4) consoles
staged flashy media events where they
showed off dizzying action games and
spotlighted exclusive content.
Microsoft played up the work done
to harmonise play across Xbox one
and computers powered by Windows
10 operating software due for release
later this year.
sony fired back June 15, proclaiming
a new era of Playstation gaming
complete with big-name games and the
dawn of virtual reality on its powerful
Playstation 4 consoles.
The Japanese entertainment titan
boasted an array of beloved games for
exclusive play on Playstation 4, along
with demonstrations of titles tailored
to immerse players in fantasy worlds
using sonys Project Morpheus virtual
reality head-gear.
We are witnessing an historic
evolution in gaming, said sony
Computer entertainment America
chief shawn layden.

Microsoft announced a
partnership with Valve VR to make
Windows 10 a platform for play using
virtual reality head-gear.
Facebook-owned oculus last week
said its Rift virtual reality head-gear
will come with an Xbox controller
due to an alliance with console maker
Microsoft.
Virtual reality experiences will
be built on top of Windows and
Xbox games will be playable on Rift,
according to Microsoft.
Microsoft used the Xbox one event
at e3 to show off a version of popular
Minecraft game made for play using
the Hololens augmented-reality visors,
which have yet to hit the market.
sonys House boasted that
developers were embracing crafting
games that give players 360-degree
perspectives in worlds visited using
Morpheus virtual reality head-gear
sony is readying for market.
He showed off a Rigs arena
battle game and teased other titles
that visitors to the Playstation booth
at e3 will get to play.
Project Morpheus is real,
evolving, and continues to capture
the imagination of developers, House
said. AFP

the pulse 23

www.mmtimes.com
Fashion focus

Got an event?
List it in Whats On!
whatsonmt@gmail.com

TODAY
MUSIC

Bamboo Trio. The Rendez-Vous Bar, Institut


Franais de Birmanie, 340 Pyay Road
7:30-9:30pm

NIGHTLIFE

Mojito Night. Try aselection of mojitos


(strawberry, passion fruit, creole and of

Tripping out
Psychedelics are in. Or, we should say, fashion is definitely turning on, tuning in and
dropping out to psychedelia this season.
Models showcased designer Katie Earys luminous visions on the fourth day of the
Spring/Summer 2016 London Collections Men fashion event in central London on June 15.
Earys collection featured vibrant pink, electric blue and lime green hues on a trip that
began in the 1960s and ended up somewhere in a forest scene of Avatar.
A mix between distinct beach and skate styles, youd be forgiven for wondering if
someone had thrown the eclectic cuts together after dropping a sugar cube. But as the
kaleidoscope of pigments, My Little Pony prints and digital butterflies splashed across the
catwalk, the universe clicked into place and everything just seemed to make sense.
Photos: AFP/Oli Scarff

course the classic). Buy one get one free.


The Lab Bar, 70A Shwegondine Road,
Bahan 5:30-10pm

TOMORROW
PUBLIC SPEAKING

Connect Public Speaking Club. Are you


scared of speaking in public? This club will
help you stand and talk confidently without

any fear. Connect Institute, 3A Pansodan


Business Tower, corner of Anawrahta Road
and Pansodan Street 2:30 -4 pm

MUSIC

Folk on Fire. Jean-Franois Rancourt will


once again set the stage on fire with his
witty folk songs in English and French.
Free entry. Mojo Bar, 135 Inya Road 9:3011:30pm

IN PICTUREs

Photo: AFP
Guitarist Graham
Coxon (left),
singer Damon
Albarn (centre)
and bassist Alex
James of the band
Blur perform on
the stage of the
Zenith on June 15
in Paris.

24 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 16, 2015

DOMESTIC FLIGHT SCHEDULES


YANGON TO MANDALAY

MANDALAY TO YANGON

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

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

8:30

10:25

6T 805

2,4,6

6:30

7:40

6T 806

2,4,6

10:30

11:40

YJ 201

1,2,3,4

7:00

8:55

YJ 202

1,2,3,4

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

16:25

8M 6603

9:00

10:10

YJ 212

15:00

16:55

YJ 601

11:00

12:25

YJ 602

15:40

17:35

YJ 211

5, 7

11:00

12:25

7Y 242

1,3,5

16:40

18:45

YJ 761

1,2,4

11:00

12:55

K7 225

2,4,6,7

16:50

19:00

YH 729

2,4,6

11:00

14:00

YH 728

17:00

18:25

YH 737

3,5,7

11:00

13:10

W9 152/W97152

17:05

18:30

YH 727

11:30

13:40

Y5 776

Daily

17:10

18:20

W9 251

2,5

11:30

12:55

W9 211

17:10

19:15

7Y 241

1,3,5

14:30

16:25

YH 738

3,5,7

17:10

18:35

K7 224

2,4,6,7

14:30

16:35

8M 6604

17:20

18:30

Y5 234

Daily

15:20

16:30

8M 903

1,2,4,5,7

17:20

18:30

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 NAY PYI TAW

NAY PYI TAW TO YANGON

YANGON TO HEHO
Flight
YH 917
YJ 891
7Y 131
YJ 891
K7 222
7Y 131
Y5 649
YJ 751
YJ 761
YJ 751
YH 737
YH 727
K7 224
7Y 241
W9 129

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

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

HEHO TO YANGON
Arr
9:15
9:10
9:20
10:10
9:30
10:05
12:45
11:40
12:10
12:10
12:25
12:55
15:45
15:40
16:40

YANGON TO MYEIK
Flight
Y5 325
K7 319
6T 705
7Y 531
Y5 325
SO 201

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

Dep
6:45
7:00
7:30
11:15
15:30
8:20

Flight
YJ 891
YH 918
YJ 891
W9 201
7Y 132
K7 223
YJ 761
YJ 752
YJ 762
7Y 242
K7 225
YH 728
YH 738
YJ 602
YJ 752
W9 129

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

Dep
9:00
9:15
9:25
9:25
9:35
9:45
12:25
12:25
15:00
15:55
16:00
16:15
16:25
16:25
16:45
16:55

Arr
10:10
10:25
10:35
10:35
10:45
11:00
17:00
17:55
17:00
18:45
19:00
18:25
18:35
17:35
17:55
19:10

MYEIK TO YANGON
Arr
8:15
9:05
8:40
13:20
17:00
10:40

YANGON TO SITTWE

Flight
Y5 326
6T 706
7Y 532
K7 320
Y5 326
SO 202

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

Dep
8:35
8:55
15:35
11:30
17:15
13:20

Arr
10:05
10:05
17:40
13:35
18:45
15:40

SITTWE TO YANGON

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YJ 201

1,2,3,4

7:00

7:55

SO 101

Daily

7:00

8:00

K7 422

2,4,6

8:00

9:55

K7 423

2,4,6

10:10

11:30

ND 910

1,2,3,4,5

7:15

8:15

YJ 201

1,2,3,4

8:10

13:25

7Y 413

1,3,5,7

10:30

12:20

7Y 414

1,3,5,7

12:35

13:55

1,3,6

11:30

12:55

W9 309

1,3,6

13:10

14:55

Daily

11:45

12:55

6T 612

Daily

13:15

14:20

Domestic Airlines
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

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)


Tel: 09400446999, 09400447999
Fax: 8604051

Mann Yadanarpon Airlines (7Y)


Tel: 656969
Fax: 656998, 651020

Yangon Airways (YH)


Tel: 383100, 383107, 700264
Fax: 652 533

FMI Air Charter (ND)


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

ND 105

1,2,3,4,5

10:45

11:40

ND 9102

1,2,3,4,5

8:35

9:35

W9 309

YJ 211

11:00

15:45

ND 104

1,2,3,4,5

9:20

10:15

6T 611

ND 107

11:25

12:20

ND 106

10:00

10:55

ND 109

1,2,3,4,5

14:55

15:40

ND 108

1,2,3,4,5

13:30

14:25

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

ND 9109

1,2,3,4,5

17:00

18:00

YJ 212

16:00

16:55

K7 422

2,4,6

8:00

8:55

K7 422

2,4,6

9:10

11:30

ND 111

18:25

19:20

ND 110

17:00

17:55

7Y 413

1,3,5

10:30

11:20

7Y 413

1,3,5

11:35

13:55

SO 102

Daily

18:00

19:00

ND 9110

1,2,3,4,5

18:20

19:20

W9 309

1,3,6

11:30

13:50

7Y 413

12:05

14:20

K7 = Air KBZ

7Y 413

11:00

11:50

W9 309

1,3,6

14:05

14:55

W9 = Air Bagan

Y5 421

1,3,4,6

15:45

16:40

Y5 422

1,3,4,6

16:55

17:50

Y5 = Golden Myanmar Airlines

YANGON TO NYAUNG U

NYAUNG U TO YANGON

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YH 917

Daily

6:10

7:45

YH 918

Daily

7:45

10:25

YANGON TO THANDWE

THANDWE TO YANGON

YANGON TO DAWEI

DAWEI TO YANGON

YJ 891

6:20

7:40

YJ 891

7:55

8:25

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

6:30

7:50

YJ 891

8:05

10:10

K7 319

1,3,5,7

7:00

8:10

YH 634

2,4,6

12:15

13:25

K7 222

1,3,5

6:30

7:50

7Y 132

2,4,6,7

8:05

10:45

YH 633

2,4,6

7:00

8:25

K7 320

1,3,5,7

12:25

13:35

7Y 131

2,4,6,7

6:30

7:50

K7 223

1,3,5

8:05

11:00

SO 201

Daily

8:20

9:40

6T 708

3,5,7

14:15

15:15

K7 224

2,4,6,7

14:30

17:25

K7 225

2,4,6,7

17:40

19:00

7Y 241

1,3,5

14:30

17:10

W9 129

1,3,6

17:50

19:10

7Y 242

1,3,5

17:25

18:45

W9 129

1,3,6

15:30

17:35

15:30

17:40

W9 129

15:30

17:35

YANGON TO MYITKYINA

6T 707

3,5,7

10:30

11:30

SO 202

Daily

14:20

15:40

7Y 531

2,4,6

11:15

12:20

7Y 532

2,4,6

16:35

17:40

YANGON TO LASHIO
MYITKYINA TO YANGON

LASHIO TO YANGON

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YJ 751

3,5

10:30

12:45

YJ 752

3,5

15:40

17:55

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YH 729

2,4,6

11:00

13:00

YJ 752

16:10

17:55

6T 805

2,4,6

6:30

8:55

6T 806

2,4,6

9:10

11:40

YJ 751

11:00

13:15

YH 730

2,4,6

16:45

19:10

YH 826

1,3.5.7

7:00

9:40

YJ 202

1,2,3,4

10:35

13:25

YJ 201

1,2,3,4

7:00

10:20

YH 827

1,3,5,7

11:30

13:55

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YJ 233

11:00

15:10

YJ 234

15:25

W9 251

2,5

11:30

14:25

W9 252

2,5

16:45

YANGON TO PUTAO

SO = APEX Airlines
7Y = Mann Yadanarpon Airlines

YH = Yangon Airways

YJ 891

W9 211

Airline Codes

PUTAO TO YANGON

Flight

Days

18:15

YH 826

1,3,5,7

7:00

10:35

YH 827

1,3,5,7

10:35

13:55

19:40

W9 251

2,5

11:30

15:25

W9 252

2,5

15:45

19:40

YJ = Asian Wings
6T = AirMandalay
FMI (ND) = FMI Air Charter

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
2,6
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
MH 743
AK 503

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

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

1,2,3,5,6
7:50
Daily
8:30
Daily
12:15
Daily
15:45
Daily
19:30
YANGON TO BEIJING

Flights

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
2,6
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
12:55
15:15
16:40
18:35

AK 504
MH 740
8M 502
MH 742
AK 502

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

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

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

Flights

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

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

Days

Dep

Arr

Flights

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

13:15
16:15
22:15

CZ 3055
CZ 3055
8M 712

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

Arr

16:15

Flights

Days

CA 416
MU 2012
MU 2032
Flights

Days

Dep

Dep

Arr

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

15:55
18:45
18:40

Dep

Arr

CI 7915
Flights

Days

Days

MU 2011
CA 415
MU 2031
Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

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

11:50
11:15
14:30

Dep

Arr

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

VN 942

VN 943

Flights

Flights

QR 919
Flights

Days

Dep

Days

Dep

Days

Dep

Arr

2,4,7
14:25
YANGON TO DOHA

17:15

1,4,6
8:00
YANGON TO SEOUL

11:10

Arr

Arr

Flights

Flights

QR 918
Flights

Days

Dep

Days

Dep

Days

Dep

KA 252
KA 250

Arr

Flights

Days

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

Arr

YANGON TO TOKYO

Flights

Days

NH 814

Daily

Dep

21:45

06:50+1

YANGON TO DHAKA

Flights

Days

BG 061
BG 061
Flights

Dep

1:30
1:10

1,6
4

Dep

15:35
13:45

YANGON TO INCHEON
Days

Dep

Days

Dep

Arr

Arr

Flights

Y5 251
7Y 305

8:05
12:50

2,4,6
1,5

YANGON TO GAYA

Flights

Days

8M 601
AI 236
Flights

Days

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

AI 236
AI 701
Flights

6:15
11:00

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

Days

1,2,3,4,5

Dep

19:30

Arr

Arr

8:20
15:05
Arr

16:30
19:50
Arr

15:05
Arr

22:35
Arr

Days

1,6
4

Dep

12:30
10:40

INCHEON TO YANGON
Days

Dep

Days

Dep

15:40
Arr

14:55
13:05

2,4,6
1,5

GAYA TO YANGON

Flights

Days

AI 235
8M 602
Flights

Days

2
1,5

Dep

9:20
7:00

KOLKATA TO YANGON
Days

AI 227
Flights

Dep

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

AI 235
AI 401
Flights

9:25
13:45

1,5

Dep

10:35

MUMBAI TO YANGON

AI 675

Days

1,5

Dep

6:10

BANGKOK TO MANDALAY

Flights

Days

Daily

Dep

12:00

SINGAPORE TO MANDALAY

Y5 2234
MI 533

Days

Daily
2,6

Dep

7:20
11:35

DON MUEANG TO MANDALAY

Flights

FD 244

Arr

Flights

Days

Daily

Dep

10:50

KUNMING TO MANDALAY

MU 2029

Days

Daily

Dep

13:00

BANGKOK TO NAY PYI TAW

Flights

PG 721

Days

1,2,3,4,5

Dep

17:00

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

Arr

Arr

12:0
12:30
Arr

12:20
13:20
Arr

13:20
Arr

13:20
Arr

13:20
Arr

16:30
15:00
Arr

12:15

Tel: 255050, 255021. Fax: 255051

Qatar Airways (QR)

Tel: 379845, 379843, 379831. Fax: 379730

Singapore Airlines (SQ) / Silk Air (MI)


Tel: 255287~9. Fax: 255290

Thai Airways (TG)

Tel: 255491~6. Fax: 255223


Tel: 371383, 370836~39 (ext: 303)
Tel: 255066, 255088, 255068. Fax: 255086

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

BG = Biman Bangladesh Airlines


CA = Air China
CI = China Airlines

DD = Nok Airline
FD = Air Asia
KA = Dragonair
KE = Korea Airlines
MH = Malaysia Airlines
MI = Silk Air
MU = China Eastern Airlines
NH = All Nippon Airways
PG = Bangkok Airways
QR = Qatar Airways
SQ = Singapore Airways
TG = Thai Airways
TR = Tiger Airline
VN = Vietnam Airline
AI = Air India
Y5 = Golden Myanmar Airlines

Subject to change
without notice

Arr

12:50
Arr

19:00

Day
1 = Monday
2 = Tuesday
3 = Wednesday

Prosecco vineyards in Guia make a stunning vista. Photo: John W Schulze/


Wikimedia Commons

Its sparkler
season along Italys
Prosecco Road
PAUL ABERCROMBIE

Nok Airline (DD)

CZ = China Southern

Arr

10:15
14:35

15:00

Arr

11:00

Air Bagan Ltd.(W9)

Tel: 513322, 513422, 504888. Fax: 515102

AK = Air Asia

Arr

Y5 252
7Y 306

Flights

22:30

Daily

Dep

DHAKA TO YANGON

Flights

Arr

16:40

TOKYO TO YANGON
Days

Arr

00:30+1
23:30

18:10
12:00

PG 709

Arr

Dep

22:50
21:45

Arr

22:25
23:25

W9 608
4,7
17:20
PG 723
1,3,5,6
11:05
CHIANG MAI TO YANGON

16:30
20:50
14:15

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

Flights

BG 060
BG 060

16:10
15:05

Days

NH 813

17:00
15:10

W9 607
4,7
14:20
PG 724
1,3,5,6
13:10
YANGON TO CHIANG MAI
Flights

Flights

Tel: 09254049991~3

Vietnam Airlines (VN)

06:25+1

5:55
5:45

Flights

Air Asia (FD)

Arr

3,5,7
20:40
SEOUL TO YANGON

KA 251
KA 251

Tel: 255412, 413

Tiger Airline (TR)

13:25

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

All Nippon Airways (NH)

Arr

2,4,7
11:50
DOHA TO YANGON

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

International Airlines

4
5
6
7

=
=
=
=

Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

HEN your family


visits Venice for the
third spring in a row,
as mine recently
did, you know youre
more than a little keen for the place.
Or, as a pal put it less delicately
before our trip, You guys are Venice
freaks.
But even for hard-core fans of
Italys floating city, I found myself,
midway through our latest visit,
craving fresh adventure. OK, I also
wanted a break from this seasons
epidemic of selfie sticks, apparently
super-glued to the hands of every
other tourist in town. We had been
talking for years about experiencing
where and how one of our favourite
wines is made. So this March we
finally took a day trip just north
of Venice, to the Prosecco Road,
a nearly 20-mile stretch of steepsloped vineyards dedicated almost
exclusively to making Italys most
prized bubbly.
By evening, I had a new
geographic crush.
Early that morning, my wife Gail,
12-year-old son Ewan and motherin-law Jane caught a short ride on a
vaporetto water bus to Venices
train station. Less than an hour later,
we arrived in the town of Conegliano.
With Valdobbiadene to the west, they
bookend the famed wine-producing
region.
We sprang for the services of
driver and guide Oriana Balliana, a
boisterous and charming lady with
seemingly encyclopedic knowledge
of local lore and wines alike. With
a train to catch back to Venice that
evening, we settled on a manageable
itinerary that included visits to
a larger and smaller prosecco
producer, along with lunch and a
chance to check out a few other local
attractions.
First stop was Carpene Malvolti.
Only a few minutes drive from the
train station, its among the regions
older and larger prosecco producers.
Like most, its family-owned. During
a tour of the facility and tasting,
Carpene Malvolti global sales and
marketing director Domenico
Scimone hit the high points of what
makes prosecco, well, prosecco.
First, the grapes. To be called
prosecco, its gotta be made mostly
with indigenous Glera grapes,
formerly also known as prosecco.
Unlike champagne, which gets its
fizz from a second fermentation in

the bottle, proseccos sparkle typically


happens in larger fermenting tanks
before bottling.
Unlike sparklers such as
champagne, prosecco is best drunk
young. Prosecco was born as a wine
meant to be fresh, Scimone said.
If you age it, you lose what makes
it prosecco. Prosecco also tends to
be lower in alcohol. Its very easy to
drink more than one glass, he said
with a laugh. Which helps explain
why prosecco is so popular around
the world, and at our house. Indeed,
Ive always thought of prosecco as
champagnes younger, more carefree
Italian cousin. And with excellent
proseccos rarely topping US$20 a
bottle, its a lot lighter on your wallet.
In Carpene Malvoltis grotto-like
tasting room, we sampled several
proseccos. We started with extra
dry, which, despite its name, is a tad
sweeter than the bone-dry brut we
taste later. All were characteristically
fresh, lively wines. Id settled on a
brut as my favorite until Scimone
poured their Cartizze. More complex,
lightly perfumed but still fresh, the
Cartizze was my new fave. You can
only understand the difference when
you drink the Cartizze, he said. By
the time wed made a brief detour
into their grappas grape-based
brandies we were game to see a few
local sights.
Heading west toward
Valdobbiadene, the hills became
steeper. Skeletal vines, a dozen or so
days away from budding, clung to
about every available patch of the
areas precious dirt. From hill crests,
we could see snow-capped Dolomites
in the distance. We stopped to admire
jigsaw-piece remnants of frescoes at
the thousand-year-old church San
Pietro di Feletto and gawked at the
idyllic Molinetto della Croda water
mill in the municipality of Refrontolo.
Only our hunger pulled us away.
The area is home to dozens of
excellent restaurants, some no bigger
than a few tables. But I had a hard
time imagining one more ideal than
where Oriana took us. Perched atop a
hill overlooking rolling vine-covered
landscapes, Trattoria Alla Cima (cima
means summit) has a menu thats
sort of a whos-who of local dishes
and ingredients. As hooked as I am
on Venetian seafood, I eagerly tucked
into more terrestrial fare, including
sliced beefsteak grilled over a fire.
My son Ewan made quick work of a
radicchio risotto with pancetta and
smoky scamorza cheese.
The Washington Post

26 Sport

THE MYANMAR TIMES June 17, 2015

SEA GAmES

Philippines stay
supreme in basketball

hE Philippines fended off


a strong rally by indonesia before winning their
11th straight Southeast
asian Games basketball
title 72-64 on June 15.
an offensive exhibition riding
on Rey Mark Belos 22 points ultimately took the Philippines home
despite a fightback which indonesia within three points in the final
quarter.
Philippines coach Tab Baldwin
said his team was not rattled even
when indonesia all but caught them
in the last period.
i am happy that we had to fight
to get a gold medal. Thats a better
experience for us than to win by a
huge margin. We grow from these

experiences a lot, said the Gilas Cadets coach.


its a gold medal performance
throughout these games and i am
extremely proud of them, he added.
The hard-won victory in Singapore means the Philippines maintain their record of winning the SEa
Games mens title in all but one edition since its introduction in 1977.
in the group stages, Philippines
defeated indonesia easily 81-52,
but it was a different story in the
heat and tension of the gold medal
match.
indonesias Sandy Kurniawan hit
three successful three-pointers in
the first quarter, but by the second
period the lead ballooned to 19.
indonesia came out fighting in

the second half, going on a 9-2 run


and narrowing the gap to just three
points in the final quarter.
But that was as close as they were
going to get as Philippines skipper
Kiefer Ravena stopped the run with
a steal and converted with a lay-up
to close the game.
The chance to win the gold medal is there. We have proven it today,
said indonesias coach Fictor Roring.
i am still convinced one day it
will happen.
Earlier in the day, Singapore battled hard for the SEa Games basketball bronze medal after beating
Thailand 54-49.
The hosts trailed for most of the
match but outscored the Thais 16-8
in the final quarter. AFP

SEA GAmES

Gold comfort for Malaysias axed Chong


MalaySiaS Chong Wei Feng
grabbed the biggest title of his career at the SEa Games badminton
on June 16 in the perfect riposte after he was controversially axed for
the world championships.
Chong, who was in line for the
worlds until the return of ex-number one lee Chong Wei from a drugs

ban, breezed past his compatriot


Mohammad arif abdul latif in the
mens singles final.
Chong said the 21-8, 21-9 victory
over latif, 25, in his first major individual final was redemptive after a
rollercoaster year which has included injury struggles.
it means a lot to me and it

shows that my game is still there.


i am getting back my form after
my injury early this year, said the
28-year-old.
Chong is Malaysias top-ranked
mens singles player at 36, a position
which should have guaranteed him
a spot at the august world championships in Jakarta. AFP

SEA GAmES

Last-day double puts Thais on 95


Thailand snatched final gold medals in badminton and volleyball yesterday as the Southeast asian Games
table-toppers ended the tournament
on 95 titles.
hosts Singapore also grabbed one
more win in the mens water polo to
reach 84, a record for the country after the 50 they amassed on home soil
in 1993.
Vietnam finished third with 73
and Malaysia, who will host the next
SEa Games in 2017, were fourth with
62 after a strong showing in the
badminton.
Chong Wei Feng beat his Malaysian
compatriot Mohammad arif abdul
latif 21-8, 21-9 to win the mens singles, the 28-year-olds first major title.

The womens doubles was also an


all-Malaysian affair and ended with
amelia alicia anscelly and Soong Fie
Cho upsetting the higher-ranked Vivian hoo Kah Mun and Khe Wei Woon.
Thailands Busanan Ongbumrungpan beat hanna Ramadini in the
womens singles final, making up for
her defeat in the SEa Games decider
two years ago.
i am very happy right now because last time i got runner-up. This
time i tried to get the gold medal
and this is [now] my turn, said
Ongbumrungpan.
Thailand also beat Vietnam 25-20,
25-19, 25-23 in the mens volleyball
on the last day as all 403 gold medals
were finally handed out. AFP

Medal Table
Gold

Silver

Bronze

Total

THAILAND

95

83

69

247

SINGAPORE

84

73

102

259

VIETNAM

73

53

60

186

MALAYSIA

62

58

66

186

INDONESIA

47

61

74

182

PHILIPPINES

29

36

66

131

MYANMAR

12

26

31

69

CAMBODIA

15

LAOS

25

29

BRUNEI

TIMOR LESTE

4
5

12

Gold

26

Silver

31

Bronze

69 Total
Myanmars Gold Grabbers
1.

Sandi Oo performs in the Womens


Optional Spear category of the
Wushu events on June 8. She also
collected two silver medals from
these Games.

8.

Min Sithu Aung and his partner


Aung Htay overcame worldchampion Peter Gilchrist to cue up
a gold in the Mens English Billiards
Doubles on June 9.

2.

Myanmars Chinlone team celebrate


gold in the Non-repetition Secondary
event on June 6.

9.

Soe Yan Naing stepped up to the


centre platform for his gold in the
Mens 90-100kg Judo event on June 7.

3.

On June 7, Aye Thitsar Myint


collected individual gold in Wushus
Womens Optional NanQuan and Nan
Dao event.

10. The Mens Doubles Team of Zaw Zaw


Aung, Aung Myo Swe and Zaw Latt
made it a round dozen with their
Sepak Takraw gold on June 15.

4.

Win Htike and Sia Min Wai in the


Mens C2 1000m Canoeing won
Myanmars first gold of 2015 on June
6.

11. Multi-Games medallist Win Htike


partnered Maung Maung in the Mens
C2 200m on June 9 to win his second
gold.

5.

Khin Myo Thu grappled her way to


gold on June 8 in the Womens Judo
78kg category

6.

On June 7 the traditional boat team


paddled to one of eight targeted gold
medals. That came courtesy of the
Mens 6-crew 500m team Saw Htoo
Gay, Zaw Min, Kyaw Sai Aye, Soe Moe,
Aung, Htet Wai Lwin, Min Naing, Min
Min Zaw and Zaw Moe Aung.

12. The first of 17-year-old Aye Thitsar


Myints gold medals came on June
6 when she partnered Myat Thet Su
Wai Phyo in the Wushu Womens Duel
event - Weapons category.

7.

Myanmars Chinlone team of Aung


Naing Phyo, San Lwin Oo, Kyaw Soe
Myo, Lwin Phyo Win, Aung Myo Myint,
Myo Min Thu, Kyaw Moe Tun and Myo
Zaw Oo display their gold medals
won in the Same-Stroke event. It was
their second gold of the Games.

13. They may not take home a gold for


their efforts but Myanmars football
fans at the Singapore National
Stadium during the June 15 final won
many admirers for their gracious and
enthusiastic support.
Photos: 1,2,3,4,7,8,9,11,12. SINGSOC/
Action Images via Reuters
Photos: 5,6,13. AFP
Photo: 10. SINGSOC/Leong AC

10

11
12

13

Sport
28 THE MYANMAR TIMES JunE 17, 2015

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

The winners who raised


Myanmars flag in Singapore
SPORT 27

Flag bearers of participating nations enter the stadium during the closing ceremony of the 28th Southeast Asian Games. Photo: AFP

Despite SEA success,


Singapore Asiad unlikely
A

Singapore bid to host


the asian games appeared
unlikely yesterday despite
its successful Southeast
asian games held in stateof-the-art facilities this month.
Senior sports officials gave a
thumbs-down to an asiad in Singapore, signalling that hosting asias
version of the olympics was not in the
city-states sights.
While Singapore could celebrate
amassing a national record of 84 gold
medals at the Sea games, similar success would be unlikely at the bigger,
pan-asian version.
and the costs of organising an
asian games are prohibitive, as seen
last year when Hanoi pulled out of
hosting the 2018 edition.
i do not see us spending a lot of
money just to hold the asian games,

Team Singapore chef de mission Tan


eng Liang told reporters on the Sea
games final day.
personally i do not see how asian
games will contribute very significantly despite the amount of cost and
the organisation that are needed, he
added.
So personally i do not see the need
of the asian games.
Singapore already has much of the
infrastructure for major sports events
after the completion of its billion-USdollar Sports Hub last year.
The riverside complex not far from
the city centre includes the 55,000seat, domed, air-cooled national Stadium, a swimming and diving venue,and
a number of competition-ready gym
halls and arenas.
But Bob gambardella, head of
the Singapore Sports institute, said

If youre going to
spend 300-odd
million dollars you
want to end up at the
end of the day doing
pretty well. Youre
not organising the
Games to make the
other NOCs happy.
Chris Chan
Singapore nOC secretary-general

Singapores strategy was to host single,


high-level events rather than multisport showpieces.
i think what were looking at [is]
single major international events like
the WTa [Finals] and ways in which
we can leverage off that kind of a tournament over the next four years to catalyse the sport in the country, he said.
So we see those kind of events
coming fast and they will help us build
out that sport ecosystem itself, gambardella added.
after establishing a popular Formula one night race, Singapore also
now hosts the annual WTa Finals featuring the top eight womens players.
gambardella said representatives
from swimming body Fina had also
visited to discuss holding the world
junior championships in Singapore.
Singapore officials were delighted

with their medals haul, led by star


swimmer Joseph Schoolings nine
golds, at a games where the line-up of
sports is unashamedly tailored by the
hosts.
if youre going to spend 300-odd
million dollars you want to end up at
the end of the day doing pretty well,
said Singapore national olympic
Committee (noC) secretary-general
Chris Chan.
otherwise how do you justify spending? Youre not organising the games to
make the other noCs happy.
and they promised they wouldnt
follow Myanmar, who won 86 gold
medals when they hosted the last Sea
games in 2013, but slumped to just 12
in Singapore.
i guarantee we wont do a Myanmar, said Tan, looking ahead to the
next edition in Malaysia in 2017. AFP