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Heartbeat of the nation

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DAILY EDITION

ISSUE 19 | thursday, April 2, 2015

Flow to
start on
legal wine
imports
Aye Thidar Kyaw
ayethidarkyaw@gmail.com
WINE importers are preparing for the
restart of legal flows of foreign tipple
after the government unveiled a procedure to allow imports.
The Ministry of Commerce issued
a notification in mid-March that they
will give permission on wine imports,
and potential importers say they are
now wading through the paperwork
to allow them to begin legal imports
for the first time.
The change in policies depended
on market demand and the increasing
number of foreigners, said ministry
director general U Min Min.
Imports of wine and other alcohols
have long been illegal, though authorities previously had largely turned a
blind eye. This situation lasted until
December 2013, when a crackdown
began on importers using loopholes to
bring liquor into the country.
The Ministry of Commerce promised to legalise alcohol imports,
though after more than a year passed
with no new rules, some prominent
firms pulled all foreign alcohol from
their shelves early in 2015.
While wine is the first to be allowed in by the ministry, it has plans
to adjust its policies for other kinds of
alcohol in the future based on market
demand though as yet no official notice on other forms of alcohol has been
released.
U Min Min said wine carries with
it a certain social cachet, which led to
it being the first liquor to be legally allowed in.
Prominent monk Shwe Nya Wah Sayadaw has declared that he wont be silenced by the state-appointed religious committee. Photo: Kaung Htet

Continued on business 9

Outspoken monk rejects ban


Senior monk Shwe Nya Wah Sayadaw has been labelled disobedient by the state and ordered to stop preaching after religious leaders said he
veered out of line with Buddhism. In spite of the ban, the defiant monk said he plans to continue delivering religious sermons. news 3

2 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 2, 2015

Ferry survivors still


awaiting promised
compensation
Mratt Kyaw Thu
mrattkthu@gmail.com

Miners dig for jade in Hpakant in December 2014. Photo: Thandar Khine

Hpakant residents decry lax


rescue effort following landslide
Wa Lone
walone14@gmail.com
RESIDENTS of a jade mining town
in Kachin State slammed the government yesterday for not doing more to
rescue victims buried in a fatal landslide on March 30.
Dozens are missing after a loose
spit of land the miners were combing
through in Hpakant township collapsed, according to state-run media.
Nine bodies have so far been found.
The companys rescue teams are
continuing the search, but the authorities dont want to work hard to help so
they changed the lists of victims to a
list of missing persons and suspended
searching for an unlimited time, U
Khin Maung, chair of Seik Mu free

funeral service, told The Myanmar


Times.
Local resident U Kyaw Hlaing said
he has seen many half-hearted rescue
missions.
Here it is normal that when a miner is killed and buried under the rocks,
if they dont quickly find him they put
the name on the missing persons list,
he said.
Two injured men were pulled out of
the rubble alive and taken to a nearby
hospital, according to the governments Myanma Alin newspaper.
At least 30 miners were combing for jade in a rubble pile next a
100-metre mountain when the accident occurred.
We have to search for jade here
even though we know how danger-

ous the place is, said Ko Kyaw Khing, 35, who has worked in Hpakant searching through rubble for
overlooked precious gemstones for
nearly a decade.
Lar Sai, chair of the National
League for Democracy in Hpakant,
said that jade companies employ
workers to churn through loose dirt
from the edges of mountains and even
near streams and underground water
resources without first assessing the
safety of the land conditions.
This is the second deadly landslide to occur in Hpakant this year.
In January, at least four miners were
killed in a similar disaster near jade
and gold mines. The earlier landslide
was blamed on heavy rains making the
rocks and soil loose.

AS Rakhine State officials dispute government findings into the cause behind the March 13 ferry disaster, more
than 100 survivors are still awaiting
promised compensation.
The regional government offered
payouts of K1.2 million to each of
the families of the 69 deceased and
K500,000 to the survivors on March
17. But only 33 of the official 169 ferry
disaster survivors were able to receive
money during the Kyaukphyu township handout.
Some survivors have called me
and said they also want money from
the government like others, said U
Aung Win, a member of parliament
from the Rakhine State Hluttaw and
a member of a new investigating commission formed to counter the governments inquiry team.
We are trying to solve those problems with the government and also
put out our report.
After claims that bad weather
caused the accident were rejected,the
Rakhine State government formed an
initial investigating commission tasking transport officials with finding out
why the disaster occurred. But the report missed several deadlines and did
not produce conclusions that satisfied
the state parliamentarians.
The commission said that [the
sinking] was not accidental, it was
because of weak management, MP U
Aung Mya Kyaw told The Myanmar
Times.
The report on the Aung Takon 3s
sinking was read in the Rakhine State
Hluttaw on March 26 and though it
attributed much of the disaster to the
crews negligence it gave no specifics
and was short on data, the Rakhine
MPs claimed.
While allegations that the captain
had been drinking were not corrobo-

rated, the report did say that crew


members were intoxicated at the
time of the sinking.
The report did not produce a number for how many passengers, staff
and cargo were crammed onto the vessel, or for what kind of demand may
be straining the local ferry system.
While the exact number of passengers onboard the Aung Takon 3 is not
known, those who were onboard when
it sank said it was hugely overcrowded
with up to 400 passengers. Rescuers
plucked 169 people from the water after
the ferry went down, but the manifest
showed only 214 passengers and crew.

Some survivors
have called and
said they want
money from the
government.
U Aung Win
Rakhine State Hluttaw MP

Amyotha Hluttaw representatives


also said that while the water transport office had officially logged 94.92
tonnes of cargo, a debate in parliament revealed that more than 134
tonnes of cargo were packed on.
MP U Aung Win also claimed the
commission underrepresented the
death toll. The body search was called
off on March 26, but many more than
the 69 officially counted are missing,
and many bodies have washed up to
shore, he said.
The Rakhine State parliaments inquiry team, established on March 24,
is expected to submit its own report
on April 7.

U Thein Sein govts last budget approved


Htoo
Thant
thanhtoo.npt@gmail.com

IN a pre-election bonanza for voters,


parliament approved the K20 trillion
national budget on March 31, ushering
in not only financial year 2015-2016,
which started yesterday, but also, perhaps, the first phase of the electoral
campaign.
The budget was the last to be proposed by President U Thein Sein, as
MPs will now increasingly turn their
attention to Novembers general
election.
The budget bill went before the
Pyidaungsu Hluttaw with just over 1
percent cut from the proposals presented last January, as a result of
last-minute reductions by the Budget
Review Joint Committee. The committee cut K38.424 billion from regular expenditure and K177.950 billion
off capital expenditure, a total reduction of K235.222 billion from the
original proposed figure of K20,826
billion.
Nevertheless, spending will rise
in education, health, water quality,
the agricultural sector and electricity supply. Preliminary analysis of the
figures indicates that the reduction of
military spending as a percentage of
the budget has ceased to fall.

As reported by The Myanmar


Times on March 27, the government
has already spelled out in some detail
its plans for hefty increases in the pay
of civil servants and the armed forces,
with some senior officers seeing their
pay more than double.
The deficit in 2015-2016 is expected
to be about K3 trillion (US$2.922 billion) with K17 trillion in income and
K20 trillion in expenditure and the
total economy is estimated at about
K73.3 trillion, the finance minister
told MPs in January.
Foreign debt reached K20 trillion
last September, up from K16 trillion
when the government took office.
The Ministry of Commerce has also
predicted that the trade deficit for the
coming year will exceed K4 trillion,
with inflation predicted to reach as
high as 8.11pc, and the kyat approaching K1020 to the dollar.
To increase electricity supply, the
Ministry of Electrical Power plans to
spend about K2.5 trillion this year, including foreign loans, making it the
fourth-largest spender after the ministries of finance, energy and defence.
The government has appropriated
K1.702 trillion to fill the deficit in regions and states, and K119 billion in financial aid for a special fund for rural
development.
Nearly K1.4 trillion has been appropriated for education, up by about
K250 billion from last years K1.1 trillion. The extra funding will go to hire
more than 50,000 additional teachers,

including 16,800 for primary schools,


30,000 for middle schools and 10,000
for high schools.
The
free
education
system
launched in recent years for primary
and middle-school students will be
extended to higher education in the
coming year under the National Education Law. More than K18.4 billion
has been appropriated to provide free

trillion KYAT

Expected budget deficit for 2015-2016

textbooks to primary school pupils, as


well as exercise books and uniforms.
Middle-school students will receive
K6.63 billion for their school fees and
membership fees for parent and teacher associations, and K3.93 billion for
textbooks.
Another K14.5 billion has been
appropriated for university stipends
and scholarships, and K1.9 billion in
support of students in government
technical institutes and government
technical schools run by the Ministry
of Science and Technology.

Union Finance Minister U Win


Shein said K757.437 billion had been
appropriated for health, an increase of
more than K48 billion over this years
K708.949 billion.
This will fund the purchase of
medical equipment, including two
magneto-diagnostic machines, two Xray machines and 50 electro-surgical
machines for government hospitals.
The government will also train an
additional 3153 medical staff including doctors, dentists and medical technicians plus 1300 nurses and 2440
basic medical staff, the minister told
parliament last January.
The health budget also includes
K37.492 billion for free medical treatment for government staff.
MP U Zaw Myint Pe told the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw on March 30 that
the cuts to the January forecast,
though modest, represented a good
result for those wishing to cut the
budget deficit as much as possible.
The biggest reduction, of K51 billion, was applied to the capital expenditure of the Ministry of Construction. The Ministry of Finance saw its
allocation cut by more than K40 billion, while the Ministry of Agriculture
and Irrigation suffered a K24 billion
budget cut, and the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology lost K16 billion.
Lesser cuts were made in the
ministries of electrical power, sport,
education, information, home affairs,
railways transportation, and livestock,

fisheries and rural development.


In terms of running expenses, the
Ministry of Education budget was
reduced by K4.527 billion, while the
Ministry of Health was second with
a K4.435 billion cut. The Ministry of
Agriculture and Irrigations current
budget was cut by K2.928 billion.
The Military Town Development
Committees under the Ministry of
Defence lost more than K12 million
from their budget, and other cuts
were imposed as follows: Office of the
President, K41 million; Union Governments Office, K20 million; Pyithu
Hluttaw Office, K66 million; and Amyotha Hluttaw Office, K51 million. The
Union Election Commission Office
had its budget for running expenses
cut by K551 million.
The defence allocation appears to
be unchanged from proposals submitted to the hluttaw on January 26 by
Defense Minister Lieutenant General
Wai Lwin. The minister requested a
K2.750 trillion budget, of which 51.5pc
was earmarked for salaries and allowances. Lt Gen Wai Lwin said 29pc
of the budget was earmarked for vehicles, warships, armoured cars and
heavy weapons.
While total military spending has
risen year on year since 2011, the militarys share of the budget fell from
23pc in 2011-2012 to only about 12pc in
2014-2015. The K2.75 trillion proposed
by the defence minister represents
about 13.2pc of the budget for 20152016. Translation by Thiri Min Htun

www.mmtimes.com

News editor: Thomas Kean | tdkean@gmail.com

Monk rejects preaching ban


Shwe Nya War Sayadaw says State Sangha Committee appointees lack the qualities necessary for good leadership

Aung
Kyaw
Min
aungkyawmin.mcm@gmail.com

SHWE Nya War Sayadaw, an outspoken monk who has challenged the
Buddhist establishment, says he intends to keep on preaching if called
upon by the people in defiance of
a ban imposed by his governmentappointed seniors.
The popular 50-year-old monk
called a press conference in Hmawbi
township yesterday to declare that
he would defend his right under the
constitution to speak freely without
damaging religion.
U Pinnyasiha, better known to
the people as Shwe Nya Wa Sayadaw, learned on March 25 that a
plenary meeting of the 47-member
State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee in February had decided to
impose a nationwide ban on his
preaching with no time limit for
allegedly speaking out of line with
Buddhist doctrine and not following
the instructions of his seniors.

The ruling followed a report by


Yangon Regions Sangha Committee
and allowed regional authorities to
take appropriate legal action against
him.
The State Sangha Maha Nayaka
Committee, known as Mahana, is a
government-appointed body of highranking Buddhist monks that regulates the Buddhist clergy.
When I called Yangon Regions
Department of Religious Affairs to
ask if the ban of Mahana is true, a responsible person for the department
confirmed it, Shwe Nya Wa Sayadaw
said. It will not be an effective attempt to stop my preaching. I will
preach according to the rights of
a citizen to express freely without
making any damage on the religion,
according to section 354(d) and 348
of the constitution.
Shwe Nya Wa Sayadaw has courted controversy before and has been
known for his criticism of the antiMuslim 969 movement, which is
backed by some nationalist Buddhist
monks. In 2013 he acted to calm
communal violence between Buddhists and Muslims that exploded
in the central city of Meiktila, and
has also spoken out in defence of

political prisoners. In 2011 he met


Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state,
and in 2012 he was evicted from his
monastery by the State Sangha committee, allegedly over a property
ownership dispute.
Speaking yesterday, he challenged
the authority of the Mahana appointees, saying they lacked the qualities
of a superior.
[These qualities are] patience,
alertness, industry, sound judgment,
mercy and vision. But [the Mahana
appointees] have none of them. If
you look at members of the Mahana,
they have no alertness and industry.
They never are patient. They cant
stand any criticism. If they cant
stand someones criticism, then dont
take part in an organisation related
with society, the sayadaw said.
He added that in the time when
Buddha was alive, he never allowed
anyone to rule over monks. And he
told his monks to apologise in public
if people pointed out their mistakes.
Monks did not need to ask for permits to preach.
He pointed out that the former
military government had enacted the
law creating the Sangha organisation,
calling it a law to control monks.

The monk said he would preach


in Thailand during the Thingyan
holidays because Myanmar migrant
workers had invited him.
I have no plan to confront the
Mahana. If they ask me to negotiate
I will accept, but I cant follow their
ban because I think that they dont
have the quality of a superior, he said.
An activist of the 88 Generation
known as Jimmy said the ban showed
that the country needed to do a lot to
reach national reconciliation. The
preaching made by the sayadaw never opposed the doctrines spoken by
the Buddha. His preaching may also
be about nationalism, such as about
General Aung San, the activist said.
Monks have the responsibility to
point out the weakness of a government if it is necessary to do so for the
interest of the country. I think the
government worries that the power
of the monks will grow so it controls
monks with new rules, Jimmy added.
Because of this, different groups
appeared between monks, and disagreement among them rose. The
future of Buddhism is in an anxious
situation because of the lack of national reconciliation in Myanmar.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

ANALYSIS

Military insists on its conditions for peace


Ei Ei Toe Lwin
name@myanmartimes.com.mm
THE draft nationwide ceasefire
agreement signed by the government
and representatives of 16 armed ethnic groups has been hailed in some
quarters as a historic achievement,
but controversial pre-conditions laid
down by the military could yet prove
a stumbling block in the search for a
lasting peace.
When President U Thein Seins
reformist and quasi-civilian government launched the peace process
four years ago, Senior General U Min
Aung Hlaing, the military commander-in-chief, laid down six principles
for peace that the ethnic armed
groups must follow.
The most controversial was a
demand that the ethnic parties and
their armed wings adhere to the
2008 constitution written by the
then-military junta, which preserves
key political roles for the Tatmadaw,
including an effective veto over future amendments.
The six principles are also seen as
a warning to the ethnic armed forces
not to seek loopholes in a ceasefire
agreement, as well as an attempt to
stop the collection of taxes and customs duties in the border areas they
control.
Bearing in mind that the draft
agreement must still be ratified by
leaders of the ethnic groups before
moving on to the next stage of political dialogue, the international communitys enthusiastic welcoming of
the March 31 signing after six decades of conflict has been tempered
by the knowledge that a lot of work
remains to be done.
Vijay Nambiar, UN special adviser, hailed the draft ceasefire agreement as a historic and significant
achievement while the US called it
a potentially historic step. Yesterday the European Union, which is
financing the peace talks, sounded
even more cautious, commenting,
We hope that this will prove to be
a milestone for the Myanmar peace
process.
Political analyst U Yan Myo Thein
said the key will be the willingness of
the military to negotiate.

The Tatmadaw displays its armour on Armed Forces Day in Nay Pyi Taw on March 27. Photo: AFP

I think the Tatmadaws six peace


principles would be main challenges
rather than barriers, he told The Myanmar Times. If theycant negotiate
an agreement on these points, the
peace process will stall. If the dispute
is to be resolved there must be some
give and take between them. But I
dont think the military sidehas the
will to negotiate.
The ethnic groups have consistently rejected the six principles, and
the peace process stalled last August
when Tatmadaw representatives at
the talks insisted on their adherence. The draft ceasefire agreement
did not shed clarity on how the issue
would be tackled.
Lieutenant General U Myint Soe
of the commander-in-chiefs office
said the Tatmadaw discussed the six
points in the latest round of talks
and would continue to do so once
the next stage of political dialogue
began.
Our Tatmadaw have already
declared that genuine peace will

happen if [ethnic armed forces] adhere to our six principles, said Lt


Gen U Myint Soe. These six principles we [Tatmadaw] hold firmly
forever, he told a March 31 news
conference at the Myanmar Peace
Center.
U Naing Han Thar, leader of the
ethnic groups Nationwide Ceasefire
Coordination Team (NCCT), said they
would never accept adherence to the
2008 constitution and the six Tatmadaw principles. They did not mention
detailed points of these principles [in
the text], so we dont need to say how
we dealt with it, he said.
On Armed Forces Day on March
27, Sen Gen Min Aung Hlaing reaffirmed the six peace principles.
I want to say that if [the armed
groups] have a true desire for peace,
theyll have to solemnly keep promises in agreement and utilise only
political means for the purpose of
solving political issues, he said.
Issues left on the table include
establishment of a union peace talks

committee, introduction of a federal


system, reorganisation of the military in line with federal principles,
a framework for political dialogue
and introduction of a military code
of conduct. The NCCT tried to get a
commitment to these points in the
draft ceasefire text but agreed in the
last round of talks to put off discussions until the next stage.
Many points were moved to be
discussed in the political dialogue,
said U Naing Han Thar.
Another outstanding issue is how
to stop fighting on the ground while
preparing for political dialogue.
Clashes have continued in the Kokang region between the Tatmadaw
and ethnic Chinese rebels who were
not represented at the ceasefire talks.
Negotiators for the NCCT and the
government issued a joint statement
saying they would cooperate to prevent further fighting. Lt Gen U Myint
Soe said the Tatmadaw would cooperate and that both sides should stop
blaming each other.

News 3

Politicians,
reporters
talk election
relations
Lun Min Mang
lunmin.lm@gmail.com
POLITICIANS and reporters are getting together to discuss their roles and
relationships as they begin to set their
sights on the November elections. In
the opening round of a two-day workshop yesterday, questions were raised
about journalists experience, partiality and coverage.
U Zayyar Hlaing, editor of Maw
Kun (Archive) magazine, who led a
panel discussion in the morning session, said the aim was to build a relationship between the parties and the
media.
The election is not only for big
parties, but also for small and ethnic
parties. Their voices should be heard
in media. We in the media need to
write about the parties even-handedly,
regardless of their size, he said, adding that only with unbiased and comprehensive information could voters
make well-informed decisions about
how to vote.
Genuine media were missing from
the scene for more than 50 years. We
need to discuss media literacy for political parties and for the people as a
whole. The dominance of big parties
in the media is also a big concern, he
said.
U Soe Myint, managing director
and editor-in-chief of Mizzima Media
Group, discussed the challenges faced
by the media and the parties. Election
experience is scanty among reporters
because we have no experience of free
and fair elections. Even in 1990, the
medias role was limited, he said.
Coverage by print media is limited,
and the domestic broadcasting sector
is controlled by the government. Our
concern is whether the state-run media will be free and fair in presenting
the profiles of candidates and parties.
One participant suggested that the
domestic media should cooperate in
setting up a media unit in every state
or regional capital to provide the widest range of electoral information.
U Zayyar Hlaing said the impartiality of reporters covering politics was
emerging as a big question in the workshop, as impartial news reporting was
the most difficult part of journalism.
Most reporters have political opinions, but these should not colour their
reporting, said U Soe Myint.
U Kyaw Win, a communications officer for the Yangon branch of the Karen Democratic Party, said the medias
representation of politics was not perfect yet. We have seen some progress,
but there are few reporters or newspapers media who write 100 percent impartially, he told The Myanmar Times.
U Yar Zar Soe, communications
officer for the Dawei Nationalities
Party, said most mainstream media
covered only the big parties. Small
and ethnic parties news is hardly to
be seen, he said.
Government guarantees of security
for reporters and the electoral process
were essential for the conduct of free
and fair elections, participants said.
We cannot rule out the possibility
of violence during the election. Recent
examples in Letpadan have shown that
reporters are still being threatened
while they are covering issues, said U
Soe Myint, referring to the brutal attack on student protesters, monks and
journalists by police on March 10.
The second day of the workshop,
today, includes officials from Union
Election Commission. The workshop,
arranged by the Danish Institute for
Parties and Democracy (DIPD) in collaboration with the Myanmar Press
Council (Interim), is being attended by
journalists, editors and communications officers from parties.

4 News
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THE MYANMAR TIMES April 2, 2015

Government funds search for fabled Residents in


Pale worried
Suvarnabhumi near Mawlamyine
over risk of
shock

Cherry Thein
t.cherry6@gmail.com
THE hunt for the lost kingdom of
gold is on. The government has
agreed to spend K80 million to unearth the remains of the ancient
realm of Suvarnabhumi from beneath Mon State if they find it.
Mon State Minister for Planning, Commerce and Culture U Min
Nwe Soe told The Myanmar Times
yesterday that his ministry had approved an excavation starting later
this month.
The kingdom covered a huge
area, but we will only focus on the
most prominent sites, like city walls
and gates, he said. We will select
sites that could prove whether Suvannabhumi was really located in
lower Myanmar or not.
The location of Suvarnabhumi
Land of Gold in Sanskrit has been
hotly disputed, with some claiming
it was in southern India and others
insisting on Thailand or elsewhere.
As to its antiquity, sources indicate
that it was considered ancient and
remote even in the classical era.
U Aung Myint of the Forestry Department used aerial photography
to pinpoint the locations of several
small towns around Mawlamyine.
Some archaeologists and historians
believe that what are now Thaton
and Bilin townships were the centres of the Suvarnabhumi kingdom,
where some relics have been found
that they say support the claim.
U San Win, a retired deputy director of the Department of Historical

A fingerprinted brick unearthed by locals near Bilin in 2012 is displayed at a


monastery before being sent to Mawlamyine for exhibition. Photo: Cherry Thein

Research, told The Myanmar Times


that it was critically important to locate traces of the kingdom by excavation, and then debate whether it is
Suvarnbhumi or not.
Archaeologists are free to judge.
I cant impose my views on others,
but we can work together to prove
claims through evidence, and the
mysterious story of Suvannabhumi
will be revealed, he said.
He said some artefacts proved
the existence of a connection with
the kingdom, but debate still rages

as to whether it could be placed


within the Pyu or the Mon eras.
Officials from the ministry and the
Department of Archaeology and Museums, as well as experts from Mon
State and Bago Region are conducting a field visit to the sites in Win Ka
near Thaton, Mon State, today.
The first official excavation near
Thaton and Bilin in January 2014
uncovered pottery, fingerprinted
bricks, beads and terracotta statues
of the Buddha, which are now exhibited in Mawlamyine.

RESIDENTS of Pale in Mingalardon


township, Yangon Region, are at risk
of electric shock from above as they go
about their business, their parliamentary representative complained to the
Amyotha Hluttaw on March 30.
MP U Nu told the hluttaw that
tangled electrical cables were being
held up by cracked and leaning utility poles, bamboo poles and even tree
branches. Despite three years of complaints, nothing had been done to rectify the situation, he said.
The top of the utility pole near the
transformer connected to the national
grid is spliced with a wooden rod. The
base of the pole is cracked and tilted,
and the power lines are all tangled up
because they connect not just with
houses near the pole, but also far from
the pole. The power lines are of different quality, he said.
Though the minister had sent instructions to the Yangon City Electricity
Supply Board to fix the problem back
in 2012, nothing was done, said U Nu.
Deputy Minister for Electrical Power U Aung Than Oo said the ministry
had requested the funds to clear tangled power lines, install a transformer
and make other improvements, but
budget restrictions had intervened.
Provision had been requested in the
budget for the current year to perform
the work, including the installation of a
new transformer and the clearance of
tangled power lines. Pyae Thet Phyo,
translation by Thiri Min Htun

Food and Drug Admin shuns


Consumer Protection Association
Shwe
Yee Saw
Myint
poepwintphyu2011@gmail.com

ON March 15, the Myanmar Consumers Union held a celebration


at Yangon City Hall to mark World
Consumer Rights Day. The event was
attended by senior Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) officials, who
lavished praise on the unions activities working for consumer rights.
The Consumer Protection Association (CPA), meanwhile, was forced
to cancel an event it had planned to
hold in Nay Pyi Taw to mark the day:
the ceremonial destruction of illegally imported foreign food products
found on sale in markets.
We tried to get permission to destroy unhealthy foreign foods in the
Nay Pyi Taw Council Area but we
did not get the green light from the
regional authorities, so we couldnt
hold this celebration, association
chair U Ba Oak Khaing told The Myanmar Times afterward.
The Myanmar Consumers Union (MCU) and the CPA were both
established around the same time,
but have adopted markedly different
approaches to tackling the myriad
consumer protection challenges Myanmar faces.
The CPA was formed in July 2012.
A non-government organisation officially registered through the Ministry
of Home Affairs, it has set up seven
branches across the country to monitor items for sale in each state and region. Its aim, U Ba Oak Khaing said,
is to complement government efforts
to tackle the production and sale of

unhealthy and dangerous foods in cooperation with the FDA.


But its cooperation has not always been welcomed by the FDA.
Throughout 2012 and 2013, the association regularly released information to the media about products it
believed were unsafe. Some of these
claims were refuted by the FDA,
while the association has accused
the FDA of failing to act on its evidence of unsafe food products being
sold.
Relations hit a nadir in December
2013 when the FDA accused the CPA
of misusing its authority. As The My-

We never attacked
the Food and Drug
Administration, but
they refused to lend
us their support.
U Ba Oak Khaing
Consumer Protection Association chair

anmar Times reported at the time,


the head of the FDA, director Dr Tun
Zaw, had asked the Ministry of Health
to take legal action against the association due to media reports in which
the association was quoted as saying
that the FDA had asked it to inspect
food vendors. The CPA said the reports were incorrect and no charges
were filed.
Now, it appears, the ministry has a
solution: work instead with the government-friendly Myanmar Consumers Union.

Unlike the CPA, the union has no


official registration. U Ba Oak Khaing said it was formed by former CPA
members.
They branched out and quit the
CPA two months after we set it up because we had differences of opinion,
he said.
MCU secretary U Maung Maung
said they formed the group in November 2012 with the encouragement of FDA chief Dr Tun Zaw and
the Ministry of Commerces director
of commerce and consumer affairs, U
Khine Zaw.
Many of the unions members are
former government officials, and its
activities are limited to training and
the promotion of consumer rights under the law, U Maung Maung said.
We are never against government
activities.
In a thinly veiled reference to the
CPA approach, he added, We will
never complain about unhealthy
foods without evidence and we will
try to resolve public complaints with
the government through negotiation.
Under MCU rules, the union must
be independent of party politics and
not be funded by commercial or trading corporations, he said, alluding to
the fact that the MCU is supported by
member fees, while the CPA gets its
funding from donors.
Dr Tun Zaw said he was appreciative of the MCU.
They always inform us of their
intentions and let us know what they
are doing. We never knew about the
CPAs activities, and they never worked
in cooperation with the FDA, he said.
U Ba Oak Khaing said the CPAs
work was encouraged by the Ministry
of Commerce but never enjoyed the
FDAs backing.
We never attacked the FDA, but

they refused to lend us their support.


Instead, they complained to the Ministry of Health and said we had to negotiate with the FDA before we reported
to the media about any unhealthy food
we discovered in the market, he said.
But Dr Tun Zaw denied these
allegations.
The complaint originated from
the Ministry of Health, he said.
Regardless, U Ba Oak Khaing said
the CPA has been unfairly accused
of issuing warnings about unhealthy
products without evidence from laboratory tests
In many cases we did run tests in
government laboratories, and in other cases we had eyewitness evidence
showing how these unhealthy foods
were produced, he said.
U Kyaw Lin Oo, an independent
political commentator and coordinator of the Myanmar People Forum
Working Group, said it was fairly
common for local NGOs to consist
of former government staff, as is the
case with the MCU.
This ensures good communication with government departments,
because department heads prefer
working with people they know instead of with strangers, he said.
President U Thein Sein has urged
all ministries to work in cooperation
with local civil society groups, but department heads often go with their
personal feelings when deciding who
to cooperate with. They dont like
groups that criticise the governments
work.
U Kyaw Lin Oo added, Some people in the CPA complained about the
FDAs work, which is why the FDA
started cooperating with the MCU.
The union does not criticise the FDA,
and most people are unaware of their
activities.

6 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 2, 2015

Pills, terrorism
concern water
festival police
Kyaw Ko Ko

Toe Wai Aung

POLICE are cracking down on sex,


drugs and terrorism in advance of this
years Thingyan festivities.
Revellers planning on a bacchus
may have to dampen their expectations
as police plan to seize what they call
sex arousal pills and will also be raiding guesthouses and hotels during the
celebration.
The authorities warn that unknown
side effects of the enhancement drugs
can lead to rape.
Other illegal drugs and liquor will
also be targeted in a series of measures to reduce crime over the Thingyan
period.
We conducted crime reduction education campaigns in each township and
ward from March 1 to March 22. But
we started seizing sex arousal pills last
year, said Yangon Regional Police Captain Thi Thi Myint.
Sex arousal pills were put on the
banned list because they are included in
National Medicine Act, he said, adding
that the pills were originally intended

for older couples, but can be misused.


People dissolve the pills in juice or
liquor and commit crimes. Underage
girls will be given the pills and raped
while not knowing what they are doing. Consumers and sellers dont know
about the side effects.
Police and health department officials will also check pharmacies to
prevent the sale of sex pills during the
festival.
During last years water festival, 15
people were killed and 198 injured in
connection with traffic and other offences. The Ministry of Home Affairs
also reported a surge in gambling,
weapons possession, prostitution, narcotics, pick-pocketing, theft and the sale
of uncensored videos.

We will...conduct
spot checks in hotels
and guesthouses to
see if terrorists are
staying there.
U Sein Tun
Mandalay district police

Partiers dance on a pandal during water festival celebrations. Photo: Phyo Wai Kyaw

To prevent illicit activities during


Thingyan in Mandalay this year, more
than 700 police will be deployed with
officers attached to each pandal, as well
as tourist attractions like the U Bein
Bridge, Kyaut Taw Gyi Pagoda, Mandalay Hill and Kandawgyi Park, where
Thingyan merrymakers take their rest
at noon.
U Sein Tun, chief of Mandalay
district police, said checkpoints will be

posted to enhance security against terrorist acts this year.


The checks at the border gates are
aimed at avoiding violent attacks during the festival. We will also conduct
spot checks in hotels and guesthouses
to see if terrorists are staying there, he
said.
During Thingyan in 2010, bomb explosions in Yangon killed five partiers
and injured hundreds more. A terrorist

opposed to the then-ruling military junta was blamed for the attacks which occurred at a pandal allegedly sponsored
by former Senior General Than Shwes
grandson.
In addition to the extra security
checks and raids, organisers will be instructed to fix security cameras on their
pandals which cannot be sponsored by
cigarette or alcohol companies. Translation by Khant Lin Oo and Zar Zar Soe

www.mmtimes.com

Views

News 7

TRADE MARK CAUTION


Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc., a Company incorporated
in Japan, of 7-1, Marunouchi 2-Chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan,
is the Owner of the following Trade Mark:-

Reg. No. 2086/2006


in respect of banking; financial affairs; monetary affairs.
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 Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.
P. O. Box 60, Yangon
E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm
Dated: 2nd April 2015

ASEAN foreign ministers demonstrate their signature handshake in Nay Pyi Taw on August 8, 2014. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

Creating unity easier said


than done for ASEAN

Roger
mitton

rogermitton@gmail.com

WRY smiles invariably break out


whenever someone recalls how the
female of the praying mantis insect
devours her male partner while they
are making love.
It is perhaps the strangest ritual
that could ever be expected to happen
when a couple is in the throes of an
amorous engagement, or indeed an
engagement of any sort.
Yet it is not unique, for the same
kind of perverse behaviour occurs
among members of the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations when they
seem to both embrace colleagues and
cut them down at the same time.
Consider the promise to set up the
ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
Among other things, the AEC will
involve a major reduction of tariffs
between member countries and the
integration of all 10 states into a single
market and production base.
Wow. It is not quite the regional
equivalent of the European Union
no common currency like the euro is
planned, for instance but it is a massive leap forward toward an eventual
United States of ASEAN.
And that must be applauded, for
it is a noble goal and arguably the
groups most ambitious venture since
it was created back in 1967.
However, given the disparity in
the levels of economic development
among member countries, it may be
a goal that is ahead of its time and
perhaps even a little rash.
For, as those tariffs come down, the
groups less-developed members like
Myanmar and Laos may well find that
they are not so much raised to the levels
of Malaysia and Singapore, but rather
devoured by them or, more precisely,
consumed and dominated by the praying mantises of the big-business conglomerates of their richer colleagues,
who are already taking controlling interests in a wide range of sectors.
As a consequence, there may be
less chance of a fairly rapid upliftment than of a descent to the travails

of places like Greece and Portugal in


the EU.
Given the way that many Greeks
seem to feel like a male mantis being
consumed by the loan bailouts and
fiscal lovemaking of Germany, that is
hardly a fate that would send Myanmar into raptures next year.
Then there is the political cannibalism in ASEAN, most recently shown
when feuding over territorial disputes
broke out, especially over conflicting
claims in the South China Sea, where
their main rival is China.
About half of the groups members
assert that these matters should be settled bilaterally between the disputing
claimants, while the other half think it
should be done by ASEAN negotiating
collectively with China.
The collectivists believe that individually they have no chance against
the Chinese giant, and that only if they
bond together as they plan to do economically in the AEC can they hope
to prevail territorially.

Given the way


that many Greeks
seem to feel like a
male mantis being
consumed by the
loan bailouts and
fiscal lovemaking of
Germany, a shared
economy is hardly
a fate that would
send Myanmar into
raptures next year.
But their tactical disunity over how
to deal with the issue is driving their
cause backward rather than forward
and handing the initiative to Beijing.
Just last week, for instance, Cambodias Prime Minister Hun Sen broke
ranks in typically blunt fashion and
openly endorsed Beijings view that
the South China Sea disputes cannot
be solved multilaterally.
Said Hun Sen, Ultimately, it is
not a matter for ASEAN as a whole.
It is a bilateral issue between the concerned countries, which need to talk

between themselves.
Well, yes, but unfortunately in
recent times they have not so much
talked between themselves as at themselves and done so heatedly while
maintaining intransigent positions.
That was most evident in 2012
when Cambodia, as chair, kowtowed
to Chinas wishes not to include a
reference to the South China Sea disputes in the groups final statement.
The Philippines and Vietnam, who
have the most extensive territorial
conflicts with China, refused to accept
that decision. As a result, for the first
time in its history, ASEAN did not issue a summit communiqu.
Cambodia was pilloried, although
tacitly backed by Myanmar, Thailand
and Laos, who have no South China
Sea disputes with Beijing and who
want to keep on good terms with their
major trading partner.
In fact, other ASEAN members,
when they have since taken the chair,
have done no better than Cambodia.
Said Hun Sen, After Cambodia,
Brunei took the chair and could not
find a solution. Myanmar failed as well.
Now I am waiting to see if Malaysia
will be able to solve the problem. It will
not. But they only blame Cambodia.
He need not worry: Soon the blame
game and the cannibalistic mauling of
supposedly loving comrades will focus
on Hanoi and Manila.
They have the broadest and most
intractable territorial disputes with
Beijing, and they are the ones who
continue to push most aggressively for
a more regional and multilateral solution to the problem.
Not only does that irritate the likes
of Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand,
but it also is not getting very far, despite some tepid support from Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei and from
the United States.
Washington is trying to cover both
bases: boosting defence ties with Hanoi and Manila to try to curb Beijings
expansionism in the region, while also
asserting that it does not take sides in
any of the territorial disputes.
It is hard to tell whether that helps,
but what is clear is that if ASEAN
members cannot agree on a strategy
to tackle the sovereignty issue, then
the goal of achieving a single market
in a years time seems a pipe dream.
Indeed, judging from the way they
are performing, it appears they will
continue to do the mantis love dance
and profess undying love for each other, while at the same time devouring
each others interests.

TRADE MARK CAUTION


NAKANISHI INC., a company incorporated in Japan, of 700,
Shimohinata, Kanuma-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan, is the Owner of
the following Trade Mark:-

Reg. No. 2584/2012


in respect of Intl Class 10: Surgical, medical, dental and
veterinary apparatus and instruments, artificial limbs, eyes and
teeth; orthopedic articles; suture materials.
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 NAKANISHI INC.
P. O. Box 60, Yangon
E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm
Dated: 2nd April 2015

TRADE MARK CAUTION


Religious Technology Center, a non-profit corporation organized
and existing under the laws of the State of California, USA, and
located at 1710 Ivar Avenue, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., is
the Owner of the following Trade Marks:-

Reg. No. 1786/1992

Reg. No. 1789/1992

DIANETICS

HUBBARD

Reg. No. 1790/1992

Reg. No. 1792/1992

SCIENTOLOGY
Reg. No. 1793/1992

Reg. No. 1795/1992

in respect of educational, teaching and philosophical services.


Fraudulent imitation or unauthorised use of the said Trade Marks
will be dealt with according to law.
Win Mu Tin, M.A., H.G.P., D.B.L
for Religious Technology Center
P. O. Box 60, Yangon
E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm
Dated: 2nd April 2015

8 THE MYANMAR TIMES April 2, 2015

Business
Five PSCs signed this week
as process nears its end
aung
shin
koshumgtha@gmail.com

FIVE more Production Sharing


Contracts have been signed so far
this week between Myanma Oil
and Gas Enterprise and international companies.
The Production Sharing Contracts must be signed before exploration and production at Myanmar onshore and offshore energy
blocks can begin, after a number
of blocks were auctioned off in
2013.
The agreements had been repeatedly delayed for the offshore
blocks until December, when the
international companies and Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise began to sign them.
The signing ceremony for
shallow water block M-15 was
held in March 30 in Nay Pyi Taw,
with Australias Transcontinental
Group and Canadian Foresight
Group taking over control of the
block. Italian firm Eni and Reliance Industries from India signed
contracts for two deepwater blocks
MD-2 and MD-4 and shallow water blocks M-17 and M-18 the following day.
The M-15 block won by Transcontinental Group and Canadian
Foresight was among the most

A pandal arises in front of


Yangon City Hall.
Photo: Zarni Phyo

sought-after in the 2013 bidding


round due partially to its proximity to other successful sites.
Canadian Foresight will take an
80pc interest in M-15, while Transcontinental and its local partner
Century will take 10pc each. Century is a subsidiary of Kaung Myanmar Aung Group of Companies,
which is a well-known local business conglomerate.

Today we became
one of the largest
operators in
exploration
activities in
Myanmar.
Claudio Descalzi
Eni

The M-15 block is located in the


Andaman Sea, covering an area of
13,480 square kilometres, close to
the Yetagun gas field. The operators are likely to start their seismic
searches soon.
An official from the Ministry
of Energy said the operators will
invest US$125.25 million in a oneyear study and six-year exploration period.

And there is a $5.1 million


signature bonus and another
$350,000 data fee for M015 which
will be received once they begin
exploration, he said.
Other international companies
signing its Production Sharing
Contract this week have also committed to significant multi-million
dollar investments.
Italian state-owned Eni and
partner Petrovietnam are to invest $402.25 million in deepwater
blocks MD-2 and MD-4.
Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise
will receive a $25.4 million signature bonus and $1 million data fee
for block MD-4.
Eni is the operator of both
MD-2 and MD-4 with a 80pc stake,
and the rest of the share going
to Petrovietnam. In deepwater
blocks, the international companies are not required to have local
partners.
MD-2 is located in Rakhine offshore covering 10,330 sq km and
MD-4 is in Moattma offshore covering 5900 sq km.
Today we became one of the
largest operators in exploration
activities in Myanmar, taking a
further step in our organic growth
strategy in Southeast Asia, where
we are already in China, Vietnam
and Indonesia, said Eni chief executive officer Claudio Descalzi in
a statement.
The Italian company has already signed two Production Sharing Contracts for onshore blocks

last year, won during a separate


2013 onshore bidding round.
Separately, Indias Reliance Industries signed its contracts for
offshore blocks M-17 and M-18 on
March 31. The firm will hold 96pc
of the blocks with the rest taken
by local partner United National
Resources Development Services.
The two shallow water blocks
are located in Tanintharyi offshore area, covering a total area
of 27,600 sq km, according to the
companys press release.
Reliance will invest $189 million over seven years, besides paying $17 million for a signature bonus and $1 million data fee for the
two blocks, said the Ministry of
Energy official.
Signings for the offshore Production Sharing Contracts have
been ongoing between Myanma
Oil and Gas Enterprise and international companies since December 2014, though the process has
taken longer than many observers
initially expected.
The last two contracts left to
sign are with Australias ROC Oil
and Tap Oil for block M-7, and a
contract with Norways Statoil and
US-based ConocoPhillips for AD-10.
Government officials said previously they hope to have all the
contracts signed by the start of
Thingyan.
The next step in most cases is
for the energy firms to begin their
Environmental and Social Impact
Assessments.

Visa opens
up office
to promote
services
aye thidar kyaw
ayethidarkyaw@gmail.com
VISA Payment Technology company
has opened a Yangon office to extend
their network with more services
with their partner domestic banks,
country manager Hiro Taylor told a
press briefing yesterday.
The company plans to operate online payments for e-commerce with
their partner banks alongside their
Auto Teller Machines and other electronic payment means, he said.
A channel we are trying to grow
is e-commerce, which would enable
cardholders to buy air tickets or
book hotel rooms online, he said.
The company came to Myanmar
in mid-2012 and is now working with
eight domestic banks providing five
pre-paid programs, with 1800 merchants and 1150 ATMs. Transaction
volume has increased to US$160 million, especially from foreign tourists,
since the company arrived here, the
fastest progress worldwide, he said.
Weve spent a lot of time working with the banks, developing and
laying the foundations for a financial infrastructure over the past two
years. We think this growth is tremendous, he said.
Our big mission in Myanmar
is to transform reliance on physical currency to electronic card payments, he said, which would be faster, cheaper and easier for consumers
and companies.

Pandal ticket-sellers
take to Facebook to
reach young people
Aung Kyaw Nyunt
newsroom@mmtimes.com
IT was just a matter of time. Water festival enthusiasts seeking the best splash
for their kyat are now booking space on
pandals through Facebook.
This form of social media arrived
in 2011 and took off in 2012. This year,
you can find all the details you want to
know about the names, locations and
facilities of every pandal in town, as
well as ticket prices.
I used to find out what I needed to
know about Thingyan arrangements
in pamphlets and advertising boards.
Now I go to Facebook, thanks to our
countrys developing communications,
said Ko Min Min Hein.
Kaung Kaung, organiser of the Barrack pandal team, said the same phenomenon had pushed up his advertising rates.
Now we advertise through Facebook as well as the more traditional
channels. Facebook is the way to reach
young people. He said his page had received more than 4000 likes.
Shirts, IT products you name it,
its just going to get bigger as internet
connections continue to improve, said
enthusiast U Aung Kyaw Soe. Fellow

I used to find
out what I
needed to know
about Thingyan
arrangements
in pamphlets
and advertising
boards. Now I go to
Facebook.
Ko Min Min Hein
Thingyan enthusiast

user Ko Kyaw Soe Oo added, Pandal


organisers are announcing their stands
on Facebook because its the best method. Young people are familiar with it.
Takeover Controls and Out of Control are both using Facebook to tout
their pandals. Yangon City Development Committee has announced that
57 large pandals will host the water festival in Yangon.

Business editor: Jeremy Mullins | jeremymullins7@gmail.com

Ooredoo cuts prices,


denies the move is part
of a price war

Beijing to embark on
building its
infrastructure bank

Business 10

business 13

Exchange Rates (April 1 close)


Currency

Buying

Euro
Malaysia Ringitt
Singapore Dollar
Thai Baht
US Dollar

K1136
K281
K760
K32.5
K1080

Selling
K1141
K285
K765
K33
K1085

First legal wine imports to begin flowing


continued from news 1
As wine is a symbol at formal and
informal events, and while ASEAN
countries allow the products in officially, and its tough to get high-quality, locally produced wine. These are
the main reasons to lessen the restrictions, he said.
Importers must have company
registration, trading licences and an
official deal with the company from
which they are importing, said U Min
Min.
Imports must first apply for an import licence, then ink contracts with
foreign wine suppliers, before applying for licences from the Ministry of
Commerce General Administration
Department.
Hotels and duty-free shops enjoy
a loophole allowing them to import
wine. This has been kept going under
recommendation from the Ministry of
Hotels and Tourism, but supply from
the hotels and duty free shops is not
large enough to meet the growing
market demand.
U Min Min said the new requirements are aimed at making sure importers pay proper taxes as well as
preventing illegal trade.
A statement from business association UMFCCI on March 23 said wine
importers must make sure each bottle
has the proper label proving taxes are
paid, that the ingredients are listed
in English, that the wine is imported
only by air or sea, and the labels showing the country of origin.
The government is expected to set
up further policies on wine imports
and consumption such as only allow
certain qualities and limiting imported wines age, the statement said.

We can provide
an assortment of
items, as much as
customers want, for
imports, but I think
it will be a little
pricey because of the
taxes.
Daw Hla Hla Min
Mingalar Thiri Hotel

Locally produced wine has been the only offering on many local companies shelves, as imports were restricted. Photo: Zarni Phyo

The Ministry of Commerce has


not yet approved applications for importers, as the firms are still preparing their documents to begin legal
imports, according to ministry Trade
Promotion Department director U
Win Myint.
They need to have sufficient documents and registration for their official imports, he said.
Retailers yesterday said they welcomed the new policies.
The importing rules will not be
too difficult for importers or local retailers over the short term,
though the issue of tax labels may
be a problem, said U Aung Naing
Myint, executive officer from the

Myanmar Retailers Association.


The associations has heard feedback that it can be difficult to obtain
some tax labels from the Internal Revenue Department. The labels are affixed over the cap or top of a wine bottle, ideally so it must be broken when
the wine bottle is opened and cannot
be re-used.
The quantity of the labels must be
assured, he said.
If they cant get ensure a supply a
labels to the importers, importers will
not be able to distribute wine to the
market even though the wine has been
legally imported, he said.
While legally imported products
will obviously be more expensive than

unofficial imports, as official imports


are paying taxes and other fees, customers will be assured the products
they are purchasing are genuine, said
U Aung Naing Myint.
The Union Tax Law for the 2015-16
fiscal year has raised the commercial
tax on wine to 60pc from 50pc starting April 1.
Daw Hla Hla Min, general manager of Mingalar Thiri Hotel in Nay Pyi
Taw, said she welcomed the ministrys
move, adding it is a good sign for the
catering industry and customers, as
hotels currently face complaints from
customers if they are unable to produce supply.
We can provide an assortment

of items, as much as customers


want for official imports, but I think
it will be a little pricey because of
the taxes, she said.
City Mart, the countrys most
prominent supermarket chain, is preparing to follow the new regulations
for wine imports according to the
Ministry of Commerces announcement, marketing director Daw May
Zin Soe Htet said.
I dont know the reality of the difficulties in following the regulations as
this is still a very early stage, she said.
We are still preparing for the
licence requirements, and we have
not yet applied to officially begin
wine imports.

DICA extends consultations for investment law


Sandar
Lwin
sdlsandar@gmail.com

A GOVERNMENT body has extended


the period of public consultations on
the draft investment law until the
end of April following complaints
that the time allocated to consultation was too limited.
The Directorate of Investment
and Company Administration (DICA)
previously allowed 16 days for public
consultation after launching the process on March 10. The Directorate has

now extended the deadline to the end


of the current month.
We extended the deadline until
the end of April as people came and
urged us to spend more time on consultation, said Daw Tin Aye Han,
director of DICAs Investment Promotion Sector.
The plans is to combine into one
document the Myanmar Citizens
Investment Law, which governs investment by locals, and the Foreign
Investment Law, which governs investment by foreign entities. The
drafters hope the combination will
help remove incongruities between
the two laws, while also bringing
them up to date on ASEAN investment agreements.

The Foreign Investment Law was


passed in 2012 and the Myanmar Citizens Investment Law in 2013.
The new draft also received significant support from the International
Finance Corporation, including with
the actual drafting.
There are many new issues which
need to be discussed, like investment
protection, in the new draft, Daw Tin
Aye Han said.
Some critics of the process say
there has been low public awareness
and interest, while local media made
few reports on it, as information was
relatively hard to come by.
One official said that during the
period of public consultancy, the directorate held only one consultation

meeting with about 60 attendees,


many of whom were public servants
and foreigners, adding there were no
further activities on the agenda.
For the moment, we do not have
plans to do further activities for the
consultation. But we are accepting
and analysing comments, said Daw
Tin Aye Han.
Human Rights Watch previously
criticised the consultation process,
saying Myanmars government has
failed to engage in meaningful public
consultation on the law, which could
have a profound impact on human
rights in the country. It added consultations should be extended.
The organisations senior international financial institutions advocate

Jessica Evans said in the release that


the governments consultations had
come up short.
The new investment law will be a
legal cornerstone of Burmas efforts to
reengage with the global economy and
international investors, yet the governments public consultations have
been deeply inadequate, she said. If
not carefully crafted, the law could
make it difficult for the government
to pass regulations to protect human
rights and prevent environmental
harm. The updated draft version of
the law has several parts, covering the
Myanmar Investment Commission,
admission of investment, treatment of
investors, investment incentives, dispute prevention and resolution.

10 Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 2, 2015

Ooredoo lowers
calling costs but
denies price war
Catherine
Trautwein
newrooms@mmtimes.com.mm

FROM 12:01am yesterday, Ooredoo Myanmar began charging customers K20


a minute to make calls a price below
what has been the lowest price of K25
a minute.
The Qatari telcos new Red promotion, which public and community
relations senior manager Ma Thiri
Kyar Nyo called a New Years present,
rolled out yesterday.
With the campaign, Ooredoo Myanmar is K5 below Telenors price and K15
below stateowned telco MPTs Swe
Thahar plan. Telenor charges K25 and
Swe Thahar costs K35 per minute for
making calls respectively.
We think introducing Red, which
brings the lowest call price in the

A lady in red promotes the Red plan.


Photo: Supplied

market ... is very responsive to your


feedback, but its also extremely innovative, said Ooredoo Myanmar
CEO Ross Cormack at the April 1 press
conference. The move aims at taking
advantage of consumers sensitivity to
prices, though one of its rivals have
previously said they were keen to avoid
a price war.
At an early 2015 meeting of senior
officials from MPT, they said the firm
had misgivings on cutting prices too
deeply to compete, adding concerns
that if the firm enters a price war, it
would not be able to invest in expansion and new services.
However, Mr Cormack said Myanmar is decidedly not heading toward
a pricing war.
I think what weve been very proud
to say from the beginning is we respond to peoples needs. They like the
K20 price and were selling that at the
K500 base per month, but were letting
everybody try that for free, he said.
This is what people tell us they would
like. But the whole point is to create affordable services in an innovative way.
From April 2 until the end of this
month, customers can sign up for the
new Ooredoo prices without subscription costs. After 15 days, users that stick
with the plan will begin paying K500
for 30 days of reduced-rate calling.
Those that sign up starting in May will
pay K500 upfront.
To sign up for the promotion, users
can send Red to 5555.
Ooredoo Myanmar announced
the new deal at a press conference at
Kandawgyi Palace Hotel in Yangon.
Branding at the event featured a bright
red parrot, a campaign mascot due to
its chattiness according to Ma Thiri
Kyar Nyo.
Mr Cormack said by the end of this
year Ooredoo Myanmar would cover
more than three quarters 75.5 percent
of Myanmars population.
Were building fast, he said.

IN PICTUREs

Photo: AFP

Freshly cooked eggs sit receive a paint coat at a paint booth at


Schrall Eier egg factory in Diendorf-Wuermla, west of Vienna.
Schrall Eier, together with three other Austrian companies,
produce about 50 millions painted eggs for Easter.

Beijing

Former factory worker strikes rich


A FORMER factory worker who founded a company supplying Apple, Samsung and other technological giants
with touchscreen glass has become
Chinas richest woman, reports said,
with a fortune surpassing US$8 billion.
The wealth of Zhou Qunfei, chair
and president of Hunan-based Lens
Technology, soared after the firms debut on the Shenzhen stock exchange
last month, after which its shares
surged by their daily limit for 10 consecutive days.
She claimed the title on March 31,
Forbes reported.

Ms Zhou worked as a factory girl at


a different glass company before starting her own business in 2003.
Now 45, she owns an 89 percent
stake in the firm, which had more
than 80,000 employees and revenue
of $3.3 billion in 2013, according to
Bloomberg.
It put her wealth at $7.6 billion on
March 31 before the shares went up
another 10pc yesterday.
Lens
Technology
primarily
makes touch-sensitive glass covers
for mobile phones, computers and
cameras. According to the Hong

Kong-based South China Morning


Post, its covers are used in nearly
21pc of the worlds smartphones.
Chinas unprecedented economic
boom has turned it into the worlds
second-largest economy and raised
hundreds of millions out of poverty,
but has also created huge income
disparities and rampant corruption,
with only a relative few accruing vast
wealth.
The number of dollar billionaires
in mainland China passed 300 in 2013,
according to the Hurun Report, a luxury magazine publisher. AFP

Upgrades needed if Nay Pyi Taw is to


develop as a tourism destination
Kyaw
Phone
Kyaw
k.phonekyaw@gmail.com

THE Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has announced a number of


moves designed to promote Nay Pyi
Taw as a tourist destination, but industry insiders say there is a ways
to go before the capital attracting
many holidaymakers.
Initiatives are targeted at promoting the capital as a destination
for MICE Meetings, Incentives,
Conferences and Exhibitions as
well as a place to visit independently, a press statement said.
Nay Pyi Taw underwent a hotel
build in the lead-up to the citys
role as host of most large ASEAN
events last year. With with the rotating chair now moved on to Malaysia, some of the facilities are
now significantly underutilised.
Daw Khin Than Win, a director of the Tourism Promotion and
International Relationship Department, said the government wants to
make full use of the infrastructure
that has been developed in Nay Pyi

Taw, including its two convention


centres and multiple hotels.
We are planning excursions for
tour operators, and we hope they
will distribute knowledge and information about Nay Pyi Taw, she
said. The ministry is also planning
other promotional events and golf
tournaments to raise awareness of
the location.
Minister for Hotels and Tourism
U Htay Aung said in the announcement the city has its strong points.
There are two International
Convention Centres and [many]
hotel chains operating here. The
infrastructure is in place, such as
sufficient electric power, good internet access and communications,
no traffic congestion and attractive
MICE package rates, he said.
Tourists have so far overwhelming used Yangon as the main point
of entry by air. In 2013, Ministry of
Hotels and Tourism statistics show
817,699 arrivals at Yangon, about
80 times the 11,842 people entering
through Nay Pyi Taw.
Connections to the capital by air
have been lacking, though airlines
including Apex, FMI Air and Air
KBZ are working to increase connections to the city.
Air KBZ is planning to begin

Mandalay to Nay Pyi Taw flights.


International carriers have a
mixed record flying to the city, with
some ending connections to the
generally underused Naypyidaw
International Airport. Bangkok Airways currently flies between Thailands and Myanmars capitals five
times a week.
Some tourism professionals have
questioned the plan to promote
Nay Pyi Taw as a tourism hub.
Ma Kay Khine, owner of Caravan
Myanmar Travels and Tours, said
there are few tourism destinations
in the citys vicinity, adding those
that do exist such as the Naypyidaw
Safari Park and Water Fountain
Garden are not particularly exciting.
International audiences are not
interested in Nay Pyi Taw. Even the
locals arent interested now, she
said. But if they can make more attractive places like eco-trips to the
nearby forests and Ngalike dam,
tourists will be interested.
She added people like to attend
events, forums and seminars, but
they appreciate other facilities to
liven up their trips.
U Phyoe Wai Yar Zaw, chair of
Myanmar Marketing Committee
and Managing Director of All Asia

That said, traffic is not usually much of a concern in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: AFP

Exclusive Travel Company, said it


will take a partnership between
public and private enterprise to
building Nay Pyi Taw into a successful MICE destination.
Rome was not built in a day,
he said. We need to work harder if
we really want Nay Pyi Taw to be a
MICE destination.
While the hotels and convention centres are there, a number of

products need to be built, including


fine dining options, bars, and even
entertainment such as go-karts to
give business visitors a chance to
network and relax in off-hours.
Meeting facilities alone cannot
ensure a successful destination.
There is a need to create activities
for business people, he said.
Additional reporting
by Jeremy Mullins

International Business 11

www.mmtimes.com
Korean inflation
dips to lowest level
seen in 16 years
South Koreas inflation rate
dipped further in March to the
lowest level in nearly 16 years
as falling oil prices stoked
deflationary fears, state data
showed yesterday.
Consumer prices rose 0.4
percent in March from a year
earlier compared to Februarys 0.5pc, state-run Statistics
Korea said.
Both were the lowest rate
since July 1999 when inflation
stood at 0.3pc. Core inflation,
which excludes volatile oil and
food prices, also decreased
to 2.1pc, compared to 2.3pc in
February. An extended slump in
global oil prices has framed the
downward inflationary trend in
Asias fourth-largest economy,
where overall transport costs
were down nearly 10pc in
March from a year earlier.
South Korea imports all of
its energy needs from overseas.
Inflation has remained far
below the Seoul central banks
target of 2.5 to 3.5pc for nearly
three years.
Its descent below the
1.0pc mark last December has
fuelled concerns of Japanesestyle deflation.
The central Bank of Korea
last month announced a
surprise 25 basis-point cut
in the key interest rate in a
move to fend off deflation and
help boost sagging domestic
demand. AFP

Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia launches consumption


tax despite protest
MALAYSIA yesterday implemented
a 6 percent consumption tax aimed
at plugging a leaky tax-collection system and addressing a widening fiscal
deficit, but which has sparked opposition protests over the past year.
The government and economists say the Goods and Services
Tax (GST) will help address an inadequate revenue-collection system
under which income tax is currently
paid by only an estimated 11pc of
registered companies and 14.8pc of
employees.
But the GST has prompted demonstrations by opposition parties,
who say consumers were being left
with the bill for government mismanagement of the economy.
Prime Minister Najib Razak on
March 30 said the GST which does
not apply to staple food items such
as rice, sugar and cooking oil, as well
as some medicines would not overburden consumers.
At the same time, we will raise
the nations revenue, and this is for
the peoples good, he was quoted as
saying by Malaysian media.
The government says the GST will
raise an estimated 22 billion ringgit
(US$6 billion) in additional revenue
each year.
It hopes to trim its fiscal deficit to
3.2pc of GDP in 2015, compared to
3.5pc last year. An earlier 2015 target

Opponents say billions of dollars


are wasted by the government or go
missing each year and that deep reforms are needed before introducing
the sales tax.
In concert with the GST, corporate, business, and personal income
tax rates are to be slightly reduced.

There has been a


lot of unhappiness
from my customers
who want me
to absorb the 6
percent.
A notice announcing GST tax is displayed on the shelves of a supermarket in
Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Photo: AFP

of 3.0pc was scrapped in the wake of


the global oil price rout that set in
last year.
Malaysia is a net oil exporter, and
a 60pc drop in crude prices in the latter half of 2014 prompted the World
Bank in January to shave its 2015
GDP growth forecast for Malaysia to
4.7pc from an earlier 4.9pc.
The ringgit currency has also
plummeted on oil-linked concerns,
as well as investor fears for the stabil-

ity of a troubled government investment fund, 1Malaysia Development


Berhad (1MDB), which is mired in
$11 billion of debt.
Kenanga Research economist
Wan Suhaimi Saidi said the GST
would broaden the tax base.
But whether it would help to
reduce the deficit depends on many
other factors, especially on how the
government would tackle leakages,
he said.

Fabian Leo
Owner of a car rental company

Fabian Leo, who runs a Kuala


Lumpur car-rental company, said he
fears for his bottom line.
There has been a lot of unhappiness from my customers who want
me to absorb the 6pc, he said.
On the other hand, if I dont,
my existing clients may stop renting
from me. AFP

12 International Business
Athens

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 2, 2015

Tokyo

Complex Greek debt


talks could end by April
A DEAL on Greeces bailout is possible before the end of April, EU Council
President Donald Tusk said late March
31 as Athens continued tough talks
with its creditors on a disputed list of
reforms.
Mr Tusk said the negotiations were
complex, and while nothing was expected before Easter, a late April deadline agreed between Greece and its EUIMF creditors was still within reach.
I hope we will reach an agreement
by the end of April, for me it is possible, Mr Tusk said during a visit to
Madrid.
Experts from the International
Monetary Fund and the European Union are scrutinising a list of economic
reforms proposed by Athens in a bid
to unlock another 7.2 billion euros
(US$7.8 billion) in loans to stave off
possible bankruptcy and a euro exit.
Greece says the reforms would help
raise an extra 3 billion euros for government coffers without resorting to
wage and pension cuts.
The process of assessment of this
plan is very complex and I dont foresee any breakthrough before Easter,
Mr Tusk said.
Catholic Easter this year falls on
Sunday, April 5. Orthodox Easter, traditionally a slow period in Greece, is a
week later.
Greeces hard-left government has
already been sharply pressed to meet
its monthly payments in salaries, pensions and debt servicing without the
bailout funds.
But Mr Tusk on March 31 claimed
that Athens could hold its own for the
time being.
I think that today we can say that
the [economic] situation in Greece is
under control, he said.
The head of the European Central
Banks supervisory board, Daniele
Nouy, said the solvency of Greek banks
had been improved in recent years
but that the political uncertainty had
overshadowed this progress.
It is important that solutions are

found fast to decrease the uncertainty, Ms Nouy said in Brussels.


Athens has proposed to levy higher
taxes on the rich, as well as measures
to tackle tax evasion and illegal fuel
and cigarette smuggling.
But its creditors are still pushing
for pension cuts and civil service layoffs, as well as a number of key privatisations that the government in January said it would block.
EU economic affairs commissioner
Pierre Moscovici called for a balanced deal that addresses Greeces
economic difficulties but also its
pledges to creditors.
We all want Greece to stay in the
eurozone, Mr Moscovici said during a
visit to Lisbon.
To stay in the eurozone under
positive conditions, it is important
for Greece to put in place a certain
number of reforms conforming to the
pledges made to its peers, he said.
Brussels and Athens on March 31
said enough palpable progress had
been made for senior eurozone finance ministry officials to take stock
of the situation in a conference call
yesterday.
The euro working group on [April
1] will take stock of the current situation. I think the talks between the
Greek government and institutions
will continue after the call, a eurozone source said.
Greeces Deputy Finance Minister
Dimitris Mardas said earlier that Athens was hoping for a deal this week.
We are heading towards an agreement with our partners tomorrow or
the day after [April 3], Mr Mardas
told Greek television channel Skai.
In April, Athens needs to roll over
2.4 billion euros in short-term debt
and repay another 820 million euros, including 460 million euros to
the IMF. A defiant Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told lawmakers
late on March 30 he wanted a deal
but would not submit to creditors
unconditionally. AFP

Workers staff an assembly line of the Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation Kawasaki plant in Kawasaki,
suburban Tokyo. Photo: AFP

Japan businesses
doubt recovery success
DOUBTS about a rebound in Japans
economy are rippling through boardrooms across the country, a key central bank survey suggested yesterday,
as efforts to revive growth falter.
The Bank of Japans closely
watched Tankan report showed confidence among big manufacturers
stood at plus 12 in March, flat from
the previous survey and missing expectations that the level would come
in at 14.
While sentiment among nonmanufacturers was more upbeat,
they pared profit expectations while
Japans increasingly pessimistic corporate titans trim their spending
plans.
The survey of more than 10,000
companies which shows the difference between the percentage of
firms that are optimistic and those
that see conditions as unfavourable
is the most comprehensive indicator of how Japan Inc. is faring.
Tokyos benchmark Nikkei 225
index fell 0.89 percent during morning trade as investors reacted to the
downbeat report.
A weak yen and lower oil prices
has provided some support [to the
economy] but the Tankan showed
that firms, particularly manufacturers, are now acutely aware that overseas demand is softening, SMBC
Nikko Securities said in a report.
The tepid survey comes days
after separate data showed output
from Japanese factories shrank
by a worse-than-expected 3.4pc in

February, while inflation stalled as


a key measure of prices was flat for
the first time in nearly two years.
Japanese companies arent convinced the economy is going to get
stronger, said Atsushi Takeda, an
economist at Itochu Corp.
Without an improvement in
business confidence, its hard to
imagine Japan will achieve a fullfledged recovery.
The gloomy data highlight the
challenges facing Prime Minister
Shinzo Abes two-year-old bid to
conquer deflation and revive the
long-sluggish economy, dubbed Abenomics and they stand in stark
contrast to Tokyos relatively rosy assessment of Japans prospects.
While a weak yen has lifted profits among Japanese exporters, it also
jacks up companies import costs
and analysts have warned that the
benefits of a cheap currency were
fading as firms get set to report their
quarterly results later this month.
A stall in forex rates and a bottoming out of oil prices would slam
the brakes on firms profit momentum, the SMBC Nikko report said.
Abenomics could face its moment of truth in the second half of
this year.
Mr Abes three-pronged plan consists of big government spending, a
massive Bank of Japan (BoJ) monetary easing scheme, and a pledge
to overhaul the highly regulated
economy. While the scheme initially
helped weaken the yen and stoked a

stock market rally, it ran into trouble last year when Tokyo raised sales
taxes to pay down Japans enormous
national debt one of the heaviest
burdens among wealthy nations.
Consumer spending dived after
millions splashed out their yen on
big-ticket items such as cars and appliances before the rise, pushing the
economy into contraction.
Japan limped back with a 0.4pc
expansion in the last quarter of 2014,
but the tepid data since and yesterdays Tankin report are expected to
push the BoJ into unleashing more
stimulus later this year.
The BoJ could have been comfortable taking no action for a while
had these numbers shown clear
improvement. But now theyll have
to check more data to gauge the
strength of the economy, said Hideo
Kumano, an economist at Dai-ichi
Life Research Institute.
As doubts grow about his battle
to revive Japans economy, Abe has
called on firms to reach into their
enormous cash piles to lift wages, a
move he hopes will stimulate spending and drive prices higher.
While Japans economy remains
sluggish, the Tankan report offered
modest signs for a pick up, said Marcel Thieliant at Capital Economics.
Respondents are reporting capacity shortages, he said in a commentary.
This suggests that they will
start to ramp up capital expenditure
soon. AFP and Bloomberg

Tokyo

Amazon begins selling electric cars

IN PICTUREs A worker watches a production line of


a new Coca-Cola plant in Cikedokan,
Bekasi-West Java. Photo: AFP

FIRST it was books, then household products; now you can buy
an electric car from online shopping giant Amazon.
The Japanese unit of German
auto giant BMW started selling
its i3 electric models on Amazon.
co.jp yesterday.
The high-end automakers
small electric vehicle has been
popular in European and North
American markets, but BMW Japan wants to find more customers through the online retailer, a
spokesperson said in Tokyo.

We have 46 dealers [which sell


the electric model] in Japan, but
we hope this e-selling will cover
the entire market more thoroughly, the spokesperson said.
This will widen the sales
channel and improve convenience
for customers, he said.
So many people are using the
website. We would like to research
potential customer groups who
may be interested in our products.
Two i3 models are available
on Amazon.co.jp, a regular BMW
i3 with a range of 229 kilometres

(142 miles) and i3 Range Extender


that runs up to 300km on one battery charge, the company said.
Customers accustomed to completing their purchases in one click
might, however, be disappointed.
After loading the car into their
virtual shopping cart, potential
buyers will have to wait for a
phone call from BMW representatives requesting documents proving they have a parking space and
a place to charge the vehicle they
are purchasing.
AFP

International Business 13

www.mmtimes.com
WASHINGTON

Building Beijings bank a daunting task


CHINA scored a diplomatic coup by
enticing almost 50 countries including
key US allies to join its new development bank, but analysts say authoritarian Beijing now faces a daunting task
managing a multilateral institution for
the first time, with members ranging
from the Netherlands to Nepal.
By March 31s deadline to seek
founding membership of the US$50
billion Asian Infrastructure Investment
Bank (AIIB) a total of 48 countries and
Taiwan had applied, the finance ministry and governments said.
They include four of the five permanent members of the United Nations
Security Council, 16 out of 34 members
of the Organisation for Economic CoOperation and Development (OECD)
and all 10 members of the Association
of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Conspicuous by their absence are
the United States and Japan.
China already has leading roles in
the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation that links it with Russia and Central Asian countries, and the BRICS
group of emerging economies which
also comprises Brazil, Russia, India and
South Africa.
But the AIIB is on a whole different level, said Christopher Balding,
of Peking Universitys HSBC Business
School.
This is a lot more money. This is
countries that have a lot more influence
and expect to be taken a lot more seriously.
The signatories include countries
closely tied to China such as Kazakhstan and Myanmar but also some of

Washingtons biggest allies Germany,


Britain, France, Italy and Australia.
With democratic and market systems they will have strong views on issues such as the environment, human
rights, corruption and efficient lending.
China has basked in the enthusiastic
acceptances of its invitations despite US
opposition, but the victory could end up
a case of be careful of what you wish
for, Mr Balding added.

The more countries


like this that you
bring on board the
tougher its going to
be for you to control.
Christopher Balding
Peking University

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank


49 countries and Taiwan have applied to join the China-backed multinational lender
G8 member

OECD member

Australia
Austria
Bangladesh
Brazil
Britain
Brunei
Cambodia
China
Denmark
Egypt
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Israel
Italy
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Luxembourg

UN Security Council
permanent members

Established:
October 2014

Asean member

Initial capital:
$50 billion

BRICS

Malaysia
Maldives
Mongolia
Myanmar
Nepal
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Oman
Pakistan
Philippines
Qatar
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
South Korea
Sri Lanka
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Tajikistan
Thailand
Turkey
Uzbekistan
Vietnam

Source : AIIB/China Finance Ministry/Governments

The more countries like this that


you bring on board the tougher its going to be for you to control and the more
input those people are very reasonably
going to expect to have, he said.
Reports said a key part of Beijings
appeal was a willingness to give up veto
power over the banks decisions which
it said it was not seeking.
ANZ economists said the AIIB could
offer a new approach for Asias infrastructure financing, with more transparent and well-developed practice and

policies from advanced economies.


But there are enduring concerns
over the openness of a bank helmed
by China which is led by an authoritarian Communist Party embroiled in
endemic corruption and whether Beijing will want to use it to push its own
geopolitical and economic interests as a
rising great power.
Asia will need vast transport, power
and telecommunications networks in
coming decades, costing far more than
existing multilateral lenders such as the
US-led World Bank and the Japan-led
Asian Development Bank (ADB) are

considered able to deliver.


An ADB study once estimated infrastructure spending demand at $8 trillion between 2010 and 2020.
Under President Xi Jinping China,
the worlds second-largest economy,
is pushing to build on the ancient Silk
Road trade routes on land and sea, a
One Belt, One Road initiative expected to be part-funded by the AIIB.
Beijing is clearly pursuing economic statecraft in a big way, centring its
foreign policy on the strategy of what
Ive called talk softer and carry a large
purse, said Damien Ma, a fellow at The

Paulson Institute in Washington.


The approach is built around a
grandiose vision of recreating the old
Silk Road trading routes to further integrate Eurasia economically, he said
in an email.
All the newly formed entities, AIIB,
Silk Road Fund, BRICS Bank etc, should
be viewed as vehicles that will support
this ambitious endeavour in one form
or another.
China insists it has no ulterior or
selfish motives. The AIIB is a mutually
beneficial initiative and is a beneficial
complement to the existing international economic order, vice finance
minister Shi Yaobin said in a statement, promising it will be built in an
open, transparent and highly-efficient
manner.
The AIIB could erode the role of the
World Bank and the US and Japan have
so far refused to apply, with Tokyos
chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga
saying it remains dubious about governance.
US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew in
Beijing said Washington was still concerned over standards, adding, The initial decisions of what kinds of projects
are invested in will obviously be a very
important signal as to how it will proceed. Given Chinas experience so far,
such caution may be warranted.
Ultimately, some say that Beijing
recognises the need for a strong Western contribution. Rajiv Biswas, AsiaPacific chief economist at IHS, said,
China would be happy to see this input, because they really want the AIIB
to be successful. AFP

14 THE MYANMAR TIMES April 2, 2015

World

World editor: Fiona MacGregor

JAKARTA

Bali Nine execution


ruling due next week
AN Indonsian court will rule on
April 6 on the appeals of two Australian drug smugglers facing execution, a judge said yesterday, as
their lawyers insisted they had done
their best to save the men.
Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the ringleaders of the socalled Bali Nine trafficking gang,
were sentenced to death in 2006
for trying to smuggle heroin out of
Indonesia.
They recently had pleas for
clemency, typically a last chance to
avoid the firing squad, rejected by
Indonesian President Joko Widodo,
who has taken a hard line against
traffickers.

Everyone has
been given ample
opportunity to
present their
evidence and also
their conclusions.
Ujang Abdullah
Presiding judge

The men have mounted several


legal bids to avoid the firing squad,
and in the latest their lawyers challenged Mr Widodos decision to reject their mercy pleas, arguing that
he failed to assess their rehabilitation or give reasons for his decision.
The Jakarta State Administrative
Court rejected that bid in February,
saying it had no authority to rule

on the matter as granting clemency


was the presidents prerogative. The
mens legal team is now appealing
that decision.
Wrapping up arguments in favour of the Australians yesterday,
lawyer Leonard Aritonang called on
the judges to dismiss the initial verdict as the court did have the right
to rule on clemency.
We ask for the most just decision, he told the court.
However, government lawyer
Rusdi Hadi Teguh insisted that the
courts initial decision to dismiss
the case should stand.
Following the hearing, Mr Aritonang told reporters that he did not
want to predict what decision the
court would make, but said he was
optimistic.
We did our best, he said.
After hearing the final arguments, presiding judge Ujang Abdullah said verdicts on the appeals
would be handed down on April 6.
Everyone has been given ample
opportunity to present their evidence and also their conclusions,
he said, adding that the judges
would study the arguments and evidence before coming to a decision.
A court outside Jakarta was also
due to hear the appeal of a French
death row convict, Serge Atlaoui,
later yesterday.
The Australians and the Frenchman are among a group of foreign
convicts who recently lost their appeals for clemency and are expected
to be put to death soon, despite
mounting international pressure on
Jakarta to halt the executions.
Jakarta has not set a date for the
executions, with authorities waiting for the outcome of several legal
appeals. AFP

BANGKOK

IN PICTUREs
Photo: AFP

Meteorologists from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical an


monitor and plot the direction of super typhoon Maysak at PAGA
The typhoon has already ravaged the Pacific islands and is expec
weather forecasters are hoping it will weaken before it slams int
frequently battered by typhoons.

BANGKOK

Rights groups slam


25-year lese majeste
sentence for FB post

Prayut aims to lift martia


warn the military will ret

RIGHTS groups yesterday lambasted a Thai military court for jailing a


businessman for 25 years for making
allegedly defamatory Facebook posts
about the monarchy, one of the toughest known sentences for lese majeste.
The sentencing of 58-year-old Theinsutham Suthijittaseranee comes as
concerns mount over a bid by the nations junta leader to replace martial
law that has blanketed the kingdom
for months with new security measures retaining sweeping powers for
the military.
Mr Theinsutham was sentenced on
March 31 to 10 years for each of five
counts of posting messages on the social networking website deemed to be
defamatory to the Thai royal family,
his lawyer said.
The sentence was halved as the
defendant pleaded guilty, but it is still
among the toughest sentences yet for
insulting the monarchy.
The 25-year sentence is one of
the harshest we are aware of. It is
particularly problematic given that it
was issued by a military tribunal, Sam

THAILANDS junta chief is seeking to lift martial law, but only after replacing it with a new order
retaining sweeping powers for the
military.
Critics said the move would
deepen dictatorship in the Kingdom.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-OCha said he had asked the ailing
87-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej for permission to lift the controversial law, which would then
be replaced with special security
measures.
The former army chief imposed
martial law and seized power last
May following the ousting of Yingluck Shinawatras democratically
elected government after months of
often violent street protests.
It was the latest twist in a decade
of political conflict broadly pitting
a Bangkok-based middle class and
royalist elite backed by parts of
the military and judiciary against
pro-Shinawatra urban working-

Zarifi, regional director for legal rights


group the International Commission
of Jurists, said.
Given the defendants age, it
comes close to being a life sentence.
Amnesty International condemned
the conviction as preposterous and
called for an end to lese majeste prosecutions, which have surged since royalist generals toppled the remnants of
the elected government of Yingluck
Shinawatra in May last year.
Domestic and international media
routinely self-censor reporting of the
Thai monarchy, including royal defamation trials, lest they too fall foul of
the draconian law, which carries up to
15 years in jail for every count of insulting, defaming or threatening the
monarchy.
Critics of the law say it is used as a
weapon against the political enemies
of the royalist elite.
Freedom of expression and dissent
have been smothered by martial law
imposed by the Thai junta since last
Mays coup.
AFP

class voters and farmers from the


countrys north.
Speaking to reporters on March
31, Gen Prayut said a new order to
replace martial law would be issued very soon.
Junta officials said the measures,
which have yet to be fully defined,
would create a better atmosphere
in the kingdom, where dissent has
been strongly suppressed since the
military takeover.
But human rights groups expressed alarm that an executive order could allow Gen Prayut to wield
even greater powers.
Major General Sunsern Kaewkumnerd, a junta spokesperson,
told reporters Gen Prayut felt the
decision was necessary because
foreign countries were concerned
over our use of martial law.
Some businesses and tour operators have also called for the controversial law to be lifted.
A spokesperson for the US embassy in Bangkok said they would

welcome the lifting of martial law if


it led to the full restoration of civil
liberties.
Under the law the army has been
able to prosecute those accused of
national security and royal defamation offences in military courts with
no right of appeal.
The media, meanwhile, has been
muzzled while political gatherings of more than five people are
banned.
In his first public comments on
what might replace martial law, Mr
Prayut clearly indicated that the
military would retain significant
powers.
The former army chief said he
would use Article 44 of the juntas
interim constitution to issue a new
order protecting Thailands security.
The article grants Mr Prayut
power to make executive orders
on national security issues without
having to go through the militarystacked parliament.
Mr Prayut said military courts

15

Goodluck Jonathan
bows out as Nigeria
elects new president

Leprosy on the
rise again in
India

World 17

World 19

KUALA LUMPUR

King refuses Anwar royal pardon


MALAYSIAS king has rejected a royal
pardon request for opposition leader
Anwar Ibrahim, who is currently serving five years in jail for sodomy, local
media reported yesterday.
Mr Anwar was convicted last year of
sodomising a former male aide, which
he denies, calling the case a political
conspiracy by Malaysias long-ruling
government to destroy his political
career.
The decision was upheld on February 10 by the nations highest court,
causing his family to apply in late February for a rare royal pardon from the
countrys figurehead Islamic monarch.
But The Star newspaper and staterun Bernama news agency both quoted

a senior judicial official as saying the


request had been rejected by the king,
Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah.
The [king] had on March 16 at the
Pardons Board meeting rejected the
application by Mr Anwars family, The
Star said, quoting Senior Federal Counsel Amarjeet Singh.
However, Mr Anwars lawyers said
that neither they nor the opposition
leaders family had been informed of
the rejection.
Our position is that it has not been
rejected, because there has not been
any communication about the rejection from the palace, said N Surendran, one of Mr Anwars lawyers and
an opposition lawmaker.

It was not immediately clear why


the decision had not been publicly announced.
The Star said the ruling meant that
Mr Anwar, as expected, would officially
lose his parliamentary seat.
The case is the second disputed sodomy conviction for Mr Anwar, and has
been criticised by the United States,
which said it raised questions over
the rule of law, as well as other countries and international human rights
groups.
Mr Anwar helped transform Malaysias previously divided opposition into
a formidable alliance that has pushed
the countrys 58-year-old regime to the
brink of electoral defeat. AFP

HAGATNA

Typhoon claims lives in Micronesia

nd Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA)


ASA headquarters in suburban Manila on April 1.
cted to hit the Philippines this weekend. Government
to the northern part of the archipelago which is already

al law, but critics


tain its powers
would still be used for security offences but convictions could now
be appealed to higher tribunals.
Security forces would continue
to be able to make arrests without
a court warrant, he added.
Gen Prayut did not say, however, whether cases under Thailands
royal defamation law one of the
worlds strictest would continue
to be prosecuted through military
courts, or whether the current ban
on political gatherings would be
lifted.
A joint statement signed by
Thai Lawyers for Human Rights
and seven other rights groups
warned that using section 44
would grant Gen Prayut absolute
powers ... over the legislative, the
administrative and the judiciary.
The world wont be fooled.
This is a deepening of dictatorship, added Sunai Phasuk of Human Rights Watch.
But
Puangthong
Pawakapan, a Thai politics expert at

Chulalongkorn University, said


lifting martial law might alleviate
military excesses in the rural north
where support for the Shinawatras
is strongest.
These abuses in the provinces,
hopefully, should be lessened once
the law is lifted, she said.
Gen Prayut has vowed to return
power to an elected civilian government, but only once reforms
to tackle corruption and curb the
power of political parties are codified in a new constitution.
Critics say those reforms are
aimed at neutering the power of
Ms Yingluck and her brother, ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, ensuring that they and parties linked to them can never take
office again.
Rights groups say basic freedoms have been severely eroded
since the military took over and
lese majeste legislation has been
increasingly used to stifle political
opposition. AFP

AN emergency was declared in the Micronesian state of Chuuk yesterday as


Super Typhoon Maysak cut a destructive path across the central Pacific
leaving at least five people dead and
wreaking extensive damage.
Crops were ruined and water supplies contaminated, with fears people
faced starvation if they did not get
aid soon, after the violent storm took
three days to cross the vast Federated
States of Micronesia (FSM).
Governor Johnson Elimo declared
a state of emergency [in Chuuk] due to
damage by Typhoon Maysak, including five deaths, FSM President Manny
Mori said in a statement, indicating
foreign aid would be needed to support relief efforts.
He did not specify where the deaths
occurred, but earlier reports said five
people were killed on Chuuk.
There was extensive damage to
schools, health facilities, public utilities, private residences, and the sinking of several fishing, passenger and
dive ships, he said.
An emergency task force has been

set up to look at all sources of funding such as potential foreign partners


and donors to get the relief operation
under way.
Maysak, with sustained winds of
260 kilometres (160 miles) per hour,
slammed into Chuuk on the night of
March 31 and crossed the vast archipelago of 607 islands before battering
the Yap group of islands yesterday
before heading out to sea toward the
Philippines.
At the University of Guam Telecommunication and Distance Education
Operation, associate director Manny
Hechanova made radio contact with
some of the islands and said most fruit
trees were destroyed.
The immediate need is food, water and clothing, he told the Pacific
Daily News in Guam.
These islands are on their own,
with limited food supplies. They may
have to wait for three to five days
and they may not be ready to wait
that long. Starvation is a real possibility.
As Maysak churned its way across

the FSM, Yap disaster coordination


officer Raymond Igechep told Radio
New Zealand that residents in the Ulithi and Fais islands have seen houses
blown off their platforms.
Although the eye of the storm
skirted Yap it was experienced powerful winds with debris flung through
the air.
I have a feeling that we wont get
up to ... 160 [mph] but a tin roof [is]
flying around outside, Mr Igechep
said.
Maysak is forecast to remain a super typhoon through to early Friday
morning, meteorologists in Guam,
1000 km away, said in a bulletin yesterday afternoon for FSM.
Seas will remain hazardous for another day or so. Do not attempt interisland travel over the next few days.
Maysak, which comes on the heels
of Cyclone Pam hitting the Pacific nation of Vanuatu over two weeks ago,
causing widespread damage and 11
deaths, was expected to weaken before it reached the Philippines at the
weekend. AFP

Super Typhoon Maysak

PHILIPPINES
MANILA

Forecast
track
April 1

April 3
April 2

SOUTH
CHINA SEA

600 km
Source: HKO

16 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 2, 2015

LAUSANNE

Russia, Iran claim nuclear breakthrough


RUSSIA and Irans foreign ministers
claimed a breakthrough in the early
hours of yesterday in talks on a framework deal curtailing Tehrans nuclear
program, but the US said not all issues
had been agreed yet, as discussions
were suspended for the night.
One can say with relative certainty that we at the minister level have
reached an agreement in principle on
all key aspects of the final settlement
of this issue, Russian media quoted
Sergei Lavrov as saying at talks in
Switzerland.
This came after Russias top diplomat and the foreign ministers of five
other major powers and Iran continued working through the night as they
missed a midnight deadline to agree
the main outlines of what they hope
will be an historic accord.
The powers hope a full agreement,
due to be finalised by June 30, will see
Iran scale back its nuclear capability
to prevent Tehran developing nuclear
weapons under the guise of its civilian
program.
The stakes are high, with fears that
failure to reach a deal may set the
United States and Israel on a road to
military action to thwart Irans nuclear drive, which Tehran says is purely
peaceful.
As talks resumed in the morning,
confusion remained about the exact
status of the negotiations.
The agreement in principle ... will
be put on paper in the coming hours
or perhaps within one day, Mr Lavrov said, quoted by Ria Novosti after a
lengthy day of talks in Lausanne.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he hoped to complete later yesterday the outlines of the
framework.
We have accomplished quite a bit,
but people needed to get some rest
and start over early in the morning. I
hope that we can finalise the work [before the end of the day], Mr Zarif said
yesterday.
A senior US official however said
there was not yet full agreement on key
points.
All issues have not been agreed, a
senior US official said.
US Secretary of State John Kerry
briefed President Barack Obama and
his national security team on the days
negotiations by secure video conference.
Mr Obama received an update on
the current status of the negotiations,
national security council spokesperson
Bernadette Meehan said, adding he
had thanked the team for their continuing effort.
A Western diplomat also said there
was no framework agreement yet.
French Foreign Minister Laurent
Fabius meanwhile followed his Chinese
counterpart Wang Yi in leaving Lausanne, with Mr Fabiuss office saying he
would return as soon as it is useful.
Under the final accord, the powers
want Iran to scale back its nuclear program to give the world ample notice of
any dash to make the bomb.
In return, the Islamic republic is demanding the lifting of crippling sanctions. But the question is how much detail will be in the framework that Iran

This official White House photograph shows US President Barack Obama (left) and members of the national security team
participating in a secure video teleconference from the Situation Room of the White House on March 31. Photo: AFP

and the six powers the US, China,


Russia, Britain, France and Germany
want to nail down.
If it falls short of firm commitments
by Iran, Mr Obama will find it hard to
fend off attempts by his Republican
opponents to pass fresh sanctions on
Tehran.
Irans negotiators are also under
pressure from domestic hardliners not
to give too much away and for President Hassan Rouhani to deliver on his
promises to win the lifting of sanctions.
Fresh US sanctions could torpedo

the whole negotiating process launched


after Mr Rouhani became president in
2013.
Republicans fear that since some
of its nuclear infrastructure will likely
stay intact, Iran will still be able to get
the bomb a concern shared by Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The greatest threat to our security
and our future was and remains Irans
attempt to be armed with nuclear
weapons. The agreement being formulated in Lausanne paves the way to that
goal, Mr Netanyahu said.

Saudi Arabia, which has led an


Arab coalition bombing Iran-backed
rebels in Yemen in recent days, is also
alarmed by Tehrans rapprochement
with the West.
Other areas of the mooted deal,
including the future size of Irans
uranium enrichment capacity also
appear to have been tentatively sewn
up. But the two sides still appear to
be discussing other areas, including
what to do with Irans stockpiles of
nuclear material, and how long the
deal should last. AFP

World 17

www.mmtimes.com
Nigeria election
ABUJA

Democratic first for


Nigeria as Buhari
claims presidency
CHALLENGER Muhammadu Buhari
won Nigerias presidential election
by 2.57 million votes, official results
showed yesterday, defeating incumbent Goodluck Jonathan in the first
democratic change of power in Africas most populous nation.
The victory writes a new chapter in
the countrys often turbulent history
after six military coups since independence in 1960 and 16 years of unbroken civilian rule by Mr Jonathans
party.
The gripping contest also capped
a remarkable transformation for
72-year-old former army general Mr
Buhari, who led a tough military regime in the 1980s but now describes
himself as a converted democrat.
Thousands spilled onto the streets
of northern Nigerias biggest city,
Kano, in celebration, shouting campaign slogan Sai Buhari (Only Buhari) as he took an unassailable lead

Nigeria vote
Official results of presidential
election
% of votes won

53.95
44.96

Goodluck Muhammadu
Buhari
Jonathan
Peoples
All Progressives
Democratic
Congress
Party
Source : INEC

with one state to declare.


Many brandished brooms, Mr Buharis party symbol, with which they
have pledged to sweep away years of
government waste and corruption.
In another northern city of Kaduna
the scene of rioting after the 2011
presidential election supporters of
his All Progressives Congress (APC)
chanted, Change! Change!
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said Mr Buhari
won 15,424,921 votes, or 53.95 percent,
of the 28,587,564 total valid ballots
cast.
Rival Mr Jonathan, 57, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), won
12,853,162 votes (44.96 pc) in the election held on March 28 and 29.
INEC chairman Attahiru Jega
said,Muhammadu Buhari, of the APC,
having satisfied the requirement for
the law and scored the highest number of votes, is hereby declared the
winner and is returned elected.
The election was hit by glitches in
new voter technology and claims of irregularities, after being delayed by six
weeks due to concerns of attacks by
Boko Haram insurgents.
But with dissatisfaction rife over
Nigerias security, corruption and the
economy faltering as oil revenues
dived, voters turned out in force sensing an unprecedented opportunity for
change.
In the financial hub of Lagos, in
the southwest, Mr Buharis supporters celebrated wildly, some of them on
horseback, with fireworks exploding
into the night.
This is the first democratic change
ever in Nigeria, Anas Galadima said,
as thousands thronged the APC headquarters in the capital Abuja, dancing
and banging drums.
Its not about Muslim or Christian or any party. Its about politicians
knowing that if you dont do the job,
we can kick you out.

I havent been this excited since


the night of Barack Obamas election.
Political commentator Chris Ngwodo said the victory had instigated the
supremacy and primacy of the electorate in a country where elections had
generally been a foregone conclusion
for the incumbent.
The dynamics between the governed and government has changed
for good, he said.
Mr Buhari won because, backed
by a strong and well-organised party
machine, he had managed to secure
national support in a nation split
between a largely Muslim north and
mainly Christian south, Mr Ngwodo
added.
Mr Jonathan conceded in a telephone call to Mr Buhari at 5:15pm on
March 31 even before the final results
were declared, earning him praise
from politicians of all stripes.
I promised the country free and
fair elections. I have kept my word, he
said later, urging disputes over the results to be settled in court rather than
on the street.
Nobodys ambition is worth the
blood of any Nigerian, he added.
Mr Buhari has accused Mr Jonathan of a failure of leadership in
tackling the Boko Haram insurgency,
which over six years has left more
than 13,000 people dead and some 1.5
million people homeless.
Military gains against the militants
in recent weeks were welcomed but
seen as too little, too late by voters after so much bloodshed.
Initial results indicated Mr Buhari
had won 94 pc of the vote in Borno
state, the region worst affected by the
Islamists rampage and from where
more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted in April last year.
Hundreds of thousands of people
defied threats of suicide attacks and
bombings to vote, with polling stations
set up in camps for people displaced by

Supporters of All Progressives Congress (APC) celebrate on March 31 the


victory of main opposition APC presidential candidate Mohammadu Buhari at
Obalende district in Lagos. Photo: AFP

the conflict in state capital Maiduguri.


Mr Buhari, a Muslim, won
massively in the violence-hit north
but also made crucial gains elsewhere,
including Lagos, which had been targeted by both sides as a swing state.
Mr Jonathan at one point clawed
back the deficit to some 500,000 votes
after winning near total support in his
home state of Bayelsa and neighbouring Rivers.
But it was not enough to seize back
the momentum and with eight states
to declare, most of them in the north,
APC spokesperson Lai Mohammed
called victory.
This is the first time the opposition has voted a government out of
power in Nigerias history, he said.
Mr Buhari has acknowledged that
he cannot perform miracles, with
poverty widespread among Nigerias

173 million people, the ongoing threat


from Boko Haram and the oil-dependent economy stalling.
But with his military background,
the former leader was seen as a better
bet to fight the insurgents, while he
has cast himself as an anti-corruption
crusader despite excesses and abuses during his military rule.
He has vowed to lead by personal
example, pledging, Corruption will
have no place and the corrupt will not
be appointed to my administration.
But he has rejected PDP charges
that he is unchanged from his days
in the military, where he fell foul of
rights groups in his pursuit of corrupt
officials and general indiscipline.
Before you is a former military
ruler and a converted democrat who
is ready to operate under democratic
rules, he said in February. AFP

LAGOS

Fortune finally runs out for Nigerias Goodluck Jonathan


GOODLUCK Jonathans rise to the top
of the pile in Nigerias ruthless political world had been described as accidental a matter of good luck.
But the amazing run of coincidence
and chance that brought the son of a
canoe-maker to the presidential villa in
the capital Abuja, has come to an end,
with his electoral defeat at the hands of
challenger Muhammadu Buhari.
The 57-year-old southern Christian
the first head of state from the oilproducing Niger Delta was thrust
into the presidency in 2010 following
the death of his predecessor Umaru
Musa YarAdua, a Muslim from the
north.
The mild-mannered Mr Jonathan,
often seen with his trademark fedora
traditionally worn by Niger Delta natives, is from a family of boat makers.
He became a zoology lecturer and
worked on environmental issues before entering politics in 1998.
I personally call him the accidental president. It was chance, good
luck, said Adewale Maja-Pearce, a
Lagos-based writer and contributing
columnist for the New York Times.
He was plucked from obscurity

Former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan (centre) arrives to cast his ballot
during presidential elections at polling station in Otuoke on March .Photo: AFP

because he was considered pliable.


As for his distinctive name, his late
father was quoted as saying in a biography of the president that he called
him Goodluck because although life
was hard for me when he was born,
I had this feeling that this boy would

bring me good luck.


His mother, Eunice, said although
she had a history of lengthy labour in
childbirth stretching for several days,
Goodluck was born in record time.
Fortune certainly seems to have favoured Mr Jonathan as he grew older.

An unconfirmed report has long


circulated in local media that Mr Jonathan, elected assistant senior prefect
at his secondary school, grabbed the
top post when the head prefect was
expelled.
His rise to the top was similarly
fortuitous, becoming governor of his
native Bayelsa state in 2005 after his
predecessor was impeached over money-laundering charges in Britain.
The night he was nominated by his
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as Mr
YarAduas running mate before 2007
polls, many Nigerians had never heard
of Jonathan.
In one of the US diplomatic cables
obtained by WikiLeaks, Mr Jonathan
purportedly acknowledged his inexperience in a meeting with the US
ambassador while he served as acting
president during YarAduas illness.
I was not chosen to be vice president because I had good political experience, Mr Jonathan said. There
were a lot more qualified people
around to be vice president.
A magazine once described the Nigerian leader as hardly a man to set
the pulse racing.

Though always calm in public, Mr


Jonathan headed a nation plagued by
a range of crises. Nigeria is consistently ranked as one of the worlds
most corrupt nations and the north
is wracked by the brutal Boko Haram
Islamist insurgency.
The main opposition All Progressives Congress had made Mr Jonathans perceived failure to tackle both
problems central to its campaign.
Mr Jonathan earned praise however for staffing his cabinet with internationally regarded technocrats,
notably ex-World Bank managing director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who was
his finance minister.
But despite living in Africas top
oil producer, most of the countrys 173
million people live on less than US$2
a day.
Mr Jonathan was accused of failing
to take on such endemic problems.
He has always said Oh yes, we will
take care of that, said Pat Utomi, a
professor at Lagos Business School.
I think he meant to do well ... but
it seems there was never clarity in his
head of where he wanted Nigeria to
be. AFP

18 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 2, 2015

LONDON

Alarming rise in death sentences: Amnesty


A REPORT by Amnesty International
has highlighted an alarming rise in
death sentences handed out around
the world.
The organisation recorded 2466
death sentences during last year a 28
percent increase from 2013.
Egypt and Nigeria accounted for a
significant part of the increase, often
on the back of security concerns, the
organisation said yesterday.
The London-based rights watchdog also criticised Pakistan for lifting
a moratorium on the execution of civilians in the wake of the Peshawar
school massacre by Taliban militants
in December.
Its a very worrying development
in 2014 that there has been this increase in death sentences, Audrey
Gaughran, Amnestys director of global issues, told AFP at the launch of a
report on capital punishment.
The death penalty isnt justice,
she said.
Titled Alarming rise in death sentences as governments resorted to
capital punishment to combat crime
and terrorism, the report showed that
while sentences had risen, the number of executions 607 was down
by 22 pc from the previous year. However Amnesty said these numbers did
not count executions in China where
death sentences are kept secret.
There is no evidence that the
death penalty is any more of a deterrent to violent crime or terrorism
than other forms of punishment, Ms
Gaughran said.
China had the highest number of
executions in the world, followed by

Iran (289, as well as at least 454 not acknowledged by the authorities), Saudi
Arabia (90), Iraq (61) and the United
States (35), the report found.
It also noted that Belarus the only
European state that still allows capital
punishment executed three people
in 2014 compared to none in 2013.
But the overall positive trend was
for fewer countries to use capital punishment, said Amnesty, which has
been campaigning against the death
penalty for nearly 40 years.
The numbers speak for themselves the death penalty is becoming
a thing of the past, said Salil Shetty,
Amnestys secretary general.
The few countries that still execute
need to take a serious look in the mirror and ask themselves if they want to
continue to violate the right to life.
A major exception in 2014 was
Egypt, where the number of death
sentences rose to 509 from 109 in 2013.
This included mass death sentences against 37 people in April and 183
people in June following unfair mass
trials, the Amnesty report said.
Since the ouster of Islamist leader
Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, at least
1400 of his supporters have been killed
in a heavy crackdown against critics of
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Death sentences in Nigeria also
shot up to 659 in 2014 from 141 in 2013
mainly linked to the Boko Haram
Islamist insurgency in the countrys
north.
In Pakistan, Amnesty said seven
people were executed following the Peshawar school attack in which 141 people were killed, including 132 children.

In China, the authorities used the


death penalty as a way of cracking
down on unrest in the Uighur autonomous region of Xinjiang.
At least 21 people were executed
in the mostly Muslim region in 2014,
including three who were sentenced
following a show trial in a stadium in
front of thousands of spectators, the

report said.
Amnesty also found that around
the world there were 113 exonerations
for death-row prisoners in 2014.
Its obviously deeply disturbing
because it underlines how frequently
people who are innocent are sentenced
to death, Ms Gaughran said.
In the United States, she pointed

out that restrictions on access to lethal


injection drugs meant that some states
were now looking at alternative ways
to execute prisoners.
The opportunity wasnt taken in
the United States to step back and talk
about abolition, talk about moratoriums on execution.
AFP

The death penalty in 2014


At least 607 people executed*, down 22 percent from previous year, Amnesty International report shows
China
Iran
Saudi Arabia
Iraq
United States
Sudan
Yemen
Egypt
Somalia
Jordan
Equatorial Guinea
Pakistan
Afghanistan
Taiwan
Belarus
Japan
Vietnam
Malaysia
Palestinian Territories
Singapore
UAE

1,000 +
*Except China where execution data
is treated as a state secret, believed to
execute more than all the other
countries put together

289+
90+
61+
35
23+
22+
15+
14+
11
9
7
6
5
3+
3
+ : indicates minimum
3+
2+
2+
Condemned 2014
2
to death 2013
1

Source : Amnesty International

North
Korea
At least
50

World total

2,466
Nigeria

659

1,925

141

At least

Egypt

509

109

19,094

believed to be
condemned to
death worldwide
at end of 2014

World 19

www.mmtimes.com
NEW DELHI

Fears raised over rising


leprosy cases in India
GANGA Kalshetty was just two years
old when India declared itself leprosyfree in 2005, giving her family hope
that she would be spared the disfiguring disease and its social stigma.
But the last decade has seen a worrying resurgence of leprosy in India,
which now accounts for more than
half of the 200,000 new cases reported worldwide every year.
Kalshetty lives in one of Indias
dozens of informal leper colonies,
where many of her relatives are afflicted with the disease. She has
grown up surrounded by sufferers.
Seven months ago her worst
fears came true when she, too, was

Ganga Kalshetty, 12, diagnosed with


the early signs of leprosy, smiles on
March 11 in a leprosy colony in New
Delhi. Photo: AFP

diagnosed with the disease.


I dont want to suffer like her, the
12-year-old said as she glanced at her
grandmothers clawed hands, a hallmark of leprosy sufferers, at the familys home in New Delhi.
Leprosy, a chronic infectious disease that causes lesions on the skin
and attacks nerves in the hands and
feet, can be cured. But if left untreated it leaves deformities that mark the
sufferer out.
CM Agrawal, who heads the Indian
governments leprosy program, said
the number of children being diagnosed with the disease was worrying.
Because we declared India to be
leprosy-free in 2005, it led to complacency. Other diseases took priority,
he said.
The reporting of child cases suggests active and recent transmissions.
India stopped conducting door-todoor searches for suspected patients
10 years ago, a move Mr Agrawal believes exposed families to the risk of
new infections.
The World Health Organization
(WHO) allows governments to declare that leprosy is no longer a public
health risk if the prevalence rate falls
below one case per 10,000 people.
That was achieved in India in
2005. But while the national prevalence rate remains below the threshold, some areas have now exceeded it.
In 2013-14, 126,913 new leprosy

cases were reported across the country, including 12,043 children, according to government figures.
Delhi alone registered 1145 cases,
the figures showed.
Due to the social stigma that still
surrounds the disease, thousands of
sufferers often end up living in close
proximity to each other in informal
settlements spread across the country that became known as leper
colonies.
Poverty, poor sanitation and overcrowding mean that residents not already suffering are susceptible to the
disease.
Shiv Shankar Tiwari is a former
leprosy sufferer who lives in a ramshackle mud and brick house in the
Delhi colony.
The 55-year-old was devastated
when three of his six sons were diagnosed with the disease. Two went on
to develop disabilities because they
stopped their treatment.
We didnt know how important
it was to keep taking the medicines,
said Mr Tiwari, his voice choked with
emotion.
If it is caught early and treated
with a combination of drugs, leprosy
ceases to be contagious and can be
cured in six to 12 months.
But sufferers were once forced to
ring bells to alert others to stay away
as they passed by, and centuries later,
they still face severe prejudice.

Cured leprosy patient Malsamma, 62, poses for a photo on March 11 in a leprosy
colony in New Delhi. Photo: AFP

Many states in India have laws


barring leprosy sufferers from obtaining a drivers licence and other
routine documents, even if they have
been cured.
Employment is hard if not impossible to come by, and for many begging is the only option.
The stigma associated with the
diseases is formidable, said PR Manglani of the Netherlands Leprosy Relief Foundation, a charity that works
with sufferers in Delhi.
We go to slums and tell them interesting stories from mythology so
that they know how to suspect the
disease early and go for treatment.
The government has said it wants
to eliminate the disease from India
completely in the next 10 years, and
has made it a formal priority that no
children should be left with visible
deformities.
Indias director general of health
services Jagdish Prasad said the biggest challenge was the incubation

period of up to 20 years, which makes


the disease hard to detect.
Now our strategy is to search
house-to-house, treat the patients and
give one dose of preventive medication to each of their family members,
he said.
Thats how the Western world got
rid of leprosy.
The WHO has been helping the Indian government plug the loopholes
in its anti-leprosy program.
There is a very serious commitment to get leprosy eliminated at the
state and the district level, WHO
India representative Nata Menabde
said.
But for Kalshetty, who already bears
early signs of the disease in the form
of a faint white patch on her arm, that
commitment has come too late.
No matter what happens, my
school friends will always think of
me as the girl from the leprosy colony, she said. I will never be normal
again. AFP

THE MYANMAR TIMES april 2, 2015

it

ge
t

yo

gers o
n
i
f
n

the pulse editor: CHARLOTTE ROSE charlottelola.rose@gmail.com

Glittering stars treasure


sparks bidding frenzy
Philippe Schwab

OLLYWOOD screen icon Lauren Bacalls personal


possessions from the precious to the mundane
hit the auction block in New York this week,
drawing plenty of fans.
Collectors were jostling for a memento of the
Oscar-winner from among more than 200 items, from fine
art to kitchenware, avant-garde to kitsch.
The sale continued yesterday at Bonhams auction house.
The collection includes jewellery and clothes, Aboriginal
and African art, English and French furniture and items
bought in antique shops around the world.
Items that date from her marriage to legendary on-screen
co-star Humphrey Bogart and sculptures by English artist
Henry Moore are among the most prized items.
Bacall, one of Hollywoods great golden age actresses,
died in August last year aged 89 in her nine-room home
overlooking Central Park, which is also on the market for
US$26 million.
Most of the items sold so far were at or above the price
estimates made by the auctioneers, Bonhams said.
The proceeds of next weeks auctions will go to Bacalls three
children.
All 740 lots from Yves Saint Laurent evening wear to a
cheese slicer, silver tea strainer, suitcases and papier mache
ornaments filled Bacalls plush Manhattan residence, and
have toured the world, attracting potential buyers from
China to France.
A hand-colored etching by naturalist John James
Audubon American White Pelican fetched $173,000, three
times more than was expected, a Bonhams statement said.
From the Bogart years, before he died from cancer in
1957, was his black granite games table and a pair of silver
candelabras from the couples marital home in Los Angeles.
The table brought in $26,250 almost nine times the
estimated value.
The auction house said Bacall became interested in
African art while accompanying her husband on location for
The African Queen starring Bogart and Katharine Hepburn,
which was filmed in Congo and Uganda.
Other items from around the world include Indian
miniatures, a Japanese portable brass tea set and a marble
table inscribed with in the name of Allah in Arabic
calligraphy. - AFP

Reporters and camera crews get a preview of items from the Bonhams Lauren
Bacall Collection. Photos: AFP/Don Emmert

A lithograph by
Senator Edward
Kennedy titled
Daffodils is
among the items
from the Lauren
Bacall Collection
auction. Photo:
AFP/Don Emmert

the pulse 21

www.mmtimes.com

U Win Pe, a man of many


talents, makes up for lost time
Zon Pann Pwint
zonpann08@gmail.com

IS circuitous route to
his hearts desire has
taken him through
many occupations that
others would consider a
lifetime goal. U Win Pe, a Myanmar
Academy Award winner who has
been at various times radio reporter,
cartoonist, writer and director, is
now doing what he always wanted
to do: mount a solo exhibition of his
watercolours.
He could draw before he learned
to read and write. As a student, he
was already the most popular artist
of his day.
But life intervened. As a family
man, he found it necessary to yield
to the temptation of better career
opportunities. Stranded in America
for 18 years, he worked at RFA, VOA
and the BBC, just filling in time.
Back in Myanmar since 2012,
the 80-year-old finally turned his
attention back to painting.
His third solo exhibition
since his return, featuring 52
watercolours, is being held at River
Ayeyarwady gallery from April 1 to
5. The opening day was marked by
the issue of Win Pes Watercolours,
cataloguing his work.
Opportunities kept coming
up that made me go weak at the
knees, he said, explaining the delay
in getting down to business. The
media career was not a hobby. Since
I wasnt a good reporter, I worked in
radio, he said.
U Win Pe, a man of many talents,
worked for Ludu magazine as an
editor and satirical cartoonist.
He unexpectedly became a
scriptwriter and film director. His

1980 film Hninsi Ni Eain Mat


(Dream of a Red Rose) earned him
a Myanmar Academy Award for best
director in 1981. He started writing
short stories in the late 1980s
and became the first writer from
Myanmar to be invited to attend the
University of Iowas International
Writing Program.
Taking the opportunity, while
there, of speaking out about
freedom of expression, he then
found he could not return home
again. He tried to find odd jobs to
survive in America, and co-founded
Radio Free Asia (RFA) instead.
Other odd jobs included reporting
for the VOA and the BBC.
His three-month stay in America
lasted 18 years.
An internationally known artist,
U Win Pe painted 60 watercolours
for the exhibition, but his foreign
customers bought eight of the works
before the opening day.
I have a family. If I was offered
a better chance, I would go for it, U
Win Pe said.
Throughout my life, I found
the temptation to pass up an
opportunity too hard to resist.
Because they earned a fortune, it
didnt seem like a weakness when I
took the chance to make films, he
said.
He said the art of filming
encompasses painting, music and
writing. Along the way, he studied
classical music.
I dont regret the filming. My
friend Paw Oo Thet asked me why I
stopped painting at that time, and
I told him that I was painting by
camera. My artist friends thought it
was just an excuse, he said.
His home in Yankin township
houses his studio, where he devotes

days and nights to painting.


Fellow artist Khin Zaw Latt said,
I saw his paintings posted on the
internet. I love them. Whenever he
has exhibitions, I usually visit. I find
a different style and an originality
in his artworks. I respect him and
love his work. He is 80 but his
paintings are fresh, as if they are
the vision of a young artist.
Win Pes third solo exhibition is open
to the public at the River Ayeyarwaddy
Gallery, 134 35th Street (middle block),
Kyauktada until April 5.

Watercolour artist U Win Pe poses in front of his work at the River Ayeyarwady
gallery exhibition, on until April 5. Photo: Aung Khant

Chin resort truly welcomes all


Nyein Ei Ei Htwe
nyeineieihtwe23@gmail.com

IN PICTUREs
Photo: AFP/
Yoshikazu

A tourist is taken for a ride in a rickshaw under fully bloomed


cherry blossoms. Viewing of cherry blossoms is a national pastime
and cultural event in Japan, where millions of people turn out to
admire them annually.

AS much a citadel against prejudice


as a holiday camp, the hilltop Hauka
Bung resort the name means city
wall in the local language stands
at the gates of Tlangtlang township,
4928 feet (1502 metres) above sealevel, and 21 miles (33 kilometres)
from Haka, the capital of Chin State.
Open for all to stay in guest huts
and tree houses the resort specialises
in offering work and advocacy for the
areas disabled population.
It is funded by disabled people
who, not so long ago in this part
of the world, were shunned by
neighbours and families who would
not even speak to them for fear of
taint.
U Thawng Hnin was one of 46
disabled people in the township.
He persuaded them to organise in
1991, contacting Chin people first
in Yangon and then overseas to
gather support. They faced ingrained
opposition due to traditional
prejudices, and their early progress
was hampered in part because they
were of the same tradition.
Three times a year we hosted
courses for disabled people and other
villagers on raising awareness and
ending discrimination, teaching people
how to take care of themselves and how
we should all work together in society,
said U Thawng Hnin.

Improvements began after victims


of disability learned of their rights, and
began to speak up in public.
At first they would not even look at
us, let alone speak to us, he said.
Discrimination, he said, is bad
enough in the cities. In the villages,
nobody wants even to speak to a
disabled person because they think
it brings bad luck. Expelled from
school and shunned by employers, the
disabled lacked both qualifications and
income.
They felt useless. They were
depressed and looked down upon
and afraid to be with people who
were not like them, said U Thawng
Hnin, who himself got no further
than matriculation. At my school,
students said there was no room for the
disabled, he said.
The courses improved relations
with the villagers and the lives of the
disabled themselves. Encouraged
by the progress, U Thawng Hnins
organisation sought permission from
the state government to build the
resort. They collected money from
donors and made a CD of their songs
to sell.
We sang the songs and sent the CD
to other countries where Chin people
lived. They supported us, he said. They
made K17 million, and with it, built
their little city on the hill.
We showed that we disabled have
power like others, and our success gave
us strength, he said.

22 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 2, 2015

TOKYO

Fifty shades of greying Japan

61-year-old Yasue Tomita smiles for


the camera in her debut as a porn actress.
Photo: AFP/Toru Yamanaka

ressed in a kimono and


kneeling silently on a tatami
mat floor, 61-year-old Yasue
Tomita looks as if she might
be about to perform a
Japanese tea ceremony instead shes
debuting as a porn actress.
Fluttering her eyelashes demurely
as the cameras prepare to roll, Tomita
is proof that in Japans greying society
youre never too old to chase your
dreams, however racy or unorthodox.
She has also become part of a
flourishing niche market in Japan
silver porn stretching the limits
of eroticism among the elderly and
overturning social norms in a country
where people are expected to grow old
gracefully.
Love, too, is not confined to the
young, say Japans growing army of
pensioners exploring their desires in
more conventional ways, with dating
agencies for the elderly reporting
increasingly brisk business.
Tomita confessed to being a bit
rusty but made no apologies for
her rambunctious lust for life, or her
decision to put aside her knitting
and crochet and launch into a career
making X-rated movies.
I like my handicrafts but I wanted
to try my hand at this, while my body
still works, she told AFP before filming
began.
I do like sex, and this is my last
chance before I get too old. Im very

I like my
handicrafts but
I wanted to try
my hand at this,
while my body
still works
Yasue Tomita
61-year-old aspiring porn
actress
nervous. I wonder if I should really do
it, especially in front of so many people,
but everyone should follow their dream.
I just hope I can keep up, added
Tomita, who used to work in a factory
manufacturing car parts and registered
for an agency in Japans booming
adult video (AV) industry with her
daughter.
We applied through the internet
together. I got offered a job first,

Yasue Tomita, 61, poses for a photographer as she makes her debut as a porn
actress. Photo: AFP/Toru Yamanaka

which surprised her a bit.


In ageing Japan, around 32 million
people a quarter of the population
are 65 or over. Thanks to a low
birthrate and growing longevity, that
proportion is expected to rise to 40
percent by 2060.
With statistics like that, its no
surprise that geronto-porn is big
business.
Adult movies rake in about US$20
billion a year, and those featuring
unashamedly wrinkly men and women
account for between 20 and 30pc of
that market, industry insiders say. Sales
have rocketed over the past decade as
more of Japans perky seniors celebrate
their mojo.
Though not for the faint-hearted,
the genre took off thanks largely to
now-80-year-old Shigeo Tokuda, the
twinkle-toed king of granddad porn,
who has peeled off for hundreds of
hardcore flicks with titles such as
Forbidden Elderly Care and Manic
Training of Lolitas.
Pornography became widely
available in Japan in the 1900s, with
17th-century Edo-era woodblock erotic
prints being many peoples first
introduction to the genre.
Attitudes towards sex are less
prudish than in other parts of the
world and fun-loving fertility festivals,
where giant wooden phalluses are
joyfully carried around towns, take
place annually in parts of Japan.
Everyone has different sexual
tastes or fetishes, said director
Fumiaki Kimura. Elderly porn has
become very popular over the past
10 years or so. Older couples watch
together because they can feel a
connection, a sense of closeness or
familiarity, being the same age.
Its like a forbidden pleasure, he
added. Young people watch it because
theyre fed up with the regular stuff
whatever turns you on. You do hear
about actors taking Viagra, but that
can be dangerous for the older guys.
Tokuda, who beds actresses young
enough to be his granddaughter, also
co-starred with Fujiko Ito, just two
years his junior, the pair frolicking in
hot springs or on tatamis with Ito in a
kimono.
Natsuko Kayama, 44, a porn
star with 25 years experience in the
industry, said she wanted to outlast the
oldest swingers in town.

Id love to be the oldest AV actress,


she laughed. I want to break the
record if I can if I last that long.
Far away from the steamy film sets,
others entering the autumn of their
lives are simply interested in finding
companionship, perhaps after losing or
leaving their first long-term partner.
But with habits set, it isnt always
easy to meet someone, and many turn
to one of hundreds of matchmaking
services catering to older clientele, such
as the Ai-Senior company, which boasts
a total of 6000 registered members,
some in their 90s.
Later life dating hit the headlines
last year with the grisly case of
the Black Widow 68-year-old
Chisako Kakehi, who was arrested in
November accused of murdering her
septuagenarian fourth husband with
cyanide.
Placing adverts for an unattached
elderly man with assets, she was said
to have amassed millions of dollars in
insurance and other payouts over 10

TODAY

Folk on Fire with LNR band. Mojo Bar,


135 Inya Road, Bahan. 9:30pm
Burma: An enchanted spirit photo
exhibition & book launch featuring
American photographer David Heath.
Gallery 65, 65 Yaw Min Gyi Road (behind
Parkroyal Hotel), Dagon. 10am-6pm
Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon A
Comedy by Don Zolidis, presented by
Theatre Z. ISM (International School of
Myanmar), W-22, Mya Kan Thar Main Road,
5th Quarter, Hlaing. K5000 pre-booked
tickets / K7000 at the door. 6:30-9pm
Free as in freedom Lecture by legend
of the free software movement Richard
Stallman on the place of technology in our
lives. Phandeeyar, 11th Floor, Mac Tower
Building, 561 Merchant Road. 6pm.

years as a result of the death of a string


of spouses and lovers.
Most elderly daters, happily, have
far more felicitous stories to tell.
Yosuke Komori, 66, and his 57-yearold wife Mutsuko met through another
dating agency. Both previously married,
they wed four years ago and still hold
hands like smitten teenagers.
I think a healthy sex life is an
added bonus of marriage, said
Mutsuko, who got married in a
daringly short dress, to the horror of
her daughters.
I think perhaps my husband
is sufficiently confident in that
department. But the most important
thing in a relationship is mutual
understanding.
For bashful Yosuke, it was never
only about the physical side of things.
I feel most contented when she
is happy, he said sheepishly. I dont
want to sound soppy, but I just want
to make her smile. Whats important is
love, actually. AFP

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

TOMORROW

Aaron Gallegos Trio flamenco, bossa,


jazz and world music. Gekko, 535
Merchant Road. 7pm.
Friendly Friday Latin Dance Competition.
Club Rizzoli, Chatrium Hotel, Royal
Lake Yangon, Natmauk Road, Tarmwe.
Free entry, register at: clubrizzoli.chry@
chatrium.com. 9pm.
The Yangon Vibe resident DJ Mr
Y spinning R&B, Hip Hop and party
anthems. Mojo, 135 Inya Road, Bahan.
K7000, free drink. 10-11:45pm.
Nightly Live Music. Kokine Bar and
Restaurant (near Kokine Swimming Club).

24 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 2, 2015

DOMESTIC FLIGHT SCHEDULES


Yangon to Mandalay
Flight
Y5 775
W9 515
YH 909
YH 917
YJ 891
YJ 891
YJ 891
K7 282
W9 201
YH 826
YH 835
YH 909
YH 831
YH 911
W9201
YH 829
7Y 131
K7 266
8M 6603
YJ 751
YJ 201
YJ 211
YJ 601
YJ 761
YJ 761
YJ 233
YH 729
YH 737
YH 727
W9 251
K7 822
YJ 151/W9 7151
K7 622
K7 226
YH 731
Y5 234
W9 211

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

Dep
6:00
6:00
6:00
6:10
6:00
6:30
6:30
6:00
7:00
7:00
7:00
7:00
7:00
7:00
7:00
7:00
7:15
8:00
9:00
10:45
11:00
11:15
11:15
11:15
11:00
11:00
11:00
11:15
11:15
11:30
12:30
13:00
13:00
13:30
14:30
15:20
15:30

Arr
7:10
7:25
7:40
8:30
8:05
7:55
8:35
8:10
8:25
8:40
8:40
8:40
8:40
8:40
8:25
11:05
9:20
10:05
10:10
14:50
12:25
12:40
12:40
13:10
12:55
12:55
14:00
13:25
13:25
12:55
16:55
16:45
14:25
14:55
16:40
16:30
16:55

Mandalay to Yangon
Flight
Y5 233
YJ 891
YJ 891
K7 283
YH 918
YH 910
W9 201
YJ 891
7Y 132
K7 267
YH 830
YH 912
YJ 762
YH 832
YH 827
YH 836
YH 910
YJ 212
YJ 212
YJ 752
YJ 202
YJ 602
YH 732
YH 732
YH 728
YJ 762
W9 152/W97152
Y5 776
W9 211
K7 823
8M 6604
K7 227
8M 903
YH 738
K7 623
YH 730
YJ 234
W9 252

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

Dep
7:50
8:10
8:20
8:25
8:30
8:40
8:40
8:50
9:35
10:20
11:05
11:30
13:10
13:20
13:20
13:20
13:20
15:00
15:15
15:05
15:30
15:55
16:40
16:40
16:45
16:50
17:05
17:10
17:10
17:10
17:20
17:20
17:20
17:25
17:40
17:45
17:45
18:15

Arr
9:00
10:05
10:15
11:30
10:45
10:05
10:35
10:45
11:30
12:25
14:55
13:25
17:00
14:45
14:45
14:45
14:45
16:25
16:40
16:30
16:55
17:50
18:05
18:45
18:10
18:15
18:30
18:20
19:15
18:35
18:30
18:45
18:30
18:50
19:05
19:10
19:10
19:40

Yangon to nay pyi taw

Nay pyi taw to Yangon

Flight
FMI A1
FMI B1
FMI C1

Flight
FMI A2
FMI B2
FMI C2

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

Dep
7:15
10:45
17:00

Arr
8:15
11:45
18:00

Yangon to Nyaung U
Flight
K7 282
YJ 891
YH 909
YH 917
YJ 881
YJ 891
YH 909
YJ 881
K7 242
7Y 131
K7 264
YH 731
W9 129
W9 211

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

Dep
6:00
6:00
6:00
6:10
6:30
6:30
6:30
6:45
7:00
7:15
14:30
14:30
15:30
15:30

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

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

Dep
8:35
13:30
18:20

Arr
9:35
14:30
19:20

Nyaung U to Yangon
Arr
7:20
7:20
8:25
7:45
7:50
7:50
8:05
8:05
8:20
8:35
16:40
17:25
17:35
17:40

Yangon to Myitkyina
Flight
YH 829
YH 826
YH 835
YH 831
YJ 201
W9 251

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

Arr
9:40
10:05
10:05
10:05
13:50
14:25

Flight
YJ 891
YH 918
YJ 881
YJ 891
YH 910
YJ 881
YH 910
K7 242
7Y 131
K7 283
K7 265
YH 732
W9 129

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

Dep
7:35
7:45
8:05
8:05
8:05
8:20
8:25
8:35
8:50
10:10
16:55
17:25
17:50

Arr
10:15
10:45
10:10
10:45
9:25
10:25
9:45
11:45
11:30
11:30
18:15
18:45
19:10

Myitkyina to Yangon
Flight
YH 827
YH 832
YH 836
YH 830
YJ 202
YJ 234
W9 252

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

Dep
11:55
11:55
11:55
12:30
14:05
16:20
16:45

Arr
14:45
14:45
14:45
14:55
16:55
19:10
19:40

Yangon to Heho
Flight
YJ 891
YJ 891
K7 282
YH 917
YJ 881
YJ 891
YJ 881
K7 242
7Y 131
K7 266
Y5 649
YH 505
YJ 751
YJ 751
YJ 761
YJ 233
YJ 761
YH 727
YH 737
YH 727
K7 828
K7 822
K7 264
YH 731
W9 129

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

Dep
6:00
6:00
6:00
6:10
6:30
6:30
6:45
7:00
7:15
8:00
10:30
10:30
10:30
10:45
11:00
11:00
11:15
11:15
11:15
11:15
12:30
12:30
14:30
14:30
15:30

Heho to Yangon
Arr
8:40
8:50
9:00
9:35
8:50
9:20
9:00
9:15
10:05
9:15
12:45
11:55
11:40
11:55
12:10
12:10
12:25
12:40
12:40
12:40
13:45
13:45
15:45
15:55
16:40

Flight
YJ 891
YJ 881
YJ 891
K7 283
YJ 881
W9 201
K7 243
YH 918
YJ 891
7Y 132
K7 267
YH 506
YJ 752
YJ 762
YH 732
YJ 762
K7 829
YH 728
YJ 602
K7 264
YH 738
YJ 752
W9 129

Arr
8:15
9:05
13:50
17:00

Flight
Y5 326
7Y 532
K7 320
Y5 326

Yangon to Myeik
Flight
Y5 325
K7 319
7Y 531
Y5 325

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

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

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

Dep
11:30
11:45
12:00

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

Dep
7:00
10:30
11:30
12:00
13:00
15:45

Days
1
2,4,6

Dep
7:00
11:45

Flight
W9 309
6T 612
K7 423

Arr
10:35
13:10
13:50
12:50
13:35
16:40

Flight
K7 243
YH 506
7Y 413
W9 309
K7 422
Y5 422

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

Dep
10:30
10:45
11:00
12:30

Days
3
4,6
1,7
2,5

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

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

Dep
8:35
16:05
11:30
17:15

Arr
10:05
18:10
13:35
18:45

Days
1,3,6
Daily
Daily

Dep
13:10
13:15
15:10

Arr
14:55
14:20
16:30

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

Dep
10:50
13:10
13:05
14:05
14:10
16:55

Arr
11:45
14:00
15:25
14:55
16:30
17:50

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

Arr
8:10
12:50

Flight
K7 320
7Y 532

Arr
12:45
13:00
13:00
14:50

Flight
YJ 752
K7 829
K7 829
YJ 752
YH 730

Arr
11:00
11:00
11:00
15:25

Flight
YH 836
YH 832
YH 827
W9 252

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

Dep
12:25
17:05

Arr
13:35
18:10

lashio to Yangon
Days
5
1,3
5
3,7
2,4,6

Dep
13:15
15:05
15:05
15:40
16:45

Arr
16:30
15:55
17:25
17:55
19:10

putao to yangon
Days
1,7
4,6
3
2,5

Dep
11:00
11:00
11:00
15:45

FMI Air Charter


Tel: 240363, 240373, 09421146545

Airline Codes
7Y = Mann Yadanarpon Airlines
K7 = Air KBZ
W9 = Air Bagan
Y5 = Golden Myanmar Airlines
YH = Yangon Airways
YJ = Asian Wings
FMI = FMI Air Charter

dawei to Yangon

yangon to putao
Flight
YH 826
YH 831
YH 835
W9 251

Air Bagan (W9)

Tel: 383100, 383107, 700264


Fax: 652 533

thandwe to Yangon

yangon to lashio
Flight
YJ 751
YJ 751
YH 729
K7 828

Domestic Airlines

Yangon Airways (YH)

Arr
12:55
12:55
13:50

yangon to dawei
Flight
K7 319
7Y 531

Arr
10:05
10:15
10:15
11:30
10:25
10:35
11:45
10:45
10:45
11:30
12:25
14:00
16:30
17:00
18:45
18:15
17:25
18:10
17:50
18:15
18:50
17:55
19:10

sittwe to Yangon

Yangon to thandwe
Flight
K7 242
YH 505
W9 309
7Y 413
K7 422
Y5 421

Dep
8:55
9:05
9:05
9:15
9:15
9:25
9:30
9:35
9:35
10:20
11:10
11:55
14:20
15:50
15:55
16:05
16:10
16:00
16:40
16:30
16:40
16:45
16:55

Myeik to Yangon

Yangon to sittwe
Flight
W9 309
6T 611
K7 413

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

Arr
14:45
14:45
14:45
19:40

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

the pulse 25

www.mmtimes.com
INLE LAKE

International FLIGHT SCHEDULES


YANGON TO BANGKOK

Flights

Days

PG 706
8M 335
TG 304
PG 702
TG 302
PG 708
8M 331
PG 704
Y5 237
TG 306

Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily

Dep

Arr

6:05
7:40
9:50
10:30
14:50
15:20
16:30
18:35
19:00
19:50

YANGON TO DON MUEANG

Flights
DD 4231
FD 252
FD 256
FD 254
FD 258
DD 4239
Flights

Days
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily

Dep
8:00
8:30
12:50
17:35
21:30
21:00

YANGON TO SINGAPORE
Days

Dep

BANGKOK TO YANGON

Flights

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

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

Arr
9:45
10:20
14:40
19:25
23:15
22:55

Flights
DD 4230
FD 251
FD 255
FD 253
FD 257
DD 4238

Arr

Flights

Days

Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily

Dep

Arr

8:00
8:45
21:30
10:40
13:05
13:40
17:00
18:05
19:15
20:15

8:45
9:40
22:20
11:25
13:50
14:30
17:50
18:50
20:00
21:30

DON MUEANG TO YANGON


Days
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily
Daily

Dep
6:30
7:15
11:35
16:20
20:15
19:25

Arr
7:15
8:00
12:20
17:05
20:55
20:15

SINGAPORE TO YANGON
Days

Dep

Arr

8M 231
Daily
8:00
12:25
Y5 2233
Daily
9:45
14:15
TR 2823
Daily
9:45
2:35
SQ 997
Daily
10:25
15:10
3K 582
Daily
11:45
16:20
MI 533
2,4,6
13:35
20:50
8M 233
5,6,7
14:40
19:05
MI 519
Daily
16:40
21:15
3K 584
2,3,5
19:30 00:05+1
YANGON TO KUALA LUMPUR

TR 2822
Daily
7:20
Y5 2234
Daily
7:20
SQ 998
Daily
7:55
3K 581
Daily
9:10
MI 533
2,4,6
11:30
8M 232
Daily
13:25
MI 518
Daily
14:20
3K 583
2,3,5
17:20
8M 234
5,6,7
20:15
KUALA LUMPUR TO YANGON

8:45
8:50
9:20
10:40
12:45
14:50
15:45
18:50
21:40

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

11:50
12:45
16:30
16:30
20:05
20:15
23:20

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

8:00
11:15
11:15
13:50
14:50
15:05
18:25

Arr
0550+1

Flights
CA 905

Flights

Flights
CA 906

Days

Dep

Arr

1,2,3,5,6
7:50
Daily
8:30
Daily
12:15
Daily
12:15
Daily
15:45
Daily
16:00
Daily
19:05
YANGON TO BEIJING
Days
3,5,7

Dep
23:50

YANGON TO GUANGZHOU
Flights

Days

8M 711
CZ 3056
CZ 3056
Flights

Days

Daily

Dep

Arr

CA 416
MU 2012
MU 2032
Flights

Days

13:15
15:55
22:10

Dep

Arr

10:50

16:10

VN 956

1,3,5,6,7

Dep

Arr

Days

VN 942

2,4,7

Days

CZ 3055
CZ 3055
8M 712
Flights

Days

CI 7915

Daily

Dep

19:10

MU 2011
CA 415
MU 2031

Arr

Flights

21:25

Dep

Days
1,4,6

17:05

Days

Dep
7:55

0Z 770
KE 472

4,7
Daily

Dep

0:50
23:55

Days

KA 251

Daily
Days

Days

VN 943

NH 914

Daily
Days

BG 061
BG 061
Flights

2
5

Dep

11:45
19:45

PG 724
W9 607
8M 7702

1,3,5,6
4,7
Daily

Dep

12:50
14:30
23:55

2,4,7

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

Flights

Days

3,5,6
2
1,5

Flights

Days

Flights

AI 234
AI 228

1
5

Dep

7:00
13:10
14:05
Dep

13:10
Dep

14:05
18:45

MANDALAY TO BANGKOK

Flights

PG 710

Days

Daily

Dep

14:15

MANDALAY TO singapore

Flights

MI 533
Y5 2233

Days

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

Dep

15:45
7:50

MANDALAY TO DON MUEANG

Flights

FD 245

Days

Daily

Dep

12:50

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

19:45

Daily
3,6

Dep

Arr

7:00

9:50

Dep

Arr

11:50
11:30
14:00

Dep

Arr

16:40
Dep

11:45

5:25

KA 252
KA 250

Arr

Flights

Days

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

Arr

Flights

Arr

Daily
Days

2
5

Arr

Arr

Days

2
3,5,6
5

11:45
Dep

8:30
16:30
Dep

11:00
17:20
18:45
Dep
9:25
13:45
17:20
Dep

9:10
9:20
15:00

delhi TO YANGON
Days

Dep

7:00

kolkata TO YANGON

AI 227
AI 233

Days

1
5

Dep

10:35
13:30

BANGKOK TO MANDALAY

Flights

PG 709

Days

Daily

Dep

12:05

singapore to mandalay

Flights

Y5 2234
MI 533

Days

Daily
2,4,6

Dep

7:20
11:30

DON MUEANG TO MANDALAY

Flights

15:15

FD 244

Arr

Flights

Days

Daily

Dep

10:55

KUNMING TO MANDALAY

16:40

MU 2029

Arr

Flights

22:45

Dep

gaya TO YANGON

Flights

Flights

20:50
14:15

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

Flights

Arr

Arr

Days

Days

Daily

Dep

12:55

BANGKOK TO NAY PYI TAW

PG 721

Days

1,2,3,4,5

Dep

17:15

Arr

00:15+1
23:45

INCHEON TO YANGON

AI 235
8M 602
AI 233
AI 235

16:40

Dep

22:20
21:50

Tel: 09254049991~3

Air Bagan Ltd.(W9)

Tel: 513322, 513422, 504888. Fax: 515102

Air China (CA)

Tel: 666112, 655882

Air India

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

Bangkok Airways (PG)

Tel: 255122, 255265. Fax: 255119

Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG)


Tel: 371867~68. Fax: 371869

Condor (DE)

The Inle Heritage House at Inle Lake is a one-stop-shop for historical, cultural
and gastronomical celebration of Inthar culture. Photo: Ei Ei Thu

Tel: 370836~39 (ext: 303)

Dragonair (KA)

Tel: 255320, 255321. Fax: 255329

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)


Tel: 09400446999, 09400447999
Fax: 8604051

Malaysia Airlines (MH)

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


Fax: 241124

Myanmar Airways International (8M)


Tel: 255260. Fax: 255305

Nok Airline (DD)

Tel: 255050, 255021. Fax: 255051

Qatar Airways (QR)

Tel: 379845, 379843, 379831. Fax: 379730

Singapore Airlines (SQ) / Silk Air (MI)


Tel: 255287~9. Fax: 255290

Tiger Airline (TR)

22:30
23:40

chiang mai TO YANGON

16:30
17:20
19:45

18:30
19:30

Air Asia (FD)

Arr

Arr

DHAKA TO YANGON

Flights

BG 060
BG 060

Arr

Dep

Tel: 255412, 413

Thai Airways (TG)

Arr
0459+1

TOKYO TO YANGON

NH 913

13:00
21:00

8:20
14:10
15:05

Dep
19:45

All Nippon Airways (NH)

18:10
13:25

HONG KONG TO YANGON

Flights
Y5 252
7Y 306
W9 608

YANGON TO kolkata
Days

Days

Arr
8:05
12:50
16:20

Dep
6:15
11:00
14:30

YANGON TO DELHI

AI 236

10:35
16:40
15:50

SEOUL TO YANGON

PG 723
W9 608
8M 7701

YANGON TO gaya

8M 601
AI 236
AI 234

Days
3,5,7

14:45
16:20
07:50+1

YANGON TO chiang mai

Flights
Y5 251
7Y 305
W9 607

Flights

Arr

YANGON TO INCHEON
Days

Arr

06:45+1

YANGON TO DHAKA

Flights

Flights
QR 918

Flights

1:10

22:10

Arr
11:40

Arr

Dep

Dep

Arr

3
8:25
Daily
11:10
1,2,4,5,6,7 13:30
HANOI TO YANGON
1,3,5,6,7

Flights

KE 471
0Z 769

YANGON TO TOKYO

Flights

Days

Days

VN 957

8:50
07:45+1

YANGON TO HONG KONG

Flights

Dep

DOHA TO YANGON

YANGON TO SEOUL

Flights

Arr
22:50

HO CHI MINH CITY TO YANGON


Arr

14:25

Flights

YANGON TO DOHA
Flights
QR 919

Dep
19:30

3,6
8:35
1,5
14:40
2,4,7
14:15
TAIPEI TO YANGON

15:55
18:50
18:15

YANGON TO HO CHI MINH CITY


Flights

Arr

KUNMING TO YANGON

Daily
12:30
3
12:40
1,2,4,5,6,7 14:50
YANGON TO HANOI
Days

Dep

Daily
6:55
Daily
10:05
Daily
10:05
1,2,3,5,6
12:50
Daily
13:40
Daily
13:55
Daily
17:20
BEIJING TO YANGON
Days
3,5,7

Flights

YANGON TO KUNMING
Flights

Days

GUANGZHOU TO YANGON

2,4,7
8:40
3,6
11:35
1,5
17:40
YANGON TO TAIPEI

CI 7916

Flights

International Airlines

Tel: 255491~6. Fax: 255223


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

Vietnam Airlines (VN)

Tel: 255066, 255088, 255068. Fax: 255086

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

Arr

17:15
Arr

10:45
18:45

BG = Biman Bangladesh Airlines


CA = Air China
CI = China Airlines
CZ = China Southern

Arr

11:55
18:10
22:05
Arr
10:15
14:35
18:10
Arr

12:10
12:30
18:00
Arr

12:10
Arr

13:20
18:00
Arr

13:25
Arr

16:30
14:50
Arr

12:20
Arr

12:50
Arr

19:15

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
Day
1 = Monday
2 = Tuesday
3 = Wednesday

4 = Thursday
5 = Friday
6 = Saturday
7 = Sunday

Inle Heritage House


a home for Inthar
culture, food and
community
Ei Ei Thu
91.eieithu@gmail.com

NLE Heritage House is not


just a restaurant. Its an allround historical, artistic and
cultural experience that aims
to take visitors back to the
ancestral heyday of the Inthar people.
The house serves as a hospitality
vocational training centre for poor
people from around the lake.
We built a house that my
grandparents would have designed,
in Inn Phaw Khon village, because we
wanted to retain our family heritage
as well as popularising the Inthar
traditional food that my grandmother
might have cooked, founder Daw Yin
Myo Su told The Myanmar Times.
The program provides vocational
training for young people who cant
afford to attend a big-city course
in Yangon, thus developing human
resources in a long-term collaboration
with the restaurant. It rents out six
bungalows (named thahara) to guests
to provide the necessary funding, she
said.
Students can learn about
best practices in guest services,
sustainable agriculture, renewable
energy, recycling and the wastetreatment skills critical to managing
Inle Lakes delicate ecological systems
for the future in a nine-month course
conducted from September to May,
said Daw Yin Myo Su.
The program started in September
2013 with 40 students. The course
cost K1,500,000, but students can
apply for a scholarship.
Full scholarship student Ma Swe
Zin Toe, 21, from Kyan Pone Gyi
village, Nyaungshwe township, Shan
State, said, This training creates job
opportunities for young people.
She applied after seeing a
pamphlet in Nay Pyi Taw.
Restaurant student Ma Swe Ain
Toe said, Actually, I want to be a
professional chef, but I knew I had to
attend a course after graduating from
university. Weve acquired so much
experience thanks to the training.
One day she will open her own hotel,
she says.

Applicants should have at least


high-school qualifications, but the
main thing is that they really want to
attend because theyre interested in
receiving the training, she said.
I do it because I wanted to give
something back to my native town, to
get more respect and attention from
my son and daughter as a working
mother and to have something
worthwhile to do.
The students stay at the Inle
Heritage House while attending
the course. They study not only
hospitality skills, but also acquire
general knowledge and Englishlanguage skills taught by a nativespeaker teacher, she said.
They have class time and practice
time every day when they interact
with guests from the hotel and the
thahara bungalows. Every Friday we
invite successful people from different
sectors to share their knowledge and
experience, she said.
Visitors can view the various lake
species of fish in the Inle aquarium,
Burmese cats, traditional cooking
demonstrations, an art gallery and a
family heritage presentation, she said.
The management will organise a
job fair, inviting hotels from around
the lake following the end of the
course on May 24. Daw Yin Myo Su
who is also managing director of
Inle Princess Resort Hotel, said, We
dont insist that trainees continue to
work at our hotel. They are free to go
where they want.
Scholarship student Khum Hla
Baw, 18, in his first year of distance
education, joined the training on the
suggestion of a friend. His dream is to
work in a hotel overseas.
I want to learn how hard they
work and what their living standards
are, and then share my experience
with people from my native town,
he said.
All the trainers are local residents
with international experience, Daw
Yin Myo Su said. They all know
each other and this area because
they come from local families. I think
thats better than having foreign
trainers who dont know about
Inthar.

26 Sport

THE MYANMAR TIMES April 2, 2015

Tennis

Cricket

Djokovic calls for Tour


and Davis Cup reforms
N
ovak Djokovic has
added his voice to those
calling for a reform of
the Davis Cup format,
with the world number
one favouring a more concentrated
competition for the worldwide team
event.
In addition, the mens top seed
at the ATP and WTA Miami Masters
would also like to see the Australian
Open played a bit later in the season but is fully on board with the
addition of an extra week of grass
preparation between the end of Roland Garros and the beginning of
Wimbledon.
For starters, the eight-time Grand
Slam winner said that he supports
a pending proposal to add a tiebreaker to the fifth set of any Davis
Cup rubber, which would end marathons such as the nearly seven-hour
struggle at a March first-round tie in
Argentina.
Im more in support of a tiebreak
in the fifth set in any competition
than for no tiebreak. That would be
my answer on that, said the 27-yearold Serbian.
I support the fact to have a certain change in the sport. I think its
the right time. As we evolve as a
global sport, I think we should all
strongly consider applying certain
changes.
Of course, you dont want to
change completely the game. There
is a long tradition in integrity of the
sport that is very recognised around
the world because of that but I
believe there is some room for improvements. he added.
International Tennis Federation
president Francesco Ricci Bitti told
Argentinas La Nacion newspaper
last week that the idea was on the table for an autumn ITF congress and
that it had his support.
Djokovic is adamant that the
century-old Davis format, which is

Novak Djokovic celebrates a point at this weeks Miami Open. Photo: AFP

spaced out inconveniently over four


weekend dates throughout the season, needs a shake-up.
The schedule is, especially for
top players, very, very bad, he said.
Maybe [make it] a two-week
event every year, every two years,

where you would have the top 16


teams playing in four groups of four
in different locations, and then coming in the final four. Thats one of the
examples.
The important thing is to attract
the top players to be there. We all

love representing our countries in


Olympic Games and Davis Cup, but
you cant be frequent. I speak from
my personal experience.
You have the Davis Cup schedule that is right after Wimbledon or
right after the Australian Open or
right after the US Open.
If youre playing finals of these
events, to change the time zone and
arrive from US Open to Europe in
matter of two, three days and adjust
from hard court outdoors to indoor
clay, its a huge risk for injuries and
so forth.
I would like to play it more, but
sometimes I have to make choices.
Thats why I would strongly support to change the format as soon as
possible.
Djokovic also laid into the ATP,
voicing some fresh ideas for that
tournament calendar.
I still believe that Australian
Open should be couple of weeks
later, at least, he said of the midJanuary major which he won for a
fifth time two months ago.
To start off with a Grand Slam
right away and the season hasnt
even started, and then to have a
very long gap between Australian
Open and Roland Garros [starting
in late May] and then a very short
one, it proportionately doesnt make
sense.
But thats the way the schedule has been officially present in
our sport and we kind of play with
it, but Im always in support for
new discussions and progress and
change that can kind of revolutionalise the sport.
Djokovic does fully approve of
the concept of extra Wimbledon
prep time on grass which comes
into effect this season.
It gives you a little bit more
time to prepare between the slowest surface [clay] in sport and the
fastest surface in sport. AFP

ECB
suggest
four-day
Test
Incoming England and Wales
Cricket Board chair Colin Graves
confirmed on March 31 that he
is considering tabling proposals
to shorten Test matches from
five days to four.
Personally, I think we should
look at four-day Test cricket and
play 105 overs a day starting at
10:30am in the morning, and
finish when you finish as all
the grounds now have lights,
Graves, who takes up his role in
May, told the Marylebone Cricket Club website.
The ECB could not itself introduce four-day Test matches,
but it could push for changes to
the Test format in international
negotiations.
Expanding on the idea,
Graves added, Every Test match
would start on a Thursday, with
Thursday and Friday being corporate days and then Saturday
and Sunday the family days.
From a cost point of view,
youd lose that fifth day, which
would save a hell of a lot of
money from the grounds point
of view and the broadcasters. I
would look at that.
The proposals first came to
light earlier this year after an
ECB document entitled Strategy Conversation Summary was
leaked.
Reacting to the leak, the ECB
revealed that it was in the early
stages of formulating a longterm strategy for the game in
England and Wales, which we
anticipate will take a year to
complete.
Graves and new ECB chief
executive Tom Harrison have
also held initial talks about future proposals for the English
county championship and a possible English Premier League
Twenty20 competition. AFP

Athletics

Farah on track to start


season in Doha
British double Olympic and world
champion Mo Farah will open his Diamond League campaign in Doha on
May 15, organisers said March 31.
Farah will compete in the 3000 metres in the opening leg of the 14-meet
series, marking the 32-year-olds first
appearance in Doha.
Ive heard so many great things
about the track, the crowd and the
competition in Doha, said Farah.
There are always very strong fields
in the distances so this will be a great
early-season test on the track for me. Im
looking forward to a good performance.
Farah won the 5000m and 10,000m
double at the 2012 London Olympics
and a year later became only the second athlete to win both titles at the
world championships in Moscow.
We are delighted to have one of
the greatest current Olympic and
world champions at our meeting this
year, said Qatari Athletics Federation
president Dahlan Al Hamad.
Mo Farahs first appearance in
Doha will ensure that our tradition
of early-season distance racing excellence will continue this year.
Farahs rivals in Doha as he gears

up for the world championships in Beijing from August


22 to 30 include traditional
distance running powers
Ethiopia and Kenya.
Ethopians include Hagos Gebrhiwet, the 2013
world silver medallist
over 5000m, and
Yenew Alamirew,
who set the Doha
meet 3000m record of 7:27.26 in
2011.
Kenyas contingent includes
Isiah Kiplangat Koech, the 2013
world bronze medallist; Thomas
Longosiwa, the 2012 Olympic
bronze medallist; and Caleb
Ndiku, the reigning world indoor 3000m champion and
last years Diamond Race
winner in the 3000/5000m.
The field also includes veteran Edwin Soi, the 2008 Olympic 5000m bronze medallist;
and Albert Rop of Bahrain, the
Asian record holder in the 3000m
indoors (7:38.77) and 5000m
(12:51.96) outdoors. AFP

Photo:
Miguel
Riopa

Sport 27

www.mmtimes.com
Football

Chinese Wanda Group


buy 20% stake in
Atletico Madrid

IN PICTUREs
Photo: AFP

Supporters hold a banner during the friendly international football match


between Sweden and Iran at the Friends Arena in Solna near Stockholm on
March 31.

Olympics

Tickets on sale

ickets for the Rio Olympics went on sale on March


31 with the first batch of a
total 7.5 million tickets
made available online to
thousands of fans who had pre-registered via www.rio2016.com the official web portal.
The sales process for Brazilian nationals and residents started
from 1700 GMT after organisers last
week released a detailed competition
schedule for each sport allowing fans
to seek out their favoured events.
Fans were asked to choose based
on sport, game day and event site,
give their financial details, and apply
online.
One missing element was tickets
for football matches due to be held in
Sao Paulo amid a dispute with Corinthians football club, owners of the
Corinthians Arena, over who must
pay for overlay costs to adapt the
venue for the Olympic tournament.
The club wants local government
to stump up funds running to an estimated US$10 million, though the
figure is widely disputed.
The football event is the only
sport to host action outside Rio owing to the amount of matches.
World governing body FIFA has
given the green light to six cities
and seven stadiums Rio, Salvador,
Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Manaus in
Amazonia and Sao Paulo.
Porto Alegre in the south and Fortaleza in the northeast are possible

stand-in options should Sao Paulo ultimately be dropped but organisers


insist there is no plan B.
On March 31, a source said: Sao
Paulo football tickets will be included
in due course once negotiations are
completed.
Home fans had to register via the
official website for the initial sales
phase running to April 30.
Seventy percent or 5.2 million
of all tickets have been earmarked for
Brazilian residents, millions of whom
will be eligible for discounts and also
able to pay in up to five monthly instalments.
Tickets will bear the name of the
applicant, each of whom may apply
for up to 20 event sessions and a
maximum of four to six for each. An
electronic platform is being established to redistribute returns.
Foreign fans must apply through a
separate process for the August 5-21,
2016, extravaganza, South Americas
first ever Olympiad.
Fans have been required to register for both lottery draws the
current one whose result will be announced in June, then again in July,
prioritising unsuccessful first-wave
applicants.
A real-time, first-come first-served
sale of remaining tickets will follow
from October for Brazilians and Brazil residents.
On-site box office sales for the
remnants will then start from June
next year prior to tickets being sent

out from May, completing what organizing committee president Carlos


Nuzman and commercial executive
director Renato Ciuchini praised earlier this year as a fair and transparent process.
Just over half of the tickets will be
available for 70 reais ($30) or less.
The cheapest full price tickets will
be 40 reais for weightlifting.
Pensioners, the disabled and students will enjoy half price concessions, meaning the cheapest deal of
all will be just 20 reais.
National Olympic Committees
have around 1 million around 13
pc of the total to sell to foreign fans
outside of Brazil via authorised resellers listed on the official site.
Three percent of tickets will cost
upwards of 600 reais for marquee
events, including the mens 100m
final whose defending champion is
world record holder Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt.
Such events are pricey propositions for the poorest fans in a country
where the minimum monthly wage is
just 788 reais ($246) after Januarys
annual readjustment.
The most expensive seats of all
will be box seats for the opening ceremony at the Maracana stadium costing a hefty 4600 reais ($1440).
Organisers have warned ticket
touts will face fines selling tickets on
for higher than face value, a practice
illegal in Brazil but which notably occurred at last years World Cup. AFP

Football

Kazakhstan examine bid for 2026 World Cup


Kazakhstan are examining a
bid to host the 2026 World Cup,
the countrys football chief Yerlan
Kozhagapanov was quoted as saying in Russias Sport Express daily
March 31.
Were
currently
consulting
with the government and analysing
our possibilities, Kozhagapanov,
who is also the deputy mayor of

Kazakhstans capital Astana, said.


Our country is rapidly developing, our economy is on the rise. Why
not?
We want to host the 2022
Winter Olympic Games. After that
were planning to join the race for
the right to host the 2026 World
Cup.
The Kazakhstan football chief

added that the countrys president


Nursultan Nazarbayev, who is also
honorary president of the football
federation, was in favour of a potential bid.
Its a matter of great importance
for us, Kozhagapanov said.
And were set to do our best to
make football the most successful
sport in our country. AFP

CHinas Wanda Group continue to


expand their sporting interests after acquiring a 20 percent stake in
La Liga champions Atletico Madrid,
worth a reported 44.98 million euros, (US$48.38million), the club announced on March 31.
Wanda Madrid Investment, who
are part of the international group Dalian Wanda, have officially become a
share holder in Atletico Madrid, after
acquiring 726,707 shares representing
20 per cent of the clubs capital for the
sum of 44,983,163.30 euros, read a
statement on the clubs website.
Wanda chair Wang Jianlin, a diehard football fan, said his company
was delighted at their deal.
The Wanda Group is delighted to
be able to contribute to the growth
of Atletico Madrid and their development in the Asian market, as well as
counting on their magnificent experience in youth coaching which will
without doubt help in the growth of
Chinese football, said Wang in a statement published on Atleticos site.
Last January, club president Enrique Cerezo met Wang in Beijing
to put into place the agreement and
purchase.
According to the terms, Atletico
will set up a football academy in Spain
for young Chinese players while the
team will also tour China in the years
to come.
The deal is further evidence of
Atleticos intention to maintain their
recent success at the top of the European game.

Los Rojiblancos ended Barcelona


and Real Madrids 10-year domination
of La Liga by winning the title and
reaching the Champions League final
last season, whilst they will face Real
in a repeat of that final in the last eight
of this seasons competition in April.
Last week inspirational coach Diego Simeone extended his contract with
the club until 2020.
This is a very important step for
the club in its effort to construct a
leading brand on a global level. It
will help us to maintain the level of
competitiveness on a sporting level
of the past few years and consolidate
us among the top clubs worldwide,
added Atletico CEO Miguel Angel Gil
Marin.
Wangs love of football has paid
handsome dividends before. His Wanda Group greatly increased its profile
in China after he bought a Dalian
football club in 1994, renamed it after
the firm, and transformed it into the
strongest team in China.
In February, the Wanda Group
agreed to buy Infront the Swiss
sports marketing group headed by
FIFA president Sepp Blatters nephew
and which holds some broadcasting
rights to the World Cup for 1.05 billion euros ($1.2 billion).
The Chinese property and entertainment conglomerate is looking to
increase its influence in the global
sports business, as Beijing bids for the
2022 Winter Olympics while rumours
swirl that China could seek to host the
2026 football World Cup. AFP

Cricket

Mustafa Kamal poses with the ICC ODI World Cup Trophy. Photo: AFP

Mustafa Kamal resigns as


ICC president
Mustafa Kamal resigned April 1 as
president of the International Cricket
Council, accusing colleagues within the games global body of acting
unlawfully.
Kamal, a Bangladeshi national, said
the ICC had robbed him of his right to
hand out the prizes at the cricket World
Cup that concluded in Melbourne on
March 29.
Instead that honour went to Indias
Narayanaswami Srinivasan, who took
over as ICC chair last year.
I resign right at this moment. I
am no longer ICC president, he told

reporters in Dhaka.
The main reason for my resignation
is that I cant work with those who can
act unconstitutionally and unlawfully.
Kamal, who is a government minister in Bangladesh, had earlier threatened to quit over the umpiring of his
countrys World Cup quarter-final defeat
to India.
He said the outcome of the match
appeared to have been pre-arranged
and that there was no quality in the
umpiring, earning a sharp rebuke from
ICC chief executive David Richardson.
AFP

Sport
28 THE MYANMAR TIMES April 2, 2015

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

Djokovic speaks out


on season schedule
SPORT 26

Football

Cyprus eyes reunion


after 60-year split
A

A Cypriot national team player (left) competes against Belgium. Photo: AFP

iming to end 60 years


of sporting isolation,
Turkish Cypriots in the
breakaway north applied on March 30 to
join the Cyprus Football Association which runs the game on the divided island.
The Greek Cypriot-run CFA announced on its website that it has
received a letter from the Cyprus
Turkish Football Association on its
decision to go ahead with all the
necessary actions to become a
member.
A copy of the letter was also sent
to footballs world governing body
FIFA and European body UEFA.
The first step in the process is
for the CTFA to harmornise its constitution with the CFAs which will
take about 40 days, said the CFA.
Then the Turkish Cypriots will
be able to proceed with the next
step, submitting an application to
join the CFA, it said in a statement.
The move follows a landmark
deal brokered by FIFA between the
two sides on November 5, 2013, in
Switzerland, in what FIFA hailed at
the time as a major milestone in
the history of football in Cyprus.
However, details of the deals
implementation still have to be
worked out by CFA and CTFA, with
FIFAs help, and it could take several years to come into effect.
CTFA boss Hasan Sertoglu held
a press conference on March 30 to
confirm he had sent the request, despite having been accused of selling out Turkish Cypriot autonomy.
He said he was determined to go
through with the union for the future
of sport and football in the north.
A new era is beginning in the
history of Turkish Cypriot football.
I believe we are doing the right
thing. Everyone should be optimistic, he said.

Football

Football

The
provisional
agreement
signed in Zurich by CFA president
Costakis Koutsokoumnis and Sertoglu paves the way for Turkish
Cypriot participation in CFA competitions, representation in CFA
delegations, club friendly matches
and club international friendlies
among other issues.
Cyprus has been divided since
1974, when Turkish troops occupied the islands northern third in
response to an Athens-engineered
coup seeking union with Greece.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is recognised only by
Turkey.
Its football team is not part of
FIFA or European federation UEFA,
with the squad from the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus the islands sole representative
in the global game.
A Turkish Cypriot squad does
see unofficial action, however, in a
federation of teams such as Tibet,
Chechnya and Darfur.
The Cypriot football divide predates the political split and the progress in the sporting field comes as
UN-brokered peace talks are mired
in a deadlock.
Six Greek Cypriot clubs and
two from the Turkish community
founded the CFA in 1934.
But the CTFA was created in
1955 when the Turkish Cypriots
pulled out of island-wide football
as ethnic tensions spiralled before
independence from Britain in 1960.
Turkish Cypriot clubs decided
to form their own federation and
organise separate competitions but
they remain isolated from international competition.
Countless United Nations peace
initiatives have failed to reunify the
island. Sporting contact of any kind
between the two sides has been
rare. AFP

Russian football chiefs Tunisia return to African


appoint anti-racism tsar Cup of Nations draw
Russian football chiefs have appointed an anti-racism tsar in a bid
to tackle the thorny issue plaguing
the game in Russia ahead of the 2018
World Cup in the country.
Newly appointed anti-racism
chief Alexei Tolkachev said that his
main goal would be to liaise with the
football leagues and fans to prevent
any racist incidents that could mar
the game nationally.
There should be a systematic approach, Tolkachev told the press on
March 31 after his appointment by
Russias Football Union.
We desperately need to implement the zero-tolerance approach to
any kind of discrimination in football, which has been declared by the
European football ruling body UEFA.

Within the scope of this plan we


need to work out a program of the
events aimed at reducing the number of racist outbreaks in our countrys football.
Tolkachev added that he wanted
to find a new way of communicating
with football fans to try to break an
ingrained culture of xenophobia and
hostility on the terraces.
Its a broad problem, he said.
It seriously depends on how a
child is brought up and on education
as well.
Of course the administrative responsibility should also be in place
but I hope we will be able to establish a meaningful dialogue with the
countrys football lovers.
AFP

Tunisia will be allowed to compete in the 2017 Cup of Nations


qualifiers after all as Confederation
of African Football of confirmed on
March 31 the dispute with the Tunisian football federation has been
resolved.
Following a meeting on March
13 in Dakar between CAF president
Issa Hayatou and FTF vice-president Maher Snoussi, the Tunisians
agreed to formally apologise for
their protests at the controversial
quarter-final defeat to hosts Equatorial Guinea at this years Africa
Cup of Nations.
Tunisia have followed regulations with a formal apology, read a
CAF statement.
African footballs governing

body had given Tunisia until March


31 to apologise over their reaction
to the match when a dubious lastminute penalty gave Equatorial
Guinea an equaliser before they
went on to win 2-1 in extra time.
Tunisia had accused CAF of favouring the host nation which led
to their elimination.
The details are not yet official
but following my meeting with Issa
Hayatou, for me the problems are
definitely settled, said Snoussi on
March 30, adding that an appeal to
the Court of Arbitration for Sport
will be withdrawn.
I am completely reassured that
Tunisia will be one of the teams
that are in the draw for the qualifiers, he added. AFP

Football

Clubs to
get bigger
say in
UEFA
European clubs will get a greater say in UEFAs decision-making as well as extra cash from
European tournaments under
an accord announced on March
31.
After securing concessions
from FIFA about deciding the
international match calendar,
top clubs have won two seats on
UEFAs executive committee, the
ECA announced on the sidelines
of its annual assembly in Stockholm, the European Club Association said.
The agreement sets a new
benchmark for the relationship between clubs and national associations, providing
clubs a greater role in top-level
governance and an increased
share of funding, said an ECA
statement.
UEFAs congress last week
announced in principle to allow greater representation by
stakeholders on the executive.
The ECA said that the presence of club representatives
with full voting rights will be
decided at the European confederations congress next year.
This is a major achievement
for ECA and a strong statement
of UEFAs commitment to modern and dynamic governance
models. Most importantly, it is an
unequivocal acknowledgement of
clubs importance to the European game, said an ECA statement.
The deal also gives clubs a
tighter grip on the UEFA Club
Competitions Committee, which
now be consulted on financial
and marketing matters.
UEFA also announced last
week that it had increased
prize money for the Champions
League and Europa League by
25 percent to more than 1.6 billion euros (US$1.7 billion).
The statement added that European clubs will also get at least
200 million euros ($215 million)
in revenue from the 2020 European Championships, 50 million
euros more than for 2016.
Clubs will get 8pc of income
from broadcast, commercial and
other Euro revenues with a minimum of 200 million euros set in
the deal.
The figure is higher than
the $209 million that FIFA has
agreed to give clubs for the 2018
and 2022 World Cups.
The ECA said it had developed a revolutionary system
to distribute the extra money
it will get from the Champions
League, Europa League and European Championships more
evenly among European clubs.
It said that more money
would go to clubs in the Europa League, to clubs in the
Champions League qualifying
rounds, and to clubs in medium and smaller domestic
championships. AFP