Transparent election urged

First INDEPENDENT English daily
WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015
Transparent election urged
Several nations show their supports to the election, suggesting critical steps towards transparency
SEVERAL western countries
yesterday issued a joint statement, suggesting critical steps
that the country should embark
on to achieve an “inclusive, credible and transparent” election.
The statement was issued by
the embassies of Australia,
Denmark, the European Union,
Norway, Switzerland, the United
Kingdom and the United States
of America.
In the statement, they said
that based on international best
practice, the countries are coordinating the donor support to
government and non-government
organisations in this electoral
“Credible, transparent, and
inclusive electoral processes
require long-term engagement
with all stakeholders throughout
the electoral cycle. We understand that building confidence in
an election starts well before
Election Day and includes confidence in the integrity of international election support.
“As donors and partners, we
also commit to adhere to the
principles of transparency, inclusiveness and equity. Our assistance aims to support and insti-
tutionalise the democratic process, and does not support any
specific party or candidate,” the
statement said.
The joint statement, also
aimed to welcome the political
reforms and support Myanmar’s
efforts to prepare for the elections, was issued by the embassies of Australia, Denmark, the
European Union, Norway,
Switzerland, the United Kingdom
and the United States of
The statement was released a
day after the rare one-on-one
meeting between President Thein
Sein and opposition leader Aung
San Suu Kyi in Nay Pyi Taw.
President Thein Sein and
Opposition Leader Aung San Suu
Kyi had a rare meeting on
Monday, the sixth round of talks
since the latter was released
from house arrest in 2010.
The 30-minute meeting began
at about 6pm at the president’s
farm house, sources for both the
president and Aung San Suu
Kyi’s National League for
Democracy (NLD) party confirmed.
“It was an exclusive meeting
between them,” presidential
spokesperson and Information
Minister Ye Htut wrote on his
Facebook page. “They discussed
constitutional amendment and
the holding of free and fair elections.”
When contacted about the
meeting, an official from the
president’s office said he did not
want to make further comment.
Prior to meeting the president, Aung San Suu Kyi met residents in Aunglan, but did not
reveal then that she would later
be meeting with Thein Sein.
Thein Sein approved a constitutional referendum law last
month following domestic and
international pressure to reform
apolitical system long stacked in
favour of the military. The army
oversaw 49 years of brutal rule
and left the Southeast Asian
country impoverished and chronically underdeveloped.
In the joint statement, the
western countries said that while
not every donor is involved in
each of the following activities,
donor assistance is coordinated
to address the following elements
in the electoral process.
They promised the Union
Election Commission (UEC) technical support on international
best practices as it relates to electoral administration, including an
updated national voter list.
They will also support training
and deployment of election
observers to enhance transparency and build voter confidence in
the integrity of the election.
Support will also be provided
to stakeholders’ capacity building,
including political parties, as well
as civil society organisations and
media organisations. Civil society
organisations are assisted as they
continue to promote voter registration and conduct voter education campaigns. They are also
supporting media training to help
ensure accurate, impartial, and
reliable information about the
elections is widely available to the
They also encouraged UEC,
civil society organisations, the
media, and political parties to
hold regular dialogues on the regulatory framework, organisation,
and management of the electoral
“In addition to our targeted
elections support, we will continue to promote a peaceful and
inclusive election environment.
Freedom of the media, freedom
of expression, non-discrimination, and protection of human
and associated rights are central
to a credible election process,”
they concluded.
Efforts to review drug
laws welcomed
Price hikes in southern
Shan keep local tourists
M’sia’s new law includes
detention without trial
Visitors to Barcelona
museum granted an
audience with the deva
Myanmar riot police confront students during a protest march in Letpadan town yesterday. Story on A2.
MYANMAR ELEVEN, Wednesday, March 4, 2015
150 refugees in Shan
reunited with families
given hours
to disperse
AROUND 150 people from
Laukkai and nearby areas who
were stranded in China and lost
contact with their families have
arrived here and reunited with
their families.
Myanmar Red Cross Society’s
family re-connecting unit was
opened here to assist those fleeing from Laukkai, Konkyan,
Mawdike and Chinshwehaw in
the Kokang Self-Administered
Zone where the fighting between
military and Kokang rebels takes
place. An officer said that over
150 people were separated from
their families by the clashes.
Most are from Magway Region.
Earlier, the number was as high
as 450.
“We have been staying in a
camp at the Chinese border for
over ten days. There are over
200 people there. We got food
and drinks there. We wanted to
come back. They did not want us
to due to ongoing fighting. But
we insisted,” said one woman.
Pyae Phyo Maung, an administrator of Chinshwehaw, said
that the situation in the township
has returned normal but no war
victims have not yet returned.
The army took control of
Chinshwehaw and nearby areas
on February 27. The two remains
empty with the markets closed.
“The situation has returned to
normal. There is no shooting. I
don’t know why the locals
haven’t returned. It may be the
propaganda on social media.
But Chinshwehaw is stable,”
said Pyae Phyo Maung.
Some houses in
Chinshwehaw have been looted
but only food and clothes were
apparently stolen.
“The looting happened just
after fighting broke out. Drug
addicts did it but it has
Myanmar Red Cross Society volunteers on a truck.
stopped,” said Thaung Htike, a
resident of Chinshwehaw.
Currently, there is no fighting
along the ChinshwehawKunlong road but there is fighting between Kunlong and
As the fight involves ethnic
Chinese rebels called the
Myanmar National Democratic
Alliance Army (MNDAA), China
has been criticised for supporting
the rebels. China has denied it.
In his broadcast speech on
March 1, President Thein Sein
said that both countries share
the understanding that such
interference is barred based on
the five principles to live together
in peace and tranquillity.
“The two countries have an
understanding not to harm each
other’s interests using each
other’s territory,” he said.
The president said the military is currently fighting back
an armed attack that threatens
Myanmar’s sovereignty, the
lives and property of the people
and the country’s unity.
Protecting the lives and property in the conflict area is a top
priority of the Myanmar Army,
he said. He also praised volunteers and civic organisations,
especially the Red Cross, which
aided the people in the conflict
area, as well as soldiers.
He also said the Kokang
region is now under control,
and the government is planning
for the region’s recovery as
peace and national reconciliation is the country’s important
Chinese language necessary for people living near border
Phyo Wai
Myanmar people living in
northern Shan and Kachin states
near the Chinese border are compelled to learn Chinese language
at Chinese monasteries, otherwise
it is hard for them to earn for a living, said Nang Raw, the assistant
director of Shalom Foundation.
It is also difficult to trade and
even eat out in restaurants and
shops in these areas if they do not
know the language, she added.
Chinese universities also
encourage the study in the language through scholarships, she
Myanmar is bordered on the
north and north-east by China.
The total length of MyanmarChina boundary is 2,204 kilometres (1,384 miles).
Bilateral relations between
Myanmar and China are strong,
and some major ethic groups in
Myanmar, such as Shan and
Kachin, have communities in
There are also many ethnic
Chinese people who hold
Myanmar citizenship and live in
Myanmar, said Bertil Lintner, a
Myanmar expert from Sweden.
Lintner said a Chinese friend in
Yunnan now lived in Mandalay as a
Myanmar citizen, through a
national registration card originally belonging to a dead person.
Student protesters calling
for education reform said
yesterday that riot police
have ordered them to disperse within hours after surrounding them near a monastery in central Myanmar.
Some 300 young activists
- many sporting bandanas
with the fighting peacock
symbol of student protest remained encircled by police
armed with sticks who have
trapped them outside a
monastery compound in the
town of Letpadan since
Authorities have vowed to
halt the activists' planned
march to the nation's main
city Yangon, some 130 kilometres (80 miles) further
south and the scene of previous major student-led demonstrations.
Their protest is illegal in
Myanmar, where almost half
a century of military rule
ended only in 2011.
The group has been given
a deadline of 4pm local time
to call off their protest,
according to student leader
Min Thwe Thit.
"We will not do it so
maybe they will crack down,"
he told AFP.
On Monday, there was a
tussle with police, as several
students from Pyi Township
attempted to show support
to the students in the main
protest column despite
police blocking.
No one was injured in the
fight, and the students from
Pyi Township and some
locals were ultimately granted entry. Locals also
demanded the removal of
the roadblocks because the
authorities did not impose
an official curfew.
On the night of March 2,
about 100 police officers
blocked nine local journalists. They were granted entry
after ten minutes of interrogation.
MYANMAR ELEVEN, Wednesday, March 4, 2015
The Spanish cyclist who
disappeared from Yangon General
Hospital while seeking medical
treatment for multiple slashes has
been found at Sakura Hospital.
“He seemed to be seeking
treatment at Sakura without
informing Yangon General. We still
don’t know how he left Yangon
General. We believe he chose the
hospital that he thought was the
best. He is still at Sakura,”
Lt-Colonel Win Kyi from the Yangon
West District Police Force said.
While cycling from Bago to
Yangon, the man, identified only as
Carlos, 31, was attacked by two
unknown men on the highway near
Bago on Monday night. He
sustained 13 wounds and was taken
first to Bago Hospital before being
transferred to Yangon General the
next day. The cyclist has been
touring across Turkey, China,
Mongolia, Yunnan, Vietnam,
Cambodia and Thailand and
Kawkareik, Myawady, Hpa-An and
Mawlamyaing in Myanmar.
Villagers not involved
in Kachin teachers’
The Kachin Baptist Convention
(KBC) issued a statement on
February 28 denying that local
villagers were involved in the rape
and murder of two Kachin teachers
in Shan State on January 19.
The KBC’s 15-member
investigating team said it is willing
to jointly probe the murder case
with the Women Networks, local
civic organisations as well as
international organisation if needed.
“The team together with local
authorities interrogated about 130
villagers living in Kaungkhar village
over the incident. After the
investigation, we found out that the
villagers could not be involved in
the rape and murder because of
their love and respect for the two
teachers,” said Dr Kha Lung Hsam
Hsum, KBC’s general secretary.
He said the team has already
received some vital clues and will
continue with the investigation to
find out the truth.
Tribunal dodges PR
The Constitutional Tribunal says
it cannot rule on the legality of
proportional representation (PR)
voting until a bill is written.
“It is too early to decide. If the
Union Election Commission finishes
drafting the PR system, the
Constitutional Tribunal will decide
whether it is in line with the
Constitution. We will wait for the
bill,” advocate Khin Maung Than
Upper House MP Aung Kyi Nyunt
said: “When the Speaker of the
Lower House was asked whether the
PR system was in conformity with
the Constitution, he replied it went
against the Constitution. We must
wait for a bill on the PR system. If it
appears, we will continue to object
to it. It will be submitted to the
Constitutional Tribunal again. We
don’t know who or which
organisations are supporting the PR
Efforts to review
drug laws welcomed
THE Transnational Institute
(TNI) welcomed the government’s recent decision to review
drugs-related laws, giving that
Myanmar is currently the second
largest producer of raw opium in
the world, after Afghanistan.
“The decision to review the
law is not only timely but also
offers a prospect to improve the
drugs legislation and to ensure
that the laws address drug-related problems in the country more
It is an opportunity to ensure
that affected populations have
access to health care and development, taking into account both
national conditions and international developments and best
practices,” the international
organisation said in a new report
titled “Towards a Healthier Legal
Environment: A Review of
Myanmar Drug Laws”.
This report reviews
Myanmar’s drug laws and related
policies, including the 1917
Burma Excise Act; the 1993
Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic
Substances Law; and the 1995
Rules relating to Narcotic Drugs
and Psychotropic Substances.
Devoted to a wide range of
international problems, the
organisation hosted a drug-related workshop in Nay Pyi Taw last
The workshop was jointly
organised by the Central
Committee for Drug Abuse
Control CCDAC and was funded
through a GIZ grant. One of the
agenda was to explore the situation of opium farmers and the
inter-linkage between land and
drugs, the reality of illicit opium
cultivation in Myanmar, including
its correlations with food insecurity, poverty, and development.
In the report, TNI suggested a
range of revisions to the laws.
•Amend sections 15 and 16 of
the Myanmar 1993 Narcotic
Drugs and Psychotropic
An opium poppy
farmer harvests an
opium poppy field in
southern Shan State.
Missing Spanish
cyclist found
Substances Law (1993 NDPS
Law) and decriminalise
drug use and possession for
personal use and remove compulsory registration of drug users
from the law.
•Create a legal framework that
supports key harm reduction
interventions to fight the spread
of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and prevent the harms
associated with drug use as
much as possible.
Sentences should be proportional to their crime. ‘Userdealers’ should be dealt with as a
separate category of offenders,
and criteria should be established to separate between
micro-trade, transport/courier,
mid-level trading and organised
trafficking. The minimum sen-
tence for simple
possession of drugs is five
years imprisonment, which is
excessive and disproportionate,
compared to many other countries in the world.
•Amend section 20 of the
1993 Narcotic Drugs and
Psychotropic Substances Law to
abolish the death penalty for
drug offences. Capital punishment is in breach with the
International Convenant on Civil
and 42 Political Rights since
drug offences fail to meet the
threshold of ‘most
serious crimes’ and therefore
the death penalty must be abolished.
•Amend section 16a of the
1993 Narcotic Drugs and
Psychotropic Substances Law
and allow the cultivation of
opium in the transition period
to new alternative livelihoods.
It said some impoverished ethnic
minority communities in the
country’s uplands still need
income from opium production.
Most of poppy cultivation is in
Kachin and Shan states.
“Myanmar has some serious
drug problems. There are no reliable data available on number of
drug users, drug consumption
trends, drug use patterns, and
drug use related health problems, as there has not been any
national drug consumption survey. Many of them have serious
health problems related to their
drug use, including HIV/AIDS and
Hepatitis C,” according to the
88-year woman jailed for squatting
told them I would move if they
give me somewhere else or compensate me
Tin Hlaing, an 88-yearand help with
old woman, was last week
sentenced to one month
charges. I am
in Yamethin prison for
sick. I can’t go
squatting while Daw Nyo,
to prison. I
an 82-year-old woman,
want to stay
faces similar charges.
here. I want to
Tin Hlaing lived in ward
no.6 of Lewe Township.
“I want to
Daw Nyo of Shansu vilask the presilage was sentenced to a
dent why the
month in prison last year
government is
under section 26 and is
filing lawsuits
now being charged under
against us. We
section 27 because her
are the real cithome has not been
izens. Where is
the poverty
Tin Hlaing, 88, was sentenced to a month in jail.
Tin Hlaing said: “We
alleviation he
are designated as squatspoke about?
ters. I sell plums and have lived
Where should we live? We heard
because I have nowhere to go. I
Nay Pyi Taw
there since 2009. I was ordered
to demolish my hut but I can’t
MYANMAR ELEVEN, Wednesday, March 4, 2015
his speeches on the TV and
radio. However, his words and
actions are different. I would like
to tell him the truth.”
Tin Hlaing’s daughter said:
“The judge made a one-sided
decision. I wasn’t allowed to
meet her [the judge]. My mother
has a disease. I can’t go to the
prison often.”
Daw Nyo said: “I am living on
my own land but the authorities
filed a lawsuit under section 26
and they sentenced me to prison.
If I knock down my home, where
am I going to go? I have lived
here for about 40 years ago.”
Mi Mi Than, a judge from Nay
Pyi Taw City Development Court,
who gave the sentences also sentenced Aung Win, 74, and Nga
Chun, 67, to a month in jail in
January for violating section 26.
US $
Euro ¤
Singapore $
Source: KBZ Bank
MYANMAR ELEVEN, Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Car-choked Yangon aims to ride
the rails to transport revolution
law plan
Commuters get off a train at a
station in Yangon.
Kelly Macnamara
TRAINS chug around
Yangon’s circular railway at a
stately pace barely faster than a
brisk walk, but this creaking
relic of colonial times is at the
heart of plans for a public transport revolution in the trafficchoked metropolis.
Rush hour spills a throng of
passengers towards Kyi Kyi
Win’s cigarette stand at a downtown station, and the tobacconist says she has seen more
commuters using the trains
since changes to the city’s longneglected network were introduced.
“Only poor people used to use
the train because the tickets
were very cheap,” she told AFP.
But upgrades including higher-priced air-conditioned carriages have drawn wealthier customers aboard, delighting Kyi Kyi
Win who says the average spend
on her tobacco and betel nuts
has soared from 50 kyats
(US$0.05) per person to 200
Built under British colonial
rule, the railway winds a 50-kilometre loop around Yangon, ferrying some 100,000 people a day
from sleepy rural suburbs into
the heart of Myanmar’s main city.
Its ponderous pace - just 15
km/hour - has for years made
the link the last resort of those
too poor to afford a car or wearied by the city’s sweaty and dangerously speedy buses.
But moves to revive the service have seen travellers return
to rail.
“I always feared for my life on
the bus and the traffic was very
bad,” said Tin Tin Win, who
switched to commuting by train
two years ago, when rail authorities began their upgrades.
■ Car is king
The new air-conditioned carriages - plastered with advertisements for Red Bull and Myanmar
Beer - were added shortly before
the launch of a new Yangon tram
that now trundles along the city’s
riverfront road.
They are all part of a plan to
entice people off the roads,
which have been choked by the
influx of cars that accompanied
the country’s opening to the
world after decades of military
And the gridlock looks set to
get worse.
Japan International
Cooperation Agency (JICA),
working with Myanmar on several
nationwide transport projects,
warns “Yangon’s roads will be
paralysed” without urgent
improvements to infrastructure.
It predicts the city’s population will double to around 10 million in the next 20 years, while
the number of cars clogging
Yangon’s pot-holed roads will
quadruple to around one million.
“It is the right time to start
thinking about the future transportation system,” JICA’s
Myanmar head Tanaka Masahiko
told AFP.
He says developing the country’s public transport system,
particularly rail, lies at the heart
of solving its infrastructure woes
and in turn drawing foreign investors.
Yangon officials appear to be
taking the advice on board, saying they plan to replace more of
the city’s rusting old trains and
computerise control and safety
“We are particularly focused
on getting trains to be punctual,
cheap, and easy for passengers
to travel into the city,” said Htun
Aung Thin of the rail ministry.
But luring people off the roads
is still a major challenge - only
one per cent of Yangon journeys
were made by rail in 2013. Some
50 per cent were on buses and
around eight per cent each in
taxis and private cars or vans.
■ Long road
Public transport, like other
services including health and
education, was chronically
neglected under Myanmar’s military rulers - and the bus network
is run by private firms, creating a
complex array of overlapping
Megan Quirk, an urban planner who has worked with Yangon
authorities, said road congestion
could be eased with small changes such as networked traffic
lights to replace police on walkie
talkies - and public education
For the circular railway to
reach its full potential it would
need to be better integrated with
plans for the city’s booming
property development allowing it
to connect densely-populated
neighbourhoods, she told AFP.
But recent proposals such as
lifting a junta-era ban on motorbikes in Yangon would likely
make things worse by tempting
people off buses, rather than
persuading car drivers to take to
two wheels.
Meanwhile large projects -like
a proposed subway system would be disruptive to implement.
“Things are going to get a lot
worse before they get better,”
Quirk said.
Myanmar is eager to avoid
the perennial traffic jams that
plague other Southeast Asian
But the plans to upgrade its
transport network are expensive
- JICA estimates countrywide
improvements would cost
around $20 billion to 2030.
The task will also stretch
Yangon’s authorities, closeted
from modern technologies during the country’s isolation and
still often working without office
For vendors like Kyi Kyi Win, a
busier station means more business and a safer neighbourhood
-- and she’s positive about the
“I think things will be even
better in the future,” she said.
Businesses that resort to
monopolistic approaches
will face a prison sentence of
up to three years, fined Ks15
million or both, according to
the new Competition Law.
“We pledged to enact the
law by 2015. Our country
needs a competition policy,
as its economy is now open.
It really needs one. We held
a workshop on the issue in
Nay Pyi Taw recently. The
grace period will last one or
two years before it is
enforced. If a case evidently
violates the law, we will take
action. More education programmes on the law should
be arranged,” said Thein
Myint Wai, the deputy director of the Ministry of
The law prohibits unfair
and deceptive advertising
and sales promotions. In
particular, entrepreneurs
must not compare their
goods or services with products offered by competitors,
imitate other adverts, give
misleading information
about the price, amount,
quality or other characteristics of goods.
Airline plans
3 daily
Pyi Taw
FMI Air, a scheduled airline, has launched three
daily flights between Yangon
and Nay Pyi Taw.
The firm, which has 170
staff in Myanmar, also
launched another flight to
It uses a Bombardier
CRJ200 and expects to
expand its service and fleet.
“The Bombardier is small
but fast as it’s a jet. It carries
50 passengers. The country
has never used the aircraft
before. The pilots, engineers
and technicians are all from
overseas. Four or five months
later, we will hire local people
and train them,” said FMI
Air’s CEO Bruce Nobles.
A second aircraft for the
airline is due to arrive in
early May.
Soft shell
crab farm
planned in
MYANMAR ELEVEN, Wednesday, March 4, 2015
visiting Inle
Lake were
Malaysia’s conglomerate
Texchem Resources Bhd
(TRB)’s food division plans
to double its production of
soft shell crab in Myanamr
this year.
Claims to be the world’s
largest soft shell crab exporter, the company’s food division plans to further invest
in Myanmar this year.
“We are presently producing 800 tonnes of soft shell
crab annually in Myanmar.
“The new project will be
located in Labuta, which will
eventually double the current annual production in
five years for the global market,” said Group executive
chairman Tan Sri Fumihiko
In Malaysia, the group will
set up a seafood processing
facility in south of Pahang
this year.
“The facility will produce
fish, shrimp, and cuttlebased seafood products for
the markets in Taiwan, South
Korea, Japan, and Australia,”
he said.
The group is allocating
RM20 million (US$5.51 million) for the food division’s
expansion plans.
The company will invest
about RM50mil (US$13.79
million) in 200 Yoshinoya
and Hanamaru brand name
restaurants in Malaysia over
the next five years.
Konishi said the investment was being planned due
to the growth in demand for
new concept restaurants.
He added that the investment would continue to
ensure the restaurant division remained the most profitable segment. He spoke at
a press briefing to disclose
the completion of the
group’s 28 per cent equity
disposal in Sushi Kin Sdn
Bhd to Asia Yoshinoya
International Sdn Bhd, which
is a wholly owned subsidiary
of Japanese fast-food restaurant giant Yoshinoya
Holdings Co Ltd.
“The plan for the next
five years is to set up 100
Yoshinoya and 100
Hanamaru restaurants in the
country. We also plan to
increase the number of
Sushi King outlets in
Malaysia to 150 by 2019
from 89 presently,” he
Konishi said the restaurant division was the most
profitable among the four
business segments in TRB.
George Town
Price hikes in
southern Shan keep
local tourists away
Despite the increase in foreign
tourism in Taunggyi, Inle, Kalaw
and other destinations in southern Shan State, price hikes have
kept many local visitors away
from these places, according to
sources in the travel and tourism sector.
“Hotels in Inle are expensive.
Those in Kalaw are more expensive. So we cannot offer packages to all classes of people,
[especially] local people]. It
costs at least over US$100 to
visit Taunggyi,” said a representative of Caravan Myanmar Tour
Currently, the total cost of a
one-night, two-day trip from
Yangon to Ngwe Saung Beach is
$65 per person, and a trip of the
same duration from Yangon to
Chaungtha Beach costs $85 per
person. Thus, only middle-class
people can afford to visit these
“Kalaw has seen more tourists. Many travel through in
nearby villages. As for local visitors, they just stop for a while,
but they rarely visit nearby villages. There are hotels with fair
prices, but in high season,
rooms are full and prices rise,”
said Naung Naung Han, General
Secretary of the Union of
Myanmar Travel Association.
Since hotels in Inle Lake are
built to meet foreign tourists’
tastes, prices are high. Thus,
most local visitors stay in nearby Nyaung Shwe in order to visit
Inle Lake.
Small-scale miners demand mining exploration law
Local residents from Mogok
called on the government on
February 27 to enact a mining
exploration law to create fairs
condition for gold miners.
“Our region sits on resourcerich land. But the majority of
local people are living below
the poverty line. Local miners
face charges of mining companies and are often arrested. So
far, there has not been a law
that can give protection to local
people. So we demand the
immediate enactment of such a
law,” said a gold miner from
Lakekya village.
Local people said there is
monopoly held by mining companies that have already
received a green-light from the
Ministry of Mines, which causes
the government to suffer huge
tax revenue losses. Local smallscale miners face legal action,
even if they pay fees to the relevant departments.
“The companies force us to
move when we find gold in the
mines. We even face possible
arrest even, though we have
already paid money to the
authorities [for mining permits].
Their acts amount to forcing us
defy the laws. So we demand
the enactment of bylaws,” said a
gold miner from Zayatgwin village.
Currently, about 10 gold miners face a lawsuits filed by the
Myanmar Ruby House Co over
robbery. The families of those
workers face many difficulties
due to a delay in interrogating
plaintiff witnesses, said U Myo, a
Gold miners said they would
demand new laws across the
region until the government
enacts them. There are around
300,000 small-scale gold miners workers in the Mogok area.
Plan to collect Vat
on some
Phyo Wai
The Yangon region government
plans to collect value added tax
(Vat) instead of double taxation for
the industries operating on CMP
(cutting, making and packing)
system, said Zaw Aye Maung,
minister of the Rakhine Ethnic
Affairs and Labour for Yangon
“The government is collecting
double taxation for the goods
produced in Myanmar. They
collected tax for the imported raw
materials and again collected tax
when the finished products are
being exported. So we have
submitted a proposal to the union
government to collect only value
added tax for the corporations
operating on CMP system,” he said.
Most of the factories especially
shoe and garment factories are
operating on CMP system.
Myanmar is attracting more
foreign investors because of tax
privileges granted by the
government. Most foreign investors
are from China, Japan, South Korea
and Hong Kong and they mostly
invest in the garment industry and
other industries operating on CMP
The garment industry operating
on CMP system exported about
US$ billion worth of products in
2013 and on 2014.
The government is targeting to
export products worth US$1.5
billion in this fiscal year, according
to the Myanmar Garment
Manufacturers Association.
M’sia’s new law includes
detention without trial
The Straits Times
Malaysia’s new anti-terrorism
act that will be tabled in parliament this month will include provisions that allow for detention
without trial and the implementation of the Electronic
Monitoring Device (EMD), it was
The Prevention of Terrorism
Act (Pota) will have features similar to the Prevention of Crime
(Amendment and Extension) Act
2013 (Poca), which allows suspected criminals to be detained
without trial for up to two years,
a source told the Malaysian
“The power to decide whether
or not the person will be
detained or put under restrictive
residence will be decided by an
advisory board. The information,
intelligence report and other evidence will be presented to the
board before it makes its decision,” the news portal quoted the
source as saying.
The source added that no one
else has the power to decide
whether a suspect can be
detained, “not even the police or
the home minister”.
Under Pota, any evidence
needs to go through the Deputy
Public Prosecutor who will act as
the Inquiry Officer, the source
was quoted as saying.
The EMD is an additional feature to monitor the movement of
the person detained under Pota,
the source said without elaborating. Deputy home minister Dr
Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar con-
firmed that an advisory board
would be formed.
“Since the preventive measure
exists, definitely we will have an
advisory board, because we want
to remove such powers (to detain
suspects) from the executive.”
When asked how the anti-terror act would differ from the
existing Poca, Wan Junaidi was
quoted as saying that “Poca is on
the prevention of crime, but terrorism is more subversive.”
The news portal reported that
lawyers felt the new anti-terrorism act was unnecessary given
the wide array of security-related
legislation already in place.
“We already have laws that
allow the government to stop
people from leaving the country
to join terror groups. They are
just not using them,” said
Andrew Khoo, who heads the Bar
Council Human Rights
Malaysia has arrested at least
36 citizens suspected of militancy since April last year. At least
30 are believed to be in Syria
and Iraq, fighting for extremist
A White Paper on terrorism
tabled last year by prime minister Najib Razak said the government must “act immediately to
contain” the influence of the
Islamic State in Syria and Iraq
(ISIS), also known as the Islamic
State (IS).
The 19-page policy document
said efforts required to tackle the
ISIS threat have become more
challenging and current laws
need to be strengthened.
Minister’s Facebook page
welcomed in Vietnam
Deutsche Presse-Agentur
The launch of a Facebook
page by a Vietnamese minister could lead to a more open
society, an observer said
Health Minister Nguyen Thi
Kim Tien launched her official
Facebook page Monday,
becoming the first minister in
the communist country touse
a social network to contact
the public.
The page provides health
information and receive questions from the public, a statement from the ministry said.
“This is an encouraging
signal proving the cabinet has
recognised the strength of
social media,” said Professor
Nguyen Minh Thuyet, former
deputy chairman of the
National Assembly Committee
for Culture, Education, Youth
and Children.
“It shows a more open,
transparent and democracy
working way in dealing with
the public of the government,”
he said. “People, social media
are very excited about her
Facebook page,” one
Facebook user wrote.
“It has become the hottest
issue discussed in social
media Tuesday,” Nguyen Ngoc
Hang posted.
Vietnam has periodically
blocked access to Facebook
but currently has 30 million
registered users. The site is
popular with businesses as
well as activist groups at a
time when the government
has been cracking down on its
online critics.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan
Dung at a government meeting last year admitted “banning social media is impossible.”
MYANMAR ELEVEN, Wednesday, March 4, 2015
About 10,000 families in Manila were rendered homeless after 5,000 houses were razed by an
overnight fire. According to Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), since January 2015, there were
more than 600 fire incidents in Metro Manila, while 18 people were killed and 46 injured.
Laos’ first woman trainee
pilot reaches for the sky
Vientiane Times
Laos is on track to have its
first female pilot after an ambitious 19-year-old completed her
first solo flight out of Wattay
International Airport recently.
Thinanong Leusasinh, of
Nongping village in Chanthabouly
district, Vientiane, was one of six
trainees making their first solo
flight without an instructor on
board last week.
The solo flight is a milestone
in the two-year pilot training
course, when trainees take the
controls of a four-seat, single
engine Cessna 172.
“I’m very excited to know that
I’m one of the top six students at
the flying school. Originally there
were 120 from which they selected the best 20. So it’s very satisfying for me to be one of the top
six,” Thinanong said.
The six trainee pilots are
scheduled to finish their course
next year, after which they will be
employed by Lao Skyway, the
company that is supporting the
During training, the trainees
attend courses known as “ground
school”. These courses cover all
the subjects required by the
International Civil Aviation
Organisation (ICAO) and Lao Civil
Aviation Safety Regulations.
The general knowledge course
covers airframes, engines and
systems, theory of flight, flight
instruments, flight operations,
human factors, and pilot decision-making.
Flight training includes dual,
solo, cross-country, instrument
and simulator training in accordance with ICAO and Lao Civil
Aviation Safety Regulations
requirements, a senior official
from the Department of Civil
Aviation said.
In a telephone interview, the
department’s Director General,
Mr Yakua Lopangkao, said the
project was a collaboration
between the Swiss-based
Partners in Aviation and
Communication Technologies
(PACTEC) and the Department of
Civil Aviation.
In line with the breakthrough
approach on human resources
adopted at the 9th Party
Congress, Mr Yakua said this project will help to develop the
capacity of the Civil Aviation
Training Centre (CATC) and train
the next generation of Lao pilots.
“It is good to have this training
programme in Laos because it
cuts expenditure,” he said.
In the past, the Civil Aviation
Training Centre had to send pilots
for training in China, Thailand,
France or New Zealand. It costs
about US$100,000 to train a single pilot in Thailand, according to
the CATC.
For too long the people of
Laos had been relying on other
countries to train their pilots.
This situation prompted PACTEC
to offer the DCA and CATC help
in setting up a flight training programme so Lao pilots could be
trained in Laos.
The first complete training of
pilots in Laos since 1975 began in
November of 2013 and is the
result of a long-standing partnership between the DCA, CATC, Lao
Skyway and PACTEC.
In 2004 the Department of
Civil Aviation invited PACTEC to
teach aviation English to Lao
pilots and air traffic controllers.
Over the years, PACTEC has also
supported the CATC in training
air traffic controllers.
In 2010, this sector-wide
capacity-building partnership
was expanded to include pilot
training, according to the Civil
Aviation Training Centre.
Philippines warns
against Korean
marriage brokers
South Korean nationals who run
international marriage agencies in the
Philippines may be subject to legal
punishment including prison terms,
the Philippines government recently
told Seoul.
According to South Korea’s Gender
Equality Ministry, it is the first time the
Southeast Asian country has sent an
official notice on the matter. Under the
Philippines’ Anti-Mail-Order Bride Law,
which was established in the 1990s,
matchmaking agencies that connect
Filipino women to foreign nationals for
marriage are illegal.
Matchmaking services, however,
are legal in South Korea and about
2,500 Korean nationals sign up every
year in hopes of connecting with a
foreign-born spouse.
Such matchmaking activities are
also illegal in countries such as
Cambodia, Vietnam and China, where
a large number of foreign spouses in
Korea are from.
Cambodia recommends
refugee status for 13
Cambodia has recommended 13
members of Vietnam’s Christian
Montagnard ethnic group for refugee
status, amid international criticism of
its previous treatment of asylum
seekers from the same community.
The group of Montagnards, named
after the French word for mountaindwellers, would be recommended for
processing with the office of the UN
High Commissioner for Refugees, the
Phnom Penh Post reported.
“We have learned that their request
(for refugee status) is true, unlike
those who come to dig cassava or for
logging,” Mom Sophanarith, deputy
director of the Interior Ministry’s
refugee department, was quoted as
“I was fairly confident that they
were going to be found to be refugees
because the Montagnards really do
face systemic discrimination and
abuses” in Vietnam, Phil Robertson,
deputy director for Human Right’s
Watch’s Asia Division, told dpa.
“There’s a reason why they’re coming
this way,” he said. They are
stigmatised in Vietnam partly for
assisting US forces during the war in
the 1970s.
Trial to push for better flight
tracking a year after MH370
Reuters, AFP
Australia, Indonesia and
Malaysia are launching a trial to
allow air traffic controllers to
more closely track aircraft traversing remote oceans such as
the one believed to be the final
resting place of Malaysia Airlines
Flight MH370.
No trace has been found of
the Boeing 777 aircraft, which
disappeared a year ago this
week carrying 227 mainly
Chinese passengers and 12 crew
in what has become one of the
greatest mysteries in aviation
history. The intensive underwater
hunt for missing plane MH370
has so far turned up just a few
shipping containers - and no
sign of the jet, the head of the
Australian agency leading the
search said Tuesday.
The plane vanished a year
ago Sunday carrying 239 people
en route from Kuala Lumpur to
Beijing and is believed to have
gone down in one of the deepest
and most remote areas of ocean
far off the Western Australia
Chief commissioner of the
Australian Transport Safety
Bureau (ATSB) Martin Dolan
said that while several manmade
items - mostly shipping containers -- have been detected during
a sonar search, they had found
nothing resembling debris from
the Malaysia Airlines jet.
Australian and Malaysian
authorities have narrowed the
search area to a vast 60,000
square kilometre (23,000 square
mile) zone - and they have so far
scoured around 40 per cent of it,
Dolan said.
Under the system being tested, long-haul aircraft would
effectively be required to check
in every 15 minutes, rather than
every 30-40 minutes, which is
the current norm. Long-haul
flights in an area covering roughly 11 percent of the world’s surface will take part in the test.
There was no further detail
immediately available about
what flights or routes the trial
would cover.
MH370 vanished from radar
screens shortly after taking off
from Kuala Lumpur, bound for
Beijing, early on March 8.
Investigators believe it was flown
thousands of miles off course
before eventually crashing into
the ocean off Australia.
A preliminary report issued
by Malaysia last May described
frantic attempts to trace the aircraft, with air traffic control in
Kuala Lumpur contacting counterparts in Singapore, Hong
Kong and Phnom Penh when
something appeared to have
gone awry.
Australian Deputy Prime
Minister Warren Truss said in a
Australians to be moved to Indonesia
execution site Wednesday
Officers take the death row
inmate of a drug case, Mary
Jane Fiesta Veloso, to her
first judicial review trial.
She applied for the review
after her plea for clemency
was rejected by Indonesian
President Joko Widodo.
Air pollution tops public
concerns in China
Air pollution, corruption and the
wealth gap are the three issues of most
concern to readers ahead of the annual
parliamentary sessions of China,
dubbed as “two sessions”, according
to an online survey by the China Daily
The issue of pollution has grown in
importance for people since last year’s
survey which then showed the top
three issues as being the cost of living,
the environment and employment.
This year is crucial for the
deepening of reforms, with attention
being focused on how the “two
sessions” will handle the ongoing
development of the country and
further improve people’s livelihood.
The survey drew 3,886
respondents, 60 per cent of whom
were from countries other than China.
media release in Sunday that the
new system, which adapts technology already used by most
long-haul jets, could greatly narrow down search areas in the
case of future tragedies.
“This new approach enables
immediate improvements to
monitoring long-haul flights and
will give the public greater confidence in aviation, without requiring any additional technology
investment by airlines,” Truss
said. Airlines say they generally
support improved tracking, but
baulked recently at a stop-gap
proposal to oblige carriers tofit
existing systems within 12
months, saying the technology
was still evolving.
The European Union is
expected to unveil new regulations on flight tracking soon as
the international aviation communityattempts to show some
progress a year after MH370 was
Agence France-Presse
Indonesia, March 3, 2015
(AFP) - Two Australian drug
smugglers on death row in
Indonesia will be transferred
Wednesday from their jail on
Bali to an island off Java where
they will be put to death, an official said.
Andrew Chan and Myuran
Sukumaran, the ringleaders of
the so-called “Bali Nine” drug
trafficking gang, and officials
escorting them will be flown in
two military aircraft, said
Momock Bambang Samiarso,
head of the Bali prosecutor’s
office. Officials are yet to
announce a date for their executions, but the transfer indicates
it is imminent.
The men, in their early 30s,
were convicted of trying to
smuggle heroin out of Indonesia
in 2005 and sentenced to death
the following year. They recently
lost their appeals for presidential
clemency, typically a death row
convict’s last chance to avoid the
firing squad, and are expected to
be put to death soon.
Canberra has mounted a sustained diplomatic campaign to
stop the executions from going
ahead, but President Joko
Widodo has been a vocal supporter of the death penalty and
has refused to change course.
Following a coordination
meeting with other officials on
Tuesday, Samiarso told reporters: “The coordination has been
completed. (The transfer) will be
carried out tomorrow.”
The Australians are being
transferred to Nusakambangan
island, which is home to several
prisons. Five people, including
foreigners, were put to death on
the island in January.
The Australians are among a
group of foreigners, including a
Frenchman and a Brazilian, who
have lost their appeals for clemency and are facing imminent
execution. Authorities must give
convicts 72 hours notice before
they are put to death.
Australian Prime Minister
Tony Abbott has made repeated
appeals for Chan and
Sukumaran’s lives to be spared.
Chan’s brother, Michael,
called on Widodo to show mercy
in an appearance on Indonesian
television at the weekend.
“Andrew is a changed man
from 10 years ago,” he said, urging Widodo to give him a “second chance”.
MYANMAR ELEVEN, Wednesday, March 4, 2015
MYANMAR ELEVEN, Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Indonesia considers tax breaks
for labour-intensive industries
VN businesswomen in
Forbes’ Asia
top 50 list
THE government may make
existing tax allowances applicable to labour-intensive industries
in an effort to reach its 2-milliona-year job-creation target, an
official with the Investment
Coordinating Board (BKPM) said
“We really need the investment in the labour [-intensive]
industries, including garment,
footwear and furniture. If we
don’t give [a tax allowance] to
them, they [investors] may relocate to other countries,” BKPM
deputy chairman Azhar Lubis
said after a meeting with industry officials.
In 2012 a tax policy was
enacted that slashed taxable
income to 30 per cent of overall
investment realised over six
years; sped-up depreciation and
amortisation; charged an income
tax of up to 10 per cent for offshore taxpayers; and carried forward losses from five years to 10
However, at the moment the
allowance applies to just 129
business sectors, ranging from
plantations to real estate.
The industry ministry’s director-general for base manufacturing industries, Harjanto, said the
tax allowance should be made
more accessible to downstream
industries ineligible under the
current system. At present, for
example, the tax accommodation
applies to textile businesses, but
excludes the garment industry.
“We may require greater flexibility as our new orientation is to
Pulogadung industrial estate in East Jakarta. Labour laws and infrastructure deficiencies have
been blamed for the poor showing of Indonesian export-oriented manufacturing compared to the
likes of Vietnam and Bangladesh.
absorb labour,” he said.
The labour-intensive industry
covers firms that employ at least
200 workers and whose labor
costs account for 15 per cent of
total production costs; they
include manufacturers of food
and beverages, tobacco, textiles
and garments, leather and leather products, footwear, toys and
Investment in labour-intensive
industries trended upward
between 2010 to 2014, rising by
between 20 and 40 per cent
annually, with 1,528 projects
realised in 2014 making up 15
per cent of total domestic and
foreign direct investment.
However, industrial growth did
not trigger increased labour
absorption, which raised concerns among policymakers; in
fact the number of workers in the
labour-intensive industry tumbled, falling from 337,305 work-
ers in 2011 to 203,732 workers
last year.
Harjanto added that in addition to the tax allowance, his
office had proposed a restitution
of taxes for firms in export-oriented industries to encourage
them to use locally sourced raw
Such an incentive would be
needed to lure investment in the
industrial sector, where there is
stiff regional competition.
Singaporeans top real-estate buyers among Asian
Investors from Singapore
remained Asia’s biggest buyers
of international real estate last
year as capital outflows from the
region hit a record.
Asian investors shelled out
US$40 billion on property
around the world in 2014, up 23
per cent over 2013.
Singaporean buyers accounted for a third of the total, said
consultancy CBRE yesterday,
with investors outlaying $11.9
billion, up $2.5 billion from
Chinese investors were next,
with spending of $10.1 billion as
new players such as insurers
sought to increase their allocation of funds to international
real estate.
Hong Kong was in third place,
with $6.3 billion.
But Singapore fell out of
favour as an investment destination, falling out of the top five
places for Asian real-estate dollars last year after being fourth
in 2013.
“Singaporean investors
looked offshore as a result of
compressed yields in their home
market and a shortage of
investible assets,” said Ada
Choi, senior director for CBRE
Research Asia.
Property cooling measures
have hit property investing here,
driving developers and sovereign wealth funds alike to venture abroad.
Though Singaporeans were
active across the globe, including in the US, Europe, the
Middle East and Africa, and the
Pacific region, they invested the
most in Asian countries such as
Japan, said CBRE.
Singapore sovereign wealth
fund GIC, for instance, invested
$1.7 billion to buy the entire
office component of Pacific
Century Place Marunouchi in
Tokyo in October.
GIC also reportedly picked up
a 49 per cent stake in five malls
in New Zealand for $1.04 billion
last November.
Just 39 per cent of Asian capital outflows was concentrated in
the top five real estate destinations of London, Tokyo, Sydney,
Shanghai and New York last
year. A year earlier, these top
five cities accounted for 60 per
cent of Asian investments.
“Perhaps the biggest untold
story for 2014 has been the
movement into secondary gateway cities such as Paris and Los
Angeles, as well as regional centres of the UK,” noted Marc
Giuffrida, executive director of
global capital markets at CBRE.
The diversification was also
seen in investments across asset
While Asian investments in
offices were the highest, at 54
per cent, investments in hotels
picked up 5 percentage points to
16 per cent from 2013, while
industrial property rose 5 percentage points to 7 per cent.
“Investors feel that by looking
to new markets and asset classes, they will be able to secure
better yields and face less competition,” added Giuffrida.
Asian investments mostly
went to Europe, the Middle East
and Africa, which received $13.7
billion, hardly changed from
Within Asia, investors doled
out $12 billion, marking a 58 per
cent increase over the previous
German firms in bid to overhaul Manila elevated train line
A consortium of two German firms
and a Philippine partner has proposed
a 4.65-billion-peso (US$105.68million) rehabilitation plan for one line
of the Philippine capital’s ageing
overhead train system, news report
said Tuesday.
The government has earmarked
4.76 billion pesos for the rehabilitation
of the 17-kilometre Metro Rail Transit
Line (MRT 3), which has been
experiencing repeated malfunctions in
recent months. The joint venture of
Schunk Bahn-und Industrietechnik
GmbH, HEAGmobilo GmbH and Comm
Builders and Technology Philippines
Inc said its proposed system
rehabilitation would not disrupt the
operations of the MRT 3, according to
the Philippine Star report.
It added that its proposed
rehabilitation would be completed in
3year to 4 years and would address
all problems, including the
installation of new elevators,
escalators, toilets and public address
system in 13 stations. Schunk
designs, manufactures and installs
high-quality power transmission
systems for the industrial and railway
sector, while HEAG operates and
maintains a fleet of trains and buses
in Darmstadt.
Two Vietnamese entrepreneurs
have been named by Forbes as
being among the top 50 powerful
businesswomen in Asia.
Mai Kieu Lien, chairwoman and
CEO of the Vietnam Dairy Products
Joint Stock Company (Vinamilk)
and Thai Huong, chairwoman of TH
Group with the TH True Milk brand,
were named in the Asia’s Power
Businesswomen 2015 list, released
by Forbes last week.
Vinamilk is one of the bestknown brands in Viet Nam and,
according to research firm Nielsen,
has 51 per cent of the liquid milk
market share, Forbes said.
Vinamilk’s revenue jumped 14
per cent in 2014 to reach US$1.7
billion, supported by two new
factories, the magazine said,
adding that Lien, 61, aims to push
sales to touch $3 billion by 2017 by
expanding overseas.
Vinamilk exports to 30
countries and is trying to sell more
to the Middle East, Africa and
Cuba. But Mai faces certain
challenges. For instance, the
company’s profit last year was flat
as the price of raw materials –
largely imported milk powder –
shot up, according to the
Lien has been included in the
Asia’s Power Businesswomen list
for the fourth consecutive year.
Meanwhile, TH Group
Chairwoman Thai Huong, 57, is the
newest representative of Vietnam
in this list. Huong entered the milk
business in 2009, vowing to change
the nature of the industry in
Vietnam, which has mainly used
powder to produce liquid milk,
Forbes said.
Since then, TH Group has
invested $450 million to import
and raise cows to produce fresh
milk products, using Israeli
technology. It has 40,000 cows on
8,100 ha, but plans to raise its total
land to 37,000ha, according to
TH Group estimates that its
2014 revenue exceeded $200
million, with a one-third share of
the fresh-milk market, a challenge
to the country’s largest milk
producer, Vinamilk, Forbes said.
The Asia’s Power
Businesswomen 2015 list covers
the top 50 representatives in
several sectors from 16 regional
To prepare this year’s list,
Forbes applied the criteria of
company sales, the positions of the
candidates in their companies, and
the level of their participation at
In 2014, Forbes named three
Vietnamese businesswomen in its
most-powerful women list,
including Vinamilk Chairwoman
and CEO Lien, Chairperson and
CEO of Refrigeration Electrical
Engineering Joint Stock Company
Nguyen Thi Mai Thanh, and
Chairperson of the Southeast Asia
Commercial Joint Stock Bank
Nguyen Thi Nga.
MYANMAR ELEVEN, Wednesday, March 4, 2015
The Museum of World
Cultures in Barcelona, Spain, has
just opened its doors as a massive repository of cultural and
artistic collections that illustrate
different non-western cultures of
Africa, Asia, America and
More than 700 pieces on display at the museum come from
the private collection of the late
Albert Folch-Rusinol (1922-1988)
as well as the Ethnological
Museum of Barcelona.
Its Asian art collection, among
the largest in the world, features
priceless objets d’art from India,
Nepal, China, Myanmar,
Thailand, Malaysia and
Indonesia. The Myanmar collection figures prominently in the
Asia section.
Most are Buddha images and
deities in different sizes and
styles dating from the 16th to
20th centuries. The Myanmar
collection includes several images of the “Crowned Buddha”
(16th to 18th centuries) from
Arakan and elsewhere,
“Victorious Buddha over the
demon Mara” from the late 19th
century, “Buddha with his disciples” from the 19th century and a
deity from the 18th to 19th centuries.
Besides the religious sculptures, the museum boasts the
Kammavaca manuscripts dating
to the 19th century.
The manuscripts contain
sacred texts of Theravada
Buddhism about the ordination
and behaviour of monks. Written
in the Pali language and
Burmese script, mainly on lacquered and gilded palm leaves,
they were widely produced and
disseminated throughout
Myanmar in the 18th, 19th and
20th centuries. The first and last
pages were generally illustrated
with mythical creatures.
There’s also a gong stand. In
Myanmar, some of the supports
for holding gongs and drums are
elaborately decorated with figurative motifs for use in religious
and courtly contexts.
This support represents toe
nayar, a Burmese-tradition mythical beast with dragon or snake
scales on its body, hoofed feet, a
fish-like tail, wings, a lion’s head
and an elephant’s trunk and
tusks. In this case, the toe nayar
would have protected the orchestra of which it formed part, thus
ensuring its success in performances.
According to the museum’s
website, some of these art
objects were gathered during
trips and campaigns to different
parts of Africa, America, Asia
and Oceania, funded by the
Barcelona City Council.
An audience with the deva
A visitor eyes a deity from Myanmar, part of the 700 archaeological pieces from Asia, Africa,
America and Oceania, which are displayed at the new Museum of World Cultures in Barcelona,
Women’s Day
Myanmar to witness the ‘Big Bang’ in July
Big Bang’s Facebook Page
Big Bang is slated to perform a concert in Myanmar in July.
Popular South Korean idol group Big
Bang will hold a concert in Myanmar in
July, according to Living Sound
“We are planning to hold it at a venue
with a seating capacity of between
40,000 and 50,000 fans. Only then, it will
be convenient for us,” said Jaw Maran of
Living Sound Entertainment.
Living Sound Entertainment, which
organised the band’s labelmate 2NE1’s
concert in Myanmar last year, is currently
looking for a suitable venue to stage the
“We need to invest a lot to bring the
band here. We will try to sell the tickets
at reasonable prices for everyone without
making the prices too high,” he added.
Formed by YG Entertainment in 2006,
the five-member band comprises
G-dragon, TOP, Taeyang, Daesung, and
Seungri. Big Bang is one of the top idol
groups in South Korea with fans throughout the world. The group has released a
number of popular hits over the past eight
years with plans to release an album
within this year.
When 2NE1 staged a successful concert last August, it attracted over 10,000
fans although it was the most expensive
concert in Myanmar.
To celebrate International
Women’s Day this Sunday, the
week-long Yangon Women’s
Festival is being organised to
inspire and celebrate Myanmar
women’s achievements.
The festival brings together
female artists, performers and
professionals in an attempt to
remove the stigma attached to
society’s views on women and to
promote gender equality in
Myanmar through role models as
a way to educate and inspire
young ladies.
Featuring art exhibitions, concerts, movie screenings and seminars, the festival serves as a hub
of women’s rights concerns and
empowerment in Myanmar while
creating a platform to expose and
advertise women’s contributions
and voices.
The festival, which wraps up
this Sunday, runs at various venues including Think Art Gallery,
Pansodan Scene, Mojo, Coconut
Cafe and Bar, Sein Lan So Pyay
Garden and the French Institute.
All are welcome. Admission is