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HEARTBEAT OF THE NATION

500
Ks.

DAILY EDITION

WWW.MMTIMES.COM

ISSUE 47 | THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2015

UNITY FIVE APPEAL


THROWN OUT BY
SUPREME COURT

NLD SET TO ENTER


THE RULE-OF-LAW
MINEFIELD

WHITE HOUSE
BUZZING OVER NEW
BEE POLICY

NEWS 3

VIEWS 7

WORLD 17

Acehnese fishermen (right) tow a boat of Rohingya near the city of Geulumpang in Indonesias Aceh province at dawn before being rescued yesterday morning. Photo: AFP

Regional deal to end crisis


Amid mounting international pressure Malaysia and Indonesia agree to allow stricken boats carrying thousands
from Myanmar and Bangladesh to land, but warn that they will not accept any new arrivals. NEWS 2

2 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 21, 2015

Myanmar minorities
face critical threats
LAIGNEE BARRON
laignee@gmail.com
AS thousands of Bangladeshis and
Rakhine State Muslims remain stuck
aboard human smugglers boats in
the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, an international rights group has
named Myanmar as one the 10 nations where minorities are most at
risk of persecution.
The annual Peoples Under Threat
Index, released yesterday by the Minority Rights Group, identifies conditions that have historically precipitated genocide, mass killings and ethnic
cleansing. Indicators incorporated include World Bank measures of democratic governance, UN estimates of
refugees and internally displaced peoples, and the research centres logs of
historical conflicts.
Myanmar scored within the critical threat level at number eight on the
index, below South Sudan, the Central
African Republic and Yemen. Kachin,

Kayah, Kayin, Mon, Rakhine, Shan,


Chin, Wa and Rohingya whom the
government insists on calling Bengalis were all listed as minorities at the
highest risk of persecution in Myanmar.
The Rohingya were considered by
the index one of Asias most vulnerable people, subject to an escalating
and ongoing pattern of violence and
discrimination.
The level of threat foreseen in the
index is now being demonstrated by
the crisis unfolding in the Andaman
Sea, said Hanna Hindstrom of the Minority Rights Group.
The index also suggested that the
upcoming elections hold only a dim
possibility of improving the situation
for the countrys most marginalised
ethnic minorities.
As long as concerns about ethnic
rights and constitutional reform remain unresolved, Myanmars upcoming election is unlikely to bring immediate hope to the countrys minorities,
said Ms Hindstrom.

TRADE MARK CAUTION


Our Client, New Spirit China Ltd. a company incorporated under
the laws of the Peoples Republic of China , having its head office
at Rm. 2207, Block A. No.18TH, Taolin Road, Pudong District,
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following trademark:

In respect of: Veneers; Wood veneers; Floor Boards; Concrete


building elements; Cement slabs; Bricks; Floor tiles, not of metal;
Refractory construction materials, not of metal; Building materials,
not of metal; Partitions, not of metal; Buildings, not of metal.
Any unauthorised use, imitations, or infringements of the said
Trademark will be dealt with according to law.
U Min Sein: U Min Sein Law Firm
For New Spirit China Ltd.
#07 Pansodan Office Tower,
189-195 Pansodan Rd., Yangon
Email: michael.msein@gmail.com
Dated: 21 May, 2015

TRADE MARK CAUTION


Our Client, New Spirit China Ltd. a company incorporated under
the laws of the Peoples Republic of China , having its head office
at Rm. 2207, Block A. No.18TH, Taolin Road, Pudong District,
Shanghai, 00135, China, is the owner and sole proprietor of the
following trademark:

News 3

www.mmtimes.com

KOH LIPE, THAILAND, AND LANGKAWI, MALAYSIA

Malaysia and Indonesia pledge


to help migrants stranded at sea
Countries agree to offer temporary protection to migrants but call on international community to complete resettlement within one year

FIONA
MACGREGOR
fionamacgregor@hotmail.co.uk

MALAYSIA and Indonesia said yesterday they would offer temporary


shelter to 7000 refugees, migrants
and trafficking victims many from
Myanmar who have been stuck at
sea for weeks in dire conditions.
The move is the first breakthrough in a humanitarian crisis and
diplomatic stand-off, which has left
thousands of lives at risk after a recent clampdown in Thailand closed
down usual trafficking routes from
Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Neighbouring countries also refused to allow boats to land, pushing
their starving and sick passengers to
and fro between international waters,
in what has been condemned as playing maritime ping-pong with peoples lives.
What we have clearly stated is
that we will take in only those who
are on the high sea. But under no
other circumstances would we be
expected to take each one of them if
there is an influx of others, Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman
told reporters.
Thailand, which also attended the
meeting between the three countries
in Kuala Lumpur, has apparently
stuck by its policy that it will offer
supplies to people stuck on boats, but
those who land in Thailand will be
charged under immigration laws.
Temporary shelters are to be set
up in Malaysian and Indonesia, but
not in Thailand. International assistance will be sought in resettling or
repatriating the migrants.
The decision follows a joint statement by the UN which has described the adrift vessels as floating
coffins and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on
May 19. The statement detailed the
horrific conditions being faced by
those on board ships, including rape,
other violence and starvation, and
called on countries in the region to
desist from pushing boats back and
allow people to land safely without
being detained.
The UN had estimated 8000 people were on board ships in the Bay
of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.

Acehnese fishermen (left) help transfer Rohingya from their boat off the coast of Aceh province yesterday. Photo: AFP

Malaysian intelligence has estimated


that number to now be about 7000,
according to Mr Anifah.
Around 3000 people made it to
land, mainly in Indonesia and Malaysia, in recent days, but most boats
have been pushed back out to sea
when attempting to enter those countries waters.
The towing and shooing [away
of boats] is not going to happen anymore, the Malaysian minister said.
He added, We also agreed to offer them temporary shelter provided
that the resettlement and repatriation process will be done within one
year by the international community.
According to the joint statement,
The international community will
be responsible in providing Malaysia,
Indonesia, and Thailand with necessary support, particularly financial
assistance, to enable them to provide
temporary shelter and humanitarian
assistance to the irregular migrants
currently at risk.
The crisis has been complicated
by the fact the ships are carrying both

Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar, who are likely to be


considered asylum seekers, alongside
economic migrants from Bangladesh.
While Myanmar authorities on
May 19 indicated they would be willing to take back those people who
could prove they were Myanmar,
it is unlikely most Rohingya who
are officially referred to in Myanmar
as Bengalis will be able to meet the
governments criteria.
The UNHCR welcomed the move
by Malaysian and Indonesia as an
important initial step in the search
for solutions to this issues, and vital
for the purpose of saving lives.
However, the UN refugee agency
stressed the urgent need for people
to be brought ashore without delay.
UNHCR agrees with the ministers that further action will be
needed. This includes addressing
root causes. It will need to take into
account looking properly at the needs
of those in need of international protection, it said.
Rights
organisations
also

welcomed the move.


Joe Lowry, spokesperson for the
IOM, said the decision by Malaysia
and Indonesia was brave and timely. They have to get these people
ashore. We can help them get them
back on their feet and help them resettle to third countries.
However some have criticised
Thailand for failing to offer shelter
to those at sea.
The Myanmar Times yesterday
witnessed a large navy boat off the
shore of Koh Lipe apparently waiting to prevent boats from landing.
Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch, said,
Todays foreign ministers meeting
should mark the end of the regions
push-back policies against Rohingya
and Bangladeshi boat people. But its
disturbing that just when Indonesia
and Malaysia agreed to at least provide temporary shelter for boat people Thailand was missing in action.
He added, Lets hope that this
failure of Thai leadership is temporary and Bangkok recognises that it

should urgently revamp its stance


and join with Indonesia and Malaysia to save these people on the
high seas and provided them with
humanitarian shelter and assistance
ashore.
Earlier yesterday a boat that had
been missing since being pushed
out of Thai and Malaysian waters on
May 16 was rescued off Indonesia by
local fishermen.
Witnesses said 433 people, including about 70 children and a
similar number of women, had been
taken ashore from the boat, which
had been sent to and fro between
different countries waters for weeks.
On May 16 The Myanmar Times
witnessed passengers on board crying and pleading as the Thai Navy
towed it back out to sea for the second time in three days.
The condition [of those rescued]
is very weak. Many are sick. They
told me that some of their friends
died of starvation, Teuku Nyak Idrus, a fisherman involved in the rescue, told AFP.

Govt promises assistance, clampdown on trafficking


GUY DINMORE
guydinmore@gmail.com

In respect of: Building timber; wood strip; wood floor; cement;


ceramic tile; floor tiles, not of metal; refractory construction
materials, not of metal; building materials, not of metal;
staircases, not of metal; building coating materials, not of metal.
Any unauthorised use, imitations, or infringements of the said
Trademark will be dealt with according to law.
U Min Sein: U Min Sein Law Firm
For New Spirit China Ltd.
#07 Pansodan Office Tower,
189-195 Pansodan Rd., Yangon
Email: michael.msein@gmail.com
Dated : 21 May, 2015

MYANMAR pledged yesterday to


work with the international community to help victims of human trafficking stranded at sea and to crack
down on smuggling gangs operating
in Rakhine State.
The statement of intent issued
by the foreign ministry followed
intense pressure on Myanmar from
the United Nations on May 19 to
take swift action to help an estimated 2000 men, women and children
reported to be stranded in desperate
conditions on at least five boats off
the Rakhine coast.
The government has not confirmed their presence off the coast
and as of last night there was no official word on their fate.

The foreign ministry statement


referred to reports of migrants and
boat people in the Andaman Sea
and the Straits of Malacca, areas well
south of the Bay of Bengal where the
Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshis are believed to be trapped with
bad weather approaching.
But it said in general terms that
Myanmar stands ready to provide
humanitarian assistance to anyone
who suffered in the sea, and that
action was being taken to prevent
human smuggling and illegal migration across the country.
The Rakhine State government
and concerned departments are endeavouring diligently to prevent illegal migration by sea, the statement
added.
International aid workers have
questioned such diligence, convinced

that some local officials and even police are collaborating with traffickers
under an unspoken policy to encourage Rohingya to flee the country and
abandon the camps where they have
been confined since sectarian violence three years ago.
A Rohingya resident of an IDP
camp in Rakhine State said last
night that no one was trying to leave
on board traffickers boats these
days. We are all hearing the news
of what is happening so no one is interested in leaving at the moment.
The official Global New Light of
Myanmar reported last week that
the national police anti-trafficking
unit had not uncovered any cases of
human trafficking in Rakhine State
last month. Police officials have
also previously told The Myanmar
Times that not a single case was

recorded in the state for the whole


of 2014.
The foreign ministry statement
made no mention of calls by the
international community for Myanmar to address the root causes
of the crisis, which are seen lying in
the persecution of the mostly stateless Rohingya minority, poverty in
Bangladesh, and the thirst of the
Thai, Malaysian, and Indonesian
economies for cheap and unregistered labour.
US deputy secretary of state Antony Blinken said he would push
Myanmar to improve conditions for
Rohingya when he meets officials
today.
The only sustainable solution
to the problem is changing the conditions that led [Rohingya] to put
their lives at risk in the first place,

and that is one of the things that


we will be talking about with the
government of Myanmar, he was
quoted as saying in Jakarta by news
agency AFP.
Jeff Rathke, a US State Department spokesperson, said Washington was urging all governments
concerned to take part in a conference on the crisis to be hosted by
Thailand on May 29.
We continue to urge governments to identify and address the
root causes of the crisis, Mr Rathke
added.
The Myanmar government
was initially reluctant to send a
representative to the conference,
but Thai deputy foreign minister
Don Pramudwinai said yesterday
that Myanmar had accepted the
invitation.

Supreme Court rejects final


appeal from jailed Unity Five
YE MON
yeemontun2013@gmail.com
THE lawyer for the Unity Five the
four journalists and the CEO of the paper now serving seven-year jail terms
has criticised the Supreme Courts
rejection of their appeal, suggesting the
court had bowed to political pressure.
The five were convicted last year
for breaching the 1923 State Secrets
Act.
U Robert San Aung, who represented the reporters, told The Myanmar Times yesterday that the judge
had made his decision on May 15, but
it had only just been disclosed.
The verdict is legally wrong. I
dont think this can be an independent decision because the original
charges were filed [on the instruction
of ] the Presidents Office. The verdict
does not seem to be in accordance
with the independence of the judiciary, he said.
Reporter Ko Lu Maws wife Ma
Lwin Lwin Myint said she had hoped
that the Supreme Court would accept
a special appeal to reduce her husbands sentence. This verdict is deeply disappointing for the reporters and
their families. We expected the judge
to reduce the sentence, she said.
The Supreme Court rejected an
appeal last November on behalf of reporters Lu Maw Naing, Sithu Soe, Paing Thet Kyaw, Yazar Oo and Unitys
CEO U Tint Sann, who were convicted
in July 2014 on charges of trespassing
in a restricted area and taking photos
of a Defence Ministry facility without
permission.
On October 2, Magwe Region court
reduced the sentences from 10 years

Unity reporters speak to the media after being sentenced to 10 years imprisonment
by a Magwe Region court in July 2014. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

imprisonment with hard labour to


seven years. All five are in Pakokku
Prison.
The case has been raised by the
Myanmar Press Council with the president. Presidential spokesperson U Ye
Htut, who is also minister for information, has previously said the government would only review the case once
the judicial process has concluded.
More than 10 journalists are currently in prison on charges filed by the
government
Five staff of Bi Mon Te Nay journal
were jailed for two years for publishing an announcement from an activist

group, the Movement for Democracy


Current Force (MDCF), that said Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic political leaders had formed an interim
government.
U Kyaw Win, the defendants lawyer, said yesterday that he had submitted an appeal to Yangon regional
court. We are waiting the decision of
the judge, he said.
President U Thein Sein promised
when he met with the Myanmar Press
Council (Interim) last year that he
would do what he could on this issue
within the law, and without infringing
the independence of the judiciary.

4 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 21, 2015

Chief Executive Officer


Tony Child
tonychild.mcm@gmail.com
Editorial Director U Thiha Saw
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Editor-at-Large Douglas Long
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News Editor MTE Guy Dinmore
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Business Editor MTE Jeremy Mullins
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World Editor MTE Fiona MacGregor,
Kayleigh Long
The Pulse Editor MTE Charlotte Rose
charlottelola.rose@gmail.com
Sport Editor MTE Matt Roebuck
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Special Publications Editor MTE Wade Guyitt
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Regional Affairs Correspondent Roger Mitton
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Sub-Editors Peter Swarbrick, Laignee Barron
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Doctors from Yangon General Hospital show a photo of the severed arm on May 19. Photo: Naing Wynn Htoon

Surgeons re-attach arm severed in family feud


MYINT KAY THI
myintkay94thi@gmail.com
A SURGICAL team has re-attached
the arm of a patient after a six-hour
operation at Yangon General Hospital. The 50-year-old Taikkyi township woman lost her arm above her
elbow in a knife fight with relatives,
surgeons said at a press conference
on May 19.
The operation took place on April
27 and was performed by three surgeons specialising in hand and reconstructive surgery, assisted by several

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reconstruct an injury caused by a


machine because knife cuts are more
precise, he said.
Victims of a similar accident
should call 01-256123, 01-256112 or
256114 (ext: 856), giving their blood
type and an estimated time of arrival
at the hospital.
Severed fingers could be replaced
in not more than 24 to 30 hours, and
damage to arms, including the wrist
and elbow joints, should be attended
to within 12 to 24 hours, though preferably within six hours, he said.
Nine hand surgeons are practis-

ing in Myanmar hospitals, including


four at the two universities of medicine in Yangon and two at the University of Mandalay.
Professor Zaw Wai Soe of the
University of Medicine I in Yangon
said there were too few hand surgeons in the country. The medical
universities are training more bone
surgeons, he said.
Dr U Khin Maung said, The patient is doing well and can be discharged in the next one or two days.
But it will take at least a year for the
hand to return to normal.

US slams population control bill

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students, including one specialising


in bone surgery, an anaesthetist and
assistant anaesthetist and three nurses, said one of the surgeons involved.
The patient was brought to Yangon
Hospital at about 4:30pm, and the operation lasted from 7:30pm to 2am.
Professor Khin Maung Myint,
head of the hand and reconstructive
microsurgery department, said anyone involved in an incident resulting
in the loss of a hand should keep the
hand cold and dry. In 2006, I operated on a patient whose hand was
cut off by a machine. Its harder to

GUY
DINMORE
guydinmore@gmail.com

THE United States has criticised as


dangerous a controversial population control bill backed by hardline
nationalist Buddhists that is expected
to become law within days.
We are particularly concerned
that the Health Care for Population
Control Bill could provide a legal basis
for discrimination through coercive,
uneven application of birth control
policies, and differing standards of
care for different communities across
the country, the State Department
said in a statement on May 19.
The passage of this bill runs counter to the governments public commitment to provide affordable and
equal access to family planning and
could place limitations on the reproductive freedom of women and girls
and their ability to make informed
and voluntary decisions about their
sexual and reproductive health. The
vagueness of this bill could lead to

abuse and discriminatory application,


the statement said.
The final version of the bill was
approved by the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, a joint session of the two houses
of parliament in Nay Pyi Taw, on May
14 following minor amendments submitted by President U Thein Sein. It is
expected to become law within days.
Members of the National League for
Democracy opposed the bill.
It will be the first of four controversial bills that have been promoted
by the Committee for the Protection
of Nationality and Religion to become
law. Critics say the organisation, better
known by its acronym Ma Ba Tha, has
an ultra-nationalist and anti-Muslim

The vagueness
of this bill could
lead to abuse and
discriminatory
application.
US State Department

agenda. The other three bills regulate


religious conversion and interfaith
marriage, and outlaw polygamy.
Taken together, this bill and the
three others, if enacted, could further
marginalise members of ethno-religious minorities and undermine their
hopes for democracy, development
and peace. The dangerous impact of
these bills has already been demonstrated when some women who spoke
out against the bills were subject to
sexual harassment and death threats,
the State Department said.
Activists with a racist, anti-Muslim
agenda pressed for this population
law, so there is every reason to expect
it to be implemented in a discriminatory way, said Brad Adams, the Asia
director of Human Rights Watch. The
population bill as well as the other
race and religion bills under consideration are likely to escalate repression and sectarian violence.
Ma Htar Htar, a Yangon activist
who promotes education about sexual
health through the Akhaya womens
group, said the law clearly violates the
rights of women to choose when to
have children. She called it a highly
politicised law that was aimed at certain ethnic and religious groups.

Members of their organisation


had received threats and sexual harassment for campaigning against the
law, she said. Parliament had asked for
civic society groups to make proposals
on the law and then ignored them, she
added.
The bill instructs authorities in
specially designated health zones to
organise married couples to practice
birth spacing, which is defined as having a 36-month interval between children. The bill has also been criticised
for not incorporating explicit guarantees that all contraceptive use should
be voluntary with the full informed
consent of the user.
Ma Htar Htar said because knowledge of contraception was limited, especially in poorer parts of the country,
there was a danger that its use could
become coercive.
UN high commissioner for human
rights Zeid Raad Al-Hussein also expressed concern over the four bills in
a statement in February, in which he
said, During an election year, it will be
tempting for some politicians to fan the
flames of prejudice for electoral gain.
The Ministry of Health did not
respond to requests for comment
yesterday.

6 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 21, 2015

Residents
protest
military
factory

NAWNGHKIO, SHAN STATE

KYAW KO KO
kyawkoko.mdy991@gmail.com

The parched earth of a dried-out water pond in Yar Pyin village, Nawnghkio township, Shan State. Photo: Than Naing Soe

Water shortage curse plagues Danu village


THAN NAING SOE
thennaingsoe@gmail.com
A BULLOCK cart sways and creaks
as it carries buckets filled with water
slowly up the red-earth road to the
village in the heat of a recent summer afternoon. The sight is all too
common in Yar Pyin village, Nawnghkio township, in nothern Shan State,
where the Danu live.
Most of the houses store rainwater
in 12,000-litre tanks for drinking, as
well as bringing in more water from a
lake to the west of the village for cows
and buffalos.
All my life, water has been scarce
here, says U Aung Ni, 75.
He said that, as well as storing
rainwater, villagers also had to harvest water that seeped through crevices in the rocks.
Traditional wisdom has it that the
shortage is the fault of the villagers
of old, who refused to offer water to

a thirsty King Kyansittha of Bagan


when he visited.
Long ago this did not matter so
much, as rainfall was reliable and the
population small. But for the past 10
years, Yar Pyin villages water shortages
have been growing increasingly worrisome. There are 300 houses, more than
1500 people, and about 3000 cows and
buffalos. Climate change means the
water shortage gets worse every year,
according to residents.
The population here is increasing. The climate is getting warmer
and dryer year after year. The whole
village has troubles accessing water
because there are not enough places
to find it, says Yar Pyin village administrator U Win Aung.
He fears the worsening climate is
linked to local deforestation. Yar Pyin
village grows tea, makes charcoal and
bakes lime, occupations that consume a lot of firewood, which is taken
from the surrounding forests. The

village devotes about 10 months of


the year to roasting tea leaves.
Firewood is essential in making
tea. We use seven times as much fuel
to make tea as we do to cook, said U
Win Aung.
Three years ago, matters reached a
head. Water was so short that ponds
used by cattle dried up and 30 cows
died. People had to share their storage tanks.
The earthquake that year also
broke a lot of storage tanks, U Win
Aung said.
People used to walk their cattle to
Naungtaw village, 7 kilometres (4.3
miles) from Yar Pyin. But many of the
older beasts died along the way.
Township officials have distributed water to the village, using fire
engines. Japanese experts arrived
to dig tube wells. Three wells, more
than 100 metres deep, were built but
yielded no water.
Mysteriously, surrounding villages

Tha Yat Cho, Naung Taw, Naung


Late, Shwe Mu Htaw, Met Man Taw
and Shaung Chong are not afflicted
with such shortages. Notwithstanding that, Yar Pyins economy is otherwise not in bad shape, with plenty of
rice and oil.
U Kyaw Moe, a visitor from Nang
Tin War village, concluded that the
plight of Yar Pyin must have been decreed by Buddha.
As things are, anyone thinking of
building a house must also build a
rainwater storage tank, which costs
about K1 million. Otherwise, they
will have to walk 1.6km to take a
bath.
In cooler weather, one tank can
serve four homes, but its not enough
when the heat comes.
Our real problems will begin if
there is an earthquake, village administrator U Win Aung said, or
a severe drought. Translation by
Khant Lin Oo and Emoon

MAGWE Region villagers are determined to halt work on a military factory they say harms their livelihood.
The residents of Ngat Pyar Kyin, Nga
Lal Khone and Pout Pan Saing villages
in Saw township, Magwe Region, say
they want to stop the construction of a
factory by Myanmar Defence Products
Industries, better known as Ka Pa Sa,
near their homes.
The military seized more than 700
acres of land from the three villages in
2011, paying compensation of K5000
per acre of farmland and K3000 per
acre of crop field. Compensation for
housing ranged from K300,000 to K1.1
million. Last year, the military started
levelling the ground and paving roads
on the seized land.
The military forced us to take their
compensation, said Pout Pan Saing
villager Ko Kan Htoo Aung. We dont
want to move. Now they have started
preparing to build the factory, which
will put our livelihood in jeopardy. We
want to stop this project.
On May 14, about 200 residents
staged a protest in support of their demand for their land to be returned to
them. Many held copies of Form 7, an
official ownership document.
We have seen the harm this development has done to the residents
livelihood, so we took to the streets
in protest to let government officials
know about our suffering, said sayadaw U Thatkata of Nga Lal Khone
village.
Residents said they have filed
complaints with the Presidents Office
and with the ministries concerned,
and added that U Hla Swe, chair of
the investigation commission on
farmland seizures for Magwe Region,
conducted a field study in the area in
2013.
U Hla Swe a former military officer said he had suggested that the
Ministry of Defence and Magwe Region government change the factorys
design to reduce the impact on farmers, and relocate the three villages to a
wealthier part of the region.
He said the Ministry of Defence
had made no reply concerning the
design revision. But even if the plan
is changed, residents will still have to
move. Translation by Zar Zar Soe

PR applicants wait on presidents okay


Implementation committee has the power to approve applications but members instead decide to seek the presidents approval for each case

SANDAR
LWIN
sdlsandar@gmail.com

APPLICANTS for permanent residence status will have to wait a little


longer to find out if they will receive
it, government officials said yesterday. The first batch of applications
was sent for approval to the Presidents Office, apparently from an excess of bureaucratic caution.
The law that authorised the granting of PR status to certain categories
of applicants does not state that applications require presidential approval. But the officials scrutinising
the initial applications apparently
decided that, since the president

had appointed the committee that


approved the applications, his office
should be consulted before the committee took a final decision.
An official of the immigration
ministrys Permanent Residency Section confirmed on May 19 that the
Central Implementation Committee
had taken the extra and unrequired
step of getting the final green light
from the very top in respect of the
first 130 applications, which were
submitted in January.
We submitted the applications
to the Presidents Office before
Thingyan. We hope to get feedback
soon, said an official in the sections Yangon branch, who requested
anonymity.
The program that allows foreign
investors, skilled persons, former citizens who have not been granted foreign citizenship and family members

of citizens to apply for permanent


residency status was first announced
last November. Application forms
became available in December.
Weve had no complaints about
the process, but applicants frequently ask if theyve been approved, said
the official.
Daw Aye Aye Thein, deputy director of the PR Section in Nay Pyi
Taw, said the Central Committee had
sought presidential approval as the
program is still new.
The committee was formed by
the president. Although the committee grants final approval, it wanted
to report on how it was dealing with
the first applications, she said.
The committee reported to the
president in April, she confirmed.
The Central Implementation
Committee can approve PR status
after scrutinising the documents

submitted and interviewing the applicants. PR status will be granted


to those who pass the interview. The
interviews of the first batch of applicants will begin once the approval
of the Presidents Office has been received, she said.

Weve had no
complaints about
the process, but
applicants frequently
ask if theyve been
approved.
Permanent Residency Section official

Yangon applicants already approved by the committee include more


than 60 former citizens, about 10 foreign investors and skilled persons, and
about 40 relatives of citizens.
More than 500 people have requested application forms from the
Yangon office, though others may
have accessed the form online. More
than 170 application forms have
been submitted, each applicant paying US$500 as a non-refundable application fee. Successful foreign applicants pay an annual fee of $1000
for subsequent extensions of PR status. Former citizens pay only $500 a
year, and may apply for full citizenship after one year.
Critics say the program should
not exclude former citizens who were
granted political asylum or refugee
status. They are also unhappy at a
prohibition on political involvement.

News 7

www.mmtimes.com

Views

Entering the rule-of-law minefield


The National League for Democracys mantra of the past three years could make life difficult for the party after this years election

T has become common for leaders across the region to pontificate about a need to return to
the rule of law, but exactly what
they mean in practice is never
fully explained.
Most recently, the rule of law motive has been invoked by Indonesias
President Joko Jokowi Widodo to
provide grounds for restoring capital
punishment.
This year, after Jokowi aborted a
four-year moratorium on executions,
14 men convicted of drug offences
have been subjected to the rule of
law and shot through the heart.
All were convicted of capital offences and sentenced to death after
a long series of trials and appeals. So
clearly the rule of law was followed
to its proper conclusion.
Another 135 convicted criminals
still sit on Indonesias death row and
will surely soon meet the same fate.
Of course, there was an outcry by
death penalty opponents, especially
those who had thought the democratically elected Jokowi was a nice,
kind liberal guy, in the mould of
former Thai Prime Minister Chuan
Leekpai.
It was a serious miscalculation.
Jokowi is a small-town country boy
who has risen meteorically from
being mayor of Solo to governor of
Jakarta and now the nations president in just three years. But hes no
soft touch.
A better comparison would be
with Singapores former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong or Myanmars
opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu
Kyi both similar democrats with a
common touch and an iron fist.
As for criticism of his decision to
uphold the verdict of the courts, Jokowi called it an affront to Indonesias
legal sovereignty and said he would
follow the rule of law and instruct the
firing squads to do their duty.
Naturally, his rebuttal infuriated
critics even more. In a coruscating
essay, The New Yorker magazine
railed about the nationalist chest
thumping of Indonesian President
Joko Widodo.
Methinks not. But these folks
dont regard obeying the rule of
law as synonymous with enforcing
judicial decisions at least, not if
the laws or sentences are deemed by
them as unfair or unpalatable.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi addresses supporters during a rally at Mudon township in Mon State on May 17. Photo: AFP

In that situation, they think it is


fine to disregard verdicts and sentences, and instead substitute kinder,
gentler punishments.
It is a curious attitude, but
perhaps no more curious than that
shown by many leaders who often
exploit and demean the rule of law,
while steadfastly claiming fealty to it.
There is no doubt, for instance,
that Jokowi authorised the executions not only to establish Indonesias legal sovereignty, but also to
boost his sagging popularity and
distract minds from an economic
downturn.
Likewise, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
and her National League for Democracy members regurgitate their
rule-of-law mantra when they want
to avoid answering questions about
sectarian violence and the mass
murder of Muslims.
As the election approaches, however, they may well find themselves
pushed into coming clean about just

ROGER
MITTON

rogermitton@gmail.com

what they mean about wanting to


establish the rule of law in Myanmar.
If they mean rooting out inefficiency, prejudice and corruption in
the police and judiciary, all well and
good; but if they mean applying the
law without fear or favour, they may
find they have entered a snake pit.
For while there have been no
executions in Myanmar since 1988,
capital punishment remains on the

books and death sentences are still


handed down for crimes ranging
from murder to treason.
Amnesties commuting these
sentences to life imprisonment are
regularly granted, most recently by
President U Thein Sein three years
ago.
So, in a way, Myanmar today is
like Indonesia was in 2012, when
there was a moratorium and no one
had been executed for several years.
Then along came Jokowi, a new
non-military leader who needed to
cement his credentials and show he
could maintain social stability. Out
with the moratorium, in with the
firing squads.
It is not impossible that something similar could happen here if a
largely civilian, NLD-led government,
helmed by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,
assumes power later this year.
After all, voters may rightly ask:
If you stand for the rule of law, why
do you allow those who riot, rape,

pillage and kill avoid the death sentences that the courts have handed
down?
Its a tricky one. As is the question of trials for military men who
usurped power and committed
crimes against the state.
Recall that in 1990, shortly after
the NLDs landslide election victory,
the partys strategist, U Kyi Maung,
was asked if there would be a war
crimes tribunal for the generals.
He said there would not, but then
he added, Of course, people like
[General] Khin Nyunt might reasonably feel themselves pretty insecure.
His remark spooked the top brass.
The current head of the Union Election Commission, former general
U Tin Aye, later said they had not
handed power to the NLD because
it had threatened a Nuremberg-type
war trial.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi herself
told me, We have always said that
we are not out for vengeance. We
havent discussed war crimes at all.
But many people have because
they truly believe in the rule of law
and the need to hold people accountable for past crimes.
Last November, a Harvard Law
School report claimed that military
officers in Kayin State may have committed war crimes as defined by the
Rome Statute of the International
Criminal Court.
The alleged crimes, such as
ordering mortars to be fired at villages, slaughtering fleeing civilians,
destroying homes and laying land
mines indiscriminately, were said to
be too grave to be ignored.
Yet after speaking to Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi, Mark Ellis, executive
director of the International Bar
Association, said he was disturbed by
her strong aversion to charging the
military officers responsible.
As we have seen time and time
again, ignoring past crimes is shortsighted. They come back to haunt
society, Mr Ellis said.
So again, we confront that
perplexing question: Is the rule of
law really going to be enforced and
thus people executed and generals
brought to trial?
Or, unlike Jokowi, is Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi just playing politics and
going to allow murderers and war
criminals escape proper justice?

8 THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 21, 2015

Business
NAY PYI TAW

Tough to balance rights and check for corporate fraud

A BALANCE must be struck between


investigating business proposals thoroughly for fraudulent intentions and
also respecting citizens constitutionally stated privacy rights, according to
deputy minister for national planning
and economic development Daw Thein
Thein Htay.
While fraudulent businesses have
scammed local people, the process of
registering new companies cannot be
too investigative, she said.
There are checking processes that
can to some extent be done on the
businesses that are presented, but they
cannot be unnecessarily strict, and it is
a challenge to anticipate their future

plans, she said during a session of the


Amyotha Hluttaw on May 19.
Unnecessarily thorough checks can
lead to delays for businesspeople who
want to contribute to the countrys
development, while they are often not
productive, as the businesses themselves are not yet set up when only at
the stage of registration.
Daw Thein Thein Htays remarks
came in response to concerns from
parliamentary representatives about
businesses cheating some of their
constituents.
U Hla Swe, a representative of
Magwe Regions No 12 constituency
said some companies register locally
and then look for capital investment in
return for promises of immediate and
large profits.
But then the company is quickly
closed and they avoid the people who
bought in, he said.
In our township of Gangaw, honest
villagers throughout the area joined a

MANDALAY

MUMBAI

PYAE THET
PHYO
pyaethetphyo87@gmail.com

Korean
company
invests in
bus line
THAN NAING SOE
thennaingsoe@gmail.com
A SOUTH Korean company is to
link up with local businesses to
start up a bus line in downtown
Mandalay. U Aung Ye Htut, director
of Myanmar Gaon, said the Korean
Namsong company would provide
the service.
In April, the Mandalay Region
transportation minister agreed in
principle to run a bus line in downtown Mandalay, he said.
It has not yet been decided how
many buses will run, and along
what routes. The frequency of the
buses would depend on demand, he
said.
However, U Aung Ye Htut said,
there will be plenty of buses.
Myanmar Gaon Company a
conglomerate of Mandalay businesses and Namsong will be based
in Mandalay. The company will
also operate car showrooms and
sell spare parts as well as running
a public transport system, said U
Aung Ye Htut.
We are going to start the business in July. If the bus line proves
a success, it could reduce the number of motorcycles on the roads, he
said.
Myanmars second-largest city
currently has 850 registered buses
across 59 lines, but residents rely
less on buses than their counterparts in Yangon due to the prevalence of motorcycles and bicycles in
the city.
Motorcycles have been banned
in Yangons urban area since the
early 2000s, though they are the
ride of choice for many in the rest
of the country.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

Thai-based company and contributed


money. Then they face a situation
where they have to buy low-quality
household items, whether they want
them or not, said U Hla Swe.
Many villagers in the township had
contributed K110,000 as a shore, with
K100,000 for products and the rest
as a bookkeeping fee. The company
then sent the people items like makeup, lipstick, shampoo and medicinal
soap, though it is of low quality, with
no company brand, expiration date or
guarantee.
In a different case, the owner of
an Indian company registered a local
business. He managed to book K1 billion (US$910,000) in profits before absconding.
Given these Magway experiences, U
Hla Swe said registration bodies such
as the Directorate of Investment and
Company Administration should conduct thorough checks of all new companies before they are registered.

These companies register and


gain billions of kyats in six months,
he said. After these cases, government
departments need to ask a businessman what business he will do, and
need to check the company later to see
how it is running.
It is not only a Magwe concern,

For
unscrupulousness
and cases of abuse,
the Ministry of
Home Affairs will
investigate.
Daw Thein Thein Htay
Deputy minister of national planning

according to U Hla Swe. He said


there have been similar incidents in
Yangon, Tanintharyi and Ayeyarwady
regions, as well as Mawlamyine city
in Mon State. Educated people like
doctors and engineers are also being
cheated, along with their less-educated fellow citizens.
Daw Thein Thein Htay said the Directorate of Investment and Company
Administration registers new companies in keeping with the Myanmar
Companies Act. If, due to a few bad
apples, it must make detailed checks, it
could lead to delays, wasting time and
inconveniencing legitimate businesses.
For unscrupulousness and cases
of abuse, the Ministry of Home Affairs
will investigate, she said.
Investigations usually require complaints to be started, with action to be
taken according to existing law. Civil or
criminal charges can be handed out,
she added.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

Building Indian pharma links


SHWE
YEE SAW
MYINT
poepwintphyu2011@gmail.com

DR Zaw Moe Khine specialises in importing medicine. Myanmar does not


produce most varieties it needs, and
so Dr Zaw Moe Khine looks abroad to
places like India for sources.
A large export industry is established in India, and its players are
keen on supplying foreign markets,
like Myanmar.
Indian companies have their own
factories, so we can order their products using our own brand name and
packaging design, he said.
Indian-made medicine has a reputation as being relatively cheap but
effective. While high-end medication
in Myanmar often comes from other
countries, Indian medication is a favourite of much of the population.
Myanmar cannot produce medicine, so the local market depends
on foreign imports, he said at the
Indian Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Expo, held from May 13 to 15 in
Mumbai, India.
Once a deal is made between a
manufacturer and a trader to import
the medicine, it must receive a registration number from Myanmars Food
and Drug Administration. Then comes
the work of distributing, marketing
and selling the products, a specialty
of companies like the one Dr Zaw
Moe Khine leads, called Golden Singa
Healthcare.
Myanmar buyers are keen to
source from their large western neighbor, while Indian companies view Myanmar as a largely untapped market
though finding the right business
partners is a major challenge.
Myanmars pharmaceutical expenditures were an estimated US$390
million in 2014, a growth of about 14
percent year-on-year, according to
the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India. It could reach as
high as $1.12 billion by 2023, making

While Myanmar factories produce some medicine, most is imported from abroad. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

it a lucrative market for Indian firms,


according to a report released in November 2014.
Thailand and China hold the second and third spots in supplying
Myanmars medicine, according to
Indian statistics.
India has built a reputation for
being one of the worlds main exporters of medicine. Its manufactures initially specialised in bulk and generic
products, but some have lately been
conducting more research and development activities.
It exported about $141 million in
pharmaceutical products to Myanmar in the fiscal year 2013-14, about
1 percent of its total $15.1 billion in
exports worldwide for the year.
The country hosts shows like
the Indian Pharmaceuticals and

Healthcare Expo to grow its export


business. Indias Yangon embassy
hosted a delegation including a Myanmar Times reporter for the event,
which included 350 companies exhibiting products and services to
over 10,000 visitors.
Dr Zaw Moe Khine, general secretary of the Myanmar Pharmaceutical
and Medical Equipment Entrepreneurs Association, participated as
part of the Myanmar delegation to
the event. He said Indian products
have a reputation of being cheap and
reliable, adding Myanmar importers
are increasingly eyeing its products.
The association entered into a
memorandum of understanding with
its Myanmar counterpart in 2011. It
was signed to strengthen trade relations between the two countries in

pharmaceutical products.
Dr Phyo Maung Thaw said conferences are a good way of finding quality products to import.
If we dont come to a workshop,
we conduct business cooperation by
email, he said.
Another medicine importer said
cooperation between Indian manufacturers and Myanmar importers is the
crucial ingredient for success in the
business.
A major hurdle is Food and Drug
Administration approval, which can
take time and is often complicated.
Successful local pharmaceutical
businessmen are always exploring
for new opportunities, he said. Indian partners have built their own
brand names, and reached success
before us.

BUSINESS EDITOR: Jeremy Mullins | jeremymullins7@gmail.com

MPPE still plans joint


venture in filling stations,
but no date yet

US charges six Chinese


scientists for mobile
technology theft

BUSINESS 10

BUSINESS 12

Exchange Rates (May 20 close)


Currency
Euro
Malaysia Ringitt
Singapore Dollar
Thai Baht
US Dollar

Buying
K1194
K300
K804
K32
K1089

Selling
K1215
K310
K816
K34
K1091

MOGE
invites
supplybase bids
AUNG SHIN
koshumgtha@gmail.com
MYANMA Oil and Gas Enterprise
(MOGE) has requested local and international private companies to discuss the establishment of an offshore
supply base joint venture, according
to officials.
Interested private companies are
invited to meet with MOGE between
May 25 and June 12, according to a
statement issued by the ministry
body earlier this month.
The country will need new offshore supply bases to support the
booming oil and gas business in
Myanmar offshore, said the announcement.
It will be a joint venture project
partnership between MOGE and private companies, which we will proceed with following the discussions,
said an official from MOGE.
After the discussion process,
MOGE will ask private companies to
submit proposals for a joint venture,
he said. The new facilities will be operated by private companies but regulated by MOGE.
A few private companies have already talked to us about developing
a new offshore supply base, said the
official.
Future offshore supply bases will
be in Thilawa in Yangon, Dawei in
Tanintharyi, Pathein in Ayeyarwady,
and also in Mon and Rakhine states
according to MOGE.
The country has only one offshore
supply base at present, which is located in Thilawa and owned by MOGE.
A
Singapore-based
company
signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mon State Government in January to build a new oil
and gas supply base in Mudon township in Mon state.
The 2 Fish Group of Companies
from Singapore will develop the
project under 50-year build, operate
and transfer terms, with an option to
extend the contract by 10 years. The
deal was signed under a company
subsidiary, Myanmar Offshore Supply
Base (MOSB).
However, the project has not yet
been approved by MOGE. We have
heard of the project, but it is not yet
in our hands. However any project
related to the oil and gas business
will not receive full permission
without dealing with MOGE, said
an official.
MOGE and international companies signed production sharing contracts (PSCs) for 19 offshore blocks,
a result of the first offshore bidding
round in 2013. Only one PSC, for
a shallow-water block, is left to be
signed by Australian company Tap Oil.
A total of 13 international oil companies are expecting to start seismic
acquisition campaigns at the end of
this year, following the completion
of environmental and social impact
assessment surveys, according to officials.
Last year, MOGE invited companies to submit expressions of interest
(EOI) for an onshore seismic data acquisition service, an onshore drilling
rig service, an onshore pipeline construction and maintenance service,
and a consultancy service.

A worker at Magwe Regions Chauk oil fields carries buckets of crude. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

Romantic North reserves vital


to domestic energy supply
CLARE
HAMMOND
clarehammo@gmail.com

OIL consumption in Myanmar is


likely to double by 2025, meaning
that new discoveries are essential to
meet energy demand for the future
without relying too heavily on imports. But some fear the dream of
finding large proven reserves may
not be realised.
The likelihood of finding commercially viable reserves in recently
awarded onshore and offshore blocks
was a major topic of debate at the 2nd
Myanmar Oil and Gas Conference in
Yangon on May 19. Many participants
voiced fears that finding proven reserves may turn out to be more difficult than anticipated.
How big is the potential onshore?
There is romantic, big potential in the
North. Geologists get emotional about
these big structures, said Peter Cockroft, adviser to Pacific Hunt Energy,
which won two onshore blocks in the
2013 bidding round.
Offshore, expectations are pinned
on the deepwater blocks, where no
reserves have yet been proven. It is
these deepwater blocks that will play a
key role in Myanmars energy future,
said U Than Tun, director for offshore
at Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise
(MOGE).
It is as yet unclear whether exploration will produce vast or limited
reserves. In response to a question on
his level of optimism about the exploration phase, U Than Tun said that
according to MOGEs geologists, the
probability of success is between 20
percent and 50pc.
Since 2011, 25 onshore blocks and

20 offshore blocks have been awarded


to international companies through
joint ventures with local partners.
However, seismic acquisition activities, site surveys and exploration drilling can take up to 10 years. Production
is unlikely to begin at any of the recently awarded blocks until 2028, according to senior geologists.
In the meantime, Myanmars energy consumption of 42,000 barrels
(bbl) per day of oil is likely to double
by 2025, according to Daw Wah Wah
Thaung, executive engineer at MOGE.
With the current production capacity, increasing oil consumption could
only be covered by importing more
refined petroleum products, she said.
Total current production is 55 million cubic feet per day of natural gas
from the onshore fields and 7000 barrels of condensate, and around 2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas
from the offshore fields. At present,
Myanmars supply of natural gas can
only meet 50pc of demand, added
Daw Wah Wah Thaung.
By 2020, offshore production is expected to reach 2.25 billion cubic feet
per day, as three more blocks will have
begun production, but production at
the Yetagun field will be in decline.
This means that the country will
continue to heavily rely on imports.
While global oil prices are likely to
remain between US$50 and $60 per
barrel for the next two years, according to a Natixis cross-expertise study
published in April, over the medium
to long term it could become expensive for Myanmar if the next few years
of exploration are unsuccessful.
U Kyaw Kyaw Aung, an executive
geologist in MOGEs planning department, was clear on the importance of
discovering large reserves. To sustain
energy supply and conserve energy security in Myanmar, many more giant
fields need to be discovered in both

the onshore and offshore area within


one decade, he said.
At present, Myanmar has proven
oil reserves (onshore and offshore) of
459 million barrels per day (mmbbl),
and provable reserves of 190mmbbl,
according to Daw Wah Wah Thaung.
In terms of natural gas, Myanmar has
11.8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of proven
reserves, and 155tcf of provable. The
country will also have access to the
Southeast Asia Crude Oil Pipeline,
which will import crude oil from the
Middle East from mid-2015, she said.
China National Petroleum Corporation holds a controlling stake in the
pipeline, while MOGE owns the rest.
Myanmar will receive an annual road
right fee of $13.81 million, as well as

THOUSAND BARRELS

42

Myanmars current daily consumption


of oil, which is set to double by 2025

a transit fee of $1 per tonne of crude


for the next 30 years. The pipeline is
designed for up to 2 million tonnes of
crude a year. Myanmar has the right
to take 50,000 barrels per day, according to the contract, said Daw Wah
Wah Thaung.
As a result of Myanmars fastgrowing energy needs and uncertainty over whether exploration will produce results, future policy will ensure
that domestic requirements will be
prioritised, said U Kyaw Kyaw Aung.

Myanmars limited crude oil production and refining capacity are insufficient to meet domestic demand,
making the country a net oil importer.
Today, the policy of the Ministry of Energy is to prioritise all future oil and
gas supply for domestic use.
In addition, Myanmar is taking
further steps to develop its hydrocarbon resources, he said. These will
include a bidding round next year for
13 offshore and 14 onshore blocks, as
well as MOGEs own efforts to develop
resources across 10 blocks.
The Ministry of Energy will also
develop its existing facilities and infrastructure, he said, through joint venture projects, and through privatising
MOGE according to a public-private
partnership model.
Finally, the ministry is preparing
the necessary studies for unconventional hydrocarbon exploration. We
are considering options to fulfill our
domestic energy needs, said Daw
Wah Wah Thaung. Liquefied Natural
Gas is one of the options to find a solution. In terms of other primary energy resources, Myanmar has 108,000
megawatts of hydro, 711 million metric tonnes of coal, an available annual
sustainable wood fuel yield of 19.12
million cubic tonnes, wind power of
365.1 terawatt hours (TWh) per year
and solar power of around 51,973.8
TWh per year, according to statistics
from the energy planning department
at the Ministry of Energy.
Myanmar has a total of 104 oil and
gas blocks including 53 onshore and
51 offshore blocks. At present, 16 onshore and 19 offshore blocks are in operation, according to a Ministry of Energy source. Foreign capital pledged
to Myanmars oil and gas sector is
nearly $17 billion, and $2.6 billion had
been invested by the end of January,
according to statistics from the Myanmar Investment Commission.

10 Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 21, 2015

MySquar aims at $25


million valuation as
listing date nears
CATHERINE TRAUTWEIN
newsroom@mmtimes.com

MPPE formerly owned 260 petrol stations, though they were privatised in 2010. Photo: Staff

MPPE still plans filling


station venture, but no
date announced yet
AUNG
SHIN
koshumgtha@gmail.com

MYANMA Petroleum Products Enterprise (MPPE) is to enter the


petroleum distribution market,
though uncertainty still surrounds
the timing, officials indicated yesterday.
Most state-owned petrol stations, 260 in all, were privatised
in 2010 after local companies were
allowed to operate the petroleum
business. The MPPE still operates
the few remaining state-owned stations and serves as the industry
regulator.
MPPE said last year it would invite foreign firms to enter a jointventure project to import, store and
distribute petroleum. But were
not sure when, said the official

yesterday, adding that some foreign companies had been observing


MPPE facilities since January.
No explanation was offered for
the apparent delay.
In response to a separate invitation from MPPE for foreign involvement in a joint venture jet fuel
business at Yangon International
Airport, Singapore-based Puma Energy has been selected to become
the first overseas company allowed
to run the jet-fuelling business privately in Myanmar.

260

Number of filling stations formerly


owned by MPPE which were privatised
in 2010

This is part of the public-private partnership model that we are


heading toward. We want to exercise quality control over the domestic market in a competitive environment, said an MPPE official.
So far JX Nippon and Sumitomo
of Japan, Puma Energy, and PTT
from Thailand have observed MPPT
facilities.
There are 29 petroleum storage facilities and 12 petrol stations
around the country that still belong
to state-owned MPPE.
About 70 private companies run
the countrys 1163 petrol stations,
but few have storage facilities or an
import licence.
The private petroleum distribution market is overseen by the Myanmar Petroleum Trade Association
(MPTA).
MPPE, in partnership with foreign firms, will distribute imported
petroleum products in both the
wholesale and retail markets, said
the official.

SOCIAL media company MySquar,


now preparing to go public, has accepted a request from its brokers to
up its share offering by 20 percent.
The appeal from brokers Beaufort Securities indicates confidence
in the companys pull on IPO day,
which the company has slated for
this spring, according to MySquar
management.
MySquar, the Singapore-based
firm behind locally developed chatting app MyChat, seeks to raise
US$2.5 million when it goes public
with a value of $25 million on Londons Alternative Investment Market.
If the additional shares raise more
capital, the company would put the
funds to expanding MySquars product line, said CEO Eric Schaer.
Though more shares will be on
offer, the increase wont have a major impact with regard to dilution,
according to Mr Schaer.
There are no current shareholders selling their interests at IPO and
we only want to raise sufficient funds
that allow us to execute and expand
the product line, he said. We do not
want to unnecessarily dilute because
we feel that the company has a very

good future.
Major shareholders include Singaporean investment company Rising Dragon which Mr Schaer leads
as CEO and chair Etech Investment Holdings Group, Pham Dang
Hung, Yonder and Beyond Ltd, Pacific Energy, Trading & Cons, Celtic
Capital Pty Ltd and Zip Capital
Mgmt Ltd.
The companys app, MyChat,
has gained attention in Myanmar
and on May 20 ranked 5th in Google
Plays top free applications store.
Last week, the messenger had accrued more than 680,000 accounts,
eclipsing its aim of gaining 550,000
by July.
MyChat is an instant messaging
app similar to local market leader
Viber, though MyChat boasts full
Myanmar and English capabilities,
as well as several other features.
MySQUAR now claims a spot in
the market from which it could capture and keep up to 30pc of Myanmars connected population as early
at 2019, according to press materials.
The firm will later move into
news, information, financial and
payment services in the future to
augment its social networking and
gaming products, according to the
company.

GreenHub serviced
residences to open
CLARE HAMMOND
clarehammo@gmail.com
SINGAPOREAN real estate management group LHN Limited has
signed a master lease with a local
developer to open serviced residences in Yangon under its GreenHub brand.
The brand was launched in Singapore in 2012. LHN now has three
GreenHub serviced office complexes in Singapore and one in Indonesia, but this will be its first serviced
residence project.
GreenHub Yangon will comprise
32 units of one and three bedrooms,
according to a May 19 notice posted
by LHN on the Singapore bourse.
It is expected to operational by
September 2015 and will be located

downtown, within walking distance


of the Sakura and Centrepoint towers, according to the announcement.
LHN Limited is a real estate
management services group founded in 1991. Its main business is to
secure the leases of unused or old
commercial, industrial and residential properties and renovate them
into usable spaces, which are then
leased out.
It also offers facilities management and logistics services, and has
operations in Singapore, Indonesia,
Thailand and Myanmar.
The company listed on the Catalist, the junior board of the Singapore Exchange (SGX), earlier this
year, raising proceeds of S$17 million (US$12.7 million) through private placements.

TOKYO
VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC) is the biggest bank
in China and top large listed bank in the world in terms of market capitalization,
customer deposits, and profitability, possessing an excellent customer base.
ICBC Yangon Branch is now looking for 16 talented and competent local
employees to work as its bank clerks in different units including Financial
institution management, Finance and Accounting management, Risk
management, IT, Banking operation and Executive office.
Requirements:
1. Grade 10 degree or above, major of Accounting, Finance, Law, IT,
Economics is preferred.
2. Good reading, writing and communication skills in English or Chinese.
3. Strong sense of responsibility, willingness of learning and cooperation.
4. Basic computer skills, able to use MS Word and Excel. Candidates who
want to do IT work should be familiar with fundamental network knowledge.
5. Under 30 years old, beyond is possible for excellent candidates.
Interested and qualified candidates are invited to send a detailed CV
to jy_xgs@126.com, ycxu@mm.icbc.com.cn and lixiaoming@mm.icbc.
com.cn.
Address: Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Yangon Representative
Office
No.(601)A , 6th Floor,Sakura Tower,
Bogyoke Aung San Road, Kyauktada Township,Yangon.
Phone No. (0095)1255045

Tokyo exchange at 15-year high


JAPANS main stock market hit a
15-year high yesterday as Seoul and
Shanghai also rose, but Hong Kong
and other Asian markets retreated after recent gains.
The euro suffered fresh losses after
a European Central Bank official said
it would ramp up its massive bondbuying programme, while Greeces
debt reform talks with its creditors
continued to lumber along.
Tokyo rose 0.85 percent, or 170.18
points, to 20,196.56 its highest since
April 2000 although car parts maker
Takata plunged after a recall of US
cars fitted with the firms airbags doubled to 34 million.
Seoul was up 0.88pc, closing 18.69
points higher at 2,139.54, and Shanghai gained 0.65pc, or 28.74 points, to
4446.29.
However Sydney ended marginally
lower, giving up 5.2 points to 5610.3,
and Hong Kong lost 0.39pc, or 108.49

points, to end at 27,585.05.


There were also losses in Wellington and Taipei.
Official Japanese data showed the
economy grew 0.6pc in the first three
months of the year, after limping out
of recession in the previous quarter.
The figure was better than the revised
0.3pc expansion in October-December
and beat the market median forecast
of a 0.4pc quarter-on-quarter increase.
The January-March GDP growth
data were good ... and buoyed sentiment, said Takuya Takahashi, senior
strategist at Daiwa Securities.
Corporate earnings for the fiscal
year to March were [also] generally
good and many companies took measures to return surplus to shareholders, he added, referring to share buybacks and dividend increases.
Even though the data reduced the
likelihood the Bank of Japan would
further loosen monetary policy, the

yen weakened against the dollar as


upbeat US figures supported the
greenback.
The dollar bought 121.03 yen yesterday, compared with 120.68 yen in
New York and well above 119.94 yen in
Tokyo earlier on May 19.
US housing starts in April climbed
20.2pc to their highest level since November 2007, while there was a 10.1pc
jump in home building permits. The
report seemed to indicate that the
economys abysmal first quarter was
largely related to severe winter weather. On Wall Street on May 19 the Dow
edged up 0.07pc to an all-time high for
the second day in a row but the S&P
500 slipped 0.06pc, ending a three-day
streak of record closures. The Nasdaq
dropped 0.17pc.
Traders were now awaiting the release of minutes from the Federal Reserves April 28 to 29 policy meeting.
AFP

International Business 11

www.mmtimes.com
BANGKOK

Bank of
Thailand
asks banks
for help
THE Bank of Thailand is asking financial institutions to ensure its latest
policy rate cut helps to ease businesses borrowing costs and debt repayment pain amid the sluggish economy.
I have asked banks for their cooperation in passing on our relaxed monetary policy to citizens, central bank
governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said.
At the end of April, the central
banks Monetary Policy Committee
(MPC) unexpectedly cut the policy
rate by 25 basis points to 1.5 percent to
alleviate economic effects, the second
cut this year.
In times of a slow economy, the central bank can implement policy only
through the benchmark interest rate
and depends on commercial banks to
pass on the effects to businesses and
consumers, Mr Prasarn said.
The MPCs cut late last month was
a pre-emptive move to mitigate the
economic slowdown, but commercial
banks have yet to follow suit in lowering their interest rates for lending due
to doubts about the debt repayment
ability of business operators and consumers. In addition, non-performing
loans (NPLs) in the SME and consumer lending segments increased in the
first quarter.
Some commercial banks did cut
their rates in line with the Bank of
Thailands first interest rate reduction
on March 11, but this time none has yet
done so due to business-related reasons, plus they feel their current rates
are still relatively low, Mr Prasarn said.
He reiterated that the central bank
was not demanding that banks lower
their interest rates but rather finetune their opinions among themselves.
Mr Prasarn made his request to
commercial banks while meeting in
Bangkok yesterday with executives
from local financial institutions.
The meeting was held to exchange
views on present economic conditions, find ways to enhance the effectiveness of monetary policy and
discuss a five-year plan to develop the
banking sector.
However, the central bank did not
ask commercial banks to increase
their loan-loss reserves since they had
already set aside their usual reserves
against bad loans, Mr Prasarn said.
The central bank on May 13 sent
around a circular to financial and nonbank institutions engaged in creditcard business asking for their cooperation in supporting four main SME
groups those affected by present
economic conditions, new business
operators, firms with growth capabilities and those planning to expand into
ASEAN and other foreign markets.
Possible measures that could support these SMEs during the slowerthan-expected economic recovery include consideration of more lenient
repayment terms, lower interest rates
on loans and debt restructuring, the
statement said.
It said another measure was to
consider reducing the minimum payment on credit-card debt shouldered
by SMEs that use credit cards for business purposes.
That measure could allow installment payments of less than 10pc of
the outstanding balance, which is
subject to discretion of financial and
non-bank institutions engaging in the
credit-card business until June 30.
Boontuck Wungcharoen, chair of
the Thai Bankers Association, said
after yesterdays meeting that banks
interest rate cut would be based on
market forces and would take some
time after a policy rate reduction.
The Bangkok Post

CHENNAI

Renault debuts first


made-for-India car
RENAULT launched its first
budget car developed specially
for India yesterday, seeking to
expand its foothold in the huge
but highly competitive market.
Renault chief executive Carlos Ghosn described the Kwid as
a car for conquest designed to
deliver high-volume sales as the
French auto giant tries to grow
its share of the Indian market.
The Kwid, the first Renault
car to have its global launch
in India, will go on sale in the
second half of the year priced at
300,000 rupees (US$4700).
India is not an easy market
but we ... decided to play a role
on this market, he said at the
launch in the southern city of
Chennai Indias car-making
hub.
This vehicle is a global car.
If we make it in India, we will
surely make it in all the world,
he continued, adding the country could be the worlds fourthbiggest car market within five
years.
Renault cars currently account for around 1.5 percent of

sales in India but the company


aims to swiftly increase that to
a 5pc target with the Kwid and
another new family car called
the Lodgy.
However, it faces strong competition in the small car sector
from the Indian-Japanese manufacturer Suzuki-Maruti which

This vehicle is a
global car. If we
make it in India,
we will surely
make it in all the
world.
Carlos Ghosn
Renault chief executive

holds 45pc of the market and


from Koreas Hyundai.
Renault went to great lengths

to develop the Kwid in India to


keep costs down.
It will go on sale in India first
before being rolled out across
South Asia. If it is a success
it could be launched in other
emerging markets.
Foreign automakers have
made a beeline for India in the
last two decades, seeking to tap
a vast market in the country of
1.25 billion people and leverage
its low workforce costs.
Indias car market grew by
almost 5pc in the last financial
year with 2.6 million cars sold.
Renault sold almost 45,000 vehicles in the financial year ending March 2015, most of them
the Duster SUV.
Mr Ghosn said India was the
only country outside China capable of growth rates of more
than 6pc a year.
[The Kwid] was developed
close to its market. Supplier
sourcing in India has been raised
to 98pc. We cant be competitive
if we dont use the resources in
India, he added.
AFP

Happiest store on
earth to Shanghai
Disney opened its first Chinese
store yesterday, before the launch
of its first mainland theme park, as
it seeks to sell Mickey Mouse and
friends to the Asian giants middle
classes.
The 860 square-metre (9256
square-foot) store opened in Shanghai, where the park initially due
to open this year but put back until
next spring is under construction.
The US entertainment titan
already has a theme park in Hong
Kong, which opened in 2005.
According to media reports
the firm first expressed interest
in building one on the mainland in
the 1990s. But the State Council, or
cabinet, did not approve the project
until 2009 over concerns about the
invasion of American culture.
On May 19 the parks central
attraction the Enchanted Storybook Castle was topped out with
a golden peony, Chinas national
flower, installed on its highest point,
the company said in a statement.
Shoppers queued outside
the store for hours ahead of the
opening.
We have already been to the
Disney park in Hong Kong, said
Gong Kefei, a mother in her 30s
waiting in line with her four-year-old
daughter. But my daughter loves
the princesses in all the Disney cartoons and insisted on coming when
she heard the store opening. AFP

12 International Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 21, 2015

Rubber
plantation
brings work
and woe to
Gabon
WHEN one of the worlds biggest traders of agricultural commodities went
to Gabons government with a multimillion-dollar plan to produce rubber,
the authorities jumped at the chance
to diversify an oil-dependent economy.
The Batouri rubber plantation and
processing plant taking shape in the
north not only will bring US$400 million in investments but also up to 5000
new jobs to a nation with an unemployment rate topping 20 percent.
Crucially, it was also viewed as the
first step for the equatorial African
country to diversify its economy, which

draws about 70pc of its revenues from


energy exports.
But critics are alarmed at the environmental and social costs of the project by the Singapore-based company
Olam, warning that it could wipe out
biodiversity in the tropical forest and
threaten farming livelihoods.
This project will enable Gabon to
develop, said Gagan Gupta, the chief
executive of Olam Gabon, which has
also started palm oil plantations in the
former French colony of some 1.7 million people.
Our plans will bring development

in rural circles. We have given work to


3000 people ... 5000 counting the related jobs that have arisen. And they dont
just work for four or five years, but for
at least 45 to 50 years. This is a sustainable development project, he said.
But critics like Franck Ndjimbi,
an activist with environmental
group Brainforest, said, The social
and economic benefits have been
overestimated.
People run the risk of being turned
into agricultural labourers, he said,
adding that the rubber and palm oil
trees are grown on land that is home to

thousands of small farmers.


Theres bound to be a spread of
manure, the use of fertiliser, pesticides
... That leads us to wonder about the
environmental impacts, especially as
studies were carried out hastily.
In the forest around the plantation,
villagers grow cassava, root plants, cocoa and bananas. They also bleed the
scarred bark of wild hevea trees to produce the flow of white latex sap needed
for rubber.
The first local plantation dates
from World War I, when French bosses
wanted rubber to support the war effort, said Dieudonne Minlama, who
heads an umbrella organisation grouping some 50 NGOs, unions and other
groups that fight poverty.
The plantations were abandoned
and the hevea spread in the forest, he
said. Mr Minlama favours Olams arrival, saying it is not only creating jobs
but, as the plantation develops in time,
it will generate other economic activity
and revenue.
Mr Ndjimbi, however, said the new
plantation has just 5000 rubber trees
that will only mature in eight years,
and that Olam has had to deforest to
revive the industry.
We respect the norms, said Olams
Mr Gupta. He also said his company
signed social contracts requiring it to
buy produce from small farmers, while
also bringing them electricity and water supplies and mending bad roads.
Indeed, new wooden houses with
sheet metal roofs have been built in
the surrounding villages. Water pumps
and solar panels carrying the Olam
logo are also legion.
However, some inhabitants are
sceptical.
Theres no lack of problems. They

built pumps but with more people


coming, there is no water anymore. We
have to dig wells, one of them said on
condition of anonymity.
Olam has spoilt the forest. Sacred
wood, totems ... I work for Olam, but
it was better before, he added, hinting
at the almost mystical communion that
forest dwellers have shared with their
environment for generations.
There are many Cameroonian,
Chadian, Nigerian foreigners, bringing
problems of cohabitation, the resident
said.
Mr Gupta said that Olam gives
priority to hiring locals, who make up
97pc of the workforce, but dozens of
immigrants have come to work at Batouri, some from as far away as Mali.
Some workers say they are glad to
have jobs in a country where one in
five are unemployed, but others have
complaints.
Working for Olam is hard. I earn
150,000 CFA francs [$260] each month.
Six days a week. We start at 6:30am to
finish at 2:30pm. I leave my home at
2:00am. The pay is not good for the
amount of work, a Malian immigrant
said.
Gabonese Aurelien Mengue also believes that the pay is not right.
Thats why there are strikes, said
Mr Mengue.
Mr Gupta said however that Olam
isnt a company that earns money by
shaving 10,000 CFA francs off somebodys pay, pointing out that the multinational has a turnover in the billions
of dollars.
We pay everyone who is reliable
properly, but if theyre not, its normal
that we make cuts. The problem here
is one of understanding and not of the
wages, he added. AFP

TIANJIN

WASHINGTON

US charges six Chinese


for stealing technology
US prosecutors have charged six Chinese nationals, including three university professors, with a years-long
scheme to steal mobile phone technology trade secrets for Beijings benefit.
According to a 32-count criminal
indictment filed April 1 and unsealed
late on May 19, the group led a longrunning effort to obtain US trade secrets for universities and companies
controlled by the Chinese government.
Among those charged were Tianjin
University professor Hao Zhang, who
was arrested upon entry into the United States on May 16, US officials said.
Five others named in the indictment were believed to be in China,
according to a Justice Department official who noted that this is the 11th case
brought for economic espionage under
a 1996 law.
All could face lengthy prison sentences if convicted. The charges they
face include economic espionage, theft
of trade secrets and various conspiracy
counts. Each carries penalties that
could include 10 to 15 years in prison
plus fines. The scheme led to the theft
of so-called FBAR technology, which
enables mobile phones and other devices to filter radio signals and improve
performance.
As todays case demonstrates, sensitive technology developed by US companies in Silicon Valley and throughout
California continues to be vulnerable to
coordinated and complex efforts sponsored by foreign governments to steal
that technology, US attorney Melinda
Haag said in a statement.
David Johnson, FBI special agent
in charge in San Francisco, called the
scheme a methodical and relentless
effort by foreign interests to obtain and
exploit sensitive and valuable US technology through the use of individuals
operating within the United States.
Jeff Rathke, a State Department
spokesperson, told reporters, Economic espionage is something that we
take very seriously, adding that the
case shows that the United States is

committed to protecting US companies trade secrets and their proprietary


business information from theft.
In a scheme that allegedly dates
back to 2006, the six are accused of
working to steal trade secrets from
California-based Avago Technologies
and Massachusetts-based Skyworks
Solutions.
A shell company called Novana was
created in the Cayman Islands but led
by the Chinese academics and Tianjin
University, with Chinese government
support, to manufacture rival technology products, according to US investigators. The Chinese company, called
ROFS Microsystems, used technology
stolen from the US firms, according to
US officials.
Mr Zhang, 36, is a former Skyworks
employee and a full professor at Tianjin University.
We know about academic exchanges and research, but we havent
seen any evidence that these professors
were spies, said a man in the Tianjin
University propaganda department
surnamed Feng. We dont have anything to do with spying.
He confirmed the school has a professor named Zhang Hao in Asian
name order, with the surname first
but said officials were still trying to
confirm whether he is the same person.
We just heard about this from
news reports this morning and were
still unsure exactly what is going on,
Mr Feng added.
Calls to ROFS Microsystems by AFP
were not answered.
The others charged included Wei
Pang, 35, a former Avago employee who
is also a full professor at Tianjin University; Jinping Chen, 41, a professor
at Tianjin University and a member of
the board of ROFS; Huisui Zhang, 34,
a Chinese national who studied with
Pang and Hao Zhang at the University
of Southern California (USC); Chong
Zhou, 26, a Tianjin University graduate student; and Zhao Gang, 39, general
manager of ROFS Microsystems. AFP

Construction labourers work on a building in the new financial district of Tianjin. The massive government project incorporates
dozens of skyscrapers, but a slowdown in growth in Chinas economy has raised doubts about its viability. Photo: AFP

Chinas Manhattan feels empty


AS the wind whistles through halffinished skyscrapers and over empty
boulevards, a development billed as
Chinas answer to Manhattan at times
bears out the ghost town label some
have given it.
Chinese officials hope the towers
of the Yujiapu Financial District will
one day house a trading centre to rival New Yorks Wall Street or Londons
Canary Wharf.
But more than three years after
construction began, all but one of the
buildings planned for the development in the northern Chinese port
city of Tianjin appear unfinished,
alongside vacant spaces where others
should stand.
As Chinas economic growth slows
after a decades-long boom, these
buildings many of which still lack
exterior walls some 150 kilometres
(93 miles) from Beijing raise questions about the viability of the scheme,
which state media say will cost a total
of 200 billion yuan (US$32 billion).

Billed as the largest hotel in Asia,


the Country Garden Phoenix Hotel is
an empty husk, with no builders in
sight near its curved exterior.
But there are some signs of life in
Yujiapu, a chunk of land peppered
with more than a dozen skyscrapers in
various states of construction jutting
into the Hai River.
Construction workers in hard hats
and loose-fitting jackets measure up
glass for some buildings, and a shopping centre had a sprinkling of customers on a recent visit by reporters.
But no buildings apart from the
mall appear to be finished a prospect
likely to worry local authorities who
reportedly hoped the project would
open last summer.
In the Conch Bay development
on the opposite bank, incomplete
buildings have been fenced off and its
wide roads see almost no pedestrians.
Several reports have labelled Yujiapu a ghost town. But some argue
that it could in time achieve its goals,

citing the development of Shanghais


bustling Pudong district which some
dismissed as a waste of money when it
was first planned in the 1990s.
The Tianjin project has a powerful
backer in Zhang Gaoli, the citys former top official who was promoted to
Chinas all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee in 2012.
Analysts say its success will depend
in part on a central government plan to
create a new economic corridor linking Tianjin with neighbouring Beijing.
If the two cities become integrated
on a policy and economic level, I think
that Yujiapu is really promising, said
Zhu Guozhong, of Peking Universitys
Guanghua School of Management.
On the side of one of Yujiapus unfinished tower blocks, a huge banner
listed a phone number, seemingly inviting inquiries for office space.
When reporters called it turned
out to be a real estate agency but the
woman who answered said she had
not heard of the project. AFP

InternationalBusiness 13

www.mmtimes.com
BRASILIA

China and Brazil announce major tie-ups


CHINESE Premier Li Keqiang lifted
the wraps on a multibillion-dollar
series of trade and investment deals
with Brazil, as Beijing looks to invest
US$53 billion in South Americas largest economy.
The news unveiled at the start
of Mr Lis first official visit to Latin
America is a huge boon for Brazil as
it endures a fifth-straight year of low
growth after a period of rapid expansion fuelled by Asian demand for commodities that has since slowed.
Mr Lis host, President Dilma Rousseff, hopes Brazil can direct Chinese
cash to overhaul decaying infrastructure as the countrys tourist magnet

China-Brazil trade

Total bilateral trade, according


to the Chinese government
$ billion
84.2

90.2
85.7 86.6

62.6
48.7
42.4
29.7
20.3
14.8

2005 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 2014
Source : China NBS/Customs

Rio de Janeiro prepares to host South


Americas first ever Olympics next year.
Headlining 35 deals on Mr Lis first
official visit to Latin America were a
pair of finance and cooperation agreements worth $7 billion for Brazils
state-owned oil firm Petrobras.
Ms Rousseff, who will make a state
visit next year to China, spoke of a
new intensity in our relations late
on May 19.
China and Brazil are playing a
leading role in the construction of a
new global order, she added.
Ms Rousseff, re-elected in October,
has been battling a welter of negative
economic data as well as fallout from
a huge graft scandal at Petrobras.
Mr Li pointed to Chinas rich
experience in building infrastructure, saying Beijing would like to
cooperate with Brazil in reducing
its costs.
Despite a multibillion-dollar kickbacks scandal battering its reputation
as Brazils flagship company, Petrobras
had earlier this year received another
Beijing boost in signing a $3.5 billion
financing deal with the China Investment Bank.
Despite becoming Brazils number
one trading partner in 2009, amid
an exponential rise in two-way trade,
China currently ranks only 12th in
terms of actual investment in Brazil,
prompting Brasilia to seek deeper economic ties.
The Chinese are notably supplying
new metro trains and catamarans to
Rio and Mr Li was to visit the Olympic
host city to inspect those investments
before leaving today for Colombia

Chinas Prime Minister Li Keqiang (left) and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff
listen to their national anthems at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia. Photo: AFP

ahead of trips to Peru and Chile.


Mr Lis tour, aimed at underpinning growing Chinese influence in
Latin America, comes just days after
Beijing signed accords worth $25 billion and $22 billion respectively with
fellow BRICS developing nations Russia. But the Brazil package is worth
more than those combined.

Aside from the Petrobras agreements, Ms Rousseff and Mr Li also


signed a range of deals designed to
further bilateral cooperation on trade,
investment, agriculture, energy and
transport.
Brasilia and Beijing also finalised a
$1.3 billion accord to sell 22 Brazilian
Embraer commercial jets to Chinas

Tianjin Airlines, Embraer said.


Brazils Vale, the worlds biggest
iron producer, announced a range of
deals including extended cooperation
with China on maritime transport of
iron ore.
Among the deals, Vale said it
would expand an existing accord by
selling four ore carriers to China Merchants Energy Shipping Co Ltd and
also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Industrial and
Commercial Bank of China for up to
$4 billion in loans and other financial
arrangements.
China also vowed to lift an import
ban on Brazilian beef and signed onto
an ambitious project to build a railway
from the key southeastern Brazilian
port of Santos more than 3500 kilometres (2200 miles) to the Peruvian
Pacific port of Ilo.
Bilateral trade between the BRICS
developing states has mushroomed
over the past decade, with the Asian
giant becoming Brazils main trading
partner in 2009.
Trade between China and Latin
America as a whole exploded from
barely $10 billion in 2000 to $255.5
billion in 2012.
Sino-Brazilian trade mushroomed
from $6.5 billion in 2003 to $83.3 billion in 2012.
Ahead of Mr Lis arrival late on May
18, Jose Graca Lima, head of Asian affairs in the Brazilian foreign ministry,
explained that a second generation
of Chinese investment is under way,
switching from trade in raw materials
to heavy industry and infrastructure.
AFP

14 THE MYANMAR TIMES May 21, 2015

15

World

World edItor: Kayleigh Long

White House
adopts new line on
beekeeping efforts

UN looks to
engage Israel
in new talks

World 17

World 16

BAGHdAd

SANAA

Iraqi forces ready to


storm IS-held Ramadi

Half a million displaced as Saudi-led


allied strikes continue in Yemen

IRAQS army and allied paramilitary


forces massed around Ramadi on May
19, looking for swift action to recapture the city from the Islamic State
group before it builds up defences.
With his security strategy in tatters
and his authority facing its biggest
challenge since he took office eight
months ago, Prime Minister Haider alAbadi was looking for quick redemption.
But the jihadists, whose capture of
Ramadi on May 18 showed they may
have been written off too soon, tried
to keep up the momentum by attacking government and allied forces east
of the city.
In the United States, President
Barack Obama gathered national security advisors to weigh accelerated
training and weapons supplies for Iraqi tribes and supporting an Iraqi-led
counteroffensive.
We are looking at how best to support local ground forces in Anbar
province, National Security Council
spokesperson Alistair Baskey told
AFP, including accelerating the training and equipping of local tribes and
supporting an Iraqi-led operation to
retake Ramadi.
Mr Abadi has ordered the setting
up of new defence lines in Ramadi,
to reorganise and deploy the fighting
troops, his office said after talks with
Irans defence minister.
Reeling from the worst setback
since IS grabbed swathes of territory
in June last year, Mr Abadi called in
the Shiite-dominated Popular Mobilisation units (Hashed al-Shaabi).
He and Washington had hoped to
rely on regular forces and locally recruited Sunni tribal fighters newly incorporated into the Hashed al-Shaabi.
Such a solution was seen as more
palatable to the population of Anbar,
a predominantly Sunni province, and
a way for Washington to keep Iranianbacked militias at bay.
The Shiite paramilitary groups had
been eager to join the Ramadi battle
for some time and argued that Mr Abadis reluctance led to the provincial
capitals fall.
Following a belated green light,
they started sending convoys of fighters to Anbar, where anti-IS forces
are massing, mostly east and west of
Ramadi.
US Secretary of State John Kerry
said on May 18 he was absolutely confident the situation could be reversed
within days.
In the other half of ISs self-pro-

THE United Nations said more than


half a million people have been displaced in Yemens conflict, where the
capital was bombarded late on May
18 for the first time since a ceasefire
ended.
Hopes faded for a political breakthrough in the two-month conflict
with a UN-sponsored peace conference
originally set for next week put on hold
because of the resumption of fighting.
A conference of Yemeni political
factions held in Riyadh, meanwhile,
vowed support for resistance forces
battling rebels.
A Saudi-led coalition has waged an
air war on the Iran-backed rebels in
Yemen since March in an effort to restore the authority of exiled President
Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who fled to
Riyadh.
The UN, citing Yemens health
services, said that as of May 15, some
1850 people had been killed and 7394
wounded in the violence in Yemen. Another 545,000 had been displaced, up
from 450,000 announced on May 15.
The UN refugee agency said its assessments on the ground during the
five-day ceasefire had exposed enormous difficulties for thousands of civilians displaced by conflict.
The World Food Programme said
while the pause was not long enough
to reach all those in need, it had managed to deliver food to 400,000 people,
just over half the 738,000 it had aimed
to help.
About 7000 refugees have fled to Somalia mostly Somalis returning home
since the Saudi-led air war started,

claimed caliphate, a monitoring


group said US-led air strikes in the
northeastern Syrian region of Hasakeh had killed 170 IS militants in 48
hours.
Anbar police chief Kadhim alFahdawi said a large number of wellprepared troops were positioned in
Husaybah, about 7 kilometres (less
than 5 miles) east of Ramadi.
But much planning remains to be
done before Iraqi forces attempt to
move back into Ramadi, a large town
on the Euphrates about 100km west of
Baghdad.
The military operation to liberate
Ramadi and Anbar will not start until
all the requirements are met, Mr Fahdawi said.
After holding on for a year and a
half during which the jihadists never
managed to take full control of the
city, Iraqi security forces pulled out of
their last bases on May 17.
The retreat was chaotic, with
groups of fighters leaving without
command approval and others left
stranded by their comrades.
At least 28 of them were plucked
to safety in a dramatic helicopter rescue, footage of which has been aired
on state TV, but many were killed and
more are still missing.
The withdrawal also raised the
question of the effective control the
command had over its men and Iraqs
cabinet on May 19 suggested the defence of Ramadi had been less than
heroic and could have been avoided.
In its cabinet meeting decisions,
it supported honouring the fighters
who resisted the terrorist attacks and
imposing the toughest punishment on
the recalcitrants, whose attitude had
consequences for Ramadi.
According to an official in the
Anbar governors office, at least 500
fighters and civilians were killed in
the three-day blitz leading to Ramadis
fall.
IS released pictures of the spoils
they retrieved from abandoned
government bases, including tanks,
armoured personnel carriers and
other vehicles, as well as weapons and
ammunition.
According to the International
Organisation for Migration, fighting
has forced 40,000 people from their
homes, the second time in a month
Ramadi residents had to flee.
Thousands of people had to sleep
in the open because they didnt have
places to stay, said the UNs humanitarian coordinator, Lise Grande. AFP

An Iraqi fighter from the Shiite Muslim Al-Abbas popular mobilisation unit holds
a weapon in the area surrounding the village of Nukhayb in the embattled Anbar
province west of the capital Baghdad, on May 19. Photo: AFP

A Rohingya migrant man (centre) shows his national identity card while on a boat off the coast near the city of Geulumpang in Indonesias East Aceh district of Aceh province before being rescued on May
20. Hundreds of starving boatpeople were rescued off Indonesia on May 20 as Myanmar for the first time offered to help ease a regional migrant crisis blamed in part on its treatment of the ethnic Rohingya
minority. Photo: AFP

Nicholas Kay, the UN special representative for Somalia, said on May 19.
After the ceasefire expired at the
weekend, the Saudi-led coalition resumed its bombing on May 18 with
raids on second city Aden, accusing the
rebels of violating the truce.
They did not respect the humanitarian pause. Thats why we do what
is necessary to be done, spokesperson
Brigadier General Ahmed al-Assiri told
AFP.
The raids on the capital hit the
presidential palace complex and several bases of troops loyal to former autocratic president Ali Abdullah Saleh,
allied with the Huthi rebels.
The targets included the Republican Guard missile brigade base in Fajj
Attan, south Sanaa, where strikes last
month set off a chain of explosions that
killed 38 civilians.
An arms depot in Mount Noqum,
on Sanaas eastern outskirts was also
targeted, as well as a house of Saleh
in his Sanhan hometown, south of the
capital, witnesses said.
The coalition also hit air defence
and coastguard bases in Hodeida province, as well as targets in the central
provinces of Taez and Ibb, and in Daleh
and Aden in the south, they said.
A three-day conference in Riyadh
boycotted by the rebels wrapped up
with some 300 participants publicly
backing Mr Hadi and calling for safe
zones allowing his government to resume its duties.
In a closing statement, they called
for quicker delivery of supplies to progovernment forces including logistical

equipment and weapons.


The conference came as a planned,
UN-brokered meeting of Yemeni political groups in Geneva was suspended
indefinitely.
Part of the problem is that the
fighting has once more resumed, said
UN spokesperson Farhan Haq.
We want the fighting decisively
stopped and then we can get about to
organise and invite people to the conference.
UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon
appealed to all parties to create the
conditions leading to a permanent
ceasefire.
A US State Department spokesperson called on the Huthis to indicate
their readiness and their willingness to
come back to the table as part of a UNled process.
Iran, a key ally of the Shiite Huthi
rebels, demanded an end to the Saudi
bombing, and said Riyadh was not a
suitable location for peace talks.
Ali Akbar Velayati, foreign affairs
adviser to Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said there must
be an end to barbaric Saudi raids that
target innocent Yemeni civilians.
The ceasefire allowed supplies of
petrol and food to be delivered to Yemen but anti-Huthi groups accuse the
rebels of confiscating the aid.
The truce has only served the aims
of the militia, which has increased its
readiness and stocked fuel through aid
that arrived in their areas of control,
said a statement from pro-Hadi forces
in the central city of Taez.
AFP

ToKYo

BANdA ACEH

New reactor given the go-ahead

FROM rescuing migrants at sea to


donating all they can, residents of
Indonesias Islamic Aceh province
are warmly welcoming hundreds of
desperate fellow Muslims who have
fled their homelands a contrast to
the rejection they face elsewhere in
Southeast Asia.
Around 1800 Rohingya and Bangladeshi boatpeople have landed in
Aceh in recent days, abandoned by
people-smugglers after their boat
journeys to Malaysia were disrupted
by a Thai crackdown on long-established routes.
Migrants have also arrived in
Malaysia and Thailand after being
dumped by smugglers. Thousands
more are still believed to be stranded
at sea with little food and water.
The governments of Indonesia,
Malaysia and Thailand have insisted
on turning back seaworthy vessels,
sparking outrage.
Many in Aceh, the only part of
Indonesia that implements Islamic
sharia law, are dismayed by the national governments policy and have
opened their arms to those who have
made it to shore.
They need our help. We saw
that they are in a terrible condition, thirsty, hungry and neglected,
18-year-old student Cut Haya told
AFP in Langsa, where hundreds of

JAPANS nuclear watchdog yesterday


gave the green light to restart one
more atomic reactor, weeks after the
government said a fifth of the countrys electricity supply should come
from atomic power.
The decision by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) that reactor
No 3 at Ikata nuclear power plant in
western Japan meets safety guidelines, comes after similar decisions
on four other reactors at two different
plants.
However, any actual restart could
still be some considerable way off.
There must first be a lengthy public
consultation and local authorities
must also give their blessing.
Last month a court granted an
injunction banning operators from
restarting two greenlighted reactors amid concerns over lax safety
standards.
The nuclear issue is a highly sensitive one in Japan, which remains
deeply scarred by the tsunami-sparked
disaster at Fukushima in 2011, when
reactors went into meltdown after
their cooling systems were flooded.
The worst atomic accident in a
generation forced tens of thousands of
people from their homes, with some
still displaced and scientists warning
tracts of land might be uninhabitable
for decades.
Japans entire stable of reactors
which once provided a quarter of the
countrys electricity was gradually
switched off following the disaster.
While Prime Minister Shinzo Abes
administration and much of industry

Aceh residents band together for refugees


migrants are being housed in temporary shelters.
As human beings, we have to
help them, especially because they
are our Muslim brothers and sisters.
Along with compassion for their
religious brethren, Acehnese are also
showing empathy following their
own troubled recent past, including
a long-running separatist conflict.
The insurgency ran for three decades and only ended after a monster
earthquake and tsunami struck Aceh
in 2004, killing almost 170,000 in the

western province and tens of thousands more in countries round the


Indian Ocean.
There has been an outpouring of
public sympathy for the migrants,
particularly the Rohingya, who are
fleeing state-sanctioned persecution
in their native Myanmar. The Bangladeshis are for the most part seeking to escape grinding poverty.
Caught off guard when the boats
arrived, authorities scrambled to
find food and shelter for hundreds of
exhausted people but where they

Fishing boats arrive to aid stranded Rohingya and Bangladeshis. Photo: AFP

have been stretched, ordinary Acehnese are lending a helping hand.


There has been a stream
of Langsa residents bringing
donations to the shelters in the
small fishing town, with volunteers
helping gather food, clothing and
toiletries.
In nearby fields, impromptu
games of soccer and tug of war between locals and children from the
camps have provided a brief escape
for the young migrants from the
misery of their situation.
Many get their first taste of Aceh
hospitality even before making it to
shore many of the arrivals have
been rescued by local fishermen.
The latest batch came ashore
early yesterday, with fishermen saving more than 400 from two boats
off the coast.
We are giving first aid to these
people, we are feeding them, giving them water and providing a
comfortable place for them, said
search-and-rescue official Sadikin,
who goes by one name.
But while the migrants wait indefinitely for refugee claims to be
assessed a process the International Organization for Migration
(IOM) says could take months attention is shifting to the others who
could still be floating at sea.

A rally on May 19 attended by


100 people in the provincial capital
Banda Aceh saw community groups
demand more be done to save those
still on the water, instead of turning
them away.
Back when the tsunami hit
Aceh, people from all over the world
came here to help us, regardless of
race, ethnicity and religion, activist
Muhammad Hamza told the rally.
Now it is time we show humanity
by helping the Rohingya.
The countrys biggest Muslim organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama, condemned the governments decision
to bar migrant boats from coming
to Indonesia, urging it to immediately rescue those in dire need.
Where is our sense of humanity if we let them die at sea? said
Teungku Faisal Ali, chairman of the
groups Aceh branch.
Steve Hamilton, the IOMs deputy chief of mission in Indonesia,
said the response from the Acehnese people had been fantastic,
but not surprising given their history of war and suffering.
Theyve seen great tragedy in
their own province, he told AFP.
Aceh really understands what it
means to have lost everything, because they went through it already.
AFP

are keen to return to atomic generation largely because a cheaper yen


has sent the cost of dollar-denominated fossil fuels soaring the public is
unconvinced.
The government said last month it
wants 20-22 percent of the countrys
electricity to come from nuclear power by 2030, a target campaigners said
meant every single viable reactor in
the country would have to be switched
back on.
Environmental activists Greenpeace said the NRAs latest decision took insufficient account of the
risk from earthquakes and of public

opposition.
The NRA ignores scientific evidence and major earthquake risks in
its single-minded push to restart Japans crippled nuclear reactors, said
Kazue Suzuki, nuclear campaigner
with Greenpeace Japan.
It has utterly failed to learn the
lessons of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. That is unacceptable to the people of Japan and places the public at
undue risk, she said.
We strongly support the efforts of
local residents who are determined to
stop the Ikata reactor from operating,
she added. AFP

A woman holds a placard as a group of some 30 anti-nuclear protesters


demonstrates in front of the Nuclear Regulation Authority in Tokyo on May 20.
Photo: AFP

TRADE MARK CAUTION


Johnson & Johnson, a corporation organized and existing under
the laws of the State of New Jersey, U.S.A., of One Johnson &
Johnson Plaza, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08933 U.S.A., is
the Owner of the following Trade Mark:-

DARZAQTA

Reg. No. 18849/2014


in respect of Intl Class 5: Human pharmaceutical preparations.
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 Johnson & Johnson
P. O. Box 60, Yangon
E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm
Dated: 21 May, 2015

TRADE MARK CAUTION


Kao Kabushiki Kaisha (also trading as Kao Corporation), of
14-10, Nihonbashi Kayabacho 1-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 1038210, Japan, is the Owner of the following Trade Marks:-

SENSAI

Reg. No. 6288/2002

Reg. No. 2986/2005

in respect of Intl Class 03: Soaps; perfumery, essential oils,


cosmetics, hair lotions, dentifrices.

16 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 21, 2015

UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK

UN looks to open new


negotiations with Israel
THE United Nations will explore options with Israels new government for
negotiations on creating a Palestinian
state within a reasonable timeframe,
the new envoy said on May 20.
Nickolay Mladenov, the UN special Middle East coordinator, told the
Security Council that the coming period will be critical to the future of the
peace process.
Peace talks between Israel and the
Palestinians have been comatose since
a major US push for a final deal ended
in failure in April 2014.
UN efforts to revive the peace process were effectively on hold in recent
months as Israel held elections and
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
formed a new government that was
announced last week.
Mr Mladenov said he and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will
be engaging the new government to
explore realistic options for a return
to meaningful negotiations toward a
two-state solution within a reasonable
timeframe.
The envoy, who took up his post last
month, renewed a UN call for a freeze

on Israeli settlement activity and urged


the new government to reverse decisions on three recent tenders for new
construction.
The UN has repeatedly called on Israel to halt the construction of Jewish
settlements on Palestinian land, which
it has branded as illegal and a move
to erase the prospect of a Palestinian
state.
To give hope back to people, we
must act to advance the prospect of a
two-state solution: Israel and Palestine
living side-by-side in peace and security, Mr Mladenov told the 15-member
council.
Mr Mladenovs predecessor, Dutch
diplomat Robert Serry, told the Security Council in March that the settlements were threatening to kill the
very possibility of reaching peace.
Mr Serry said in his final report to
the council that he was unsure whether it was already too late.
The UN push to put peace talks
back on track comes amid discussions
at the Security Council on a possible
draft resolution that would outline the
parameters of a final deal.

The draft resolution would pave the


way for a Palestinian state encompassing the West Bank and Gaza, with a
shared capital in Jerusalem.
Following heavy US lobbying, the
council in December rejected a similar
draft proposed by Arab countries but
France has said it would be willing to
try again.
France, however, has not circulated
a draft and diplomats have suggested
that negotiations on a text would have
to wait until the Iran nuclear deal is
finalised in June.
This would give the United States,
which voted against the resolution in
December, more leeway to engage with
France on a text that it could ultimately
support at the council.
The US has not, however, said
whether it would be prepared to endorse a UN resolution on a final IsraeliPalestinian peace deal.
International concern over the
peace process spiked after Mr Netanyahu vowed during a campaign speech
that he would never allow the creation
of a Palestinian state, although he later
backtracked on his comments. AFP

FEEL YOUR BEAUTY


Reg. No. 2989/2005
in respect of Intl Class 3: Bleaching preparations and other
substances for laundry use; cleaning, polishing, scouring and
abrasive preparations; soaps; perfumery, essential oils, cosmetics,
hair lotions; dentifrices. Intl Class 5: Pharmaceutical and
veterinary preparations; sanitary preparations for medical
purposes; dietetic substances adapted for medical use, food for
babies; plasters, materials for dressings; material for stopping
teeth, dental wax; disinfectants; preparations for destroying
vermin; fungicides, herbicides, vegetable-based food supplements
in powder, capsule, tablet, liquid or jelly form, cereal-based food
supplements in powder, capsule, tablet, liquid or jelly form.
Intl Class 21: Household or kitchen utensils and containers
(not of precious metals or coated therewith); combs and sponges;
brushes (except paint brushes); brush-making materials; articles
for cleaning purposes; steelwool; unworked or semi-worked
glass (except glass used in building); glassware, porcelain and
earthenware not included in other classes. Intl Class 32: Beers,
mineral and aerated waters and other non-alcoholic drinks; fruit
drinks and fruit juices; syrups and other preparations for making
beverages. Intl Class 44: Medical services; veterinary services;
hygienic and beauty care for human beings or animals; agriculture,
horticulture and forestry 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 Kao Kabushiki Kaisha
P. O. Box 60, Yangon
E-mail: makhinkyi.law@mptmail.net.mm
Dated: 21 May, 2015

A Palestinian artist draws a mural on the rubble of a building following a march to mark the 67th anniversary of the Nakba,
in al-Tufah, in the east of Gaza City on May 16. Nakba means in Arabic catastrophe, in reference to the birth of the state
of Israel 67-years-ago in British-mandate Palestine. Photo: AFP

CAIRO

Activists claim surge in sexual violence


EGYPTIAN security forces have
stepped up sexual attacks against
detainees since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi, using them as a
cynical political strategy to crush
opposition, a rights group charged on
May 19.
Mr Morsi, Egypts first freely elected
leader, was deposed in July 2013 by
then army chief and now President
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi after mass protests
against his sole year in office.
Since his removal, a relentless government crackdown on dissent mostly involving Mr Morsis supporters
has left hundreds dead in street clashes
and thousands jailed.
Many more have been sentenced to
death after mass trials, described by
the United Nations as unprecedented
in recent history.
Mr Morsi himself has been
sentenced to death along with dozens
of fellow defendants for their role in a
mass jailbreak during the 2011 uprising
that ousted longtime autocrat Hosni
Mubarak.
On May 20, the Paris-based International Federation of Human Rights
released a report, based on testimo-

nies of victims, activists and witnesses,


charging that sexual violence by security forces against detainees has surged
since the ouster of Mr Morsi.
The scale of sexual violence occurring during arrests and in detention,
the similarities in the methods used
and the general impunity enjoyed by
the perpetrators point to a cynical political strategy aimed at stifling civil society and silencing all opposition, said
FIDH president Karim Lahidji.
The report accused the Egyptian
police, National Security Intelligence
officers and the military of abusing detainees with sexual violence, including
rape, sexual assault, rape with objects,
electrocution of genitalia, sex-based
defamation and blackmail.
It said such violence is widely tolerated by the authorities, with perpetrators, be they state-employed or civilian, rarely having to answer for their
crimes.
The report quoted several victims
who talked of how security forces assaulted them sexually to force them
or their relatives into making false
confessions.
One female victim, identified only

as A, talked of how police officers tried


to rape her to force her husband into
making a confession at a police station
in the capitals Nasr City district.
She said the officers beat me ... then
they made me enter the room where he
was and tried to rape me.
My husband begged them to leave
me alone, shouting, Let her go, Im going to talk. They said to him, No, speak
first and well let her go. They pulled
off my veil and started again; I began
screaming.
They made me sit with my hands
tied and said Go on, well hang her
from the door to make him talk, she
told the FIDH.
The report said the testimonies indicate sexual violence is used with the
knowledge of agents of the interior
ministry and the armed forces.
While tolerating these crimes, Sisis regime has also hijacked the fight
against sexual violence as a pretext to
tighten state security, the report said.
The Egyptian government must
immediately put an end to these crimes,
committed by actors under their direct
authority, said Amina Bouayach, secretary general of the FIDH. AFP

World 17

www.mmtimes.com
WASHINGTON

White House adopts bee-positive policy


THE White House has unveiled a
plan to reverse an alarming decline
in the populations of bees and other
pollinators that play a critical role in
agriculture and the environment.
Honey bee pollination alone adds
US$15 billion in value to US crops
each year, wrote John Holdren, one
of President Barack Obamas main
science advisers.
Bees and other pollinators are responsible for pollinating more than a
third of the US food supply, according to the Natural Resources Defense
Council, a conservation group.
But pollinators are struggling for
a variety of reasons, and over the past
12 months beekeepers lost 42 percent
of their honey bee colonies mostly in
winter, the US Department of Agriculture estimated last week.
That loss marked the second
worst year on record for bee mortality in the United States, according to
the USDA. The worst was the 2012-13
season, with the loss of 45 percent of
colonies.
This mysterious phenomenon has
been observed since 2006, mainly in
North America but also in Europe,
and is known as colony collapse
disorder the more or less sudden
death of millions of adult insects in
beehives.
Scientists point to a series of factors: sickness, parasites, dwindling
food sources and harmful pesticides.
The new US plan also seeks to rebuild populations of Monarch butterflies, other pollinators that are also in
sharp decline.
Over the past two decades, the
number of Monarchs migrating
south, mainly to Mexico, in winter
to escape the cold has dropped by 90

John Gentzel, the owner of J & P Apiary and Gentzels Bees, Honey and Pollination Company, works with his honeybees on
May 19 in Homestead, Florida. Photo: AFP

percent.
To address the problem, the White
House aims to limit bee mortality in
winter to a maximum of 15 percent
over 10 years.
It also aims to restore 7 million
acres (2.8 million hectares) of habitat for these insects over the next five
years through federal intervention
and partnerships between the public
and private sectors.
As for the Monarchs, the plan is
designed to boost their population

over the next five years in a 15-acre


span of forest in Mexico, in collaboration with that government.
Many US government agencies
will be called on to find ways to grow,
on federal land, plants that are more
varied and better suited to bees and
other pollinators.
Scientists say growing just one
crop on a large stretch of land denies
bees a source of food.
The plan is based on an all
hands on deck approach including

engagement of citizens and communities and the forging of public-private partnerships.


The measures are the culmination
of an appeal launched by Mr Obama
in June 2014 to develop a federal a
strategy to save the bees.
Increasing the quantity and quality of habitat for pollinators is a major part of this effort with actions
ranging from the construction of
pollinator gardens at Federal buildings to the restoration of millions of

acres of Federally managed lands and


similar actions on private lands, Mr
Holdren wrote.
But the White House was more
measured in its references to the
impact of insecticides. It said
they played an important role in
agriculture.
Mitigating the effects of pesticides on bees is a priority for the
Federal government, as both bee
pollination and insect control are essential to the success of agriculture,
said Jeff Pettis, a senior entomologist
at the USDAs Agricultural Research
Service.
In April, the Environmental Protection Agency declared a moratorium on the use of pesticides called
neonicotinoids until their risk to bees
can be assessed fully.
The European Union has banned
three major classes of neonicotinoids,
which allegedly kill bees.
Environmental groups welcomed
the White House plan but said it did
not go far enough, especially with regard to cutting pesticide use.
The president is right to elevate
the urgency of this matter. While
the task forces recommendations
are a good first step toward saving
them, more urgent action is needed
to safeguard our food supply, said
Peter Lehner, executive director
of the Natural Resources Defense
Council.
We applaud the presidents commitment to accelerate the review of
several neonicotinoid pesticides.
But to truly save bees and other
pollinators, we must drastically cut
down on todays pervasive use of
neonicotinoids and other pesticides.
AFP

WASHINGTON

Whale meat again: Japan set to take


scientific research claims before
international whaling meet
WHEN Japanese researchers said
earlier this year that eating whale
meat could help prevent dementia
and memory loss, the news provoked
snorts of derision it couldnt be real
science, went the retort.
Despite protestations of academic
rigour from the men and women
who do the work, anything involving the words Japan, whaling and
research suffers from a credibility gap in the court of global public
opinion.
Tokyo was told last year by the
United Nations top legal body that
the program of lethal research
whaling it has carried out in the
Southern Ocean for nearly two decades was a fig leaf for a commercial
hunt.
Now Japan is going back to the
scientific panel of the International
Whaling Commission (IWC) at a meeting in San Diego that began on May
19, to try to convince them there is
a genuine need for the research that
they say is being carried out when they
slaughter marine mammals whose
meat ends up on the dinner table.
Japans research whaling program
doesnt appear to fulfil basic criteria that all scientists naturally strive
toward, said Atsushi Ishii, associate
professor of environmental politics
at Tohoku University in northeastern
Japan.
For example, there was no reasonable explanation as to how catch
ceilings were worked out and ... there
have been few peer-reviewed articles.
Scientific research on this scale

usually involves cooperation with other projects for efficiency and to avoid
duplication, but Japan has steadfastly
gone it alone, he added.
Japan has hunted whales for a few
hundred years, but the industry really
took off after World War II to help
feed a hungry country.
While other leading industrial
nations including the United States
and Britain once hunted whales,
the practice fell out of favour, and by
the 1980s commercial whaling was
banned.
Norway and Iceland have ignored the ban, but Japan uses a loophole that allows for so-called lethal
research.
The purpose of Japans research is
science science that will ensure that
when commercial whaling is resumed,
it will be sustainable, the Institute of
Cetacean Research (ICR), the body
charged with overseeing the whaling
program, insists on its website.
The ICR says this means it needs to
keep careful tabs on the whale population, by determining, amongst other
things, the average life expectancy of
the creatures, their exposure to pollutants and their diet.
The only accurate way to measure
these criteria, they say, is to kill the
animals to examine their stomach contents, the condition of their organs and
the thickness of their blubber.
Responding to the UN court decision, Japan has now submitted a new
research proposal to the IWC, setting
a Southern Ocean catch target of 333
minke whales a two-thirds cut of the

previous target and limiting the programme to 12 years, instead of being


open-ended.
Anti-whaling campaigners insist
most of what needs to be learned about
whales can be gleaned by observing
them, taking biopsies or examining faecal discharge.
Japanese whaling research is not
considered genuine science, Greenpeace Japan activist Junichi Sato told
AFP.
Scientists who argue for it are
speaking in order to help realise
the political intention of resuming
commercial whaling, rather than
on grounds of scientific, objective
judgement.
Away from the thorny issue of stock
counting, research on possible health
benefits of consuming whale meat is
tarred with the same brush.
In March this year tests on mice
revealed consuming balenine a substance found in whale meat mitigated
the effects of Alzheimers Disease.
Greenpeaces Mr Sato said there had
to be automatic suspicion about research like this, which was carried out
in association with the ICR and could
be a foil to help stimulate flagging demand for whale meat.
Professor Seiji Shioda of Hoshi University in Tokyo, who did the work, refuted any suggestion it could be tainted
by politics.
I dont understand why the study
should be labelled as unscientific, he
told AFP.
Based on scientific data, I believe
there surely is a meaningful sub-

Japanese workers cut up whale meat in 2008. Photo: AFP

stance in whales bodies, he said, noting they live long lives and carry out
complex navigation in old age.
Whales are wonderful creatures
but not much is known about their
functionary mechanism... We need to
proceed with scientific analysis.
Tohoku Universitys Mr Ishii says
ironically, the moratorium on commercial hunting is one of the few
things that has kept whaling alive in
Japan.
By around the turn of this century,

the industry was no longer commercially viable. Japan could not have extended the life of whaling without the
moratorium.
Given every Antarctic mission results in a loss, the fisheries agency actually wants to pull out, he said, but a
group of pro-whaling lawmakers will
not allow it.
They think it would look like Japans succumbing to [environmentalists] or Australian demands, he said.
AFP

18 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 20, 2015

PYONGYANG

North Korea cancels Ban Ki-moon visit


NORTH Korea said yesterday it had
perfected the technology to make
nuclear warheads, not long after announcing it had launched a ballistic
missile from a submarine, dramatically upping military brinkmanship
with its US-led foes.
It also cancelled a visit by UN
chief Ban Ki-moon after he accused
it of fuelling regional tensions, in
a week that also saw US Secretary
of State John Kerry condemn the
Norths provocative, destabilising
and repressive actions.
In violation of a UN ban, North
Korea has long been testing longrange missiles. Nearly two weeks
ago, the Communist state said it had
successfully test-fired a submarinelaunched ballistic missile (SLBM).
If confirmed, that would allow the
deployment of nuclear weapons far
beyond the Korean peninsula. But,
experts say, the hardest part of delivering a nuclear strike is shrinking a
warhead to fit a missile.
Pyongyangs powerful National
Defence Commission (NDC) said it
now had the means to do just that,
in an announcement certain to spark
alarm not just in Washington, Seoul
and Tokyo, but also in Beijing.
It has been a long time since we
began miniaturising and diversifying
our means of nuclear strike, the NDC
said in a statement on the Norths
official news agency.
We have also reached the stage
where the highest accuracy rate is
guaranteed, not only for short- and
medium-range missiles but longrange missiles as well.
Several analysts treated the SLBM
claim with scepticism, and were cautious too about the miniaturisation
announcement.
There are differences between
their statements and their actual
operational
reality,
Daniel
Pinkston, a senior researcher of the

This undated picture released from North Koreas official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 19 shows North
Korean leader Kim Jong-Un inspecting the Taedonggang terrapin farm in Pyongyang. Photo: AFP

International Crisis Group, told AFP.


Some of it is bluster or exaggeration and maybe for internal audiences, and some of it is probably also for
external audiences in an effort to test
and to see if they can use systems for
blackmail or coercion, he said.
Cho Han-Bum, an analyst at
the Korea Institute for National
Unification, said Pyongyang was too
cash-strapped to perfect such intricate technology as miniaturising a
warhead.
I find the claim hard to believe,
he said.
Mr Cho said North Koreas young

leader Kim Jong-Un, who chairs the


NDC, may be having trouble keeping
the military under control following
the reported execution of his defence
minister.
So the latest NDC announcement
appears to be aimed at assuaging
hawks within the military and securing bargaining chips for negotiations
with the other countries like the US
by stoking their biggest fear, about
the Norths nuclear and long-range
missiles.
Euan Graham, from Sydneys
Lowy Institute for International Policy, said the comments were North

Koreas way... of trying to make sure


they capture attention from a US administration thats busy tackling crises elsewhere.
However the top US homeland security commander, Admiral
William Gortney, said last month the
North was capable of mounting a
miniaturised warhead on its new
KN-08 intercontinental missile.
And South Koreas defence
ministry has said the North appears
to have achieved a significant level
of technology to create a nuclear
warhead.
The NDC announcement came

hours after Ban said his invitation


to visit the Kaesong industrial zone
inside North Korea had been cancelled without explanation.
Had todays visit gone ahead, Mr
Ban would have become the first UN
secretary-general to set foot in the
communist state for more than 20
years, since Boutros Boutros-Ghali in
1993.
This decision by Pyongyang is
deeply regrettable, the UN chief, a
former foreign minister of South Korea, told a forum in Seoul.
However, I as the secretary general of the United Nations, will not
spare any efforts to encourage the
DPRK (North Korea) to work with the
international community for peace
and stability on the Korean peninsula
and beyond.
But Mr Kerry, visiting Seoul on
May 18, warned that North Korea
was doing everything to spurn such
reconciliation as he condemned Kims
egregious leadership and grotesque executions of top officials.
Instead, it continues to pursue nuclear weapons and ballistic
missiles, it continues to break promises and make threats, and it continues to show flagrant disregard for
international laws, he said.
US officials could not immediately be reached for comment on
yesterdays announcement.
The North has conducted three
atomic tests and has long had nuclear
weapons. But it was unclear whether
it had the technology to deliver them
by missile.
The NDC said yesterday that the
SLBM test represents a higher stage
in our efforts to develop strategic
striking forces.
The United States and its
cronies must stop kicking up a ruckus over our measures to strengthen
self-defence capabilities, it said.
AFP

BANGKOK

Lese majeste convictions continue to rise, say Thai activists


WHEN Natnichas husband was
jailed for insulting Thailands monarchy under the countrys lese majeste
laws, she didnt just lose a partner.
She lost her friends and place in Thai
society joining the growing ranks
of outcasts since royalist generals
seized power a year ago.
Several anti-coup activists, two
theatre performers, a bookseller and
even a mentally ill 65-year-old have
been jailed under the draconian 112
royal defamation law since the May
22 power grab by the Thai junta.
Rights groups describe it as an
unprecedented surge in cases from
a military that tacks its legitimacy to
a self-appointed role as protector of
the monarchy.
Several weeks after her husband
was jailed Natnicha not her real
name said she was still afraid of
the consequences of speaking openly about the sentence in a kingdom
where insulting the king, queen, heir
or regent carries up to 15 years in jail,
on each count.
Even being linked to those accused of the offence can bring opprobrium in a sharply hierarchical society where reverence to the monarchy
led by 87-year old King Bhumibol
Adulyadej is a given.
My family has been cut off from
everyone, she told AFP.
Most people dont want to hear
about what happened because they
are themselves afraid.
On May 15 Thailands ultra-royalist military marks a year since it
toppled the democratically elected
government of Yingluck Shinawatra.

Martial law, which was eventually replaced by a draconian series of


security measures, has virtually
wiped out public debate with political gatherings of more than five people banned and criticism of the junta
outlawed.
But few things illustrate this stark
new reality under Thailands junta
better than the surge in royal defamation cases and convictions.
Prior to last years coup the International Federation of Human
Rights (FIDH) counted just five
Thais behind bars on lese majeste
charges.
That number has since risen to 18,
the FIDH said yesterday, with sentences ranging from one to 50 years,
although most defendants saw their
sentences halved on guilty pleas.
Prosecutions are likely to continue at a steady pace in the coming
months, the FIDH said in statement,
citing Thai police figures of 204 active cases, with 128 under investigation including those of 30 Thais living overseas.
Yet debate on the scope and legitimacy of the law is smothered. Both
domestic and international media
must heavily self-censor when reporting lese majeste cases.
Even repeating details of the
charges could mean breaking the
law.
And while the military parades its
successes in prosecuting 112 alleged
infringements, the families of those
jailed find themselves ostracised.
My friends never got in touch
with me afterwards, said the wife of

another man jailed recently, also requesting anonymity.


The pressure was so bad she said
she felt compelled to move house.
Even those who I know feel sympathy for me never discuss my husbands fate.
Thailands coup leaders have
made no secret of their determination to ramp up lese majeste cases.
The most important thing is to
maintain the monarchy. We have the
law for it, former army chief and
now Deputy Prime Minister Prawit
Wongsuwan said last month.
Decades spent crafting the role of
guardian of the monarchy has embedded the militarys influence over
Thai politics, analysts say a
valuable position as fears abound over
the future of the country once King
Bhumibols reign ends.
Critics accuse the junta of using
the law to pursue its enemies.
There is a crystallisation of the
lese-majeste crime as a kind of high
treason, the crime against the state
par excellence, Thailand analyst David Streckfuss told AFP.
It amounts to a rather desperate attempt by the old elite to protect the status quo ... which in their
minds is under attack from all directions, he added.
Many recent lese majeste convictions have been made in military
courts, often in secret.
Sentences have also been harsh.
In early April a 58-year-old man
was jailed for 25-years for five Facebook posts, sparking international
condemnation.

A Thai activist wears a face mask calling for the release of activist Somyot as
she joins a protest outside the criminal court in Bangkok in January 2013.
Photo: AFP

Other cases are old allegations


that have been resurrected, including a bookseller jailed last month for
an alleged offence carried out nine
years ago.

Whatever the context, the stigma


sticks to those associated with lese
majeste convicts, even for those
jailed before the coup.
AFP

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

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 21, 2015

the pulse 21

www.mmtimes.com

Tradition squeezed as chinlone players vie for space

A monk plays chinlone with refugees at Mansu Shan Buddhist Monastery in Lashio, Shan State. Photo: Zarni Phyo

Zon Pann Pwint


zonpann08@gmail.com

LAYING chinlone is good for you. It can improve


general fitness and promote alertness, it
concentrates the attention, and develops teamwork
skills and a general sense of good-fellowship amid
friendly rivalry.
Playing chinlone is also bad for you. It can get you knocked
down by a car.
One of the by-products of the gridlock on Yangons streets
is that pavement chinlone, until recently a ubiquitous
phenomenon, is now either endangered or downright
hazardous, adherents say. And the would-be stars of Myanmars
national game will have to find somewhere else to practise.

Chinlone was once played to entertain Burmese royalty.


The game that features a simple woven cane ball is over 1500
years old and players are said to have devised over 200 distinct
moves over the centuries.
Chinlone players were driven into the street when many
chinlone courts disappeared. But playing in the street is
dangerous, said U Zaw Min, 50, a former volleyball player who
finds chinlone relaxes his muscles and keeps his heart healthy.
He plays every day.
The days when pedestrians would have to thread their
way past groups of players displaying their dazzling artistry,
or trishaw drivers risked being hit on the head by a stray
cane ball seem to be over. Now, the main sport practised in
those places is watching people trying to shoehorn their SUV
between a couple of badly parked Proboxs.
Playing chinlone in the street is not safe. We keep having
to stop to let the cars go by, said U Zaw Min.

In 2011, he and other aficionados put up K1,500,000


(US$1367) for a court, located just beside his apartment block
in Yuzana Garden City. About 20 men students, retirees and
office workers gather between 5:30pm and 9, playing after
sunset beneath spotlights.
We need a safe space to play, undisturbed by cars, said
U Zaw Min. Playing chinlone is good for the muscles and for
blood pressure. I am now 50, but Im still strong, he said.
U Aung Than, former national player, said it only takes
three to play. There are three types of teams. Some play
just for fun without caring too much about the rules, some
are more dedicated hobbyists, some play strictly according
to Queensberry, or his Myanmar equivalent. There are not
more than 10 professional players in Yangon, but myriad
enthusiasts.
Clogging the pavement with cars has hit the hobbyists
hard. Some groups have disappeared. The high cost of the cane

ball is another factor. In 1980, a ball cost K5 ($0.004), but today


you can spend K4500 ($4). High-quality balls are rare, he said. A
cane ball lasts a month.
In the past, schools, universities and government departments
hosted chinlone competitions. But interest in the sport has
declined, he said. Sometimes pagoda festivals organise chinlone
competitions.
Its not like football, where the winner is determined by
goal count. Winning depends on the players skill in using toes,
knees, heels and ankles, he said, adding that prowess requires
perseverance in the face of tiredness, and the mastery of
technique that can be learned from a master. Though safe spaces
are becoming rare, some hobbyists continue to play for health
reasons.
One of the regular visitors to the court of U Zaw Min, 64-yearold retiree U Tin Myint, said, I drive to the court in the evening.
Playing chinlone makes me sleep, eat well and stay alert.

Young men play traditional chinlone in the Botahtaung Harbour area. Photo: Yu Yu

22 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 21, 2015

It doesnt even
smell: a ride on
the bus powered by
human poo

The Bio-Bus is powered entirely by human poo. Photos: GenEco

Ajit NirANjAN

An infographic shows just how the Bio-Bus works.

Its a fantastic idea, I say powering a


bus with poo, whod have thought?
the soft West Country burr belongs
to Maisie, a 30-year-old nurse travelling
with her toddler, Josh, and three bags
of shopping. squirming out of his
mothers grasp, Josh presses his face
to the window as we pass rows of
Georgian terraces and graffiti-speckled
tower blocks.
this is Bristol, and while the
surroundings are typical of many
British cities, our 41-seater bus is
unique. Not due to its sleek design
or humorous exterior though its
certainly turning heads as we drive past
the harbourside but because the aptly
named No 2 bus doesnt use electricity
or oil: It runs entirely on human faeces.
the Bio-Bus, to use its official name,
is powered by, well, gas extracted
from the sewerage works at nearby
Avonmouth, then purified and enriched
to form a super-clean source of fuel. Its
just one of many sustainable initiatives
happening in Bristol ahead of the citys
turn as European Green Capital 2015.
Ive always used the No 2, so the
poo bus makes the trip a whole lot
more exciting, says Maisie. And its
good for the environment on top of
that. Most importantly for her and
other Bristol residents, tickets to the
Bio-Bus are the same as a normal bus
fare. It doesnt even smell!
shes right though Josh seems
almost disappointed by this. the
biomethane gas powering the vehicle
is almost indistinguishable in smell
from the natural gas supply used across
the UK, though their origins differ.
Natural gas is a fossil fuel, formed from
dead organic matter over millennia of
intense heat and pressure. Biomethane,
on the other hand, is produced through

anaerobic digestion: Micro-organisms,


in the absence of oxygen, break down
human sewage and food waste to
produce a methane-rich biogas, which
is then cleansed of CO2 and other
impurities.
As a result, the bus emits less
greenhouse gases than a conventional
diesel engine 80 percent less
nitrogen oxide and 20-30pc less CO2
and is almost completely free of

The Bio-Bus is
actually powered by
people living in the
local area including
quite possibly those
on the bus itself.
Mohammed Saddiq
GENeco general manager
harmful particulates. the technology
itself is nothing new: Oslo already
employs 100 poo buses. But the
renewable energy company behind
the Bio-Bus, GENeco, is betting it has
a bright future.
Gas-powered vehicles have an
important role to play in improving
air quality in UK cities, said general
manager Mohammed saddiq. But
the Bio-Bus goes further than that,
and is actually powered by people
living in the local area including

quite possibly those on the bus itself.


Using biomethane in this way not only
provides a sustainable fuel, but also
reduces our reliance on traditional
fossil fuels.
GENeco have started injecting
biomethane from the Bristol sewage
treatment Works at Avonmouth into
the national gas grid at a rate of almost
2000 cubic metres per hour, enough to
power about 8300 homes.
Its here at the sewerage works, 7
miles from the city centre, where the
Bio-Bus has to refuel far from the
route it serves. First Group, the travel
company operating the service it
started running in central Bristol in
late March, replacing the existing
No 2 bus along a similar route has
said it simply wont be able to afford
to run more Bio-Buses until it can
figure out a way to refuel them more
efficiently.
the public certainly seems to love
them. As we enter the bustling, sun-lit
streets of Broadmead the commercial
shopping centre at the heart of Bristol,
built on the bombed-out ruins of the
Blitz the bus fills with schoolchildren
and pensioners, all enthusiastically
discussing the new vehicle.
I hope it does continue, says
Maisie. Bristol is full of good ideas, but
some of them have a habit of falling
through. Remember the ferry that ran
on hydrogen two years back?
Hydrogenesis was the UKs first
hydrogen-powered boat: another
breakthrough in clean, sustainable
transport technology that was
pioneered in Bristol. the 225,000
(Us$348,906) ferry operated for a
full six months. then the council cut
funding and it sat in the harbour
unused.
Lets hope the poo bus doesnt go
the same way. The Guardian

A storm in a tea cup: BBC radio drama to promote ethnic diversity


NyeiN ei ei Htwe
nyeineieihtwe23@gmail.com
AN everyday story of teashop
customers, The Tea Cup Diaries, is
being broadcast by Myanma Radio for
26. the series has been produced by
BBC Media Action, with support from
UsAID, and will run for 26 weeks.
the Myanmar-language drama, set
in a teashop on the outskirts of Yangon,
will showcase a diverse cast of actors
reflecting everyday experiences.
Producers say the main aim of the

Actor U Yu Pa poses at the launch


party of The Tea Cup Diaries.

drama is to increase understanding,


openness and respect for people
from different ethnic and religious
backgrounds and to support the peacebuilding process.
The Tea Cup Diaries (La phat yay
ta khwat yae sa gar wine) will be
broadcast every Friday across the 14
states and regions, reaching a projected
9 million listeners.
U Yu Pa plays the lead character,
teashop owner U Chit Maung. He told
The Myanmar Times yesterday that
performing the voice-only role was
more taxing than on-screen acting
because the speaker had to stimulate
the imagination of listeners and create
scenes through the power of the voice
alone.
the tone and colour of the voice,
the pronunciation, every sigh, pause
or cough has meaning. But if we get
it right we think we can portray the
lifestyles and the views of ordinary
people, he said.
the youngest Tea Cup performer,
8-year-old Nyan Lin Htike, plays
a waiter. He is undaunted by the
challenge, he says, because he is already
a seasoned actor. I used to play dramas
at my sunday school and Im very
happy to do this, he said.
the program is available online for
free at www.teacupdiaries.com or, in
Yangon, on the radio on 5.76MW.

A BBC representative and actors launch The Tea Cup Diaries. Photos: Zarni Phyo

TRADEMARK CAUTIONARY NOTICE vulnerability and threat management, risk management, prevention, authentication, in particular in the field of
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protection of unauthorized intrusions, system monitoring,
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and audit, configuration, deployment and policies, risk
assessments, support management, asset management
and decommission; computer software and computer
hardware consultancy; computer system design;
computer software design; computer programming;
computer protection services; computer systems analysis;
recovery of computer data; design, development,
installation, configuration, updating, implementation,
integration, maintenance, modification, extension of
computer hardware, computer software, computer
software updates, downloadable computer software, data
bases, operation systems, computer networks; technical
support, also via hotline or telephone; managed security
services in the field of computer hardware, computer
software, computer software updates, downloadable
computer software, data bases, operation systems,
computer networks; data backup services; data storage
services; analysis, processing and integration of data;
technical administration of accesses to computer
networks; provision of technical security directives;
inspection of technical guidelines and processes; all of the
afore mentioned services in class 42 in particular in the
field of IT-security, IT-security-technology, IT-securitysystems, IT-security-solutions, perimeter security,
content security, web application security, network
security, mobile security, intrusion detection, intrusion
prevention, authentication, in particular in the field of
virus protection, spam protection, spyware protection,
computer security, network security, internet security,
data protection, decryption and encryption of data,
protection of unauthorized intrusions, system monitoring,
protection of mobile devices, identity and/or access
management, policy compliance, e-mail management,
vulnerability and threat management, risk management,
content-, managed perimeter-, infrastructure security,
Virtual Private Network (VPN), remote access, secure
communication links, firewall systems in class 42.
Any unauthorized use, imitation, infringements or
fraudulent intentions of the above marks will be dealt
with according to law.
Tin O hnmar T un & T he L aw C hambers
Ph:0973150632
Email:law_chambers@seasiren.com.mm
(For.Domnern Somgiat & Boonma,
Attorneys at Law, Thialand)
Dated. 21st May, 2015

24 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES MAY 21, 2015

DOMESTIC FLIGHT SCHEDULES


YANGON TO MANDALAY

MANDALAY TO YANGON

YANGON TO HEHO

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Y5 775

Daily

6:00

7:10

Y5 233

Daily

7:50

9:00

W9 515

6:00

7:25

W9 201

Daily

8:40

10:35

YH 917

Daily

6:10

8:30

YJ 761

8:40

10:35

YJ 891

7:00

8:25

7Y 132

2,4,6,7

8:50

10:45

7Y 131

2,4,6,7

6:30

8:35

K7 223

1,3,5

8:55

11:00

K7 222

1,3,5

6:30

8:40

YH 918

Daily

9:15

10:25

6T 805

2,4,6

6:30

7:40

6T 806

2,4,6

10:30

11:40

YJ 201

1,2,4

7:00

8:55

YJ 202

11:30

12:55

YJ 201

7:00

8:25

YJ 202

1,2,4

12:00

13:25

W9 201

Daily

7:00

8:25

YJ 761

1,2,4

13:10

17:00

W9201

7:00

8:25

YJ 212

15:00

16:55

8M 6603

9:00

10:10

YJ 212

15:00

16:25

YJ 601

11:00

12:25

YJ 602

15:40

17:35

YJ 761

1,2,4

11:00

12:55

7Y 242

1,3,5

16:40

18:45

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

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

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

HEHO TO YANGON
Arr
9:15
10:35
9:20
9:30
10:05
9:10
12:45
12:10
12:10
12:10
15:45
15:40
16:40

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

YJ 211

5,7

11:00

12:25

YJ 234

16:50

18:15

YH 729

2,4,6

11:00

14:00

K7 225

2,4,6,7

16:50

19:00

Y5 325

1,5

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

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

MYEIK TO YANGON

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

6:45

8:15

6T 706

1,3,5

8:25

9:35

YH 737

3,5

11:00

13:10

YH 728

17:00

18:25

K7 319

1,3,5,7

7:00

9:05

Y5 326

1,5

8:35

10:05

11:30

13:40

W9 152/W97152

17:05

18:30

YH 737

11:30

13:40

Y5 776

Daily

17:10

18:20

6T 705

1,3,5

7:00

8:10

7Y 532

2,4,6

15:35

17:40

7Y 531

2,4,6

11:15

13:20

K7 320

1,3,5,7

11:30

13:35

Y5 325

15:30

17:00

Y5 326

17:15

18:45

SO 201

Daily

8:20

10:40

SO 202

Daily

13:20

15:40

W9 251

2,5

11:30

12:55

W9 211

17:10

19:15

13:00

16:45

YH 738

3,5

17:10

18:35

7Y 241

1,3,5

14:30

16:25

8M 6604

17:20

18:30

K7 224

2,4,6,7

14:30

16:35

8M 903

1,2,4,5,7

17:20

18:30

Y5 234

Daily

15:20

16:30

YH 738

17:40

19:05

W9 211

15:30

16:55

YH 730

2,4,6

17:45

19:10

W9 252

2,5

18:15

19:40

YANGON TO SITTWE

SITTWE TO YANGON

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

K7 422

2,4,6

8:00

9:55

K7 423

2,4,6

10:10

11:30

YANGON TO NAY PYI TAW

NAY PYI TAW TO YANGON

7Y 413

1,3,5,7

10:30

12:20

7Y 414

1,3,5,7

12:35

13:55

W9 309

1,3,6

11:30

12:55

W9 309

1,3,6

13:10

14:55

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

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

6T 611

Daily

11:45

12:55

6T 612

Daily

13:15

14:20

Arr

Flight

Days

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

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

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

YANGON TO NYAUNG U
Flight
YH 917
YJ 891
K7 222
7Y 131
K7 224
7Y 241
W9 129
W9 211
W9 129

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MYITKYINA TO YANGON
Flight
6T 806
YJ 202
YJ 202
YH 827
YJ 234
W9 252

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

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

YANGON TO THANDWE
Dep

THANDWE TO YANGON

Flight

Days

K7 422

2,4,6

8:00

8:55

K7 422

2,4,6

9:10

11:30

7Y 413

1,3,5

10:30

11:20

7Y 413

1,3,5

11:35

13:55

W9 309

1,3,6

11:30

13:50

7Y 413

12:05

14:20

7Y 413

11:00

11:50

W9 309

1,3,6

14:05

14:55

Y5 421

1,3,4,6

15:45

16:40

Y5 422

1,3,4,6

16:55

17:50

YANGON TO DAWEI

NYAUNG U TO YANGON

YANGON TO MYITKYINA
Flight
6T 805
YH 826
YJ 201
YJ 201
YJ 233
W9 251

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

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

Air Bagan (W9)


Tel: 513322, 513422, 504888. Fax: 515102

Air KBZ (K7)


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

Asian Wings (YJ)


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

Tel: 09400446999, 09400447999


Fax: 8604051

YH 727

YJ 151/W9 7151

Domestic Airlines

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)

YANGON TO MYEIK
Flight

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

Dep

Arr

Mann Yadanarpon Airlines (7Y)


Tel: 656969
Fax: 656998, 651020

Yangon Airways (YH)


Tel: 383100, 383107, 700264
Fax: 652 533

FMI Air Charter


Tel: 240363, 240373, 09421146545

APEX Airlines (SO)


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

Air Mandalay (6T)


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

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

DAWEI TO YANGON

YH = Yangon Airways

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

K7 319

1,3,5,7

7:00

8:10

YH 634

2,4,6

12:15

13:25

YJ = Asian Wings

YH 633

2,4,6

7:00

8:25

K7 320

1,3,5,7

12:25

13:35

6T = AirMandalay

SO 201

Daily

8:20

9:40

6T 708

3,5,7

14:15

15:15

6T 707

3,5,7

10:30

11:30

SO 202

Daily

14:20

15:40

FMI = FMI Air Charter

7Y 531

2,4,6

11:15

12:20

7Y 532

2,4,6

16:35

17:40

Flight

YANGON TO LASHIO

LASHIO TO YANGON

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

YH 729

2,4,6

11:00

13:00

YJ 752

3,5,7

16:10

17:55

YJ 751

3,5,7

11:00

13:15

YH 730

2,4,6

16:45

19:10

YANGON TO PUTAO

Days

PUTAO TO YANGON

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YH 826

1,3,5

7:00

10:35

YH 634

10:35

13:55

YH 633

7:00

10:35

YH 827

1,3,5

10:35

13:55

W9 251

2,5

11:30

15:25

W9 252

2,5

15:45

19:40

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

the pulse 25

www.mmtimes.com

InternAtIonAl FlIGHt SCHeDUleS


Flights

YANGON TO BANGKOK
Days

Dep

Arr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

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

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

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

YANGON TO BEIJING

Flights

Days

Dep

Days

Dep

Arr

Flights

BANGKOK TO YANGON
Days

Dep

Arr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Flights

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

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

Dep

Days

Dep

Arr

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

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

22:50

8M 711
CZ 3056
CZ 3056

CZ 3055
CZ 3055
8M 712

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

10:25
16:30
15:50

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

9:55

Flights

Flights

CI 7916
Flights

Arr

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

13:15
16:15
22:15

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

16:15

Days

CA 416
MU 2012
MU 2032
Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

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

15:55
18:45
18:40

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

Flights

Flights

CI 7915
Flights

Days

MU 2011
CA 415
MU 2031
Flights

Days

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

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

11:50
11:15
14:30

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

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

Air Asia (FD)

Tel: 09254049991~3

Air Bagan Ltd.(W9)

Tel: 513322, 513422, 504888. Fax: 515102

Air China (CA)

Tel: 666112, 655882

Air India

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Bangkok Airways (PG)

Tel: 255260. Fax: 255305

When should you


have reservations
about your hotel
reservations?

Nok Airline (DD)

Christopher elliott

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


Tel: 255122, 255265. Fax: 255119

Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG)


Tel: 371867~68. Fax: 371869

Condor (DE)

Tel: 370836~39 (ext: 303)

Dragonair (KA)

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

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)


Tel: 09400446999, 09400447999
Fax: 8604051

Malaysia Airlines (MH)

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


Fax: 241124

Myanmar Airways International (8M)

Tel: 255050, 255021. Fax: 255051

Qatar Airways (QR)

Tel: 379845, 379843, 379831. Fax: 379730

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

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

Singapore Airlines (SQ) / Silk Air (MI)

VN 942

Flights

Flights

AI 701
QR 919
Flights

Flights

2,4,7
14:25
YANGON TO DOHA

17:15

VN 943

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

Arr

19:50
11:10

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

AI 401
QR 918
Flights

2,4,7
11:50
DOHA TO YANGON

13:25

Thai Airways (TG)

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

Arr

13:20
06:25+1

Tiger Airline (TR)

Days

Dep

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

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

KA 251
KA 251

5:55
5:45

KA 252
KA 250

Arr

Flights

Flights

Days

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

Arr

YANGON TO TOKYO

Flights

Days

NH 814

Daily

Dep

21:45

Days

BG 061
BG 061

1,6
4

NH 813

Arr

Flights

Dep

15:35
13:45

YANGON TO INCHEON
Days

Dep

17:00
15:10
Arr

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

Days

Y5 251
7Y 305

2,4,6
1,5
Days

8M 601
AI 236

Days

AI 236
AI 701

2
1,5

Dep

13:10
14:05

YANGON TO KOLKATA
Days

AI 228
Flights

Dep

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

Flights

Flights

Dep

6:15
11:00

YANGON TO GAYA

Flights

1,5

Dep

14:05

YANGON TO MUMBAI

AI 773

Days

1,5

Dep

14:05

MANDALAY TO BANGKOK

Flights

PG 710

Days

Daily

Dep

14:05

MANDALAY TO SINGAPORE

Flights

MI 533
Y5 2233

Days

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

Dep

15:55
7:50

MANDALAY TO DON MUEANG

Flights

FD 245

Days

Daily

Dep

12:45

MANDALAY TO KUNMING

Flights

MU 2030

Days

Daily

Dep

13:50

NAY PYI TAW TO BANGKOK

Flights

PG 722
PG 722
PG 722

Days

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

Dep

20:15
19:30
20:15

Flights

06:50+1

YANGON TO DHAKA

Flights

Flights

Dep

1:30
1:10

Arr

Flights

Arr

Flights

8:20
15:05

AI 235
8M 602

Arr

Flights

Flights

AI 227

Arr

Flights

22:35

AI 675

Arr

Flights

Arr

23:15
22:30
23:15

Days

1,6
4

Dep

12:30
10:40

INCHEON TO YANGON
Days

Days

2,4,6
1,5

Dep

Dep

9:25
13:45

GAYA TO YANGON
Days

Dep

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

2
1,5

Dep

9:20
7:00

KOLKATA TO YANGON
Days

1,5

Dep

10:35

MUMBAI TO YANGON

Flights

Flights

Arr

11:00

Days

1,5

Dep

6:10

Days

Daily

Dep

12:00

SINGAPORE TO MANDALAY

Arr

16:40

Dep

DHAKA TO YANGON

PG 709
Y5 2234
MI 533

Arr

Daily

Days

Daily
2,6

Dep

7:20
11:35

DON MUEANG TO MANDALAY

FD 244

Days

Daily

Dep

10:50

KUNMING TO MANDALAY

Flights

MU 2029

Days

Daily

Dep

13:00

BANGKOK TO NAY PYI TAW

Flights

PG 721
PG 721
PG 721

Days

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

Dep

17:00
18:25
17:45

Arr

00:30+1
23:30

BANGKOK TO MANDALAY

20:50
14:15
15:00

Days

AI 235
AI 401

15:05

16:30

Dep

22:50
21:45

TOKYO TO YANGON

Flights

Y5 252
7Y 306

Arr

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

Arr

22:25
23:25

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

8:05
12:50

16:30
19:50

Days

BG 060
BG 060

Tel: 255287~9. Fax: 255290

Arr

15:40

Tel: 255491~6. Fax: 255223


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

Vietnam Airlines (VN)

Tel: 255066, 255088, 255068. Fax: 255086

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

Arr

14:55
13:05
Arr

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

10:15
14:35
Arr

12:0
12:30

BG = Biman Bangladesh Airlines


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

Arr

12:20
13:20
Arr

13:20

MU = China Eastern Airlines


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

Arr

13:20
Arr

13:20
Arr

16:30
15:00
Arr

12:15
Arr

12:50
Arr

19:00
19:35
19:45

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

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

4
5
6
7

=
=
=
=

Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

hen it comes to
booking a hotel online,
what you see isnt
always what you get.
Christina Daves
knows. On several occasions, shes
shopped for a hotel room online
and then clicked through to make a
reservation, only to discover she was
actually dealing with a third-party
site that looked like a hotel site.
Often, said Daves, who owns
a medical device company in
Washington, DC, there are no
refunds on a reservation made
through one of these sites, if you want
to cancel or make a change.
The hotel industry is worried, too.
It recently asked the US Department
of Justice to investigate travel sites
that are trying to pass themselves
off as the actual hotel. The industry,
represented by the American hotel
& Lodging Association (Ah&LA),
estimates that 2.5 million bookings
are affected by this site-spoofing each
year, which translates into more than
US$220 million going toward what it
calls bad bookings.
At best, these reservations are
simply made on behalf of a third
party instead of by the hotel and
may have additional restrictions or
booking fees. But at worst, they may
be completely bogus bookings that
wont be recognised by a property.
Who are these companies? There
are thousands of them, according
to Ah&LA, and they go by names
like Reservationcounter.com,
Reservationdesk.com and hotelsone.
com.
These sites are constantly changing
their names, URLs and phone numbers
to evade legal repercussions, said
Maryam Cope, Ah&LAs vice president
of government affairs. If you go to one
of these sites, the phone number will
likely be one thing around 3pm and
something else by 6pm, then again
something else by 10pm. Its a constant
cat-and-mouse game to keep up with
these rogue sites.
Daniel nelson, the chief executive
of TravelPASS Group, the Salt Lake
City-based company that operates
the sites Reservationcounter.com
and Reservationdesk.com, said his
companys sites have been around
for many years and that reservations
made through them are legitimate.
he denies they are trying to imitate
hotel websites, which is obvious when
you compare the sites.

The Ah&LA is trying to turn this


into a buyer beware story, he said.
But the truth is, if they get their way
if the only safe booking is a direct
booking it will limit consumer
choice and reduce your options.
Indeed, theres more happening
here than meets the eye. Its a
barely visible conflict between hotel
operators and the online agencies,
many of them legitimate, which help
them sell their inventory.
Merle Kappelmann, who owns
the Flamingo Inn in Daytona Beach,
Florida, said she was taken aback
when seven guests walked into
her hotel during the citys annual
Bike Week and claimed to have
reservations at $79 a night. They
didnt. Rooms were going for between
$179 and $200 per night that week,
and she could find no record of the
group. The reservation had been
made by a mysterious company
named Reservation Counter, she said.
We called and asked, how is
it possible that they can have our
information available for people to
make reservations without us signing
a contract or agreeing to rates? she
recalled. They were unable to give
us answers and refused to tell us
where they were located, who owns
the business, and, since they all had
foreign accents, we thought they may
have been out of South America.
hotels are fighting these thirdparty sites not just because of the
customer confusion but also because
they would prefer to take your
reservation directly, without having to
pay a commission. But their advice is
still reliable. Take a hard look at the
site before you book; otherwise, you
could end up paying more or booking
an invalid reservation.
Make sure you know who you are
dealing with, Cope said. Third-party
vendors often make promises they
cant keep, and they likely cant help if
something goes wrong.
Cope said even calling the phone
number isnt a reliable way to verify a
sites identity, because the rogue sites
claim to be the hotels reservation desk.
You really need to be careful, she
added.
If youve been scammed by a fake
hotel site, contact your credit card
company immediately to initiate
a dispute and then get in touch
with any relevant consumer trade
commissions in your area to file your
complaint. Because chances are, this
problem will get worse before it gets
better. The Washington Post

26 Sport

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 21, 2015

REHAbIlITATIoN

SITTING VOlleYBall

Colombia mine victims find a sporting life


FABIo Caviedes had never played volleyball before he stepped on a landmine in conflict-torn Colombia and
lost his left leg.
Now the 32-year-old former soldier
is a national champion in sitting volleyball, and dreams of playing at the
Paralympics in Brazil next year.
Sitting volleyball is a fast-paced
version of the sport in which participants slide across the floor on their
bottoms, and hit the ball over a lower
net than in standard volleyball.
It has been a Paralympic sport
since 1980.
But it is more than just a game in
Colombia, where a five-decade guerrilla war has left more landmine victims
than any country in the world outside
Afghanistan 11,000 killed or wounded in the past 25 years, 10 percent of
whom are children.
Caviedes fell victim in 2009, when
he stepped on an anti-personnel mine
that had been placed in an abandoned
schoolhouse in southern Colombia.
Like other landmine victims who
have taken up sitting volleyball, he has
found a kind of rebirth in the sport.
After all thats happened to me,
this sport gives me the motivation to
carry on, he told AFP in Bello, a suburb of Medellin that hosted 100 Paralympic athletes last weekend for the
third edition of the national sitting
volleyball championships.
Caviedes is not bitter about what
happened to him.
We know the risks we face, he said.

Mine victims play the adapted game as part of their rehabilitation efforts. Photo: AFP

He and his fellow players, many of


them former soldiers, won audience
members hearts in Bello, where 2500
people turned out to watch the championships.
Caviedes, who plays for the Armed
Forces A team, is hoping to make the
Colombian national team and play in
the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Im the best of the group at the national level, so I have faith in God that
Ill be selected, he said.
Sitting volleyball emerged in 1956
in the Netherlands, inspired by sitzball, a German sport for people with
limited mobility.
the net is set at 1.15 metres high
for mens play and 1.05 metres for

womens.
Colombia began holding national
championships in 2008 and now has
several teams of former soldiers and
police, for whom it is a vital part of
their recovery.
Bello wanted to hold a tournament that would support these athletes and the victims of the conflict in

a spirit of inclusiveness, said Helder


Acevedo of the towns sports office,
which organised the event.
this sport helps them overcome
the emotional scar of being the victim
of these explosive devices.
that was evident on May 17 at the
moment the Army team won the final,
when the seated players leapt up in
celebration, hopping on one leg and
exchanging high-fives, hugs and elated
smiles.
More than 12,900 people have been
victims of anti-personnel mines, improvised explosive devices and unexploded
munitions in Colombia, according to the
governments Victims Unit, which was
set up in 2011 to deal with the fallout.
Colombias complex conflict has
drawn in leftist guerrilla groups, rightwing paramilitaries and drug traffickers since the FARC was launched in
1964.
two years ago, President Juan Manuel Santoss government launched
peace talks with the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the
main guerrilla group, to seek an end to
the conflict.
As part of that process, the two
sides announced on March 7 that they
would work together to clear the countrys landmines.
they adopted a roadmap to that
effect on May 8, which the governments chief negotiator Humberto de
la Calle called the first and most important joint measure toward ending
the conflict. AFP

RUGBY UNION

Italian prisoners
take rugby road
I
t is, according to former Italy international Walter Rista, a sport
with respect for the rules written
into its DNA.
So what could be better than
rugby as a means of helping prisoners
involved in a groundbreaking Italian
rehabilitation program prepare for
their return to the outside world?
the very fact that they are in prison means they have lost a sense of the
rules, somewhere along the way, says
Rista, the founding father of La Drola,
an inmate XV that performs a jailbird
Haka before matches in the fifth tier
of Italian rugby.
Rugby channels the aggression that we all have inside us, the
70-year-old adds, as he explains why

the prison system teamed up with the


national rugby federation to create a
club whose name means strange in
the local Piemontese dialect.
In prison everyone only thinks
of themselves, Rista adds. Here, on
the pitch, in contrast, everyone thinks
about others, about support, which is
the essence of sport, and of life.
Most of the players had never laid
hands on an oval ball before finding
themselves locked up. But according
to Rista, something about incarceration produces quick learners.
Normally with a new group of
players a full season is required to form
something resembling a team, he says.
Here, after two months they are acting,
mentally at least, like a real team.

Every game is a home game behind walls for the Italian prison side. Photo: AFP

Gheorghita, a hulking, tattooed


35-year-old from Romania, was one
of the uninitiated. Id heard of it but
didnt understand a thing about it, he
said. I though,t Who are these idiots
brawling with each other?
But soon it gets under your skin
and you understand that it is a great
sport and, despite the blows, it is very
clean and honest.
Rugby has given me something
I hadnt found in prison a way
of letting off steam without any
consequences.
Members of the squad are selected on the basis of their physical and
psychological potential from prisons
all over Italy. they share a common
living space and 12 cells at the Lorusso

An inmate practises ball skills in his cell. Photo: AFP

and Cutugno detention centre, located


just a mile from football club Juventuss
stadium.
their unique status means they required a special exemption from the
league they play in to be allowed to play
every fixture at home, under the gaze
of guards in the watchtower and surrounded by barbed wire.
Any advantage is offset by the
league imposing an eight-point
penalty on La Drola at the start of every
season because the club does not comply with a requirement to run a youth
team. this bizarre example of Italian
bureaucratic rigidity is, says Rista
with commendable understatement, a
little silly.
Robert, a 38-year-old Albanian,
says playing rugby gives him a feeling
of being truly alive.
When you play all the years of
being locked up are cast off and you
feel a bit free, spiritually.
Wissen, a 27-year-old tunisian, says
he wishes he had discovered rugby
much younger. things would have
turned out better for me, I swear, he
said.
I made mistakes and Im paying
for them now. I understand that and
thats thanks to rugby.
Vincenzo, a Neapolitan nicknamed
Midnight after a tV mafia character, is one of only five Italian nationals in the team. He says he feels like a
different person when he plays.

Matchday is the best day of the


week, the training as well, he said after La Drolas final match of this season, a 24-19 win over Biella in which
he scored the opening try.
When I touch down it is a
fabulous moment. I always allow
myself a dive, he said with a smile.
there are no post-match beers but
rugby tradition is observed with the
opposition invited for pizza and mineral water.
Visiting stand-off Andrea Fizzotti
admits his first experience of playing
in a prison was a little strange. It was
a bit oppressive-feeling at first, but you
get used to it very quickly.
they are just guys like us who
want to play rugby.
Despite the points penalty, La
Drola finished the season in third
place, thanks in part to the time the
prisoners can spend building muscle
in the gym, but also to an admirable
team spirit and a handful of players
with high skill levels.
Since the project was started, a
total of 65 players have worn La
Drolas jersey. Half of them have now
left prison and around 15 are playing
regularly on the outside.
that fills me with satisfaction,
says Rista. the litmus test for this
project is what happens when they get
out. If they have understand that they
can live a life without crime we will
have done our job. AFP

Sport 27

www.mmtimes.com
Sailing

Americans set sail in calmer Cuban waters


CUBAN and American sailors
competed may 19 in the first regatta
since their countries decision to
seek normal ties after more than five
decades of Cold War strains.
Featuring five two-person catamarans from each side, the Havana Challenge was the first regatta authorised by
the US since 2004 and the first since
the December announcement of the
process of normalisation of relations between Cuba and the United States.
We are the first group of Americans with a permit from the US
government with permission to
participate in sporting event in
the water in Cuba, sailor George
Bellenger told AFP.
He was aboard one of the catamarans flying tiny US and Cuban flags
speeding just off Havanas landmark
malecon seafront, in the Caribbean
within sight of the Hotel Nacional and
the US interests Section.
When the neighbours do restore full
diplomatic relations, it will be the site of
the new US embassy in Cubas capital.
The regatta was organised by boating clubs in Cuba, and in Key West, the
Florida island closest to Cuba.
At Havanas Hemingway marina
before the event, the two sides got organised and chatted like old friends.
They even carried some of each others
belongings in ride-along powerboats.
That included the Cuban sides
cooler full of cans of Tukola, the Cuban
answer to Coca-Cola.

Spectators watch the regatta from Havanas Malecon seafront. Photo: AFP

it is really a great thing for people


to see the friendliness that is starting
to emerge between the Key West and
Havana city clubs, said Cuban coach
Vicente de la Guardia.
We are not equally matched with
the boats; ours are really old. But their
athletes are really good.
Dozens of Cubans gathered on the
malecon to watch. Above, tourists

were doing the same at the stately Hotel Nacional.


Today is a special day. You just
dont see this every day, said Cuban
skipper Alexander rey, 17.
Amid all the excitement, goodwill
and stifling midday heat, no one paid
any attention to who won the regatta.
US President Barack Obama
and Cuban President raul Castro

announced in December that the two


countries were ending a half-century
of enmity and would seek full diplomatic relations. They currently have
downgraded ties, and just interests
Sections in each others capital.
Castro and Obama also held a historic meeting in Panama in April on
the sidelines of a regional summit.
Obama has relaxed a few

Football

Israel to mull Palestinian


football improvements

rime minister Benjamin


Netanyahu said may 19
israel would consider certain measures to help Palestinian football after Palestinian officials asked for the israeli
association to be thrown out of world
governing body FiFA.
FiFA president Sepp Blatter, who
is on a visit to israel and the Palestinian territories, said a match for
peace would take place between the
two sides in the wake of the spat.
Blatter said Netanyahu would attend the game.
Yes, he said that, that if a game
will be played between Palestine and
israel and we organise it in Zurich he
will be there and he said he would
shake hands with everybody, said
the 79-year-old Swiss.
We would be happy, FiFA in Zurich, to accept the organisation of
such a competition.
For his part on the wider issue of
Palestinian football Netanyahu said
We will discuss a certain number
of measures that could improve the
situation [of Palestinian football]
without providing details.
Blatter said he was passing a
message on from Netanyahu to the
Palestinian football chiefs and it
would be up to them how they responded.
We are here in the King David
[Hotel] and i feel i am a little bit in
Camp David, said Blatter, referring
to the country retreat of American
presidents where, down the years,
largely away from the glare of the
cameras, the likes of Jimmy Carter
and Bill Clinton have hosted peace
talks between various parties.
israel football shall help the
football of Palestine.

Sepp Blatter speaks to press after meeting with Israeli officials. Photo: AFP

i have obtained a message and i


will present this message to the [Palestinian] football association.
What they do with this message
it is then up to them but i will, and
i will try until the FiFA congress is
open in exactly 10 days that we
can avoid such a situation, added
Blatter, who has said the issue is his
challenge number one.
israel Football Association chief
rotem Kamer earlier may 19 condemned a Palestinian attempt to oust
his country from FiFA as cynical
and counter to the spirit of sport.
Kamer said the Palestinian demand had nothing to do with
sports.
We see it as a clear mix of politics and football, something which
should not find a place in the FiFA
Congress, he told reporters.

We believe football in our region


should be used as a bridge between
people.
Palestine, which has been a member of FiFA since 1998, wants the
world body to bar israel from international competition to punish restrictions it places on the movement
of Palestinian players.
it also opposes the participation
in the israeli league of five clubs located in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The motion will need a threequarters majority to be passed at the
FiFA Congress in Zurich.
Kamer stressed the iFA has
helped the PFA [Palestine Football
Association] in any way it could.
He said regulating the movement
of Palestinian players is not something that is in our hands, and it was

security concerns that prevented the


entry of a small number of players
into israel.
i dont see any other football associations in the world telling their
governments how to deal with security issues, he said.
The Palestinians are also basing
their request for israels expulsion on
the racism against Arabs of some
israeli clubs.
Kamer acknowledged a problem
existed but said it was not unique
to israel. He said the authorities had
taken harsh steps against Beitar Jerusalem, which has notoriously ultra-nationalist fans.
Our national teams are combined with Arabs and Jews. We have
joint leagues, joint clubs, he said.
Netanyahu criticised the politicisation of football, which he said
could cause the deterioration of a
remarkable institution.
PFA head Jibril rajoub rejected
Kamers criticism, saying the demand to expel israel was nothing
related to politics.
The suspension of israel is not
our target. Our target is to help the
Palestinian athletes to move, rajoub
told reporters in ramallah, speaking
in english.
rajoub said he had met with former israeli president Shimon Peres
on the matter six times but they
failed to resolve the issue.
We [will] never accept a compromise. There is no deal outside of
FiFA, he said.
Blatter said last week that a
successful vote on the Palestinian motion would be a dangerous
precedent that could get FiFA
involved in other political and
diplomatic battles. AFP

restrictions on travel to and from


the Americas only Communist-ruled
country but the trade and financial
embargo the US has imposed since
1962 still is in effect.
A fourth round of talks on restoring full ties is due to be held in Washington today between top-level US and
Cuban officials, a senior State Department official said. AFP

american Football

Patriots will
not appeal
Deflategate
NeW england Patriots owner robert
Kraft announced may 19 the club is willing to accept the penalties handed down
by the National Football League in the
Deflategate scandal.
Speaking at the NFL owners meetings,
Kraft said it is time to move on because
the fiasco had already taken up too much
of everyones time.
i dont want to continue the rhetoric
thats gone on the past four months, said
Kraft. im going to accept, reluctantly,
what [NFL Commissioner roger Goodell]
has given to us ... we wont appeal.
i know a lot of Patriot fans are going
to be disappointed in that decision but i
hope they trust my judgement and know
that i really feel at this point in time that
taking this off the agenda is the best thing
for the New england Patriots, our fans
and the NFL, and i hope you all can respect that.
The NFL slapped the Patriots with a
US$1 million fine and docked them two
draft picks following the probe of lawyer
Ted Wells, whose report found the team
violated rules and failed to cooperate with
the investigation over improperly inflated
footballs.
Quarterback Tom Brady, a four-time
Super Bowl champion, was also suspended for the first four games of the upcoming season after Wells found it was likely
that Brady was at least generally aware
that team equipment personnel deliberately deflated footballs below league
minimums before the AFC championship
game against the indianapolis Colts in
January.
Kraft reiterated may 19 that he thinks
the Wells report was unjust and that the
punishment didnt fit the crime.
i dont think anyone can believe that
after four months of the AFC Championship Game, we are still talking about air
pressure and the PSi in footballs, he said.
Kraft didnt discuss Bradys suspension. The players union has filed an appeal on behalf of Brady, who has denied
any involvement. AFP

Sport
28 THE MYANMAR TIMES May 21, 2015

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

Rehabilitation
through sport
SPORT 26

FOOTball

Myanmar Women
target Thai tourney

The Myanmar side are welcomed back to Yangon International following their trip to Vietnam. Photo:Facebook/MFF

Kyaw Zin Hlaing


kyawzinhlaing.mcm@gmail.com
FRESh from the teams second-place
finish at the ASEAN Football Federation womens Championship, the
coach of the Myanmar national side,
Thet Thet win is pulling together her
plans to go one step further in September and win the second round of
the Asian qualification process for
the Rio 2016 olympics.
After a brief break following the
celebrations and congratulations received by the womens side on their
return from Vietnam on May 11, the
team will congregate in Yangon on
June 1 and begin preparations for the
tournament starting on September
14 and hosted by Thailand.
Five teams Myanmar, Thailand,
Chinese Taipei, Jordan and Vietnam

will compete to join Australia, China,


both Koreas and hosts Japan in Februarys final round of qualification.
Although we finished runner-up
in the AFF Championship, we lost to
both Vietnam and Thailand during
the competition. we wont be able
to afford such results in olympic
qualification, Thet Thet win told
The Myanmar Times.
well also be facing physically
stronger teams in the likes of Jordan
and Chinese Taipei and so must adjust our preparation accordingly, she
added.
Achieving results against any of
these teams is not beyond our abilities but with only one qualification slot
available, every match will be tough
and important in its own right.
The sides physicality is an area
Thet Thet win will focus on for

improvement over the next three


months, with plans to follow the lead
of the mens national sides and bring
in a foreign fitness coach.
The Myanmar Football Federation has agreed to this and I hope to
see results in the upcoming tournament, she said.
Regularity of play is also an issue
the coach hopes will be addressed.
In the run-up to the ASEAN tournament, we played only one friendly
match with Thailand. our players
suffer from lack of game time.
Prior to the tournament in Vietnam, the womens last outings were
the unchallenging contests with India (7-0) and Sri Lanka (16-0) when
Myanmar hosted the nations for
Group A of the first round of olympic
qualification at the Mandalar Thiri
Stadium, Mandalay, in early March.

In the past weve only been able


to practice against mens teams
which does not support the development of our side properly. I hope we
will play at least six friendly matches
before the September tournament
There are plans for a tour of Japan
but that is yet to be confirmed.
In advance of September a training squad of 35 has been pulled together, consisting of the team from
Vietnam plus 10 youngsters called up
from the Ministry of Sport and the
MFF Youth team.
There are suggestions that in
2016 a Myanmar National League
will be formed for women. Such a
league will create a wider talent pool
from which to draw our athletes and
improve our chances of success in future international tournaments, said
Thet Thet win.

VOlleyball

Myanmar U23s dig in deep to produce results


MaTT ROebucK
matt.d.roebuck@gmail.com
MYANMAR beat Japan in a closefought five-set game (23-25, 25-22, 2517, 19-25, 15-13) to secure a fifth-place
finish in the Asian Mens U23 Volleyball Championship at the wunna
Theikdi Indoor Stadium in Nay Pyi
Taw yesterday.
South Korea and Iran will progress
to the U23 Mens Volleyball world
Championship after the sides met in
the final of the competition yesterday
evening.
Myanmar came out of the group
stages undefeated with the best record in

the competition but was unfortunate to


find second-seeds China who had been
upset by Chinese Taipei in the group
stages standing in their way.
The side started strong in their
quarter-final, initially giving their opponents cause for concern with key
man Aung Thu unleashing a series of
powerful strikes. But ultimately they
were unable to cope with a much taller
side that averaged 195cm in height
against their 182cm average and lost
the first set 25-21.
China dominated the second set
25-14 before a Myanmar fightback
in the third. Spurred on by the noisy
drumbeats of their fans the home side

brought themselves back in the third


21-25 before a to-and-fro final set was
closed out 25-22 by the Chinese.
we played well today, while Myanmar seemed exhausted, Chinas head
coach Li Mu told official media.
Before the tournament began our
target was a quarter-final berth, Nyi
Nyi Lwin, head coach of the Myanmar
side, told The Myanmar Times before
the game. with their initial target
achieved, their attention focused to a
fifth-place finish and boosting team
confidence before Junes Southeast
Asian Games.
And that second target was well
and truly achieved as the team first

beat Thailand who tend to dominate


Southeast Asian volleyball in straight
sets for the second time in the competition, Myanmar overcame their ASEAN foes 25-23, 25-20, 25-22 to set up
their fifth-place final clash with Japan.
Again Aung Thu showed his importance to the side, dominating the
competition as he has in every game
this tournament. The young volleyballer, who competed for Chonburi
E-Tech Air Force Club in the Thai professional league this year, has proved
that he will be a force to reckon with
when Myanmar open their SEA Games
competition on June 10 by once again
facing Thailand.

ROwing

British duos
record row
attempt
abandoned
after one day
Two Britons had to be rescued
just one day after leaving on a
record-breaking attempt to row
3600 miles (5794 kilometres)
across the Indian ocean from
Australia to Mauritius, their team
said yesterday.
Cancer survivor Ashley wilson,
who also suffers from epilepsy, and
adventurer James Ketchell were
trying to break the two-person
84-day crossing record set by
Frenchmen Laurence De Rancourt and Laurence Grand-Clement in 2012.
But after setting out from
Geraldton in western Australia
on Monday they got only 100 kilometres before using their satellite
phone to call for help, a spokesperson for the pair Euan Blake
told AFP.
They were doing really well,
but one of the guidance systems
that helps them see the fastest
route to Mauritius stopped working, Blake said.
The pair tried to fix the equipment after contacting the manufacturer by phone but were unable to do so.
There was considerable disappointment to have to return
... after two-and-a-half years of
preparation, Blake added.
But at the same time, they realise how fast the boat is now and
they are even more hungry for the
world record and they are desperate to get back out.
Blake said a new guidance
system from Britain would be
installed on the boat, now at
Geraldton, a coastal city 430 km
north of Perth, with the pair, aged
37 and 32, hoping to resume their
attempt within weeks.
Kim wright of Abrolhos Islands
Charters, which towed the boat
back to shore, told AFP the journey took 12 hours because of high
winds measuring up to 30 knots.
we starting towing about
5pm yesterday afternoon and
got in at 5.30am this morning,
wright said May 20.
Its a very small boat and very
breakable, so we couldnt go any
quicker than that because of the
conditions.
Blake added that the performance of the 1.5-metrehigh,
6-metre-long,
700-kilogram carbon-fibre boat was
exceptional.
wilson and Ketchell are attempting the crossing to raise at
least 100,000 (US$155,220) for
three nominated charities.
we are aiming to demonstrate
that, just because you have epilepsy, it doesnt mean you cant get out
there and follow your dreams, they
wrote on the website.
The main reason behind the
challenge is that, as ... so many people have helped and assisted Ashley over the years, he would like
to try and give something back to
them. AFP