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DAILY EDITION

ISSUE 56 | WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3, 2015


NEWS 2

President proposes
federal reforms
The president has laid out plans to
amend the constitution but ethnic
leaders say the proposal doesnt go far
enough to achieve their vision of a
federal union.

NEWS 4

Writer given two years


for insulting religion
A court jails former NLD official U
Htin Lin Oo for two years for insulting
religion following a trial condemned
by rights groups as being influenced
by nationalist Buddhists.
BUSINESS 8

Yoma Strategic chief


executive talks transition
Yomas chief executive Andrew
Rickards is stepping down next
month, with his replacement slated
to be Serge Puns son Melvyn. Mr
Rickards says Yoma is to continue to
diversify from property and focus on
deals already signed.
BUSINESS 9

PAGE

PHOTO: NAING WYNN HTOON

Karen fighters in Law Khee Lar guard a long-awaited summit of leaders of armed
ethnic groups called to hammer out a final nationwide ceasefire agreement with the
government. China and the United Nations urged them to act quickly.

Car importers push for


lower new-car taxes
Current tax structure favours used
imports while new-car sales would get
a boost by a more concessionary tax
regime, say businesspeople

End discrimination: Obama


The US president yesterday responded to questions from young Southeast Asian leaders about Myanmar by urging
an end to the plight of Rakhine States Muslim minority, which he called a great test for democracy. NEWS 3

www.mmtimes.com

NEWS EDITOR: Thomas Kean | tdkean@gmail.com

News 3

Obama urges an end to discrimination


Nationalists warn
government against
hosting boat migrants

LAIGNEE
BARRON
laignee@gmail.com

US President Barack Obama has urged


Myanmar to end its discrimination
against the Rohingya minority as key
part of its democratic transition, while
US officials called for a detained boat
believed to be carrying more than 700
trafficking victims to be allowed to land.
Speaking at the White House on
June to young leaders from the ASEAN, including some from Myanmar,
Mr Obama said the US was focused on
the unfolding tragedy.
Responding to a youth leaders
question, the US president said, We
were talking earlier about whats required for Myanmar to succeed. One
of the most important things is to put
an end to discrimination against people because of what they look like or
what their faith is.
I think if I were a Rohingya, I
would want to stay where I was born.
But Id want to make sure that my
government was protecting me and
that people were treating me fairly, he
said. And thats why its so important,
I think, as part of the democratic transition, to take very seriously this issue
of how the Rohingya are treated.
The Obama administration has
overseen warming diplomatic relations with Myanmar and has encouraged the transition from military to civilian rule by easing sanctions. But the
White House is under fire from critics
for not putting more pressure on Myanmar for its treatment of the Muslim
minority in Rakhine State.
Amid the ongoing crisis, with boats
full of Bangladeshi and Rohingya still
drifting at sea, and several thousand
more looking for resettlement, the US
has taken sharp aim at an issue Myan-

AUNG KYAW MIN


HTOO THANT
newsroom@mmtimes.com

A woman from an unofficial camp for internally displaced persons in Rakhine State holds her son. Photo: Yu Yu

mar has long held to be an internal


matter.
During a trip to the region to address the emergency spanning two
seas and at least five Southeast Asian
nations, US Assistant Secretary of
State for Population, Refugees, and
Migration Anne Richard enumerated
the solutions the US expects to see.
The answer to the issue is peace
and stability and citizenship for the Rohingyas in Rakhine State, she said in
Malaysia.
At the moment, there is tremendous persecution and oppression of
the Rohingyas in Rakhine State. They
do not have citizenship, and we are
concerned about their human rights.

US President Barack Obama speaks with 75 youth leaders on June 1. Photo: AFP

The US State Department called


for the immediate disembarkation of
a human smuggling boat crammed
with 727 people who have been
trapped at sea since March. The boat
was stopped by the Myanmar Navy
on May 29, but those on board have
not been allowed to land. The United
Nations and rights groups have not
been granted access.
After announcing in state-run media that the government would return the boat people to the place they
recently departed, Myanmars navy
yesterday began escorting the boat
from the Ayeyarwady delta to Rakhine
State.
According to a local official who
asked not to be named, the boat would
be allowed to disembark near Maungtaw today. He said that temporary shelter would be arranged near the border
with Bangladesh, and the UN would be
allowed to provide assistance.
Information Minister U Ye Htut
would not confirm the report however,
commenting only that the boat would
be taken to a safe destination before
we hand them back over to Bangladesh.
He added that, according to initial interviews, most of the people on
board are from Bangladesh.
Bangladesh says it will not repatriate anyone who claims to have origins
in Myanmar, and is already locked in
a standoff with its neighbour over the
nationality of 200 people rescued from
a boat on May 21.
While the Presidents Office did not
respond yesterday to the comments
from Mr Obama, the government
denies that there is any discriminatory policy in place in Rakhine State,
despite what rights groups consider
apartheid-like conditions for the Muslim communities.

If they want citizens rights, they


have to first be a citizen. If you are an
[internally displaced person], you are
entitled to the rights of an IDP, Rakhine Chief Minister U Maung Maung
Ohn said during a panel discussion on
May 31.
In his monthly radio address, President U Thein Sein said Myanmar was
responding in a responsible manner.
Although Myanmar must protect
its citizens and its sovereignty, our

It's so important,
I think, as part of
the democratic
transition, to take
very seriously this
issue.
Barack Obama
US president

country is also a responsible member


of the global community, he said.
Therefore, we are working with
other countries to offer humanitarian assistance to the boat migrants,
and return them to their homes.
The root causes of human trafficking and illegal migration are lack of
jobs and poverty. Therefore, we are
prioritising poverty alleviation and
improving livelihoods for the people
living in Rakhine State, the president said.
Additional reporting by Nyan
Lynn Aung and Lun Min Mang

Over 700 people set to disembark


from smugglers boats in Rakhine
State today are raising alarm among
nationalist groups.
A parliamentarian yesterday
urged the speedy repatriation of such
boat people, while an association
of nationalist Buddhist monks known
by its acronym Ma Ba Tha compared
sheltering the people from smuggling boats to keeping a viper in ones
pocket.
All officials should think about the
long term: Pay sympathy to them in
your mind, dont help them physically,
said a statement sent to the president
yesterday by Sayadaw Bhaddanta
Tilawkar Bhivamsa, the chair of the
Committee for the Protection of Nationality and Religion, or Ma Ba Tha.
The statement suggested the Myanmar navy should respond to the 727
people rescued on May 29 by replicating Australias push-backs and send
them back to sea after providing aid.
Myanmar is already hosting over
200 Bengalis rescued and brought to
Rakhine State that now cant be sent
back to their home. Every racial and
religious conflict occurring across
Myanmar stems from accepting nonBuddhist and non-Myanmar people,
the statement said.
Amyotha Hluttaw Representative U
Hla Swe also suggested turning away
the boats. He told parliament that if
the government took people in then it
should set a timeframe for assisting
the rescued passengers.
Malaysia and Indonesia have both
announced they will provide temporary shelter to almost 4000 rescued
people for only one year. However, the
international community has maintained the timeframe is not feasible as
resettlement to a third country is often
a lengthy, bureaucratic process.
A third route the often outspoken
MP from Magwe offered, is to look to
what he said was the example on the
US-Mexico border.
If we adopt the way practised in
the worlds leading democratic countries America and India we would
handle it succinctly by shooting all illegal migrants without any investigation,
then that would frighten them and we
wouldnt need to worry about these
cases anymore, U Hla Swe said.
At an emergency crisis meeting
called in Bangkok over the ongoing
boats crisis, Myanmar agreed to a
17-point response plan that includes
search and rescue operations and
ensuring the safety of those at sea.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun
and Kyawt Darly Lin

4 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 3, 2015

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U Htin Lin Oo (right) arrives at Chaung-Oo Township Court in Sagaing Region on March 24 in Sagaing Region. Photo: Than Naing Soe

Writer, activist jailed for two


years for insulting religion
MAUNG
ZAW
mgzaw.mmtimes@gmail.com

A WRITER and opposition activist was claiming victory yesterday


even as a judge sent him to prison
for two years with hard labour on
a charge of insulting religion in a
literary talk.
At Chaung-Oo Township Court,
Sagaing Region, Judge U Lin Min Tun
was forced to deny suggestions from
the defence that pressure had been
placed on him to return the guilty verdict against U Htin Lin Oo.
The judge acquitted him of a second charge of deliberate intent to
wound religious feelings. The defendant had denied both charges.
Speaking to reporters after the
verdict, U Htin Lin Oo said, I won
this case. Though I am being sent to
prison, I dont feel sorry. I will keep
speaking out when I come out of jail.
I call on Ma Ba Tha Sayadaw [an association of nationalist monks] to live
according to the discipline of Buddhist monks. If they fall below those
standards, I will say so.

Human rights groups condemned


the jailing of U Htin Lin Oo, a writer and a former information officer
from the opposition National League
for Democracy, following what was
regarded as a landmark trial driven
by pressure from hardline Buddhist
groups. The NLD, which removed him
from office after charges were laid,
had no immediate comment.
This is a sad indication of how
Myanmar continues to rely on a range
of draconian laws to silence and lock
up critical voices. Despite promises
to clear the countrys jails of prisoners of conscience, arrests of peaceful
activists have actually picked up pace
alarmingly over the past two years,
said Rupert Abbott, Amnesty Internationals research director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
Extremist Buddhist groups with
a nationalist agenda have become increasingly influential in recent years.
They maintain a growing presence
on social media where U Htin Lin
Oos speech was first brought to wider public attention, and played a key
role in pushing for his prosecution,
Amnesty said. It accused the government of compounding the problem
by imprisoning those speaking out
against religious intolerance.
The charges were brought by U

Oo Tun Khine, head of the township


Immigration and National Registration Department, under sections
295(a) and 298 of the penal code
after a literary talk given by U Htin
Lin Oo in Thone Pan Hla village,
Mandalay Region, last October.

This is a sad
indication of how
Myanmar continues
to rely on a range of
draconian laws to
silence and lock up
critical voices.
Rupert Abbott
Research director for Southeast
Asia, Amnesty International

The sentence, to be served in Monywa prison, Sagaing Region, will be


reduced by the six months already
served, and he has leave to appeal.
His lawyer, U Thein Than Oo,
said, I havent seen a case like this

before. The section under which my


client was charged is mostly applied
to monks who drink alcohol or who
fall below the standards of discipline
expected of a Buddhist monk. This
is the first time I have seen it used
against a layperson. I will appeal to
the regional court.
U Thein Than Oo claimed that the
judge was pressured during the trial,
but the judge denied it.
No one put pressure on me. The
defendant showed that he was guilty. I
made my decision because his offence
was evident, the judge said.
In London, the Burma Campaign
UK issued a statement condemning
the verdict. It called on British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to
demand his release and that of all
political prisoners in Myanmar. The
lobby group said U Htin Lin Oo, in his
speech, had criticised the use of Buddhism to promote discrimination and
prejudice in the country.
The Burmese government should
be encouraging writers like Htin Lin
Oo to promote interfaith tolerance in
the country, rather than sending him
to jail, the group said.
A local woman who requested
anonymity said, Everyone who loves
truth knows that the author is right.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

Monastic school to offer university classes


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MG ZAW
mgzaw.mmtimes@gmail.com
PHAUNG Daw Oo monastic school in
Mandalay plans to offer a universitylevel education for teachers and students of monastic schools throughout
Myanmar, according to its teaching
director.
Our school will offer university-level education for our students
and teachers because the quality of
teachers from monastic schools is
lower than that of other schools, said

Sayadaw U Htereinda, who is a member of the Coalition for the Promotion


of Monastic Education.
Phaung Daw Oo provides highschool and college-level education.
Students who have completed college education there can apply for a
scholarship to attend an international
school.
We teach up to the college level,
but now we plan to upgrade to the
university level. The regional government says its too early for us to offer university-level education, but we

have to raise standards. Otherwise, we


dont know when we can offer university level, said U Htereinda.
The teaching director of Phaung
Daw Oo has been to Australia to observe university administration there,
and invited academic officials from
overseas universities to visit his school
and advise him on how to raise standards. The university will be separately run, and we will continue to teach
high school classes here, he said.
The future university will be in
Patheingyi township, and foreign

tutors will be employed to teach international-level subjects.


We would like to run a university for monastic schools because we
need to raise our teachers educational
level. If the quality of our teachers is
better, the quality of the students will
improve, said a teacher from the monastic school.
In selecting students for the new
university, teachers, students, monks
and nuns from monastic schools
across Myanmar will be given priority.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

News 5

www.mmtimes.com

Villagers afraid to break silence


over militia murder allegations
A civilian found dead in the kitchen of a Kayan National Guard soldier is the third victim connected to the militia in the last three months
MATTHIEU BAUDEY
CAROLE OUDOT
newsroom@mmtimes.com
ACTIVISTS have accused a government-backed militia in southern Shan
State of responsibility for the death of
an area resident on May 23.
Ko Tha Lo, 33, was found dead in
the Moe Bye area of Pekon township
near the border between Shan and
Kayah states on May 23. Covered in
cuts, bruises and other wounds, his
body was found in the kitchen of a
Kayan National Guard (KNG) soldier.
Residents said it is the third death
involving KNG soldiers to occur in
the Moe Bye area in the past three
months. None of the cases have been
investigated by police, while residents
are afraid to speak out publicly against
the powerful militia.
Friends of the victim, who asked
not to be named, said Ko Tha Lo was
taken into custody by the KNG at
about 7pm following a family dispute.
He was home, cooking for his daughter, when three soldiers came to take
him in. We heard a lot of screams and
sounds of struggle, one told The Myanmar Times.
He was always fighting with his
father-in-law, arguing about his wifes
family sending her to work in Thailand without consulting him. His
father-in-law got scared and asked the

U Aung Naing, KNG


commander in chief.
Photo: Matthieu Baudey

militia to deal with him.


A cousin of Ko Tha Lo said the
alarm was raised by his four-year-old
daughter, who was present when he
was taken. She was the first to cry
for help and tell people her father was
being tortured and taken away by soldiers, the cousin said.
KNG commander U Aung Naing
confirmed that the victim was taken

into custody. He described the death


as a suicide. He was very depressed,
always drunk, doing drugs, constantly
crying over his wife leaving him. He
bothered everyone, so we tried to reason with him. During the night he escaped, fell and knocked himself on a
wall. It is clear he committed suicide
and the family knows.
Ko Tha Los father said that he

believed his son committed suicide


due to depression and alcohol abuse.
However, wounds on the body indicate otherwise. Several witnesses also
reported seeing Ko Tha Lo tied up at
a KNG barracks in Pwe Kon 3 quarter,
which is home to the groups headquarters. He was allegedly caught trying to
escape and was beaten by five men.
While residents in the area initially
confirmed this, they later changed
their story and insisted it was suicide.
Activist Ko Kah Lee Staw, a member of the local activist group Kayan
New Generation Youth (KNGY), said
they were afraid of the KNG.
We cant be satisfied with their
story because there is no evidence, he
said. Everyone here is scared of the
KNG no one dares to talk.
Both the KNGY and prominent
Kayan activist Ko Bedhu said police
were ignoring the death.
A man was tortured and killed and
no one investigated the cause of death.
No medical staff saw the body. We
want the culprits to be brought to justice. Rule of law has to be established
here, the group said in a statement.
Ko Bedhu said that the KNG had
been allowed to operate with impunity
in the area, and its soldiers had been
linked to three deaths in the past three
months.
The people here are subjected to
human rights abuses and local author-

ities just close their eyes. The KNG has


the weapons, so even the police avoid
dealing with them, he said.
The KNG, a breakaway group

Everyone here is
scared of the [Kayan
National Guard]
no one dares to talk.
Ko Kah Lee Staw
local activist

from the Kayan New Land Party, was


formed in 1992. They transformed
into a pro-government militia in
1993. Despite having just 100 men under arms, the KNG unofficially rules
the Moe Bye area, running profitable
business like sawmills and construction firms.
While KNG commander U Aung
Naing said meetings are being held to
discuss these recent killings, civil society groups said there had so far been
no dialogue.
Regardless, he said his organisation had no questions to answer over
Ko Tha Lus death. As long as the families are satisfied, there is no problem.

6 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 3, 2015

Traffic and staff shortages stall


licence testing department
Traffic congestion and lack of human resources push licensing department to abandon practical driving tests, while only one-third pass theory exams

AYE
NYEIN
WIN
ayenyeinwin.mcm@gmail.com

TOO much traffic, not enough instructors. In a country where an estimated


30 percent of drivers are running
around unlicensed, only 18 people are
available in Yangon to test new drivers, it has emerged.
And the test is taken sitting behind
a computer, not out on the road. The
congestion is too bad, said a transport
official yesterday.
Deputy director U Tin Maung Swe
of the Road Transport Administration
Department (RTAD) said the driving
licence testing department could draw
on only 18 officials to test the competence of would-be drivers.
There are 80 staff throughout
the country as a whole. But at any
one time, only about 60 are available. Of those, only 13 are assigned to
Yangon, so weve added another five
to help them. We really need 20 or
30, he said.
People arriving to take their tests
have to wait for hours, sometimes
leaving untested at 5 or 6pm for lack
of staff.
We have enough computers to
test 135 people at a time, and we installed an extra 50 chairs. As of yesterday, weve set aside another room for
100 people, so we can test nearly 300
people at the same time, said U Tin
Maung Swe.
The computers are a recent innovation. Until April, the exam was
handwritten, until stories started circulating of instructors handing out
licences to their friends and relatives.
The number of test questions was also
increased.
We also added a psych test. And
before, drivers only had to answer 20
questions for a nga or a gagyi licence,
said U Tin Maung Swe, referring to
licences for automobiles and commercial vehicles. Now applicants have
to answer 100 questions on road and
traffic rules. The pass mark is 80 percent. We award licences on the basis
of the computerised result, and if applicants fail, they just have to accept
it, he said.
But actual road testing has yet to
be introduced.

Its testing times for drivers like these stuck in a jam on Sule Pagoda Road recently. Photo: Naing Wynn Htoon

We also want drivers to be tested


on the road. But we dont have the
time, and the traffic jams in Yangon
are terrible. If the applicant isnt a very
good driver, things could get awkward.
So we just test them in our compound,
for driving and parking. We hope to
introduce road tests later, said U Tin
Maung Swe.
Most licence applicants in Yangon
come via one of the citys 25 private
driving schools, since the RTAD operates only one driving school. Supervision of the standards or quality
of the private schools, which pay a
K200,000 registration fee, leaves
much to be desired.

According to the vice president,


there should be at least one driving
school in every town. There are only
50 in the whole country. Some are
good, some not so good. They just

want their drivers to pass. We can


check these schools once a month.
They show us their best side, but we
dont know what theyre like the rest
of the time, said U Tin Maung Swe.

We also want drivers to be tested on the


road. But we dont have the time, and the
traffic jams in Yangon are terrible.
U Tin Maung Swe
Deputy director, Road Transport Administration Department

The Road Transport Administration Department has no power to


open driving schools. Thats the job of
the Ministry of Road Transport. They
are preparing to open a taxi driving
school and a motorcycle school this
year, which we will support, said U
Tin Maung Swe.
Amid rumours that a fake licence
can be had for K70,000, and statistics
showing that most accidents are down
to driver error, news that something is
being done to improve driving standards would be welcome. In May, 10,937
people sat the exam, with a further
1600 on June 1 alone. Only one-third
passed.

New cabbies struggle to get to grips with Yangon streets


AYE NYEIN WIN
ayenyeinwin.mcm@gmail.com
TAXI drivers from out of town are
lost in Yangon, exasperated passengers are complaining. In the absence
of a system for testing cabbies knowledge of the city streets as part of their
licensing requirement, many passengers end up having to give directions.
Cheaper car imports and vehicle
rental fees have tempted many from
upper Myanmar to take up the profession, putting downward pressure on
drivers profits. This has prompted
experienced cabbies to quit and look
for other work.
At the end of January, I hired a
taxi to go to Pansodan, said Ma Hnin
See, who lives in Thuwunna. After we
set off, he asked for directions, saying
hed just arrived from Mandalay and
didnt know the streets in Yangon.
Hlaing township resident Ma Su
Su hailed a cab one evening last week

in front of Peoples Park to take her


to Parami Sein Gay Har supermarket.
At first I was happy, because some
taxi drivers dont want to go there at
that time because of traffic jams. But
when he set off in the wrong direction, I asked him where he was going. He didnt answer, so I told him to
stop, she said. He said hed forgotten the route because it was so long
since hed driven. I had to give him
directions.
Some sceptical passengers think
this apparent ignorance is just a way
of inflating fares.
Its their job to know the streets.
Theyre just pretending not to know
the way. If the driver and the passenger dont know the way, then they
would be in trouble, said Ko Thet Naing, adding, I always record the taxi
number and phone home to let them
know Im coming.
But there is no requirement for
taxi drivers to have ever even driven

in Yangon before picking up their


first passengers. They are only required to hold a gagyi or nga drivers
licence named after the fourth and
fifth characters in the Myanmar alphabet which entitles them to drive
throughout the country.
That means we cant take action
against them just because they dont
know the streets of Yangon, said
U Kyaw Aye Lwin, head of the district Road Transport Administration
Department.
Even the chair of the taxi licensing authority says cabbies have asked
him for directions.
Its even happened to me. I hailed
a taxi whose driver asked me for directions, said U Hla Aung, chair of the
Yangon Region Supervisory Committee for Motor Vehicles, better known
by its Myanmar acronym Ma Hta Tha.
Cab drivers should be professional and provide a full service to passengers, and value for money. That

means learning their way around the


city. The mindset needs to change.
Ma Hta Tha took over responsibility for city taxi registration from Yangon City Development Committee on
October 1, 2014. But U Hla Aung said
they have no plans to introduce a requirement for drivers to demonstrate
knowledge of the city streets before
the licence is issued.
According to Ma Hta Tha, the
number of taxis in Yangon almost tripled from 20,000 to 55,000 in the
18 months to October last year. The
figure does not include taxis registered in states or regions other than
Yangon that are operating in the city
in violation of municipal laws.
Police say that while the majority of
taxis are licensed, some driver are not.
We do come across taxi drivers
not in possession of the correct licence. This happens more at night
than during the day. But under the
1989 law, the fine is only K1500, said

Traffic Police Captain Win Lwin. He


added that passengers should record
the taxi registration number when
they hire a cab.
Many experienced local taxi drivers have quit because of low pay, and
newcomers, many from upper Myanmar, have replaced them, according
to drivers.
Young people from upper Myanmar and former trishaw drivers dont
know the streets very well, said cab
driver U Kyaw Zaw. Drivers should at
least know the important locations and
tourist attractions of Yangon. But when
I take a cab, drivers are always asking
me how to get to the destination.
And driver U Ko Ko Gyi said many
drivers had taken up the work after
the government had allowed a flood
of new vehicles into the country.
Many were unfamiliar not just with
the street system, but even with the
rules of the road. The taxi industry is
already completely broken, he said.

News 7

www.mmtimes.com

Views

Is it a tender when the result is fixed?


USDP MP for South Okkalapa U Aung Thein Linn says a tender for a 120-acre land plot should be suspended and reconsidered
U Aung Thein Linn has proposed
that a Ministry for Information tender
for land in Mayangone township be
suspended. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

SITHU AUNG
MYINT

newsroom@mmtimes.com

N unusual urgent proposal was submitted to


the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw
on May 22. Its object was
to suspend an invitation

to tender.
In what might or might not be a
similar case, in 2013 another proposal
was submitted to suspend a tender
invitation for telecommunications
operators just as the government
was about to grant tenders, on the
grounds that losses could be incurred
by Myanmar citizens who owned
businesses.
At that time, the process was so
far advanced, and the appointment of
internationally recognised consultant companies carried out with such
transparency, that the cabinet decided
it could not suspend the process.
Telenor and Ooredoo duly won the
tenders concerned and are now going
about their business.
To come back to the May 22 proposal: Does it have the same intent
as the 2013 proposal? And will it be
more successful?
This time around, the proposal
to suspend the tender process was
submitted by U Aung Thein Linn, MP
for South Okkalapa, Yangon Region.
He proposed that the Union government suspend the tender invitation so
as to be able to reconsider and decide
again whether the tender invitation to
transfer 90 acres of land in Mayangone townships Yayku broadcasting
station compound to the private sector outright is appropriate or not.
In this connection, hluttaw
Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann
explained that the urgent proposal
did not constitute interference in the
processes of government, and hluttaw
agreed to receive it under article 66(a)
of its rules of procedure.
According to U Aung Thein Linn,
he submitted the proposal because

15,000-seat weather-proof theatre, a


50,000-seat open-air theatre, a multimedia university and other related
buildings, all at its own expense. No
company other than Skynet and Forever Group can do this.
So to answer my own question,
this proposal to suspend the invitation to tender is not the same as the
proposal to block the invitation to
international companies to enter the
mobile phone operating business. The
Yayku tender invitation resembles
the Yangon New Town plan that the

Setting tender
regulations
requiring qualities
that only these two
companies possess
is inappropriate at
what should be a
time of increasing
transparency.
the amount of money expected to be
involved is so large as to suggest that
the tender rules had been written
with the intention of allowing only
one or two selected business persons
to bid. The effective exclusion of the
great majority of private companies,
he said, would undermine public trust
in the government.
The rules governing the tender
appear to bear him out. The tender
invitation states that the plot known
as the Yayku Broadcasting Station
compound owned by the Ministry of
Information in Mayangone township is about 120 acres in extent, of
which 15 acres will be set aside for
the construction of two broadcasting
buildings and three studios. Another
15 acres must be set aside for housing
for 300 staff of the Ministry of Information, at the expense of the tender
winner, who would own outright the
remaining 90 acres.
The tender winner also needs to
provide the information ministry with
150 acres of land in an area accept-

able to the ministry within Yangon


Region, as well as building a new
broadcasting station to replace the
old one.
So far, so inclusive for those
who have the money. But now the
conditions start to get a bit more
restrictive.
Regulation number 1 says, Tender applicants shall be Myanmar
national-owned companies that have
been running a media business for at
least the past three years, preferably
including television broadcasting
experience.
Regulations 2 and 3 stipulate that
tender competitors must be sufficiently familiar with broadcasting
to ensure that the existing station
can move seamlessly to its new home
without suspending
operations.
In the light of these rules, it
is pretty clear that there are only
two qualified companies: Shwe
Than Lwins Skynet and Forever
Groups MRTV 4.

President U Thein Seins government does not allow media freedom.


It doesnt allow the private sector into
radio and television broadcasting,
on the pretext that the relevant law
has yet to be enacted. But the former
military government did grant television broadcasting permits to Forever
Group and Shwe Than Lwin, and
some cronies are allowed to do radio
broadcasting. The Ministry of Information has handed out privileges to
those two media companies, as well
as giving them under the counter the
right to use its own stations, studios
and land, and the related tax relief.
Setting tender regulations requiring
qualities that only these two companies possess is inappropriate at
what should be a time of increasing
transparency.
Regulation 9 says the tender winner cant do what it wants on the 90
acres of land it will acquire. It must
build a broadcasting complex, TV and
radio stations, a satellite headed gateway, two towers, a studio complex, a

Yangon Region government tried to


implement secretly last year that is,
its a huge project requiring vast sums
of money that nobody is told about in
order to ensure that the contracts go
to the right people.
In pursuing the invitation to
tender as currently written, the
Ministry of Information is acting out
a pre-rehearsed drama, not inviting
genuine competition. It wants its own
heroes to win.
I hope this tender will be delayed,
as U Aung Thein Lin proposed, and
that in the meantime provision is
added for an investigation in the
event of any suspicion of corruption
or partiality.
While were at it, the government
should also draw up strict guidelines governing the appearance of
impartiality and excluding any risk
that tender invitations will be drawn
up with the intention of selecting only
companies controlled by someones
friends. Translation by Kyawt Darli
Lin and Thiri Min Htun

2 News

THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 3, 2015

Ethnic military leaders urged to


sign ceasefire accord

Voter lists
incomplete,
say absent
MPs

WA LONE

KYAW PHONE KYAW


k.phonekyaw@gmail.com

walone14@gmail.com

LEADERS of armed ethnic groups


meeting yesterday to debate the
closing stages of the national ceasefire process were urged to lay down
their arms and take up political
negotiations.
Karen National Union chair Saw
Mutu Say Poe called on the leaders to
approve the draft ceasefire agreement
text provisionally approved in March
between government and ethnic negotiators. China and a UN envoy also
pressed them to move quickly and
sign.
The leaders are meeting, under
international scrutiny, at the KNU
stronghold of Law Khee Lar, Kayin
State, in what could be among the final rounds of the 18-month-long peace
process. If it is successful, it could
bring to a close some of the worlds
longest-running conflicts.
We have been trying to resolve our
differences through fighting for more
than 60 years. After we have signed
the ceasefire agreement, we can continue to fight at the negotiating table,
he said.
Saw Mutu Say Poe stressed the
strong points of the draft agreement,
including the re-deployment of forces
so as to avoid fresh outbreaks of fighting and anxiety for the public, and the
need to proceed to draw up a framework for political talks.
Over the next four days, ethnic
leaders will review the draft agreement and the guidelines proposed for
the framework.
In his opening remarks, the KNU
leader said, I believe this conference
is important for our ethnic armed
groups and for the future political
landscape of our country.
In addition to the armed groups
themselves, international observers
present include the UN special envoy on Myanmar, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Nippon

UN special representative Vijay Nambiar addresses the media yesterday during a meeting of ethnic groups in Kayin State.
Photo: Naing Wynn Htoon

Foundation and several representatives of civil society.


Vijay Nambiar, the UN special
representative, told participants they
had a limited time to act. Myanmars

We have been
trying to resolve our
differences through
fighting for more
than 60 years.
Saw Mutu Say Poe
Karen National Union chair

peace is in your hands, he said, calling on them to put their trust in the
process.
Chinas Asian affairs expert Sun
Guoxiang said the armed groups
should move on from the signing of
the provisional agreement by taking further steps. There is a Chinese
saying: Grasp opportunity when it
appears, because it will not appear
again, he said.
One obstacle to signing may lie in
the absence from Law Khee Lar of
the leaders of the three armed groups
still fighting the government: the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance
Army (MNDAA), the Taang National
Liberation Army (TNLA) and the
Arakan Army (AA). All are engaged
in the clashes that have rocked the

Kokang region since February, and


have threatened to leave the armed
groups umbrella organisation, the
Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination
Team (NCCT), if they are not invited
to sign the draft. The government has
proposed a two-speed peace process
which would involve signing the current draft first, and negotiating with
those three parties later.
Ko Aye Tun, liaison officer for the
Arakan Army, said, Wed like to be
united in signing the NCA. I cant accept that any group should be excluded, not just our own. However, the
risk that the signing could be delayed
by opposition from the three fighting
groups appears to have receded over
the past few weeks.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun

Ethnic politicians urge president to go further


LUN MIN MANG
lunmin.lm@gmail.com
ETHNIC politicians yesterday urged
President U Thein Sein to go beyond
his latest proposals to amend sections
of the constitution to establish a genuine federal state.
The president set out his legislative
plans in his June radio address, saying
that draft amendments to Schedules
1 and 2 of the constitution, which set
out divisions of political and economic powers between the federal government and the states and regions,
would be submitted to parliament
later this month.
U Thein Sein linked his proposed
reforms to the process of signing a nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA)
with armed ethnic groups.
Once the NCA is finalised, political dialogue will take place as pledged
in the agreement. The objective of the
dialogue is to work together in unity
to build a Union based on the principles of democracy and federalism that
all the nations ethnic groups desire,
the president said.
He said Tatmadaw representatives,
who make up one-quarter of parliament, had introduced amendments to
Schedules 1 and 2 with the support of
other MPs and suggestions made by
parties.

The right conditions must exist


for the emergence of a federal-based
Union, the president stated, explaining that this would include fair revenue sharing.
Based on four years of practical
experiences, trials, consultations and
advice, draft amendments to Schedules 1 and 2 will be submitted to parliament later this month, he said.
But some ethnic politicians responded that the proposals did not go
far enough.
U Aye Thar Aung, a senior official
of the Rakhine National Party, said a
federal state should be based on what
he called the non-militarisation
of politics, and power and resource
sharing.
In a federal nation there is no 25
percent of army representatives in
parliament. Also there is no particular
privilege for the commander-in-chief
of the Tatmadaw in constitutions of
federal nations, he said.
Launching the process of constitutional change would not accelerate the
signing of the ceasefire accord, which
needed further discussions, he said.
The edited version of the draft
of the NCA will need to be agreed by
the government side, including the
commander-in-chief, he said. He also
noted differences between the government and armed ethnic leaders over

how many groups would sign the


accord.
U Sai Aik Paung, leader of the Shan
National Democratic Party (SNDP)
and minister for forestry and ,ining in
the Shan State government, said the
current constitution gave no authority
to the states and regions.
As a minister, I have learned that
ministers of the states and regions
have very limited authority in their
respective sectors, he said, blaming

The most important


thing is to build
a federal nation
on principles
guaranteeing
the freedom,
equality and selfdetermination of
ethnic nationalities.
U Khun Soe Myint
General secretary, Union Pa-Oh
National Organisation

the centralisation of powers set by the


2008 constitution. I think most ethnic nationalities will not be satisfied
with just amending the two schedules
for a federal nation.
The Nationalities Brotherhood
Federation, an alliance of more
than 20 ethnic parties, including
the SNDP, has called for the amendment of Article 261 of the constitution which says the president selects chief ministers of states and
regions.
The goal of the alliance is to take
control of state parliaments in the
November elections and appoint their
own chief ministers.
U Khun Soe Myint, general secretary of the Union Pa-Oh National
Organisation, said the president and
ethnic armed groups had different
concepts of federalism.
The president used the words a
Union based on the principles of democracy and federalism whereas the
leaders of ethnic armed groups use
the words a federal union. These two
terms look similar but actually they
can move in different directions, he
said.
The most important thing is to
build a federal nation on principles
guaranteeing the freedom, equality
and self-determination of ethnic nationalities, he said.

YANGON Region electoral officials are scrambling to correct


voters lists that contain some
surprising omissions. U Kyaw,
Yangon Region MP for Thingangyun township, says his
name is not on the list.
Another missing name is reportedly that of Daw Khin Aye,
the wife of U Thein Nyunt, a
Pyithu Hluttaw MP. Both MPs
are members of the New National Democratic Party, and
U Thein Nyunt is the party
chair. Daw Khin Aye yesterday
declined to comment on the reported omission.
Electoral officials confessed
that even a member of the electoral commission had been left
off the list.
None of this was deliberate,
said one.
U Kyaw told The Myanmar
Times yesterday, Im 70 years
old and Ive voted in every election since 1974. Voting is important for me even if I were
not an MP.
He said he had declined an
invitation from electoral officials to send in a so-called form
3, requesting inclusion of his
name, but provided them with
a copy of his household list. U
Kyaw doesnt know yet if he
will be able to vote or not.
They should have doublechecked the voters list before
displaying it [for public review]. Their list is from the
Department of Immigration
and Population. Its not very
satisfactory.
The chair of the township
election commission, U Aung
Kyaw Hein, said, When the
voters list was compiled, some
voters were absent from home.
We might have missed some.
Even a member of the election
commission was omitted. Were
fixing the list now, and Ive informed U Kyaw accordingly. I
can say honestly we did not do
this intentionally.
U Kyaw has also criticised
electoral commission rules that
restrict the voters list to those
listed on official family household lists, making it difficult
for internal migrant workers to
register.
Its mostly the migrants
and the grassroots people who
are not on the list who want to
vote for a party like ours. The
rules are against us, he said.
Electoral official U Aung
Kyaw Hein said, Some people
are refusing to send the requesting letter [for inclusion].
In that case we can request the
official family household list in
order to rectify the omissions.
But he denied any personal bias
on the part of electoral officials,
despite a claim by U Kyaw that
lower-level electoral officials
might be subject to government
influence.
The secretary of the wardlevel electoral commission is
the ward clerk, who is a government employee. The government is run by the ruling party,
the USDP. How much USDP
influence is being brought to
bear? he said.
Social media critics are
claiming that in some villages
in Htantabin township, Yangon
Region, all voters are listed as
having the same birthday.

8 THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 2, 2015

Business
Central Bank urges
government to
reduce dollar use
AYE THIDAR KYAW
ayethidarkyaw@gmail.com
THE Central Bank is urging government organisations to only use
kyat payments to reduce US dollar
demand and prevent dollarisation
of the economy.
The Foreign Exchange Management Department of the Central
Bank last week announced that the
kyat only should be used in domestic payments at national, regional
and state-level organisations.
Using foreign currencies in local industry makes exchange rates
instable and impacts the countrys
currency, the circular said.
The document aiming to prevent widespread government use
of the dollar was one of several put
out by the Central Bank on May 29.
A separate document also limited
US dollar withdrawals from a domestic bank account to US$10,000
a week for all people or institutions except for a few bodies such
as international NGOs, embassies
and United Nations organisations.
U Mya Than, chair of the Yangon
Foreign Exchange Committee, said
the necessity of using foreign currency for local payments tends to make
exchange rate fluctuations worse.
Some people speculate by buying
lots of dollars or withdrawing massive amounts from their accounts
that they do not actually need.
Those people sell outside formal institutions and strengthen
the informal market, so the Central Bank is protecting against that
habit, he said.
The kyat has lost about 6 percent against the dollar so far this
year, according to the Central Bank
of Myanmars official reference
rate. If the market rate is used for
calculations, the depreciation of
the kyat is closer to 10pc.
Several different government

departments have been known to


demand payments US dollars from
local companies. Sailors or car importers must often make their tax
payments to government accounts
in US dollars rather than kyat, for
instance.
While government use of the
greenback has been tapering off
from 2011, many hotels, restaurants and jewellery shops, particularly in tourist areas, still list their
prices in US dollars.
Businesspeople say it is important to preserve use of the US dollar at private businesses.
U Than Maung, owner of a jewellery shop on Kabar Aye Pagoda
Road and an executive member of
the Myanmar Gems and Jewellery
Entrepreneurs Association, said
nearly every jewellery shop takes a
friendly stance toward dollar payments by cash or card to serve foreign customers.
Daw Win Mar, owner of a separate jewellery shop, said kyat payments are not convenient for purchases of jewellery, as often pieces
get expensive and require a large
mass of notes.
The kyat is not compact. Whatever foreign currency buyers use,
we accept it and then enter a value
in kyat on the receipt, she said.
Others say they prefer kyat payments, but must be able to meet
customer demand.
Daw Tin Mar Myint, managing
director of Win restaurant and bar,
said most citizen-owned restaurants prefer kyat or card payments,
but sometimes must accept foreign
currency.
We just prioritise the convenience of our customers. Sometimes even if they pay in dollar
we give them an advantageous
rate of K1000, even though the
official rate may be closer to
K1100, she said.

Hitachi president
confirms large local
committment
MYAT NOE OO
myatnoe.mcm@gmail.com
JAPANESE multinational Hitachi
aims to employ more than 1000 local people in the country within
five years, according to its president
Toshiaki Higashihara.
Speaking in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday, Mr Higashihara said the firm
is looking to expand in sectors in
Myanmar like telecoms, railway systems and electricity.
We will use local people and we
will share technology for use of Myanmar people, he said.
The firm opened a Yangon branch
office in 2012, though has been doing business with the country for a
longer period. Mr Higashihara also
met with President U Thein Sein
during his visit to Myanmar.
Myanmar is an attractive market for the firm as its development

is increasing, and it is in need of


technology and infrastructure.
Currently, the firm is looking at
opportunities for gas turbines in
Thilawa special economic zone, as
well as jointly working with Mitsubishi on a US$20 million railway signaling system for the Yangon to Mandalay line, according
to Tsunehiro Takahashi, Hitachis
Yangon-based general manager.
Hitachi has invested in Myanmar since 1958, when it invested in
a hydropower project on the Balu
Chaung river, he said.
Now we have signed an agreement to set a railway signaling system with JICA financing, he said.
The system it is installing is already in use in Japan, and will improve the Myanmar system after it
is installed. It provides much more
control over rail lines, also making
it easier to use the railway, he said.

Yoma Strategic Holdings chief executive Andrew Rickards speaks in an interview last year. Photo: Zarni Phyo

Yoma Strategic
chief executive talks
leadership transition
JEREMY
MULLINS
jeremymullins7@gmail.com

YOMA Strategic Holdings chief executive Andrew Rickards is stepping


down next month after a nearly fouryear term, though remains bullish on
Myanmars long term prospects.
As the best-known Myanmar-focused company listed on a foreign exchange, Yoma Strategic has attracted
business and investors eager to participate in whats sometimes touted
as the last frontier economy.
Yoma Strategic is chaired by
Serge Pun, one of Myanmars bestknown entrepreneurs, who also
chairs Serge Pun & Associates and
First Myanmar Investment. While
Mr Pun is not shy about publicity
and has been one of the leading
public faces of a more businessfriendly Myanmar, Yoma Strategic
itself has grown and changed significantly during Mr Rickards term
at the top.
Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic
has moved beyond its core property
business into diverse areas such as
the telecoms tower business through
Myanmar Tower Company, automotive through agreements with Hino,
Volkswagen and Mitsubishi Corporation, and also quick-service restaurants with KFC.
These agreements and a couple of
dozen others were signed in the last
few years, as Yoma Strategic looks to
become less reliant on property. The
companys goal is that 50 percent of
its business is property and the rest
making up the other 50pc.
Mr Rickards said that as a whole,
the group may now be doing less
new deals going forward, and more

making a go of what it has already


announced.
If you imagine the analogy of an
accordion, initially you open it out
and then you hone in and get the
right sounds coming out, he said. Mr
Rickards said Yomas next few years
will likely be similar, as it ends up
with perhaps five core businesses it
which it can be a market leader.
Real estate will doubtlessly be
one of those core businesses. While
the market has slowed this year, Mr
Rickards said the Group is optimistic
about its long-term potential.
The country is coming out of a
long period of no new builds and has
a lot of catching up to do, he said.
I dont think one should be fooled
by all these billboards popping up
saying lots of apartments coming
Not all the projects that are announced are actually getting built.
We think the supply-demand mismatch is still there, he said.
Yoma Strategic also reckons the
property market is not homogenous.
Different parts of the sector move
at slightly different times, with for
instance serviced apartment supply
still lagging residential development,
he said.
With the lions share of its business concentrated in Myanmar, the
firm rests heavily on the international profile and actions of the country.
The period leading up to this years
election will probably be quiet compared to the rapid change over the
last few years.
Im remarkably bullish about
the medium to longer term, but I do
think this year will be a little slower,
he said. However, I dont think pausing for breath is a bad thing.
Yoma Strategic aims to continue
its current conglomerate approach.
The firm is a Serge Pun-created vehicle, and will be led by his son Melvyn
Pun, who becomes CEO on July 27.

Another son, Cyrus, is the head of


Yoma Strategics real estate, the firms
most important division.
Mr Rickards said that while it is
a heavily family-dominated company,
much of his work over the past 3.5
years has been institutionalising the
company by bringing in well-regarded shareholders like Aberdeen and
Capital, as well as bringing international best practices into its internal
systems. He also said that in the region, family-dominated companies
have often outperformed non-family
companies in the longer term.
Theres clearly a very heavy influence from the family, but I think
thats a good thing, he said.
Melvyn Pun is an ex-Goldman
Sachs employee, who was hired into
the American investment bank fresh
out of university by Mr Rickards.
While the two did not work in the
same division at Goldman Sachs,
they now share an office in Yangons
FMI Centre, as Melvyn is CEO of SPA
Group.
Asked why now for transition, he
said the plan had always been for
Melvyn Pun to step-up to the CEO
position. The timing is also less important than making the handover
successful.
Its a bit like the 4x100 relay race
the most important thing is you dont
drop the baton when you hand over
from one runner to the other, he said.
Mr Rickards himself said he will
stay on as an adviser to the new CEO
through to the end of the year, and
then will be working on something
else. While he declined to say what it
will be, he said it will be a Myanmarrelated activity.
Expect me to be wholeheartedly
involved in Myanmar, he said. I believe in our lifetime the reemergence
of Myanmar still represents one of
the greatest opportunities and one
that doesnt come around very often.

BUSINESS EDITOR: Jeremy Mullins | jeremymullins7@gmail.com

Cambodian rice exporters


fret growing competition
from Myanmar

Taiwan president worried


about stuck China trade
and investment deals

BUSINESS 10

BUSINESS 11

Exchange Rates (June 2 close)


Currency
Euro
Malaysia Ringitt
Singapore Dollar
Thai Baht
US Dollar

Buying
K1182
K295
K799
K32
K1097

Selling
K1201
K303
K811
K33
K1099

Tyred out: importers say tax policy favours used cars


AYE
NYEIN
WIN
ayenyeinwin.mcm@gmail.com

ALMOST all of the cars imported


to Myanmar last year were secondhand, due to a high tax on brand-new
vehicles. The government should reconsider its policy relating to the import of new cars, say businesspeople.
As far as I know, most Myanmar
citizens import used cars. According
to the records from last year, brand
new cars accounted for only 3 percent of imports, said U Aye Htun,
managing director of Aung Thein
Than Company.
Used cars are cheaper and easy
to buy, so Myanmar citizens usually
opt for this option, he said. Furthermore, the market for used cars is
well developed.
When a person wants to buy a
car, they always think to buy a used
car first. This is directly related to

government policy. We want to import more brand-new cars, but according to government policy, low
models are cheap and high models
are expensive, said U Aye Tun. If
the government wants to favour new
models, they should change their
policy a little.
Depending on the situation of the
country, the market is changing, and
the government should set a long-term
plan, said U Min Min Maung, from
Wun Yan Kha car sales centre. The tax
is very high. We want the government
to reduce it, he said.
Used and new vehicles imported
into the country are subject to customs taxes. For most used imports
with a 1300-cubic-centimetre engine, the tax is levied against a value
of $5000 for the car. For used vehicles with a large engine, the value of
the vehicle for tax purposes is higher.
Similarly, for new cars, import
taxes are levied as percentage on the
vehicles value. However, for most
used car imports, the value of the
vehicle for tax purposes is not a set
amount, but instead from a list of

Cost, Insurance, Freight (CIF) kept


by the government. For instance, a
2014 Toyota Camry had a CIF value
of $30,000, according to a list kept
by myanmarcarsdb.com.
While tax rates are the same for
new and used vehicles, the large
difference between CIF values for
used and new cars make for vastly
different tax payments. Taxes range
between 65 and 100pc based on the
size of the cars engine, which take
a much bigger bite from a highervalue, new vehicle.
Dealers say they would like to
see more done to encourage the purchase of new cars.
Sometimes used cars are in such
a bad condition that the cost of fixing them is higher than the cost of
buying a new car. Because of this,
car dealers suggest that the government should place quality controls
on used car imports.
We hope to encourage foreign investment through brand new car imports, so that foreign businessmen
can have confidence in our growing
market. In Myanmar, very few car

sales centres get as much business


as they hope, said U Aye Tun.
For the districts and regions outside of Yangon, 1300cc and 1500cc
engines are not powerful enough.
People want to import more powerful engines, but they cant afford new
cars.
The current system, which has
been in place since 2011, states one
avenue for receiving permission to
buy a new car means trading in an
old vehicle. The trade-in receives a
slip from the Road Transport Ad-

When a person
wants to buy a car,
they always think
to buy a used car
first.
U Aye Htun
Car dealer

ministration Department. This is


valued at around K10 million.
The slip system is the current favourite method of obtaining permission to import, though every Myanmar
citizen also has the right to import one
vehicle during their lifetime.
These policies stem from the
time under the military government
when ordinary citizens were effectively prohibited from importing
a car. Prices were very high: In the
2000s, a used Toyota van that would
cost about K100 million in Myanmar
could be bought on the Thai border
for just K4 million. Based on these
figures, Myanmar was the worlds
most expensive country to buy a car.
We need a slip to buy a new car,
and the price of a slip is very expensive. I think there is something
wrong with this system. We hope it
will be phased out within the next
two years, said Ko Ayay Kyo from
Mandalay.
It is up to the government to implement the policy. The kind of cars
that we import is totally dependent
on this, said U Min Min Maung.

Bangkok Bank branch opens its doors


AYE THIDAR KYAW JEREMY MULLINS

BANGKOK Bank opened its Yangon


branch office yesterday with a paidup capital of US$200 million, according to company officials.
The bank is the largest in Thailand, and the only one from that
country among the nine foreign
banks allowed to open a branch in
Myanmar.
Thailand is the second-largest
source of foreign investment in Myanmar after China, and that countrys investors will be the initial target for Bangkok Bank in Myanmar,
as they are familiar from operating
together in Thailand, said senior
vice president and branch manager
Kanet Buranasin.
We have the luxury of knowing them, so Thai customers will be
one of our top priorities, but others
from different countries will also be
our customers, he said.
The branch is on Kabar Aye Pagoda Road near Yangons Sedona Hotel.
Company officials said the fact that
it is the only one of the nine foreign
banks with a standalone branch,
rather than a location inside an office building, shows its commitment
to the country.
Chaiyarit
Anuchitworawong,
Bangkok Bank executive vice president, said the bank plans to offer a
number of services from its Yangon
branch, including trade finance,
fund transfers, loans to businesses
and will also play a part in syndicated loans in the future.
Thailand and Myanmar are
close neighbours, leading the bank
to having a strong passion for the
country. There are both similarities and dissimilarities between
Thailand and Myanmar, he said.
Myanmar is developing itself very
quickly.
With the rapid pace of devel-

Bangkok Bank officials lead a tour of their branch yesterday. Photo: Thiri Lu

opment, it is important that progress takes place properly as well


as quickly. He added that the bank
will be able to discuss with its customers on when is the correct time
to enter Myanmar.
While Bangkok Bank has had
a Yangon representative office for
about 20 years, most of the change
it has witnessed has happened in
the last five, he said.
The foreign banks have been
brought in partly with the goal of
improving foreign investment flows

to the country. They will initially be


limited to one branch and barred
from retail banking and from lending to local companies directly.
Some local bankers have said
foreign banks have been given too
much leeway to operate, but Kanet
Buranasin said the market has so
much potential, he does not believe
only local or foreign banks will be
successful, but they can both do so
together.
Bangkok Bank already has a
number of connections with local

banks such as KBZ and CB, and


also aims to improve the domestic
financial sector in areas such as
contributing to the development of
the the interbank and foreign exchange markets.
The Myanmar Investment Commission has previously permitted
about $10 billion in Thai investment from 85 different companies
as of the end of April, representing
18 percent of total foreign investment approved to Myanmar.
China is the largest source of ap-

proved investment at $15 billion or


26pc of the total.
Industrial and Commercial Bank
of China has also received permission to open its Yangon branch as
of June 2.
Six of the nine banks awarded
banking licences last year have
now received that permission, with
the remaining three expected to
receive the go-ahead by the end of
September.
The last three banks yet to open
are Maybank, Mizuho and ANZ.

TRADEMARK CAUTION NOTICE

10 Business

THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 2, 2015

MONEYMAX PAWNSHOP PTE. LTD., a company organized


under the laws of Singapore carrying on business as and having its
principal office at 51 KAKI BUKIT PLACE, SINGAPORE 416228
is the owner and sole proprietor of the following Trademark : -

Myanmar Registration Number. 4/5331/2014


Used in respect of :- Pawn brokerage; pawn-broking services in
class 36.
Any unauthorised use, imitation, infringements or fraudulent
intentions of the above mark will be dealt with according to law.
Tin Ohnmar Tun, Tin Thiri Aung & The Law Chambers
Ph: 0973150632
Email:law_chambers@seasiren.com.mm
(For. Amica Law LLC, Singapore)
Dated. 3rd June, 2015

TRADEMARK CAUTIONARY NOTICE


Munchener Ruckversicherungs-Gesellschaft Aktiengesellschaft
in Munchen, a company organized under the laws of Germany
and carrying on business and having its principal office at
KoniginstraBe 107, 80802 Munchen, Germany is the owner and
sole proprietor of the following Trademarks: -

MUNICH HEALTH
Myanmar Registration Number. 4/7691/2014
International Classes 9, 35,36 & 44

Myanmar Registration Number. 4/7692/2014


International Classes 9,35,36 & 44
Used in respect of :
Data-processing equipment and computers; Computer operating
programs; Computer software; Computer programs; Data carriers
in International Class 9.
Advertising; Business management; Business administration;
Office functions in International Class 35.
Insurance; Finance; Monetary affairs; Real estate affairs in
International Class 36.
Medical service; Hygienic and beauty care in International Class 44.

Myanmar Registration Number. 4/7694/2014


International Class 36

Myanmar Registration Number. 4/7695/2014


International Class 36

Munich RE

Myanmar Registration Number. 4/7693/2014


International Class36
Used in respect of Insurance, financial services in International
Class 36.
Any unauthorized use, imitation, infringements or fraudulent
intentions of the above marks will be dealt with according to law.
Tin Ohnmar Tun, Tin Thiri Aung & The Law Chambers
Ph:0973150632
Email:law_chambers@seasiren.com.mm
(For.AMICA LAW LLC, Singapore)
Dated. 3rd June, 2015

Myanmar labourers load rice onto a lorry. Photo: Kaung Htet

Cambodian rice seller


blames Myanmar for
Europe competition
CAMBODIAN rice exports to the European Union have declined slightly,
while Myanmars have undergone a
sharp increase, according to recent
figures.
From September to April, Cambodian rice exports to the EU dropped
by 1 percent compared to the same
period last year, from 167,660 tonnes
to 165,940 tonnes, according to figures
released by the European Commission
last week.
Myanmars rice exports to the EU,
in contrast, increased by 81pc from
79,940 to 144,550 tonnes for the same
period.
Industry insiders expect Cambodian rice export volumes to the European Union to level off, admitting that
Myanmar is a strong competitor.
We acknowledge them as a

competitor because they are also a


developing country and their rice
is cheaper than our rice, said Kim
Savuth, vice president of the Cambodia Rice Federation. Cambodia
should focus on exporting fragrant

They are also a


developing country
and their rice is
cheaper than our
rice.
Kim Savuth
Cambodia Rice Federation

rice and improving packaging to


make higher margins, Mr Savuth
said. Myanmar and other major rice
exporters cannot produce fragrance
rice as we do.
Cambodian white rice sells at $430
per tonne, the figures reported, while
there was no price estimate for Myanmar rice.
According to Hun Lak, president of
rice export firm Mekong Oryza Trade,
Myanmar rice is about $20 cheaper
per tonne.
However, other factors could be
behind Cambodias weakened EU rice
exports, he said.
The declining trend can also be
due to the weakening of the Euro
against the US dollar, so countries
in the EU buy less but increase their
production. Phnom Penh Post

BEIJING

Xiaomi starts online stores in


the United States and Europe
LEADING Chinese smartphone
maker Xiaomi has launched an online accessory store in the United
States and major European countries as it expands into lucrative
Western markets.
Xiaomi launched mi.com in
France, Britain and Germany yesterday, it said in a statement.
The store went online in the
United States on June 1, it added.
Xiaomi, which was founded only
in 2010 by entrepreneur Lei Jun,
has excelled in Chinas cut-throat
smartphone market by delivering
high-performance products at low
prices.
In just five years, the Chinese
firm has become the worlds number-three smartphone vendor, behind only Apple and South Koreas
Samsung, with rapid growth in
emerging countries.
Now the launch of mi.com marks

the brands move into established


Western markets.
A company spokesperson said
yesterday that the site is restricted
to accessories.
Products on offer include a
US$14.99 fitness band compared
with $99.99 for the mid-range
tracker from San Francisco-based
Jawbone, $79.99 headphones and
battery cells as cheap as $9.99, according to the website.
Shipments are currently limited
to the four countries, the company
said.
However, Xiaomi has signalled
its intention to offer more products
to consumers in the US and Europe.
It has enjoyed huge success in its
home market of China, and in the
first quarter of 2015 held a 13.7 percent market share behind only US
rival Apple.
Consumers have snapped up its

products which often undercut foreign rivals. Xiaomis high-end Mi 4


with 64GB of memory lists for $410,
less than half the $998 Chinese retail price of a comparable Apple iPhone 6. Its Redmi 2 budget model is
only $115.
It was the top smartphone company in China during 2014, claiming
sales of more than 61 million smartphones, up 227pc from 2013.
Xiaomi has launched products
outside mainland China in Hong
Kong and Taiwan, as well as Southeast Asia, but has yet to expand its
footprint into developed countries.
Hugo Barra, vice president of Xiaomi Global, said in the statement
he was truly excited to bring a selection of our best-selling accessories to consumers in the West.
He added, We look forward to
bringing more Mi products over
time to the US and Europe. AFP

International Business 11

www.mmtimes.com
TAIPEI

Taiwan leader
frets unpassed
China deals
PRESIDENT Ma Ying-jeou warned
yesterday of damage to Taiwans
economy if the legislature does not
pass controversial trade deals with
China, which have stalled in the wake
of mass protests.
His comments come as tensions
remain high over increased Chinese
influence on the island.
I would like to voice my concern
over related agreements with China
still under deliberation in the legislature, said Mr Ma, speaking at the
opening ceremony of Computex
Asias largest tech fair in the capital
Taipei.
The pacts are on hold after a service trade deal with Beijing sparked
huge rallies and the three-week occupation of parliament last year, reflecting growing unease over Taiwans
warming ties with Beijing.

Look at our service


trade agreement
with the mainland,
which is still lying in
parliament.
Ma Ying-jeou
President of Taiwan

Mr Ma said the passage of the


agreements should accelerate, particularly in the wake of a free trade
deal signed between China and South
Korea on June 1.
That agreement would impact Tai-

wans traditional industries, including textiles, said Mr Ma.


It took them only three years [to
reach the agreement]. Look at our
service trade agreement with the
mainland, which is still lying in parliament, he said.
The pact is on ice as a concession
to protesters, who said it had been
passed in secret.
They demanded new measures
guaranteeing transparency over future deals, but that oversight legislation is now the subject of intense
political wrangling and has yet to be
passed.
China still sees Taiwan as part of
its territory awaiting reunification by
force if necessary. The self-ruled island split from China at the end of a
civil war in 1949.
Since he became president in
2008, Mr Mas pro-Beijing Kuomintang party has led a rapprochement
with China, with more than 20 trade
deals and a tourism boom as mainland visitors flock to the island.
But many ordinary Taiwanese feel
they have reaped little benefit from
the trade pacts and worry about getting closer to Beijing.
The Kuomintang was trounced at
local elections in November and faces
a struggle in next years presidential
vote, with a stagnant economy and a
string of food scandals adding to its
woes.
Mr Ma pointed to reports that Taiwan was lagging behind South Korea
in its development.
We ... really have to work hard to
try to face our predicament and do
something substantial. Foreign trade
is very important to Taiwan, he said.
AFP

NEW DELHI

India cuts rates,


claiming investment
remains too weak
INDIAS central bank yesterday cut
interest rates for the third time this
year and downplayed recent growth
in Asias third-largest economy, saying investment remained weak.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
lowered the benchmark repo rate
the level at which it lends to commercial banks by 25 basis points to
7.25 percent with immediate effect.
It was in line with analysts expectations and means the RBI has
now lopped 75 basis points from borrowing rates in 2015.
RBI governor Raghuram Rajan
said the cut was necessary to boost
investment and consumer demand
in the economy, which he said was
still not firing on all cylinders despite growth picking up pace.
We still believe the economy is
below potential. Investment is still
tepid and demand is weak, he told
reporters after the banks monetary
policy meeting in Mumbai.
Prime Minister Narendra Modis
right-wing government swept to
power last year pledging to reform
and revive a flagging economy, and
has been keen for the RBI to lower
interest rates.
It received a major boost on May

29 when data showed that Indias


economy grew 7.5pc in the first
three months of the year, overtaking China.
The government posted annual
growth of 7.3pc for 2014-15, up from
6.8pc the previous year, but Mr Rajan suggested firm evidence of an
economic recovery was far from
clear.
With low domestic capacity utilisation, still mixed indicators of recovery, and subdued investment and
credit growth, there is a case for a
cut in the policy rate today, he wrote
in the statement.
He later added, This policy
stance is neither conservative nor
aggressive. It is just appropriate given the conditions.
We have acted as much as what
[the] data allowed us to do.
The RBI announced its first easing in 20 months in January, snipping 25 basis points off the repo rate.
It then made a surprise cut in
March before keeping the rate unchanged in April, citing inflation
concerns and a failure of most commercial banks to implement reduced
loan rates.
AFP

TAIPEI

Journalists line up to see the various smart watches designed by Taiwans ASUSTeK Computer during the Computex
Show press conference at the World Trade Center in Taipei. Photo: AFP

Focus on start-ups for Taiwan tech


AS the Computex trade show opened
its doors yesterday in Taiwan it is
putting a new focus on start-ups to
boost the islands tech credentials in
the face of intense competition from
rival China.
Taiwan has hosted Asias biggest
tech trade show for 35 years and
made its name as a hub of innovation and engineering in the age of
the PC, manufacturing components
and assembling computers.
More recently it has benefited
from Apples new iPhone 6, launched
last year, with a number of leading
Taiwanese firms such as Foxconn
and TSMC reportedly among Apples
suppliers.
The island is also one of the
worlds biggest suppliers of semiconductors and is home to wellknown industry players, from computer maker Asus to smartphone
brand HTC.
But as China pushes to grow its
own tech industry with the development of domestic smartphone
brands and homegrown hardware,
including chips, Taiwan is looking to

smaller niche firms with new ideas.


Nine start-ups which Computex
organisers say have potential to tap
international markets will be given
a special exhibition area at the show
this year for the first time in a bid to
raise their profile.
We have to turn to a new direction, with more innovation, rather
than mass manufacturing, said Li
Chang, deputy secretary general of
Taipei Computer Association (TCA),
co-organiser of Computex.
He called on the government to
do more to support fledgling firms.
There might be a number of
young people who have creative
ideas and can manage to turn them
into innovative products, but ... they
face difficulties in raising capital
and marketing, said Mr Li.
New Taiwanese firm Mozbii,
one of the nine start-ups selected,
last year raised US$45,000 through
crowdfunding site Kickstarter for
what it bills as the worlds first colour picking stylus a hi-tech version of colouring in.
A round sensor at one end of the

stylus captures the colour of any object it is pressed upon.


The stylus then replicates that
colour when touched on a tablet
screen, so children can fill in templates or draw their own creations.
We have an environment here to
develop things and the government
is starting to sense the importance
of supporting start-ups, said Mozbii
CEO Jeremy Shu, who leads a team
of eight. But pushing the product to
the world is difficult.
At the other end of the scale,
Asus crams in hundreds of international visitors to its Computex product launches, complete with theatrical film clips, booming soundtracks
and catwalk models.
As it seeks to diversify away from
PCs, Asus unveiled its new ZenPad
tablet and Zenphone Selfie on June
1 which includes a beautification
mode to even out skin tone.
But the number of Taiwanese
brands with global traction remains
limited, said Ralph Wiegmann, CEO
of Hanover-based iF International
Forum Design. AFP

12 International Business
TRADEMARK CAUTIONARY NOTICE
HDN Development Corporation, a company organized under
the laws of United States of America and having its principal
office at 370 Knollwood Street, Suite 500, Winston-Salem, North
Carolina 27103, United States of America is the owner and sole
proprietor of the following Trademark :-

KRISPY KREME

Myanmar Registration Number


4/13765/2014 for Class 21, 4/13766/2014 for Class 25,
4/13767/2014 for Class 30, 4/13768/20147 for Class 43
Used in respect of : Household or kitchen utensils and containers (not of precious
metal or coated therewith); glass-ware, porcelain and earthenware
not included in other classes; mugs and coffee cups in Class 21.
Clothing, namely, sweatshirts, t-shirt, and caps in Class 25
Glaze flavors; coffee, tea, cocoa, artificial coffee; doughnuts,
doughnut holes, pies, cakes, buns, bagels, pastries of all types;
doughnut mixes in Class 30
Providing of food and drink; restaurant services specializing in
the provision of doughnuts, pies, cakes, buns, bagels, pastries,
coffee, juices, cocoa, and beverages in Class 43

THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 3, 2015

RIYADH

Saudi Arabia faces giant budget


deficit on plunge in oil prices
OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia is forecast
to post a budget deficit of 20 percent of
gross domestic product because of the
sharp decline in oil revenues, the IMF
said yesterday.
Government spending in 2015 is
expected to remain strong, partly due
to a number of one-off factors, while
oil revenues have declined, an International Monetary Fund team said after
visiting the Gulf kingdom.
As a result, IMF staff projects that
the government will run a fiscal deficit
of around 20 percent of GDP in 2015.
The report made no reference to the
costly air campaigns Saudi warplanes
are involved in, against the Islamic
State group in Syria and Huthi rebels
in Yemen.
The projected deficit translates into
around US$130 billion as the IMF is
projecting Saudi nominal GDP this

year at $649 billion. Riyadh is projecting a budget shortfall of just $39 billion. The IMF said the decline in oil
prices has resulted in a substantial
decrease in revenues, but its impact on
the rest of the economy has so far been
limited by strong public spending. The
IMF team projects Saudi growth this
year at 3.5pc, unchanged from 2014,
but said the pace will slow to 2.7pc in
2016.
Oil prices crashed from around $115
a barrel in June last year to just $46 in
January before recovering to around
$65.
Oil income makes up more than
90pc of Saudi public revenues. The
worlds largest exporter is currently
pumping 10.3 million barrels of crude
per day. A sizable fiscal policy consolidation will be needed over the next few
years to cut the deficit gradually.

Going forward, the decline in government deposits will slow as the government starts to issue debt to finance
the deficit, the IMF said.
It also said the decline in oil revenues
has emphasised the need for economic
diversification, boosting spending efficiency and raising non-oil revenues.
Saudi firm Jadwa Research said the
kingdoms foreign reserves dropped
by $49 billion in the first four months
of 2015 following the dive in world
oil prices. The reserves, piled up over
the past decade during high prices of
crude, dropped from $732 billion at the
end of 2014 to $683 billion at the end of
April, Jadwa said in a report.
In March and April alone, the reserves dipped $31 billion, it said. Last
month, IMF estimated the oil price
necessary to balance the Saudi budget
at more than $100 a barrel. AFP

CANBERRA

Any unauthorized use, imitation, infringements or fraudulent


intentions of the above mark will be dealt with according to law.
Tin Ohnmar Tun, Tin Thiri Aung & The Law Chambers
Ph: 0973150632
Email:law_chambers@seasiren.com.mm
(For. Domnern Somgiat & Boonma,
Attorneys at Law, Thailand)
Dated. 3rd June, 2015

TRADEMARK CAUTION
Focus Network Agencies (S) Pte Ltd, a Company incorporated
and existing under the laws of Singapore, and having its registered
office at 103 Defu Lane 10, #06-01 FNA Group Building,
Singapore 539223, hereby declares that the Company is the Owner
and Sole Proprietor of the following Trademark.

Pedestrians are reflected in the window of the Australian Stock Exchange. Photo: AFP

Reg. No. IV/5677/2015 (5 May 2015)


The above trademark is used in respect of Biscuits; chocolate;
chocolate beverages with milk; chocolate-based beverages;
cocoa; cocoa beverages with milk; cocoa-based beverages; cocoa
products; confectionery; cookies in Class 30 and
The bringing together, for the benefit of others, of chocolate
products, cocoa products, biscuits, cookies and confectionery
products (excluding the transport thereof), enabling customers
to conveniently view and purchase these goods from a retail
store; retail store services in relation to chocolate products, cocoa
products, biscuits, cookies and confectionery products in Class
35.
Any fraudulent imitation or unauthorized use of the above mark or
other infringements whatsoever will be dealt with according to law.
Daw Thit Thit Kyaw, (H.G.P.)
For Focus Network Agencies (S) Pte Ltd,
c/o BM Myanmar Legal Services Limited (Baker & McKenzie)
# 1206, 12th Floor, Sakura Tower,
339 Bogyoke Aung San Road,
Kyauktada Township, Yangon,
The Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
Dated: 3 June 2015

Australian central bank


keeps rates steady
AUSTRALIA yesterday kept interest
rates at 2.0 percent after slashing
them to a record low last month,
and called for a weaker currency
to help counter a sluggish economy
struggling with soft business spending.
The Reserve Bank of Australia
has been loosening monetary policy
as the country exits an unprecedented China-driven mining investment
boom and non-resources industries
strain to fill the gap.
Despite not cutting rates further,
it signalled a mild easing bias after
its monthly meeting.
Having eased monetary policy last month, the board today
judged that leaving the cash rate
unchanged was appropriate at this
meeting, Reserve Bank of Australia
governor Glenn Stevens said in a
statement.
Information on economic and
financial conditions to be received
over the period ahead will inform
the boards assessment of the outlook and hence whether the current
stance of policy will most effectively
foster sustainable growth and infla-

tion consistent with the target.


The Australian dollar traded
US$0.005 higher at $0.7674 after
the decision as financial markets
had expected a clearer easing bias.
The RBAs decision was widely
expected by analysts, who said the
central bank would sit on the sidelines as it waits to see if its two 25
basis point cuts this year one in
February and another in May lift
economic growth.
I think theyre still prepared to
cut rates but I think they didnt want
to go so far to signal a near-term
move, said Barclays chief economist for Australia Kieran Davies.
The housing market is giving
them pause for thought.
Mr Stevens noted that house prices continued to increase strongly
in Sydney, although growth trends
were more varied in other cities.
Economists have said lower interest rates could overheat the already booming residential property
sectors in the two biggest cities Sydney and Melbourne.
Mr Stevens warned that business
spending remained soft and was a

key drag on private demand. Weak


capital expenditure data last week
showed non-mining firms were still
reluctant to spend.
Weakness in business capital expenditure ... is likely to persist over
the coming year. Public spending is
also scheduled to be subdued, the
governor said.
Overall, the economy is likely to
be operating with a degree of spare
capacity for some time yet.
The central bank maintained
its call for a weaker exchange rate,
saying further depreciation seems
both likely and necessary, particularly given the significant declines
in key commodity prices.
Weakening commodity prices,
particularly Australias largest export iron ore, have hurt the economy
and squeezed government revenue.
The RBA meeting came ahead
of an official reading of economic
growth in the first three months of
this year, due today.
The data is forecast to show that
GDP expanded by 0.5pc in the firstquarter to take annual growth to a
below-trend 1.9pc. AFP

International Business 13

www.mmtimes.com
LONDON

HSBC mulls massive


job cuts: reports

IN PICTURES

PHOTO: AFP

Two Chinese men prepare to board at Beijing railway station


in Beijing. Chinas top economic planning body has approved
the construction of six railways expected to cost some 250
billion yuan (US$40.8 billion) to support the faltering
economy, a report said.

BANGKOK

HSBC Holdings, Europes largest bank,


will announce a plan next week to cut
thousands of jobs, Sky News reported,
citing unidentified people close to the
matter.
Chief executive officer Stuart Gulliver will disclose a target when he
updates shareholders on the banks
strategy on June 9, laying out a reduction that will probably affect 10,000 to
20,000 people, according to Sky. The
number is still being worked out, it
cited one person as saying.
Heidi Ashley, a spokesperson for
HSBC in London, declined to comment on the report. The company employed almost 258,000 people at the
end of last year.
Mr Gulliver, 56, is striving to reduce
costs and sell businesses to bolster
earnings, while spending billions of
dollars to boost internal compliance.
The job-cutting target will exclude the
potential impact of selling businesses
in Brazil and Turkey, as well as the
possible separation of HSBCs British
arm to meet a requirement to separate
the consumer and investment banking
businesses, Sky said.
The bank also is threatening to

THOUSAND

258

Current number of employees at HSBC

leave Britain over tax increases and


the introduction of some of the toughest regulations in the world. Last year
the British levy imposed on the firms
global balance sheets cost HSBC 750
million pounds (US$1.1 billion), the
most among UK lenders.
It is vital HSBC sets a clear target
for reducing expenses so that it can
improve returns to shareholders, who
have seen insufficient evidence of progress, James Chappell, an analyst at
Berenberg Bank, wrote in a note to
clients last month. Revenue growth is
unlikely in a low interest rate environment where companies have taken on
too much debt, he said. Bloomberg

TOKYO

Thailand retail giant


Central Group to
open a Turin store
THAILANDS leading retail company Central Group is stepping up
its overseas investment with a plan
to open a large new department
store in Turin, Italy, in the next two
years.
Tos Chirathivat, the groups chief
executive, said it was in the process
of renting 10,000 square metres
(107,000 square feet) of space from
an undisclosed company to open
a new La Rinascente department
store in Turin, the first capital of a
united Italy.
The group chose Turin because
it is an important business and cultural centre in northern Italy. The
population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat to be 1.7 million
people.
The city is culturally rich and is
one of the worlds top 250 tourist
destinations, and the 10th most visited city in Italy in 2008.
It is also home to much of the
Italian automotive industry.
The foray into Turin is an extra
business plan for Central Group to
grab more opportunities and the
city has no luxury department store
so far.
The Turin store will mean Central will have operations covering
the top three economically strong
areas, together with Milan and
Rome, Mr Tos said.
The Turin store, the 13th La Rinascente branch, will open in 2016
or 2017. The 12th store in Rome is
nearly complete.
Central Group currently has 12
department stores in Europe, of
which 11 branches are under the La
Rinascente label in Italy and one Illum store in Denmark.
In addition, the group is negotiating to acquire a major retail
chain in Germany.
Mr Tos said the group would
complete its renovation of Illum
department store this October.
Illum is targeting the medium

and high-end markets, offering


about 120 Scandinavian and international brands. It welcomes almost 6.5 million visitors a year.
All of these moves will make
Central truly represent its success
as a Thai retailer entering a worldclass market like Europe.
Mr Tos said the performance of
its overseas retail operations was
positive, except Indonesia, which
only just opened.
Sales at La Rinascente in Italy in
the first quarter of this year grew
by 13 percent to 600 million euros
(US$656 million).
Yuwadee Chirathivat, chief executive of Central Department Store,
said 34pc of sales at La Rinascente
in Milan came from tourists, mostly
Chinese followed by Russians.
Asian tourists, primarily from
Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and
Thailand, are also among top 10
biggest spenders at the luxury department store.
The company expects sales at La
Rinascente to grow steadily. The
euro remains weak and the Milan
Expo and the opening of the Fondazione Prada are factors that will
attract 1 million or more visitors to
Italy.
On the domestic front inside
Thailand, Mr Tos said Central
Group would continue its expansion after the economy gradually
improved in the first five months of
the year.
Apart from on-ground activities,
it will expand its online shopping
business.
New products from SMEs will be
available on its shopping website
this month, creating a difference
from other online retail operators.
The company will seal business
partnership deals with two companies abroad and domestically in the
third quarter to strengthen its online business.
The Bangkok Post

Kimono shop salesclerks prepare to open their store in Tokyo. Photo: AFP

Japanese index ends


longest rally since 1988
TOKYOS benchmark index lost 0.13
percent yesterday, ending its longest winning streak in more than a
quarter of a century as the market
succumbed to profit-taking and a
pickup in the yen.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which had
risen for 12 days straight, fell 26.68
points to 20,543.19 at the close,
while the broader Topix index of all
first-section shares lost 0.26pc, or
4.35 points, to end at 1674.21.
In morning trade the benchmark
index was on course for its longest
rally since a 13-day run in February
1988 during the height of the Japans
stock market bubble.
The Japanese market picked up a
positive lead from Wall Street, where
the Dow Jones Industrial Average
added 0.16pc, while the broad-based
S&P 500 rose 0.21pc.
But afternoon selling dragged Tokyo into negative territory.
It was no surprise that profit-

taking emerged after such a long


winning streak, said Toshikazu
Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo
Securities.
Profit-taking accelerated in the
afternoon as the yen rebounded after hitting 125 against the dollar, Mr
Horiuchi added.
Earlier yesterday, the dollar
reached a more-than-12-year high
against the yen as upbeat US data
reignited talk of an interest rate hike
this year, a plus for the greenback.
The unit briefly traded at 125.05
yen its strongest level since December 2002 before settling back
to 124.63 yen, compared with 124.81
yen in New York.
Japanese shares have been on a
run after buoyant earnings in the latest reporting season, while the country on June 1 adopted a corporate
governance code that backers hope
will usher in a new era of transparency and nudge firms to spend some
of their massive cash piles.

Japan has long lagged behind


its overseas peers in corporate governance, something critics blame
for holding back investment in the
countrys firms and hurting Japan
Incs reputation abroad.
In share trading, Japan Tobacco
closed 1.78pc lower at 4532.5 yen.
The cigarette giants Canadian unit
was among three tobacco firms ordered by a court in the province of
Quebec on June 1 to pay a total of
C$15.5 billion ($12.3 billion) in damages to thousands of smokers in lawsuits tied to addiction and smokingrelated diseases.
The units shares of the damage
total was C$2.0 billion.
Toyota shares edged 0.07pc lower to 8514 yen, Sony slipped 0.41pc
to 3806.5 yen, while factory-robot
maker Fanuc rose 0.18pc to 27,700
yen.
Japans biggest bank Mitsubishi
UFJ closed down 2.24pc at 914 yen.
AFP

14 THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 3, 2015

15

World

WORLD EDITOR: Kayleigh Long

BANGKOK

US-led alliance
meets in Paris
to discuss ISIS

South Korea
reports first
MERS deaths

WORLD 16

WORLD 17

BEIJING

PHNOM PENH

Despite much-vaunted closures of


sub-par orphanages, issue persists

Warrant issued for high-ranking Thai


army figure over trafficking rings
AN arrest warrant has been issued for
a high-ranking army officer over human trafficking, Thai police said yesterday, making him the first military
figure in Thailand to be implicated in
the grim trade in migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh.
In recent weeks more than 3500
Rohingya Muslims, a persecuted minority in Myanmar, and Bangladeshi
economic migrants have arrived
on Thai, Malaysian and Indonesian
soil, prompting a regional migration
crisis.
Rights groups have long accused
officials in junta-ruled Thailand of
turning a blind eye to human trafficking, or even complicity in the trade
but until now no army official has
been implicated.
Thai police chief Somyot Poompanmoung said yesterday a court had
issued an arrest warrant for Lieutenant General Manas Kongpan for his
involvement in human trafficking.
Police are confident in the evidence, Mr Somyot told reporters
ahead of a press conference about
Thailands anti-trafficking operations
at police headquarters in Bangkok.
I am confident he will not flee, he

said, adding that police had not yet


contacted the military about handing
Mr Manas over to them.
Mr Manas is 58, according to a
court document published in Thai
media. No further details of his alleged involvement were immediately
available from Mr Somyot.

Thai police chief Somyot


Poompanmoung answers questions
on anti-trafficking operations in
Bangkok on June 2. Photo: AFP

The arrest warrant for a military


officer will likely raise awkward questions for Prime Minister Prayut ChanO-Cha, a former army chief who led a
coup over a year ago.
Mr Prayut has repeatedly justified
his power grab as a necessary evil to
excise widespread graft he says had
flourished under a series of elected
civilian governments.
He has also said the tens of thousands of migrants who make the sea
journey south each year are aiming
for Malaysia, rather than Thailand.
An estimated 2500 migrants are
still believed to be stranded at sea after a recent Thai police crackdown on
trafficking threw well-worn regional
routes into chaos with smugglers
abandoning their human cargo in the
Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal.
Thai police have so far arrested
51 people over the scandal, including
senior local officials, with warrants
out for 33 others.
In January, Thailand said more
than a dozen government officials
including senior police and a navy
officer were being prosecuted for
involvement or complicity in human
trafficking. AFP

KUALA LUMPUR

First MH370 case settled out of court


THE Malaysian government and Malaysia Airlines have reached an outof-court settlement with the family of
a man who was on Flight MH370, a
lawyer said yesterday, in the first legal claim linked with the planes mysterious disappearance.
Jee Jing Hang, who operated an
internet business, was one of 239
passengers onboard the aircraft from
Kuala Lumpur en route Beijing when
it vanished on March 8 last year.
On behalf of his two young sons,
Mr Jees family brought a lawsuit
against Malaysia Airlines last October for breach of contract, as it failed
to bring its passengers to its destination.

The family also brought claims


against the Malaysian government,
the Department of Civil Aviation, the
Immigration department and the air
force for negligence.
The court was informed that all
the parties in the suit had come to an
amicable settlement, Gary Edward
Chong, a lawyer for Mr Jees family,
told AFP.
He added that terms of the settlement could not be disclosed.
Meanwhile, a Malaysian lawyer N
Surendran told AFP that the out-ofcourt settlement could trigger other
affected family members to pursue
similar legal actions.
An Australian-led team is scouring

the southern Indian Ocean seabed in


hope of finding the final resting place
of MH370.
No wreckage from the flight has
ever been found in one of aviations
greatest mysteries.
Four months after MH370s incident, Flight MH17 was blown out of
the sky, killing all 298 aboard, by a
suspected ground-to-air missile over
Ukraine.
Malaysia Airlines, the national
carrier, has been declared technically bankrupt as the airline announced June 1 that it will slash 6000
jobs as part of plans to recover from
the twin deadly disasters and a long
run of red ink. AFP

HANOI

US, Vietnam discuss best approach


to halting Chinas reclamations
US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter
discussed halting land reclamation in
the South China Sea with his Vietnamese counterpart in Hanoi on June 1 in
talks focused on maritime security.
The meeting came after the United
States on May 30 called for an immediate end to all such work in the disputed waters where both Vietnam and
Beijing have reclaimed land.
The US and Vietnam are working
together to ensure peace and stability
in this region and beyond, Mr Carter
told reporters at a press conference
in Hanoi following in-depth talks
on regional maritime disputes with
Vietnamese Defence Minister Phung
Quang Thanh.
Mr Thanh did not reveal Hanois
position on the US call to halt reclamation but insisted its activities were
not an attempt at expansion.

We have some activities to enhance and consolidate the islands that


are under our sovereignty, Mr Thanh
told reporters. We do not expand the
islands, we just consolidate to prevent
erosion because of waves.
He added that Vietnam has soldiers stationed on its 21 islands and
reefs.
On May 30 at a high-level defence
dialogue in Singapore, Mr Carter
called for an immediate and lasting
halt to land reclamation by all claimants, in the South China Sea, adding
the US opposed any further militarisation of disputed features.
Vietnam has previously admitted
carrying out reclamation on islands
in the disputed waters but the scale of
the work is dwarfed by that of Beijing.
China claims nearly all of the South
China Sea and is locked in territorial

disputes with Brunei, Malaysia, the


Philippines and Taiwan, as well as
Vietnam.
Mr Carter also pledged US$18 million on June 1 to help Vietnam buy
US-made Metal Shark patrol boats,
hailing progress in a bilateral relationship that marks two decades this year
since the US and Vietnam normalised
ties in 1995.
Their relations had previously been
strained by decades of animosity after
the Vietnam war, which ended in 1975.
Mr Carter, in Vietnam as part of a
11-day trip to Asia, visited a navy headquarters and toured a coast guard vessel on May 31.
The former wartime foes also discussed cooperation to ease the legacy
of war in Vietnam on June 1, including cleaning up Agent Orange dioxin
residue. AFP

Chinese rescue boats are seen alongside a capsized passenger ship carrying more than 450 people which sunk in the Yangtze River, triggering a rescue effort
hampered by strong winds and heavy rain off Jianli in Chinas Hubei province on June 2. Photo: AFP

Hundreds missing after boat


sinks on Chinas Yangtze River
DIVERS racing to find survivors
rescued a 65-year-old woman
yesterday after a Chinese ship
sank with more than 450 mainly
elderly people in the storm-tossed
Yangtze River, raising hopes more
people can be found alive.
She was among 13 people saved
so far from the Dongfangzhixing or Eastern Star which sank
late on June 1 en route from the
eastern city of Nanjing to the
southwestern city of Chongqing,
state broadcaster CCTV said.
Five bodies had been recovered
at the time of printing.
Footage
showed
rescue
workers tapping on the ships hull,
part of which remained above
water, with some holding welding
gear and others ropes.
Rescuers knocked on the ship
and received responses, the Hubei
Daily said. Three people were
found alive.
The state-run Xinhua news
agency said the woman was pulled
from the boat after midday yesterday and CCTV described her as in
good physical condition.
President Xi Jinping ordered
all-out rescue efforts while Premier Li Keqiang had already arrived at the scene, state media said.
Most passengers were aged
over 60, according to a manifest cited by the Nanjing-based
Oriental Guardian newspaper.

Teams of police worked to get


small motorboats in the water to
search for survivors in heavy rain,
while other emergency personnel
looked on from the shore.
CCTV said the 250-footlong
(76.5-metre) vessel had floated
three kilometres (1.9 miles) downriver after it capsized in the Jianli
region of the central province of
Hubei.
The cause of the sinking was
not immediately clear. The captain and chief engineer, who were
among those rescued and are being questioned by authorities, both
reportedly said it had been caught
in a cyclone and sank within a
minute.
There were 458 people on
board when the ship capsized at
9:28pm (1:30pm GMT), CCTV
said 406 Chinese passengers, five
travel agency workers and 47 crew
members.
The vessel was owned by a firm
that operates tours in the scenic
Three Gorges dam region, some
distance from the accident site.
The ship started operations in
1993 and would be retired in three
years to meet regulations, the 21st
Century Business Herald quoted an
unnamed former senior executive
with the Chongqing Eastern Ship
Company as saying.
The accident occurred in
the middle reaches of the Yang-

tze, which at 6300 kilometres is


Chinas longest river.
The transport ministry and
other departments were told to
throw all available resources into
the rescue.
Chinas Communist Party leaders are sensitive to the handling
of disasters as any missteps or delays can lead to criticism of their
effectiveness to govern.
The Hubei Daily said about 150
boats including about 100 fishing vessels and more than 3000
people were involved in the rescue
effort.
CCTV reported that seven
people from the boat swam to
shore to raise the alarm after the
accident.
Relatives of the passengers
have started to clamour for information outside the Chongqing
Eastern Ship Company in Chongqing, which owns the boat.
In Shanghai, Wang Yiping said
her father was on the boat and that
relatives had gathered at a district
government office with several
dozen other relatives of passengers.
He went on the trip with his
friend, Ms Wang said, sobbing.
He left on May 28. When he had
time, he would go out to travel
with a bunch of friends.
Her mother was not in good
health so did not go on the trip.

Pictures on social media


showed crying relatives outside
the office of a Shanghai tour operator which had booked passengers
on the boat.
Reaction to the sinking was
the leading topic on Chinese social media, with many users on
Sina Weibo, a Chinese version of
Twitter, expressing hope for survivors after the rescue of the elderly
woman.
This shows that there is
still a chance of finding more
survivors, read one post. I hope
those trapped can hold on.
Another user called for calm
and said that blame should not be
assigned too hastily.
At this moment, the captain is
automatically held accountable by
some people, the post said.
But the ship sank within two
minutes, its an instinctive reaction for the captain to save himself.
Just hope more people will be rescued and the weather monitoring
system to be improved.
Chinas
high-speed
trains
and air networks are the backbone of national transportation.
But recent maritime accidents
include the January sinking of a
tugboat on the river between the
eastern cities of Jingjiang
and
Zhangjiagang, which killed 22
people, including eight foreigners.
AFP

AT a ceremony in Phnom Penh on


June 1, Minister for Social Affairs Vong
Suth said 11 orphanages had been
closed nationwide since 2011 for not
meeting acceptable childcare standards, a figure experts said showed
progress despite an abundance of stillworrying statistics.
Speaking at an International Childrens Day event, Mr Suth said there
were 208 orphanages in Cambodia,
with 22 state-run facilities among
them, caring for more than 10,000
children nationwide.
The director of the Ministry of Social Affairs Child Welfare Department
Um Sophan Nara said that all of the
11 centres that had been shuttered
were NGO-run. Mr Sophan said children at the closed homes had suffered
sexual abuse, violence and forced labour, while some orphanages had also
closed down of their own accord due
to lack of funds or an inability to meet
expected standards.
We found there were centres that
had no money, but were still open to
earn funding, he said.
Children from homes that were
closed were either found new facilities
to live in, or returned to family members if they had living relatives.
More than three-quarters of children in Cambodian orphanages have
living parents, according to UNICEF,
which has registered 228 orphanages caring for nearly 11,500 children
throughout the Kingdom.
Out of this total, only 23 percent
of children are orphans who need alternative care options such as foster
care, kinship care, group home, independent living, domestic adoption
and permanency placement, said
Bruce Grant, UNICEF Cambodias
chief of child protection.
Mr Grant said all of the 228 facilities were inspected by the Ministry of
Social Affairs in 2014, but found only
147 were properly registered. Fifteen

had expired registries, while 66 were


found unregistered.
It is understood that 32 institutions out of the 228 are currently
providing services below minimum
standards. Further, the number of
non-registered institutions remains
unknown, said Mr Grant.
However, Mr Grant said the closure
of 11 institutions sends a signal that
the government is strengthening the
alternative care system.
That sentiment was shared by
Vuthy Sokhna, a communications officer at NGO Friends International,
who said while the number of orphanages not meeting acceptable standards
remains high, the number of closures
shows the government is doing their
job, even if its only a small number.
Ms Vuthy was also keen to point
out that the extremely high number
of children in such institutions with
living relatives was unacceptable,
and that major changes are needed
to make sure children remain with
family members whenever possible.
She said many impoverished families
choose to place their children in or-

phanages because they believe they


will get a better education. Sometimes, Ms Vuthy said, that notion is
fed by unscrupulous administrators
eager for extra funding.
That money doesnt all go to the
children, it goes to the director, she
said.
Meanwhile, according to Lim Mony,
deputy head of womens and childrens
rights at NGO ADHOC, there are also
a handful of centres that remain open
despite not meeting minimum standards because they enjoy the patronage
of corrupt high-ranking officials.
On top of all of this, UNICEF says
the preliminary results of a report
they are currently working on in
conjunction with the Ministry of Social Affairs and other NGO partners,
which maps residential care institutions in five provinces, suggests there
are hundreds of unregistered orphanages that have never been inspected.
This means that thousands of children are living in institutions where
there is no oversight of their operations, said Mr Grant.
Phnom Penh Post

The founder of an unlicensed orphanage in Siem Reap province is placed in a


car after being detained by authorities for illegally running an NGO, fraud and
trafficking children last year. Photo: George Nickels / Phnom Penh Post

PHNOM PENH

Drug resistance in the crosshairs


THE Ministry of Health (MoH), the
World Health Organization (WHO)
and their partners yesterday released
the first-ever national strategy to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in
Cambodia a problem that experts say
is a major threat to public health.
AMR occurs when a microbe becomes impervious to anti-fungal, antiviral, anti-protozoal and anti-bacterial
agents used to treat infections, a massive problem in Cambodia, where
studies have shown up to 55 percent
of subjects to be immune to certain
medicines.
The Kingdoms strategy focuses
on tackling resistance to antibiotics,
which are drugs used to treat bacterial
infections.
This is a problem everywhere, especially in developing countries ... and
the magnitude of the problem correlates with the high misuse of drugs and
the higher availability over the counter,
two things that are very prevalent in
Cambodia, said WHO emerging disease surveillance and response technical officer Dr Alex Costa.
Antibiotics affect everyone and are
used by everyone, but [currently] no
one is responsible for it, he added.
Resistance often occurs when pa-

tients fail to complete a course of antibiotics, leaving some of the bacteria


alive while allowing them to adapt to
the medication. Repeatedly attempting
to use the same medications on people
who show an immunity only strengthens the microbes resistance.
Clinicians are not using hospitals
microbiology labs and are treating the
patients [based on past experience], so
when they finally go to the labs, they
have already produced higher resistance, said Joanne Letchford, chief
scientific officer of Diagnostic Microbiology Development Program, which
helped establish all six of Cambodias
microbiology laboratories in hospitals.
We need the Ministry of Health to encourage the use of this service.
The Health Ministrys Department
of Hospital Services director Sok Srun
confirmed that the Kingdom certainly
has widespread AMR according to regional reports, and the development of
the new policy and strategy is Cambodias first attempt to address the growing issue nationally.
We want to make it a priority, but it
will take time before that happens, Mr
Srun said, saying there was a need to
convince the whole ministry and other
leaders that this is a big threat.

According to data from the National


Institute of Public Health from a limited sample group in 2013, resistance
to some antibiotics has reached a troubling rate.
About half of patients were immune
to the drugs used to treat E coli. Among
patients infected with the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria which causes
boils, impetigo, food poisoning and
cellulitis 56 pc were found to be resistant to the antibiotic methicillin.
Under the new policy, the ministry
and partners intend to raise awareness
about AMR, implement a standardised
surveillance system, enforce quality
assurance of antimicrobial medicines
available in the Kingdom and expand
laboratory capacity.
Most of these initiatives, Srun said,
will be funded by development organisations until the MoH commits a portion of its budget to AMR.
Cambodia is currently one out of
only three Western-Pacific countries
that has both a strategy and policy devoted to preventing the spread of AMR.
In some ways, Cambodia is setting
the example for whats possible to do
with limited resources, Mr Costa said.
But without coordination, it will fail.
Phnom Penh Post

16 World

THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 3, 2015

SEOUL

Two dead in S Korea MERS outbreak


SOUTH Korea yesterday reported
its first deaths from the MERS virus,
following the largest outbreak outside the Middle East that has infected
25 people and triggered widespread
public alarm.
A 58-year-old woman died of acute
respiratory failure on June 1 and tests
later came back positive for MERS
(Middle East Respiratory Syndrome),
the health ministry said.
The other victim was a 71-year-old
man who was confirmed to have the
virus several days ago and who died
yesterday.
Previously, the only other fatal
MERS case in Asia was a man who
died in Malaysia in April 2014.
Six more South Koreans were diagnosed with the MERS virus on the
night of June 1, the ministry said,
bringing the total number of people
infected to 25 including the two deceased.
The first case a 68-year-old man
diagnosed after returning from a trip
to Saudi Arabia was reported on
May 20.
Around 750 people who were exposed directly or indirectly to the
virus have now been placed under

mandatory or voluntary quarantine.


Health Minister Moon Hyung-Pyo
appealed to anyone placed under voluntary quarantine for the two-week
incubation period to observe isolation guidelines.
Those who are quarantined must
be experiencing a lot of inconvenience in their daily lives, but please
closely cooperate for the safety of
yourself, your families and your
neighbours, Mr Moon said.
He also urged citizens to wear surgical face masks in public places and
to wash their hands frequently in order to ward off infection.
The outbreak has been met with
growing public alarm, and online retailers reported a 700 percent surge
in sales of face masks over the weekend.
On Seoul stock markets, share
prices of some pharmaceutical firms
jumped by the daily limit of 15 per
cent yesterday, while those of airline
and travel operators took a dive.
Concerns will be further fuelled by
the health ministrys announcement
that two of the new cases involved
tertiary infections.
Previously, all the infections had
A man walks in front of a quarantine tent for suspected MERS cases at the Seoul National University Hospital on June 2.
Photo: AFP

The MERS virus


MERS-CoV Middle East Respiratory Syndrome
Coronavirus: family of common viruses that affect humans and animals,
including the SARS virus which killed nearly 800 people around the world in 2003
First detected April 2012
Confirmed worldwide*
1,154 cases
434 deaths
*WHO as of Jun 1

Countries
affected

UNITED
STATES

All cases have


had some
connection with
the Middle East

Not seen in humans before


Main symptoms
Acute, serious respiratory illness
Fever, cough, shortness
of breath, breathing difficulties
pneumonia, gastrointestinal
symptoms, kidney failure

BRITAIN

Clusters of human-to-human
transmission have been found,
but no sustained community
transmission so far observed

NETHERLANDS
GERMANY
LEBANON
AUSTRIA
JORDAN
FRANCE
TURKEY
KUWAIT
ITALY
QATAR
TUNISIA GREECE
IRAN
UAE
ALGERIA
EGYPT
OMAN
YEMEN
SAUDI ARABIA
More than 85%
of reported cases

SOUTH KOREA
Since May 2015

25 cases
2 deaths

Around
750 people
quarantined

PHILIPPINES
MALAYSIA

Camel connection
Studies have found evidence of the virus jumping
directly from a camel to a human

Source: WHO

An analysis published in Feb 2014 of blood samples


from dromedary camels 1992 - 2010 found evidence
of MERS going back two decades

involved patients in the same hospital as the initial carrier, their relatives
or hospital staff with whom he came
into contact.
We are tracking down additional
cases [of tertiary infection] ... with
the possibility of more new infections
in mind, said Kwon Jun-Wook, a
senior health ministry official leading

We are tracking
down additional
cases [of tertiary
infection] with
the possibility of
more new infections
in mind.
Kwon Jun-Wook
Emergency taskforce leader

NAIROBI

an emergency task force team.


More are expected to be quarantined or put under observation, Mr
Kwon said, adding that some 240
people had been banned from travelling overseas.
Three patients are currently in
critical condition, he added.
Acting prime minister Choi
Kyung-Hwan vowed all-out efforts
to curb the spread of the virus,
citing public concern that the initial
response had been poor.
We should use all our national
resources to alleviate public concerns, he said.
One primary school in Gyeonggi
province, located near the hospital
where the female victim died, closed
down temporarily as parents withdrew their children.
According to the Yonhap news
agency, dozens more schools in the
area were also considering temporary
shutdowns.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome
is considered a deadlier but less
infectious cousin of Severe Acute

Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which


killed hundreds of people when it appeared in Asia in 2003.
More than 20 countries havebeen
affected by the MERS virus, which
has no known cure or vaccine, with
most cases in Saudi Arabia where
it has claimed more than 400 lives
since 2012.
South Korean President Park GeunHye has scolded health officials over
their insufficient response to the
outbreak.
The authorities were particularly
criticised for allowing an infected
man to travel to China last week despite warnings from doctors.
The 44-year-old left on a business trip on May 25, a day after his
father was diagnosed with the virus,
and was confirmed on May 29 to have
been infected himself.
The man flew to Hong Kong
before travelling on to the Chinese
city of Huizhou, where his condition
is being monitored by health authorities and treated under quarantine.
AFP

ABUJA

Report alleges Khartoum running Nigeria, Niger and Chad to


hold talks on Boko Haram
guns to South Sudan rebels
SUDAN is likely to have supplied
weapons by air to rebels battling
the government in neighbouring
South Sudan, a report released
yesterday said, despite Khartoums
denials of involvement in the
conflict.
The study from the London-based small arms research
organisation, Conflict Armament
Research, documented a cache of
weapons and ammunition captured
by South Sudanese government
troops from the rebels in Jonglei
State in November.
The composition of the documented materiel, and a precedent
for airdropping identical materiel
to rebel forces in South Sudan in
2012, prior to the current conflict,
suggests direct supply from Sudan to SPLM-iO (Sudan Peoples
Liberation
Movement-in-Opposition) forces, the report said.
The report said rifle ammunition had been damaged in a way

that suggested it had been dropped


from an aircraft, with photographs
showing what the research body
said were Sudanese manufacturers
marks.
The 7.62x39 mm ammunition
bullets used in Kalashnikov-style
assault rifles had lateral impact
damage, which is consistent with either free-fall dropping from an aircraft or very low altitude parachute
dropping.
Some 70 per cent of this particular type of rifle round were made in
Sudan in 2014, the report said.
The recent date of manufacture
is further evidence of direct supply
from Khartoum to SPLA-iO forces,
the group said.
It added that the equipment
they had seen mirror weapons
types that Sudan has supplied to
support armed or insurgent forces
elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa,
including in Darfur and the Central
African Republic.

Other ammunition seen by the


team originated in China.
South Sudan split from the north
in 2011 under a peace deal that ended a bloody 22-year civil war, but relations between the countries have
been tense since then.
Khartoum has repeatedly denied
that it is involved in the civil war in
South Sudan, which has pitted President Salva Kiir against his arch rival and former deputy Riek Machar
since December 2013.
Khartoum has also accused
South Sudans government of backing rebels battling in its border regions.
Fighting in South Sudan has
worsened in recent weeks, with the
UN and aid agencies saying millions
of people are going hungry.
Several rounds of peace talks
between the rebels and the government have done little to put an end
to the conflict.
AFP

NIGERIAS new President Muhammadu Buhari will this week make his
first foreign trip since taking office,
travelling to Chad and Niger for talks
on Boko Haram, his spokesperson said
on June 1.
Shehu Garba said the two-day trip
starting today will focus on matters
of security, with the cooperation of
Nigerias neighbours seen as crucial to
ending the Islamist uprising which has
claimed more than 15,000 lives since
2009.
Mr Buhari was sworn in on May 29
and vowed in his inaugural speech to
crush the insurgent group he described
as mindless and godless.
But Boko Haram attacked some
12 hours after the new president took
the oath of office, hitting homes in the
key northeast city of Maiduguri with
rocket-propelled grenades overnight
on May 31.
Later, a suicide attack at a mosque
in the city, which is the Borno state
capital, killed at least 26 people.
Suspicion immediately fell on the
insurgents.

The militants then raided two


towns in Bornos neighbouring state of
Yobe on May 31, torching public buildings and looting food and fuel stores.
Niger shares a border with
both Borno and Yobe while Chad
borders just Borno in Nigerias extreme
northeast.
Former
president
Goodluck
Jonathans administration had long
complained that Nigerias neighbours
were not doing enough to contain Boko
Haram as they fled military pursuit by
crossing porous borders.
A four-nation offensive that also
includes Cameroon has won significant victories since February but there
are fears of Boko Haram regrouping,
especially in remote border areas.
Mr Buhari said little regarding his
specific plans for regional security
cooperation other than to thank the
three nations for their efforts to date.
Chadian President Idriss Deby has
publicly mocked Nigerias counterinsurgency efforts under Mr Jonathan
and called for greater cooperation.
AFP

World 17

www.mmtimes.com
MUSCAT

PARIS

US-led coalition meets


on Islamic State in Paris
US-LED coalition members carrying out air raids against Islamic State
jihadists held crunch talks in Paris
yesterday as Iraqs leader pleaded for
more support against what he said was
now a foreign-dominated group.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said
the advance of IS jihadists represented
a failure for the global community,
upping the stakes ahead of the gathering of around 20 ministers from the
coalition.
The talks were given added urgency
by a suicide bomb against an Iraqi police base, which killed at least 37 and
further slowed an operation to retake
the city of Ramadi near Baghdad.
Iraqs plan to recapture Ramadi will
dominate the meeting, according to a
senior US official, with Mr Abadi set to
outline how his government intends to
retake it and what coalition partners
can do to help.
This is not a business-as-usual
meeting, said the senior official,
speaking on condition of anonymity by
teleconference.
Were coming to discuss with ... Abadi his plan for liberating Ramadi and
Anbar province.
And just hours before the meeting,
Mr Abadi stressed that IS was not just
a problem for Iraq and Syria, where the
Islamic group has overrun large parts
of territory, but the whole world.
The flow of foreign fighters is more
than before, he told reporters in Paris
before the meeting started.
There is an international problem.
It has to be solved.
He said that up until recently,
around six out of 10 fighters were Iraqi
and the remainder foreign, whereas
now the proportion was reversed.
Daesh is creating a new generation
of fighters, dedicated, ideologised. They
are prepared to die but they are not suicide bombers, said the prime minister.
The international community has
to explain why so many terrorists are
from Saudi Arabia, why so many from
the Gulf, why so many from Egypt, why
so many from Syria, and Turkey and
from European countries, he said.
Mr Abadi issued a desperate plea
for more international support in the
wake of significant battleground gains
by the group in Iraq and the conquest
of Ramadi.
There is a lack of intelligence. We
are trying very hard on our part but
this is a transnational organisation,
Mr Abadi stressed.
It needs all the support of the
world. We are not getting much. I think
this is a failure on the part of the world
... There is a lot of talk of support for

Iraq. There is very little on the ground.


He said Baghdad was in need of
weapons and ammunition to battle IS,
adding that most of the countrys weapons contracts were with Russia or Iran,
both under Western sanctions.
We are not asking for arms, but
please let us purchase arms easily, he
pleaded.
Western diplomats say the aim of
the Paris meeting is to shore up support for Mr Abadi as Iraq comes under international pressure to bring the
Sunni minority into the fold.
Under a campaign plan adopted by
Mr Abadis cabinet shortly after Ramadis fall, the Iraqis hope to mobilise the
Sunni tribes of Anbar province, deploy
police units under new leadership,
channel reconstruction aid quickly to
recaptured areas and ensure all Shiite
militias are operating under Baghdads
authority.
Meanwhile, on the ground, the
situation showed little sign of improvement as a suicide bomber blew up his
explosives-laden vehicle at a police
base in Iraqs Salaheddin province, killing at least 37 people and wounding
more than 30.
The dead were mostly policemen,
said a doctor at the main hospital in
the nearby city of Samarra where the
casualties were taken.
Some police officers said the suicide attacker used a tank to bust into
the police base, between Samarra and
Tharthar lake, northwest of Baghdad.
A military operation aimed at cutting off the Islamic State groups supply
lines in Anbar province of western Iraq
is going on in the area.
IS fighters have in the past year
seized a formidable arsenal of military
vehicles, weapons and ammunition
from retreating Iraqi forces.
Geographer and analyst Fabrice Balanche said that across Iraq and Syria,
the jihadist group now controls nearly
300,000 square kilometres (115,000
square miles), an area the size of Italy.
The debacle prompted Mr Abadi
to call on the Hashed al-Shaabi, an
umbrella organisation which includes
Iran-backed Shiite militias that Baghdad and Washington had been reluctant to involve in the Sunni bastion of
Anbar.
Iraqi forces launched a counteroffensive but have either stopped on the
outskirts of Ramadi, or focused efforts
on severing supply lines.
Coalition strikes have helped Iraqi
forces regain ground from IS, but the
fall of Ramadi was a stark illustration
of the limits of air power in the absence
of effective forces on the ground. AFP

An Omani security official and a paramedic push a stretcher carrying a US man, believed to have been held by Iranbacked Huthis, upon his arrival in Oman on June 1. Photo: Oman News Agency via AFP

US journalist freed
as Yemen talks begin
AN American among several believed
held by Huthis in Yemen was freed
and receiving treatment yesterday in
neighbouring Oman, which has been
hosting talks between Washington
and the Iran-backed Shiite rebels.
A diplomat in Muscat said the
talks between the Americans and
the Huthis were aimed at promoting
a proposed peace conference in Geneva, which the United Nations has
so far failed to persuade the warring
parties to attend.
But the State Department said
only that Anne Patterson, the top US
official for Near East affairs, was in
Oman for discussions about many
issues.
News of the release of American
journalist Casey Coombs came as
Omani state media reported that a
Singaporean had also arrived in the
sultanate on his way home.
I can ... confirm that US citizen
Casey Coombs has departed Yemen
and has arrived safely in Muscat,
said State Department spokesperson
Marie Harf.
He is in stable condition. The US
ambassador and a consular official
met him at the airport upon his arrival and are providing all possible
consular assistance.
Pictures released by Omans official ONA news agency showed Mr
Coombs being stretchered into an
ambulance with a brace around his
head.
We are grateful to the government of Oman and personally to
Sultan Qaboos for assisting with

the safe passage of a US citizen to


Oman, said Ms Harf.
Mr Coombs, who had been working as a freelance journalist in Yemen since 2012, writing for publications including Time magazine and
The Intercept, had been held by the
Huthis for two weeks, the Committee
to Protect Journalists said.
The rebels have controlled the
capital since September and have
seized much of the rest of the country despite a Saudi-led bombing
campaign launched in March in support of exiled President Abedrabbo
Mansour Hadi.
The journalists detention by the
Huthis had been kept under wraps at
the request of his family.
In an article he wrote for The Intercept last month, he said he had
been trying to leave the country, but
was struggling to find a safe route
out amid the fighting.
The United States said at the
weekend it was working to secure
the release of several US citizens
held in Yemen.
Washington has provided intelligence and logistical support for
the Saudi-led air campaign but has
called for a political solution to the
conflict which has killed at least
2000 people since March.
Diplomatic sources in Oman told
AFP on June 1 that talks were taking
place between a US delegation and
the Huthis.
During these secret and informal
talks, the Americans are seeking to
bring closer positions of the Huthis

on one hand, and the Saudis and


President Hadi on the other, with the
hope of convincing these to lower the
ceiling of their demands, one diplomat told AFP.
The Geneva conference had been
due to take place on May 28 but was
postponed, after Mr Hadi insisted
that the rebels must first withdraw
from at least part of the territory
they have seized, in line with a UN
Security Council resolution.
In Riyadh, UN envoy Ismail Ould
Cheikh Ahmed arrived from weekend talks in the rebel-held capital
and met with Mr Hadi.
His exiled but internationally
recognised government was aware
of the talks in Oman, saying on May
31 that they had been convened at
Washingtons request.
They followed a visit to Muscat
last week by the foreign minister of
Shiite Iran, Saudi Arabias regional
rival which is accused of arming the
rebels, a charge it denies.
Muscat has good ties with both
Tehran and Riyadh, and has often
played the role of mediator.
It is the only member of the sixnation Gulf Cooperation Council
not to have joined the Saudi-led
coalition.
Meanwhile, the captors of
Frenchwoman Isabelle Prime, kidnapped in Yemen on February 24,
posted the first video of her since
her abduction, in which she appealed to the French and Yemeni
presidents to take action to secure
her release. AFP

World 19

www.mmtimes.com

TRADEMARK CAUTIONARY NOTICE


PPG INDUSTRIES OHIO, INC., a company organized under
the laws of United States of America and having its principal
office at 3800 West 143rd Street, Cleveland, State of Ohio 44111,
United States of America is the owner and sole proprietor of the
following Trademark :-

PISKy

TESLIN

Myanmar Registration Number 4/13344/2013


Used in respect of : -Microporous sheets, films and membranes
sold in roll form for general industrial use in class 33.
Any unauthorized use, imitation, infringements or fraudulent
intentions of the above mark will be dealt with according to law.
Tin Ohnmar Tun, Tin Thiri Aung & The Law Chambers
Ph: 0973150632
Email:law_chambers@seasiren.com.mm
(For. Domnern Somgiat & Boonma,
Attorneys at Law, Thailand)
Dated. 3rd June, 2015

TRADE MARK CAUTION


Medical nurse Nika prepares to give first aid to a wounded soldier in the shelter of a half-destroyed building in the village
of Pisky on the frontline of heavy fighting between Ukraines government forces and pro-Russian separatists. Photo: AFP

Makeshift clinics fill the


gaps in Ukraine clashes
DRESSED in camouflage shorts and
with her short hair dyed bright red,
Nika looks more like a rock fan than
a nurse at a makeshift Ukrainian
hospital.
But the 21-year-old medical student
has seen many people killed in recent
months, despite an internationally
brokered truce declared in February.
At the half-destroyed house serving
as a hospital in Pisky, on the front
line of heavy fighting between government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, one soldier
shows her a bloodied hand.
Follow me into the operating
room, she smiles at him, heading into
the shelter.
With a red cross drawn on the metal door, its operating bed is merely a
table covered with a sterilised towel.
The scene unfolds in the yard of
the abandoned house in a ghost village held by Ukrainian troops, near
the ruins of Donetsk airport, where
the bombing never stopped despite
the ceasefire.
Nika, a student in Drogobych, a
small town in the traditionally more
nationalist west of Ukraine, decided to
take a year off her studies and arrived
in Pisky in March.
Her reason for coming is simple:

The patriots are fighting here. I am


also a patriot.
These days Nika goes by the nom
de guerre of Koza, the Ukrainian
word for goat.
Her mission, she says, is to provide first aid where there are battles,
then to help transport the injured to
hospital.
On the front line, theres no need
for surgeons they cant work in such
conditions. But first aid is very important, she explains.
Nika remembers her first days at
the front as a crazy baptism of fire.
There were several people injured
every day. Theyd been hit by bullets,
by shrapnel. I stopped the bleeding,
put the wounded on a drip, and gave
out medication.
She adds calmly, Half of them did
not survive.
Despite the display of self-control,
Nika appears to have been badly affected by this experience.
Being a soldier is much easier
than being a doctor. The soldiers are
not responsible for the death of others. I want to be a soldier, she says.
Despite being only 19, Alya, another volunteer nurse in Pisky, has much
more experience than Nika and her
views are very different.

I dont intend to take up arms,


says the smiling teenager, dressed in
camouflage and full make-up.
Men will always protect a girl during fighting -- and I dont want to put
anyone in danger. I want to help.
Her red ambulance is parked near
a Ukrainian army position on the
outskirts of Pisky, under a half-built
bridge.
She took part in the evacuation
of wounded soldiers from Donetsk
airport in January, when Ukrainian troops finally abandoned it after
months of nearly uninterrupted fighting with the rebels.
A year earlier Alya, a language student, had treated the wounded from
Kievs central square, where dozens
of pro-European protesters were shot
dead by the police in the final hours of
Ukraines Russian-backed presidency.
She then began attending medical
courses organised by international
NGOs before ending up in the east,
where the near 14-month separatist
conflict has claimed more than 6400
lives.
I am here because of the guys who
need help. There are few doctors who
are ready to work under bombs. I am
ready, she says.
AFP

caracaS

Thousands rally in Venezuela


THOUSANDS of demonstrators have
taken to the streets of Caracas to press
for the release of imprisoned foes of
President Nicolas Maduros government.
Summoned by jailed opposition
leader Leopoldo Lopez, about 3000
supporters jammed a main thoroughfare in Caracas to rally alongside his
wife, Lilian Tintori, and the wives of
former San Cristobal, Tachira mayor
Daniel Ceballos, and Caracas mayor
Antonio Ledezma all fellow Maduro
opponents behind bars.
Mr Ceballos and Mr Lopez have
recently been on hunger strikes.
Former Bolivian president Jorge
Quiroga also was at the weekend
rally. On June 30 he tried to get access to Mr Lopez and Mr Ceballos
with Colombian ex-president Andres

Pastrana, but failed.


One thing we can be sure of is that
the fight put up by Leopoldo [Lopez],
Daniel [Ceballos] and their families,
will end up bringing Venezuela elections, democracy, freedom and a new
direction, Mr Quiroga told AFP.
Mr Lopez, 44, has been held at
the Ramo Verde military prison outside Caracas since he was arrested in
February 2014 on charges of inciting
the violence that killed 43 people and
wounded hundreds as Venezuelans
took to the streets in protests against
Mr Maduros government last year.
Mr Ceballos was in the same prison
until a recent transfer to another facility in the central state of Guarico.
Mr Lopez had filmed a video in
jail urging demonstrators to go out
peacefully to demand political

prisoners be freed, call for an end


to persecution and censorship, and
demand a date be set for upcoming
legislative elections.
Several smaller demonstrations
were held in San Cristobal, Maracaibo,
Barquisimeto, Valencia, Maracay, Maturin, Puerto La Cruz, Puerto Ordaz
and San Fernando.
The government has yet to schedule legislative polls due this year, in
which Maduros United Socialist Party
of Venezuela could lose its sway.
The countrys economy is reeling
from a collapse in crude prices, soaring inflation, a shortfall of hard currency and chronic shortages of basic
goods.
Venezuela is also the second-deadliest country in the world, according
to UN data. AFP

NIKE INNOVATE C.V., a limited partnership


(commanditairevennootschap) organized and existing under the
laws of the Netherlands, having its registered address at: One
Bowerman Drive, Beaverton, Oregon, 97005-6453 USA, is the
Owner and Sole Proprietor of the following Trade Marks (which
were previously owned by Nike International Ltd., a company
organized and existing under the laws of Bermuda, with an address
at One Bowerman Drive, Beaverton, Oregon 97005-6453, United
States of America):-

JUST DO IT
Reg.No. IV/ 9586 /2012
Reg.No. IV/ 9587 /2012

Reg.No. IV/9588/2012
Reg.No. IV/9589/2012

Reg.No. IV/9590/2012
Reg.No. IV/9591/2012

Reg.No. IV/9584/2012
Reg.No. IV/9585 /2012

NIKE

used in respect ofClass 18: Bags, namely, all-purpose sports bags,


tote bags, duffle bags, messenger bags, backpacks, waist packs,
purses, umbrellas, luggage, wallets, briefcase-type portfolios,
cosmetic and toiletry cases sold empty, bags for carrying shoes
and Class 25: Clothing, footwear, headwear.

Reg.No. IV/ 491 /1995 & Reg.No. IV/ 3036 /2001


Reg.No. IV/ 23 /2008 & Reg.No. IV/621/2011
Reg.No. IV/622/2011
Used in respect of Eyewear and electronic equipment, in Class 9;
Watches, in Class 14; Sports bags, in Class 18; Footwear, apparel,
in Class 25; Sporting goods, in Class 28.
Reg.No. IV/ 4066 /2015
Fraudulent imitation or unauthorized use of the said Trade Marks
will be dealt with according to law.
KhineKhine U, Advocate
LL.B, D.B.L, LL.M (UK)
For NIKE INNOVATE C.V.
#205/5, Thirimingalar Housing, Strand Rd., Yangon.
Dated. 3rd June, 2015

it

ge
t

yo

gers o
n
i
f
n

THE MYANMAR TIMES June 3, 2015

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

Stone Age paintings

and tools uncovered in Shan State


Archaeologists survey the discovery site. Photos: Supplied

PHYo WAI KYAW, HlAINg KYAW SoE,


ToM BARToN

RCHAEOLOGISTS have discovered


Stone Age paintings and tools in
Shan State dating back to prehistoric
times. A group of specialists led by U
Win Maung (Tampawaddy) found the
artefacts in a large cave in the forest of Ywangan
township, Taunggyi District.
The eight-strong group identified prehistoric
paintings of wild animals on the stone ceilings
and walls of the caves. The team also found
stonecutting tools believed to have been used
for skinning animals.
This place is connected with the Padah-Lin
caves, which have prehistoric traces, said U
Win Maung.

The Padah-Lin caves contain paintings


believed to be created between the Mesolithic
and early Neolithic periods. Charcoal from
fires inside these caves was dated back to
13,000 years ago. Stone tools were also found,
characteristic of Paleolithic artefacts up to 2.6
million years old.
Depictions of deer, cows, horses and
elephants about 20 feet [6 metres] long, and two
handprints in a fading reddish-brown colour
have been found, as well as stone weapons and
[stone] chips, said U Win Maing.
Before this find, only Padah-Lin had Stone
Age paintings. This [new] cave can accommodate
50 people, said U Tin Tun Aung, an amateur
archaeologist from Sagaing township.
Ko Win Bo, an amateur archaeologist from
Mine Maw township, was the first team member

A flaked stone tool like this would have been used to skin animals.

sent to investigate stories that paintings had


been found near the Pedway Mountains.
He found them on May 23 and sent photos,
summoning the other team members.
This is the most difficult trip of all the ones
Ive taken with Saya U Win Maung, said U Tin
Tun Aung. We lost our way in the forest and
had to pay the charcoal makers and woodcutters
to take us there. Now that we know where it is,
we can guide others there.
Lead archaeologist U Win Maung recounted
the arduous and confusing journey to the cave
site.
You can get there by two roads, he said.
The southern road takes you 10.5 miles [16.8
kilometres] from Wandwin to the foot of
Hittawmu Mountain. Then, another 6 miles
[9.6km] via Upper Hlekan and Kamani villages.

The team of archaeologists poses at the site in Shan State.

The northern road is 5.5 miles by motorboat


from Kintar Dam 1 to Ywar Soe Pyin village,
then 1.5 miles to Kamani village. From there,
its 3 miles on foot through the forest to the
cave.
The northern route is easier, said U Win
Maung.
U Win Maung said, Professors from Sydney,
London and Cambridge universities are eager
to come and observe the caves. They helped
Myanmar to register Hanlin and Beikthano
[other significant archaeological sites] with
UNESCO.
If we had left the place unprotected, the
paintings would disappear, because of the
woodcutters and charcoal makers cooking rice
and boiling water there. Translation by Khant
Lin Oo

the pulse 21

www.mmtimes.com

True or false: the kooky


North Korea stories they
couldnt make up, but did

F any country proves sensationalism beats


truth in the social media economy, its North
Korea. Sealed off from the outside world
since 1953, the countrys 24.9 million people
exist in an internet-free vacuum, which
Western bloggers, intelligence agencies and the
24-hour news cycle have been quick to fill.
Facts are notoriously difficult to verify.
Credible accounts, such as the 2014 UN Report
of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights
in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, vie
for eyeballs against the sensationalist claims of
defectors, satirists, politically aligned experts
and propaganda emanating from North Koreas
own news agency, KCNA.
The habits of former leader Kim Jong-il
fuelled a rumour industry worth billions of
clicks. A rapacious gourmand with insteps and
Eraserhead hair, Dear Leader was both pop
icon and ruthless dictator: as known for his
love of Cognac and squadron of Joy Division
babes as he was for the cunning nuclear
brinksmanship with which he dissuaded the
Bush administration from dispatching him the
same way it had dispatched his failed-state
colleague, Saddam Hussein.
Now, with Kims son Kim Jong-un in charge,
the rumour business is booming. In the past
three years, weve learned that Kim 2.0 executed
a Pyongyang traffic lady for sneezing (false); was
voted 2012s sexiest man alive (false); poisoned
his aunt Kim Kyong-hui (false); assassinated his
pop-singer girlfriend Hyon Song-wol for making
porn (false); and oversaw the Sony Pictures hack
in retaliation for the Kim Jong-un assassination
spoof, The Interview (debatable).
When he disappeared for a month in 2014,
there was speculation he had been ousted by
a coup (false); killed by his generals (false);
contracted gout (who knows?); or broken his
ankle after growing fat from eating cheese (he
does appear to have gained weight).
The malleability of digital media, and the
speed with which consumers can embed and
reframe North Korean content before passing it
on, means even truthful accounts of Kim Jonguns ruthless moves to shore up his inherited
power are frequently embellished. When Kim
executed his uncle, Jang Song-thaek, in late 2013
for insubordination, mainstream news feeds
reported Jang and five aides had been stripped
naked and fed to 120 starving dogs. The story

went viral, before it was traced back to a


Chinese satirists blog on Tencent Weibo.
Only this month, South Koreas national
intelligence agency reported Kim had publicly
obliterated another insider, general Hyon Yongchol, with an anti-aircraft gun. The story was
widely circulated before the agency adjusted its
claim: Hyon had been purged for dozing off
at official events, but might still be alive.
Critical thinking just goes out the window
on North Korea, observed Chad OCarroll,
founder of the NK News website. David Straub
of Stanford University identifies an exponential
increase in the number of people circulating
anything even remotely plausible about North
Korea and in established media passing
it on. And with consumers happy to buy
entertainment as news, kooky North Korea
stories do a roaring trade.
In 2014, the ABC on-sold Radio Free Asias
claim that Kim Jong-uns haircut is compulsory
for Pyongyang university students; a year later,
the blogosphere exploded with a recycled BBC
report that long hair is banned in North Korea
because it saps brain energy. The Toronto Suns
craziest rumours about North Korea post alleges
that North Korean Olympians who fail to win
a medal are sent to the gulags, and Pyongyang
officials supported Scottish independence for
the Scotch alone.
Stories that discredit these rumours are
rarely given the same fanfare or weight. The
revelation that the YouTube documentary about
the Pyongyang traffic lady is fake is buried in
the comments page; Kim Jong-uns pop-singer
girlfriends appearance on KCNA a year after
reports of her grisly murder and the story failed to
reach the same million consumers who believed
her dead; North Korean gulag survivor Shin
Dong-hyuks recent admission that parts of his
bestselling memoir are false did little to dampen
belief in its credibility; and in May, Seouls Daily
NK ran a discreet post contradicting CNNs widely
publicised story about Kim Jong-uns poisoned
aunt, stating Kyong-hui is alive in Pyongyang.
Why does all this matter? Because if you
have been to North Korea and spent time
with the people who live and work there, the
medias relentlessly recycled picture of North
Koreans as brainwashed automatons, robotically
enslaved to the despotic Kims, is simplistic,
dehumanising and cruel.

UK street art illustrates Kim Jong-un, supreme leader of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, in the
style of Andy Warhol. Jong-un features regularly in sensationalist tales. Photo: EQRoy/Shutterstock.com

I went to North Korea twice in 2013: the only


Westerner granted total access to the countrys
powerful propaganda film industry.
Men are not forced to cut their hair like Kim
Jong-un. Women can wear pants. It is safe to
be a tourist, if you dont hand out bibles. It is
forbidden to film portraits of the Kims softfocus or cropped. People like to dance in public,
not just when told to by the state. The country
is poor, but not everyone is starving or in
chains. An estimated 100,000 North Koreans are
imprisoned, with a further 8.3 million lacking
adequate food and shelter. The remaining 16.6m
rely on a growing black market economy and

Supreme leader Kim Jong-un poses with members of the command of Korean Peoples Armu (KPA) large combined unit 264. Photo: AFP/KCNA via KNS

lead normal enough lives to go to the movies.


My book about my experience featured
Kim Jong-il on the cover until my Pyongyang
contact told me to remove him if I wanted my
North Korean friends to survive. The Kims are
considered too holy to physically depict on
screen. A North Korean actor once had plastic
surgery to portray founding founder Kim
Il-sung in the drama, Star of Korea, then was
permanently reassigned to a behind-the-scenes
production role. Reports now assert the actor
was sent to the gulags. With North Korea, the
adage applies: Never let the truth get in the way
of a good story. The Guardian

22 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES june 3, 2015

Fashion focus

Iron Cross Myanmar rocker


Ah Nge to perform solo show
NyeiN ChaN May
nyeinchanmay11@gmail.com

ANS can rely on Iron


Cross to keep them
rocking through the
rain. Singer Ah Nge is
the latest IC member to
offer a live show. Following fellow
vocalist Lay Phyus successful
solo outbreak last month, Ah Nge
will hold his own live event on
June 21 at the Myanmar Event
Park (MEP), Shin Saw Pu Street,
Myaynigone.
The 90-minute bash is organised
by 5 Plus channel, which is also
handling all the other solo shows as
each member of the band stages his
own one-man show. Vocalists Myo
Gyi and Y Wine will each play solo
in July and August.
IC is the most famous and
popular rock band in Myanmar,
featuring vocalists Lay Phyu, Ah
Nge, Myo Gyi and Y Wine, Chit San
Maung (lead guitar), Khin Maung
Thant (bass guitar), Banyar Naing
(keyboards) and Kha Yam (drums).
The band has played around the
world, including Singapore and
London.
A 5 Plus spokesperson told The
Myanmar Times yesterday, Tickets
for Ah Nges solo show can be
bought now. We know it will be just

Iron Cross singer Ah Nge will perform a solo show on June 21.
Photo: Facebook/Ah Nge

as successful as Lay Phyus show.


Only 1000 tickets will be sold,
at K50,000 (US$45) each. They
are available from the 5 Network
showroom at New University
Avenue Road, 4 Digital showroom
near Hantharwaddy Circle, Sun

Music Productions at 124, 46th


Street, and 1876 Call Centre. For
more information, contact 01400878 and 01-2306166.
Ah Nges solo show will be
broadcast live on 4HD and 5 Special
channel at 9pm on June 21.

Fashion
flowers once
again in Iraq
Believe it or not, Iraq was once
home to a progressive fashion
scene. In the late 1950s it was
common to see local expressions
of Western trends including
miniskirts and heels. Iraq had a
vibrant fashion culture all the way
through to the 80s until religious
fundamentalism crept in and began
to dictate a far more modest, stern
style. The effect of this was to push
fashion underground for a time.
Its fitting then, in what
some refer to as the cradle
of civilisation, that fashion is
flowering once again in Iraq. In one
of the nations first fashion shows
in over a decade, local designers
showcased folk-style creations
at the Baghdad Fashion Institute
on June 1. The show presented
a collection with vivid colours and
bold shapes, demonstrating stylish
modern interpretations of traditional
wear.
This showing is hot on
the heels of the March 2015
Baghdad Fashion Show, which
demonstrated to the world that Iraq
is back front-and-centre on the
couture catwalk.
Tom Barton

Photos: AFP/Ali Al-Saadi

the pulse 23

www.mmtimes.com
ISLAMABAD

Comic book to steer young


Pakistanis from extremism
ISSAM AhMeD

HEN Taliban
militants stormed a
school in Pakistans
northwest last
December, killing
150 people, mainly children, in the
countrys deadliest terror attack,
comic book creators Mustafa Hasnain
and Gauhar Aftab decided it was time
to act.
The pair had already been working
on a series to raise awareness about
the corruption that plagues the
economically underperforming
Muslim giant of 200 million people.
But they quickly decided to shift
their focus to violent extremism and
felt holding candle-light vigils was not
the best way to effect change.
Hasnain, a British-educated
computer graphics specialist, founded
his own company Creative Frontiers
in 2013, today employing 20 people,
including young male and female
artists, programmers and writers, in
a hip Silicon Valley-style office in the
city of Lahore.
He explained, It was a huge
watershed moment for us. I got
together with Gauhar and I said, We
really have to do something about
this.
We used to stand over there [at
vigils] with a candle ... but we wanted

to do something more.
The result was Paasban or
Guardian a three-part series
featuring a group of close friends at
college who begin to worry when one
of them drops out to join a religious
student group that is ostensibly
working for charitable causes. Some
in the group suspect it may have
darker aims.
Fifteen thousand of the books are
set to be distributed for free from
June 1 at schools in the cities of
Lahore, Multan and Lodhran while
some copies will be made available
in book stores. The comic will also be
distributed on a tailor-made app the
group have developed for Apple and
Android smartphones.
For English-language scriptwriter Aftab, the pathway from
disillusionment to signing up to carry
a gun and fight the so-called enemies
of Islam was not just something he
had read about in the news it was a
choice he had almost made as a child.
A product of Aitchison College in
Lahore, Pakistans elite equivalent to
Britains Eton, Aftab came under the
influence of a charismatic teacher
who convinced him at the age of 13
to leave behind his school and family
to fight jihad against the Indian army
in the disputed Himalayan region of
Kashmir.
Eventually pulled back by a

last-minute family intervention, he


came to identify the methods that
radicals use to attract young people to
violent jihad.
De-emphasising the virtues
and values of your traditional
faith, moving you toward the more
minimalistic standpoint when it
comes to religion, demonising various
factors or forces that you feel to be
threatening Islam, then [finally]
glorifying the aspect of martyrdom,
he said.
By reading a storyline that features
a protagonist going through these
experiences, said Aftab, young people
who see the same thing going on in
their lives or those of their friends
will be better equipped to identify
and avoid the same fate.
The Urdu translation was written
by renowned script-writer Amjad
Islam Amjad, responsible for some of
Pakistans most popular TV shows, in
an effort to ensure an audience that
is as wide as possible in a country
where English is mainly used by the
educated elite.
While comic-books in the US
tradition often feature heroes with
super-powers such as Superman,
Paasbans creators decided to
concentrate on creating ordinary
heroes, or Guardians they felt the
Pakistani audience would relate
better to.

A team of Pakistani artists are working on a new comic book they hope will help
stem the tide of youths turned to extremism. Photo: AFP/Arif ALI

The art is inspired by Alphonse


Mucha and Pakistani artist Abdur
Rahman Chughtai, though the action
is more in line with Western comics
and Japanese Manga, according to
creative director and co-creator Yahya
Ehsan.
But what the three hope will
eventually land them a sustainable
revenue stream beyond the donorfunding they currently receive is a
digital app they have developed that
they say is the best of its kind in the
world for bringing graphic novels to
life on smartphones.
The app is optimised to work on
the low-end smartphones available
from about US$70 that have flooded
the Pakistani market since the advent
of 3G data connections last year, with
some estimates placing smartphone

penetration at 20 percent of the


countrys estimated 80 million mobile
users.
Users can swipe from panel
to panel, with simple animations
depicting new characters entering
a scene, all set to a brooding
background soundtrack.
Aftab, the writer, said he hoped
other writers and artists would
follow their lead and use the app to
encourage a debate on what he calls
the real Islam of peace which he
discovered once out of the clutches of
his former teacher.
We want to promote the idea that
you dont have to be secular to be
non-violent ... What you need to be
is a Muslim who rejects the violent
extremist form certain groups have
given to our faith, he said. AFP

24 the pulse

THE MYANMAR TIMES JUNE 3, 2015

DOMESTIC FLIGHT SCHEDULES


YANGON TO MANDALAY

MANDALAY TO YANGON

YANGON TO HEHO

HEHO TO YANGON

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Y5 775

Daily

6:00

7:10

Y5 233

Daily

7:50

9:00

YH 917

Daily

6:10

9:15

YH 918

Daily

9:15

10:25

W9 515

6:00

7:25

W9 201

Daily

8:40

10:35

7Y 131

2,4,6,7

6:30

9:20

W9 201

Daily

9:25

10:35

YJ 211

5, 7

6:00

8:05

YJ 891

1,2

8:40

10:35

K7 222

1,3,5

6:30

9:30

7Y 132

2,4,6,7

9:35

10:45

YH 917

Daily

6:10

8:30

7Y 132

2,4,6,7

8:50

10:45

7Y 131

Daily

7:15

10:05

K7 223

1,3,5

9:45

11:00

YJ 891

1,2

6:20

8:25

K7 223

1,3,5

8:55

11:00

Y5 649

Daily

10:30

12:45

YJ 761

Daily

12:25

17:00

7Y 131

2,4,6,7

6:30

8:35

YH 918

Daily

9:15

10:25

YJ 751

12:10

7Y 242

1,3,5

15:55

18:45

K7 222

1,3,5

6:30

8:40

6T 806

2,4,6

10:30

11:40

K7 224

2,4,6,7

14:30

15:45

K7 225

2,4,6,7

16:00

19:00

6T 805

2,4,6

6:30

7:40

YJ 212

5,7

10:40

12:35

7Y 241

1,3,5

14:30

15:40

W9 129

1,3,6

16:55

19:10

W9 129

1,3,6

15:30

16:40

YJ 201

1,2,3,4

7:00

8:55

YJ 202

1,2,3,4

12:00

13:25

W9 201

Daily

7:00

8:25

YJ 761

1,2,4

13:10

17:00

W9201

7:00

8:25

YJ 602

15:40

17:35

8M 6603

9:00

10:10

7Y 242

1,3,5

16:40

18:45

YJ 601

11:00

12:25

K7 225

2,4,6,7

16:50

19:00

YJ 761

1,2,4

11:00

12:55

YH 728

17:00

18:25

YH 729

2,4,6

11:00

14:00

W9 152/W97152

17:05

18:30

YH 737

3,5

11:00

13:10

Y5 776

Daily

17:10

18:20

YH 727

11:30

13:40

W9 211

17:10

19:15

YH 737

11:30

13:40

YH 738

3,5

17:10

18:35

W9 251

2,5

11:30

12:55

8M 6604

17:20

18:30

1,3,4,5,6,7 11:00

Air Bagan (W9)


Tel: 513322, 513422, 504888. Fax: 515102

Air KBZ (K7)


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

Asian Wings (YJ)


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

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)

YANGON TO MYEIK
Flight

Domestic Airlines

MYEIK TO YANGON

Tel: 09400446999, 09400447999


Fax: 8604051

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

Y5 325

1,5

6:45

8:15

Y5 326

1,5

8:35

10:05

Mann Yadanarpon Airlines (7Y)

K7 319

1,3,5,7

7:00

9:05

6T 706

4,6

8:55

10:05

Tel: 656969
Fax: 656998, 651020

6T 705

4,6

7:30

8:40

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

YANGON TO SITTWE

Yangon Airways (YH)


Tel: 383100, 383107, 700264
Fax: 652 533

FMI Air Charter

SITTWE TO YANGON

Tel: 240363, 240373, 09421146545

7Y 241

1,3,5

14:30

16:25

8M 903

1,2,4,5,7

17:20

18:30

Flight

K7 224

2,4,6,7

14:30

16:35

YH 738

17:40

19:05

K7 422

2,4,6

8:00

9:55

K7 423

2,4,6

10:10

11:30

Y5 234

Daily

15:20

16:30

YH 730

2,4,6

17:45

19:10

6T 611

10:00

11:10

6T 612

11:30

12:35

W9 211

15:30

16:55

W9 252

2,5

18:15

19:40

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

Air Mandalay (6T)

6T 611

1,4,5,6,7

11:45

12:55

6T 612

1,4,5,6,7

13:15

14:20

6T 611

12:00

13:10

6T 612

13:30

14:35

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


Fax: (+95-1) 532275

YANGON TO NAY PYI TAW


Flight

NAY PYI TAW TO YANGON

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YJ 201

1,2,3,4

7:00

7:55

SO 101

Daily

7:00

8:00

ND 910

1,2,3,4,5

7:15

8:15

YJ 201

1,2,3,4

8:10

13:25

ND 105

1,2,3,4,5

10:45

11:40

ND 9102

1,2,3,4,5

8:35

9:35

ND 107

11:25

12:20

ND 104

1,2,3,4,5

9:20

10:15

ND 109

1,2,3,4,5

14:55

15:40

ND 106

10:00

10:55

ND 9109

1,2,3,4,5

17:00

18:00

ND 108

1,2,3,4,5

13:30

14:25

ND 111

18:25

19:20

ND 110

17:00

17:55

SO 102

Daily

18:00

19:00

ND 9110

1,2,3,4,5

18:20

19:20

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

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

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

YANGON TO MYITKYINA
Flight

Days

Dep

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

Days
Daily
1,2
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

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YANGON TO THANDWE

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

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

6T 805

2,4,6

6:30

8:55

6T 806

2,4,6

9:10

11:40

YH 826

1,3.5

7:00

9:40

YJ 202

1,2,3,4

10:35

13:25

Tel:95(1) 533300 ~ 311


Fax : 95 (1) 533312

Airline Codes

THANDWE TO YANGON

Days

Dep

Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

K7 422

2,4,6

8:00

8:55

K7 422

2,4,6

9:10

11:30

SO = APEX Airlines

7Y 413

1,3,5

10:30

11:20

7Y 413

1,3,5

11:35

13:55

7Y = Mann Yadanarpon Airlines

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

K7 = Air KBZ

Y5 421

1,3,4,6

15:45

16:40

Y5 422

1,3,4,6

16:55

17:50

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

5,7

14:15

15:15

6T 707

5,7

10:30

11:30

SO 202

Daily

14:20

15:40

FMI = FMI Air Charter

6T 707

13:00

14:00

7Y 532

2,4,6

16:35

17:40

7Y 531

2,4,6

11:15

12:20

6T 708

16:45

17:45

Flight

YANGON TO LASHIO
MYITKYINA TO YANGON

APEX Airlines (SO)

Flight

YANGON TO DAWEI

NYAUNG U TO YANGON
Arr
7:20
7:45
7:40
7:50
7:50
17:25
17:10
17:35
17:40
17:35

Days

LASHIO TO YANGON

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YH 729

2,4,6

11:00

13:00

YJ 752

YJ 751

3,5,7

11:00

13:15

YH 730

YANGON TO PUTAO
Flight

Days

Dep

Days

Dep

Arr

3,5,7

16:10

17:55

2,4,6

16:45

19:10

PUTAO TO YANGON
Arr

Flight

Days

Dep

Arr

YJ 201

1,2,3,4

7:00

10:20

YH 827

1,3,5

11:30

13:55

YH 826

1,3,5

7:00

10:35

YH 634

10:35

13:55

YJ 233

11:00

15:10

YJ 234

15:25

18:15

YH 633

7:00

10:35

YH 827

1,3,5

10:35

13:55

W9 251

2,5

11:30

14:25

W9 252

2,5

16:45

19:40

W9 251

2,5

11:30

15:25

W9 252

2,5

15:45

19:40

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

the pulse 25

www.mmtimes.com

InternAtIonAl FlIGHt SCHeDUleS


Flights

YANGON TO BANGKOK
Days

Dep

Arr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

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

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

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

YANGON TO BEIJING

Flights

Days

Dep

Days

Dep

Arr

Flights

BANGKOK TO YANGON
Days

Dep

Arr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flights

Days

Flights

Days

Flights

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

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

Dep

Days

Dep

Arr

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

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

22:50

8M 711
CZ 3056
CZ 3056

CZ 3055
CZ 3055
8M 712

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

10:25
16:30
15:50

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

9:55

Flights

Flights

CI 7916
Flights

Arr

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

13:15
16:15
22:15

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

16:15

Days

CA 416
MU 2012
MU 2032
Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

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

15:55
18:45
18:40

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

Flights

Flights

CI 7915
Flights

Days

MU 2011
CA 415
MU 2031
Flights

Days

Arr

Dep

Arr

Dep

Arr

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

11:50
11:15
14:30

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

Arr

Days

Dep

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

Air Asia (FD)

Tel: 09254049991~3

Air Bagan Ltd.(W9)

Tel: 513322, 513422, 504888. Fax: 515102

Air China (CA)

Tel: 666112, 655882

Air India

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

Bangkok Airways (PG)

Tel: 255122, 255265. Fax: 255119

Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG)


Tel: 371867~68. Fax: 371869

Condor (DE)

Tel: 370836~39 (ext: 303)

Dragonair (KA)

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

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Y5)


Tel: 09400446999, 09400447999
Fax: 8604051

Malaysia Airlines (MH)

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


Fax: 241124

Myanmar Airways International (8M)


Tel: 255260. Fax: 255305

Nok Airline (DD)

Tel: 255050, 255021. Fax: 255051

Qatar Airways (QR)

Tel: 379845, 379843, 379831. Fax: 379730

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

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

Singapore Airlines (SQ) / Silk Air (MI)

VN 942

Flights

Flights

AI 701
QR 919
Flights

Flights

2,4,7
14:25
YANGON TO DOHA

17:15

VN 943

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

Arr

19:50
11:10

Flights

Days

Dep

Arr

AI 401
QR 918
Flights

2,4,7
11:50
DOHA TO YANGON

13:25

Thai Airways (TG)

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

Arr

13:20
06:25+1

Tiger Airline (TR)

Days

Dep

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

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

KA 251
KA 251

5:55
5:45

KA 252
KA 250

Arr

Flights

Flights

Days

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

Arr

YANGON TO TOKYO

Flights

Days

NH 814

Daily

Dep

21:45

Days

BG 061
BG 061

1,6
4

NH 813

Arr

Flights

Dep

15:35
13:45

YANGON TO INCHEON
Days

Dep

17:00
15:10
Arr

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

Days

Y5 251
7Y 305

2,4,6
1,5
Days

8M 601
AI 236

Days

AI 236
AI 701

2
1,5

Dep

13:10
14:05

YANGON TO KOLKATA
Days

AI 228
Flights

Dep

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

Flights

Flights

Dep

6:15
11:00

YANGON TO GAYA

Flights

1,5

Dep

14:05

YANGON TO MUMBAI

AI 773

Days

1,5

Dep

14:05

MANDALAY TO BANGKOK

Flights

PG 710

Days

Daily

Dep

14:05

MANDALAY TO SINGAPORE

Flights

MI 533
Y5 2233

Days

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

Dep

15:55
7:50

MANDALAY TO DON MUEANG

Flights

FD 245

Days

Daily

Dep

12:45

MANDALAY TO KUNMING

Flights

MU 2030

Days

Daily

Dep

13:50

NAY PYI TAW TO BANGKOK

Flights

PG 722
PG 722
PG 722

Days

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

Dep

20:15
19:30
20:15

Flights

06:50+1

YANGON TO DHAKA

Flights

Flights

Dep

1:30
1:10

Arr

Flights

Arr

Flights

8:20
15:05

AI 235
8M 602

Arr

Flights

Flights

AI 227

Arr

Flights

22:35

AI 675

Arr

Flights

Arr

23:15
22:30
23:15

Days

1,6
4

Dep

12:30
10:40

INCHEON TO YANGON
Days

Days

2,4,6
1,5

Dep

Dep

9:25
13:45

GAYA TO YANGON
Days

Dep

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

2
1,5

Dep

9:20
7:00

KOLKATA TO YANGON
Days

1,5

Dep

10:35

MUMBAI TO YANGON

Flights

Flights

Arr

11:00

Days

1,5

Dep

6:10

Days

Daily

Dep

12:00

SINGAPORE TO MANDALAY

Arr

16:40

Dep

DHAKA TO YANGON

PG 709
Y5 2234
MI 533

Arr

Daily

Days

Daily
2,6

Dep

7:20
11:35

DON MUEANG TO MANDALAY

FD 244

Days

Daily

Dep

10:50

KUNMING TO MANDALAY

Flights

MU 2029

Days

Daily

Dep

13:00

BANGKOK TO NAY PYI TAW

Flights

PG 721
PG 721
PG 721

Days

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

Dep

17:00
18:25
17:45

Arr

00:30+1
23:30

BANGKOK TO MANDALAY

20:50
14:15
15:00

Days

AI 235
AI 401

15:05

16:30

Dep

22:50
21:45

TOKYO TO YANGON

Flights

Y5 252
7Y 306

Arr

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

Arr

22:25
23:25

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

8:05
12:50

16:30
19:50

Days

BG 060
BG 060

Tel: 255287~9. Fax: 255290

Arr

15:40

Tel: 255491~6. Fax: 255223


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

Vietnam Airlines (VN)

Tel: 255066, 255088, 255068. Fax: 255086

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

Arr

14:55
13:05
Arr

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

10:15
14:35
Arr

12:0
12:30

BG = Biman Bangladesh Airlines


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

Arr

12:20
13:20
Arr

13:20

MU = China Eastern Airlines


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

Arr

13:20
Arr

13:20
Arr

16:30
15:00
Arr

12:15
Arr

12:50
Arr

19:00
19:35
19:45

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

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

4
5
6
7

=
=
=
=

Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

26 Sport

THE MYANMAR TIMES May 28, 2015

Table Tennis
Even before the opening ceremony, the people
of Singapore can celebrate a perfect start to the
games as their womens doubles pairs complete
a one-two finish, meaning the first gold and silver medal of these Games were awarded to home
competitors.
But it was the order of victory that was the
biggest surprise for the hosts as their underdog
pairing of Lin Ye and Zhou Yihan overcame favourites Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu in a seven
set match.
Malaysia and Thailand took joint third place
meaning both nations now have a bronze each.
In the Mens double event Li Hu and Ning
Gao were looking to make it two gold for Singapore in their match against a Thai duo who had
already beaten one home duo in their semi-final.

Netball
After a hiatus of 14 years after its one previous appearance at the 2001 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games,
netball returned to the regional event at the OCBC
Arena Hall.
Six nations are competing for the spoils but

realistically only two, the Commonwealth nations


of Singapore and Malaysia have any chance of
winning.
Both nations got off to their expected flying
starts on May 30 when Singapore overcame Brunei 72-21 in a sport where one net equals one point.
Malaysia too dominated their opponents Myanmar who have transferred the majority of their
basketball team to the sport 84-22.
The two stronger sides rested their better players later in the game before meeting in the roundrobin stage of the competition yesterday. Reigning
Asian champions Singapore and Malaysia who
has said the sport may not feature at the 2017
Games which they will host if a gold medal is not
secured here played out a tight 35-35 draw.
Singapore led into the final quarter but Malaysia outscored the home nation 11-5 in the 4th to
draw level.
In their second game, Myanmar beat the Philippines 56-31. Today they will face Thailand, a win
would bring a semi-final berth and a likely thirdplace final within touching distance.
Matt Roebuck

Football
Malaysias chef de mission has called for footballer Nazmi Faiz to be sent home after he was
red-carded for spitting at an opponent in their

opening SEA Games fixture against East Timor.


Norza Zakaria told Malaysias The Star newspaper that it was the right thing to send back
the talented playmaker, 20, although the final decision rests with team officials.
Ill leave it to the team management to handle the issue. Its the right thing to send him
back, he said in a report published on May 2.
We cannot tolerate such behaviour from our
athletes.
After Nazmis sending-off, 10-man Malaysia
struggled to a 1-0 win over lowly East Timor in
their opening under-23 game on May.
The game earlier attracted scrutiny after East
Timors team manager was detained, charged
and suspended from football activities for alleged match-fixing.
Orlando Marques Henriques Mendes was
provisionally barred from football activities for
30 days after he was detained and charged by
Singapores anti-corruption bureau, the Asian
Football Confederation said.
It was an unfortunate beginning for the regional multi-sport event in Singapore, a city
seen as a centre for international match-fixing
networks.
The AFC has opened disciplinary proceedings against Mendes for alleged violations
of its rules on bribery and match integrity, a
statement said.
Mendes suspension can be extended once for
a further period of 20 days, the AFC added.
On May 29 Singapores Corrupt Practices

Investigation Bureau said it had been proactively monitoring football match-fixing activities
and acted on information to arrest a Singaporean alleged match-fixer and several co-conspirators of different nationalities.
Singapore has been hit by previous fixing
scandals including in April 2013, when a local
businessman provided prostitutes for visiting
referees to influence an AFC Cup game.
Alleged global match-fixing mastermind Tan
Seet Eng, or Dan Tan, is being held under a law
that allows for indefinite detention following a
crackdown in September that year.
Experts say low-level games are most vulnerable to offers from match-fixers because players
and officials are typically not well paid.
At last years Asian Games at Incheon in
South Korea, a betting analysis company said
there were strong indications of match-fixing in
the football competitions early rounds.

Shooting
Norza Zakaria raised concerns over reports that
Malaysias shooting team had been barred from
talking to the press, apparently to shield them
from pressure.
I am a very open person. I dont think we
need to gag the athletes, he was quoted as saying. AFP

fooTball

Myanmars fans
clean up their act.
MaTT Roebuck
matt.d.roebuck@gmail.com

OLL Stadium in Whangerai, New Zealand turned


to social media on May 2
to express their gratitude
for the conduct of the Myanmars U20 football fans after their
6-0 defeat to Ukraine at the FIFA U20
World Cup.
The Myanmar supporters are once
again picking up all the rubbish in the
terraces, not just where they were sitting but helping the rubbish crew with
the rest of the terraces as well! Gonna
miss these guys, read the stadiums
Facebook page.
Myanmars travelling fans are developing a reputation far from the
tarnished one that derives from their
conduct at home.
Singapores media were quick to
pick up on the graciousness of their
visitors from the Golden Land when
following the home teams 4-2 victory
over Myanmar. The White Angels fans
passed rubbish bags around to leave

the stadium as they had found it.


Crowd trouble at home will mean
that Myanmar is required to travel to
far more games in coming months.
In July 2011 at Thuwunna Stadium,
Yangon, members of the crowd threw
shoes, bottles and stones onto the
pitch after they disagreed with a firsthalf penalty decision that led to the
home team going 4-0 behind on aggregate to Oman.
Initially banned from all qualification for the 2018 World Cup, FIFA later
reversed that decision but insisted that
any home games be played at a neutral
venue. On June 16, Myanmar will host
South Korea at the Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok, in the first of their Asian
second-round Group G home games.
Despite this action, home behaviour
has failed to improve. The Asian Football Confederation fined the Myanmar
Football Federation US$24,000 after a
pitch invasion by spectators after the
quarter-final win over the United Arab
Emirates at the AFC U19 Championship that saw Myanmar qualify for the
current tournament in New Zealand.

fooTball

A press release from the AFC said


the punishment was as a result of a
failure to guarantee law and order as
well as safety at the venue, improper
conduct by spectators and repeated
infringements of the [tournaments]
Code.
The AFC Disciplinary Committee
ordered that the teams next home
match should be played without spectators, with the order being suspended
for a probationary period of two years.
Such violence has continued to
spread across all levels of national
football years. Riotous scenes followed
2014s top of the table Myanmar National League clash between Yangon
United and Yadanarbon FC, and similar scenes were witnessed at the 2013
season decider between Nay Pyi Taw
and Yangon.
At the 2013 Southeast Asian Games
hosted by Myanmar, water cannon
were used to disperse the rioting
crowd members who tore up seats,
burned shirts and hurled stones after
their elimination from the tournament.

A Myanmar fan cleans up after a game in Singapore. Photo: Twitter/Damian Bush

fooTball

Further FIFA accusations

Britain is open to alternative World Cup

SEPP Blatters top lieutenant Jerome


Valcke made US$10 million in bank
transactions to an account controlled
by another high-level FIFA football official, The New York Times reported on
June 1.
US federal authorities said the alleged transfer of millions in 2008 from
FIFA to accounts controlled by former
FIFA vice president Jack Warner are
key elements of the ongoing corruption scandal that has engulfed footballs governing body.
The newspaper, citing several unnamed law enforcement officials, said
the payments are a crucial part of last

BRITAIN could back the holding of


an alternative football World Cup
but only with the support of European partners following last weeks arrest of FIFA officials, a government
minister said June 1.
John Whittingdale culture, media and sport Minister told parliament that if there were any serious
attempt to organise an alternative to
the existing World Cup, that could
only be done if there were a strong
agreement across the European nations, and preferably with other
football associations from around
the world.

weeks indictment against 14 football


officials and marketing executives by
US and Swiss authorities and shows
the bribery trail is closer to FIFA president Blatter than previously known.
Warner is accused of taking a bribe
to help South Africa secure the 2010
World Cup tournament.
No charges have been filed against
FIFA secretary general Valcke who denies authorising the payment and he
has not named in the indictment. But
the Times says its sources told them
that he is the unidentified high-ranking official who allegedly transferred
the funds to Warner. AFP

But I do think that this is a matter in the first instance for football
to decide, he added.
UEFA
Executive
Committee
member Allen Hansen last week
mooted the suggestion of holding a
European Championship every two
years, open to those outside the continent, and the matter will be discussed when Europes football chiefs
meet later this week, Whittingdale
said.
The British politician stressed the
importance of unseating FIFA president Sepp Blatter, saying the Swiss
administrators credibility has been

utterly destroyed.
Momentum against him is building. We must now increase that
pressure still further, he added.
It is up to everyone who cares
about football to use whatever influence they have to make this possible.
FIFAs sponsors need to think
long and hard about whether
they want to be associated with
such a discredited and disgraced
organisation.
Whittingdale said the English
Football Association was trying to
find allies across Europe in order to
join us in making that case. AFP

FIFA
U20
WORLD CUP

*results as of June 2

GROUP A

GROUP A

usa (Q)

P GD GF Pts
2
6 +5 6

ukraine

+6

new Zealand

-4

Myanmar

-7

GROUP B
ghana

P GD GF Pts
2
4 +1 4
2

+1

argentina

-1

panama

-1

portugal

P GD GF Pts
1
3 +3 3

colombia

+1

Qatar

-1

senegal

-3

GROUP D

New Zealand

Mali
uruguay

+1

serbia

-1

Mexico

-2

hungary

P GD GF Pts
1
5 +4 3

Brazil

+2

nigeria

-2

north korea

-4

Ukraine

Argentina

USA

Myanmar

Ghana

Myanmar

Ukraine

New Zealand

USA

Austria

Argentina

Austria

New Zealand

Panama

USA

Qatar

Colombia

Mexico

Portugal

Senegal

Qatar

Uruguay

P GD GF Pts
1
8 +7 3

honduras

+1

uzbekistan

-1

Fiji

-7

* all game times are in local time zone

Ghana

Argentina

Ghana

Senegal

Mexico

Colombia

Serbia

Serbia

Uruguay

Mali

june 6, 4pM, dunedin

Qatar

Serbia

May 31, 1pM, dunedin

Colombia

Mali

june 3, 7pM, dunedin

june 6, 1pM, haMilton

Senegal

june 3, 4pM, dunedin

Portugal

Mexico

june 6, 4pM, haMilton

Portugal

Mali

GROUP E

Uruguay

GROUP F
june 1, 1pM, neW plyMouth

Nigeria

Brazil

june 1, 1pM, christchurch

june 1, 4pM, neW plyMouth

North Korea

Hungary

june 4, 4pM, neW plyMouth

North Korea

june 4, 7pM, neW plyMouth

germany

Panama

May 31, 4pM, dunedin

june 3, 4pM, haMilton

May 31, 1pM, dunedin

May 31, 4pM, haMilton

GROUP D
May 31, 1pM, haMilton

Austria

june 5, 4pM, auckla nd

GROUP C
0

june 5, 4pM, Wellington

june 5, 7pM, auckland

Ukraine

june 2, 7pM, Wellington

june 5, 7pM, Wellington

Myanmar

Panama

june 2, 4pM, Wellington

june 2, 1pM, Whangarei

May 30, 7pM, Wellington

May 30, 4pM, Whangarei

Nigeria

GROUP F

june 3, 7pM, haMilton

P GD GF Pts
1
2 +2 3

GROUP E

May 30, 4pM, Wellington

May 30, 1pM, auckland

june 2, 7pM, auckland

austria

GROUP C

GROUP B

Hungary

Brazil

june 7, 5pM, neW plyMouth

Hungary

Nigeria

june 7, 5pM, christchurch

Brazil

North Korea

Germany

Fiji

june 1, 4pM, christchurch

Uzbekistan

Honduras

june 4, 4pM, christchurch

Honduras

Fiji

june 4, 7pM, christchurch

Germany

Uzbekistan

june 7, 5pM, christchurch

Honduras

Germany

june 4, 5pM, Whangarei

Fiji

Uzbekistan

Sport
28 THE MYANMAR TIMES junE 3, 2015

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

The First medals of the


SEA Games decided
SPORT 26

FOOTball

Myanmar not at the races


MaTT ROebuck
matt.d.roebuck@gmail.com

OR 135 minutes of the FIFA


U20 World Cup, Myanmar
flattered only to deceive. After a closely fought 2-1 loss
to the United States in their
opener, they conceded six secondhalf goals to lose 6-0 to Ukraine in
their second Group A game, played in
Whangerai, New Zealand.
Obviously we only had the power
for one match. The European teams
play in another league and we cannot
follow, said Gerd Zeise, Myanmars
head coach.
As the teams went in at half-time,
the Kiwi commentator on the official
games feed suggested that it might
be time to drop the minnows label
attached to Myanmar as their performance thus far had proved them worthy of competing on this world stage.
But clich or not, the commentators curse seemed to strike again as
Myanmar players found themselves
under a second-half barrage inspired by half-time substitute Valerii
Luchkevych. Luchkeyvich missed the
Ukrainians first game of the tournament because he was sat on the bench
for his club side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in the UEFA Europa League final.
Roman Yaremchuk put Ukraine
ahead in the 51st minute before strikes
in the 54th and 57th effectively ended
Myanmars challenge.
It was just like the USA game. In the
first 15-20 minutes of the second half we
gave the game away, added Zeise.
We are too blind and we do not
have the experience, thats absolutely
clear. It was a disaster and this tournament has come too early for us.
Although in this tournament of 24,
the four best-placed third-place teams
will qualify for the knockout stages,
after shipping six goals, the German
believes that standard is too high for
his side even if they beat New Zealand,
who lost 4-0 to the United States in
their second game.
We must be realists. The party is
over. I must apologise to the Myanmar

FIFA U20 World Cup Group A


Myanmar 0 - 6 Ukraine
June 2, Whangarei, New Zealand
Myanmar striker Aung Thus first-half performance was one of the few bright spots in a bad day for the U20s side. Photo: Facebook/Myanmar Football Federation

fans. I am responsible for this disaster,


but I cant turn a cyclist into a racing
driver, Zeise said.
If one player came out of the game
with an improved reputation it was
Aung Thu. The Ukrainian defence
clearly approached the game with the
intent to use their stature to force the
small number 9 into submission. But
the Myanmar forward continued to
run at them, forcing a succession of
cynical fouls to which Ukraine were
lucky to receive only one yellow card.
Both the Young White Angels best
chances came from Aung Thu. In the
26th minute he ran through several
Ukrainians before threading the ball
through the final defenders to the far
post. But Than Paing failed to read the

gambit and could not reach the ball


that ran harmlessly out of play.
Ukraines best chance of the half
came after 40 minutes when a perfect
cross found Vladyslav Kalaiev on the
box on his own with only the keeper to
beat. Kalaiev took his time though and
a back tracking Yan Naing Oo was able
to nip in and dispossess the forward
before he released a shot.
But when Ukraine came out for the
second half they found their composure in front of goal.
After a Yevhan Chumaks cross
picked out Yaremchuk to head home
the game became a one-sided affair.
Myanmar overstretched themselves looking for a quick route back
into the game, but the result was

to open up space for the Ukrainian


counter-attack bolstered by the added
pace of Luchkevych
[We agreed] ahead of the game, as
we were lacking speed that he would
start the second half and he really improved our game, said Ukraine coach
Oleksandr Petrakov.
Found by Viktor Kovalenko, Luchkevych sweetly chipped the ball over
the advancing Myo Min Latt to give
Ukraine their second.
Luchkevychs pace brought the
third, a fine run resulting in a shot
that Myo Min Latt could only parry
into the oncoming Kovalenko.
Those three goals in six minutes
sealed the fate of the game as, with
their new found energy, it became not

about whether Ukraine would score


more, but how many.
Ukraine continued to press and
when Kovalenko had the option of
four blue shirts running toward Myanmars defensive line, he chose the
unmarked left-back Eduard Sobol to
make it four.
Luchkevych then set up Artem
Biesiedin for the fifth before being denied his own second goal thanks to a
Thiha Htet Aung handball on the goal
line.
After the resulting red card, Pavlo
Polehenko missed the spot kick but
with the Myanmar team down and
having effectively switched off Kovalenko made the tally six just a couple
minutes later.